October 31, 2014

Deep River Public Hearing Tuesday on $13.89 Million Budget Plan for 2011-2012

DEEP RIVER—05/02–CORRECTION:  Deep River Elementary School population is predicted to show an increase rather than decrease, as previously reported in this article. The public hearing is Tuesday on a proposed $3.61 million town government budget for 2011-2012 and a proposed $5.19 million appropriation for Deep River Elementary School. The hearing convenes at 7:30 p.m. in the gymnasium at the elementary school.

The total $13,896,944 spending package includes $3,617,748 for town government, $5,192,900 for the elementary school, the town’s $4,387,300 share of the Region 4 education budget, and $699,000 in town and school related debt service costs.

First Selectman Richard Smith said the spending plan is expected to require an increase in the tax rate of 2.55 mills, despite decreases in the town government budget and the local share of the Region 4 budget. The current tax rate of 21.73 mills, or $21.73 in tax for each $1,000 of assessed property value, has not increased for the past two years. Smith said the prospective tax rate of 24.28 mills is a “worst case” projection that could be slightly reduced by the board of finance after the budgets are approved by voters.

More than two-thirds of the potential tax hike, specifically 1.8 mills, is a direct result of an eight percent decrease in the October 2010 grand list of taxable property. The sharp drop in the grand list is a result of a required townwide property revaluation that was completed last year amid the slow national economy and a related decline in real estate values. But Smith said a report prepared by Tax Assessor Robin O’Loughlin shows that 808 residential properties will have a varying decrease in the actual tax bill, despite the higher mill rate, while 1,265 residential properties will have a higher tax bill.

The proposed town government budget decreases by about $372,000, with savings resulting from the disbanding last year of the former Deep River Public Health Nurses and changing a full-time building office clerk/park and recreation director position to two separate part time positions. The $3.61 million town government appropriation includes a $235,260 capital expenditure plan.

The proposed $5,192,900 budget for Deep River Elementary School represents a 5.5 percent spending increase over the current appropriation for the school. The proposed budget retains all current teacher positions at the school, despite discussion of the possible elimination of two teacher positions.

Smith said the board of finance would consider any possible adjustments to the town government and elementary school budgets based on input received from residents at the public hearing. He said the town government and elementary school budgets would then go to the voters for approval at a referendum expected in the fourth week of May. The Region 4 education budget goes to the voters of Chester, Deep River, and Essex for approval in an eight-hour referendum Tuesday.

For the Children*Para Los Niños Benefit Night to Support Local and Mexican Children

DEEP RIVER – The Early Childhood Council (ECC) and Lantern Hill will be hosting a Benefit Night on Saturday, May 21 at 6:00 p.m. on the lawn of the Deep River Carriage House  to raise funds to support  For the Children*Para Los Niños charities.

The funds will be used to support local preschool scholarships in Chester, Deep River and Essex through the Early Childhood Council, and for educational and feeding programs supported by Lantern Hill in Ensenada, Mexico. 

Featured at the event will be a three course dinner prepared by Chef Thomas Peterlik (Dinners at the Farm), live entertainment by the Eric Ducoff Band and a silent auction with goods from local businesses and artists and handcrafted items from Mexico.  Ticket price is $75 per person.

Deep River residents and sisters, Amy Forbes and Kerri Forbes Millburne created this event for their sister Abby Forbes Williams’ non-profit organization, Lantern Hill, located in Baja California, Mexico.  After witnessing the plight of the working poor in Mexico and the support Lantern Hill offers to neighboring communities, the sisters were inspired to utilize the resources of their own community to raise funds for their sister’s efforts in Mexico.  After speaking with a friend, Katherine Campbell of Essex and board member of ECC, they knew that uniting both organizations for a benefit would be the perfect collaboration. Amy and Kerri proposed their concept at an ECC meeting and everyone was not only positive about joining together, they were excited about the prospect of raising awareness and substantial funds for both organizations.

The event organizers  wish to express sincere gratitude to those committed to making this event possible, the Benefit Committee, event volunteers and supporters (Dinners at the Farm). Particular thanks to those volunteering their time to make this event a success.

Why a partnership between ECC and Lantern Hill?

Both organizations support children in need and both organizations recognize that education provides a solid foundation which in turn can change a child’s life.  The ECC brings awareness to the shoreline community about families in need and offers scholarships to families of preschoolers. Lantern Hill brings awareness to Americans about poverty and lack of educational resources and offers educational and feeding programs to indigenous communities with extreme needs.

For sponsorship opportunities:  Contact Amy Forbes at 860-581-0143 or Kerri Millburne at 301-648-1313.

To purchase tickets or a table go to www.forthechildrenbenefit.com or email  for.the.childrenCT@gmail.com.

AAUW Hosts Presentation on the Fistula Care Project

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) Lower Connecticut Valley Branch and EngenderHealth will be hosting an evening of hope and inspiration on May 11 at 7.30 p.m. as Karen Beattie, Project Director of EngenderHealth’s Fistula Care project, shares insights into how women’s lives are being transformed after surviving fistula, a devastating condition that results from prolonged, obstructed childbirth, and what you can do to help.

Karen Beattie

Ms. Karen Beattie, Project Director of Fistula Care will be the keynote speaker. Ms Beattie, a medical anthropologist, has more than 30 years of experience in international reproductive health and family planning specialist.

EngenderHealth is a leading global reproductive health organization that works in 29 countries. The non-profit organization trains local health professionals to provide high quality care to women and men, and partners with governments and communities to make sure that every pregnancy is planned, every child is wanted, and every mother has the best chance at survival. EngenderHealth’s Fistula Care project, represents the largest U.S. government investment in fistula prevention and treatment and is transforming women’s lives at 74 sites across 10 countries in Africa and Asia.

AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Founded in 1881, AAUW is open to all graduates who hold an associate or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university.

The event will take place at St Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Old Saybrook, CT. It is free and open to the public however, space is limited. Please contact Sheila McPharlin at (860)395-5554 or sheilamcp@hotmail.com to reserve your seat.

Career Column 11: Seismologists, Hydrologists, and Meteorologists

Earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, and floods.  The news has been full of these problems and their disastrous consequences lately.  It seems that we need help on planet Earth.  Seismologists study earthquakes, hydrologists water patterns, and meteorologists weather patterns.  I am hoping that talented and dedicated people will choose these fields and work on improving techniques for predicting extreme weather,  earthquakes, volcanic activity, and so forth, making the world safer for all of us. 

Seismologist

There is a great description of the work of seismologists, put together by a Canadian organization, Eco Canada, here:  www.eco.ca/_student/PrintableProfiles/87.pdf.  Briefly, seismology is the scientific study of the movement of waves through the earth.  It is typically associated with studying earthquakes but has other applications, especially in the oil and gas industry.  The work essentially involves analyzing and interpreting data from records of earth tremors (seismic records), developing methodologies to improve data interpretation, and communicating findings.  A seismologist might set up equipment and collect data in the field or in a laboratory, create specialized maps, and prepare scientific reports. 

Seismology is a subfield of geophysics, a branch of earth science concerned with the Earth’s physical processes.  Careers in the oil and gas industry are open to individuals with undergraduate degrees in related fields, such as math, physics, or geology, but a master’s degree in geophysics will open up more opportunities.  A doctorate is necessary for those interested in a research career.  For everyone in the field, high level computer skills are important as is coursework in math, physics, and geology. 

Hydrologist

Hydrologists study the movement of water through the earth, using specialized techniques and sophisticated instruments.   They tend to specialize in either groundwater or surface water.  According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), hydrologists “examine the form and intensity of precipitation, its rate of infiltration into the soil, its movement through the Earth, and its return to the ocean and atmosphere”.  They often work in the field, and they are needed in the United States and internationally to serve government and industry.  Hydrologists at the doctoral level often work in universities as researchers and educators.

There were only about 8100 hydrologists employed in the United States in 2008, according to the OOH.   It is expected to be a fast growing field, however, with excellent prospects for those with a master’s degree and field work experience.  Hydrologists will be needed to assess building and hazardous waste sites and to deal with issues such as rising sea water and water conservation.   Hydrologists typically study in graduate programs in geological sciences (geosciences), environmental science, physical geography, or engineering.    The University of Connecticut, for example, offers MS and Ph.D. degrees in geological science that includes coursework relevant to hydrology, through the Center for Integrative Geosciences.    Wikipedia has a very thorough description of the field, here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrology

Meteorologists

Meteorologists, also known as atmospheric scientists, study the physical properties of the atmosphere, the air covering the earth, and how those properties affect the environment.  They predict weather patterns and climate trends using complex instruments and computer models, working for the federal government, private consulting firms, or radio and television stations. They work at weather stations, sometimes in remote areas, and in offices and broadcast studios.  Entry level meteorologists for the government often hold a bachelor’s degree, but they have completed very specific coursework in math, physics, and atmospheric sciences.  The field is small and, although expected to grow, job prospects are likely to be best for those with master’s degrees who want to work in private industry. 

