April 26, 2017

Archives for October 2015

Essex Board of Selectmen Candidates Hold Cordial Debate

ESSEX—  Democrat and Republican nominees for first selectman and board of selectmen faced Wednesday in a cordial debate that displayed few differences on most local issues, including unanimous rejection of a municipal blight ordinance and sewers for any section of town.

About 100 residents turned out on a rainy night for the session in the town hall auditorium. Essex Library Director Richard Conroy posed questions that had been submitted in writing in advance, with separate sessions for incumbent Democratic First Selectman Norman Needleman and his Republican challenger,  Selectman Bruce Glowac, and the two candidates for board of selectmen, incumbent Democratic Selectwoman Stacia Libby and Republican Phil Beckman. Needleman was elected in 2011 and unopposed for a second tern in 2013. Glowac served as first selectman from 1991-1995, and returned to the board of selectmen in 2013.

All of the candidates rejected the idea of a municipal blight ordinance, which had been discussed, but not pursued, in the fall of 2013. Both Needleman and Glowac rejected the idea of a large sewer system for any part of Essex, while also agreeing the town should be open to what Gloawc described a “new innovations,” such as a small community system that would focus on any possible problem location for on-site septic systems.

The two first selectman nominees  rejected the idea of adopting a town charter, which Glowac said would represent “an expansion of government,” and Needleman described as an unnecessary effort and expense. The candidates also agreed on deferring any new effort for a full kindergarten through grade 12 regionalization of Region 4 schools to include the elementary schools in Chester, Deep River and Essex. A K-12 regionalization plan was considered earlier this year, but dropped amid opposition from Chester officials.

Glowac, who currently works as director of facilities for Region 4 schools,  predicted a full regionalization, which  requires voter approval from all three towns, would eventually occur because of declining student enrollment, but suggested any new proposal “should come from the communities to the schools and not from the schools to the communities.”

One possible difference in perspective emerged as the two selectmen candidates responded to a question about economic development and efforts to grow the grand list of taxable property. Libby said the current administration last year hired a part-time economic development coordinator to assist the town’s appointed economic development commission, but Beckman suggested efforts to attract and retain businesses in Essex “can be improved on.”

Beckman said a review of permit procedures and zoning regulations should be part of any new focus on economic development. A recently retired U.S. Navy officer, Beckman said he could bring a new perspective to the board of seemen.

The top three vote-getters Tuesday will be elected for the 2015-2017 term, with a losing candidate for first selectman also in play as a candidate for board of selectmen depending on the vote totals.

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Will Political Lawn Signs Influence Essex Local Election Results?

Campaign sign for Republican First Selectman candidate Bruce Glovac

Campaign sign for Republican First Selectman candidate Bruce Glovac

ESSEX — Suddenly, it seems the town of Essex is almost covered with sometimes red, sometimes blue lawn signs promoting the candidacies of Republicans Bruce Glowac for First Selectman and Phil Beckman for Selectman. Not only are there signs along many of the streets in Essex, but they are also posted on the roads leading into town (see photo above). Essex has not seen such a large display of election lawn signs in several years.

Where were the Democrats when the Republican lawn sign blitz first appeared?  It appears First Selectman Norman Needleman and Selectman Stacia Rice-Libby were at first caught a little off guard since it seemed they had very few of their own lawn signs in view. Now it looks as though the Democrats have many more of their own lawn signs visible, but our unscientific poll suggests the Republicans still have a higher number.

Road signs for Essex Democratic incumbents, Norm Needleman and Stacia-Rice Libby

Road signs for Essex Democratic incumbents, Norm Needleman and Stacia-Rice Libby

Election Day is Nov. 3, and the election will decide Essex’s town governance for the next two years. It will be interesting to see if, in a small town like Essex, the distribution of lawn signs bears any relationship to the result.

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Essex Place Centerbrook Groundbreaking for New Affordable Senior Housing

(Photo courtesy of Lisa Thorden)

(Photo courtesy of Lisa Thorden)

ESSEX — Essex Place Centerbrook, LLC held a groundbreaking for a new 22-unit building for affordable senior housing in Centerbrook, CT, a village of the Town of Essex.  In attendance for the ceremony were representatives from the state legislature, the Governor’s office, and the U.S. Congress as well as town officials, funders of the project, and members of the Development Team.

Essex Place Centerbrook is a partnership between Essex Elderly and Affordable Housing (EEAH)and Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development (WIHED). Celebrating the occasion were remarks from Commissioner Klein, Department of Housing, Rep. Philip Miller, First Selectman Norm Needleman, Joanne Sullivan from the Federal Home Loan Bank, Erica Schwarz from LISC, Greg Shook, Chairman and CEO of Essex Savings Bank, and from  WIHED Betsy Crum, Exec. Director, and Loni Willey, Chief Operating Officer.

The groundbreaking  celebration culminates over five years of planning. The idea for Essex Place Centerbrook was to provide additional units for Essex Court, the current senior affordable housing residence, that had a waiting list larger than available places .  In 2012, the development process began.  The Development Team includes Quisenberry & Arcari, Architects, W.H. Cole, To Design, Doane Collins,  A. Secondino & Sons, and Cloutier & Cassella and Hudson &Kilby, counsels.  The Board of Directors of Essex Elderly and Affordable Housing are most grateful for the support of everyone who collaborated to make this project a reality.  Occupancy for the new building is anticipated to be 2017.

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Letter: Essex Needs Pro-Active Management

To the Editor:

Vote for hands-on, conscientious attention to town operations and future planning in Essex! Bruce Glowac, Phil Beckman and the slate of Republican candidates offer us a leadership team with exceptional management experience in the private and public sectors that is unrivaled by any other candidates.

There is always room for improvement and I would like to see some effort made to improve operations and fiscal responsibility in our local government. Our Town seems to operate on auto-pilot without many controversies or major issues. This can be a good sign that, in general, things are going well. It is at these times, however, that a great management team can make improvements and be pro-active to ensure things continue to go well in the short and long term.

Let’s not continue to operate on auto-pilot. Join me in voting for a GREAT leadership team that will ensure Essex remains a great place to live, work and play now and in the future.

Vote for Bruce Glowac and Phil Beckman and the Republican Team of candidates on November 3.

Sincerely,

Susie Beckman
Essex

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Democratic First Selectman Norman Needleman Faces Republican Selectman Bruce Glowac in Nov. 3 Vote

ESSEX—Democratic First Selectman Norman Needleman’s bid for a third term faces a challenge Tuesday from Republican Selectman Bruce Glowac, a former first selectman who returned to the board in 2013.

