TIC Program 2010-11
from Al Concilio

It’s been another successful year for the TIC program. We added Westover School in Middlebury and the Polk School in Watertown. Installation of the classroom hatcheries in the new schools was accomplished in early September with the help of Hugh McCutchen from the Hammonasset Chapter. Alice Hallaran, a teacher at Westover, has been working with seventy-five high school students, while Jessica Sarandrea has twenty-seven very eager fifth graders in Watertown. The program equipment has constantly been upgraded. We discontinued the use of the UV filter and Sue Johnson (Memorial Middle School in Middlebury) tried out a new handmade breeding basket.

On November 17th, I was accompanied by Dom Falcone and Dick Hemenway to all three schools to deliver the eyed eggs. Dick has developed an excellent web site for the Polk School this year. One of the most rewarding parts of this project is seeing the excitement of the students as you enter the classroom. Unfortunately, the Westover students were taking tests and most of the Memorial School students were at specials; however, as we entered Mrs. Sarandrea’s fifth grade class, you would think we were celebrities. After a lively discussion with students, Dom passed around the two hundred brown trout eggs as kids strained to see the developing eyes. Dick took photographs to capture the event.
During the last two weeks, we conducted field trips for all three schools. Polk School visited Black Rock State Park and released their fish into Branch Brook. Alice and her students stocked their brown trout into the Pomperaug River at the Bent of the River Audubon Center. On May 9th, Sue Johnson involved over one hundred seventh graders in releasing about eighty fry into Hop Brook Stream. Students also collected and identified macroinvertebrates, recorded temperatures, searched for aquatic plants and conducted water quality tests.

This year proved to be our most challenging as we had more fish that died than ever before. All the teachers and students, however, did not get discouraged and continued to carefully monitor their tanks. Their persistence paid off as they each had at least thirty fish to release.

Thanks to Dom Falcone, Dick Hemenway and Ed Dearborn for their help to make this year a success.
Pictures


Father’s Day Reflections
By Bob Gregorski

Parents work hard and make sacrifices to provide for their children.  Most important are the basic needs: food, shelter, clothing, safety, medical care and education, which are costly. But providing affection, guidance, support and spending time with our children and grandchildren are priceless.  Most often both parents share in those responsibilities. Since it’s Father’s Day is June19 my focus is fathers and related outdoor sports. 

As I reflected for writing this, here’s a synopsis of the first two scenarios stood out in my memory bank about my dad. They are examples of when I felt that my dad demonstrated he was incredibly proud of my teams and me.  The first-- I was 12 years old playing on the LIONS Little League team. It was the last inning.  We were losing 4 to 2. There were two outs, bases loaded and I had a 2&2 pitch count.  I nailed the next pitch, a belt-high fastball, and sent it over the center field fence. Cars horns began sounding, people shouting and my teammates yelling ‘GRAND SLAMMER!’  We won the game.

As I was walking my bike in front of the stands after the game, my dad came to me beaming with a broad smile.  He didn’t have to say much, his body language and facial expression said ‘great hit; I’m proud of you’. He handed me $2 and said, “Buy a banana split”.  I thanked him, then stopped at the FRIENDLY’s located near the field and enjoyed my sundae.  I rode home happy, well fed and with a feeling of being supported and having accomplished a rare event.  When I arrived home, my mother and brother Mitch greeted me with congratulations and big smiles. Dad had spread the word to the family and neighbors.

Two years later our GREYS LITTLE LEAGUE ALUMNI team was playing for the state championship.  I had driven in the only run in the semi-final game, which moved us to the title game.  Dad was proud then, but the ultimate joy came when I scored the winning run to win the title and was recognized as a runner-up for Most Valuable Player in the tournament.   Dad was swollen with pride for the team and me.  Years later, our team was inducted into the Enfield Athletic Hall of Fame.

My dad attending my games and being supportive and encouraging meant a lot to me; he is the reason I love the outdoors –hunting, fishing, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, clamming and more. 

As a father, the tradition of being supportive, encouraging and pleased with the accomplishments of my three daughters was continued.  In high school, they were involved in field hockey, tennis, swimming, cheerleading and track.   Driving to and from practices and games was a given.  Cheering on the teams and players was enjoyable.  Congratulating after wins and consoling after loses were part of the game.

While they were growing up, we bonded through spending time together hiking, camping, swimming, fishing, sailing, clamming and canoeing. During those outdoor activities you got to know them in different settings and discovered new talents.

Being a grandfather, the beat has continued.  Some of our four grandchildren ages 11, 12, 13 and 14 are involved in organized play in: baseball, basketball, soccer, ice hockey, field hockey and volleyball.  They all have been hiking, boating, canoeing, fishing, building and erecting birdhouses.  All have been kayaking, two have been crabbing; two have shot bow and arrow and fired a pellet rifle and pistol; one has tied flies and learned to fly fish and another created a vegetable garden.   And there is more to come. I believe in giving youngsters an opportunity to try an outdoor activity or sport. If they enjoy it, they will ask to try it again.  If they don’t enjoy an experience, I let it drop until they show a renewed interest.

As grandparents, my wife and I try to attend as many athletic events as we can while being supportive, encouraging and pleased with the accomplishments. We encourage the kids to spend time involved in outdoor recreation, observing wildlife and respecting outdoor theaters.  Being a teacher and providing an opportunity to be involved is important at any age.

While watching our children and grandchildren, I have observed that most parents and grandparents are supportive of theirs and their teams.  Some are super cheerleaders.
This weekend as each of us reflects about our fathers and grandfathers, the roles they have played in addition to the one cited above may include being: coaches, scout leaders, umpires, cheerleaders and providing transportation and financial support.

Exclamations heard on Father’s Day should include: Dad you are the greatest!  Papa you are the best!   Tell them how much they are appreciated.


 

SPECIAL NOTICE TO ANGLERS AND HUNTERS:

During the 2010 session of the General Assembly, legislation was approved and signed into law in April reducing many of the fees for sportsmen’s licenses and permits. This was followed in June by legislation authorizing a credit to be applied against the fee for any 2011 sportsmen’s license, permit or tag when purchase of a license, permit or tag had been made at the higher prices in place between October 1, 2009 and April 14, 2010. The credit amount will be the difference between the higher amount paid during that time period and the amount set by the new fee structure established April 14, 2010. For information about these credits, please visit the DEP website license fees and credits page: www.ct.gov/dep/sportsmensfeereduction.