Community News For The East Hartford Edition

Animal Blessings

EAST HARTFORD — At South Congregational Church, 1301 Forbes St., a blessing of the animals will take place at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1. People of all faiths with pets of all kinds may attend.

Bring your pets on a leash or crated. If a pet cannot be there physically, a picture may be brought instead. This simple service of worship will be led by Rev. Fredd Ward, Senior Pastor of South Church. The church is handicap accessible. For more information, visit southucc.org or call 860-568-5150.

Blessing Of The Animals

EAST HARTFORD — A blessing of the animals will take place at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, at All Saints' Episcopal Church, 444 Hills St. All pets are welcome.

Apple Fair

EAST HARTFORD — The 50th annual apple fair at All Saints' Episcopal Church, 444 Hills St., will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7.

Home-baked goods are available, as well as a cookie walk, fall flowers, apple pie and lunch. Anyone interested in being a vendor may call Ward at 860-568-5493.

Walk To End Alzheimer's

EAST HARTFORD — Join Hebrew Senior Care's Team as they walk together to end Alzheimer's on Sunday, Oct. 1, at Rentschler Field, 615 Silver Lane.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the opening ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. The walk is two miles long and will kick off at 9:30 a.m. For more information, email Heather at hdobbert@hebrewseniorcare.org or 860-920-1810.

Disasters Don't Plan Ahead: You Can

EAST HARTFORD — The following disaster preparation information was provided by East Hartford Mayor Marcia A. Leclerc.

September is National Preparedness month, recognizing that adequate preparation makes a big difference in an emergency situation. This year's theme is "Disasters Don't Plan Ahead. YOU CAN."

Given the recent events and the devastating impacts to residents of Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and US territories and other nations in the Caribbean, preparedness should be at the forefront of our to-do list, because preparation ahead of time can make a big difference. Connecticut and New England have been no stranger to devastating weather events in current years. I want to strongly urge residents to take steps now to prepare for the possibility of extreme weather events.

Since the beginning of summer, East Hartford has been engaged in a long-term disaster preparedness and community resilience campaign known as Plan 9. This campaign seeks to educate residents about the importance of making a plan in case of an emergency, and urges people to gather nine inexpensive, commonly available items that can make a big difference to quality of life and resilience in case of disaster. You should prepare your own "Plan 9 Bag", with items like non-perishable food, water, prescription medication (if applicable), a can opener, a flash light, etc. and have it ready to go in case you need to evacuate your home.

Preparedness doesn't just help you and your family; it also helps your neighbors, and the community as a whole. If you are better prepared you will be less at risk in case of emergency, and you will be less reliant on limited emergency services during the event. When you are prepared, you help us help you and let first responders focus on those who are in greater danger.

It goes without saying that while we hope we won't have to face a disaster of the magnitudes of the recent storms, it is important to be prepared in case we do. I urge everyone to visit www.easthartforct.gov/plan9 and familiarize themselves with the basic items that can make a big difference in an emergency. You should also make lists of family members or important contacts to have on hand, and make sure you have a copy of your insurance and other important documents ready to go. Think about where you live. Do you live in a low lying part of town, or near the river? If so, you may want to have an extra phone charger in a zip-lock or water-proof bag with your Plan 9 bag. Make sure you place any electronics in there to protect them from rain or floodwaters. Thinking about things like this in advance will help save precious time in an emergency does happen.

And it is just as important to register yourself and your family with the EH Alert Network, to insure you receive timely emergency notifications from the Town. You can select a variety of ways to be contacted, including by phone, email, or text message. Sign up at www.ehalertct.gov to set your emergency communication preferences today.

Finally, if you'd like to donate to help with the recovery in Houston, Florida, Puerto Rico, or the US Virgin Islands, please check out an article on our website (www.easthartfordct.gov/hurricane-safety), which has a list of appropriate charities and organizations. Please be mindful of where you are giving your money, be wary of scams, and remember that organizations need money far more than donations of food, clothes, or other items (which they have to pay to move and store), you can also find a list of approved charities at the state of Connecticut website (www.ct.gov).

Thank you very much for your efforts to make our town a safer and more resilient community.

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. The October book 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.

Flu shot clinics will take place from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on the following Fridays: Oct. 13 and Oct. 20. Bring your insurance card and ID.

Do you know that the East Hartford Senior Center serves a hot lunch every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday? Call 860-569-5654 before noon on the day before you are coming to make a reservation. A full meal is served for a $2.50 donation.

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.

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.

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.

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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