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Your neighbors, training to help your community during a disaster

July 30, 2012 Areawide, Local News Comments Off

Roberta Dwyer and her husband Tim Dwyer, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers from Coventry, pour water into a MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) heating device during a training session at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic on July 28, 2012. Photo by Marie Brennan

Some of your friends and neighbors – training as regional emergency volunteers – took part in a statewide emergency training drill over the weekend at Eastern Connecticut State University to learn about how to respond to a Category 3 hurricane.

ECSU’s Student Center is an officially-designated emergency shelter.

The training was part of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)  program, whose purpose is to train a large number of volunteers who can help respond to disasters within their own communities.

On Saturday (July 28), volunteers were trained on various aspects of preparing an emergency shelter, including setting up cots, preparing food, dealing with people’s pets and becoming familiar with various medical equipment that might be brought by people seeking shelter.

A common issue during Katrina in 2005 was people not understanding how to use the MRE (emergency food known as Meals Ready to Eat) and burning themselves, so volunteers also were trained in preparation of this item.

Karen Williams, a Red Cross Volunteer from Gales Ferry, CT assembles a special-needs cot at a CERT training session July 28, 2012 at ECSU. With her are (L-R) Larry Spencer, instructor Peter Diaon of the Waterford American Red Cross, Scott Trueb of Willington and Barbara Winslow of Mansfield. Photo by Marie Brennan

To learn more about CERT, click on this link http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert

Posted July 30, 2012

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Like vintage cars? Want to show off your own?

July 4, 2012 Areawide, Arts & Entertainment Comments Off

The Belltown Antique Car Club will host its 46th annual Vintage Motorcar Meet on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012 (rain or shine) at the Haddam Neck Fairgrounds off Rt. 151 in East Hampton, CT. The show opens at 8 a.m. Photo courtesy of BACC

The Belltown Antique Car Club will host its 46th annual Vintage Motorcar Meet on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012 (rain or shine) at the Haddam Neck Fairgrounds off Rt. 151 in East Hampton, CT.

The show opens at 8 a.m.

Antique cars and trucks from the dawn of the motoring age through 1971 will be celebrated.

Stock, unmodified vehicles will be classified and judged, with trophies awarded at 3 p.m. There are 24 classes, with three trophies per class. Registration is from 8 a.m. until noon.

For a list of the classes, go to http://www.belltownantiquecarclub.org/pdfs.htm and click on the link for page 2 of the flyer (in PDF format).

The first 300 cars will receive plaques.

There also will be display-only parking for 1972-82 models and hot rods (not judged).

Also, enjoy a flea market catering to the antique-car hobby.

Food and refreshments will be sold.

Drive your old car to show, or just bring the family and share your enthusiasm for old cars. Show car admission is still only $5 and includes all occupants.

General admission is also only $5 per person (or $3 for seniors age 65 and up). Children under age 12 will be admitted free but must be accompanied by an adult. (Please, no bicycles or pets.)

For more information visit the Web site at http://www.belltownantiquecarclub.org or call Peter Christianson at 860-267-8394.

Note: Most of you know of our beautiful bell trophies that we award at our shows. These are made by Bevin Bros., a sixth-generation company making only bells since 1832 in East Hampton (Belltown USA). They are the last bell company in America. On the night of May 26, 2012 a devastating fire swept through the factory and destroyed 180 years of East Hampton’s (and America’s) history. There is hope that they will rebuild soon and continue the tradition. To help, visit their Web site at http://keepthebellsinbelltown.com

Posted July 4, 2012 as edited and added to by HTNP.com Editor Brenda Sullivan

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on Twitter at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Last Green Valley seeks ideas for workshop series

June 24, 2012 Areawide, Local News Comments Off

The Last Green Valley is the member-supported, non-profit organization working locally to preserve the irreplaceable land, water, and cultural resources of the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor, the last predominantly undeveloped green space in the coastal sprawl between Washington, D.C. and Boston. It includes 35 towns in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Photo source: LGV

The Last Green Valley, Inc. (TLGV) has published a “Request for Proposals to Develop a Workshop Series for Municipal Officials” as part of the TLGV Sustainable Communities Program.

The Last Green Valley is the member-supported, non-profit organization working locally to preserve the irreplaceable land, water, and cultural resources of the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor, the last predominantly undeveloped green space in the coastal sprawl between Washington, D.C. and Boston.

TLGV plans to offer a series of high-quality workshops in the fall of 2012 and spring of 2013 that will assist municipal decision-makers, primarily volunteers, in understanding their roles and responsibilities.

The workshops will be free or low-cost for municipal boards and staff.

Targeted municipal boards include: Planning, Zoning, Inland Wetlands, Conservation, Zoning Board of Appeals, Agriculture, and Selectmen.

