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Serving Durham, Middlefield and Rockfall

Volume 17, Issue 3

Public gets their chance to weigh in on proposed Middlefield budget By Sue VanDerzee Town Times

The public hearing on the proposed Middlefield town budget last Monday, April 26, was not very well-attended. Nevertheless, the dozen or so folks who showed up asked pointed questions and listened to interesting discussion. The upshot of the two-hourplus dialogue was that the Board of Finance (BOF) will have held a special meeting on Thursday, April 29, to finalize the budget they will present to a town meeting on Monday, May 10, at 7 p.m. in the Community Center audi-

torium. Some of the topics touched upon at the hearing were the planned tax increase of 1.7 mills for the fiscal year beginning July 1, following the current year’s .23 mill decrease. According to BOF member Bob Yamartino, .63 mills of the increase is due to less money coming in based on a host of reasons including a drop in the grand list (or list of taxable property in town), and just over 1 mill is due to the proposed education budget. Middlefield’s percentage share of the District 13 education budget has shifted upward for the first time in many years as it is based on

It’s a big week in our towns! Tuesday, May 4, 6 a.m.-8 p.m. is your chance to vote on the proposed District 13 education budget. Durham residents vote at Korn School; Middlefield and Rockfall residents at the Middlefield Community Center. Thursday, May 6, is the first day of the 2010 Durham Farmer’s Market on the Green from 3-6 p.m.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Little League Opening Day

the actual percentage of students attending District 13 schools from Durham and from Middlefield. Additionally, .21 mills of this year’s budget will begin to pay down the cost of the town’s acquisition of Powder Ridge. Residents commented on the planned 20 percent drop in street light expenses (from $50,000 to $40,000), a project See Hearing, page 19

In this issue ... Calendar.........................4-5 Durham Briefs................20 Lots of Letters.........8, 25-27 Middlefield Briefs ......17-19 Movie Review .................23 Obituary..........................27 Reunions .........................31 Scouts ..............................14 Sports/Opening Day ....28-29

Wild, wild Middlefield!

A few grass stains never hurt anybody, just ask Hailey Byrne (on ground) and teammate Alyssa Lecza, from team Around the Clock. See more Opening Day photos on page 29. Photo by Stephanie Wilcox

Durham residents to get letter about Blue Trail study By Stephanie Wilcox Town Times

These photos were sent by a wildlife enthusiast with a pretty nice zoom lens. The fawn photo was taken last spring and the fox kits this spring directly behind his house. Looking (and snapping photos from a distance) is fine, but do not touch or bother wild babies!

A large number of Durham residents will be receiving a letter in their mailboxes from James Road resident Pat DiNatale. “There are parts of the town that are still in danger (from bullets) and are definitely in the surface danger zone, and there’s a moral obligation to do something,” said DiNatale. Since 2006, DiNatale’s property west of Tri-Mountain Road has been struck by gunfire at least four times, and it has been the same story for many neighbors. In response to residents’

concerns, an independent study was recently completed to assess the safety of Blue Trail Range, a shooting range in Wallingford near the Durham line, where the bullets appeared to be coming from. Golden, Weise and Associates, LLC, who performed the study, concluded that shots fired at Blue Trail and an adjacent range are not fully contained and that redesigning the ranges is necessary for safety. “Thanks,” says DiNatale, “but now what?” According to DiNatale, there are over 700 properties within the surface danger See Trail, page 20


Durham Pet Fair coming soon

The second annual Durham Pet Fair, hosted by Help Willy’s Friends and the Durham Veterinarian Hospital, is fast approaching. The free, family-oriented fair will take place on Sunday, May 16, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Coginchaug Regional High School and will feature over 45 local animal shelters, more than 50 vendors, entertainment and lots of food for you and your pet!

Town T imes Community Briefs The idea for a pet fair came about after Dr. Kumar of Durham Veterinary Hospital proposed supporting pet adoption to Mark Paturzzo, founder of Help Willy’s Friends. They worked on it together, and the first annual fair was so successful that they moved their bigger and better version to CRHS. The Durham Pet Fair supports four different rescue groups, Cattails, Help Willy’s Friends, Cause for Paws and Shih Tzu & Furbaby Rescue. In addition to what was

Index of Advertisers

2010 Memorial Day parade The 2010 Durham Memorial Day Parade will take place on Monday, May 31. The parade will step off at 9:15 a.m. at the corner of Haddam Quarter Road and Main Street and then continue down Main Street to the Town Green. Parade participants should assemble at the corner between 8:15 and 8:30 a.m. The parade will take place rain or shine. Immediately following the parade, there will be a ceremony at the Town Green honoring our nation’s servicemen and servicewomen.

If you have any questions concerning the parade, please contact parade chairman Bob Francis at 860-349-0881. The 2010 Memorial Day Parade Grand Marshal is former Marine Tech Sgt. Francis Korn. Dr. Korn graduated from Durham High School in 1933 and subsequently from Wesleyan University. He entered graduate school at Boston University and received a degree in chemistry. Dr. Korn entered the Marine Corps in 1943 and eventually rose to the rank of Tech Sgt. He was assigned as a noncommissioned officer in the Marine Corps Control Laboratory at Cherry Point, North Carolina. In his position, he was responsible for physical and properties testing of various materials and solutions during World War II. After leaving the service, Dr. Korn entered medical school at New York Medical College, earning his degree as a general practitioner. After several years of practice, Dr. Korn re-entered school to become a radiologist and conducted his radiology residency at Yale University Hospital. Dr. Korn served as Durham’s medical director from 1958 to 1965. Also, Dr.

Uncle Bob’s

Korn carried the flag in the Durham Memorial Day parade for almost 50 years as part of the American Legion Color Guard. He met his wife, the late Clara Korn, at Middlesex Hospital where she was a nurse and he was an intern. Dr. Korn has two daughters, Penny Parmalee of Durham and Candice Jeffries of New York, and two sons, Fran and Donald, both of Durham.

Sign up for Durham Rec summer programs Registration for all summer recreation programs will be held at the Durham Town Hall on Tuesday, May 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. and on Saturday, May 8, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Registration forms are available at Call 860-3436724 for more information.

Corrections If you see something in Town Times that isn’t accurate, give us a call at 860349-8000, and we’ll do our best to make things right.

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To advertise in the Town Times, call Joy Boone at 860-349-8026. Addy & Sons..............................28 Kleeman, Carol, realtor .............23 Affordable Excavation ...............27 Lehet Fence ..............................29 Allan’s Tree Service ..................25 Lema, William J., D.M.D............10 Anderson Lawn Care ................24 Lino’s Market ...............................7 APEC Electric............................26 Lyon & Billard ............................19 Appraisal One Associates.........23 Meriden Hyundai .......................31 Area Cooperative Education.....17 MHS Primary Care....................15 Around the Clock Heat..............21 Micheli Unisex Styling Salon.......6 Berardino Company Realtors....32 Middletown Plate Glass.............25 Berlin Bicycle Shop ...................17 Mountain Spring Water .............28 Binge, Bruce..............................30 Movado Farm ............................28 Boylin, Dr. William .....................13 Move Over Martha ....................21 Brenda’s Main Street Feed .........6 Neil Jones Home Imp................30 Brockett Paving & Construction 30 Palmieri Construction ................17 Brother’s Pool Enterprises ........11 Peaceful Healing .........................7 Cahill & Sons.............................30 Perma Treat Corporation ............5 Carlton Interiors.........................10 Perrotti’s Country Barn................6 Carmine’s Restaurant ...............15 Petruzelo Agency Ins. ...............27 Centurion Exterminating............25 Pumpkin Patch ..........................14 Chris Cotes Golf Shop ..............14 Putter’s Paradise.........................5 Conroy, John, D.M.D.................17 Raintree Landscaping ...............30 Country Landscaping ................24 Realty Associates......................23 Ct. Home Add. & Remodeling...29 RLI Electric ..........................15, 25 Currlin, Nancy, realtor ...............23 Roblee Plumbing.......................29 CV Enterprises ..........................25 Rockfall Co. ...............................24 Daricek Landscaping.................24 Rockfall Northeast.....................28 Dean Autoworks........................13 RSDL Home Improvements......27 Durham Dental ..........................15 Durham Family Eyecare ...........10 Rudolph’s Landscaping.............19 Durham In Bloom ......................13 Sea Breeze Hauling ..................24 Durham Veterinary Hospital........3 Sharon McCormick Design .......28 Family Tree Care ......................29 Singles Alternative.....................14 Fine Work Home Improvement.26 Sisters Cleaning Service...........27 Five Star Performance Horse ...26 Split Enz ................................5, 30 Fosdick, Gordon, M.D. ................3 Stafford Motor ...........................10 Fuel & Service...........................13 T-N-T Home & Lawn Care ........30 Glazer Dental Associates............6 Tile Renovators .........................26 Grosolar.....................................12 Tony’s Masonry.........................29 Guodace, Frank, realtor ............23 Torrison Stone & Garden ..........29 Hayes Equestrian Center..........16 Town of Durham..........................3 Holy Trinity.................................16 Uncle Bob’s Flower & Garden.....2 Home Works..............................28 Valentina’s Home Designs..........7 Huscher, Debbie, realtor .....23, 31 VMB Custom Builders...............27 Ianniello Plumbing.....................27 Walsh, Jim, realtor.....................23 Independent Day School.............7 Whitehouse Construction..........26 J. Randolph Kitchens ................25 Whitney Ridge Stables..............26 Jay Landscaping .......................24 Wild Wisteria .............................15 J.C. Farm & Greenhouse ............5 Wildwood Lawn Care ................30 Ken Marino Sales & Service .....17 Windows Plus............................10

mentioned in an article on the fair last month, here are a few more attractions at this year’s fair: Durham Veterinary Hospital will have an emergency station set up for pets, and professionals will be available to answer pet-related questions. There will be a free microchip clinic available and a rabies clinic will be offered at a discounted price. Also, free spay and neuter gift certificates will be given out every hour, so come on over and take advantage of all there is to do and see. (Stephanie Wilcox)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Town Times

Friday, April 30, 2010


Vanishing Geese Farm in Durham preserved for the future By Judy Moeckel Special to the Town Times

The Town Of Durham is seeking a part-time Assistant Tax Collector. Flexible weekly schedule with annual average of 20 hours per week. Competitive benefits package. For more details and a full job description go to the Town website: To apply submit an application or resume to:

Martin French, Tax Collector P.O. Box 428 Durham, CT 06422 Applications and resumes will be accepted until: May 10, 2010 Equal Opportunity Employer - ADA compliant facility

The Family Practice For Your Pets

Sudesh Kumar DVM, MS, PhD

Providing Quality Care for Your Pets Through Medicine Surgery Dentistry Phone 860-349-3485 Radiology Behavior Counseling Fax 860-349-8649 Wellness Programs and More Mark your calendar for The Durham Pet Fair on May 16, 2010. For more info go to 178 Parmelee Hill Road Durham, CT 06422



P O S T M A S T E R: Send address changes to Town Times, P.O. Box 265, Middlefield, CT 06455.

Town of Durham Assistant Tax Collector

Block Island, which years ago instituted a two percent tax on real estate transactions, with one percent each coming from the buyer and the seller. The monies collected go into a

See Preserve, page 15


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.

Vanishing Geese Farm on Maple Avenue in Durham is a bucolic vision in the fall sunshine. Photo - Ct. Farmland Trust


A week or two ago, on one of those gorgeous spring days that makes you want to get down and kiss the ground, I was tired and stressed. But I had an appointment that was going to raise my spirits. I headed over to Vanishing Geese Farm on Maiden Lane in Durham to talk to owner Jim Scott and to look around the 43-acre farm that he and his children have chosen to preserve by donating the development rights to the Connecticut Farmland Trust. Scott showed me around the farm, introducing me to his Scottish Highland steers, Fife and Dundee (the farm also is home to horses, chickens, and honey bees). He then invited me to explore the property, which is a mix of hay and pasture fields, wetlands, and woodland. As I walked, I saw a microcosm of what makes the agricultural heritage of our community so special. The varied terrain, with its gentle hills, open fields, wooded areas and meandering streams, brought me — literally — down to earth, and also energized me. As I watched the sunlight dance across a grassy field full of violets, I found myself repeating, “This is what it’s all about.” Jim Scott understands this in a deep way, and also in a practical way. This is why he and his family decided to sacrifice the difference between what the property would sell for as a farm, and what it would bring as a “devel-

opable” parcel. By donating an “agricultural conservation easement” to the Connecticut Farmland Trust, Scott has ensured that the land will never be subdivided or developed. The Trust will be the custodians of the property. The town of Durham paid for Scott’s legal and appraisal fees; in turn it has received the gift of openness, a gift of almost inestimable value. “I hope that the schools, being so close by, could use my property as a field site,” he says. “But I think the town shouldn’t have to rely on this type of sacrifice (to preserve rural property). I think Durham ought to systematically create open space,” Scott explains. He points to the example of

SESAMOIDITIS Sesamoid bones are found within the joint of the big toe. The great toe joint has two sesamoid bones referred to as the tibial and fibular sesamoids. They protect the large tendon that pulls the toe down against the ground when the individual is in motion. Because of their location and the forces they endure, these sesamoid bones are vulnerable to inflammation. The resulting pain is usually experienced after activity. Some causes of sesamoiditis include running, jumping from a height, and wearing shoes with little cushioning. A careful physical examination and x-rays are used to determine if the result is an inflammation. If it is found to be an inflammation, treatment may include rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy. The human foot is an amazing marvel. When its complex parts aren’t working together properly to allow you to walk in comfort, it’s time to seek a podiatrist’s attention for diagnosis and treatment. As a physician who specializes in foot care for men, women, and children, a podiatrist’s extensive training provides the experience to treat a full range of foot disorders. Have your feet got you down? Call us at AFFILIATED FOOT CARE CENTER, LLC, for an appointment for comprehensive foot care, including on-site X-rays and diagnostic and therapeutic ultrasounds. Office hours in Middlefield are Mon. 9-5, Wed. 3-7, and Fri. 9-5; Tues. & Thurs 9-5 in Wallingford.

