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Community News For The East Hartford Edition

East Hartford Veterinarian Receives Award

EAST HARTFORD — Dr. Wil Barrios, DVM, owner and chief veterinarian of the East Hartford Animal Clinic on Connecticut Boulevard, recently received an award of appreciation from the Ferret Association.

Barrios opened his independent vet hospital in 1988. Not long after, he met with Ferret Association representatives who were introducing themselves to area vets.

Over the past 25-plus years, Dr. Barrios has provided treatment to many of the nearly 1,900 ferrets rescued by the Ferret Association. The Ferret Association regularly referred other owners and adopters to his hospital. The East Hartford Animal Clinic also works with other area humane groups, including Protectors of Animals. But his partnership with the Ferret Association is one of his longest.

YMCA of Greater Hartford Celebrates Y-Bell Power Scholars

HARTFORD — The YMCA of Greater Hartford was recently joined by local officials, representatives of Comcast and families to honor 100 East Hartford students for their successful completion of the Y-BELL Power Scholars Academy.

During the ceremony, Comcast announced that for the third consecutive year, it was providing a cash and in-kind grant for $18,000, which will be used for the Power Scholars Academy and YMCA Celebrates Champions programs and events. Also, one student who earned tickets for excellence during this summer's Power Scholars Academy was the recipient of a laptop computer, courtesy of Comcast.

Power Scholars Academy, which has now completed its fifth year in Hartford and fourth year in East Hartford, is a six-week summer program for youth in kindergarten through grade 5 that serves to mitigate summer learning loss by providing underserved youth with structured academic and enrichment activities.

The Power Scholars Academy also hosts Mentor Days, wherein youth participate in college and career-oriented presentations, community service projects, and visits by community leaders who visit the program to talk about their professions and inspire scholars to pursue excellence.

The Power Scholars Academy curriculum is based on the Project-Based Learning model, which fosters student engagement and provides hands-on learning opportunities.

Colchester Native Graduates

NEW LONDON — Matthew McAllister has graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a bachelor of science degree, and a commission as an ensign. McAllister is the son of Jeffrey and Christine McAllister of Lebanon and the grandson of Howard and Dolores Harvey of East Hartford and William McAllister, Sr., also of East Hartford.

McAllister graduated Bacon Academy of Colchester and is stationed in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for a two-year tour.

Wrap Recycling Action Program

EAST HARTFORD — East Hartford is rolling out a major new environmental sustainability initiative that dramatically increases the plastic recycling options available to residents. With this new program residents will be able to recycle plastic wrap that is not allowed in curbside recycling bins conveniently at local grocery stores. With this added recycling option, residents can now divert nearly all of their plastic waste from garbage to recycling.

East Hartford is one of the first communities in Connecticut to partner with a local grocery store to expand plastic wrap recycling for residents. East Hartford is partnering with ShopRite of East Hartford to provide a convenient, well-marked location at the store entrance. Additionally, residents can recycle plastic wrap at other stores and locations in the area.

East Hartford joins communities around the country and in Canada in the Wrap Recycling Action Program (WRAP), which expands the kinds of plastic residents can recycle at local retail grocery and home improvement stores to include plastic bags, plastic wraps like bread bags, bubble wrap, newspaper bags, overwrap around household products, case wrap around beverages and other household items, as well as dry cleaning bags and other plastic wraps or films.

Walk To End Alzheimer's

EAST HARTFORD — The Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's will be held Sunday, Oct. 1, at Rentschler Field, 615 Silver Lane. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with the walk ceremonies starting at 9 a.m.

The Alzheimer's Association is a nonprofit organization. The Connecticut Chapter provides hundreds of help line calls, performs Care Consultations and many Educational Programs where over 150 people attended from all over the state. All of these services are provided free of charge to the community. To register a team, visit alz.org and search for the local walk.

Senior Picnic

EAST HARTFORD — The East Hartford Senior Picnic, sponsored by the Commission on Aging and Mayor Marcia A. Leclerc, will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12, at the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Club, 200 Clement Road.

Doors will open at 10:30 a.m. and lunch will be served at 12:15 p.m. sharp. This year's menu includes BBQ chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, salads and dessert. Dale Griffith of Into the Groove will provide musical entertainment. Door prizes will be awarded throughout the afternoon. Tickets are $6 each or $10 for non-residents and will be sold at the South End Senior Center, 70 Canterbury St., through Sept. 8. Tickets will not be sold at the door. The theme is "Polynesian" and prizes will be awarded for best-dressed.

Bids, Bites And Beer

EAST HARTFORD — From 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7, the CT River Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Jordan Porco Foundation will be hosting 'Bids, Bites & Beer,' at the Holiday Inn Hartford Downtown, 100 East River Drive.

The evening will include live and silent auctions. In celebration of Sept. 7 being National Beer Lover's Day, guests will enjoy a variety of tastings from craft breweries, in addition to wines, spirits and a full cash bar. Locally-sourced food pairings have been supported by Glastonbury farm Killam & Bassette.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Jordan Porco Foundation, founded in 2011 by Ernie and Marisa Porco after they lost their son, Jordan, to suicide when he was a freshman in college. The auction takes place during national Suicide Awareness week and the mission of the Jordan Porco Foundation is to prevent suicide, promote mental health, and create a message of hope for young adults.

