November 23, 2017

Archives for June 2017

Essex DTC Endorses Jeannine Lewis as Democratic Candidate for Saybrook District Probate Judge

Attorney Jeannine Lewis

ESSEX – On Wednesday, June 28, the Essex Democratic Town Committee (EDTC) endorsed Jeannine Lewis – an attorney at Hudson and Kilby – as their preferred Democratic candidate for the position of Judge of Probate-Saybrook District.  A Special Election for Judge of Probate will be held on November 7, 2017 to fill the anticipated vacancy due to the July 18, 2018 retirement of current Judge, Terrance “Terry” Lomme.

Attorney Lewis, along with three other Democratic candidates addressed the EDTC over the course of several months, where each presented their qualifications for the position and responded to questions from the members of the committee.  EDTC Chairman Brian Cournoyer said, “Although each candidate demonstrated qualities that would serve the district well, members were impressed with Attorney Lewis’s unique combination of experience in probate law and commitment to ensuring all citizens seeking assistance through the court would be treated with care and attention.”

In addition to running a law practice focused on probate matters, estate planning and elder law, Lewis serves on the Continuing Legal Education Committee of the Connecticut Bar Association’s (CBA’s) Elder Law Section, and on the Integrity of the Practice/Pro Bono Committee of the CBA’s Estates and Probate Section.  She is a board member of the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries and provides pro bono legal counsel to Sister Cities Essex Haiti, a local charity that helps residents of the town of Deschapelles, Haiti.

Probate judges typically handle estates, trusts, adoptions, name changes, and the termination of parental rights and conservatorships, among other important matters.  The probate court for the Saybrook District is located in Old Saybrook and serves the towns of Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

The EDTC meets on the fourth Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. in the Essex Town Hall. Meetings are open to the public and all registered Democrats are encouraged to attend.

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Essex Foundation Funds Veterans Memorial Hall Parking Lot Paving

Members of the Essex Foundation Board of Directors present a check to Veterans Memorial Hall to pay for the paving of their parking lot. Pictured from left to right are Judy Bombaci, Jim Clark, Bruce Glowac, Sam Riggio (EVMH member), Alex Breen (EVMH member), Herb Clark, and Stick Hyde.

ESSEX – The Essex Foundation Board of Directors recently approved a request for financial assistance from the Essex Veterans Memorial Hall, the last known stand-alone, 501(c)(19) nonprofit  veterans organization on the East Coast. The donated funds will be used to fully underwrite the cost of paving the 10,633 square-foot gravel parking lot on the group’s property located at 3 Westbrook Rd. in Centerbrook.

Sullivan Paving Company, Inc. submitted the winning bid, which also includes a donation of their time and materials to line stripe and mark the new pavement.  Work will be completed this summer.

The Essex Foundation is underwriting the cost of paving this gravel parking lot at the Essex Veterans Memorial Hall in Centerbrook.

The paving project is one of several initiatives undertaken by the Hall’s 184 members to improve the building’s interior and exterior over the past three years. Once the Centerbrook Schoolhouse, the building became Essex Veterans Memorial Hall in 1946, and now serves as a resource for veterans, their families, and the greater community, including free hall usage to area nonprofit organizations and scout groups.

The Essex Foundation board members considered all of these factors when making the funding decision, agreeing that the project fell within their typical parameters of being of benefit to Essex residents, of being somewhat unique, and requiring relatively quick action.

“The Essex Foundation board members were impressed with the hard work and dramatic improvements that have been made by members of Essex Veterans Memorial Hall over the past few years,” stated Chairman Bruce Glowac, “We are happy to be able to help them with this upgrade to the property that has become a valuable community center.”

Editor’s Notes: 

i) Community members who would like to donate to the project can send a check made out to the Essex Foundation, PO Box 64, Essex, CT 06426, indicating that it is for the Veterans Memorial Hall parking lot.      

ii) The Essex Foundation was founded in 1970. It is a non profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Essex residents .   The foundation is funded through donations from the community and strives to fill needs not met by other organizations or sources. In general, funds are granted for special purposes, including buildings, equipment, land, and programs, but not to recurring expenses.

More information can be found at www.theessexfoundation.org.

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Essex Historical Society Offers Free Tours of Pratt House, Fridays Thru Sundays Until September

The Essex Historical Society (EHS) is offering free tours of Pratt House, the EHS’s furnished home, from
June through September on Friday, Saturday and Sundays, from 1 to 4 p.m. The address of the Pratt House is 20 West Ave, Essex, CT.

For further information, call 860-767-0681.

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Three Chester Residents Honored in 60 Over 60 Awards

Lee Howard has championed access to the arts throughout her life.

CHESTER — Three Chester residents were recently honored with 60 Over 60 Awards.  They are Lee Howard, Phyllis McDowell, and Nancy Smith, all of whom are residents at Chester Village West.

This is the first year the awards have been presented to honor Connecticut citizens over age 60 who make a difference in the lives of others or in their communities.  The 60 Over 60 award was created by Duncaster as a way to showcase the lives of people 60 or better, who continue to have a unique impact on their world. Howard, McDowell, and Smith were celebrated at a reception on the Duncaster campus in Bloomfield.

Howard is a life-long leader in greater access to the arts for all.  Lee has worked with local arts councils and alliances across the country to develop their technical services, and with advocacy and arts programs throughout the country.

Phyllis McDowell has advocated for those with mental health issues and those who care for the environment.

McDowell has changed the lives of those with mental health issues and those who care for the environment.  She and several volunteers from the Mental Health Association of New Haven launched Fellowship Place, a socialization program for psychiatric patients.

Smith is a writer, an editor, and a connector of people. She is an active member of the Susan B. and William K. Wasch Center for Retired Faculty at Wesleyan University.

Duncaster began their search for 60 Over 60 on Jan. 1.  It received nominations of remarkable individuals from throughout Connecticut.  “Our state has so many extraordinary people who are 60 or better, so we were not surprised at the number of nominations we received.  Clearly there are many people who wanted to recognize people 60 or better for their continued accomplishments,” says Carol Ann McCormick, VP Sales and Marketing at Duncaster.

Nancy Smith continues her work as a writer and editor, and has been a lifelong learning advocate

She continued, “We’ve all heard of 40 Under 40 awards that highlight the successes of this group of people.  We thought it was high time to recognize the ongoing inspiration and achievement of those 60 or better.  We were delighted with the response to it.”

Duncaster, the Hartford area’s first LifeCare community, is located minutes from West Hartford and Simsbury in Bloomfield CT.  This boutique Life Plan Community sits on 94 acres.  While catering to those who are active and engaged in independent living neighborhoods, Duncaster also offers options for those seeking assisted living, memory care, long-term care and rehab services (all private) in intimate settings.

For more information, visit http://www.Duncaster.org or call (860) 380-5005.

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Meeting House Players to Hold Open Auditions for “Play On,” Aug. 29-30

CHESTER — The Meeting House Players has announced open auditions for Rick Abbot’s madcap comedy “Play On!”.   Auditions will be held on Aug. 29 & 30, at 7  p.m. in the Meeting House located at 4 Liberty Street in Chester.

Written as a play within a play, “Play On! “treats its audiences to a hilarious look behind the scenes of a local community theatre troupe desperately trying to mount a production of a new play.  With only a few rehearsals left before the opening night, chaos ensues.  Dress rehearsal is a disaster.  On opening night, anything that can go wrong, does go wrong but the ensemble continues to “play on” until the final curtain falls!

