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Favarh, Regan Development Hope to Bring Integrated Housing Unit to Commerce Drive

IMG_3193By John Fitts

CANTON – A local non-profit and a New York based development company are hoping to bring an integrated apartment project to Commerce Drive.

The Arc of the Farmington Valley, commonly known Favarh, a Canton based organization that supports people with intellectual, physical and developmental disabilities and Regan Development Corporation have approach town officials with the idea of an apartment complex at 300 and 350 Commerce, near the 55-plus Boulder Ridge complex. At this point, there is no formal application for the project.

The initial concept for the building is an integrated environment with approximately 36 units, nine of which would be set aside and specially designed for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, with the rest of the units open to general population – at a reasonable price point. The building would include common areas and an on-site superintendent.

“It would provide additional affordable housing for young people, perhaps older people looking to downside – all in the setting of an integrated space for people with intellectual disabilities,” said Stephen Morris, executive director of Favarh

“The desire is to help people locally be able to stay local,” said Ken Regan, vice president of Regan Development. “This is a technique we’ve put together to try and build community but at the same time provide rentals, of good quality, that people can afford.”

Regan said the project is in its infancy but said the one-bedroom units could fall in the 700 to 750 square-foot range and two bedrooms approximately 900 to 1,050 square feet.

Rents for the Simsbury project fall between $986 and $1,415 and while Regan said it’s too early for any hard numbers, Canton prices could be lower.

In 2011, Regan Development debuted Kershaw Commons in Freehold Township, N.J., the first East Coast project designed specifically for those with Multiple Sclerosis.

The company has launched several projects for those with special needs and in September of 2015 opened Ojakian Commons in Simsbury, a 48-unit complex also designed for MS patients. At the request of Simsbury officials, the facility set aside 7 apartments for those with other disabilities, a move that led to the relationship with Favarh, Morris said. The facility has specially designed features for those with disabilities, such as automated doors, wide doors, hard-surface flooring, accessably placed light switches and more. There are also several common areas for social gatherings and additional amenities.

“It’s just a great social environment,” Morris said of the Simsbury facility. “I said ‘gosh we really need to do something like this but for people with intellectual abilities.’ We started talking to the developer about possibly doing something in Canton.” … Continue Reading

Canton Resident Rides for ALS Research

July 21, 2016 Community, Health No Comments
Team Ernie, with members from Connecticut and Massachusetts. Submitted Photo

Team Ernie, with members from Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Submitted Photo

By John Fitts 

As Peter Fortier participated in the first leg of the Tri-State Trek for ALS research last month, the bicycle route’s hilly terrain proved even more challenging than he’d anticipated.

But it proved to be an apt metaphor for his brother-in-law Ernie Fournier, who was diagnosed with the disease in the fall of 2014.

“Every day he has to face these insurmountable challenges and it keeps getting harder,” Fortier said. “That’s what his life is like. There is no downhill. I ended up stopping but these guys can’t.”

Fortier was one of 15 members of “Team Ernie” that participated in the 14th annual Tri-State Trek a three-day, 270-mile cycling event from Boston to Greenwich, CT for ALS research. Fortier rode some 65 miles, a portion of the journey’s first leg from Boston to the University of Connecticut.

Like many other Canton residents, Fortier, his wife Irene Fitzpatrick Fortier and other family members participated in the ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge during the summer of 2014.

It wasn’t long before they learned that the ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive neurodegenerative condition that results in muscle weakness, paralysis, and ultimately, respiratory failure, had affected Irene’s oldest brother. … Continue Reading

Canton Community Health Fund’s Annual Awards Impact Town’s Health

July 5, 2016 Community, Health No Comments
Jessica Langer (L) is one of three recipients awarded the Dr. Diters Scholarship from The Canton Community Health Fund (CCHF). Chair Lynn Miner awards her scholarship. Langer will study nursing at Northwest Community College. Submitted Photo

Jessica Langer, left, is one of three recipients awarded the Dr. Diters Scholarship from The Canton Community Health Fund (CCHF). Chair Lynn Miner awards her scholarship. Langer will study nursing at Northwest Community College.
Submitted Photo

Submitted Release 

CANTON — The Canton Community Health Fund (CCHF) recently awarded over $26,000 to Canton organizations and projects that contribute to the health and well-being of Canton. CCHF also awarded three scholarships to two Canton high school seniors and a Canton resident pursuing careers in a health-related field. CCHF has been awarding thousands of dollars annually for over fifty years.

This year’s recipients fund a variety of projects that support CCHF’s mission. “We have many projects this year that have a profound impact on the health of all residents,” says Lynn Miner, Chair of CCHF. Canton Parks and Recreation Department’s award will purchase a second shade structure for the wading pool. The first structure was funded in full by CCHF. FAVARH received much-needed funds to continue a special needs play group. The Canton Police Department award will purchase combat applied tourniquets used by first responders during emergencies. The Spirit Horse Therapeutic Riding Center of Canton will offer therapeutic riding lessons for Canton children with special needs. The Food Bank also received funds. Focus on Canton received funds to help residents that need temporary financial assistance. Canton Intermediate School was funded for a second year. Funds will be used for phase two of a food-recycling program begun last year. View the complete list of past and current recipients at cantoncommunityhealthfund.org.

