Community News For The Vernon Edition

Cookie Sale

VERNON — The Friends of Rockville Public Library, 52 Union St., will host its annual holiday cookie sale from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, downstairs in the library.

Each platter contains 2 lbs. of homemade cookies, selling for $13. For more details and to order platters, call the library's adult circulation desk at 860-875-5892, ext. 100. Proceeds from this sale allows the Friends to provide museum passes to library card holders as well as other purchases to enhance the library.

Holiday Extravaganza Market

ELLINGTON — The Ellington Farmers' Market is hosting a special holiday extravaganza market from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, at the YMCA, 11 Pinney St. A wide variety of locally produced items including farm products, seafood, baked goods, specialty foods, home and body products, pet treats and toys and artisan wares will be available, with the focus on items for the holidays.

Vernon Community Network Meeting

VERNON — The Vernon Community Network will be hosting its general meeting from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 8, at Bev's Corner, 3 Elm St. Join the Vernon Community Network in welcoming guest speaker Michael Purcaro, Vernon's new town administrator. Visit for more information.

Stickney Hill Walk

ROCKVILLE — A free one-mile walk at the Stickney Hill property, a 15.9-acre parcel of forest, rock, hill, and ledges, will take place at noon Saturday, Dec. 9.

Entrance to the property is at the eastern end of Pleasant Street, in the northeast part of Rockville. The land is donated to the Manchester Land Conservation Trust as an open-space gift for the public to enjoy. Parallel park along the street.

Volunteers have created a marked trail and will lead the walk. People can also explore the property on their own, using a map available on the website. The Land Trust owns 450 acres of open space land in Andover, Bolton, East Hartford, Glastonbury, Manchester, and Vernon, conserving the land to improve plant and animal habitat, water and air quality for the public.

Contact the Trust through the website or phone the Trust's membership chair Terry Parla at 860-643-1823.

Wreaths Across America

VERNON — The Vernon Cemetery Commission will again participate in the Wreaths Across America ceremony at noon Saturday, Dec. 16, at Lugg Veterans Field in Grove Hill Cemetery.

Ceremonial wreaths representing all the branches of service and the Prisoner of War will be placed at the field. Service flags will accompany each wreath as they are placed.

The tradition of laying wreaths to honor veterans during the holiday season began in 1992 when Morrill Worcester of the Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, was stuck with a number of extra wreaths at the close of the holiday season. Remembering a boyhood trip to the Nation's Capital and the sacred grounds of Arlington National Cemetery, he donated 5,000 wreaths to be placed at the headstones of an older section of the cemetery. Visit for more information.

Arts Center East Events

VERNON — Arts Center East, 709 Hartford Turnpike, is hosting the following events. Visit to register or call 860-871-8222 for more information. Pictured is Night Day by Pamela Flynn.

Adult Classes offered are Zentangle, pastel painting, a writing workshop, painting with acrylics and watercolors.

Sixth Annual Artist Members Exhibit: Nov. 12 through Dec. 17; Gallery Hours: Thursday through Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.

Call for Crafters: The Holiday Arts and Crafts Festival and Sale will take place Dec. 7 through 10 and Dec. 14 through 17. Sale hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Eligible merchandise includes soap, jewelry, candles, textiles, stationery, ceramics, wood, and other craft items. All items must be hand-made. No paintings.

There is no table fee and vendors need not be present during the sale. Vendor commission: 70-percent. Sales tax will be added by Arts Center East. Visit for more information or an application.

At 2 p.m. Dec. 10, enjoy a performance by the Rockville High School Carolers. At 2 p.m. Dec. 16, listen to the Vernon Chorale.

December Paint Night: 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28. Fee: $35, includes paints, canvas, brushes and refreshments.

Toy Drive For Puerto Rico

SOUTH WINDSOR-VERNON — Nevinna, a fourth grader at Orchard Hill, wanted to make sure children in Puerto Rico have a present for this upcoming holiday season.

A toy drive will take place on Saturday, Dec. 9. Drop-off locations are at the Berkshire Hathaway South Windsor and Vernon offices until Dec. 15. Items in need are toys for all ages, school supplies and Toys 'R' Us, Target or Walmart gift cards. Email for more information or ways to help.

Library Events

VERNON — During December, the Rockville Public Library, 52 Union St., will hold a book discussion. On Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 2 p.m., the monthly book discussion will take place. December's book to be discussed is "Midwives" by Chris Bohjalian. Books are available for checkout.

