Please vote YES for this well justified budget.
see the Education Budget.
see the decreases in the Education Budget.
see increases in the Education Budget.
see the Academy costs.
Commentors, Please see campaign statement rules here.
from Steve Adams, Republican Candidate for Judge of Probate
As an observer at this morning’s meeting, it appears that the sole deciding factor for the Court location was the cost to the towns. While I agree that Putnam is better situated for the population center of the district, there was not an affordable Putnam location at this time. The only other current option to Thompson Town Hall was in Brooklyn in the Green Community Center where the Regional Children’s Probate Court is located.
In my opinion, another significant reason for locating the Court in Putnam would be the proximity to Day Kimball Hospital. The hospital is the largest consumer of services for the current Putnam Probate Court, and will be for the new consolidated district. I know this first hand as the attorney for DKH over the past couple of years, and previously as a Court-appointed advocate for elders and those incapable of managing their affairs that were patients, along with the mentally disabled being treated in the Psychiatric Inpatient Unit.
Most people do not realize that the Probate Court handles much more than just the settlement of decedent’s estates. While that may have been the bulk of the caseload for the past and current Woodstock Court, all of that will be changing for the new consolidated Court.
The jurisdiction of our Connecticut Probate Courts also includes:
- the appointment of Conservators for people unable to manage their affairs;
- custody, guardianship and termination of parental rights regarding children;
- guardianship of individuals with developmental disabilites;
- commitment to a psychiatric institution and permission to adminster psychiatric medication for individuals with mental disabilities;
- review and accountings of agents acting pursuant to powers of attorney.
It has always been my position that our Connecticut Probate Courts serve as our ‘other’ Family Courts where the needs and rights of our citizens least able to protect themselves are protected. The new consolidated district deserves a qualified, experienced, compassionate and understanding individual who has successfully served as an advocate for the people of Northeastern Connecticut. I am running for the office of Judge of Probate because I believe that I meet those criteria, and because I wish to serve and work for the public in this capacity.
This statement has been submitted by Steve Adams, who approves of this statement; Campaign Treasurer, Glenn Converse
From Cafe Admin: Campaign postings are provided for an in-kind value ($1 each). The Cafe will provide the treasurer of any candidate’s Election Committee a receipt for the in-kind value of any candidate’s statements posted here at the Cafe.
from Steve Adams
The municipal leaders of the 7 towns to be serviced by the new Northeast Connecticut Regional Probate Court voted this morning to locate the Court in Thompson Town Hall. The new consolidated Court will handle Probate matters for the towns of Ashford, Brooklyn, Eastford, Pomfret, Putnam, Thompson and Woodstock, and will start operating in January 2011.
For what it’s worth, here is the most recent published tax return, pages 1 and 2, and the last page, filed by the Woodstock Agricultural Society. Just $10,000 in scholarships (see last page).
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from Harry Stefan
To radically change the subject, I heard that the Fair Association charged $6,000 for use of the grounds for the recent cancer fund raiser – “Walk for Life.” Any one know anything about that?
“They spent months warning the world of the apocalypse, some giving away earthly belongings or draining their savings accounts. And so they waited, vigilantly, on Saturday for the appointed hour to arrive.”
“When 6 p.m. came and went across the continental U.S. and various spots around the globe, and no extraordinary cataclysm occurred, some believers expressed confusion, while others reassured each of their faith. Still, some others took it in stride.”
dbrownie provides some important post-rapture planning below
Maybe I should change my plans for the day. Usually I go to the dump (pardon me, the transfer station) a little after 10 AM. But what’s the point? I wonder if the trash goes with me to wherever I am going. I was also going to mow the front lawn but now I don’t have to I guess. It’s a good thing this is coming before we have to pay our taxes. Does God use AM and PM? Maybe Becki and I will hold hands at 6 PM but she may be going to a better place .
“It must be obvious to you how we all live together on one Earth and how absurd it is that we fight and kill each one,” Pope Benedict XVI said today.
The Pope also said that the Cafe’ers are exempt.
The Killingly school budget was approved by 6 votes. Recount will be completed in the next week. See the Norwich Bull.
…I want to make sure that everyone understands – I believe that Killingly is doing the correct thing for the students and that the new building was needed.
I was stating what others have been saying and will present that side of the discussion.
We both agree that the economic timing is very unfortunate for everyone involved.
The OLD KHS building is a 1960s design and build. There are many issues and if I understand from some friends the building was sited in the accreditation reviews as needing some updating. Thus the push to get a new school built. The new school along with the laptops is helping to get some of the Brooklyn kids to attend KHS for their education. As we have seen in the WA budget process the ability to use students outside of the normal towns is a HUGE plus for the balancing of the books. So anything that Killingly can do to entice more students from Brooklyn to attend is in their favor. Comment from Ron
Killingly tax payers are revolting about the increases to their taxes because of the new school. There is a $1million start up cost that is part of this years school budget. There are complaints about the old building still needing services (read janitors and others) to keep it up and running thus adding to the costs to the town in additional employees. Many of these “facts” where hidden/not fully explained as part of the due diligence process.
