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Images of Canton: Yappy Hour

August 26, 2016 Community, Photos No Comments

In Celebration of National Dog Day, a Yappy Hour event was held in Lowell Court at the Shoppes at Farmington Valley on Friday. Many local dog-oriented businesses, artists, vendors and artisans participated in the event and hundreds of dog owners came out for the fun.

Proceeds and donations benefitted Dog Star Rescue. The event was sponsored by the Hartford Courant and TEG CT.

For a contact sheet view or full-screen version of this and other galleries, visit https://johnfitts.smugmug.com. Prints and/or digital downloads can also be purchased at that link.

Readers can also help keep Canton Compass sustainable by donating at https://www.gofundme.com/canton-compass or via 15 Colony Road, Canton, CT 06019.

Selectmen Delay Decision to Set Referendum Question for Public Works Project

The latest plan borrows heavily from the Barkhamsted facility, gets the facility to one level and brings the price below $4 million

The latest plan borrows heavily from the Barkhamsted facility, gets the facility to one level and brings the price below $4 million

Special Meeting to be Held Aug. 31

By John Fitts

CANTON – While it’s a near certainty that a proposal to rebuild the Public Works Facility at its current site will go to voters in November, selectmen on Wednesday deferred the decision another week.

And while selectmen briefly touched on the merits of the project and the process, the real controversy of the evening came during the public comment portion of the Board of Selectmen meeting.

The town is looking to construct a 14,140 square foot building at the 50 Old River Road site with approximately 11,500 square feet of storage space, 2,640 square feet of office space, a new generator, a new salt shed, revamped parking and relocated fueling station. The current facility consists of an old horse barn, a couple small bays and small office area.

On Monday, the Board of Finance approved forwarding a plan to voters for $3.825 million – $3.75 million for the project and $75,000 to cover the costs associated with bonding, the town’s method of borrowing for the project and paying it over time through a yearly tax levy. Selectmen now need to take final action to set a question, due in early September, for the November ballot.

There has been much discussion in town about the concept of rebuilding at the current site. Earlier this year, town staff came up with the plan for a garage that was smaller – and potentially less expensive – than previous incarnations. Most recently, in May of 2013 and November of 2014, voters defeated $5.4 million and $4.78 million plans for 325 Commerce Drive, at sizes of 19,000 feet or more.

In a public hearing earlier in the summer, numerous residents spoke against the plan to rebuild on site. Several have continued to do so and recently, the registered Political Action Committee Not On Our River  has continued to fight the idea, stating that it compromises valuable riverfront, doesn’t adequately deal with floodplain issues, is short-sighted and leaves virtually no option for future expansion.

On Wednesday some of the strongest public opinion, however, came from someone who is supporting the project and passed around a paper he feels “debunks” the arguments of NOOR, stating, for example, that the current site is actually least expensive, will meet the needs for the DPW, conforms to land-use standards and received a positive referral from the town Planning and Zoning Commission.

In his comments, Lans Perry went as far as to refer to some opponents as the “Chablis-swilling” elite” and his handouts take aim at “the river nuts,” “self-interested Satan’s Kingdom residents,” Canton Land Conservation Trust, Inc.”, “Self Interested land Speculators, developers and brokers” and more.

In his remarks, Perry referenced his family’s long history of activism and called this issue one of social justice.

“The brothers have suffered long enough,” Perry said. “They won’t complain because they are tough. But they suffer, too. We pay for it in rusting trucks and higher taxes.”

He later called the idea of those who say they will support it elsewhere a “worthless promise” and said neighborhoods will always fight if the project goes anywhere else.

“The current site is the cheapest and has a very real chance of passage with your support,” he said. “We need that support. Please help our suffering brothers now.”

David Sinish, who is treasurer of NOOR and has supported past Public Works proposals, spoke briefly at the meeting and addressed the comments, particularly ones that mentioned first names and streets.

“It’s not often that one gets attacked personally in a public meeting and I’m quite offended at that as well as I’m sure are the people I’m sitting with,” he said. “So I want to have that on the record.” … Continue Reading

Little Free Library Adds to Community Feel on Dyer Avenue

By John Fitts 

Benjamin Hollenbeck cuts the ribbon for the Little Free Library. Photo courtesy of the Hollenbeck family

Benjamin Hollenbeck cuts the ribbon for the Little Free Library.
Photo courtesy of the Hollenbeck family

CANTON — As a first-grade teacher, Sarah Hollenbeck knows the value of literacy and for some time she wanted to open a “Little Free Library.”