The contest between two well-known elected officials, which follows a 2013 election where Needleman’s second term was unopposed by town Republicans, has been relatively quiet. Neither candidate is campaigning door-to-door, and each generally avoided direct criticism in recent interviews. The candidates will face off in a public debate Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the town hall auditorium

Needleman, 64, is a Brooklyn, N.Y. native who arrived in Essex in the late 1980s to establish Tower Laboratories as a local manufacturer of personal care products. The company now has plants in Centerbrook, Clinton, and Montague, Michigan. A divorced father of two grown sons and two step-daughters, Needleman was elected to the board of selectman in 2003, when the victory of former Democratic first selectman, now state representative, Phil Miller, ended 18 years of Republican control of the top job. Needleman was elected to the top job in 2011, defeating Republican Bruce MacMillian on a 1,415-993 vote.

Glowac, 63, is a lifelong resident who established a local landscaping business before winning election to the board of selectmen in 1989 running with former Republican First Selectman John Johns. A married father of four grown sons, Glowac was elected first selectman in 1991, and won a second term in 1993 before stepping aside in 1995. After serving on the Region 4 school board in the late 1990s, Glowac was hired for his current position as director of facilities for Region 4 schools.

Glowac, who returned to the board of selectmen in the uncontested 2013 election, said he stepped aside in 1995 because he is “a firm believer in term limits,” and believed he had accomplished initial goals. Glowac said he decided to run again this year to ensure a contest for the top job. “No choice on the ballot leads to voter apathy,” he said, adding that ” a fresh look every few years is not a bad thing at all.”

Needleman said he respects Glowac’s decision to run for the top job, and praised the Republican for working with him on several goals over the past two years, including voter approval of an $8 million bonding authorization for capital projects last December.  He said the current board of selectmen, including Glowac and  Democratic Selectwoman Stacia Rice-Libby, has been “one of the best working boards” in town history.

Needleman said he is “running on a record of accomplishment,” pointing to completion of two grant-funded projects, the town hall civic campus and the Ivoryton Man Street projects, along with advancing plans for a 22-unit expansion of the Essex Court elderly housing complex. Needleman said his management has improved operations at town hall to provide efficient and responsive service to residents.

But along with pledging to be a “full-time first selectman” without also directing a private company, Glowac suggests that property taxes have increased too much, and the town’s undesignated fund balance grown too high, in recent years. Glowac said when the fund balance has grown to over $2.5 million, as it has in Essex, transferring from the fund balance to defray a portion of a tax rate increase “should always be a consideration.” He added “there are some generations that we are taxing out” of Essex.

Needleman said he has given the position of first selectman “my full attention and best effort,” over the past four years. Needleman agreed the board of finance should be prepared transfer from the fund balance if the town is facing a steep tax hike over the 2015-2017 term, and noted that he had objected to very small tax rate increase the finance board had approved for the current 2015-2016 budget.

Both candidates said adoption of a town charter, or a possible proposal to change to four year terms for board of selectmen, would not be a priority during the 2015-2016 term. Needleman is running with incumbent Selectwoman Rice-Libby, who was elected with him in 2011. Glowac is running with Phil Beckman a former U.S. Navy officer who lives in the Ivoryton section. Both campaigns are close in fundraising, with Democrats raising a total of $8,384 as of Oct. 1, with Republicans raising a total of $7,162. Two big doners for the Democrats were Needleman and his companion Jacqueline Hubbard, each contributing $2,000 over the summer.

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Letter: Experience, Leadership and Common Sense

To the Editor:

With over 35 years of public and private sector experience managing capital and human resources, I am excited at the opportunity to serve in elected office and drive both fiscal discipline and strategy on the Essex Board of Finance.

Our state economy, while no longer in recession, continues to be marked by sluggish growth. As the economic climate gradually improves, addressing the long-term capital needs of Essex becomes even more important. At the same time, Essex must also focus in earnest on broadening and diversifying its tax base to relieve the constant pressure faced by individual property owners.

My current experience as the Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Stonington involves working with a Democratic First Selectman to assist him in leading the town with an emphasis on thoughtful decision making, working cooperatively, and setting a direction with the best interest of the community as the focal point. This experience combined with my previous leadership role as a Selectman for Essex, provides the necessary foundation for navigating our challenges and charting a successful course.

It takes both an emphasis on teamwork and developing partnerships within the community that will drive positive outcomes for Essex. The Republican slate of candidates embodies this approach to governance. Lifelong resident Bruce Glowac is a candidate for First Selectman and understands the current and future needs of our town. Phil Beckman, running for Selectman, is a 24-year veteran of the United States Navy where he led complex teams responsible for developing and executing strategic policy. Republican candidates for election to other Town and Regional Boards similarly demonstrate a depth of experience that will serve our residents well.

Together, we look forward to bringing experience, leadership, and common sense to Town government. We ask for your support and vote on Election Day, November 3rd.

Sincerely,

Vincent A. Pacileo III
Republican candidate for Board of Finance – Essex

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Two Female Candidates Vie for Open First Selectman Seat in Chester

Atty. Lauren Gister

Atty. Lauren Gister – D

Republican Carolyn Linn

Carolyn Linn – R

CHESTER — Two female candidates with no previous experience in town government are competing for the town’s open first selectman seat in the first contested election with both Democrat and Republican nominees since 2009.

Both women are divorced mothers of grown daughters, but with differing background and job experience. Democrat Lauren Gister, 57, is a lawyer who arrived in Chester in 1996 from West Hartford. Republican Carolyn Linn, 55, has lived in Chester since 1989 after growing up in New Britain. Gister served 25 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, retiring at the rank of major in 2002. Linn worked at Aetna Insurance for 21 years, retiring from a position as performance consultant to open a pet care business in Chester. Linn petitioned her way to the Republican nomination in August after the party initially did not nominate a candidate for first selectman at the July 27 caucus.

The candidates are competing to succeed two-term Democratic First Selectman Edmund Meehan. A former town planner, Meehan was elected over a candidate supported by the Chester Common Ground Party in 2011, and was uncontested for a second term in 2013. Also departing with Meehan this year is three-term Democratic Selectman Lawrence Sypher.

Gister and Linn hold similar views on many town issues, and their contest has been cordial. Both women support the plan to build a new library with a community center center function at North Quarter Park. Gister noted a $1 million state grant awarded for the library project last fall requires voter approval of a building plan and additional funding by 2017.

Both candidates said one priority of the coming two-year term would be monitoring and guiding a state Department of Transportation replacement of the Main Street bridge, a project expected to begin early next year that will require a closing of Main Street in the downtown business district for several months. Each acknowledged a long range town plan to reconstruct Main Street in the business district can not be done simultaneously with the bridge project, though Gister noted the town must complete the full Main Street reconstruction in the near future because of aging infrastructure, including water mains, under the heavily used street.