The new fields look great, but because of limited budget in the building process the main field inside of the track is scheduled to be used for Football, Field Hockey, boys and girls soccer. The important note is that there is no watering system for the field and that it’s a grass field that has only had one year of growing/rooting. So come back around the last week of Oct to see if the field is not a large area of mud.
Once they allow general public access to the grounds you should go and take a look at what is really there. My understanding is that there are very limited practice areas for all of the sports unlike what the current KHS facility has. Also with the proposed cuts, I know that bus issues will surface yet again. And the current proposed Killingly cuts have all of the JV and lower sports programs removed… Can’t wait to see what happens if the proposed budget has to be rolled back to a 0% increase… Read today’s NB article to see the numbers.
There is a lot to be said about keeping the costs of the school on the students and not into new buildings if the facility can handle the student population. WA was upgraded 20 years ago to handle 900 but today it has 1200. That is one of the reasons that the sewer project is required now.
I am watching as Killingly schools are projecting on the next budget to cut 37 positions with 14 of them being teachers mostly from the elementary schools. IMO I believe that the focus of the cuts at the younger ages is because of HS accreditation concerns.
So where is the money best spent? On facilities or on the facility and services for the students… If the building can house the students and keep the class sizes in the low 20’s…
Yes some of the people behind the scenes did push through a new building but was it the best answer?
I read an article, I think it was the Villager, that said if Killingly went with a renovation project it would only be reimbursed about 50% of the cost incurred. With a new construction project 80% of the cost was paid by the state (taxpayers). Back in 2000-01 when Killingly was looking into the idea of having a regional high school project, Woodstock BOE and Supt. were invited to attend a meeting with the Killingly BOE building committee for preliminary discussions. That whole issue of building a regional high school to serve the students of Brooklyn, Killingly, Pomfret, Woodstock etc. went over like a giant lead balloon. No one believed back then that regionalization would ever work out. Too many people feared the loss of control over their domains and the idea of building a cooperative high school rapidly vanished. Of course had the this come to pass, Woodstock and surrounding area students all could have been entering this new facility in the fall.
There is a big story here, perhaps an epic story… but I can’t find it on the Internet. There must be a group of true heroes in Killingly who pulled off this remarkable feat. I say that this accomplishment is remarkable because of the also remarkably negative political climate that has existed for decades if not forever in northeastern CT. I read through multiple Letters to the Editor of the Villager published in the last two weeks and found that the complaining gets old. I see the new Killingly High School as a tremendous gift to the students who will move in there next September and for a generation or two to come. And, there are heroes in Killingly who remain in the background quiet and confident that they did good. I wish someone would write up how the new high school came to fruition. This story would be a valuable lesson for other towns with decrepit schools.
But could this ever be done in Woodstock? Never in a million years because we have a high school that is over 200 years old … and it’s private. There’s the illusion that private and old is good. At the Academy, the athletic fields seemed to be the exclusive focus of the Board of Trustees and Headmaster Foye before Headmaster Caron took over. I wish Headmaster Caron the best but unfortunately the Board of Trustees is still the same.
Look at what the heros of Killingly were able to do. This could not happen with the Academy.
from Dena O’Hara
The Woodstock Middle School Public Speaking team is proud to announce a victory in their forth competition this season against Tyl Middle School, Montville CT on May12, 2010. The students competed in all 6 categories. There were 31 participants in grades 5-8. These students have been practicing diligently twice a week since September and will continue through May. Woodstock Middle School was honored for keeping the 1st place trophy. We are particularly proud of Cuinn Stevenson & Nick Wootton who had to compete last minute without their partners. They were quite courageous to maintain their composure. Nicely done!
The following students participated in the competition. For those who placed in their event, it is so noted in parenthesis.
Impromptu: Patrick Salisbury, Noble Valentine (2nd), Will Smith (4th), Erin O’Leary (5th)
Expository: Nick Wootton, Hannah Guilani & Brent Sorensen(1st), Jason Brule (5th), Richard Bibeault
Persuasive: Michael Audet (2nd), Natalie Bessette (4th), Jack Kelly, Rhone O’Hara (5th)
Story Telling: Melodie Newman, Shylin Albert, Allie Hill (4th), Patrick Houlihan
Poetry: Hunter Garceau & Hannah Mueller(4th), Bill Wong & Meg St. Jean (1st), Anna Grudzinsky (2nd), Brooklynn Saracina & Deanna Guilani (3rd)
Dramatic & Humorous: KC O’Hara (4th), Jack Liggett & David Redfield (3rd), Cuinn Stevenson, Emily Faist & Jordyn Woodland (1st)
Congratulations to the entire team for their hard work and effort this entire year! They carried themselves with honor and respect representing their school, their families, and their community. Thank you to the Woodstock Education Foundation for funding this program, we are very appreciative of their efforts for which many programs would not exist.
