"Obviously, you would give your life for your children, or give them the last biscuit on the plate. But to me, the trick in life is to take that sense of generosity between kin, make it apply to the extended family and to your neighbour, your village and beyond."

— Tom Stoppard

Simsbury Farms Pool Season Passes on Sale!

Simsbury Farms Pool Season Passes on Sale!

Can you believe it? You can purchase your Simsbury Farms Pool Season Pass now!
Benefits include: members only swim from noon to 1pm Monday-Friday, $10 off swimming lessons; cash free Snack Bucks; the ability to use the upper deck above the snack bar for a private party.

Visit www.simsburyrec.com or call 658-3836 for more details.

Simsbury Farms Summer Tennis Programs Sign Ups

Simsbury Farms Summer Tennis Programs Sign Ups

Simsbury Farms announces their Summer Tennis Programs, which will be held on their new courts! There are clinics and camps for all, ages 5-99.

Tennis & Golf Camps: the weeks of June 26, July 10 and July 24.
Fun Unlimited Tennis Camps: the weeks of June 26, July 10 and July 24
Weekly Junior Tennis Clinics begin June 26
Summer Adult Clinics Monday or Wednesday, beginning June 26 or June 28
Adult Tennis Camps: weeks of May 23, 30, & June 6

DON’T wait too long to register. Programs fill up quickly.

Visit www.simsburyrec.com for program and camp information.

Theodate Pope Riddle Remembered

Theodate Pope Riddle Remembered

Birthday blowout
Celebrating Theodate Pope Riddle’s 150th with 150 facts

by Lynn Woike, Editor
Valley LIFE, March 2017

Theodate Pope Riddle’s 150th birthday party was celebrated at 4 Eat and Drink on February 2. It was primarily staff who gathered to sip, nibble and chat.

To honor the milestone birthday of this amazing woman who called Farmington home for much of her life, Valley LIFE and the Hill-Stead teamed up to assemble 150 bits of information.

Whether from Farmington, Simsbury or surrounding towns enjoy milestones of this amazing woman, click here

Local senior tennis third in nation

Local senior tennis third in nation

Down the line
Local senior tennis team takes third in the nation
by Lynn Woike, Editor
Valley Life, February 2017

The Senior Moment-Um tennis team, that plays at the Farmington Valley Racquet Club in Simsbury, last year placed third in the USTA National Championship held in Arizona this past October.

The team plays at the 6.0 55 and over level; there were 17 teams in this division in the tournament representing the country, including Hawaii and the Caribbean.

For the full article, click here

St. Mary’s marks its 60th anniversary

St. Mary’s marks its 60th anniversary

Old School
St. Mary’s marks its 60th anniversary
by Alicia Smith, Associate Editor
Valley Life, February 2017

The more things change the more they stay the same, so the saying goes. This year, St. Mary’s School in Simsbury can relate to this expression.

Sixty years ago the school opened and was staffed by four Felician Sisters. Although many lay staff have filled in the gaps since 1977, when the sisters were no longer able to continue their work, today Sister Mary Kolbe Hefferen, in her habit, is now on staff as a long-term substitute in the fourth grade.

For the full article click here

Angelillo named Educator of the Year

Angelillo named Educator of the Year

Angelillo named Educator of the Year
The Valley Press
February 16, 2017

The Simsbury Department of Continuing Education announced that Mike Angelillo received the Adult Educator of the Year Award from the Connecticut Association for Adult & Continuing Education.

For full article, click here

Anderson and Lizotte Among 2017 James Beard Semifinalists

Anderson and Lizotte Among 2017 James Beard Semifinalists

Photo courtesy of the James Beard Foundation/ Photo by Allegra Anderson
Two Simsbury chefs, Tyler Anderson of Millwrights and Jeffrey Lizotte of Present Company are both semifinalists for Best Chef Northeast in the annual James Beard Foundation Awards. Selected from a pool of over 24,000 online applicants, the semifinalists cover 21 categories ranging from exceptional chefs and dining destinations to the nation’s best new restaurants.

