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Community News for the West Hartford Edition

Congregation Beth Israel Events

WEST HARTFORD — Congregation Beth Israel, 701 Farmington Ave., is hosting the following events. All events are at the congregation, unless otherwise noted. For more information, call 860-233-8215 or visit www.cbict.org.

Shabbat Splashdown Pool Party and Havdalah: Saturday, Aug. 26, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., at the home of Cantor Phillips. Address provided upon RSVP. CBI's group for young professionals and graduate students hosts a light dinner with fun in the pool. A short Havdalah ceremony brings the sweetness of the evening into the rest of the week to come. Guests are asked to bring a drink or dessert to share. RSVP to Cantor Phillips by Wednesday, August 23, at lphillips@cbict.org.

Celebrate CBI: Sunday, Aug. 27, from 4 to 6 p.m. Enjoy food, fun, family, and friends in this end-of-summer celebration, free and open to the public

Torah Study will take place every Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. Clergy will lead a spirited exploration and discussion of the sacred text. All are welcome.

Tot Shabbat will take place the first and third Saturdays of each month at 10:30 a.m. September dates are Sept. 2 and 16.

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.

Shabbark Shalom will take place from 4 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, at the MDC Reservoir on Farmington Avenue. Both Rabbis Fliegel, Andi and her husband, Daniel, and Reuven, their black lab puppy, lead a walk and brief Havdalah service. Bring your dog or just enjoy the outdoors with members of our community. For more information, contact Sunny Kagan at skagan@cbict.org.

Shabbat Service with Guest Speaker Abigail Pogrebin will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15. Pogrebin is President of Central Synagogue in New York and will speak about her experience with the Jewish holidays and her new book, My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew.

A Community Rosh Hashanah Service in Elizabeth Park will take place at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20, at Elizabeth Park in West Hartford. Congregation Beth Israel offers a free community Rosh Hashanah service, appropriate for all ages and Jewish experience. In case of rain, service will be held at Congregation Beth Israel.

Rosh Hashanah Young Children's Service will take place at 8:45 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 21.

Yom Kippur Kol Nidre Family Service will take place at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29, and is recommended for families with children under age 8.

Yom Kippur Young Children's Service will take place at 8:45 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, and is recommended for families with children under age 8.

Talk: Jewish Immigrant Experience

WEST HARTFORD — To set the stage for the opening in October of the musical "Rags" at the Goodspeed Opera House, Goodspeed Musicals is hosting a panel discussion about the Jewish immigrant experience in America at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7, at the Mandell JCC, 335 Bloomfield Ave.

Admission to "Children of the Wind" is free. Registration is requested; visit www.goodspeed.org to register.

Co-sponsored by the Mandell JCC and the Connecticut Jewish Ledger, "Children of the Wind" will focus on Jewish immigrants who found a new home in America in the early 1900s. Determined to rise above the sweatshop squalor of New York's Lower East Side, the immigrants went on to create the most productive and politically free Jewish community of all time.

Led by Goodspeed Founding Director Michael Price, the panel will include Dr. Ronald W. Schatz, professor of history at Wesleyan University's Center for Jewish Studies, and a member of the "Rags" creative team. The panel will discuss America's immigrant past at the turn of the 20th century from an historic perspective, as well as from the way in which this period of time is portrayed in the upcoming Goodspeed musical, "Rags."

"Rags" tells the story of a young mother and her son who arrive at Ellis Island at dawn of the 20th century in search of a new life.

ITNCentralCT Appoints New Board Members

WEST HARTFORD — ITNCentralCT or Independent Transportation Network Central

Connecticut has appointed three new board members to guide this affiliate of ITNAmerica: Jennie Dixon, management consultant, Windsor; Denise Talbot, senior living community resident services director, Newington; and Charles Woolsey, retired auditor, West Hartford.

ITNCentralCT is a dignified transportation solution for seniors 60 and over and the visually impaired, 18 and over. ITNCentralCT has been helping members remain active and engaged in the community since April 2009. Volunteers drive their own automobiles, providing "arm-through-arm" and "door-through-door" service. It is affordable and available 24/7/365 for any purpose.

ITNCentralCT is headquartered in West Hartford Town Hall, Room 216, 50 South Main St., and serves residents of 15 area towns: Avon, Cromwell, Durham, East Haddam, East Hampton, Farmington, Haddam, Hartford, Middlefield, Middletown, Newington, Portland, Rocky Hill, West Hartford, and Wethersfield.

For further information, or to apply as a member or volunteer, visit: www.itncentralct.org or call 860-521-3600.

The Art Of Growing Food

WEST HARTFORD — The Art of Growing Food is the topic of discussion at the West Hartford Garden Club's meeting, taking place at noon Thursday, Sept. 7, at St. John's Episcopal Church, 679 Farmington Ave.