The workshops will focus on the tools board members need to serve effectively, including but not limited to legal authorities and requirements, discretionary decision making, web-based mapping resources, map and plan reading, running meetings and hearings, and creative land use development techniques that conserve natural resources.

TLGV is seeking proposals from qualified respondents to produce the workshop series.

The deadline for electronic submissions is July 19, 2012.

For more information or for a copy of the Request for Proposals, please contact Lois Bruinooge at 860-774-3300 or lois@tlgv.org

There are 35 towns included in the Last Green Valley.

The Connecticut municipalities are: Ashford, Brooklyn, Canterbury, Chaplin, Coventry, Eastford, Franklin, Griswold, Hampton, Killingly, Lebanon, Lisbon, Mansfield, Norwich, Plainfield, Pomfret, Preston, Putnam, Scotland, Sprague, Sterling, Thompson, Union, Voluntown, Windham, and Woodstock.

The Massachusetts communities are: Brimfield, Charlton, Dudley, E. Brookfield, Holland, Oxford, Southbridge, Sturbridge, and Webster.

Posted June 24, 2012

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on Twitter at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Stretch of Willimantic River named National Recreation Trails

June 24, 2012 Areawide, Local News Comments Off

Fly fishing on the Willimantic River, a segment of which has been designated as a National Recreation Trail by the National Parks Service. Photo source: Willimantic River Alliance

In the 1960s, the Willimantic River was what some described as a “sewer,” polluted by chemicals from various local businesses.

How times have changed.

The watershed has been cleaned up substantially over the past four decades, an achievement celebrated at the 12th annual “floating workshop,” sponsored by the Thames River Partnership, at the Eagleville fire station in Mansfield Friday afternoon (June 22).

“We went from an open sewer to a National Recreation Trail in 40 years,” said Watershed Conservation Coordinator at the Eastern Conservation Commission District, Jean Pillo.

“I think that’s an awesome story to tell,” Pillo said.

Beginning in Stafford Springs and running through the University of Connecticut, the river spans 25 miles, ending in Willimantic.

With the support of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), the Willimantic River Alliance and the Last Green Valley (LGV), the National Parks Service recently designated the 21-mile Willimantic River Water Trail as a National Recreation Trail.

The Willimantic River Alliance is a group dedicated to conserving the Willimantic River. The LGV is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve the land, cultural and water resources of 35 towns in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

LGV Deputy Executive Director Lois Bruinooge presented the National Parks Service certificate to a group of individuals involved with the Willimantic River cleanup and the conservation of local watersheds.

“This wouldn’t have happened without so many people,” she said. “It’s a good recognition and we have a lot more work to do.”

The event was also a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Federal Clean Water Act and the 45th anniversary of the Connecticut Clean Water Act.

Adopted in 1972, the federal legislation sets regulations regarding pollution of water sources in an attempt to make them safe for fishing and swimming, as well as other recreational opportunities.

The state legislation, passed in 1967, has a similar purpose.

Those organizing the event saw the Willimantic River as a “success story” of this legislation.

“Willimantic went through a very difficult period in the 1960s,” said Hugo Thomas, a former DEEP employee.

In a press release on the LGV web site, Willimantic River Alliance Vice President Meg Reich also expressed her excitement about the award.

“Designation of the Willimantic River gives it national recognition as a healthy and accessible river for all to enjoy,” she said. “This honor acknowledges all the work that has gone into improving water quality over the last 40 years, from a river that was once heavily polluted to a nationally recognized recreational asset.”

Chris Bellucci, a Supervising Environmental Analyst for DEEP, spoke about the work his department has done to clean up the Willimantic River.

DEEP officials regularly take samples of the watersheds and analyze water quality by reviewing plant life and animals. “Needless to say, we spent quite a few years out there collecting information,” said Bellucci.

The primary goal of the tests was to remediate pollution caused by the mills when they were in active use. “That was one of the huge stressors for this area,” said Bellucci.

Earlier in the day, DEEP Watershed Manager Eric Thomas led a tour of UConn, during which he pointed out storm water management techniques being used by the university.

Key spots on the tour were the Trachten-Zachs Hillel House and Towers dormitories. Storm water drainage at the university runs into either the Fenton River or the Eagleville Brook, a tributary of the Willimantic River.

The brook is classified by the DEEP as a “Class A” stream, meaning it is designated for various uses, such as drinking water, fishing and recreational use.

The water quality is deemed good for the most part, but there is still work to be done.

Under the Federal Clean Water Act, DEEP officials have identified “total maximum daily loads,” or TMDL, for the Willimantic River. This is a plan that focuses on addressing storm water impacts in the Eagleville Brook watershed, which have affected aquatic life.

Thomas referred to it as a “pollution management budget.”

