Archive for January, 2010

January 31, 2010

Sunday fun: Apples & Cheese

Rogers Orchards on Rt. 322 in Southington (only a few hundred feet from the Wolcott line) is hosting a free Apples and Cheese tasting today until 4:30.

Sounds like a nice family friendly event (so if you’re not sure of the diference between an Empire and Red Delicious or a Macoun and a Macontosh, now’s a good day!)

Advertisements
January 28, 2010

Schools Close Early, Cars Slide

Wolcott Public Schools are closing early today due to the snow. Bristol, Cheshire, Plymouth, and Southington are also calling school off early. As of 11 am, Waterbury schools are still in full session for the day.

While the storm seems to have caught most residents by surprise, John Bagioni of the fax alert weather service says that the snow we’ve experienced this morning are still classified as snow squalls. “They’re much like summer thunderstorms. Usually there are signs in the atmosphere that they will be there, but you never know how they will actually play out. Around six or seven this morning this band just exploded -much like summer rain showers or thunderstorms sometimes morph from hitting one or two towns to a much larger area.” Bagioni added that most of the snow experienced by Wolcott hasn’t made it much

read more »

January 27, 2010

Wolcott Helps in Mass Senate Win

The course of the country was changed last Tuesday when Republican State Senator Scott Brown upset Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley by a five point margin in a special election for US Senate. The race has national implications for Democratic proposals for healthcare reform. Senator-elect Brown announced that Democrats would need to begin working with “Democrats and Republicans to reform healthcare in an open and honest way – no more closed door meetings, and backroom deals with an out of touch party leadership, no more hiding costs, concealing taxes, collaborating with special interest and leaving trillions more for our children to pay. We need to start fresh in order to the job right. We can do better! ”

The campaign in the Bay State went into high gear around Christmas when Coakley went on an extended vacation. “He just kept campaigning right through it -that was the game changer,” noted a Brown staffer. Senator Kennedy held his seat for 42 years and the state is considered very Democratic where Republicans only number about 13%. Voters without affiliation account for 50% of the electorate. Despite Coakley’s popularity in Massachusetts, many observers note that she lost the election.

Nick Taylor, a volunteer driver for Brown noted how he got started in the race. “I left the Navy and

read more »

January 25, 2010

Council, Mayor Appoint Boards and Commissions

At its regular meeting last week, Mayor Dunn presented the following list of appointments to the Town Council. Some required Town Council approval. The Council approved all of the recomendations unanimously. They approved the Library Board at their December meeting.

2010 Boards and commissions

January 24, 2010

Haiti Fundraiser In The Works

Flyers have gone up around town suggesting a fundraiser be put together to help those affected by the earthquake in Haiti. This is to prepare for an anticipated fundraiser to be held in February.

If you can play music or sing, please contact floconner@att.net. If you would like to get involved with this project, please contact the Mayor’s office at (203) 879-8100.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

January 22, 2010

Dog Missing: Hitchcock Lake

A 3 year old male black lab named “Dakota” is missing from the east side of Hitchcock Lake #1. He has a collar on for an electronic fence collar, and is about 100 pounds. If you have any information or you have seen Dakota please call the Voghels @ 203-879-9347 home or 203-232-8645 cell email bvoghel@aol.com

Dakota was found Friday evening. Thankyou!

January 19, 2010

Wolcott Residents Impact Mass Election

Townspeople are talking about today’s election between Republican Scott Brown, Democrat Martha Coakley and Independent Pat Kennedy to take the seat previously held by Ted Kennedy for over 40 years. The results of the election is expected to have a pivotal impact on national politics, as Democrats currently control 60 votes in the Senate. Because it takes 60 votes to shut down debate on any issue, losing the seat may mean Republicans will have a larger role in framing legislation.

A couple of articles will be in the Whisper soon regarding this election. If you personally have travelled to Massachusetts in the last few weeks, please let me know so you can be included in an article.

Send an e-mail to cobrien7@homail.com or call (203) 558-5817.

January 13, 2010

Councilman Petroniro Returns Stipend

First term Councilman Randy Petroniro announced he would be declining his $2,000 a year stipend at a Council meeting last month. “This is a bad economy and I know people that are hurting out there,” said Petroniro. Petroniro ran as an independent minded petitioning candidate in November’s election and manages three local businesses on Wolcott Rd. Those businesses include Musco Fuel, Musco Propane and a lawn service. “Working in this business, I’ve seen how people are affected by this economy” he said.

At the December Town Council meeting Petroniro presented a letter

read more »

January 13, 2010

H1N1 Flu Clinic Thursday

A free H1N1 flu clinic will be held at the Tyrrell School Cafeteria this Thursday from 4:30 – 7:30. Anyone may revieve a flu shot. Use the lower driveway entrance.

This information was given out in a Code Red phone message Tuesday evening.

The CDC has advised that pregnant women and elderly get the H1N1 shot when the height of the swine flu was spreading in late summer. However, they strangely are asking that those yonuger than 6 not get the shot. Common sense would dictate that pregnant women should be very cautious when they consider getting this flu shot. There has been anecdotal evidence that the H1N1 shot has caused miscarriages. If children younger than 6 are being asked not to recieve the shot, then one should wonder what it may do to an unborn child. You should consult your doctor as to whether or not children or pregnant women should receive the shot.

Thus far there have been two waves of the H1N1 virus. The first one was in May of last year near the close of the school year. A second wave has been making its way through the population through this past fall. While the media has reported almost any death that has occurred, the H1N1 virus has actually caused far fewer deaths than the seasonal flu. Almost all of those patients died as a result of other pre-existing illnesses and have mainly been elderly.

January 12, 2010

Rell’s Out: Who Wants To Be Govenor?

On November 9, 2009 Governor Rell announced that she will not be running for Governor.

