Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Coginchaug River: Today and Tomorrow….

March 9, 2008

Today: Above video is record of my weekly walk along and around the Coginchaug in my neighborhood.

Tomorrow: (well, actually March 15) Coginchaug River Cleanup at Middletown North End Peninsula (recycling center) Saturday March 15 –  10 AM to Noon; Jonah Center’s John Hall reports:

The Jonah Center needs volunteers to help remove a lot of junk (fishing camp debris, old tires, plastic bottles, etc, ) from the bank of the lower Coginchaug adjacent to the recycling center. It is important to do this now, while there is no poison ivy growing, and before spring floods carry this stuff into the river.

Directions to Site: Go through the gate into the Middletown recycling center (at the intersection of North Main and Johnson Streets) in the North End. Bear to your left and park near the brush and wood chip piles.

If you plan to help with this effort, we suggest that you let John Hall know by visiting the Jonah Center web site and emailing from there or call (860) 346-6657 x 13, so he can inform you in case the event needs to be postponed due to weather or high water conditions.

 

Here’s a photo showing just a sampling of what was collected in the cleanup in July ’07:
Back for Another Load

Army Reserve Site Meeting…

January 20, 2008

The meeting in Middletown council chambers about the U.S. Army proposal concerning the above pictured site has been tentatively rescheduled for Thursday Jan 24 at 5 PM. The property in question is in the area bounded by Freeman Road on the North and Saybrook Road on the West. (We apologize for an earlier description that was erroneous)

h/t Jonah Center’s John Hall for notice of above meeting and announcement of Home Energy Saving meeting Tuesday Jan. 22.

See our earlier report here.

A One Float Parade….

January 13, 2008

The moving of buildings, large and small, is a tradition here in New England. Years ago thrifty Yankees would recycle their buildings in many ways. Post and beam houses were disassembled and erected elsewhere. Entire buildings were jacked off their foundations, lowered onto log rollers, hitched to large teams of oxen or horse and taken to their new location. When lumber was cheap and iron nails dear, old houses would be burned for their nail content! Today, methods have changed but the tradition of moving buildings continues. The building moved yesterday, a former Methodist church built in 1853, was moved 2 blocks from #9 Liberty St. to #47 Rapallo Av. here in the city. Further North on Main St, the building next to O’Rourke’s Diner, also a church, was moved to that spot many years ago. Much more recent is the dismantling of the 18th century mill on Washington St. near West. St., and just several weeks ago, the dismantling of an 18th century house on West St, just above the Gulf station. These buildings have been preserved and will be erected elsewhere.

This particular move required much planning and co-ordination among the consulting overseer, the moving contractor, various utilities, and the CT DOT. Traffic lights street lamps, and utility lines had to be temporarily taken down or protected from the huge building which would take over most of Main Street for its passage. This preliminary work was done early Saturday evening and traffic was rerouted to enable the crews to work unimpeded. All was ready around 1:30 AM Sunday morning and the building was then seen to inch its way off the corner lot, over the curb, and onto Main Street. Once there and heading North one could measure its progress in inches per hour! It was a fascinating spectacle, one that attracted quite a few observers despite the late hour. All in all, a slow motion parade with only a single float; not something you see everyday! Oh, and this building will be converted into four low income housing units on Liberty St as part of the revitalization of the city’s North End, and will make way for commercial development of its former site at Liberty and Main.


Middletown North End Action Team (N.E.A.T.) Community Organizer Lydia Brewster

The North End Action Team is a grassroots advocacy group that began in the spring of 1997.
Purpose of N.E.A.T.as a non-profit community organization, shall, through its members and the Advisory Board, organize and mobilize the residents in the neighborhood, empowering them through a process of democratic decision-making and direct action, to address particular issues affecting the neighborhood. This corporation will propose neighborhood initiatives, design and produce communal events and fulfill the function of watchdog at City Hall and in the state government. N.E.A.T. shall not endorse political candidates or parties.

Our Mission:
The North End Action Team is a neighborhood advocacy group consisting of residents and stakeholders of the North End neighborhood of Middletown, Connecticut. It’s mission is to enrich and advocate for neighborhood interest.


N.E.A.T.’s storefront headquarters at Main St. and Rapallo Ave Middletown


Sign announcing the project featuring the major tenant It’s Only Natural Market


Developer Peter Harding (r) and Nehemiah Housing Corp.’s Michael Taylor (c)

In 1986, Middletown community members formed Nehemiah Housing Corporation to develop and operate a range of housing options for families and individuals who are unable to find quality affordable housing. Nehemiah builds communities by developing affordable housing for families and individuals with resident services and quality property management, as appropriate, with a focus on Middlesex County.