Anderson is the chef/owner of Millwrights, known for its sustainable New England cuisine hosted in a historic mill. He has previously been a semifinalist for Best Chef Northeast in 2014, 2015 and 2016. He said of the nomination, “[Winning a James Beard Award] has been a dream of mine since I was a kid. Being nominated four years in a row is a great honor and it’s awesome to have two of us [nominated] in Simsbury.” Before opening Millwrights, Anderson was the Executive Chef at the Copper Beach Inn in Ivorytown and spent time at The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton Chicago, Equinox in Manchester, Vermont and Arrabelle in Vail Colorado. He is currently in the process of opening The Cook and The Bear in West Hartford with Bear’s Smokehouse owner, Jamie McDonald.

Lizotte just recently opened Present Company last fall in the former Mill at 2T space in Tariffville. Present Company serves seasonal American fare with a French influence and has quickly made a mark in the state. Prior to Present Company, Lizotte was the Executive Chef at ON20 for four years and served as the sous chef previous to that. Before his stint in Hartford, Lizotte spent time at David Bouley’s Danube, the three Michelin starred Le Bernardin, La Tupina in Bordeaux, France, and La Bastide St. Antoine, a two star Michelin restaurant in Grasse, France. He is “over the moon” about his nomination.

The final nominees will be announced during a press conference at a.o.c restaurant in Los Angeles on Wednesday, March 15. The nominees will also be revealed live on the James Beard Facebook and Twitter accounts. The 2017 James Beard Awards Gala will be on Monday, May 1 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The event is open to the public and a gala reception will immediately follow the awards ceremony. For more information visit: jamesbeard.org/awards
RELATED

ANDERSON AND LIZOTTE AMONG 2017 JAMES BEARD SEMIFINALISTS
Feb 15, 2017

Posted on February 15, 2017 by Alycia Chrosniak and filed under News and #chef tyler anderson #chef jeffrey lizotte #present company #millwrights restaurant #james beard awards.

Gifts of Love/Community Farm’s new leader

Gifts of Love/Community Farm’s new leader

Gifts of Love and Community Farm have new leader for merged organization
by Sloan Brewster, Senior Staff Writer
The Valley Press, February 2, 2017

Farm to Family has a new leader

On Wednesday, January 25, Susan Pribyson took on the position of executive director of the non-profit Gifts of Love, located in Avon, and the Community Farm of Simsbury. The two merged in 2013 to form Farm to Family.

For the full story, click here

Police Dept receives awards

Police Dept receives awards

PD earns honors at law Enforcement Traffic Safety Summit
by Sloan Brewster
Senior Staff Writer

Simsbury drivers stay safe on the roads.

In December, the Simsbury Police Department received two awards at the 2016 Law Enforcement Traffic Safety Summit, the 11th annual summit, in the Connecticut Law Enforcement Safety Challenge for 2015.

For the full artical in The Valley Press, click here

The physics of archery

The physics of archery

The physics of archery.
Simsbury primitive technologist makes his own bos and arrows
by Lynn Woike, Editor

Since the Stone Age, people have hunted with bows and arrows they made themselves. Michael Ganis is doing the same thing today. He made his first arrow when he was 7.

For the full article, click here.

Local man grows crop unique in Connecticut

Local man grows crop unique in Connecticut

Local man grows crop unique in Connecticut
By Sloan Brewster, Senior Staff Writer
The Valley Press, December 15, 2016

You can’t grow cotton in Connecticut, or can you?

Ken Jackson of Simsbury is challenging that theory. He has been working on it about ten yards of land for three years.

“I am growing cotton,” he said. “I’m just playing around with it. I usually plant 12 plants, just experimenting with it.”

For the full article, click here.

Belden Forest residents make blankets for kids in need

Belden Forest residents make blankets for kids in need

Belden Forest residents make blankets for kids in need
By Sloan Brewster, Senior Staff Writer
The Valley Press, December 29, 2016

Making blankets for children in need keeps the holiday spirit going.

The blankets will be given to children at the Children’s Medical Center or to children in the state’s foster care system.

For the complete article, click here.

Simsbury’s Town Jeweler, Bill Selig

Simsbury’s Town Jeweler, Bill Selig

Simsbury’s Town Jeweler, Bill Selig
Committeed to Artistry and Giving Back to the Community
Written by Theresa Anzaldua
Season’s of the Farmington Valley Magazine, Winter Edition 2016-2017

Growing up in Windsor, during the turbulent ’60’s, Bill Selig explored politics, environmentalism and various forms of art. When he learned to make jewelry in his early 20s he instantly fell in love with the craft.

For the full article, click here. Page 26.