Both candidates said adoption of a town charter, or a possible change to four-year terms for board of selectmen, would not be a priority during the 2015-2017 term. Linn said she would seek to improve communications on town government issues for all residents, and oppose any effort to close Chester Elementary School. Gister also pledges improved communications, suggesting evening office hours as one way to be more accessible to residents. Gister said one new initiative she would undertake is adoption of a tax relief ordinance for elderly and low income property owners, noting that Essex has had an elderly tax relief program in place for the past decade..

The two candidates, who did not know each other before the campaign, declined to criticize their opponent. Gister said Linn is a “smart and capable person” with similar priorities to her. Linn suggested that experience at Aetna makes her more qualified for the job and “ready to move in to the role of first selectman on day one”. Gister said business experience can be useful, while adding “we certainly can’t run the town like a corporation.”

Both women are campaigning actively door-to-door through the town. Gister is running with Charlene Janecek, a long time resident who used to run the Lunch Box on Main Street and currently serves as Democratic registrar of voters. Linn is running with three-term incumbent Republican Selectman Tom Englert, a Whelen Engineering employee who served briefly as acting first selectman in the fall of 2011 after former republican First Selectman tom Marsh resigned to take a job in Vermont.

The two parties are close in fundraising for the campaign, according to an Oct. 10 filing. The Chester Democratic Town Committee has raised $5,070 since the beginning of the year, with Republicans raising $4,729. Two big donors for the Democrats are residents James Miller and Robert Gorman, each contributing $1,000.

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Letter: Sen. Linares Endorses Beckman for Essex Selectman

To the Editor:

I write to offer my strongest endorsement of Phil Beckman for the Essex Board of Selectman.

Phil will demonstrate outstanding management and collaboration savvy as he, with 24 years of experience as an officer in the Navy, routinely led and managed our finest young men and women. He frequently worked on bridging the gap between the highest levels of national strategy and operations. That makes him a prime asset in a policy shaping organization such as the Board of Selectman.

Phil has lived in town almost 20 years and has two school aged children in the local school system. Most importantly, he demonstrates a willingness to offer different points of view and accept the same from others – a character trait that is a must in government. I am certain that he will provide the same level of dedication and sacrifice on the Board of Selectman as he has in his military career. Please vote on November 3rd and support Beckman for Selecman.

Sincerely,

Art Linares
State Senator, 33rd District

 

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Making A Difference From Two Wheels – Vista Ride Raises $84,000

The Vista Tour de Shore cycling event and fundraiser was held Sunday, Oct. 18th. Nearly $84,000 was raised by 250 riders. Credit: Jared D’Auria

The Vista Tour de Shore cycling event and fundraiser was held Sunday, Oct. 18th. Nearly $84,000 was raised by 250 riders. Credit: Jared D’Auria

A total of 250 people of all ages and abilities made a positive impact in the lives of individuals with disabilities by riding in the 7th Annual Vista Tour de Shore cycling event and fundraiser on Oct. 18th.

Together, 35 fundraising teams raised nearly $84,000 in the event, which was held at the Westbrook Elks Lodge. Funds raised in the Vista Tour de Shore benefit the Vista Endowment Fund, a supporting organization of Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center—an organization dedicated to assisting individuals with disabilities achieve personal success for over 25 years. Among those riding were 26 Vista students and members.

Riders chose from 5, 25, 40 and 60 mile routes on scenic byways along the Connecticut shoreline, enjoying the beautiful fall foliage. The event culminated with a party at the Westbrook Elks Lodge featuring food and live music by the Hayseed Criers, a local band. There were also raffles prizes donated by Zane’s Cycles, Branford Jewelers, Thomson Bike Tours, Lyman Orchards, Stony Creek Brewery, the Vista Arts Center and Creations, a retail store and Vista social enterprise located in downtown Madison.

Since its inception, the Vista Tour de Shore has raised over $315,000 for the Vista Endowment Fund.

Vista would like to thank event sponsors Shore Publishing, Essex Printing, Zane’s Cycles, Wilcox Energy, The Tolland Fund, V.P Electric, Pasta Vita, Gowrie Group, WebNow1, Middlesex Hospital, Essex Savings Bank, Wells Fargo, Branford Jewelers and Thomson Bike Tours.

Based in Madison and Westbrook, CT, Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center is a 501©3 nonprofit organization. Vista’s mission is to provide services and resources to assist individuals with disabilities achieve personal success.

For more information about Vista, please visit www.vistavocational.org

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Letter: Senior-Dauer and Badger Always Caring for Chester’s Common Good

To the Editor:

I am writing in support of Sandy Senior-Dauer and Karin Badger for the positions of Library Board of Trustees. I know them both and respect their integrity and diligence, always caring for Chester’s common good.

Sandy Senior-Dauer is a long time active resident and has served for 16 years on the Library Board and is presently Vice Chair. She also is the VP of Chester Historical Society and a retired award winning history teacher. Sandy received the Pillar of Chester volunteer award because of all the hard work and accomplishments she has had serving our town.

Karin Badger is an Art Director and Graphic Designer working for US, UK and German publishing companies among other businesses. Her long time love of books resulted in her specializes in book design. Badger has been active member of our community and presently serves on the Board of the Robbie Collomore Series, and has volunteered for the Chester Historical Society and BRAYCE.

Libraries have always been a part of both Sandy and Karin’s lives. They both have a deep understanding and appreciation of the positive influence a Library has in a community. Both are active with Chester’s library, attending all the meetings from the present building renovation and its importance as a historic building, as well as focus groups and meetings on the current potential of North Quarter Park.

Sandy and Karin will both continue to question and challenge the current development project and future of our Library to ensure whatever the outcome, it properly reflects Chester. They are committed to listening to every resident’s opinion and they continue to reach out so every voice is heard to ensure proper representation of our resident’s wants and needs for our Library. Join me in voting for them on November 3rd.

Sincerely,

Lori Ann Clymas
Chester

 

 

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Deep River First Selectman Dick Smith Endorses Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman for Re-Election

Deep River First Selectman Dick Smith and Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman (l to r) pose outside Town Hall in Deep River (photo by Jerome Wilson)

Deep River First Selectman Dick Smith and Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman (l to r) pose outside Town Hall in Deep River (photo by Jerome Wilson)

Deep River’s popular First Selectman, Dick Smith, has announced his endorsement of Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman for re-election. Needleman is finishing his second term and is running for his third. Needleman is being challenged by Republican candidate Bruce Glowac, who was an Essex First Selectman several years ago, and a Selectman as well.

