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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Kiwanis Club Annual Scholarship Presentation

On May 21st, the Middletown Kiwanis Club conducted its annual scholarship presentations.  The Middletown Kiwanis through its Foundation each year gives a graduating senior from each of Middletown's four high schools a $2,000 college scholarship. A $500 scholarship is also awarded to a local high school senior attending Middlesex Community College in the fall. Of the fore-mentioned recipients one is selected to also receive the A. Merton & Arline W. Bozoian $500 scholarship.

Each student was accompanied by a school representative who described the qualities and accomplishments of their school’s recipient. Kiwanis President Lynn Baldoni then made the scholarship presentations. Starting with the $2,000 awards:

Kimberly Hedger, a graduating senior from Middletown High School who will be attending Rochester Institute of Technology in the fall.

Andrei Severin, a graduating senior from Vinal Technical High School who will be attending Becker College in the fall.

Kathryn Wall, a graduating senior from Mercy High School who will be attending Union College in the fall.

William Garrity, a graduating senior from Xavier High School who will be attending St. Lawrence University in the fall.

Clayton Smith, a senior from Vinal Technical High School was the recipient of the $500 scholarship for an incoming Middlesex Community College freshman.

The Kiwanis scholarship committee also selected Andrei Severin of Vinal Technical High School to receive the $500 Bozoian scholarship. The two benefactors of this yearly award, A. Merton & Arline Bozoian were very involved in the education of the young people of Middletown. Mr. "Ozzie" Bozoian, as the former principal of Middletown High School and Mrs. Arline Bozoian, as a school and Central Office administrative assistant. They left an endowment to assist young students for several years to come.

The Middletown Kiwanis Foundation's annual golf tournament proceeds are used to help fund the annual scholarship awards. This year’s tournament will be held on August 19th at Lyman’s Golf Course. The Kiwanis are seeking sponsors for this event. Anyone interested in playing or in  being a sponsor should email kiwanis.club.middletown@gmail.com for more information.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Word to the Wise


A word to all our Republican candidates:  Endorsed canidates, primary challengers and others, please keep in mind Reagan’s 11th commandment, “Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican.”

It is extraordinarily important that this commandment not be broken.  Let’s face it -- after the dust has settled, it gets swept back into the same bin, the Republican bin and we don’t need to be writing talking points for the Democrats.

Like all families, there is bound to be disagreement, bickering and so forth, but a strong, sound and wise family keeps it in-house.  We must do the same or the Democrats will have us for lunch.  Again.

I forget who said it, but “infighting is a luxury reserved for the supermajority.”   That ain’t us Republicans, folks.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

News from the Tea Party Caucus of Connecticut



Press Release
May 6, 2014



It is very exciting to announce the first slate of candidates to be endorsed by the Tea Party Caucus of the CT GOP Town Committees.  The TPC is a state-wide coalition of Republican Town Committee members dedicated to nominating and electing Conservative candidates who are committed to upholding the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Connecticut and to a smaller, less intrusive and fiscally responsible government.



By majority vote, we, the members of the Tea Party Caucus of the CT GOP Town Committees hereby endorse the following candidates:



For Treasurer – Bob Eick

Bob’s decades of experience in capital investment and business management is what is needed in Connecticut, today.  He has a proven track record of private sector success that can we can “capitalize” on.  Bob will put our fiscal house in order, assuring the soundness of our pension and other investments.



For Attorney General – Kie Westby

Former Marine and Wesleyan University grad, Kie stands for repeal of the State income tax and abandoning Common Core, leaving education decisions in the hands of local school districts and the voters.  He pledges to use the Constitution as “an operations manual” and to support the Bill of Rights.



For Secretary of the State – Peter Lumaj

Peter escaped Communist Albania along with three of his brothers.  His parents and seven other siblings were not so lucky and suffered greatly at the hands of the communist government.  Having actually seen and endured political persecution that actually cost lives gives Peter a unique perspective.  He will diligently protect the integrity of the election process and uphold and defend our Constitutions.



For Lieutenant Governor – Penny Bacchiochi

Penny’s years of service as Representative to Stafford Springs give her the knowledge and experience needed to be an effective liaison between the Governor’s office and the legislature.  She will stand up against high taxes, job-killing over regulation, and federal control over education while working to create a business friendly environment that is conducive to job growth and preserving our civil rights.



For Governor – Martha Dean

A nationally known, highly successful and well respected attorney, Martha will reign in an out of control and over reaching state government that is apathetic to the needs and plight of our Citizens, including Justina Pelletier.  She has worked in business and constitutional law, is an advocate for preserving the environment and wants to overhaul the family law system (that is currently failing our state’s families) and to preserve the civil rights of all Connecticut residents.  Martha will get our fiscal house in order, work to reduce business crippling regulation, repair and modernize our state transportation system and assure local control over our children’s education.



