Page 1

Volume 20, Number 42

Serving Durham, Middlefield and Rockfall

Friday, Januar y 31, 2014

18th Taste of Durham this Saturday


By Mark Dionne Town Times

On Jan. 18, the Coginchaug Regional High School Music Department held “Under the Lights 2014,” a concert showcasing CRHS music groups. The evening featured performances by the Jazz Ensemble, the Show Choir and the a capella group No Refund. Several students belonged to multiple groups and dashed from one to the other between songs. The groups combined for the opening number “Blue Suede Shoes” and the closing number “Jet Set” from the musical “Catch Me If You Can.” In this photo, the male contingent of the Show Choir sings The Police’s “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.” Additional photo page 13. | (Mark Dionne/Town Times)

The Public Association of Library Supporters has been busy preparing to transform the Durham Public Library for the annual Taste of Durham. The food-and-wine tasting party will take place for the 18th time on Saturday, Feb. 1, 6:30 to 9 p.m. Library Board of Trustees President Jane Eriksen told the Town Times that planning for the event is “kind of a year round thing” but preparations ramp up in November. According to PALS volunteer Ona McLaughlin, 21 restaurants, chefs, caterers and wine-sellers are commit-

ted to the event. Cozy Corner Restaurant & Pizza, Lino’s Market and Caterers, Perk on Main, and Time Out Taverne are among the returning food options from Durham. Middletownbased Anoho Noodle House and Haveli of India are among other returning favorites. Sweet-tooth cravings can be satisfied at several different tables. Kim’s Cottage Confections and Tschudin Chocolates will offer chocolate and baked sweets. Those who prefer their sugar in ice cream form can visit Stone Cold Creamery. According to a PALS press See Taste / Page 20

Senior Center needs help with meal service If you’re a people-person, consider volunteering By Diana Carr

cialize,” said Joan Lombardo, Senior Center and Social Services director. “It’s a friendly place; if Seniors in the lunch program at the Middlefield people don’t know you, they soon will. And if Senior Center get more than a well-balanced meal. someone who is a regular doesn’t show up, we They get a warm and nurturing environment that call to make sure they’re alright. It’s also nice for their adult children who live out of state, because lets them know people care. “As they get older and maybe lose a spouse, they they know their parent is taking care of himself come not only for the hot meal, but also to so- or herself.” Lunch for seniors (who must be 60 or older) is Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at noon, “It’s the people who make the with a suggested donation of $2. Reservations program. And it’s the best lunch for should be made at least 24 hours beforehand, the best price in town. More people so that enough food can be ordered. Seniors can drop in, but meals will be served first to those should come.” Special to Town Times

— Joan Lombardo, Senior Center and Social Services director.

See Meals / Page 5

Lunch time at the Senior Center.

A2 Friday, January 31, 2014

Town Times |

Author to discuss state’s food and wine history

School building options expected to ‘narrow’, planners say DRA would not address the HOT schools in its presentations, leaving that topic as a BOE and community consideration. Superintendent of Schools Kathryn Veronesi suggested ways of contacting parents to increase attendance for the Feb 19 meeting and to allay fears. Saying she hoped this would be seen more as an opportunity than a threat, Flanagan said, “Yes, I understand that it’s scary but I really believe that we can come out of this as a stronger, better, more efficient organization that is more on task on our goals of enriching the student experience in District 13.”

By Charles Kreutzkamp Town Times

L ev i Co e L i b ra r y i n Middlefield will host Eric Lehman, co-author of A History of Connecticut Food and A History of Connecticut Wine, Saturday, Feb. 8. Those who would like to attend are encouraged to register by calling the library or stopping by. “We’re always excited to bring in authors, especially Connecticut authors, and to offer programs on a variety of subjects and interests,” Levi Coe Library Director Loren Webber said.

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Lehman said he and coauthor Amy Nawrocki wrote the books because “We both love our state and feel it is often under-appreciated.” A History of Connecticut Food is part history book, part recipe book. “Over the years we read a number of food history books that did not include recipes, and thought that was really strange, as if they are talking about food in a vacuum,” Lehman said. By combining history with recipes, Lehman has created a history you can taste.


At it s re g u l a r me eting on Jan. 22 at Memorial Middle School, the Board of Education announced the scheduling of the last in a series of three public workshop meetings to look at building use in the face of declining enrollment. The workshop again will be conducted by architectural and educational planners from Drummey Rosane Anderson, Inc., the firm responsible for the first two meetings and tapped to produce recommendations for the BOE. The meeting will take place Feb. 19, from 7 to 9 p.m., in the Coginchuag Regiona l Hig h School auditorium. During the first meetings, DRA focused on gathering feedback from community members. At the second meeting, Dec. 11, DRA produced a handful of plans that showed potential ways to close one or more schools within the district, but emphasized that the plans are still in flux and not endorsed. BOE member Bob Fulton, who ch a i rs t he ad-hoc School Utilization Review Committee, said he expects two things emphasized at the upcoming meeting. DRA will present a “narrowing of the options” and a public review of the demographic study previously commissioned by the BOE. That study, and its conclusion that the district will face declining enrollment, has been referred to repeatedly by BOE members and DRA planners as the reason or opportunity for school reconfiguration. BOE chair Kerrie Flanagan called demographics the “driving factor” of the utilization study. Flanagan also noted that it has been about two years since the study. With updated data, Flanagan said, “We have not seen anything to indicate that the population is going any way other than where we thought.” Members of the BOE met

with DRA, Jan. 17, to review community feedback and make sure all the planners heard the same feedback. At the first meeting, Oct. 29, an audience consisting of many parents and teachers stated their desire to maintain both the Integrated Day a nd Contempora r y programs. In the wake of the second meeting, which revealed several plans closing John Lyman Elementary School where the ID program begins, many parents contacted the BOE to push for keeping a school dedicated to the ID program open at the elementary level. Addressing the question of housing the programs together or in separate buildings, Fulton said, “I think we’ll probably see three options and all of them will have both possibilities.” Du ri ng public comment, John Lyman Parents Association President Christine Gerardi said that she has been getting feedback concerning Lyman’s status as a Higher Order Thinking, or HOT, school. Gerardi asked if that would be part of DRA’s considerations. Flanagan answered that the issue of HOT schools was brought to DRA, whose members appeared unfamiliar with the HOT program at the Dec. 11 meeting. Accordi ng to Fla naga n ,


By Mark Dionne

Town Times


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Town Times |

Friday, January 31, 2014

Selectmen review town purchasing, finances By Mark Dionne Town Times

As they are required to do on a yearly basis, the Durham Board of Selectmen concluded a review of the town’s procurement policy, or the rules governing how the town purchases goods and services. As they have at several recent BOS meetings, the selectmen discussed potential issues with the purchasing methods. No changes were made to the policy. Roger Kleeman, of Durham, had offered several suggestions, both in writing and at recent meetings. Kleeman, a former candidate for first selectman and a member of Durham’s Compensation Review/Personnel Policy Board, was not in attendance. One of Kleeman’s suggestions was to examine the repeated purchase of low priced items without going

policy, but to monitor the purchases. The selectman allowed the procurement policy to stand. “It’s a valid point, but it also seems to me that the system is working as it should,” selectman Steve Levy said. Another suggestion from Kleeman was to lower the threshold for purchases requiring a purchase order, currently at $500. According to Francis, Malavasi described this potential change as “cumbersome.” Francis also presented an update on town finances, saying they were on track, with no surprises. “Our revenues are keeping up with expenditures, which allows us to meet our obligations,” said Francis, who added that Durham might be over budget in materials in future updates. The town, according to Francis, has used more road salt than projected.