In his endorsement Smith said of his fellow First Selectman Norman Needleman, “We both are working hard for our two towns. Norm Needleman is a great person, a good guy and he has had two excellent terms in the position of First Selectman of Essex.” Smith continued, “The issues of the two towns, Deep River and Essex, are the same, and Norm and I work together very closely.” Smith noted, “Needleman’s business background is an added plus, because running a town is the same thing as running a business.” Concluding Smith said, “It is very important that Needleman be re-elected as First Selectman of Essex.”

Needleman Thanks Dick Smith  

Needleman for his part thanked Smith, “for both his support and his wisdom.”  “Dick Smith is one of the most respected public officials in the state of Connecticut, and his opinions matter.” Needleman said, adding that Smith, “is known for his experience and judgement, and it is important that he continue his work as First Selectman of Deep River.”

Election Day this year is November 3rd.

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Letter: Look Past the Labels

To the Editor:

With an open seat at two of the three Selectboard positions Chester residents have an opportunity to consider candidates new to town governance and expected to have fresh ideas grounded in community commitment.  Hopefully, voters will look past national labels and do their due diligence in getting to know the candidates for who they are and what they stand for.

I have taken the time to get to know Carolyn Linn. I admit I did not know her when I served as First Selectman but I do know of the efforts she was involved in an I have taken time to learn more about her qualifications. Perhaps most important for me is her entrepreneurial experience as a respected small business owner in town. Chester is a small community that requires a lot of “hands on” creative management of the First Selectman. Running a successful small business requires the same in order to get the most value out of every dollar you bring in and provide the highest value to every dollar you charge your customers. And really, that is what the First Selectman position is all about, getting the most value out of every tax dollar spent and providing the best value to every taxpaying customer. Granted, town government is a monopoly, and it is not unusual for government officials to lose sight of the need to provide value and service. I think that is much less likely to happen however, when you have officials with experience in running a small business where their livelihood depends on personally delivering value to every customer ever day. Please take the time to get to know Carolyn Linn, if you have not already; her candidacy is worthy of your consideration.

Sincerely,

Tom  Marsh
First Selectman, Chester (2005-2011)

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Letter: Englert Thoughtful, Decent, Committed

To the Editor:

Tom Englert is one of the most thoughtful, decent, committed individuals I have ever met.  When we served on the Selectboard together he put the welfare of Chester first in every issue that came before the board. The same can be said of his tenure on both the WPCA and Zoning Board of Appeals; two boards that have had their share of controversial issues.  Party politics were nowhere to be found. Tom is the guy that listens quietly to all. He doesn’t say a lot but when he speaks; his contribution is of high value.  He is the one that takes the time to read all the material in advance of a meeting (a rarity on many boards).

With two of the three sitting Selectboard members not running Tom’s experience will be critical to the new board. Ensure Tom Englert remains on the Chester Selectboard by supporting him with your vote for Selectman. Tom is the kind of wingman every board chair wants and needs…..regardless of party.

Sincerely,

Tom Marsh
First Selectman, Chester (2005 – 2011)

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Letter: Four Generations of Blair Family Support Linn

To the Editor:

My grandfather, my father, and most recently my son (who was born last year) and I all call Chester home.  We each have unique concerns, but we all agree on one thing:  We are proud to support Carolyn Linn for the office of First Selectman in Chester.

My grandfather and father are concerned about the affordability of staying in Chester and being able to remain in their homes.  They know that Carolyn’s ability to manage budgets and look at the big picture will help to keep our taxes manageable and affordable.  My grandfather was talking about all the infrastructure improvements that were made to the town in his 22 years as Selectman, and he knows that Carolyn will be able to accomplish the current and future projects the town undertakes both responsibly and affordably.

As a young family in town, next to taxes, another one of my concerns is, “Will there still be an elementary school when my son turns five and is ready to go to Kindergarten?”  The thought of bussing him out of town for elementary school doesn’t sit very well with me.  I know that Carolyn will not let that happen.

Collectively, we believe Carolyn has the right balance of experience and compassion for Chester’s residents.  After meeting with Carolyn a few weeks ago my grandfather was very impressed.  He told me, “There is no formal training or handbook for the job of First Selectman.  Chester is lucky to have many fine men and women serving on all their boards and commissions.  I know Carolyn will work with all these individuals to make sure what she is doing is best for all of Chester’s residents.”

Please join me and my family on November 3rd and vote Carolyn Linn for First Selectman.

Sincerely,

Robert J. Blair III
Candidate for Inland Wetlands Commission / Member of Chester RTC
Chester, CT

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Letter: Needleman Exhibits a Calm Clear Headed Approach

To the Editor:

The elections are almost here and I wanted to make public my support of Norm Needleman as First Selectman in Essex.

I moved here 5+ years ago from an Essex-like town in Maine. Yarmouth town government was very conscious of being open and transparent in dealing with the public, and that openness trickled down to all the departments; police, parks, harbor master, etc. It was an easy and pleasant place to be because the town structured itself that way. We knew what to expect and we expected things to be fair and reasonable.

I am happy to have landed in Essex – but upon first arrival there were a few bumps, and not always a clear and simple path to follow when dealing with the town. Shortly afterward, Norm became the First Selectman and I have noticed the gradual change.  Norm as a leader exhibits a calm clear headed approach that has, in my experience, infected the rest of the town departments making everything seem just a little more customer (or resident) friendly.

I can name several examples, but I’ll submit just one seemingly minor but important and public example. The small park on Grove Street (which I walk or drive by daily) was very little used when I came to town, except for the occasional tennis player – hidden behind the large trees. That park has been revitalized, and I am sure at reasonable cost, and it is used almost constantly.  If I go past now, I am sure I will see children and parents on the play sets, some people picnicking (often the parents of the kids playing) almost all of the time. And the tennis courts, now that they are more open, seem to be in use a very high per centage of the time. This is a small thing – but when the goal of improving the quality of life in a town is up front – then we need to pay attention to all the small things, and help them along.

I hope Norm is elected back into office – and I hope his legacy will be, when he one day he steps aside for the next person, that he made everyone in Essex life just a little better every year he served.

Sincerely,

Bob Ward,
Essex, CT

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Grant Awarded to Preserve Shoreline Electric Railway Powerhouse

image001 (1)As part of the effort to encourage revitalization and redevelopment of Mariner’s Way and the Ferry Point neighborhood, the Town of Old Saybrook applied for and received a Making Places Grant from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation to study potential new uses for the Shoreline Electric Railway Powerhouse located on the Connecticut River at Ferry Point.

Shoreline Electric Railway Powerhouse History

The building was constructed between 1908 and 1910 of poured concrete, a unique process considered revolutionary at the time. The Shoreline Electric Railway Powerhouse housed the boilers and turbines that provided the electricity for trolleys serving the transportation needs of shoreline residents between 1890 and 1930. The electric trolleys ran east to west from New Haven to New London and south to north from Old Saybrook to Chester.

