The Story Of The H.L. Hunley Submarine
AVON — The Special Projects Committee of the Avon Historical Society will present a unique exhibit on the history and reclamation of the Confederate submarine, Hunley, which sank in 1862 and later rediscovered and raised in 2000. Visit www.avonhistoricalsociety.org for more information.
The exhibit, "The Story of the H.L. Hunley Submarine: It's Connection to Connecticut History," will be on display from Jan. 8 through Feb. 28, at the Local History Corner on the first floor of the Avon Free Public Library, 281 West Avon Road.
A movie about the Hunley and its preservation to date will be presented on Thursday, Jan. 18, at 1:30 p.m. The movie, titled "Digging for the Truth: The Hunley: New Revelations," will be followed by a slideshow from the Marcotte's recent trip to the Hunley. The snow date will be Thursday, Jan. 25, at 1:30 p.m.
A full presentation on its history will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, in the Community Room of the Library by Dr. Nicholas Bellantoni, state archaeologist emeritus from Connecticut. Dr. Bellantoni was invited to examine the Hunley crew for his expert opinion and help solve the mystery of identification tags belonging to a Union soldier, yet found on a Confederate crew member.
After both the January 18th movie and the January 20th presentation, docents will be at the exhibit to answer any questions and share what they have learned about this early submarine of war. The Special Projects Committee "Team Hunley" has been hard at work all Fall preparing and studying to make this exhibit truly professional and educational. It is hoped many families will come by to view it and learn more about this time in our nation's history.
There have been many unsolved mysteries surrounding the Civil War-era submarine, the brainchild of Horace Lawson Hunley, since it's sinking in February of 1862. Was Mr. Hunley motivated by patriotism and/or profit to create this machine of war? Mr. Hunley partnered with engineer James McClintock in designing this "fish boat" that was literally made of boiler plates welded together.
The mission of the Hunley was to break the naval blockade in Charleston, South Carolina harbor by sinking a Union 'ironclad' ship. After initial testing and deaths of crew members, the third mission was successful in sinking the USS Housatonic. However, the Hunley was unable to retreat from its death blow to the ironclad and sank in the harbor, killing all crew members.
The Hunley submarine was discovered in 1995 by Clive Cussler, was carefully raised from the bottom of the harbor in 2000 and brought to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in South Carolina. At the Center, the submarine is kept in a huge, saltwater tank for preservation and teams have worked painstakingly to remove over 130 years of barnacle encrustation and the cleaning of artifacts. Dr. Bellantoni was called in to help solve one of the many mysteries surrounding the crew's skeletal remains. There are three connections to Connecticut's history that he will explain.
Frank Johnson, Program and Outreach Manager, Friends of the Hunley, gave permission to the Avon Historical Society to use images of the submarine for the exhibit and subsequent articles in the Society's newsletter. The exhibit will contain over 40 before and after photos of the submarine including details about its many missions, maps of where it went, stories of its brave Confederate soldiers who died when it sank, and what a visitor may learn if they are in Charleston to see the actual artifact.
Rightsizing The Next Season Of Life
SIMSBURY — There is a time in one's life when changes and transitions need to occur. It's a time when perhaps moving to another home is necessary. Many call it "downsizing." Regina Sanchez calls it "rightsizing."
During this program at the Simsbury Public Library, 725 Hopmeadow St., at 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4, you will learn how to begin the "rightsizing" process, what to do with items that hold a special place in your heart but there is no room in your home, and what happens when people hold onto stuff.
Sanchez is a health, wellness and organizational coach. She loves working with clients to get them out of the chaos so that they can meet their desired goals. Additionally, she works with clients to help them preserve their memories and create a legacy.
The talk is co-sponsored by the Simsbury Public Library at 860-658-7663 or www.simsburylibrary.info and Simsbury Senior Center at 860-658-3273. Guests may register at either location.