Additionally, two Canton seniors and a Canton resident pursuing an education in a health-related field were awarded the Dr. Diters Scholarship. Sarah First will attend The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.; Morgan Schroeter will attend Simmons College in Boston and Jessica Langer will attend Norwest Community College in Winsted, Conn. All will study nursing. The scholarship was named after a longtime local physician, Dr. Diters, a beloved family physician who practiced medicine in Canton for many years. The first recipient of the Dr. Diters Scholarship is now a practicing pediatrician. … Continue Reading

Plaque Memorializes Canton’s Trailblazing Physician, Founding Father and Renaissance Man

By John Fitts 

CANTON — As the story goes, Dr. Solomon Everest once treated a young woman who claimed her self-inflicted wounds were the result of witchcraft. “Immersion” in a large cistern of water diminished her symptoms and the doctor’s suggestion that he could burn the wounds with his “witchiron” quickly cured the ailment. On another occasion, Everest, according to lore, happily collected $20 from a man who “insisted” he had a broken neck.*

Everest practiced medicine in Canton (initially West Simsbury) from 1796 until his death in 1822. He, of course, treated more serious and traditional medical ailments, but the stories suggest a man who realized a good physician could use plenty of empathy and a healthy dose of humor.

And Everest’s contributions to his community and state were significant. He served in the General Assembly, is largely credited with leading the charge to get Canton incorporated in 1806 and served as a member of 1818 Constitutional Convention. For good measure, he was a deacon at the First Congregational Church of Canton Center, a charter member of Village Lodge #29 (Mason), and left funds to the Connecticut Congregational Society.   … Continue Reading

Images of Canton: Pauline Fazzino Celebrates 100th Birthday

First selectwoman Leslee Hill, right, congratulates Pauline Fazzino on her 100th birthday on May 5, 2016. “Thank God for every day,” Fazzino said. In the background is Rebecca Stevenson, Director of Admissions & Marketing for Cherry Brook Health Care Center. Photo by John Fitts

CANTON — Pauline Fazzino’s life advice is fairly simple – “thank God for every day.”

With the help of her fellow residents and staff at Cherry Brook Health Care Center, Fazzino celebrated her 100th birthday on Thursday.

“I don’t feel any different,” Fazzino said. “I think it’s marvelous that people gave me a party. It’s very nice. I love all these people.” … Continue Reading

Canton Woman Knows the Importance of ‘Donating Life’

April 6, 2016 Community, Health No Comments

By John Fitts 

Beth Bradley will never forget that feeling she had in June of 2008, hearing the helicopters overhead from her hospital bed, knowing one carried a heart harvested from an organ donor – someone willing to use their death as a chance to give others a new lease on life.

“Oh what a strange feeling,” she said. “I felt so scared and so sorry for the recipient and so sorry for the family.”

Bradley had spent more than a year and a half living wearing ventricular assist devices, mechanical pumps that had kept her heart going. The mixed feelings continued after the transplant as she felt warmth in her fingers for the first time in many, many months.

“It was the first time I felt my heart beat in two years,” said Bradley, a former news announcer and broadcaster, who is a speaker and advocate for Donate Life Connecticut. “It was just an amazing feeling.”

On Tuesday morning, Bradley joined Canton resident and business owner Kim Hathaway, First Selectwoman Leslee Hill and Robert Martin and Henry Maskaitis from the Town’s Public Works Department in raising a flag on the Canton Town Green to commemorate April as National Donate Life Month. It’s an effort designed to raise awareness about organ, eye and tissue donations.

“We just want people to be aware,” said Bradley, now 58.

… Continue Reading

Capitol Connection: What is Connecticut Doing about Zika Virus?

February 29, 2016 Government, Health, Opinion No Comments
State Sen. Kevin Witkos.

State Sen. Kevin Witkos.

From the Office of State Senator Kevin Witkos

Over the past few months many questions have been raised about Zika virus, which has been declared an international public health emergency by the World Health Organization.

Its suspected link to birth defects and its transmission through mosquitos has people all over the world, including in Connecticut, concerned about the disease spreading. While Connecticut is far away from the epicenter of the outbreak, that does not mean we are out of harm’s way. … Continue Reading

Images of Canton: Main Street Volunteer Fair

More than 20 organization participated in Canton Main Street's Volunteer Fair on Feb. 6. Photo by Shawn Cole

More than 20 organization participated in Canton Main Street’s Volunteer Fair on Feb. 6.
Photo by Shawn Cole


Canton Main Street recently hosted its Volunteer Fair at the Canton Community Center. More than 20 community and town organizations participated. Canton Main Street is already preparing to organize another fair. For now, people can also find volunteer opportunities and more information at www.cantonctmainstreet.org… Continue Reading

UConn Officially Marks Opening of Canton Medical Facility

October 28, 2015 Business, Health No Comments
Representatives from UConn Health joined local and state officials in officially welcoming the Canton facility earlier this month. Contributed Photo

Representatives from UConn Health joined local and state officials in officially welcoming the Canton facility earlier this month.
Contributed Photo

Submitted Release 

UConn Health held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of its new medical facility and Urgent Care Center at 117 Albany Turnpike in Canton last week.

“Our mission at UConn is to take care of the citizens of the state of Connecticut and we are very proud and happy to be here,” said Dr. Denis Lafreniere, medical director of outpatient services and associate dean for clinical affairs. “This expands access to quality health care for the citizens of Canton and the surrounding towns.”

… Continue Reading

Cherry Brook Health Center Seeks Potential CNAs, Recreation Assistants, Other Applicants


CNA’s, Housekeeping/Laundry, Recreation Assistants, Dietary Aids

On the spot interviews Wednesday June 10 from 1 to 6 p.m. at Cherry Brook Health Care Center, located right off Rt 44, 102 Dyer Avenue in Canton. Contact Erin in Human Resources at (860) 693-7777




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