Old Saybrook Making Places Grant from the CT Trust for Historic Preservation

Preservation and revitalization of this historic industrial structure were goals identified in Ferry Point planning workshops. Revitalizing the building would preserve local history, further redevelopment goals in the Mariner’s Way Plan and create a destination in the Ferry Point neighborhood for residents and visitors.

After meetings with Connecticut Trust staff members, property owners, the First Selectman, Old Saybrook Land Use staff, the Old Saybrook Historical Society and a consultant, The Town of Old Saybrook requested and received a $49,750 Making Places Grant from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Town of Old Saybrook hired Goman+York Property Advisors to conduct the market feasibility study. Goman+York Property Advisors have experience in strategic planning, property redevelopment and market feasibility research. Goman + York gathered input from residents and completed feasibility analyses on multiple reuse options. Their study identifies the best uses with the greatest potential for success to ensure the building can be preserved and contribute to the economic well-being and quality of life of Old Saybrook.

 

Presentation of the Findings

 

The public is invited to a presentation of the study’s results by Peter Holland of Goman+York Property Advisors.

Thursday, November 12 at 4:00pm

Saybrook Point Pavilion

150 College Street, Old Saybrook

Making Places Grant Overview

The Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation (CTPH) Making Places Grants (MPG) are intended to catalyze and move forward efforts to preserve, stabilize, rehabilitate and re-use historic industrial places.

The MPG is a strategic planning and pre-development grant for non-profits, municipalities, private developers partnered with these entities for underutilized historic industrial buildings and sites. MPGs are cash reimbursements for pre-approved costs upon successful completion of the grant-funded project and do not require any match. Awards are $2,500 up to $50,000.

Making Places Grants are administered by the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, and funded by the State Historic Preservation Office of the Department of Economic and Community Development, with funds from the Community Investment Act of the State of Connecticut.

located on the Connecticut River at Ferry Point.

The public is invited to a presentation of the findings on November 12 at the Saybrook Point Pavilion at 4:00pm.

Shoreline Electric Railway Powerhouse History

The building was constructed between 1908 and 1910 of poured concrete, a unique process considered revolutionary at the time. The Shoreline Electric Railway Powerhouse housed the boilers and turbines that provided the electricity for trolleys serving the transportation needs of shoreline residents between 1890 and 1930. The electric trolleys ran east to west from New Haven to New London and south to north from Old Saybrook to Chester.

Old Saybrook Making Places Grant from the CT Trust for Historic Preservation

Preservation and revitalization of this historic industrial structure were goals identified in Ferry Point planning workshops. Revitalizing the building would preserve local history, further redevelopment goals in the Mariner’s Way Plan and create a destination in the Ferry Point neighborhood for residents and visitors.

After meetings with Connecticut Trust staff members, property owners, the First Selectman, Old Saybrook Land Use staff, the Old Saybrook Historical Society and a consultant, The Town of Old Saybrook requested and received a $49,750 Making Places Grant from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Town of Old Saybrook hired Goman+York Property Advisors to conduct the market feasibility study. Goman+York Property Advisors have experience in strategic planning, property redevelopment and market feasibility research. Goman + York gathered input from residents and completed feasibility analyses on multiple reuse options. Their study identifies the best uses with the greatest potential for success to ensure the building can be preserved and contribute to the economic well-being and quality of life of Old Saybrook.

Presentation of the Findings

The public is invited to a presentation of the study’s results by Peter Holland of Goman+York Property Advisors.

Thursday, November 12 at 4:00pm
Saybrook Point Pavilion
150 College Street, Old Saybrook

Making Places Grant Overview

The Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation (CTPH) Making Places Grants (MPG) are intended to catalyze and move forward efforts to preserve, stabilize, rehabilitate and re-use historic industrial places.

The MPG is a strategic planning and pre-development grant for non-profits, municipalities, private developers partnered with these entities for underutilized historic industrial buildings and sites. MPGs are cash reimbursements for pre-approved costs upon successful completion of the grant-funded project and do not require any match. Awards are $2,500 up to $50,000.

Making Places Grants are administered by the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, and funded by the State Historic Preservation Office of the Department of Economic and Community Development, with funds from the Community Investment Act of the State of Connecticut.

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Women Candidates Face Off in Cordial Chester First Selectman Debate

CHESTER — The two first time women candidates running for the open first selectman seat, Democrat Lauren Gister and Republican Carolyn Linn, faced off Tuesday in a cordial campaign debate held at the Chester Meeting House.

About 70 residents turned out to watch the candidates answer prepared questions and questions from the floor. The one-hour session was moderated by former Democratic State Rep. Claire Sauer of Lyme.

Gister, a lawyer and former U.S. Marine, and Linn, a former Aetna manager who now runs a local pet care business, were in general agreement on many municipal issues and topics. Both expressed support for the plan to build a new library/community center at North Quarter park, and both were cautious on the question of building a sidewalk along the north side of Main Street as it approaches the park. A north side sidewalk was dropped from the nearly complete Main Street east reconstruction project late last year amid objections from some residential property owners on the street.

Linn said there should be a continuous sidewalk on at least one side of the street east to the intersection with Rte. 154, and suggested looking to projects in other cities and towns for creative ways to build a sidewalk with minimal disturbance. Gister, while noting “some neighbors have great concerns,” said a crosswalk further west at the intersection with School Lane is not sufficient for pedestrian safey, adding the sidewalk issue “will have to be addressed,” as the town moves toward construction of the new library.

Both women, each mothers of children who attended Region 4 schools, said they opposed the plan for a full K-12 regionalization of district schools that was withdrawn earlier this year amid opposition from Chester officials.  Linn went furthest, questioning whether there would be any real benefits of a full regionalization under a single three-town elected board of education. Gister said there could be some benefits, while adding that any regionalization plan “needs a lot more work.”

Both candidates said they would look to residents for input on the option of adopting a town charter, a step that could open the door to changing to a four-year term for board of selectmen and other town offices, or even a change to a town manager for of local government. “I don’t know what Chester wants and would need to find out what Chester wants,” Gister said.

On economic development, both candidates said the town should look to fuller utilization of existing commercial and industrial land and space, with Gister noting “one business does not make that much difference on the mill rate.” Linn agreed that filling vacant spaces can be difficult, but also suggested the town should be prepared to “use our zoning in the most optimal fashion,” to boost economic development and grow the grand list.

One difference between the candidates emerged with a question from the audience about a possible local blight ordinance. Linn said she would oppose what she described as an inherently “subjective” ordinance on blighted properties, adding “what one person may consider blight another may not.” Gister, while not advocating quick adoption of a blight ordinance, said she has heard concerns from many residents about the condition of some properties in town, and the impact of such conditions on values for nearby properties.

