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Town News

About Those Painted Picnic Tables...

Claudia Margitay-Balogh

July 25, 2019 

   Those of us who frequent the Farmer’s Market at Paradise Green Park, on Monday afternoons from June through October from 2-6 p.m., are well acquainted with Stratford residents Ed and Laurie Popadic who are the owners of Pepe’s Cream of the Crop Shell Fish Farm. Not only does Laurie gather the clams her customers request from her refrigerated truck each Monday afternoon, she is a fountain of knowledge about how to cook the clams correctly. She is often seen handing out recipes.

 Laurie is a vendor as well as the assistant market manager for Stratford’s Farmer’s Market, a position she has held for eight years. For her first four years, she managed the Market when it was in the Avco Parking Lot in Lordship. This is the fourth year that the Market has been on the Green. This year there are 19 vendors. 

When I asked Laurie about the three wooden painted picnic tables that were scattered on the Green’ Park, she told me that they were purchased by Laurie and her husband last year from the money that came from the vendors’ fee for securing a space at the Market. She then went onto the Ladies of Stratford Facebook to ask for volunteers who would use their creativity and talent to create an original art work on the top of the table. At this point in her story, Laurie was unable to remember all of the artists’ names. She did remember that graphic artist Megan Matto created the Sunset Lighthouse picnic table top. There were two boys about thirteen years old who recreated a facsimile of the different store fronts in the Green for the second table. If one looks on the side of the table there are two names Matthew George. Could this be the names of the artists? For the third picnic table Laurie stated that two girls about twelve years of age painted in blue the bold letters Stratford Farmer’s Market. If anyone knows the correct names of these young artists, please submit them to the Stratford Town Crier. 

The picnic tables are not only esthetically pleasing to the eye but quite functional for the shoppers who desire a place to sit and enjoy their ice cream cone, eat a fresh peach, or munch on a delicious scone.  

Thanks to all who were involved in those painted picnic tables.

Photos courtesy of Claudia Margitay-Balogh

Beyond Books: A Bounty of Offerings at the Stratford Library 

Sheri Szymanski, ​Stratford Library Director

July 25, 2019 

“Oh!  You’re a Librarian?  I’d love to have a job where it’s quiet and I get to read books all day!”  

If I had a dollar for every time someone said that to me, I could take a cruise around the world.  In my 34 years of working in libraries, I have never cracked open a book to read while on the job, but this common image persists. Most adults have memories of their public library that involve lots of books, librarians telling you to be quiet and people sitting solemnly at tables, working and reading. If you were an avid reader, this was wonderland!  For others, their last visit to a library involved frenzied research to finish a paper in order to graduate!

The 21stcentury library is quite different than you remember.  

Let’s start with the practical stuff.  Is your printer broken?  Stop by and print out those concert tickets for tonight’s show.  Are you making a special cake to celebrate your 4 year old’s birthday?  Check out our selection of cake pans.  Heading to the city on the train?  Go to our website (stratfordlibrary.org) to use Flipster, a selection of current magazines that you can read on your smartphone.  Do you have old photos, slides,[and VHS tapes cluttering up the closet?  Use our equipment to digitize them.  Want to update your computer skills?  Visit our website to use Hoonuit’s video lessons.  Are you frustrated by your new smartphone or tablet?  Sign up for one of our classes for help figuring it out. And if you’re looking for something to read, browse our print collection OR use Libby/Overdrive to peruse our e-book selections.

Are you looking for something to do besides binge watching episodes of your favorite TV show?   The Stratford Library can get you off the couch tonight!  You might know that we offer lectures and theater programs, but did you know that we are celebrating National Video Game Day on 9/12 with a Family Video Game Night? You might know that we have Books Over Coffee and Book Buzz discussion groups at the Library, but did you know that we host Books on Tap at the Sitting Duck Tavern each month?  You may have attended one of our live music programs, but did you know that we have The Studio—a place where you can explore green screen photography, record video/audio and experiment with sound mixing and podcasting?  You probably attended library storyhour and craft programs when you were a child, but did you know that we have adult craft nights, host a knitting group (the KnitWits) and even provide die cutting, 3-D printing and a sewing machine in our uCreate space?

So, if you have a library card that expired in the 20th century , stop in and renew it.   You’ll be surprised by what you find in the Stratford Library today.  We still have plenty of books, but we offer so much more.   Join the 750+ people who pass through our doors each day to learn, create and share!

Stratford Republicans Announce Nominations

Rachel Rusnak

July 25, 2019  

On Thursday July 18th, the Stratford Republican Town Committee met to endorse candidates for the November Town elections. The slate of nominees includes candidates for Town Council, Board of Education, Land Use boards, and Constables. Chairman of the Republican Town Committee, Lou DeCilio had this to say “The Republican ticket offers an honest, hardworking commitment to our community from people that have consistently been involved in all facets of our community.”  

Contract Plating Cleanup to Begin

Rachel Rusnak

July 25, 2019  


The Stratford Health Department released notice on Monday, July 22ndthat 

the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted the Town approval to remove composite material and soil from the former Contract Plating facility located at 540 Longbrook Avenue.  It was announced that the Town contractors might begin work  at the site as early as this past Wednesday, July 24, 2019.


Per the Health Department release, “This work is part of a Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Cleanup Plan created for the site with a Department of Economic Community Development (DECD) Brownfield Grant”.  Representatives for the project consultant will be on site to monitor dust control procedures and to prevent dust migration outside of the work zone. Air monitoring will be implemented to measure dust levels and ensure dust control procedures. The Department noted that the cleanup activities will be limited only to the Contract Plating site and that this work is exclusive of Raymark work. For more information visit the Stratford Health Department site http://www.townofstratford.com/health

Stratford Beat the Heat with the Blues

Rachel Rusnak

July 25, 2019 

   Blues on the Beach saw another successful season this past Saturday, July 20th at Short Beach, with locals and visitors alike braving the oppressive heat to picnic, play, and dance to popular local acts. The 2019 Season ran smoothly, with attendees commenting on the exceptional planning of the event. Rough estimates suggest thousands attended this year’s event, running from 12:30 in the afternoon to approximately 9:30 pm, with closer Da Band. 

Stratford Library Events,                              Photos courtesy of Sheri Szymanski