WINDSOR LOCKS — The American Legion Post and Auxiliary of Windsor Locks will hold their breakfast gathering from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Sunday, Feb.4, at Post home in Memorial Hall, 1 S. Main St. All Post and Auxiliary members, their families and friends are invited to attend.
The breakfast will feature French toast or pancakes, sausage, juice and bottomless coffee or tea. The cost is $4 for adults and $3 for children under 12. No tickets or reservations are necessary.
Windsor Locks' Downtown
WINDSOR LOCKS — The following press release was sent by Town of Windsor Locks First Selectman J. Christopher Kervick. The information is a conclusion from a Public Market Feasibility Study prepared for the Town of Windsor Locks, by Aaron Zaretsky, Public Market Development.
"Last spring, I made the case why Windsor Locks should consider the establishment of a public market for our reawakening downtown commercial district. A great deal has happened since that time, the most important of which is that we were able to commission a public market feasibility study thanks to a generous Transit Oriented Development Grant from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.
To conduct the study, we engaged the firm Public Market Development. The principal of Public Market Development is Aaron Zaretsky, who is one of the country's leading experts in the field. Aaron spent fifteen years as a Director at Seattle's Pike Place Public Market, the nation's most successful Public Market with fourteen and a half million annual customer visits. He was a Director there during its $65 million renewal. For 38 years he has helped to plan, develop, redevelop and manage over 50 Public Markets across the country and internationally. He has also helped to raise over $120 million in grants helping to create Public Markets nationwide.
In November, Aaron spent three days in Windsor Locks as part of the information gathering phase of his study. Last week, the study was completed and his report issued. The conclusion section of the extensive report, which I have included below, contains robust recommendation that the public market concept move forward. The next step is the preparation of a business plan. Visit https://www.windsorlocksct.org/news-and-announcements/public-market-study to view the full report.
Windsor Locks is a wonderful community. It will reap enormous returns from becoming far more than a primarily bedroom community. Historically, Windsor Locks had its own discrete commerce and identity. With the near destruction of Main Street, that distinctiveness has become somewhat diluted. Development of a Public Market will be the tremendously important spark that will result in helping return Windsor Locks back to its successful roots.
Proceeding with the development of the Public Market will improve Windsor Locks as a gainful and spirited place to live and work for its residents and visitors. It will allow the community to compete successfully in the economy of the future.
There is no such a thing as a "sure thing" when it comes to real estate development. However, based on the evidence presented in this Study, the Public Market will likely be very successful on its own. It will provide hundreds of new jobs, scores of new entrepreneurial opportunities and millions of dollars in new tax revenues for the community.
It will transform the Windsor Locks community by reversing the flow of shopping and entertainment expenditures that are currently leaving the Town. It will create a vibrant, safe and exciting new place where area residents, visitors, employees, and business and property owners can come together. It will help leverage the creation of surrounding new businesses and a desperately needed downtown.
Creation of the Public Market will provide an urgently needed local shopping venue that will showcase fresh and local and prepared foods and crafts. It will increase area real estate values.
The proposed public amenities and connections to the enhanced Canal path will, by itself, create a regional attraction that will help put Windsor Locks on the map as a beautiful, exciting and fun place to visit.
Finally, the Public Market will build on Windsor Locks' wonderful qualities while resulting in a reinvigorated economy and community for all of its citizens."
Kent Library Events
SUFFIELD — The following events will take place at the Kent Memorial Library, 61 Ffyler Place. Call 860-668-3896 for more information.
Connecticut Valley Mineral Club: If you like rocks, stop by to talk to the Connecticut Valley Mineral Club, who will be displaying minerals and gems between 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 3. Bring your favorite rock and ask them what it is. That day is also Take Your Child to the Library Day. There will be cocoa and children can make a craft and get a goody bag.
Reiki Demonstration and Explanation: On Thursday, Feb. 8, Christine Jette, a Reiki practitioner, will demonstrate and explain Reiki. The program is at 7 p.m. Reiki can be used for relaxation, energy balance, increasing creativity and releasing of emotions that no longer serve you. Sign up at suffield-library.org or by calling 860-668-3896.
Great Decisions Program: Beginning Monday, Feb. 12, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., The Great Decisions program will be presented by the Kent Memorial Library at The Suffield Senior Center, 145 Bridge St. The program will run every other week for eight sessions. Sign up for this free program by visiting suffield-library.org or calling the library at 860-668-3896.