There are many other narrowly defined fields in atmospheric and geological sciences, each employing relatively small numbers of specially trained individuals.  For example, you can be a geochronologist  (“use the rates of decay of certain radioactive elements in rocks to determine their age and the time sequence of events in the history of the Earth”), a geomorphologist (“study Earth’s landforms and landscapes in relation to the geologic and climatic processes and human activities, which form them”), or a mineralogist (“study mineral formation, composition, and properties”) among many other possibilities.   These fields and several more are described here:  www.agiweb.org/workforce/brochure.html

If you are not afraid of math, science, and computer modeling, don’t mind getting dirty (doing field work), and are interested in the physical properties of our environment, a career in the earth or atmospheric sciences could be fantastic.  There is often funding available for graduate training at both the master’s and doctoral levels.  Salaries are good, if not great, and job prospects seem to be stronger than in many other fields,  including other scientific fields, with opportunities in government, industry, and academia in the United States and internationally.   

Career Resource

There are some helpful tips for applying to graduate school in the sciences here: http://envsci.science.oregonstate.edu/graduate/future/tips_applying_grad_school, in an article prepared by the Oregon State University Zoology Department.  I think it’s on target.  The advice includes:   Focus on programs that offer a good fit with your academic and professional interests, and faculty members in the program who might serve as mentors, rather than focusing on a particular school.  Apply for fellowships, because if you are awarded a fellowship you will increase your chances of acceptance at a program of your choice by a large margin.  Your undergraduate program should have listings of fellowships you can apply for.  Contact potential mentors (faculty members you might want to work with) and visit programs you have an interest in.   Work hard on your essay (the article offers some detailed advice about the essay) and choose references who are familiar with your academic work, especially your involvement in research.

Karen Goldfinger, Ph.D. is a psychologist in private practice in Essex, Connecticut.   She specializes in psychological assessment for clinical, educational, and forensic purposes and has a special interest in career assessment.  She and two partners recently established KSB Career Consultants, LLC to provide on line career consultation for clients in Connecticut and New York.   Contact her with questions,  comments, or suggestions for the column at karengoldfinger@comcast.net

9 Town Transit Celebrates 30th Anniversary

May 2011 marks thirty years since the creation of the Estuary Transit District, operator of 9 Town Transit.  To celebrate this major milestone, 9 Town Transit will host events and offer promotions throughout the month.

On May 13, 9 Town Transit will host an anniversary celebration at 12:00 p.m. at the Chester Meeting House.  Several local and state officials will be on hand to commemorate the occasion.  Free refreshments will be provided, along with free anniversary hats and other promotional items.

Although it may be 9 Town Transit’s birthday, it will be the transit passengers who will get a gift. On May 13, fares on all regular routes will be just $0.30.  Off-route and Dial-A-Ride fares will remain full price.  In addition, throughout the month of May, anyone purchasing a 9 Town Transit ticket book or monthly pass will receive a free clip-on ticket and change holder.  Tickets and passes can also be purchased at area Stop & Shop stores and Adam’s Market in Deep River.

9 Town Transit provides service to all parts of Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook, and all services are open to the general public.  Additional information, route maps and schedules are available online at www.9towntransit.com or by calling 9 Town Transit at 860-510-0429.

Landscape Design Seminars at Middlesex Community College

Three landscape design seminars will be held at Middlesex Community College on June 6, June 8 and June 13.  Classes will be led by Kathy Connolly, landscape gardening expert and local Old Saybrook resident. Topics will include selecting successful shade plants for summer and winter, using your flower garden for both beauty and energy saving, and looking at the economics of maintaining a lawn.  Details are as follows:

Who’s Afraid of Shade – Successful Shade Gardens for Summer Cooling and Winter Interest. June 6, 6 p.m. – 8.30 p.m., Chapman Hall, Room 607, Middletown Campus.  Cost $49

Foundation Gardens – Using the Circle Around Your Home for Beauty and Energy Savings.   June 8, 6 p.m. – 8.30 p.m., Chapman Hall, Room 607, Middletown Campus. Cost $49.

Changing the Lawn Economy in Home Landscape.  June 13, 6 p.m. – 8.30 p.m., Chapman Hall, Room 607, Middletown Campus. Cost $49.

For further details or to register call 860-343-5865

Little Public Comment on No-Tax-Increase Chester Budget

CHESTER— A total $12.55 million town spending plan for 2011-2012 drew a mild reaction Tuesday from a handful of residents at the annual budget hearing. About 20 residents, most currently serving on town boards and commissions, turned out for the hearing at the Chester Meeting House.

The total $12,555,853 spending package includes a $3,668,718 town government budget, a $4,164,069 appropriation for Chester Elementary School, and the town’s $4,723,066 share of the Region 4 education budget.
The town government budget is down by $26,767, or 0.72 percent, from the current appropriation. The town government budget includes a $345,000 capital expenditure fund for 2011-2012, with $270,000 of the amount directed toward road repairs, and $25,000 for roof repairs at the Chester Hose Company Firehouse.

First Selectman Tom Marsh said the town budget maintains all current services, despite the small decrease in total spending. He said the capital expenditure plan, which also includes $50,000 towards the future purchase of a new fire truck later in the decade, “takes care of what we need to take care of” in a year where growth in the grand list of taxable property generated only $33,500 in new tax revenue. “If we had fatter days we could certainly put more money in this account,” he said.

The $4,164,069 budget for Chester Elementary School represents a small $2,824 decrease from current spending for the school. A drop in student enrollment at the K-sixth grade school, from the current 275 students to 266 expected in September, allowed for a reduction of one teacher position, one teacher assistant position, and a part-time para-educator position for a savings of about $110.000.

The budget plan calls for no increase in the current tax rate of 22.11 mills, or $22.11 in tax for each $1,000 of assessed property value. Helping for avoid a hike in the tax rate is a transfer of $145,000 from the town’s undesignated fund balance. The transfer would leave about $1.31 million in the fund balance in June 2012.

There were no calls for changes in the budget plan at the public hearing. The annual budget meeting vote on a spending package for 2011-2012 is expected to be held on Tuesday May 17 at the Meeting House. The Region 4 education budget goes to the voters of Chester, Deep River, and Essex Tuesday in a 12-noon to 8 p.m. referendum.

Centerbrook Architects’ Building and Grounds Tour

The Essex Land Trust is pleased to announce the upcoming tour of one of our communities most regarded enterprises. Centerbrook Architects staff members will lead a guided tour of the building and grounds on Sunday May 15 starting at 2 p.m.

This tour will focus on the historic site and its modern use of award-winning and groundbreaking energy conservation measures. The tour will consist of two floors with stairways between and will last about an hour. There will be a brief slide show.

Attendance is limited to 50 visitors and there are some restrictions for handicapped visitors. Reservations must be made in advance by calling Thea Putnam (860-767-3231) or emailing to tconv@mac.com by May 12. Park at Centerbrook Architects, 67 Main Street in Centerbrook. Essex Land Trust programs are supported by a grant from The Rockfall Foundation, Middletown, Connecticut.

Centerbrook Architects was conceived in 1975 as a community of architects working together to advance American place-making and the craft of building. From the beginning, its work has spanned from planning and architecture to details that make buildings memorable.

The firm’s nineteenth-century compound of mill buildings, a former wood boring bit factory, is both the firm’s home and its vital center of experimentation where design is enriched by many streams of influence. An in-house theater hosts lectures and symposia on many topics, including how to make places distinct and how to perfect the craft of building.

A collaborative firm with an exceptional history of building, Centerbrook performs many other services such as project management, planning, interior design, sculpture, landscape and site design, industrial design, furniture and lighting design, fund raising, and graphic design. All are done from Centerbrook’s historic compound on the Falls River in Centerbrook, Connecticut. For more information regarding Centerbrook Architects please log onto their website: www.centerbrook.com/

Swede Club Annual Golf Tournament May 22

The Swede Club will be holding their annual Golf Tournament on Sunday May 22 at Banner Lodge, Moodus, CT. starting at 7.30 a.m. with a shotgun start, two-man best ball.

Refreshmenst will be available on the course and a steak dinner willbe held after the tournament at the Swede Club.  There will be prizes and raffles and, as always, it is anticipated a great time will be had by all.

Tickets will be $100/person.  Contact The Swede Club 860-526-2234 or Thom Parker 860-575-9289 for details.

Cooking Talk Demo with Deep River Resident Linda Giuca

Linda Giuca, Deep River resident, food writer and editor, will be giving a cooking talk and demonstration at the Deep River Public Library on Sunday, May 15 at 3 p.m.

Linda is a food writer and editor. A Connecticut native, she is the former food editor of The Hartford Courant where she launched the paper’s first free-standing food section in 1979. She also introduced the Recipe Exchange, the longest-running column in the Flavor section.

During her career at The Courant, she learned how to fly a plane for a series in the features section, covered the fashion beat, wrote about her experiences at cooking school in Florence, Italy, organized holiday cooking contests for readers of the food section and twice judged the Pillsbury Bake-Off.

She writes regularly for The Courant, Seasons magazine and other publications and is the co-author with Metro Bis restaurant chef/owner Christopher Prosperi of “The Basics” food column, which appears weekly in The Courant.

She also is the co-author of the New Haven Table: Recipes, Restaurants & Local Food Connections (Globe Pequot Press, Sept. 2010). 

Her work has been honored by the Association of Food Journalists, the Connecticut Dietetics Association and the Connecticut Agricultural Information Council. A long-time member of AFJ, Linda served two terms as treasurer in the late 1980s.

Linda and her husband, Bob Zemmel, own Alforno restaurant in Old Saybrook. They live in Deep River and have two grown children.