Author Ellen Ogden, a nationally known garden writer and speaker, will show creative garden designs for cooks and how to organize vegetable gardens for beauty and productivity.

A light lunch will be served at noon. Cost to attend is a guest donation of $10 and reservations are required. For more information, visit www.westhartfordgardenclub.org or call 860-561-0724.

My Sisters' Place Walk

WEST HARTFORD — Runners and walkers of all ages can join My Sisters' Place on Sunday, Sept. 10, at 9 a.m. and race to end homelessness. Presented by Hartford Toyota Superstore, the race and walk will be held at the University of Hartford campus, 200 Bloomfield Ave.

The race will be held rain or shine. The first 150 participants to sign up receive an exclusive, free race T-shirt. My Sisters' Place will waive the entrance fee for individual runners raising $200 or more. Awards will be presented for the top three male and female finishers overall and the top three male and female finishers in different age groups.

Families can join the fun by participating in the free Kid's Fun Run before the race at 8:30 a.m. Fun Run participants are encouraged to bring a donation of diapers, bathroom tissue or laundry supplies. The donated items will help the families living at My Sisters' Place who are starting over or experiencing independent living for the first time.

Visit www.mysistersplace5k.com to register online. Pre-race registration is $30 and race day registration is $35. For more information about My Sisters' Place, Inc. and sponsorship available for the 5K Run and 2 Mile Walk, contact Robert Dunbar at RobertD@sistersplacect.org or 860-895-6629.

Community Celebration

WEST HARTFORD — Congregation Beth Israel, 701 Farmington Ave., will host Celebrate CBI, a community-wide event, on Sunday, Aug. 27, from 4 to 6 p.m.

Celebrate CBI" provides an opportunity to socialize, connect with clergy, learn about educational programs, and discover additional opportunities for engagement at Congregation Beth Israel. The congregation's clergy will hold an open study session from 3 to 4 p.m. From 4 to 6 p.m., guests are invited to enjoy live music, wine tasting, juggling, kids crafts, and a special performance by The Gravity Bender. The event is free and open to the public.

Visit www.cbict.org for more information.

PARC's Poker Run

PLAINVILLE — PARC's first Poker Run fundraiser is being held Saturday, Sept. 30, in honor of Ed Mercure, a former Plainville resident, who died in a motorcycle accident in 2010. Mercure was a retired West Hartford police officer and an avid biker who was an active community volunteer. His parents, Bob and Jane, were instrumental in founding PARC, Family Centered Services for People with Developmental Disabilities. Earlier this year, his mother and sister, Maureen, were honored by PARC at the annual dinner.

The first PARC Ed Mercure Memorial Poker Run will begin at 9 a.m. at VFW Post 574 Hall, located at 7 Northwest Drive. Riders will begin to leave at 10 a.m. with the last bike out at 11 a.m. The 90-minute route will include numerous stops throughout central Connecticut. Upon return, riders and guests can have lunch, enjoy music, and enter to win prizes. This event was cancelled in May due to bad weather.

Individuals and businesses who would like to support by having their name listed on the Poker Run T-shirt should contact PARC as soon as possible. Tickets are $25 for riders and $15 for passengers. Supporters who choose not to take the ride can have lunch for $10 at the VFW.

Tickets can be purchased at www.parcdisabilitiesct.org; by emailing edonovan@parcdisabilitiesct.org or by calling PARC at 860-747-0316.

Park Road Parade Call For Participants

WEST HARTFORD — The Park Road Association invites the West Hartford community to sign up now for the 19th annual Park Road Parade at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7.

The Park Road Parade comprises about 100 contingents that include clubs, organizations, schools, churches, bands, neighborhood groups, sport leagues, clowns, businesses, antique cars, and public officials.

Each year awards are given to best float, best overall performance, best costume, best musical performance and best community spirit. The parade begins at South Highland and Park Road and ends at South Quaker Lane and lasts about 45 minutes to one hour.

Sign up today by filling out the form found on the parade website: www.ParkRoadCT.com/about-the-parade. Anyone with questions may contact Renée McCue at renee@westhartfordct.gov or by calling 860-561-7521.

Diabetes Self-Management Workshop

BLOOMFIELD — A seven-week workshop on diabetes self-management workshop with registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator Paula Kellogg Leibovitz will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sept. 28, Oct. 5, Oct. 12, Oct. 17, Nov. 2, Nov. 9, and Nov. 16, at the Prosser Public Library, 1 Tunxis Ave.

Topics covered include meal planning and holiday food choices, label reading, glucose monitoring and target blood glucose levels, medications and exercising safely. The sessions are interactive and questions from the audience will be answered.

There is no class the week of Oct. 23. Registration is required; call West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District at 860-561-7900, ext. 0.

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.

Concert Series

WEST HARTFORD — The 2017 Sun is Shining Concert Series will take place at First Church, 12 South Main St. The Jolly Beggars will perform on Aug. 29.

