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Volume 19, Number 38 Serving Durham, Middlefield and Rockfall

Year in review

www.TownTimes.com

Friday, December 28, 2012

Santa and elves at the library

By Stephanie Wilcox Town Times Wonder where the year went? We do, too. Especially considering how much happened in Durham and Middlefield in 2012. Here are the major headlines for your review.

JANUARY Powder Ridge update – Rick Sabatino, a member of the former Alpine Ridge group, was one of several parties that showed interest in purchasing the town-owned 246 acre ski area property. Middlefield First Selectman Jon Brayshaw said he was “cautiously optimistic” that something would develop for Powder Ridge, whether it was with Sabatino or someone else. Football player from Durham makes key bowl game TD - Durham native Graham Stewart was a freshman linebacker for the Florida Gators when he recovered a blocked punt and ran it back for a touchdown. The score broke open a tight 14-10 game and gave the Gators their margin of victory in the 24-17 win over the Ohio State Buckeyes. Note: Stewart transferred to UConn in May. Officials ‘weed out the wheat from the chaff ’ regarding Powder Ridge interested parties – Middlefield Residents complained to the Board of Selectmen about certain matters being considered in executive session. First Selectman Jon Brayshaw assured the public that he, along with Town Planner Geoff Colegrove, Finance Director Joseph Geruch and the Board of Selectmen are trying to “weed out the wheat from the chaff ” regarding potential buyers for Powder Ridge. All-day kindergarten discussed at BOE – Initial talk of all-day kindergarten began at a January meeting of the Regional School District 13 Board of Education. Board members said they had been contacted by members of the public on the issue, and opinions ranged from thrilled at the opportunity to concerned about the potential expense.

FEBRUARY Middlefield revaluation leads to 10 percent drop in grand list – Middlefield home assessments went down during the 2011 state-mandated revaluation, which happens every five years. Newest Powder Ridge possibility Sean Hayes talks snowballs and restoration – Sean Hayes, the managing director of Brownstone Exploration and Discover Park, LLC in Portland, was the newest entry into the Powder Ridge Ski Area ownership sweepstakes. “I’m a specialist with a proven business model for taking distressed properties owned by municipalities and turning them into something everybody can be proud of,” he said. See Review, page 2

Submitted by Christine Michaud

Over 50 children and their families enjoyed a visit with Santa Claus at the Durham Public library recently. Santa was assisted by local “elves” Ivy and Claire Linden-Dionne, Shannon Carey and Tatiana Perez, who took photos, made notes for the elves at the North Pole, and handed out candy canes. In addition to sharing their Christmas wishes with Santa, children made Christmas tree ornaments, colored holiday pictures, and listened to Christmas stories.

In wake of Sandy Hook, BOE looks at safety issues By Mark Dionne Special to the Town Times “We don’t have a greater responsibility than the security of the children,” Board of Education chair Kerrie Flanagan told the BOE at a special meeting regarding school safety. “The sad truth of the matter is we’ll probably never be at 100 percent. It’s a journey and I think we’ll be on this road for a long time.”

The tension between the desire to provide safety for children and the impossibility of achieving complete safety ran through the somber meeting held Dec. 19, five days after the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. While no major decisions were made at the meeting, many safety issues were raised, some of which will likely change the way the schools are used and look.

Entrances and exits Procedures for being buzzed through the locked school doors were changed following Sandy Hook. “Everybody who is buzzed in to every building will be asked some questions,” Superintendent Sue Viccaro said. Cameras provide what Viccaro described as sometimes “limited visibility” to the

See Safety, page 7


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Town Times — Friday, December 28, 2012

Corrections

Review

(Continued from page 1)

We strive to bring you the most accurate information available each week, but if you see something in Town Times that is incorrect, give us a call at (203) 317-2448, and we’ll do our best to make things right.

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Photo by Mark Dionne

ESPN anchor Karl Ravech reported from Durham on Super Bowl Sunday. ESPN comes to Durham for Super Bowl Sunday – ESPN anchor Karl Ravech reported live at the Coginchaug High School football field on Super Bowl Sunday in front of a lively local crowd. Durham is said to be the center point between the Patriots’ Foxborough and the Giants’ Met Life Stadium. Redistricting — a big impact on split towns – Civic leaders in Durham and Middlefield called the state’s redistricting plan a “political mess.” Durham was split into two separate state senate districts and two separate state assembly districts. Durham approves new 20-year DMIAAB agreement – Durham voters approved the new agreement that extended the life of the Durham Middlefield Interlocal Agreement Advisory Board, the operational agency for the two-town transfer station. Note: One month later, Middlefield also passed the new agreement.

MARCH Meyer and Lesser talk reform with BOE – State Sen. Ed Meyer and state Rep. Matt Lesser spoke to the Board of Education about the proposed education reform and listened to concerns from board members and Superintendent Susan Viccaro. Residents hear plan for Powder Ridge winter sports park – Sean Hayes, managing director of Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park, LLC in Portland, presented his plan for a winter sports park. In addition to offering downhill skiing and snowboarding by the end of 2013, the plan called for a twoyear restoration of the existing lodge, converting the hotel rooms into day rooms and restoring the restaurant building for a third party lease. Durham resident creates iPad app Durham resident Peter Mueller proved that

technology can serve as a vessel for the independent artist to bring his creations to the world more easily by creating a verticalscrolling children’s book app for the iPad. Middlefield agrees to become member of COG – Middlefield residents approved a proposal to become a member of the Connecticut River Valley Council of Elected Officials. This group will function as the regional planning agency for 13 area towns. It replaced the Midstate Regional Planning Agency because the state said it would reduce the number of regional planning agencies to save cost. Note: In May, Durham also joined COG.

APRIL

After more cuts, BOE approves budget – The BOE voted to move forward with a net budget for the 2012-13 school year of $34,089,930, which represents an increase of 3.27 percent over the current school year. This represented almost a full percentage point drop from the original budget presented March 7. The proposed budget changed halfday kindergarten to full-day. Note: the school budget ultimately passed at referendum in May, by a margin of victory of 87 votes. Durham Fair budget forces some entertainment cuts – The Durham Fair Association made budget cuts that eliminated Green Stage entertainment, stilt walkers, food tent singers, the strolling barbershop quartet and pig races.

MAY

Public invited to Historical Society grand reopening – The Durham Historical Society, located adjacent to the Town Hall, reopened after a decade of restoration done by volunteers.

See Review, next page


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Friday, December 28, 2012 — Town Times

Review

(Continued from page 2)

nounced that participants riding in floats would not be allowed to throw candy to spectators as they have in years past. Town and fair officials react to Girl Scouts jubilee traffic issues – Residents were furious about traffic congestion when thousands of participants attended the 100-year anniversary of Girl Scouts event at the Durham Fairgrounds. Fair Association President Gene Chiappetta said “We felt we had a reasonable plan, but…that reasonable plan could not support the success of the event.”

