Unsigned editorials are the consensus opinion of the editorial staff and publisher. Commentary pieces express the opinion of the writer and not necessarily the opinion of the Drummer.
Roundabout Project Objection
It seems to me that the state has the cart before the horse when it comes to the Five Corners roundabout project. A roundabout may turn out to be unnecessary if all that is needed is better visibility of oncoming traffic from the south side of Rte. 10/202. This suggests that the project be split into two parts. The first step would be to remove the hill on Rte. 10/202 and see if the accident rate drops off somewhat. If it doesn’t then maybe a roundabout might be considered.
Since the accident rate at the intersection of Rte. 10/202 and East Street and Notch Road is not excessive, three or four accidents per year with no fatalities, then it would appear that a small correction to the visibility is all that is necessary to fix a rather small problem. If the state were to put the roundabout in without removing the vision impairment of the hill first then I can see drivers heading north on Rte.10/202 coming over the hill and suddenly becoming aware of the upcoming obstruction of the roundabout. That would cause weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The project is very expensive, $3 to $4 million. That works out to about $1 million for each accident if we were to write the whole project off in one year. That is another reason to hold up on the roundabout until it is clear that it is needed.
Certainly most of us can think of another place in the Connecticut highway system that is more deserving of state attention than the roundabout at the Five Corners intersection. It appears the state and the feds have more of our money than they need.
Clarifying roundabout rules
This comment pertains to the May article: “DOT presents plans for Five Corners roundabout.”
You write: “Incoming drivers have the right-of-way and those already in the circle yield to the incoming.” This may be incorrect.
I did a search to confirm my comments at the Connecticut DOT website: “Modern roundabouts follow the “yield-at-entry” rule in which approaching vehicles must wait for a gap in the circulating flow before entering the circle.” “Yield to traffic already in the roundabout.”
From William W. Britnell, Principal Engineer, Connecticut DOT: The reader is correct, the statement is incorrect. Drivers entering a roundabout yield to traffic already in the roundabout. However, this can be confusing to older drivers who may have been taught and driven through the old rotaries where (sometimes) the entering traffic had the right of way, due to the “yield to the right” rule. To help with this, modern roundabouts have “Yield” signs posted on each approach (typically on both the left and right sides for extra emphasis) to clarify who has the right of way.
Mystery Photo prizes prized
Last October I was the winner of the Mystery Photo Contest, and claimed my prize package of a Granby Drummer embossed glass mug, a key chain with an LED light and a multi-purpose tote, among other things.
Since then I relocated to Arizona and use the prize winnings all the time. They remind me of Granby and the many years participating in the community, raising a child through a good school system, belonging to an active church and enjoying the wonderful landscape Granby has to offer—bears included.
I feel fortunate to have spent well over 25 years in Granby and met lovely residents along the way. While I have basically moved across the nation, I will always have fond memories of my time in Granby, and have a key chain to remind me.
Thank you, Drummer, for being an integral part of the community culture.
An article, “Residents comment on two town-owned properties” in the May issue of the Drummer prompted some memories of the old firehouse. It is also known to some in town as the “old ambulance barn.”
As I understand its history, the Hayes family gave the land to the LAFD back in the days when fire apparatus was actually garaged well up on Lost Acres Road near Horace Clark’s house, Clark being the individual who gave Granby its first fire engine in 1936. It’s the one featured in the annual Memorial Day parades. The building was put up in the 1940s in an attempt to get response a bit closer to the action. Newton Lyons and family lived in the apartment upstairs and kept an eye on things.
In 1963, with the formation of the Granby Ambulance Association, the LAFD folks generously allowed the GAA to garage its first vehicle there, a 1954 low-top Cadillac that, to the uninitiated, looked much like a hearse. In 1965 the Hayeses again came through with land for the current North Granby fire house on North Granby road.
By the late 1960s, the LAFD had mostly moved out. I’m afraid that the GAA would have to plead guilty for the needed door replacement. In 1976, it graduated to a new large ambulance and needed the doors as wide as possible so they were “modified”. The GAA bought land, built a new facility (since expanded), and moved its operation out in 1981.
I’m not sure who has title now but I can attest to the fact that, while modest in size and facilities, it has “come in handy” on occasion. It’s reassuring to know that this building was constructed and occupied by volunteers and was well used by them.
