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Volume 20, Number 47

Serving Durham, Middlefield and Rockfall

Friday, March 14, 2014

Middlefield library receives book-buying grant By Charles Kreutzkamp Town Times

The Levi Coe Library recently was selected for a book-buying grant by a group called Sisters In Crime, an organization of female mystery writers. The “We Love Libraries” $1,000 grant is awarded by a random drawing from a pool of applicants. The grant may be used to purchase any books, not just mysteries. To register for the drawing, librarians must send in a photo From Left: Sisters in Crime members Susannah Hardy, Kathryn Orzech, Rhoda Lane, Librarians Loren Webber, See Library / Page 9 Susan Mizla, Vicki Berry. Riding rails, downhill skiing, tubing and more are in full swing this winter at the 16-trail Powder Ridge Mountain Park and Resort in Middlefield. | Keith Hagarty /

Writer brings passion for nature to library talk

Special to Town Times

Crickets and katydids the topic April 10, Durham

Powder Ridge carves out a place in the community

By Diana Carr

Special to Town Times

By Keith Hagarty

Mountain Park & Resort first announced it was reopening for the 2013-2014 (This is the last install- season after being closed ment of a Town Times se- since 2007, snowboarder ries on the rebirth of Powder Adrien Tetreault was Ridge and its impact locally chomping at the bit to get and regionally.) When Powder Ridge See Powder Ridge / Page 2 Special to Town Times

Author John Himmelman.| (Submitted.)

Killingworth resident and naturalist John Himmelman says, “I write about what I am passionate about.” That passion has led him to pen nearly 80 books, most of which help connect children to the natural world. “I write about what makes me laugh or what I’m interested in,” he said. “I learn about things by writing about them and do-


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ing the research. It forces me to delve into the subject, and then I can check it off as one more thing I know. I also illustrate my books, which I learned by drawing every day. “I became a naturalist by playing outside a lot, by learning from friends, by reading, and by being out in the field.” As a child he was fascinated by insects, and he enjoyed writing about them See Passion / Page 4

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Town Times |

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teaming up with the park for special cross-promotional deals, discount packages and co-op community events. “It is great to see this winter destination reopen after 10 years,” Gary Nagler, general manager. “Making the Middletown area a winter destination for ski enthusiasts and families can only be a win-win for all of the local business owners. “


back on their slopes. “I was watching their website like crazy ready to buy a pass,” said Tetreault, of South Glastonbury. “It’s so close to home, and so much fun.” Powder Ridge opened over 50 years ago, quickly becoming a community mainstay. However, the park closed down operations in 2007. Last year, owner and manager Sean Hayes, who also operates the nearby Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park in Portland, joined four other investors to buy the ski resort from the town, reopening it last November as a yearround sports and recreation facility. An avid snowboarder, Tetreault applauds the renovation efforts being accomplished at the 16-trail ski park, crediting the new owners for bringing a source of pride back to the region. “It’s amazing how popular this place is already, just crazy. When I left here yesterday, they probably had a line going well over 300 feet back from the rental window.” Tetreault is no stranger to Powder Ridge, having been a snowboard instructor at the park under former ownership from 1996-2001. “It’s already far better than it ever was,” he said. “Going from where everything was just a little so-so okay to what they’ve got here now is just phenomenal.” Looking at the bevy of skiers and snowboarder flying down the slopes, Tetreault said the thrill is contagious.

“It’s just so much fun now being able to hit every trail, even the ones way off to the sides,” he said. “Every single trail is now open for anybody on everything. Actually, I’ve even seen a couple of kids here on snow bikes—it’s like a mountain bike with skis on it.” Powder Ridge was always a winter hotspot back in the day, according to Annette Dimauro, of Middletown, who now believes it’s bigger and better than it ever was. “This is where I learned how to ski,” she said. Dimauro was with nephews, Enzo, 5, and his brother, Anthony, 4, who were taking their first ski lessons at the park. Dimauro and friend Mark Clinton, of Northford, were in attendance at Powder Ridge’s grand reopening festivities in November. While there was no snow at the time, they agreed, it was a wonderful moment to see the mountain side back in operation. “We’re so glad to see it reopen,” said Clinton, noting the solemn feeling he used to have for years when passing by the closed-down facility. “It was down for so many years. Just driving by you’d think, ‘oh, I wish I could go there again,’ so it’s great to see it reopen.” Waving to her husband, Glen, and son, Conner, as they made their way onto the chairlift, Darcy Mankin, of Wallingford, said her aversion to skiing hasn’t stopped her family one bit. “I like to come here, even though I don’t ski,” she said. “They just love it, and watching the Olympics got them really excited to get out here. It’s so beautiful up here too, really just getting a kick out of how much fun they’re having.” Moving to the region five years ago, Mankin said she had no idea Powder Ridge had once been a popular ski destination for the area, but is happy to see it back in operation. “It’s so close and convenient,” she said. “Thinking of days like today, where it’s so cold, and I don’t know how long we’ll last out here, it just makes it so much easier knowing its right near us, and we don’t have to make such a big trip out of it.” The Inn at Middletown is one of several local businesses


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Town Times |

Friday, March 14, 2014


Joint budget meeting for BOE and BOF By Mark Dionne Town Times

A joint meeting of the boards was held March 5; education panel, at left, and finance on right. |(Mark Dionne\Town Times.) Finance, had two suggestions percent of the potential subfor saving money in the eduSINGLES DANCE cation budget. According to Yamartino, Saturday, March 15 th the district has consistently 8:00 PM - 12:30 AM finished with a surplus in the Pond House salary line after budgeting for 2935 Main St 100 percent of the full year Glastonbury teacher salaries as well as 100

