Monday, February 28, 2011

Save the Date! March 25 - 27

Part 2 in MSAPC Lecture Series: Cyberbullying

Keigwin Middle School &
Middletown Substance Abuse Prevention Council Presents:

Teens & Technology

March 2, 2011
Keigwin Middle School
99 Spruce St. Middletown
FREE DINNER PROVIDED 5:30-6pm in cafe

6-7pm (Workshop 1)
Parents (in library/media center)
Presenter Christina Kozlowski (Community Health Center) on Nutrition
Presenter Marissa Lyttle (Community Health Center)on Adolescent Stress
Students (in cafeteria): Presenters Krystle Blake & Felicia Goodwine-Vaughters (Rushford) on bullying in our schools

7-8pm (Workshop 2)
Everyone (auditorium)
Justin Carbonella and Melissa Robinson from the Youth Services Bureau will present a group Middletown teens, “Youth 4 Change”, who participated in a YSB summer research program and will share their presentation about bullying online, possible repercussions and the results of their youth gathered data.

"Youth 4 Change"

For accurate dinner count please register with Krystle Blake:
203-238-6800 or email

Prom Dress Drive

From Best Cleaners:


Best Cleaners is once again supporting the Princess & the Prom, a Connecticut organization that provides free prom dresses to area high school girls who might not otherwise be able to afford one, by sponsoring the 2011 Community Dress Drive. Please consider donating new or newly worn formal dresses at any Best location now through March 15. Plus size dresses are especially needed. We will dryclean and deliver all donated items to the Princess & the Prom Gown Giveaway Event happening on March 25, 26, and 27 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Windsor.


Best Cleaners in Middletown is located at 522 South Main Street

Public Hearing On Site Remediation Monday at City Hall

The city's Department of Planning, Conservation and Development will hold a public hearing Monday, at 5 PM in Room 208 to discuss remediation plans at the former Remington Rand plant in the city's North End.

Plans call for the remediation of lead and asbestos in the building, the removal of a cinder field on the East Side of the building and the removal of above ground and under ground storage tanks.

The cost of the plan is covered by funding from the state and federal grants.

Suzio To Be Sworn In Today

Republican State Senator-elect Len Suzio will be sworn in to office on Monday, February 28 at 12:30 PM in the Senate Chamber of the State Capitol.  Suzio won the 13th District state Senate seat in the Feb. 22 special election.  Suzio will represent Cheshire, Meriden, Middlefield, and Middletown.
State Capitol
3rd Floor, Senate Chamber
210 Capitol Avenue

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Quilter's Haven

Quilter's Haven is a cozy little place tucked into a corner on the south end of Highland Avenue near Route 17. It's a classroom, a social hall, and an art exhibit all rolled into one. Technique instruction, open sews, and biannual retreats are all part of the offerings there. Spirits were high when I visited a class on Saturday afternoon, where about 10 or so ladies were laughing and joking as much as they were learning how to sew gorgeous quilts and turning out their creations. The shop is owned by husband and wife team Jill and Butch. Jill is a no-nonsense kind of person, taking her work seriously, while seriously having fun. Jill has been sewing since she was 16 years old. She taught herself how to quilt because it was just something that appealed to her and she always wanted to do it. She also taught her husband Butch how to quilt too. Jill and Butch's passion for quilting continued to grow and eventually it grew into Quilter's Haven, which is now coming up on a decade in business. Jill opened Quilter's Haven because she felt that there was a need for a place in Middletown where people could come together and work on their projects and meet other people who have a common interest. Jill says she still takes classes herself sometimes, as “You can never stop learning.” She loves all aspects of quilting, “the fabric selection, picking the pattern, cutting the pieces, sewing them, quilting, then binding. The social and creative aspect of it go hand in hand; quilters are giving and friendly. We all are open to help anyone who needs a hand, be it material or other things”
Quilting has an incredibly long and rich history. The American Folk Art Museum (AFAM) in New York City has declared 2011 the Year of The Quilt.

Reproductive Rights Rally at Wesleyan Draws Hundreds

A rally for Planned Parenthood drew about 300 students to Wesleyan's Exley Hall of Science on Saturday. They came to protest the elimination of the Title X family planning funding to Planned Parenthood. Senator Richard Blumenthal and National Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards spoke to students from Wesleyan, UConn, Trinity, Eastern Connecticut State, and Southern Connecticut State.

The rally was hastily organized by Wesleyan students Susanna Banks and Zak Kirwood, in response to a surprising focus of newly elected Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, who voted on February 18th to ban all funding to Planned Parenthood. This ban would lead to a complete cutoff of funds for basic primary and lifesaving preventive health care to women and families, because Planned Parenthood also provides abortion care. The Hyde amendment already bans any federal money from being used for abortions, the current legislation would eliminate funding for breast and cervical cancer screens, contraception, and sexual health education.