The play’s 10-member ensemble includes the following cast of characters:

  • Henry Benish, 50-early 60’s, a character actor, plays Lord Dudley
  • Polly Benish, 50-early 60’s, a character actress, plays Lady Dudley
  • Marla “Smitty” Smith, early 20’s, a supporting actress, plays Doris, the Maid
  • Saul Watson, 40’s, a supporting actor, plays Dr. Rex Forbes, the Villain
  • Billy Carewe, mid 20’s- early 30’s, an athletic looking actor, plays Steven Sellers, a Young Man
  • Violet Imbrey, 20’s, a supporting actress, plays Diana Lassiter, the Ingenue
  • Aggie/Algie Manville, 30-50, the stage manager & prompter (can be male or female)
  • Gerry/Jerry Dunbar, 40-55, the community theatre director (can be male or female)
  • Louise/Louie Peary, 25-50, the sound-lighting-scenic technician (can be male or female)
  • Phyllis Montague, any age over 40, the community’s eccentric & somewhat haughty playwright

Those auditioning will be asked to read from the script. 

Directed by Debbie Alldredge, the production will run for five performances opening at the Meeting House in Chester on Friday, Oct. 27 and continue Oct.28 and Nov. 3 & 4, 2017 with both a matinee and an evening performance on Nov. 4.

For additional information, contact Deb Alldredge at 860-526-3684 or TheMeetingHousePlayers@gmail.com .

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Con Brio Announces Auditions, Aug. 29

AREAWIDE — Con Brio Choral Society will host auditions  Tuesday, Aug. 29, 7 p.m., St. Paul Lutheran Church, 56 Great Hammock Rd., Old Saybrook CT. The 70-member classical chorus plans auditions for all voice parts. No prepared pieces are required.

Con Brio’s singers come from 15 Connecticut towns. Rehearsals are on Tuesday evenings in Old Saybrook. The December concert, with chamber orchestra and soloists, will feature John Rutter’s Magnificat.

Visit https://conbrio.org or call Sue at 860-575-9668 for more information.

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Essex Library Presents ‘The Search for Life in Age of Exoplanets’ Tonight

Wesleyan Post-Doctoral researcher Dr. Wilson Cauley. Photo by Dr. W. Cauley.

ESSEX — The recent explosion in our understanding of planets around other stars has accelerated the quest to find signs of life on these worlds. With so many potential places to look, astronomers are now on the cusp of measuring biological imprints in the atmospheres of other planets.

Wesleyan post-doctoral astronomy researcher Wilson Cauley returns to the Essex Library on Thursday, June 29, at 7 p.m. to talk about these efforts and some of the challenges facing the search for extra-solar life, as well as the ongoing missions in our own solar system.

This program is free and open to the public. Registration is requested.

For more information or to register, call the Library at (860) 767-1560. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Ave. in Essex.

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Enjoy Family Night Tonight at Acton Public Library

OLD SAYBROOK — Join Acton Public Library for a session of Laughter Yoga with Robert Rivest Thursday, June 29 at 6:30 p.m

Laughter Yoga combines interactive laughter exercises with deep, centering breaths and calming movements. It is a joyful way to connect with others and laugh your blues away! Best for ages 4 and up. This event is free and no registration is required.

Generously sponsored by the Friends of Acton.

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Learn All About Bubbles Tonight at Deep River Public Library


DEEP RIVER —
Learn about the science of bubbles when the Connecticut Science Center visits Deep River Library on Wednesday, June 28, at 5:30 p.m. Discover how the shape of a wand can affect a bubble, get an up-close look on bubble plates, form bubble windows to learn about surface tension and uncover the secrets to a ‘no-pop’ bubble!

Registration is required for this program and limited to 25 participants. The recommended age is 5 and up. Sign up will be done through Signup Genius, which can be accessed from the Deep River Library home page, our Facebook or at the following link: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090a4da8ab23aafe3-connecticut.

Programs are sponsored by the Friends of the Deep River Public Library. For more information, visit http://deepriverlibrary.accountsupport.com and click on the monthly calendar, email the Children’s Department at drplchildrensdept@gmail.com or call the library at 860-526-6039 during service hours: Monday 1 – 8pm; Tuesday 10 am – 6 pm; Wednesday 12:30 – 8 pm; Thursday and Friday 10 am – 6 pm; and Saturday 10 am – 5 pm. *July and August, Saturday hours are 10 am – 2:00 pm.

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CT Historic Preservation Office Seeks Public Input on State Plan at Meeting in Saybrook Tonight

OLD SAYBROOK — The Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is working on a Comprehensive Statewide Historic Preservation Plan to be completed by the end of the year. The Plan will be an intensive level planning document addressing the treatment of the historic and cultural resources across the state. It will serve as a guide for planning and decision making by the SHPO, Towns, agencies, non-profit organizations, and others who may affect these resources.

The SHPO is reaching out to stakeholders to gather input, information, and advice. Public workshops are being conducted in communities throughout the state in collaboration with local partners. An online survey will be posted to gather additional public input.

A public workshop on the Preservation Plan is being held at the The Pavilion at Saybrook Point Park, 155 College St. at Saybrook Point, Old Saybrook, CT on Tuesday, June 27, 7 to 9 p.m. sponsored by the Town of Old Saybrook.

The Town invites all readers to join in this planning process. Your input and advice are not only welcome but also needed. This will be a plan for every organization and individual involved in historic preservation, community planning, community revitalization, land conservation, storytelling, and related interests throughout Connecticut.

The Town of Old Saybrook and SHPO encourage you to get involved.

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Key Bank Westbrook Volunteers Help Beautify the Estuary Senior Center


WESTBROOK/OLD SAYBROOK —
Key Bank’s Westbrook employees, some of whom are pictured above, visited the Estuary Senior Center recently and worked hard cleaning up the outside area, making the place even more beautiful! They have a 27-year tradition of volunteering in the communities they serve.

On behalf of all the seniors that the Estuary Center serves, Estuary board members wish to express their sincerest thanks to all the Key Bank, Westbrook volunteers who donated their time to work at the Estuary facility.

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Ivoryton Playhouse Hosts Auditions for ‘It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,’ Aug. 26

IVORYTON — The Ivoryton Playhouse will be holding local auditions for non Equity actors for ‘It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,’ by Joe Landry on Saturday, Aug. 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Rehearsal Studio, 22 Main Street, Centerbrook, CT 06409. The play will be directed by Sasha Bratt and will run from Dec. 7 to 17, 2017.

Looking for actors of all ages. Cast includes George Bailey, Mary, Clarence the Guardian Angel and all of your favorite characters from ‘It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.’

All auditions are by appointment and actors should bring a picture and resume and prepare a short monologue. Sides will also be available. More information is available on line at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org

For audition appointments, call 860-767-9520, ext.207

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Maple & Main Hosts Two Special Shows in July

‘Beach Day’ by Barbara Rosetti is a signature painting for the new show at Maple & Main.

CHESTER – Maple and Main Gallery, in addition to its Summer Exhibit, is hosting both a sculpture show and a two-woman show of paintings during July with receptions for both on Friday, July 7 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Selected sculptures created by members of the Society of Connecticut Sculptors will be on view in the main gallery where wine, cheese and desserts will be served July 7.

In the lower level of Maple and Maple there will be another party July 7 to herald in “Sharing the View,“ a two-women show in the Stone Gallery of new works by long-time gallery artists Linda DeStefanis and Barbara Rossitto.

July 7 is also First Friday in Chester when all the shops, galleries and restaurants are open late with special offerings. This First Friday also includes 10 Chester businesses, which operate outside the downtown, but will be set up in the town center from 5 to 7 p.m. with drawings, gifts and more.

Maple and Main Gallery, at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 6 p.m.; Friday from noon to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please visit the website, mapleandmaingallery.com  to view works from the Summer Exhibit, the sculpture show and “Sharing the Vision.”  860-526-6065;mapleandmain@att.net. Visit on Facebook.

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Take the Kids to See ‘The Comedy Magic of Danny Diamond’ at Ivoryton Playhouse, Aug. 25

Casey Carle will delight audiences with his ‘Bubblemania’ show at Ivoryton Playhouse, July 28.