Editor’s Note: The building (at 365 North Granby Road) is now owned by the Town of Granby.
Support for Granby farms
As the Chairperson of Granby’s Agricultural Commission, I often speak with people who express support for the agricultural nature of Granby and the many working farms we have in town. Not only do the working farms contribute to our sense of identity in Granby, they also pay taxes and are part of the vast open space that gives Granby its special feel. Residents of Granby have veggies, fruit, cow and goat dairy products and many different kinds meat, all produced right here in town using farming practices that not only produce healthy food but also sustain the environment.
Granby is special in that the community truly wants to support their local farms. But what is the best way to do this? Well, do you know that seven farms in town have farm stores? That’s right—Maple View Farm, The Garlic Farm, Holcomb Farm, Clark Farm at Bushy Hill, Lost Acres Vineyard, Lost Acres Orchard and Sweet Pea Cheese all have farm stores, many are open seasonally seven days a week with hours from early morning to evening. When I hear that it is not convenient to shop at our farms, I wonder if people realize that all these farm stores exist. Yes, you might have to go to two or three farms to get all your shopping done, but you can do so at your convenience. And if you shop strategically you can probably support many local farms with only one or two stops, as many farms carry products from their neighboring farms.
Social media is a great way to give your local farms and neighbors a shout out. Have you “liked” Granby Ag on Facebook? Most of the farms have Facebook pages you can follow too. Go to each page and give a review, like and share their posts and write your own comments about your experiences with that farm.
Another way to support your local farms is to participate in events such as Open Farm Day, Holcomb Farm’s Progressive Dinner, Maple View Farm’s Open Barn programs, Cabot Open Farm Day at House of Hayes at Sweet Pea Farm, just to name a few.
Want to get even more involved? Attend an Ag Commission meeting and volunteer. We would love to have some help on Open Farm Day, or someone to help with the Locally Grown column in the Granby Drummer, or someone to add content to the Granby Ag website.
In closing, let’s all work together to support our local farms businesses so Granby will continue to have such a vibrant farming community.
Gratitude for Granby
The American Legion extends their congratulations to the Granby Lions Club for its fine donation and installation of a traditional gazebo on our Town’s green. The Granby Lions Club, like the American Legion, consistently strives to improve and to better the quality of life in Granby for all our citizens.
James O. Hall, Adjutant
Shannon-Shattuck Post No. 182
Best use of tax dollars?
In response to the letter to the editor in the February issue titled, Best use of Tax Dollars.
Having a very strong opinion that the tax dollars of this town paid by taxpayers like you and me are not being used in a fiscally responsible manner, it does appear as if the financial decisions made by the DPW and our town are not made in the best interest of the taxpayers as much as they have been in the best interest of the DPW. Spending taxpayers dollars to replace an assigned 2015 F-350 truck, customized for his liking, with a 2016 Ford Explorer XLT several months after cutting $11,000 from the salt budget and eliminating one person for seasonal maintenance in our parks, along with other cuts does not seem to be fiscally responsible.
When I questioned the Board of Finance regarding this purchase, the reply I received was “with the need to respond locally at job sites and for business travel it is deemed practical to have a less (lower) fuel consumption vehicle than a truck,” further stating “a vehicle needed to be added to the fleet.” In my opinion, a Ford Edge would do the same job as the Ford Explorer while saving taxpayers additional money in cost and fuel.
When I questioned why this vehicle was not listed in the 2015/16 fiscal year budget and where the money came from to purchase it, the reply I received was “Expenditure may carry over for a couple months into the subsequent fiscal year, all purchases are budgeted within the approved budget.” Yet, this vehicle is not listed. If money was left over from last year’s budget, you and I would think it would have gone towards reducing this year’s budget instead of the “use it or lose it” approach our town seems to have. Lack of transparency and not the best use of taxpayers’ dollars.
More on Dr. O’Leary
Last month I wrote an article about the retirement of Dr. Liam O’Leary, one of Granby’s prominent veterinarians. There is another personal incident that I would like to relate to indicate how well known is his expertise in horse lameness.
