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Community News For The East Hartford Edition

Final Coats For Kids Sign-Up

EAST HARTFORD — The East Hartford Health & Social Services will be holding a final sign-up for those households who were not able to attend the initial sign-ups held during the months of July and August. A limited amount of new coats are still available for East Hartford youth, between the ages of 5-12 years, from low income families. Funding for this program is generously provided by the East Hartford Rotary.

Final sign-ups will take place from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20, in the Social Services Department, Lower Level, East Hartford Town Hall, 740 Main St.

At the time of sign-up, the following information must be provided: Proof of East Hartford residency: photo ID with current address, current bill or current rent receipt; Proof of current gross monthly household income; Current budget sheet from DSS (for cash assistance only); Proof of dates of birth for all family/household members; Long form birth certificates for all household members under age 18 and Proof of guardianship/custody, if applicable.

No applications will be accepted over the phone. For more information, visit www.easthartfordct.gov or call 860-291-7295.

Senior Center News

EAST HARTFORD — The East Hartford Senior Center, 70 Canterbury St., is hosting the following events. Visit www.easthartfordct.gov or call 860-568-4281 for more information.

The senior center is looking for volunteers to help serve the noon meal, work as an office volunteer or join the special events group. Call the above number if you are interested.

The East Hartford Public Library offers a book discussion on the second Tuesday of the month from 1 to 2 p.m. In September the book is "The 19th Wife" by David Ebershoff. If you want to get a head start on the October book, it is "My Name is Lucy Barton" by Elizabeth Strout.

Tap dance class began on Sept. 12 and will run through Nov. 14, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Cost to attend is $15 for residents and $25 for nonresidents, for all 10 classes.

All levels are welcome for the embroidery, knit and crochet class. The instructor will work with each student individually. The class will take place from Wednesdays from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. The session began on Sept. 13 and ends on Oct. 18. The six-week session is $15 for residents and $18 for nonresidents. A drop-in knitting and crochet group will meet on Tuesdays from 1 to 3 p.m. There is no need to register for the drop-in group.

A new iPad User Group began on Monday, Sept. 11. Call the center for more information.

Coffee with the New East Hartford Senior Center Program Supervisor will take place at Friday, Sept. 15 at 10 a.m., at the center, and Monday, Sept. 18, at 10 a.m. at the East Hartford Golf Course.

Do you play Dominoes? Let's get a group together to play. The first organizational meeting will be on Friday, Sept. 22, at 1 p.m. Bring your dominoes set with you. If you are interested, call 860-569-5659 and let staff know you are attending.

On Monday, Sept. 25 at 1 p.m., Marilynn Cruz-Aponte, Assistant Director of East Hartford Public Works, will introduce a new plastic recycling plan, the WRAP Recycling Action Program.

Freedom From Stress

EAST HARTFORD — Freedom from Stress: Navigating the Modern Workplace, will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, at Odiyana Center, 36 Main St., with Resident Teacher Kelsang Khyenwang.

Cost to attend is $25; no one is turned away for lack of funds. This class is good for beginners and advanced meditators alike. No experience is necessary. For more info, visit meditationinconnecticut.org or call 860-266-6041.

Chicken BBQ Dinner

EAST HARTFORD — South Congregational Church, 1301 Forbes St., will sponsor a chicken barbecue dinner on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 6 p.m. The menu will include barbecued chicken, tossed salad, corn on the cob, pasta salad, rolls and butter, and dessert and beverage.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 4 to 12. Children under 4 may attend for free. Tickets will be sold at the door and the community is welcome to attend. The church is handicapped accessible. For more information, visit southucc.org or call the church office at 860-568-5150.

2017 Road Improvement Project Update

EAST HARTFORD — The Town of East Hartford's Road Improvement Project is underway. Contractor Tilcon Connecticut, Inc. will continue road improvement activities, including pavement reconstruction, new curbing installation, manhole adjustments, sidewalk ramp construction, pavement marking, etc. throughout the fall. Residents should be advised that no street has been fully completed. Work may return to their street through the fall.

The following status update for all 2017 Road Improvement Project streets is as of Aug. 25, 2017:

The first layer of paving and curb installation is complete for the following roads. Concrete work is underway for some driveways and accessible ramps. The final surface course paving is scheduled for September: Claremont Street, Deerfield Court, Deerfield Avenue, Edward Street,

Franklin Street, Linden Street, Maplewood Avenue, Oakland Avenue, Stanley Street, Sterling Road, Webster Street, and Woodbridge Avenue.