Raffle Winner Donates Prize Money Back
SIMSBURY — For the first time, Simsbury Chamber of Commerce held a raffle to benefit its scholarship fund, with the winner being promised $1,000 cash.
The drawing was held on Dec. 14 at the Chamber's monthly after hours networking event and Matt Wittmer, lead architect and principal at Phase Zero Design in Simsbury, was surprised to learn he was the big winner. But Wittmer had a surprise of his own in store when he turned around and gave the money right back to the Chamber as a donation to the 2018 scholarship fund.
Anyone interested in making additional donations, or students interested in applying for a 2018 scholarship, should contact the Simsbury Chamber of Commerce at 860-651-7307. Pictured, left to right, are Lisa Gray, Simsbury Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, awarding $1,000 to scholarship raffle winner Matt Wittmer.
Starting Garden Seeds
SIMSBURY — In a hands-on demonstration and discussion, learn the biological way to start your garden seeds with the Hartford Area Chapter of the Bionutrient Food Association at the Simsbury Public Library, 725 Hopmeadow St., at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9.
Growing high quality food is the goal, and it all starts with one tiny miraculous package of seeds. Kris McCue of BFA will speak on bio-mimicry, copying nature's way for greater success. Topics discussed are potting containers and soil, seeds as newborns, newborn seedlings' microbiome, microbial seed inoculants and amending your seed starting soil with mineral nutrients and biology.
McCue will mix up a blend of natural rock dusts and sources of microbes for a biological seed starting blend. The mineral and biological amendments that are discussed will be available to purchase at the program for a small fee that covers only the cost of materials.
Ballroom Dance Class
FARMINGTON — As part of its winter Sundays special programming, the Farmington Libraries will hold a ballroom dance class for beginners. This program will be held on Sunday, Jan. 7, at 2 p.m. at the Main Library, 6 Monteith Drive.
This is an opportunity to learn the basic steps of East Coast Swing and American Tango in a supportive, upbeat atmosphere. No experience or partner is needed for this class. Please dress comfortably. Leather sole shoes are suggested, rather than sneakers. This program is for adults.
Instructor Sharyn Farrell has received professional ballroom dance training and has received teacher's training from ballroom dance studios Gotta Dance, Steps in Time and Let's Dance in Rhythm. This event is free and open to the public. Please register. Call 860-673-6791 for details or visit www.farmingtonlibraries.org to register.
Garmany Music Series
FARMINGTON — On Sunday, Jan. 14, the Farmington Libraries will host the Clara Trio for a free live performance of chamber music. The concert will begin at 2 p.m. at the Main Library, located at 6 Monteith Drive.
Join the Clara Piano Trio for an afternoon of beautiful chamber music. Katalin Viszmeg is the principal violinist of the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra. She also teaches at the Hartt School, Northwest Catholic High School, and the Connecticut Virtuosi Summer Institute in Farmington.
Tamila Azadaliyeva has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in the United States, Italy, Spain, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Tamila teaches piano at the Hartt School and Loomis Chaffee.
Susan Robison teaches cello at the Hartt School and ARIA International Summer Academy. She has performed as soloist with orchestras in the US, and has given recitals and chamber performances throughout the US, France and Belize.
This event is made possible by Richard P. Garmany through a grant awarded by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. The Farmington Libraries will be hosting a variety of performances throughout the year as part of the Richard P. Garmany Music Series.
This event is free and open to the public. Please register. Call 860-673-6791 for details or visit www.farmingtonlibraries.org to register.
CANTON — Children who turn 5 years old by January 1, 2019, are eligible for kindergarten next fall. Parents are asked to call Cherry Brook Primary School at 860-693-7721 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for info.
Great Gatsby New Year's Eve
CANTON — On Sunday, Dec. 31, Eight to the Bar will be playing a night of Motown, swing, and some twenties music at Bridge Street Live, 41 Bridge St., from 8:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m.