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JUNE

Photo by Christine Foster

Cory Hassmann with U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

Middlefield’s Trooper Kelly named one of CT’s finest – Middlefield’s Trooper 1st Class Eric Kelly was honored at the annual Salute to Connecticut’s Finest for being “a role model for other police officers.” CT School Nurse of the Year says there’s never a dull moment – Memorial Middle School nurse Joanne Nytch was named the Association of School Nurses of CT School Nurse of the Year for her “outstanding professionalism, initiative and leadership skills.” ‘Learn, improve and enjoy the game of golf ’ at Lyman’s new golf center – The Lyman family opened a third

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Student’s Google doodle could bring $50,000 to CRHS – Cory Hassmann, from Durham, was honored as the Connecticut winner of Doodle 4 Google with his depiction of the technology company’s logo. He had the chance to win a $50,000 technology grant for Coginchaug if his doodle won overall. Note: Hassmann did not win at the national competition. Middlefield $4.42 million budget passes – It took just 20 minutes for Middlefield to overwhelmingly vote in favor of adopting the 2012-13 town budget. Note: That same week, Durham passed its $5.93 million budget. Throwing candy thrown out of parade – Due to safety and litter issues, organizers of the Memorial Day Parade an-

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TownCalendar

Dec. 28

Saturday

Informational meeting Come to an informational meeting Saturday, Dec. 29, at 10 a.m., to learn more about Biggest Loser Pro Challenge. The fifth season of Biggest Loser Pro Challenge at Core Club & Gym starts Jan. 6. at 350 Main St., Durham. Call (860) 349-9100 for more information.

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Warming up for Orange Bowl

Friday

Tot Time - The MOMS Club of Durham-Middlefield meets every Friday at the Middlefield Community Center at 10 a.m. Babies, toddlers and children are welcome. For more information, email momsdurhammiddlefield@gmail .com. Bridge Night - Come join in at the Durham Activity Center every Friday night at 6:30 p.m. for a fun night of bridge. If you are not sure how to play, Jim will teach you. You may call Jim at (860) 346-6611 with bridge questions. Call Durham Recreation at (860) 343-6724 with further questions.

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Town Times Friday, December 28, 2012

Kaitlyn Mentlick, 16, and Korinne Stockdale, 17, both from Durham, are scheduled to dance Jan. 1 in Miami, during the Orange Bowl’s half time show with country artist Jake Owen. Both girls have been in Disney’s daily parade, at several Rock Cat games, at the Komen Race for the Cure and Relay for Life, MS walk-a-thons and the Durham Fair.

Jan. 1

Tuesday

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Monday

Durham Senior Lunches – are canceled today. Middlefield Senior Lunches - The Middlefield Senior Café is serving lunch three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Reservations are required 24 hours prior, and the monthly menu can be picked up at the center, Town Hall or at www.middlefieldct.org. Transfer Station hours The Durham Middlefield Transfer Station will be open 8 a.m. to noon on Dec. 31.

Main St. You may drop in to knit and chat or you can stop by to drop off items you’ve completed. The group will continue to work on the Warm Up America blankets as well as baby blankets, lap blankets for nursing homes and chemo caps. Dates are Jan. 2, Feb. 6 and March 6. For more information or for pattern changes, contact Kim at kgarvis@townofdurhamct.org.

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Wednesday

TOPS Meeting - Take Off Pounds Sensibly meets every Wednesday at 6 p.m. on the third floor of the Durham Town Hall. Contact Naomi Klotsko at (860) 3499558 or Bonnie Olesen at (860) 349-9433 for more information. Knitting group – Local knitters are invited to join Warm Up America the first Wednesday of each month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Durham Activity Center, 350

Thursday

artist and art teacher Jan Wenzel will conduct an arts workshop for students aged 10-14. Entitled “Dream Your Dream,” the workshop will explore the One Book theme of making dreams come alive in all communities for all people. The medium will be collage with all materials provided. Registration required either at Levi Coe or Durham Public Library.

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Monday

Book discussion – On Monday, Jan. 7, at 1 p.m., at Durham Activity Center, there will be an “Empire Falls” book discussion facilitated by town librarians and members of the One Book committee. No registration necessary. Middlefield Senior Lunches - The Middlefield Senior Café is serving lunch three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Reservations Saturday are required 24 hours prior, and the monthly menu can Workshop – on Saturday, be picked up at the center, Jan. 5, at 11 a.m., at Town Hall or at www.midDurham Public Library, dlefieldct.org. Book discussion - On Thursday, Jan. 3, at 7 p.m., at Durham Public Library, there will be a book discussion of “Empire Falls” facilitated by Jane Eriksen and Amy Bloom, focusing on the book’s themes and their relevance to small town life in the communities. No registration.

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Thursday

Author reading – on Thursday, Jan. 10, at 7 p.m., at Durham Public Library, Leslie Bulion, Durham author, will read from her latest book, “The Universe of Fair,” in which Miller Sanford, an over-anxious 11-year-old boy sets out to conquer a fictionalized fair. Though the Durham Fair is never mentioned by name, most people will recognize the inspiration for this delightful tale of small town life. Copies of the book will be available for signing at the program and at the library beforehand. No registration necessary .

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Friday

Ballet performance – Middlesex Dance Center has scheduled an American Academy of Ballet performance for Friday, Jan. 11, at 6 p.m. at eh Church of St. Colman, Middlefield. Dancers will perform ballet combinations and solo dances. Admission is a donation of a food item or pet food item for the local food bank or animal shelter. For more information, call (860) 345-7586. Bridge Night - Come join in at the Durham Activity Center every Friday night at 6:30 p.m. for a fun night of bridge. If you are not sure how to play, Jim will teach you. You may call Jim at (860) 346-6611 with bridge questions. Call Durham Recreation at (860) 343-6724 with further questions.

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Saturday

History lecture – on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 2 p.m., at Durham Public Library, Durham historian Fran Korn will share his extensive knowledge of town history. Think you know everything there is to know about the small town of Durham? Come to this lecture and be surprised. No registration necessary.


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Friday, December 28, 2012 — Town Times

Review

(Continued from page 3)

who feared how it would impact Deerfield Farm, which had been operated as a dairy farm for the last eight years by Melynda Naples. Most did not want to see her go and thought any change would contradict the town’s support of agriculture. Super Coaster coming to Durham Fair – The Durham Fair Association voted to have the “Super Coaster”, the first big roller coaster to grace a Connecticut fair, in the midway. See Review, next page

USPS 021-924 Published weekly by Record-Journal at 11 Crown Street, Meriden, CT. Periodicals Postage Paid at Meriden, CT and at additional mailing offices.

Photo by Sarah Nathan

A swimmer enjoyed a sunny day at Millers Pond.

golf course and new learning center for people of all ages, genders and skill levels. Clean water plan for Durham Center seems clear – The Durham Board of Selectmen gave its approval to enter into an agreement with Middletown to extend an existing water system in Middletown to Durham Center.