All of these candidates recognize the connection between the Right of every Citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and the State and a free and open society where liberty is preserved for all.  Without the Second Amendment to the US Constitution and Article 1, Section 15 of the Connecticut Constitution, all other civil rights are in jeopardy of falling to the whims or tyranny of the powerful.  This slate of candidates will assure that future generations have the Right and opportunity to defend themselves, their families and the State.



This team represents Connecticut’s best hope for reversing decades of legislative and administrative mismanagement.  Their goals and values are similar, enabling them to work in harmony toward creating a prosperous, well educated, free and safe state where all Citizens can enjoy the blessings of Liberty.



William Boylan

Chairman

Monday, May 05, 2014

Penny for CT Event!

http://www.pennyforct.com/events

Middletown

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 04:30 PM · $25.00 USD
Tommy's Pizza in Middletown, CT
Please Join:
Hon. Dan Carter
Craig Fishbein
Hon. Craig Miner
William Wilson
Brain Saucier
Bob Ferguson
Dom Basile
Amy Stegall
Mike Ninteau
Matt Zurell
Brook Cheney
Ann Morse (show all)

Spring Veteran's Events in Middletown

Veterans Events in the next few weeks
 
Thursday – Saturday
April 24 – 27
9:00 am
American Legion Service Officers
Post 75, 58 Bernie O’Rourke Drive
All veterans welcome
Tuesday, May 6
8:30 - 10 am.
Diversity Week, Middletown High School.  Asking for veterans who experienced discrimination because of military service, to visit classes.
Contact Ken McClellan or Trevor Charles (smarrist@aol.com) for information.
Friday, May 9
9:00 am
DAV Service Officer
Post 75, 58 Bernie O’Rourke Drive
All veterans welcome
Tuesday, May 22
7:00 pm
Council of Veterans meeting
Post 75, 58 Bernie O’Rourke Drive
Saturday, May 24
1:00 pm
5-War Memorial Dedication
Veterans Green, Washington Street
Sunday, May 25
1:00 pm
Westfield Memorial Day Parade
Fire Station, East Street and Miner Street Cemetery
Monday, May 26
10:30 am
Middletown Memorial Day Parade
Main Street, Middletown
Line-up starting at 9:30
Monday, May 26
Noon
Memorial Day Ceremony on South Green
Union Street & Main Street
Monday, May 26
2:00 pm
Memorial Day Ceremony at the State Veterans Cemetery
Bowe Lane
Sunday, June 1
1:00 pm
D-Day Remembrance.  70th Anniversary
Elks Club
 
 
Thanks,
Ken McClellan
Adjutant, Middletown Council of Veterans

Shakespeare Slam and Masked Bash, May 10, 2014

ARTFARM’s Shakespeare Slam and Masked Bash, May 10, 2014
Contact: Dic Wheeler, (860) 346-4390, dic@art-farm.org
Photo attached by Ben Jordan of Elise Springer performing at the 2013 Shakespeare Slam.
 
Middletown’s ARTFARM will be celebrating Shakespeare’s 450th birthday with unorthodox Shakespeare performances, live music, food, wine, local beer, costumed Elizabethan characters and a rooftop organic wine tasting. The 5th Shakespeare Slam and Elizabethan Birthday Bash will be on Saturday, May 10 at 7 pm at the Community Health Center in Middletown.
ARTFARM's Shakespeare Slam and Birthday Bash is a unique event – part performance, part party -- which centers on presentations of shorts pieces of Shakespeare by performers of all shapes and sizes, each of whom has been sponsored by generous patrons. One can attend as a Performer, a Patron, a Partygoer or, this year, as a Guest of Dionysus.
 
“The SlamBash is a really fun way for people to help ARTFARM raise the funds that it takes to produce professional Shakespeare in the summer, while having a fantastic evening and celebrating 2 big birthdays,” says Artistic Director Marcella Trowbridge. “In July we will be producing King Lear, featuring Middletown based actor and local legend John Basinger, who turns 80 on the night of the Slam, as Lear. Shakespeare in the Grove would not be possible without the performers, spectators and patrons who bring their energy and spirit to the Shakespeare Slam. The Community Health Center is a beautiful new venue to toast John’s 80th and Will’s 450th -- especially the organic wine tasting in the rooftop garden.”
 
“Guests of Dionysus” can start the party an hour early with an Organic Wine Tasting from 6 – 7 pm in the Health Center’s exquisite rooftop garden. Hosted by Organic Vintages, “Guests of Dionysus” will enjoy a selection of fine organic wines – both local and imported – while chatting with ARTFARM company members and enjoying one of the best views available of Middletown and the river valley. “Guests of Dionysus” must purchase their tickets in advance. The $50 “Guest of Dionysus” rate includes SlamBash admission.  
 
Tickets for the Shakespeare Slam and Birthday Bash are $25 for adults, and $15 for anyone 25 years of age or younger. Performers attend for free, but must have collected a minimum of $50 in Sponsorships in order to perform. Prizes will be awarded to the performers who generate the greatest amount of Sponsorship. Tickets include food, drink and entertainment.
 