In the early ‘90s, I developed an unusual lung problem that was very difficult to diagnose. Several doctors remained unsure and wanted to do exploratory surgery. Not liking the sound of that, I tried one more pulmonologist here in the Hartford area before I gave in to my husband, who wanted to take me to Boston or New York.
At one point in our discussion, this last doctor in Hartford proposed a possible diagnosis. My husband quipped, “Well, that’s what her veterinarian thinks,” expecting a wise crack to follow from the doctor. Instead, without a moment’s hesitation, and in all seriousness, the doctor asked, “Who is your vet?” and I answered “Liam O’Leary,” to which he replied, “Good man! My wife won’t let anyone else touch her horses’ legs.” His wife was a serious hunter/jumper competitor and the couple lived in Ansonia.
Should the transfer station be privatized?
We were able to obtain, through a Freedom of Information request, a copy of the Public Works Budget Worksheets for 2015-16. These worksheets detail, on a line item basis, the actual and proposed costs for operating DPW by subdivision.
One section that particularly stood out was the operating cost of the Transfer Station. The worksheet listed the activity at $92,000 plus another $18,500 for payroll. These activities include permits, clothing for the workers, various recycling charges and more than $57,000 in dumpster hauling fees paid to Paine’s. Further investigation found the hauling to be closer to $70,000.
For comparison, the Town of Simsbury Transfer Station is managed totally by Paine’s at no cost to the town. Paine’s sets the fees and operating hours. If we round off the cost of the Granby Transfer Station to $125,000, why not “recycle” those dollars back to the taxpayers and contract out the management?
Bill and Susan Regan
A piece of history vanishing
I have read with concern and sadness Bob Endter’s letter to the Drummer last month about the present dilapidated, plundered and decaying condition of his former residence on Fox Road in West Granby. The Endter family was exceedingly careful about the way they treated this historic dwelling house over their long tenure there. I was worried when the state took over the property in 2008 about what would happen to this historic structure, and my worst fears seem to have come to pass.
An architectural history firm stated in 2010 that the house was built in the 1800–1830 range. I, however, had long since unearthed evidence that the dwelling may well have dated back to 1783, and thus is one of the oldest, or perhaps the oldest extant dwelling house in West Granby. Whatever the case, as the state’s report itself recognized, domestic structures of that sort (one-and-one-half stories, as opposed to the classic two-and-one-half story “colonial” style) are rare because their owners over the decades were generally not wealthy enough to provide regular upkeep of the very features that make them valuable historically (fireplaces, paneling, wide-board floors, plaster, etc.). They are rare, yes, but very important historically because, as scholars have come to understand, that is the type of dwelling in which most late-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century New England families resided.
It is necessary for a society to understand its history, and to do that we need to preserve pieces of the past, such as the house on Fox Road, to help us envision how the people of the past lived. The wave of farming families of limited means who flooded into West Granby’s hills after the American Revolution were a truculently independent people whose heritage included fundamental elements of American culture, including the family farm and an egalitarian version of democracy. It is too bad that the DEEP has failed to preserve this house, a symbol of that heritage—although there is still plenty of it left that is worth saving. Perhaps our local officials could step up and speak on behalf of a community that values its history and work with DEEP to save what’s left.
[Note: Williams is the author of the most recent history of Granby, A Tempest in a Small Town.]
These days religion is a major topic on many fronts: from families who have abandoned weekly attendance at church due to hectic schedules, individuals who have found renewed or change of faith, people who have lost spiritual belief, to those who use their sphere of worship as a "war room" in condemnation of those of other opposing creeds or cultures.
Susan Regan, host of CT Valley Views, explores with Reverend Dr. Virginia McDaniel the transformation of First Congregational Church of Granby from a self-serving entity to an "open and affirming congregation.". As pastor of the church for the past four years, Reverend McDaniel has seen a definitive outreach to the community instigated by the congregation itself that includes a community vegetable garden, meal offerings every Sunday and most recently has established an annual "Day of Remembrance" to honor the memory of those murdered because of anti-transgender prejudice. Pastor McDaniel candidly shares her experience as a participant in the "Black Lives Matter" event Oct. 5 in Hartford and the objectives of demonstration.
All programs are available on the CTVV website: www.ctvalleyviews.com
CT Valley Views is an award winning, independently produced Public Access TV show series and is seen in 22 towns on Cox/Enfield, Windsor, Simsbury, Nutmeg, and Hartford Public Access stations.
