Past Issues of the Putnam Town Crier

At the end of September, the South Woodstock Post Office will be closed permanently. The box customers will see their boxes moved to the main Woodstock Post Office, along with their South Woodstock zip code.

By Linda Lemmon
Town Crier Editor
SOUTH WOODSTOCK — The South Woodstock U.S. Post Office will be closing permanently Sept. 30.
According to customers, the owner of the property, Northeast Placement Services (NEPS), recently notified the post office that the lease for the office would not be renewed. No reason was given.
NEPS Executive Director Timothy Kettle, who notified the post office staff, could not be reached for comment.
A for-lease space next to Java Jive was suggested as an alternative, but the U.S. Post Office officials said no.
Those who have rented a box at the South Woodstock Post Office (there are no carriers, only post office boxes there) will have their box number AND zip code transferred to the main post office across from the Woodstock Trading Post (formerly Sweet Evalina’s).
Because the South Woodstock zip code will still be used, there will be no “duplicate” post office box numbers.



This mural was unveiled last week. Artist Dot Burnworth is at right. Courtesy photo.

PUTNAM — RiseUP for Arts unveiled its latest public art project at the Putnam Elementary (PES) Open House Aug. 29, the evening before the start of school.
The piece is a playful, colorful large scale clay mural depicting an elephant teetering on a ladder, spraying the earth with a rainbow engraved with the words “kindness, happiness, community, generosity, compassion, and friendship.”  The center of the mural reads: “Together we can create a beautiful world.”    
The mural was conceived as a community-based public art project, which means it was an artist-led initiative in which members of the community (in this case, PES students) had the opportunity for hands-on participation.  Lead artist, Dot Burnworth, said: “This process of community involvement allows participants to express the shared values of their collective group while fostering a sense of pride and ownership over the space.  It is perfect for school settings — especially for kids who are not especially invested in their education.  It helps them feel a sense of belonging at school.”
Burnworth came up with the mural design by sifting through the kids’ drawings and comments, pulling together repeating images and themes.  She said, “The elephant climbing the ladder represents overcoming adversity in order to reach one’s goals.  The rainbow represents the ideas the students want to share with the world.”  
Creation of the mural began in February when Burnworth and fellow artist Heather Viveiros of Sawmill Pottery spent six weeks as resident artists at the elementary school.  During that month and a half, the students learned about the importance of public art, brainstormed ideas for the mural and got lots of time to work with the clay, creating border tiles as well as land and water tiles that were mosaicked into a three-dimensional Earth.  
After their residency at the school, Burnworth and Viveiros returned to their studio to create, glaze and fire the large pieces of the mural in their kilns.  Installation took the entire month of August, finishing just in time for an unveiling at the school open house.  The kids were thrilled.
Student Leah Gonsalves’s face lit up when she saw the mural on the wall.  “I can’t believe I helped make this!” she said.  This was just what the artists were hoping to hear.  Viveiros said, “The look of pride and amazement on all the kids’ faces as they looked up at the mural was the most gratifying conclusion to the whole process.”
The project was sponsored through a partnership between Putnam Public Schools and RiseUP for Arts, a statewide public art and youth mentoring organization.  Funding was received from The Last Green Valley, Weiss, Hale and Zahansky, Centreville Bank, and CT Office of the Arts.