IVORYTON — The Ivoryton Playhouse brings you another summer full of fun and educational programs all geared towards children. The Playhouse is proud to present some new and exciting live performances featuring some of Connecticut’s most popular, professional artists.

Performances are for children of all ages. Help your child discover the magic of theatre this summer at The Ivoryton Playhouse.

July 14
Crabgrass Puppet Theatre presents

The Pirate, The Princess and The Pea

A swashbuckling pirate and princess adventure!  A pirate’s life isn’t all “yo-ho-ho and a bottle of grog,” ya know. It’s hard work searchin’ for treasure, avoidin’ the sea monsters, keepin’ the crabs from eatin’ your nose, and fallin’ overboard just in time to meet a giant octopus. But it’s worth it when ya haul in that treasure chest . . . but the treasure in this chest happens to be a princess . . . a princess who doesn’t even believe you’re a pirate! And how do you prove you’re a real pirate? Arrgh. Well, ya start with a whole lot o’ mattresses!

July 21
Blashford Bro. Puppet Co. presents
Jack & Jill

Jack & Jill is a one-man puppet show featuring hand-carved, folk-toy-inspired puppets and live music. The show explores the contemporary issue of water conservation in the tradition of the Appalachian Jack Tale. In this story, a young coal miner and his companion go ‘up a hill to fetch a pail of water’ then take on a selfish giant and save a whole neighborhood! Everyone is welcome to a big ol’, heapin’ helpin’ of this good-natured, heartland American story of teaming up and looking out for the little guy.  A show for all ages.

July 28
Casey Carle’s
Bubblemania

Back by popular demand! Casey Carle performs tricky undulations, manipulations and juggling with bubbles. An extremely unique program combining high energy entertainment with artistic achievement, BubbleMania is loaded with visual comedy, quick wit, big band swing music and the untamed, often unbelievable qualities and beauty of spherical liquids. Casey’s creations grow from intricate and imaginative bubble artforms to “trapping” people inside bubbles! This is a bubble show to keep the 5 to 75 year-olds mesmerized.

August 25
The Comedy Magic of Danny Diamond

Come and be amazed by the comedy magic of Danny Diamond. His show will astound and entertain people of all ages. Bring the whole family for some fun and entertainment on a warm summer day.  dannydiamond.com

All performances are at 11am. Tickets are $14 and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  Book early to avoid disappointment. (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

 

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Acton Library Hosts Summer Oscar Series: See ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ Aug. 25

Lights. Camera. ACTON!

The Acton Public Library at 60 Boston Post Rd., in Old Saybrook presents an 89th Oscar Winning Series this summer on 2nd and 4th Fridays in July and August at 1 p.m. The remaining schedule is as follows:

Aug. 25: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (PG-13)

For more information, call The Acton Library at 860-395-3184, or visit the library during regular hours: Monday through Thursday 10am – 8:00pm, Friday and Saturday 9am – 5pm or visit online at www.actonlibrary.org

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Chester’s Juliette Linares Earns Girl Scouting’s Highest Award

Juliette Linares of Chester has earned Girl Scouting’s top award.

CHESTER – Girl Scout Juliette Linares of Chester has received her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn in Girl Scouting.

The Girl Scout Gold Award requires Girl Scouts grades nine through 12 to spend at least 80 hours researching issues, assessing community needs and resources, building a team, and making a sustainable impact in the community. A Gold Award recipient’s accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart as a community leader.

Nationally, only 6 percent of older Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award. Girl Scouts of Connecticut recently honored the 71 Girl Scouts in Connecticut who have achieved this honor on Sunday, June 4.

Juliette’s project addressed the need for families to encourage their younger children to foster a love for literature at a young age. Juliette hosted a Dr. Seuss family event where 25 families along with Girl Scout troops, guests from surrounding towns, two guest readers, teachers, principals, and reading specialists attended. Juliette will continue to host the Dr. Seuss family event until she graduates high school. She hopes that it will continue to be a success and the school would agree to make it an annual event.

“I am beyond proud of our Girl Scouts as we celebrate another century of young women taking the lead and making a sustainable change in our communities,” said Mary Barneby, CEO of Girl Scouts of Connecticut. “By earning the Gold Award, Girl Scouts set themselves apart as top achievers, and are incredible go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders. I can’t wait to see what they will accomplish in the future!”

For more information about the Gold Award or how to become a Gold Award volunteer or mentor, visit gsofct.org.

Girl Scouts of Connecticut are more than 47,000 members strong – nearly 32,000 girls and over 15,000 adults – who believe that every girl can change the world. They’re part of a sisterhood of 2.6 million strong around the globe—1.8 million girls and 800,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world.

The Girl Scouts organization’s extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Ga., she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, her vision and legacy have been honored, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. The organization is the preeminent leadership development one for girls. And with programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success.

To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit gsofct.org.

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Deep River Students Recognized at 13th Annual eesmarts™ Student Contest at State Capitol

Jolie Edwards (left) and Ella Pitman, who are both in seventh grade at John Winthrop Middle School in Deep River, stand proudly with their 1st and 2nd place awards respectively at the 13th annual eesmarts Student Contest award ceremony held on June 2, at the State Capitol.

Statewide contest provided students the opportunity to creatively promote energy efficient and renewable energy technologies

DEEP RIVER – John Winthrop Middle School classmates Jolie Edwards and Ella Pitman were honored last week at the 13th annual eesmarts™ Student Contest ceremony held at the State Capitol for their winning entries in the seventh-grade category.

Presented by Energize Connecticut in partnership with Eversource and AVANGRID, Inc. subsidiaries United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas, the eesmarts Student Contest invites Connecticut students in grades K-12 and college to create projects about energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability.

Jolie received 1st place for her persuasive speech addressing the Connecticut General Assembly’s Energy and Technology Committee about why our state should become more energy efficient. Her recommendations for combating climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions included switching to more energy efficient resources, enforcing public transportation, installing solar panels, buying energy-efficient appliances and making energy-efficient home improvements.

Ella was awarded 2nd place for her speech persuading the Committee to consider utilizing off-shore wind farms and water and solar power. “Energy efficiency is very important because it creates a safer and cleaner environment.” She argues that these steps are necessary to lower our state’s carbon emissions and will save money over time.

The ceremony attracted more than 150 students, parents, teachers, elected officials, and clean energy supporters from across the state in celebration of the students’ hard work. Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Deputy Commissioner Mary Sotos was the keynote speaker for the event, and FOX 61 meteorologist Joe Furey served as Master of Ceremonies.

For more information on the student contest and the eesmarts program, visit www.eesmarts.com.

Editor’s Note: Energize Connecticut helps you save money and use clean energy. It is an initiative of the Energy Efficiency Fund, the Connecticut Green Bank, the State, and your local electric and gas utilities, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills. Information on energy-saving programs can be found at EnergizeCT.com or by calling 1.877.WISE.USE.

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‘Run for Chris 5K, With the Y,’ Takes Place Tomorrow, Registration Still Open

Tony Sharillo of Middletown and son complete the Run for Chris last year. Photos courtesy of Roger U. Williams

AREAWIDE — The 6th Annual Run For Chris 5K, With The Y will be held Saturday, June 24, in Essex, Conn., starting at Town Hall. Of note is the addition of “With the Y” to the run’s name, reflecting this year’s official partnering with the Valley Shore YMCA. The YMCA will bring a family aspect to this already great race and continue to have The Run for Chris kick off the Y’s Run Club’s race season as their featured race.

This fun family event, which includes a Kids’ Fun Run, face painting, music and games, is truly a great way to spend some quality family time together.

For those 5K runners who are looking for a great race this June, this is a terrific course passes thru historic Essex with beautiful views of the Connecticut River. Awards and food for the runners, as well as a great raffle, round out the morning’s festivities.

The race is held in memory of Christopher Belfoure, a 2005 graduate of Valley Regional High School (VRHS), with all the proceeds benefitting The Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County.

