High School Class Reunion
AREA — Did you graduate high school before 1960? Are you looking for a way to reconnect with former classmates? The Middlewoods independent and assisted living communities are hosting high school reunion events for local seniors.
Middlewoods of Newington will hold a reunion for graduates of high schools from Newington, Wethersfield, Berlin, Kensington, Rocky Hill and Glastonbury, on Thursday, Feb. 15, from 2 to 4 p.m.m.
Middlewoods of Farmington will hold a reunion on Wednesday, Feb. 28, from 2 to 4 p.m. for graduates of high schools in Farmington, West Hartford, Bristol, Plainville, Avon, Hartford and New Britain.
If you're interested in the Newington event, RSVP with your high school name and graduation year to Elizabeth Giungi at email@example.com or 860-667-1336. Middlewoods of Newington is located at 2125 Main St.
If you're interested in attending the Farmington event, RSVP with your high school and year of graduation to Ginny Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860.284.5700. Middlewoods of Farmington is located at 509 Middle Road.
Registration Open For Girls Soccer
WEST HARTFORD — Visit whgsl.org now to sign up for the West Hartford Girls Soccer League spring season. The league is open to West Hartford residents in K through 12th grade. Save $25 if you sign up before Feb. 28. The last day to register is March 17.
Terrestrial Orchids Of The Northeast
WEST HARTFORD — The CT Horticultural Society presents 'Terrestrial Orchids of the Northeast' with Don Leopold, on Thursday, Feb. 15.
CHS meets at Emanuel Synagogue Auditorium, 160 Mohegan Drive. A drop-in fee of $10 is collected at the door from non-members. The speaker starts at 7:30 p.m. but come by 7 p.m. to socialize, browse CHS library books, participate in the raffle, see travel fliers and ask plant questions.
Many people think of tropical, epiphytic plants when they think about orchids. But over 70 species of terrestrial orchids naturally occur in the northeastern U.S. in a very wide range of habitats, including woodlands, bogs, fens, and swamps. On Thursday, February 15 at 7:30 pm, Dr. Leopold will introduce guests to these many and varied terrestrial orchids of the Northeast. Leopold comes from SUNY-ESF, where he is a Distinguished Teaching Professor and chair in the Department of Environmental and Forest Biology.
Catch The Valentine's Day Love Bug At The Children's Museum
WEST HARTFORD — Looking for that perfect gift for your Valentine? Diamonds are so passé. Chocolates are too predictable. Why not really wow them? Why not get them a love bug? For $10, lovers can drive your special someone a little buggy. What better way to say, "I love you," than with the gift of a Madagascar hissing cockroach? Or let someone know how much you dig them by naming one of our composting worms after them?
Maybe you'd like show some love by naming one of The Children's Museum crickets after the one who makes your heart chirp? No need to squirm, all naming gifts come with a certificate to be delivered to electronically by Feb. 13, just in time to give to your Valentine.
Alone? Had a horrible breakup? Hate Valentine's Day? We've got the lovelorn covered. For a donation of $20, you can name one of the feeder cockroaches after an ex. They'll be treated to a short video of the resident animals enjoying themselves and helping heal that broken heart. The donations are tax deductible and go to The Children's Museum. Visit https://12939.blackbaudhosting.com/12939/LoveBugs for more information.
The Children's Museum and Preschool are located at 950 Trout Brook Drive. Visit www.TheChildrensMuseumCT.org for more information.
Winter Celebration Event
WEST HARTFORD — Join Creative Living Community of CT on Saturday, Feb. 17, as they celebrate the success and progress of the Greenhouse Vocational Program and its participants. The event will be at the Pond House at Elizabeth Park, 1555 Asylum Ave., from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
The event will feature numerous games, entertainment options, music, dancing, and a plated meal. Tickets are $75 each; Visit www.creativelc.org for more info or to purchase tickets. All funds raised from the event will go toward CLCC's vision of expanding on the greenhouse program and creating a farm community for adults with disabilities.