Columbus Circle has been reclaimed and will be paved once the road has been graded and compacted. Curbing will then be installed.

Drainage work is ongoing on the following roads, and is nearing completion. Then the road will be reclaimed to make the first layer of pavement: Adams Street, Murray Street, Vine Street, Springside Avenue, Rose Street, and Greene Terrace.

Drainage work has started on Jayce Street and Park Avenue. Both will be milled and repaved starting in September. Drainage work has also begun on Barbonsel Road and Godar Terrace, both of these streets will be reclaimed and repaved.

Questions can be directed to the East Hartford Public Works Department, Engineering Division at 860-291-7380, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Visit http://www.easthartfordct.gov/engineering for more information.

Town, ShopRite Commit To Recycling More

EAST HARTFORD — East Hartford, in partnership with ShopRite, is rolling out a major new environmental sustainability initiative to dramatically increase recycling of plastic wraps and bags.

The initiative seeks to educate East Hartford residents about the importance of recycling their plastic wraps, bags and other flexible film packaging at retail drop-off locations like ShopRite and other local grocery and retail stores, and not in curbside recycling bins.

The initiative is part of an ongoing statewide Wrap Recycling Action Program Campaign, an innovative public-private partnership that promotes recycling of flexible film packaging. Nationwide, more than 18,000 grocery and retail stores collect flexible film packaging for recycling—yet consumer awareness remains low.

Mayor Marcia A. Leclerc said many people may not be aware that they can't place these plastics in their blue recycling bins and the goal is to raise awareness and divert 100-percent of plastic film from curbside bins by 2020.

Residents in East Hartford and across the nation can recycle a wide variety of clean and dry flexible plastic wraps and bags. Visit the East Hartford WRAP website at www.easthartfordct.gov/wrap for more information.

Agricultural Fair

EAST HARTFORD — The Hillstown Grange will host its annual Agricultural Fair on Saturday, Sept. 16, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Grange Hall, 617 Hills St.

The public is invited to enter their needlework, flowers, crafts, hobbies, vegetables, baked goods, canned goods, jams, and jellies. Ribbons and cash prizes are awarded to winning entries. Items for the exhibits, to be judged, need to be dropped off Thursday, Sept. 14, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Forms are available by email to save time filling them out Thursday. For more information, email hillstowngrange@aol.com, call 860-568-6268 or text/call 860-690-2845.

Mobile Foodshare Schedule

EAST HARTFORD — East Hartford's Mobile Foodshare schedule for September is as follows. This program assists low income individuals/families.

Hockanum Park Complex, 75 Hamilton Road: 8:45 to 9:15 a.m.; Veterans Terrace Complex, 102 Columbus St., 10 to 10:30 a.m.; Monday: Sept. 18. When Town Hall is closed or East Hartford Schools have a delayed opening or are closed due to bad weather, Hockanum Park and Veterans Terrace Foodshare will be canceled that day. Also watch Channel 3 news or check their website, www.wfsb.com, for cancellations.

Summerfield Townhouses, 156 Plain Drive, 1:45 to 2:30 p.m.; Wednesday: Sept. 20. When East Hartford Public Schools have an early dismissal or are closed due to bad weather, Summerfield Foodshare will be canceled that day.

St. Isaac Jogues,11 High View, 1:15 to 2 p.m. Monday: Sept. 11 and 25. When East Hartford Schools are closed due to bad weather, Mayberry Foodshare will be canceled that day. Note location change for summer distributions.

Main and Burnside Mobile,12 Rector St., 1:15 to 2 p.m. Wednesday: Sept. 13 and 27. When East Hartford Schools are closed due to bad weather, Main & Burnside Mobile will be canceled that day.

Meditation Classes

EAST HARTFORD — Meditation classes at Odiyana Center, 36 Main St.., will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, 10 a.m. Saturdays and 10:30 a.m. Sundays.

Each class includes guided meditations, practical advice, time for discussion and Q & A. Classes are perfect for beginners and advanced meditators alike; everyone is welcome.

Cost to attend is $10 to $12 per class. No one turned away for lack of funds. For more information, visit meditationinconnecticut.org or call 860-266-6041.

Commission On Aging Events

EAST HARTFORD — Senior Aqua Aerobics will take place Monday, Sept. 18, through Thursday, June 14 ,on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the East Hartford Middle School pool. The fee for residents is $60 for September through June and $35 for January to June only. The non-residents fee is $75 for September through June and $45 for January through June. Please register in the East Hartford Senior Center office.