For more information and to register please call the library at 860-526-6039.

Proposed Business Zone Gets Favorable Response at Essex Zoning Hearing

ESSEX— A proposed new business zone on Plains Road received a generally favorable response Monday evening at a public hearing of the zoning commission.

About 30 residents, many of them property owners on Plains Road, turned out for the public hearing on proposed zoning changes the commission has been discussing for more than two years. The proposed change would create a new business zone on both sides of Plains Road from the Valley Railroad crossing south to the intersection with Bokum Road and Westbrook Road (Route 153). The approximate one-mile stretch that includes about 30 properties is currently zoned for limited industrial, though some commercial uses have been permitted over the past decade under variances approved by the zoning board of appeals.

Along with establishing a business zone on both sides of the road, the proposed changes would direct limited industrial uses to sections of parcels set back from the road. The proposed changes, which would not affect any existing uses, also includes the town’s first definition of light manufacturing, the use intended for the light industrial zone.

The proposed new business zone would allow an array of commercial/business uses, most under a special permit that would require a public hearing and approval from the commission. Excluded would be large-scale retail uses, and trash or solid waste disposal facilities. The change would allow restaurants, dropping an existing regulation limiting new restaurants to ten seats, and second-floor apartments for any existing residential uses on the road.

Much of the comment at the hearing was from property owners supporting the proposed new zone, and from a handful of property owners whose parcels had been excluded from the proposed new zone. As proposed by the commission, the new zone would not include six properties on the east side of Plains Road, between the railroad crossing and the entrance to southbound Route 9.

The Connecticut Marine Trades Association, owner of one of the parcels, submitted a letter asking for the zone to be extended. Charles Irving, owner of another of the excluded parcels, also called for extending the business zone to include the six parcels. Irving also suggested the commission consider allowing additional commercial uses in the new zone. “It’s a step but only a small step,” he said.

Commission chairman Alvin Wolfgram said the panel would consider including the six properties on the northeast segment of Plains Road in the new zone, though any expansion of the new zone would require a separate proposal and public hearing. Wolfgram said the commission is also willing to discuss other possible commercial uses for the new zone. “It’s sort of a work in progress and we can amend the uses going down the pike,” he said.

The commission is expected to continue the public hearing on the proposed zoning changes at its May 16 meeting.

Patti Sinclair – Spiritual Medium at Ivoryton Playhouse

For one night only, Patti Sinclair will be at the historic Ivoryton Playhouse on May 7, 2011 at 7 p.m. A full time medium and spiritual teacher, Patti delivers messages from the spirit world with compassion and humor.

Patti’s first memorable encounter with the ethereal world came in college while on a nine week tour of Europe. Patti recalls, “I thought I was coming unglued. I was seeing things that I knew weren’t really there in the physical world and hearing voices of people I knew weren’t alive.” Patti tried to forget the experience, but in 2002, while taking a class on Transformational Healing, the teacher recognized her gifts and encouraged her to use them. 

Since 2004, Patti has been an active and much sought after medium – leading workshops and holding readings throughout the northeast.

Patti says, “As a full time medium and spiritual teacher, it is my belief that the gift that I have to communicate with the consciousness of those who are no longer in their physical bodies helps to bridge the gap between this life and the next. I am humbled each and every day when I am able to reunite people with those that they are missing. It is a magical and blessed event!”

Catch her on 93.7FM every other Monday at 7:30am where you can listen to her offer LIVE readings on air and then head to the Ivoryton Playhouse for an evening you will never forget!

To book tickets, call 860.767.7318 or visit www.ivorytonplayhouse.org.

Clinton Bike Fest This Weekend!

The Clinton Bike Fest will take place May 1 from 12 noon - 5pm

The Bike & Pedestrian Alliance of Clinton (BPAC) invites you to the First Annual Clinton Bike Fest & Street Fair on May Day – May 1, 12 – 5 pm.

Join the fun at noon at Town Hall for the Family Fun Ride/Walk out to the Clinton Marina (registration begins at 10:30 am). At the same time, a longer ride for more road-savvy cyclists will head out to the beach by way of Beach Park Road. Participants in all rides are required to wear a properly fitting bike helmet and should bring a water bottle along for the ride.

From 1 – 5 pm there will be activities behind Town Hall, including food and information booths, music, bike demos, pedicab rides, and a bike rodeo for young cyclists (grades 3-5) to learn bike safety and smart cycling skills (bike and helmet required). The bike rodeo will be set up in the parking lot behind Town Hall and will run from 2 – 4:30 or so. New groups of participants will form every 20 minutes between 2 and 3 pm, with each group requiring a little over an hour to complete the course. Inside Town Hall, the Historical Society Museum will be open for tours. Lots of exciting events will also be happening on Post Office Square all afternoon, where singing, dancing, yoga and zumba classes will take place, and there will be musicians and an open mike for jamming. Museums and shops on Main Street will be open for business as well.

Visit the web site at www.clintonct.org/bpac.htm for more details on this event and to download a registration form for the Family Fun Ride/Walk. The Bike Fest is a free event, and all ages are welcome.

Tri-Town Youth Services Coordinates Support for Youth and Family Development in Chester, Deep River and Essex

Front Row (L-R): Kaylee Moen, Ryan Wichtowski, George Cimini,Back Row (L-R): Jane Moen, Sarah Smalley, Jordan LaCasse, John McKenna, Denise Learned, Pam Visel

Through Funding from Middlesex United Way for Healthy Communities-Healthy Youth of Chester, Deep River, and Essex, Tri-Town Youth Services recently awarded mini-grants to Camp Hazen YMCA, Essex Little League for Buddy Baseball, and First Congregational Church of Deep River for a youth mission trip to El Salvador.

All three programs will take place over the summer and all three are designed to build youth assets. For further information about Healthy Communities-Healthy Youth, contact Gail Onofrio at Tri-Town at 860-526-3600. For additional information about youth developmental assets, visit: www.search-institute.org.

Mark Your Calendar for Essex May Market

Beehive of Activity: Essex Garden Club members gather at Cross Lots for their annual preparation of members’ plants for the big May Market sale on Saturday, May 7, 9am-2pm, at the Village Green on Main Street

The Essex Garden Club’s only fund-raising event is scheduled for Saturday, May 7 from 9am -2pm on the Town Green in downtown Essex Village,  and this year, it’s going to be bigger and better than ever—and that’s saying a lot. Ask anyone who has lived in Essex for any period of time and they’ll tell you it’s worth getting down to Town Park early on the morning of May Market. 

When the bell rings, it’s open season for buying the finest, healthiest plants in town at the best prices.  The plants have been nurtured by Garden Club members, marked out in members’ gardens in the fall before the cold weather sets in, mulched and fertilized to be ready for digging up at the first sign of spring.  Garden Club members work for weeks before May Market, digging the plants, putting them into pots, watering them daily and making sure that only the finest plants are set out for sale.  If you want to see the operation, take a walk up the drive to Cross Lots Park starting the week before May Market and you’ll observe a flurry of activity, as hundreds of plants are brought to the central holding section, divided for potting and then lovingly planted in screened and sifted organic potting dirt and lovingly watered until the big day.

Plants aren’t the only items for sale at May Market.  There are booths with herbs, hanging baskets, annuals, succulents, tomato plants, gourmet items, garden ornament items and slightly used but wonderful treasures.  You’ll find all kinds of goodies to make your garden a thing of beauty.  Many varieties of garden planters and flower pots in a large variety of materials, styles and sizes will be for sale.  On hand to help you make your choices are the Garden Experts, who will offer you help in making your choices—explaining the advantages and disadvantages of the different materials used for garden planters, flower pots and window boxes.  They’ll help you select the right plants for the container garden of your choice.

New this year will be a large silent auction tent featuring an incredible array of goods and services donated by 25 local businesses—many of them from favorite Essex Main Street merchants. We can’t give you the whole list now, but we can tell you there will be lots of exciting items — an overnight reservation at an inn,  a dozen roses per month for a year, a personalized home/garden photo album, a handcrafted birdhouse, theatre tickets, and exciting gift certificates. And everyone, whether you garden or not—can put in a bid. This Big Tent Silent Auction will be a centerpiece of the new May Market.  —photo album, a handcrafted birdhouse, theatre tickets, and exciting gift certificates. And everyone, whether you garden or not—can put in a bid. This Big Tent Silent Auction will be a centerpiece of the new May Market. 

Don’t forget—Saturday, May 7 is the date to remember! P.S. It falls on the day before Mother’s Day, so come with Mom and help her choose the garden items she’s always wanted!

Public Hearing Tuesday 26 April on Chester Town Government and Elementary School Budgets

CHESTER— The public hearing is set for Tuesday 26 April on a proposed $3.66 million town government budget for 2011-2012 and a proposed $4.16 million appropriation for Chester Elementary School. The annual budget hearing convenes at 7:30 p.m.  at the Chester Meeting House on Liberty St.

The town government budget totals $3,323,718, which is combined with a $345,000 capital expenditures and projects plan for a total town government budget of $3,668,783. The town government budget, including the capital expenditure fund, is down by $27,000 from the current appropriation.

The budget for Chester Elementary School totals $4,164,069, a slight decrease of $2,824 from current funding for the school. The Chester Board of Education eliminated one full-time teacher position and a teacher’s aide position due to a drop in student enrollment at the K-6th grade school.

