Daily Five: Gone to the Dogs

Five thing to know for Tuesday, October 18

1. Yesterday was gorgeous--today, not so much. Weather.com predicts a mostly cloudy day with a 20 percent chance of rain. Temperatures will range from a high of 67 to an overnight low of 55 degrees, with a slight chance of showers late at night.

2. to serve the towns of Waterford and East Lyme is progressing rapidly, with a total of $16,914 raised so far, according to the latest report from the Animal Control Facility Study Ad Hoc Committee. More fundraisers are planned this month, including a Zumba Fitness party at Work Out World in Groton at 5:30 p.m. on October 20, to which nonmembers are welcome in exchange for a donation to the shelter.

There will also be a Halloween Spooktacular with costume contests for kids of all ages at , 6 Fargo Road, in Waterford from noon to 3 p.m. on October 29 and a comedy night for adults with Dave Reilly at Port N’ Starboard at Ocean Beach, New London on November 19.

Every bit helps but there’s still a long way to go and a couple of recent setbacks haven’t helped. Fundraising fliers that the Committee paid to have inserted in The Day and the Waterford Times didn’t appear in as many papers as members expected. “Lots of people didn’t get them,” said Committee Co-chair Robin Perkins. “Almost everyone I know didn’t.”

The flier requesting donations cost about $1,500. As that money had been painstakingly raised through small donations to begin with, it was more than a little disappointing.

The response to the fliers that did go out, however, has been pretty good. Donations of anywhere from $5 to $200 have been coming in, many of them with nice handwritten notes. Waterford Animal Control Officer Robert Yuchniuk plans to respond with thank you notes to all, with one possible exception. One person sent a $25 check that bounced, which cost the group an additional $25 in bank fees, leaving the fund $25 poorer rather than $25 richer.

“We appreciate donations but do make sure the check is good!” said committee co-chair Margaret Ormond.

Word to the wise: As bouncing a check is a criminal offense, if the person who wrote it doesn’t make good on the amount, Waterford Finance Department policy dictates that the matter be turned over to the police, who will recoup the money, though not the bank fees.  

Instead of sending money, one person responded to the flier with a note that read: “I think the towns need to foot the bill.”

Committee members couldn’t agree more but after asking Waterford Board of Selectmen , the answer to that is still no, at least for the next four years.

Perkins noted that there might have been more money in the budget, “If we didn’t go $3 million over budget on our high school construction.”

3. Speaking of construction, the Waterford School Building Committee will be touring the construction site today at 5 p.m. The Committee meeting itself will be at 5:30 p.m. at Waterford High School Room W-1 (that’s a change from its usual location). On the agenda are change orders regarding the pool and fieldhouse areas that are currently being renovated. Although most of the meeting will deal with Waterford High School issues, Oswegatchie School and Great Neck School are on the agenda too.

4. The Board of Selectmen also meets tonight at 5 p.m. at Waterford Town Hall. The Board is likely to act on a request from Public Works Director Ron Cusano to approve an appropriation of $134,500 from the Capital & Non-recurring Undesignated Fund Balance for the design and restoration of , which was damaged by flooding during Tropical Storm Irene and needs to be repaired before winter to allow for snow plowing.

5. On this day in 1867, the United States took formal possession of Alaska. The United States bought the land from Russia for $7.2 million, enlarging the nation by 586,412 square miles. Even though the price was cheap at just under 2 cents an acre, the purchase wasn’t popular with the American public, which took to referring to it as “Seward’s Folly” after Secretary of State William Henry Seward, who was the driving force behind the purchase.

Quote of the Day

“To live anywhere in the world [today] and be against equality because of race or color is like living in Alaska and being against snow.”

-William Faulkner

Trivia of the Day

“Seward’s Folly” wasn’t the only name the public came up with for Alaska. Another was “Andrew Johnson’s …” Can you fill in the blank?

Yesterday’s Answer: Al Capone died of heart failure at his home in Miami Beach, Florida.


Alan Wilensky October 18, 2011 at 04:41 PM
I am not sure where Ms. Perkins came up with the idea that the high school construction project is $3 million dollars over budget, but I assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. On the contrary, the original bids on the current construction phase came in approximately $4 million UNDER budget. As chairman of the Waterford School Building Committee, I and my committee have been and will continue to scrutinize the entire construction project and we will deliver the highest quality building within the budget that has been set by the town. In fact, all of the school buildings have been constructed under budget and that is our intention with the high school as well.
Dennis Beckloff October 18, 2011 at 04:46 PM
Trivia of the Day “Seward’s Folly” wasn’t the only name the public came up with for Alaska. Another was “Andrew Johnson’s ...Polar bear garden.....


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