As you all know, Connecticut has a medical marijuana law that allows for medicinal use under certain conditions. Our state has also removed jail time for possessing small amounts of marijuana. The decriminalization has lead to increases in cases of accidental exposure of pets across the country and in our practice. Colorado has seen a four fold increase in marijuana toxicosis cases in dogs since the law changed. The ASPCA's poison control hotline received 352 calls about marijuana in 2013, up from 155 in 2006. As a result, veterinarians need to be aware of this growing problem. Pet owners are often unwilling to admit to the possibility of marijuana intoxication so veterinarians must recognize the clinical signs early and ask the right questions.
Marijuana, from the Cannabis sativa plant, contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that greatly affects receptors in the brain as well as various neurotransmitters. Animals can exhibit behavioral signs after about 30 minutes of ingestion and these signs can last up to three days. Dogs show a variety of clinical signs such as disorientation, tremors, hyperactivity and staggering gait. There can also be gastrointestinal signs that include hypersalivation and vomiting. The curious clinical sign that we have observed is sudden urinary incontinence. The urine will literally fall out of these dogs as they try to walk or lay in their kennel. A severe overdose of THC can result in low blood pressure, seizure, coma and even death. Treatment for THC poisoning usually involves supportive care with IV fluids, gastric intubation with activated charcoal, and tranquilizers if the patient is agitated. Life threatening clinical signs are less common but can occur. The deaths from THC intoxication that have been reported are from ingestion of marijuana butter. The concentration of THC is very high in the MJ butter and very serious intoxications can result from small ingestions of this butter (or baked goods made from this butter). Critically ill animals can have respiratory depression, low blood pressure, slow heart rates, and require intensive care as well as an antidote called intravenous lipid emulsion.
Thankfully, we have not seen severe cases in our practice as of yet. Hopefully with rapid recognition of clinical signs by the veterinarian (and clients that are forthcoming with the potential of marijuana exposure), we will manage these cases with supportive care.
By Marilyn Sponzo
First Congregational Church of Granby and South Congregational Church are partnering to offer
a series of conversations on racism in America. The program is based on “Sacred Conversation on Race,” an initiative of the United Church of Christ, the denomination to which both churches belong.
The program will use a three-pronged approach to explore issues of race, privilege and systemic inequality in America. First, Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority, a provocative, candid analysis of white privilege by Tim Wise, will be the subject of parallel discussions at First Church on Oct. 18 and 25, and at South Church on Oct. 11 and Nov. 15. Second, both churches have available tickets for the CT Forum on Race at the Bushnell on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m.; panelists will include Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center; Wes Moore, author, speaker and founder of BridgeEdU; and Jessica Williams, writer, actress, comedian and correspondent on The Daily Show. Finally, both churches will host a joint follow-up conversation, to be held Dec. 6 from 4 to 6 p.m. at South Church.
In explaining the need for this program, Rev. Dr. Virginia McDaniel, senior pastor of First Church, noted that black teenagers are 21 times more likely to be killed by police than white teenagers, black Americans are 10 times more likely to be arrested for possession of marijuana than whites although their rates of use are identical, and black Americans killed by police are twice as likely to be unarmed as white people. She commented, “I find those statistics staggering. For most of us at a personal level, we do believe in the equality and dignity of people of all races and backgrounds. Few harbor attitudes of overt bigotry or prejudice. But the safety and well-being of black Americans is affected by systems and forces far larger than any of our own personal attitudes—and we can make a difference when we confront the issue.”
Rev. Denny Moon, senior minister of South Church, noted, “My sense is that we first need to listen, to discover how white privilege affects each of us and to understand what it is like to live in the skin of urban people of color living in the shadow of poverty and violence. I see our discussions as a way of opening our ears and our hearts.”
For more information on this joint program, contact First Church at 860-653-4537 or South Church at 860-653-7289. All are welcome.
There is a new man on the conservative team — J.R. Romano, Chairman of the Conn. Republican Party. He's young and indefatigable, yet comes into this new position with an "old soul" experience that has re-energized his conservative party.
He's likable, astute and dedicated to taking on the challenge of educating and informing Connecticut’s citizens in what needs to be done to, as he sees it, reverse the travesties that have occurred under liberal leadership.