The town government and elementary school appropriations are combined with the town’s $4,723,066 share of the Region 4 education budget for a total spending plan of $12,555,863 for 2011-2012.

The board of finance has decided to transfer $145,766 from the town’s undesignated fund balance to avoid the need for an increase in the tax rate. The transfer is expected to leave about $1.31 million in the fund balance in June 2012. The current tax rate is 22.11 mills, or $22.11 in tax for each $1,000 of assessed property value.

The board of finance will consider any possible revisions to the spending plan based on input from residents at the hearing. The town government and elementary school budgets go to the voters for approval at the annual budget meeting in May. The Region 4 education budget goes to the voters of Chester, Deep River, and Essex for approval in an eight-hour referendum on May 3.

Essex Selectmen Set Town Meeting Vote on 2011-2012 Town Budget

ESSEX— The board of selectmen has decided to hold a town meeting vote on the proposed $21.59 million town budget plan for 2011-2012, setting the annual budget meeting for Monday May 9 at 8 p.m. in the auditorium at the town hall.

The agenda for Wednesday’s board meeting provided for a discussion of whether to hold the budget vote by town meeting, or an eight-hour referendum. But there was no discussion as First Selectman Phil Miller and Selectman Norman Needleman moved for a town meeting vote. Selectman Joel Marzi was absent.

The board sent the town budget directly to referendum in 2009, but last year the budget was approved at a town meeting attended by less than 50 residents. Residents could still force a referendum by submitting a petition signed by at least 50 registered voters to the town’s clerk’s office by Friday May 6. Residents turning out for the May 9 meeting may determine the method of voting, either by voice vote, show of hands, or a check list and paper ballot vote.

The spending plan includes $6,782,158 for town government, an increase of 4.37 percent from the current appropriation, and an appropriation of $7,407,913 for Essex Elementary School that represents a 2.94 percent increase from current funding for the school. The total spending amount of $21,597,015 also includes the town’s $7,406,944 share of the Region 4 education budget that goes to the voters of Chester, Deep River, and Essex in a May 3 referendum.

The spending plan is expected to require an increase in the property tax rate that is currently set at 17.63 mills, or $17.63 in tax for each $1,000 of assessed property values. Finance board chairman Jim Francis has said the board could decide to reduce the size of any increase in the tax rate with a one-time transfer of funds from the town’s undesignated fund balance that currently contains over $2 million.

Essex Consort Performance to Benefit Sister Cities Essex Haiti

The Essex Consort, a multi-talented group of professional musicians, will be performing in a fundraiser to benefit the Sister Cities Essex Haiti on Sunday May 15 at 4 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Essex.

The afternoon will include chamber music by Bach and Beethoven as well as contemporary music inspired by poetry, art and nature.

For information or to reserve tickets, contact 860-767-0811 or email acnussbaum9@gmail.com.

Historical Hospitality:Enjoy Fine Dining in Chester Private Homes on April 30

Dine in the elegant dining room in one of Chester’s colonials on the Chester Green

The Chester Historical Society is hosting its second “Historical Hospitality,” on the evening of Saturday, April 30. This will be an evening of fine dining in private Chester homes while supporting the Historical Society and the Chester Museum at The Mill.

Enjoy dinner in the newly redesigned apartment kitchen in Chester center owned by a cooking teacher

The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. with a reception, catered by Paula Dutka, at the Maple & Main Gallery of Fine Art at the corner of Maple Street. The historic building, built in 1798, has recently been restored and renovated to accommodate a spacious gallery showcasing local and national artists. It’s a perfect venue to gather and kick off the evening.

At 7 o’clock, everyone heads off to a memorable and unique home in Chester for a creative and gourmet sit-down dinner, along with fine wines. Perhaps you’ll dine at the art-filled home of the Marlboro Man; or enjoy dinner inspired by a recent trip to Istanbul served in the dining room of an eclectic home overlooking the Connecticut River; or eat in an 18th-century farmhouse. Or will you be hosted by a cooking teacher in her newly redecorated village apartment? Will you dine on Indian food prepared in front of you or savor “A Taste of Louisiana” in a geothermal contemporary?

Enjoy an authentic Indian dinner will be created by professional chef David Robertsonin this new kitchen

Professional Chef David Robertson will prepare an authentic Indian dinner in a brand new kitchen.  You will sit at the island, sipping on Mango Lassis,  and watching him prepare Samosas, Pappadums, Chicken Tikka Masala, Lamb Dopiaza, Spinach and Cauliflower Bhaji, and many more dishes.  Eight other private homes in Chester will feature unusual and memorable dinners.

 The event promises to be unforgettable – an opportunity to mix with friends and meet some new friends along the way, to be a dinner guest in one of Chester’s beautiful private homes,  and to support the Chester Historical Society.  The cost is $100 per person (half of which is tax-deductible). Early reservations are recommended. Call Sosse Baker at 860-526-9822.

Chester Community Clean Up Day

Saturday, April 23 will be Chester’s 4th annual Chester Clean Up day. Chester Land Trust will provide coffee & donuts at the Carini Preserve from 10 am to Noon,  – bags will be provided to anyone who would like to pick up road side trash or trash from Chester’s beautiful parks. 

You can help as part of a group or on your own. If your organization would like to help as a group we can assign an area, and direction. For example we need mulch spread at a couple of locations in town; we provide the mulch you provide the effort. A big help that is simple to do is take a walk around your end of town on the 23rd and pick up roadside trash along the way. You can use your own trash bag, or pick up free bags as noted above.

We do ask that you call us at 526-0013 x. 202 and let us know if and where you leave a bag of trash on the side of the road. Our town crew will come by Monday and pick it up. In past years we have picked up a dump truck load of trash on clean-up day!

“Churchill and Roosevelt” at Essex Meadows

The newly-formed Churchill Society of Connecticut will present a talk by author and Rutgers Professor Emeritus Warren Kimball, on Winning the War and the Peace; Churchill, Roosevelt, and the Second World War, on Wednesday, May 18 at 7  p.m. at Essex Meadows.     

 The Churchill Society of Connecticut, a chapter of the Churchill Centre, was formed with the purpose of educating new generations about the leadership, statesmanship, vision and courage of Winston Spenser Churchill, and to keep his memory alive in older generations. A ten dollar donation for this program is invited, to help defray expenses. 

Until his retirement, Warren Kimball was the Robert Treat Professor of History at Rutgers University, New Jersey. He is the author of “Forged in War; Roosevelt, Churchill, and the Second World War”, in addition to numerous other books, and edited the three-volume collection of Churchill’s and Roosevelt’s complete correspondence. According to Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.,  Warren Kimball has studied the Churchill/Roosevelt relationship more carefully than anyone else.      

For further information or to register for this program, please call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560. Essex Meadows is at 30 Bokum Road in Essex.

Constant Waterman at The Essex Library

Essex’s familiar Griswold Inn is pictured in Landmarks You Must Visit in Southeast Connecticut by Constant Waterman (Matthew Goldman) who will speak at the Essex Library Thursday, May 12 at 7 p.m.

Constant Waterman, also known as Matthew Goldman, will read from his four self illustrated books at The Essex Library on Thursday, 12 May at 7 p.m. 

Goldman’s first book, The Journals of Constant Waterman: Paddling, Poling, and Sailing for the Love of It, is a collection of introspective, lively, and often wry memoirs. His second book, Landmarks You Must Visit in Southeast Connecticut, gives brief histories, complimented by his pen and ink drawings, of better and lesser known landmarks about the mouth of the Connecticut River and along the coast to Rhode Island. In Vincus the Invisible Divulges His Secret Recipe for Maple Pistachio Birch Beer Raspberry Ripple, he introduces Vincus the Griffin, who cleans up The Endless Forest and also makes huge batches of a unique ice cream. In Vincus the Invisible Visits Planet Earth, Vincus the Griffin flies through the Reality Warp to Planet Earth to rescue Galumph the Horse. Afterwards, he pays a visit to Lady Giselle to teach her how to save the last endangered species in The Real World.      

After his reading the author will sign copies provided by Essex Books. To register for this program, please call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560.

Get Fit with Free Classes at Essex Library

Put a little “spring” in your step with a series of free mind/body exercise classes at the Essex Library, every Wednesday morning at 10, from May 4 thru June 1.  Offered by local fitness teachers, these hour-long introductory classes are ideal if you’ve always wanted to try a new routine, but were shy to join an established class.

Get a taste of Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi, Meditation, and Mama/Baby Yoga. Marlene Powers of Pilates for Life will teach the Intro to Pilates class, May 4. Yoga will be taught by Riverdog Yoga’s Kimberly Smith on May 11. Tai Chi instruction will be given by Riverdog Yoga’s Christopher Passahl, May 18. Meditation will be taught by Emrys Tetu, also of Riverdog Yoga, on May 25, and Shaun English of Fresh Yoga will teach her Mama/Baby Class, Itsy Bitsy Yoga, on June 1.  Please note that this last class is for mothers with infants who are not yet crawling.

We supply the mats. Wear comfortable clothing, and bring a water bottle. Please call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560 for more information or to register; space is limited, so call soon.