The concerts take place on the front lawn, from 6 to 8 p.m. The concerts are free, but donations to Food for Friends are welcome. Visit https://www.facebook.com/whfirstchurch for updates.

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, Aug. 28; Sept. 11 and 25; Oct. 9 and 23; Nov. 6 and 20; Dec. 4 and 18. The Fern Street Food Pantry dates and hours are 10 to 11:30 a.m., on Sept. 16, Oct. 21, Nov. 18 and Dec. 16.

For more information, contact: communitybreakfast@westhartforduu.org, foodsharemobile@westhartforduu.org, FernStFood@gmail.com or 860-233-3669.

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.

To access the application, visit: https://westhartford.mobile311.com

Motor Vehicle Tax Bills Delayed

WEST HARTFORD — Due to the uncertainty concerning possible legislation which could result in a change to the uniform statewide motor vehicle mill rate, the mailing of the motor vehicle tax bills will be delayed until such time as final legislation is adopted by the State of Connecticut.

As soon as information is available, including the mailing date and due date of the motor vehicle tax bills, that information will be posted on the West Hartford home page, www.westhartfordct.gov and also made available by calling the West Hartford Tax Office phone line at 860-561-7474.

As mandated by Connecticut General Statutes 12-146, you will have a one-month grace period from the established due date to pay the bill without interest.

Kids Can Compost Program

WEST HARTFORD — The Children's Museum, 950 Trout Brook Drive, presents the Kids Can Compost program, an interactive and constantly growing exhibit emphasizing the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle principles in a new and exciting way.

By building and maintaining an aerobic compost bin this summer, The Children's Museum is providing a lesson about sustainable waste reduction as well as teaching biology, chemistry, and environmental science in a hands-on format. Visitors can attend demonstrations every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Looking forward, The Children's Museum will create an indoor vermicomposting, or worm composting, station. For more information, visit www.TheChildrensMuseumCT.org.

Recycling Program

WEST HARTFORD — The Town of West Hartford announced that weekly recycling began July 1. Recycling will be collected every week on the same day as regular trash collection.

This past winter, the Department of Public Works began a messaging campaign and held meetings with residents to introduce alternative programs such as SMART, Save Money and Reduce Trash.

During the public meetings, the overwhelming majority recognized and commented that weekly recycling was the number one way to drive down our waste volumes.

Beginning July 1, Paine's will start collecting any extra carts from residents with more than one recycling cart and will begin weekly recycling. Residents are reminded to place carts out before 6 a.m. on collection day, and make sure carts are at least two feet apart.

For questions regarding weekly recycling, contact the Public Works Department at 860-561-8102 or Paine's at 860-844-3000.

Press Boxers Volunteers Sought

WEST HARTFORD — West Hartford Little League's Press Boxers announcer's club offers young teenagers a chance to give back to the community. Press Boxers volunteer to announce one game a week. Announcing duties include: approaching coaches for line ups, keeping the scoreboard, announcing players and playing music.

Experienced announcers can have trivia and music theme games. Press Boxers develop leadership skills and are held responsible for opening/closing the booth and maintaining the equipment.

Press Boxers work on field one at the Little League sports complex at UCONN. Schedules are determined each week to accommodate the student's schedule. Any West Hartford student who has aged out of Little League through tenth grade, regardless of gender, is welcome to join the club. To join the Press Boxers, contact West Hartford Little League at http://westhartfordlittleleague.com.

New Yard Waste Fee Schedule

WEST HARTFORD — West Hartford's annual Yard Waste and Recycling Center permits will be available for purchase at 25 Brixton St. (the former incinerator building), operated by Supreme Forest Products.

A new fee schedule was adopted to simplify and streamline the permit processing. A "Club Fee" schedule allows all West Hartford residents to use the site and cuts down the type of permits issued from 14 to 4.

All vehicles except trucks and full size vans without trailers will be charged $10 per year, $15 with trailer. Trucks and full size vans will be charged $25 per year, $35 with trailer. Day passes will no longer be available. The fee charged is for the administration of the facility.

Over the past year, additional recycling opportunities were added to reduce the high cost of waste disposal and provide sustainable waste programs. These recycling programs include the recycling of paint, electronics, textiles, mattresses and box springs. A film plastic drop off site is also planned for the spring of 2017.

The Yard Waste and Recycling Center hours are 7 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. through 1 p.m. Saturday.

For more information, visit https://www.westhartfordct.gov/gov/ departments/pw/new_yard_waste_ and_recycling_center_fees.asp

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 Rd.

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.

Softball Umpires Sought

STATEWIDE — The North Central Connecticut Board of Softball Umpires is seeking new members for the 2017 season. Our board provides services to schools, youth and adult recreational leagues in the greater Hartford area. No experience necessary. For more information or to join, contact Al at prez798@aol.com or call/text 860-205-1688.

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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