Columbia Today is currently an inactive site

This site is currently inactive until future notice. Any questions about this site can be directed to maheujean@gmail.com Posted October 25, 2013

Recent Articles:

Libertarian VP candidate to visit UConn

September 2, 2012 Areawide, Local News No Comments

Libertarian vice presidential candidate Judge Jim Gray of California.

Libertarian vice presidential candidate Jim Gray —   will visit the University of Connecticut from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20 at the Homer Babbidge Library (theater 2).

Gray’s talk is sponsored by the following student organizations:

  • Alternative Political Society,
  • Young Americans for Liberty and
  • Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

There are seats for 80 people, plus standing room in the back of the theater.

Gray, a judge for the Superior Court of Orange County, is a long­time activist regarding marijuana legislation who resides in California.

He also supports marriage equality, fiscal responsibility and peaceful, non-interventionist foreign policy.

Gray is running with Gary Johnson, a two-term governor of New Mexico.

Posted September 2, 2012

Related links:

“Could Super-Pac backed third party candidates sway the presidential race?” NBC News http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/31/13573497-could-super-pac-backed-third-party-candidates-sway-presidential-race?lite

“Jim Gray, Libertarian vice president candidate, visits Alaska,” Alaska Disptach http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/jim-gray-libertarian-vice-presidential-candidate-visits-alaska

“Judge Jim Gray announces as Libertarian vice presidential candidate,” http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/judge-jim-gray-announces-as-libertarian-vice-presidential-candidate

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Don’t fall to pieces… audition!

The Windham Theatre Guild holds open auditions for a November performance of the musical “Always, Patsy Cline,” on Wednesday, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. at Windham Middle School, Quarry Street, Willimantic.

The show revolves around two main characters – famous country/pop star Patsy Cline and her biggest fan Louise Seger.

Auditions will include vocal, acting and improvisational sequences. Prepare a musical number for the vocal audition. Piano accompaniment will be provided. Readings from the script will be provided that evening.

We are filling the following roles:

  • Patsy Cline – This role is vocally demanding, singing lead on more than 20 songs. The ideal candidate sounds like Patsy Cline;
  • Louise Seger – This is a large acting role with lots of monologues. We are looking for a great actress;
  • Back-up singers – Four back-up singers needed, two male and two female.

Director is Victor Funderburk. Musical director is Ken Clark.

Performance dates are Nov. 2, 3, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16 and 17 at the Burton Leavitt Theatre at 779 Main Street in Willimantic, with a special benefit performance on Nov. 4.

For more information, contact the Windham Theatre Guild at windhamtheatre@aol.com

Posted September 2, 2012

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Live music, great food at AHM dinner fundraiser

The event will include live music by Bruce John and local celebrities acting as waiters, as well as dinner, dessert and beverages.

A fundraising gala dinner will be held on Monday, Sept. 24, to benefit AHM Youth Services, which serves families in the towns of Andover, Hebron, Marlborough and Columbia.

The second annual dinner is hosted by Gina Marie’s Restaurant in Hebron, CT owned by Troy and Gina Marie Kelsey.

The event will include live music by Bruce John and local celebrities acting as waiters, as well as dinner, dessert and beverages.

All of the proceeds from the event will help support the youth services bureau’s programs.

Tickets are $50 each. For a reservation call (860) 228-9488.

AHM Youth Services aims to promote and support the health and well-being of children, young adults and their families for their personal growth and for the greater good of the communities.

Posted September 2, 2012

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Ruth Kaplan Kaskowitz 1915-2012

September 1, 2012 Obituaries No Comments

Ruth Kaplan Kaskowitz was a buyer for a woman’s specialty shop in Willimantic, CT. She was honored by the State of Connecticut for her many years of volunteerism at the local hospital, library, and Columbia, CT Senior Center. Photo copyright 2012 Brenda Sullivan

Ruth Kaplan Kaskowitz, 97, passed away Friday (Aug. 31, 2012) at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA.

She was born in Columbia, CT to the late Lewis and Anna (Weiner) Kaplan.

Ruth graduated from Windham High School in Willimantic, CT and had lived in Columbia, CT before moving to Longmeadow in 2007. She was predeceased by her husband Milton Kaskowitz.