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Flanagan said that putting off the discussion until March 19 would give the board time to analyze high school enrollment and class selection. Flanagan also deferred a discussion about changing the planned elimination of a kindergarten teaching position after a higher-than-expected kindergarten enrollment. The discussion of staffing was already previously deferred, at the Feb. 26 meeting, until March 12. B ob Yamartino, from Middlef ield’s B oard of


The Board of Education hosted the Boards of Finance from both Durham and Middlefield at its regularly scheduled meeting on March 5 at Strong Middle School. The meeting was dominated by questions from the Board of Finance members. Those questions were of a more financially technical nature than the questions usually addressed to the BOE during budget season. Specific questions of staffing, often the subject of questions from the public, were deferred to the BOE meeting on March 19. “We were waiting until we have the full enrollment from the high school to tell what exact positions were going to be eliminated,” said BOE chair Kerrie Flanagan. “We’re actually deferring a discussion on the exact positions for what’s happening in the budget until the March 19th meeting.”

stitute cost. If the district uses a lot of its substitutes, Yamartino said, it is likely because a number of teachers are on leave or extended sick time, which saves money in the salary line, and if fewer teachers are on leave, the need for substitutes decreases. The 2012-2013 audited budget had a $300,000 surplus in the salary line, which Yamartino pointed out repre-

A4 Friday, March 14, 2014

Town Times |

Passion When he was attending the School of Visual Arts, in and drawing them. “I like the New York City, where he got way insects look,” he said. a bachelor of fine arts degree, “They’re interesting to watch. Himmelman took a course in I can go out in my backyard writing and illustrating chilevery day in the summer, and dren’s books. Impressed with find something I’ve never the book Himmelman turned seen before. It’s a treasure in for his final project, his professor showed it to an editor hunt.” From Page 1


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females, and to repel competing males. The songs are different for different situations. A mating call is more sustained-they’re casting their nets out, hoping a female will respond-while an aggressive call is shorter. When I’m in my bedroom with the windows open, and I hear these songs, I get a picture of what I’m listening to. I can identify them by their sounds. And it just takes me out with them. It takes me back to when I was a kid. Himmelman is one of the eight founders of the Connecticut Butterfly Association, begun in 1994. “Connecticut has about 121 species,” he said. “I like butterflies because they’re like flying flowers, and they’re beautiful to watch. People don’t realize how ephemeral they are. Most only live a


at a publishing house. It was picked up, and Himmelman’s writing career was off. He visits schools and libraries, sharing his knowledge of and passion for the natural world, and will present “The Stories and Songs of the Crickets and Katydids” at the Durham Public Library at 11:15 a.m., April 10. He’ll talk about the sounds those insects make at night, and what was involved in writing Guide to Night-Singing Insects of the Northeast and Cricket Radio: Tuning In the Night-Singing Insects.” The research for those books entailed travelling up and down the east coast recording their songs. “There are 74 different species of singing insects in the northeast,” Himmelman said. “Birds and insects sing to claim their territory, to attract

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couple of weeks.” One exception is the Monarchs, which start out in Connecticut, fly to Mexico for the winter, then on to Texas in the spring, where they die. Their offspring fly to Delaware, where they die. Their offspring come to Connecticut in June. “I love what I do,” Himmelman said. “I can step outside and it costs nothing to have the time of my life, every single day. I can be in a city and find hidden insects. When I was visiting my daughter in Philadelphia, I saw tree crickets singing on some plants that people were selling by the side of the road. Wherever you go, there’s something to see.” Mike Digiorgio created the illustrations and some of the recordings for “Guide to Night-Singing Insects.” He spoke about his friend and said, “His enthusiasm for all different aspects of nature is infectious. He has the intellect of a really seasoned and knowledgeable naturalist and the heart of a child. When I’m out with him I see his childlike fascination with every aspect of the environment. It drives him to study and get to know each thing fully, and it’s a combination that manifests in his books. He’s able to give important information about creatures, in a very attractive style, that is easily digested by children. “He’s a funny guy. When he does a presentation he drives home a particular point about something with humor, because he knows that people remember things better when they laugh. He’s just a joy to be around.” For more information about Himmelman, go to his website: www.jch.homestead. com.

Town Times |

Friday, March 14, 2014


Snowfall impacts area budgets Town Times

The towns of Durham and Middlefield and Regional School District 13 have to forecast a year of snowfall when they set budgets for snow removal. The winter of 2013-14 has shown how difficult that forecasting can be. At the Feb. 26 Board of Education meeting, business manager Ron Melnik reported that the school district went over budget for this winter’s snow removal. The district spent $70,800 with $50,000 budgeted for snow removal. The school district removes snow from its parking lots and roads. In times of heavy accumulation, snow is also removed from rooftops where it may pose a hazard. “It might be our most volatile line item every year,” Melnik said. There are several lines in the town of Durham’s budget dedicated to snow removal. The town budgeted $65,000 for salt and spent $79,000 as of Feb. 21 (the most recent date figures are available), according to Durham’s finance director Mary Jane Malavasi. That figure will go up, since the town received a shipment of salt from the state on Feb. 28 and has yet to be invoiced.