UConn and Mansfield staff, Willimantic River Alliance members, local businesses and residents living within the watershed are involved in implementing these practices.

Posted June 24, 2012 as edited and added to by HTNP.com Editor Brenda Sullivan

Related links:

NPS announces designation of 54 new National Recreation Trails http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/AMERICAS-GREAT-OUTDOORS-Salazar-Jarvis-Announce-Designation-of-54-New-National-Recreation-Trails.cfm

Willimantic River Alliance http://www.willimanticriver.org

Connecticut Water Trails Association http://connecticutwatertrails.com/CWTA%20-%20Connecticut%20Rivers%20-%20Willimantic%20River.htm

Eastern Conservation Commission District http://www.conservect.org/Default.aspx?alias=www.conservect.org/eastern

Connecticut Clean Water Act http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2719&q=325578&depNav_GID=1654

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on Twitter at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Gov. Malloy announces new law to allow cities, towns to phase impact of revals

June 12, 2012 Areawide, Local News Comments Off

Earlier this month, Gov. Malloy vetoed legislation that would have allowed towns to delay conducting the revaluation. In his veto message, the governor said doing so could exacerbate a municipality’s financial problems. The new legislation requires revaluations to go forward as statutes require, but phases-in the impact on property taxpayers.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today announced an initiative that will allow communities across the state to phase-in revaluations of property for a period of up to five years, even if the value of property decreases.

Under current law, municipalities can only phase-in increases in assessments.

This new initiative allows towns and cities to “responsibly administer revaluations in a way that blunts the negative impact to residents,” Gov.Malloy said in a press release today (June 12).

The initiative is part of today’s special legislative session.

“While we have seen improvement in our overall economy, we must continually look for ways to mitigate the impact of the recession on Connecticut residents,” Gov. Malloy said.

“We know that there are properties in our state that have not yet rebounded from the collapse of the real estate market. As a former Mayor, I am well aware of the havoc this situation can create for local governments. After today, we’ll have a fair and reliable process in place that will let local executives navigate these difficult circumstances,” the governor said.

Earlier this month, Gov.Malloy vetoed legislation that would have allowed towns to delay conducting the revaluation. In his veto message, the governor said doing so could exacerbate a municipality’s financial problems.

The new legislation requires revaluations to go forward as statutes require, but phases-in the impact on property taxpayers.

“The Governor’s proposal to broaden municipal authority to phase-in the impacts of property revaluations is good news for towns and cities,” said Jim Finley, Executive Director and CEO of the CT Conference of Municipalities (CCM).

Posted June 12, 2012 – based on Gov. Malloy’s press release

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on Twitter at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Debate between GOP U.S. Senate candidates will be streamed live

June 7, 2012 Areawide, Local News Comments Off

The debate will be streamed live on Courant.com and CTnow.com and can be seen again on FOX CT at 7 p.m.

The leading Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Joe Lieberman will participate in a debate at the University of Connecticut on June 14 at noon.

A limited number of seats, for the UConn community only, will be available for the the hour-long debate between Linda McMahon and Chris Shays, but the debate will be streamed live on Courant.com and CTnow.com and can be seen again on FOX CT at 7 p.m.

The debate is sponsored by the Hartford Courant and FOX CT.

This is the second U.S. Senate debate to take place at UConn this year.

In April 2012, Democratic candidates Susan Bysiewicz, Chris Murphy, Matthew Oakes, William Tong and Lee Whitnum participated in a debate sponsored by the Courant and FOX CT.

The debate will take place at UConn’s von der Mehden Recital Hall in Storrs.

Posted June 7, 2012

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on Twitter at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Take a free tour of the Rainbow Fishway

June 1, 2012 Areawide, Arts & Entertainment Comments Off

The Rainbow Fishway is the largest fishway in Connecticut. It allows fish to bypass a 58-foot hydroelectric dam and continue up the Farmington River.

See migrating fish from an underground viewing window.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) annual Open House at the Rainbow Fishway in Windsor is Saturday, June 2 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The public is invited to visit the fishway for free and learn about it and the fish it passes.

The Rainbow Fishway is the largest fishway in Connecticut. It allows fish to bypass a 58-foot hydroelectric dam and continue up the Farmington River.

On Open House day, the public can tour the facility and check out the underground viewing window. Shad and lamprey may be seen passing upstream, and Atlantic salmon are sometimes captured for breeding.

Staff will be on hand to answer questions.

Directions to Rainbow Fishway

From Rt. I-91, take exit 40 to Rt.20 (Bradley Airport Exit). Travel west to the Hamilton South exit. At the end of the exit ramp turn left. Turn right at the first intersection on to Rainbow Road. The fishway is on the left, about a quarter of a mile down the road. Look for a cyclone fence and a brown sign with yellow lettering.

