On this Date, April 28…



On this day in history, April 28th…

1788, Maryland becomes the seventh state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, Connecticut was the fifth state to ratify on January 9, 1788. Maryland‘s state motto is Fatti Maschii, Parole Femine, translated “Manly deeds, womanly words”. Their state bird is the Baltimore Oriole and state flower is the Rudbeckia Hirta.

1792, France invades the Austrian Netherlands, now Belgium, beginning the French Revolutionary War. Just writing the word “Belgium” gives me a hankering for some waffles!

1869, Chinese and Irish laborers for the Central Pacific Railroad lay ten miles of track in one day, a feat never been done before. That would probably take a month now with 100 times better equipment.

1914, Willis H. Carrier patents the modern air conditioner. This is something we will be very thankful for in the months to come.

1930, the first night game in organized baseball is played in Independence, Kansas. Speaking of organized baseball, don’t forget about Legends Night on May 8th at 6:30 pm at the Palace Theater. All proceeds benefit Stafford Little League. See my previous blog.

1931, the program for women’s athletics in track and field is approved for the 1932 Olympics. We’ve certainly have come a long way in women’s athletics in the last 80 years. Go Huskies





On this Day April 23



On this day in history, April 23….

On April 23, 1616, the most famous playwright of all time passed away. William Shakespeare died at the age of 51. He wrote 154 sonnets and 38 plays, many of which we’ve all studied in high school.

In 1635, the first public school in the United States opened its doors in Boston, Massachusetts. Boston Latin School is still open 379 years later. It was rated one of the top twenty schools in the U.S. by the US News and World Report in 2007.

In 1914, the first baseball game is played at the “friendly confines” of Wrigley Field. Back then it was known as Weeghman Park and was home to the Federal League baseball team Chicago Whales. The Chicago Cubs played their first game there in 1916. From 1920 to 1926 it was known as Cubs Park. Following that season, the field was renamed Wrigley Field after Cubs owner and chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. The Cubs played all their home games during the day until 1988 when they finally added lights to the stadium. Only Fenway Park has been open longer, 1912.

In 1985 Coca Cola changed it formula and introduced New Coke. The response was overwhelmingly negative. The original formula was back on the market within 3 months. Below is a survey, please fill out which cola you prefer. Also, I attached a commercial for new coke from 1985 with Bill Cosby.


On this Day in History April 22



On this day in history, April 22, in 1864 the US Congress passed the Coinage Act of 1864. It mandated that the inscription, “In God We Trust”, be placed on all coins minted as US currency.

In 1876, the first National League baseball game was played in Philadelphia, PA. The Boston Red Caps defeated the Philadelphia Athletics 6-5. On a side note, Hartford had it’s own team that year. The Hartford Dark Blues finished with a very impressive record of 47 wins and just 21 losses.

In 1964, the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair opens for it’s first season. Oddly enough, I just drove by the globe pictured above on my way to JFK airport last night. You can see it from the highway, it’s near Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.

In 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated. Now it is celebrated every year. In my opinion Earth Day should be celebrated every day. We need to take much better care of it. Go outside today for a walk with your kids and tell them how important it is to respect our planet. If you see litter, pick it up!

On April 22, 2014 is the day you pick up the phone and let me save you some money on your insurance! Have a great Earth Day!




Spring is here, at least according to the calender, and that means that racing season at Stafford Motor Speedway is just around the corner.  If you have followed my blog at all in the past, you’ll remember that I used to do a Youtube show every week called The Inside Line with Kurt Vail. It was a lot of fun and we got to meet a lot of the local drivers in the process.  The 43rd annual Spring Sizzler is coming up April 25, 26,and 27. I’ve attached an old video interviewing Woody Pitkat below for your viewing pleasure.

Kurt-Vail-Ad-2- As most of you from this area know, racing has always been a big deal in Stafford and after years of covering it all across the state and nationally for the Hartford Courant, Stafford’s own Shawn Courchesne started his own racing website and blog called RaceDayCT.com. If you are a race fan you have to check it out. I, recently, started advertising with him, and want to thank him for all his help. Hit this link to check out his kind words in welcoming me to the RaceDayCT family—-> Kurt’s AD.

