June 25, 2017

Archives for September 2015

Essex Foundation Announces Plans for Painting Rte. 9 Overpass Bridges in Essex

Bruce Glowac and Jay Tonk, President and Vice President of the Essex Foundation, point to the bridge overpasses that they hope will be painted this spring. The Foundation has pledged $5,000 toward the $20,000 needed to repaint the overpasses.

Bruce Glowac and Jay Tonk, President and Vice President of the Essex Foundation, point to the bridge overpasses that they hope will be painted this spring. The Foundation has pledged $5,000 toward the $20,000 needed to repaint the overpasses.

Bruce Glowac, President of The Essex Foundation, Inc., has announced that the Foundation is spearheading an effort to raise funds to paint the Rte. 9 bridges over the Essex crossing at the corner of West Ave. and Saybrook Rd., an area that used to be known as Phelps Corner. The bridge spans presently are rusted and desperately in need of repair and repainting.

The State Highway Department has plans to start bridge repairs in the spring. However, under the guidelines for Federal expenditures, the repainting of repaired bridge areas is limited to the strips adjoining the repair. This means that when the job is completed by the state, the only parts that will be painted will be those directly adjoining the repairs.

In line with all the clearing work recently done by the state in the area of the intersection, the Town and the Essex Foundation Board have been investigating how to further beautify the corner, including exploring ways to get the bridges painted. Glowac explained that local residents Susan and Steven Bogan, owners of Blast All, a local painting and blasting company, have taken the initiative to develop a pilot apprentice program that would use trainees under the direction of Blast All’s union employees to accomplish two objectives at an affordable cost: teaching a new generation much needed technical skills and beautifying overhead bridge structures that are badly in need of painting.

Blast All has received approval from the State of Connecticut to proceed with the program. The Essex project would serve as a model for future projects in Connecticut and Rhode Island. There would be no cost to the community for project management, labor, equipment or materials other than the cost of the soft green paint that will be used on the bridges.

Recognizing the need for the painting and wanting to take advantage of this unique opportunity, the Board of the Essex Foundation has pledged an initial donation of $5000 from the Elizabeth Callender fund to help pay for the paint. The Essex Foundation hopes that other organizations, individuals and family funds will consider joining the Foundation in helping to raise a total of $20,000 to cover the cost of the paint for the project.

Contributions can be made to The Essex Foundation and mailed to P.O. Box 64, Essex, CT 06417. The Essex Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. www.theessexfoundation.org.

 A History of Phelps Corner

Most people in Essex today have no memory of what the corner at the junction of West Avenue and Saybrook Road looked like in the days before Rte. 9 cut through Centerbrook in the 1960s. West Avenue was a pre-1700 highway, but Plains Rd. did not exist until after 1800. The area was dotted with lovely old residences. A 1934 survey map shows that there were at least 25 homes that were either demolished or moved to make room for the new Rte. 9, built in the 1960s.

Fourteen of the homes were built before 1900 and six more dated back before 1850. An 1812 house built by Noah Starkey occupied the corner and the Roscoe Doane house stood along the road leading to Saybrook. River View Gardens, a florist shop run by George Baroni, became another casualty of the new Rte. 9 highway.

At the time the highway was built, a home with an adjoining gasoline station anchored the corner, the home and business of Ernest Phelps, for whom the corner was known. The property had been built originally about 1753 by Zephania Pratt whose son Zadock Pratt fought through the entire Revolutionary War. This house later became the home of Joseph Pratt who had his home and blacksmith shop there. (This was a different Pratt from the Pratt who ran the Pratt Smithy in Champlin Square.) In 1965, the property was relinquished to the state and the house was removed. The building of Rte. 9 totally changed the character of the original Centerbook settlement.

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CBSRZ Food Drive for Shoreline Soup Kitchens Fills the Shelves

Volunteers from CBSRZ and Shoreline Soup Kitchens at the SSKP Old Saybrook Pantry, hosted at First Church of Christ in Saybrook, Congregational.

Volunteers from CBSRZ and Shoreline Soup Kitchens at the SSKP Old Saybrook Pantry, hosted at First Church of Christ in Saybrook, Congregational.

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek in Chester has an annual tradition during the High Holy Days; a large food drive for The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries. Congregants are given empty bags at Rosh Hashanah services and asked to bring them back to Yom Kippur services, this time full of non-perishable food.  Each congregant receives a wish list of the most-needed items, along with a biblical passage about helping people in need.

This year’s drive was extremely successful, with a total of 2,361 lbs collected. Sandy Seidman, a member of the congregation and the owner of Safety Zone, arranged for a large truck to deliver the food to SSKP’s Old Saybrook pantry, where CBSRZ and SSKP volunteers unloaded hundreds of bags of food to be weighed and sorted for distribution.

“This annual food drive is so appreciated, and shows the commitment of CBSRZ to caring for others,” said Patty Dowling, Executive Director of SSKP. “By the end of summer our pantry shelves can get quite depleted, and this will help fill them again. We are so thankful to everyone at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek.”

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Sen. Linares Named “Latino Citizen of the Year”

Sen. Art Linares addresses his colleagues in the State Capitol’s Senate Chamber. Linares has been named “Latino Citizen of the Year” by the Connecticut Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission.

Sen. Art Linares addresses his colleagues in the State Capitol’s Senate Chamber. Linares has been named “Latino Citizen of the Year” by the Connecticut Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission.

Sen. Art Linares has been named “Latino Citizen of the Year” by the Connecticut Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission (LPRAC).  LPRAC is a nonpartisan policy agency within the legislative branch of government.  LPRAC consists of 21 appointed community leaders who advise the Connecticut General Assembly and the Governor on policies which foster progress in Connecticut’s Latino communities.

“I am very excited that members of the board of my agency agreed to bestow such a great honor to State Senator Linares,” LPRAC Executive Director Werner Oyanadel said.  “Sen. Linares is a great leader who exemplifies all the best qualities of what makes this country so great! Sen. Linares has excelled in business and sports at a very young age and to our delight he becomes one of our first Latino Senators to be elected to that office to champion our issues in the halls of power.”

“I am deeply honored and humbled,” Sen. Linares said.  “I am grateful to the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission for this recognition, and I pledge to continue to work in a bipartisan fashion with anyone who is willing to pass policies which improve our quality of life in Connecticut.”