Town Times


Play The Strong School play, Once on This Island begins at 7 p.m. tonight and tomorrow. Cogin-Chuggers The Durham Cogin-Chuggers will hold a club-of-themonth dance at Brewster School in Durham from 8 to 10:30 p.m. Matt McGovern will be the caller and Sue Lucibello the cuer. Donation is $6 per person. For info, call 860-349-8084 or 203-235-1604. DMYFS-Red Cross Class The American Red Cross will hold a class “When I’m in Charge” from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Middlefield Community Center. The fee is $25 per student, ages 11 and up only. Call 860349-0258 for info. Frog Friday Come to the Field Forest behind CRHS at 4 p.m. to go to the vernal pools and look for frogs and other signs of spring. CFPA will provide viewing tubs, nets and pond scopes. Wear clothes and boots that can get muddy. For info, e-mail or 860-395-7771. Veterans’ Help The DAV will offer help for veterans about benefits and services at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel, 4 Sebethe Dr. in Cromwell, from 1 to 6 p.m. Staff will provide counseling and claim-filing assistance. Help from the mobile service office is free to all veterans and their families. Fajita Festival The Coginchaug Fajita Festival will be held in the Coginchaug cafeteria at 6 p.m.

Relay for Life team for a pulled-pork dinner from 5-7 p.m. at St. James Parish Hall, 498 Killingworth Rd. in Higganum. Dinner, desserts and drinks included. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for children. Children two and under are free. Takeouts will be available. For info or tickets, call Jere Adametz at 860-685-0688 or Elaine Jackson at 860-345-7755. Taiko Concert A Taiko (Japanese drumming) concert will be held at 5 p.m. in the World Music Hall on the Wesleyan campus. Call 860-685-3555 for tickets and information. Truck Pull The Durham Fair Association will hold a truck pull from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the fairgrounds. Admission is $5 per car load! The food booth will be open with hot dogs, hamburgers and Durham Fair chicken wings on the menu! To participate, register between 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Registration fees are $20 per puller, per class. All rules, regulations, and waivers are posted on the website, Spring Fling The sixth annual spring fling polka dance and social, sponsored by the Men’s Club of SS Peter and Paul R.C. Church of Wallingford, will be held from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. at the Polish National Alliance Park in Wallingford. The event features music by Eddie Forman Band. BYOB with set-ups are available, coffee, tea and dessert will be served. Tickets are $15 per person and available by calling Alan at 203-294-0374.

Members of the Coginchaug Valley Education Foundation will be at Perk on Main in Durham from 9 a.m. to noon to talk to the community about how CVEF can help. Residents are encouraged to stop by and chat. Giant Pumpkins Show Me the Dirt, or Spring Always Brings Surprises, will be presented at 1 p.m. in the Medical Building on the Durham Fairgrounds. This seminar will teach you how to complete an isolated pollination to produce a giant pumpkin. Novice and experienced growers are encouraged to attend. Seeds will be available. Symposium The Earth Charter Community of the Lower Valley (ECCoLoV) presents Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream symposium. The symposium is open to the public and will take place at the Yurt at The Sanctuary at Shepardfields, 59 Bogel Rd. in East Haddam. Register at or call 860-873-8989. A $12 donation ($15 if not pre-registered) is requested. The symposium includes refreshments and runs from 1 to 5 p.m. Elijah The Greater Middletown Chorale will present the complete oratorio Elijah, by Felix Mendelssohn, at the performing arts center at Middletown High School. Ticket prices are $10 for students, $20 for seniors, $25 for general admission and $40 for VIP reserved seating. They are available at and Ursel’s Web Frame Shop & Gallery, 140 Washington St. in Middletown.




May 1

May 2

May 3

Notre Dame Tag Sale Notre Dame Church, Main Street in Durham, will have a tag sale and flea market in the church hall, parking lot, garage and lawn from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Breakfast and lunch are available in the church hall. Vendor space is $15 and available by calling Bob Smith at 860-349-0356. Car Wash Project Graduation will hold a car wash at Carolyn Adams parking lot, Main Street in Durham, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pork Dinner Join St. James Church HK

Dragon Music Dragon Music, Tiger Sound will be presented at 7 p.m. in the World Music Hall on the Wesleyan campus. Call 860-685-3555 for information. Barefoot Hiking The barefoot hikers of Connecticut will hold a barefoot hike at Wadsworth Falls State Park at 2 p.m. The hike will be appropriate for beginners. David Ellis, a long time barefoot hiker, will instruct people on safely hiking barefoot. For info, visit CVEF at Perk

Stroke Club Middletown Stroke Club will meet at 1 p.m. in the community room at Sugarloaf Terrace in Middlefield. The Stroke Club meets the first Monday of every month. For information, call Ida at 860344-9984, Ray at 860-349-9226 or Ann at 203-235-4275. Tea Ceremony The Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, 343 Washington Terrace in Middletown, will present a Japanese tea ceremony demo and a lecture and tour of the Freeman family Japanese


April 30

Friday, April 30, 2010 garden at 4:30 p.m. Free Movie Every Monday the Middletown Senior Center, 150 William St., offers a free movie at 12:30 p.m. Today’s movie is Capitolism: A Love Story with Michael Moore. Call 860-344-3513 for more info. Strong PTO The Strong School parent teacher organization will meet at 8 p.m. at CRHS.


May 4 Concert The Strong School band will perform at Coginchaug at 7 p.m. D13 Art Exhibit The annual Region 13 Art Exhibit will be held during the month of May at the Durham Public Library with the opening reception today from 4 to 6 p.m. Open to all. Student art will also be displayed in the showcase at the Levi Coe Library in May. Durham Rec Sign-Up Registration for all Durham summer recreation programs will be held at the Durham Town Hall from 6 to 8 p.m. and on Saturday, May 8, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Registration forms are available at Call 860-343-6724 for info.


May 5 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. Marlon Brando The Freshman and The Godfather (selected scenes) will be shown and discussed at noon at Russell Library, 123 Broad St. in Middletown. Attendees are invited to bring a sandwich and the library will provide dessert and beverages. Call 860-347-2528 for more information. Free Movies The Middlefield Senior Center will present free movies on Wednesdays at the senior center. Today’s movie is The Blind Side; May 12, The Bucket List; May 19, Because I Said So and May 26, Mall Cop.


May 6

National Day of Prayer Join neighbors and friends at 9 a.m. on the Middlefield green in front of the firehouse to pray for our country and our world. Traces of the Trade The Middlesex County Healing Racism Coalition and filmmaker Katrina Browne will present a screening of Traces of the Trade at Middlesex Community College. Browne discovered her ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history and retraces the Triangle Trade, uncovering the vast extent of northern complicity in slavery. Registration and buffet dinner begin at 5, film at 6 p.m. followed by a discussion with the filmmaker. There is no cost, but donations are accepted. Historical Society Middlefield Historical Society will meet at 7 p.m in the Community Center. This is the last evening meeting until September. Everyone welcome. Call 860-349-0665 for moe info. Farmers Market

Enjoy a traditional farmers’ market on the Durham green today and every Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Drama Club The Memorial School drama club will present Annie Jr. at 6:45 p.m. at Memorial.


May 7

Strong Social Strong School social at 7 p.m. Business Networking The local chapter of Business Networking International 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. Spring Fling All Durham seniors are invited to the third annual spring fling at the Durham Firehouse from noon to 2 p.m. There will be refreshments, and Bob Mel will entertain. There is no fee. For more info, call 860-343-6724.

More on the next page

Town Times

Friday, April 30, 2010

More Town Times & Places SATURDAY

May 8

By Stephanie Wilcox Town Times The State Department of Transportation (DOT) would be receptive to recommending the installation of a traffic signal at the intersection of Pickett Lane and Route 17, First Selectman Laura Francis told the Board of Selectmen (BOS) at their April 26 meeting. This information came in a letter that was based on a study the DOT did for the town. If Durham is interested, the traffic signals could be put in during the next traffic signal project in this region, Francis explained. Traffic signals cost about $100,000, and the town is responsible to pay 10 percent, or $10,000, as well as the electrical energy costs. The DOT also addressed the intersection of Maiden Lane and Route 17, but there would

be too many cueing concerns, particularly with the church and market across the street. Francis has alerted the Regional District 13 superintendent to look into this as the approach to Pickett Lane technically belongs to the school. Francis suggested adding the cost to the school district’s capital improvement plan. Superintendent Susan Viccaro later told Francis she will bring it up to the Board of Education. Other local traffic authority items were also addressed. The selectmen approved putting “No Parking After Dark” signs on Pisgah Road and plan to request a DOT study for the intersections of routes 68 and 157. Farmers Market discussion New market master Tina Hurlbert was joined by Bernadette Basiel and her daughter Bailey to talk about the annual market, which will

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open for the season on May 6 and follow the same hours as last year. Hurlbert explained there will be about 12 vendors this year, which is almost the same as last year, and said there are some new ideas, including a library display and a local author of a food book featured. The rest of the conversation focused on parking. It was agreed that this year’s parking will be the same — designated handicapped stalls and “No Parking” signs in front of homes. Someone from the market will be responsible for setting up the signs, and Francis said she would sign off on community service hours for anyone who helps with that task. The selectmen approved the terms of the Farmers’ Market for the 2010 season. Other business


Wesleyan Potters annual spring festival and sale will be held at the shop, 350 South Main St. in Middletown, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Celebrate the beauty of spring while browsing the work of 35 guild members and students in ceramics, basketry, jewelry, metalsmithing and more. Free admission. For information, visit Craft and Tag Sale The United Churches of Durham’s annual tag and craft sale to support the summer mission trip to Kentucky will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine, in the parking lot or in the church hall on Main Street in Durham. Rep. Lesser State Representative Matt Lesser will hold office hours at the Durham Public Library, 7 Maple St., from 10 a.m. to noon.

New traffic light for Main Street, Durham?


Japanese Garden The Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, 343 Washington Terrace in Middletown, will hold a conservancy garden tour of the Freeman family garden from 10 a.m. to noon. Mothers Walk Grab your mother or your daughter or both and join the women of the woods for a hike at 2 p.m. at the Field Forest in Durham. Learn the basics of using a compass, do some letter-boxing and visit the vernal pool. Meet at the CRHS parking lot. Registration appreciated by emailing or calling 860-395-7771. American Legion American Legion Post 184 will meet at 10 a.m. at the Durham Library. All veterans are invited to attend. For information, call Bob Francis at 860-349-0881. Plant Sale Project Graduation will hold a Mothers Day plant sale today and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Strong School parking lot, Main Street in Durham. Open House The Learning Collective, a school for children grades K-3 in Middletown, invites fami-

lies to an open house at 10:30 a.m. Join the teacher and current TLC parents at 186 College St. in Middletown. They will provide light refreshments and a fun activity for children. For info, visit www.thelearningcollective.o rg or call 860-704-8181. Pottery


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Town Times


Friday, April 30, 2010

Internet and social networking safety on the agenda at Memorial School By Anne Doyle and Tina Hurlbert Special to the Town Times

Widespread use of the Internet, texting and online gaming makes it critical to educate children about the risks involved, as well as give them strategies for safely navigating all of these technologies. At Memorial Middle School, we are doing just that. There are three major points to note when discussing and teaching about the Internet and social networking at Memorial. First, NOTHING is absolutely safe or foolproof on the Internet. Second, when one says some-

thing via social networking or texting, it can’t be taken back. Third, sixth graders are usually 11 and 12 years of age. Keeping these three points in mind, you can easily see what a challenge parents, students and educators face every day in regards to technology. As Tina Hurlbert, the computer teacher, and myself, Anne Doyle, the librarian at Memorial, discuss the issues students face each year, we begin to quiver a bit. Each year we spend one intensive week in Library Skills class discussing Internet safety and spend the following week in computer creating rules and safety guidelines regard-