The happy new tenants: Don and Ann Marie Sataline owners of It’s Only Natural Market


Brian Cigal of TimberFrame Barn Conversions enjoys coffee and snacks provided for workers and spectators at N.E.A.T. headquarters by Lydia Brewster (r)


N.E.A.T. hospitality!


Workers dwarfed by the huge building and its carriage! John deNicholas (l) , Nicholas Bros., supervising.


Hydraulically powered aircraft type wheels and tires inch the building forward


Halfway into Main Street, starting to turn and head North


Moving North on Main Street; estimated speed an inch a minute!


Paul Cigal (r), overseer of project with Joe deNicholas, of Nicholas Bros.,the moving contractor,

I spoke with Paul Cigal today about his professional experiences and his involvement in this moving project:

Over the last 20+ years in the building trade and historic preservation field, I’ve had experience coordinating projects that involve moving buildings on wheels; with cranes; and by taking apart, moving by flatbed truck, and reassembling at a new location. My friend and former partner, David Berto, is involved in this Middletown project with N.E.A.T., and he contacted me to ask if I would participate in this one. These types of challanging projects are just what I like to accomplish and I jumped at the chance. Working for Peter Harding as project coordinator, I solicitated bids from the trades, applied for and secured the many permits required for the move, and completed tons of paperwork. I’d guess I talked with more than 100 people over the course of two months in order to move this house.

Contact Paul Cigal at paul@convertabarn.com

Go to the Nicholas Bros. website to see some of the amazing array of other buildings they have moved.

(all photos and video credit ConservaCity)

Hartford Courant articles yesterday, and earlier.

Also see Caterwauled blog for 7/3/07 ,8/9/07, and 10/1/07. for discussion of some of the controversy regarding this project.

Moving Day: 9 Liberty Street….

January 12, 2008

ConservaCity Photo

Update added 1/12/08: Long, interesting article in today’s Hartford Courant about the building and the move.

As part of the Liberty Square project this historically important former church at 9 Liberty Street in the city will be moved Saturday to a new site on Rapallo Avenue. Details of the move including traffic information are reprinted below from the Hartford Courant (1/10/08):

MIDDLETOWN — – During the late evening hours of Saturday through early morning Sunday, a house will be moved from the intersection of Main and Liberty streets to 47 Rapallo Ave.

Traffic will be restricted on area streets from 6:30 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday. Grand Street traffic will be closed to eastbound through traffic, although local access will be maintained for parking lots and residents.

Starting about 2 a.m., the house will start moving north. Northbound lanes of Main Street will be closed at Washington Street and traffic will be detoured to Dekoven Drive to Rapallo Avenue to get to the Arrigoni Bridge and Route 9. Southbound Main Street traffic will be detoured onto Grand and Pearl streets to get to Route 66.

The house will be moved onto Rapallo Avenue no later than 7 a.m., and Main Street will be re-opened. That section of Dekoven Drive and Rapallo Avenue will be closed to through traffic until the house is placed on the lot.

Parking on Main Street between Grand and Liberty streets and on portions of Rapallo Avenue will be prohibited starting at 10 p.m. Saturday.

For more information call the traffic bureau at 860-344-3265.

Also see Caterwauled blog for 7/3/07 ,8/9/07, and 10/1/07.

Tags: liberty square middletown ct,house moving,historic middletown ct,

Universe Threatened…

November 24, 2007

Universe Threatened..Poor, Minorities Hardest….Oh, Everyone Hit!

Because we humans have supposedly identified and observed so called “dark matter” we have caused, according to some scientists, a shortening of the life span of the universe. So, now the clarion call must be “Save the Universe”. For the above postulated theories to be true requires the assumption that human consciousness is the only conscious force at work in the universe.

Vote Yes on Farmland Preservation Nov 6

November 3, 2007

Question 2. on the Nov 6 Ballot in Middletown reads:

“Shall the $2,000,000 appropriation and bond authorization for acquisition of open space and farm lands, as adopted by the Common Council, be approved?”

Previous bond sales totaling $8 million have helped finance the purchase of nearly 700 acres of woodlands and recreation space in the past 18 years – land that likely would have become housing subdivisions had it not been preserved.This new measure would focus on the preservation of farmland.

If approved by the voters, the additional $2 million could trigger up to $4 million in matching state grants, allowing the city to buy or preserve a total of 500 more acres.

“We have a very good track record with the state; in well over 90 percent of our applications, we’ve won the matching funds,” Middletown Conservation Commission member Michael Ennis said. “Open space purchases pay for themselves over time by saving tax dollars, and all of that develop able land is like fruit [hanging] from a vine, waiting to be plucked.”