Ruth is survived by her children and their spouses Carole Pagani (married to the late John Pagani) and Elizabeth and Dr. Philip Irving; her grandchildren Robbin Airault and Dwayne LaFogg, Mark and Andrea Wolf, Erin and Rocco Shropshire, Marc Irving (and his girlfriend Corinn Cunningham), Jeffrey Pagani, Lisa and Steven Antonio, and Laura and James Clark; her great grandchildren Brianna Heiser, Brittany and Pablo Britos, Trevor Pagani, Jenna and Hayden Clark, Nina LaFogg, Zachary and Alexandra Wolf, Katherine, Tommy, and Johnny Antonio, and Carolina and Emma Shropshire; her great great grandchild Adrianna Britos; and many dear nieces and nephews.

Ruth was also predeceased by her sister Gertrude Furman Sidman and her brothers Samuel, Hyman, Morris, and Joseph Kaplan.

The family would like to thank the nurses at Baystate Medical Center and the staff at Ruth’s House for their loving care.

Ruth was a buyer for a woman’s specialty shop in Willimantic, CT.

She was honored by the State of Connecticut for her many years of volunteerism at the local hospital, library, and Columbia, CT Senior Center.

Ruth loved reading, bridge and word games, was an excellent baker and knitter, and was an avid fan of the Red Sox.

Her graveside service will be Sunday, 11 a.m. at B’nai Israel Cemetery, 227 Stafford Road, Mansfield (Storrs), CT. Shiva services will be Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the home of Dr. Philip and Elizabeth Irving at 133 Willow Brook Rd. in Longmeadow, MA.

Donations can be made to the Frieda Reisz Chaplancy Fund, c/o Jewish Geriatric Services, 770 Converse St., Longmeadow, MA 01106 or to the National Autism Society, 4340 East-West Highway, Suite 350, Bethesda, MD 20814.

For more information or directions, please visit ascherzimmerman.com

Posted September 1, 2012

Obituaries and funeral notices may be sent to editor@htnp.com Currently, there is no charge for publishing these notices. Please include a contact name and phone number for verification. To keep up-to-date on local news, “like” us (HTNP News) on Facebook

Look here for local events for Sept 2 – 6

Free “Sunday Music in the Park” concert will feature Full Gael at Alex Caisse Park/Park Springs, Route 195, Willimantic (near the East Brook Mall), starting at 2 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

If you’d like your organization’s or your town’s event posted on one or more of HTNP.com’s news sites, please send complete information (and photo of previous event if applicable) to editor@htnp.com

Photos should be in JPEG format and at least 500 pixels wide.  Please also include contact information for our readers who may have questions (i.e. email and/or phone number) and for the editor (please indicate if you don’t want this information published).

Stories posted on HTNP.com news sites are also shared on our very active Facebook page where items are seen by an average of more than 8,000 unique visitors a week.

Coming up this week in the HTNP readership area…

Sunday Sept. 2

FARMERS MARKET — ASHFORD

The Ashford Farmers Market is open Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the old post office next to Route 44 across from town offices.

FARMERS MARKET — COVENTRY

The hugely popular Coventry Regional Farmers Market, with a theme and related special events every week, is open every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through the month of October at the Nathan Hale Homestead, 2299 South St., Coventry. (See the web site http://coventryfarmersmarket.com for details and info on how to receive a weekly newsletter.)

MUSIC IN THE PARK  – WILLIMANTIC

Free “Sunday Music in the Park” concert will feature Full Gael at Alex Caisse Park/Park Springs, Route 195, Willimantic (near the East Brook Mall), starting at 2 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Concerts performed in the memory of Phyllis Foster. Rain location at Windham Middle School, Quarry Street. For information call (860) 423-2988.

Monday Sept. 3 Labor Day

CONCERT –  HAMPTON

Hampton Recreation and Community Activities Commission will present a Labor Day concert with the Hoolios. Doors open at 7 p.m. The Hampton Community Center is located at 178 Main Street (Route 97). The hall will be set up cabaret-style for a trademark “folk-tailgating.” Feel free to BYO-whatever! $15 for adults; children accompanied by an adult admitted free. Reservations are strongly recommended. Info: (860) 455-2056.