CLCC is a nonprofit organization that began in 2006 with a group of friends and parents wanting to support their adult children with autism. The vision is to create a farm community that offers these adults a full and rewarding life through supportive housing, productive farming and gardening, animal care, and creative arts. Contact Alex Koenigsberg at email@example.com or 860-918-8876 with questions.
Substance Abuse Support Group
WEST HARTFORD — A free open support group for parents concerned about substance abuse will host weekly meetings every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at the offices of The Next Right Thing. LLC, 345 North Main St., Suite 306. Any parent concerned about their late teens' marijuana or other substance use may join and participate in one or more sessions. The group's leader is Julian N. Hartt Jr., MSW, LCSW.
Food Drive For Families Displaced By Hurricane
WEST HARTFORD -- Thousands of Puerto Rican and other Caribbean individuals and families displaced by Hurricane Maria are expected to come to Greater Hartford to begin a new life. More than 1,300 have already arrived. A food drive is taking place now through Feb. 9.
Organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council, part of Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, the drive especially needs Grace or Goya brand products, including bags of rice, bags of beans, and cans of tomato sauce or tomato paste; spices and seasonings such as sugar, salt, adobo, sazón and garlic powder; Kellogg's brand cereals, Cheerios, Cream of Wheat and Quaker Oats; and coffee or juice, including Bustelo, Pilon or Maxwell brand coffee and Capri Sun brand juice drink.
Seventeen synagogues, schools and Jewish agencies in seven towns are serving as drop-off locations for the drive. They include the Anja Rosenberg Kosher Food Pantry at Jewish Family Services, Beth David Synagogue, Beth El Temple, Chabad House of Greater Hartford, Congregation Beth Israel, The Emanuel Synagogue, Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, the Mandell Jewish Community Center, and Young Israel of West Hartford (all located in West Hartford); The Bess and Paul Sigel Hebrew Academy, B'nai Tikvoh Shalom, and Solomon Schechter Day School (Bloomfield); Beth Sholom B'nai Israel (Manchester); Congregation Kol Haverim (Glastonbury); Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation - Emek Shalom (Simsbury); Temple Beth Hillel (South Windsor); and Temple Sinai (Newington). Donations will be distributed by the Centro de Ayuda Para Nuestros Amigos Caribeños (Relief Center for our Caribbean Friends) in Hartford, managed by the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC).
The food drive is the third phase of JCRC's response effort in collaboration with CREC and other agencies. In late October, Jewish Family Services' Tara's Closet and JCRC joined forces to sort and donate hundreds of winter clothing items to the Relief Center, and a toiletry drive in November collected two SUVs full of hygiene products. JCRC is also coordinating small-scale volunteer opportunities to sort donations at the Relief Center. To learn more or to get involved, contact Alana Butler, Federation's Director of Community Engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-727-6152.
West Hartford Seeking Police Chief
WEST HARTFORD — The Town of West Hartford is currently seeking an experienced, progressive law enforcement leader to serve as the 9th police chief in the department's history.
The police chief is responsible for planning, directing, and managing all functions and operations of the Police Department through enforcement of laws and ordinances, the prevention of crime, and protection of life and property. The position will manage a $14.8 million dollar operating budget, and work collaboratively with department personnel, other municipal departments, civic leaders, community organizations and school administrators to identify and meet the town's needs.
The ideal candidate will have professional work experience in municipalities with similar demographics and complexity. The new Chief will have strong relationship building skills to work with all members of the Police organization and community. Required qualifications include graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement or Public Administration or a related field; 10 years of progressively responsible experience in Police work, including service at the division command level. The hiring salary for this position will be $130,000-$150,000 dependent upon the qualifications and experience.
WEST HARTFORD — The Riverwood Poetry Series, featuring Doug Anderson and his workshop about writing poems on war, will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, at the Universalist Church of West Hartford, 433 Fern St.
War teaches people about all other forms of suffering that resemble it. Writing can be a way to unpack. The workshop is designed to energize and empower. Writers will be invited to share their poems. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. Admission is free. Visit riverwoodpoetry.net for more information.