The evening will feature a champagne toast, open bar until midnight, dance floor, party favors and a farm-to-table dinner presented by The Green Door. Cost to attend is $140 for the gourmet dinner and open bar. Tickets to attend after 9 p.m. cost $75 and include light snacks and an open bar. Visit www.41bridgestreet.com or call 860-693-9762 for more information.
Unionville Museum 2018 Calendar Available
UNIONVILLE — The Unionville Museum 2018 calendar is now available. The calendar is a collection of photos from the museum archives, showing Unionville places and people from the past.
The calendar is available at the museum or from the following locations: Farmington Town Hall, The Library, Farmington Motor Sports, The Deming Agency, George's Pizza, The Bottle Shop & the Kof C, all in Unionville.
The Christmas Tree exhibit will remain open through Sunday, Jan. 7. The museum hours are Wednesday, Saturday and Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m. Call 860-673-2232 fro information.
Free Braille Calendars
AREA — The Community Outreach Office of the National Federation of the Blind of Connecticut has 2018 Braille calendars, free of charge. For more information, contact email@example.com or 860-289-1971.
SIMSBURY — West Street Wines and Spirits, 131 West St., will be a Button Up Connecticut drop-off location for the month of December. Button Up Connecticut's mission is to collect clean, new and gently used coats and distribute them to residents in need all across Connecticut.
The coats are received from various companies, schools, churches and other organizations throughout the state who run their own coat drives and donate the coats they receive to Button Up Connecticut for distribution.
Tunxis Gallery Exhibitions Showcase Student And Faculty Works
FARMINGTON — The public is invited to the following free exhibition in December at Tunxis Community College's Barnes-Franklin Art Gallery, 271 Scott Swamp Road.
The annual Farmington Public Schools Faculty and Alumni Art Show will be held from Dec. 21 to Jan. 19. The Barnes-Franklin Art Gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and by appointment. Email Arthur Simoes at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
CANTON — The Friends of the Canton Public Library are holding two fundraisers this holiday season. The volunteer group is selling the new 2018 Greater Hartford Edition Dining and Entertaining TASTE Books. These books have hundreds of money saving coupons for area restaurants, shops, entertainment venues, museums and so much more. The books cost $25 and $10 from the sale of each book goes directly to the Friends to help enrich the library. The books are currently on sale at the circulation desk of the library at 40 Dyer. Ave.
The Friends are also holding their annual holiday book sale in the lobby of the library through the holidays. Holiday-themed books, fiction and nonfiction for all ages, DVDs and CDs are featured. These books are in pristine condition and reasonably priced. All proceeds are used to provide resources and programs for the library.
Historical Society Launches New Website
AVON — The Board of Trustees of the Avon Historical Society announces the launch of a newly designed website, www.avonhistoricalsociety.org, provided by funding from the William A. Yandow Trust.
Terri Wilson, president of the society, encourages everyone to view the site and send back comments to email@example.com.
The new website is the anchor of a new branding campaign for the society to bring attention to local history. The society has created new marketing materials to match the historic colors and logo including a tri-fold brochure, letterhead, newsletter, business cards, a news release template, and more. All this will be more visible in the coming months. The new website was designed by PairDesign of Avon, with photographs and text provided by members of the Society.
Coming soon to the website will be the addition of the gift shop with e-commerce capabilities, not only for the purchase of items, but also for payment of annual membership and donations.
High School Athletic Banner Auction
CANTON — Canton High School Alumni: Did you play on a winning sports team in the years between 1973 and 2002? Lights On Canton is auctioning the large banners which previously hung in the Canton High School Gym.
These NCCC and State Championship banners include basketball, soccer, softball, baseball, cross country, tennis, wrestling and field hockey teams. Constructed of heavy felt with white and gold trims, the banners would make a unique gift or nostalgic collectible ready to hang in your home or office. To view the photos of the banners or place a bid, go to www.32auctions.com/LightsOnCanton or contact Kimberly Marze at 860-693-6717.
