Mystery Author Mark Dressler
WINDSOR LOCKS — The Windsor Locks Public Library, 28 Main St., and the Christie Capers Mystery Book Club will welcome mystery author Mark Dressler on Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 6:30 p.m.
Dressler will discuss "Dead and Gone," his first published novel, which is set in Hartford and features Dan Shields, a detective who breaks all the rules. A native of Hartford, Dressler is a retired business owner who now resides in Windsor. The evening will be a unique opportunity to meet the author and to learn more about the Christie Capers Mystery Book Club, now in its 15th year of armchair sleuthing and entertaining mystery authors. Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing by the author and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Boston Children's Hospital. Call 860-627-1495 to reserve your seat or visit www.windsorlockslibrary.org and click "programs" to register online.
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.
Mary, Gate of Heaven Parish Bus Trip
SOMERSVILLE-WINDSOR LOCKS — Reservations for a bus trip to the March for Life in Washington are now available. The bus is sponsored by Mary, Gate of Heaven Parish. The march will be held on Friday, Jan. 19. This year's bus trip continues a 40-year tradition of local protest against the legalization of abortion on Jan. 22, 1973.
There are two departure points for the bus. On Thursday night, Jan. 18, the bus will leave All Saints Catholic Church, 25 School St., off Route 190, Somersville, at about 10 p.m. It will leave St. Mary Catholic Church, 42 Spring St., Windsor Locks, rear parking lot, at about 10:30 p.m. Cost is $50 or $30 for people under 18. Clergy attend for free. Children must be accompanied by an adult chaperone.
The marchers will travel to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for mass and breakfast. Another bus will be available in Washington for travel between events. Protesters will again attempt to meet with their legislators. The local group returns to Windsor Locks and Somersville at about midnight on Friday.
In conjunction with the march, Holy Mass for Life Intentions will be offered at St. Mary Church, 42 Spring St., Windsor Locks at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 15. Rev. Robert Rousseau will be the celebrant and will speak after mass. The holy rosary will be recited starting at 630 p.m. A light reception will follow. The general public is encouraged to attend.
Bus captain Hal Larson has asked for donations to support marchers who are otherwise unable to attend. For details and registration information, contact Hal at 860-292-1914. Donations can be sent to him at 176 Spring St., Windsor Locks 06096, made payable to Mary, Gate of Heaven Parish PLC. The bus co-captain is Francie Clark at 860-749-4841 from All Saints Parish.
A bake sale to help support the trip will follow all Masses on the weekend of Jan. 13 and 14 at St. Mary and St. Robert Churches. Baked goods may be left at either church on those dates. More information is available by calling Jim O'Boyle at 860-623-0243.
Library Seeking Baking Pans
WINDSOR LOCKS — The Windsor Locks Public Library is looking for donations of baking pans. They can be all shapes and sizes: Muffin pans, bundt pans, different cake pans, etc. Call the library at 860-627-1495 for more information.
Senior Center News
SUFFIELD — The Suffield Senior Center, 145 Bridge St., shared the following information. Call 860-668-8830 for more information.
Inclement Weather Policy reminder: The Suffield Senior Center and Mini Bus follows Suffield Public Schools in closings or delayed opening during inclement weather. They also publicize their status on WFSB-Channel 3. When in doubt, staff ask that you give them a call.
Safe Stop-Green Envelope Program: The Connecticut Police Chiefs Association, Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles and Connecticut Council on Organizations Serving the Deaf are proud to issue The Green Envelope Program for the deaf and hard of hearing drivers of Connecticut.
How it works: If a police officer stops you, keep your hands on the steering wheel. When the police officer walks up, point to your ear , shake your head "no," and say "can't hear." When the officer nods, slowly get your license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance and put it in the green envelope and slowly give it to the officer.
The Green Envelope is available at the Senior Center and Police Department if you would like one.
AARP Driving Refresher Course: 8:30 a.m. Feb. 20, March 20 and April 17. Registration is required by calling 860-668-8830.
January Preview: Pilates with Yoga, Cardio Fit, Combo Strength & Yoga, Tai Chi, Beat PD (Parkinson's) Boxing & Interval Training and Ballroom Line-Style Basics Dancing.
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; they began 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.
Senior Center News
WINDSOR LOCKS — The Windsor Locks Senior Center, 41 Oak St., announced its upcoming events. The senior center can be reached at 860-627-1425.
Funday Monday: Come to the center on Mondays between 9 a.m. and noon. Do you need help with a computer document? Are you a veteran that would like to share your stories or connect with a fellow veteran? Monday is the day. Let's get together for some social productive fun.
Bring a project you are working on at home, such as a craft, sorting coupons, organizing papers, updating address books, creative coloring, etc.
Health & Wellness: Winter class sessions are now forming. Call 860-627-1425 for details.