Linares, 26, is State Senator for the 33rd Senate District, which encompasses the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, and Westbrook.  A Westbrook resident, Linares is the lead Republican senator on the state legislature’s Planning and Development Committee. The panel has cognizance of all matters relating to local governments, regional planning and development activities, and economic development programs impacting local governments.  An Assistant Minority Leader, Sen. Linares also serves on the Education Committee, the Internship Committee and the Judiciary Committee. He has previously served on the Children’s Committee, the Commerce Committee and the Banks Committee.

Linares’ val­ues stem from his family’s his­tory. In 1961, a force of exiles trained by the CIA stormed Cuba in an attempt to free the coun­try from com­mu­nist dic­ta­tor Fidel Cas­tro. After the inva­sion failed, Linares’ grand­parents fled the coun­try they loved in order to assure that their chil­dren were safe and able to grow up in a free coun­try.

In Amer­i­ca, Linares’s father started a successful busi­ness, and that success inspired Linares to start a busi­ness out of his base­ment when he was 19 years old.  Linares is the co-founder of Greenskies, a successful, Middletown-based, commercial solar energy company.

At 23, Linares was elected to the state Senate.  He is now serving his second term in office.

The “Latino Citizen of the Year” award presentation will take place on Oct. 17 at Amarante’s Sea Cliff in New Haven.

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Ivoryton Resident Discusses Debut Novel at Chester Library

Julian Friedland will come to Chester Library on Sept. 28 to discuss his new novel

Julian Friedland discusses his new novel at Chester Library, Sept. 28.

CHESTER — Ivoryton author Julian Friedland will read from and discuss his recently published debut novel, American Steam, at the Chester Library on Monday, Sept. 28, from 7 to 8 p.m.

Friedland, a Franco-American philosopher who received his Ph.D. at the Sorbonne, describes his novel as “loosely autobiographical, inspired by a wealth of hair-raising experiences I have amassed over two decades teaching at American universities.”

The story follows Professor Jules Stern as he comes to the realization that his world is being overtaken by a zombie-like epidemic of narcissism. It’s a place where pampered students blackmail compromised faculty in a madcap mix of raging hormones, political correctness, and consumer entitlement. Jules valiantly beats back the disease in his interactions with students, colleagues, and romantic interests. But when his walls start to crumble, he struggles to distinguish sanity from insanity and his fight becomes a battle to save himself.

Reviewers have called American Steam both “intensely funny and intelligent” and “definitely a book you want your friends to read.” Another reviewer wrote, “A shocking look into today’s university politics and behaviors. But it’s not only about campus life. It’s also about the contemporary culture in general with some highly entertaining dating situations and quirky characters. It’s thought-provoking but written in a light and easy style.”

The Chester Library is at 21 West Main St. (Rte. 148) in Chester. No registration is necessary for Friedland’s program.

For more information, call 860-526-0018.

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New York City Musicians Kick Off Collomore Concerts at Chester Meeting House, Sunday

Aaron Wunsch and Julia Bruskin will perform at the Chester Meeting House in the first Collomore Concert of the 42nd season on Sunday, Sept. 27, at 5 p.m.

Aaron Wunsch and Julia Bruskin will perform at the Chester Meeting House in the first Collomore Concert of the 42nd season on Sunday, Sept. 27, at 5 p.m.

CHESTER — The 42nd annual season of the Robbie Collomore Music Series at the historic Chester Meeting House begins on Sunday, Sept. 27, at 5 p.m. with a performance by young world-class musicians Julia Bruskin and Aaron Wunsch.

Aaron Wunsch and Julia Bruskin are both partners in life and partners in music. In addition to individually having active worldwide solo recital, chamber music and orchestral performance careers, they frequently perform duo recitals. Their life partnership is facilitated by having a joint base in New York City, Wunsch as a faculty member at the Juilliard School and Bruskin as a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. They are co-Artistic Directors of the Skanteateles Festival in the Finger Lakes.

Since her concerto debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at age 17, Bruskin has established herself as one of the premiere cellists of her generation. Her recent CD of music by Beethoven, Brahms, and Dohnanyi was praised by Fanfare Magazine for its “exquisite beauty of sound and expression.”  A founding member of the critically acclaimed Claremont Trio, Bruskin won first prize in the 2001 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and was awarded the first ever Kalichestein-Laredo-Robinson International Trio Award.

Praised for his bold interpretations and communicative sensitivity, pianist Wunsch appears regularly on concert stages throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. He has performed in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Duke’s Hall in London, and at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. A 10-city solo recital tour of China garnered critical acclaim and enthusiastic audience responses. He has been lauded for his “masterful” chamber music performances (Hartford Courant).

At the Chester Meeting House, Wunsch and Bruskin will perform sonatas by Bach, Debussy, Britten and Rachmaninoff. After the concert, stay for the reception, with refreshments donated by River Tavern, to meet the performers.

Collomore concert tickets are $24; $5 for students, but season subscriptions for the four fall concerts are now available at $72 (four concerts for the price of three) or $15 for students. More information is at collomoreconcerts.org or email info@collomoreconcerts.org or call 860-526-5162.

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See ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ at Ivoryton Playhouse Through Oct. 11

Laura Woyasz* (photo by Roger U. Williams).

Laura Woyasz* (photo by Roger U. Williams).

IVORYTON– Sept. 23 marked the opening of the sixth show of the Ivoryton Playhouse’s 2015 season and it arrived fully fanged and demanding blood! A deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical, Little Shop Of Horrors has devoured the hearts of theatre-goers for over 30 years. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin) are the creative geniuses behind what has become one of the most popular shows in the world.

Meek flower shop assistant, Seymour Krelborn, stumbles across a new breed of plant he names “Audrey II” – after his coworker crush. This foul-mouthed, R& B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down and out Krelborn as long as he keeps feeding it … blood. Over time, though, Seymour discovers Audrey II’s out of this world origins and dastardly intent towards global domination!

One of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows, Little Shop Of Horrors has been a worldwide success for over 30 years.  The music, in the style of early 1960s rock and roll, doo-wop and early Motown, includes several well-known tunes, including the title song, “Skid Row (Downtown)”, and “Suddenly, Seymour”.

Little Shop of Horrors is directed by Larry Thelen (Dreamgirls, La Cage Aux Folles), musical directed by Robert Tomasulo and choreographed by Apollo Smile. The cast includes Playhouse favorites Nicholas Park* (All Shook Up) as Seymour, Carson Higgins* (Memphis) as Orin, and David Conaway (most recently in The Seven Year Itch) as Mushnik. La’Nette Wallace (All Shook Up) will be joined by Azarria White, and Denielle Marie Gray as Urchins and Laura Woyasz* makes her Ivoryton debut as Audrey.