A Full Day of Burning of the Fleet Day Events Scheduled for May 14 in Essex

Colonial re-enactors will take part in the Burning of the Fleet Day festivities planned for Saturday, May 14 from 11 am to 2 pm at the Connecticut River Museum. Photo courtesy of Victor Gonzalez Photography.

Essex, CT – On Saturday, May 14, the historic British Raid on Essex will come to life with a variety of spectator and participant activities for people of all ages and interests.  The festivities will begin at 11 a.m. on the waterfront lawn of the Connecticut River Museum, located at 67 Main Street, with re-enactors, colonial weaponry demonstrations and children’s activities all telling the story of the 1814 attack that destroyed 27 privateer ships.  

Concurrently, community rowboat races will be held off the Museum’s docks with 5-person teams competing in timed heats using 19’ boats on loan from the Maritime Education Network.  Area organizations and businesses are encouraged to field a team and join in the competitive fun.  Race team entry is free but pre-registration before the day of the event is required. Those interested should contact Jennifer White-Dobbs at 860.767.8269 ext. 13 or jwhitedobbs@ctrivermuseum.org.

At 2 p.m., all lawn activities and rowboat races will conclude for the start of the annual Burning of the Fleet Commemoration Parade presented by the Sailing Masters of 1812 Fife & Drums Corps.  The parade kicks off at Essex Town Hall where the Sailing Masters will be joined by other regional fife and drums corps.  From there, they will march down Main Street to perform a small “muster” and commemoration ceremony at water’s edge before heading back up Main Street to begin preparations for the Sailing Masters’ Annual Regency Ball to be held at Essex Town Hall at 8 p.m. 

For more information on Connecticut River Museum events, call 860-767-8269 or go to www.ctrivermuseum.org.  For information on the Sailing Masters of 1812 Parade and Regency Ball, go to www.sailingmasters.org

Interior Design Book Signing at Lyme Art Association

Duane Hampton

In conjunction with Lyme Art Association’s first annual Interiors: Within Four Walls exhibition, on view from April 29 through June 12, LAA will be hosting a Book Signing with Duane Hampton on Saturday, May 21 at 5:30 p.m.
 
Duane has written a book on her late husband, designer Mark Hampton. The publisher indicates “This [book] is a celebration of the career of one of the most famous and admired American interior designers of the 20th century. A classic American success story, Hampton grew up in a small town in Indiana and went on to worldwide fame. He began his career working for the some of the greatest interior designers of the age – Parish Hadley, David Hicks, Macmillen, Inc., and later went on to found Mark Hampton, Inc. Known for the tremendous depth and breadth of his knowledge, Hampton refused to be pigeonholed into a trademark style, moving effortlessly from sleek modernism to English country and back again.” Mark also designed both furniture and fabrics.
 
Advance reservations are required, and there is a $10 fee for this event.  To make reservations, call LAA at (860) 434-7802 or e-mail keith@lymeartassociation.org.
 
About Lyme Art Association
The Lyme Art Association was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Lyme Art Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, in the National Historic Landmark building designed by Charles Adams Platt. Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, Sunday 1 to 5pm. For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802.

Essex Zoning Commission Sets Public Hearing on Proposed Plains Road Business District

ESSEX— The zoning commission has scheduled an April 25 public hearing on the proposed zoning map amendments and regulations for a new business district zone on Plans Road. Monday’s hearing will convene at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at town hall.

Joseph Burdow, zoning enforcement officer, said the proposed change for parcels on both sides of Plains Road has been under consideration by the panel for more than two years. Most of the properties are currrently in a limited industrial district, though some properties were able to establish a commercial/retail use under variances approved over the past decade by the zoning board of appeals.

Budrow said the proposed business district would encompass about 20 properties on an approximate three-quarters-mile section of Plains Road exstending south from the vicinity of the vacant Iron Chef restaurant parcel to the intersection with Westbrook Road (Route 153). He said one goal of the proposed change is clarify and encourage business development along Plains Road, while directing any future limited industrial uses to the back sections of parcels, not directly on the road. The proposed zone change would not affect existing uses on properties. The proposed business district would allow most commercial uses, though a special permit approval from the commission would be required for some new commercial uses. A public hearing is required for approval of a special permit.

The proposed change would allow new restaurants and food service establishments, while current regulations for commercial zones limit new restaurants to ten seats or less. The proposed changes include a revision of the regulations governing the limited industrial district, eliminating some uses that are currently allowed, such as garbage and trash collection enterprises.

Community Music School Flute Ensemble in Concert: New Date May 3

CMS Flute Ensemble to perform at Essex Library on May 3

Under the direction of Pamela Dubey Allen, Community Music School’s Flute Ensemble will perform a free concert at 7 pm on Tuesday, May 3 (rescheduled from April 26), at the Essex Library, West Avenue. This multi-generational ensemble with flute players spanning five decades in age will perform a variety of music featuring classical composers such as Tchaikovsky, Edvard Grieg, Cecile Chaminade, J.S. Bach, Dvorak, and Mozart. The concert will also include familiar American folk tunes arranged for flute ensemble (e.g., “Shenandoah,” “Amazing Grace”). For additional information, please contact Community Music School at 860-767-0026.

Community Music School, located in the Centerbrook section of Essex, CT, is a not-for-profit arts education organization offering instrumental and vocal students of all ages outstanding private and group instruction. In addition to long-running programs such as Kindermusik and Jazz and String Ensembles, CMS offers special programs for homeschool students and a full menu of summer offerings. Additionally, a certified music therapist is on faculty offering individual and group Music Therapy services, using music as a tool to reach individualized therapeutic goals for people of all ages and skill levels. For additional information on programs or performances, please call 860-767-0026 or visit www.community-music-school.org.

As Gas Prices Soar, Bus Ridership Rises

With gasoline prices now topping $4.00 per gallon, shoreline residents are turning in record numbers to public transit to ease the pain at the pump.

Last month, ridership on 9 Town Transit (9TT), the shoreline’s public bus system, reached an all time high 7,600 trips.  The increase, 30% higher than in March of 2010, is being attributed to high gas prices combined with improved service hours.

“We recently expanded the hours of most of our routes to accommodate commuters,” says Joseph Comerford, Executive Director of 9TT.  “The change has made it possible to travel to and from work by bus in our region.”

In addition to extended hours of service, 9TT has expanded its service area in the past two years.  Bus service is now available from Old Saybrook to Middletown and New London.  Free transfers can also be made to New Haven, Norwich, and Hartford. 

With fares ranging from $1.25 to $2.50, public transit can offer users significant savings.  Discounted tickets and passes can also be purchased at area Stop & Shop stores and Adam’s Market in Deep River. 9TT provides service to all parts of Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook, and all services are open to the general public.

Additional information, route maps and schedules are available online at www.9towntransit.com or by calling 9 Town Transit at 860-510-0429.

A Sense of Wonder – Back by popular demand!

Rachel Carson

To acknowledge the importance of Earth Day, the Essex Land Trust will reprise the movie “A Sense of Wonder” about the life of Rachel Carson. She is the renowned advocate for the natural world and author of the 1962 bestseller “Silent Spring”, which launched the modern environmental movement. The event takes place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27 at Essex Meadows which is located at 30 Bokum Road in Essex.

Rachel Carson has been called the “patron saint” of the modern environmental movement. The Atlantic has listed her as one of the 40 most influential figures in American history. As Al Gore wrote, “without [Silent Spring], the environmental movement might have been long delayed or never developed at all.”

As a scientist, a writer, and a woman, Rachel Carson has inspired generations. As an activist she fought governmental negligence and unbridled corporate interest. Through her scientific integrity and elegant prose she became one of the 20th century’s most prescient scientific authors. And as an individual she battled economic adversity, family tragedy and gender stereotyping. She also reminds us that we each have not only the ability to make a creative difference in this world; we also have the responsibility to do so.

For more information please contact Thea Putnam at 860.767.3231 or email tconv@mac.com. Refreshments served.

Vista Announces Professional & Community Support Council

Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center (www.vistavocational.org) is pleased to announce the formation of a
Professional & Community Support Council.  This newly-established Council is comprised of professionals from the business and service community. 

Over the course of a year, the members of the Professional & Community Support Council will be offering their time and/or resources to Vista on a limited basis in their particular area of expertise. 

Current Council members represent fields that range from web design to wellness to photography.

Current Council members:

  • Jeff Buxton – BIZ-ID
  • Michelle Ciak – Westbrook Youth & Family Services
  • Lynn Connery – Westbrook High School
  • Holly Finley-David, MA; RD; CD-NCDE- Medical Nutrition Therapist
  • Jean Ferris
  • Candy Jankiewicz – Walgreens
  • Bernadette Jones – Essex Savings Bank
  • Jerry Koch – WebNow1
  • Katheryn McDonnell, A.P.R.N. – Middlesex Hospital Primary Care
  • Pat Souney – Independent Theater Consultant, Director & Coach
  • Dave Vallas – Sequel Solutions

Please join us in acknowledging the Council members listed above.  For more information on the Council and its aim, please contact Bobbi Guercia at bguercia@vistavocational.org or by calling (203) 318-5240.

Summer Choral Camp at Fischer Music School

The Fischer Music School will be offering  a 5-day Summer Choral Camp from 18-22 July, 9 a.m. to 12 noon, led by the music school choral instructor, Aleksandra Szczygiel.