Tickets are $50 and must be purchased in advance. Register at crvchamber.org and more information, to donate or sponsor, contact the Chamber at 860-659-3587.

Donations Sought: Back-To-School Program

EAST HARTFORD — The East Hartford Social Services Division will be transitioning their Back-to-School Supplies Program to a Back-to-School Shoe Program.

Donations are currently being sought for the newly established "Payless Back-to-School Shoe Program." These funds will be used to purchase discounted Payless Shoe gift cards to distribute to the students previously served by the "Back-to-School Supplies Program."

The goal of the program is to provide parents with a $25 one time use gift card to Payless ShoeSource. Any individual, organization or group wishing to find out more about this program or make a donation are encouraged to contact Social Services at 860-291-7248. Checks should be made payable to: Payless Back-to-School Shoe Program and are fully tax deductible.

Smoke Alarm Installations

EAST HARTFORD — The Connecticut American Red Cross and the East Hartford Fire Department are offering free smoke alarms and installation to residents in East Hartford. Installations took place on Friday, Aug. 4. Residents can schedule a visit on the Connecticut Chapter of the American Red Cross's website or by calling 877-287-3327 and choosing option 1 on the menu to request a smoke alarm installation.

Visit http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/prevent-home-fire for fire safety tips.

Mobile Foodshare Schedule

EAST HARTFORD — East Hartford Mobile Foodshare will be at the following locations in August. This program assists low income individuals and families.

Aug. 28: St. Isaac Jogues, 11 High View, 1:15 to 2 p.m.

Aug. 30: Main & Burnside Mobile, formerly St. John's Episcopal Church, 12 Rector St., 1:15 to 2 p.m.

Historical Society Of East Hartford Museum

EAST HARTFORD — The East Hartford Historical Society at Martin Park is open for the 2017 summer season from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday afternoons during August. The Park location is at 307 Burnside Ave. The 1761 Makens Bemont House, also known as the Huguenot House, is restored to its original 18th century appearance with period furnishings. Also open is the 1821 Goodwin Schoolhouse and the 1850 Burnham Blacksmith Shop. Tours are free; donations are accepted. Visit www.hseh.org or call 860-528-0716 for more information.

Farmers Market

EAST HARTFORD — The East Hartford Farmers Market begins its 25th year of operation. The market will be open Fridays through Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Raymond Library, 840 Main St.

All Connecticut farmers markets are affiliated with the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Farmer's Market Coupon Program. They are authorized to accept their produce and vegetable vouchers.

The Farmers Market is Co-sponsored by East Hartford Health Department and the East Hartford Public Libraries. These organizations and other agencies will conduct health, education and outreach activities at the market, and representatives from the Health Department's Community Nursing Services Division, the VFW, East Hartford Childplan and First Choice Community Health Center will be there. Special events will be announced as the season progresses.

New Taxes Billing System

EAST HARTFORD — Tax Collector Iris Laurenza is reminding residents that the first installment of real estate, motor vehicle and personal property tax for the fiscal year was due effective July 1.

Residents wishing their payment to be marked as on time should complete or postmark payment on or before August 1, 2017. Late payments are subject to an interest charge of 1 1/2 percent per month from the due date of July 1, 2017, with a minimum interest payment of $2.

Residents are reminded that failure to receive a tax bill does not excuse residents from paying the tax or added penalties. Residents with questions about vehicles which were sold, stolen or destroyed should contact the East Hartford Assessor's Office at 860-291-7260. Residents requesting a receipt with mailed tax payments should include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

The Town has an online billing system, InvoiceCloud, which saves time, reduces errors, and allows paperless billing. Residents will be able to access their bill at any time, from anywhere. Residents who register can take advantage of payment scheduling and auto-pay features which save time and prevent missed bills. The new system can also send payment reminders by email or SMS text message and includes pay by text functionality for those who have set up a profile with a payment method. Residents can choose from a range of online payment options, including credit, debit, ACH and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Please note that there may be fees associated with different online payment methods.

For more information about the online bill payment system or to pay your bill, visit http://www.easthartfordct.gov/tax-collector.

Summer Reading

EAST HARTFORD — The East Hartford Public Schools are joining together with the East Hartford Public Library, 840 Main St., to sponsor a summer reading program.

The East Hartford Public Library has reading programs for adults, teens, school-aged children and preschoolers. Registration is open now, when participants can start logging their reading into our new mobile-friendly online system. The library summer reading program also counts towards the Governor's Summer Reading challenge, a project of the Connecticut State Library and the CT Department of Education.

To register for summer reading, visit the library's website at www.easthartfordct.gov/library and click on the "Summer Reading" menu item on the left side of our website. Click on the link for the relevant program: children's, teen, or adult. Click the "join here" link if you're signing up one person, or click the "enter family management portal" purple button to sign up multiple family members.