out to bid. A single purchase of small items, such as t-shirts, or a one-time use of professional services, such as a plumber or a large machine operator, can be small enough that the town is not required to go out to bid. “At the end of the year, when you take that in the aggregate, you might find that you’re paying a contractor or vendor a decent amount of money,” First Selectman Laura Francis said. Francis asked Durham’s Finance Director, Mary Jane Malavasi, to review how other towns handle this issue. Malavasi discovered that the methods used by other towns vary. Some towns use “preferred vendors” who have submitted a bid for the year. Others hire on an as-needed basis. Malavasi’s recommendation was not to amend the


Cancer patients in need of a lift in Middlesex County

The American Cancer Society is looking for volunteers to drive patients to treatment. In a press release, the organization stated: “As we welcome in 2014, the American Cancer Society believes cancer patients throughout Middlesex County may be at risk of missing medical care. There is currently a need in this area for drivers for the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery program.” The American Cancer Society Road to Recovery program offers transportation to and from treatment for people who have cancer and do not have a ride or are unable to drive themselves. The American Cancer Society is in need of volunteer drivers to donate their time and resources to take patients to their life-saving treatments and back home again. These volunteers don’t

only provide transportation, but also offer encouragement and support to the patients. Volunteer drivers for the Road to Recovery program must have a valid driver’s license for the state where they live. They must also have a safe, reliable vehicle and proof of automobile insurance. Volunteers must have a good driving history and be in good health. Once passing a background check, a volunteer will receive proper training from the American Cancer Society. Drivers are asked to volunteer for at least one hour, one day, once a month. The society matches drivers’ availability and geography with the needs of patients who call. Residents who are interested in volunteering or know of someone who may benefit from this free service are asked to call the American Cancer Society at (800) 227-2345.


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A4 Friday, January 31, 2014

Town Times |

Seniors Senior Happenings

Middlefield senior events

The Middlefield Senior Center, 405 Main St., has scheduled the following events: Monday, Feb. 3 at 1 p.m. – Senior Center Advisory Board Meeting at the Community Center.

SINGLES DANCE Saturday, February 1 st

8:00 PM - 12:30 AM

Wednesday, Feb. 5 from 1 to 2 p.m. - Cooking Demonstration by Laura Falt from Waters Edge. Friday, Feb. 14- No Need for a Valentine - Valentine’s Day Party, 1 p.m. Sharing and Valentine’s Day and history. Valentine’s for everyone. Wear red. Senior Exercise Class meets every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning at 7:45 a.m. Class is free to those 60 years of age and older. (No class on President’s Day, Monday, Feb. 17.) Friday, Feb. 28, at 1:00 – Fe b r u a r y B i r t h d a y Celebration to celebrate February Birthdays.

Volunteer opportunity

The Middlefield Senior Center is looking for volunteer servers for the lunch program. Lunch is served Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon. Volunteers usually work in pairs (single persons will be paired with another volunteer) for approximately two and a half



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hours. Training and instruc- Newport Slots, Harbor Cruise. tion is provided. Sunday, Aug. 17 through 23 For more information and to volunteer, call the Senior - Mackinac Island. Thursday, Sept. 4 - Hidden Center at (860) 349-7121. Treasurers of New England. Tuesday, Oct. 14 - Jimmy Scrabble The Middlefield Senior Sturr at the Log Cabin. For more information, call Center has a Scrabble game. An interested person is look- (860) 346-0724. ing for a Scrabble partner. Middlefield/Durham For more information, call Senior Bus (860) 349-7121. The Senior Center has a 17 passenger bus that trans60+ Club day trips The 60+ Club has sched- ports seniors to out of county uled the following day trips. doctors’ appointments and Wednesday, March 12 - twice a week trips. The bus Ronan Tynan of the Irish is free; participants pay for tenors at Venus De Milo, their lunch. To reserve a spot on the Swansea Mass. Thursday, April 10 - bus, call (860) 347-5661. For more information, call Newport Playhouse $ Cabaret “My Husbands Wild Desires”. the Senior Center at (860) Wednesday, May 28 - 349-7121. Frankie Valli and 4 Seasons Tribute at the Aqua Turf. Dial-A-Ride Wednesday, June 11 - Doris Dial-A-Ride will transport Duke Estate walking tour. seniors to doctor appointTuesday, July 8 - All You ments within Middlesex Can Eat Lobster at Delaney County. It is necessary to be House. Registered with Dial-A-Ride Wednesday, July 23 - is required. Na u t i c a l New p o r t I n c A fee is charged. The Dial-A-Ride service operates Monday-Friday, 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call Dial-A-Ride (MAT) at (860) 347-3313.


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AARP tax aide

AARP offers free tax-aide to Durham and Middlefield low and moderate income taxpayers, especially those 60 and older. The program is scheduled for Feb. 4 through April 7, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Middlefield Community Center, 405 Main St., by appointment. If tax counselors do not have adequate knowledge or a return is too complex, participants may need to seek another qualified counselor or paid tax assistance. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Joan at (860) 349-7121.

Office hours and senior lunch The Senior Center office hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch is served on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at noon. Make a reservation at least one day in advance, by visiting the Senior Center or call (860) 349-7121.

Senior Center Programs The Senior Center offers a knitting group, a card group, a bridge group, an exercise group, a yoga group.

Legal Notice Town of Durham Board of Assessment Appeals


A free presentation “Stroke - Im p roving O utco m e s Through Action” is scheduled for Monday, March 17, 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, call (860) 349-3153.


Stroke program

The Durham Board of Assessment Appeals will schedule hearings regarding real property on Thursday, March 13, 2014, beginning at 7:00 p.m. and on Saturday, March 15, 2014 beginning at 9:00 a.m. Meetings will be held in the second floor conference room at the Durham Town Hall, 30 Town House Road, Durham, Connecticut. To be heard, taxpayers must submit a completed application for appeal to the Board of Assessment Appeals at the Durham Town Hall on or before February 20, 2014. Petition forms are available at the town hall and on the town website - www.

Town Times |

Friday, January 31, 2014


Outstanding Senior Volunteer search

From Page 1

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The Salute to Senior Service program is accepting nominations for its outstanding senior volunteer. The award recognizes the contributions of adults, age 65 and older, who give at least 15 hours a month of volunteer service to charitable causes. Nominations will be accepted through March 1, at SalutetoSeniorService. com. State winners will be determined by popular vote. A panel of senior care experts will then select a national Salute to Senior S er vice wi nner from among the state honorees. Home Instead, Inc., sponsor of the contest, will donate $500 to each of the state winners’ des-

Middlefield Senior Center volunteer servers Catherine Carlson and Donald Ginter. | (Submitted)

ignated and approved nonprofit organizations. The selected volunteers stories will be shared online on the Salute to Senior Service Wall of Fame. In addition, $5,000 will be donated to the national winner’s designated and approved nonprofit charity. To complete and submit an online nomination form for a senior age 65 or older, who volunteers at least 15 hours a month, and to view the contest’s official rules, visit SalutetoSeniorService. com. Completed nomination forms can also be mailed to Salute to Senior Service, P.O. Box 285, Bellevue, NE 68005.

