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Canton Commission Continues Public Hearing on 5 River Road

February 16, 2017 Business, Community No Comments

A file photo of 5 River Road.

By John Fitts

On Wednesday, Feb. 15, the Canton Planning and Zoning Commission heard varying opinions on a proposal to add a used car dealership to the list of permitted uses at 5 River Road in Collinsville but ultimately continued a public hearing on the matter.

The half-acre, “v-shaped” property sits on the corner of Maple Avenue (state Route 565) and state route 179.

Resident Stephen Roberto purchased the property, formerly home to a gas station, in 2011, and in 2014 was successful in getting it re-zoned from “non-conforming” residential to business.

The proposal before the commission now looks to get permission for used car dealership with 30 spaces for “inventory,” 7 parking spaces, dark-sky compliant lighting for use during business hours and use of existing bays for limited repair.

While some businesses uses are allowed “by right,” a dealership would require several special permits and a site-plan modification.

Various criteria and standards come with the special permits and much of the debate on the proposal centers around intensity of use on the property, the character of the neighborhood and the town’s economic viability.

The commission is slated to continue the hearing at its March 15 meeting, which would take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Canton Community Center.

See more in next week’s edition of the Valley Press.  

Musical Events to Benefit Crown and Hammer Employees

February 15, 2017 Business, Community No Comments

Hand-drawn and watercolored image by Kate McAllister of KMcA Fine Art.

By John Fitts

COLLINSVILLE – On the last Saturday in February, two local establishments will host musical fundraisers to benefit employees of the Crown and Hammer Pub and Restaurant.

Many of the 17 people who work at the Crown have had limited economic opportunities since the restaurant had to temporarily shut its doors after the Jan. 23 accident in which a vehicle crashed into the building, which resulted in the death of passenger Margaret Stoppani, 86, of Canton. Police said the investigation is ongoing.

While the death has certainly been the most tragic outcome, employees at the restaurant have also struggled to keep up financially.

On Feb. 25, there will be two efforts to lend them a hand.

From 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. on that day, Wilson’s Pub, 3 River St., will host CrownAid 2017, featuring numerous acts. There will be a $10 suggested donation.

Additionally, from 7 to 10 p.m. that same evening, LaSalle Market and Deli, 104 Main St., will host its monthly Give Back Series, also to benefit Crown employees. The night will feature Jean Claude Trans Am, which plays “Space Rock and beyond” and people will have the chance to donate to the effort.

See more in this week’s Valley Press. To view updates search LaSalle Give Back Series on facebook and visit https://www.facebook.com/CrownAid2017/.

Winter Festival Auction is Underway

February 15, 2017 Community, Schools No Comments

By John Fitts

CANTON – With items that range from a plow truck ride in the Memorial Day Parade to an adult night out at the local brewery, area residents might do well to check the annual online Winter Festival auction. 

The auction, found at biddingforgood.com/cantonpto, is a major fundraiser for the Parent Teacher Organizations at Canton Intermediate and Cherry Brook Primary schools. Last year the event netted more than $30,000. 

Items include sporting tickets, hand-made goods, summer camps, professional services, field trips, art lessons and much more. 

See more in this week’s Valley Press and at biddingforgood.com/cantonpto.

Your Silent Neighbors: Ada Johnson, Explosion Victim

February 15, 2017 Community, History No Comments

By David Leff 
Town Historian  

Ada Elizabeth Johnson (1888-1933) died in what the Farmington Valley Herald called “the most tragic accident to occur here in many years.”  She was a 1906 graduate of Collinsville High School and afterward completed studies at Hutsinger Business College in Hartford.  She was employed in a couple different offices for over a dozen years and spent her last decade as clerk of the Canton probate court.  She also did work in the Canton town clerk’s office, according to one news report.

Johnson never married and lived with her parents on Johnson Place in Collinsville.  On February 14, 1933, Johnson was at home in a closed room off the kitchen cleaning some clothes in gasoline.  While putting them through an electric wringer there was an explosion that blew out every window of the house and was heard a quarter-mile away.  The house then caught fire, practically destroying the rear of the structure and two upper stories.

