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This Weekend – Tag Sales, Farmers Markets and more

tag-saleSATURDAY, JUNE 18

THRIFT SHOP AND KIDS’ BOUTIQUE
The thrift shop and kids’ boutique is open Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon at the First Congregational Church, 199 Valley St., Willimantic. New items every week. Spring items have arrived. The shops will be closed Saturday, July 2, for the holiday weekend. Info: (860) 423-6827 or visit www.churchw.org.

CANTERBURY VFW BOOK SALE
Canterbury VFW, Route 169, North Canterbury Road, Canterbury, will be holding a book sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

NEIGHBORHOOD TAG SALE – COVENTRY LAKE
The Gerald Park Association will be hosting a neighborhood tag sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Streets include: Avery Shores, Dooley Avenue, Fitzgerald Boulevard, Ross Avenue, Washburn Avenue and adjacent streets. Multiple tag sales within a few blocks.

GIANT YARD SALE
Canterbury Finnish Hall, Route 169, Canterbury, will be hosting a yard sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vendors welcome. Info: (860) 564-7432.

ANNIVERSARY AND SUMMER READING SPECTACULAR
Janet Carlson Calvert Library, 5 Tyler Drive, Franklin, will host a summer reading program from 10 a.m. to noon. Visitors can enjoy a piece of cake and see how the library has grown. Sign up for summer reading and meet winners of the circus-theme anniversary quilt children’s contest.

‘STUPENDOUSLY WONDERFUL MUSIC SHOW’
The Babcock Library, 25 Pompey Hollow Road, Ashford will host Susan Peak’s “Stupendously Wonderful Music Show” at 10:30 a.m. in Knowlton Hall. For children ages 3-10.

SATURDAY BEREAVEMENT GROUP
Hospice of Eastern Connecticut, 34 Ledgebrook Drive, Mansfield will hold its Saturday bereavement group from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Group is appropriate for those who are grieving a year or more. Group is open to the community. Info: (860) 456-7288, ext. 293.

COVENANT SOUP KITCHEN 2nd STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL
Jillson Square, Willimantic, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. $5 Admission (children under 12 Free). Food and beverages available for sale. Games, entertain­ment and door prizes.

SCOTLAND HUNTINGTON HOMESTEAD OPEN HOUSE
Tour guides will lead visitors through the birthplace of Samuel Huntington, signer of the Declaration of Independence, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Gov. Samuel Huntington Trust opens the Homestead on the first and third Saturdays of each month through October and is located on Route 14 just west of the Scotland town center. Free admission, donations welcome. Info: (860) 423-1547.

33rd ANNUAL STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL
The First Congregational Church of Lebanon will host its annual Strawberry Festival at 7 p.m. Donation $7 adults and $3 children. Take-out available.

CARIBBEAN EVENING – MANSFIELD SENIORS
New summer hours at the Mansfield Senior Center, 303 Maple Road, Storrs, begin with a June 23 Caribbean dinner at 5:45 p.m. and entertain­ment provided by Bruce John. $5 payable with reservation by June 20. For info:/reservations call (860) 429-0262.

SUNDAY, JUNE 19

FATHER’S DAY BUFFET BREAKFAST
The American Legion Hall, Route 207, Lebanon, will be hosting a Father’s Day breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. Adults are $7, seniors $5 and children 12 and under $5.

ASHFORD FARMERS MARKET
The Ashford Farmers Market is held at Pompey Hollow Park, off Route 44 across from the town hall. The market will run every Sunday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October. Info: Loretta at birdeye123@earth­link.net.

FATHER’S DAY LOBSTER DINNER
The Legionnaires will be serving a lobster dinner at 1 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 138 Snake Hill Road, Coventry. Cost is $25/person. Reservations suggested. Info:/tickets: Jack Lacek at (860) 742-7017.

COVENTRY FARMERS MARKET
The Coventry Farmers Market is held at the Nathan Hale Homestead at 2299 South St. The market will run every Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through October. Info: www.coventryfarmersmarket.com.
Posted 6-17-2011

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UConn honors program gets million-dollar gift

January 5, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

uconn_logo1The University of Connecticut has announced a campaign gift of more than $1 million for the Honors Program from alumni Robert and Carlotta Holster.