Simsbury Veterans Memorial Dedication Nov 13

Simsbury Veterans Memorial Dedication Nov 13

A dedication date for the Simsbury Veterans Memorial Has been set for Sunday, November 13 at 2pm.

The memorial, which is presently under construction, is expected to be completed no later than November 1.

For the full article, click here.

The Valley Press, October 27, 2016

Henry James theatre production honored

Henry James theatre production honored

Henry James Memorial School’s production of “The Lion King, Jr.” has been selected as the New England theater Conference’s Moss hart award winner for 2015-16.

For the full article, click here
The Valley Press, October 27, 2016

Simsbury One of Safest Municipalities

Simsbury One of Safest Municipalities

Simsbury selected as one of the safest municipalities
The Valley Press, October 20, 2016

Simsbury has been identified as one of the safest municipalities in Connecticut by SafeWise.com, a private organization that provides consumers with resources and tools to help them choose appropriate security systems.

For the entire story, click here

The Sabor Olive Oil Co opens in Simsburytown Shops

The Sabor Olive Oil Co opens in Simsburytown Shops

Simsbury welcomes The Sabor Olive Oil Co. located at the Simsburytown Shops, 928 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury featuring Olive Oils, Vinegars, Gourmet Foods, Herbs, Spices, Sea Salts and Art Gallery

Sabor (Spanish for “flavor”) Olive Oil Co. and Art Gallery in Simsbury, CT offers a medley of extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars straight from their fustis or taps.

You can have fun exploring the diversity of the flavors by sampling them before you decide on your favorites. Enjoy the experience of tasting and then simply fill a bottle to take home for your enjoyment.

If you think being exposed to a variety of olive oils and vinegars is culturally exhilarating, then try their selection of organic herbs and spices that will take you around the world and back.

Sabor also carries a selection of gourmet pastas, organic herbs and spices, gourmet cheese, beautiful glassware and pottery.

During your visit, check out the Art Gallery making Sabor Olive Oil Co. and Gallery an experience for all your senses.

Click here to visit website

Local Wendy Walker pens first novel

Local Wendy Walker pens first novel

Wendy Walker pens her first novel
by Alicia B. Smith, Staff Writer
Valley Life

When Wendy Walker was younger she was going to be a figure skater. She lived in Colorado, away from her family, for several years to train.

Today Walker, a graduate of the Ethel Walker School,’85, is an author, with her most recent book having been purchased by Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Pacific Standard.

For the full article, click here

Simsbury has a “very good year” treasurer says

Simsbury has a “very good year” treasurer says

Simsbury has a “very good year” treasurer says
by Sloan Brewster, Senior Staff Writer
The Valley Press

Simsbury’s books are more than flush.

At the Sept 12 Board of Selectmen meeting, Sean Kimball, director of finance/treasurer, gave the final 2016 budget update and announced that the town had closed out the fiscal year on a positive note.

For the full story, click here

Local Store Earns 1st Bike-Friendly Designation

Local Store Earns 1st Bike-Friendly Designation

Local store earns Simsbury’s first bike-friendly business designation
by Sloan Brewster, Senior Staff Writer
The Valley Press

A store that sells bikes is Simsbury’s first Bicycle Friendly business.

At the Sept 12 Board of Selectmen meeting, Dave Bishop, manager of The Bicycle Cellar, credited the store’s achievement of the Silver Bike Friendly designation from the League of American Bicyclists, with help from several people including Diana Moody,
Pedestrian Advisory Council member, who he said spent countless hours helping staff work through the application process.