While a student at Valley, Chris went on several school trips abroad. Chris went on to major in History and Chinese Studies at West Virginia University, where he spent a considerable amount of time studying abroad in China and became fluent in Mandarin.

Influenced by his own life-altering journeys, Chris was passionate about encouraging others to also broaden their horizons and follow their own paths. Sadly Chris lost his life at the age of 24, so to keep his inspiration and passion alive The Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund was established in 2011.

The fund is intended to perpetuate Chris’s vision by helping local area high school students travel abroad.  A race participant added this perspective about the run, “I think the race is also quite indicative of the ups, downs and flat stretches in life we all face from time to time. You have a wonderful foundation that celebrates the life of Chris, and which seeks to help others. That is incredibly admirable.”

To date 142 VRHS students have benefited from the Fund, traveling to such places as Costa Rica, France and Spain, for a total of $9,145 in grants. On April 24 students departed for Paris, supported by a $3,000 grant from the Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund, which is made possible by proceeds from the run and from its sponsors.

To register for the Run, go to www.aratrace.com.  For more information, contact George Chapin, Race Director, at george_c@snet.net.

Visit the website @ www.chrisbel4mf.com

 

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Essex Garden Club Awards Three Scholarships to Local Students

Essex Garden Club Scholarship committee chair, Anne Elich, is seated with 2017 scholarship recipients Daniel Taylor and Haley Hammen. Missing from photo, Annie Brown. Photo courtesy of Leslie Barlow

ESSEX — The Essex Garden Club recently awarded college scholarships to three area students:

  • Annie Brown of Essex, who attends the University of Vermont, is pursuing a major in Elementary Education with a minor in Environmental Studies.
  • Daniel Taylor of Ivoryton, a 2017 graduate of Valley Regional High School, will attend Vassar College in the fall to study Biology.
  • Haley Hammen of Essex, a 2017 Valley Regional High School graduate, will attend Pennsylvania State University in the fall to study Biology.

In addition, the Garden Club is proud to provide funding for young children from Essex, Ivoryton and Centerbrook to attend local nature camps. This year, scholarships were given the Essex Parks and Recreation Summer Program for 25 children to attend their one-week nature and science sessions.   Also, the Club has provided funding to allow four students to attend camp at The Bushy Hill Nature Center, which provides two weeks of in-depth nature experience.

The Essex Garden Club sincerely thanks all who support the annual May Market, the proceeds of which enable the Club to make these donations. This year, additional scholarship funds were contributed in memory of Garden Club members who were devoted to the education of young people in our community.

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Taking Care of Our Ancestors: Centerbrook Cemetery Offers Free Gravestone Cleaning Workshop, Sunday

CENTERBROOK — Centerbrook Cemetery, 37 Westbrook Rd., Centerbrook will be holding a free Gravestone Cleaning Workshop on Sunday, June 25, at 2 p.m. (In case of heavy rain, the date will be Wednesday, June 28, at 2 p.m.)

Participants should bring an eight-ounce bottle, soft bristle brush and toothbrush.  Plastic gloves are optional.

Non-toxic cleaning agent will be provided.

For additional information, contact Isobel Allen @ 860-767-8167.

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Author, Journalist Susan Campbell to Speak This Afternoon About Her Book on Isabella Beecher Hooker

CHESTER — Chester Village West, an independent senior living community, concludes its Spring Lifelong Learning Program with a free-and-open-to-the-public talk by author and journalist Susan Campbell on Thursday, June 22, at 4 p.m.

Campbell will present her book, “Tempest Tossed: The Spirit of Isabella Beecher Hooker” and discuss its main character. The youngest daughter of the “Fabulous Beecher” family, Isabella Beecher Hooker was a leader in the suffrage movement, and a mover and shaker in Hartford’s storied Nook Farm neighborhood and salon. But there is more to the story – and to Isabella’s character – than that.

Campbell is the award-winning author of “Dating Jesus” and “Tempest-Tossed: The Spirit of Isabella Beecher Hooker.” She is a distinguished lecturer at University of New Haven and a columnist at the Hartford Courant and the Connecticut Health Investigative Team. Her work has been recognized by the National Women’s Political Caucus, New England Associated Press News Executives, the Society for Professional Journalists and several other respected journalism organizations.

Refreshments will be served. Registration is required; seating is limited to 40 people per lecture on a first-come, first-served basis.

To register, call 860.650.1815, email ChesterVillageWest@LCSnet.com or register from the community’s Calendar of Events page.

Editor’s Note: Located in historic Chester, Connecticut, Chester Village West gives independent-minded people a new way to experience retirement and live their lives to the fullest. Since the community was founded more than 25 years ago, Chester Village West residents have directed and embraced active learning. Within a small community of private residences that offer convenience, companionship, service and security, Chester Village West enriches lives with a comprehensive program that enhances fitness, nutrition, active life, health and well-being. Find out more at chestervillagewestlcs.com; visit the community on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChesterVillageWest.

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Registration Still Open for Tri-Town Youth Services’ Summer Co-op Second Session, Starts July 10

TRI-TOWN — Tri-Town Youth Services Summer Co-op 2017 is open to 7th, 8th and 9th graders with Session 2 running July 10 to 13.  Each day will start at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. at Tri-Town Youth Services, 56 High St., Deep River.

Session 2 includes trips to: July 10 – Bushy Hill Nature Center; July 11 – Ocean Beach; July 12 – Launch Trampoline Park and Laser Tag; July 13 – Lake Compounce.

The cost per session is $225. and $200. For additional sibling.  Registration forms are available throughout the tri-town region at elementary schools and at John Winthrop Middle School.  These programs are open to students entering grades 7, 8 and 9 who live in Chester, Deep River, and Essex.

For further information, call Tri-Town Youth Services at 860-526-3600 or visit www.tritownys.org

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Community Music School Receives Grant from Middlesex Community Foundation/River View Cemetery Fund

Community Music School’s New Horizons Band is a not-for-profit program that provides Middlesex County with an adult beginners band, many of whom have had never played an instrument before joining.

CENTERBROOK — Community Music School (CMS) has received a $3,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County (CFMC)/River View Cemetery Fund in order to fund the New Horizons Band.

Community Music School’s New Horizon Band is a not-for-profit program that provides Middlesex County with an adult beginners band of 13 members, many of whom have had never played an instrument before joining. Under the direction of Patricia Hurley, the CMS New Horizons Band performs marches, jazz selections, and music from the stage and screen, and much more. The band has recently collaborated with the John Winthrop Middle School band and has also participated in several concerts open to the public, in the past six months.

The CFMC grant will be used to further the advancement of the New Horizons Band. The New Horizons Program provides an entry point to music making for seniors, including those with no musical experience at all, or those who were active in school music programs but have been inactive for a long period. The band is nurturing, non-competitive, and supportive in style. There are no auditions or tryouts, and everyone is welcome, and many seniors enjoy the socialization of group instruction and ensemble playing.

Seniors participating in such a music program meet new friends, become an important part of a group, and have events to anticipate. The New Horizons Band has become an important part of the cultural life of our community as well, performing in many different settings and for special events. In addition to formal concerts, performances in community centers, and summer concerts in parks, they often play for retirement and nursing homes where added events are so needed.

“This program is so important to our seniors – both those who perform in the band and those who enjoy their many concerts throughout the year,” states Abigail Nickell, CMS Executive Director. “We are so grateful for CFMC’s support of this program so we can continue to serve the seniors in our community.”

For additional information, visit www.community-music-school.org or call CMS at 860-767-0026.