From Coach Vail’s Playbook (Kickoff)

2012 B-Team Champions

2012 B-Team Champions

What are the advantages of having your insurance written at Paradiso Insurance right here in Stafford Springs? Let me kickoff by using some football terms to tell you the answer. First, our friendly and knowledgeable staff will huddle and work closely with you to design a play that best suits your needs. As an independent insurance agency we have many different eligible receivers (Travelers, The Hartford, State Auto, Progressive, Foremost, Kemper, and more) that our staff can rely on to find the best fit for you. We always evaluate your forward progress, as your life moves forward so do your changing protection needs, let the Insurance Coach be there to coach you along the way. Call Coach Vail at (860) 458-9266.

Kate & Kurt New Office!!

Kate & Kurt

I’m pleased to announce that we have a brand new office @ 4 East Main St. in beautiful downtown Stafford Springs! If you drive through downtown check out the new logo on the window, you can’t miss it right next to Paradiso Insurance! Thanks to Chris Paradiso for giving us the space. This week’s features a brand new dance from Hillary, Tocka’s weather report, local news including info about Stafford Little League, and an amazing 26 inch hotdog from our very own Chelle’s Diner! You have to check out this video.



Swimming Pool Safety

Swimming Pool Safety


With Memorial Day behind us and summer on the way I thought it would be an appropriate time for a blog on swimming pool safety. I am an Insurance Agent after all. Please read this aricle that I found on www.liveandlearn.com. Please enjoy your summer and read this article. Don’t forget to help our friends in Monson and surrounding areas in their time of need, my prayers go out to all those  affected.




Swimming pools…
Owning one is terrific. But let’s not forget, they are dangerous!

Swimming pools are so dangerous in fact, that 300 children under age 5 die and 2,000 more children under age five visit hospital emergency rooms for submersion injuries every year!!!

As a public service Live And Learn is reprinting the following alert issued by the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

In some of the nation's sunbelt, drowning has been the leading cause of accidental death in the home of children under 5 years old. The information below can help parents and caregivers provide young children with the protection they deserve. 

Each year, nationwide, more than 300 children under 5 years old drown in residential swimming pools, usually a pool owned by their family. In addition, more than 2,000 children in that age group are treated in hospital emergency rooms for submersion injures. 

Medical costs for submersion victims during the initial hospitalization alone can be quite high. Costs can range from an estimated $2,000 for a victim who recovers fully to $80,000 for a victim with severe brain damage. Some severely brain damaged victims have initial hospital stays in excess of 120 days and expenses in excess of $150,000. 

Many communities have enacted safety regulations governing residential swimming pools -- inground and aboveground. It's up to parents to comply with these regulations. Apart from these laws, parents who own pools, can take their own precautions to reduce the chances of their youngsters accessing the family pool or spa without adult supervision.


Following are just a few facts uncovered by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in a comprehensive study of drowning and submersion incidents involving children under 5 years old in Arizona, California, and Florida. 

  • Seventy-five percent of the submersion victims studied by CPSC were between 1 and 3 years old; 65 percent of this group were boys. Toddlers, in particular, often do something unexpected because their capabilities change daily. 
  • At the time of the incidents, most victims were being supervised by one or both parents. Forty-six percent of the victims were last seen in the house; 23 percent were last seen in the yard or on the porch or patio; and 31 percent were in or around the pool before the accident. In all, 69 percent of the children were not expected to be at or in the pool, yet they were found in the water. 
  • Submersion incidents involving children usually happen in familiar surroundings. Sixty-five percent of the incidents happened in a pool owned by the child's family and 33 percent of the incidents happened in a pool owned by friends or relatives. 
  • Pool submersions involving children happen quickly. A child can drown in the time it takes to answer a phone. Seventy-seven percent of the victims had been missing from sight for 5 minutes or less. 
  • Survival depends on rescuing the child quickly and restarting the breathing process, even while the child is still in the water. Seconds count in preventing death or brain damage. 
  • Child drowning is a silent death. There's no splashing to alert anyone that the child is in trouble. 

