By Robert D. Utter
NORTH STONINGTON – The town’s three recreational lakes - Wyassup Lake, Billings Lake, and Blue Lake - are infested with a few species of invasive weeds.
They have been for years, and that makes them the same as almost every lake in the Northeast. The two worst culprits are variable milfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum) and fanwort, (Cabomba caroliniana).
Each year, the town spends $15,000 to help suppress these weeds, although it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what it would take to eradicate the weeds from the lakes.
by Margaret Leonard
NORTH STONINGTON - The pride of Mount Vernon made his appearance to promote the rededication of the Marcia Thompson school house. The venerated Virginian veteran posed for photo ops and was there to bear witness to the official citation from the State of Connecticut in recognition of Alicia Smith and Marlisa McLaughlin for opening the Marcia Thompson Schoolhouse to the public. The citation was introduced by Senator Heather Somers, 18th district, and Representative Kate Rotella, 43rd district. It was presented February 17, 2020 by Senator Heather Somers.
The guest speaker to this event was Todd Seniff, a retired Navy Captain and SEAL. In his powerful motivational speech, he spoke of failing up or the consequences and benefits of failing in order to succeed.
Quartermaster is the highest achievable rank in Sea Scouts which is equivalent to Eagle in Boy Scouts. Chris is a member of Ship 584 Groton Ct chartered by the American Legion Post 114.
For his project he worked with the staff and a mentor to create and label a trail at Terra Firma Farm in North Stonington. The trail will enhance the farm’s summer youth programs.
Chris is in a leadership position in his Ship and the Council and has served in various leadership positions. His training included marlinspike seamanship, piloting and navigation, navigation, engines and repairs, boat maintenance, Duty to God, and Citizenship.
Chris also studied maritime tradition and ornamental ropework, among all thing nautical. He participated in SEAL, a weeklong “at sea” experience on the Chesapeake Bay to develop additional leadership skills by taking command of various aspects of the duties of the ship. He continues to stay busy in the community, school, and other extracurricular activities.
He is a recent graduate of Three Rivers Community College, where he was on the Dean’s List.
Both Boy Scouts and Sea Scouts are under the auspices of Boy Scouts of America.
If you have questions about Sea Scouting program, answers are at (860) 629-8708.
by Margaret Leonard
NORTH STONINGTON - The Shunock River Brewery welcomed the North Stonington community as well as those from surrounding towns Thursday evening for a pop-up art show. The event, organized by Suzanne Starr, featured her own personal work as well as artwork by John Craig, Karen Gallo and Wheeler High School student artist Olivia Bosse. Many took advantage of the event to check out the new brewery, at 2 Wyassup Road in the center of the village, for the first time.
John Craig, November 2019’s featured artist at the Wheeler library, has been working for 5-6 years splash painting with great drama. He likes to think of it like he’s a 3 year old in a mud puddle. “I have no idea what I’m doing, but it is so much fun!” he explains. Mr. Craig paints “like a conductor” with “lots of motion, lots of energy.” The individual pieces don’t take a long time to create, but he is “kind of wrung out at the end.”
Photographer Karen Gallo featured images of wildlife and landscapes. When asked if this was a life-long passion or something more recent, she responded “I always loved photography, but being a mom and a teacher I never had the time to do it.”
In 2016, Karen’s brother was offering a great deal on a Sony DSLR with a 300mm lens. “So I picked it up and started shooting birds in the backyard,” she said, “because I have always loved birds.” Soon she outgrew the camera and upgraded equipment to perfect her craft.
The byproduct of her landscape and wildlife photography is that it has sparked a love for the outdoors. “It’s been a learning experience…I just enjoy it so much.”
So, what is the hardest part?
“I know those techniques,” she explained, “but I am limited by my own fears of being out alone in the dark.”
Starr counted the evening a success and said she will be planning more art pop-ups soon. Look for notice of them in the Milltown Monitor’s events calendar.
by Lisa Carroll
NORTH STONINGTON - Hewitt Farm Community Garden has plots available for the 2020 gardening season. Applications from new gardeners are being accepted starting the second week of February. The application can be downloaded in PDF format at the end of this article, or you may pick up an application as early as the week of January 27th at Town Hall or the Wheeler Library.
Applications can be mailed to the address on the form or brought in person to the meeting on Feb. 12 at 7 PM at the North Stonington Senior Center behind Holly Green. If anyone has any questions, they are welcome to email us at HewittFarmCommunityGarden@gmail.com, attend the meeting, or send a direct message to us through our Facebook page, Hewitt Farm Community Garden.
by Margaret Leonard
NORTH STONINGTON - Over this past weekend, the field by the pavilion at Hewitt Farm was vandalized by a vehicle tearing up the grass.
During the fall of 2017 Stonington experienced a similar situation in which Police charged two Stonington High School students with using an SUV to tear up the Stonington High School soccer field named in memory of 9/11 victim Josh Piver on Oct. 29, causing $3,000 in damage.
Recently in the North Stonington Town Facebook group, the frustration was voiced by members of the community. It was presumed it was “thoughtless” “entitled” “mischievous” kids.
We reached out to First Selectman, Mike Urgo. He said, “ I have spoken with our highway foreman. It’s not the first time it’s happened and the town will be looking into the matter as well as further security options.“
by Margaret Leonard
NORTH STONINGTON - The town of North Stonington, CT celebrated its annual tree lighting ceremony December 8, 2019.
The quiet village came alive as the one-room schoolhouse opened its doors to visitors. Down Main Street, the Wheeler library was hosting an open house. A wonderful child care area was provided by a group of high schoolers that included ornament crafts. Meanwhile, upstairs, the room was bustling with residents excited to have an evening out. Amy Kennedy, the library’s director, said a few words on the transition of Wheeler Library Board Presidents.
Gary Annino, next door neighbor to the library, had barely started as “maintenance man” before he found himself in the president’s seat. They reflected on all they had been through together, including the new roof.
Amy thanked him for his service and looks forward to keeping him on to help with library up-keeping.
As the Wheeler library open house was winding down, the Christmas Carolers on the Village Green we’re singing “oh Christmas tree“ as they waited for First Selectmen, Mike Urgo, to turn the lights on. After numerous songs led by long time resident, Nancy Weissmiller, it was time to call for Santa.
Santa came on his custom sled, built by the North Stonington fire department, and after visiting with all of the little boys and girls made his way back to the firehouse. At this point the community made its way to the congregational church for refreshments and more caroling.
Overall, it was an adorably magical evening in the heart of southeastern Connecticut.