Active Exercise: Tuesday and Thursday, 8:30 a.m., 7 weeks, $56
Chair Yoga: Thursdays, 9:30 a.m., 6 weeks, $30
Water Fitness: Mondays, 1 p.m., Candlewood Suites, 6 weeks, $30
Zumba Gold: Wednesdays, 1 p.m., 6 weeks, $30
Creative Arts Programs
Watercolors - Wednesdays, 10 a.m., 8 weeks, $40
Quilting - Tuesday, 10 a.m., $3 per class
Scrapbooking - Second and fourth Tuesday, 10:30 a.m.
Knitting - Tuesday, 1 p.m., $3
Leisure Fun: Cribbage - Mondays at 10 a.m.; Bunco - Tuesday at 1 p.m.; Mexican Train Dominoes - Wednesday 1 p.m.; Bridge - every other Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.; Wii Bowling - Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m.; Bingo - Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 12:30 p.m.; Setback - Wednesday afternoon at 1 p.m.; Billiards Tuesdays at 10 a.m.; and Poker Fridays at 10 a.m.
Daily lunch is served at noon, with a suggested donation of $2.50. Breakfast is served on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9:30 a.m., with a donation of $3. Come share a conversation with new friends or reconnect with some old acquaintances.
American Legion Membership Drive
WINDSOR LOCKS — The American Legion Post of Windsor Locks is conducting a membership drive. The Post has established a goal of acquiring at least 10 new members by the end of January 2018. The Post membership presently stands at 273 members.
Some of the services and programs provided by the Post are as follows: veteran referrals for benefits; veteran hospital visitations; Soldiers, Sailors and Marine Fund administration; veteran holiday observances; A.L. Boy's State Program; A.L. baseball teams; flag education and flag donations; middle and high school awards; Cub Pack No. 201, B.S.A.; Main Street flag display for holidays; Arbor Day program; State Police Youth Week; and several Post activities which are open to the public.
A strong and active membership is necessary to continue these services and therefore, the membership chairman urges all veterans to consider joining the Post. The Chairman's telephone number is 860-623-5704. Members assisting the chairman in the drive are James D'Amato at 860-202-8487 and Pierette Pellitier at 860-418-9803. Any veteran interested in joining the Post is requested to contact any one of the members named above.
SUFFIELD — Suffield's Emergency Aid Association coordinates the delivery of the Community Renewals Meals on Wheels Program for Suffield residents who qualify. Home-delivered meals support the independence and nutritional wellbeing of seniors living in the community. Persons who are at least 60 years of age, and are considered homebound, can receive meals as little as two days a week and as many as seven days a week – either just a hot lunch or both a lunch and a dinner. Meals are delivered mid-day by volunteers. Therapeutic diets are available. A suggested donation of $2.50 per meal is requested. For more information, call the EAA at 860-668-1986.
WINDSOR LOCKS — AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, a free volunteer-run tax preparation program, is seeking volunteers to help out a few hours each week during the tax season to help low-moderate income taxpayers prepare and file their federal and state tax returns.
Positions are available, from greeters to counselors to electronic return originators. The sites operate weekdays during the tax season and while personal tax return preparation is helpful, training is provided. To learn more about our program or to register as a volunteer, visit www.aarp.org/taxaide or call 1-888-AARPNOW.
Beach Life Short Stories
REHOBOTH BEACH, DEL. — Windsor Locks author Carl Schiessl received a Judge's Award in the Cat & Mouse Press 2017 Rehoboth Beach Reads Short Story Contest. The stories will be published later this year as an anthology titled Beach Life. Schiessl won for his story, Ralphie to the Rescue.
The annual contest, which is sponsored by Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, invites writers to submit short beach reads that fit the year's theme. Entries are judged on creativity, quality of writing, suitability as a beach read, and fit with the theme. The first-place winner receives $500, second-place $250, third-place $100, and the top stories are published in book form. A panel of six judges selected the winning stories.
Next year's Rehoboth Beach Reads Short Story Contest will open March 1, 2018. Contest information is posted on the Cat & Mouse Press website at www.catandmousepress.com and updates are provided at www.facebook.com/RehobothBeachReads.
Nutmeg Senior Rides
AREA — Nutmeg Senior Rides provides door through door transportation for seniors and the visually impaired in North Central Connecticut, and now has the online capability for volunteers to pick the rides that fit their schedule.
Volunteer drivers help riders shop and pick out their items, go to doctor appointments, bingo, lunch with friends and more. Mileage for drivers is reimbursed at 40 cents per mile.
Volunteer drivers are needed for expanded service in Bloomfield, East Granby, East Windsor, Enfield, Granby, Somers, South Windsor, Suffield, Windsor and Windsor Locks.
Applications to become a driver are available at NutmegSeniorRides.org or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information, call Executive Director Margaret Smith Hale at 860-758-7833.
WINDSOR LOCKS — Ask the Nurse: Sponsored by Bickford Evergreen Healthcare first and third Thursday. Stop in for medication questions, health concerns and blood pressure checks. Footcare: $29 by appointment. Call April at 860-605-8283 to schedule.