To read the entire story, click here

Life in the Kitchen with Present Company

Life in the Kitchen with Present Company

Present Company Simsbury

Plenty of people were sad, present company included, when Ryan & Kelleanne Jones closed The Mill at 2t in Tariffville to seek fame and fortune in Charleston, South Carolina.But that closure set in motion a carousel of key figures from Greater Hartford’s reigning clique of elite chefs.
Former ON20 executive chef Jeffrey Lizotte teamed with former Billy Grant Restaurant Group and ON20 front man Tom Gale to open Present Company in The Mill at 2t’s place. Jesse Powers, sous chef at Millwright’s in Simsbury under Tyler Anderson, slid over to ON20 to replace Lizotte. Executive sous chef Cole Garrison left ON20 to become David Borselle’s chef de cuisine at Park & Oak in West Hartford. And so on.
Executive chef and owner Jeff Lizotte of Hartford, who grew up in Simsbury, sits at the counter in Present Company, his restaurant in Tariffville, with a dish of Pan Roasted Monkfish. (Jon Olson | Special to Hartford Magazine)
Present Company honored its predecessor’s outstanding gift certificates, retained its phone number and made only cosmetic changes to the restaurant, which is considerably more casual and neighborly than ON20 but nevertheless provides a high level of service. It’s an ideal Valentine’s Day destination.
Who could imagine celebrating such a romantic occasion without a bottle of wine? Present Company’s petite wine list ($9-$13, $34-$160) offers 31 selections drawn from the top four wine-producing nations—France, Italy, the United States and Spain. We enjoy a crisp, lively 2015 Prado Rey Verdejo, Rueda, Spain ($10/$38).
Grilled Chestnut Soup with celery root relish and a port wine reduction.  (Jon Olson | Special to Hartford Magazine)
Present Company offers diners both an apéritif and an amuse bouche (except on Tuesdays), generosity that should win it many devoted customers. A cordial glass of white port, tonic, thyme syrup and orange juice appears to be a delightful fixture. The amuse varies, like grilled salt cod with almond-parsley pesto and red wine tomato jelly, or a tiny jar of salmon rillette with yuzu, chives, brown butter crumble and crispy potato; or curried Hakurei turnip tartare with a vanilla turnip purée.
On Wednesday through Saturday, Present Company offers a small, focused menu of appetizers ($10-$15), entrées ($26-$34) and desserts ($8-$9) that changes at least quarterly plus a separate five-course tasting menu ($60 or $100 with matched wines). On Tuesdays, Present Company offers its regular menu or a three-course prix-fixe selected from it by the customer featuring somewhat smaller portions, which can be offset by Hartford Baking Company baguette slices served with spreads like apple butter or spiced butternut squash purée.
Prepping an evening meal in the kitchen at Present Company are, from left, Ethan Czarneski, of Bristol, chef du partie meat; David Awad of East Hampton, chef du partie fish; and Jeff Lizotte of Hartford, the executive chef and owner. Lizotte, the former executive chef at ON20 in Hartford, and Tom Gale, who was formerly with the Billy Grant Restaurant Group, opened the new restaurant in the Tariffville section of Simsbury. (Jon Olson | Special to Hartford Magazine)
Now his own master, Simsbury product and Cornell graduate Lizotte is completely free to do his thing. He uses color and composition excitingly, invitingly. A pretty yellow sickle-shaped swath of corn sauce frames, and leads the eye to, the delicate wild-mushroom-and-sweet-corn vol-au-vent ($10) that serves as its handle. An orange-and-white slice of cold-roasted squash terrine ($11) is dressed with a hazelnut-and-black-kale pesto and Concord grape coulis.
A block of poached salmon, with big pieces of smoked maitake mushroom, salsify purée and a Black-Forest-ham-and-Brussels-sprouts carbonara, is lacquered with pale orange carrot-ginger sauce. A ring of bright orange carrot slices encircles incredibly tender braised lamb shoulder paprikash ($30). Hanger steak ($31) and venison saddle ($33) glow purple-red. Stained magenta by a mix of purple mustard, vermouth and beet juice, snappy Stonington shrimp ($30) over toasted polenta just about jump off the plate.
Desert was Passion Fruit duo of sorbet and curd, black sesame tuile (cqed) and finger lime Present Company is a restaurant opened by Jeff Lizotte, (CQED) of Hartford, CT. and Tom Gale in an old mill building in the Tarrifville section of Simsbury. Jeff grew up in Simsbury. (photos by Jon Olson/special to the Courant) (Jon Olson/Special to the Courant)
Lizotte has a lively sense of humor and employs plenty of “trickeration.” Some ingredients take several forms in the same dish. That squash terrine has kale layered into it, a hazelnut-and-black-kale pesto and a crispy fried kale garnish. A grilled chestnut potage ($10) sports a smear of candied chestnut and port wine reduction on the side of the bowl to which a celery-root-apple-and-chestnut relish adheres.