Durham budgeted $57,000 for overtime for snow removal. To date, Durham has only spent $39,000 because the town was down two staff positions during the winter. Those hours were made up by temporary help, an expense budgeted at $10,000, with $28,000 spent as of Feb. 21. “The difference between those two is almost a wash right now,” said Malavasi, referring to the temporary help and the overtime lines, one over budget by $18,000 and the other under by the same amount. According to Durham First Selectman Laura Francis, towns have to order their salt allocation for the following year. Salt supplies have become an issue in the state with some towns running out. “This year has been a little unusual in that a lot of the storms were icy,” said Francis. When the state recently released some if its salt stockpile, Francis put Durham on the list, and received the ship-

ment on Feb. 28. “I wanted to stay on top of it, just in case,” said Francis. Durham is transitioning away from use of sand, spending $5,000 on sand this year, just a small fraction of the eventual salt bill. The town also regularly spends $3,000 on blade maintenance per winter. “The trucks have been taking a beating,” said Francis. Middlefield approaches the end of winter in a similar situation to Durham, according to Middlefield financial director Joe Geruch. Middlefield has exhausted its over time budget of $31,250 but went over budget with salt and sand. Middlefield’s budget combines salt and sand as a $57,700 expense, but went over by $15,000. Geruch estimated that twothirds of that money went for salt and the rest for sand. Middlefield did not run out of salt. “We ran very close,” Durham public works storage facility. Sand, seen in Geruch said. Middlefield’s foreground, isn’t used as often as salt. Green salt, seen at back, can be used at lower temperatures and adheres See Snowfall / Page 13 better to the road than white salt. | (Mark Dionne\ Town Times.)

Legal Notice Notice is hereby given that there will be a caucus of all enrolled Republican electors of the Town of Durham on March 26, 2014 at 7:00 pm at Durham Town Hall 3rd floor, to endorse delegates to the following conventions:State,State Senate Districts 12 and 34 and State House Districts 86 and 101 and Probate Judge. Any other business to come before the caucus. Robert S. Poliner, Chairman





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Town Times |

BOE & BOF ate professional development time for teachers learning the Common Core. Yamartino also suggested that the district look into refinancing debt with a bank note, as Middlefield recently did with its Powder Ridge debt. Joel Nick of Middlefield’s BOF asked if money spent on curriculum, professional development, and technology could be specified in the budget. Currently, those funds are separated by building and in lines not labeled with those areas. Flanagan asked for the professional development numbers to be pulled together. Professional development, which Veronesi called “a tremendous area of focus for this district,” has come up frequently at BOE meetings, usually linked to Common Core training. A discussion of cost-per-

From Page 3

sented three-quarters of a mill in Middlefield. “The reason I’m concerned is that if you have that kind of money, if you know there’s a surplus, the money can be spent on things that weren’t vetted through the budgeting process,” said Yamartino. Superintendent of Schools Kathryn Veronesi said that they had been advised that funding the salary line at 100 percent was a legal obligation because of the binding contracts. Flanagan said that the BOE would review the substitute line, but added that the surpluses in the salary line have been going down and the difference between the budget and the actual was less than one percent. Flanagan also said that substitutes would likely be used more to cre-

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pupil led to the topic of building closure. “We’re frankly going to need help from both towns to help everybody understand that if we continue to operate in the same number of buildings with our declining enrollment we are not going to manage cost per student because we still have to educate our students,” said Flanagan. Members also suggested the boards could cooperate to speak with a common voice at the state level. Overall, the meeting of the three boards had a cooperative tone. Rosemarie Naples from Durham’s BOF said, “I am very impressed with what the Board of Education has changed to in the last few years. We never were able to get the information that we are getting now and we’ve never seen as many fiscally responsible people on the board as we have now.” The Board of Education will continue to meet on Wednesdays in March at 7:30 pm at Strong Middle School. Up to date coverage can be found at www.towntimes. com.

Seniors Durham Activity Center programs Monday, March 17 - “Stroke - Im p rovi n g Outcomes Through Action”, 1 p.m. at the Durham Activity Center, 350 Main St. The program, presented by Paramedic Brad Fowler, will discuss stroke incidence and impact, who is at greatest risk, causes and types of strokes, prevention, recognize stroke signs and symptoms, importance of early recognition and more. For more information and to reserve a seat, call (860) 349-3153.

party to celebrate March birthdays. Tuesday, April 22 - AARP Safe Driving Course. A fee is charged. Registration required at (860) 349-7121.

60+ Club day trips

The 60+ Club has scheduled the following day trips. Thursday, April 10 Newport Playhouse $ Cabaret “My Husbands Wild Desires”. Wednesday, May 28 Frankie Valli and 4 Seasons Tribute at the Aqua Turf. Wednesday, June 11 - Doris Duke Estate walking tour. Tuesday, July 8 - All You Can Eat Lobster at Delaney Middlefield Senior House. happenings For more information, call Monday, March 17 - St. (860) 346-0724. to 4:30 p.m. Patrick’s Day lunch at noon. For more information, call Reservations, (860) 349-7121, Dial-A-Ride (MAT) at (860) by March 14. Friday, March 28 - Birthday 347-3313.

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Town Times |

Friday, March 14, 2014


Schools Scholarship Ball

dex.html. Deadline is March 28. (Applicants with last names A through M, deadline is 8:50 a.m.; applicants with last names N through Z, deadline is 12:35 p.m.) No late applications will be accepted. The Executive Board of the Middlesex Hospital Vocal Chords is accepting applications for its annual scholarships to students pursuing a career in nursing or music. The $1,000 scholarships will be presented at the spring concert at Portland High School, Saturday, May 17. Applications are available at guidance offices or a Deadline is Monday, March 31. For more information, Scholarship C o g i n c h a u g H i g h call (860) 277-3913. School Scholarship Fund is accepting applications. Xavier High School Any graduating senior who The following students will attend a two or four- were named to the second year college, university or term honor roll at Xavier trade school is eligible. For High School. more information and criteHigh honors - Connor ria, visit Marszalek, Scott Marks, schools/crhs/srhsguid/inWilliam Egan of Durham;John The Coginchaug Regional High School Scholarship Committee has scheduled the 43rd annual Scholarship B a l l d i n n e r d a n ce fo r Saturday, March 29, 7 p.m. to midnight, at Zandri’s Inn, Wallingford. Ticket price includes dinner buffet, open bar and silent auction. DJ by Jock in the Box Entertainment. All proceeds benefit the CRHS General Scholarship Fund, which gives a scholarship to all seniors who apply. For more information, contact Melynda Granger at (860) 347-5061 or Melyndagranger@comcast. net.