Editor’s Notes:
  1. Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 34 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity, and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives. 
  2. The Community Foundation of Middlesex County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Middlesex County, and to help Good People Do Great Things. Its two-fold mission is: (1) to work with charitably-minded individuals and organizations to build permanent endowments and other charitable funds; and (2) to support local nonprofit organizations through effect grant making, in order t address community needs, as well as Let Good Grow.
    Since its founding in 1997, the Community Foundation has provided 1,815 grants, totaling more than $5.4 million, to organizations for the arts, cultural and heritage programs, educational activities, environmental improvements, and for health and human services.
    To learn more, contact the Community Foundation at (860)347-0025, or info@MiddlesexCountyCF.org
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Environmental Program Looks To ‘Foster Future Stewards’ in Lower CT River Valley

From left to right, Peter and Elsie Patton, Marilyn Ozols, president, and Robin Andreoli, executive director. Photo by Joan Levy Hepburn.

LOWER CT RIVER VALLEY – The Rockfall Foundation recently announced the launch of a special campaign to commemorate 45 years of environmental grant making and support programs for students in the Lower Connecticut River Valley. The Fostering Future Stewards campaign will fund environmental education for kindergarten through 8th grade students with multi-year grants to schools for school-time, after school or summer programs.

Consecutive years of funding will allow educators to continue programs that introduce and sustain environmental literacy and the continuity of those programs will greatly benefit students.

The Foundation looks to raise $45,000 over two years and the campaign is off to a very positive start, thanks in large part to Peter and Elsie Patton of Middletown. Two of the Foundation’s most ardent supporters, the Pattons were the first to come forward with a leadership gift of $5,000 to the campaign.

“We are grateful to Peter and Elsie for inspiring others through their passion for this cause and their generous gift,” said Robin Andreoli, the Foundation’s executive director. “With a commitment from our Board of Directors, we have already achieved twenty-five percent of our goal and have heard from many friends in the community who support the project.”

Established in 1935, the Rockfall Foundation is one of Connecticut’s oldest non-profit environmental organizations and is the steward for the historic deKoven House Community Center in Middletown. The Foundation receives support from donors with a passion for the environment and connects them to local programs that help make the Lower Connecticut River Valley a better place to live.

Annual grant awards provide funding for local environmental education, conservation programs and planning initiatives. The Foundation also presents educational public programs throughout the year, which include symposia and public forums, informal networking opportunities, and family hikes.

For the past 45 years, the Rockfall Foundation’s grant making has supported and promoted outstanding environmental programs delivered by non-profit organizations, schools, and municipalities throughout the Lower Connecticut River Valley. The first grants awarded in 1972 provided a total of $5,000 to support four planting projects in Essex, Old Saybrook, and Chester. Since then, the Foundation has helped to fund 350 programs with awards totaling nearly half a million dollars.

For information about the Rockfall Foundation or how to contribute to the Fostering Future Stewards fund, visit www.rockfallfoundation.org or call 860-347-0340.

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Estuary Council Hosts Volunteer Fair/Open House Tomorrow

OLD SAYBROOK — The Estuary Council of Seniors is holding a Volunteer Fair/Open House on Wednesday, June 21, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the center located at 220 Main St, Old Saybrook. The Estuary services those aged 50 and better from Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook.

Join the Estuary staff to welcome new Director, Stan Mingione, and enjoy a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception. Staff members will be available to give tours of the facility and Fitness Center.  Come learn about the many activities and services and speak with personnel about the numerous volunteer opportunities.

For more information, call 860-388-1611 or visit www.ecsenior.org.

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Deep River Congregational Church Seeks Vendors for Flea Market & Rummage Sale, Aug 19

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Congregational Church is starting preparations for its annual Flea Market and Rummage Sale, which will be held during the third weekend of August.   The Saturday, Aug. 19, Flea Market is held on Marvin Field and on the grounds around the church.

Spaces are 20 x 20 foot and available for $30; they can be reserved by contacting the church office for a reservation form and map at 860-526-5045 or office.drcc@snet.net or forms can be downloaded from the church web site at www.deeprivercc.org

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Chester Village West Foundation Awards $30K in Scholarships to 10 Employees, Two Employees’ Children

Chester Village West Foundation, Inc. recently awarded $30,000 in college and university scholarships to 10 Chester Village West employees and two employees’ children. Left to right: Chester Village West resident and scholarship committee volunteer Whitey Wilson, Evan Swanson and Julie Fredericksen (both, Killingworth); Gabriella Dess (Madison); Ashlyn O’Boyle (Killingworth); Kira Woodworth (East Haddam); Jack Liggett (Deep River); Kristine Davis (Deep River); Elizabeth Forsythe (Killingworth); Leah Ann Sopneski (Deep River); Kenna Campbell (Chester); Chester Village West resident and foundation president Joan Galliher. Not pictured: Brandon Miller (Madison) and Johanna Regan (Northford).

Residents of Chester, Deep River, East Haddam, Killingworth, Madison and Northford enrolled at local and national colleges and universities

CHESTER – Ten Chester Village West employees and two children of employees have each been awarded a $2,500 scholarship from the Chester Village West Foundation, Inc. The scholarships will help the employees and their children continue their education at colleges and universities in Connecticut and beyond.

“Chester Village West employees are part of our extended family, dedicating their work to making our community a great place to live,” said Joan Galliher, a six-year resident and the foundation’s volunteer president. “And every year, our residents express their appreciation by generously supporting the foundation’s scholarship program to help staff members – and their children – pursue higher education.” 

Created as not-for profit entity in 1998 by a group of Chester Village residents, over the past 18 years the Chester Village West Foundation has provided more than $280,000 in scholarships to the community’s staff and their children, helping them to further their education beyond high school. The foundation’s income comes from voluntary donations made by residents of Chester Village West and memorial gifts from family and friends.

Recipients of the Chester Village West Foundation’s 2017 scholarships are:

Chester resident Kenna Campbell, a front desk employee and third year student at Central Connecticut State University.

Deep River resident Kristine Davis, a dining room employee and second year student at University of Tampa.

Madison resident Gabriella Dess, a dining room employee and fourth year student at Providence College.

Killingworth resident Elizabeth Forsythe, a dining room employee and second year student at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Killingworth resident Julie Fredericksen, daughter of housekeeping employee Debra Fredericksen and a first year student at Middlesex Community College.

Deep River resident Jack Liggett, a dining room employee and first year student at Marist College.

Madison resident Brandon Miller, son of marketing director Sara Philpott and third year student at Muhlenberg College.

Killingworth resident Ashlyn O’Boyle, a dining room employee and first year student at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Northford resident Johanna Regan, a dining room employee who is in her final year of teacher’s certification at Central Connecticut State University.

Deep River resident Leah Sopneski, a housekeeping employee and third year student at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Killingworth resident Evan Swanson, a dining room employee and third year student at Cedarville University.

East Haddam resident Kira Woodworth, a dining room employee and first year college student.

Located in historic Chester, Connecticut, Chester Village West gives independent-minded people a new way to experience retirement and live their lives to the fullest. Within a small community of private residences that offer convenience, companionship, service and security, Chester Village West enriches lives with a comprehensive program that enhances fitness, nutrition, active life, health and well-being.

Find out more at chestervillagewestlcs.com.

Visit the community on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChesterVillageWest.

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Child & Family’s Garden Tour is Today, Saturday in Old Lyme

See stunning peonies like these on the Lyme-Old Lyme Garden Tour being held Friday and Saturday.

Advance tickets are on sale through Wednesday for the 2017 Lyme-Old Lyme Garden Tour, taking place Friday, June 16, and Saturday, June 17.  Just in time to welcome summer, the 14th Lyme-Old Lyme Garden Tour returns to Old Lyme Village, giving visitors a chance to wander through a half dozen gardens amid some of Old Lyme’s most beautiful and historic homes.

This beautiful garden is featured on the 2017 Lyme-Old Lyme Garden Tour.

