Saturday, March 13, 2010


The City Arts, Oddfellows and Summer School Programs are all accepting registration for summer camp. You can click here to be directed to the registration form for all of the city programs. They're inexpensive and fun and if you register soon, you may be able to get full day camp. Also, the summer Circus is back at Macdonough, so it's close

Friday, March 12, 2010


NEAT's Erin St. Community Garden may have a few plots open for this growing season. If you're interested, send a note to and let us know your name, phone number and where you live.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Home Energy Audits

For those of you who are not eligible for the WRAP energy audit program (because your family income is over the limit: $5667 for a family of 5, or email for guidelines), you can take advantage of the discount now being offered for CL & P's other program, Home Energy Solutions.

CL&P is aggressively pushing Home Energy Solutions audits and energy services to meet their quotas. A coupon is available that will reduce the co-pay from $75 to $25. Email to receive the coupon and apply. Residents are eligible to receive these energy services to further improve their home's energy efficiency every 18 months.

Send the following information:



Phone #s

CL&P account #

Yankee Gas account # (if applicable)

Free energy audits are available under the WRAP program to households with income less than 60% of the state median. Email for income guidelines

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Get Your Taxes Done For Free!

Income under $50,000? Then You Can Save Money
January 21st- April 10th
Tuesdays & Thursdays 5pm-8pm
Saturdays, 10am-3pm

* IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers
*Quick refunds to bank account or special debit card
*File even if you don't owe taxes: you may qualify for money from the government (EITC)


This is Sponsored by the Middlesex VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Coalition Partners include Middlesex United Way and Middlesex Coalition for Children. Must Call 211 for the Appointment, why pay for someone to do your taxes, don't you want ALL your money?

What you need to bring-
* Valid picture ID
*Social Security cards or Individual Taxpayer ID Number (ITIN) for you, your spouse and any dwpendents with you born before Dec. 31, 2009
*Birth dates foryou, your spouse and dependents
*Income documentation including W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, etc. from all employers
*Interest and dividend statements from banks or other financial institution (Forms 1099)
*Total paid for child care, if any. Bring the child care provider's name, address and tax ID or Social Security number
*Last year's federal and state tax returns, if available
*Current year's tax package, if you received one
*Education expenses and student loan information, if any
* Documentation of property tax payments (home, auto)
*If you wish to itemize deductions you also need to bring a list of your medical, interest, charitable donation, miscellaneous expenses and a list of the taxes you paid

*If you took advantage of any of the special tax credits related to the Economic Recovery Act (first-time home buyer, purchase of a new care after Feb. 16, energy improvements, etc.), please bring all related documents (price paid, receipts, taxes, etc.)
*If you run a small private business (day care, handyman, etc), documentation of income and expenses
*If you are married filing jointly, bring your spouse

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

College Bound Mentoring Program: Mentors Wanted

NEAT is starting a College Mentoring program and we're looking for mentors. We are looking for adults to pair with a high school student to help them meet the benchmarks in the college application process. Call or email NEAT for more information. 860-346-4845 or

Redisctricting Recommendations

Monday night, the last meeting of the Board of Ed's Ad Hoc Feasibility Committee met to finalize recommendations to the Board on redistricting. If you'd like to see/hear the presentation to the Board of Ed, come to the meeting tonight at the Council Chambers at City Hall at 7 pm. If you can't make it, it should be on Public Access, but you never know.


1.a) The Attendance Boundaries will be changed for every elementary school. The board will get a spreadsheet showing the new capacities including free and reduced lunch percentages, minority percentages, special education percentages, maps and streets.

1.b) In addition, the current 4th grade students will be allowed to stay at their current schools, providing they provide their own transportation and inform the administration of their decision by no later than June 30, 2010, and if space is available.

1.c) The Board of Ed establish a committee to continue a review of the JCJ report to make future recommendations as they may apply to such items as magnet school, disparities, facility development, etc…

1.d) Recommend that the board direct the administration to meet with administrators and other appropriate parties to develop guidelines for each schools for welcoming students and families affected by redistricting.

2) The committee acknowledges that the decision to move Preschool to Snow School was a district decision made before the committee began its work.

3) Recommend that the board hold a special meeting to vote on the recommendations with a public hearing before March 23rd.

View Attendance Boundaries in a larger map

As a member of the committee, I worked for the priorities of the North End, as established in a community meeting held at Macdonough School in December, where over 100 people were in attendance. Those priorities were:

1) That as many North End children be able to attend Macdonough as possible
2) That those who cannot attend (overcrowding concerns) be districted to a school that is logical and convenient.
3) That Macdonough School change as little as possible (magnet schools were in discussion at that time)
4) That 5th graders be allowed to stay and graduate at their current school.