ICE CREAM SOCIAL – COLUMBIA

The Columbia Democratic Town Committee hosts its annual Ice Cream Social on the Town Green in Columbia from 2 to 4 p.m. Bring family and friends for a relaxing afternoon of ice cream sundaes, live music and a chance for folks to share some time together before the end of the summer. Entertainment will be provided by local musician Bruce John. $5 per person. Tickets can be purchased at the event or by contacting any member of the Columbia Democratic Town Committee.

Tuesday Sept. 4

PARENTS – SCHOOL TRANSITION TALK

Residents of Andover, Hebron, Marlborough and Columbia are invited… The AHM Family Resource Center will host a breakfast discussion “Making the Transition to School a Success” from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Family Resource Center at Gilead Hill School in Hebron. Join Sandra Plummer, the clinical director at AHM Youth Services, in this supportive discussion. Topics to be shared include – your role in supporting your child, dealing with your emotions and how to navigate the transition from summer break to school success. Refreshments will be served and child care is available for $3 per child. To register, call Laurie Larsen at (860) 228-0871, or e-mail at ahmfrc@hotmail.com.

BD OF DIRECTORS, ACCESS AGENCY – WILLIMANTIC

Access Community Action Agency Board of Directors holds its regular meeting at 4 p.m. at Access Community Action Agency, 1315 Main St., Willimantic. Public invited. For information: www.accessagency.org

AUTHOR TRAIL SPEAKER – S. WINDHAM

CT author Trail Joan Hall will discuss her humorous poetry and the creative writing process at the Guilford Smith Memorial Library, 17 Main St., South Windham at 6:30 p.m. Refreshments served.

Wednesday Sept. 5

SEWING AND SERVICE – WILLIMANTIC

The Interfaith Sewing and Service Group meets at the First Congregational Church, 199 Valley St., Willimantic, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Projects: School bags, CWS; receiving blankets for Hartford City baby Showers; Red flag blankets for WMH. Info. (860) 228-9658.

BLOOD PRESSURE – MANSFIELD

Mansfield Senior Center, 303 Maple Road, Storrs, offers blood pressure screenings at 11 a.m. No appointment necessary for free screenings.

MASSAGE THERAPY — MANSFIELD

Mansfield Senior Center, 303 Maple Road, Storrs, offers massage therapy with Faith Manning from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call Kathy for an appointment at (860) 429-0262.

BEREAVEMENT GROUP  – MANSFIELD

Open to residents of Mansfield and surrounding towns. Hospice of Eastern Connecticut hosts the “Evenings After” bereavement group for those who have suffered a recent loss. Group is located at 34 Ledgebrook Drive, Mansfield (behind East Brook Mall). It is held from 6 to 8 p.m. Come join others for support and discussion. Group is open to the community. Info: (860) 456-7288, ext. 293.

AUDITIONS – WINDHAM

The Windham Theatre Guild holds open auditions for a November performance of the musical “Always, Patsy Cline,” at 7 p.m. at Windham Middle School, Quarry Street, Willimantic. The show revolves around two main characters – famous country/pop star Patsy Cline and her biggest fan Louise Seger. Audition will include vocal, acting and improvisational sequences. Prepare a musical number for the vocal audition. Piano accompaniment will be provided. Readings from the script will be provided that evening. Filling the following roles: Patsy Cline – This role is vocally demanding, singing lead on more than 20 songs. The ideal candidate sounds like Patsy Cline; Louise Seger – This is a large acting role with lots of monologues. We are looking for a great actress; Back-up singers – Four back-up singers needed, two male and two female. Director is Victor Funderburk. Musical director is Ken Clark. Performance dates: Nov. 2, 3, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16 and 17 at the Burton Leavitt Theatre at 779 Main Street in Willimantic, with a special benefit performance on Nov. 4. For more information: contact the Windham Theatre Guild at windhamtheatre@aol.com

SENIOR ART SHOW – COLUMBIA

The Beckish Senior Center, 188 Route 66, Columbia, sponsors a Senior Art Show in honor of Rose Marrotte the week of Sept. 17-21. A $100 first prize as well as a $50 “People’s Choice Award” will be presented. Awards will be made at a luncheon on Sept. 21 from noon to 2 p.m. Seniors interested in exhibiting their material can call (860) 228-0759 for details. Items to be shown will be accepted at the Senior Center on Monday, Sept. 17 between 9 a.m. and noon.