Depending on the Nov. 3 result, either Gister or Linn will become the second woman to serve as Chester First Selectman. The first was Republican Betty Perreault, who served from 1989-1993.

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Letter: Sypher Proud to Support Gister, Janecek

To the Editor:

It is with deep pride that I declare my support for Lauren Gister for the position of First Selectman and Charlene Janecek for Selectman. They are a great team and I know they will represent us well for the common good of Chester.

Having served as a Selectman for the past six years, I know what the positions require, and understand the issues facing our town, now and in future. Gister and Janecek’s experience, knowledge, skills and dedication are just what Chester needs.

We are privileged to have Lauren Gister who is intelligent, knowledgeable about legal issues, and has years of experience serving Chester as a volunteer and through her legal practice. Lauren’s integrity, strength, and commitment are well proven by her 25 years of service in the Marine Corps and in the business world.

We don’t need corporate experience that focuses on profits over people. We need the qualities that Gister brings, integrity and hard work from a proven leader who cares and knows how to overcome obstacles when times are difficult. Major Gister worked with diverse groups of enlisted Marines and officers, achieving goals by listening, educating, and setting realistic objectives, and consistently following through to get things done. No politicking. No backstabbing.

Janecek has a record of 40 years of volunteer service to Chester, serving on many Boards and Commissions, as well as being the owner of The Lunch Box for many years. An undeniable asset in town knowledge and communication with the electorate.

Both Gister and Janacek have solid leadership skills that motivate people to get involved and get things done. They listen and act. I urge my fellow citizens to vote for Gister and Janecek as the most qualified team to serve our town.

Sincerely,

Larry Sypher
Chester

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Essex Firm, Outthink Hires New CFO

Outthink hires Tracey Jacey as new CFO

Outthink hires Tracey Jacey as new CFO

ESSEX —  Essex firm Outthink has hired Tracey Jacey as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). In her role at Outthink, Jacey will lead accounting, finance and human resources. She brings over 25 years of experience in financial management, strategic planning and human resources that will support Outthink’s growth. Jacey has worked for many well-known regional and international companies including, Honeywell International, Dealertrack Technologies, Sonalysts, Inc., Pratt and Whitney and ABB Combustion Engineering.

“Outthink’s rapid growth requires someone with Tracey’s strong financial management skills and ability to communicate effectively,” says Outthink Principal and Co-founder John Visgilio.

Prior to joining Outthink, Jacey was the Divisional Controller at Dealertrack Technologies, Inc. in Groton, Conn. Before that she served as the CFO, Director of Human Resources and Treasurer for INNCOM International, Inc., a Niantic-based company specializing in software-based energy management systems for global lodging, healthcare and educational markets. INNCOM was acquired by Honeywell in 2012, and Jacey led the sell-side financial transaction efforts. Prior to joining INNCOM, she was the Accounting and Finance Manager for Sonalysts, Inc. in Waterford, Conn.

Active in the community, Jacey serves on the Board of Trustees of the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, Conn. She was also a founding member of the Shoreline Cohorts Investment Association and has chaired several non-profit fundraising events. She received her BS from the University of Massachusetts and her MBA from the University of Connecticut.

Outthink, a different kind of full-service marketing communications firm, serves clients who want more than just image building and demand immediate results. Outthink works across 13 time zones in categories like gaming, travel and leisure, healthcare, education and financial services. Founded in 2002, Outthink invents new combinations of traditional and new media strategies to boost results in advertising and media engagement. That’s how Outthink helps clients outperform their competition. Visit outthink.com to see how they do this.

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Essex Garden Club Presents “Autumn Leaves” Scarecrow

Autumn leaves scarecrowEssex Garden Club has created “Autumn Leaves” to compete in this year’s Scarecrow Competition. Pictured left to right are MyLan Sarner and Lumie Han. Also Eve Potts and Sandy French helped in the making of “Autumn Leaves”. You can see “Autumn Leaves” at the entrance to the Town Park on Main Street where the Garden Club members recently completed their fall Cleanup.

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Letter: Lori Ann Clymas as Region 4 Board of Ed. Representative

To the Editor:

The Region 4 Board of Education has responsibility for a $18.5 million budget and will be confronted with many issues over the next several years, not the least of which are declining enrollments and possibly another push for regionalization of the elementary schools.

The position requires a commitment of time and energy; it requires understanding the underlying details and how they fit into the larger picture; a capacity to ask searching questions and a knack for thinking outside the box when working toward solutions. The role needs individuals with the leadership to address parent, student, and taxpayer concerns in clear and effective ways. And it requires collaboration and a willingness to work across the three towns with whom we share our educational system.

That person is Lori Ann Clymas. She has a record of involvement, caring and follow-through. She has what it takes to listen and to speak while building consensus, and it’s why I fully endorse her. Please join me in voting for Lori Ann Clymas as Region 4 Board of Education representative.

Sincerely,

Virginia E. Carmany
Chester, CT

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Eleventh Annual “Dogs On The Dock” to be Held Today

Best costume is just one of the canine competitions to be held at Dogs on the Dock at the Connecticut River Museum on Sunday, October 11.

Best costume is just one of the canine competitions to be held at Dogs on the Dock at the Connecticut River Museum on Sunday, October 11.

ESSEX — On Sunday, Oct. 11, the waterfront lawn of the Connecticut River Museum will once again be “going to the dogs” with the commencement of the 11th Annual “Dogs On The Dock” parade and competition. Dog owners and dog lovers alike are invited to attend rain or shine. Bring your dog and join the crowd for this uniquely Essex experience.

Dog participant registration starts at 1 p.m. followed by a lawn parade at 2 p.m. and then individual canine competitions in categories such as best costume, best nautical costume, best owner look-alike, smallest dog, biggest dog, best trick and best dock jumping. Dock jumping dogs must wear a harness to participate.

The event is sponsored by the Connecticut River Museum and the Essex Board of Trade. Registration is $10 per dog and $5 for each additional dog with net proceeds being donated to local animal rescue shelters. All dogs must have a 2014 license and rabies tag to participate.

For more information, call 860-767-8269 or visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or www.essexct.com.

 

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Vista, Community Members, Shift Into Gear

Vista students and members were joined by members of the community and Vista staff on Monday, Oct. 5th, for a group bike ride. From left are: Gerard O’Shea, Elayna Paradiso, Sheridan Bauman, Charlie Steinberg, Dan Coca-Ducach, Chris Bailey, Scott Taylor, Ben Bodman, Kip Lyons, James Pittenger, Linda Rogen, John Morgan, Tom Naughton, Paul Rogen and Ellis Mayo.