Here tour-goers will stroll Lyme Street and surrounding lanes and admire the garden spaces lovingly created and nurtured to complement a village setting:

  • The Sculpture Garden, where plantings thrive alongside works of contemporary art created by the owner;
  • The Children’s Sensory Garden, created to provide sensory and educational delights for all;
  • Peaceful Sanctuary, which offers a cool retreat amid hidden gardens dotted with gems of art;
  • The Secret Garden, that presents a glimpse of gardening in the small, discreet spaces of a village home;
  • The Village Garden, which frames an historic home with climbing hydrangeas and roses that rise from magnificent established perennial beds;
  • The Victorian Retreat, where history meets modern life in magical spaces that delight the senses.

The Agency’s informative Garden Talks return, included in the price of admission.  This year’s topics include pollinator-friendly and edible plantings, organic gardening, and more, and there will also be presentations on flower arranging and creating centerpiece arrangements with vegetables.  

Inspirational ideas like this are sure to be plentiful on this year’s Lyme-Old Lyme Garden Tour.

In addition, the ever-popular Garden Boutique will tempt visitors with gifts and wares for home, garden, and self from such vendors as Three Islands Clothing, Foxgloves, Dawn Elizabeth, and Yali boutique.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Garden Tour takes place (rain or shine) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Advance tickets for this year’s Garden Tour ($25 advance, $30 day of tour) are available locally through Wednesday, June 14, at The Bowerbird and Old Lyme Landscape in Old Lyme; Hadlyme Country Market in Hadlyme; White Gate Farm in East Lyme; and Pough Interiors in Essex.  

On the tour days, June 16 & 17, tickets ($30) may be purchased at the Old Lyme Town Hall, 52 Lyme St., Old Lyme.  Take Exit 70 from I-95 (north or south) and follow the signs.

Tickets may also be purchased at the Child & Family Agency offices in New London or by sending a check and SASE to P.O. Box 324, Old Lyme, CT  06371. Online sales are available at http://bit.ly/2pP7smi. Questions?  Email lymegardentour@gmail.com.

All proceeds from the 2017 Lyme/Old Lyme Garden Tour will benefit the many services and capital projects of the Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to the well-being and development of all children and their families, with emphasis on the unmet needs of children lacking physical, emotional, and intellectual care and nurturing. With offices in New London, Essex, and Groton, Child & Family Agency is the largest nonprofit children’s service provider in southeastern Connecticut. For more information, see www.childandfamilyagency.org.

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Ivoryton Playhouse Presents “A Night on the Town’ Cabaret-Dinner at Water’s Edge, Sunday

AREAWIDE — Ivoryton Playhouse, in a new partnership with Water’s Edge Resort,  will present a series of eight cabaret-style dinner theatre performances beginning Sunday, June 11, written for and performed exclusively at Water’s Edge.  This original series will showcase the professional talent of Ivoryton Playhouse performers and musicians in four unique events.

This original series of four uniquely themed productions celebrate a broad array of musical styles and genres:

Great Balls on Fire: Sunday, June 11 and Sunday, June 18
‘50s Rock N’ Roll and so much more.

A Night on the Town: Sunday, June 25 and Sunday, July 9
Featuring the musical inspiration of New York City.

That’s Amore: Sunday, July 16 and Sunday, July 23
Favorites from opera and musical theatre celebrating all things Italian.

Sounds of the ‘70s: Sunday, July 30 and Sunday, Aug. 13
Hits from the disco era.

Carly Callahan. Photograph courtesy of Carly Callahan

Each evening will feature a professional cast of performers, in addition to a trio led by Music Director, Eric Trudel and directed by Carly Callahan.

Cast members include Marsha Ackerman, Schuyler Beeman, Carly Callahan, Billy DiCrosta, Amy Maude Helfer, Kate Hubbard, Emily Johnson, Mia Pinero, Jorge Prego, Michael Scarcelle and Charlie Widmer.

“We have put together some great talent for these evenings, including cast members from our season, to bring the Water’s Edge audience a night of entertainment that they won’t forget,” said Jacqui Hubbard, Artistic Director of Ivoryton Playhouse.

Water’s Edge, previously known as Bill Hahn’s Hotel, was an entertainment destination in the 1940s and 50s and featured both up-and-coming singers and stars such as Henry Youngman, Art Carney and Barbra Streisand.  “We’re thrilled to revive the wonderful provenance of this resort, and look forward to entertaining a new audience inspired by Bill Hahn’s delightful evenings here decades ago”, said Hubbard.

Tickets are $69 per person, including dinner and the show, and can be purchased by calling Water’s Edge Resort at 860-399-5901.  Tickets are not available through the Ivoryton Playhouse website or theatre box office.

For more information, visit watersedgeresortandspa.com.

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‘Circle of Friends’ Students Present African Art Exhibit at Deep River Public Library This Afternoon

DEEP RIVER — Join Deep River Public Library for a special art exhibit from the students of Circle of Friends Montessori School on Thursday, June 15, from 4 to 6 p.m. After studying African Art this year with their teacher, Chelbi Wade, the students, who range in age from 3 to 6 years of age, created their own works that will be on display for public viewing.

Light refreshments and snacks will be served.

While the art is not for sale, all are welcome to celebrate the achievements of African Art by these budding artists.

For more information, visit http://deepriverlibrary.accountsupport.com and click on the monthly calendar, or call the library at 860-526-6039 during service hours: Monday 1 – 8pm; Tuesday 10 am – 6 pm; Wednesday 12:30 – 8 pm; Thursday and Friday 10 am – 6 pm; and Saturday 10 am – 5 pm.

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Learn About the Private Life of an Unloved Bird This Evening at CT River Museum

ESSEX — The Connecticut River Museum presents, “Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird,” with author Katie Fallon this evening, Thursday, June 15, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Join Fallon, author of this fascinating book about vultures, for a reading, book signing, and discussion of the essential roles that vultures play in healthy ecosystems.

This event is free to members of the Museum and $5 for non-members.

Seating is limited; call 860.767.8269 ext.110 to register.

The Museum is located at 67 Main St., Essex, CT 06426.

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Acton Library Presents ‘History of the 1950s & 60s Through Music’  with Marc Black, Saturday

OLD SAYBROOK — Marc Black, recent inductee into the NY Chapter of the Blues Hall of Fame, has created an engaging and humorous program … and an opportunity for the audience to relive this colorful time in our history. 

In his Saturday, June 17 presentation from 3 to 4 p.m., Black uses a wide range of popular songs including surprising favorites like Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, great rock tunes like Blue Suede Shoes, and moving folk songs like Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind.

And now, the program, which is part of the library’s Summer Concert Series, is being offered with a slide show that will slide you right back in time.  This thought-provoking, multi-media show is bound to get everyone singing and feeling good about where we are…and where we’ve been.

If you have any questions, visit www.actonlibrary.org or call the library at 860-395-3184 during service hours of: Monday – Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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SHPO Hosts Public Meeting on Statewide Historic Preservation Plan, June 27

OLD SAYBROOK — The Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is working on a Comprehensive Statewide Historic Preservation Plan to be completed by the end of the year.

The plan will be a planning document at an intensive level, addressing the treatment of historic and cultural resources across the state. It will serve as a guide for planning and decision making by the SHPO, Towns, agencies, non-profit organizations, and others who may affect these resources.

For southeast Connecticut, there will be a meeting at The Pavilion at Saybrook Point Park, 154 College St., at Saybrook Point, Old Saybrook, CT on Tuesday, June 27, from 7 to 9 p.m.

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Pratt House Participates in CT Open House Day Today; Essex Historical Society Improves Visitor Experience

The historic 1732 Pratt House welcomes visitors for Connecticut Open House Day, June 10, 2017. Photo courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

ESSEX — Essex Historical Society (EHS) shines the spotlight on its historic structures in 2017, focusing its energies on setting the stage for a friendlier, community-centric approach to sharing our stories.  At the historic 1732 Pratt House at 19 West Ave., the town’s only historic house museum, EHS continues to improve the visitor experience, just in time for CT Open House Day, on Saturday, June 10.  It will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. that day; admission is free.