Lizotte embraces both verbal and visual puns, and thus that celery root is echoed by celery leaves (same family, different plant) lily-padding the surface of the soup. Such echoes are everywhere in his plating. In his roasted duck breast ($34), duck reappears in a foie-gras-and-Swiss-chard dumpling. And he’s fond of cutting items in shapes that resemble other items, like the toasted polenta of that Stonington shrimp cut and cooked to resemble Bomster scallops.
Texture matters. It might be crisping the skin on sea bass ($29) in a black garlic bordelaise sauce or on slow-roasted Amish chicken ($28) in a pickled cherry béarnaise sauce, where yet another interesting texture is revealed in chewy toasted green wheat. It could be crumbly pistachio financier set off against silky hamachi crudo ($13) finished with green olive tapenade and preserved lemon, a reminder that flavor matters even more.
Present Company is a restaurant opened by Jeff Lizotte and Tom Gale in an old mill building in the Tarrifville section of Simsbury. Lizotte grew up in Simsbury.  (Jon Olson| Special to Hartford Magazine)

Nowhere do color, composition, form, texture and flavor come together better than with the desserts. Nori crackers and ribbons of candied celery complete a perfectly composed cheese plate ($8). Apple en papillote ($8) takes a milk soup and cookie butter bath. Chocolate mousse, ice cream, tuile and soil ($8) form an edible diorama.
Faults are few and far between. A salad of autumn greens ($12) comes out on a still-warm plate, is organized like clothes out of a dryer, retains a lettuce heel and needs more caramelized orange vinaigrette to balance its Danish blue cheese. Good to know our culinary “Tom Brady” is still human enough to miss the occasional open receiver.
Admission to Connecticut’s top restaurant echelon is most challenging. Present Company accepted.

2 Tunxis Road, Tariffville * 860-658-7890 * presentcompanyct.com * Stars: Five
Copyright © 2017, Hartford Courant

Family Business – West Street Wines & Spirits

Family Business – West Street Wines & Spirits

Family business

by Lynn Woike, Editor
Valley Life

Jim Pabich of Avon and Dave Mellen of Tariffville both began working part time at West Side Wines and Spirits when they were in college. For both, it turned into a full-time job.

“I worked here in college,” said Pabich, who bought the business from the Donohue family 20 years ago.

For the full article, click here

For information on West Street Wines and Spirits, visit their website.

Gluten-free finds

Gluten-free finds

Gluten-free finds
Simsbury woman launches statewide resource
by Lynn Woike, Valley Life

Abby Helman Kelly sought treatment from a natauropath to address the cause of her severe eczema rather than just trying to treat the symptoms. Eliminating dairy from her diet helped some; eliminating gluten helped even more.

To read the complete story, click here

To visit glutenfreeconnecticut.com, click here.

Photo by Lynn Woike

Simsbury Ranks Top Town in Nat’l Bike Challenge

Simsbury Ranks Top Town in Nat’l Bike Challenge

Simsbury ranks top town in National Bike Challenge
by Sloan Brewster, Senior Staff Writer
The Valley Press

Simsbury is riding high in the National Bike Challenge.

As of Sept 1, the town ranked number one. That was only two days after First Selectman Lisa Heavner announced, at the Aug 29 Board of Selectmen meeting, that it was in second place and looking to hit the top.

For complete story click here

Solar Donation Made to Local Farm

Solar Donation Made to Local Farm

Solar donation made to local farm

by Sloan Brewster, Senior Staff Writer
The Valley Press

The Community Farm of Simsbury is going solar.

For the complete story, click here

Horse Sense – Folly Farm grows

Horse Sense – Folly Farm grows

Horse Sense, Folly Farm equestrian facility grows under family owners
by Lynn Woike, Editor
Valley Life

Learn about the history of Folly Farm from dairy farming in the 1920’s to its present owner/operators/husband and wife team, Allison Patricelli and Tom Norrdin, who are focused on long term sustainability, polo, charitable events and of course, equestrian operations.

To read full article, click here

Volunteer group assists Simsbury Farms

Volunteer group assists Simsbury Farms

Getting by with a little help from its friends
Newly formed group hopes to assist Simsbury Farms where budgets cannot
by Alicia B. Smith, Staff Writer, The Valley News

For complete article, click here

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name? Discover the origin of words found in the valley
by Lynn Woike, Editor, The Valley Life

Ever wonder the origin of Hopmeadow? Massacoe? Tariffville? Weatogue?

Discover the answers to this and other Farmington Valley towns’ distinct names.