I believe we came as close as we could to fulfilling these priorities. The recommendation right now includes sending 80% of the neighborhood to Macdonough, with the exception of Main St., Rapallo Ave, deKoven Dr., Green St and Ferry St, which are recommended to attend Farm Hill.

I voted to make Macdonough a school of choice so that ALL North End kids would have the ability to lottery into Macdonough, but the committee did not think that was best for the district as it did not guarantee compliance with racial balance laws.

You can email or call the NEAT office if you have any concerns or questions. I'm happy to help people craft speeches to the board of ed or just help you understand how this will impact your family.

Our phone number is: 860-346-4845 or email at

Izzi Greenberg

Monday, March 8, 2010


The Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the Office of Workforce Competitiveness is sponsoring a Cook-Chef Training Program. The class is limited to 10 participants on a first come first serve basis.

Due to the overwhelming need for a skilled workforce in the cook-chef occupation, and the expansion of tourism in the State, the chamber will offer this 60 hour training program. Participants will be selected from the following groups: (1) upgrade skills of persons already employed in a restaurant who wants to upgrade their skills (2) provide training to newly hired low skills and low paying positions in food service.

Classroom training will be of 6 weeks duration, a total of 60 hours of classroom training starting on March 22nd. Class will run from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. Classes will be held at Vinal Technical High School in their new state of the art culinary department. Nick Follacchio, retired culinary teacher, will be the classroom instructor. Nick has over 20 years experience in the culinary trade and classroom instruction. The classroom phase will be in conjunction with on-the-job training, and the employer will receive up to $1,000.00 reimbursement for this training. Participants will learn many new exciting techniques, and cover many topics from the basics of sanitation and cleanliness to food preparation and purchasing.

This is a great opportunity for member restaurants and their employees. The class fills up quickly, so if you are interested please contact Johanna Bond at 347-6924. Businesses should indicate whether the position would be an entry level or upgrade in present position.

Friday, March 5, 2010

NEAT's 2010 Advisory Board

North End Action Team: 2009-2010 Board of Directors and Officers

New Members Agreeing to Serve for the 2010 Term
Tonya Herring [owner of Angelo’s Tailoring]
Peter Harding [Harding Development ]
Rose Fountain [resident]

Terms Ending in 2009 and Members Have Agreed to Renew for 2010
Stacy Barka
Cookie Quinones
Rob Rosenthal
Michael Taylor {who also agreed to continue as treasurer}
Pam Wahl
Amy Waterman {who also agreed to continue as secretary}

Terms Ending in 2010
Lydia Brewster
Tina Brown
Ed Corvo (President)
Dave Davis or co-op member
Marilyn Dunkley
Bobbye Knoll
Steven Kovach
Frank Kuan
Stephen Lapenta
Deidre Lanham
(Acting) Chief of Police Patrick McMahon
Mandy Sickle Smith (Vice President)
Cynthia Spivey


The city-wide redistricting proposal is moving along and a plan will be presented at the next board of ed meeting on March 9th at 7 pm in the council chambers at city hall.

The recommendation will affect the north end, and in fact, every school in the district. The plan isn't finalized, but it will likely include the redistricting of North End students out of Moody and some non-north end families out of Macdonough. If this will impact you, I urge you to call or email NEAT to get more information before attending the meeting.

The Committee that is making the recommendations is meeting for the last time on Friday, so I will be able to report on the recommendations at that time, once they are finalized. Don't hesitate to contact NEAT if you have any questions.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Send us your hot spots! Bulky Waste has been piling up again and we're trying to figure out why. If you send us an email or go through the hot spots reporting form, you can let us know where there are problems. We meet on Friday, so send them before 10 am Friday, please. You can report any kind of Hot Spot, quality of life issue or concern anonymously.


With Rosa Carrero of Liberty Bank

Wednesdays, March 3, 10, 17 & 24th

6:30-8:00 pm

Rosa Carrero from Liberty Bank present four info sessions designed to help people take the first steps toward buying a home. Topics include credit counseling (Session 1), finding the right home (Session 2), the lending process (Session 3) and understanding Legalities (Session 4). Participants in all four will receive A certificate of completion that meets one eligibility requirement for CHFA and CHFA Down payment assistance programs.

All workshops are FREE and open to everyone, though registration is required. Childcare is provided with notice. All workshops are being co-presented by the North End Action Team and the Green Street Arts Center. All workshops will take place at the Green Street Arts Center.

For more information, or to register, call the NEAT office at 860-346-4845 or email at Or, come on in!