Started by Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin in 2009, Little Free Libraries offer a public book exchange in neighborhoods, schools, businesses or other locales. They are based on the motto of “Take a book, leave a book” and today more than 40,000 are registered worldwide.

Earlier this summer, the Shoppes at Farmington Library debuted such a facility, a move that inspired Hollebeck and her family to finally debuted their own structure at their 100 Dyer Ave. home.

“I love books and reading and I want to promote literacy,” Hollenbeck said. … Continue Reading

Work Begins on Traffic Light in Collinsville

August 24, 2016 Community, Government No Comments
Workers with A. M. Rizzo Electrical Contractors, Inc. perform some initial work for the traffic signals at Bridge and Main Streets in Collinsville. Photo by John Fitts

Workers with A. M. Rizzo Electrical Contractors, Inc. perform some initial work for the traffic signals at Bridge and Main Streets in Collinsville.
Photo by John Fitts

By John Fitts 

COLLINSVILLE — Work on the traffic light at Bridge and Main streets began this week and town officials expect the project to be completed some time in October.

Anchoring the span wire to hold the lights will be two, diagonally placed, black-powder coated, octagonal light poles with spires on top, said George Wallace, Canton’s project administrator.

Additionally there will be a four-way crosswalk at the intersection and the islands that came with the downtown improvements will be partially raised with some granite curbing to enhance pedestrian safety.

The area is a popular one, particularly as part of the Farmington River Trail. According to town data presented at a recent meeting, 507 people crossed the intersection in a two-hour period on a weekend day in September of 2015.

Several pedestrians have been struck at the crossing and changes were recommended in 2008 by  a Pedestrian and Vehicular Safety Committee.

Wallace said it was good to have the project underway.

“It appears to be well on its way,” Wallace said Wednesday. “I think it’s much-needed.”

The light has been a long time coming. In 2009, the town received $165,000 state grant for the signal and in 2010 residents voted to accept the funds, some of which was spent on design costs. However, the project was tied up due to various factors, including the process of getting abutting landowners to agree on easements and infrastructure placement, and the state to sign off on a final design. Wallace said the state also asked for a reconfigured plan after the streetscape improvements in 2015 changed the Main Street side of the intersection.

The cost of the project is approximately $260,000. In late 2015, electors at town meeting approved taking $130,000 from the town’s reserves to cover the additional cost of the project. Danbury based A. M. Rizzo Electrical Contractors, Inc. is the contractor for the project.

Additionally $15,000 was approved as part of the 2016-17 budget for the island improvements.

Tip a Volunteer Firefighter/EMT Slated for Aug. 25

August 24, 2016 Community, Fire No Comments

Submitted Release 

Dish ‘n Dat is sponsoring a fundraiser for the Town of Canton Volunteer Fire & EMS Department called, Tip a Volunteer Firefighter/EMT. It takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016.

Volunteer firefighters & EMTs will assist wait staff on the floor during the lunch and dinner service. They may be hosting, seating, clearing tables, carrying out food or helping out behind the bar.

Dish‘n Dat will generously donate 25 percent of the total from all lunch and dinner bills back to Canton’s volunteer firefighters & EMTs.

Since 2010, Dish ‘n Dat has raised over $5,500.00 to benefit the work of  Canton’s Bravest.

Dish ‘n Dat is located in The Shoppes at Farmington Valley; 110 Albany Turnpike, Canton, CT 06019; Reservations Recommended: (860) 693-4927.

The ShopRites of West Hartford and Canton to Host NASCAR Cheerios Showcar

August 24, 2016 Community No Comments
the 2016 Cheerios Showcar, driven by Austin Dillon, grandson of team owner Richard Childress. Submitted Photo

the 2016 Cheerios Showcar, driven by Austin Dillon, grandson of team owner Richard Childress.
Submitted Photo

Submitted Release 

Ladies and gentleman, start your engines! The Cheerios #3 Chevrolet NASCAR Showcar will be making a pit stop at the ShopRites of Canton and West Hartford on Saturday, August 27th.  In partnership with car sponsor General Mills, Joseph Family Markets is hosting the car to bring greater visibility to the local fight against hunger and support their annual ShopRite Partners In Caring fundraising campaign. 