The Puppet is voiced by Steve Sabol and puppeteer is recent UConn puppetry program grad, Austin Costello. Set design is by Martin Marchitto, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Vickie Blake.

A tongue in cheek musical comedy, Little Shop of Horrors will make you think twice before you buy that potted plant!.

Little Shop Of Horrors opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Sept. 23 and runs through Oct. 11, 2015. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting www.ivorytonplayhouse.org (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

Nicholas Park* and Carson Higgins*

Nicholas Park* and Carson Higgins*

Little Shop of Horrors is generously sponsored by Citizens Bank, The Safety Zone and Comcast.

*denotes member of Actor’s Equity.

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Editorial Cartoonist Bob Englehart to Speak at DHS Event, Sept. 26

Bob Englehart, Editorial Cartoonist for the Hartford Courant, presents an entertaining evening with insight into the world of C.D. Batchelor, Editorial Cartoonist for the NY Daily News from 1929 to 1969.

C.D. or “Batch” enjoyed a career that spanned nearly 40 of the most tumultuous years in our American history and was the first Editorial Cartoonist to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1937. He was syndicated in more than one thousand newspapers and had a following of three million readers at the height of his career.

Englehart, like “Batch” is a mid-westerner and it is interesting that they both attended art school in Chicago. Bob was a finalist for the 1980 Pulitzer Prize and his work has won awards from the Overseas Press Club, the H.L. Mencken Award, United Nations Populations Institute, Planned Parenthood, the President’s Medal from Southern Connecticut State University, the Free Press Association and the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists. Englehart is the author of two collections of his editorial cartoons and a memoir.
Bob’s passion for life and his sense of humor will provide a delightful evening of entertainment. Admission is free.

The event is funded by a grant from the CT Humanities, a nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which supports curltural and historic organizations that tell the state’s stories, build communities and enrich lives. September 26th at 7 pm. Deep River Historical Society 245 Main Street Deep River

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Vista Member, Tutor, Get Ready To Ride in ‘Tour de Shore’

Vista member David “Curly” Parish and his private tutor, Olive Moredock of Guilford, take their bikes for a spin around Curly’s neighborhood in Clinton

Vista member David “Curly” Parish and his private tutor, Olive Moredock of Guilford, take their bikes for a spin around Curly’s neighborhood in Clinton

What started out as an academic mentorship between Vista member David “Curly” Parish and his private tutor, Olive Moredock, has evolved into a friendship in which they support each other’s goals to stay active and healthy.

One of Curly and Olive’s favorite ways of staying active is bike riding. On October 18th, the pair will participate in the Vista Tour de Shore, Vista’s annual cycling event and fundraiser, for a third year. And they’ve already started training for it.

“This summer, Olive took me on a challenge around Block Island,” said Curly, a Clinton resident. “We rode around the whole Island!”

The Vista Tour de Shore offers 5, 25, 40 and 60 mile routes. Last year, Curly completed the 5 mile route with little difficulty, Olive said. The pair plans to step it up this year by tackling half of the 25 mile route, with the goal of completing 13 miles, she said.

In the weeks leading up to this year’s event, Curly plans to go on training rides three times a week near his home: once with Olive on Tuesdays and two other times with his peers.

“Part of my goal is to encourage him to reach out and socialize with other Vista students,” Olive, of Guilford, said.

Curly and Olive’s commitment to staying active started a few years ago when Curly signed up for the WALK for Vista. It wasn’t long until he recruited Olive to join him. A year or two later, one of Olive’s friends and avid cyclist Paul Rogen got her involved in the Tour de Shore. This time around, Olive recruited Curly to ride with her, and they were hooked.

Although biking can literally be an uphill battle at times, it doesn’t stop them from riding. In fact, it’s part of what drives them. Olive said she and Curly love the feeling of accomplishment they have when they return from a ride.

“We also like to check out the scenery,” Curly said with a smile.

To register for the Vista Tour de Shore or for more information, visit www.vistatourdeshore.com, or contact Jessica Liedke, Manager of Fundraising and Events, at (860) 399-8080 ext. 268.

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Essex Garden Club Announces Officers for 2015-2016

Essex Garden Club 2015-2016 Officers: Betsy Godsman, Patricia Mather, Linda Newberg, Judy Greene, and Barbara Burgess

Essex Garden Club 2015-2016 Officers: Betsy Godsman, Patricia Mather, Linda Newberg, Judy Greene, and Barbara Burgess

Officers for the Essex Garden Club for 2015-2016 are Linda Newberg, president; Barbara Burgess, first vice president; Barbara Muhlfelder, second vice president; Betsy Godsman, recording secretary, Judy Greene, corresponding secretary; Patricia Mather, treasurer; and MyLan Sarner, assistant treasurer.

In her opening remarks at the September meeting, Newberg described the club’s agenda and activities for the coming year, and introduced the theme for this year, “Looking into our past”. She went on to say that Since the Essex Garden Club’s inception in 1952 the mission has continually focused on beautifying Essex and conserving our natural resources. EGC has contributed so much in making this a lovely town to live in.

Membership in the Essex Garden club

Essex Garden Club welcomes new members (male and female) for a rich and rewarding experience. The Club meets on the first Monday of the month (except for January, July, and August) for a business meeting at 1 pm followed by a program at 2 pm.  Prospective members must have resided in Essex for at least six month prior to becoming a member, and must be proposed and seconded by two current members.  If you are interested in obtaining more information about club activities, please check our website at www.essexgardenclub.org .  If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact Judy Taylor, Membership Chair at Essex Garden Club, P.O. box 936 , Essex, Ct 06426.

 

 

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‘The Hammered Edge’ is Going “All In” Online! Closing Sept. 26

DSCN9822After two years of developing their online shop HammeredEdgeStudio on Etsy have decided it is now time to let go of walk in retail and focus entirely on their online business.

To that end they are having a sale of furnishings and display items on Saturday, Sept. 26, at their gallery at 108 Main Street in the Ivoryton Village of Essex, Ct.  A listing of sale items can be found on Craig’s List at newlondon. craigslist.org/fud/5232776412. html

The collection of items includes

  • a vintage 10’ wood and glass display case originally from Sak’s Fifth Avenue.
  • three vintage glass, wood and metal full display cases each nearly six feet in long.
  • an antique Chinese apothecary chest with 25 drawers, each with four compartments.
  • a massive bureau with 56 drawers measuring five feet wide by 50” tall and 21” deep beautifully hand made of wood with metal bottoms in the drawers.

