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First Selectman’s Corner: 2017, Canton’s Year of Mental Wellness

December 19, 2016 Community, Government No Comments

Leslee Hill

Dear Canton Residents,

Greetings of the Season!

I hope you all are enjoying the winter weather, and are staying warm and healthy.  I want to share with you a special announcement of an initiative that has been in the planning stages for several months.

Earlier this year, I began forming a task force to look at the issue of opioid addiction in our area.  This started from conversations with Jennifer Kertanis, the Director of the Farmington Valley Health District, and Claire Cote, our Senior and Social Services Director.  We also involved Chris Arciero, Canton Police Chief; Kevin Case, Superintendent of Schools; Sue Saidel, Chairman of the Youth Services Bureau; Justine Ginsberg, FVHD Community Health Coordinator; Maria Skinner, Clinical Director of the McCall Center in Torrington and Canton resident; Mary Hess, Canton League of Women Voters; and Rev. Linda Spiers of Trinity Episcopal Church.  Through our conversations, our scope enlarged to include the broader themes of addiction, mental health, and mental wellness.   … Continue Reading

Canton College Notes (Dec. 19, 2016)

December 19, 2016 Community, Schools No Comments

Provided by readMedia newswire

Emily Guersch Performs in Wheaton College (Ill.) Christmas Festival 

WHEATON, IL — Wheaton College student Emily Guersch recently performed in “Love Divine,” the 2016 Christmas Festival presented by the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music. Guersch, of Collinsville, Connecticut, played clarinet with the Symphonic Band.

Emily Jarka Named To Little East Academic All-Conference 

KEENE, NH — Keene State College Women’s Cross Country student-athlete Emily Jarka has been named to the Little East Conference Academic All-Conference team.

Jarka is a native of Canton, majoring in Elementary Education. … Continue Reading

Canton Kindergarteners Donate and Wrap Gifts for Needy Siblings

December 19, 2016 Community, Schools No Comments
Kindergarteners in Kelly Theriault's class wrap the presents gathered for less fortunate students. Submitted Photo

Kindergarteners in Kelly Theriault’s class wrap the presents gathered for less fortunate students.
Submitted Photo

By John Fitts 

Thanks to a local kindergarten class, two young children will have a better holiday season.

For years, Kelly Theriault and her family have participated in the Connecticut Education Foundation’s Holiday Bear Project, a program that benefits public school children in need.

Last year Theriault and her fellow staff members sponsored two children, and this year she decided to bring the project directly into her Cherry Brook Primary School classroom. She asked families to forgo any gifts for her and consider donating to the project.

With the help of classroom volunteers and a few others, the families of the 19 kids in Theriault’s classroom, collected items for 4- and 5-year-old siblings that attend an area school. Using an online sign-up system, the participants coordinated an effort to purchase everyday necessities, school supplies, clothing, coloring books, games, books and toys.

“It was amazing,” Theriault said. “I was just so touched by everybody’s generosity.”

Recently the class gathered to wrap the gifts, which Theriault said included everything on their list and more.

“It was so successful and so meaningful,” Theriault said. “It gave them a chance to think about that not everyone has what we have.”

The Holiday Bear Project has benefit more than 10,000 students since 1998, according to the Connecticut Education Foundation.  … Continue Reading

Crown and Hammer Debuts New Menu

December 16, 2016 Business, Community No Comments

By John Fitts

COLLINSVILLE — Justin LaCapria has been executive chef at Lisa’s Crown and Hammer since April but only recently did he debut a revamped menu.

LaCapria said he really needed to get a sense of what people wanted, what new dishes people liked and which offerings from predecessor Michael Alfeld remained most popular.

“I was trying to figure out what Collinsville and the Farmington valley wants, eats and likes,” LaCapria said. “I took what people were buying from his menu and kind of made it my own, with a lot of additions and changes.”

One of the most popular new items is a $14 Truffle Burger, which features an 8-ounce patty, seasoned and grilled to order, with melted Swiss, caramelized onions and a made-from-scratch truffle mayonnaise. … Continue Reading

Lights on Canton Announces $5,000 Donation

December 16, 2016 Community, Schools, Sports No Comments
The Canton Youth Soccer Association board.  Submitted Photo

The Canton Youth Soccer Association board.
Submitted Photo

Lights On Canton has received its first donation from the Canton Youth Soccer Association.

“This generous $5000 donation kicks off the Lights On Canton committee’s “Be A Beacon” giving campaign for organizations, families and businesses,” Lights on Canton c0-chair Kimberly Marze announced in a recent email. “Their leadership and dedication to the Lights On Canton project has been incredible and hopefully serves as example (or a “beacon”) to other organizations who may be inspired by their generous gift.”

Permanent Lights for the Canton High School track and field facility were approved by the Canton Planning and Zoning Commission in November. Some neighbors had expressed concern, especially about noise, and the commission did put several conditions on the approval.

Lights on Canton, a subcommittee of the Canton Athletic Booster Club, advocated for the lights and has committed raise some $250,000 for the lights and related costs. They expect it to take 12 to 18 months.

“Lights on Canton”  can be found on facebook. Their first fundraising event is a game between the Harlem Wizards vs. Canton Schools teachers on Jan. 10, 2017 at 7 p.m.  Tickets start at $15 and are available at http://www.harlemwizards.com/schedule-tickets/  or at JCC Mandell Valley Sports Center in Canton.

 

Selectmen Take A Step that Could Pave the Way to Relinquishing Grange Building

December 15, 2016 Community, Government No Comments
The grange building in North Canton.

The grange building in North Canton.

No Final Decision made Wednesday

By John Fitts 

While selectmen took an action Wednesday that could pave the way for the grange building in North Canton to be returned to the state association, members held off on deciding its ultimate fate.