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with reservations. All seniors are welcome, and there is no criteria for income. CW Resources (of New Britain), supplies, cooks and delivers the meals, which are reimbursed by the federal government. There are usually 10 regulars who come for the lunches, which are served by two volunteers. Attendees can look forward to a hot nutritious meal consisting of a protein, a starch, a vegetable, a fruit, and milk. The Senior Center is currently in need of two sets, or four, volunteers to serve lunch for one day a month or so, for two and a half hours. “A good server,” Lombardo said, “is a people person, one who particularly likes being with seniors.” The volunteers meet the driver from CW Resources and bring in the meals, which are then put in warmers; serve the meals; and clean up afterwards. One hour of training by CW Resources is required, where the volunteers learn about sanitation, food safety, and clean-up procedures. (Volunteers must wear hair nets and gloves when handling food; food must be kept at 165 degrees; disposable plates, cups, and cutlery are used; if someone is sick, they are not to come in; for the sake of sanitation, no sponges are used, but rather disposable cleaning materials. “The people who attend and the volunteer servers are wonderful,” Lombardo said. “It’s the people who make the program. And it’s the best lunch for the best price in town. More people should come.” Joyce Dowling, of Middlefield, has been a happy server since 2005. “I like serving this population,” she said. “It’s a way for me to give back to my community. A lot of these seniors are alone now, and in a lot of ways they don’t get the recognition they need. They have stories and jokes to tell, they have endured


A6 Friday, January 31, 2014

Town Times |

Hooked on rocks, crystals and minerals By Diana Carr

Special to Town Times

A Durham couple who has been collecting rocks and minerals for years explained, in a recent interview with Town Times, how their passion for mining earth’s elemental matter came about. “It started out as my hobby,” Maria Nilson said. “When I got interested — because of a friend’s enthusiasm — I couldn’t understand why my husband Peter, working outside all those years, never picked up a rock.” Eventually, though, her husband came to share her passion. “As soon as I went out the first day, I was hooked,” Peter said. “It’s hard work, though. We carry a lot of heavy rocks back to the car, and then I break them open with a sledge hammer to see if there’s a crystal inside. You assess the possibility of a crystal being inside according to where the rock came from. I have to break open a lot of them to find something good. And sometimes it’s dangerous. There are high cliffs, and rocks overhead, and the possibility of landslides. When we’re in an old mine shaft, there’s the possibility of rot-


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Peter and Maria Nilson, of Durham, with their collection of rocks and crystals. | (Diana Carr/Special to Town Times)

H.O.D. 7

ting timbers collapsing.” Danger and exhaustion aside, they have reveled in their hobby for many years,

mining rocks in places such as Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, California, and

Montana. They find them in quarries, old mines, road cuts, and when they are hiking in the woods. And they find them in pegmatites. “A pegmatite can be found anywhere,” Peter said, “including old mines, and can be half the size of a room or many acres. It’s made up of quartz, feldspar (which is used to make ceramics), and mica. I like digging in them the best because you have a better chance of finding something. “These rocks were pushed up through the earth a couple of million years ago, and crystals formed in them when they cooled. The longer it takes for the rock to cool, the more different crystals form. The more time the crystals have to develop, the larger they get. And the larger they get, the more imperfections they have, and the more easily they fracture.” See Crystals / Page 7

Town Times |

Friday, January 31, 2014

Library Briefs Durham Public Library Programs for Kids: Bouncing Babies (birth to crawling). Mondays at 11 a.m. Drop in. Mother Goose Storytime (18 to 30 months). Mondays at 10:15 a.m. Drop in. Time for Tots (2 ½ to 3 ½ years). Wednesdays at 10:15 a.m. Drop in. Preschool Storytime (3 ½ to 5 years). Tuesdays at 10:15 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Drop in. Bedtime Storytime (ages 2 to 5 years). Mondays at 6:30 p.m. Drop in. Story Magic (Grades K to 2). Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. Drop in. Kids in the Kitchen (8 to 11 years). Wednesdays, Feb. 5 and 12 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Observe, learn, try, saute, boil, bake, mix, fry taste, enjoy. LEGO Club (6 to 12 years). Thursday, Feb. 13, 6:30 p.m. Drop in. Lunch Bunch Book Discussion (grades 4 to 6 ). Saturday, Feb. 15, 12:30 p.m.

Bring lunch, dessert provided. Discuss “Dead End in Norvelt” by Jack Gantos. Registration required. Programs for Young Adults: Teen Adv isor y Group (ages 12 to 18). Saturday, Feb. 1, 11 a.m. Discussion on how to improve the library for young adults. A f ter school mov ie Movie to be a n nounced (ages 13 to 18) Wednesday, Feb. 5, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Origami (ages 10 to 18). Thursday, Feb. 6, 4 to 5 p.m. Learn the art of paper folding. Register at the desk or call (860) 349-9544. A f ter school mov ie Movie to be a n nounced (ages 13 to 18) Wednesday, Feb. 12, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Va l e n t i n e ’ s M u r d e r Mystery (ages 1 2 to 18). Saturday, Feb. 15, 2 to 4 p.m. Collect evidence, compare fingerprints, solve the murder. Register at the library or call (860) 349-9544. A f ter school mov ie Movie to be a n nounced (ages 13 to 18) Wednesday,


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Levi E. Coe Library Library hours are: Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; closed Fridays. The library is scheduled to be closed Monday, Jan. 20 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Program Saturday, Feb. 8, at 1 p.m. - Meet Eric D. Lehman, author of “A History of Connecticut Food: A Proud Trad it ion of P udd i n g s , C l a m b a k e s & S te a m e d Cheesebu rgers” a nd “A H i stor y of Con nec t ic ut Wine: Vineyard in Your Backyard” at the Levi E. Coe Library. For more information and to register, call (860) 3493857 or stop by the library.

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they didn’t want to go out with their parents.” Peter also enjoys the satisfaction of finding a crystal. “It’s not easy,” he said. ‘Sometimes we would have to go back to a mine three or four times before we found the best place to go. You just have to keep going. “I can look at those rocks and remember the day we found them and where. We’ve got lots of memories.”


Some crystals are poisonous due to being radioactive, or containing arsenic. The Nilsons were delighted to obtain a Ball-Pene Mica, which they got from a mine in Branchville, Conn., that is now closed. “We were told that was the only place in the world it was found,” Peter said. “We have since read that it’s been found in a couple of other places.” The couple is not out collecting rocks and minerals quite so much these days, because a lot of them have shopping centers or golf courses on top of them, or are on private property. But their considerable collection and their

memories give them much joy. Maria has had some of the crystals made into jewelry, and delights in knowing that her jewelry didn’t come from a store, that she and her husband found that crystal. And she enjoys the challenge of “finding something good.” They both have fond memories of days spent rock-collecting with their children when they were young, “until they reached an age when


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A8 Friday, January 31, 2014

Town Times |


Letters to the Editor Old town charm lacking

To the editor: After reading the article by Mark Dionne regarding the Main Street makeover, I, again, lament the fact that Durham does not have the commercial charm that Chester, Essex, Guilford and Branford, to mention a few, have, which initiates holiday strolls or just plain poking around. Those towns offer antique shops, craft shops, galleries, etc. Yes, we have several strip malls, which are not conducive to walks around the green area. It’s just not the same as walk-


ing from place to place. I wish we had several shops around the green where neighbors could meet and shop. I think it would make Durham more of a place to go to experience old town charm. Also, perhaps the town could give small shops a big break on taxes to get started. I just want Durham to be “warmer” and inviting. Maybe give Main Street residents license to open small shops by their porches. I remember the little variety shop on the corner of Maiden Lane. Janet Shea Rea Durham

Grace Lutheran Preschool 1055 Randolph Road, Middletown

A transitional program to prepare for Kindergarten

Open House Feb. 1st 10am-12 Noon (Snow Date Feb. 8th)


Licensed, Christian program for children ages 2-5. Early drop-off and Extended Day options for ages 3-5. Summer Program for ages 3-6


Celebrating Our 27th Year!