Banks and Kirwood led a packed lecture hall of students in a series of rousing cheers for

From 1913: New Fraternity House for Beta Theta Pi

The following is an excerpt from an article published about 98 years ago today, published in the Hartford Courant on February 26, 1913.
The Beta house has been in the news this week, with students protesting the University’s decision to ban students from living and assembling at the house if the fraternity did not agree to the conditions necessary for the house to be considered “program housing”. Beta Theta Pi has apparently accepted the University conditions, and students will thus be permitted to live in the Beta house next year.

Plans are being figured for the new chapter house to be erected by the Beta Theta Pi fraternity at Wesleyan University, on the lot bought some time ago at the corner of High and Church Streets. It will be built of tapestry brick up to the second floor, and the remainder will be frame construction, with the exterior stucco. This house will be 30 by 70 feet, three stories high, with an ell 25 by 30 feet. The cost will be about $30,000, most of hte sum being given in memory of Raymond D. Baird of the class of 1911, who was a member of the fraternity while at Wesleyan. The removal of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity to this location will bring all of the chapter houses within the radius of the two blocks, with none more than two minutes walk from the campus. For many years the fraternity has made their home on Washington street, but this place will be sold as soon as the new house is finished. Work will probably commence on the new structure in the early spring, in the hopes of finishing it in time for occupancy next fall.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Last Minute Picket


I read, for the first time yesterday, about an organization called US Uncut, which based on the British grassroots organization Uncut.

This group is trying to get giant US corporations who do not pay any, or who pay very little, income taxes to pay their fair share.

When I read that the "action" today had targeted Bank of America, and then when I read the tax (or shall I say "no tax") facts about BOA, I decided to act.  I went to Staples to have them print a sign, but when they couldn't do so in time, I bought some foam core, pulled out the Sharpies and inked a few slogans to reflect the facts.  Then I went out to the curb and found one of the discarded posts for the temporary snow ban "No Parking" signs and fashioned a picket.  My signs said: "I pay my taxes.  You pay your taxes.  Why does Bank of America pay no taxes?" and "Bank of America is bankrupting America."

I stood at the curb outside of the BOA branch on Main Street for two hours and found plenty of support in horn honks, thumbs up and had a few nice discussions with passers-by.   Some bank employees came out and asked what I thought I was doing.

"I think I'm trying to tell people that Bank of America paid no income tax last year," I responded. 

They complained to the police, and a very nice officer arrived to tell me that what I was doing was legal, but that I shouldn't step into the street, block pedestrian traffic or bother bank customers.

Here's some of the information about Bank of America that US Uncut supplied:

• BofA is the largest bank and 5th largest corporation in America
• BofA holds over $2.2 Trillion in assets
• BofA in 2009 earned a pretax income of $4.4 Billion.
• BofA received $45 Billion in taxpayer bailout funds in 2008 and 2009
• BofA paid ZERO federal income tax in 2009
• BofA actually received a $1.9 Billion tax benefit from the government in 2009
• BofA took deductions of $2.1 Billion in 2009
• BofA funneled its income through 115 foreign tax-haven subsidiaries

And some general information about corporate tax avoidance in general:

Two-thirds of all US corporations do not pay federal income tax
25% of the biggest US corporations do not pay federal income tax
• US corporations avoid between $37 Billion and $100 Billion a year in US taxes
• President Obama has called for ending corporate tax loopholes in his campaign, the 2010 State of the Union and the 2011 State of the Union
• The “Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act” was not acted upon by the previous Congress.

And here's the result:

• Congress had proposed a $5.7 billion cut to the Pell Grant program which will directly target lower income students who want a higher education
• Congress has proposed a $1 Billion cut to the Head Start program which will directly target lower income and poverty stricken children
• Congress has proposed a $700 million cut to Title I grants which will directly target children in lower income school districts
• College tuition has risen nearly 20 percent in just two years, making higher education unaffordable, saddling students with crippling debt.

Corporations have one the right, via the Supreme Court, to be considered "individuals" and thereby have been allowed to contribute to political campaigns in an unlimited fashion.   

It's about time these "individuals" began to shoulder part of the load.

North End Artists Co-Op Treasure Sale Today

Today at 11:00am - Tomorrow at 3:00pm

MAC 650 Gallery, 650 Main St, Middeltown, CT 06457

North End Artist Cooperative, 650 Main St., Middletown

Come shop our Treasure Sale this Saturday and Sunday to see what treasures you can find! Many thanks to everyone who donated the various items from decorative goods and cookware to small appliances, furniture and art suppllies. Lots of great finds!