For full article, click here

Simsbury Top 15 Safest Place to Live

Simsbury Top 15 Safest Place to Live

Simsbury Among the 15 Safest Places to Live in Connecticut: Report
A new report ranks the top 91 safest places to live in Connecticut.
By Tim Jensen (Patch Staff) – June 20, 2016 10:20 am ET

To see full post click here – Simsbury Patch

Best of the Valley Press Reader’s Poll

Best of the Valley Press Reader’s Poll

Congratulations to the following Simsbury winners in the 2016 BEST of the VALLEY PRESS Reader’s Poll

Restaurants Bars & Food
Best Chinese Restaurant – Green Tea
Best Breakfast Spot – Harvest Cafe and Bakery
Best Overall Restaurant – Millwright’s Restaurant
Best Brunch – Simsbury Inn
Best Local Burgers – Plan B
Best Wings – McLadden’s
Best Ice Cream/Frozen Dessert – J Foster’s Ice Cream

Health & Beauty

Best Senior Care Facility – McLean’s
Best Urgent Care Facility – New England Urgent Care

Education
Best Gymnastics School – Gymnastics Training Center
Best Private School – The Cobb School
Best Public Elementary School – Squadron Line

Retailers
Best Local Grocery Store – Fitzgerald’s
Best Local Appliance/Electronics Store – Holloway’s Appliances
Best Thrift Shop – Second Chance Shop
Best Local Sporting Goods Store, Vincent Sports Shop
Best Garden Center – Bosco’s Garden Center


Professional Services

Best Landscaper – CRS Landscape

For more information or for a complete list, click here

Hometown Heroes honored for contributions

Hometown Heroes honored for contributions

The Valley Press, May 19, 2016
article by Sloan Brewster, Senior Staff Writer

There are four new Hometown Heroes in town.

At the Board of Selectmen meeting on May 9, the board gave out the annual awards to the 2016 recipients, Peter Aksham, Pam Kelley, Roger Coombes and Nick Mason.

To read the full article and list of hero accomplishments, click here

Simsbury music education program recognized nationally

Simsbury music education program recognized nationally

The Valley Press, May 19, 2016

Simsbury has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Simsbury joins 476 districts across the country receiving the prestigious award in 2016.

To read the full article, click here.

SHS student wins logo contest

SHS student wins logo contest

The Valley Press, May 26, 2016

The Simsbury Public Schools Department of Art Education K-12 recently offered students in all of the grades an opportunity to design a new logo.

The winning logo was designed by Simsbury High School senior Grace Potter.

For the full article, click here

All Things Bicycle in Simsbury!

All Things Bicycle in Simsbury!

Dedicated to safer, more accessible biking and walking in Connecticut’s first Bike-Friendly Community.

For more info on Rides – Maps/Routes – Clubs & Resources – Education see Simsbury.Bike

Simsbury: Silver Bike Community

Simsbury: Silver Bike Community

In November 2014, Simsbury was recognized as a Silver Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) by the League of American Bicyclists. The BFC program is revolutionizing the way communities evaluate their quality of life, sustainability and transportation networks, while allowing them to benchmark their progress toward improving their bicycle-friendliness. There are 326 BFCs in all 50 states.

The Silver BFC award recognizes Simsbury’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies. To learn more about the BFC program, visit http://bikeleague.org/community.

For more info on Simsbury’s commitment to a bike friendly town, click here

History of Minor League Baseball in CT

History of Minor League Baseball in CT

Season of the Farmington Valley (TM)
Article Written by Leonard Felson
Article Photography courtesy of Gary Goldberg-O’Maxfield

When the Hartford Yard Goats take the field this spring, it will mark the return of minor-league baseball in Hartford for the first time since 1952. Connecticut’s storied baseball legacy, however, stretches back to the 1860s, when the Charter Oak Baseball Club played in Bushnell Park.

CLICK TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE Beginning on page 42

Multiuse trail will benefit bike commuters

Multiuse trail will benefit bike commuters

by Sloan Brewster, Senior Staff Writer, The Valley Press

Tariffville, Bloomfield and Hartford will be connected by a multiuse trail.