Admission includes the creation of a “pocket park” on the Pratt House grounds along with improved visitor amenities, outdoor lighting and signage and general beautification for a friendly, accessible visitor experience.  Visitors can also enjoy Pratt House’s beautiful grounds, reproduction barn, kitchen gardens, a community garden and museum shop.   

See inside the Pratt House parlor on CT Open House Day, June 10. Photo courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

Open to the public for guided tours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons, 1 to 4 p.m., from June through September, Pratt House is staffed entirely by trained volunteer guides or ‘docents.’  In 2017, EHS expanded its volunteer programs to recruit new guides and more are welcome. Those who volunteer their time to support our organization are its lifeblood and our investment in their support and training is critical to our ongoing success. 

Also that afternoon, EHS welcomes the public to the reopening of the Hills Academy History Center, 22 Prospect St., to enjoy its several improvements for visitors and researchers. 

Both beautiful properties serve as historic resources for the entire community, helping EHS live up to its mission of Engaging and Inspiring the Community: Essex. Ivoryton. Centerbrook.   For more information, visit www.essexhistory.org or 860-767-0681. 

Photos:

[Pratt Mantle] and/or [Pratt Exterior]

The historic 1732 Pratt House welcomes visitors for Connecticut Open House Day, June 10, 2017.  Courtesy of Essex Historical Society. 

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High Hopes Hosts a Magical ‘Moon Dance’ Tonight


AREAWIDE — Join High Hopes Therapeutic Riding on Saturday and dance the night away to music of the Sultan’s during an inspirational and elegant evening to benefit High Hopes’ programs and participants.

Moon Dance is one of Eastern Connecticut’s premier gala events and features the toe-tapping sound of The Sultans at High Hopes’ facility, which is transformed into the ideal setting for cocktails, silent auction, sit down dinner, music and dancing.  Over 600 guests are expected.

Event proceeds benefit the programs and participants of High Hopes’ year-round equine-assisted therapy programs.

Moon Dance is a community-sponsored event with over 200 volunteers working annually to support the event and is sponsored financially by Northstar Wealth Partners, LLC and Dominion.  Other leading corporate sponsors include:

Platinum Partners
All-American Waste
Herb Chambers Companies
Julia Balfour, LLC
Lee & Bernadette Olivier
WNLC – Hall Communications

Gold Partners
AJ Shea Construction
Bob’s Discount Furniture
Geneve Corporation
Gordon ADR
Lawrence & Memorial Hospital
OverAbove, LLC
Taylor Rental – Party Plus
U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management

Corporate sponsorship is a critical portion of the funds raised, which accounts for 20 percent of High Hopes’ operating support.

For Moon Dance tickets or more information, visit www.highhopestr.org or call 860 434-1974.

High Hopes is one of the oldest and largest therapeutic riding centers in the United States, operating since 1974 and accredited by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International (PATH Intl.) since 1979.  High Hopes is committed to providing the highest quality service to all who might benefit, regardless of their financial means. www.highhopestr.org

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Essex Land Trust Hosts Annual Picnic & Concert This Evening

And the band played on … Photo submitted by Jim Denham.

ESSEX — The Essex Land Trust is once again holding its popular annual picnic concert Saturday, June 10, starting at 5:30 p.m. at Essex Main Street Park,. The event is open to all and is free of charge. Bring a picnic, blanket and chairs and find a spot in Essex’s Main Street Park.  The music starts at 5:30 pm with the Essex Corinthian Jazz Band. Bring chairs, blankets and enjoy sitting back and relaxing with your picnic and BYO refreshments. Come early to enjoy the waterfront and cove views. Bad weather cancels.

Main Street Park has been a hub for the village of Essex since it was put together by volunteers and created for the benefit of the Town. It features a scenic spot in the middle of Main Street with a gazebo, benches and picnic tables, restroom facilities, the beautiful waterfront and cove views, a boat launch and municipal parking area.

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All Welcome This Evening at Opening Reception for Studio 80’s ‘Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017’

View of the Sculpture Grounds at Studio 80 where the Opening Reception for Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017 will be hosted on June 10. Three works by Gilbert Boro can be seen in the photo.

Opening Reception Features Live Performances by GUSTO Dance & River Valley Dance Project 

Gilbert Boro, owner and sculptor at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds in Old Lyme, is hosting an Opening Reception on Saturday, June 10, from 5 to 8 p.m. for two new exhibitions on his property, Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017 and The Golden Hour. All are welcome to attend the reception at which light refreshments will be served.

During the Opening Reception, there will be two live, outdoor performances at 6 and 7 p.m. by the GUSTO Dance & River Valley Dance Project. All are welcome to attend the reception, watch the dance performances and wander the beautiful gardens and on-site gallery to view the works.

GUSTO Dance & River Valley Dance Project will present two live performances on Saturday, June 10, at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds.

Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017 follows on naturally from last year’s extremely successful juried exhibition of the same name , which drew large crowds and had to be extended into October to meet public demand.  This new exhibition on the grounds adjoining Boro’s studio and inside the Emily Seward Boro (ESB) Gallery on the property features works created by 17 widely acclaimed sculptors interspersed among Boro’s own sculptures, along with works by 22 other contributing artists.  More than 30 sculptors from across the country responded to the Call for Entries submitting some 60 works.

Boro’s expansive Sculpture Gardens are located on 4.5 acres of his residence on historic Lyme Street in the heart of Old Lyme, Conn.  The beautifully landscaped grounds slope down toward the Lieutenant River offering a unique en plein air experience for the exhibition, which combines both large- and small-scale contemporary sculptures. Many of the works, which are in a variety of media, are for sale.

In Love with an Idea’ is the signature mixed media piece in Susan Hickman’s ‘The Golden Hour’ exhibition on view in the ESB Gallery at the Sculpture Grounds during Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017.

A second exhibition will be on view in the ESB Gallery located on the Studio 80 grounds during the Showcase. “The Golden Hour” will feature mixed media works by talented indoor artist Susan Hickman, who was born a twin in rural Ohio.  She grew up in a small town and went on to study graphic design and photography at Ohio University.

Hickman moved to New York for a year before making her way up to the New England area where she has spent the last 15 years.  She is currently a resident artist of Hygienic Gallery in New London.  An eclectic mixed media artist working with paper, acrylic, ink, oils, found objects, graphic design, clothing design, photography and more, Hickman has also owned and managed several small galleries in New London including DEW ART Gallery, TAKEOUT Gallery and Down Gallery in Mystic.

She utilizes studio waste, discarded paintings, and found textiles as well as new ones, thus creating a restorative process, making something new from the past. She enjoys experimenting with texture and color and finds making art of any kind an exploration and an escape.

The sculptors and the title(s) of their work(s) included in the Showcase are as follows:
Michael Alfano • Fox
Greg Bailey • Green Descent
Henneke Beaumont • Connected-Disconnected
Brooke Bofill • Tension, Reveal
Jerry Erlich • Third Wheel
Denis Folz • Structured Form 1

‘Amulet’ by Gints Grinbergs is the signature piece of Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017.

Gints Grinbergs • Amulet, Stainless Steel Globes
Deborah Hornbake • Leap
David Judelson • Pablo
Elizabeth Knowles & William Thielen • Locating
Carlin Morris • Untitled
Christ Plaisted • Victorious Vine
Marcia Raff • 3’s a Crowd
Janet Rutkowski • Cymbalic Journey
Lisa Simonds • Silueta
Matthew Weber • Cedar Shingles & Shim Stacks
Melanie Zibit • Echo

The signature piece of the exhibition is Amulet by Gints Grinbergs, who works with a variety of metals, including copper, bronze, and stainless steel, to create open forms.  Welding metal spheres and partial spheres, he creates modern structures, for indoors or out. Fascinated by pictures taken by the Hubble telescope and electron microscopes, Grinbergs makes associations with galaxies and molecular structures. The combination of a modern metal structure with rough, natural stone make these works unique sculptural forms.