“Building on the quality of our outstanding Honors Program is a key strategy to attract the very best and brightest students to the University of Connecticut. This wonderful gift will enable us to expand the opportunities for students to have a truly enriched experience, and will enable us to provide the quality of undergraduate education that our top students have come to expect,” said Provost Peter Nicholls.

The new endowment will support activities designed to enrich the academic experience for honors students, such as undergraduate research, international travel and academic and creative projects.

“Mr. and Mrs. Holster’s gift will support the types of enrichment experiences that make the difference between a good collegiate career and an exceptional one. We know that students benefit tremendously from individualized and independent academic experiences,” said Lynne Goodstein, director of the Honors Program and associate vice provost of enrichment programs at UConn.

The Holsters are giving back to UConn for the education they received as undergraduate students.

Robert Holster earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and Carlotta Holster earned a bachelor’s degree in child development and family relations from UConn, both in 1968.

Robert Holster credits his professors during his first year with inspiring a lifelong passion for learning and preparing him for success throughout his life.

“They were talented, engaged with their material and their students, and it was infectious,” Robert Holster said. “Those freshman courses in economics, English literature and history armed me with models for thinking about things that assisted me later in the Army and in graduate school, and remain relevant to this day in business.”

Robert Holster is chairman of the board and former chief executive officer of HMS Holdings Corp.

HMS coordinates health-care benefits between government entitlement programs (e.g., Medicaid) and the health insurance industry.

He was elected to the board of directors of the University of Connecticut Foundation in 2009.

The Honors Program enrolls 9 percent of the undergraduate population at the main campus in Storrs.

For students entering the program in 2009, the average combined critical reading and math SAT score is 1,395 and the average class rank is the 95th percentile.

In all, 26 percent of students entering the program are from underrepresented ethnic or economic backgrounds.

“Our University. Our Moment. The Campaign for UConn” – the largest fundraising campaign in the university’s history – was launched in September.

The campaign goal is to raise $600 million for students, faculty and programs.

Lebanon finance board opposes split-budgets

October 21, 2009 Uncategorized No Comments

voters-box-copy1The board of finance Tuesday voted to oppose an advisory question asking residents if the town should split the budget votes.

The advisory question on the Nov. 3 ballot asks residents if finance and town officials should draft an ordinance to split the education and municipal budgets for a future town meeting or referendum

The unanimous decision came after the second public hearing in less than a week, both of which finance board members said saw little attendance from residents.

Finance board members Betsy Petrie and Glen Coutu were not present Tuesday and alternates Charles Haralson and Philip Johnson voted as part of the 6-0 decision.

Finance board members estimated a total of 15 residents combined attended the two public hearings, with the other one occurring Saturday and said they were disappointed with the amount of feedback they received.

Finance board Chairman Liz Charron said she was not sure if poor attendance was due to a lack of concern among residents or a sign voters already decided their stance, adding she would be disappointed if the latter was true.

“It would be too bad if they’ve made up their minds without listening to the information,” she said.

Charron and other finance board members also said they expected more turnout, in part, because residents frequently asked about the idea during town meetings and other forums.

Roughly a half-dozen residents were in attendance Tuesday to watch the finance board’s presentation, but only two spoke, both voicing opposition.
Residents said they were worried splitting the budgets would take authority away from the finance board, which is elected by voters to handle issues like the budget.

Finance board member Greg Lafontaine said during his presentation that a survey of towns with split-budget votes showed other concerns.

He said the option could create the potential for more referendums, as well as polarize groups in town pushing their agendas in support or opposition of specific spending plans.

But he also said towns did explain the benefits of the process, including increased say on each portion of the budget, as well as the chance to gain more information on portions failing.

Lafontaine said one resident did voice support for the idea at Saturday’s hearing, but finance board members disagreed.

“I think it’d be the biggest mistake if we split this budget,” Lafontaine said.
Finance board member Linda Finelli agreed, saying she did not see enough public support.

“I don’t think there’s enough support to start messing around with it,” she said.

Still, residents will have the final say when the question goes to a vote Nov. 3.