Some of the other items are a large double door cedar closet, a 5’ cash counter, a curved front glass and wood upright display case with light and glass shelves, vintage rugs, a table top double display case, a vintage map bureau, antique Chinese stool/ tables, a cobbler’s rack, a vintage oak claw foot dining table with extra leaves, a vintage arts and crafts style double door wood and glass shelf/ display case, a gorgeous wood blanket chest, vintage floor and table top lamps, 14 like new metal padded folding chairs, a vintage folding wood sewing table, vintage shelving, glass shelving, track lighting, an assortment of masquerade masks, tutus, beading and jewelry books and lots of other smalls.

‘The Hammered Edge’ thanks all who have been so supportive of their efforts and invites you to visit online at www.etsy.com/shop/ HammeredEdgeStudio

Contact the store at 860-526-1654 and visit their website at www.hammerededge.com as well as on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ katiebeadsalot

 

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State Senator Art Linares Co-Hosts Fundraiser Supporting Christie for President

State Senator (R) Art Linares

State Senator (R) Art Linares

State Senator Art Linares of Westbrook co-hosted a fundraiser for the presidential campaign of Chris Christie in Greenwich last Thursday, Sept. 22.

The fundraiser was held in the home of Linda and Vincent McMahon in Greenwich, who were co-sponsors. Additional co-sponsors of the fundraiser were the Hon. Tom Foley and State Representative John Frey.

The online invitation noted that, “Contributions to Chris Christie for President are not tax deductible.”

In Senator Linares’s invitation to the event. he wrote, “I will be attending an event for Governor Chris Christie of NJ at the home of Linda and Vince McMahon. Like you, I believe in limited government and strong national defense. Supporting individuals, who work for our ideals, is all of our responsibility.”

A representative of the organizing committee for the fundraiser said the event was “very successful.”

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Letter to the Editor: Former Chester First Selectman Supports Gister/Janecek

To the Editor:

It is with great pleasure and honor that I throw my full support behind two amazing women, Lauren Gister and Charlene Janecek.

Lauren is a 20 year resident of Chester and has served our nation for 25 years as a U.S. Marine Major.  As an attorney she has focused on real estate, small business, estate planning and family mediations.

In addition to raising her four children, three of which have been part of Region 4 school system, she has found the time to give back to Chester.  Serving on her synagogue’s Board of Directors, Chester’s Veteran contact, Girl Scout leader, various parent organizations and veteran-oriented non- profits for the past 18 years, Lauren has shown her dedication and support.

Her varied life experiences, community involvement and judicial knowledge have proven that she can lead Chester as its First Selectman.

Charlene may be best known as the owner of The Lunch Box for 28 years, but she exemplifies honesty, fairness, and thoughtfulness.  Still working in customer care, it provides the right foundation in overseeing a town.

She has served Chester for many years as a Registrar of Voters, Police Commission Chairman, Retirement Board, Chester Fire Department Auxiliary, Fire Commissioners and Chester Fair Board of Directors.  Her town background will be a great asset to the Board of Selectmen.

Gister and Janecek want to serve Chester. They care for Chester.  I for one cannot think of two women more suited for the job.

Elections are only a month away and you deserve a say in who runs your town. Voting for the Gister/Janecek team is a vote that you care for Chester.

Sincerely,

Martin L. Heft
Former Chester First Selectman

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Rep. Carney Achieves 100 Percent Voting Record

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23) achieved a perfect one-hundred-percent voting record during the regular 2015 Legislative Session according to statistics compiled by the House Clerk’s Office.

This year, Rep. Carney cast his vote on all 379 separate pieces of legislation that made it to the floor of the House of Representatives.  Only about 20 percent of legislators achieve perfect attendance each year. In addition, Carney attended every committee meeting and public hearing during the 2015 session.

“Throughout my first term representing the citizens of the 23rd district, I have made it a priority to be present for every debate and every vote,” said Carney. “The people of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook put their faith in me to serve as their representative and they deserve a voice on every piece of legislation that comes before the legislature. While I am proud to receive a perfect score, this is simply my duty to my constituents and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Carney, who represents the 23rd district in the General Assembly, is a House Republican Chair and Founding Member of Young Legislators Caucus and serves on the legislature’s committees on Environment, Transportation, and Higher Education & Employment Advancement.

The next regular session of the legislature will convene in February 2016.

Devin Carney represents the 23rd district communities of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

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Pink Flamingo Fundraiser to Support Valley Regional Musical Productions

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Join the Friends of Valley Regional Musical Productions (VRMP) as they kick off their first “Flock a Friend” fundraiser in October when, for a donation, flocks of plastic pink flamingos will roost throughout Chester, Deep River and Essex. If they show up in your front yard, it means someone has sent them to you by donating to Valley Regional High School’s (VRHS) drama program.

For a donation of $10 for a mini flock of 10, $25 for a full flock of 24 and $45 for a double flock of 48, you can direct flamingos to roost on a friend’s lawn for 24-48 hours. To ensure that VRMP won’t ruffle anyone’s feathers, you may purchase Anti-Flocking Insurance for $100 to prevent flamingos from roosting on your lawn.

Get your order form now on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/VRMPFLOCKTOBER or by e-mail at: VRPM256@gmail.com.

“VRMP is committed to providing Valley Regional High School students with opportunities to grow through working as a team to produce award-winning musicals,” says Ingrid Walsh, director, VRMP.  “Over the last several years, VRMP has won acclaim among Connecticut high schools for their productions.  We strive to be inclusive of all who wish to participate, and with the increasing participation, so increases the costs of production,” continues Walsh.

In VRMP’s 2015 production of “Band Geeks,” there was a total of 122 VRHS students, including 80 cast, 34 crew and 8 orchestra pit members for four performances.  The Friends of VRMP hope to offset costs while keeping ticket prices low and participation high by flocking lawns like yours as they prepare for their 2016 production, “The Addams Family.”

To learn more about VRMP, please visit the school’s website at www.vrhs.reg4.k12.ct.us or call the school at 860.526.5328.