Dental Hygiene students from Goodwin College are offering a presentation on oral health at the Senior Center on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 1:30 p.m. Learn about maintaining your teeth and caring for your dentures and about the free dental hygiene clinic at Goodwin College. A free toothbrush, toothpaste and product samples will be given. Call the Senior Center to register, at 860-569-5659.

On Monday, Sept. 25 at 1 p.m., Marilynn Cruz-Aponte, Assistant Director of East Hartford Public Works, will introduce a new plastic recycling plan, the WRAP Recycling Action Program. This is a great opportunity to learn about bulky waste permits and leaf collection also.

Many people are using the Computer Learning Center. You can drop in Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to surf the net, play computer games, or use available applications. But we are offering an upcoming Getting More Out of Your Computer Series on Fridays in September from 1 to 3 p.m. Register for one or more of the following: September 8 – Facebook, September 15 – Pinterest, September 22 – Tech Drop-In, September 29 – Instagram – Share your Photos. Bring your e-mail address with you to class.

The iPad User Group brings together people who use the iPad and want to go a bit further. Share your knowledge with others and you will pick up some tips yourself. The group will begin on Monday, Sept. 11, at 10 a.m. Call 860-569-5659 if you are planning to attend. Visit www.easthartfordct.gov for more information.

Blue Star Flag Flies For Deployed Firefighters

EAST HARTFORD — Continuing a long standing tradition, the East Hartford Fire Department is flying the Blue Star Flag at each fire station to recognize the overseas service of two of its members. Lieutenant Nicholas Calsetta and Firefighter/Paramedic Darrel Hanrahan are both deployed overseas with units of the Connecticut Air National Guard.

A tradition lasting to the First World War, the Blue Star Banner and its associated flag is a federally recognized symbol indicating that a family member is serving overseas in the Armed Forces. The East Hartford Fire Department has flown the flag for each deployment of a department member since 2010. Visit https://www.legion.org/troops/bluestar for more information about the Blue Star Banner.

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. The NAMI Family Support Group is a peer-led support group for family members, caregivers and loved ones of individuals living with mental illness. Gain insight from the challenges and successes of others facing similar circumstances. Contact Dama at dayma436@gmail.com or Sandra at 860-461-6695 for more information.

Renters Rebate Program

EAST HARTFORD — East Hartford Social Services reminds residents that they are continuing to accept applications for the State of Connecticut, Office of Policy and Management, Renters Rebate Program. Applications are being accepted on a walk-in basis, no appointments necessary, every Tuesday in September, between 9:30 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 3 p.m.

This program may provide elderly and disabled renters with a small refund check based on the amount of rent and utilities they paid in 2016. At the time you apply, please make sure that you bring all of the following documentation with you, which applies to your situation:

Eligibility requirements are: 65 years of age or older or 100-percent disabled, age 18 or older (by 12/31/16); 2016 GROSS income (including all Social Security benefits) must not have exceeded $42,900 for a married couple or $35,200 for a single individual.

Required Income Documentation (all for calendar year 2016): Social Security Income (form SSA 1099) & SSI if applicable; Copy of 2016 Federal Income Tax Return, if filed, or 1099 forms for pensions, dividends, interest, stocks & bonds, etc.; W-2's from employment; Veterans Disability or Railroad Retirement; 100-percent disabled: Benefits Verification form from Social Security showing date disability began and proof of SSI benefit, along with other forms listed above, if applicable.

Required Expense Documentation: Rent receipts for 2016 (all 12 months); Utility bills you paid in 2016 (heat, gas, electric, only). NO telephone, cable or medical bills.

Applications cannot be processed without all of the required documentation. The 2017 application period ends on September 29, 2017. Questions can be directed to Social Services at 860-291-7248.

Mayor's Cleanup Day

EAST HARTFORD — The annual mayor's clean-up day will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Town Green on Main Street. Volunteers are needed.

The one day event is an expansion of Mayor Marcia Leclerc's townwide beautification efforts. Volunteers from local youth groups, churches, organizations, civic clubs, businesses and individuals are invited to join.

Community volunteers complete a "bridge-to-bridge" clean-up of Main Street and the gateways of East Hartford, weeding, cleaning and removing debris all along Main Street from Main and Pitkin up through Main and Burnside.

Local organizations, businesses and individuals interested in volunteering are asked to email mlarson@easthartfordct.gov or call 860-291-7200. Visit https://www.easthartfordct.gov/mayorscleanup/register to register online.

A celebratory lunch will be provided for all registered volunteers at noon. Community service hours can be completed during this time and certificates of participation will be provided upon request.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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