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 www.cafca.org or contact the Connecticut Association for Community Action (CAFCA), 144 Clinton Street, New Britain, CT, 06053, 860-832-9438.
Special Needs Hockey Team Recruiting New Players
AREA — The Connecticut Chasers, an ice hockey team for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities, is recruiting new players for the 2017-18 season, running from Nov. 4, through March 10, 2018.
Weekly practices are at Simsbury Farms Skating Rink in Simsbury from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The team is looking for players of all abilities and skill levels ages 8 and up. "Learn to Skate" sessions are offered for those new to the ice.
Prospective players and their families are invited to attend a practice to see the fun for themselves. Some equipment is available to borrow for anyone who wants to try a practice session before joining.
Athletes from throughout the Greater Hartford Area and beyond are welcome. Current players are from Avon, Canton, Ellington, Farmington, Glastonbury, Simsbury, South Windsor, and Windsor.
The Chasers were founded in 1997 by former Hartford Whaler Kelly Chase and the Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress to provide a team experience for the players while helping them improve their self-esteem, social skills, gross motor skills and coordination. The team is a proud member of the American Special Hockey Association and Special Hockey International.
Last season, the Chasers had the honor of serving as "Blue Line Buddies" for the Hartford Wolf Pack, standing on the ice with the team during the National Anthem before a game at the XL Center. The Chasers are looking for similar opportunities this season.
The team also has scrimmages with the Southern Connecticut Storm of Bridgeport and the East Coast Jumbos of Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Email Ctchasershockey@gmail.com for more information.
The Night Before Christmas
AVON — The Avon Historical Society's holiday exhibit from the private collection of Society member Elisabeth Neff, entitled "The Night before Christmas: Antique Toys, Dolls, Books and Puzzles - 1904-1918."
It will be on display outside the Marian Hunter Local History Room of the Avon Free Public Library, 281 Country Club Road, from Nov. 1 through December. Neff has a family collection of books for display such as a 1913 book with Clement Moore's famous poem "Twas the night before Christmas" that belonged to her mother. All items on display are 100-years-old or older. Included in the display will be two feather trees from 1910, family antique ornaments and a Schoenhut piano with stool made in America in the early 20th century.
For those who love good books, there will be a first-edition Beatrix Potter book, seven of the "Five Little Pepper" books and a beautiful illustrated Mother Goose book. There will be puzzles, a small doll's trunk with two dolls and several dresses with hats from 1912, all with original clothing. Sitting with the dolls will be a Steiff teddy bear from 1909.
Also part of the display will be vintage postcards and the stories of legend of Santa Claus, the Christmas Tree, and the history of blown-glass ornaments will be available for reading.
Tunxis Offers Free FAFSA Help Sessions
FARMINGTON — Tunxis Community College will host a session for those who need help filing their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Prospective and current students are welcome to attend with their parents.
Personalized sessions are available by appointment on the following Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-773-1422 to reserve a spot for the Jan. 5 session. Staff from the Financial Aid Services Office at Tunxis will be available to help those with questions about filing their FAFSA information and renewals. Visit tunxis.edu/fafsa-help for information on what to bring to the session.
Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series
GRANBY — Supported by a grant from the Granby Education Foundation and the music ministry at South Congregational Church, the Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series concerts are held at South Church, 242 Salmon Brook St. The church is wheelchair accessible from the side-door. For more information call 860-653-7289.
The events in this series are free and open to the public, with donations gratefully accepted for the continuance of the series.
At 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, the BPMMS will host the fifth annual Family Night at the Movies. The screening of a classic black-and-white silent film with live improvised accompaniment by Jason Roberts, organist, has become an annual tradition on the Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series.
Violin virtuoso Emlyn Ngai and the Hartt Collegium Musicum will be returning to the Series for their fourth appearance on the BPMMS on Sunday, April 22, 2018 at 4 p.m. The Hartt Collegium has been delighting the audiences for the Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series since it first began in 2012. Enjoy an afternoon of masterpieces by Bach, Handel, Vivaldi and Telemann played with precision and panache by an orchestra of violins, violas, cellos, basses, oboe, bassoon, flute and harpsichord.