JOYFUL NOISE REHEARSALS – MANSFIELD

Joyful Noise, Children’s Community Choir for ages 6-12 will hold rehearsals from 6 to 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 29 Puddin Lane, Mansfield. Pre-registration or info: (860) 423-1130

Thursday Sept. 6

CONVERSATION WITH BETTY — MANSFIELD

A Conversation with Betty will take place at the Mansfield Senior Center, Wellness Center, 303 Maple Road, Storrs, at 11 a.m. Topic: “Our Role as Mentors.” Info: (860) 429-0262

DINNER AND ENTERTAINMENT – MANSFIELD

At 5:30 p.m. at the Mansfield Senior Center, 303 Maple Road, Storrs, for a potluck dinner followed by entertainment at 6:30 p.m. by “ One Accord” from the Tolland Senior Center. No charge, but everyone is asked to bring a dish to feed 8 to 10 people.

PIZZA PARTY, BOOK DISCUSSION – S. WINDHAM

The Guilford Smith Memorial Library, 17 Main St., South Windham will host a “tween” pizza party and Nutmeg book discussion of “Matched” by Ally Condie at 6:30 p.m. Books available at the library.

Posted September 1, 2012

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Take a walk, in Lebanon’s Heritage Garden

Open fields are a lovely backdrop for the Heritage Garden at the Jonathan Trumbull Jr. House and Museum in Lebanon, CT. Photo copyright 2012 by Brenda Sullivan

While there are many good reasons to visit Lebanon, CT, including the beautiful town green – where you will see people jogging and strolling year-round – if you are a garden lover, you might want to visit the Heritage Garden.

It’s a small garden, but chock full of history and beautiful plants and it’s located at the Jonathan Trumbull Jr. House and Museum (right on the green).

The museum, itself, is interesting for its information about the Revolutionary War era and the three generations of Trumbulls who are an important part of Connecticut history.

Jonathan Trumbull, Jr. (1740–1809) was General George Washington’s secretary during the American Revolution, and later was an eight-term governor of Connecticut.

The garden adds to the museum experience.

You can park at the back of the Jonathan Trumbull Jr. House and walk over to the garden. You will notice a mailbox next to the entry arbor and inside are pamphlets with information about the plant choices in the Heritage Garden.

Buddleia blooming in August in the Victorian section of the Heritage Garden at the Jonathan Trumbull Jr. House and Museum in Lebanon, CT. Photo copyright 2012 by Brenda Sullivan

Basically, the garden is grouped according to three time periods – Victorian, Colonial and Contemporary.

In the Victorian section, which reflects the “parterre” style of that time, you will find such plants as buddleia, phlox, peonies and dusty miller.

The Colonial section of the garden reflects the kitchen gardens of that time, so it includes herbs such as chives, hyssop, borage and lavender.

Flowers include yarrow, hollyhocks, coreopsis and boltonia – and there are grape vines and morning glories on the split-trail fence.

By the way, the adjacent open fields create a beautiful backdrop for the garden.

The Contemporary section of the garden contains some plantings that, while more common in today’s gardens and landscaping, actually have their origins in the Colonial era.

Hibiscus in the Heritage Garden at the Jonathan Trumbull Jr. House in Lebanon, CT. Photo copyright 2012 Brenda Sullivan

This part of the garden includes hibiscus, ornamental grass, astilbe and a dwarf maple.

The Heritage Garden was created through a collaboration of the Jonathan Trumbull Junior House Museum Committee and the Lebanon Garden Club.

While you’re there, depending on the day of the week and the time of day you go, you can also visit the West Green Farm for fresh fruits and vegetables. They are open to the public Monday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

And at the end of the green is the Lebanon General Store where you can buy a sandwich and cold beverages.

While many flowers fade as the summer comes to an end, the seed heads of these are still lovely – at the Heritage Garden, Jonathan Trumbull Jr. House and Museum, Lebanon CT. Photo copyright 2012 Brenda Sullivan

If you happen to be there on a Saturday between 9 a.m. and noon, from now until Oct. 13, you can also visit the Lebanon Farmers Market next to the library – just up the road from the town green.
If you visit Lebanon, please share your experiences with us in the comment section.