*** BARRIERS ***

  • The following barrier recommendations are the result of identifying key parameters that typically contribute to child drowning in backyard pools. These recommendations are the minimum steps you can take to make your home a safe place for your child.
  • Barriers are not childproof, but they provide layers of protection for a child who strays from supervision. Barriers give parents additional time to locate a child before the unexpected becomes a reality. 
  • Barriers include a fence or wall, door alarms for the house, and a power safety cover over the pool. Barriers also may be used to protect children from accessing hot tubs and spas. Use the following recommendations as a guide: 

*** FENCES & GATES ***

  • Install a fence or other barrier, such as a wall, completely around the pool. If the house is part of the barrier, the doors leading from the house to the pool should be protected with an alarm or the pool should have a power safety cover. Alarm and cover details are below. 
  • The fence or other barrier should be at least 4 feet high. It should have no foot or handholds that could help a young child to climb it. 
  • Vertical fence slats should be less than 4 inches apart to prevent a child from squeezing through. 

Use this as a guide when the release mechanism is located less than 54 inches from the bottom of the gate.

  • If horizontal members are equal to or more than 45 inches apart, vertical spacing shall not exceed 4 inches. 
  • If the fence is chain link, then no part of the diamond-shaped opening should be larger than 1-3/4 inches. 
  • Fence gates should be self-closing and self-latching. The gate should be well maintained to close and latch easily. The latch should be out of a child's reach. 

When the release mechanism of the self-latching device is less than 54 inches from the bottom of the gate, the release mechanism for the gate should be at least 3 inches below the top of the gate on the side facing the pool. Placing the release mechanism at this height prevents a young child from reaching over the top of a gate and releasing the latch. Also, the gate and barrier should have no opening greater than 1/2 inch within 18 inches of the latch release mechanism. This prevents a young child from reaching through the gate and releasing the latch.

There are a wide variety of fencing construction materials available to compliment your house and pool surroundings. Your local fence company or pool enclosure company can provide you with information and assist you in making a selection.

The weak link in the strongest and highest fence is a gate that fails to close and latch completely. For a gate to close completely every time, it must be in proper working order.


  • If the house forms one side of the barrier, then doors leading from the house to the pool should be protected with alarms that produce an audible sound when a door is unexpectedly opened. 
  • Install an alarm that can be temporarily turned off by an adult for a single opening of the door by using a keypad or switch that is out of a child's reach.

Battery and electrically powered alarms are available. The key pad switch can be used by adults who wish to pass through the door without setting off the alarm. It should be placed high on all doors leading from the house to the pool. Affordable and easily installed alarms are available. An alarm signal immediately tells a parent that a door has been opened. 


Power safety covers over the pool may be used as an alternative to door alarms. A power safety cover should meet the requirements of the ASTM pool cover standard which addresses labeling requirements and performance. ASTM requires that a cover withstand the weight of two adults and a child to allow a rescue should an individual fall onto the cover. The standard also requires quick removal of water from the cover. A young child can drown in just inches of water. 

A power safety cover is a motor powered barrier that can be placed over the water area. Motor-driven covers easily open and close over the pool. When the power safety cover is properly in place over the pool, it provides a high level of safety for children under 5 years old by inhibiting their access to the water. 


  • Steps and ladders leading from the ground to the pool should be secured and locked, or removed when the pool is not in use.