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

Groundhog fact and fancy marks winter midpoint We’re just about half way to spring and we’ve done a little research to bring you a few facts and a bit of lore about an observance that marks this passage – Groundhog Day — celebrated Feb. 2, a Sunday, this year. According to the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, wildlife division, woodchucks, also called groundhogs are common throughout Connecticut. They are rodents, related to mice, squirrels, porcupines and beavers. When the early settlers arrived in this country, most of Connecticut was forested land. Woodchucks lived in the scattered forest openings. As land was cleared for farms, this highly adaptable animal also found suitable habitat in the fields and along the forest edge. The new habitat actually provided a more reliable source of food and the woodchuck is more abundant now than it was during Colonial times. The woodchuck’s range extends from eastern Alaska, through much of Canada, into eastern United States south to northern Georgia. They can emit a shrill whistle when alarmed, followed by a chattering “tchuck, tchuck” sound. Groundhog Day marks the midway point between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox. It’s also known as the Christian holiday of Candlemas Day, a day of purification and candle processions. Pagan’s called it Imbolc, a celebration related to fertility and weather divination. St. Brigid’s Day is celebrated on Feb. 1, an Irish saint and also a Celtic fertility goddess, an early Christian merger of those two female identities. The midpoint of winter has long roots and many mystical

A woodchuck, also known a groundhog, scurries across a backyard in Durham. | (Diana Carr / Special to Town Times) associations in human history. In parts of Europe, it was the hedgehog that carried the honor as a bearer of weather divination. In Germany, the badger was said to have the power to predict the coming of spring and ultimately when to plant crops. Many German immigrants settled in Pennsylvania and likely brought this tradition with them. As there weren’t many badgers in Pennsylvania the groundhog made a good substitute. In the United States, Groundhog Day has become a popular fun, unofficial holiday centered on the idea of the critter coming out of its home to predict the weather – an early or late start to spring depending on whether or not the critter sees his shadow. If he sees his shadow he’s said to be frightened by it and will return to its burrow, indicating that there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow, then spring is on the way. However, the end result can seem quite vague. The current version of

Groundhog Day was established in this country in 1887 and its popularity remains strong. Clubs, dinners, parties, websites and more are devoted to celebrating the groundhog’s emergence and the march into spring. Canada also recognizes Groundhog’s Day. Punxsutawney Phil, at his big party at Gobbler’s Knob is not the sole celebration, just one of the better publicized ones. The groundhog is also known as a marmot, whistle-pig, or in some areas land-beaver. It belongs to the family Sciuridae, which includes large ground squirrels. The average groundhog is 20 inches long and weighs from 12 to 15 pounds. They have coarse gray fur, with brown or dull red highlights. They have short ears, a short tail, short legs, are fast and also have strong jaws. A groundhog eats greens, fruits, and vegetables. They don’t need much water, most of their required liqSee Groundhog / Page 15

Town Times |

Friday, January 31, 2014

Government Meetings Durham government calendar (Unless otherwise indicated, all meetings are held in the Durham Library. Check the town website at for updates.) Tuesday, Feb. 4 Town Green Tree Design Committee, Town Hall, 5 p.m. Clean Energy & Sustainability Task Force, Library, 6:30 p.m. Compensation Review/ Personnel Policy Board, Town Hall, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5 Planning & Zoning, Library, 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10 Board of Selectman Budget Meeting, Town Hall 5 p.m. Board of Selectman, Town Hall, 7 p.m. Inland/Wetlands, Town Hall, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11 Conservation Commission, Library, 7 p.m. Library Board of Trustees, Library, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12 Board of Education, Strong School, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13 Zoning Board of Appeals, Town Hall, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18 Town Green Tree Design Committee, Town Hall, 5 p.m. Board of Finance, Town Hall, 6:30 p.m. Agriculture Commission, Town Hall, 7 p.m. Board of Selectman Budget Meeting, Town Hall, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19 Planning and Zoning, Library, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 20 Durham Middlefield Interlocal Agreement Advisory Board, Middlefield Community Center, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25 Ethic’s Commission, Library, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26 Board of Education Student Achievement, Central Office, 135 Pickett Lane, 9 a.m. Senior Citizen Board, Durham Activity Center, 1 p.m. Board of Education, Strong School, 7:30 p.m.

Middlefield government calendar (Unless otherwise indicated, all meetings are held in the Community Center.) Monday, Feb. 3 Board of Selectman, 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6 Park and Recreation Department, 6:30 p.m. Economic Development Commission, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12 Planning & Zoning, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18 Board of Selectman, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19 Inland/Wetlands, 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20 Board of Finance, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25 Zoning Board of Appeals, 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27 Board of Assessment Appeals, 3 p.m. Middlefield Housing Authority, 3 p.m.

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Crockpot centerpiece of family dinners By Amy Flory

Special to Town Times

Every Thursday, my mot her-in-law, t h ree sisters-in-law, and I make Amy Flory the same slow cooker recipe. We call it Crock Pot Thursday, and it is our way of sharing a family meal despite some 3,000 miles separating us. I love Crock Pot Thursday. Since we members take turns choosing the recipe, the task of meal planning is taken out of my hands on four out of five Thursdays, and often the recipe is something outside of my regular rotation. My husband and children appreciate the variation, and I like that there is often enough left over to be Friday’s dinner, as well. We share our feedback, including any variations or modifications we have made to the original recipe, and document those changes when we add the

recipe to our regular rotation. Surprisingly, after almost two years of Crock Pot Thursdays, we’ve only had a few duds, which must be, in some part, a nod to the ease of slow cooking. Slow cooking is a wonderful way to prepa re meals, especially this time of year. There is nothing like the delicious smells from a slow cooked meal to make a cold, dark evening cozier, and between hearty stews and tender roasts, slow cooked meals warm the body and the soul. Slow cookers are convenient, too. Most recipes take very little preparation, and can be thrown together quickly in the morning and enjoyed at dinnertime, or as we like to call it around here, “Mooom, I’m soooo hungry” o’clock. My favorite meals to prepare in my Crock Pot are: soup, chili, roasts, and shredded pork or chicken to be used in a variety of dishes. My six-year-old son’s favorite Crock Pot meal is this Corn Chowder recipe , mod i f ied from It

Taste of Durham The 18th annual Taste of Durham is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 1, 6:30 to 9 p.m., at the Durham Public Library. Reservations are required and may be made at the library. A fee is charged. The event features numerous vendors, offering food, confections, wine and beer tasting, ice cream, coffee, desserts and more. Entertainment is planned. The Taste of Durham is for adults only. The fee includes unlimited food tasting as well as three servings from the bar. The event will be held, regardless of the weather.

Chamber choir concert The New England Chamber Choir is scheduled to present the Stabat Mater of Giovanni Pergolesi on Sunday, Feb. 16, 4 p.m., at the Church of the Epiphany, 196 Main St. The 12-movement piece, written for devotional use on Good Friday, describes the sorrows of Mary as she watches Jesus die on the cross. It is written for an ensemble of women’s voices. The concert is free and open to the public. A freewill offering will be accepted. For more information, call (860) 663-2703 or visit

is terribly easy and perfect for a cold winter day!

Slow Cooker Corn Chowder

Ingredients • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced • 1 can cream corn • 1 can whole kernel corn • 2 cups chicken broth • 10 oz. bacon, fried and chopped • 1 small onion, diced • 1/4 cup butter • 2 cups half and half Instructions 1. Place potatoes, both cans of corn, chicken broth, bacon, and onions into the slow cooker. 2. Cook on low for 7-8 hours. 3. Mash the mixture to your desired consistency, and add the butter and half and half. 4. Cook for an additional 30 minutes on high. You can see the entire Crock Pot Thursday collection, along with feedback from all of the participating members at crock-pot-thursday.

Submissions The Town Times welcomes submissions regarding upcoming community events. These brief items run free of charge. We do our best to run a submission at least one time, however, we cannot guarantee a submission will be published on a specific date and content may be edited. Send submissions to or contact Marsha at (203) 317-2256. If you have specific requirements contact your sales representative at (203) 317-2313.

To advertise please call Joy Boone at 203-317-2313.