Spring Timeo

ing Internet use and social networking. This year we decided to give a computerized, comprehensive, completely anonymous survey to students to see what their use and feelings were regarding the Internet and social networking. Here are some of the results. Starting with the cell phone: 64 percent of the 93 students surveyed have cell phones. In this day and age, that seems acceptable considering many parents are working. However, 54 percent have texting and that’s where difficulties tend to arise. It has been found that students spend an average of 1.5 hours per day texting. Texting is an activity where a sixth grader can witness not only threats, but willingly or not, get wrapped up in cattiness, bullying, hurtful words and inappropriate language. Further-

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mail address, phone number, full name or school, could lead a predator to their door within an hour. Many of the students do not realize that even a profile picture could give out important information, such as their football team or school name. Do we scare the kids during our safety week? Absolutely. As parents and educators, we are so worried about having our children talk to strangers yet, by providing unsupervised online settings, we are offering them a community full of strangers. According to the survey, 38 percent of the students have chatted online with someone they don’t even know. Another area of great concern is on-line gaming, such as Playstation, Nintendo DSi, and Xbox. This is an area that is growing as a target for Internet predators. Please make See Internet, page 10

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more, when you add a camera into the equation, a whole new set of potential issues and misuses arise. Regarding the Internet: 99 percent of students surveyed have Internet access at home and 54 percent have unsupervised access, which means in a bedroom or other area an adult is not. With laptops and Wi-Fi more readily available, this is the wave of the future, but it may behoove parents to still set up structured places with easy eye access so that they can see what their child is doing. Moreover, 50 of the 93 students surveyed are members of Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and/or Form Spring. Please note that the minimum age for Facebook is 13 and that is more of a maturity and safety issue than anything. We stress to the students that just a little bit of private information, such as an e-

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Town Times

Friday, April 30, 2010


Circus for a Fragile Planet brings critical lessons to local students “Fools,� Gasso, Methaney and Coalina, who do e v e r y thing in their power to work against him. With various props and colorful costumes, the group flipped, cycled and crawled across the s t a g e , d e m o n - John Lyman student volunteers help Pros t r a t i n g fessor Offli Varminhere, aka Dic Wheeler, g l o b a l warming, right, make a point about our fragile planet. critical habitat, resource species sustainability, bottled management, alternative en- water and more. “Bottled water is fashionergy sources, recycling,

By Stephanie Wilcox Town Times Students experienced an “educational extravaganza� when Circus for a Fragile Planet paid a visit to John Lyman School on Earth Day, April 22. In one hour, students learned about issues concerning the environment in hilarious and clever skits put on by Artfarm out of Middletown. According to their website, Artfarm is “a theater, a working small organic farm, and a retreat and workshop center where artists, activists, under-served young people and just good folks can come for renewal and inspiration.� For the last two years, Artfarm’s circus has toured the northeast in their bio-diesel fueled bus, entertaining students in preschool through university level while inspiring them to help take responsibility for our Earth. “This may be a circus, but it’s also a very serious show about very serious issues, particularly what we do to the Earth, but also what the Earth may do in turn to us,� said Artfarm co-founder, writer and director Dic Wheeler, who played the part of an offbeat Austrian scientist named Professor Offli Varminhere. In the show, the professor is frustrated by three Fossil

able, no?� the professor asked students when he walked out into the audience. He then explained shocking statistics, like 40 percent of all bottled water is simply made from reprocessed tap water, and $43 billion is spent on bottled water each year. Students also learned about the values that humans “juggle� on earth, such as comfort, convenience, profit, progress and survival. This lesson was made clear as the fools literally kept taking these values (in the form of plates) away from the professor. With the help of student vol-

See Planet, page 30

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Town T imes Opinion


Friday, April 30, 2010

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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, Trish Dynia, Kathy Meyering, Judy Moeckel.

Vote May 6 at Korn School or the Community Center from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the District 13 education budget.

“If I was to change this life I lead, I’d be Johnny Tomato Seed. Cause I know what this country needs: Homegrown tomatoes in every yard, you see.” Guy Clark All the tell-tale signs of springtome are officially here: warm weather, longer days, classic spring flowers, softball, baseball and the return of the traditional farmers’ market. Come celebrate as the Durham Farmers’ Market returns for its third year on Thursday, May 6. Markets will be held every Thursday during the season between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m. on the Durham Town Green. At the market you will be able to purchase locally grown produce, baked goods and other treats. (See list of vendors next issue.) Some people have asked why they should support their local farmers’ market and their local farmers. There are lots of reasons, but the two most critical are saving on energy costs and quality of food. In terms of energy and environmental concerns, just think about the energy it takes to truck a load of strawberries from California to

Connecticut, or in some cases as far away as Chile. In addition, because your locally grown food is going straight from harvest to table, it does not contain additional preservatives to keep it fresh. So, it tastes better, puts lets stress on an already stressed-out energy system, and it’s good for you too. There is no denying that fresh just tastes better. To make the finest foods and jams in gourmet restaurants, chefs choose the freshest produce, food that has been picked that day. While supermarkets provide us with a variety of produce throughout the year, they cannot beat a farmers’ market for quality and freshness. In addition, by attending your local farmers’ market you will be supporting a timehonored tradition. Supporting the farms in our community helps assure that they will be there tomorrow and honors our history. So, please come to the season kick-off on Thursday, May 6. Bring a shopping bag, browse the stalls, catch up with neighbors, try something new and know that you are doing something good for your family and your community by supporting locally grown produce.

Letters to the Editor Vote ‘no’ on D-13 budget

Campaigning this past fall for selectman, the most prevalent issue of voter concern was the high property taxes in Middlefield and Rockfall. This year the proposed town general fund expenses are 2.5 percent less than the current budget. Over the past several years the town administration has kept the town budget flat. The same cannot be said for D-13. This year they are proposing yet another increase in your taxes; a budget that increases expenses in excess of three percent over the current budget. In a year of economic hardship, pay reductions, furloughs and high unemployment, this is going to be another difficult bill for citizens to pay. You must remember that the school portion of your taxes represents over 75 percent of your property tax dollars. You, as voters, can affect this taxation by going to polls Tuesday, May 4, and voting on the District 13 budget. This budget should not be supported. D-13 has operated with a surplus over many years, and I do not believe they have eliminated this “built in” surplus from their budget. We are told by D-13 that the high cost of the district is driven by unfunded state mandates and by con-

tractual obligations. Until such time as changes are made at the state legislature to eliminate unfunded mandates and binding arbitration, you as voter have one action you can take next week to keep your school taxes in check; vote NO. District 13 needs to properly zero base their budget and eliminate the built-in surplus. Plenty of your tax dollars are spent on non-academic expenses. No, and I repeat no teachers or academic programs need to be affected by any relevant (not token) budget reduction. Edward Bailey, Selectman, Middlefield, Rockfall

Employment workshop helpful To the Editor: As a recently displaced management/logistics professional, I was able to attend an all-day employment workshop at the Durham Town Hall on Tuesday, April 20. It was a very valuable and informative session and will be of great benefit to me. I would like to thank First Selectman Laura Francis of Durham and First Selectman Jon Brayshaw of Middlefield for this opportunity. In these dire economic times, such opportunities

are greatly appreciated. Joseph Randazzo, Durham

Vote ‘yes’ for education The surplus from last year’s budget was $650-750K, or two to three percent of the total budget. The other 97-98 percent of the budget estimated as accurately as possible for anticipated needs as well as needs that arise unexpectedly over the course of the school year. For example, the flu virus that required substitutes for half the teachers on staff. Concerns about the size of the fund balance were addressed by the board, who budgeted a supplemental transfer resulting in a reduced, yet reasonable, fund balance. We do need to communicate our concerns about every part of the school budget and hold the board to their present open door policy. However, we shouldn’t risk the bottom line, our children’s education, trying to fix in one year what transpired over several years. Secondly, we heard last week that the mill rate in Durham is estimated to increase by 0.77, the first increase in three years. Due to the availability of the Senior Tax Freeze in Durham, our respected seniors will not be affected by this increase in mill rate. Essentially the tax-

es on an average home in Durham ($250K assessed value) will increase by about $192.50 or $0.52/day. This extra 0.52/day will provide 21st century equipment and materials as well as a staff trained not only to teach reading, writing and arithmetic, but also to be caregivers, counselors and psychologists. I plan to support the proposed school budget by voting yes on May 4. I only ask that my fellow parents go to the polls and vote. Given the challenges of the times we live in, we need to be involved in and support the education of our town’s and country’s future, our children. Oanh T. Stephan, Durham

Vote ‘no’ on school budget Dear Town Times, We are facing unprecedented times in our country and right here at home. Despite the high unemployment, underemployment and reduced wages of our residents, the District 13 school board is asking us not only to support a budget with a big increase, but one that contains built-in surpluses and is designed to be under-spent and reallocated during the year. The board’s idea of “zero-based” budgeting is not based on past performance and trends. This quasi-zero-based budgeting

has enabled the board to end the past several fiscal years with huge surpluses and bolster its undesignated fund balance to obscene levels. The object in the school budget with the most positive variance (surplus) was salaries, particularly certified employee salaries. While the board budgets the contractual salary for returning teachers and the best estimate it can make for new hires, it continues to budget for 100 percent of the salaries being paid despite the trend that during any given year, several teachers will be out on maternity or medical leave. These absent teachers are then replaced by substitutes who are paid much less, thus the big gap in actual spending versus what was budgeted. In Fiscal Year ‘08-‘09 the surplus was almost $671,000 out of a budget of $14.8 million. In Middlefield the Board of Finance analyzed the actual hours worked by some of our employees and reduced next year’s budget proposal in accordance with what those employees will actually work. The savings were not huge, but they were something. If the school board applied the same kind of analysis to its employees, the proposed budget might actually be a decrease over this year’s budget, while keeping all employ-

See ‘No’, page 25

Town Times Columns

Friday, April 30, 2010


Can Connecticut ‘Race to the Top’?

May is National Teen Safe Driving Month

With eligibility for perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars hanging in the balance, Connecticut needs a comprehensive effort to qualify for federal Race to the Top education funding. The Obama administration has made $4.3 billion available to states that successfully reform their public edState Senator ucation systems through state law and policy changes to comply with Race to the Top objectives. Connecticut, without these reforms, failed to qualify for first-round funding, in which Tennessee won $500 million and Delaware, $100 million. As Senate chair of the Education Committee, I have been meeting and negotiating with the State Commissioner of Education and other education officials for weeks to achieve consensus on a host of pending reforms in time to qualify for round two. Connecticut’s application for round two funding is due June 1. We’re working to synthesize about a

Our community is Fire Company will be mourning the loss of on campus to conduct another teen to a moa mock crash drill. tor vehicle accident, Congratulations to the third in two years. Brian MacDuff (stuAnother young life cut dent director) and short and the lives of Taylor Lauretti, who parents, siblings, placed second in the friends and neighbors CT DMV Teens Tackle changed forever. With the Issue of Distracted each tragedy, we lose a Driving Safe Driving piece of our future and Video Contest. You potential for greatness. can view their video at A Facebook friend Laura Francis, Durham recently posted the watch?v=pmmzk_ question, “How much E1GVA which will more can our small also be aired on CBS town take?” My answer stations. This is the is short and simple, second year in a row “not much,” and I folthat a team of students low that answer with from CRHS has placed several new questions. What have we in the top three! done to educate our teen drivers? What A new club has been formed at more can we do to help prepare our CRHS called Teens in the Driver’s youth for such a huge responsibility? Seat, a national program that started Preventable motor vehicle crashes in Texas that is a peer-to-peer apcaused by teen drivers are the leading proach to promote safe driving. This cause of death for teens in America to- group is working closely with health day. The tragic facts: Nearly 5,000 teacher Ms. Bertz. Also, according to young people die in car crashes every Health teacher Mr. Bajoros, our stuyear. Another 300,000 teens are in- dents have been submitting excellent jured in car crashes each year. Crash Natural High Video Projects to the risk is particularly high during the Natural High/Sundt Memorial Founfirst years that teenagers are eligible dation throughout the school year. to drive. The top five driver-related There is a buzz about www.naturalfactors for teenage drivers involved in currently going around fatal motor vehicle crashes include: CRHS. It seems the Health Education Driving too fast, running off the road, program is having a positive impact driving in the wrong lane, driving un- on student behavior and choices. der the influence of alcohol, drugs or Even with all these constructive promedication, erratic, reckless or dis- grams planned, I ask the question tracted driving. again. What more can we do to help Each year, the Local Wellness prepare our youth for such a huge reCouncil and the Health Department at sponsibility? If you have any ideas or CRHS provide some kind of program- know of other successful programs, ming for the students; this year is no please contact me or the health teachexception. On May 6, a PEERS ers mentioned above. This topic will be portable road simulator will be at the discussed at the next Local Wellness high school which realistically Council meeting on May 3, at 12:30 p.m. demonstrates the dangers of driving at the Central Office, BOE. We are alunder the influence. There will also be ways looking for more community ina dedication station where students volvement. After all, it is our collective can pledge never to drink and drive. responsibility to help protect our most On May 28, the Durham Volunteer precious asset, our youth.