JULY

State: new signs at Millers Pond will give ‘straightforward message’ about swimming – Another drowning at Millers Pond in Durham moved town officials to request that the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection increase coverage during recreation season. Instead, the DEEP installed signs that read: “People have lost their lives here and we do not want you to become another statistic.” BOE elects new chair – Kerrie Flanagan was elected as chairman of the Board of Education after Tom Hennick left the seat after five years. Note: Shortly after, Tom Hennick resigned from the BOE. Durham Conservation Commission meets 100+ friends of Melynda – When the Conservation Commission began reviewing how the town leases town-owned property, it became a hot topic for many individuals and local groups

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Passengers rode the Super Coaster at the 2012 Durham Fair.

P O S T M A S T E R: Send address changes to Record-Journal, P.O. Box 915, Meriden CT 06450


6

Town Times — Friday, December 28, 2012

Review

(Continued from page 5)

Durham chosen as a Solarize CT pilot town – A pilot solar program that aggregates homeowners across communities to offer discounted prices for residential solar was launched, and Durham was selected as one of four pilot towns. Durham native relishes role in first big studio feature – Michael Barra played the role of a store clerk in the summer blockbuster “The Amazing Spider-Man.”

lectmen from Durham and Middlefield said, thanks to having plans in place before the storm hit, the towns were in a good position when Hurricane Sandy hit Connecticut. Not to mention, Mother Nature was kind to the area — Durham and Middlefield did not see the worst of the hurricane’s damage.

AUGUST Photo by Stephanie Wilcox

Sean Hayes said he was ready to resurrect Powder Ridge.

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Middlefield gives ‘resounding yes’ on Powder Ridge sale – Middlefield voted 1,132 to 466 to sell Powder Ridge to Sean Hayes. “I’ve lost sleep over this,” First Selectman Jon Brayshaw said. “This was the answer to our prayers. I’ve been sick over it for months.”

SEPTEMBER Rehabilitation of White’s Farm underway – An eightweek project to restore wetlands that had been causing flooding at White’s Farm in Durham began late summer.

OCTOBER Record-setting numbers register to vote in Durham and Middlefield – As of Oct. 18, less than three weeks before the Nov. 6 election, 5,028 people were registered to vote in Durham and 3,224 were registered in Middlefield. DEEP hopes for ‘permanent solution’ – The state told residents of Middlefield that the Lake Beseck dam will undergo major repairs to address recurring seepage problems. DEEP officials said the project could take 10 months.

NOVEMBER

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DEEP workers recreated the original channel of Allyn Brook.

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Notice is hereby given to the taxpayers of Durham that the second half of Real Estate and Personal Property taxes and the total Supplemental Motor Vehicle tax on the Grand List of 2011 are due and payable to the Town of Durham on January 1, 2013. No bill is sent for the 2nd installment of Real Estate. If not paid by February 1, 2013 these taxes will be considered delinquent and interest will be charged at the rate of 1.5% per month from the due date, with a minimum interest charge of $2.00. Note: Feb. 2nd payment will be charged a 3% penalty. (Jan. & Feb.) Payments may be mailed to: Town of Durham, P.O. Box 428, Durham, CT 06422. Hours for the Tax Collector’s office are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 8:30-4:30pm, Tuesday 8:30-7:00pm and Friday 8:303:00pm. Additional hours for this collection period will be Saturday January 26, 2013; from 10:00am-12:00pm. Martin French, CCMC Tax Collector - Town of Durham, CT

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7

Friday, December 28, 2012 — Town Times

Safety (Continued from page 1)

and intercom procedures at the school. Others questioned the safety of schoolchildren outside the physical security of the buildings such as at recess or outdoor classes. Other members of the audience voiced support for a school resource officer, an armed state trooper stationed in the schools. RSD13 had a school resource officer through a federal grant in the past, but the position was reduced and then eliminated when the grant disappeared. Building access, Viccaro noted several times, also changes with the time of day and use. Students at some buildings need to get from area to area at different periods and the buildings are also open to community groups after the school day and on weekends. “Obviously we’re walking away with a lot of questions tonight,” said Flanagan, who opened the meeting with a moment of silence to honor the children and teachers killed at Sandy Hook. The next BOE meeting is scheduled for Jan. 9 at 7:30 p.m. at John Lyman School.

Merry Christmas

Government Meetings Durham Government Calendar (Unless otherwise indicated, all meetings are held in the Durham Library. Check the town website at www.townofdurhamct.org for updates.) Monday, Jan. 7 Board of Selectmen, Town Hall, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8 Library Board of Trustees, Library, 7 p.m. Board of Education Communications Committee, Superintendents office, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9 Joint Board and Commission Meeting, Town Hall, 7 p.m. Cemetery Company, Town Hall, 7 p.m. Board of Education, John Lyman School, 7:30 p.m.

Middlefield Government Calendar (Unless otherwise indicated, all meetings are held in the Community Center.) Thursday, Jan. 3 Economic Development Commission, 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7 Board of Selectmen, 7 p.m.

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buzzer area, and office staff have been questioning school visitors more than in the past. “We’ve had every custodian check every exterior door to make sure they are latching and locking,” Viccaro reported. Several people at the meeting noted that the physical locks and barriers can be thwarted not just by a powerful gun but by rushed or wellmeaning school visitors. Parents often hold the doors for each other and other visitors. “Please don’t do that,” urged Viccaro, who noted that this week parents have been waiting in line to be buzzed in individually. BOE member Nancy Boyle suggested instructing parents to use only the main exit when leaving the building. “I think we all care about having one egress point. You see who is coming and going. You don’t have to worry about too many people leaving” out the other doors. “We need to control the egress points,” she said. “Every time somebody exits, somebody can enter,” BOE member Robert Fulton said. Exterior school doors are locked to the outside but open on the inside for fire safety. “I can’t monitor if somebody is going to exit a door that they can exit,” Viccaro said. “I’m not sure how we monitor that.” Portables “My major concern right now is the portables,” said Viccaro, adding that the portables were the first issue cited by most school principals. Five of the six district schools use portables. Teachers in the portables have been instructed to keep their doors locked. “Until we come up with longer term solutions, that’s what we’re doing,” Viccaro said. “Is it cumbersome? Yes. Is it important? Absolutely.” The BOE will be getting quotes at future meetings for barriers for the portables. Options include installing swipe card access, enclosing the portables with the schools or building a walkway between the portables and the schools. One member of the audience also questioned the procedure for sending students between the portables and the main building, another safety

issue to review. Prepare and prevent Also under review, according to Viccaro, are the lock down drills conducted by the schools twice per year. The drills may increase in frequency, be done on a surprise basis, and include instruction for the students. Substitute teachers are also now being given instructions and keys so they can lock their own classroom doors. BOE member Merrill Adams asked about mental health awareness in the community. Viccaro said, “We have counseling resources available in the district as well as...new counseling resources available through Durham and Middlefield Youth and Family Services. If you know someone, if you are experiencing difficulty, please contact me, contact the building principal and we will provide you with additional resources.” Multiple issues “There is nothing that’s not in consideration if it can make us safer,” Flanagan said. Members of the audience also asked about panic buttons