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Old Saybrook Holds Light Bulb Swap

On Sunday, September 13, the Old Saybrook Conservation Commission, as part of its Nature of Old Saybrook event, hosted a light bulb swap for residents.

Old Saybrook residents were able to exchange old incandescent and CFL bulbs for five free LED light bulbs. In addition to the light bulb swap, energy experts from Eversource and members of the Old Saybrook Conservation Commission were on-hand to answer questions and provide information about further actions residents can take to save money by making their homes more energy efficient. Additional LED energy saving products such as holiday lights, night lights and specialty bulbs also were available for purchase at a discounted rate.

The light bulb swap was phenomenally successful. Residents were provided with approximately 2,000 free LED bulbs. This is equivalent to $20,000 in annual energy savings for participating residents of Old Saybrook, with a lifetime savings of approximately $660,000. A single LED bulb has a life expectancy of 23 years and can save homeowners as much as $10 per year versus a traditional incandescent bulb, which has about a 2-2.5 year lifespan.

The Town of Old Saybrook used part of a $5,000 Bright Idea Grant for the exchange, earned through their participation in Energize Connecticut’s Clean Energy Communities (CEC) program. In 2013, the town signed the CEC pledge, committing to make efforts to reduce municipal building energy consumption by 20 percent, to attain 20 percent of municipal electricity needs from renewable sources, and to take other actions to support the deployment of clean energy by 2018.

Residents and businesses looking to save energy and money should visit EnergizeCT.com or call 877.WISE.USE (877-947-3873).

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Op-Ed: Valley Warriors Need to Reconsider Outdated, Distressing Mascot

valley regional2I am a proud alum of Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS), Class of 2010. I could not have asked for a better education or community. One of the most important experiences I had as a student there was my involvement in athletics. I enjoyed every moment of cross country that did not involve running, and during basketball games, I ensured that the team’s bench remained warm at all times. I also supported my friends in their athletic pursuits, especially those dedicated enough to travel to another school to play football for the Valley Regional Warriors. Having heard about their growing success, I’ve begun to follow along once more and I’m proud to see that some of the team’s best players are from LOLHS, some of whom I know from my time as a summer camp counselor in town. However, I was saddened to see that the image used for the mascot is an antiquated, stereotypical depiction of Native Americans.

The image used to represent the “warriors” is a red face with black hair and two loosely hanging feathers. It is, in my opinion, a highly problematic image. The image would be problematic anywhere, but it is particularly troubling given the region’s history of violence against native peoples. The Pequot War, the war that ensured colonial hegemony in Connecticut, culminated with the Mystic Massacre of 1637, during which colonists and their native allies attacked a Pequot village and shot or burned to death over 400 hundred men, women, and children. The attackers targeted the village after bypassing a stronghold of warriors, knowing that non-combatants would put up less of a fight. To misappropriate the imagery of that time period is a deeply uninformed way of grappling with our violent history.

This imagery also promotes a racialized view of American life. The idea that there is a race of “red” people is an idea that Euro-Americans constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries to justify campaigns of conquest and displacement. Far from being an ideology of the past, this racism is still very much alive and dangerous. Few people know that police kill Native American men at about the same rate as African American men. It has been encouraging to see the removal of imagery that glorifies the Confederacy and chattel slavery, and we must now remove symbols that trivialize the centuries-old abuses of native peoples. Only then can we begin to combat the caustic racism that continues to permeate our society.

Finally, using Native Americans as mascots promotes the myth of the “vanishing Indian.” This myth, which dates back to the early-19th century, contends that Native Americans died out in the course of American history, unable to adapt to new contexts or hold their lands. The myth could not be more wrong. Native peoples, who represent countless languages, cosmologies, and identities, have displayed remarkable resilience and have been intertwined in American life since the early-colonial period. Native peoples have shaped American politics, contributed to the American ethos, and served in our wars in greater proportion than any other population. And they have fought tenaciously to preserve their lands and cultures. While they lost a great deal under the onslaught of imperialism, and now grapple with the resulting poverty and trauma, they are proud of what they have maintained. I’ve travelled to numerous reservations—I recently returned from a month-long trip to the beautiful Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota—and the people there work tirelessly to elevate their communities without losing sight of their heritage. They continue to fight, every day, to revitalize their languages and resist new forms of encroachment, such as the Keystone XL Pipeline. They’re not a novelty or a relic of the past. They are students and teachers and parents and artists, and they cannot be encapsulated by a picture of a red face and feathers.

I’m being oversensitive, you might say. Perhaps. The mascot debate is by no means our most important. But it’s a good place to start. So can we change the image used by Valley Regional’s football team? The important things—the lines on the field, the minutes in a half, the positive impact of playing on a team—will remain unchanged. This problematic image will be the only thing to go, and when it does, our boys will have even more to be proud of.

Editor’s Note: Michael McLean graduated from Lyme-Old Lyme High School in 2010.  He went on obtain an undergraduate degree from Trinity College in 2014 and is currently studying for his PhD in American History at Boston College.  He is a contributor to the online history magazine, “We’re History” at http://werehistory.org.

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Essex Land Trust Outdoor Equipment Fair and Safety Seminar, Sept. 26

ChainsawThe Essex land Trust is holding an Outdoor Equipment Fair and Safety Seminar in collaboration with the New England Power Equipment Company of Old Saybrook on Saturday, September 26. Come and learn how to work safely and more efficiently in your garden or woodlot.

This event will showcase the latest chain saws, trimmers, blowers, tillers, and other tools for the outdoors.  It will also demonstrate their safe operation and provide tips on trimming, pruning, and clearing of trees and shrubs.

Essex Land Trust’s Chief Steward Tom Rutherford along with representatives from New England Power Equipment Company will be present from 10 AM to 12 PM at the Cross Lots Preserve, 40 West Avenue, Essex. Rain cancels. Any questions contact Judy Saunders at judith.saunders@comcast.net or by calling 860-581-8108.

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‘Abstract Imaginings’ on View at Maple & Main

'Metalling in Nature' by Ashby Carlisle.

‘Metalling in Nature’ by Ashby Carlisle.

CHESTER — ‘Abstract Imaginings’ is currently on view at Maple & Main’s Stone Gallery in Chester.

Ashby Carlisle of Old Lyme, a sculptor, and Victoria Sivigny of Meriden, an abstract painter, are award-winning artists exhibiting major bodies of work during the month of September in this exhibition titled, ‘Abstract Imaginings,’  and on show through Sept. 30. The works of each artist invite close, careful, deep seeing and reward the viewer’s energy and time.