Spring Events from the Middlesex Historic Society

Events, stories, pictures

Thursday, March 10, 2011, 7pm, Russell Library, Hubbard Room: Powder Ridge Rock Festival: 1970: Past president of the Historical Society, Bill Ryczek, will give a talk on the July 1970 rock festival at Powder Ridge in Middlefield. Put on that tie-dyed shirt, pull your hair back into a ponytail, and make the scene for some great vibes and a very groovy evening! Admission is free of charge.
Sunday, March 20, 2011, 2pm, Mansfield House: Women's History Walking Tour: Dione Longley, former director of the Historical Society, will lead a walking tour of Middletown and tell stories of the strong, inspiring women who have lived here. Celebrate Women's History Month and learn more about an often-overlooked aspect of Middletown history. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for members. Children 12 and under are free.
Friday, April 1, 2011, 7pm, the Inn at Middletown: Society fundraiser with prominent Lincoln scholar: Michael Burlingame, the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield and one of the nation's foremost Lincoln scholars, will give a talk on how recently discovered resources have changed the public's perception of Abraham Lincoln. A reception will follow the talk.
For more information go to :

Friday, February 25, 2011

Macdonough Third Grader Passes Away

Alondra Hernandez, age 8, has passed away at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford, after experiencing an aneurysm on Tuesday while at school. Alondra was a sweet and wonderful young lady who touched the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to know her. She is the beloved daughter of Mayra Sanchez, stepmother Nydia Marrero, and father Andres Hernandez, and leaves behind her older brothers and sister, and an extended family of uncles, aunts, cousins and friends.

A third grader in Miss Morello's class at Middletown's Macdonough Elementary School, Alondra will be remembered as a treasured friend, an exceptional young artist, and an enthusiastic member of Oddfellows Playhouse. She earlier attended both Moody Elementary and Bielefield Elementary in Middletown.

This tragic loss is felt deeply by the school community and throughout Middletown. Those who wish to contribute financially to help the family at this difficult time are welcome to make contributions to an account that the Macdonough PTA has established at Liberty Bank, with details listed below. Any proceeds that are raised will help with funeral and family costs, as well as establishing a memorial for Alondra. Information about funeral services for Alondra will be forthcoming. Thank you for supporting this family through this sorrow.

Calling hours for family and friends are Sunday February 27th from 4-7 PM at Doolittle Funeral Home, 14 Old Church Street.   Funeral services will be held on Monday, February 28th at 10am at St John's Church located at 19 St. John's Square in Middletown.

Regarding donations to the Memorial Fund for Alondra Hernandez

Credit Cards

•A facebook page has been set up with a link for making credit card donations online. Search facebook for the page called "Alondra Hernandez Memorial" or click on this link:

•For those who do not use facebook, credit card donations can be made at the following link:


•Checks can be made out directly to the "Memorial Fund for Alondra Hernandez", and can be delivered to the office at Macdonough, or sent directly to the bank, c/o Peta-gaye Manuel, Liberty Bank, 315 Main Street, Middletown, CT 06457.

Counterfeit Money Alert From Police

From the Middletown Police Department
The Middletown Police Department is warning area merchants and the general public as to an influx of HIGH QUALITY COUNTERFEIT U.S. $100 BILLS.

On February 19, 2011 two males of Mexican descent attempted to pass counterfeit $100.00 bills in the Rte. 66 area of Middletown. One of the suspects was arrested and the investigation into the identity of the second man is ongoing.

The $100.00 bills were of high quality, appear authentic, and are difficult to detect as counterfeit.
The bills feel somewhat waxy to the touch.
The plastic band contained in authentic US bills was present in the counterfeit money.
The counterfeit money pen test, which many businesses utilize to test suspected money, proved useless as the bills passed the test.
The water marks that should be present in authentic US currency were not present.

Similar high quality bills were utilized earlier in the month by three parties who were arrested in New London.
Merchants should be wary of people attempting to purchase inexpensive items with suspect $100 bills in order to attain authentic US currency in return as change.
In both Middletown and New London cases, the suspects were from New York or New Jersey.

Anyone with further information regarding this case is urged to contact Investigative Services Division at (860) 344-3240.

If you think that a customer is in your store is attempting to pass a counterfeit bill please contact the Middletown Police through our Central Dispatch Center 860-347-2541.

Senator Blumenthal to Speak at Rally for Planned Parenthood

A rally for reproductive rights will take place tomorrow at Wesleyan, to support Planned Parenthood, as they face efforts by the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives to curtail reproductive rights.

Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut's newly-elected U.S. Senator, and Judy Tabar, President of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, will be the speakers. The rally will take place from 4:00 to 6:00 in Wesleyan's Exley Science Center, Room 150. Exley is the tall building between Lawn Avenue and Church Street.

Planned Parenthood health centers provide birth control, cancer screenings, HIV testing, and abortions. A week ago, the House voted to bar all federal funding to Planned Parenthood, for any of these purposes. The nearest Planned Parenthood health centers are in Meriden and New Britain.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

This Sunday at First Church of Christ, Middletown

A Farewell to Pastor Sue

Join us at 10 am for Worship, with Special Music chosen in farewell to Pastor Sue Latourette: Shout to the Lord; Lead Me, Lord; You Lift Me Up; and an Irish Blessing.

The sermon, “Branching Out,” is based on Jesus’ farewell discourse in John 15 and Deuteronomy 34. . . . Its message: Our common bonds of faith and the Spirit always keep us connected, no matter where life’s journey takes us!

After Worship: Join us after worship for fellowship and good food as we share the opportunity to bid farewell to Sue, as share reminiscences with old friends and greetings with new friends and visitors.

Note: This Saturday brings an Intergenerational Event – An Indoor Campfire and Pajama Party from 6 to 8 pm in the Memorial Room, for families and individuals! Wear your jammies, and bring a book to read or new pajamas to share with Middletown kids who have none. Snacks to share also are welcome.

Perfunctory P&Z Meeting

The agenda lay before the Planning and Zoning Commission like a familiar landscape, with no hidden curves and no obstacles.  In a matter of 30 minutes the Commission dispensed of all business before it with nary a debate or objection.

P&Z approved the petition of John and Netty Rogalsky of 849 Congdon Street to subidivide their lot to build a larger home for their family.  John Rogalsky explained that the house on his current lot did not suit the needs of his family, and would be sold to finance the new construction.

The Commission also approved, unanimously, the request for a modification of a subdivision off Atkins Street.  Ralph Wilson, the attorney for the developer, explained that the developer would undertake road improvements needed to service the subdivision at no cost to the city.  The 800 feet of road improvements were estimated at $337,000.  Work on the Atkins Street road would cause of road closure of one to two weeks, and traffic would be detoured a mile around the road work.

The Commission tabled a decision on a Site Plan Approval extension for new office and storage construction at 754 Middle Street when attorney Dennis A. Ceneviva, attorney for the developer failed to appear.

Board chair Quentin Phipps noted that as of the next regularly scheduled meeting, the Commission would take up a request by Mayor Sebastian Giuliano to review plans for improvement of Middletown's Connecticut River waterfront.  The first topic of discussion will be improvements, and removal of the waste treatment plant south of downtown, and the second topic will be a review of plans presented as a result of a charrette held to solicit ideas for the waterfront improvement.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Police Respond to Man With Gun at City Hall

From the Middletown Police
Today just before eleven o’clock this morning the Middletown Police Department received
a call from City Hall stating that there was a citizen with a pistol in city hall.

Middletown Police Officers arrived on scene with weapons drawn and surrounded the citizen. After an investigation, the citizen was identified and it was determined that he had a valid Connecticut Pistol Permit. The citizen did not violate a Connecticut General Statute and was in compliance with his Connecticut Pistol Permit which allows him to carry a pistol. The citizen was allowed to continue with his business at City Hall without further incident.

How the Heck Did We Get Here???

(some of the language used in the pictures below might be considered inappropriate)

Just a reminder that tonight at 6pm in the library of Woodrow Wilson Middle School threre will be a presentation on the ways social media and digital technology are quickly changing our lives and the society around us. With facebook and twitter still relatively new phenomenas, the implications of what and how we share information online may be lasting and forever damaging. This is particuarly true for our current group of teenagers who in many ways are growing up online but also for adults who struggle to deal with technology that seems almost alien to them (see picture).

So before we continue down this path asking the question "how the heck did we get here?", we invite you to take a night out of your week and join us for a light hearted presentation about a very crucial topic.

We welcome parents to bring their kids and for kids to bring their parents...(p.s. there will be free pizza).

Also joining the conversation with be Middletown Police Detective Derek Puorro who will inform teens and parents about sexting and the law. To RSVP for the event (which is not required but helps for seating and food) please call 203-238-6800 or email

This presntation is the first in a series of workshops presented by the Middletown Substance Abuse Prevention Council - upcoming topics include...

Cyberbullying (by teen researchers): 3/2/2011 at Keigwin Middle School from 6-8pm

Building a supportive community for children through the 40 Developmental Assets: 3/20/2011 at Middletown High from 6-8pm

Inside the Teenage Brain: 4/27/2011 at Middletown High from 6-8pm

For more information on this lecture series' remaining three workshops click HERE.