Hartford Symphony Orchestra Previews
WEST HARTFORD — Join music educator and composer Dr. Wayne Pierce for informative and interactive preview presentations of Hartford Symphony Orchestra's 2017-18 Masterworks Series concerts. These one-hour discussions, approximately two weeks prior to the concerts, will provide historic and cultural background of the works to be performed and provide Q and A and commentary on the concert repertoire from HSO musicians.
The previews will take place at the West Hartford Public Library, 20 South Main St. More information can be found at www.westhartfordlibrary.org or by calling 860-561-6990.
The previews include Stravinsky's Jeu de Cartes (Game of Cards), Symphony in Three Movements, and Tchaikovsky's music from Swan Lake, Concert dates at The Bushnell: March 9 to 11; Shostakovich's Tahiti Trot, Cello Concerto No. 1 and Symphony No. 5, Concert Dates: May 4 to 6; and Samuel Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and Carl Orff's Carmina Burana (with the Hartford Chorale), Concert dates at The Bushnell: June 8 to 10.
Hartford Symphony Orchestra Masterworks Previews are free and open to the public. Pierce is an adjunct professor of music at UConn and a member of Kingswood Oxford's Creative Arts Department. He has served as music director of Simsbury Light Opera and Manchester Symphony and guest conductor of Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra and Hartford Symphony Orchestra. The FVSO premiered his Symphony No. 1: Psalms and Dances for orchestra, chorus and soloists during its 30th anniversary concert.
Nominations Of Extraordinary CT Residents Over Age 60 Now Open
BLOOMFIELD — Nominations for the 2018 Class of 60 Over 60 are now open. For the second year, the 60 Over 60 awards are looking for 60 Connecticut individuals over age 60 who make a difference with their businesses; in their communities and for their families.
Duncaster created this award-winning program in 2017 as a way to recognize the state's movers and shakers over the age of 60. Last year's honorees came from 26 towns across the state of Connecticut. They included leaders in the fields of business, medicine, sports and nonprofit organizations; activists; artists; inventors; politicians; volunteers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Those wishing to nominate someone or themselves can go to the Duncaster website at www.Duncaster.org/60-Over-60; to nominate by email, contact email@example.com for a nomination form. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 13 at midnight.
A panel of judges, including three of last year's recipients, will pick the members of the 2018 Class of 60 Over 60. Winners will be notified by the end of March. They will be featured in a special statewide newspaper supplement, showcased on the Duncaster site and honored at a celebration in May.
For the second year, we are launching a search for 60 people over age 60 who best represent the doers and dreamers of Connecticut; those whose everyday acts of kindness or achievements make an impact on the lives of others, said Carol Ann McCormick, Duncaster's Vice President of Sales and Marketing. McCormick was recognized by LeadingAge Connecticut for creating the program in 2017.
Anyone may nominate someone who is age 60 or better by Feb. 13. Nominees must live in the state of Connecticut at least five months a year. Nominators need not be from Connecticut. Self-nominations and multiple nominations are encouraged. For more information, see Duncaster.org or call 860-380-5006.
Congregation Beth Israel Events
WEST HARTFORD — Congregation Beth Israel, 701 Farmington Ave., is hosting the following events. Visit www.cbict.org for more information.
Torah Study will take place every Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. The clergy lead a spirited exploration and discussion of the sacred text. All are welcome to attend.
Tot Shabbat: 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month at 10:30 a.m. Tot Shabbat services precede general Shabbat morning services at 11 a.m. Young children sing along with clergy, hear stories, and receive special blessings. Services are held in the Library Children's Room.
Micro WHTY: Sundays monthly at 10 a.m. Tots under three and parents gather in the CBI Playroom for socialization and connection on one Sunday morning each month. Siblings under four can attend. Sunday, Jan. 14, at 10 a.m.
Shabbark Shalom: Saturday, Feb. 10, from 4 to 5 p.m. MDC Reservoir, Farmington Ave. Bring your dog or just enjoy the outdoors with members of our community.