In these instances, the city either buys the real estate or the development rights. The latter option allows a farming family to continue to work their land if they choose…… Every hour, another acre of land is chewed up by developers. To demonstrate these numbers and to honor land which has been preserved, Middletown Conservation Commission Member Michael Ennis rose before dawn, and three minutes before sunrise, he began a sit-in at The Guida Farm Conservation Area, a 100-acre pasture that was once a dairy farm.
At 7:13 a.m., Ennis arrived on the open meadow, spread out his blanket and began a sit-in. Each hour and a quarter, he moves an acre and marks the 40,000-square-foot area with orange cones. Each year, 7,000 acres of land are developed, Ennis said. That translates to 19 acres a day, or one acre every hour and a quarter. “This is more or less the amount of land we lose every day, open space, to developers,” Ennis said, indicating the rolling green meadow around him.

Source: Middletown Press

Here is cover photo from the November issue of The Chronicle picturing members of the Guida family of Sunshine Dairy and member of the Lee family from Lee Farm. These farms, along with others, could qualify for preservation if the bonding is approved. Credit: staff photographer Tom Keyes, Sr

Here is a portion of an article from the same issue about the farms: (see also our previous posting Farmland Preservation News and Jonah Center page in the sidebar)

It’s the Humidity Stupid!

October 11, 2007

For as long as I can remember we denizens of the East Coast U.S. have sweated out many a summer hearing reports of much higher temps in our Southwest and thinking how much worse that must be; but, friends would always retort, “it’s not the heat but the humidity that causes discomfort; it’s much drier out there”. Now there’s a report claiming humidity is rising due to human presence and activity. Increasing humidity is the latest component in the “human activity=global warming” alarmism scam. Yahoo News reports (10/10/07):

Study: Rise in humidity caused by humans

WASHINGTON – With global warming, the world isn’t just getting hotter — it’s getting stickier, due to humidity. And people are to blame, according to a study based on computer models published Thursday. The amount of moisture in the air near Earth’s surface rose 2.2 percent in less than three decades, the researchers report in a study appearing in the journal Nature.

This report seems to be yet another example of scientists’ scrambling to make data fit their “consensus” agenda. One portion of the study showed that, indeed, humidity in the U.S. East had increased but the U.S West, South Africa, and parts of Australia were drier. I, and many others, are skeptical that experts with their precious computer models can make such firm predictions about so complex a system as the earth’s weather and climate.

“This story does now fit together; there are now no loose ends,” said Ben Santer, a scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Lab and author of the September study on moisture above the oceans. “The message is pretty compelling that natural causes alone just can’t cut it.”

The studies make sense, said University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver, who was not part of either team’s research.

No loose ends, compelling messages, sensible studies indeed.

Tags: climate crisis,global warming hoax,humidity,scientific climate studies,computer models,rising humidity

Coginchaug Cleanup:Great Turnout & Results!

September 29, 2007

About 20 folks assembled this beautiful September morn for the annual cleanup of the Coginchaug River in Middletown CT. This effort is sponsored by the Connecticut River Watershed Council and other organizations. We found carpets, mattresses, tires, and shopping carts just to mention the larger items. Other assorted trash filled scores of large garbage bags. The city supplied materials handling supplies and trucks to haul away the debris.

This post also appears at http://conservacity.blogspot.com/

Some video here (0:1:06)
Still photos are below. I apologize for earlier photos that did not render for most viewers.

At the Coginchaug

Wild Rice, Arrowroot and Swallows

August 23, 2007

http://www.ripway.com/members/getfile.asp?file=\IM000040%5F1%2EJPG

It was a picture perfect, autumn-like day on the Connecticut River yesterday with just enough headwind to test the paddlers’ arms as the flotilla of canoes and kayaks gathered for the Floating Meadows Tour sponsored by The Jonah Center for Earth and Art. I paddled in the media canoe with Peter Marteka of the Courant whose column. The Path Less Traveled appears in the paper on Fridays. In the photo below Peter interviews Jonah Center executive director John Hall.

http://www.ripway.com/members/getfile.asp?file=\IM000071%2EJPG

John Hall explained early on that because of the wind some folks might find the going difficult but only one crew had a problem, capsizing near the launch area. Once in the Mattabesset things were much calmer. John Hall explains:

It was, at first, a strenuous paddle into a stiff 17 mph breeze as 25 paddlers departed from Harbor Park and headed upriver, but the wind abated from that point on and we were well-rewarded for our effort. The Floating Meadows are in their glory at this time of year, with wild rice high and bright green, arrow root in purple bloom, swallows darting overhead, and the river water clearer at this time of year than at any other.

IM000074.jpg picture by johnbrush

Last boats in at sunset ending a beautiful day!

Lots more photos here.