Water Main Break Makes Icy North End

There's a water main break around the corner of High & Liberty Streets in the North End. When I walked by at 6:45 am, the corner was blocked with emergency vehicles and at least one TV truck had already arrived.

The streets in surrounding blocks are quite icy with the runoff, so if you're one of those people who uses the North End as a cut through, you'll want to make other plans this morning.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Suzio Carries Middletown, wins 13th Senate District Seat

Len Suzio, Republican from Meriden, won the special election to replace State Senator Tom Gaffey in the 13th State Senate district, according to Middletown Patch. Suzio defeated Thomas Bruenn, also of Meriden.

Suzio is the owner of a GeoDataVision, a business providing geographical information to banks, particularly to help them meet the requirements of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The CRA is a 1977 law which prohibits banks from discriminatory lending policies in low-income neighborhoods.

Suzio served for 14 years on the Meriden Board of Education.

The 13th district includes the southern half of Middletown, as well as the towns of Middlefield, Meriden, and parts of Cheshire.

In Middletown, 21% of eligible voters went to the polls, 52.3% of them casting votes for Suzio.

Science, Dance and the Universe

Liz Lerman Dance Exchange - Time Has Set The Table
For Tea
Liz Lerman Dance Exhchange
Time Has Set the Table for Tea: A Matter of Origins Project
Thursday, February 24,
7 & 9:30 p.m.
Fayerweather Beckham Hall
Through conversations with scientists across the globe, from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland, company founder, choreographer, and Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance Liz Lerman learned about satellites probing the farthest reaches of the cosmos, and experiments designed to recreate the conditions in the sub-seconds after the Big Bang. Through her lens as an artist, Lerman will share the fascinating results of her research.

This unique experience, specifically designed for Wesleyan, will contemplate our relationship to the essence of matter during a 360-degree performance happening and interactive conversation with Wesleyan faculty, aided by the use of iPads, plus chocolate cake and tea for audience members. By taking the performance work out of the theater and placing in a ballroom space in the heart of the campus, the lines between performance and post-performance conversation/interaction are blurred. 

Click here to read today's Center for the Arts blog entry from Director Pamela Tatge, which talks about the CFA's deeply creative relationship with the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, and the origins of the special event this Thursday night.

Tickets are $5 for the general public; $4 for Wesleyan students. Click here to purchase tickets online.

Election TODAY

Voters in the southern half of the city are voting in a special election today, to elect a State Senator from the 13th district. The seat was held for many years by Tom Gaffey.

The candidates are:
Thomas E. Bruenn (D)
Len Suzio (R)

Polls are open until 8PM, at Snow School, Wesley School, South Fire Station, Farm Hill School, and Bielefield School. You must live in the 13th District to vote.

Wes Wrestlers in NEWA Championships

Wesleying, pointing to the Wesleyan Athletics homepage reports that Wes Wrestlers have made it into the NEWA Championships this week at Trinity College.  They've also given coach Drew 130 wins in 13 seasons, which tops the old record held by coach John Biddiscombe who had 127 wins in 15 seasons.  The mat men wrestle again at Trinity College for the championships this weekend.

As amazing is the video produced by Jack Cash to promote the team.  Cash has talent, and if you aren't convinced by the Wes Wrestling promo, check out his short film Fingered. Warning: Fingered is gory.  This kid is going places.

Wrestle Hard from Jack Cash on Vimeo.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Disjointed Elbow

From patting ourselves on the back.

I've been watching the window in the right-hand margin as we approached the half million mark for distinct visits to the Middletown Eye, and we made it today.  Truth be told, fishmuscle had to clue me into today's achievement.

In less than three years we've passed along a lot of news and opinion to you.  Thanks for visiting.  Do come back.

One Man's Trash is Another Man's...Costume?

In an effort to start replacing the props and costumes that were lost in the recent roof collapse of the Oddfellows storage space at 505 Main Street in Middletown, Oddfellows will be collecting donated items.

Donated items will be accepted at Oddfellows Playhouse at 128 Washington Street, Middletown on February 25, March 4 and March 11 from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sat., March 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“While all donations are appreciated, we simply can't keep everything,” said Matt Pugliese, Managing Director for Oddfellows. “Our designers, artists and technical director will select the pieces that will need,” he said.

All other items will be sold at a tag sale set for Sat., Apr. 16 at Oddfellows Playhouse. The proceeds from this tag sale will be used to offset the theater’s production costs.

“We lost over 2,000 costumes, including everything we need to costume 200 circus performers during the Children's Circus of Middletown,” said Pugliese. “At $100 a performer, just that alone is a $20,000 loss,” he said.