The program is for children in grades 3 through 7 and will teach the students about singing and also give them an opportunity to perform a recital.  The group lesson format is perfect for those students who are looking to improve their vocal skills and technique but not feel the pressure of being one on one with an instructor.

The first hour of the program will consist of instruction (warm up exercises, how to sing properly, theory) so studenst will understand the concept of rhythm, melody, structure of the song, and how to develop healthy singing.  For the remainder of the day students will work together on a variety of popular songs from various musical genres.  By singing in four part harmony, students will develop aural skills.  Video clips will also be presented to enhance knowledge.

Students will perform a recital at the end of the program on Friday evening, July 22 at the Essex Town Hall..

No experience is necessary.  Maximum number of students will be 25 and cost will be $125.  Registration is open now at www.essexct.gov (choose the park and recreation link on the right).  For more information contact Park & Rec. Dept at 860-767-4340 ext 110.

Frank Favorites at Deep River Public Library

Professional actor, director, and nationally syndicated critic Frank Dolan will be at the Deep River Public Library on Saturday April 30 at 3 p.m.  “Frank Favorites” includes performances and recitings of Shakespeare, Shaw, O’Connor and other greats interspersed with humorous newspaper articles and anecdotes from his half-century of work and play in radio, television, theatre, and film.
 
Please call the library at 860-526-6039 for more information.

Valley-Shore Y Preschool Celebrates Diversity

The Preschool at the Valley-Shore Y in Westbrook has children and families that come from Brazil, Germany, Vietnam, Italy, Poland, England, and the U.S.A. Classes have been learning about people, customs, and animals from across the globe. This diverse culture was celebrated at an International Evening for families and students with food, music, and games from around the world. Parents and children alike enjoyed egg rolls, fried rice, German potato salad, pasta, chicken and rice, cottage pie, apple crisp, and pudding native to their culture. They were excited to try new foods and celebrate together.

Topfschlagen, a game popular at birthday parties in Germany was played by preschoolers and siblings. Many also tried to carry a potato in a basket on their heads the way people in parts of Africa carry food home from market. What a challenge!

As the evening concluded there were many requests to repeat this get-together. How fortunate this group of children and adults are to learn about each other with enthusiasm and acceptance.

The Valley-Shore Y offers both half-day and full-day Preschool. Contact Mary Lewis at 860-399-9622 or mlewis@vsymca.org for information.

The First Congregational Church of Deep River Welcomes You for Holy Week and Easter Services

Sunday, April 17 – Annual Men’s Palm Sunday Breakfast, 7:00 a.m.

 All men from area churches are invited to attend this annual worship service and breakfast.  This year’s guest speaker is Paul Mohabir, CEO of the Valley Shore YMCA in Westbrook.  Please contact the church office if you plan to attend.  (860-526-5045 or office.drcc@snet.net)

Everyone is welcome to attend all of the Holy Week and Easter services here. 

April 21 – Maundy Thursday, 7:30 p.m.

Communion Service commemorates the Last Supper and a number of our Sunday School students will receive their First Communion that evening.

April 22 – Good Friday 

There will be a Soup and Bread supper at 6:30 p.m. on followed by a moving Good Friday Worship service at 7:30 p.m.

April 24 – Easter Sunday

Easter Sunrise Service will be held at Mt. Saint John School at 6:00 a.m.

Family Worship at 9:00 a.m.
Easter Worship at 10:30 a.m. 

Both services will feature special music from the Sr. Choir and Chancel Handbell Choir, along with special Easter messages from Rev. Timothy Haut.   A wonderful array of treats prepared by Martha Beaudoin will be served by our Deacons at a special Family Fellowship Gathering at 10:00 between the two services. 

Please contact the church office for further information (860-526-5045 or office.drcc@snet.net) or check our church web site, www.deepriverchurch.org.

The Kate Welcomes Beloved Folk Artist Roger McGuinn

Veteran folk artist Roger McGuinn comes to the The Kate on Friday April 22, 2011 at 8 p.m. for an evening of wonderful live music. Roger McGuinn has been a powerful presence in the music scene since the 1960s and continues to delight audiences to this day. A Chicago native who studied at the Old Town School of Folk Music, McGuinn has always displayed a strong passion for folk music. After high school, McGuinn relocated to California where he played guitar and banjo for the Limeliters. McGuinn later moved to New York where he worked as a songwriter and began to experiment with merging rock and folk music to create a new sound. Folk purists in New York were not pleased with this new musical blend so McGuinn moved back to California and collaborated with Gene Clark to create the Byrds; they signed with Columbia Records in 1965.

After many critically acclaimed years with the Byrds, McGuinn disbanded the group to pursue a solo career in 1973. After 5 solo albums on Columbia Records McGuinn rejoined the Byrds on Capitol Records in 1978 making three albums before returning to his solo career in 1981. Roger McGuinn has been a very influential figure in folk music and his music continues to captivate and inspire all audiences.  Please join us in welcoming this legendary artist to the Kate stage. Tickets are on sale for $45 and $50 for tickets closer to the stage. Don’t miss this exciting event!

For more information please visit www.thekate.org or call 860-510-0473 for tickets.

Noted Flower Arranger Nancy D’Oench to Lecture in Essex on Upcoming International World Flower Show in Boston

On Monday, April 25 at 1:45 pm in the Essex Town Hall, the Essex Garden Club will sponsor a most interesting talk by noted author and flower arranging expert Nancy D’Oench.  D’Oench will discuss the upcoming international World Flower Show which will be held in Boston June 15 – 19.  The lecture is free and open to the public.

The World Flower Show is an international event held once every three years.  This year is its first-ever appearance in the United States.  There will be over 600 exhibitors from around the world celebrating the art of floral design.  This is the only time it will be held in this country in our lifetime. 

Traditionally, each host country produces a book featuring the styles and work of its leading arrangers.  Nancy D’Oench, who is well known for her own brilliant designs, has written the book for this year’s show titled “Flower Arranging The American Way.”  In a powerpoint presentation, Nancy will show examples of the wide variety of styles that today represent flower arranging in the United States.

Con Brio’s Spring Performance is “Exceptional”

This past Sunday, Con Brio Choral (pictured above) presented Ken Jenkins’ “L’Homme Armé” : A Mass for Peace (The Armed Man)  at Christ the King Church.  Act I consisted of the title mass by Karl Jenkins, while Act II focused on songs for peace.  Patricia Schuman was the guest soprano.

The church’s open room and wooden cathedral ceilings gave this concert crystal clear acoustics.

There were 13 songs in Act I.  The chorus sang the title song (performed in French), which had a militaristic feel complete with a piccolo and drums.  Then Patricia Schuman sang “Kyrie Elesion”, which was written in Latin.  Her voice brought out the sadness and seriousness in the song.  In contrast, Sanctus Dominus (sung by the choir) was performed forte and delivered an epic sound. 

The song “Charge!” really sounded like an army “charging” toward the enemy  (the dissonance at the end depicted an unfortunate outcome).  Schuman showed her rich soprano voice in “The Angry Flames,” and at the end of that song, chimes depicted a church bell at a funeral — a unique touch.

“Benedictus” started out slow and sad, then soared with a crescendo evoking a feeling of optimism.  Finally, at the end of Act I, a lighter reprise of “L’Homme Armé” was sung by the choir.

 Act II featured lighter pieces.  Schuman’s bittersweet voice echoed through the church when she sang “Marietta’s Lied” by German composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold, while Beethoven’s “Meeresstille und Glück Fahrt” depicted calm water and an upbeat voyage.

The jazzy “Down by the Riverside” included audience participation coupled by a memorable tune.  The Simon and Garfunkel classic, “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” was very moving and to conclude the concert, Schuman and the choir sang Magnani’s Easter Hymn, which hinted at a glimmer of hope for spring.

Throughout this exceptional concert during which she sang sharply contrasting types of music, Schuman consistently  displayed her tremendous voice versatility.

Region 4 School Board Approves $17.32 Million Education Budget After Quiet Public Hearing

REGION 4—  The Region 4 Board of Education approved a proposed $17.32 million education budget for 2011-2012 Thursday after a quiet public hearing on the spending plan.

Only three residents, all current or former selectmen from Chester, turned out for the annual budget hearing. The board made only one minor adjustment to the spending plan after a hearing where there were no calls for changes or reductions to the proposed budget, trimming an additional $2,725 to account for unanticipated savings in debt service expenses on bonds for school building projects. 

The $17,324,933 gross budget is reduced by anticipated revenue to a net budget of $17,109,832 that will be funded by the taxpayers of Chester, Deep River, and Essex.  The budget funds the operations of Valley Regional High School and John Winthrop Middle School.  Both the gross and the net budget totals are up by 1.96 percent over the current appropriation.

The net budget is divided between the three towns based on the number of students from each town attending the two secondary schools. Chester, with 271 students has a 27.6 percent share of the budget, $4,722,314, that is up by $105,990 from the current budget share. Deep River, with 296 students for a 29.12 percent share of the budget, has an assessment of $4,982,383 that is down slightly, by $43,386, from the town’s current assessment.

Essex, with 425 students, has the largest share, 43.28 percent, of the net budget. The Essex assessment, $7,405,135, is up by $266,698, or 3.74 percent, from the town’s current budget share.