Yuszaqq, Patrick Hocking of Middlefield. Honors - Joseph Braun, Ryan DeVille, Sean Doyle, James Rosborough, Kevin Tobias, Lawrence Bourland, Patrick McCann, Timothy Morris, Richard Murphy, Joseph Prifitera, Nicholas Cumello, John-Rudy Fronc, David Pakech, Justin Saks, Ryan Child, Trevor Morris, Ryan Vynalik of Durham; Patrick Booth, Christopher Carta, Jack Levine, Michael Scherer, Nicholas Pitruzzello of Middlef ield; Trevor Dell’Oso of Rockfall.

Vinal Tech The following local students were named to the second quarter honor roll at Vinal Technical High School. High honors - Tyler Hall, Emery Mazo, Wilson Nickel, Andrew Conway, Samantha Peters. Honors - Giuseppe Caturano Jr., John Amendola, Kwolek Brandon .

Dean’s list

Becker College, Massachusetts - Jeffrey Garuti of Middlefield. Eastern Connecticut State University - Caitlynn Chabot, Michael Sbona, Leah Slawinowski of Durham; Michael Lisitano, James Malcolm of Middlefield. Choate Rosemary Hall - Abigail Blair, Justin Hall, Cl a r i ty H u d d l e s to n o f Middlefield. Miami University, Ohio Sara Richardson of Durham. Rochester Institute of Technology, New York Andrew Gucwa of Durham; Stevie Thompson of Rockfall. G o o dw i n Co l l e ge Jaclyn Caturano, Roxanne Cunningham, Shannon Pike of Durham; Deborah Marotta of Rockfall, Kelli White for Middlefield. Siena College, New York - Delia Ernst of Middlefield. Southern Connecticut State University - Benjamin Anteck, Paul Benjunas, Kaitlynn Chabot, Nicole Debaise, Katelyn Hill, Carley St. Armand of Durham; Laura

Farnsworth, Mackenzie H u rl b e r t , E r i c a Jo n e s , Brian Mocci of Middlefield; Samantha Carle of Rockfall. Tu l a n e U n i ve r s i t y, Louisiana - Jamie Garuti of Middlefield. University of Massachusetts Boston Christopher Scamporino of Middlefield. U n ive r s i t y o f New Haven - Caitlin Predom of Durham. University of Richmond, Virginia - Emily Romanoff of Durham. Un ive r s i ty of t h e Sciences, Pennsylvania - Martin Gaffney of Middlefield. Wake Forest University, North Carolina - Matthew Gueble, Jacob Teitelbaum of Durham. Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts Jeffrey Ducki of Middlefield.

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A8 Friday, March 14, 2014

Town Times |

Opinion LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Grant opportunities To the editor: Last year in March, the Durham-Middlefield Clean Energy and Sustainability Task Force was trying to figure out how they could make one of their goals for 2013 a possibility. The task force wanted to pilot a composting project at the 2013 Durham Fair to help reduce its carbon footprint. The ideas generated were great but had expenses attached and the task force is not funded so there was a dilemma. The group decided to apply for a grant. In March, the task force learned of the Coginchaug Va l l e y Education Foundation’s grant program, which offers grants to support local projects and programs that promote life-long learning through excellence, innovation and creativity. Susan Michael and Nancy Winship-Poole sat down together, downloaded the CVEF grant application from their website and completed the application for the Durham Fair Composting Project. In May they received the happy news that

the DMCESTF received a grant, along with five other worthy projects. With the seed money from CVEF and hard work and creativity the task force was able to run a successful composting program at the Durham Fair, diverting 1.6 tons of compostables from the waste stream into a composting facility to become soil, a valued resource. And the remaining funds will be used to help pay for some of the needs for year two of the expanding composting program. I am writing this letter to encourage people or groups who have educational projects to apply for a CVEF grant. Information and applications can be found at: http://www.coginchaugvef. com/CVEF.aspx. The CVEF grant writing workshop for this year is Tuesday, April 1, from 3 to 5 and 6 to 8 p.m. at the Durham Library. Applications are due May 15. Susan Michael Durham-Middlefield Clean Energy & Sustainability Task Force

Science center provides a respite from winter By Amy Flory

Special to Town Times

It’s still winter. Have you noticed? We certainly have, and are pining for spring days that bring trips to the park and the ability to go outside without the task of rustling up the necessary snow gear. One of our favorite activities during these cold, indoor days is visiting the Connecticut Science Center. The science center is one of the most impressive places to take kids in Connecticut. Located in Hartford, it boasts 150 hands-on exhibits, a 3-D digital theater, and a wide variety of topics to entertain family members of all ages in its 144,000 square foot building. We have spent hours exploring the multiple floors and their dizzying array of educational fun, and my children, being four and six, particularly love the Lego Imagination Station, the Stream Table, and the Sight and Sound Experience. There is always a traveling exhibit, and currently Lost in Egypt is on display. When we visited last week, the kids deciphered hieroglyphics,