half-dozen individual bills, already scrutinized by our committee, into one omnibus education reform initiative. A working draft includes elements ranging from more rigorous graduation requirements and improved high school graduation rates to measuring student acTom Gaffey ademic growth and linking that with teacher accountability standards and curriculum refinement. Many of these reforms are overdue. For years I have been outspoken about the need for a seamless kindergarten-through-12th grade public education system; one initiative would instill a system through which routinely entered data and a student’s progress can be tracked throughout his or her “career.” Cross-referencing this information would be one way to address the teacher accountability issue, too. This

From The State Capitol

See Gaffey, page 16

Going for Plan B There are an infiNight. This event Scott V. Nicol, Strong nite number of Plan Bs showcases Strong stuMiddle School principal available for each of dent work accomus. In reality, when we plished throughout have an initial idea, an the school year. In adinspired thought, dition, CRHS students when we co-create have agreed to run a with others to “make a second Blue Devil plan,” such endeavors are simply just Fair during Pride and Spirit. Here, another Plan B. Mark Twain once parents with their children may furmused, “I was seldom able to see an ther explore the ECO or Diversity opportunity until it had ceased to be Club or perhaps the football program, one.” Call it an endless line of oppor- just to name a few. tunities if you will, the bottom line is: It isn’t a coincidence that Danielle as one opportunity passes another is Charette, CRHS senior, will be present sure to arise. A Plan B is always pres- at these events for she has been a mement. The trick is to be in the present. ber of the Model UN for several years. This awareness is achieved by quiet- It is also not a coincidence that ing one’s mind and removing all un- Danielle and many of her peers wish to necessary noise. It is here where Plan share their CRHS moments at the Blue Bs exist. Devil Fair with the hope that each On Thursday, May 13, several Plan Strong student will begin to recognize Bs will be present for Strong students. the many Plan Bs available to them. During the school day CRHS students Danielle Charette has been one of at Strong will run the Blue Devil Fair, my Plan Bs. I have been honored to counveiling a number of extra-curricu- create 12 Town Times’ articles with lar activities and clubs offered at her over the past four years. She is a CRHS. One such club is called the special talent. I am present while Model United Nations (UN). Current- cherishing this moment. ly, several Strong students are taking “The Moments” part in a pilot Model UN process, led By Danielle Charette, CRHS senior by CRHS students, with a culminating event occurring on May 13 directly afSome people collect baseball cards. ter the Blue Devil Fair. Moreover, Others are stamp pack-rats. Still othduring the evening (7 to 9 p.m.) on May 13 Strong parents and their chilSee Moments, page 16 dren may attend Pride and Spirit

A View From District 13

From The Desk Of The First Selectman

Champion counters and web update Deb Houle, of Durham, was the first to e-mail us with the correct number of candles, earning herself a $16 Dunkin Donut gift card in honor of the 16th anniversary of Town Times. Five-year-old Kiyah Kulpik, right, of Middlefield, was the first one to stop by after counting the recycle symbols in our Earth Day issue last week. She gets her picture in the paper for her counting skills! Watch for our next counting contest for Mother’s Day! Nineteen people responded to our weekly poll question: “Have you ever been selected to serve as a juror in a trial?” More than one-third — 37 percent — have served while 63 have not. We also enjoyed the fact that some of you commented on your experience, and we will summarize those comments in a later issue.

Town Times


Photo by Stephanie Wilcox


(From page 6)

sure your child has all of their privacy settings in place and knows not to share any private information with anyone they are talking to. Trash talk and bullying can fester in these areas. So what can you do as a parent to keep your child safe? Keep your computer in a supervised area. Check the privacy settings. Know your child’s passwords.

Anne Doyle, left, works with a computer safety class at Memorial School, teaching them how to be safe.

Check their AIM and social networking sites. It’s not an invasion of privacy when you are paying the bill, providing shelter and supplying the computer. When we talked to the students about parents’ right to check e-mails they said that was fine. However, when we asked about checking up on text messages, they said NO WAY. Remember who’s paying the bill AND who is liable for anything that might transpire! Make copies of any threats your child is receiving

William J. Lema, D.M.D.

Other statistics we found among our students: 91 percent have gaming systems at home (Playstation, Xbox, etc) 53 percent can go “live” and play anyone on-line 45 percent have witnessed inappropriate language while gaming 36 percent have been bullied by someone online 36 percent have witnessed someone getting bullied 51 percent have had online/texting conversations that carried over to school the next day – not necessarily in a bad way 13 percent were approached by someone who has made them uncomfortable, but told an adult 16 percent were approached by someone but DID NOT tell anyone 67 percent said they would tell a parent/adult/teacher if they read or saw something online that made them feel uncomfortable. At Memorial Middle School, we are doing our best to inform students of potential online risks and to arm them with strategies to safely navigate the realities that technology presents. We all care about our students and children; so please take these preventative steps for safety of all. Discuss “netiquette” proper on-line behavior.

Set up the profiles with your child (this even includes WebKinz, Club Penguin and other sites for the young).



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town looks to be on track and close to breaking even. In old business, Francis said two more residents wrote letters of interest for the DECD grant program, but there were not enough in total so the town will try again for the grant next year. The town received an updated legal opinion regarding the Blue Trail Range report and is working with Attorney Jamie Young from the governor’s office as well as keeping the DEP commissioner, Rep. Lesser and Sen. Meyer in communication. Three hundred rain barrels will be distributed to residents


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The board accepted a proclamation for the Brown Family 75th reunion and appointed Steve DeMartino to the Planning & Zoning Commission. They approved the March 2010 financial analysis. Francis explained that the

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Town Times


Friday, April 30, 2010

Looking at garbage in a whole new way at Perk on Main By Betsy White Booz Special to the Town Times Throwing your garbage away at Perk on Main in Durham is a bit tricky until you get the hang of it. While there is pretty specific signage for the different receptacles at the back of the restaurant, it isn’t necessarily intuitive for most of us about what goes where. But, says owner Katie Hughes, it is, ideally, the way we should all be approaching disposal of our trash. The creperie owner explains that getting rid of the dumpster used to deposit the multiple bags of trash the business generated over the course of a week was a goal she set for 2009. “I wanted to reduce our weekly garbage to the amount a large family would have,” Katie says, and she proudly acknowledges they accomplished that goal. “I’ve always been interested in recycling,” she notes, “and, for my business, it’s re-

ally the responsible thing to do.” To clarify, this means recycling and composting as much as possible, which is the way Perk reduced its general garbage down to one 64gallon garbage can per week Katie went on to describe the three-part approach used to achieve this goal. “We waste as little as possible,” she stresses, meaning they make the most of the food they buy. “It’s a matter of being organized and making smart choices when planning, ordering and preparing our food.” Next, Katie says, they take packaging into consideration for everything the business purchases. For example, the flat of grapes that used to come packed in Styrofoam now comes (from a different vendor) packed in cardboard. All paper products Perk uses can be composted – even their soon-to-be available paper lids (currently the plastic ones are recyclable, but not compostable).

Above, Katie Hughes with her fancy garbage disposal at Perk on Main. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the business “either recycles or composts everything we can,” says Katie. Hence the elaboratelooking garbage disposal area for customers (which is mirrored in the kitchen and oth-

er work areas). So, how does it work? The receptacle for the so-called “compostables” is the largest, explains Katie, “because almost everything can be composted,” and that even includes the wax-coated cups provided adjacent to the water cooler. Next is the area for “general trash” – that is, anything that can’t be either composted or recycled. Interestingly, Katie points out, none of that trash comes from the business; it’s materials (such as plastic bags) that are brought in by customers. Newspapers and magazines – both recyclable – are another category, and then cans and bottles that can be returned for deposit. Finally, there is a receptacle for other recyclables (those items marked with numbers one through seven on them). So, what happens next? Perk on Main contracts with a division of John’s Refuse, Global Environmental,

which picks up the separated waste (as it also does for District 13, Katie points out). The compostable materials are brought to New Milford Farms in New Milford, where they are turned into mulch. That mulch is bagged by a company called Garrick, and, in turn, is sold in retail stores. Katie says she actually visited New Milford Farms to see the operation in action. “It is cool to see how it all comes full circle,” she admits. She further explains that “compostable” trash is regularly checked, and it must be “clean” or the business can be rejected from Global Environmental’s program. Since it also can’t include any rotten food or refuse, Perk’s six compost containers are picked up three times a week, while recyclables and paper (and that infamous 64-gallon general garbage can) are only picked up once a week. See Garbage, next page

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Town Times

Friday, April 30, 2010

Durham spring fling


Earth Day celebration at CRHS includes all the arts

All Durham seniors are welcome to attend the third annual spring fling at the Durham Firehouse on Friday, May 7, from noon to 2 p.m. There will be refreshments and Bob Mel will entertain. There is no fee for this event. For info, call 860-343-6724.


(From page 21)

Is all this separating, sorting and dividing worth it? If Perk on Main diners are any indication, the only outcome to expect is a positive one. “Most customers appreciate our recycling efforts,” reflects Katie, “I think some people even come here because of it.”

Currently, DMIAAB is developing a flyer to spell out the recycle rules – specifically, residents used to only be able to recycle plastic items numbered one or two, but the transfer station actually accepts numbers one through seven. (Residents should look at their recyclable items to find the number stamped or embedded, typically on the bottom.)

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Katie, herself, is a good example of that commitment. At the recent CRHS Earth Day Expo festivities, where Perk on Main participated as a vendor, Katie admitted that, in the interest of ease, she threw all the garbage together into one plastic bag and hauled it back to her restaurant. But, once there, those “recycle genes” kicked in, and she took the time to sort through and separate it appropriately. “It was just the right thing to do,” she acknowledges, “…the right thing for all of us to do.”

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Katie is enthusiastic about the move by the towns to adopt the compost program. “People will find it remarkable how much can be composted,” she says. “And, once you start doing it, it becomes second nature.”

Energy Task Force, represented by Rebecca Fowler and Tim Heller, left. Abree Keaurajian of ECO (Environmental Coginchaug Organization), one of the evening’s sponsors, demonstrated how to make bags out of old newspapers, center. Above, the CRHS chorus uses a rainbow parachute as a prop during their concert in celebration of the Earth. 1150582

This bodes well for the Durham/Middlefield transfer station’s approach to its own recycling program. Katie, a member of the DMIAAB board, says the board is taking steps to communicate changes that have already taken place in the program, as well as looking forward to instituting the same composting program used by Perk on Main and Regional District 13.

Coginchaug High School held a community-wide Earth Day celebration last Thursday, April 22. The celebration included displays about Earth-friendly products and services, including a display by the Durham-Middlefield Clean

Scouts in Town T imes Workforce of the future learns about local business 14

Girl Scout Troop 62836 was delighted to visit Durham Manufacturing to learn about engineering design, robotics and business management. Their tour was led by Ron Thomas, human resources manager, on right in photo at left. Notice everyone’s safety goggles. Photos by Lynn Stanwood

Friday, April 30, 2010

Troop 27 goes to Camp Mattatuck By Tavish Clark Special to the Town Times


Durham Troop 27 went to Camp Mattatuck in Plymouth. It was a long hike to the campsite. Two new scouts were working on getting the requirements for the rank of scout. The new scouts practiced wiping and fusing rope by fire and learned to cook over a fire while the older scouts gathered firewood. During dinner time the scouts cooked hamburgers over the

fire while the two scoutmasters had three racks of ribs. Then we went to bed in our lean-tos while the two new scouts went to sleep in a tent. It was a tiring night and we slept well. In the morning we got up and made breakfast. Then we hiked back with all our gear to the parking lot and loaded it up in the trailer to go home. We can’t wait for another campout, like fishing in the Atlantic or our trip to Gettysburg.

