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Images of Canton: Town Honors Those Who Paid Ultimate Sacrifice

While Canton’s Memorial Day Parade was canceled due to inclement weather, the town took time Monday afternoon to observe the true meaning of the holiday.

In brief ceremonies, David Gilchrist, who was slated to be parade grand marshal, laid wreaths at the Veterans Monument on River Street and the Civil War monument at Village Cemetery.

“We’re here today to honor our fallen heroes and remember their sacrifice,” First Selectwoman Leslee Hill said, adding before a moment of silence that it was prudent to “to pause and reflect on those who sacrificed their tomorrows so we could enjoy today.”

Also at Village Cemetery, Canton High School students Stephen Oliver and Cameron Lange performed taps while Vietnam era veterans Joe Lesieur, Richard Zommer and Greg Sims provided the honor guard. Additionally, Corrina Grossman sang the Star Spangled Banner and Fr. Robert Grant of St. Patrick offered invocation and convocation.

For a full-screen version of this and other galleries, visit https://johnfitts.smugmug.com.

Images of Canton: 5th Graders Learn About Emergency Planning

On Monday Canton 5th Graders learned the STEPs to take for family emergency preparedness.

During the morning, Bill Perkins, trainer and homeland security project coordinator for the Capitol Region Council of Governments, Christopher Arciero, Canton’s Chief of Police and director of emergency management, and members of the Canton’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), presented Student Tools for Emergency Planning. … Continue Reading

Images of Canton: May Dance Celebration at Cherry Brook

Students at Cherry Brook Primary School participated in the annual May dance celebration on Friday, May 20. Over two sessions, students in each grade perform traditional folk dances for their families. Additionally music teacher Luann Saunders leads the kids in singing several songs.

“The tradition demonstrates how much progress has been made by students with movement and music,” said principal Andrew Robbin. “Mrs. Saunders outstanding work with the students is evident through the joy of the May Dance.”

For a 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.

Images of Canton: Bristol’s Farm Gets into Swing of the Season

By John Fitts

CANTON — Now in his fourth season back at his family farm, Josh Bristol feels he is truly home.

“I’m planning on sinking my roots here,” he said. “It’s the right place for me to be.”

The Bristol family has been farming – or leasing – the land along Route 44 in Canton since the late 1800s.

Josh Bristol, a 2004 graduate of Canton High School, worked in the theater industry for several years but kept thinking of getting back to the farm, where he spent many, many hours while growing up. Initially the timing wasn’t right but the exit of one of the tenant farmers and the fact that those remaining didn’t want to run the store put the plan in motion. The 2013 death of his grandfather and long-time farmer, David A. Bristol Sr., along with the fact that his contract at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven was coming to an end, cemented the decision. Josh Bristol decided to try it for a year.

“After that I kind of kept going,” Bristol said, adding that he bought a home in town. “It’s the right place for me to be.”

“I get a lot of satisfaction out of just watching something grow and kind of nuturing it through,” Bristol added. “It’s always a good thought at the end of the day that people are taking all this food I grow home and feeding their families with it. I always say there’s just something primal about farming. There’s just something deep down in my primitive brain that’s just like this a good thing to be doing; this is something you should be doing.” … Continue Reading

Images of Canton: CHS Junior Prom 2016

May 14, 2016 Photos, Schools No Comments


Photos by John Fitts

After dodging raindrops at a pre-event gathering, Canton Junior High School prom attendees were transported to the Gershon Fox Room at Marquee Events and Catering in Hartford Friday night.

Capping off a night of fine dining, fun and dancing, Trent Sawtelle and Elora Rosedale were voted prom King and Queen by the 113 in attendance.

For a 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 operating by giving a donation at https://www.gofundme.com/canton-compass or via 15 Colony Road, Canton, CT 06019.

Images of Canton: Civil War Encampment 2016

By John Fitts 

Thursday’s cold, damp weather was perhaps fitting Thursday as Canton 5th graders learned about the Civil War through the eyes of re-enactors.

The students spent the entire morning visiting various stations to hear the varying perspectives of a Union Officer, Confederate officer, bounty hunter, school teacher and fife and drum corps. Among the re-enactors is retired teacher Tim Barth, who returns every year. The playground at Canton Intermediate School was dotted with tents, lanterns and other props to add to the experience, which ended with gray vs. blue battle simulation.