sat on a camel replica, and pieced together a 3-D pottery puzzle, pretending to be archaeologists reconstructing a clay pot with found pieces. We explored photographs of ancient Egypt, comparing them to current day pictures depicting cities and children playing soccer, and saw a real life human mummy. It’s a very interesting exhibit, and will be available until May 4. Usually when we visit, we arrive in the morning and pack a lunch to enjoy at the tables provided, or grab something from the onsite café. There is a third option now for hungry patrons, with a newly opened Subway. Last spring, we purchased a family membership, and we have easily used it enough times to make that investment a great value. Sometimes the kids and I will have a few hours open up in the afternoon and zip up for a few hours. We may not have time to see everything, but that’s okay. We’ll be back soon to catch what we missed. Every time we visit the science center, I pack extra clothing for my children. By far, their favorite

spot in the vast building is the KidSpace water area. Flanked by benches for the parents, kids wear bright blue smocks meant to keep water off the kids’ clothing — which work with varying degrees of success. The siren song of the Lego water table pulls my boy in and keeps him there for as long as I’ll allow, while his little sister grabs a container and gets to work filling, dumping, refilling, and transferring water from one water table to another. There are bright plastic balls that are sucked into clear tubes and spit out somewhere else. It’s very cool, and even though you’ll see it as soon as you enter the center, make it your last stop, not your first, to keep clothing dry until the end. The Connecticut Science Center is a wonderful place to spend a cold, winter day, with or without children. It is located at 250 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford, near the convention center. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking is available in the garage. See more information at www.

Bill would regulate sound levels at movies P.O. Box 265, Middlefield, CT 06455 News Advertising Fax Marketplace

(860) 349-8000 (203) 317-2313 (203) 639-0210 (877) 238-1953 (toll-free)

Town Times is published every Friday by the Record-Journal Publishing Co. and delivered to all homes and businesses in Durham, Middlefield and Rockfall. Executive Vice President and Assistant Publisher – Liz White Senior Vice President of Operations and Major Accounts – Michael F. Killian Senior Vice President and Editor – Ralph Tomaselli News Editor – Olivia L. Lawrence Assistant News Editor – Nick Carroll Reporter – Mark Dionne Advertising Director – Kimberley E. Boath Advertising Sales – Joy Boone Office Assistant, Press Releases – Marsha Pomponio

HARTFORD (AP) — Moviegoers whose ears hurt after watching a film could get some relief from a bill being considered by Connecticut state lawmakers. The General Assembly’s Public Safety and Security Committee was scheduled to hear testimony recently on a

proposal that would establish a maximum decibel level at movie theaters across the state. Under the proposal, theater license holders could not show a film or preview that exceeded 85 decibels. A decibel is a unit used to explain the intensity of a sound wave. The Occupational Safety

and Health Administration allows workers to be exposed to 90 decibels over eight hours. Sen. Joan Hartley, the panel’s co-chairman, said she recently learned of a study conducted in Texas that determined those theaters with unhealthy sound levels “were way over the edge.”

Letters Policy - E-mail letters to, mail to 11 Crown St., Meriden, CT 06450 or fax to (203) 639-0210. - Town Times will print only one letter per person each month. - Letters should be approximately 300 words. We reserve the right to edit letters. -Letters should be on topics of general interest to the community. - We do not list names of people, organizations and businesses being thanked. - Names of businesses are not allowed. - Letters must be signed and names will appear in print. - Include a phone number so Town Times can contact you for verification. - Letters must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Monday to be considered for publication on the following Friday.

Town Times |

Friday, March 14, 2014


From Page 9

From Page 1

College, New York - Megan Freemantle of Middlefield.

of the staff with three books by Sisters in Crime members. “We don’t judge the photos,” one Sisters in Crime member quipped. “This helps so much. We try to use our funds as best as we can, and this is a very significant amount for us,” Levi Coe Director Loren Webber said. Children’s librarian Vicki Berry was in the midst of Story Time when she learned Levi Coe had been selected. All the kids and parents were really excited to hear about the grant, Berry said. The Sisters in Crime members delivered a large

Graduates Morrisville State College, New York - Megan Freemantle of Middlefield.

Scholastic achievements

Sa m a n t h a Ho u l e o f Durham has been named to the fall honor roll at Miss Porter’s School. Anthony DeMarinis of Durham was inducted into Psi Chi, the international honor society in psychology.

wrapped check to the library Feb. 25. “It’s like Christmas morning,” one librarian said as the check was unwrapped. Levi Coe librarians will sit down as a group to decide which books the grant money will purchase. The librarians have a lot of ideas – the grant is a significant size for a small library like Levi Coe. The total yearly budget for new materials, including DVDs and other multimedia items is approximately $10,000 per year for children’s and adult’s collections combined. This means that the grant represents a 10 percent increase to this year’s acquisitions. “This is huge,” Berry said. “We try to get a variety of books that will cater to all readers… I hope lots of peo-

ple will come in and check out the new books,” Webber said. The librarians said they already have some specific titles in mind, including both classics and new releases.

Sisters in Crime member Kathryn Orzech donated a signed copy of her book “Premonition of Terror” during the check presentation ceremony.

Cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions. Exp. 3/31/14.




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A10 Friday, March 14, 2014

Town Times |

Scholarship annual ball

Coginchaug Little League scholarship

The Coginchaug Regional High School Scholarship Committee has scheduled the 43rd annual Scholarship Ball dinner dance for Saturday, March 29, 7 p.m. to midnight, at Zandri’s Inn, Wallingford. Ticket price includes dinner buffet, open bar and silent auction. DJ by Jock in the Box Entertainment. All proceeds benefit the CRHS General Scholarship Fund, which gives a scholarship to all seniors who apply. For more information, contact Melynda Granger at (860) 347-5061 or

Coginchaug Little League offers a scholarship for graduating seniors attending college or trade school in the fall of 2014. Applicants must have played for Coginchaug Little League for at least three years. Applications and compete requirements can be found at Deadline is April 5. For more information, call Tonya Little at (860) 349-8678.