Tots under three and parents gather in the CBI Playroom for socialization and connection on one Sunday morning each month. Siblings under four can attend.
Beth Israel Organ Sounds Concert: Friday, Feb. 9, at 6:45 p.m. Congregation Beth Israel's Music Director Natasha Ulyanovsky presents a concert featuring saxophonist Max Schwimmer. The concert includes romantic music for saxophone and organ by Claude Debussy and Astor Piazzolla as well as klezmer favorites. Shabbat service will follow at 7:30 p.m.
Annual Purim Shpiel and Carnival: Feb. 25 at 10 a.m. Purim is an annual Jewish holiday celebrating religious freedom. Watch the story of Purim come alive in an adaptation with your favorite animated-movie melodies. Following the shpiel, the Purim Carnival features family entertainment including pizza, hamentaschen (traditional pastries), bounce houses, games for children, balloon artistry, a young child room with face painting, a "Haman's Hideout" room for those over 21, and entertainment by the klezmer band in the lobby. Free and open to the public.
As Temperatures Drop, Risk Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Rises
STATEWIDE — Now that CT residents have turned on the heat in their homes, it is especially important to remember about the dangers of carbon monoxide gas. Everyone who uses oil, natural gas, liquid propane, or wood and pellet stoves should make sure that their heating system has been cleaned and inspected within the last year. If the burning of fuel is incomplete, carbon monoxide gas can form and build up in your home.
The deadly gas has no odor or warning properties. A carbon monoxide alarm is the only way to know if it is building up in your home. If you have a carbon monoxide alarm, it is important to test it to make sure that it works. If you don't have one, now is the time to purchase one. Make sure to place the carbon monoxide alarm in your living space, preferably close to bedrooms or where you spend the most time. You can also place another carbon monoxide alarm in the basement near the furnace as an early warning signal. Even if you heat your home with electricity instead of burning fuel, if you use a portable generator or a stationary home backup generator during a power outage, it is very important to have a working carbon monoxide alarm in your living space because the deadly gas can enter your home by getting in around window casings, door frames, and any penetrations through outside walls.
Sometimes it is hard to tell if you have early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, because those symptoms can resemble the flu- headache , feeling light headed, and sleepiness are common to both illnesses. If there are other people in the house and a number of them develop these symptoms around the same time, carbon monoxide gas may be seeping into your living space. The longer you are exposed, the more dangerous it is. Carbon monoxide quickly gets into the bloodstream, where it replaces oxygen. If not treated quickly, it can cause brain damage and death. If you think you may have carbon monoxide poisoning, get people and pets out of the house immediately. Once outside, call 911 from a cell phone or neighbor's house.
Carbon monoxide alarms are required in all Connecticut public and private school buildings and in certain one and two family homes that have a building permit for new occupancy issued on or after October 1, 2005. If you are buying or selling a one or two family home that has a building permit for new occupancy issued before October 1, 2005, the seller must provide an affidavit certifying that either the home is equipped with working carbon monoxide detection and warning equipment, or, that there is no exposure source- specifically, no fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage.
Specific questions about required placement of carbon monoxide detection and warning equipment, and about battery vs. hardwiring or other technologies should be directed to your local building official or local fire marshal.
For more information about the dangers of carbon monoxide, contact your local health Department, visit http://www.ct.gov/dph/CO or call the CT Department of Public Health at 860-509-7740.
West Hartford Revenue Collection Update
WEST HARTFORD — The following press release was sent by the Town of West Hartford. On Friday, Dec. 15, the West Hartford Revenue Collection office sent second installment real estate, business personal property, and supplemental motor vehicle tax bills.
Nearly nine thousand people who registered a new car after October 1, 2016 and before August 1, 2017, have received a supplemental motor vehicle tax bill calculated at the original 32 mills.
The Town Council agreed not to increase the mill rate for vehicles, even though that was an option available to municipalities.
"The supplemental motor vehicle bill serves to capture those vehicles purchased after the October 1, 2016 Grand List," said Helene Lefkowitz, Revenue Collector. "These bills should not be confused with a mill rate adjustment," she said.