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Town Times

Friday, April 30, 2010


(From page 3)

which holds agricultural conservation easements on 1,766 acres, is the only statewide non-profit conservation organization dedicated exclusively to protecting Connecticut’s farmland. Toward its mission, the Trust works with federal, state and municipal entities, as well as with local land trusts. For more information about the Connecticut

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fund for open space preservation. “It’s a painless way to do it — the town would use the funds to purchase development rights,” he notes. Scott, a professor at Yale University (he founded their program of Agrarian Studies), believes in the “walker’s law” found in Scandinavian countries. Under this tradition, people on foot have the right of open access to privately-owned properties. Bringing this tradition to Durham, he envisions a future where people would be able to walk through rural parts of town “as part of a larger town custom.” Elizabeth Moore, director of conservation for the Connecticut Farmland Trust, says that Scott’s openness to visitors is quite unusual among property owners who have donated development rights to the Trust. His farm was especially important to protect, she says, because the staterun farmland preservation program, administered by the Department of Agriculture, focuses on large farms. “Vanishing Geese Farm is a small, working farm, and these are highly endangered. Sixty-five percent of farms in Connecticut are 49 acres or less. They can get gobbled up as owners have monetary needs,” Moore says with conviction. “Durham has quite an agricultural history,” she adds. “To be able to preserve a farm that is near the center of town, with a historical house on the property, is very special. I am humbled. Jim is permanently protecting the farm for future generations. This is a selfless act, and it had the blessing and support of his children. It demonstrates the true meaning of altruism. His vision is educational: he wants people to learn from it.” Katie Matus, also with the Trust, stresses the importance of sustaining the agricultural history of Connecticut. Doing this also promotes the production of local food products and supports the local economy. “We make it work for the farmer — it’s personalized. Every farm has different needs for growth and sustainability,” Matus promises. Joe Dattilo and Bob Melvin, of the Durham Conservation

Commission, say they are delighted to work with property owners like Scott who want to preserve their rural property. “We are delighted by Jim’s generosity and his commitment to conserving his Durham farm property. It’s wonderful to think future generations will be able to enjoy the Scott property,” they said. Scott has farmed his property — the former Schilling farm — since 1979; among the additions he has made is a solar-powered kiln, which dries lumber for furniture-making. “Having worked the land, cut my firewood from it, raised sheep on it and hayed it, I have developed a lot of affection for it,” Scott says. “I feel that I’ve kind of kept faith with the land and with the critters on it. I love this land.” Vanishing Geese Farm is one of 20 farms that have been preserved by the Connecticut Farmland Trust since its creation in 2002. The Trust,


Town T imes Column Jumps

16 Moments

(From page 9)

ers hoard rare coins. But all of us, in some form, have one of those slightly dusty shelves deep in that library called the soul where we gather moments — those snippets of time made memorable. Stacked somewhere between the encyclopedia set and the thesaurus, we keep our memory of that speech on the Weimar Republic we gave in tenth grade European History or the firstplace-winning relay team. We remember the Latin exam that went especially well or the physics project that sparked our creativity. In the words of Annie Dillard, a favorite writer of mine, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Throughout my high school career, I’ve been lucky enough to entertain these socalled “moments” — from my first soccer game to receiving

my college acceptance letter, from attending my first Model UN conference to eating dinner with former United States Poet Laureate Charles Simic this past month. I know of friends who would pinpoint these times as a victorious basketball game or an aced calculus test or a particular trumpet solo. I’d like to think these moments are definably special because they haven’t spent too much time stacked on the shelf. Further, through this initiative with Dr. Nicol, I’ve had the opportunity to take these moments out of the archives and think about them, massage them, stare inward at them like a child with a jar of fireflies. When I was in eighth grade, Dr. Nicol approached me about a project in which we would both write three articles per school year that would reflect the merits of an RSD-13 education. It was to be an encouragement to other

students as well as a time-capsule of sorts: a yardstick of growth throughout the Coginchaug experience. I’d like to conclude this column by thanking Dr. Nicol for providing me with such a chance to reproduce these moments in the form of journalism. While this idea invoked apprehension at first, what I overlooked at the time of Dr. Nicol’s proposal were the “moments” — the essential fodder for these articles. It is these moments that have propelled me through a set of 12 articles, propelled me through high school itself. Collectively, writing about these moments formulates the richness of RSD-13 — the strength of curriculum, the encouragement, the sense of community. In such a way, they now live a two-fold existence. They are real and true because they sit in my soul but also because my pen perches them on the page.


(From page 9)

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Haven and Mayor John DeStefano agreed last year to begin a process of sweeping adjustments in this area. But test score data should not be the sole criteria in linking academic growth to teacher performance. The only fair manner of linking the two would include issues like class size, how transient the student population is and other socioeconomic factors. All have a proven impact on student academic growth and provide context in any manner of gauging teacher performance. Close on the heels of teacher accountability is our push to evaluate teacher preparation programs as well, to determine which colleges and universities produce the most effective teachers and which might consider reforms of their own. School accountability is another element of a comprehensive overhaul, to identify lowachieving schools and engage innovations known to be effective in other schools. One idea would provide financial incentives and match successful, retired teachers with priority schools; another would offer accelerated tenure to promising young teachers

Friday, April 30, 2010

who accept positions in lowachieving schools. Additionally, we would allow more Compact and Charter schools in our inner cities. Along this lines, we are also considering the creation of Innovation Schools, which reflect a relatively new concept to allow faculty, administrators, and school board members of low-achieving, priority schools to implement wholesale reorganization in everything from curriculum to budget and daily schedule to school calendar to improve individual achievement and overall school performance. We are considering an Alternative Route to Certification program (ARC) for public school administrators to parallel the highly successful ARC that brings accomplished private-sector professionals into classrooms as teachers. We’re even negotiating greater authority for the state Board of Education over local boards of education when data confirms they are administering low-achieving schools. Secondary school curriculum reform, in process for some time already, would include greater emphasis on math and science to help students prepare for and succeed in the technology-dependent 21st century. I envision a renewed emphasis on foreign languages given the undeniable need to function in a global marketplace going forward. The work we’re doing includes all imaginable stakeholders. Legislators of each political party and the Black and Hispanic Caucus, officials from the state Department of Education, representatives from statewide associations of school district superintendents and individual school administrators, teachers unions, and reform advocates from the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN) are all involved. Significant, albeit shortterm, federal funding is certainly part of our motivation. As important as the money is during these difficult economic times, however, it is even more important that we enact reforms to shape and inspire students today who will comprise tomorrow’s workforce, because that will have a direct bearing on Connecticut’s economy for the long term. Gaffey represents the 13th Senate District, which includes Middlefield.

Middlefield Town Briefs

Friday, April 30, 2010

Senior programs

Thank you, Coginchaug sports clubs

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The Park and Recreation Commission would like to publicly acknowledge and thank the Coginchaug Little League and Coginchaug Soccer Club for their help down at Peckham Park. The park is looking better than ever, and it is due to the hard work and donations of the two clubs. With the tough economic times we are all facing it is nice to see the local communi-

ty pitch in and help. All of the baseball fields have received a face lift and look great!! There are new bases, the infields have been redone with new clay and the pitcher mounds have been refurbished. The Little League has also implemented a regular maintenance program that will keep the fields looking great all summer long! The Coginchaug Soccer Club is donating money to cover organic fertilization of some of the soccer fields and are also looking into having the Malone Field re-graded once the season is done. The Commission is very appreciative of all of the hard work and donations that the clubs have provided and wish them a successful season!


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Student Council will be selling pizza slices for $1 each, along with other great refreshments!

Here’s a sample of some of the wonderful baskets that will be up for raffle at the event: 1. Junk Food Basket 2. Summer Fun Basket 3. Pasta Lovers Basket 4. Movie Night Basket 5. Fiesta Basket 6. Family Game Night Basket 7. And many, many more great ideas!


An exciting Wii afternoon will be offered on Thursday, May 6, at 4:30. The National Honor Society from Coginchaug High School will be assisting and coaching Wii bowling games. If you have never tried Wii bowling, it is very easy and quick to learn. It is a lot of fun, and it will get you up and moving. We will have pizza on hand and ask that you register by Tuesday, May 4. The quarterly complimentary breakfast sponsored by Apple Rehab will be on Thursday, May 20, at 9 a.m. No reservation is necessary. Wednesday at the Movies are back! Thanks to the Park and Recreations Department for funding the license this year. The May line-up for movies will be May 5, The Blind Side; May 12, The Bucket List; May 19, Because I Said So and May 26, Mall Cop. Brief synopsis and list of stars are posted at the Center. Looking forward to June, we will be going with movies with a wedding theme. Bocce season is here! Our “opening day” will be Tuesday, May 25, at 5 p.m. Please call the center, by May 20 if you are interested in joining. This is very low key, relaxed group that meets once a week and there are always some good stories and a lot of laughs – the best way to spend a summer evening. Call the Center if you would like to come. Foot care is offered every third Wednesday of each month. A registered nurse from Connecticut VNA will assess, soak and clip toe nails. The 25-minute appointment must be made in advance by calling the Center. The charge is $30; checks may be made out to the CNVA. The next clinic will be held on May 19. Free blood pressure clinics are offered twice a month on the first and third Wednesdays at 12:15. Exercise classes are offered for Middlefield seniors on Mondays and Fridays (yes, Fridays are back!) at 7:45 a.m. Gentle Yoga is held on Wednesdays at 7:45 a.m. These are drop-in classes; no registration is needed, and non-residents or those under 60 will pay $3 per class. Please call Antoinette Astle at 860-349-7121 to sign up for

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Middlefield Town Briefs

Middlefield Government Calendar (Unless noted, all meetings are held in the Community Center.) 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; residents vote at the Community Center 7 p.m. — Levi E. Coe Library Association at the library Thursday, May 6 7 p.m. — Economic Development Commission Monday, May 10 7 p.m. — Annual town meeting to vote on the budget at the Community Center auditorium


(From page 17)

major applications at their April 21 meeting – the first for an 18-foot wide access road driveway into town-owned industrial land off Brookside Drive and the second for the proposed Calvanese and Kastner LLC senior development at 31 Powder Hill Road (formerly Happy Acres). The first approval was strongly contested by IWA member Marianne Corona based on concerns about an

eventual permanent road that might be constructed over the applied-for access way. IWA chair Darin Overton and IWA member Daria VandeVeer argued just as strongly that the application before them was not an application for a finished road and that any such proposal would have to come before the IWA at such time as actual road construction was deemed necessary. The application was approved 5-1 with three conditions, including placement of proper erosion and sedimentation controls,

Political Advertisement

REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT 13 PROPOSED EDUCATION BUDGET 2010-2011 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS What did the Board of Education approve for this year’s budget? Recognizing that taxpayers are facing very difficult financial circumstances, the Board of Education and administration crafted a proposed budget that calls for a modest increase of 2.53%. What costs are contributing to the need for a budget increase? 56% of the budget is for salaries, costs fixed by collective bargaining agreements. 16% of the budget is for benefits, including health insurance, which has increased dramatically. Together, these costs have increased by more than 13%. Has the board asked for concessions from the teachers’ union? The board has requested certain concessions, such as a furlough day, but the Board does not have the authority to unilaterally require teachers to reopen their contract, which was negotiated in good faith two years ago. Does the proposed budget include any staff cuts? In view of the 6.8 positions cut last year, the Board of Education is not recommending any additional staff cuts because additional cuts would undermine the quality and effectiveness of our school system. What has the district done to save money during these difficult economic times? The District saved considerable funds by going out to bid for energy and health insurance contracts and by renegotiating the bus contract. Why does the budget include a capital needs plan? A long-range capital needs plan is a prudent, cost-effective way of funding building and equipment maintenance and replacement projects to keep our schools and facilities in tip-top shape. What is the fund balance and why can’t it be used to decrease the budget? A fund balance is generated when actual expenditures are lower than what is budgeted. The balance is not a reserve but a rolling balance that is left at the end of each fiscal year. Why does the budget include increased funding for the high school football program? Under the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference rules, Coginchaug needs to field its own team due to increased participation in the program. As a result, this year’s budget includes funding for new equipment, coaching stipends and uniforms to support the football program. Are class sizes affected by the budget? Smaller class sizes, which are critical to ensuring academic success for all children, are not affected by the budget. How can I better understand what is included in the budget? Copies of the budget are available at the town libraries or at the Superintendent’s office. In addition, Board members welcome your input and are available by phone or e-mail to respond to any questions you may have.

The budget referendum is scheduled for May 4. Polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Please vote!

Friday, April 30, 2010

notification of the wetlands enforcement officer before construction begins and performance of maintenance and fueling of equipment as far as possible from wetlands, preferably at least 100 feet. The second major approval was of the Lakeview Estates Site Plan proposed by Calvanese and Kastner LLC for 22 single-family, detached, agerestricted condominium units on the property formerly known as Happy Acres. Besides the housing, the application included an access road with two cul-de-sacs, a beach on Lake Beseck and a storm water management system. This approval contains 13 conditions, including the fairly standard erosion and sedimentation controls, letting town personnel know when building will begin, and construction conforming with submitted plans. In addition the approval makes it mandatory for the developers to maintain logs of storm water system maintenance and turf management products and practices. The developer is also required to pay for an independent monitor to check for adherence to the erosion and sediment control and storm water plans. The IWA also approved John Kulmann’s application to improve an existing driveway and replace an existing drainage pipe on Lot 12, Cherry Hill Road. Wetlands enforcement officer Lee Vito reported on a meeting with Middletown personnel regarding flooding at 1 Lorraine Terrace, and Middletown officials said they will address this. Vito was asked to request some additional information. Vito reported that the Coginchaug River clean-up is looking for volunteers to help collect trash along the river. Call him at 860-349-7123 for details. (From minutes/S. VanDerzee)

Termini sentenced


The former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Haven Healthcare, a defunct health care business formerly out of Middletown, was sentenced to a year in jail on April 20. Raymond Termini, a Middlefield resident, was sentenced to 12 months and one day of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised

Paid for by Members of the Regional School District 13 Board of Education.