From Rt.20 East (traveling toward I-91), go past the exit for Bradley Airport and take the Hamilton exit. At the end of the exit, ramp turn right. Turn right at the first intersection onto Rainbow Road. The fishway is on the left, about a quarter of a mile down the road. Look for a cyclone fence and a brown sign with yellow lettering.

For more information about fishing in Connecticut, click on this link to access the May 31, 2012 fishing report http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2696&q=322752&depNav_GID=1630

Posted June 1, 2012

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on Twitter at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

So much going on in June, where to start?

June 1, 2012 Areawide, Arts & Entertainment, Local News Comments Off

Copies of the 2012 Connecticut Trails Day booklet of events are now available in public libraries and can be downloaded from http://www.ctwoodlands.org/CT-TrailsDay2012

Besides Victorian Days in Willimantic (through June 3) and the return of the Coventry Regional Farmers Market on Sunday (June 3), here are a couple of get-out-the-door events coming up: Connecticut Trails Day on June 2-3 and the 8th Annual Connecticut Open House Day on Saturday, June 9.

This year’s theme for Connecticut Trails Day is “America’s Largest TRAILgating Party.” You have a choice of 193 events in 121 towns with more than 540 miles of trails.

Connecticut’s event is part of National Trails Day, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2012.

Activities include hiking, biking, horseback riding, running, trail maintenance, kayaking, educational walks, bird watching, geocaching and more.

While public libraries now have copies of the 2012 booklet that lists all the events, you can also download an electronic copy from the web site at http://www.ctwoodlands.org/CT-TrailsDay2012

And you can keep up to date on the Connecticut Forest and Park Assoc. Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CTForestandParkAssociation

The booklet is also handy for discovering hiking, biking and paddling places to explore all summer and fall.

On the Annual Connecticut Open House Day, museums and other historic sites (as well as many artists’ studios) throughout Connecticut open their doors for the season – in many cases offering free admission or free gifts.

The annual event is coordinated by the Connecticut Office of Tourism (a division of the Department of Economic and Community Development).

Here’s just a sample of what you might want to explore in the HTNP.com readership area:

  • In Ashford, the Willow Tree Pottery studio at 24 Bebbington Road will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pottery will be displayed in the gardens and studio. Visitors receive a handmade amulet or bead of clay. For more info, call 860-287-8056 or visit http://www.willowtreepottery.us
  • In Chester/Hadlyme, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., visitors can ride for free aboard the Selden III, the second oldest continuously operated ferry service in Connecticut (at 54 Ferry Road/Route 148), which crosses the scenic Connecticut River near the Gillette Castle State Park (former home of the stage actor who made Sherlock Holmes famous). For more information, call 860-526-2743 or click here.
  • In East Haddam, from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., enjoy free tours of the historic Victorian theater built in 1876, the Goodspeed Opera House, at 6 Main St./Rte. 82. For more information, call 860-873-8668 or visit http://www.goodspeed.org
  • In East Hampton, visit Sears Park (65 North Main St.) with lovely views of Lake Pocotopaug to enjoy while picnicking – admission is free from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on this day only. For more information, call 860-267-7300 or visit http://www.easthamptonrec.com
  • In Lebanon, admission is free at the Jonathan Trumbull Jr. House Museum (780 Trumbull Hwy/Route 87, on the famous Lebanon Green) – there will be Colonial craft demonstrations, a mounted cavalryman portraying a French Army hussar (renowned for their elegant dress), and refreshments. Learn about the artist famous for his painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. For more information, call 860-642-7987 or click here And next door at the Lebanon Historical Society Museum, also from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., enjoy Model-T rides, farm animals and hands-on activities.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about the Revolutionary War, about archaeology or other sciences, find out just why people like Prudence Crandall and Jonathan Trumbull are famous, and otherwise discover new sights (and share them with your weekend visitors) in your own back yard – or farther afield, if you like.

One of the advantages of living in a postage-stamp-sized state is that you can drive to pretty much any part of Connecticut in two hours or less. This makes it easier to plan affordable day trips, and keep them short enough for energetic children.

You can explore the different sites that are taking part in Connecticut Open House Day by visiting http://www.ctvisit.com/dontmiss/details/211 But note that this list doesn’t include all the museums (and activities) in the state – if there’s one you’re curious about and you don’t see it on the Visit Connecticut site, call the museum directly and ask what they have planned.

Posted June 1, 2012

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on Twitter at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

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UConn President responds to accusations school failed to act on sexual assault complaints

UConn President Susan Hebst. File photo.

There are circumstances under which the university should notify a student that another student who may have been suspended or expelled from campus will be returning, if they are returning. It is my understanding that this notification did not take place in a case that occurred three years ago and it should have. This process was corrected. – UConn President Susan Herbst

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