Toys For Tikes Drive

VERNON — The Vernon Volunteer Firefighters Association is seeking contributions of new toys and financial donations for its annual Toys for Tikes drive. Each Christmas, the firefighters distribute these toys to the community's less fortunate children.

Toys will be collected through Saturday, Dec. 16. Distribution to families who have pre-registered with Hockanum Valley will be completed on Monday, Dec. 18, after 7 p.m. Financial donations can be sent to Vernon Volunteer Firefighters Association, Inc., P.O. Box 951, Vernon, CT 06066. Questions may be directed to the Vernon Fire Safety Complex at 860-871-7468, option 2.

New, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at any of the following locations: Advanced Kitchens – 89 West Road, Ellington; Big Sky Fitness - 47 Hartford Tpke.; Casey's Café – 127 West Road, Ellington; Crystal Blueprint – 21-23 West Main St.; Flint's Barber Shop – 25 West Main St.; Jumpin' Jonnies – 234 Talcottville Rd.; Lifeforce Chiropractic – 27 Hartford Tpke.; Metamorphosis Salon – 243 Hartford Tpke.; Reins Deli/Restaurant – 435 Hartford Tpke.;

Rocky' Ace Hardware – 71-73 Windsor Ave.; Spare Time – 350 Talcottville Rd.; Suburban Subaru – 14 Hartford Tpke.; Superior Energy – 994 Hartford Tpke.; Vernon Police Station – Rt. 30 & West Rd.; Vernon Public Safety & Ambulance Complex – 280 West Rd.; and Vernon Town Hall – Park Street.

Bolton Lakes Forum Rescheduled

BOLTON — On Thursday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m., the Friends of Bolton Lakes will sponsor a forum where Professor Timothy Ku and his Wesleyan University Environmental Geochemistry class will present their research on plant and sediment samples collected from Middle and Lower Bolton Lakes. The forum, rescheduled from Nov. 30, will take place at Camp Newhoca Lodge, 195 Grier Road.

Their findings will highlight nutrient cycling and historical records of the lake environment, perhaps going back hundreds of years. The Friends of Bolton Lakes is an organization dedicated to protecting the Bolton Lakes, which are located in Bolton, Coventry, Tolland and Vernon. Email with any questions.

Friends' Holiday Cookie Platters

TOLLAND — The Friends of the Tolland Public Library are taking orders for their holiday cookie platters. Platters are $14 for a two-pound assortment of holiday favorites. Quantities are limited and pre-ordering is recommended. Orders and payment can be made at the circulation desk at the Tolland Public Library, 21 Tolland Green.

Platters will be available for pick-up on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Tolland Senior Center, 674 Tolland Stage Road.

Bus Trip To NYC

VERNON — VCMS is having a bus trip on Dec. 9 to New York City. Cost is $40 per person. Make payments to: VCMS Staff Club and send it to VCMS 777 Hartford Turnpike, Vernon, CT 06066, attention of Dianne Grimaldi, as soon as possible. Enjoy all the fun of the holidays in New York, seeing all the decorated windows, Christmas Tree and sights of New York. Anyone with questions may contact Stephanie at 860-872-9046.

Vernon Parks And Recreation

VERNON — The following activity is offered by the Vernon Parks and Recreation.

New York City Bus Trip: Enjoy a fun day on your own in NYC on Saturday, Dec. 9. This is a perfect time of year to view the famous tree in Rockefeller Center, see the amazing windows decorated in the stores, shop for holiday gifts, and get tickets to a show. The bus will leave from the Vernon Teen Center at 8:30 a.m. to arrive in NYC at approximately 10:45 a.m. The bus will depart from NYC at 6:30 p.m. to arrive back in Vernon at approximately 9 p.m. Fee:: $45 per resident, $55 per non-resident..

Community Action Agencies Accepting Energy Assistance Applications

AREA — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services just released $67,255,113 in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding. This amount is 90-percent of LIHEAP funds allocated for the State of Connecticut.

Connecticut residents struggling to pay their utility bills this winter can apply for home heating assistance through Connecticut's Community Action Agency Network. The Community Action Agencies (CAAs) are the only nonprofit agencies administering LIHEAP, which provides home heating assistance to Connecticut's most vulnerable residents. Each CAA has application intake sites throughout their service regions. Some sites may include local town halls, and customers should check with their local CAA for a complete site listing.