Financial donations
may also be made to immediately help with the production costs of shows set to take the stage beginning with the Mar. 10 performance of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Financial donations can be made online or for more information regarding donated items or the tag sale, please contact Oddfellows' Production Manager Paul Revaz at (860) 347-6143 or

All items are welcomed but these specific items are always in need:

MENS (all sizes)
• suits, jackets, slacks, khakis: all colors, but preferably black, gray, navy, and tan
• button down shirts, all colors, preferably white and light colors
• ties, all types and patterns
• dress shoes, all colors, preferably black
• top coats, preferably dark colors
• vests, tailored and knit in black, gray, and brown
• sweaters, pullover and cardigan, preferably black , gray, and brown
• vintage hats, any type, particularly felt fedoras, hombeurgs, bowlers, and newsboy types
• suspenders and belts, any type

WOMENS ( all sizes)
• suits, jackets, slacks, khakis all colors, but preferably black, gray, navy, and tan
• blouses, all types, all colors, preferably non-patterned
• skirts, all types, all colors
• dresses, non-formal, day wear
• dress shoes, all types, all colors, preferably black
• topcoats, preferably dark colors
• vintage hats, all types, all colors
• dress gloves

• plastic or wooden hangers, suit and pant hangers
• large plastic bins

• old suitcases and travel accessories
• lamps and period looking items
• house wares
• old crates and boxes
• eyeglasses
• fake or prop food items
• any vintage items in general

MILE Mini-programs Scheduled

From the Middlesex Institute for Lifelong Education
Celebrate release from winter with mini-programs for adults 50+ with MILE, Middlesex Institute for Lifelong Education, meeting at Middlesex Community College from March 14th to April 22nd   2011.  A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the White House will be presented on March 14th by Judy Bernstein, a most popular presenter. March 16th will find Scot Haney, Meteorologist and local TV personality discussing weather in his entertaining manner. In addition to a week of computer classes, there will be several presentations in the fields of literature, travel, self protection and history. Three trips are planned to locations in CT and the popular series Great Decisions will continue.
An orientation meeting is scheduled for 12:45pm March 1st with a snow date to be announced. This takes place in Chapman Hall on the MxCC campus, 100 Training Hill Road, Middletown. At that time brief overviews of the various programs will be presented with light refreshments served before the meeting.
For more information or to receive a brochure call 860-343-5863 or online at

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Subway Bandit Nabbed

From the Middletown Police Department
On February 19th, 2011 members of the Middletown Police Department Patrol Division responded to the Subway Restaurant located at 200 Main Street on the report of an armed robbery. The suspect presented a knife and demanded money prior to fleeing on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. No employees were injured during the incident.
Based on witness descriptions of the suspect, responding officers were able to develop McKinney as a suspect early in the investigation and efforts were taken to locate him. Subsequent investigation including review of video surveillance and photo identification by witnesses confirmed McKinney was responsible. Within an hour of the initial response, McKinney was located and taken into custody without incident. During interviews with Detectives, McKinney confessed to the robbery. He is currently being held in lieu of a $250-K bond and will be presented for arraignment on 2/22/11.

Die-Hard Fans Shiver at the Whale Fest

You had to be a die-hard fan to handle the freezing cold weather at yesterday's Whale Fest. This was only the second outdoor game played by the Whale and it might be the last because it was so darned cold. Everyone was hugging each other, whether the hugger or huggee was known or unknown. In between games, the fans--both males and females--huddled together in the Food Court and the men's and women's restrooms just to get some "relief"--from the cold and fierce wind.

Connecticut state trooper Sgt. Anderson said it was a large crowd considering the cold but unusually calm for a hockey game. "We all had only two things in common today and it was a love of the game of hockey and the weather."

And in the end, I had no idea who won.

MPD Looking for Sponsors for Penguin Plunge Feb. 26

From the Middletown Police Department

Police plunge 2010

The Middletown Police Department is helping to raise money for Special Olympics Officers from the Middletown Police Department recently accepted the challenge to raise funds to support Special Olympics Connecticut, Inc.Penguin Plunge! The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

Please support these officers in this important project by contributing generously to the Special Olympics Connecticut, Inc.. Your donation is tax-deductible and it's faster and easier than ever to support this great cause! You can make your donation online by simply clicking on the link at the bottom of this message. If you would prefer, you can also send your tax-deductible contribution to the address listed below. More information on the Special Olympics Connecticut, Inc. and its programs can be found at Whatever you can give will help . . . it all adds up! I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress.

Brian Hubbs
To donate online, click here!
To send a donation:
Make all checks payable to: Special Olympics Connecticut, Inc.