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Friday, March 14, 2014



Women’s history and the issue of female ordination none of his soul from Adam to create Eve “she was not made in the image of God, like man.” St. Jerome found that “woman is the root of all evil.” St. Thomas Aquinas stated that “woman is naturally subject to man, because in man the discretion of reason predominates.” For centuries women were not permitted to play any serious leadership role in the church, apart from positions of authority within convents. The Reformation did little to promote female leadership, though it largely abolished nunneries and established the right of ministers to marry. Martin Luther‘s wife, Katherina von Bora, was a former nun. Sixty years ago mainline Protestants began


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influx has saved several major denominations from a serious clergy shortage. Many evangelical denominations, including the Southern Baptists, the largest among American Protestants, officially oppose the ordination of women, though reports indicate that some of their congregations have done so. One survey has found that 59 percent of American Catholics favor female ordination. About 150 women (automatically excommunicated) claim to have been canonically ordained and belong to the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. While Pope Francis has noted that the role of women cannot be limited “to

ordaining women. The Unitarians and Universalists, the Salvation Army, some Congregationalist parishes, and two or three Pentecostal sects were among those already leading the way. In the mid-1950s the Presbyterians and Methodists started to ordain, followed by the American (formerly Northern) Baptists (1964), Evangelical Lutherans (1970), and Episcopalians (1976), together with major Black denominations and Reform and Conservative Jews. As one indication of the present situation, of the 41,700 ministers in the United Methodist Church, 11,000 now are women. Of the UMC’s 46 active bishops, eleven are women. This



the early church. His sentiments in I Timothy 2:11-15 are quoted against female ordination. “I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man; she must be silent.” Women, he continued, will be saved through childbearing “if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.” A similar passage is found in I Corinthians 14:34-35. This stern patriarchal bias was intensified by the Church Fathers and others. Some blamed Eve for original sin because, they argued, she was first to be successfully tempted by Satan. Tertullian called women “the devil’s gateway.” St. Augustine held a similar view. St. Ambrose opined that since God took a rib but

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March is Women’s History Month, an appropriate time to focus on women within the JudeoChristian tradition. How are women depicted in the Bible? Ralph How did Lord Roy Jesus view them? What was their role in the early church? What should be their role today? The Hebrew scriptures reflect the patriarchal society at the time. Polygamy was accepted. Such Biblical heroes as Jacob, Gideon and David had more than one wife, and King Solomon, still revered by many for his great wisdom, had 700 wives and 300 concubines! A husband could divorce a spouse while the reverse was not permitted. Despite such flagrant discrimination, key figures in the Old Testament include Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Deborah, Ruth and Esther Certain women played a significant role in the ministry of Jesus, beginning, of course, with Mary, his mother. She is honored by all Christians (and Muslims, too) and venerated by Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox who view her as the only human being to live a sinless life. Another Mary and her sister Martha opened their Bethany home to him. Christ’s conversation with a Samaritan woman defied Jewish tradition. He saved a woman accused of adultery and about to be stoned to death. For years Mary Magdalene had been portrayed as a repentant prostitute, but more and more Bible students have come to view her instead as an influential leader in early Christianity, the first person to see Jesus after the resurrection. Susanna, Priscilla and Phoebe were among other followers. The epistles of St. Paul, however, set a pattern in

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A12 Friday, March 14, 2014

Town Times |

Churches offer Monday confessions during Lent Press Release HARTFORD – Throughout the season of Lent, every Catholic church in the Archdiocese of Hartford will be open every Monday from 6 to 7 p.m. for priests to hear Confessions in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Lent began March 5 and ends Thursday, April 17. Lent is the 40-day liturgical season of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving

(acts of charity), leading up to Easter Sunday. This is the second year that the Archdiocese, comprised of 213 churches in Hartford, Litchfield and New Haven Counties, will sponsor the Lenten Confessional campaign, as a way for Roman Catholics to prepare for Easter. The goal of the campaign is to make it easy for people to stop by any church on their way home from work, school,

shopping or running errands. Assistant Chancellor Father Jeffrey V. Romans, chairperson of the Archdiocesan Lenten Committee, said that last year the campaign was very effective because it invited everyone — no matter how long it had been since their last confession — to seek the grace and repentance and God’s mercy for their sins. “Some who had been away from the sacrament for de-

cades told me that they felt revitalized afterwards,” Romans said, adding that it’s important for people to know that the primary role of a priest is not to judge but to encourage the penitent, just as Christ did. “We are all sinners, and it’s never too late to confess and do penance for one’s sins,” he said. The campaign will be publicized on billboards across Connecticut highways and

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on radio in an effort to reach people who may not attend church regularly, or have been away from the Sacrament. Archbishop Leonard Blair calls the Sacrament of Reconciliation a gift. “In confession, it is Christ himself who absolves us from sin through the ministry of His priests. The gift of forgiveness, the gift of being able to start with a clean slate after doing wrong or failing in some way that weighs on your conscience is a blessing,” said the Archbishop. “Let the light of Divine Mercy shine on you this Lenten season.” In order to alleviate any anxiety that people may have about going to confession, the Archdiocese has designed a website: to help people prepare for the sacrament. It addresses frequently asked questions, and features testimonials from people who share their experiences about receiving the Sacrament. T h e Co n fe s s i o n s o n Monday evenings will be in addition to the regular confession schedules that churches in the Archdiocese of Hartford follow during the year.