In Connecticut this program is called the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) and is housed under the Department of Social Services (DSS). The state's Community Action Agencies administer the $74M+ program locally in all 169 cities and towns. CAAs are now accepting CEAP applications for the 2017-2018 winter season and expect more applications in the coming weeks, especially as temperatures begin to drop. Homeowners and/or renters may apply, and funds may be used to pay for whatever source of heating residents have in their homes. This includes wood, electric, oil, kerosene, or natural gas.

CAAs will certify oil deliveries starting Wednesday, Nov. 15, for those who heat with oil, propane, and deliverable fuels. May 1, 2018, is the last day households can apply for benefits unless the household is utility heated and has a shut off notice for its primary source of heat. May 15, 2018 is the last day a utility heated household with a shut off notice for its primary source of heat can apply for benefits.

Another protection for Connecticut's struggling families is the utility moratorium, or winter hardship, which provides protection for eligible households against heat source shut-offs between November 1st and May 1st. Gas and electric utilities cannot be shut off (summer or winter) if lack of the utility creates a life-threatening situation. If a customer is having trouble paying their utility bills during the winter moratorium period, Community Action Agencies will work with them on affordable utility payment programs, including the Matching Payment Program (MPP) and Below Budget Payment Plans. MPP is a payment incentive program that allows eligible utility customers to maintain year-round electric and gas service and pay an agreed-upon amount each month to pay down the balance on their heating bill. If customers cannot afford the utility payment plan, CAAs work with the customer and can submit a Below Budget Payment Plan based on the household income and expenses.

A CEAP benefit to a household automatically makes that household eligible for weatherization services. So, in addition to heating assistance, CAAs will refer customers to those agencies providing weatherization services, which helps minimize energy-related costs and fuel usage in homes through retrofits and home improvement measures. Additionally, there are funds available this year through the CAA for heating system repair and replacement if such services are deemed necessary and as the amount of funds allocated allow. Lastly, when a customer comes to a CAA for energy assistance, the agency will also assist customers in accessing other benefits for which they may be eligible including SNAP and other food programs, financial counseling, child care, and case management.

Connecticut's poorest families struggle each and every year to heat their homes in this a state with one of the highest utility rates in the country; customers many times having to choose between heating and eating or heating and paying for their medicines. CEAP allows them to not only cover high home energy costs and keep warm during the cold winter months, but gives low-income families the opportunity to address other critical, basic needs, rather than having to choose between them. Any resident who needs help paying their heating bill this winter should contact their Community Action Agency immediately.

For more information on Connecticut's Energy Assistance Program, how to find your local CAA to apply, or to make a donation, visit or contact the Connecticut Association for Community Action (CAFCA), 144 Clinton Street, New Britain, CT, 06053, 860-832-9438.

Leaf Collection Program

VERNON — Leaf collection began on Monday, Nov. 6. All leaves should be raked to the curb by this date to ensure collection. All streets in the town of Vernon have been divided into three groups. Group A streets will be collected first and completed before leaf crews move on to Group B streets and so on. This program is dependent on weather. Under good conditions, the town expects to complete a group of streets in one to two weeks. Rain, snow or freezing temperatures will delay the program. All streets are guaranteed at least one pass. If time permits, DPW crews will make a second pass. However, residents are at their own risk whether to wait for a second pass or bag their leaves.

Do not rake leaves into the street or onto the sidewalk. This is a safety and flooding hazard as well as a violation of Ordinance No. 235, Sec. 7-20 and is punishable by a fine of $100.

Leaf bins will be open by mid-October. They are located at the Nye Street Firehouse (off West Street), the Church Street parking lot and at Legion Field (off Regan Road at rear of parking lot). Deposit leaves in the areas provided. Bins are for leaves only – no grass clippings or brush. Contamination caused by disposal of any other type of yard waste will result in leaf bin being shut down. Remove the container used to transport leaves. Plastic bags can be left in the trash barrel. Lawn-sized paper bags are recyclable and do not need to be emptied.

Bagged leaves cannot be put out for collection with regular trash. A pickup for bagged leaves may be scheduled for the first two Fridays in December; call the Public Works Office at 860-870-3500 to schedule. Both biodegradable paper bags and plastic lawn and leaf bags will be collected.