Posted August 15, 2012

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Osten upsets Reynolds in Democratic 19th District primary

August 15, 2012 Areawide, Local News No Comments

Cathy Osten, of Sprague, CT won the Democratic primary on Aug. 14, 2012 in the race to fill the vacancy that will be left by retiring Sen. Edith Prague, of Columbia, in the 19th District. Due to redistricting, that constituency will now include the towns of Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Marlborough, Norwich, Sprague and part of Montville. She will now face the endorsed GOP candidate, State Rep. Chris Coutu, R-Norwich. Photo source: CSEA SEIU Local 2001

Sprague First Selectwoman Catherine “Cathy” Osten decisively beat State Rep. Tom Reynolds, D-Ledyard, in Connecticut’s 19th Senate District Primary Tuesday (Aug. 14) to get the Democratic nomination. Osten was the top vote-getter in eight of 10 towns.

Osten, 56, said after the votes were counted that the win “means the world” to her.

She may have been helped by the endorsement of the much loved and soon-­to-be-retiring State Senator Edith Prague, D-Columbia.

“I expected this to be a nail biter,” Osten said, even though she spent a lot of her campaign the old-fashioned way, going door to door to talk with voters.

Osten received more than 57 percent of the votes with a total of 2,269 compared with 1,666 for Reynolds.

Some of the key votes came from with Norwich voting 782-512, Lisbon 180-55 and Columbia 237-103. Reynolds was the top vote-getter in his hometown of Ledyard,  425-73.

Reynolds, 45, conceded to Osten less than an hour after the polls closed Tuesday night.

Celebrating her win at T J’s Cafe in Baltic, Osten said Reynolds “immediately” gave her his endorsement for the upcoming November elections, where she will now face Republican State Rep. Chris Coutu, R-Norwich.

Coutu has already been endorsed by the Republican party.

Due to last year’s redistricting, Osten will run to represent a geographical area that includes Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Marlborough, Norwich, Sprague and part of Montville.

Osten has served as the first selectwoman in Sprague for three consecutive terms and chose to run for the state Senate thanks to Prague’s “push.”

Osten thanked her friends and family for their support in the primary election. She said her mother, Patricia Osten, “called every senior in Norwich” to make sure they voted.

“I have no worries moving forward,” Osten said. She intends to continue campaigning door-to-door and said she will go through another “six pairs of shoes” to make sure she reaches “each and every home.”

“I am absolutely thrilled to have the confidence of voters. I will continue to focus on jobs and the economy,” Osten said.

Tuesday night, Reynolds said he is “committed” to getting Osten elected in November.

While at his campaign headquarters in Norwich, he said he had no regrets about his primary campaign. “This is the best campaign I’ve ever run,” he said.

Reynolds said he feels Prague’s endorsement “definitely helped” Osten.

Prague is popular with senior citizens — who tend to vote more in primaries and elections — in her district.

Not sure what the next step will be for himself, Reynolds said his 18-years as a state and local official “isn’t a bad run.”

“This is a tough life for a family with children,” he said. Referring to his defeat, he said,“These things happen for a reason.”

However, Reynolds said, he will continue to serve his community. “I can’t imagine running for office again. But, just after an election is not the night to decide anything,” he said.

Town-by-Town results for the CT Democratic 19th Senate District Primary Aug. 14 2012

Posted Aug. 15, 2012 as edited by, and with photo and link added by,  HTNP.com Editor Brenda Sullivan

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Hum along… with Singin’ in the Rain at the Capitol Theater Arts Academy

The students at Capitol Theater Arts Academy (CTAA) in Willimantic, CT will present public performances of the award-winning musical, Singin’ in the Rain on Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 9, 10 and 11, at 7 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Aug. 11.

The students at Capitol Theater Arts Academy (CTAA) will present public performances of the award-winning musical, Singin’ in the Rain on Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 9, 10 and 11, at 7 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Aug. 11.

The Academy – an arts magnet school – is located in downtown Willimantic at the beautifully renovated, air-conditioned Capitol Theater, 896 Main St.