Sivigny works in acrylic paint on large canvases, often 36″x 36″, in a palette of neutral tones, and her mark-making varies from the extremely subtle to the grand gesture, from something so slight as to seem like a dried teardrop, to circles, grids, or pseudo grids, and other marks of time and wear.  The artist prints, scratches, paints, stamps, embeds, collages, tears, etches, pours, rakes, drips, and throws; with no end to the verbs one might use when imagining how her highly-textured marks are made.

'Point of Departure No. 3' by Victoria Sivigny.

‘Point of Departure No. 3’ by Victoria Sivigny.

There are, in some of Sivigny’s paintings, word-like inscriptions, either decorative script, or Cyrillic and Arabic letters, but the suggestion is that language is just one more graphic element, not a factor of greater signifying power than any other mark.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of encountering a Sivigny work, is alchemical: the whole is more mysterious than the sum of its parts.  One senses an artist who begins in control and ends in abandon, having tossed-up the fundamental elements of art, then stepped back as they fell into place.

Like an oxymoron, each of Sivigny’s paintings embodies an intriguing paradox: one is strangely familiar; another, naturally uncanny; or randomly ordered; or disparately harmonious.

Through the combination of a muted palette, a see-sawing of delicate and bold mark-making, patterns repeated with variations, as well as recurrent or unique gestures, Sivigny’s work is both aesthetically satisfying and intellectually challenging.

Ashby Carlisle is a sculptor whose foundation materials are fiber in the form of hand-dyed and printed paper, pages from books and magazines, metal and clay which she forms into wall sculptures contained in thin wooden boxes. Within these boxes she assembles tattered layers of papers lined with gold suggestive of sky, clouds, horizon and land.

Where the horizon separates sky from ground, Carlisle has secured a clay plate through which twisty vines penetrate the lower and upper divisions: earth and sky.  She uses the organic to suggest the supra-natural, and the natural to create objects that might be organic, but are not.

At times in her work, Carlisle inscribes the marks of culture, specifically writing and other forms of symbolizing.  Sometimes the lettering is superimposed on other lettering as if to say that not only are land and sky entirely a cultural construct, but they are a jumble, a cacophony of inscriptions over-written by “signs.’  In several of Carlisle’s works, a representation of the natural world is completely written-over, seeing itself entirely codified.

Carlisle and Sivigny are both members of GalleryOne, a cooperative of mid-career artists who exhibit along the Connecticut shoreline, and each has exhibited work in numerous local, regional and national exhibitions.  Among other opportunities, both artists have exhibited work at the John Slade Ely House Center for Contemporary Art in New Haven, Spectrum Gallery in Centerbrook, Guilford Art Center, Golden Thread Gallery in West Hartford, and the Valentine H. Zahn Community Gallery in Westbrook.

Carlisle’s work has been on view in The Cooley, Sill House, and Studio 80 Sculpture Galleries in Old Lyme.  Sivigny has also exhibited her work at The Slater Memorial Museum in Norwich, the New Britain Museum of American Art, and West Hartford’s Art League Saltbox and Clubhouse Galleries.

Sivigny holds elected memberships with the New Haven Paint and Clay Club, West Hartford Art League, and Connecticut Women Artists.  She was awarded second prize for “Temple of the Soul” at the New Britain Museum of Art Annual Members’ Exhibition.

For additional information, visit www.ashbycarlisle.comwww.victoriasivigny.com,

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Join a Historic Waterfront Tour Saturday in Deep River, Sept. 26

Deep River Historical Society will explain the history of the town's waterfront during walking tours this summer.

Deep River Historical Society will explain the history of the town’s waterfront during walking tours this summer.

DEEP RIVER — Deep River’s commercial connection to the rest of the world started at the end of Kirtland and River Streets in the early 1800’s. What is now known as the Town Landing, was a shipyard and dock, which collectively, were the linchpin to Deep River’s mercantile success. The shipbuilding provided the vessels and the dock provided the point of delivery of raw materials and the shipment of end products, that made Deep River an economic success.

A lecture and tour of Deep River’s Historic Waterfront will be offered every second and fourth Saturday morning, this June, July, August and September.  The next and final tour will be Saturday, Sept. 26.  All tours are sponsored by the Deep River Historical  Society.

The upcoming tour will start at the home of sea captain and ship builder, Calvin Williams, at 131 Kirtland St., (immediately left of the Mt. Saint John entrance pillars) at 10 a.m. promptly. Each tour is expected to last about one and a half hours.

Reservations are recommended and tickets may be acquired at the door, or in advance, from the program’s director: James Hogan, by calling 860-391-2354, or at two convenient store locations: Celebrations, 161 Main Street, Deep River and Old Saybrook Antiques Center, 756 Middlesex Turnpike, Old Saybrook.

The costs for tickets is $20 per family; $10 adults; $5 students and senior citizens. 100% of all donations will benefit the Deep River Historical Society. All donations are tax deductible. Program takes place “rain or shine”.

For more information, call James J. Hogan III  at: 860-391-2354.

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Blumenthal, Miller Visit Chester Fair to Support First Selectman Candidate Gister

State Representative Phil Miller (D-36), Democratic Selectman Candidate Charlene Janecek, Democratic First Selectman Candidate Lauren Gister and US Senator Richard Blumenthal visit Chester Fair

State Representative Phil Miller (D-36), Democratic Selectman Candidate Charlene Janecek, Democratic First Selectman Candidate Lauren Gister and US Senator Richard Blumenthal visit Chester Fair

CHESTER — US Senator Richard Blumenthal and State Representative Phil Miller (D-36) visited the Chester Fair to support Democratic First Selectman Candidate Lauren Gister and talk to fairgoers about their concerns. Democratic Selectman Candidate Charlene Janecek, who also serves as a Fair Director and Assistant Treasurer,  joined them.

Democratic First Selectmen Ed Meehan (Chester), Cathy Lino (Killingworth) and Melissa Schlag (Haddam) also spent time over the weekend with the candidates.  Both Gister and Janecek enjoyed discussing issues and answering questions regarding their experience, knowledge and extensive service records.