See Termini, next page

Middlefield Town Briefs

Friday, April 30, 2010


(From page 18)


(From page 1)

that BOF member Jeremy Renninghoff has taken on. Renninghoff estimates that the town will have to turn off 50+ streetlights to reach the 20 percent goal, and he has already entered 26 orders into the system. As an example, First Selectman Jon Brayshaw cited a large light pole at Peckham Park shining on a pile of crushed rock just

beyond the covered bridge. “No one knows how it got there, but we certainly don’t need it,” he said. Resident Al Smith commented on the Park and Recreation budget, particularly use of the park by groups who, he contends, are not paying their fair share. He also initiated a discussion of the director’s salary, which led to the information that the supplement in the budget funded at $2,300 (a mere guess) is based on the director actually bringing in four times that amount of money while establishing new programs. When members of the BOF asked

how that particular percentage was set, Brayshaw deferred to discussions with the Park and Rec (P&R) Commission. BOF chair Rebecca Adams then stated that the BOF would make it a point to get together with the P&R Commission to discuss the whole issue. Brayshaw added that his aim was to eventually have the recreation department pay its own way, much as the goal is to have the building department pay its own way through fees for services.

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release. Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport also ordered Termini to pay a $6,000 fine and to forfeit $500,000 to the government. Termini, 48, and others were involved in a scheme to defraud Omega Healthcare Investors, a real estate investment firm in Maryland that owned nursing homes, according to court documents and statements made in court. The homes were leased to Haven Healthcare, who operated and managed them. In 2007, Omega agreed to provide Haven Healthcare with funding for capital improvements at two of its facilities. Termini has admitted that, after receiving $956, 090 in funding for fire sprinkler improvements, he did not pay the vendors and did not spend the funds on sprinklers. Also, Termini obtained a $6 million loan in 2005 on behalf of Haven Healthcare for the purpose of reducing its debt. Termini admitted he spent the money for other purposes, including purchasing real estate in his wife’s name and under an LLC she controlled. On Jan. 5 he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of unlawful monetary transaction. The court, however, raised concerns about the factual basis for the guilty plea to the monetary transaction charge related to the Allied loan. This

week, he withdrew the guilty plea and instead pleaded guilty to a separate count of wire fraud arising from that loan. (By Stephanie Wilcox)

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Attendees questioned Levi Coe Library and DurhamMiddlefield Youth and Family Services (DMYFS) planned appropriations, with BOF members saying that both groups were being monitored, but cutting below the levels in the proposed budget seemed unnecessary at this point. Adams added that DMYFS was being encouraged to fulfill the state goal of working with at-risk youth.

See Hearing, page 24

Dur ham Town Briefs



(From page 1)

zone, which is about 25 percent of the properties in Durham. He overlaid the surface danger zone on the town assessor’s map to represent this and plans to send it along with a let-

ter to those residents this Friday or coming Monday. In it, he details who is affected, what can be done, why you should care and why he cares. He also hand-delivered a copy of the letter to the First Selectmen’s office Wednesday morning.

“I think the town should be notifying these people who are at risk of being shot and losing property value, but I think the town is dropping the ball,” said DiNatale. “So we need to put pressure on the selectmen to do something.” What they should do next,

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DiNatale doesn’t know, but he does know the responsibility lies with officials. When asked if his letter is intended to infer that the town should sue Blue Trail Range and/or Wallingford, DiNatale only said that Durham needs to do something. “Someone needs to take action,” he continued. “Here we have a report that says people are at risk of being shot. Period. Do we just say thank you for the report and bury it?” A call to Blue Trail Range owner David Lyman was directed to Lyman’s attorney Craig Fishbein. Fishbein was unaware of the letter and by press time did not comment after a copy was faxed to him.

The Planning and Zoning Commission met April 21, at which time they received an update on the legal status of the school’s proposed athletic fields for Pickett Lane. Town planner Geoff Colegrove informed the commission that the school is close to reaching an agreement in court, part of which includes installing a 10foot acoustic fence. This item came before the commission as the applicant wants to avoid going before the Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance. According to Colegrove, the commission should be able to grant approval for the fence as it is part of the settlement. Members of the commission were concerned that granting approval for this fence might set a precedent for future applicants to ask for a 10-foot fence, but Colegrove assured them that there shouldn’t be an issue as the fence is part of a legal settlement. Although the

Friday, April 30, 2010 commission didn’t formally approve the fence, they all stated that they were comfortable with the proposal. The commission also reviewed another draft of the proposed regulation changes for home occupation permits. Other than clarifying some of the language, the commission made no significant changes. The revised regulations will be sent to attorney Tom Byrne to look over, and, should no issues arise, a public hearing to discuss the regulation change will be scheduled for May 19. Responding to a complaint about Greenland Realty that came up during the commission’s last meeting, Colegrove found no site plan violations after inspecting the site. Although material has been unloaded on the site and kept in place by concrete blocks, the material is getting stored in an area where it is permitted. Colegrove added that he is still looking into just what kind of material is stored. An application for a two-lot subdivision along Parmelee Hill Road and Indian Lane also came before the commission. The property will be split into a 2.41-acre lot for a house, with 5.23 acres left for the veterinary hospital on the site. 2.78 acres of the property will be used for a conservation easement. The commission granted the application their unanimous approval. The commission also granted Douglas and Lisa Mentlick a renewal of their accessory apartment permit for 344 Haddam Quarter Rd. One other item briefly discussed was about a trucking business being run out of the fairgrounds. While the commission needs to verify just what is permitted on the fairgrounds, they may seek an injunction against the business. (In attendance/Chuck Corley)

Durham Government Calendar (All meetings will be held at the Durham Library unless otherwise noted. Check the town Web page at 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 6:30 p.m. — Public Safety Committee Monday, May 10 7 p.m. — Board of Selectmen meeting followed by annual town budget meeting at CRHS at 8 p.m. 7:30 p.m. — Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency

National Dance Week in Town T imes

Friday, April 30, 2010

National Dance Week is a weeklong celebration of dance focusing on the health, education and cultural contributions of all forms of dance. It is always held during the week that includes April 29, the birthday of JeanGeorges Noverre, the honored dancer, choreographer, ballet master and dance theorist born in Paris in 1727. NDW is currently sponsored

by the United Dance Merchants of America, who in 1991 embarked on a campaign that would “encourage the growth of dance in America,” and the result was a commitment to the already formed National Dance Week movement. The goal of the UDMA is to “raise the level of consciousness and focus on the values, importance and contributions of dance.” Since

By Lauren Konefal


that time, UDMA has given the National Dance Week movement rebirth. Check out all the happenings for NDW at the The poems and drawings were submitted to Toni-Lynn Miles, regional manager of Central Connecticut for National Dance Week, as part of Middlesex Dance Center NDW celebrations.

Dance By Meghan St. Amand, age 12 By Meghan Crocetto Doing your best always pays off Amazing rhythms and sequences of steps Never boring, always interesting and exciting Complex and beautiful movements Entertaining every audience

This is my chance By Meghan Crocetto, age 6 Dancing is cool, dancing is fun Twirling around and around until the day is done. Ballet, jazz and tapping When I’m done performing, the whole crowd is clapping. I’m happy and excited when I dance I feel like a star. Boston;Around Heating & Cooling;B14014;3x6 And this the is Clock my chance.

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Town Times


Friday, April 30, 2010

CORRUPTION. CORRUPTION. CORRUPTION. CORRUPTION. 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 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 to contact your legislator today

Please call for corrections at 203-317-2308 - after 5 pm call 203-317-2282 Ad#:TOWN TIMES LOGO Pub:PERM Date:07/21/07 Day:SAT Size:6X2 Cust:TOWN TIMES Last Edited By:EALLISON on 7/20/07 12:20 PM. Salesperson: Tag Line: Color Info: TOWN TIMES LOGO - Composite

Tow n Times 1154578

Town T imes Movie Review

Friday, April 30, 2010


Remember Me marketedAdtotemplates the wrong audience are for width purposes only. er marriage, leaving her chil- with a child witnessing her The length canFeke vary depending the size dren to fend foron themselves. A mother’s murder on a subway. Dr. Tanya

way. Marketers and publicists were praying Twihards (the delightful tongue-in-cheek term given to Twilight fans) would drive ticket sales; but few adolescents could grasp the emotional complexity of the subject matter. There simply wasn’t enough eye candy or sex appeal for teenage hormones to encourage word of mouth. By missing the true target audience, Summit Entertainment unfairly stunted Remember Me’s theatrical run. I can only hope you don’t fall into the same trap. The realism in this film is believable, with mounting

It’s not at all what you expect with television commercials depicting a romantic love story between the wellcoiffed Twilight star (Robert Pattinson) and the blonde Lost beauty (Emilie de Ravin). To the contrary, Remember Me is an emotional journey through the ripest form of family dysfunction. I can’t blame Summit Entertainment for the shameful marketing ploy. Robert Pattinson is a hot commodity these days, what with Twilight and its sequel New Moon grossing $584 million domestically and a third film on the

young daughter (Ruby Jerins) struggles to find an identity, confused and stunned by her parents’ blatant disregard. It is left for older brother Tyler (Pattinson) to all but raise his little sister on his own while struggling with his own grief. Yes, Tyler meets a girl, but instead of a smoldering romance, he finds a true friend who can teach him that life is what you make of it — life’s truest lesson. At first you wonder what the film asks you to remember. The film actually 3" opens

Diagnosis: Movies tension between a corporatedriven father and a rebellious teenage son. Not nearly as cliché as it sounds, the character development is exquisite as the family tries to cope with the suicide of their oldest son. A father (Pierce Brosnan) withdraws from any paternal relationships with his surviving children. A mother (Lena 2" Olin) escapes to anoth-

The Hawkins family reels from a past suicide. Everyone has a tragedy, just as we all have ours, but the ending leaves you reeling with a punch-you-in-the gut wallop of emotion, a bitter, gritty catharsis. For mature audiences only, this is a must see. My rating: 3 stethoscopes Dr. Tanya Feke is a physician at Middlesex Hospital Primary Care - Durham and guest columnist for the Town Times. Movies are rated on a five stethoscope scale.




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Town Times


A statistical silver medal

Room 4 at Brewster School has gone statistical. Michelle Burford, mother of Katherine, asked Mrs. Archer if the class would like to enter the American Statistical Association’s annual poster competition. The class voted unanimously in favor of the project. After much deliberation, and since weather is an ongoing theme in second grade, they decided they would try to answer the question: Where is

the safest weather place in the USA? They created four teams, the flood team, the hurricane team, the tornado team and the blizzard team, and went to work. Using class and school libraries and librarians, the Internet, and technology guru Ms. Burke along with Mrs. Burford and Mrs. Archer, each team was able to find the information to draw their conclusion.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Each team made a graph and transparency map to show their findings. The transparencies were matched with the graphs for each type of weather found in each state. Then each transparency was color coded for blizzards, tornadoes, floods and hurricanes. They then placed the transparencies over each other on a map of the USA to show exactly where the states with the fewest colors, and therefore the least weather-related problems, are located. The poster was comprised of graphs, transparencies, a key and a written explanation. They submitted our poster to the Connecticut chapter of the American Statistical Association, which received 248 posters from schools across Connecticut. They were delighted to hear on April 14 that they won the Silver Medal in the K-3 category. Oh and by the way, the safest weather places in the USA are Alaska and then Hawaii. Is it time to move?

Earth Day at John Lyman School

On Earth Day, John Lyman School first and second graders, assisted by many parent volunteers, completed the spring garden cleanup of the school gardens during recess and lunch. Last November, third and fourth graders helped parents put the beautiful gardens to sleep! Here, Kyle Gee, Timmy Rinaldi, Christopher Milano-Conroy (background, Delaney Mendoza and Julianna Simon) help.


(From page 19)

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son added that comments about the Levi Coe Library board mishandling endowments were decades too late. “Endowments were mishandled, but it was by persons long dead and gone,” she said. The planned website came up for comment as well. BOF chair Adams explained that the posting of minutes and agendas on the eventual website would be the responsibility of the town clerk because “It’s what you do now,” she said to town clerk Donna Golub, who was in attendance. All other maintenance and updating of the site will be the responsibility of the first selectman, Adams added. “He has to figure out how to pay for it with the dollars in the budget,” Adams concluded. Additionally, several speakers mentioned the unfairness of the BOF lowering the raises for non-union and elected employees of the town from the 2.5 percent raises in the first selectman’s budget. Brayshaw had used the raise negotiated by union employees as the standard for all. The BOF lowered non-union employees to a 1.5 percent raise and held elected officials with no raises. The budget approved by the BOF on April 29 will be available at the Community Center, Levi Coe Library and Town Hall in time for residents to look at it before the Monday, May 10 town meeting at the Community Center at 7 p.m. to vote on it.