Mail to: Brian Hubbs
222 Main Street
Middletown, CT, 06457-3439
For full details, go to

From 1896: Took Poultry Prizes - A Cider Shower - Fenwick Hall Cases

The following article is from exactly 115 years ago today, published on February 20, 1896 in teh Hartford Courant. The Brahma breeds of chicken are known for being large and cold-hardy, they are an all-purpose breed good for both eggs and meat. The image of the Dark Brahma is from Cassell's 'Illustrated Book of Poultry' edited by Lewis Wright (1838-1905), illustration by J.W. Ludlow.

Captain W.A. Pease of South Farms has had remarkable success this winter at poultry shows, winning in every case several valuable prizes. At the recent exhibit of the American Poultry Association at Washington, D.C., his dark Brahmas won all the first prizes.
The students are very amused at the reasons which the Rev. W.W. Peck, Wesleyan, ‘95, of Wallingford gives for leaving the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Peck says he wants more freedom.

A popular clerk in a Main street store invited, as the story goes, several members of a local whist club, to a party at his house. It seems that he had last fall put in a keg of cider. The cider froze during the last cold snap and he had carried it ot the attic to thaw out. While the party was busy playing cards, there was a loud explosion in the upper part of the house. Nothing was thought of it until the cider came trickling through the ceiling upon the garments of the players.

Governor Coffin is not expected home from Washington until next Monday, and consequently will not attend the meeting of the trustees of the school for boys at Meriden to-morrow.

The interior of the Farmers and Mechanics Bank is being extensively altered. A metal ceiling is being put in and the fittings of the office are of new and modern pattern.

The shareholders of the Building & Loan Association, at their meeting Tuesday evening, renominated the old board of officers, who will be elected March 17.

The following attended the department of the G.A.R. at Norwich, from this city: A.G. McKee, Major John C. Brontch, F.D. Brewater, Joseph Ketzel, C.D. Rico, A.-O. Reed and Michael Dunn.

The Mansfield Guard has been forced to abandon the idea of forming a basketball team, as the armor was found unsuitable in which to play. A committee, composed of Corporals Fenn and Hamilton and Private Kidney, has been appointed to arrange for a smoker, which is to be tendered to Company K of Wallingford in this city at an early day. The guard has also had to abandon the idea of giving a dance Easter Monday night as the armory has been rented to Brigg’s Band for that night.

Allen Redford, the young son of George Redford, is becoming noted as a heavy-weight lifter. Although still in his teens, he can easily lift 175 pounds with one hand.

Miss May Vinal, niece of ex-Mayor Vinal, gave a charade party Tuesday evening. Eighteen couples were present.

There is one Fenwick Hall case about to be settled so far as this trial is concerned. In the appeal of the company from the assessors all the testimony and arguments are in, but Judge Hall has withheld his decision. The other case, the bridge case, will be argued March 4.

Fred S. Hall of East Hampton, a nephew of Amelia Ann Hall, has been appointed as the trustee of her property. The petition of the selectmen of the town of Chatham to have a conservator appointed has been withdrawn.

A meeting of the University Club will be held at the Psi U Chapter home, Saturday evening, February 29. Dr. Buckham, the president of the University of Vermont, will give an address on “Oxford, University and Colleges.”

During Lent there will be held at Holy Trinity Church a twenty-minute prayer service, at 12 o’clock each day, Saturdays excepted. During Passion week the rector, the Rev. E.C. Acheson, will give a series of ‘short’ addresses and the bishop during holy week.

Silas Meltre, a prominent consulting architect of New York, gives a lecture this evening in Holy Trinity chapel on “Religious Architecture.”

Breakin Out on a Saturday Night

Tonight, The Shadow Room was packed with a crowd of people who came to be a part of the latest ConnectBeats Radius production. The place was alive with much dancing. The creator of hip-hop, DJ Kool Herc, came from New York to entertain the crowd. Being in the presence of a man who created an entirely new genre of music was an energizing and powerful feeling. I had an excellent time. It was great to see such a vibrant and enthusiastic crowd of people pour in for this fun event.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Seasons on Main

Bundled up against the downtown wind squalls tonight, it was hard to believe that just 24 hours ago, it was Springtime on Main Street.

Yesterday, while we waited in line at Iguanas Ranas for a table (first time for that!), I wondered if the "Most Romantic Main Street" designation was already working its magic. With just one or two exceptions, the downtown restaurants had big crowds: it was packed at Luce, Esca, Fiore's, Typhoon and First & Last. We joked that Amici's should have put out sidewalk tables for the balmy weather.