A10 Friday, January 31, 2014

Town Times |


At the Strong School concert on Jan. 23, the eighth grade band gets ready to play while band director Steve Fitzgerald expertly stalls for time. | (Mark Dionne/Town Times)

School Briefs Eighth grade parents meeting


President’s list

Elon University, North Carolina - Kari Garvy of Coginchaug Regional High Durham. School has scheduled an orientation meeting for parents Dean’s list of eighth grade students entering the high school in the Pratt Institute, New York fall of 2014. The meeting is - Emily Brown of Middlefield. scheduled for Thursday, Feb. Roger Williams 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the school University, Rhode Island auditorium. An overview of Julia Giancola of Durham. the course selection process U n ive r s i t y o f New will be discussed along with Hampshire - Evan Rand of an opportunity to meet with Middlefield. department heads. Snow date Western Connecticut is Thursday, Feb. 13. State University - Charlotte

ORTHODONTICS Dr. John Conroy Dr.Doug John Conroy Dr. H. MacGilpin

Dabrowski, Mallory Figoras of Durham. W i l k e s U n i v e r s i t y, Pennsylvania - Paige Trusty of Durham.

Scholarship 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 www. Deadline is Monday, March 31. For more information, call (860) 277-3913.

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Brian Blake of Middlefield recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He was the 41st scout from Troop 33 in Middlefield to earn the Eagle rank. Blake’s Eagle project was the refurbishment of the flag pole at the Old North Burying Ground on Jackson Hill Road. In addition, a pathway was created for veterans to have easier access to the flag pole for Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies. As with all Eagle projects, he was helped by members of Troop 33 and the community.

Town Times |

Friday, January 31, 2014


Traci Dalton

Carole Lynne Pearson

MIDDLEFIELD — Traci Dalton, of Middlefield, died Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, at the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven. By her side were her husband, Doug Dischino; her children, Lindley Donecker and Brittney Dalton; and Lindley’s husband, Daniel. She was 57. After graduating from the State University of New York at Cortland in 1978 with a major in biology and health science, Traci joined Bristol Laboratories in Syracuse. She subsequently transferred to Wallingford. Over the course of her career, she held a variety of positions, retiring as an Associate Director of Global Quality and Regulatory Compliance after 33 years with Bristol-Myers Squibb. Traci was born in Corvallis, Ore., and graduated from Liverpool High School, a suburb of Syracuse, in 1974. She was a member of the track and swim teams, captain of the gymnastics team, and an Onondaga County and Section III champion in vaulting. Through her later years at Liverpool High School and while at SUNY Cortland, she spent summers as a lifeguard. In 1976, she became the first female chief lifeguard at a state park in New York. Traci lived her life with an adventurous spirit and unlimited energy. She loved the outdoors. Everything that she put her mind to was done with zeal: downhill and cross country skiing, swimming, bicycling, scuba diving, roller blading, and hiking. She and her husband hiked extensively on Connecticut’s Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System. She was a cat lover and cared for many stray cats. She was also an avid gardener. Throughout her six-year battle with cancer, Traci was determined to remain active. Four years into the ordeal, she and her daughter Brittney hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, stayed overnight at the Phantom Ranch Lodge and then hiked out the next day. During her last two years and while on two different clinical trials, she and her husband traveled to Scotland, New Zealand and Norway, where they crossed the Arctic Circle, organizing their trips around treatments and procedures. More recently, no matter how she felt, Traci made sure to spend time being with and supporting Lindley, Brittney and Doug. She was devoted to her granddaughter, Kayla and grandson, Logan. When health permitted, she traveled to Apex, N.C., to be with them. Later, Skyping and video emails were a daily event. In addition to Doug; Lindley, Daniel, Kayla and Logan; and Brittney, of St. Louis, Missouri; Traci is survived by her parents, Ron and Jan (Bogart) Dalton; her sister, Leslie Katz; brother-in-law, Mitchell; and nieces, Rebecca and Dana; all of Liverpool, N.Y. A memorial service to celebrate Traci’s life will be held at the Middlefield Federated Church, 402 Main Street, in Middlefield on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 11 a.m. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made in honor of Traci’s life to the Termer Center for Targeted Therapies at Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit St., Boston, MA 02114, Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, 20 York Street, New Haven, CT 06510 or the Connecticut Forest and Park Association, 16 Meriden Road, Rockfall, CT 06481. Doolittle Funeral Home in Middletown is handling the arrangements. To share memories or send condolences to the family, please visit

MIDDLETOWN — With broken hearts we announce the passing of Carole Lynne Pearson, “Gigi”, “CP”, 66, of Middletown on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, following a very brief illness. She was born April 1, 1947, and was the daughter of Carolyn Adams, of Middletown, the late Donald Pearson, and her late step-father Allan Adams. Gigi was a loving soul, beautiful inside and out. She grew up in Middlefield at the Lyman Farm and later moved with her family to Durham graduating from Durham High School. Gigi lived in many places throughout the years always finding her way home to family. She made long lasting friendships in Norwood, Mass., and summered with those same friends yearly in Newport, R.I., before eventually moving there full time. She also lived for a time in Denver, N.C., and traveled the world spending seasons in Anguilla. Gigi had a discerning eye for fashion and jewelry becoming a certified gemologist. She owned a jewelry store, “Gigi’s Touch”, in Charlestown, R.I. and worked in JCPenney’s fine jewelry in Connecticut and North Carolina for several years winning numerous sales awards. She also worked in her mother’s furniture business, Carolyn Adams Country Barn. Besides her mother, she is survived by two brothers, Ken Pearson and his wife, Marilyn, of Durham, Daniel Pearson and his wife, Gail, of Northford; three sisters, Donna Noonan, of Durham and Middletown, Alana Adams, of Durham, and Belinda Adams, of New Smyrna Beach, Fla.; several aunts, uncles, cousins; nieces, nephews; great-nieces and nephews; her dog Rocko. Her last wish was for her friends to know how much she truly loved them. Sleep peacefully our loving angel. Funeral services were held on Wednesday, Jan. 22, at the United Churches of Durham followed by burial in the family plot in Mica Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the CT Humane Society, 701 Russell Road, Newington, CT 06111 or to Help Willy’s Friends P.O. Box 556 Durham, CT 06422.

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Historical Society seeks veterans The Durham Historical Society is looking for veterans from Durham who would be interested in being interviewed about their experiences in the service. The goal of the project is to record the oral history from these men and women and eventually publish these interviews in a book documenting Durham’s involvement in all wars. All video and/or audio recordings would also be available to the public at the historical society. Veterans can be native to Durham or currently living in town and could have served at any point (World War II to the present). Family members of a deceased veteran are welcome to tell their story. The Historical Society is also looking for volunteers who would like to conduct interviews, edit video, or participate in other ways. For more information, to participate or volunteer, contact Sarah Atwell at (860) 716-5497 or satwell@wesleyan. edu.

Author Lobster Roll, and hopes that in Middletown.” Those who attend the perhaps his book has done Connecticut was the birth- something to encourage that. event at Levi Coe will learn When Lehman visits the “how to make steamed place of the hot lobster roll, steamed cheeseburgers, and Levi Coe Library, he will be cheeseburgers at home withthe thin crust New Haven minutes away from the birth- out spending $400 on a spestyle pizza. “Some would say place of the steamed cheese- cial oven,” Lehman said. we invented the best pizza, burger, “right down the road if not the original article,” Lehman said. New Haven also may have invented the hamburger, and although that is up for deCannot be combined with any other offers or promotions. Exp. 1/31/14. bate, Louis’ Lunch is “the oldest hamburger joint in the nation,” Lehman said. Lehman and Nawrocki’s favorite Connecticut food is the hot lobster roll, invented in Milford in the early 20th century. Lehman is pleased more people are starting to call it the Connecticut Hot 63187R

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A12 Friday, January 31, 2014

Town Times |


Tracking a child’s developmental milestones (StatePoint) It is natural for parents to be curious about how their children are developing mentally, emotionally

and physically. And it’s even natural for parents to experience some apprehension about what is “normal.” But

experts say that by better understanding your child, you can put the anxieties aside and help guide your children through each age and stage. “Each child grows at a different pace,” advises Dr. Lise Eliot, an early childhood mental development expert.

through non-verbal play, like building and sorting, and so the combination of verbal and spatial play is very powerful to children’s overall development.