“It’s a great way to make history come alive,” said Erik Perotti, a fifth-grade educator who took the lead in organizing this year’s event.

The 5th-grade Civil War Encampment is a 20-plus year tradition at the school and is part of a more encompassing unit.

“This gives them an opportunity to act it out or experience it in a different way, rather than just reading or writing, or studying,” Perotti added.

Fifth-grade teacher Kathy Magarian said the encampment is one of those experiences that stays with the kids.

“This is the way kids learn,” she said. “They learn from us when they’re sitting in the classroom but they will remember being out on this field.”

To view a full-screen gallery from this event and others and to purchase digital downloads or prints, visit https://johnfitts.smugmug.com.

 

Images of Canton: An Evening of Percussion 2016

The Canton High School Percussion Ensemble recently presented the 4th Annual Evening of Percussion, directed by Artist in Residence Bob Rush. The evening featured the ensemble as well as a myriad of middle- and high-school groups. Selections included

  • Crescendo for Percussion by Alexander Lepak – Symphonic Band Percussion
  • Mi Milagro by Ralph Hicks – Seventh Grade Percussion
  • Afterthoughts by Alice Gomez – Percussion Ensemble
  • We Work the Black Seam by Sting, Arrangement Bob Rush – Eighth Grade Percussion
  • The Rock Syndicate by Murray Houllif – Freshmen Percussion
  • Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber – Canton High School Percussion
  • Tell it all Pat Metheny/Lyle Mays arr. Bob Rush – Percussion Ensemble
  • Music for Pieces of Wood by Stephen Reich – Rowan Cookman, Mia Tuccillo, John Solomon, Zach Oliver, Jacob Allen.
  • Wildwood for Percussion Ensemble by Matt Bissonnette arr. Paul Rennick – Entire Cast

The Ellis Island Experience Comes to Life for Canton Fourth Graders

April 20, 2016 Community, Photos, Schools No Comments

For more photos, visit https://johnfitts.smugmug.com or click on the above photo.

It’s become a Canton Intermediate School tradition and on Tuesday local fourth-grade “immigrants”  continued that wave as they came to Ellis Island in hopes of fulfilling the American dream.

During the exercise, students learn a little bit about what it was like for the estimated 12 million immigrants who, between 1892 and 1954, came through the New York Bay island on their way to other locales in the United States. … Continue Reading

Historic Moment in State Adaptive Sports Takes Place at Canton Track Meet

April 12, 2016 Photos, Schools, Sports No Comments
Janet Connolly, center with Wheelchair athletes Helen Newman, left and Stephanie Marquez. Photo by John Fitts

Janet Connolly, center with Wheelchair athletes Helen Newman, left, and Stephanie Marquez.
Photo by John Fitts

By John Fitts 

CANTON – As sports and community programs manager at Hospital for Special Care, Canton resident Janet Connolly, “couldn’t have been more proud” Tuesday to see two wheelchair athletes – and ones she knows well – compete as full members of their respective high school track and field teams.

It was the first time for such an event in the Connecticut, the 25th state to allow wheelchair athletes to compete as equals with their “able-bodied” teammates.

The two ground-breaking athletes were Granby freshman Helen Newman and Middletown resident Stephanie Marquez, a junior at Hartford-based Sports and Medical Sciences Academy. Marquez and Newman have represented the state – and Hospital for Special Care – at regional, national and international competitions. Marquez has represented her country and medaled at the Junior World Championships and this spring will also compete at the Paralympic trials.

Tuesday, however, marked the first time that they competed in a meet as members of their high-school teams.

“They have been training and racing on the same team for many, many years so this is kind of a dream coming to reality,” said Connolly.  … Continue Reading

Images of Canton: White Squirrel

April 7, 2016 Environment, Photos No Comments
Photo by Neil Zommer

Photo by Neil Zommer

The above photo by Neil Zommer was taken last Saturday by town bridge.

Howard Kilpatrick, wildlife biologist with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said white squirrels are not common and, as easy targets by predators, often don’t live too long.

Approximately 80 percent of the white squirrels seen are  “white morphs,” or white phase grey squirrels, he said. The white morph’s coat color is caused by a naturally occurring gene.

Albinism, on the other hand, is caused by a mutated gene, according to Untamed Science.

Those are much more rare in the state, Kilpatrick said.

“If the white squirrel also has red eyes, then it is an albino squirrel (about 20 percent of white squirrels observed),” Kilpatrick said.

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