 Cathy Lino , Lauren Gister, State Representative Phil Miller, Melissa Schlag, and Chester First Selectman Ed Meehan

Gathered for a photo are, from left to right, Killingworth First Selectman Cathy Lino, Chester First Selectman candidate Lauren Gister, State Representative Phil Miller, Haddam First Selectman Melissa Schlag, and Chester First Selectman Ed Meehan

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‘Little Shop of Horrors’ Opens Sept. 23 at Ivoryton Playhouse

Audrey II outside the Playhouse (photo by Krista May)

Audrey II outside the Playhouse (photo by Krista May)

IVORYTON – Wednesday, Sept. 23, marks the opening of the sixth show of the Ivoryton Playhouse’s 2015 season and it arrives fully fanged and demanding blood! A deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical, Little Shop Of Horrors has devoured the hearts of theatre-goers for over 30 years. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin) are the creative geniuses behind what has become one of the most popular shows in the world.

Meek flower shop assistant, Seymour Krelborn, stumbles across a new breed of plant he names “Audrey II” after his coworker crush. This foul-mouthed, R & B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down-and-out Krelborn … as long as he keeps feeding it blood. Over time, though, Seymour discovers Audrey II’s out-of-this-world origins and dastardly intent towards global domination …

One of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows, Little Shop Of Horrors has been a worldwide success for over 30 years.  The music, in the style of early 1960s rock and roll, doo-wop and early Motown, includes several well-known tunes, including the title song, “Skid Row (Downtown)”, and “Suddenly, Seymour”.

Little Shop of Horrors is directed by Larry Thelen (Dreamgirls, La Cage Aux Folles), musical directed by Robert Tomasulo and choreographed by Apollo Smile. The cast includes Playhouse favorites Nicholas Park* (All Shook Up) as Seymour, Carson Higgins* (Memphis) as Orin,and David Conaway (most recently The Seven Year Itch) as Mushnik. La’Nette Wallace (All Shook Up) will be joined by Azarria White, and Denielle Marie Gray as Urchins and Laura Woyasz* makes her Ivoryton debut as Audrey.

The Puppet is voiced by Steve Sabol and puppeteer is recent UConn puppetry program grad, Austin Costello. Set design is by Martin Marchitto, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Vickie Blake.

A tongue in cheek musical comedy, Little Shop of Horrors will make you think twice before you buy that potted plant!.

Little Shop Of Horrors opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse runs through Oct. 11, 2015. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting www.ivorytonplayhouse.org.  Group rates are available by calling the box office for information. The Playhouse is located at 103 Main St. in Ivoryton.

Little Shop of Horrors is generously sponsored by Citizens Bank, The Safety Zone and Comcast.

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Volunteers Needed for Middlesex Hospital Hospice, Palliative Care

At Middlesex Hospice and Palliative Care, volunteers are an integral part of the interdisciplinary team, reaching out to patients and families as they cope with the challenges of terminal illness. Volunteers can choose to work in homecare, on the Weiss Hospice Unit or in bereavement support after completing 40 hours of classes and a 12-hour mentorship.

Training runs from early February to mid-April 2016, and is held on four Saturdays and one evening. The program welcomes both male and female volunteers. Volunteers must be 18 years or older.

To begin the fall application process, contact Jaclyn Thurnauer, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, at (860) 358-6955 or email  jaclyn.thurnauer@midhosp.org.

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Registration Open Now for TTYS’s Pediatric First Aid, CPR and Babysitter Training Program

DEEP RIVER — Tri-Town Youth Services (TTYS) will offer a Pediatric First Aid and CPR course along with a babysitter training certificate program. This course provides an excellent opportunity to help youth, aged 12-17, to build self-confidence as well as job leadership and decision-making skills. Completion of this course is a plus on Job Bank applications. The $75 fee includes instruction, books, and certificate.

The fall session will be held on Wednesday evenings, Oct. 7, 14 and 21. All classes will be held 6 to 8 p.m. at TTYS, 56 High Street in Deep River. Classes fill quickly, so register soon online (www.tritownys.org) or by calling 860-526-3600.

Tri-Town Youth Services supports and advances the families, youth and communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex. The organization coordinates and provides resources needed to make positive choices, reduce substance abuse, and strengthen the relationships that matter most. Discover programs and information for families, as well as opportunities for community collaboration at www.tritownys.org

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Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition Holds First Meeting of New School Year Tomorrow

TRI-TOWN — The Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition will hold its first meeting of the new school year at Tri-Town Youth Services at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 9, with guest speaker, John Daviau.

The Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition is a grassroots organization whose membership is open to all who live or work in the tri-town area who are concerned about substance abuse and committed to its prevention.  Many “sectors” of the community are represented on this council: schools, youth serving organizations, law enforcement, government, civic groups, parents, students, the faith community and health care to name a few.

At the September meeting, prevention programming already in place will be discussed as well as ways of strengthening the coalition.  Future meeting dates for this year are Nov. 18; Jan. 20, 2016; March 9, 2016; May 18, 2016.

Tri-Town Youth Services supports and advances the families, youth and communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex.  The organization coordinates and provides resources needed to make positive choices, reduce substance abuse, and strengthen the relationships that matter most.  Discover programs and information for families, as well as opportunities for community collaboration at www.tritownys.org

For further information, call Tri-Town at 860-526-3600.

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Essex Historical Society Offers Self-Guided Stroll of Five Dickinson Houses, Sunday

Pat Thompson, Event Chairman for An Afternoon Stroll Through Dickinson History, walks past the former Dickinson family home, one of five private properties that will be opened for public touring on September 13 to benefit the Essex Historical Society.

Pat Thompson, Event Chairman for An Afternoon Stroll Through Dickinson History, walks past the former Dickinson family home, one of five private properties that will be opened for public touring on Sept. 13 to benefit the Essex Historical Society.

ESSEX – On Sunday, Sept. 13, the Essex Historical Society’s 60th anniversary celebration continues with An Afternoon Stroll Through Dickinson History, a self-guided tour through five private properties formerly owned by members of the Dickinson family, founders and manufacturer’s of E.E. Dickinson Witch Hazel. The benefit event will provide a peek into the Dickinson past and will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. along the North Main and Prospect Street section of Essex village.

The White House in Essex.

The White House in Essex.

On view will be the iconic family home, the stately, columned “White House” located at 21 North Main Street; the Dickinson office building at 31 North Main now home to Wells Fargo Advisors; the adjacent Dickinson carriage house; the 1750’s Samuel Lay homestead located at 17 North Main St., which was the former home of the top sales executive for Dickinson Witch Hazel; and the once cow barn now private home just a few steps south. Dickinson family members will be onsite to lend a personal perspective.