What might interest you is that unlike many past elections, there are plenty of interested citizens running for a variety of offices. In past years, there was usually only two choices for these two offices, yet to date there are 13 for both.

It should be noted that it is still early in the game, however and many more may jump in the race. Yet, there’s an irony in the way politics selects candidates. Unless you are registered as a Republican or Democrat, you may still get only two choices in November. The game for choosing your next Senator in Washington and Governor of Connecticut starts with your local parties, state political conventions, and probably a primary in August.

Below I have outlined who I know of is running for Governor. Where possible I have included links to their campaign websites. Please add any comments below.

read more »

January 8, 2010

Who’s Protecting Us?

Since the attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, many commentators have questioned where the government response was in the sky that day. No, the would-be bomber wasn’t stopped by air marshals, metal detectors, CIA, FBI, TSA screeners, a terror watch list, or any of the other new security and administrative networks put in place since the 9/11 attacks eight years ago. Instead, the attack was stopped by airline employees and citizens who had the foresight to recognize a threat and then act upon it.

Citizen action occurs more than we give credit for. Car accidents, fires, crime and medical emergencies… are almost always reported by citizens going about their regular business and not by a police officer or other government entity on routine patrol. Amanda Ripley has an interesting article in this week’s Time magazine which should give us pause about each of our individual’s role in society and the War on Terror.

While the politicians we elected try to figure out the psychology and consequences of who we’re fighting, why, and how to make this war end, we will be faced with this threat. And after this threat is extinguished, we no doubt may be faced with new ones. Gone are the days when most men wear guns on their hips, yet the same responsibility still exists. If passengers on that airplane obeyed the seatbelt sign and FAA regulations, the bomber – who defied the rules- would have succeeded in blowing up the airplane. Its not the airplane that was the only target though, but also whatever lay beneath it.

I’m not advocating for us to return to the days that we all carry arms and take the law into our own hands here. But what I am saying is that mentally we need to change the mindset in ourselves as well as the next generation that we do have a responsibility to intervene in emergencies and in civil life whenever the need arises. Too often we downplay a true hero’s resolve in the face of danger. “You could have gotten hurt” or “that would be too risky” is often said. Nobody wants to be a hero. But let’s not punish heroes when they rise to the occaision. And please -let them use the bathroom, or perhaps have a meal too.

January 7, 2010

Educators Head to Arbitration

Commentary

By Chris O’Brien

Administrators Salary Chart

Town officials and school administrators will be meeting Friday to work on an arbitration package to their contract which was rejected by the Town Council in November. That contract proposed 0%, 3.5%, 3.5% increases over 3 years on top of step increases and merit pay. The contract was negotiated by the Board of Education which rejected the contract on a 3-4 vote before going into executive session and then approving the contract at the same meeting.

Its not that the administrators- or anyone with a job – doesn’t deserve a pay raise. Certainly parents in Wolcott seem satisfied with quality of education in Wolcott and the BOE continuously reminds us that they have the lowest per capita per pupil spending in the state. In addition, according to the US Dept. of Labor, Wolcott’s administrators earn almost $2,000 less than others administrators in the state. Teachers instruct generally fewer than 20 pupils per class and deal with social issues from outside the classroom. Teaching and administering to students isn’t easy. Given a blank check though, how much should we give them? Taxpayers can only pay what they can afford. If taxpayers are not making more money, how can we rob them through taxation in order to pay our public servants more? We must also consider that the Greater Waterbury region has had the highest unemployment rate in the state for the past two years.

read more »

January 6, 2010

Local Political Parties To Re-form Thursday

The phrase “all politics is local” will ring true Thursday evening as Wolcott’s Republican and Democratic parties choose their local Town Committees. Those Committees have considerable influence in town government, and later will have the power to choose candidates for local and state offices. This means something when so many candidates are running for Governor, US Senate, and Congress. Soon both parties will likely battle for an open Attorney General seat as well. And this doesn’t even touch State House and Senate seats which also will likely be contested by candidates living in Wolcott. In fact, between these 6 races, there are potentially 28 candidates to choose from (so far).

“We search for qualified candidates” says Tony Marino who serves as the chairman of the Republican vacancy committee. “We don’t just pick names out of a hat. Since November we’ve been looking for candidates to fill positions (on the town committee).” Candidates for elected office as well as appointments to local boards and commissions usually are first screened by the town committee which then sends a recommendation to the mayor or Town Council to sit on local boards and commissions. In the case of elected office, the candidate is officially endorsed to be on a ballot.

Democratic Chairman Dave Gentile agreed, adding that his town committee’s greater mission “is to promote all Democratic candidates for public office, whether it be local, state, or national and do all that we can to help get them elected.” Local parties usually receive campaigning supplies and are most heavily involved with getting out the vote for close races.

Any town resident is welcome to attend either party’s caucuses taking place tommorrow night, so long as that resident is a registered member of that party. Each party also holds meetings on a monthly basis where discussion about local and state issues are held. Potential state and federal candidates also visit, giving party members the opportunity meet those future leaders to ask questions. “Its a good forum where we’d get a report, say from the Park & Recreation Commission or another commission and you can ask questions” said Marino during taxpayer’s time at a Town Council meeting where he explained the committee’s role and invited Republicans to attend the caucus.

—————————————————————————————–
Democrats will hold their caucus at 7:30 in the Tyrrell School Auditorium. Any registered Democrat is welcome to attend. Anyone who wishes to join the Wolcott Democratic Town Committee should send a letter or e-mail to Dave Gentile at : dgentile@allpointecare.com or 101 Midwood Dr.

Republicans will meet at Town Hall at 7:00 and any registered Republican is also welcome to attend. Anyone who wishes to join the Wolcott Republican Town Committee should contact Tony Marino at 879-5804.