  • Instruct babysitters about potential pool hazards to young children and about the use of protective devices, such as door alarms and latches. Emphasize the need for constant supervision. 
  • Never leave a child unsupervised near a pool. During social gatherings at or near a pool, appoint a "designated watcher" to protect young children from pool accidents. Adults may take turns being the "watcher." When adults become preoccupied, children are at risk. 
  • If a child is missing, check the pool first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability. Go to the edge of the pool and scan the entire pool, bottom and surface, as well as the pool area. 
  • Do not allow a young child in the pool without an adult. 
  • Do not consider young children to be drownproof because they have had swimming lessons. Children must be watched closely while swimming. 
  • Do not use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision. 
  • Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Babysitters and other caretakers, such as grandparents and older siblings, should also know CPR. 
  • Keep rescue equipment by the pool. Be sure a telephone is poolside with emergency numbers posted nearby. 
  • Remove toys from in and around the pool when it is not in use. Toys can attract young children to the pool. 
  • Never prop open the gate to a pool barrier. 

NOTE: To obtain detailed barrier recommendations, write CPSC, Pool Barriers, Office of Information & Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20207. 

We hope this information met your expectations. We feature many other public service articles on our web site. Our article index can be found at http://www.liveandlearn.com/learn.html.

Since you are surfing the web and doing research, we hope you take a moment browse our online store of specialty and educational toys. We feature hard to find classic toys such as a traditional Jack-In-The-Box, Colorforms, Bristle Blocks, Wooden Kitchen Sets, Rhythm Instruments and Toy Pianos. We have books by Klutz Press, learning aids by Lauri Toys, wooden puzzles, videos, dolls, music and so much more for children from birth to age ten.

And what is best…we offer generous discounts, fast order processing, and personalized knowledgeable service.

We are one of the oldest stores on the web. Our customers include thousands of educators, daycare professionals and concerned parents. We hope you will become a customer too! You can find our store at http://www.liveandlearn.com/contents.html.

Your friends at Live And Learn!

Any Commercial Ideas??

Geico has the gecko, All-State has Mayhem, Progressive has Flo (we use Progressive BTW), and so on and so forth. Insurance commercials are the best on TV, there are very entertaining. When you need service and have to call someone, do you think Flo or the guy with the blue phone is going to answer?…they’re not. That’s the advantage of being an Independent Insurance Agent. That being said, I want to come up with my own concept for advertising that is as entertaining, and do some fun youtube videos from around the area. So I am reaching out to you guys in the community to share with me any ideas you might have in this regard. So send to me your ideas and if I use them I will give you gift certificates to Rockville Lanes and Express Wireless as well as total credit and an opportunity to be in the video. Let’s do this! Call me @ (860)458-9366. Here was the first video I did with Paradiso last October.

Funny Life Insurance Video

I found this video on youtube, done by Assurity Life, who is one of the many companies I am licensed to sell with. While this video may be funny, dealing with the loss of loved one is not. Please give me a call to review your current coverages or help design a plan that will take care of the ones you love in the event of an untimely death, knock on wood. Enjoy the video. Kurt Vail (860) 458-9366

How to Handle Melting Snow


Tips from Kemper Insurance

Tips To Handle Melting Snow and Ice
February 10, 2011

In light of the excessive snow and ice that has shut down multiple states, here are answers to two of the most frequently asked questions now that the thaw is upon us.

  • If your client carries a water backup endorsement, coverage is triggered when water backs up through the sump pump or floor drain.
  • Groundwater coming through walls and windows is generally not covered unless it escapes directly from a pipe without communication to ground.

Here are some tips you can share with your clients in advance of the melting snow, to help them avoid possible water intrusion.

  • Make certain to rake your roof, even if you can only rake the first four or five feet from the gutter.
  • Be careful when approaching roof overhangs with icicles; they can drop at any time.
  • Make certain that the sump discharge pipe outside your home is not blocked by ice or snow.
  • Shovel snow away from the perimeter of your home as that will reduce the amount of water entering the ground next to your home’s foundation while the snow melts.
  • If possible, have a back-up power source for your sump pump.
  • Check to make sure your power service lines are clear of ice and snow as these can detach from the home and leave you without electricity increasing the risk of frozen pipes and backup of your sump system.

We sincerely thank you for your business, and our agency and customer support teams are available to assist you with questions.

(c) Kemper. All rights reserved.
Visit us at http://www.eKemper.com