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TownOpinion Letters to the Editor

Mischaracterization

To the editor: I’m writing to respond to an editorial written by John Szewczyk about the General Assembly’s redistricting process. I take issue with Mr. Szewczyk’s mischaracterization of my integrity and involvement in redistricting. I was not a member of the bipartisan commission that voted on district lines, and I did not participate in the process. Over the past 20 years, the 86th District has been comprised of all of North Branford, parts of East Haven, Wallingford and Guilford. It always has been a multi-town district with North Branford serving as the base town, and to suggest that I “sliced” and “diced” towns for my benefit is fraudulent. The entire Durham delega-

tion, including myself, Senators Meyer and Fasano and Representative Kokoruda already has met with First Selectman Francis for a briefing on issues important to Durham. As always, I will work with this team of dedicated lawmakers to bring a strong collective voice to Hartford for Durham. Vincent J. Candelora State Rep. 86th District

Toy drive success To the editor: Durham Fitness would like to thank all who gave toys this holiday season to support local families in Northern Middlesex County. All the toys were delivered to the Salvation Army in Middletown on Dec. 17. The collection was a huge success. Kristen Kleeman & Durham Fitness

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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. Stephanie Wilcox, Editor Marsha Pomponio, Office Assistant Olivia Lawrence, News Editor-Weeklies Kimberley E. Boath, Advertising Manager Joy Boone, Advertising Sales Contributors: Diana Carr, Trish Dynia, Elisabeth Kennedy, Karen Kean, Judy Moeckel, Mark Dionne, Christine Foster and Michelle P. Carter.

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, and be no more than 300 words. 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: Monday noon for Friday publication.

Town Times Friday, December 28, 2012

How you can help Newtown The following are suggestions on how you can help the community of Newtown. It comes from the regional United Church of Christ and was formulated by the leadership there in consultation with their colleagues in Newtown. Please do not try to call the Newtown churches. The phones are still ringing off the hook and important and necessary calls are not getting through. It’s fine to email a message of support to a church, but please do not expect an immediate reply. There has not yet been time for the staff to weigh all the offers of support or acknowledge condolences An old-fashioned card or letter, sent through the U.S. mail, may be the best form of communication. These are easily shared and can be posted. Churches and the community are being “flooded” with care items: prayer bracelets, shawls, and at least 8,000 teddy bears. Church will try to accept and distribute any items received, but especially those made by children for Newtown children. While these items will find good homes, they can be a bit much to manage in the midst of a crisis. You may wish to inquire first as to what is needed. Churches and church agencies are in it for the long haul. The most significant work will begin after the camera crews have left and the people of Newtown need to begin dealing with the long term effects. Please note that there will be ways to support the people of Newtown in the future. Here are opportunities to support Newtown. United Way of Western Connecticut “United Way extends our most sincere condolences

and prayers to all those families affected by the devastating events in Newtown/Sandy Hook, Connecticut,” the organization said in a statement on its website. “We will stand with the community and everyone affected directly and indirectly by this tragic event as we face the days and weeks ahead.” Checks for the United Way fund may be mailed to Sandy Hook School Support Fund, c/o Newtown Savings Bank, 39 Main St., Newtown, CT 06470, or may be dropped off at any Newtown Savings Bank branch. Newtown Memorial Fund Brian Mauriello, a longtime resident of Newtown, established the Newtown Memorial Fund to help with funeral expenses and a permanent memorial to the victims. Mauriello said he was “dedicated to ensuring our community has a proper fund for the memory of those who did perish, and for all those affected by this tragedy.” To donate to Mauriello’s fund, checks can be mailed to Newtown Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 596, Botsford, CT 06404. My Sandy Hook Family Fund Established by parents of children who survived the attack, the My Sandy Hook Family Fund intends to use donations to pay for immediate needs of families who lost loved ones, including funeral services, and ongoing living expenses such as food, mortgage payments, daycare and insurance, until families can get back on their feet. “We ask the world to join us not only in our grief but also in our burning need to take some of the burdens off these families in their time of incredible pain,” the group said on its website.

Donations can be mailed to My Sandy Hook Family Fund, c/o Union Savings Bank, 1 Commerce Drive, Newtown, CT 06470. University of Connecticut Scholarship Fund The University of Connecticut established a memorial scholarship fund that will cover college costs for students who attend Sandy Hook Elementary School, as well as siblings of those killed and children of teachers and other adults who lost their lives. “Newtown is in our own state and many of our students and alumni have ties to those who are affected directly,” UConn President Susan Herbst said in a statement. “The gift of higher education is a transformational one. We want the students of Sandy Hook to have the opportunity to study at a top public research university.” Checks can be mailed to the UConn Foundation, 2390 Alumni Drive Unit 2306, Storrs, CT 06269. Note on the check that the gift is for the Sandy Hook School Memorial Scholarship Fund. Infoline State police have established an informational hotline for people or businesses that want to assist the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Assistance may include victims’ assistance agencies, counselors, religious or ministry services, dog therapy and transportation services. For more information, contact the hotline by dialing 211. United States Postal Service The U.S. Postal Service has set up a special post office box for the public to send its condolences to Newtown. Letters and cards can be sent to P.O. Box 3700, Newtown, CT 06470

Let us know what you’re thinking - send us your Letters to the Editor! Town Times, P.O. Box 265, Middlefield, CT 06455


TownSchools

Town Times Friday, December 28, 2012

High Honors Grade 8 - Azevedo, Seth Chipman; Blair, Abigail Ann; Boyle, Amy EIizabeth; Carroll, Emily Kathryn; Collins, Sarah Katherine; Davis, Julia Margaret; Dills, Calista Taylor; Egan, William Joseph; Faiella, Justin Dennis; Fiondella, MaryGrace; Gavin, Will Peter; Hettrick, Dawson Michael; Hocking, Patrick James; Jubelirer, Brian Samuel; Khalil, Nora; Labasi, Natalie Marie; Larkin, Paige Ambrose; Leibiger, Emily Pierce; Marteka, Samuel Vincent; Rinaldi, Elie Rose; Romeyn, Scott Mullaney; Schleicher, Lucas Benjamin; Stanwood, Emily Harris; Stockdale, Camden Robert; Therrien, Kayla Alexis; Whitaker, EIizabeth Haynes. Grade 7 - Brayton, Spencer Seathrun; Byrne, Hailey Emma; Christiana, Taylor Ann; Coogan, Colleen EIizabeth; D’Agostino, Carol Jean; D’Amato, Lydia Jean; Dana, Ashley Fay; Doyle, Seamus Edward; Fazzino, Joshua Michael; Figoras, Aubrey Marie; Koba, Thomas Gerald; Labasi, Derek Martin; Linden-Dionne, Ivy; Mancarella, Faith Sarah; Marczuk, Stefan; Mariani, Zachary Nolan; McMaster, Sean Douglas; Montz, Madeline Jane; Pereira, Olivia Louise; Pietrzyk, Samantha Ellen; Pitruzzello, Cal Roberts; Planeta, Charlotte Emily; Slight, Victoria Ellyn; Sorensen, Claire EIizabeth; Stephan, Alexander TranQuyViet; Sullivan, Connor Patrick; Tang, Ashely; Turecek, Daniel Joseph. Honors Grade 8 - Alsup, Alexandra Sarah; Amirault, Hannah Leigh; Baba, John Carlos; Bentley, Olivia Evelyn; Bizzario, Marissa Leah; Boothroyd, Alexander Stone; Bournival, Lily McVeigh; Brant, Sydney Catherine; Cannon, Abigail Mary; Cassidy, Chelsea West; Child, Ryan William; Coppola, Demery Joyce; Coughlin, Jessica

