Community News For The Valley Edition


BLOOMFIELD — Join Lights On Canton for NovemberFest on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 7 to 10 p.m. at Waypoint Spirits, 410 Woodland Ave.

The ticket includes live music, dancing, dinner, desserts, a cornhole competition, complimentary spirits tasting and signature cocktails. Cost to attend is $45.

Help Lights On Canton get to $125,000 in its quest to raise $250,000 for permanent lighting for the CMS/CHS Track & Field Athletic Complex. Visit for more information.

Gingerbread Competition

SIMSBURY — The Simsbury Celebrates committee invites the public to participate in one of Simsbury Celebrates showcase presentations, its gingerbread competition.

This year the committee is offering first place winners gift cards that have been generously donated from local businesses. Entry forms, rules and procedures as well as a new "How-to Guide" are available at or by calling 860-658-3836. The entry form deadline is Nov. 10. The competition will take place on Nov. 19.

Elizabeth von Trapp In Concert

AVON — The Avon Congregational Church will host the world-renowned Elizabeth von Trapp in concert at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17, at 6 West Main St. A meet-the-artist reception will follow.

Free-will offerings will be received. Cost to attend is a suggested donation of $10. For more information, visit or 860-678-0488.

Thanksgiving Feast Of Faith

AVON — At 7 p.m. Nov. 19, the Avon Congregational Church, 6 West Main St., will host a Thanksgiving feast of faith.

All are welcome to this buffet of faith practices from many traditions (Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Bahai) as everyone celebrates and experiences the universal spiritual practice of gratitude through music, prayer, sacred texts, singing and meditation. Families and children are welcome. A reception to follow. For more information, visit or phone 860-678-0488.

An Early Avon Distillery

AVON — A Tapestry of Topics Lecture Series continues with An Early Avon Distillery and the 1840s Temperance Movement at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 13, at the Avon Senior Community Center, 635 W Avon Road.

The Special Projects Committee of the Avon Historical Society is pleased to present the 5th lecture in a series entitled "Early Avon Distilleries & the 1840s Temperance Movement; Exploring a Cider Brook area distillery and grist mill ruins."

This program will be presented by Dr. Nicholas Bellantoni, State Archeologist Emeritus, UCONN Storrs and Janet M. Conner, head of the Special Projects Committee for the Avon Historical Society. The presentation will focus specifically on an old distillery and grist mill ruins in the Cider Brook section of town.

These ruins are on private property. The mills will be discussed in context of Avon and Farmington as agricultural communities with many taverns and cider houses/presses and several distilleries. In Colonial days, people believed that drinking cider was safer than water to prevent diseases such as dysentery, so cider was served at every meal, including to children.

In addition to food and livestock crops, many farmers grew orchard crops specifically for distilling. Apple orchards yielded fruit for cider, which became alcoholic after only 12 hours of fermentation, while grains such as wheat, rye and buckwheat could be distilled into spirits.

The Temperance Movement was an attempt to show farmers how to profit from their land without producing apple cider brandy and spirits.

In the Fall of 2016 Avon's Town Historian, Ms. Nora O. Howard, secured permission from property owners in Avon's Cider Brook area to examine and photograph the remains of two old mills located near one another. Bellantoni did a field examination while Nora Howard and Janet Conner took photographs from different vantage points of the concrete dam with remnants of an old sluice gate, brook, and fieldstone grist mill wall. Dr. Bellantoni will discuss his analysis of the mill site and Mrs. Conner will delve into the confluence of opposing points of view on hard cider/spirit production versus temperance.

A time for refreshments and asking questions of the presenters will follow immediately after both events. The remaining lectures in the series are: Friday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m, "Avon during the Industrial Revolution" presented by Gene Macy, Social Studies Department, Avon Middle School; Monday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m "Historic Church and School Bells in Avon" presented by Janet M. Conner, Avon Historical Society with Winter-themed music by the Avon Congregational Church handbell choir.

Multicultural Arts Saturday Program

FARMINGTON — The Multicultural Arts Saturday Program at Tunxis Community College is now in its second year. It is open to all students grades 2-8 in the Hartford region who have an interest in the arts.

Sponsored by Farmington Continuing Education in collaboration with Tunxis Community College, the program promotes learning through the arts. Activities include visual art, African and Chinese drumming, Chinese string instrument instruction, dance and creative writing. Taught by certified teachers and professional artists, the six session Saturday program occurs from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Nov. 11 and 18, Dec, 2, 9, 16 with a field trip to the Mark Twain Museum Dec. 2 and with a "sharing" of learning experiences with parents Dec. 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Farmington art teachers Nicole Bastiaans-Fritch and Andrew Minor lead a staff of professional artists and performers to offer "hands on" learning experiences with a variety of art media. Jane DePole-Bogucki who has taught art at The Mattatuck Museum specializes in art for young people.