Avon's World War II History
AVON — Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Avon Library, Katie Kukiolczynski, CCSU MA History graduate, was hired to process, scan, and summarize the World War II newsletter collection with the Marion Hunter History Room of the Avon Library.
Visit http://bit.ly/2vBxPMJ to view the collection, which consists of 14 resident-created newsletters spanning the years 1943-1946. The newsletters were intended for Avon soldiers, and were sent to them wherever they were stationed, either at home or abroad, as well as to their families in Avon. In addition to uploading the actual newsletters, Kukiolczynski detailed military commendations and created highlights of each issue. The newsletters also included some local town gossip and news for soldiers to stay up to date on current happenings around town, so Avon was always a part of them wherever they were.
Teen Job Center
SIMSBURY — The Simsbury Public Library and Simsbury Main Street Partnership are proud to combine efforts and offer the Teen Job Center, a joint effort designed to match teens looking for work with area businesses looking for help. They are currently accepting both teen job applications and business help requests.
The positions available will depend on local business needs and may include summer or year-long employment, paid or unpaid internships, or work study opportunities. Sara Ray, Teen Services Librarian at the Simsbury Public Library, will match interests and availability based on the applications received.
Visit http://www.simsburylibrary.info/teen/teen-job-center/ to fill out a teen job application or a business application.
SIMSBURY — The Simsbury Granby Rotary Club meets every Thursday at 7:15 a.m. at the Hop Meadow Country Club, 85 Firetown Road. For membership information contact Club President Ed LaMontagne at email@example.com.
Christian Science Reading Room
WEST HARTFORD — The Christian Science Church (First Church of Christ, Scientist) announced the relocation of its Reading Room from the church building at 235 Scarborough St., Hartford, to 8 North Main St., West Hartford, marking its return to West Hartford Center.
The Christian Science Reading Room welcomes all who wish to spend quiet time in study or prayer. Bibles and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, may be read, borrowed, or purchased there, as well as other books, periodicals, and CDs about Christian Science, its founder, and the healing power of God. The Christian Science Monitor is also available. Attendants are on hand to assist and answer questions about Christian Science.
The Reading Room is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with free parking available in the parking lot adjacent to the building. Those who wish to learn more may visit http://christiansciencect.org/hartford or http://www.christianscience.com, call 860-200-4710, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Valley Veterans Meetings
AVON — Veterans may visit with members of VFW Post 3272 at Truffles on Main Restaurant, 300 West Main St., from 8 to 10 a.m., the first Saturday of the every month. To learn more about the Gildo T. Consolini VFW Post 3272, visit avonvfw.com.
U.S. Flag Collection
AVON — The Gildo T. Consolini VFW Post 3272 of Avon and the Avon Free Public Library, 281 County Club Road, have joined together to place a collection box in the library lobby for collection of worn U.S. flags.
The patriotic decorated wooden box was designed by Gary Kollberg, of Farmington, and was built by Brian Freeman, his wife, Charlotte, and daughters, Holly and Julia, pictured.
Residents of the valley are welcome to donate any and all worn U.S. flags during regular library hours. Members of the Avon VFW will pick them up on a regular basis for proper disposal.
Tabletop Game Nights
FARMINGTON — The Farmington Libraries will host a monthly tabletop game night on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., at the Main Library, 6 Monteith Drive. Pizza and snacks will be provided.
Games played will include Gloom, Munchkin, Settlers of Catan, Scrabble, chess, Apples to Apples, and more. Have suggestions for great tabletop games? Contact Anna at email@example.com. This event is free and open to the public, ages 12 and up. Space is limited. Registration required. Call 860-673-6791 for details or register through the library's website at farmingtonlibraries.org.