For real estate, tax bills are mailed twice each year. The first installment bills are mailed mid-to-late June and the second installment mid-December. The 2017-2018 mill rate for real estate and business personal property is 41.04 mills.
Payment is due Jan. 1, 2018. The last day to pay without penalty is Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-289-1971.
Fern Street Community Kitchen Schedule
WEST HARTFORD — The Fern Street Community Kitchen has upcoming dates for free community breakfasts, food pantry and mobile foodshare distribution for neighbors in need.
The Mobile Foodshare will be distributing food in the back parking lot of the Community Kitchen at the Universalist Church at 433 Fern St. from 9:15 to 9:45 a.m.. Breakfast is served from 9 to 10 a.m. The dates are every other Monday, Feb. 12 and 26, and March 12 and 26. The Fern Street Food Pantry dates and hours are 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Feb. 17 and March 17.
Substance Abuse Support Group
WEST HARTFORD — Turnbridge, an addiction recovery program for young men and women, is sponsoring a new free support group for parents looking to learn more about substance misuse and receive support from other parents of similar experience.
The group meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Mandell JCC Community Room, 335 West Bloomfield Ave.
This group is facilitated by nationally recognized family addiction and healing specialist, Diana Clark, JD, MA. Over Clark's 20-year career in behavioral health, she has authored and facilitated numerous workshops for family members of those struggling with substance use. She is a recognized force of clear speech, logic, and loving acceptance among her many clients and colleagues.
This group is free and open to any parent of a child with substance use concerns. To learn more, contact Diana Clark at email@example.com or 802-236-0145.
Dementia Support Group
WEST HARTFORD — Hartford HealthCare Center for Healthy Aging is presenting a free dementia support group at the West Hartford Senior Center, 15 Starkel Road. The group meets on the third Tuesday of every month, from 10 to 11 a.m. Starting in September, the group will meet on the first Tuesday of the month.
Those who care for a loved one with Alzheimer's or dementia will be able to learn useful skills while voicing their concerns. Topics include communication techniques, caregiver support, safety issues, benefits of activities and daily routine, family dynamics, stages of disease process, behavior management and more. Facilitators are Michelle Wyman, LSW, CDP, life enrichment coach with Hartford HealthCare Center for Healthy Aging, and Elaine Reid, CDP, director of client services with Companions for Living.
For more information or to register for the dementia support group, call Michelle at 860-276-5399, ext. 4404, email Michelle.Wyman@hhchealth.org; or Elaine at Ereid@companionsforliving.com or 860-712-4614.
Public Works' Web App
WEST HARTFORD — West Hartford Public Works recently launched Mobile 311, a web application designed to easily report non-emergency public work problems and concerns via the web from the Town's website. Mobile 311 is replacing the current YourGov application.
Mobile 311 is available immediately and is free-of-charge to every Town of West Hartford citizen and available on the Town's homepage under the heading "How can we help you". To use, click on the text to "Report a Problem". From there, you can create an account and report a problem either by clicking on the map or by inputting an address, and selecting "Create Work Request" at the bottom of the map. You can then select a concern from the menu, and add other important information, and submit your request.
We hope Mobile 311 will engage the public in our operations, improve customer service, and respond faster to community issues and concerns. The application has a simple interface and the ability to communicate directly work order management system, so we're confident that we'll accomplish these goals and more. Visit: https://westhartford.mobile311.com to view the application.
Environmental Educators Needed
WEST HARTFORD — Part time seasonal instructors are needed to teach outdoor nature programs at Westmoor Park and off-site locations. Westmoor Park is a 162-acre environmental education facility with a demonstration farm and gardens, located at 119 Flagg Road.
Send resume, cover letter and three references to Christy Page, Assistant Park Naturalist, Westmoor Park, 119 Flagg Road, West Hartford, CT 06117-2325.
Anyone with questions may call 860-561-8263 or email Christy.Page@westhartfordct.gov.