African drumming instructor Assad Jackson recently received recognition as the outstanding performing group from Connecticut in the annual national drumming competition in Brooklyn, New York. Dance instructor, Oswaldo Tirano, from Columbia, South America specializes in a variety of Caribbean and Latin dance forms for children including the use of puppetry in dance. Professional musician Hsiu-Chi Liange from Tiwain and her assistants provide instruction in Chinese string instruments, Chinese drums and Chinese art. Register online or by phone at 860-404-0290.

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 for more information.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

SIMSBURY — Westminster School's Dramat Association will present "A Midsummer Night's Dream" on Nov. 9, 10 and 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the school's Werner Centennial Center. The performances are free and open to the public with general admission seating. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. Westminster School is located at 995 Hopmeadow St. Parking will be available in the lot adjacent to Armour Academic Center.

How Not to Be A Bystander In The Face Of Intolerance: A Community Discussion

FARMINGTON — In partnership with ForwardCT, the Farmington Libraries will host a community discussion on dealing with intolerance in schools and the workplace. The event will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, at the Farmington Main Library, located at 6 Monteith Drive.

A panel of experts will share insight, answer questions, and offer suggestions on how to address intolerance in the community. Join Cynthia Martin, Director of Programs for the National Conference for Community and Justice and Gloria Mengual, Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator for the CREC (Open Choice) Program for this timely forum. Topics include the recent increase in incidents of intolerance of all kinds in the community and discuss concrete tools used to address discrimination and harassment in schools, the workplace and beyond.

This event is free and open to the public. Call 860-673-6791 for details or register through the library's website at

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.

Harvest Breakfast

AVON — The Avon Lions Club will host their annual harvest breakfast fundraiser from 8 to 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, at the 1st Company, Governor's Horse Guard facility, 280 Arch Road.

The breakfast menu will feature scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, hash brown potatoes, muffins, juice, coffee and tea. Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages five to 12, and free for children four and under. Tickets can be purchased at the door or from any member of the Avon Lions Club. As in years past, there will be a raffle with gift certificates to local restaurants, merchants and gift baskets. The public is invited to bring their used eyeglasses, hearing aids, and cell phones to the Harvest Breakfast for recycling.

For more information, visit or call the Avon Lions Membership Chair Gene Bourquin at 860-989-5010.

Wine Pairing Dinner

AVON — The 5th annual wine pairing dinner held at the Avon Old Farms School Dining Hall, 500 Old Farms Road, will take place at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17.

This event is a fundraiser for The H.O.P.E. Foundation For a Better Tomorrow's scholarships that are given out in founder Frank DiCocco's memory. The H.O.P.E. Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps underprivileged youth.

The R.E.A.L. Man Character Program is provided by our foundation and guides students in developing their character. The program is currently being taught around the country at colleges, high schools, middle schools, and camps nationwide. It is also endorsed by the directors of the AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) and the THSCA (Texas High School Coaches Association). Visit for more information.

International Book Discussion Series

AVON — The Avon Free Public Library's International Book Discussion Series will focus on India. The schedule is as follows: Teatime for the Firefly by Shona Patel; Tuesday, Nov. 28, 7 p.m., The World We Found by Thirity Umigar; and Tuesday, Dec. 12, 7 p.m., Before We Visit the Goddess by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.

This is a book discussion featuring books set in India, led by Cyndi Larsen. The series is free and open to the public. No registration is required.

Poetry Reading

MANCHESTER — A free poetry reading featuring the Connecticut State Poet Laureate, Rennie McQuilken, together with various Connecticut town poets laureate, including Julia Paul, Manchester; Alexandrina Sergio, Glastonbury; Davyne Verstanding, Washington; Rhonda Ward, New London; Julie Choffel, West Hartford; Dr. Daniel Donaghy, Windham County; Tarn Granucci, Wallingford; Joan Hofmann, Canton, Charles Margolis, South Windsor; and Virginia Connors and Christine Beck, West Hartford (emeriti), will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. at historic Cheney Hall, 177 Hartford Road.

The event is sponsored by the Manchester Arts Commission and the CT Coalition of Poets Laureates. Refreshments will be available. Contact Julia Paul at for more information.

Tunxis Offers Free FAFSA Help Sessions

FARMINGTON — Tunxis Community College will host sessions this fall 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 or call 860.773.1422 to reserve a spot: Dates are Nov. 17, Dec. 1, Dec. 15 and Jan. 5.

General sessions are available on the following dates: Nov. 9, 1 p.m. & 6 p.m.; Nov. 13, 6 p.m.; and Nov. 15, 9 a.m. & 6 p.m. All sessions will be held in the 300 Building Computer Lab except the evening session on Nov. 15, which will be in 200 Building, Room 203. No reservation is required for the general sessions.

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 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 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, the New England Ringers will present music of the season on a six-octave set of Schulmerich Handbells and six-octave set of tubular bells called Choirchimes. For those who are unfamiliar with the repertoire of the handbell choir, this will be a beautiful introduction to the magical sounds of bells by one of New England's finest ensembles.

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.

International Film Series

AVON — The Avon Public Library, 281 Country Club Road, continues its International Film Series, which is sponsored by The Friends of the Avon Public Library.