Johnson was pulled from the conflagration by a neighbor and immediately treated by Doctor Ralph Cox, who lived on The Green.  She was so seriously burned that she could not be transported to a hospital and died at a neighbor’s home that evening.  She was conscious long enough to tell the doctor how the accident happened. … Continue Reading

Images of Canton: CIS Students Claim Victory

February 15, 2017 Community, Schools No Comments

The staff at Canton Intermediate School recently took to the basketball court to face a formidable group of students. Surprisingly – or maybe not so much so – the kids managed to squeak out a 39-38 win. The Parent Teacher Organization-sponsored event featured several zany moments with colorful wigs, costumes, a few bizarre calls and an ever-growing number of kids on the court. Perhaps more importantly, attendees collected more than 300 items for the Canton Food Bank. “I love this event because it’s about bringing the CIS Community together in a fun-silly environment, yet, at the same time, giving back to the community by supporting the Canton Food Bank,” said PTO President Jennifer Barri Almeida. “It’s a win-win, literally.” –John Fitts

Images of Canton: Prisms Through Time

The Canton Music Department, along with numerous senior class leaders, presented “Prisms Through Time” Feb. 4. The program, produced by Anna Holland, Noah O’Leary and Elizabeth Raynor, used a moving storyline of the “Belmont” family to illustrate musical and arts pursuits over time. To accompany each of the stories, Canton High School bands played a variety of musical styles that included medieval, baroque, classical and romantic, impressionism and modern. 

Roaring Brook Nature Center in midst of capital campaign

February 13, 2017 Community No Comments

Alecia Langlois holds Alice, a Barred Owl, at the Roaring Brook Nature center’s flight enclosure. The center is anxious for its new facilities, but hopes Alice will be well enough to release back into the wild.
Photo by John Fitts

By John Fitts

Roaring Brook Nature Center is in the midst of a “Building Roaring Brook’s Future” capital campaign that would expand its footprint approximately 32 percent. The improvements include a greatly expanded front entrance area complete with kiosk and garden, an extended back porch and outdoor classroom area, a new indoor classroom that will showcase the center’s longhouse, a wildlife rehabilitation clinic, a sun-filled showcase turtle pond and new raptor enclosures. Additionally the flow between all areas would be greatly enhanced. 

“It will be better for the animals, better for the public and better for the staff,” said Jay Kaplan, director at Roaring Brook Nature Center. 

See more at roaringbrook.org and click on the Building Our Future link on the home page, call 860-693-0263 or mail donations to 70 Gracey Road and be sure to notate Capital project. 

Our entire story can be found in last week’s Valley Press… Continue Reading

Canton College Notes (2-13-17)

February 13, 2017 Community, Schools No Comments

Colin Gurry Receives Degree from Georgia Tech 

ATLANTA, GA — Colin Gurry of Canton, CT, has earned a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Gurry was among approximately 3,200 undergraduate and graduate students who received degrees during Georgia Tech’s 252nd Commencement exercises on December 16-17, 2016, at the McCamish Pavilion.

Goodwin College President’s List, Fall 2016

EAST HARTFORD, CT — Goodwin College’s President’s List for the Fall 2016 Session includes the following local students, all of whom scored a perfect 4.0 GPA. To qualify for the President’s List, a student must be enrolled in at least six credits at Goodwin College and earn perfect marks in all classes.

Images of Canton: Focus Wine Tasting

February 3, 2017 Community, Health No Comments

More than three dozen people came out to Cherry Brook Health Care Center for the Focus on Canton Winter Wine Tasting Thursday, Jan. 26. 

The event benefited Focus on Canton, an organization which supports several initiatives in town, including the Canton Fuel and Food banks. 

See more in this week’s edition of the Valley Press

Your Silent Neighbors: Ulrich Haury

February 1, 2017 Community, History No Comments

By David K. Leff 
Canton Town Historian 

Ulrich Haury (1834-1903) was born in Reinpfalz, Germany, one of seven children.  He attended public school in his native country and served six years in its army.  He is one of many immigrants who made Collinsville a vibrant, and even somewhat cosmopolitan community, in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Haury came to this country in 1862 and almost immediately found work in the plow stocking department of The Collins Company.  In 1871 he started in the grocery business with another resident of the village and became quite prosperous.  Eventually, his son William joined the firm.  He later became vice president of the Collinsville Savings Society, served eight years on the town “board of relief,” and was nominated as a Democrat for state representative, although he was defeated at the polls.  In his later years, he was much sought after for business advice.

Haury was a stern looking man with a long goatee.  He was described as having “a jovial disposition, generous nature and Christian character, and was held in respect by all his townsmen.”  His means enabled him to dispense charity, which he did without fanfare.  He was a “most indulgent father and kind husband, ever devoted to his family circle.” … Continue Reading

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