The Carriage House

The Carriage House

Stroll guests can enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres and a quiet respite in Dickinson Park, a small swath of grassy green across from the main home. Period cars will also be on display and each attendee will receive a commemorative book documenting the Dickinson legacy.

Office building

The Dickinson office building at 31 North Main now home to Wells Fargo Advisors.

According to event chairperson Pat Thompson, “This is a house tour like no other, so steeped in history and one family’s impact on a community. We are very grateful for the current owners’ willingness to open up their homes and for the Dickinson family members who have graciously shared their memories to help us celebrate Essex’s rich heritage.”

Dickinson Stroll_CowBarn_web

The once cow barn now private home just a few steps south of 17 North Main St.

Tickets for An Afternoon Stroll Through Dickinson History are $60 per person, with children under the age of 18 admitted at no charge. All proceeds will benefit the Essex Historical Society.

The Samuel Lay House.

The Samuel Lay House.

Parking is available along North Main St. and Prospect St., at Hills Academy and Our Lady of Sorrows located at 21 Prospect St., and at Essex Town Hall. Handicap parking can be found at the Welcome Tent to be located at Wells Fargo Advisors, 31 North Main Street.

Tickets can be purchased in advance online at essexhistory.org or by calling 860-767-0681, or at the Welcome Tent on the day of the event.

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Chester Library Announces Lobster Festival Basket Winner

Basket winner and longtime Chester resident Pat Holloway, who was Chester's Library Director many years ago and recently retired as West Hartford's Library Director, is shown in the photo with Linda Fox, Chester Library Director (left), and Susan Wright, Chester Rotarian (right).

Basket winner and longtime Chester resident Pat Holloway, who was Chester’s Library Director many years ago and recently retired as West Hartford’s Library Director, is shown in the photo with Linda Fox, Chester Library Director (left), and Susan Wright, Chester Rotarian (right).

The Chester Library has a winner of its Lobster Festival basket, the final reward in its Escape the Ordinary summer reading program for adults – and it’s Pat Holloway! Holloway’s award basket includes everything needed for the perfect evening at the Chester Rotary Lobster Festival on Sept. 12 – from tableware to Festival tickets.

Thanks to the Friends of Chester Public Library who filled the basket and to the Chester Rotary that donated four Festival tickets. And thanks to all those who Escaped the Ordinary with Chester Library this summer – 40 people, who read 211 books!

Holloway, a longtime Chester resident who was Chester’s Library Director many years ago and recently retired as West Hartford’s Library Director, is shown in the photo with Linda Fox, Chester Library Director (left), and Susan Wright,  Chester Rotarian (right).

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Vista Member Turns Hobby Into Business

Vista member Nicole Martines proudly shows off some of her handmade duct tape accessories at the YASBIZ Showcase back in July, where she made her first-ever sale.

Vista member Nicole Martines proudly shows off some of her handmade duct tape accessories at the YASBIZ Showcase back in July, where she made her first-ever sale.

AREAWIDE — Duct tape is more than just an adhesive tool for Vista member Nicole Martines— it’s a creative art form. It’s also the foundation of her newly established business, Crafty Nicole, which she launched last month with the help of Vista staff.

Nicole, who’s long had a passion for crafting, recently started creating duct tape accessories after watching how-to videos on YouTube. She decided to take her hobby to the next level after Kristin Juaire, Vista’s manager of Quality of Life Programming, encouraged her to sell her crafty wares.

Using a variety of colored and patterned tape, Nicole creates large and small wallets, flower pens and hand-braided bracelets.

“The pens are my favorite,” said Nicole, a Clinton resident. “They take longer to make, but they are the most fun.”

Nicole made her first-ever sale on July 24, at the YAZBIZ Showcase hosted at Vista’s Madison campus. YASBIZ is a network of Young Adult Service programs from around Connecticut that help individuals with disabilities launch their own small business ventures.

Since the YASBIZ event, Nicole has sold out of her original inventory. She’s been making more pieces in her spare time— when she’s not hard at work with the Ventures Business Services cleaning crew.

Aside from her duct tape creations, Nicole also makes loom bracelets for fun. She even teaches her peers how to make them. Her other hobbies include gymnastics, golf and skiing.

For more information about Nicole’s products or to make a purchase, email Sharon Grogan at sgrogan@VistaVocational.org.

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Former Illustrator Newton Debuts as Sculptor at CBSRZ Exhibition Opening This Afternoon

Richard Newton sculptureCHESTER — Richard Newton, formerly an illustrator nationally known for his iconic Time, Newsweek, Businessweek, National Wildlife and Fortune magazine covers, will make his sculpture debut at  Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek’s (CBSRZ) Art Gallery on Sunday, Sept 6, from 4 to 7 p.m.  The artist will speak at 5:30p.m. and take questions.

The Sept. 6 opening will feature a wine and cheese reception with live music.  There is no charge and all art lovers are welcome.

Newton has been a professional artist for over 35 years and has mounted advertising campaigns for the U.S. Postal Service, Sprint, General Electric and Pfizer Pharmaceutical.  His exhibit will continue through Nov. 15, and will be open and free to the public Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to  3 p.m.

The artist will make a generous contribution to CBSRZ for all work sold.

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester.  For more information call the CBSRZ office 860-526-8920

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Essex Land Trust Offers ‘Hike of the Month,’ Today

Fern_Ledge
ESSEX — The Essex Land trust hosts its September ‘Hike of the Month’ to Fern Ledge on Saturday, Sept. 5.  Meet at 9 a.m. next to the old Shoreline Clinic, off Rte. 153

With its steep terrain and high ledge overlooking a working farmer’s field, Fern Ledge has a unique place among the parks in Essex. Trails wind through woodlands and among old stonewalls, offering glimpses of Birch Mill Pond below. In winter, it affords distant, sweeping views of the surrounding countryside.

Note that the trail leading up to the ledge is steep.

The property sits astride the Essex-Westbrook town line. When the 10-acre parcel was purchased in 2005 from the estate of August Neidlinger and Catherine Doane, it had lain idle for many years.

The trail crosses one of the small streams feeding Birch Mill pond, vital habitat for turtles, salamanders and frogs along with ferns, Jack-in-the-Pulpit and skunk cabbage. Rare plants include Dwarf ginseng, May apple and wild leek. Look for a beaver dam in the pond.

The upper reaches at Fern Ledge are home to maple trees, oaks and birch along with mammals from fox to deer.

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