Featuring 43 students, ages 8-15, CTAA’s Summer Musical Theater Program includes students from Amston (in Hebron), Chaplin, Columbia, Colchester, Coventry, Hampton, Manchester, Mansfield (including Storrs, Mansfield Center), Norwich, Scotland, South Windsor, Tolland and Windham (including North Windham and Willimantic).

Regular tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and children under 12.

To order your tickets now, please call EASTCONN’s Capitol Theater Box Office between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, at 860-465-5636.

The box office window is also open 45 minutes before show time for walk-up ticket sales if still available.

This production is sponsored by the Savings Institute.

Posted August 1, 2012

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

You can use these bathrooms – for a price

Coventry (CT) Regional Farmers Market is one of the most popular and fastest growing in the state; it draws about 75,000 visitors annually. The market also shares the grounds each Sunday of market season with the Nathan Hale Homestead – which plans to charge anyone who wants to use its new bathrooms $25 to become Friends of the Homestead. Photo copyright 2012 by Brenda Sullivan.

Visitors to the Coventry Regional Farmers Market, at the Nathan Hale Homestead, will soon have an alternative to the portable facilities already provided by the market.

Officials with Connecticut Landmarks, which owns the homestead at 2299 South St., announced that market-goers will be able to use homestead’s new bathrooms – if they become “friends” of the homestead.

The offer will not, however, take effect until mid-July and it comes with a price tag.

A new “Friends of the Homestead” program will officially launch in mid-July at a cost of $25. Benefits include a 10 percent discount on items in the new museum store, free access to the homestead and its tours throughout the season – and use of the homestead’s bathrooms.

Connecticut Landmarks Executive Director Sheryl Hack said the new program was slightly delayed while awaiting Friends of the Homestead pins.

Since the market re-opened for the season this month, for the past three Sundays, the bathrooms at the homestead had been open and used by both museum visitors and market attendees.

Last week, Connecticut Landmarks had said it would begin locking its bathrooms for market goers and only open them for museum patrons who pay the museum’s regular admission fee.

“This is our response,” Hack said Friday (June 22).

Hack noted, however, that the homestead will continue to allow access to the restrooms for any handicapped person.

The Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry, CT – a view of the kitchen garden. The Coventry Regional Farmers Market uses the adjoining fields on Sundays throughout the market season. It also recently built a barn won from Yankee Post & Beam where it will hold programs. Photo copyright 2012 by Brenda Sullivan.

Connecticut Landmarks Education and Historic Sites Operations Manager Cynthia Cormier said the bathrooms were open the first few weeks because the agency didn’t know how many people would use them.

Hack said the new system was designed for only “250 flushes a day.”

Hack estimated with 1,000 to possibly 3,000 flushes each Sunday, the homestead could destroy its new septic tank a month into this year’s season.

She said the homestead could never have afforded a septic tank with the capacity for so many flushes.

Addressing the problem, however, has opened up an opportunity to boost financial support for the homestead. The “Friends of the Homestead” program will be “a vehicle for community members, market-goers and everyone else to support the property,” Hack said.

Hack confirmed each dollar from the new $25 program would go directly back to the homestead site.

The homestead received $500,000 from the state in 2004 for renovations that included bathrooms and a visitors’ center, and another $750,000 for renovation of the two historic Hale barns.

State Rep. Tim Ackert, R-Coventry, called the new “Friends of the Homestead: program “very interesting.”

“I like the overall idea, in terms of discounting prices and helping out Connecticut Landmarks,” Ackert said. On the other hand, he said he’s concerned about people essentially paying to use the new bathrooms.

Ackert said he has reached out to Connecticut Landmarks about the issue but hadn’t received a response as of last Friday.

“This just doesn’t sit well,” Ackert said. “I will continue to look into this to make it the best for everybody.”

Farmers Market Executive Director Winter Caplanson said the market has ordered a handicapped-accessible portable toilet to join the two portable toilets already provided for market visitors.

Caplanson said CT Portables in Chaplin was going to add an addi­tional portable toilet in time for the June 24 market day.

Caplanson said she isn’t worried about more bathroom-related problems for the market.

“I think it will settle down,” she said.