Read To The Dogs

ELLINGTON — Children ages 5 to 12 years have an opportunity to practice their reading skills by reading aloud to a very eager listener, who just happens to have four legs and a wagging tail. Healers with Halos, formerly Allen's Angels Therapy Dogs, will be at the Hall Memorial Library, 93 Main St., on Dec. 16. These therapy dogs are specially trained for this and other service events. Children are asked to choose a favorite story or perhaps, a chapter of a favorite book from home, to bring with them on these Saturday mornings between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.

Online registration is recommended and is ongoing. To register, visit and click on the library event calendar. Choose the date you are interested in then, click on the sign-up hand. Children will get 10 to 15 minutes to read to one of the dogs. Parents will be asked to wait in the children's area of the library during the program. This and all children's programs are free and open to the public. For more information, call the library at 860-870-3160.

CPR Classes

VERNON — A Heartsaver CPR/AED course will take place at the Public Safety Complex, 280 West Road, on the following Wednesdays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 13.

The price is $35 per person. Seating is limited. Email for more information or to register. The class is facilitated by certified American Heart Association Basic Life Support Instructors in the Vernon Fire Department.

Mattie's Togs

TOLLAND — Mattie's Togs, a thrift shop at St. Matthew Church, 111 Tolland Green, is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The shop features clothing for infants, boys and girls, as well as baptismal outfits, Halloween costumes, first communion dresses, flower dresses and more.

Strong Farm Seeks Volunteers

VERNON — On Saturdays from 9 to 11 a.m., Strong Family Farm welcomes volunteers to help do different projects at the farm such are weeding, raking, painting and more. There is no need to register ahead of time. Strong Family Farm is located at 274 West St. Email for more information.

Civil War Museum Hours

ROCKVILLE — The New England Civil War Museum and Research Center is now open every Sunday, excluding holidays, from noon to 3 p.m. The museum is located on the second floor of the Vernon Town Hall at 14 Park Place. Visit for more information. There is no admission charge; donations are greatly appreciated.

Ellington Singers Seeking New Members

ELLINGTON — The Ellington Singers are looking for some new voices. Practice takes place at 10 a.m. Wednesdays at the Ellington Senior Center, 40 Maple St.

Members must be over the age of 55. No audition is necessary. Call the Ellington Senior Center at 860-870-3133 for more information.

Fire Dept. Seeking Former Members

VERNON — The Town of Vernon Fire Department is seeking retired and prior members from fire and EMS divisions to participate in a Recognition Walkway that will soon be constructed at the Public Safety Building on West Road.

They are hoping to connect with members that served prior to consolidation as well as those who have since left the department. Contact Jean Gauthier at 860-871-7468, option 2, or email for more information.

Historical Society Memorabilia

VERNON — Come to the Rockville Public Library, 52 Union St., and enjoy a trip down memory lane. In the library's main reading room, the Vernon Historical Society is displaying its collection of memorabilia from popular businesses, eateries and gathering places that served and entertained generations of people who lived, worked and played in the Rockville/Vernon community.

The Vernon Historical Society exhibit includes artifacts donated to the society from community members who want to preserve their memories of life in this town. For more information, call the Rockville Public Library at 860-875-5892, ext. 100.

Tolland Recycling Collection Changes

TOLLAND — The Town of Tolland is switching to every other week recycling collection services.

As of Friday, July 28, Tolland households began receiving a new 95 gallon blue recycling cart in order to hold enough recyclables for every other week collection services. Currently, most households have a 65 gallon blue recycling cart (some have 32 or 95). The new 95 gallon cart is similar in size to your green trash cart.

Options: You may keep your current sized gallon blue recycling cart and new 95 gallon blue recycling cart and can place both containers out for collection every other week. If you choose to keep both carts, you do not need to do anything.

If you feel your current sized gallon blue recycling cart is adequate to hold your recyclables for two weeks and do not want to receive a larger one, call or email Willimantic Waste or 1-800-286-5335.

If you wish to keep your new 95 gallon blue recycling cart and not keep your current sized gallon blue recycling cart, you will need to make arrangements to have the container picked up, call or email Willimantic Waste at or 1-800-286-5335.

Grief Support Group

VERNON — An ongoing grief support group is being held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays at the First Congregational Church, 695 Hartford Turnpike. Anyone who has lost a loved one is welcome. Anyone with questions may call 860-875-7580.

MS Support Group

VERNON — The Vernon MS Support Group meets at the Trinity Lutheran Church, 20 Meadowlark Road, from 6 to 8 p.m., on the second Friday of each month. For more information contact Patty at 860-874-3220.

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