The budget approved Thursday goes to the voters of Chester, Deep River, and Essex, for approval in a May 3 referendum. Polls are open from 12 noon to 8 p.m. at the regular election polling places in the three towns. The Region 4 budget has been approved on the first referendum vote in recent years.

Essex Savings Bank President & CEO Gregory R. Shook Named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 New England Award Semifinalist

Essex Savings Bank President & CEO Gregory R. Shook

Essex Savings Bank today announced that President & CEO Gregory R. Shook is an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2011 New England Award semifinalist. According to Ernst & Young LLP, the awards program recognizes entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.  Gregory Shook was selected as a semifinalist from nearly 60 nominations by a panel of independent judges. Award winners will be announced at a special gala event on June 15, 2011 at the Boston Renaissance Waterfront Hotel.

“I am honored to be able to provide additional recognition to Essex Savings Bank for our team effort during the past decade – particularly as we celebrate our 160th anniversary year of service and trust to our community,” noted Gregory Shook.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Program celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 140 cities and more than 50 countries throughout the world.

Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur of the Year National Award. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the overall Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year National Award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 12, 2011. The awards are the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies, which will be held November 9–13, 2011.

Sponsors
Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards are pleased to have the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation as a national sponsor.

In New England sponsors include Boston Magazine, J. Robert Scott, Marsh, Nixon Peabody LLP, RR Donnelley, and Regan Communications Group.

Essex Savings Bank is a $290 million, FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851.  The Bank serves the Connecticut River Valley and shoreline with five offices in Essex (2), Madison, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook.  Financial, estate, insurance and retirement planning are offered throughout the state by the Bank’s Trust Department with $210 million in managed assets, and subsidiary, Essex Financial Services, Inc, Member FINRA, SIPC, $3 billion in managed assets.

About Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year®
Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential, and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Entrepreneur of the Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 140 cities in more than 50 countries.

About the Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services.  Worldwide, our 141,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

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5th Annual Privateers Bash Nets a Bounty for Connecticut River Museum

Bash guests sample premium rums provided by That’s The Spirit.

Essex, CT  – The fifth annual Privateers’ Bash held at the Connecticut River Museum on Saturday, April 2 proved once again to be a swashbuckling evening of music, spirits, tasty bites and treasures that raised over $8,500 to support the Museum’s mission and programs. The rum punch & grog flowed while Steel Accent played the steel drums, Free Men of the Sea performed sea chanteys, and Moonshine Serenade rocked the crowd with Americana/country tunes.  That’s the Spirit Shop hosted premium rum tastings while an impressive array of delectables from Big Daddy’s Texas Style Bar-B-Que, Cloud Nine, Coastal Gourmet, Coffee’s Country Catering, Culinary Concerts, David Alan Catering, Gourmet Galley and Seaflour Foods satisfied the most discriminating palette. 

The crew from Cloud Nine Catering mug it up with Jeni Gray Roberts.

Prizes were awarded to those judged to have the best period costume and the night was capped off with a hidden treasures drawing for donated prizes that included a flat screen television, a book bag from Essex Books, a gift certificate from Scensibles, golf and dinner at Old Lyme Country Club, schooner cruise tickets for four aboard the Mary E, two tickets to Vina Musica & Star Chefs of CT, a tea tasting at Savvy Tea, a gift certificate from Café Allegre, a Pocketful of Posies gift bag, a gourmet fruit basket by David Alan Catering, a Meyer’s Rum basket by Gourmet Galley, Essex Essentials bag, hat & sweatshirt, and an Absolut Martini kit.

Event sponsors were Reynolds’ Garage & Marine, Bogaert Construction Company, Caulfield & Ridgway, All Pro Automotive, BLP Enterprises, Clark Group, Pages, Inc., and Rachel Thomas Associates. 

The Connecticut River Museum is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and celebrating the natural and cultural heritage of New England’s Great River.  For more information on CRM exhibits, programs, events, and on-water excursions, go to www.ctrivermuseum.org or call (860)767-8269. 

Russell Buckingham peruses the many valuable raffle treasures donated by area businesses and organizations.

Rep. Phil Miller’s Bill Improving Seniors’ Access to Affordable Health Care Moving Forward

State Representative Phil Miller (Essex, Chester, Deep River and Haddam) is pleased that legislation he has sponsored to improve access to healthcare and lower costs for Connecticut’s seniors is moving forward at the legislature.

“This is a win for everyone—seniors and taxpayers,” said Miller. “This gives seniors an option, if they choose, to purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan. Not only will it reduce their out of pocket expenses, but it will lower costs for the state too.”

Miller’s bill (HB 5429) simply modifies state law to permit seniors who are qualified Medicare beneficiaries to access supplemental health insurance and reduce their out of pocket expenses. The state’s non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis has confirmed a potential cost savings for the state, if the bill is passed.

Miller, the newest member of the state legislature’s Human Services Committee, noted that the committee unanimously passed his bill and that he was optimistic that it would be passed by the full legislature.

The bill, supported by AARP, will make its way to the state house floor for a vote in the coming weeks.

Miller, a Democrat, was elected on February 22 in a special election to represent the 36th Assembly District of Essex, Chester, Deep River and Haddam.

State Representative Phil Miller is serving his first term representing the 36th Assembly District of Essex, Chester, Deep River and Haddam. He sits on the legislature’s Environment, Human Services, and Public Health Committees.

Malloy Revises Property Tax Credit, Reduces Middle Class Tax Burden

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman (Photo Christine Stuart)

On his 100th day in office on Thursday and after 17 town hall meetings, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced that he will modify ever-so-slightly his proposal to eliminate the $500 property tax credit on middle income earners, reducing it instead to $300.

Read the full story by Christine Stuart on CT News Junkie.com.

Volunteers Needed for Shoreline Soup Kitchen Garden

Garden volunteers needed for the Shoreline Soup Kitchen Garden, now in its 11th season providing fresh produce to feed neighbors in need from Madison to East Lyme.  Work times are Saturday and Tuesdays mornings and Thursday afternoons. Come when you can. Garden is behind Grace Church, 336 Main Street, Old Saybrook.  Contact: claudiavannes@aol.com or call 860-526-3459

Local Resident Receives Small Business Innovation and Leadership Award

Laura Dietz, Niantic Conn. resident receives the Connecticut Technology Council’s 2011 Women of Innovation Award for Small Business Innovation and Leadership.

Niantic  resident Laura Dietz has received the Connecticut Technology Council’s 2011 Small Business Innovation and Leadership Award from the Council’s Women of Innovation program.

Dietz was one of ten women honored March 31 during the seventh annual Women of Innovation awards dinner at The Aqua Turf in Southington, Conn. The awards program, sponsored by the Connecticut Technology Council, recognizes women in the workforce who are innovators, role models and leaders in the technology, science and engineering fields.

Dietz currently serves as the vice president of Sonalysts, Inc. Her extensive experience with training technology had been applied to the Air Force, Navy and Army training programs.

“Many of Connecticut’s most extraordinary and talented women working in technology are in attendance tonight,” said Matthew Nemerson, president and CEO of the Connecticut Technology Council. “This awards event allows us to recognize these exceptional innovators and leaders, while also introducing them to a professional network of peers who are equally accomplished.”

The Connecticut Technology Council (www.ct.org) is the state’s industry association for the technology sector. CTC’s mission is to “connect people, ideas and opportunities to the global technology and innovation community.” CTC provides members with business assistance and specialized programs, in addition to promoting and supporting public policies that position Connecticut to have a globally recognized “culture of innovation” that helps attract great ideas and entrepreneurs to in turn develop new jobs and wealth for the state

Region 4 School Board Names Kristina Martineau as Valley Regional High School Principal

REGION 4— The Region 4 Board of Education has appointed Kristina Martineau, the current interim principal, as principal of Valley Regional High School.

Martineau, who was first hired by the district as associate principal in 2008, was appointed at a special meeting Tuesday after a final interview with board members.

Six of the nine elected board members turned out for the meeting to approve the selection of Martineau on a unanimous vote. Three board members were absent Tuesday, Elaine Fitzgibbons of Chester, Chris Riley of Essex, and Richard Strauss of Chester. The other finalist in a selection process that began in February was Todd Snyder, a former history teacher and current assistant principal at Sheehan High School in Wallingford.

Martineau, who lives in Guilford with her husband and two children, holds a B.A. in English from Loyala College in Baltimore, Md., and an M.A. from the University of Newcastle in England. She also has an advanced degree in educational leadership from Sacred Heart University in Bridgeport.

Martineau began her career in 2001 as an English teacher at Fairfield Warde High School in Fairfield. She was dean of students at the Fairfield school for a year before coming to Region 4.

Martineau was named interim principal at the high school last October after the abrupt departure of Eric Rice from the position. Rice, a Chester resident who is Strauss’s son-in-law, was hired as principal last July, but left the job in October amid reports he had been given a resign-or-be-fired ultimatum from Superintendent of Schools Ruth Levy. Neither Levy nor Rice has commented on the specific circumstances of his departure, which generated questions and criticism from some district residents. Rice received a $62,150 severance payment from the school district.
In a statement, Levy said the board and “multiple interview committees” were “impressed with Kristina’s overall knowledge, commitment to excellence, strong leadership skills, exceptional personal style, and enthusiasm for high school students.”