Great Decisions is America's largest discussion program on world affairs designed by the American Foreign Policy Association. Individuals who register for the program will receive a Briefing Book, paid for by The Friends of Kent Memorial Library. Participants will read about the issue in the Briefing Book before the discussion. Topics which will be discussed this year are the waning of Pax Americana, Russia's foreign policy, China and America, the media and foreign policy, Turkey, U.S. global engagement and the military, South Africa and global health.
Music Appreciation, Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet: At 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, Jeffrey Engel, a musicologist, will discuss Sergei Prokofiev's ballet, a classic interpretation of the lovers' story with video clips of Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn dancing to portions of the ballet. The program will take place at the Suffield Senior Center, 145 Bridge St.
Sign up at suffield-library.org or by calling 860-668-3896. The Friends of the Kent Memorial Library is funding the program.
Engel, a graduate of Ithaca College, majored in cello and music history. He continued musicological studies at the University of Connecticut. Engel lived in Paris for 14 years, where he earned a diploma in French and studied art history at the Sorbonne. He played with the Paris Opera, as well as with numerous symphonic orchestras and chamber ensembles. Engel also is a contributor to the recently published edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Since his return to America he has been giving talks and cello lessons and is a regular presenter of music lectures at the Litchfield Community Center.
WINDSOR LOCKS — JobNow at the Windsor Locks Public Library, 28 Main St., is free for Windsor Locks Library cardholders. JobNow provides resume templates, interview tips and interaction with live experts. The eParachute feature allows you to match your skills/interests to an ideal college major and/or career path.
Visit www.windsorlockslibrary.org to view JobNow, which can be used at home or at the library. Call 860-627-1495 with questions.
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.
AARP's Tax Aide Program: Accepting appointments on Thursdays: Feb. 8 through March 29. This program is intended to provide services to low/middle income taxpayers with special attention to those aged 60 and older. Taxpayers with lengthy and/or complex returns are advised to seek paid tax assistance.
Taxpayers are reminded that they must bring the following: identification and Social Security card for anyone living in the home or that may be listed on the tax return; health insurance coverage verification information for taxpayer, spouse and all dependents, last year's tax returns; W-2s, W-2Gs and 1099s showing wages, interest, dividends, pensions, IRAs, unemployment income, certain gambling winnings forms; Social Security benefit statements; broker statements showing transactions-purchases, sales, costs, dates; medical and dental expenses and insurance premiums paid; taxes paid-estimated, property/real estate, vehicle, with dates paid; charitable donations and other credits with supporting documentation; checkbook, if direct deposit of any refund is desired-recommended.
If married, generally, both husband and wife must be present as signatures are required. Returns cannot be prepared for taxpayers if they resided in, or worked in, another state and need a return for that state. All returns are prepared online and are transmitted electronically to the IRS and CT-DRS. The only paper returns that are prepared are those that must be on paper per the IRS.
Bay Path University Occupational Therapy students will be in attendance each Thursday at 11 a.m. to show a variety of exercises that help with everyday living. They will also teach different strategies to aid in maintaining independence at home. They will also be discussing the various precautions and proper ergonomics in order to reduce symptoms and prevent further injury. This program is offered for free.
February is American Heart Month. To prevent heart disease and increase awareness of its effects, the Suffield Senior Center is proudly participating in American Heart Month. On Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 11 a.m., Gina Martin, registered dietitian from InnerWorld Nutrition, LLC, will speak about how good nutrition contributes to a healthy heart.
Veterans Coffee Hour: Join Wayne Rioux, Veteran and Veteran's Liaison from Hartford Healthcare at Home, and some amazing veterans for coffee hour on Friday, Feb. 23, at 8:30 a.m. Coffee hour is held on the fourth Friday of each month. This is an opportunity for veterans to come together, ask questions, share stories, build relationships, and interact.
Movie Night – "Stronger" The inspiring real life story of Jeff Bauman, an ordinary man who captured the hearts of his city and the world to become a symbol of hope after surviving the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. (Rated R, 119 minutes). Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 6 p.m. Free popcorn and beverage provided. Sign up by Monday, Feb. 26.
WINDSOR LOCKS — The Windsor Locks Public Library, 28 Main St., now offers pocket-sized Winston the Bookworm notepad and pen sets as a practical solution for making quick notes on the go. Proceeds from this new fundraiser, offered at $3.50, will be used to purchase items for the library's DVD and Blu-Ray collection. The sets are suitable for both adults and children and are available at the library's circulation desk. Visit www.windsorlockslibrary.org for more information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com. 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.