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altar girls or the president of charity,” he added that “the church has spoken” about female ordination “and said no…. That door is closed.” It’s not for me to propose what the Catholic Church should do, but why not consider welcoming women into the diaconate? I’m not the first, of course, to suggest this. There are scholars who believe that deaconesses played a significant role in the early church. But what if they didn’t? Tradition sometimes needs to be challenged in today’s changing world. Women already are carrying most of the administrative responsibility in thousands of Catholic parishes. Ralph Lord Roy of Southington is a retired United Methodist minister. Email:  

Town Times |

Friday, March 14, 2014


DMYFS to hold parenting workshops

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storage facility is only large enough for two or three storms worth of sand and salt on site. With only 37 miles of road to plow, Middlefield does not bring in temporary help. Middlefield generally budgets for 15 “call outs,” although one storm can require multiple call outs. “Obviously, that budget was insufficient this winter,” Geruch said. Managers and town officials have a hard time predicting the snow removal budget because it depends on predicting the weather and, given the events of recent years, towns have to be prepared for snow starting in October and heading through March.

a way of connecting to parents with her wit.” The second workshop will take place on April 23, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Strong Middle School. DMYFS is using a grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County to sponsor the workshops. DMYFS also will hold a free estate planning workshop, March 26 at 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Durham Public


and Expectations” will feature guest speaker Alicia Farrell, Ph.D., a cognitive psychologist and the founder of Clearview Consulting and the Center for Mental Fitness in Old Saybrook. “Alicia did a workshop for us last year and she was wonderful, the parents loved her,” DMYFS Executive Director Betsy Dean wrote in an email reply. “Alicia is very knowledgeable and has

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The Durham Middlefield Youth and Family Services has scheduled three free workshops focused on parenting issues. The first one is titled “Resistance Skills: Building Resilience and Grit.” The workshop addresses the question, “How can we help our children make better choices?” It is part of a twopart series, according to a press release, “designed to teach you to problem solve with your children, not for them.” The workshop will emphasize problem solving/ decision-making skills, self-respect and a healthy dose of willpower. The f irst “Resistance Skills” workshop will take place on March 18 at 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Strong Middle School. The second workshop, titled “Positive Family Communication/Boundaries and Expectations,” focuses on setting boundaries with teens. “Setting boundaries with teens is a tricky business,” reads the registration materials. “If you are too restric-

tive, your teen may revolt. If your boundaries are too loose, you may lose control.” The goal for the workshop is teenagers with healthy boundaries and the ability to take responsibility for mistakes and be drug and alcohol free. The workshop also will address the consequences of “helicopter parenting.” “Positive Family Communication/Boundaries


Town Times


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A14 Friday, March 14, 2014

Town Times |

Sports Blue Devil boys cap plus-.500 regular season By Alan Pease On Feb. 26, the Devils traveled to face the Warriors of Valley to complete their regular season slate. In a game that saw six lead changes and five ties, Coginchaug kept it close the entire way, but could not sink the necessary shots down the stretch in a 43-38 loss. Conor Doyle led the Devils with 15 points and Devin Rodrigue added 14 points and led the Devils in rebounding, with nine. Doyle grabbed seven boards. Cam Powers scored four points, adding four steals and three rebounds. Coginchaug finished the regular season with an 11-9 record


(9-9 Shoreline Conference). On March 1, as a result of coming in as the seventh seed in the Shoreline Conference, the Devils traveled to Westbrook to take on the second seeded Knights (15-2 Shoreline) in the conference tournament. Unfortunately, the reason for the difference in records soon became clear, as the Knights jumped out to a 23-9 lead after one period and cruised to a 6944 victory. For the Devils, Devin Rodrigue scored 12 points and Cam Powers netted 10. Jack Granger added nine points and Conor Doyle seven for the locals. The Devils began play in the Class S state tournament this week.

Four Coginchaug Regional High School cheerleaders were named to the AllShoreline Conference cheerleading team. From left: Faedra Flannigan, Jessica Dontigney, Coach Sherry Hill, Stephanie Fisher and Dana Foley. Jessica and Dana are co-captains of the CRHS cheerleading team. | (Photo by Shari Foley.)

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Coginchaug girls fall in Round 2 By Alan Pease The Coginchaug girls already had a win in the Shoreline tournament, having defeated Old Saybrook in the first round. So, on Feb. 25, the Blue Devils got to face the Morgan Huskies, who they lost to twice during the regular season. Morgan solved Coginchaug in the third meeting as well, winning 41-34. With three minutes remaining in the third period, Morgan went on a 7-0 run to take a 29-23 lead into the final frame. Through the first six minutes of the fourth quarter, the Devils gave up only a single bucket, as they managed to climb back to within one point of Morgan, 31-30. But the comeback would end there, as the Huskies connected on 10 of 12 tries from the charity stripe to salt away the victory. Coginchaug was led by See Basketball / Page 16

Town Times |

Friday, March 14, 2014


The ‘everyone gets a trophy’ era



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ridiculous, is ridiculous, will remain ridiculous. Oh, I know, every once in a while a team comes out of the swamp of mediocrity and wins. Heck, you know the line: every once in a while a See Trophy / Page 16




rewards mediocrity, which is a life-lesson we should never teach kids. Speaking of rewarding mediocrity, the CIAC state high school basketball tournament is underway. Here, if a team won 40 percent of its games, it’s a state tourney team. Was