Read full article

 

Feeding the students at Simsbury’s public schools is a complex recipe for the Director of Nutrition Services

Feeding the students at Simsbury’s public schools is a complex recipe for the Director of Nutrition Services

Written by Lori Kase, Seasons of the Farmington Valley

Perched on a bookshelf behind Dana Tice’s desk in her Simsbury Board of Education Office is a sign that says “Eat Your Vegetables.” Encouraging Simsbury students to incorporate more veggies into their daily diet is just part of a day’s work for Tice, Director of Nutrition Services for all the town’s schools. Tice started her career in food sevices subbing in the kitchen in the Windsor School District, worked her way up to manager, and then served as Director of Nutrition Services in Bloomfield before taking the same post in Simsbury three years ago. Tice, who grew up in Simsbury — enjoyed many school lunches at Central and Henry James during her elementary and middle school years — says that “coming to Simsbury was like coming home.”

Read the full article

Simsbury Ranked 9th In Money Magazine’s National ‘Best Places to Live’

Simsbury Ranked 9th In Money Magazine’s National ‘Best Places to Live’

By Kristin Stroller, Hartford Courant

SIMSBURY — The town was ranked ninth on a list of the 50 best small cities in the country, put out by Money magazine.

Money magazine, which is published by Time Inc., ranked Simsbury between No. 8, Coppell, Texas and No. 10, Solon, Ohio.

Apex, N.C. took the top slot in the rankings, based on data and in-person visits.

“The people that live in Simsbury and work in Simsbury, we recognize what an amazing jewel we have,” said Sarah Nielsen, executive director of the Simsbury Main Street Partnership Inc. “But it’s nice to get that recognition from an outside source.”

Money magazine has ranked the best places to live in America annually for the past 30 years, and Simsbury has been on the list three times: ranking No. 57 in 2009, No. 39 in 2011 and No. 50 in 2013, said Money magazine senior writer Donna Rosato.

Rosato said the rankings change based on multiple factors, including the town’s economy and school and safety rankings.

“We are very proud that Simsbury made this list,” First Selectman Lisa Heavner said. “It’s a reflection of the hard work of the many volunteers and committees and town staff.”

Heavner said the ranking will help the town’s economic development.

The magazine mentioned Simsbury’s “premier public schools” as the main draw to the town. According to the magazine, Simsbury students scored above average in every test category and 93 percent of graduates pursue higher education.

While I never put must stock in these rankings, Simsbury is a lovely town and arguable the best place to live in central CT.

Simsbury is also a friend to the arts, according to the magazine, and the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation named the town one of the nation’s best communities for music education. Residents are able to see national artists perform at the Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center.

Residents can also “bike on the 84-mile Farmington Canal Heritage Trail as it weaves through town along the Farmington River,” the magazine noted.

Though residents “pay a premium” in property taxes, the town’s unemployment rate is well below the national average, according to the magazine.

Simsbury tourism committee co-Chair Dominique Avery said the ranking will be good for the town’s businesses and tourism.

“We don’t do the kind of huge events that attract people from all over the world. We just quietly have these amazing things,” Avery said. “Sometimes, I wish more people knew.”

Rankings are derived from 39 data points in categories such as test scores, crime rates, commute times, weather patterns, health statistics and arts and leisure-based activities in the town and surrounding area. In some cases, representatives visited towns and interviewed residents, according to the magazine.

Rosato said the magazine started with the 3,625 towns in the U.S. with populations of 10,000 to 50,000. The magazine limited the results to three places per state and one per county to represent all regions evenly.

The magazine ranks small towns every other year, and towns with populations larger than 50,000 in the off-years, she said.

Nielsen said the town was contacted by the magazine in the past few months and asked them to submit photos or videos of the town. The town was not told where they were being ranked, she said.

With the Flower Bridge and Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community designation, Neilson said the town offers an excellent quality of life and quality of services.

“We are really becoming a wedding destination, which is amazing,” she said. “You can’t find a more picturesque town than Simsbury.”

The magazine also asked readers to vote for their favorite towns from its top 10 list. As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, Simsbury held the top spot.

Comfort Food Kept Sophisticatedly Simple

Comfort Food Kept Sophisticatedly Simple

By RAND RICHARDS COOPER, The New York Times
October 12, 2012, Copyright © 2012

WHAT kind of dining experience would you expect to have in a restaurant serving corn chowder, pork and beans, and fried chicken with watermelon? Almost certainly not what you get at Millwright’s, where Tyler Anderson offers a brashly elegant take on these and other homey American classics. A winner on the Food Network show “Chopped,” Mr. Anderson decamped this summer from Copper Beech Inn in Ivoryton to open his own restaurant in a historic West Street mill. His fans have been thronging the place ever since. Fancying up comfort food is fraught with peril, and not every dish on Mr. Anderson’s menu succeeds. Foie grasmousse topped with grape jelly and candied peanuts — “the house p.b.j.,” our server quipped — was not only too coy, but unbalanced, the jelly overwhelming the duck liver. I also wondered about the crisped puffed rice adorning an appetizer of fabulously fresh raw tuna, introducing an odd, breakfast note.