Vista students and members were joined by members of the community and Vista staff on Monday, Oct. 5th, for a group bike ride. From left are: Gerard O’Shea, Elayna Paradiso, Sheridan Bauman, Charlie Steinberg, Dan Coca-Ducach, Chris Bailey, Scott Taylor, Ben Bodman, Kip Lyons, James Pittenger, Linda Rogen, John Morgan, Tom Naughton, Paul Rogen and Ellis Mayo.

In preparation for the upcoming Vista Tour de Shore cycling event and fundraiser on Oct. 18th, many Vista students and members have been training alongside members of the community during weekly Monday night bicycle rides.

A tradition started last year by the Gears of Change team—led by Vista employee Linda Rogen and her husband Paul, of Thompson Bike Tours— the training rides help Vista students and members get ready for the event while allowing them the opportunity to socialize with members of the community also riding in the event.

“I made a new buddy here,” Vista member Elayna Paradiso said, referring to Westbrook resident Sheridan Bauman, an experienced Tour de Shore participant. “I like riding with her because she is able to keep up with me.”

The group rides departed from Vista’s Westbrook campus and consisted of a 5-mile route along the shoreline. An average of 15 people participated in the rides each week.

Now in its seventh year, the Vista Tour de Shore is a major fundraiser for Vista. The event kicks off from the Westbrook Elks Lodge and offers 5, 25, 40 and 60 mile routes on scenic byways along the shoreline. Money raised by the Vista Tour de Shore benefit the Vista Endowment Fund, a supporting organization of Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center.

It’s not too late to register or support a team. Visit www.vistatourdeshore.com.

Based in Madison and Westbrook, CT, Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center is a 501©3 nonprofit organization. Vista’s mission is to provide services and resources to assist individuals with disabilities achieve personal success.

For more information about Vista, please visit www.vistavocational.org

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Local Sailor Wins New England Model Sailboat Fall Regatta in Deep River

From left to right: Will James, Ron Rhault, Brian Kerrigan, Renny Schoonmaker, and Jon Pelley.

From left to right: Will James, Ron Rhault, Brian Kerrigan (Essex), Renny Schoonmaker, and Jon Pelley.

Model sailing enthusiasts for all over New England converged at Plattwood Park Pond in Deep River this past Sunday to compete for the five awards  for winning this prestigious event. The event was hosted by the Dry Pants Model Yacht Club( DPMYC) based in Deep River and well-known in sailing circles throughout the United States.

The boats that were sailed were the CR-914s , a one-design national class of racing sailboat. The designs reflect the same lines of many well-known Americas Cup boats. Their length is 36 inches.

Sailing conditions were anything but normal. High winds due to the offshore location of Hurricane Joaquin forced a one-day postponement and , even then, the waters of the pond reflected 20 mph (gusts to 30) wind  swirling in many directions. These conditions were extremely challenging for both skippers and their boats. A lot of close calls took place in terms of boat contact. Simply put, it was not a sailing day for those expecting or wanting “normal” sailing conditions.

After 17 races, five sailors emerged as the best of the best. The overall winner was Brian Kerrigan of Essex, Ct.  He was followed (in order of finish) by Will James (Marblehead, MA), Ron Rhault (Mansfield , Ct), Renny Schoonmaker (Essex, Ct) and Jon Pelly (Griswold ,Ct).

Spectators were amazed these boats were able to handle the winds we had. For information on model sailing in the readership area, contact Jim Godsman@860-767-5052.

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Valley Regional High School Students Help Library Book Sale

National Honor Society students from Valley Regional High School help with the sale

National Honor Society students from Valley Regional High School help with book sale

The Board of the Friends of the Essex Library would like to thank all who contributed to the success of our recent book sale. This exceptionally large sale required significant work by many volunteers including those who worked during the event and those who sorted, repaired, priced and stored books in preparation for the sale, helped set-up for the sale and put everything away afterwards.   We are especially grateful to the Valley Regional National Honor Society students who assisted in our set-up and clean-up efforts. Katie Amara, Hannah Halsey, Leslie Clapp, Emma Petersen, Colton Kinney, Kyra Streck, Alex Zambuni and John Tibbets, thank you! We also want to recognize the Zambuni family who for many years have helped with set-up, take down and moving overflow books to the storage shed throughout the year.  We are grateful for your help. And, lastly, we thank the library staff for their support, with a special thank you to Anna Cierocki.

We would be remiss in not thanking those who contributed, and those who purchased, books, CDs and DVDs.   Your support of the library is deeply appreciated.

From November 23 to December 23 we will be featuring a Holiday Sale where sale items will change daily. Please stop in to browse for pristine books that are suitable for holiday gift giving.

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TTYS Donates Rifton Chairs to Local Schools

UntitledTri-Town Youth Services recently donated four Rifton chairs to local schools servicing children in Chester, Essex and Deep River. The supervisor of pupil services, Tyson Stoddard, accepted the donation and will distribute the chairs into the preschool special education classrooms. The chairs will be used in the preschools to assist children in the appropriate sitting position while participating in educational activities, tasks, and routines.

Tri-Town Youth Services supports and advances the families, youth and communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex. We coordinate and provide 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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WFSB’s Kevin Hogan Reveals What You Didn’t See on TV When the Pope Visited

WFSB News Director Kevin Hogan on assignment in New York City covering Pope Francis’s visit

WFSB News Director Kevin Hogan on assignment in New York City covering Pope Francis’s visit

Editor’s Note: Lyme, CT resident and WFSB News Director Kevin Hogan covered Pope Francis’s recent trip to the US in each of the three cities of Washington DC, New York and Philadelphia that the Pope visited. We are thrilled that Kevin has chosen to share some insights with us from those hectic days on the road and express our sincere appreciation to him on behalf of all our readers.

During my 42 years as a broadcast journalist, I’ve covered many high-profile world leaders. Last week I had the distinct, exhausting pleasure to cover Pope Francis in Washington, New York City and Philadelphia.

While the Holy Father was in Cuba, my Channel 3 videographer Jeff Kolan and I set the GPS in our news car for the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C. The Marquis was the media mecca for all 3,000 journalists cleared by the Secret Service and the Vatican to cover Pope Francis on this historic trip. Even before checking in to our hotel in Arlington, we had to obtain our credentials for the week.

The planning for our coverage began months earlier when we had to apply for credentials, our managers had to coordinate with our CBS Newspath directors to ensure broadcast quality transmission and communication in all three locations and venues. Weeks before we even filled up the car and gathered gear, I was making contact with all the known and possibly unknown religious and other organizations planning to be with the Holy Father. Yes, the Archbishop from Hartford and Bishops from Bridgeport and Norwich diocese were attending, as well as the Knights of Columbus in New Haven. The Knights World Headquarters is in the Elm City.

