Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wallingford Library Hatches Egg Decorating Program

Wallingford resident Gloria Paproski Horbaty brings her talents in the beautiful and ancient art of pysanky to the town's Public Library on March 7.

Horbaty's presentation at 7 p.m. will explore the history, folklore and myths surrounding this traditional art form and include an explanation of the symbols used to decorate eggs in the wax resist technique. A demonstration on how to create a pysanka utilizing the traditional equipment of kistka, beeswax and dyes will also be featured.

Horbaty is of Ukrainian descent. She learned the traditional art of Ukrainian pysanka from her mother at the age of six.

The presentation is free of charge. For more information, call the library at 203-265-6754.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Verizon's iPhone: Never Is Heard A Discouraging Word?

Amid all the hype surrounding the release of Verizon Wireless' version of the iPhone on Thursday, it was hard to find anybody who was less then enthralled with it.

Unless of course you checked on Twitter. I put out a call to my follower on the social media network Thursday morning and barely had time to check my e-mail before I got a response from one of my Tweeps in Cheshire.

Courtney from Cheshire, who goes by the Twitter handle @igurlct, said she got her Verizon iPhone on Monday in the mail through a pre-order process that the company had started last week for existing customers.

"The iPhone is really slow," Courtney tweeted. "I have a Mac and an iTouch (iPod touch) and am very happy with them, but the data on VZW for iPhone is extremely slow compared to the Android."

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Looking for an Opening.....

Four of the five tenants of a Wallingford shopping plaza won't face any sanctions from the town, despite having reopened before they were supposed to after building code officials shut them down last week out of concern about the potential for snow-related roof cave-ins.

The stores - a Sears, Radio Shack, Petco and Hallmark greeting card store, which are located a shopping center in North Colony Road - weren't supposed to reopen until town officials had certified that snow had been removed from the roof that the retailers jointly share. But somehow the full details of that message didn't get to the management of the stores, who kept the businesses open on Saturday and most of Sunday, according to Code Inspector Peter LeClerc.

LeClerc had closed the stores and a neighboring Shop Rite on Thursday amid concerns about the weight of snow on their roofs. Shop Rite cleared its roof and was reopened for business on Friday.

The same thing was supposed to happen at the other four stores, but didn't. So LeClerc was back at the shopping center on Sunday to shut the four stores down a second time.

"The stores were open without authorization," LeClerc said. "They were told that to reopen, they had to remove the snow."

All four stores were open for business on Monday, this time with authorization from the town after having removed the snow.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Historic Building Suffers Partial Roof Collapse

CHESHIRE – A historic South Main Street building that is listed on a state preservation group’s most endangered list has suffered a partial roof collapse, according to a member of the town’s Historic District Commission.

Betsy Fox said Economic Development Coordinator Jerry Sitko e-mailed she and other members of the commission that a section of roof at the rear of the 136-year-old George Keeler Stove Shop Economic had collapsed.
The building, which is privately owned and located at 166 S. Main St., has an l-shaped rear section and that is where the roof collapse occurred. No injuries were reported as a result of the partial roof collapse, according to town officials.

Fox said Keeler was a tinsmith whose main business was making and selling stoves. The rear of the building, which has fallen into disrepair over the years, was where he made the stoves, she said.
The building was on the most recent endangered list put out by the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, Fox said.

“It’s one of the few buildings left in Cheshire that was used for commercial purposes back then,” she said.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wallingford Board of Education Meetings Rescheduled

With Connecticut facing some wild weather over the next couple of days and the Board of Education holding extra meetings as it works on the district's 2011-2012 budget, there has been a schedule change in some up coming meetings.

The board's February Instructional and Operations Committee meetings will both be held on Feb. 14th, starting at 6:00 P.M. in Lyman Hall High School Vocational-Agricultural building. The Operations committee meeting had originally been scheduled for Wednesday.

Grand Lists Not So Grand in Cheshire, Wallingford

The latest indicator that the New Haven area hasn’t quite shaken the affects of the current recession arrived Monday in the form of the release of municipal Grand Lists in Cheshire and Wallingford.

Wallingford’s grand list provided the most sobering news: For the first time since Mayor William Dickinson Jr. took office 25 years ago, the town’s overall list of taxable property went down. The assessed value of all property in town, which was essentially unchanged last year, fell decisively in 2010, dropping by $130.65 million or 3.04 percent to $4.17 billion.

“It’s going really force us to make some hard decisions about what services are essential,” Dickinson said. “We have to adjust to changing times.”

Wallingford went through a state-mandated property revaluation last year and the decline in the Grand List reflected that.

“If there hadn’t been a revaluation, the Grand List would have gone up slightly,” said Shelby Jackson, the town’s assessor.

Cheshire’s Grand List rose by roughly a half a percentage point or $14.66 million to $2.84 billion, Town Manager Michael Milone said. That will generate another $384,750 in revenue for the town at the current mill rate of 26.50 and the current tax collection rate of 99 percent.

“It’s not a lot, but at least it will mean a little extra revenue,” Milone said. “We know a lot of communities in the state weren’t fortunate enough to see any gain at all.”

Grand Lists offer municipalities snapshots of the assessed value of taxable property as of Oct. 1 of every year. The lists are made up of three components - real estate, motor vehicles and personal property, which refers business equipment.

Wallingford saw growth of 7.83 percent or $24.06 million in personal property and 4.4 percent or $12.96 million in motor vehicles. But real estate which is largest factor in calculating a municipal grand list, decreased by 4.55 percent or $168.23 million in assessed value.

The assessed value of Cheshire’s real estate grew by $10.01 million or a little less than a half a percentage point while the value of motor vehicles in town increase by 4.31 percent or $8.55 million. But personal property decreased by $3.90 million or 3.66 percent, Milone said.

“That was the real wild card when we attempted to predict where the Grand List might come in,” he said. “Nobody is buying any new equipment.”