Girls’ soccer
team wouldn’t
mind a repeat
The Woodstock Academy girls’ soccer team feels like there is always a target on its back.
That will be especially true in 2023.
The Centaurs are coming off a 14-5-2 season which saw them capture the ECC Div. I regular season crown and the ECC tournament title. They also advanced to the Class L quarterfinals for the first time since 2003.
“Those of us that were around last year will certainly remember it and strive to reach the goals that we know we must reach to get back there,” said coach Dennis Snelling. “We’re proud of it but this is a fresh year. We have to start all over.”
Especially since there will be a key ingredient missing.
Grace Gelhaus has moved on to play Div. I college soccer and has taken her 25 goals and 11 assists with her.
“Grace was such a powerhouse in the middle,” said senior captain Kayla Leite. “We just have to find a new dynamic, a style of how to play, and once we find that, we will be pretty good.”
Leite is, in a manner of speaking, a new addition to the team.
She spent last year in the role of team manager with an ACL injury.
“I love soccer so it’s really nice to be back and be a part of the team, playing on the team and not just being on the sideline,” Leite said.
Snelling is used to replacing that core player.
It happens just about every year in high school soccer.
“But when it’s a senior like Grace, it’s hard to just say that we will put someone else in that spot. Someone else has to step up and become the centerpiece of the offense,” Snelling said.
There are players capable of doing so.
Junior Leah Costa finished second in scoring for the Centaurs with 13 goals and seven assists.
Fellow juniors Isabella Selmecki (4 goals, 1 assist), Bella Mawson (3, 2) and Juliet Allard (2, 2) also posted scoring stats. Senior Kendall McCormack will also contribute this year.
“We have maybe eight players coming back who have scored. We know we have speed, we know we have kids who can score. It’s the matter of can we win the ball? Can we get the most opportunities per game? Those are things that we’re unsure of,” Snelling said.
The Centaurs also lost some key midfield contributions from Lennon Favreau, Maya Orbegozo and Paige Owens as well as Gabby Couture and Gabbie Brown up front; Abby Morin, Magdalena Myslenski and Haley Whitehouse in back and Fiona Rigney in goal.
“I think we have to establish who the center-midfielders will be since it was Grace and Lennon the whole year last year and we relied on the center-backs to play just defense for them. It’s a matter of finding new players to step up into the center-mid role. It’s hard to fill. It’s hard to find players who can play both ways for the whole game. Usually kids have either defensive or offensive mindsets. We will see what we can find,” Snelling said.
Leite, juniors Bella Rawson and Emma Massey, sophomores Kaylee Saucier and Campbell Favreau and freshman Elise Coyle are all battling for playing time in the middle.
The defense is solid.
“I love the defense,” said senior keeper and captain Rebecca Nazer.
Senior Taylor Lamothe, junior captain Freya Robbie and classmate Macy Rawson, sophomores Payton Leite, Vayda Payne and Isabel D’Alleva-Bochain and freshman Rita Rawcliffe will anchor the back.
The interesting thing is that it will be the first time ever that the Leite sisters are teammates on the same team.
“We have never played together before,” Kayla Leite said. “People have said that we would play well together so I’m excited to see what we can do. We’re always challenging each other.”
Nazer and sophomore Ellary Sampson will man the goal.
“The high balls, got to get to those,” Nazer said with a smile when asked what she has been working on in the net. “It’s something that I have to work on but there has been progress and I’m getting better at it. I think I’ve grown in confidence and talking to the team. My freshman year, I didn’t talk much. Now, I’m yelling a lot, staying positive, talking to the girls at halftime, uplifting them. I think I’ve made some positive shifts in several ways.”
The big key for Woodstock?
“Passing,” said Snelling. “We really have to get in tune with each other because we have a lot of players who haven’t played together. It took three or four days just to get to know each other’s names. We really just have to get the team to come together.”
Can the Centaurs get back to their 2022 heights?
Why not? “I think we just need to build confidence,” Snelling said. “If we have a team that can get to the ECC tournament, we will have a lot of warm up games for it, high-level games like Wethersfield and Granby. We’ve been to the tournament something like seven of the last 10 years, so we’re always looking to get there and the kids always have that goal.”
Girls’ Soccer Schedule:
Thurs., Sept. 7: at Rockville, 6 p.m.; Tues., Sept. 12: vs. Ledyard, 4:15; Wed., Sept. 13:  vs. Wethersfield, 4:15; Fri., Sept. 15:  vs. Stonington, 4:15; Tues., Sept. 19:  at E. Lyme, 7; Fri., Sept. 22: vs. NFA, 4; Mon., Sept. 25:  vs. E.O. Smith, 4; Sat., Sept. 30: vs. Plainfield, 1; Mon., Oct. 2: at Bacon Academy, 4:15; Wed., Oct. 4:vs. Granby, 4:15; Sat. Oct. 7:  at Waterford, 4; Mon., Oct. 9: at Fitch, 11; Sat., Oct. 14: at Ellington, 11; Thurs., Oct. 19: at Stonington, 4:15; Tues., Oct. 24: at NFA, 7; Thurs., Oct. 26: vs. E. Lyme, 4:15.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy

Seniors Kayla Leite, left, and Rebecca Nazer are hoping for another strong performance from the Centaurs this season. Photo by Marc Allard.


PUTNAM — Cannabis retailer Chillax is soon set to open its doors in the Tractor Supply shopping center on Rt. 44.
The green light for adult-use cannabis operations came through Zoning Commission March. This paved the way for Chillax to finalize a lease agreement for space exceeding 3,500 square feet within the shopping center. According to sources, the store will be open later this year.
The strategic decision to establish the store in this specific location was determined by a number of key factors. Notably, the center boasts impressive repeat customer figures which are bolstered by the existing tenancy and its convenient proximity to I-395. This advantageous location promises a steady stream of potential customers from a wide geographic area. The site also has strong street visibility and signage.
Chillax has already secured multiple licenses from the state’s cannabis lottery process. It will share the center with long-term tenants Big Gary’s Discount Liquors and Tractor Supply.
Mark C. D’Addabbo of MACK V Development represented the landlord.
According to sources, “Chillax’s presence in the Tractor Supply shopping center marks a significant development in the local retail landscape. The confluence of favorable factors, including strategic location, robust visibility, and strong, national retail neighbors including CVS, Burger King, Stop & Shop, amongst others, bodes well for Chillax’s prospects in serving the community while contributing to the vibrant commercial atmosphere of the area.”


Monday: No school - Labor Day
Putnam Elementary/Middle
Everyday: Fruit. Tuesday: Spaghetti, meatball, vegetable medley. Wednesday: Orange popcorn chicken rice bowl, broccoli. Thursday: Fiesta beef nachos, corn. Friday: Stuffed-crust pizza, salad.
Putnam High
Tuesday: Chicken teriyaki or bacon cheeseburgers. Wednesday: BBQ rib sandwiches or chicken Caesar wraps. thursdaqy: Nachos Grande or "Wild Mike's" cheese bites. Friday: Free picnic (rain date Sept. 15).
Woodstock schools
Everyday: Fruit. Tuesday: Bosco stix, marinara sauce. Wednesday: Chicken nuggets, dipping sauces, brown rice, black beans. Thursday: Rigatoni, meatballs, zucchini. Friday: Pizza, corn.
Pomfret Community
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