9

STRONG MIDDLE SCHOOL FIRST TRIMESTER HONOR ROLL Lynn; Courchesne, Brody Reed; Decker, Megan Carey; DeFilio, Alexa Marie; Dell’Oso, Trevor Aloysius; Devers, Charlotte Ann; DiVicino, Angela Marie; Donnelly, Lauren Nicole; Fairchild, Lauren Sandra; Fay, Taylon Joseph; Fontaine, Kyle Joseph; Forrester, Emma Maureen; Gagner, Amelia Catherine; Genest, Joshua Alexander; Grenier, Melissa Rose; Hall, Brittany Rose; Hassmann, Erin Leigh; Hlouchin, Erin Claire; Isleibm, Jenna; Keenan, Declan James; King, Joshua John; Korzan, Conrad Brian; Kotrady, Stefan Peter; Kurek,

RaAnna Jaide; Longworth, Samuel James; Lower, Ashlyn EIizabeth; Malek, Matthew Sam; Marran, Abigail EIizabeth; Martowski, Nadiya Allyson; McDonald, Nathan Scott; McIntyre, Hayley EIizabeth; Melchionne, Lauren Alexandra; Morris, Skyler Jean; Murphy, Griffin Douglas; Murphy, Jack Harrison; O’Connell, Rowan Catherine; Orozco, Jeremy Christopher; Paduano, Mitchel Thomas; Pakech, Hannah Camille; Paul, Amanda Lee; Poulin, Marisa Danielle; Preneta, Olivia Maria; Puchalski, Garrett Paul; Quinley, Danielle

Marie; Radziunas, Brien Francis; Richardson, Katelyn Michelle; Romeo, Kyle Frederick; Schulten, Mary Katherine; Seibert, Thomas Christopher; Sirois, Brendan Paul; Sliker, Olivia Ashton; Solomon, Christopher John; Sorensen, Richard Frederick; Strothers, Kye Lynn; SungCuadrado, Kenneth; Szymaszek, Jessica Ann; Terrill, Madison Rose; Thompson, Chase Franklin; Timbro, Nathan Michael; Tregoning, Sydona Rae; Turecek, Bridget Claire; Vynalek, Ryan William; Wilcox, Samuel Johnson; Woznyk, Matthew

Pictured from left: Middletown Rotarian Carlton Winslow, Student of the Month Lisa Bradley, and Middletown Rotarian Joe Marino.

Rockfall resident is student of the month The Middletown Rotary Club honored Lisa Bradley, a senior at Vinyl Technical High School and resident of Rockfall, as Student of the Month. Bradley is a student in culinary technology and is ranked third in the class. In addition to being on the school volleyball and softball teams, Bradley is an active member and president of Student Council; a chapter officer of Sills USA; and vice-president of CT Technical High School Student Congress. She has volunteers as a blood drive assistant, and participated in the Penguin Plunge and the Relay for Life. Outside of school, she has been an active member in providing foster homes for Labs4Rescue and volunteered her time on Adoption Days. For the past seven years, she and her family have fostered over 55 labrador retrievers. Bradley has also volunteered with Mission of Mercy. The Middletown Rotary Club selects Student of the Month based on a combination of high academic standards, community involvement and extracurricular activities. Rotary maintains its membership from those who live and/or work in Middletown as well as the surrounding towns of Cromwell, Portland, Durham, Middlefield and Higganum.

Terry; Zaclli, Megi. Grade 7 - Anderson, Jared Scott; Annecchino, Katherine Joy; Backstrom, Sean Ryan; Barrett, Marie EIizabeth; Barton, Ricki Lynn; Basiel, Garret Joseph; Benbow, Virginia Kenzie; Berry, Cooper Martin; Biro, Cameron William; Bourland, Luke Anthony; Carey, Shannon Alyssa; Casey-Leonard, Caitlyn Elizabeth; Christenson, Emily Rae; Clancy, Emily Charlotte; Courchesne, Colby Simone; Cross, Ryan A1exander; Curry, f1nthony Harrison; DeGennaro, Dylan Michael; DelVecchio, Demarie Rose; DeMartino, Vincent; DeVille, Meghan EIizabeth; Diaz, Liliana Noel; Douglas, Kenneth Joseph; Esparo, Bryant Vito; Fede, Ana EIizabeth; Fontanella, Erica; Garofalo, Luke Michael; Gossart, Kaitlin Elizabeth; Halligan, Ashleigh Suzanne; Hesseltine, Jake Alan; Hinsch, Laura Rose; Howell, John Richard; Hultgren, Tyra Michele; Hurlbert, Hayden Christopher; Jameson, Hunter James; Johansen, Kayley Elizabeth; Kelly, Taylor Lynn; Kinell, Samantha Ryan; Kleczkowski, Andrew Joseph; Kulasenski, Alexander Lukasz. Lane, Carly Marie; Lecza, Alyssa Leigh; Lee, Daniel Joseph; Lineberry, Anthony Lawrence; Locascio, Sarah Keeman; Milidantri, Austin Levi; Mitchard, Mary Isabel; Munoz, Leany Marcella; Munro, Daniel Thomas; Pastore, Cody Tyler; Perez, Tatiana Elizabeth; Peters, Rhiannon Mary; Potvin, Amanda Marie; Puziss, Isabel Sonja; Richardson, Alyssa Lynn; Robertson, Nina Aurea; Rodrigue, Reid Jean-Paul; Saks, Griffin Daniel; Satagaj, Zachary Thomas; Schinas, Matthew; Starr, Hunter Jack; Strang, Kyle Andrew; Thayer, Camryn Emily; Titus, Samuel Berne; van Eyndhoven, Alyssa Lauren; Volenec, Jockson Paul; Wallach, Otto Steven; Zito, Abbigale Rose.


10

Town Times — Friday, December 28, 2012

Curriculum night Coginchaug High School has scheduled Curriculum night for Tuesday, Jan. 8, at 7 p.m., at the high school. The presentation is for parents of ninth grade students, the first group to take the new Common Core test scheduled for the spring of 2015. For more information, call Linda Berry at (860) 349-7206 or email lberry@rsd13.org.

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TownSeniors

Town Times Friday, December 28, 2012

Water color class

Bingo

and needles are available.