“We are certain that she will sustain and encourage an ongoing commitment to a culture of caring, high achievement, and mutual respect within a safe and productive school environment,” Levy said.

Board Chairwoman Linda Hall said she pleased with the selection of Martineau. “I think it was a very thorough process that involved community members, staff and students,” Hall said, adding “Kristineau has done a wonderful job as interim principal.”

The Cooley Gallery Announces a New Exhibition:All Flowers

Old Lyme, CT – The Cooley Gallery is proud to announce an exhibition and sale of historic and contemporary floral paintings in All Flowers. The exhibition opens with the forsythia on April 23 and runs through May 28, 2011.  Peonies, tulips, lilies, laurel, daisies, poppies, petunias, coreopsis, hibiscus, roses, sunflowers and water lilies will be blooming on the walls of the gallery at 25 Lyme Street in Old Lyme.

“One of the first paintings I bought many years ago was a sumptuous still-life of roses — it was sexy, rich and beautiful,” owner Jeff Cooley reminisces.  “For all these years since, I have been drawn to artists’ sometimes intimate, always joyful, depictions of flowers whether in the garden or in a vase.” 

Still Life by Frederick Judd Waugh (1861-1940), oil on panel

Flowers have enhanced moods and facilitated communications from time immemorial. In this exhibition, antique American still-lifes hang alongside newly completed works from artists all around the country.  The color and abundance depicted in these paintings are reminiscent of fresh spring gardens, lazy summer afternoons and leisurely walks along well-tended garden paths. 

Frederick Judd Waugh (1861-1940) was famous for his dramatic depictions of crashing surf. The still-life in All Flowers painted in 1925 has a familiar movement and drama with a sense of solidity and permanence even though, like a wave on the ocean, the subject’s life is fleeting.

A very well-known artist and member of the Old Lyme art colony was Wilson Irvine (1869-1936). Irvine studied at the Art Institute in Chicago and came to New York to further his education. On a visit to Lyme in 1914, he decided this was where he would paint for the rest of his life. Still-life with Petunias evokes the anticipation of summer with its multi-colored blooms set in a white vase atop a vividly patterned table cloth.

Still Life with Petunias by Wilson H. Irvine (1869 - 1936) oil on canvas

Emil Carlsen (1853-1932) got on the train to Lyme and, because of a language barrier, ended up in Lyme Rock, Connecticut which he liked well enough not to find the colony he originally set out for.  Still-life with Roses and Pomegranates is a still-life of abundance with the round red forms of the pomegranates anchoring the soft pink roundness of the pink roses above.  For Christians the pomegranate was often used as a symbol of redemption and eternal life and the pink rose was often a symbol of the Virgin Mary.  For Persephone the pomegranate ensured half her life would be spent in the underworld.

A lesser-known painter with a still life in this exhibition is Raymond A. Ewing (1891-1975). Ewing was a student of the famous Rockport artist Aldro Hibbard. When Ewing was not out painting landscapes he was making a living doing illustrations or painting this naturally composed vase of Sunflowers in 1965.

London born Walter Paris (1842-1906) spent most of his life in California but the painting exhibited in All Flowers is reminiscent of the Pre-Raphaelite movement in England. The artist’s palette and the pattern of the water lilies evoke the style of William Morris.

A true American devotee to the Pre-Raphaelite movement was Fidelia Bridges (1834-1923). Bridges made a name for herself creating highly detailed and very natural compositions for greeting cards. Careful studies of wildflowers and distant birds overhead were Bridges’ specialty.

Still Life With Roses by Frederick M. Fenetti (1854-1915), oil on canvas

Nellie Littlehale Murphy (1867-1941) was born on the west coast but moved to Lexington, Massachusetts and studied in Boston with Joseph de Camp.  In Zinnias, a shiny black footed vase plays host to a riot of zinnias against a draped background.

The complexity of realistically portrayed still-life often prefers a small sized canvas. One of the larger canvases in this exhibition is a vibrant painting of Peonies by Bridgeport born Mary Nicholena McCord (1864-1955). McCord exhibited her first painting at the National Academy of Design in 1916. The artist never married and bequeathed her entire estate to charities around her native Bridgeport.

Barbara Novak (b. 1928) is perhaps best known as prolific author and preeminent historian of American art and culture. Less well-known are her highly personal and spontaneous watercolors of the flowers her author husband Brian O’Doherty (Patrick Ireland) buys for her on the streets of their native New York. 

All Flowers will be on view through May 28 but know that at anytime we will likely have “fresh flowers” in our inventory.

Founded in 1981 and located in the heart of historic Old Lyme, the Cooley Gallery specializes in fine American paintings from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, including the Hudson River School, American Impressionism, and select contemporary artists.

Regular gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10am to 5pm. Please call (860) 434-8807 or visit www.cooleygallery.com for additional information. The Cooley Gallery is located at 25 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT 06371.

Essex Historical Society Announces Preservation Award Contest: The Peoples’ Choice for Favorite Historic Building

Have a favorite historic building in town? Just completed a restoration and renovation project of which you’re proud?  Nominate it for the Preservation Award sponsored by the Essex Historical Society (EHS).

EHS announces its new Preservation Award Contest to recognize efforts that preserve and protect our town’s historic character.  This new award will be presented on Monday, June 27 at the EHS annual meeting and strawberry shortcake social on the grounds of the Pratt House property from 5:30pm-7:30pm.

All residents are encouraged to nominate the restored and/or preserved building they feel is the most deserving of this honor. 

To receive this award:

  • the building must have been built in 1935 or earlier. 
  • the historic character of the original structure must have been preserved with the restoration done in keeping with the original building and period. 
  • the building may be commercial or residential.

Cast your vote online at essexhistoryaward@yahoo.com, at either of the town’s libraries (from May 1 through May 31), or submit your vote by mail to: EHS Preservation Award, P.O Box 123, Essex, CT 06426.  All votes must be received by May 31st.  All votes must include the building and its address along with, your name and phone number.

The EHS Preservation Award Winner will be honored at the EHS Annual Meeting on June 27, 2011.

Connecticut River Museum Moves Ahead with Historic Battle Site Designation Plans

Connecticut River Museum Executive Director Jerry Roberts presents plans for designating Essex as a historic battle site at a community forum held on April 7.

Essex, CT – On the evening of April 7, the Connecticut River Museum held a community forum to announce its plans for getting Essex officially designated as a historic battle.  Museum staff together with representatives from the State of Connecticut Historic Preservation and Museum Division outlined the process and impact of receiving state and national recognition for the 1814 British Raid on Essex.  The designated battle site area includes the waterfront grounds of the Connecticut River Museum, where British troops landed, and portions of Main Street in Essex Village where the attack continued, resulting in the destruction of 27 ships and one of the greatest shipping losses during the War of 1812.  Documentation that verifies the details of the historic raid is now being gathered and organized as part of the application process.

On Monday, April 18, Connecticut State Archaeologist Nicholas Bellantoni will head up a team of technicians and scientists that will survey the Museum property using ground penetrating radar and soil testing.  The goal of the survey is to identify the location and  composition of the colonial shoreline and wharf structure that sits beneath the paved and grassy areas of the grounds. The public is welcome to come watch the team at work and learn more about the technology and its findings.  

The Connecticut River Museum, a private, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and celebrating the cultural and natural history of the Connecticut River, is located at 67 Main Street on the Essex waterfront.  For more information on this and other events at the Connecticut River Museum, go to www.ctrivermuseum.org.  

For more specific information on the Connecticut River Museum Battle Site Essex Plan, please contact Jerry Roberts at 860.767.8269 ext. 12 or jroberts@ctrivermuseum.org.

Community Music School Flute Ensemble Performs at Essex Library

CMS Flute Ensemble to perform at Essex Library on May 3

CENTERBROOK – Under the direction of Pamela Dubey Allen, Community Music School’s Flute Ensemble will perform a free concert at 7 pm on Tuesday, May 3, at the Essex Library, at 33 West Avenue. This multi-generational ensemble with flute players spanning five decades in age will perform a variety of music featuring classical composers such as Tchaikovsky,  Edvard Grieg, Cecile Chaminade, J.S. Bach, Dvorak, and Mozart. The concert will also include familiar American folk tunes arranged for flute ensemble (e.g., “Shenandoah,” “Amazing Grace”). For additional information, please contact Community Music School at 860-767-0026.

Community Music School, located in the Centerbrook section of Essex, CT, is a not-for-profit arts education organization offering instrumental and vocal students of all ages outstanding private and group instruction. In addition to long-running programs such as Kindermusik and Jazz and String Ensembles, CMS offers special programs for homeschool students and a full menu of summer offerings. Additionally, a certified music therapist is on faculty offering individual and group Music Therapy services, using music as a tool to reach individualized therapeutic goals for people of all ages and skill levels. For additional information on programs or performances, please call 860-767-0026 or visit www.community-music-school.org.

Essex Veteran’s Memorial Hall Spring into Summer Picnic

Help support the Essex Veteran’s Memorial Hall and their softball team as they hold their “Spring into Summer Picnic” on Saturday April 30, starting at 12 noon.

Enjoy hot dogs, hamburgers and sausage with all the condiments as well as salads, beans homemade dessert and more.

Music will be provided by DJ Bear Sounds from noon.

Tickets $9 adults, children 12 and under $5.