Thankfully it was up to my managers to secure hotel reservations. We knew getting around each city under extremely tight security was going to be a challenge. So getting a hotel close to the heart of the action at this stage of the game was not going to be easy. In Washington, we were put up in Arlington, Va. Not a bad drive. Some taxis were available, but most of the time we walked. Jeff and I averaged 4 to 5 miles per day in DC.

Kevin Hogan stands in front of the Capitol in DC.

Kevin Hogan stands with the waiting crowds behind him in DC.

We walked with the throngs of visitors along miles of steel mesh barricades, through Airport Style electronic security sensor checkpoints with bomb sniffing dogs to stand for hours on the lawn of the Capitol. While Pope Francis was giving the first address by a Pope to a joint session of Congress, we were attempting to find Connecticut residents amongst the gathering of 50,000. We found people with relatives in Connecticut, Priests who’ve studied in Connecticut and even TV reporter Les Trent from Inside Edition. Nice guy, by the way. His photographer recognized my photographer from an earlier assignment.

We found Nutmeggers in DC, who were not there necessarily to see Pope Francis but to hawk Vatican related souvenirs. Dave Thomas of New Haven brought $150,000 worth of supplies to sell. No, he didn’t have a Pope doll or the much sought after Pope bobble-head because they were made of a breakable ceramic that would be a security risk.

Dumb me, on the morning of the Canonization Mass for Franciscan Junipero Serra, it didn’t dawn on me until I was in checkpoint line for security that I realized I had two of my coveted multi-tools in my LL Bean canvass shoulder bag. Lesson learned. Security was nice about it. No, I couldn’t get that back.

We had the most perfect vantage point during the Mass, four stories high on a scaffolding riser with all the other world media watching down and absorbing this beautiful event.

Our producers wanted us to talk to the morning team on Thursday … anchors Eric Parker of Old Lyme and Irene O’Connor. Our wake up time was 4 a.m. We were LIVE on the air at 5:10 a.m. and ready for another looooong day. Thursday was also the day we had to checkout early and hit the road after our live broadcast at 6 and head for New York.

Kevin Hogan and Jeff Kholan take a brief break for a photo.

Kevin Hogan and Jeff Kolan take a brief break for a photo.

Videographer Jeff Kolan grew up in southern New Jersey and he made a calculated foodie stop at his favorite hotdog stand, The Doghouse. He treated me to a real, honest-to-goodness Philadelphia Cheese steak loaded with mushrooms and onions. Funny, you see all these world leaders and you gravitate to the food memory. I savored it all.

We checked into our hotel at midnight and got up at 8 a.m. Why the Doubletree in midtown doesn’t have a coffee maker in the room, I’ll never figure that one out. I needed one.

We were in New York one day, packed and checked out bound for Philadelphia and the last leg of our trip.

Did you see the Pope? Not in person in DC or New York because our timing was off. If you wanted to see the Holy Father in Person, you had to take a position in an area he was scheduled to be and stake it out for hours.

In the Big Apple, we hooked up with Susan and Dr. Robert Staab of Old Lyme and members of Christ the King Church. The Staabs, as members of the Order of Malta — a 900-year-old organization that helps the Vatican — were invited to attend the Papal Mass Friday evening in Madison Square Garden. They were just 13 rows from the Holy Father. Me? Jeff and I were on the road for Philly hoping to get ahead of the Pope.

Philadelphia was given the name “POPEACOLYPSE”. Because a more than two square mile area was walled off to vehicles, pedestrian traffic only.

Our hotel was on the fringe of the fence line. On Saturday morning we woke at 5 and were out the door heading to a live location at KYW TV, the CBS affiliate. It was a short 2.5 mile walk through two security checkpoints, minus my multi-tools.

As soon as we finished our live shot … and watched on TV as the Holy Father’s Aircraft landed we got word that his motorcade would drive right near the TV station. Jeff and I bolted and made feet for a fixed position right on the highway exit ramp. In a matter of minutes, a long procession of motorcycle officers roared past followed by black SUV’s and more motorcycles with the U.S. Flag and the flag of the Vatican See.

Yes, it was Pope Francis.

With an excited Kevin Hogan watching, Pope Francis drives by in his famous Fiat

With an excited Kevin Hogan watching, Pope Francis drives by in his famous Fiat through the streets of Philadelphia.

Homeland Security warned us to back off the ramp … as we did a small black FIAT carrying Pope Francis on the other side … came into view. Like a little child I raised my arm stretching my Channel 3 Microphone high into the air and waved it wildly! I saw Pope Francis raise his left arm and wave back. I snapped a selfie shot … and captured a moment in time.

There were hundreds of thousands of people in Philadelphia. On Saturday we walked 13.5 miles. We walked a total of 38 miles during the whole U.S. tour.

Each day we encountered wonderful people, officers, security personal from all over the U.S. Amazingly the visitors of all ages and cultures dressed as if they were going to Sunday Church. There was a calm in each city we visited. There was excitement in the air because The Pope was here.

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Past, Present and Candidates for Future Selectmen of Chester Gather

 First Selectman candidate Lauren Gister; Selectman candidate Charlene Janecek; Current First Selectman Ed Meehan and Selectman Larry Sypher; Former Selectmen Martin Heft and Peter Zanardi

First Selectman candidate Lauren Gister; Selectman candidate Charlene Janecek; Current First Selectman Ed Meehan and Selectman Larry Sypher; Former Selectmen Martin Heft and Peter Zanardi

Lt Governor Nancy Wyman and Attorney General George Jepsen stopped by a local event to support Chester First Selectman Candidate Lauren Gister and Selectman Candidate Charlene Janecek.   They emphasized how important the local race is and praised Lauren and Charlene on the dedication, knowledge and experience they have to run the Town of Chester.

Selectman Larry Sypher; former First Selectman of Old Saybrook Roger Goodnow; P&Z candidate Jacqueline Stack; Library Board Candidate Karin Badger; Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman; Chairman of the Board of Finance Virginia Carmany (behind); Selectman Candidate Charlene Janecek; Attorney General George Jepson; First Selectman candidate Lauren Gister; State Representative Phil Miller and First Selectman Ed Meehan.

Selectman Larry Sypher; former First Selectman of Old Saybrook Roger Goodnow; P&Z candidate Jacqueline Stack; Library Board Candidate Karin Badger; Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman; Chairman of the Board of Finance Virginia Carmany (behind); Selectman Candidate Charlene Janecek; Attorney General George Jepson; First Selectman candidate Lauren Gister; State Representative Phil Miller and First Selectman Ed Meehan.

 

 

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