Water color classes for seniors with well-known local artist, Aleta Gudelski, are scheduled for Thursdays, from 1 to 3 p.m., Jan. 10 through Feb. 14, at the Durham Activity Center. Beginners are encouraged to attend and explore the art of water color. Intermediates are also welcome. Students work at their own pace. Class is limited to 10 students. A fee is charged and is payable in advance. For more information and to register, call Sherry Hill at (860) 3436724.

Bingo games are played every third Monday of each month at 1 p.m. at the Middlefield Senior Center. A fee is charged.

Blood pressure screenings

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Book discussion The Middlefield Senior Center has scheduled a book discussion of Richard Russo’s novel, “Empire Falls� for Monday, Jan. 14, at 1 p.m. at the Senior Center. The book, chosen for this year’s One Book, One Community, chronicles life in a small town in upstate New York. Several copies of the book are available at the senior center. For more information or to register, call the Levi E. Coe Library at (860) 349-3857 or the Middlefield Senior Center at (860) 349-7121.

Durham senior lunches Senior lunches are offered every Monday and Wednesday at the Durham Activity Center, 350 Main St. The Elderly Nutrition program is designed to provide nutritional meals, at a low cost to persons ages 60 and over and their spouses. To cover the cost of the meal, a suggested donation is welcomed. To make lunch reservations, call Amanda Pedersen, senior cafe manager, at (860) 3493153. Bingo is offered every Wednesday at 1 p.m. following the luncheon.

Knitting and crocheting Knitters and crocheters meet every Thursday morning at 9:30 at the Middlefield Senior Center for coffee and knitting. Bring your unfinished project or learn a new one. The group also makes afghans for the Middlesex Cancer Center and the MidState Cancer Center. Yarn

Dial-A-Ride

Dial-A-Ride provides curbto-curb transportation for the elderly and disabled. This service can be used for medical appointments, shopping, banking and other places, and is available five days a week. Call (860) 347-3313 for a reservation. There is a fee.

Senior exercise

Senior exercise is offered Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Durham Activity Center. Two classes are ofSee Seniors, page 24

Senior Bus The Durham/Middlefield Senior Bus is available for transportation to activities on Tuesday and Wednesday. There is no fee for this service. Planned trips include: The Christmas Tree Shops in

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The Middlefield Senior Cafe serves lunch on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to senior in the community. The Senior Center is looking for volunteers to set up, serve lunch (no cooking) and clean up after lunch. The commitment would be one to two times a month, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers receive training and may choose what best fits their schedule. For more information, call Antoinette at (860) 349-7121.

Free Blood Pressure Screenings are held every first and third Wednesday of each month at noon at the Middlefield Senior Center. No appointment is necessary.

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CreativeArts

Town Times Friday, December 28, 2012

A photo collection of The Gambia By Sonja Kubik

In September I returned from two years serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in the small West African nation of The Gambia. These are some of my favorite photos from my time there. A bride being prepared for presentation to her in-laws (at right) Kola nuts (the original source of caffeine in Coca-Cola) have an important place in Gambian tradition. A visitor always offers kola nuts to the chief and a future husband to his future in-laws. Here, a bride prepared to go to her in-laws compound has had red kola nuts tied in her hair. After the elders finished their preparations, she was brought through the village, first on the back of a motorcycle, then on the shoulders of a cousin. Along the way, the crowd around her grew and the singing and dancing intensified. When the group reached the in-laws’ compound, the bride was led into a darkened hut while everyone else continued dancing.

Basse market comes to life (above) Early in the morning, buses would pull into Basse and women would pour out with their buckets and bags of produce for sale. Then they’d spread out tarps along the sides of the dirt road and begin arranging pyramids of onions, bundles of mint, and handfuls of chili peppers and packets of seasoning. In the background you can see one of the few churches in this predominantly Muslim country.

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Friday, December 28, 2012 — Town Times

Four girls pounding millet (at left) In addition to rice, millet is one of the staples of the Gambian diet. To prepare millet, it must first be pounded and sifted. Afterwards, it is cooked (over an open fire, of course) until it has a consistency similar to couscous. Pounding is a timeconsuming and physically-demanding task, but girls and women make the job easier by working together.

Tanji Fish Market (above) Beef is expensive, pork is forbidden, but The Gambia — a country located on the Atlantic coast and divided in half by the Gambia River — has plenty of fish. You can spot the Tanji fish market from miles away by the perpetual cloud of seagulls that hovers above, sneaking bites as the fishermen bring in their catch. Although it is the men who catch the fish, there is a job for everyone: young boys gut the newly-caught fish while women and girls sell the fish from buckets and wheelbarrows.

Saliou plays the drums (above) Without money to buy toys, Gambian children make their own out of discarded items. Saliou, my three-yearold neighbor, made himself a drum out of an aluminum can, a filthy length of fabric and two twigs. Other common toys were cars made from sardine cans, dolls made of braided corn husks, and checker boards drawn in the dirt, with different-colored stones used as the playing pieces.

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Town Times — Friday, December 28, 2012

Climbing pyramids

By Drew Morris, Grade 4 Note: the following is an excerpt from a longer work about a trip to Belize

Chapter 2 The Massive Mayan Ruins 4/4/12 Mom told us at dinner that tomorrow we would go to the

biggest Mayan Ruin in Belize. “This will be really fun,” we all said. “Wake up! Wake up!” I gently rocked my parents from side to side and finally they both awoke from their deep sleep. “Huuuuuw,” my Mom

yawned. Dad, half asleep and half awake, walked around and got dressed for breakfast. Finally, it was time for the Mayan Ruins. I couldn’t wait to see the huge buildings towering over everything in sight. The only thing was it was the biggest structure in Belize. So when you’re at the top of the Mayan Ruin, your heart is in your mouth. When you go up, the view is a painter’s dream. For miles around all you see is a view you will never forget. I

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could see the sky, blue and beautiful. Trees splashed in different places. The panoramic view washed over me as I looked at the trees. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like in the time the Ruins were functioning. But before we went to the Ruin, we saw a picture of Atlas holding the Earth. I was the first to answer when our instructor questioned us. I could just imagine the royal empire at the top bellowing down through the echoing arena to every peasant around. Finally, we made it to the start of where the stairs go up all the way. I was starting to think I shouldn’t go to the top, but I decided it wouldn’t be a good trip if I didn’t go to the top. “I guess I’ll go,” I agreed. “Let’s start climbing,” the instructor announced. Up and up we went until our instructor declared, “Here we are at the top of Mayan Ruin.” “Wow,” I gasped. “Oh my gosh,” Mom gaped. “It’s spectacular,” Dad remarked. “Wow,” Trevor repeated. I was literally scared out of my mind. The instructor said he could do almost anything on the Mayan Ruin. He said he was like a Billy Goat on the Mayan Ruin, but he exaggerated. The stairs are so narrow. All the time I was won-

dering what would happen if I lost my balance. There’s no railing on the steps and our instructor moved gracefully. It was time to go back down, which was five times scarier than going up. I couldn’t handle it, so I had the instructor carry me. We got to the fun part of jumping. There was a part where you can’t go back down, so there was a ledge a few feet from the ground. You sprang onto the grass patch. I was saying, “Woo y Hoo,” the whole way down. Trevor was the first one down. Then I sprang off. And of course, Mom and Dad jumped off with the instructor close behind. Finally a regular-sized stair. My heart was pounding every minute of the time looking up. I just couldn’t believe the size of the Ruin. I learned that there was a very ancient game that the peasants used to play to confirm that they were worthy enough to live during that period. Two components would hit a ball against a rock hard wall and the other person must get the ball before it passed his body. If someone lost, they would be executed. “Pretty darn harsh,” Dad muttered. I couldn’t believe the differences in culture that people had back then. If you every tried something like that in the 21st century, it

