Looking back at fall 2012

By Lauri Voter - Staff Writer
Region - posted Thu., Jan. 3, 2013
The second annual Farm Day was held Sept. 9 in Heritage Park. File photos.
The second annual Farm Day was held Sept. 9 in Heritage Park. File photos.

Farm Day in Stafford Springs bridged the gap between summer and fall 2012. The event, in its second year, was held in Heritage Park on Sept. 9. Organized by Kim Milikowski of Foster Hill Farm and presented by the Stafford Rotary Club, the event featured farming exhibits and farm-related vendors, as well as community and civic group displays.

Ashford was the final frontier on Sept. 14, when astronomers of all ages were able to learn more about space from astrophysicist Kevin Manning. The family-oriented program, “Astronomy for Everyone – Size and Scale of the Universe,” was held at Babcock Library. Handouts were provided to explain what is seen in the night sky. For more information, visit www.lookuptothestars.com.

On Sept. 23, nine Connecticut residents and original members of the Civilian Conservation Corps, their family and friends, gathered for a 79th reunion of the CCC at the CCC Museum in Stafford Springs. The event was coordinated by East Hampton resident Martin Podskoch, an historian whose book, “Adirondack Civilian Conservation Corps Camps: History, Memories & Legacy of the CCC,” was recently published and is available from booksellers. The nine guest speakers at the reunion each shared some of their memories of their time in the CCC.

A few volunteer members of Stafford Ambulance took time out of their busy schedules on Oct. 2 to talk about what they do in the ambulance corps, and to reach out to members of the community to expand their volunteer base. With the average age of volunteers being approximately 40s to 50s, said volunteer Levi Schneider, one of the goals of the SAA is to recruit new, young volunteers who will help fortify the corps and eventually step into key leadership roles. For more information about volunteering, visit staffordambulance.org.

The first Our Companions Domestic Animal Sanctuary cottage officially opened its doors in Ashford on Monday, Oct. 15. The cottage was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by local dignitaries, donors, volunteers and a myriad of those closest to the project, all of whom were thanked by Our Companions CEO Susan Linker. By completing phase 1 and building the first cottage, said Linker, the project is “realized.” For more information, visit www.ourcompanions.org.

In October, the co-founders of Insight Paranormal Agency of Stafford – Tony Diana and his daughter, Christina Sirhal – said that they first started ghost-hunting for fun. As fans of ghost-hunting shows, they decided to conduct an investigation for a friend who said she was experiencing paranormal activity. “In preparation for that, we actually went to the cemetery with a digital recorder,” said Diana, saying they wanted to practice, since they were going to develop video for a Halloween party.

As it turns out, “there were actually voices on it,” he said. The Insight group now takes investigation seriously as it researches ongoing claims of paranormal activity. For more information or to contact the group, visit necromare.net/insight2.html, e-mail insight@necromare.net or follow them on Facebook.

In 2012, the town of Willington's new town historian, Joe Froehlich, a retired Connecticut state trooper, in conjunction with his former colleague, retired Sgt. Jerry Longo of the Connecticut State Police (CSP), coordinated an historical presentation, “The History of the Connecticut State Police,” which was presented by Longo at the Willington Public Library on Nov. 1. “I think it’s important for the community in general to know about the history of the state police,” said Froehlich. “It shows the progression. Just like our country has progressed from 1903 to 2012, so has the state police.”

Longo is currently the president of the Connecticut State Police Alumni Association. He and members of the CSPAA opened the first Connecticut State Police Museum in June 2012. It is located in Meriden.

On Nov. 9, Connecticut resident and paranormal photographer Julie Griffin presented some of her work at “Ghostly Photographs,” an event held at Babcock Library in Ashford. Griffin’s presentation was based on her newly-released book of the same name. “Ghostly Photographs” is available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as through the publisher, authorhouse.com. “They’re ghost stories you can see with your own eyes,” said Griffin.

In November, Ashford resident Chris German discussed Connecticut Community Boating, a non-profit organization he founded. From aboard a boat in Bridgeport, where CCB is docked, he shared an interesting statistic – that only residents of Connecticut’s 39 coastal towns have boating access from Connecticut’s shoreline.

“The mission and purpose of Connecticut Community Boating is to be able to create a mechanism in this state so that you didn’t have to live in one of these towns along the coast, and be able to access this resource which all of our property taxes go to pay for,” said German. For more information about CCB’s mission and programs, visit ctcommunityboating.org, follow CCB on Facebook or call 1-855-99BOATS.

In December, the state of Connecticut Environmental Conservation Police discussed its many roles, Stafford High School's music department held its 26th annual Madrigal Feaste, and the town of Stafford rang in the holiday season with its annual Winterfest parade.

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