In September of 2013, the town accepted the building as a gift from members of the dissolved Cherry Brook Patrons of Husbandry Grange #210. Earlier that year, selectmen in place at the time, had accepted the building by a 3-2 vote.

In recent months, the current Board of Selectmen has grappled with whether to keep the 534 Cherry Brook Road building for community use or give it back to the state grange association.

Current estimates for the work needed at the grange are nearly $145,000. With an offer of help from Boy Scout Troop 177, the town’s cost for necessary repairs and code work, would drop to approximately $107,000. Abatement and required bathroom work/additions are two of the biggest costs. Additionally, town officials said the annual costs at the building are approximately $4,500, a figure that would go up to $11,600 if the building were to be rehabilitated. … Continue Reading

Your Silent Neighbors: Charles Blair

December 15, 2016 Community, History No Comments

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By David K. Leff

On a blustery March day in 1857, Charles Blair, then head of the Collins Company forge shop, stepped into a local store on Main Street in Collinsville and was suddenly and unexpectedly caught up in the most divisive moment of American history—the Civil War.  In George Polk’s drug store Blair met militant abolitionist John Brown who had spoken in town the night before.  The encounter would lead to the Collins Company making pikes for Brown that, to everyone’s surprise, he would later use in a raid on the federal arsenal in Harpers Ferry,Virginia, an attempt to start a slave revolt.  In 1859, Brown would hang for his efforts.  Blair would be subpoenaed by Congress not long afterward.  Suspicious senators harshly questioned his relationship with Brown and his intentions in producing arms to aid in an insurrection against the government of the United States.

Amherst, Massachusetts born in 1812, Charles Blair came to work at the Collins Company in 1832 as a “helper.”  He retired from Collins in 1876, having long been superintendent of the works.  An ardent supporter of Lincoln, he worked hard to produce material for the Union war effort, including swords and bayonets.   A civic-minded individual, he held various offices, including state representative.  The Hartford Courant called him “a man thoroughly trusted by all who know him” and “a public spirited man and useful citizen.”  Nevertheless, despite long service with the Collins Company and many good works, Charles Blair went to his grave knowing he would be best remembered for his dealings with John Brown, a chapter in his life he thought best forgotten. … Continue Reading

More than 300 Benefit from Gifts for Canton

December 14, 2016 Business, Community No Comments
The annual Gifts for Canton distribution took place Tuesday. Seen here are some of the volunteers and chamber members involved in the effort. Submitted Photo

The annual Gifts for Canton distribution took place Tuesday. Seen here are some of the volunteers and chamber members involved in the effort.
Submitted Photo

CANTON — More than 300 people benefitted from the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Gifts for Canton effort, organizers said.

After a weeks-long toy, clothing and gift card drive, the items were distributed from Trinity Episcopal Church on Tuesday morning.

Jill Brandon, who chaired this year’s effort, said 47 people came out and picked out items. In all 305 people will benefit, she said.

“Canton residents and the Canton business community donated gifts, funds and their time for another successful year,” Brandon said.

Brandon said she especially want to thank ShopRite of Canton, the Rotary Club of Avon-Canton, The Canton Lions Club, Larsen Ace Hardware and Jeannine fund Raisers for donations. Additionally, the Canton Police Department and Community Emergency Response Team held gift drives at the Shoppes at Farmington Valley and Ocean State Job Lot. Numerous businesses displayed collection boxes many chamber and community members volunteered their time. … Continue Reading

Canton BOE Recognizes Kevin D. Case’s 10 Years as Superintendent

December 14, 2016 Community, Schools No Comments

The Board of Education held a special recognition Tuesday to honor Kevin D. Case for 10 years of service as Superintendent of Canton Schools.

In addition to current board members, several administrators, a few teachers and former board members gathered for a brief celebration.

In honoring Case, board chair Julie Auseré referenced a press release sent out in October 2006 when Case was hired to lead Canton schools. … Continue Reading

The Village Sweet Shoppe To Close Its Doors Early Next Year

December 13, 2016 Business, Community No Comments

COLLINSVILLE — For 30 years, The Village Sweet Shoppe has been an integral part of Shirley Scarpino’s life. Now, Scarpino has decided this will be the last holiday season at the popular River Street business.

At age 65, she’s ready to retire, Scarpino said.

“It’s time,” Scarpino said. “It’s not going to be an easy go. It’s been great here.”

After working as a health and fitness director at the YMCA in Torrington, Scarpino first opened Village Sweet Shoppe in Riverton. In 2004, spurred by some major changes in Riverton, notably the fact that world-famous Hitchcock Chair Co. was closing its doors (It’s now re-open under new ownership), Scarpino decided to move. The search brought her to Collinsville. … Continue Reading

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Daily Mass @ St. Patrick Church
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10:30 am Wii Bowling at Canton Senior Center @ Canton Community Center
Wii Bowling at Canton Senior Center @ Canton Community Center
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Have you ever wished you could continue to bowl without putting on bowling shoes or lugging a heavy ball?  You’re in LUCK!!  Join the Canton Senior Center Wii Bowling Team, The Canton Rollers.  Show off your bowling skills or learn new ones at the Senior Center.  Mondays at 1:30pm, Wednesdays ...
11:30 am Blood Pressure Clinic @ Library/Community Center Senior Room
Blood Pressure Clinic @ Library/Community Center Senior Room
Mar 29 @ 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
The Farmington Valley Visiting Nurse Association offers free blood pressures screenings on the following days: Second Tuesday of Every Month Canton Town Hall 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Every Wednesday Canton Community Senior Center – Senior Room 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. These clinics are open to people of all ...