Throughout the month of September, ShopRite associates collect donations at check-out and hold various events to raise funds for local food banks in the communities they serve. Last year, the two stores, which are owned and operated by Chuck and Debbie Joseph, raised a combined total of $30,754 and have contributed over $151,700 to the local fight against hunger since their inception in 2010. … Continue Reading

Mandell JCC Valley Sports & Community Center Offers Community Open House and New Classes, Programs and Leagues for All Ages

August 24, 2016 Community, Sports No Comments

valleyfall2016Submitted Release

The community is invited to get a taste of all the new programming the Mandell JCC Valley Sports & Community Center has to offer at the Fall Open House, Wednesday, September 7, from 4:30-6:30pm. Guests can try out new classes, meet the instructors, experience the Ninja Warrior course and receive a special gift. This fall, the Mandell JCC Valley Sports & Community Center will offer new fitness classes, programs and leagues for all ages at 310 Albany Turnpike, Canton. … Continue Reading

Cherry Brook Health Care Center Welcomes New Director of Dining Services

August 23, 2016 Community, Health No Comments
Laquita Trapp

Laquita Trapp

Submitted Release 

New to Cherry Brook Health Care Center is Director of Dining Services, Laquita Trapp.  Laquita comes to Cherry Brook Health Care Center from Duncaster Retirement Community in Bloomfield.  She has an extensive background in food services, where she has served in the role of dining services supervisor while overseeing the daily operations of the nutritional services department.  We are excited to have Laquita and her years of long term care experience.  She will certainly be an asset to the Cherry Brook Team.

Laquita remarked, “I’m very excited to be a part of the Cherry Brook team, food is what brings us all together.”

Jacob Bompastore, administrator said, “Laquita has already made a positive impact with our food quality and made a connection with our residents.  Welcome Laquita!” … Continue Reading

FV Stage Pays Tribute to First Responders

Steve O’Brien and Virginia Wolf. Submitted Photo

Steve O’Brien and Virginia Wolf.
Submitted Photo

Submitted Release 

COLLINSVILLE– On the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11, the Farmington Valley Stage Company will pay tribute to first responders, and all lives lost that day, with their production of Anne Nelson’s The Guys.  The production opens their 2016-17 season on Sept. 9, 16, 17 at 8 pm and Sept. 11 at 2 pm.

THE GUYS

Less than two weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, New Yorkers are still in shock.  One of them, an editor named Joan, receives an unexpected phone call on behalf of Nick, a fire captain who has lost most of his men in the attack.

He’s looking for a writer to help him with the eulogies he must present at their memorial services.  Nick and Joan spend a long afternoon together, recalling the fallen men through recounting their virtues and their foibles. and fashioning  the stories into memorials of words.

In the process, Nick and Joan discover the possibilities of friendship in each other and their shared love for the unconquerable spirit of the city.  As they make their way through the emotional landscape of grief, they draw on humor, tango, the appreciation of craft in all its forms – and the enduring bonds of common humanity.  … Continue Reading

Canton Parks and Recreation Welcomes Cedric C. Lawrence

August 22, 2016 Community, Sports No Comments
Cedric C. Lawrence

Cedric C. Lawrence

By John Fitts 

Recreation wasn’t always the obvious career choice for Cedric C. Lawrence but he’s found the field suits him well.

Lawrence was recently hired as recreation coordinator for the town of Canton, a new, varying hours, but year-round position that includes oversight of summer camps, basketball league and various events, as well as new initiatives, such as the creation of a town after-school program.

For the past eight years, Lawrence has worked with the department of Recreation in Mount Vernon, NY. While there, Lawrence worked with programs such as summer camp, seasonal, athletic, after school and senior programs. He was even able to gather some transportation experience. … Continue Reading

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Upcoming Events

Aug
18
Thu
all-day Five points Gallery, Grossman, C... @ Five Points Gallery
Five points Gallery, Grossman, C... @ Five Points Gallery
Aug 18 – Sep 19 all-day
Five Points Gallery presents three new exhibitions, west Gallery: Barbara Grossman, East Gallery FPG Incubator Artists exhibition, TDP Gallery: David Colbert. Opening reception: Friday August 18th 6-8:30 pm Artist Talk: Friday September 9th @ 6pm
Aug
28
Sun
9:30 am Morning Worship @ Collinsville Congregational Church
Morning Worship @ Collinsville Congregational Church
Aug 28 @ 9:30 am
 
10:00 am Choral Eucharist @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Choral Eucharist @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Aug 28 @ 10:00 am
 
10:00 am Morning Worship @ North Canton Community United Methodist Church
Morning Worship @ North Canton Community United Methodist Church
Aug 28 @ 10:00 am
 
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