Social Development

Relationships are at the core of all human learning. Babies look to their parents’ emotions and facial expressions to first learn about the world, and children continue to depend completely on other people to learn language and the rules of social engagement. Peers are an equally important part of the social equation. Th e f i f t h a n n u a l Language and “The fact is, we are a highly Healthy Family Funfest Cognition social species and the better is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 23, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 Language immersion is children learn to read other p.m., at the Aqua Turf absolutely key to children’s people’s feelings and desires Club, 556 Mulberry St., cognitive and emotional de- the easier time they will have Plantsville. Admission velopment. Children use learning and befriending othis free. words to express themselves, ers,” says Eliot. The event includes but also to learn about the h e a l t h i n fo r m at i o n , people and world around Physical and Motor speakers, screenings, them. Research has proven car safety seat inforthat early, two-way con- Skills mation, food samples, versations with babies and Children learn through and demonstrations. young children are critical play. And as every exhausted Activities include a petto speech and later reading parent knows, their play is ting zoo, obstacle course, development. extremely physical. Whether gym and Sloper Express “Look for interactive toys it is learning to crawl, run, Train. and books to expand your or build a toy tower, young For more information, child’s vocabulary and aware- children are constantly excall (860) 276-1966 or ness of letter sounds,” says ercising their gross and fine visit www.healthyfamiEliot. motor skills, honing brain At the same time, children pathways for smooth, purlearn important concepts poseful movement. “The more opportunity children have for physical exertion and exploration, the Use early morning better for the development of hours to deliver the both their minds and bodies,” Record-Journal! says Eliot. Wondering With a broader underIt’s an excellent way to supplement where to your income during early morning standing of child developearn that hours without interfering with day ment, parents can relax, have jobs, family and other obligations. fun and help their kids grow extra to their full potential. We are looking for delivery people

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“There are few hard and fast deadlines when it comes to a child’s milestones.” To ease parents’ concerns, Dr. Eliot worked with VTech, a world leader in age-appropriate and developmental stage-based electronic learning products for children, to create a set of developmental milestones. These milestones can be used as a guideline to help parents better understand a child’s development and determine which toys and games are appropriate for that stage. Here are three areas of development to consider:


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Town Times |

Friday, January 31, 2014



A concert by Coginchaug Regional High School Music Department, Jan. 18, featured the Show Choir shown here taking a bow. | (Mark Dionne/Town Times)

V.F. McNeil Insurance ing day-to-day operations, announced the promotion business development, and of Carmine allocation of resources. Possessing over 20 years Montuori to v i c e of experience in the insurance industry, his knowlpresident of t h e edge and strength in relationships is a major asBranfordbased in- set to Montuori has over 20 dependent years in the insurance insurance Carmine business. He joined V.F. agency. Montuori In h i s McNeil Insurance in 1996 new posi- as an account manager and tion, Montuori will work advanced to a Certified closely with the owner Insurance Counselor. Not and President of V.F. long after, he earned his McNeil Insurance, Daniel Connecticut Life & Health McNamara, on oversee- Insurance License.


Community supper


The Church of the Epiphany has scheduled a free community supper for Sunday, Feb. 9, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., in the church hall, 196 Main St. The main meal will be prepared by Epiphany’s parishioners. Members of Notre Dame Church will provide dessert.

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A14 Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday, Jan. 31

Town Times |

Calendar Tuesday, Feb. 4

Casual bridge - The Durham Activity Center, 350 Main St., schedules casual bridge every Friday at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome. For more information, call Jim Martinelli at (860) 346-6611.

Saturday, Feb. 1 Dudley Farm - Dudley Farm Winter Farmers’ Market is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 1, 9 a.m. to noon, in the Munger Barn, 2351 Durham Road, Guilford. Featured are baked goods, eggs, handmade art and crafts, honey and maple syrup, jams and jellies, naturally raised meat, pickles and craft vendors. For more information, call (860) 3493917 or visit dudleyfarm. com. Indoor track - CRHS at Shoreline Championship, Floyd Little Athletic center, 10 a.m.

Monday, Feb. 3 Girls basketball - CRHS vs. North Branford at CRHS, 7:30 p.m.

Dining fundraiser Coginchaug Basketball Club has scheduled a fundraiser for Tuesday, Feb. 4, 5 to 9 p.m. at Ninety Nine Restaurant, 914 North Colony Road, Wallingford. For more information and voucher, visit www. Boys basketball - CRHS vs. North Branford at CRHS, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 6 Girls basketball - CRHS vs. Valley Regional at CRHS, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 7 Boys basketball - CRHS vs. Valley Regional at CRHS, 7:30 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 10 Girls basketball - CRHS vs. Old Saybrook at CRHS, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 11 Boys basketball - CRHS vs. Old Saybrook at CRHS, 7:30 p.m.

Girls basketball - CRHS vs. Cromwell at Cromwell, 7 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 14

Tuesday, Feb. 18

Concert - The New England Chamber Choir is scheduled to present the Stabat Mater of Giovanni Pergolesi on Sunday, Feb.

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16, 4 p.m., at the Church of the Epiphany, 196 Main St. The concert is free and open to the public. A freewill offering will be accepted. For more information, call (860) 663-2703 or visit Monday, Feb. 17 Girls basketball - CRHS vs. Morgan at CRHS, 7:30 p.m.

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Town Times |

Friday, January 31, 2014


Tips for financial independence The New Year is a great time to make some positive changes in your financial life. While Americans are good at creating resolutions, they often find them difficult to keep. If your goal is to be financially independent, and it should be, you need to make some changes in 2014 that you’ll stick with for the rest of your life. Here are a few suggestions for small resolutions that can have a significant impact on your financial future: Spend less than you earn. If you take home $1,000 per week, you cannot spend more than $1,000 per week. That seems simple, but a survey released by Bankrate. com in 2013 found 76 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Resolve to live on a budget that’s below your means. You will never be able to out-earn your capacity to spend, so get your spending under control this year. Credit cards are a last resort. Spending less than you

earn will cause your savings to grow. The savings account will be there when the car breaks down or the washing machine goes out, so you don’t have to turn to credit to handle the emergency. Most Americans are not prepared financially for any type of unexpected financial burden. Your goal should be to have three to six months of living expenses set aside in a liquid account for emergencies. I nve st for f i na ncia l independence. This is not the same as saving for retirement. The goal here is to get to the point financially where you no longer have to work to support yourself. Set aside some of the money you’ve worked for today. Allow it to accumulate and grow so one day that money will be working for you. Start by controlling spending so you have money to save and invest. Continue the process until the return on your investments exceeds what you earn by working. Fi n a nci a l i ndependence gives you the freedom to choose to continue working, change jobs, work part-time

Careful planning can impact your financial future and help you keep more money in your wallet.

or not at all. It is the ultimate financial goal. Pay less in taxes. Anyone looking for a place to cut expenses might start with their own tax return. Too many Americans pay more taxes than they should. Take advantage of tax retirement accounts through work and health savings accounts, if they’re offered. There are tax credits available for children, higher education, dependent care and retirement savings. Many of these credits go unclaimed each year. Resolve to minimize your income taxes this year and put the savings into your new financial plan. Make a plan. This is especially true if you want to be financially independent. You need a short-term financial plan for controlling spending -- a budget. You also need a long-term

Groundhog dangers. They can be fierce can climb trees and are good fighters with enemies, which swimmers. (Sources of information inuid comes from dewy leaves. include man, dogs, coyote, They are clean creatures and foxes, bear, hawks and owls, clude, timetherefore less susceptible to bobcat, mink and weasels. and Connecticut disease that can plague other Although woodchucks are Department of Energy and primarily terrestrial, they Environmental Protection.) wildlife. Groundhogs are one of the few animals that really hibernate. By the end of October, most woodchucks have beg un t hei r wi nter sleep. They wake up slowly during February and March. Young Groundhogs are usually born Come join our fast growing team of contracted adult carriers who earn in mid-April or May, in litters up to $13,000.00 annually delivering newspapers for up to 2 hours in of four to nine babies called the early morning. kits or cobs. A groundhog’s life span is normally six to It is a great way to subsidize your annual income without interfering with eight years. your regular job or quality time at home. Woodchucks are excellent diggers and create complex If you are interested in being contracted on a route or being a burrow systems, with at least substitute in Wallingford, Meriden, Southington or Cheshire two entrances and a nesting chamber. They stay within Be the first to get on the list to contract a route a few hundred yards of the burrow entrance and rely Please call Record-Journal Circulation on keen hearing and sense (203) 634-3933 or email of smell to warn of nearby

plan that establishes the level of savings you maintain, a plan to get out of debt and an investment plan that will take you to financial independence. The plan becomes your road map. There will be detours along the way; your goals and plan will need ad-

justing as you progress in life. Keep working at it. Don’t be distracted by outside influences you can’t control. You don’t want to get to the end of your working career only to find you haven’t saved enough to maintain your lifestyle and you still have a mortgage on your home.