The films are free and open to the public; registration is not required. For more information, call the Avon Public Library at 860-673-9712.

Tuesday, Nov. 21, at 6:30 p.m. The Guard, 2011. What happens when an FBI agent, played by Don Cheadle, travels to Ireland to assist with investigating an international drug ring? Laughs and drama abound.

Thursday, Dec. 21: Under the Same Moon, 2007. This heartwarming story tells the tale of a young Mexican boy who travels to America to try to find his mother after his grandmother passes away. As his journey continues, his mother simultaneously begins to search for him. Subtitles.

NaNoWriMo Events

SIMSBURY — November is National Novel Writing Month and Simsbury Public Library, 725 Hopmeadow St., is again hosting events to support the budding novelists in the Farmington Valley.

On Nov. 1, participants began working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 30. Local libraries, such as Simsbury, Granby and West Hartford, support this effort with programs and creative spaces.

The Simsbury Public Library will be offering a series of programs. On Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m., best-selling author of "Lilac Girls," Martha Hall Kelly, will talk about the writing process and her book. On Nov. 30 at 7 p.m., two local authors, D.H. Robbins and Stephen Kushman, will share their experiences with self-publishing. These three programs are at the Simsbury Public Library and registration is required.

This year, the library is also partnering with the new Storyteller's Cottage at 750 Hopmeadow St. in Simsbury, where there will be write-ins on Nov. 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Nov. 27 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and the last ditch effort marathon on Nov. 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. to midnight.

At these events, guests will have the chance to work on their novel with other writers. All activities are free. Details and registration information for all events are on the library website,, or by calling 860-658-7663, ext. 2200.

Preservation Workshops

AVON — A preservation workshop for documents will take place at the Avon Library Community Room, 281 Country Club Road. For more information, visit or call 860-673-9712.

Documents and Old Maps Preservation Workshop: Saturday, Nov. 18, at 11 a.m. No registration required. Are you lucky enough to be entrusted with family documents or antique maps? Wondering how to store or display them? Join Conlan to learn how to care for these historic treasures. The workshop will discuss storage and display methods, beginning conservation techniques, and best practices to preserve other types of paper documents, including newspapers, scrapbooks, maps and more. Bring your questions.

Free Career Workshops

FARMINGTON — The community is invited to the following free career workshops at Tunxis Community College in the 700 Building, Tunxis Library Classroom, 271 Scott Swamp Road. Email to register.

All workshops begin at 10 a.m. on the following dates: Nov. 14, and Dec. 5. Topics are, in order of appearance, resume writing, interviewing skills, networking with LinkedIn, creating a resume with your iPhone and social media and your personal brand.

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 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.

Senior Bowling League Seeks New Members

SIMSBURY — The Farmington Valley Senior Bowling League invites all area bowlers ages 55 and older to join its Tuesday afternoon league, as a regular member or as a substitute. The team meets at Blue Fox Rock & Bowl on Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury, near the Granby line, from 12:45 to approximately 3 p.m., from mid-September into May.

All levels of ability are welcome. For more information, call Carol Scoville at 860-676-2711.

Drop-In Genealogy

AVON — Free drop-in genealogy at the Avon Public Library, 281 Country Club Road, will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on Dec. 6. Beginners are welcome. Marilyn Giese will provide assistance to those who attend.

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 to fill out a teen job application or a business application.

Teens may contact Sara Ray at 860-658-7663 or email Businesses can contact Sarah Nielsen, Executive Director, Simsbury Main Street Partnership, at

Rotary Club

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

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 or, call 860-200-4710, or email

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

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 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

Watershed Inspections

AREA — The Metropolitan District Commission will be conducting its state-mandated annual watershed sanitary survey and inspection program in the towns of Barkhamsted, Hartland, New Hartford, Burlington, Harwinton, Torrington, Winsted, Avon, Simsbury, Bloomfield, and West Hartford.

The purpose of the program, which will continue through November, is to prevent contamination of the MDC's drinking water supplies as a result of, among other things, septic system failure, erosion, runoff, and other potential pollutants.

Routine watershed sanitary surveys are required by Section 19-13-B102(b) of the Connecticut Public Health Code.

Property inspections will take place in the towns of Barkhamsted and Hartland on the Barkhamsted Reservoir watershed; in New Hartford, Burlington, Harwinton, Torrington and Winsted on the Nepaug Reservoir watershed; and in the towns of Avon, Simsbury, Bloomfield, and West Hartford on the West Hartford/Reservoir No. 6 watersheds.

Routine field inspections take only a few minutes and will be conducted by MDC's Watershed Inspector who carries appropriate MDC identification and drives an authorized MDC vehicle. The Inspector does not enter homes; the inspection is limited to the exterior portions of the real property.

If a violation or an issue is detected, it is reported to the property owner and health officials as required by law.

Property owners may receive more information by contacting the MDC Watershed Management Unit, Barkhamsted Water Supply Division at 860-379-0916 extension 3103 or 860-278-7850 extension 3103.

Copyright © 2018, CT Now