See Belize, page 16

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Friday, December 28, 2012 — Town Times

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Town Times — Friday, December 28, 2012

I fell into a book By Abby Gerry Grade 1, John Lyman School I fell into a book. I said, “Ouch, because I fell on my head.” I met a lot of people. They were my friends. I can hear them. Their names are Jacqueline, Jenna, Hannah, Travis, Sullivan, Katie, Norah, Joshua, Kaitlyn, Kieran, Marie, Emily, Colin, Carter, Andrew, Ava, Ayden, Ben, and Mrs. Sibiskie.

Jaelyn, age 8, travel in my dream car... a purple bug!

Belize (Continued from page 14)

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wouldn’t turn out as well as planned. Dad sprinted up and down the “Parents Ruin.” The Parents Ruin was another pyramid that was smaller and easier to climb. Naturally, we followed. So up and down and up and down — that kept going on for five minutes. But finally, the exercise ended. I couldn’t imagine the Mom and Dad living in that palace. Well, we better get on the road to get to the van. So get anything you need, pack up and let’s get hiking,” said the instructor. The sights poured into my mind and went into my memory space while I sadly trudged away from the arena and back on the trail.


17

Friday, December 28, 2012 — Town Times

An eye-opening trip to China “An Essay-Blog” By Lex Sorrell

Chinese it is considered unpleasant sitting where someone else had sat for the toilet functions, so you just crouch down. Oh, and there is rarely any toilet paper in the public toilets. We traveled with our own roll of toilet paper each

See China, page 19

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Chinese Saying: “Heaven Above, Suzhou and Hangzhou below.” Censorship, incredible national pride, beauty and filth all came together as I explored a once forbidden, but now slowly opening, country. Going to China is not exactly like taking a trip to Florida or even California. Traveling to China both opens your mind to an entirely new world and also allows you to see your own world in a completely new light. I traveled, with my mom and a group of 25 other adults associated with Chambers of Commerce, on an eight-day excursion to four cities in China. After a 15-hour flight, we arrived in Shanghai tired and scrubby. Immigration took a long while. I was entering a Communist country. “Nihau! Hello!” I said. I was looking for some kind of facial expression from the Customs and Immigration people. They were rather expressionless. Stamp, stamp, stamp…we were in China. But that was not our final destination. We had to then fly to Beijing to start our tour. The trip to our hotel took us through almost dark roads. There is far less lighting in China than in the West. I think we waste a great deal of light in the West, with so many lights left on in houses, highrises, and streets all the time at night. We woke up to a bustling, smog filled and fascinating city. Breakfast was a mixture of Eastern and Western food and we tried almost everything. We would soon discover that breakfasts were the meal of

the day for us, as the remaining meals, out in the cities, were very, very questionable. This was also the place that we bid farewell to Western toilets for the day. Toilets in China tend to be, at best, a porcelain square, shower drain-style hole in the ground. At worst the toilets are just a hole in the ground. To the

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Town Times — Friday, December 28, 2012

The unforgettable journey By Nicky Stevens Grade 3 I jumped in the water. I screamed, “It is so cold!” I was at the place to do the dolphin swim. It was called Discovery Cove. We were going to split up into groups. One of the ladies called out so everyone could hear that we were going to feel the dolphin. The dolphin’s name was Stella. It was smooth and it felt like rubber. It was graceful and gentle. It was the most graceful dolphin in history. The way its tail moved was gentle. It was like the dolphin was talking to me in movement. It was truly beautiful. The nice lady instructed us that now we were going to ride on Stella’s back. I was so happy I almost fell over. A bubble of joy got into my stomach. I went first. “I

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am so excited,” I said anxiously to my mom. The lady asked, “Are you ready?” I replied, “Yes!” So the lady yelled, “Ready, set go!!!” The dolphin went so fast that I couldn’t hold on. So I did it one-handed. I felt free. I felt like I was flying. The water was propelling behind me. The dolphin’s tail was moving in a slow movement but I felt like the dolphin was as fast as a racecar. When that part was over my mom asked me, “How was it?” I was speechless for a few moments, but then I finally spoke. I screamed, “That was awesome!” My mom told me, “Wait till you see what is next!” I asked my mom, “What?” The lady said, “Now we are going to kiss the dolphin.” When it was my turn I almost screamed but I managed. I put my head down. I held the dolphin’s beak and I kissed it. Stella was wiggling a lot because I think the dolphin was probably excited. I was a little nervous, too. I didn’t want to hurt the dolphin. I had that same feeling of joy in my stomach. When I was done, I asked my mom, “What are we doing next?” She replied that we were going back to the hotel. I had a great time. I hope you can do this some day because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

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19

Friday, December 28, 2012 — Town Times

China (Continued from page 17)

and signaling capabilities. Chairman Mao said “He who does not reach the Great Wall is not a true man!” so in Chinese eyes I am now a man. Much of the Great Wall of China is in disrepair, but near Beijing, the

part I walked and ran on has to be the most fascinating place I have seen. Looking out over the Wall reminds you of how history lives on years and years after something has been created. It is an incredibly beautiful

place and is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. I want to go back to see more of the Wall! The smog that you could see over the hills does show that

See China, page 22

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5,000 miles long and dates to 4th century B.C. The Wall was built for many reasons, including border control, being able to put taxes in place along the Silk Road and as a military structure with watch towers


20

Town Times — Friday, December 28, 2012

First and second graders in Carrie Howes’ art class at John Lyman School were inspired by 15th century italian artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo. He became famous for his painted fruit and vegetable portraits. Continued on next page

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By Caroline Smith Grade 4 I can feel the sweat bursting on my forehead. I have a weird ticklish feeling in my stomach. I turn my head quickly to see if my walked predator is going to steal. I turn my head back to home. I stare directly into the runner’s eyes. I start my windup. The ball glides into the catcher’s glove like a tiger pouncing on a wounded gazelle. I hear the firm umpire letting the word out like a balloon deflating — “STRIKE!!!” I look at the scoreboard. It’s the bottom of the ninth inning — two outs, two strikes and three balls. A shiver goes up and down my spine like a little penguin slipping on ice. I grab the pencil yellow softball by the laces and I bring my arm in a large circle and let go. I shiver as the ball hits the catcher’s glove. I wait for what the umpire is going to say. “Out!” he shrieks. I feel a gust of relief zooming through my body like a police car in a high-speed chase. I thought I was going to be a revolting pitcher because I was scared to pitch! Best summer ever!