Slam performers are still being solicited, and can register to perform as late as Monday, May 5.  Anyone – young or old, professional or amateur, actor, dancer, singer, performance artist or accountant – is encouraged to perform any piece of Shakespeare, up to 2 minutes in length. Wild interpretations are especially encouraged.
 
For more information, tickets, or to register as a performer, contact ARTFARM at (860) 346-4390 or email info@art-farm.org. Sponsor forms and performer guidelines can be downloaded at www.art-farm.org.
 
Proceeds from the Shakespeare Slam and Masked Ball support ARTFARM’s ninth season of Shakespeare in the Grove. This year’s Shakespeare production will be King Lear, presented outdoors at Middlesex Community College July 1727.
 
The Community Health Center is located at 675 Main Street in Middletown. 

Middletown and the Middletown Council of Veterans Memorial Day Parade

The City of Middletown and the Middletown Council of Veterans will be sponsoring the annual Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 26, 2014.  The theme this year is Honoring Disabled Veterans.The parade will start at 10:30 am at Spring and Main Street, move south on Main Street to the South Green.There will be a ceremony on the South Green after the parade.
Our annual parade honors all veterans of military service and we welcome participation by veterans, patriotic, educational and civic organizations, youth groups, businesses and anyone who will help us honor veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice in military service.  We hope you will join us!
The parade will start at
If your group wishes to participate, please complete the attached application and return by April 30, 2014. Parade instructions will be distributed 2 weeks prior to the parade.
For more information, please contact:
Ken McClellan, 860-346-4876
Or visit the Middletown Council of Veterans.  We meet at 7pm the 4th Tuesday of each month at American Legion Post 75, 58 Bernie O’Rourke Drive

Letter to the Editor: BOE Combined City Service Agreement Has Holes

Editorial submitted by Linda Salafia, former City Councilwoman.
--------------------

There is a workshop scheduled for Monday at 5:30 concerning the sharing of services between the City and the BOE. Seems to me that under Mayor Giuliano’s administration that this question was raised about combining services and was summarily dismissed. Part of the history of the famous or infamous lawsuit brought by the BOE against the City (yes, the BOE filed the lawsuit) was a direct result of the BOE wanting to maintain complete autonomy from the City. Now it seems like it’s a good idea. In all honesty, I don’t know if it’s going to be a cost saving measure any more or not.


Background: I worked for the City for 25 years in various positions; I held various union positions over those years; and I sat on the CC for one term. In my work capacity, I handled the payroll for the City side. Way back, the City and BOE financial activities used the same program purchased as a package but then modified over the years by in-house programmers to meet the needs of each office. However, the problem lies in that only the programmers who wrote the programs can really fix or handle any issues that may arise; not a good situation to be in. Several years ago the City purchased a new financial software program and went through the painful process of switching over. This means that the City Finance is no longer tied to it’s own programmers but is now tied to the company’s programmers. It seems to have worked although there are limitations as with any program; you get what you pay for but as they get requests for new things, new things get developed. This was very expensive undertaking and requires a continued relationship with the software developers.

The BOE continued with their “old” program but remember that the BOE is only one line in the City’s budget. Also, the payroll process was not switched over. Background: The City pays it’s employees (everyone including the Police and Fire) while the BOE pays those that work on that side including the certified and classified employees. Without going into a long dissertation, the financial program that the City had choosen for it’s new financial package could not handle the City’s payroll. It was actually designed for board of educations that pay people on a different schedule and on a set scale (overtime and the FLSA rules wrecked havoc with it). Also, the City maintains and administers it’s own pension system and therefore needs to have access to complete payroll histories which is not the same process as when pensions are handled by other entities (there you send off the info each month and are done with it, not so for the City where you actually print checks to your retirees).

Now I am thinking that the workshop scheduled for Monday is going to be used to present the benefits of again changing the financial accounting program to again another program. This is probably going to sound wonderful; however, I have reservations. First it’s going to be a very tedious and frustrating to do: every number is going to have to be examined and switched over to the new system, costly and time consuming. Secondly, have the users really been given a chance to weigh in on the new program; unless you are doing the work, you really don’t understand what it involved. Third, is it really worth spending the money now? Would it be better to change the BOE over to the system that the City is using instead? Why must the City change again? What exactly are we trying to accomplish with this change? What are the options?

The City’s budget has to be approved by May 15th. To be frank, I have a ton of questions about it and especially the BOE’s budget. I know from past experience that the BOE had it’s own way of doing things (hence the infamous/famous lawsuit) and now is trying (I think / hope) to change it’s methods but it’s going to take time. However, my gut reaction is to correct past mistakes first before venturing into new territory such as shared services and changing the financial programming.

Of course, since I’m out of the loop these days (ie not on the Common Council or in the union anymore) maybe shared services means canceling the Sodecxo contract and merging with Public Works to maintain the BOE schools and facilities. Considering that technically the City owns the buildings and is responsible for capital projects (BOE is responsible for education and operating expenses), that might be a great idea.

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