As always, this program reflects the best of Woodstock Public School’s mission which emphasizes “a love of learning in an atmosphere based on respect and trust.”
A special thanks to our coaches and organizers of this program, as well as their commitment & dedication, Dena O’Hara, Maggie Houlihan, Sharon Wolf & Deb Faist. A special thank you to those parents who traveled to see us compete.
Their support & time is greatly appreciated.
The vote will be a hand count so the vote will likely be posted here between 8:30 PM and 8:45 PM.
This is for the purchase of development rights to a 41 acre parcel on Barlow Cemetary Road near the Woodstock-Eastford border.
It’s hard to find but here it is: The Redline
It take a minute or so to load this pdf document.
from Teachers Point of View
I always appreciate the open dialog we’ve had. Many times we even have agreed on this forum, but it’s more fun when we don’t. And I appreciate you kind words about me. With the risk of being presumptuous, I’m going make assumptions about your beliefs in attempt to reach common ground. Feel free to correct me where I’m wrong. I’m going to combine everything I’ve learned from you through various interactions with you on this site.
Where we agree: You believe that great teachers are currently underpaid. You feel they deserve raises. However, you also feel that there are many teachers that do not even deserve the money they’re making now, let alone raises, and it upsets you that unions protect these teachers to the detriment of the students.
Where we disagree: The way in which we identify great teachers. I feel that you believe that all teachers oppose merit pay because they want to protect there cushy jobs. I think most teachers would embrace it if it were best for the kids and done responsibly. Plans to date have not met that criteria in my opinion, but I’m open to discussion on how to meet the criteria. I also feel that it is wrong to deny ALL teachers raises that were fairly negotiated because you feel some teachers don’t really work hard enough for them.
As for the 4 points you made above, I will address each one rationally.
1) You’re right. I’ve assumed that you have never worked as a professional teacher without real evidence. I made this assumption, because I feel that if you ever had been a professional teacher, you’d be more aware and sensitive to the stresses, struggles, and hard work that good teachers go through each day. If I misread this, I apologize.
2) I’m not sure I’ve over exaggerated or misinterpreted your comments so far, though I have focused on certain ones that I’ve felt strongly about and just not commented on others.
3) My issue here is not self preservation. It’s just my theories and opinions in regards to contractual fairness. I’d argue that no employee in any field should be asked to forgo a raise they fairly negotiated. It’s my personal opinion about any profession, not just my own.
4) I debunk the merit based pay reform methods proposed to date because I believe them dangerous to the children. Just because I don’t have another one all figured out doesn’t mean I should stand by while a dangerous one passes through the political process, does it? Again, I’d love to have a thread where just you and I hammer out real details and fix this system. I think we’re both better at finding common ground than you give us credit for.
Thanks again for the kind words, and believe me, there are no hard feelings when I have these discussions with you. I can debate for days and never take it personally, and I hope you don’t take anything I take personally.
The Eastford Independent Fire Company received a $102,838 grant from the state. The department will use the grant to purchase 13 new self-contained breathing units that allow firefighters to enter burning buildings to battle a fire. A compressor to refill the atmospheric air tanks will be part of the purchase. Their current breathing equipment is about 20 years old.
See article in the Norwich Bull.
Yes, we need to get this done. It’s 20 years overdue — the need has been overlooked for a long time by many.
The “I and I” problem refers to inflow and infiltration. Essentially, Woodstock is sending clear water along with gray water to Putnam for processing which is costly. Sometimes rain events spike the I and I but sometimes they don’t. This problem will be compounded by the Academy’s addition of flow to the sewer line although most people recognize that the Academy’s need MUST be attended to.
Woodstock has had a “Sewer Avoidance” policy in place since its inception. What this means is that ONLY those residences or businesses that fall in to the clearly designated sewer zone MAY hook up to the sewer line. If you are not in the sewer zone, you can’t hook up — doesn’t matter who you are or where you live or what your need is. Period. This means that Hill residents along with other residences may NOT hook up to the sewer if they want to or feel it is the best alternative for their property.
In my opinion from watching this closely for a number of years — the Academy route that hugs the east side of Rt. 169 for the development of sewer line is the most costly route they can take. If the school could place this line overland that is around the backside of the hill, costs would be significantly lowered with direct gravity feed and no need to expensively blast through a line of ledge along the road that will disturb traffic and take out a number of trees in the process. I believe that what halts this more reasonable and less costly plan is the (understandable) reticence of abutters to grant easements for this purpose.
Again, Woodstock is full of history. We all should return to the age old wisdom of being a good neighbor, of working well together in our community and to envision and then fashion a collective healthy future for all . . that is, one that works well for all. It hasn’t happened here or at least with this specific issue.