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Some thoughts on high school age sports today, otherwise known as the era of Let’s Give Everyone a Trophy. I’ve been down this road before, but it’s a road that needs to be traveled again. The American Legion baseball program, which once upon a time had a truly elite postseason tournament, has succumbed to the Let Everyone in the Postseason tsunami. Each year the Legion has found a way to expand its postseason, even while the time allotted for the regular season has diminished. There are usually around 75-78 Legion baseball teams in this small state. The teams are divided into eight zones -- that’s Legionese for leagues -- of less than 10 teams per league. Under the Legion postseason, 40 teams qualify, five teams from each zone. That’s more than half. That guarantees teams with losing records -- the definition of a bad team -- will be “rewarded� with a postseason berth. That’s bad. But there is a reality that makes it worse. Even poor teams usually have one good pitcher. So bad team A is matched up with good team B in the opening round. Bad team A, behind its one good pitcher, knocks off good team B, which has three good pitchers, 2-1. There are those that call this good. I call it unfair. Baseball is a game of averages. In the Major Leagues, the best teams lose 60-plus games. It’s the nature of the sport. As John Sterling, the Voice of the Yankees often says, all you can do it hit the ball; can’t guide it. Over long seasons, good teams rise to the top; bad teams don’t. MLB rewards that. But we live in an age of enabling, so at the teen-age amateur level, even bad teams will get an opportunity -- an opportunity they did not earn -- to beat a good team. By the way, under the Legion postseason, in order to win a state championship, a team might have to play 12

four-team sites in Torrington and Stamford -- before the winners from those two sites play another best-of-three for the state title. But my goodness, even then, a zone champion might have to play 10 games in the postseason to win a title. Too much, folks, too much. This setup places little premium on winning a zone crown and trivializes the regular season. The system

postseason games. Welcome to the NBA. The Legion, at least, rewards its zone champions a bit this season. Of the 40 teams in the tourney, 32 have to survive rounds of single elimination play before meeting a zone champ. Then those survivors have to beat the zone champion in a best-of-three to get to the double elimination tourney -- which is played at two


Special to Town Times


By Jim Bransfield


Debbie Huscher •

A16 Friday, March 14, 2014 From Page 15

blind squirrel finds an acorn, too. I know, I know, that team had injuries early, or a transfer became eligible in January, or a couple of kids suspended for discipline or academics got reinstated. That does not justify their inclusion in the tourney at 8-12 or 9-11. The whole season should count. If a kid flunked out for a term, isn’t academic performance why the kid is in school in the first place? If a star got hurt, isn’t that part of the game? I don’t recall MLB giving the Yankees a pass to the postseason last year because Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson were out with injuries. Podunk High shouldn’t get one either. Let’s look at some numbers. There are approximately 180 boys basketball teams in the state. The following umbers will fluctuate a bit, but there are 30-plus teams which will qualify with less than .500 records. At .500 you’re mediocre. Under .500, you’re, well, you know. Some

55-60 will not make it. So boys basketball teams started “official” practices in December and played three months to eliminate less than one-third of the teams playing. Yippee, we’re No. 107! This make sense to anyone? Now pay attention to those teams that qualify with .500 or worse records. The sub.500 and .500 teams will likely total 40-45. Look at how they do in the opening round of the tournament. Go to Las Vegas and bet the house that the won-lost records of those teams will be, oh, maybe 5-40 or so. Those teams don’t deserve to be in the postseason. Just don’t. Teams with similar records in soccer, baseball and softball perform about as “well.” If the CIAC -- and the Legion -- required teams to be good to play in the postseason, if these organizations rewarded performance, then a lot of other good things would happen. 1. The regular season would instantly become more important. 2. Kids would learn that what is rewarded in this life is performance, not presence.

3. A lot of schools would save money. Example: Team A has an 8-12 record. It is forced to hire a bus to travel maybe 30 miles or more, to play a game. Team A loses 7745, as almost always happens. That bus cost local taxpayers hundreds of dollars. A drop in the bucket, I know. But floods start with single drops. Example B: The team that hosted that meaningless game is out a lot more money. School security has to be hired. Police/constables have to be hired. Scorekeepers/ clock operators/announcers have to be hired. Game officials have to be hired. Staging one home basketball game typically costs upwards of $600 to $700. Maybe a school will make that money back in gate receipts. Maybe not. It’s not exactly a first-rate attraction 4. Most importantly, there would be better tourney games, the tournaments would be shorter, therefore much less costly to run. And no kid would be hurt by this. There is this notion that keeps surfacing that to cut back on the tourney would “deprive” kids of the experience. Look, this should be an earned experience, not an

entitlement. A kid’s life is not ruined by failure to play in a postseason tournament. She is not deprived. Kids are deprived when they have to go to school in substandard buildings with substandard technology, not enough books, and not enough learning materials. They are deprived when school sports programs are cut, but they are not deprived when their 8-12 basketball team doesn’t get the privilege of getting run over by a vastly superior team from another school. Find me kids who were thrilled their team made the tournament at 8-12 and then got slammed 80-40 by a good team. All tourney teams should be good teams. I love high school sports. I love Legion baseball. I love covering all of them and love commenting about them. I love the innocence of kids’ sports. I have more fun than a human ought to have. But I want kids to learn that rewards should be earned. That there is something important about every game. That the postseason is something that should be the reward for performing at a high level, not performing at a mediocre or worse level.

Basketball From Page 14

Caryn Sibiskie and Naomi Rinaldo, each with eight points. Rinaldo added six rebounds, and Sibiskie had three rebounds and two blocks. Morgan Kuehnle was Coginchaug’s leading rebounder, with eight, and chipped in seven points. On March 3, Coginchaug hosted Plainfield in the first round of the Class M tournament and coasted to a 63-45 victory. Audrey Arcari led the Devils with 14 points, while Kim Romanoff added 13 and Naomi Rinaldo 12. Morgan Kuehnle was the leading rebounder with 12, and also scored six. On March 6, the Devils traveled to New London to take on the Whalers, and were bested 46-21. Coginchaug ended the season with a solid mark of 16-8. Kim Romanoff was named all-conference first team this winter. Kuehnle was second team all-conference, and Sibiskie was named honorable mention all-conference.



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Town Times March 14, 2014