The market, which is overseen by the Bridges Healthy Cooking School, a 501c3 nonprofit, generates sales exceeding $500,000 every year and draws more than 75,000 visitors annually.

The market is open Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Posted June 25, 2012 as edited by HTNP.com Editor Brenda Sullivan

Related link: Coventry Regional Farmers Market http://coventryfarmersmarket.com

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on Twitter at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Jobs, housing topics of forum on Eastern CT

The purpose of the “visioning sessions” is to present current points of the study and to gather feedback and ideas from local residents. Livingston pointed to the difficulty of the task, given eastern Connecticut encompasses 41 towns, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribal nations, and the fact that region is composed of village, rural and urban areas. Map graphic copyright 2012 by Brenda Sullivan

The comments of community members may result in a more sustainable future for Eastern Connecticut.

At a public “visioning session” last week, a dozen area residents and officials gathered at Windham Town Hall to learn about and weigh in on a planning study that examines the region’s potential for sustainability improvements.

The study looks at three areas of potential growth — mobility, employment and housing — on a regional scale and considers how these areas might be improved in an integrated, practical way.

“It’s looking at gaps in what’s out there. What issues cross boundaries throughout this region?” asked Ken Livingston, vice president and principal associate at the planning firm of Fitzgerald and Halliday.

The session, along with another Wednesday, June 20 in Dayville, and a third held Thursday in Norwich, was hosted by the Eastern Connecticut Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Consortium. Members of the study team presented the findings and guided small group discussions.

The consortium partners with the Windham Region Council of Governments, Northeastern Connecticut Council of Governments, Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments, Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board, and Southeastern Connecticut Housing Alliance.

The study, funded through a $225,000 grant from the state Department of Housing and Urban Development, began in September 2011 and will be completed by December 2013 at the latest, at which time the consortium will have a concise list of specific, doable recommendations for regional improvements.

The purpose of the “visioning sessions” is to present current points of the study and to gather feedback and ideas from local residents.

Livingston pointed to the difficulty of the task, given eastern Connecticut encompasses 41 towns, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribal nations, and the fact that region is composed of village, rural and urban areas.

“There’s a diversity of issues and concerns,” he explained.

The study’s concentrations include diversified and affordable housing, workforce development and effectiveness of transportation.

Small breakout discussions were organized into these categories, but the interconnectedness of the issues was noted.

Affordable housing and dependable jobs should be located closer together, attendees said, which would lessen the burden on providing transportation.

Meanwhile, public transportation services could be connected between different areas of the region and service could be expanded.

Job training could be improved and coordinated with the needs of area employers, thus bridging the gap between the “supply of labor coming out of local schools” and “what the companies are looking for,” said Todd Poole study team member and managing principal for 4WARD Planning.

State Rep. Susan Johnson, D-Willimantic, attended the visioning session and spoke of the city’s potential. “We have a lot of resources here that could really help to change the economy,” Johnson said. She pointed to the freight rail lines, the airport, mills and other assets that could be harnessed to return Willimantic to its productive days.

She said she sees high-level manufacturing, to which much of the state has already begun to shift, as an exciting opportunity for the city. “If we act together, we can really attract a lot of people to the region,” Johnson said.

Columbia Town Planner Jana Butts, who is also a senior planner at WINCOG, was interested in the concept of “locational efficiency,” which would bring housing and jobs geographically closer.

“People who live close to their work are saving a lot of money, but also living a greener lifestyle,” Butts said. “I think there’s a real need for everyone to examine the environmental costs of their lifestyles and implement ways to make their lifestyles more sustainable.”

Livingston said he was grateful for the feedback. “What is most useful is hearing people’s personal stories and hearing their values,” he said.

It is these stories and values that will inform the consortium’s recommendations.

WINCOG Director Mark Paquette said the consortium will begin to synthesize these ideas this week, with the goal of moving a bit closer to final recommendations.

The consortium is looking for “a small number of (recommendations) where we can really make a difference,” he said.

The synthesized findings of the sessions will be posted on the consortium’s web site www.sustaineasternct. org, where community members can also learn more about the study and submit their own ideas.

Posted June 25, 2012

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on Twitter at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

SPONSORS



Business

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.

September  2014
   
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30  

Archives