From Page 8

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A16 Friday, January 31, 2014

Town Times |


Coginchaug hoopsters arrive at midseason in good standing By Alan Pease At press time, the Coginchaug boys owned a record of 6-4 (5-4 Shoreline Conference), while the Coginchaug girls were 9-3 (8-2 Shoreline Conference). In recent action: Jan. 13, the boys traveled to Old Saybrook and defeated the Rams by a 53-41 count. Conor Doyle scored the third-quarter basket that put the Devils on top for good off

a Cam Powers assist, as the boys overcame a 26-25 halftime deficit. Doyle led the team in scoring with 10 points, while Devin Rodrigue added nine points with 10 rebounds for the victors. Powers scored eight points while leading the team in assists (4) and steals (3). A l e x M a rko s k i , Ja c k Granger and Zach Terrill each tallied six points for Coginchaug, while teammates Josh Smith and Taylor Sapia

netted five and three points, respectively. Jan. 14, the Coginchaug girls hosted the Cougars of H-K. After falling behind early in the second period, the Blue Devils went ahead for good on a Kim Romanoff to Morgan Kuehnle bucket to close out the first half on their way to a 50-38 victory. Kuehnle led the team with 19 points. She also pulled in nine rebounds. Romanoff scored 12 points, and led the team in assists,

with six. Naomi Rinaldo scored 11 points for the victors, and Caryn Sibiskie led the Blue Devils in rebounds, with 10. Sibiskie, Audrey Arcari, Katelyn Williams and Alison Luther scored two points apiece for Coginchaug. Jan. 16, the boys took the long trek to Old Lyme to take on the Wildcats and, in a tight contest, fell 46-40. After tying the game on a Conor Doyle free throw at the end of the third period, Doyle

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hit another single charity try to open the final period, giving the Devils their only lead of the night. Unfortunately, Coginchaug would not score again for more than five minutes, while the Wildcats went on a 12-0 tear. Three late treys, one by Doyle and two by Cam Powers, couldn’t undo the damage. Devin Rodrigue led the team in scoring with 17, while Doyle scored 13 and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Powers scored six points. and Alex Markoski netted four for the visitors. Jan. 17, the girls made the trek across the mouth of the Connecticut River to take on Old Lyme. It was a pleasant bus ride home, as the locals prevailed 58-46. Early in the second half, the game looked to be in doubt for Coginchaug, as the Wildcats surged ahead 3428. After Morgan Kuehnle hit a basket to draw the Devils closer, teammate Sydney Trusty took over. Over the last four minutes of the third period, Trusty scored three times, including the basket that put the Devils on top for good. The locals carried a 3834 edge into the final frame. There, Caryn Sibiskie, Audrey Arcari and Trusty salted the game away. Kim Romanoff had a big game for Coginchaug. She tallied 16 points, had four steals and dished out three assists. Trusty had 12 points and three rebounds off the bench. Sibiskie (7 rebounds, 2 blocks) and Arcari (5 rebounds, 2 steals) each netted 11. Kuehnle came through with six points and a team-high 10 points. Naomi Rinaldo scored two points and grabbed three See Basketball / Page 17

Town Times |

Friday, January 31, 2014

Face of CIAC Basketball football playoffs changing again From Page 16

Quarterfinals are out; number of qualifiers to remain at 32

See Football / Page 18

fought 45-36 victory. Although Portland led just once, 3-2, Coginchaug had a difficult time shaking the pesky Highlanders. Two fourth-quarter free throws after a key steal, all by Jack Granger, put the Devils on top for good. A Cam Powers three extended the lead, and Zach Terrill and Devin Rodrigue made sure Portland would not come back this time. Powers led the Devils in scoring with 12 points. Rodrigue had a team-high 12 rebounds and added 10 points for the double-double. Granger scored eight points to go along with three rebounds, three steals and three assists. Terrill finished with seven points. Also gracing the Coginchaug scoring column was Conor Doyle (4 points, team-high 4 assists) and Alex Markoski (4 points). Josh Smith collected three rebounds for the victors.






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CHESHIRE — Starting this fall, the state high school football playoffs will look different than they have for the past four seasons. Just how different remains to be seen. Jan. 22, the CIAC Football Committee approved a handful of changes for the 2014 football season. Chief among them: the playoffs will consist of a semifinal round to be played on the Saturday 10 days after Thanksgiving and then a championship round that will be played the Saturday after the semis. That indicates the end of the quarterfinals, which were added to the postseason in 2010 and played the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Yet 32 teams will continue to qualify for the playoffs, as has been the case over the past four years, when there have been eight qualifiers in each of four classes. Does keeping the number of qualifiers at 32 without quarterf inals mean Connecticut football will revert back to the six-class system, with MM and SS back in the mix and an Open bracket, or “Best of the Best” tier, that will feature elite teams regardless of size? A separate Catholic school division? Or will it be pushed to eight classes across the board? We’ll see. The final decision on the 2014 playoff format won’t be made until the CIAC Football Committee meets again in February. What remains unchanged is Thanksgiving. Those games will remain part of the regular season and will be the last to count for postseason power rankings. Connecticut’s football play-

off system has long been a topic of debate and has undergone multiple changes since the state shifted away from the old two-qualifiers-per-class system in 1994. The prime issue has been the number of qualifying teams, which has had the state toggling back and forth between four classes and six. Another issue has been


Special to The Citizen


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boards. Jan. 20, the girls took on the Huskies of Morgan in Clinton, and despite a solid effort, fell 51-45. Coginchaug led 39-36 early in the final period after a Caryn Sibiskie basket. Unfortunately, seven Blue Devil fouls down the stretch, each leading to free throws for the Huskies (10-for-14 from the charity stripe), sealed the locals’ fate. Kim Romanoff powered the Devils with 18 points. Sibiskie had seven points, two blocks and a team-high 10 rebounds. Audrey Arcari netted seven points and grabbed six rebounds for the visitors, while teammate Morgan Kuehnle pulled down five boards and scored four points. Also chipping in for Coginchaug was Naomi Rinaldo (4 rebounds, 3

points) and Katelyn Williams (2 points). Jan. 23, the boys traveled to Clinton for their own shot at Morgan. With five players in double figures, led by Zach Terrill’s 17 points off the bench, the Devils rolled 69-43. Terrill drained five 3-pointers, and was 6-of-7 from the field. Jack Granger (4 assists, 3 rebounds, team-high 4 steals), Devin Rodrigue (team-high 17 rebounds), Conor Doyle and Cam Powers (team-high 7 assists) scored 10 points apiece, while Coginchaug’s other starter, Alex Markoski, netted eight. Also contributing to the victory was Zach Vallone (2 points) and Josh Smith (2 points) and Taylor Sapia (3 rebounds). Jan. 24, the boys hosted the Highlanders from Portland and came away with a hard-


A18 Friday, January 31, 2014

Town Times |

Local football player honored

The Coginchaug Basketball Club has scheduled a fundraiser for Tuesday, Feb. 4, 5 to 9 p.m., at the Ninety Nine

Institute of Technology (44) and Endicott (35). Eight of the 25 Academic All-Conference honorees were previously selected to the NEFC AllConference teams, including Justin Johnson, a senior from Durham, and junior Dan Buonocore (Mahwah, N.J.), senior Josh Burnett (Whitman, Mass.), sophomore Danny Ives (Madison, Conn.), sophomore Alex Leddy (Warwick, R.I.), junior Rory McEntee (Wakefield, R.I.), junior Phil Terio (Trumbull, Conn.) and junior Matthew Traynor (Secaucus, N.J.).