Town Times Letters

Friday,April 30, 2010


(From page 8)

ees and programs intact. The Middlefield Board of Finance has been working on a budget that is based on actual spending, and not just on salaries and wages. It would be beneficial to all parties if the District 13 school board would do the same. Jeremy Renninghoff, Middlefield (Editor’s note: Renninghoff is a member of the Middlefield Board of Finance)

Challenge not taken

budget deserves to go down. Kathy Kokoszka, Middlefield

Fund Balance Facts In the letter to the editor by Robert Yamartino printed in last week’s Town Times, several assertions were made about the fund balance in the Regional District 13 budget that are flawed and simply do not add up. In our budget presentation that is available on District 13’s website, you can find a clear explanation of the fund balance. All fund balance monies have been accounted for between the current year’s budget and the 2010-11 budget. Let’s talk about what the fund balance should be. As many of you know, the district recently went out to bond for several projects. Moody’s rating service seeks a fund balance equal to between five and 10 percent (or one to two months) of operating expenses when looking for a healthy municipal entity. So if we split the difference and take 7.5 percent of $33 mil-

lion, this equates to a $2,475,000 fund balance. If, instead, we used the other calculation, we would split the difference, use 1.5 months of operating expenses, and we would have a fund balance of $4,125,000. As part of the bonding process, school districts are assigned a rating, “A2” in our case. This rating, in large part, determines what your cost to borrow money will be, thus how much interest you will pay. Durham was rated A1with a fund balance of 11.2 percent and Middlefield was

rated A3 with a fund balance of 6.3 percent. While no official rating was given to RSD13, it was highly important that we did, in fact, have a history of a strong operation and fund balance. Page one of the bond report reads: “Looking ahead, the credit quality of the member towns and the district’s ability to maintain structural balance will be important considerations in future rating reviews.” These are the words from a worldwide, well-respected

See Facts page 26

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.

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To the Editor, Over a month ago members of the Middlefield Board of Finance challenged the Board of Education to use zero-based budgeting to reduce the surplus and to use part of its very substantial reserve fund to offset this year’s budget rather than further burden citizens who are struggling to make ends meet. As one finance member put it, “It’s a rainy day fund and the rainy day is here!” Those words fell on deaf ears. And the education budget hearing several weeks ago was no exception to that old rule either. The majority of the people there voiced the problems they were facing and the need to hold down the budget during a bad economic time. The board let them speak, but didn’t listen and changed nothing. To the members of the Board of Education: You build your budget on our backs, the money you spend comes out of our pockets, yet you have absolutely no regard for the people that you are breaking. That citizens actually thanked you for “letting them” speak at a public meeting where our livelihood is at stake was a disgrace. Do you serve us or do we serve you? And considering that you are sitting on a pile of money and budgeting a surplus while people are losing their jobs and income, I’d say it’s the latter. I’m sure that there are those who would say that the Board of Education only has a responsibility to the schools and students. WRONG! When you serve the public, you serve the whole public and no group should be sacrificed for another. When times are tough, we all pull together and look beyond ourselves to what other people are going

through. I was appalled when a parent stood up at the budget hearing and told the older people there that they should give up things like their trips to Dunkin Donuts to have the money to pay the tax hike. Excuse me, our older people, who built these towns, are having a hard time staying in their homes. I don’t think that they are making frequent trips out anywhere. Do we care so little that as long as we can personally afford it, it doesn’t matter to us that others can’t? That as long as one group “is showered with everything we can possibly give them” as an advocate for spending put it quite a while back, that it doesn’t matter if others can’t afford basics like prescriptions or mortgage payments? Shame! This is about everyone, and our responsibility to each other, and members of the Board of Education, this is about your responsibility to us. You have the money and the power to ease the current financial millstone around our necks. Use it. If not, then this


Town Times Letters

26 Facts

(From page 25)

rating agency. (This report can be found on District 13’s website, along with a second report, “Six Critical Components of Strong Municipal Management”- see page three for fund balance discussion.) In addition to the need for a fund balance as it pertains to bonding, the district also needs a fund balance for another, more practical reason. Many, if not all, of you have run a business or manage your home finances. To do so successfully, you need cash flow. Unlike all the other departments in Durham and Middlefield that provide services to our residents, we do not just hand the towns the bill. RSD13 is a stand-alone entity. We have a treasury function; we plan and manage cash to meet payroll, debt service, utilities, benefits and all the other expenses. Like any organization or home budget, we get surprises all the time, most recently a failed 8,000-

gallon oil tank at Korn School that is being replaced. Sound budgeting requires planning for contingencies. We must have cash in reserve for such contingencies. In conclusion, Mr. Yamartino acknowledges we increased the transfer from $1,189,348 to $1,789,348 thereby reducing the future fund by $600,000. There are no additional funds that can be changed without impacting the services provided. His call for a reduction of $700,000 without cutting services is essentially asking us to embrace a deficit budget - an action which could harm the financial position of the two member towns. Thomas Hennick and Mary Jane Parsons, District 13 BOE Ronald Melnik, Business Manager, District 13

Scouts thank you Middlefield Boy Scout Troop 33 thanks all the citizens who brought bottles, cans and deposit recyclables

to the Middlefield Community Center on April 10. It was a beautiful day to see friends and family and to work together! With your help, the Scouts netted $500 for their upcoming high adventure trek at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. This completed the necessary funding to send the second leader as required. The young men from Durham and Middlefield who are trekking in New Mexico range in age from 14 to 17 and have spent many weekends hiking, breaking in new boots, testing out backpacks and generally getting in shape. Your contribution to their adventure is heartfelt. Thank you! The last fundraiser, the one to purchase new troop tents, backpacking stoves, fuel bottles, tarps and other camp necessities, will be held on Sunday, May 16, at the Middlefield Federated Church. An all-you-can-eat pasta and salad dinner with meatballs, rolls and special desserts, coffee, tea, water and a kid’s

Friday, April 30, 2010

drink, served by scouts (of course!) will go on from 4 to 6 p.m. Cost is $10 per adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for kids or $25 for a family of four. This will help the troop procure the final equipment necessary to lead them down the path toward the “Tooth of Time.” This geological formation, a famous landmark on the Santa Fe Trail, is just one of the many sites they will visit. Please join us for an easy dinner with your friends and family. We look forward to serving you! Summer Lerch-Spencer, for Middlefield Boy Scout Troop 33

CRHS celebrates Earth Day! The 40th anniversary of Earth Day was celebrated in style at Coginchaug Regional High School on Thursday, April 22. ECO would like to thank all the people who participated! Over 220 people attended. They enjoyed free samples of healthy local food

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from Perk on Main. People could buy products made from elephant dung and recycled paper to support rain forest protection, as well as learn about the rain barrel program sponsored by the towns of Durham and Middlefield. Earth-friendly gardening, decorating, and cleaning techniques and supplies were presented, as well as energy efficiency and clean energy supplies. Special thanks go to Lisa Larsen, who had the big idea last summer and got the ball rolling. The music and videos were moving and fun. Thanks also should go to the local clubs and businesses that had informational displays. They included: the Outdoor Education Center, Perk on Main, the Rain Barrel Program, Memorial School ECO club, the Durham Farmers Market, Nature Works, Connecticut Light and Power, National Paint and Wallpaper, the Coalition for a Clean and Healthy Connecticut, the Durham-Middlefield Clean Energy Task Force, PV Squared, and ECO. And big thanks to District 13 and the custodial staff who helped with set-up and clean-up. Every effort we make to educate ourselves in environmentally friendly practices, the healthier our planet will be for future generations. Keep Earth beautiful! Susan Michael ECO advisor, Science Department chair, Coginchaug High School

Fees reflect election ploy

Being a lifelong resident of Durham and an avid hunter and fisherman, I would have to disagree that it is wonderful that we have Matt Lessor as our representative. In 2008-09, a resident firearms license was $14. There was a vote to raise the fees 100 percent. So in 2009-10, the same license went to $28 in a non-election year. Now that it is an election year, the fees have been decreased but are still 40 percent more than 2008-09. Apparently Matt forgot that he voted for the increase in fees. My friends paid for this increase because of their love for the outdoors and are now upset to realize the fee has been reduced. Will they get a rebate? I think not.

See Fees, page 27

Town Times

Friday, April 30, 2010


(From page 26)

I personally would like to thank everyone who voted for the increase of another 40 percent out of my pocket. Hans Pedersen, Durham

Poor choices

tions with responsible persons. Donia Viola, Durham


Lesser and fees John M. Last week there was a letter Sullivan Sr. to the editor thanking Matt Lesser for meeting with sportsmen and voting to lower the hunting and fishing licensing fees. What the letter conveniently neglected to mention was that Matt Lesser himself voted for a 100 percent fee increase on these same licensing fees just seven months earlier (in a non-election year). It was House Bill 6802, voted on Aug. 31, 2009 and 103 members of the House (including Lesser) voted for the major fee increase and 45 members of the House voted against it. Curiously enough, the fees are still 40 percent higher, even with the new decrease. I am sure the author of the letters last week wasn’t intending it to be a partisan political letter and she just forgot these small, yet somehow very important, facts. Ben Walden, Durham

John Michael Sullivan Sr., 76, of Durham, husband of the late Lillian (Anthony) Sullivan (who passed away one year ago on April 22), passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 22, 2010 at Chestelm Health Care Center in Moodus. He was born and raised in New Haven, the son of the late James and Loretta (Lynch) Sullivan. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, he served in Panama from 1953 to 1957. John was a graduate of Sacred Heart School in West Haven. He retired as a supervisor from Pratt & Whitney in North Haven where he worked for many years. John led a very active life before suffering a stroke. Come rain or shine, he would go out for long walks and jogs,

often stopping by Dunkin Donuts to chat with friends. He loved taking trips to Atlantic City, NJ hoping to “hit the big one.” Although he never did, he always had a good time. He enjoyed spending time relaxing in the park by the Connecticut River reading the news, feeding the birds and squirrels and generally enjoying nature. He leaves behind his two daughters, Patricia (Strom) Von Hagen of Durham, and Diana Lilly of Uncasville; his son, John M. Sullivan, Jr. of Gales Ferry; three brothers, James Sullivan of Black River, NY, Lawrence Sullivan of Kissimmee, FL, and Thomas Sullivan of Meriden; three sisters, Theresa Hronis of Springdale, FL, Catherine Sullivan of Watertown, and Patricia Cassella of North Branford; nine grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased

by his youngest son, Larry Sullivan. Funeral services were held Monday at Biega Funeral Home. Burial with Military Honors was held at Fort Shantok Burial Grounds in Uncasville. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, PO Box 5022, Wallingford, CT 06492.

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Durham residents suffer because of poor choices made by our public officials. Evidence of a struggling economy — unemployment, multiple foreclosures, no raises — does not appear to phase them. The impropriety of District 13 sustaining surplus funding in an amount better than a half million dollars and Durham’s Board of Finance plans for a senior/community center at Carolyn Adams’ site at a $30,000 yearly rental cost plus $27,000 for immediate improvements in their proposal are indicative of what is valued, not whom: the “almighty” dollar vs. the “lowly” taxpayer. Asking the teachers for concessions to help lessen the impact of the school budget was not a consideration of Superintendent Viccaro or the BOE. Why not, when the biggest expenditure lies with their salaries and benefits? The BOF is handing 3.25 percent raises to every employee (can be more depending upon what “step” the employee’s on - 16 steps total) is reckless. Cutting public bus transportation (MAT) to save $13,631 is a mistake. Ridership of all ages: some accessing jobs, others finding places/programs to enhance their lives. MAT has compensated for disabled vehicles, and trips to the hospital have been made easier than paying for a taxi. Promotes a greener environment for even those not using the bus! (First Selectwoman Francis indicated a quick study was done after I questioned its removal from the budget. A fair assessment on such short notice?) Middlefield, District 13 partner, should reimburse Durham (shared amount due approximately $16,000) the cost of Strong School’s crossing guard, which was not part of the BOE’s budget up until this year. Another “oversight”? When terms expire for those seated on the two boards mentioned herein, Durham voters should make the decision to remove them and fill their posi-


Town Times


Friday, April 30, 2010

John Szewczyk declares candidacy for 100th District state representative been truly amazing. My track record as a fiscally disciplined, non-partisan consensus-builder who will work for all residents regardless of political party has been very welcomed,” said Szewczyk. “It has been a pleasure listening to so many, and I look forward to meeting every resident in the district over the coming months,” he said. Szewczyk, 32, is a lifelong resident of Durham, a 1999 graduate of Trinity College with a degree in Education

Durham selectman John Szewczyk has officially announced his candidacy for the 100th Legislative District. The district covers Middlefield, Rockfall, Middletown and Durham. Szewczyk had a very successful exploratory phase where the response from residents was “overwhelmingly positive.”

and Political Science, and a 1995 graduate of Coginchaug Regional High School.

istence along with an Agricultural Commission and Ethics Commission. Szewczyk is a highly decorated police officer for the city of Hartford, where he has received many commendations in his eight years of service. Szewczyk has also received support from numerous proeducation constituents because of his strong ties with the schools in Regional District 13. Not only did the school system provide an excellent education for him and

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his three siblings, Szewczyk also has coached in the district for nine years. As a selectman, Szewczyk also began visiting Coginchaug High School on a regular basis, listening to students talk about what town issues were important to them. He is a strong supporter of making public colleges and universities more affordable. Szewczyk is a firm believer in hard work, personal responsibility, equal opportunity and fiscal discipline. He has continually been a strong advocate for small business and for promoting job creation in the region. As a selectman, he has been one of the biggest supporters for increasing state aid to municipalities such as Middlefield, Middletown and Durham. Most importantly, Szewczyk believes that fiscal discipline and lowering taxes are needed at the state level. Szewczyk said he is looking forward to a positive campaign based solely on issues, ideas and ways to improve the quality of life for all residents. Anyone wanting to get involved can contact Szewczyk at 860 349 0003 or by email at Peoplebeforepolitics@gmail. com.