But far more often, the gamble paid off brilliantly. A starter of chicken with dumplings turned out to be a complex presentation of velvety smooth gnocchi, confit chicken and hints of mint. Grilled cheese and tomato came in two components: an herbed tomato terrine, delicately held together with tomato gelée, and a deliriously tasty grilled mini-sandwich of Cheddar and custard-soaked brioche. Millwright’s chowder arrives via a showy tableside presentation, with corn and lobster stacked in a bowl and then the soup — a thinned-out sauce vierge scented with anise — decanted from a porcelain pitcher. Fried chicken is also not what you might expect:

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Landworks Development Wins Six Hobi Awards for Smart Growth Community —The Mill at Hop Brook

Landworks Development Wins Six Hobi Awards for Smart Growth Community —The Mill at Hop Brook

MILL COMMONS LLC, comprised of Landworks and Nelson Construction, the developers of smart growth communities—including the newly designed The Mill at Hop Brook in Simsbury, CT— announced that they received six HOBI awards sponsored by Homebuilders and Remodelers Association (HBRA) of Connecticut, including 2013 Community of the Year.

The 2013 HOBI Awards, which were held on Nov. 12, are the state’s most prestigious awards, given annually to recognize the very best in the housing industry. The awards honor builders, remodelers and other industry contributors for excellence in
home design and construction, home technology, home financing and community service.

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The Mill at Hop Brook Gets a New Lease on Life

The Mill at Hop Brook Gets a New Lease on Life

An innovative mixed use project in Simsbury by Landworks Development is exceptional in every way

On June 20th, sixty builders, suppliers and realtors attended a fascinating Sales & Marketing Council meeting hosted by Chris Nelson and Ron Janeczko at their outstanding new mixed use development, The Mill at Hop Brook in Simsbury.

One of the many interesting and market savvy aspects of this mixed use project is the apartment complex known as Mill Commons. As SMC chairman, Joanne Carroll, related in her opening remarks, so few single family builders venture into rental, yet the rental share of the housing market is projected to hit 41 percent by 2020, with an average increase of over 1 million rental units per year in
the U.S.

Carroll went on to say that three reputable studies — by NAR, Robert Charles Lesser & Co. (RCLCo), and Arthur Nelson — all found a nearly identical imbalance in US housing supply and demand.

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Savor/Review: Millwright’s Restaurant & Tavern

Savor/Review: Millwright’s Restaurant & Tavern

By SPENCER CALDWELL, Hartford Magazine
Copyright © 2012

In recent decades, certain landmark restaurants have advanced the conversation about food in Connecticut: Jean-Louis in Greenwich with namesake Gerin’s “la nouvelle classique” for which he was named the James Beard Foundation’s 2006 Best Chef Northeast; Ibiza in New Haven with 2003 Esquire Chef of the Year Luis Bollo’s contemporary Spanish fare; Miya’s Sushi in New Haven with chef-owner Bun Lai’s pioneering work in sustainability; Polytechnic ON20 in Hartford with Noel Jones’ precision cooking, pretty plating and flirtation with molecular gastronomy; Still River Café in Eastford with Kara Brooks’ seasonal American cuisine utilizing many ingredients grown on the property; and the team at Firebox in Hartford with its “locavore” approach and commitment to community building.

Injecting itself into the conversation is Millwright’s Restaurant & Tavern in Simsbury, where chef-owner Tyler Anderson and his talented team appear to be raising the dining experience to new heights of creativity and civility. Anderson says he wanted to
create a restaurant where the customers know where the food comes from, adding that he wouldn’t have located where he did were it not for the tremendous farms in the area. As I approach Simsbury from the south via Avon’s Nod Road through the fertile farmland fronting the Farmington River, the corn exulting to NBA heights, I wonder if I’m passing any of the fields where the food that I’ll be eating was grown. Yes, it turns out.

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