21

Friday, December 28, 2012 — Town Times

Continued from page 20

Students began the Giuseppe Arcimboldo project by looking at fruits and vegetables as shapes and then drawing what they saw. Then they gathered the realistic looking fruits and veggies and created a class portrait in the style of Arcimboldo’s famous art.

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Town Times — Friday, December 28, 2012

China (Continued from page 19) the environment in China is at risk, which also means it affects the whole world. I noticed lakes and especially the rivers also, had a lot of pollution, so my idea of the country being polluted before coming to China was accurate. A few days of our trip were windy though, so we were lucky to see blue sky when it is typically hazy from

the smog. Kunming Lake was the next adventure. This place is a center for people to go and relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. When you go to places like this you see China as you imagine it with Zen temples, Chinese music in the background and people dressed in traditional outfits. I thought the clothing would be very different when I went there. About half the people (and more the older generations), wear traditional clothing.

Jeans and T-shirts are all over the place too, but worn more by the younger crowd. What I did not expect was seeing so many people on their iPhones, even in the poorer areas and even in the isolated market places. As a note though, their iPhones do not have the same global access, in most cases, that ours do outside of China. I also learned that all land really belongs to the government. Even if you “buy” an apartment, it is yours for only 77 years or so, and the land below

your house is government owned, too. Along the way we visited jade factories, silk factories and carpet factories. Many people make about U.S. $2 a day; that would be RMB12 (RMB are Yuan - the currency of China). Watching the work being done, you realize how lucky we really are not sitting for 10 hours a day hunched over a work bench doing this. Every meal had white rice and a selection of fried or boiled vegetables and meats.

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We never really knew what the meats were. We did eat a lot of white rice with soy sauce and watermelon. At another location they had large jars of snakes on the bar. Thank goodness for peanut butter and watermelon! Our journey continued with a flight back to Shanghai and a long, long bus trip to Suzhou (pronounced Sue-Joe). Suzhou is located in the Jiangsu Province and is in Eastern China. The city is located at the Southern end of the Yangtze River. The city dates back to 514 B.C. and is located on a mass of canals with stone bridges, pagodas and gardens. The gardens in Suzhou are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Suzhou is often called Venice of the East. Marco Polo was here during the Silk Trade days. In this city we spent hours visiting the canals and the local markets. The next city we visited was Hangzhou (pronounced HangJoe). This city is the largest city in the Zhehiang Province in Eastern China and has over 6 million people in it. It has very beautiful natural scenery and is south of Shanghai on the Yangtze River Delta. It is a major economic center. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site is in Hangzhou and is the West Lake. The lake is surrounded by hills, pagodas and cultural sites. It was fascinating to see this history combined with wind-surfers on the lake! The adventure “traveled” to Shanghai. This city seems like a mixture of old and science fiction. The skyline is the most exciting I have ever seen. With more than New York, the skyline has three thousand skyscrapers and a few thousand more in the works. The city has over 21 million people. There are also 12 metro train lines that include the Shanghai Maglev (magnetic levitation) train that runs at 260 miles an hour. I would definitely go back. I want to climb and run on more of the Great Wall of China. China got a new government in November, too. The new generations will continue to make changes in China I am sure, while my biggest concern about China is the environment. I hope human rights also continue to improve.


23

Friday, December 28, 2012 — Town Times

Oil pastel landscape, by Zach Taylor

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Obituary

Brenna Zettergren

Town Times — Friday, December 28, 2012

St. Luke’s Eldercare

Seniors (Continued from page 11)

The Middlefield Senior Center is located in the Midfered: 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. dlefield Community Center There is no cost for Durham at 405 Main Street. If you residents 60 and over. have any questions or would

like to sign up for any programs or for lunch (monthly menus can be picked up at the senior center or Town Hall) in the Senior Café (serving on Monday, Wednesday and Friday), contact Antoinette Astle at (860) 349-7121.

The Durham 60 Plus Club meets at the Durham Activity Center the second and fourth Monday of each month, September through June, at 1:30 p.m. The next meeting is Oct. 22 at 1:30 p.m and newcomers are most welcomed.

1270199

Brenna Sweeney Zettergren “Bean”, 5, of Durham, died Dec. 22, 2012, surrounded by her loving family after a courageous battle with leukemia. She was born on Aug. 6, 2007, a beloved daughter of Kevin A. and Jennifer Croteau Zettergren, of Durham. In addition to her parents, she is survived by her loving sisters, Bailey and Maura Zettergren; her maternal grandparents, Richard and Kathleen Croteau, of Durham; her paternal grandmother, Barbara Zettergren, of Clinton; her aunts, uncles and cousins; her dear friends and her beloved dog, Duncan. She was predeceased by her paternal grandfather, Jack Zettergren. Her family wishes to thank their cherished family and dedicated friends for their support and love. Brenna received loving care from The CT Hospice. Her family will forever be grateful to the wonderful team of angels at the Smilow Pediatric Cancer Clinic including doctors, nurses, child life department, receptionists, clowns and volunteers. Special love and thanks are extended to Dr. Debbie Chirnomas, Carolyn Demsky, Jill Azzarone and Charlotte Beals. Services were held Dec. 27, 2012 from the Wallingford Funeral Home, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Colman Church, Middlefield. Interment was in Mica Hill Cemetery in Durham. In lieu of flowers, gifts in her memory may be sent to the Brenna Zettergren Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o The Wallingford Funeral Home.

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Drinking and Driving: A Disaster Waiting to Happen When you head out to celebrate this New Year’s Eve, use your head. If you plan to drink alcohol, you can avoid a disaster by appointing a designated driver, calling a cab or using public transportation. Glazer Dental Associates 16 Main Street, Suite 303 Durham, CT

(860) 349-3368

Durham Healthmart Pharmacy 321 Main Street Durham, CT

Durham Auto Center 428 Main Street Durham, CT

(860) 349-2273

Micheli’s Unisex Salon and Middlefield Barber Shop 193 Strickland Road Middlefield, CT

(860) 349-8220

Perma Treat 74 Airline Drive Durham, CT

(860) 349-1133

Wild Wisteria 354 Main Street Durham, CT

Lino’s Market 472 Main Street Durham, CT

Town Times 11 Crown Street Meriden, CT

Perk On Main 6 Main Street Durham, CT

(860) 349-1550

(860) 349-1717

(203) 317-2313

(860) 349-5335

(860) 349-3478

Carolyn Adams Country Barn 352 Main Street Durham, CT

Durham Wine & Spirits 60 Main Street Durham, CT

(860) 349-1737

(860) 349-5646

Midstate Tractor 562 So. Main St. Middletown, CT

Dick’s Citgo 22 New Haven Rd. Durham, CT

(860) 347-2531

(860) 349-8644


Town Times Dec. 28, 2012