For the children's program, participants keep track of the time they spend reading or listening to books. All reading counts. When children enter their minutes into the mobile-friendly online system, they are automatically entered into a weekly prize drawing. The online summer reading portal also includes a game feature that allows children to earn digital badges as they read and interact with the program. Children, teens, and adults all earn chances to win weekly raffle prizes donated by local businesses.

In addition to the online summer reading program, which can be done anywhere, on any Internet-connected device, the library offers an exciting lineup of summer programs. Visit the newly renovated and expanded Raymond Library at 840 Main St. for music, movies, hula hooping, dancing, playgroup, LEGO bricks and Mindstorms, animals, craft programs, and more.

Visit the East Hartford Public Library website for more information and to register for summer reading at www.easthartfordct.gov/library or call the library at 860-290-4329.

Bulky Waste Permits

EAST HARTFORD — Residents may begin purchasing bulky waste permits for the next fiscal year of 2018. All current year permits expired on June 30.

New permits and ticket books may be purchased at the Public Works Administration Office located at 61 Ecology Drive. Permits may also be obtained by mailing a completed application, along with a check and a copy of the resident's photo ID or other document showing proof of residency, to Town of East Hartford Public Works, 740 Main Street, East Hartford, CT 06108.

Residents should be aware that, due to the popularity of the Bulky Waste program, there may be delays in purchasing permits at the DPW office. Residents are advised to visit the Public Works Office prior to their arrival to obtain pertinent information and forms to assist in processing their application and avoid delays. The office is open Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Being prepared with the proper documentation can also speed up the process. Residents are reminded that a valid Connecticut driver's license (or non-driver ID), as well as a tax bill and/or utility bill as documentation of residency is needed to complete the application. Residents can also print and fill out the Bulky Waste permit application from the Town website which will expedite the process. The application can be accessed at the following link: https://www.easthartfordct.gov/waste-services

Annual permit fees are $15 for senior residents and $35 for all others. Permit holders will receive a book of five tickets for use at the transfer station and two appointments for curbside service. Supplemental books of five tickets each may be purchased for $30 each. Supplemental tickets will not expire, but the user must have a valid permit to access the Transfer Station. Owners of 1-6 family properties and renters are eligible. Accepted forms of payment include cash, check or credit/debit card, with a $3 fee.

Residents may continue to drop off recyclables including leaves and grass, cardboard, single stream items, waste oil, textiles, Paint Care approved paint products, mattresses and electronics at the Transfer Station free of charge without a permit by showing an East Hartford photo ID.

Questions about the bulky waste program and fees may be answered by calling 860-291-7363. Information is also available on the Internet at www.easthartfordct.gov.

Thrift Store Volunteer Opportunities

EAST HARTFORD — The East Hartford Senior Center's 'New to You' thrift store is seeking volunteers to help with two positions. The first is testing a variety of donated electronics, everything from flashlights to computers.

The store is also looking for someone to manage Craigslist postings: photography, descriptions, pricing, and meeting buyers will be done by staff. For information about volunteering, contact Kathy Kane at 860-569-5659. Proceeds directly benefit Seniors through the East Hartford Senior Center, 70 Canterbury St.

CoDA Meets Tuesdays

EAST HARTFORD — Co-Dependents Anonymous, CoDA, is a 12-step fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is recovery from co-dependence and the development and maintenance of healthy relationships. The local CoDA meetings are on Tuesdays, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church, 1120 Silver Lane. Call Dan at 860-836-6566 for details.

Mental Illness Support Groups

EAST HARTFORD — The Manchester affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness will hold a support group on the first Thursday of the month at the Crossroads Community Cathedral, 1492 Silver Lane, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. This group is for family members and friends of the mentally ill only. Contact Dama at dayma436@gmail.com or Sandra at 860-461-6695 for more information.

Operation Fuel Offering Energy Assistance

HARTFORD — Operation Fuel's statewide network of fuel banks started taking energy assistance applications on Wednesday, July 5, from households that are in financial crisis and are in danger of having their utility services terminated.

Individuals who need energy assistance should call 211. The annual winter moratorium, which prevents households from having their electricity and gas shut off, ended on May 1 and will not resume until November 1, 2017.

Energy affordability is a year-round problem for more than 322,000 Connecticut households. Operation Fuel is Connecticut's only statewide nonprofit energy assistance program. For the fiscal year, which ends June 30, Operation Fuel has provided over $3.3 million in energy assistance to more than 7,830 households. This includes $2.1 million in energy assistance for the 2017 winter program and $1.2 million in energy assistance last summer.

Now in its 40th year, Operation Fuel is a statewide nonprofit program that provides emergency energy assistance year-round to lower-income working families and individuals, the elderly, and disabled individuals who are in financial crisis.

For more information on Operation Fuel or to make a donation, go to www.operationfuel.org. Donations also can be sent to Operation Fuel, 75 Charter Oak Avenue, Suite 2-240, Hartford, CT, 06106.

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