Past Issues of the Putnam Town Crier

His legacy stands tall
By Linda Lemmon
Town Crier Editor
POMFRET — “He had my back for 30 years. For that I am forever grateful,” said Sara Heminway, director of the northeast region of the Connecticut Audubon Society.
Benjamin D. Williams III, longtime steward and champion of the natural world, died March 7, leaving a legacy in organizations across the northeast corner and beyond.
Heminway added, “I’m kinda flattened” that he’s gone.
Heminway and others will be reminded of his legacy every time they pass by the “Ed Shed.” The structure was a surprise gift from his younger brother in California. Heminway said originally a lean-to type structure was considered; then a potting shed design was expanded and retrofitted. It was placed on the crest of a hill so it would look out into what could be the middle of Vermont or New Hampshire. They managed to get it into place without Williams seeing it.
In the four years Mr. Ben’s Education Shed, Williams and staff have hosted innumerable children on the spring and fall field trips to the Connecticut Audubon Society on Day Road. In fact, field trips start up next week, Heminway said. At least 3,000 kids a year come to learn. “Ben introduced thousands to the creepy crawlers from the Connecticut Audubon,” she said.
The Wyndham Land Trust said: “Few others can match Ben’s legacy, who led the Wyndham Land Trust for decades with passion, good humor and steadfast dedication. His years of commitment to land protection are readily apparent in the quiet woodland trails and unspoiled landscapes that are so beloved by our community today and which will delight and nurture generations to come. To recognize his incredible contribution to conservation work in Windham County, we have established the Ben Williams Legacy Conservation Fund, which will be used to protect space for people and wildlife to grow and thrive—the places that mattered so much to Ben. It is our intent to honor Ben’s vision for years to come through proactive land protection work in northeastern Connecticut.”

Mr. Ben's Education Shed sits quietly at the Connecticut Audubon Society at Pomfret Center.  Linda Lemmon photo.

captions, page 4:

Above: Williams is holding the "just for fun" sign. Right: Mr. Ben's Education Shed. Courtesy photos.

Above: He was famous for inviting kids into his kitchen to learn. Right: A Middle School BioBlizt. Courtesy photos.

Access Food Pantries benefit
concert raises $4,000
POMFRET — The Vanilla Bean Café recently hosted the 31st Annual Special Benefit Concert for the Food Pantries of Access and raised $4,000.
The concert was coordinated by Howie Bursen, the “Red Hot Banjo Wizard,” and Sally Rogers, “Nightingale with a Voice Clear as the Queen’s Diamonds”.
They were joined on stage by John Bailey, and Bennett and Lorraine Hammond.
Access serves 28 towns in Windham and Tolland counties and operates two food pantries, one in Willimantic and one in Danielson.
They also have a mobile food van that makes monthly deliveries to low-income communities that have limited access to affordable healthy food.
Last year the Access mobile food pantry increased its deliveries to those in need by 50% by adding eight new locations including four new Senior Housing sites.


The following charges were listed in the Putnam Police Department logs. The people charged are innocent until proven guilty in court. The Town Crier will publish dispositions of cases at the request of the accused. The dispositions must be accompanied by the proper documentation. The Putnam Police Department confidential Tip Line is 860-963-0000.

March 10

Rebecca Kamuda, 43, Church Street, Putnam; violation of protective order.


East Putnam Site OK'd for Cannabis
By Linda Lemmon
Town Crier Editor
PUTNAM — The Zoning Commission last week unanimously approved the retail sale of cannabis in East Putnam.
Putnam Plaza LLC, c/o MARKV Development of West Hartford, requested waivers of various zoning requirements and exemptions of certain requirements for special permits.
The store would be located at 97 Providence Pike, next to Big Gary’s Discount Liquors. There is 8,080 square feet in between Big Gary’s and Tractor Supply and it is divisible, according to the listing online.
At the hearing March 15, Mark D’Addabo, owner of the complex, told commission members that there is no tenant in place as of yet. Because there is no tenant yet, he could not answer the question posed by David Pomes if it would include both medial and retail sales. Concerns about traffic and parking were raised. One commissioner was concerned about traffic coming in from Putnam onto Hawkins Road going into the parking lot and how traffic cuts right across in front of oncoming traffic coming down from Hawkins Road, according to the hearing minutes. A Hawkins Road resident also thought traffic would be a problem. An East Putnam Road resident asked about parking and where the entrance is located. According to the minutes “D’Addabo reviewed the regulations stating his proposal meets the parking requirements.”
The one-year moratorium on cannabis sales in Putnam ends April 1, 2023.
D’Addabo could not be reached for comment.


Cannabis Site
Although the developer does not yet have a tenant, the "available" section of this plaza was approved for cannabis. Aerial from Loopnet.


One year after coming up just short of winning a New England free throw shooting contest, Putnam Middle School seventh grader TJ Espinosa, left, broke through Saturday, taking the competition and earning a spot in the national final. Espinosa, competing in the 12-13-year-old division, sank 23-of-25 foul shots in the contest, advancing to Nationals, which will be held in Chicago from April 20-23. Espinosa, who represents Putnam Elks Lodge 574, won a district championship in January and the state title in February. TJ’s younger brother Bryce, right, competed in the 10-11-year-old division and made 19 free throws, taking second place in New England. TJ and Bryce are shown with their dad, Tom Espinosa. Story by: Stephen Nalbandian, Sports Information Director, Putnam Science Academy.


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