The Salve Regina football team landed a prog ram-best 25 stu dent-athletes on the 2013 New England Football Conference Academic AllConference team, as announced by the league’s publicist. To qualify for the team a player must have completed three semesters at the same institution with a cumulative of 3.0 or better grade point average (based on a 4.0 scale). In total, 178 student-athletes have been honored by the NEFC with Salve Regina’s 25 honorees landing the school third behind Massachusetts


Basketball fundraiser

From Page 17

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Youth basketball: Coginchaug falls The Coginchaug Thunder 6th grade boys travel basketball team took on host Branford in a rematch and opened the game hot, but faded. A big and tough Branford team proved too much for Coginchaug. Del Cade played a great game from start to finish for Coginchaug and ended up with eight points. Hugh Barrett, Justin Penney, Chris Onofrio and Derek Grant each had four points in the loss.



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the dominant programs, be they parochial schools like Xavier or St. Joseph or small public powers like Ansonia. Some have suggested separate playoff brackets for the Catholic/prep schools or an Open division that would enable an Ansonia to contend for a state title with the bigger programs. Then there’s the issue of weather, which became a factor this past season. With the changes adopted in 2010, the finals were pushed 2 1/2 weeks past Thanksgiving, the latest they were ever held. That wasn’t an issue until this year, when a late Thanksgiving combined with early December snow reshuffled the Championship Saturday deck. Class LL was most effected, with Southington and Fairfield Prep not playing their final until the following Thursday, one night after the boys winter sports season had begun. Weather, though, was the least of the CIAC Football Committee’s concerns. The tight windows between Thanksgiving, quarterf inals and semifinals — three games in 10 games for those that survive, something that’s been opposed by the medical community since the 2010 expansion — has been the more pressing issue.

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Singing Leaves - the Stories and Songs of the Crickets and Katydids is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 13, 11:15 a.m., at the Durham Public Library. The program is p re s e n te d by Jo h n H i m m e l m a n , d i re ctor of the Connecticut Butterfly Association. The program, sponsored by the Durham Garden Club, is free and open to the public.

Town Times |

Friday, January 31, 2014

Poetry contest

Free adult ed classes

Hartford, CT 06127-0554. This year’s judge is Rhett Watts, the author of the book Willing Suspension and the chapbook No Innocent Eye. She leads AWA (Amherst Writers & Artists) writing workshops in Connecticut. For more information contact Ginny Connors, Contest Chair of CPS,

and one with NO contact information. Both copies must be marked: Lynn DeCa ro Competition . Include self-addressed, stamped envelope for results only; no poems will be returned. Send submissions to: Lynn DeCaro Poetry Competition, CPS, P.O. Box 270554, West

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Durham Middlefield Yo u t h a n d Fa m i l y Services has money available for Durham, Middlefield or Rockfall residents under 21 interested in developing a project/event based on creative expression. DMYFS has allocated $600 to fund projects based on the ideas. Interested youth must attend a Mini-Grant Workshop, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 27, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at DMYFS, 405 Main St. Registration is required by calling (860) 349-0258. Completed applications are due by Tuesday, April 1. The Review Committee will announce the awards by April 29. Project/activity needs to be completed by Sept. 1. For more information, contact Durham Middlefield Youth and Family Services at (860) 349-0258.

Prizes of $75, $50, and $25 will be awarded. There is no entry fee for this contest. Send up to 3 unpublished poems, any form, 40 line limit. Include two copies of each poem: one with complete contact information (name, address, high school, phone and e- mail)

The Lynn DeCaro poetry contest is open to Connecticut high school students. Entries accepted through March 15. This contest was set up in memoriam to honor Lynn DeCaro, a promising young Connecticut Poetry Society member who died of leukemia in 1986.

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A20 Friday, January 31, 2014

Town Times |

Veronesi proposes timeline for principal search

Taste From Page 1

By Mark Dionne Town Times

At a previous Taste of Durham, Bruce Schmottlach found shelter from the crowds on the other side of his piano in the Durham Public Library’s main room. Schmottlach will again provide music for the event, taking place on Feb. 1. | (Mark Dionne/Town Times)

release, “New this year are Durham caterer Kevin Smith and Durham Wine & Spirits (beer tasting), and Taino’s, Our Place, and Fiore’s II, all of Middletown.” The Taste of Durham began 18 years ago to support the library’s new addition. “It started 18 years ago as a library party” to raise funds, Eriksen said. PALS eventually took over running the event. “It became known as the community party. That has solidified as the theme it’s the community party,” Eriksen said. Taste of Durham has sold out in recent years. The free shuttle will begin running at 6 pm from Strong School. The event takes over most of the library, with tables in the main room, up in the activity room, around the children’s area and throughout the lower level meeting rooms. Ticket prices have in-

creased to $35 this year and can be purchased by check at the library. The ticket includes unlimited food sampling and three bar tickets. PALS uses proceeds from the snow-or-shine event to support the library. Taste of Durham proceeds are not dedicated to one specific need. “The last few years it’s been primarily programming and items such as the Self-Check,” said Eriksen, who added, “There are items that PALS just steps up for.” Music for the Taste of Durham will be provided by Bruce Schmottlach and Deep Ellum. Schmottlach, who plays piano in the main room, dedicates his tip jar to the purchase of children’s books. Deep Ellum, the acoustic duo of Jon Swift of Durham and Richard Johnson, will play rock and folk roots music in the lower level.

Flanagan also noted that a May hire of an existing high school principal may not mean a May start, as many principals would try to finish their school year. “Mr. Gates is completely amenable, and, in fact, quite enthusiastic about making sure that he is here for transition,” Flanagan said. “Regardless of the start time, he will be here to manage and to assist the transition.” Veronesi characterized a July start as a “worst case scenario.” “I’m going into this very optimistic,” said Flanagan, who added that the failed search last year took place during a “terrible time” in the calendar to look for a principal. Veronesi said the CRHS position should be a draw for potential candidates. “It is such a remarkable school with such tremendous opportunity for an administrator,” she said.


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When she began as the Superintendent of Schools earlier this month, Kathryn Veronesi cited the search for a new principal at Coginchaug Regional High School as a priority. At the Jan. 22 Board of Education meeting, Veronesi laid out a timeline with the “hopeful outcome” of having a new principal working in May. CRHS has been without a permanent principal since April 26, 2013 when Andre Hauser left to become principal at Waterford High School. After one failed search, the CRHS position has been filled on an interim basis by Don Gates. Veronesi told the BOE she would like to use focus groups similar to the ones involved in the superintendent search that brought her to

District 13 but “a little more focused, not quite as comprehensive.” The proposed focus group would consist of BOE and community members, students and staff, and in February would define the skills and qualities of an ideal candidate. In March, according to Veronesi’s timeline, a 12- to 16-member interview committee would take over. Interviews would take place in March, with finalists returning for a second interview and a site visit in early April. “B ecause the district doesn’t have a set interview process protocol, I’d like to work on that,” Veronesi said. BOE chair Kerrie Flanagan called establishing a protocol a good idea. “There’s so much on the plates of administrators and teachers, that I think we have to have a process that works for them,” Flanagan said.


Town Times Jan. 31, 2014