Susan Regan, host of CT Valley Views has an in depth interview with Romano to discuss the strategy and tactics he plans to execute in order to meet the goals of the Republican mission: "Promote Republican values and ideas, elect candidates that support and promote these values and ideas. Help them lead effectively based on our common principles. Those principles are more individual freedom and less government interference."
See this segment on Cox/Enfield Channel 15 and Frontier Digital TV Channel 99 Friday, October 2 and 9, at 6 p.m. and Saturday, October 2 and 9, at 10 a.m.
All programs are available on the CTVV website: www.ctvalleyviews.com
PURA, the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, is a three-member quasi-judicial body that oversees and regulates the state's electricity, natural gas, water and telecommunications companies. This agency has significant responsibility for monitoring industries that economically impact virtually 100 percent of the state's citizens, private and public commercial enterprises, as well as municipal budgets.
Michael Caron, a commissioner for PURA since his appointment in 2012 by Governor Malloy, has a deep-bench resume well suited to meeting the goals and challenges established for his office and staff.
Susan Regan, host of CT Valley Views, conducts an informative interview with Caron, identifying the PURA’s key role in protecting Conn.’s residents, parameters of jurisdiction and current legislative objectives. Be sure to see this CTVV segment to be a well-informed consumer on the CTVV website: www.ctvalleyviews.com
Women are the "caretakers" of the family whether for aging parents, an ailing sibling or partner, a friend or their children no matter what age and put themselves in danger by always prioritizing the needs of others.
Saint Francis Hospital reinforced its leadership role in the medical industry in 2013 by founding the Women's Comprehensive Health Center adjacent to its long established Medical Center in Hartford.
Breast Cancer, a leading cause of death for women claims 40,000+ lives annually in the U.S. With this in mind, the Saint Francis Comprehensive Health Center's initial focus has been identifying and treating the causes of this disease with a facility dedicated to bringing the optimum health services for women via a coordinated team of specialized practitioners. One of those is Dr. Niamey Wilson, Director of the Hoffman Breast Health Center at Saint Francis.
Join Susan Regan, host of Ct Valley Views, as she and Dr. Wilson explore the vast array of medical treatment options available in this exclusive and state of the art facility so conveniently located in the center in Hartford.
Watch this informative segment on Cox/Enfield Channel 15 and Frontier Digital TV Channel 99 October 16, 23 and 30, at 6 p.m., and Saturday October 17, 24, and 31, at 10 a.m. All programs are available on the CTVV website: www.ctvalleyviews.com
The blue jay sits in the evergreen tree awaiting my opening of the back door. He seems to know that I will share with him little pieces of my hotdog roll left over from last night’s supper.
Eagerly, he grabs at the small pieces I’ve thrown on the ground. Sometimes he eats them there, other times he flies back to his nest and brings his mate.
The squirrels, ever aware of free food, hurry to get their share, too!
As I stand on the top step, I become aware of the lyrical song of birds nearby greeting the dawn—letting me know the new day has begun for them, too.
I think, then, of potential this day offers: some people may be starting vacations, other going on early morning bike rides, or later, for a swim in cool waters as the day gets hotter.
A little while later, I hear the buses go by and think of the fun the children will have at day camp.
I hurry to water my garden before it gets too hot—taking time to speak to my flowers.
All, in all, I think, today is a Blessing to be enjoyed and treasured, and I think that this is true of all of life, too.
Bernadette Gentry 2015
CTVV-Judge Robert Killian - mayoral candidate for Hartford
Judge Robert Killian is on a mission to be the Mayor of Hartford. The city has been his and his family's home for many years and he believes it is no more than two years away from Chapter 11. He is, by party, a Democrat, but in his interview with Susan Regan, Host of CT Valley Views, his perspective and objective is that realistic steps need to be taken to rein in budgetary control and work in a by-partisan way to save the Capital and its citizens.
Mr. Killian has been a Probate Judge for 37 years and, as such, has an intimate knowledge of the residents of the area, a "lay of the land" for how the law works in concert with the administration. He believes that there are formidable challenges lying ahead for not only Hartford but for the rest of the state, as well.
All programs are available on the CTVV website: www.ctvalleyviews.com