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“The number of Republicans, Democrats and Independent voters from the entire district that have already pledged their support has

In 2007, Szewczyk won a decisive victory to Durham’s Board of Selectmen (BOS) as Laura Francis’s running mate and quickly became the voice of fiscal discipline. In fact, Durham is one of the few communities in Connecticut where property taxes actually decreased in the past two years. During his time on the BOS, a senior property tax relief program has come into ex-

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Are you a guy 40 years or over? Want to exercise your 40-or-over-year-old body on the softball diamond? Want to have the camaraderie of other 40-plus guys who think they know how to play softball? Well, then, this is for YOU! The Time Out Taverne men’s 40 and over softball team is looking for a few good men. As part of the seven-team Middlesex County 40 and Over Softball League, we play on Monday evenings (with a couple of Sunday morning games mixed in) from mid-May through mid-to-late August. Home games are played at Jarvis Field (at Jarvis Industries) in Middletown. Away games are played in Killingworth, Higganum, Deep River and Portland. The league plays by official ASA rules, including: nine-inning games, a 6 to 10 foot arc, batters start with a one ball, one strike count, one foul ball allowed with two strikes. If you are interested, call Bob Dynia at 860-349-8378.

Town Times at Opening Day

Friday, April 30, 2010

Coginchaug football needs your support

The Coginchaug Little League season kicked off Saturday, April 24, with Opening Day ceremonies at Atcherson Field in Durham where hundreds of players, families and neighbors in the baseball spirit enjoyed the beautiful weather. With all teams lined up on the field, the spectators’ view was best described as a giant box of crayons. Durham First Selectman Laura Francis shared her sentiment about Little League season: “It allows you to slow down your hectic schedule and spend the evenings here. I guarantee you’ll make memories that will last forever.” Middlefield First Selectman Jon Brayshaw and State Rep. Matt Lesser also addressed the crowd before the Chief Umpire threw the first pitch and excited everyone with his exuberant announcement that it was time to play ball! Clockwise from top left, a set of excited yellow “crayons”; from left, top photo, DeMarie DelVecchio, Lydia D’Amato, Madison Terrill and Carly Lane from Hypack team. Bottom right, Nathan Strang, with Powerhold, and sister Allison, with Dick’s Citgo, relax on the grass. Left inset, #1 seems lost in a sea of legs.

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In September, the Coginchaug Regional High School football team will take the field to start its inaugural season playing its first official game at Middletown High School field. With the help of many parents and volunteers, the Coginchaug Football Club has been established in an effort to support this endeavor. On Monday, May 31, members of the football team will participate in the 2010 Washington Trail 10K and 4K Road Race sponsored by the Durham/Middlefield Exchange Club in an effort to raise funds for the fledgling football program. They will be looking for support by either sponsoring them per kilometer or by a single donation. Of immediate need for the program is a five-person blocking sled which the team and the club hopes to acquire through fundraising efforts. If you would like to donate or have any questions regarding fundraising, contact Dan Wheeler at 860-7594402. Also, members of the Coginchaug Football Club will be meeting Monday, May 3, at United Churches of Durham at 7 p.m. Anyone interested is encouraged to come.

Photos by Stephanie Wilcox


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Town Times


(From page 7)

strong environmental message and connect to Artfarm’s mission.

unteers, the audience learned that politicians, scientists and industry need to work together as “change only happens if enough people speak up.” In one skit that perhaps epitomizes the entire show, the “fools” carelessly toss an “Earth” ball around the stage as the professor shouts, “Be careful, it’s very fragile.” The idea for the fragile planet circus developed because Wheeler wanted something that would have a

“There’s something about the show’s combination of science, education and crazy circus stuff that engages everyone,” said Wheeler, who spent a long time researching to make the circus possible. “The level of sophistication in our audiences varies, but the information is absorbed. Very often we hear from students who saw the show that their families have stopped buying bottled water or are doing something good for the


Above, a fossil “fool” plays recklessly with the earth, upsetting professor Offli Varminhere.

Friday, April 30, 2010


Over the last few years it hasn’t been uncommon that the rural roads of Middlefield are featured in movies and Custom Building & Remodeling videos. The most recent film Contractor even featured several Middle• New Homes • Additions field and Durham people. But it • Kitchens • Garages • Decks wasn’t until this month that Town Times itself was a film All Types of Remodeling & Renovations HIC #0606486 site for a local film company working on a sci-fi thriller. Call after 5 pm (860) 347-1445 Former Town Times employee Alex Andrulis, who is producing the film, was looking for a place that could be used for one particular scene. When the crew arrived at Town Times at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 9, it took close to an hour to rearrange tables, Est. 1965 chairs, desks, plants, remove • Septic tank cleaning picture frames and assemble • Septic systems installed & repaired temporary blinds and other • Sewer drain cleaning • Portable restroom rentals details for the background. 270 Main St., Middlefield 860-349-8551 When the scene was set, the office was unrecognizable and jammed with cameras, lights and special filming equipment, not to mention actors, writers, producers, directors, • PAVING • ASPHALT CURBING camera men and two boxes of • DRIVEWAY REPAIR & ENTRANCES pizza for the crew. I watched the entire trans• DRIVEWAY GRADING formation and some of the filming, and learned a thing or two about how movie-making DARYL BROCKETT Lic. #562871 works. The biggest surprise DURHAM, CT LICENSED & INSURED was how long it takes to film (860) 349-1972 FREE ESTIMATES one scene, more specifically, how many times the actors PROPERTY have to repeat their lines. The Michael Haglund 860-759-2432 Michael Haglund PROPERTY 860-759-2432MAINTENANCE most amazing thing, however, MAINTENANCE was how — with a vision in Mowing mind and just the right items — Mowing they could take our office and Weeding Weeding convert it into what they were Edging Edging looking for! The crew wrapped Mulch Mulch up filming and replaced everyLAWN CARE thing as it was just before midSpring Clean-Up Spring Clean-Up CT Lic. # 606458 CT Lic. #606458 night. We look forward to seeProviding Quality Lawn Care & Landscaping Services ing the film when it’s finished. Creating & Maintaining Beautiful Landscapes (By Stephanie Wilcox)

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The circus came to John Lyman with the help of the John Lyman Parent Association and a grant. Artfarm is always looking to get the word out about their show and will perform for museums, festivals, schools, etc. This coming fall, Artfarm will be touring Circus for a Fragile Planet Submerged, which focuses on oceans. For more information, visit

‘Lights, cameras, action’ at Town Times!

Town Times Service Directory



Town Times

Friday, April 30, 2010

CRHS Class of 1975 reunion

Golf Club in Wallingford. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased by visiting Coginchaugclassof1990.ClassQuest. com. The registration deadline is June 26. Classmates are

asked to provide their maiden and married names, addresses, and phone numbers to update the reunion mailing list. Email updated info to

CRHS Class of 1990 reunion The Coginchaug Class of 1990 is holding its 20th reunion on Saturday, July 10, 2010 at 6 p.m. at The Tradition




It’s been a few years, so we will have picture nametags to help jog our memories and avoid those awkward first few minutes of introduction. So turn off the boob tube, get off the couch, and join us in remembering this very special time of our lives. You will not

regret it. The cost is $40 per person. If you are interested in coming, contact Diane Roraback Bussolini at 860-4241512 or

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Durham DO YOU DESERVE A PROMOTION? Come see this striking Colonial set in a serene residential enclave of fine homes. This custom built home features over 4200 sq. ft. of gracious appointments, with no detail being overlooked. There is a kitchen that Martha Stewart would envy, relaxing sunroom that begs for a good book on a lazy afternoon, 5 full baths and an unbelievable master suite. It offers the ultimate in living for $775,000.


Plans have been finalized for the CRHS Class of 1975 35th class reunion. We will gather at the Middletown Elk’s Club Crystal Ballroom on Saturday, June 5, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. for an evening of reminiscing, re-connecting, dancing, hearing great music from our era, hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, dessert and bar service. Based on many requests, we are also inviting friends from the classes of ’74 and ’76 and the teachers that taught us. We were a tight-knit group in spite of wide-ranging interests and areas of participation. Who can forget such memorable moments as hanging out in the library, the mod schedule, streaking, musicals like South Pacific, Brigadoon, and, Arsenic & Old Lace, the boys’ state basketball championship, and the ‘50’s day and dance. Weren’t we the class that instituted the smoking

pit? Our track was brand new. Remember the soft chairs in the hallways and library? We took some great class trips to Hershey, PA and Austria.




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Town Times


Friday, April 30, 2010

Berardino means MORE More Experience. More Innovation. More Commitment.


Elegant Residence Build your dream home on 15 acre lot surrounded by state forest. Filled w/luxurious details, this 4 bedrm home to be built will house your family in style. Open flr plan has wonderful views from every room on 1st flr. Massive kit. island faces dinette that is flooded w/light from windows on 2 sides. Master suite w/tray ceiling, balcony, & spa bath. Ideal for equestrians. For more information, please call agent at 349-0344.

Glorious Views Beautiful 3759 sq. ft. residence dominating a lofty East Durham elevation with commanding views of picturesque village below. Thoughtfully designed flr. plan, & brilliantly executed workmanship. An inviting great room space opens to a beautiful & functional kitchen & an expansive brick patio. High grade finishes are incorporated throughout, most notably in the sensational lower level screening room. A truly enchanting living environment. Adjacent acreage available. Offered at $545,000. Call Berardino Realtors 349-0344 for more information or a private showing!

Amy Greenbacker Carol Kleeman

Paul Norman

Experience, innovation, respect for tradition - these combined with ongoing market studies, technological advancements, and improved marketing methods are the fundamentals that established Berardino as the foremost real estate company in Durham. Since 1891, the family tradition of excellence has successfully served over 5,000 client’s real estate needs.

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Middlefield - 0.57 Acres $69,900 Durham - 1.56 Acres $95,000 Higganum - 2.0 Acres $125,000 Durham - 2.4 Acres $134,000 Durham - 4.42 Acres $150,000

Guilford - 3.33 Acres Guilford - 2.77 Acres Durham - 2.45 Acres Durham - 6.16 Acres Durham - 6.05 Acres

$199,900 $199,900 $250,000 $275,000 $350,000

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Historic District Condo Beautiful views await you in this affordable 1 bedroom Condo in the center of Historic Durham. Immaculate condition! Age restrictions apply. Only $119,900! Call Berardino Realtors 349-0344 today for more information or a private showing!



589 Main Street Reduced to settle estate! 3 bedroom Ranch on beautiful lot in desirable regional district 13 schools. Great location close to park, golf courses & highways. Perfect for 1st time buyer or handyman! Only $190,000. Call Berardino Realtors 860-349-0344 for more information or preview Sunday! DIR: Rt. 66 to Rt. 147 (Baileyville Rd.) right onto Main St./147



EN pm OP 1-3 N SU

Picture Perfect Large 3 bedroom home 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 860-349-0344 for more information or a private showing!

EN pm OP 1-3 N SU

127 Royal Oak Drive New Listing! Beautiful 2433 sqft. Contemporary Cape featuring first floor master bedroom suite and an inground pool with total privacy. Great commuting location in Northern Durham! $405,000. Call Berardino Co. Realtors 860-349-0344 for more information or stop by Sunday! Dir: Main St to 127 Royal Oak Dr

Thomas Lyman House A Georgian Colonial built in 1778 by Thomas Lyman IV. This home has 12 rooms, 9 fireplaces, and a walkup attic. Period detail shows in the paneled walls and crown moldings. The 13+ acre grounds holds 3 ponds, streams, tennis court, and shed. Call Berardino Realtors 860-349-0344 for more information or a private showing!

Berardino Realtors Julie Raymond Agents Not Shown: Paul Ruzzo, Robert Ruzzo and John Spallone

Diane Padelli Jason Berardino Jay Berardino


A Family Tradition of Outstanding Service For Over 100 Years !

4-30-2010 Town Times  

April 30, 2010 edition of the Town Times