Lafontaine said the Secretary of the State’s office determined residents registered to vote can have a say on the question, but not property owners not living in town.

The SOTS office said there is no dollar amount attached to the question, although there was no definitive answer on what would happen if the question goes to a formal vote, when it would have actual tax implications.
If residents approve the advisory question, the finance board and selectman will work to develop an outline, then ask the town attorney to draft an ordinance.

The town would then take the ordinance to either a town meeting or a referendum for a formal vote on whether the ordinance should take affect.

Ethics hearing under way for former university employee

September 14, 2009 Uncategorized No Comments

uconn-logoThe public hearing into ethics charges against a former University of Connecticut employee will continue Wednesday after proceedings began Friday.

Priscilla Dickman, a former UConn Health Center employee, is facing eight charges accusing her of using state equipment and time to conduct work outside of her role at the Farmington-based health center.

Her public hearing, which began Friday after Judge Trial Referee William Wollenberg ruled last month that UConn had probable cause, is before the before the Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board, the first for the board.

The advisory board, a nine-member panel of appointments by the governor and the legislature, was included as part of the Office of Ethics in 2005 and serves as the jury in such public hearings.

Dickman’s hearing will continue Wednesday in the same building housing the state Office of Ethics, which is located on Trinity Street in Hartford.

The hearing, which is open the public, must reach a conclusion within 90 days of commencement, ethics Education Director Meredith Trimble said.

According to UConn officials, Dickman worked as a medical technologist at the health center from 1978 through “at least” June 23, 2005, and was considered a state employee during this time.

UConn is accusing Dickman of using health center equipment to conduct business for each of her private ventures, a violation of state law.

Dickman also faces allegations of conducting private business while being compensated by the health center and the center states Dickman failed to perform her official duties during these times.

In addition, Dickman is charged with of knowingly acting to her own financial benefit while utilizing state time and resources.

She could face fines of up to $10,000 or be forced to pay back damages for each charge.

Friday is ‘College Colors Day’ in Connecticut

September 3, 2009 Uncategorized No Comments
A painted Husky fan at the 2009 International game in Canada.

A painted Husky fan at the 2009 International game in Canada.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced this week that she has declared Friday, Sept. 4 “College Colors Day” in the State of Connecticut.

“College Colors Day” is an opportunity for fans, alumni and students in Connecticut to wear the colors of their favorite college or university.

“College Colors Day” is a national, annual celebration dedicated to promoting college traditions and spirit by encouraging people across America to wear apparel of their favorite college team on the Friday before the kickoff of the college football season.

“What better way is there to show spirit and pride in your favorite college or university than by wearing the school’s colors on the eve of the official kick-off of the 2009 college football season,” said Governor Rell

But “College Colors Day” is about more than intercollegiate athletics and college football. It is a day to promote higher education and celebrate the achievements of all Connecticut colleges and universities.

“Let’s have some fun on Friday by wearing a T-shirt, sweatshirt, tie, hat or other college gear of your favorite school – whether they have a college football team or not,” Gov. Rell said.

Posted Sept. 3, 2009

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Local day camps made a great summer for cancer patients families

CHILDREN RUNNING from Windham Hosp FB page

In addition, the Town of Coventry Parks and Recreation Camp and Camp Asto Wamah in Columbia, CT each offered free spaces for children of cancer patients.

Connecticut budget ends with $359 million surplus

Ben Barnes CT Budget Director

Personal income tax receipts were up $55.1 million over last month. The corporation tax also was revised upward by $15 million.

Future of local water supply is topic of public forum July 29

A forum focused on our water supply – including who decides how it’s used – will be hosted by The League of Women Voters of Northeastern Connecticut (formerly the League of Women Voters of Mansfield) and the Connecticut Institute of Water Resources (CIWR) on Monday, July 29 from 7-9 p.m. at the Elks Lodge (lower level), located at 198 Pleasant St. in Willimantic.

Questions about water sources, usage and quality have come into focus recently in light of the Storrs Center development, UConn’s plans to bring in water to support a new Tech Park and the concurrent needs of the towns in this region, particularly in terms of their own development plans.

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