Three small bits of gossip:

The Downtown Bar & Grill was dark, without even a sign to tell customers why they were closed:

The former Firehouse Steakhouse will soon be "Titanium Bar & Lounge", rumored to be the work of an experienced downtown restaurant family. We peeked around the paper-covered windows to see that the construction team (working late) had already removed the downstairs divider walls:

There's a new restaurant called K. LaMay's Steamed Cheeseburgers coming to Metro Square, next to the Shadow Room. It's a second location for K. LaMay's - the first is in Meriden.

Now, I know there are people who grumble about all the restaurants on Main Street - but I say, Bring It On! If we want more retail and entertainment options on Main Street, we need more consistent foot traffic, and every successful restaurant downtown does its part toward that goal.

At this point, experienced restaurateurs have figured out that they can do well on Main Street - but experienced retailers haven't come to the same conclusion - yet. I think we're on the right track, though, and the continued investment from the food sector is a sign of our potential. At least, I hope so!

505 Main St. Demo

A crowd of us watched with sadness and nostalgia as 505 Main St. came down yesterday. I stood next to Melissa, the owner of Tesoro, and behind us on the roof of the building across the street, D'mitri and Rusa, owners of Middletown Framing, watched from above. There were people on top of Luce taking pictures, and others just looking on from the sidewalk.

The machine was was like a monster eating the building away.

501-507 No More

Building owner Mike DiPiro says that he wants to rebuild a new building which resembled the old one on the site where his former building stood.  Friday, crews took down the remains of 501-507 Main Street.

The Wisconsin Fourteen, Weekends and Why Republicans Want to Bust the Union

A Weekend Editorial by Rachel Maddow

Friday, February 18, 2011

This Sunday at First Church

Jesus Knew Some Alligators, Too

First Church of Christ, Congregational
190 Court Street
Middletown, CT

Continuing the sermon series “Costumes, Alligators, and the Power of God’s Weakness,” Rev. John Hall will pick up on Ruth LeBar’s sermon about anger last Sunday, as we consider the next section of Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount.” Jesus said, “love your enemies” and “pray for those who persecute you.”

Children’s Program — Young Peacemakers Club with Julie Hurlburt

Hymns — What A Friend We Have In Jesus; Like a Tree Beside the Waters; Renew the Church. Anthem by Senior Choir — In God's Word Will I Rejoice (Purcell; J.H. Fowler, ed.)

2nd Hour — Mindfulness: A Talk by Karl Scheibe

Never has there been greater competition for our attention than in these days. The Internet provides unlimited access to information, and much it of it is of relevance to us. The crises that afflict our society and our planet (and our church) are real, complex, and need to be taken seriously. Mindfulness is a conception that has grown in popularity recently--in response to the growing difficulties many of us face in controlling our consciousness in a way that gives us peace and clarity. Karl Scheibe will help us explore this topic.

First Church provides child care on Sundays, and parking is available on Court Street and in the surrounding neighborhood, between the slowly diminishing piles of snow.

First Church is an Open and Affirming Church: All are welcome into the full life of our community regardless of their race, age, gender, nationality, marital status, economic situation, mental or physical ability, or sexual orientation. No matter where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome. Come visit and see. We won't bore you. We won't talk down to you. We will love you and respect your intelligence. We will give you tools to help you deepen and pursue your spiritual path.

Live Music

The Middletown House Concert Series

Cillian Vallely, Niall Vallely, and John Doyle!
Saturday, February 26, at 8pm
Green Street Arts Center
51 Green St.
Middletown, CT

Suggested donation: $25 general, $7 children 12 & under
Please call Jody Cormack 860-983-7963 for reservations
or email
Niall and Cillian Vallely, siblings and scions of the Armagh family that seems capable of populating virtually every traditional outfit this side of the Bothy Band, deliver a gorgeous herringboned collection of original and ancient tunes. Niall (ex-Nomos) tiptoes his concertina in between the air pockets of Lúnasa-member Cillian's pipes with enviable agility.” -- Siobhán Long, The Irish Times
“[Niall and Cillian Valley’s] tight unified duet work on uilleann pipes and concertina is the order of the day. The brothers know each other’s individual moves but when playing together the twin strands combine like tightly meshed high tension wire. The reels and jigs explode with kinetic energy.” – John O’Regan, Irish Music Magazine
John Doyle [has] developed a style all his own and is now inspiring a new generation of guitarists.” -- Helene Northway, RootsWorld
“Whether playing in a band (Solas)… as an accompanist (Liz Carroll)…  or as a solo performer, [John Doyle] has a magical touch, always providing exactly what is needed: the right progression, a nimble melody, a delicate harmony line - a dream guitarist.” - Irish Edition