Grinbergs has a BFA and a BA. in architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design and has studied at Massachusetts College of Art and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. His work has been featured at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park; Michael Beauchemin Gallery, Boston; and Lever House Gallery, New York, N.Y. and is Included in private and corporate collections throughout North America.

‘Green Descent’ by Greg Bailey is a featured piece in Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017.

Greg Bailey’s Green Descent is a striking work featuring elongated cones creating a continuum in the shape of an arc.  Bailey comments, “I am more than halfway through my life and besides some fleeting glimpses of awakening, I remain to be a predominantly unconscious individual. I am surprised that I have not grown past being manipulated by advertisements, angered by the news, or frustrated by the people around me. My hope is that by the end of my days I can learn to be present and at peace.”

He adds, “The production of art offers opportunities for discovering unconscious motivations and rationalizations. In this way, working in the studio is a practice of introspection and clarification.”

Fox by Michael Alfano is a delightful, engaging study in realism.  The sculptor explains that he has been, “… sculpting figures, monuments, and philosophical pieces for 20 years,” and comments, “If the artist taps into a universal truth, the piece is felt by everyone like clear mountain air.” He first studied at the Art Students League of New York with an emphasis on life size sculpture and anatomy.

His formal education continued at Boston University, and was augmented by internships with several prominent sculptors. He continues his training with master classes, and occasionally teaches sculpture.  Alfano exhibits his work at galleries and other public venues, and he is a regular entrant in art shows, where he has garnered over 60 awards.  His sculptures are found in private collections throughout the world and can be seen in monuments and other public art on permanent display in the United States.  Alfano’s work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, books, and on television.

‘Fox’ by Michael Alfano is a featured piece in Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017.

The jurors for the exhibition were sculptor Gilbert V. Boro, art historian Barbara Zabel and photographer Christina Goldberg.

Boro has enjoyed an extraordinary and distinguished more than 50-year-career as a successful architect, sought-after international design consultant and an inspiring educator.  With a BFA from Duke University and post-graduate degrees from Columbia University, NYC, his work explores the interplay of space, place and scale in a wide range of media including steel, stone, wood, metal, aluminum and fiberglass.

Working in sculpture has been a compulsion rather than a possibility for Boro.  While mastering the rigors of technical competence, he developed a deep-seated passion for three-dimensional art, which continues to be the influential force behind his creations. He is both inspired and motivated by the creative freedom of sculpting, finding that abstract work is the means to fulfill his vision.  Boro’s sculptures can be found in art centers and public art venues across the US and throughout Europe; they have also been purchased by private collectors, corporations and foundations in both the US and internationally.

Sculptor Gilbert V. Boro in his studio.

Zabel is Professor Emerita of Art History at Connecticut College, where she taught modern and contemporary art.  She received her PhD at the University of Virginia and has received grants from the NEH, the Smithsonian, and the Mellon Foundation. She has written for art magazines and has published two books, the latest Calder’s Portraits, published in 2011 by the Smithsonian for the exhibition she curated at the National Portrait Gallery.

Since her retirement, Professor Zabel has taught several courses at local museums and has organized several exhibitions for the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, most recently The David Smalley Memorial Exhibition, which opens June 3 and is on view through Aug. 13.

Goldberg has worked as Exhibitions Coordinator and resident photographer for Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds for almost five years.  She is chief curator of Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017 and also photographs all the works exhibited on the sculpture grounds on a revolving basis. Additionally, she builds and designs web content for a great range of social media outlets, both for Studio 80 and external clients.

With a background in visual arts and communications from the University of Hartford Art School and Suffolk University, Goldberg’s photographs have been published extensively in numerous local print and digital venues including Coastal Connecticut magazine, Middletown Press, and Events magazine. A selection of her photographs will be on display in the coming months at Paynter Fine Art Gallery, located in the heart of Old Lyme’s Historical District.

View across Gil Boro’s Sculpture Grounds looking towards Studio 80.

This Summer Sculpture Showcase offers a unique opportunity for established sculptors to exhibit their work in a different location, while also effectively creating a new exhibition within the Sculpture Gardens.  Boro comments, “I’m delighted to be able to open my grounds to these exceptional sculptors whose work intrigues me.  Each one offers original creative thinking resulting in a combination of contrasting conceptual designs in a variety of media.  I think any visitor to the exhibition is going to be thoroughly engaged by what he or she sees – including children.”

Boro is somewhat unusual as a professional sculptor in that he loves to see folk of all ages directly interacting with his sculptures, noting that he has a strong aversion to exhibitions, “… where people can’t touch my work.”  Apart from attracting visitors to see the works on his grounds, Boro is thoroughly invested in the vibrant Old Lyme arts scene and hopes this exhibition will help cement the town as a summer destination for art-loving visitors from near and far, especially during the town’s Midsummer Festival, which this year is on Friday, July 28, and Saturday, July 29.

About Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds:  Located at 80-1 Lyme St., less than a minute from Exit 70 on I-95, the Sculpture Grounds are open 365 days a year from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.  Admission is free.  Children, field trips and group visits are all welcome. The Studio is open by appointment.  For further information, contact 860-434-5957, visit www.sculpturegrounds.com or email studio80sculpturegrounds@gmail.com

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Essex Historical Society Reopens Much Improved Hills Academy History Center

Volunteers at the newly refurbished Hills Academy History Center catalog and safeguard its historic treasures. Photo courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

ESSEX — Essex Historical Society (EHS) shines the spotlight on its historic structures in 2017, focusing its energies on setting the stage for a friendlier, community-centric approach to sharing their stories.  The Society’s library and offices at 22 Prospect St. reopen as the Hills Academy History Center on June 10.

Workers prepare for upgraded technology at Hills Academy to better serve the public. Photo courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

Improvements include outdoors land design, improved mechanicals, safety upgrades, new security systems, new research technology, painting and window repair to create a community History Center.

The Hills Academy History Center reopens June 10. Courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

Visitors who have negotiated Hills’ narrow staircase to visit the archives or conduct research will be pleasantly surprised that we are moving downstairs to the first floor!  Now, researchers and volunteers benefit from improved access at ground level to examine EHS’s frequently-used collections and visit their database via upgraded technology, funded in part through a grant from Guilford Savings Bank.

The public is welcome to join in the grand opening on Saturday, June 10, from 1 to 3 p.m.  The event is free and refreshments will be served.  Hills Academy History Center is open year-round Tuesday and Thursday mornings and by appointment.

Also that afternoon, EHS’s historic house museum, Pratt House, will participate in the statewide museum event, Connecticut Open House Day, Saturday, June 10, from 1 to 4 p.m.  Admission is free.  Both beautiful properties serve as historic resources for the entire community, helping EHS live up to its mission of Engaging and Inspiring the Community: Essex. Ivoryton. Centerbrook.  

For more information, visit www.essexhistory.org or 860-767-0681. 

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Essex Land Trust Hosts Canoe/Kayak Trip of North Cove, Falls River Today

Out on the water with Essex Land Trust.

ESSEX — The Essex Land Trust invites you to explore Essex’s North Cove and Falls River on Saturday, June 10, 2 pm, with registration starting at 1:30 p.m. Bring your own boat for an early summer kayak/canoe trip into peaceful North Cove and Falls River.

Join naturalist Phil Miller as he speaks about the abundant wildlife and history of this waterway where many of Essex’s colonial ships were built. North Cove is a 230-acre body of tidal water between the Falls River and the Connecticut River. The cove is formed in part by Great Meadow, a 200-acre “pendant bar”, or levee, along the Connecticut River. North Cove is part of the Connecticut River Estuary Canoe/Kayak Trail.

North Cove was noted for shipbuilding, with the Mack and Williams yards turning out coasting vessels in the 19th century. Empty now, Great Meadow was a beehive of activity, too. Cattle were grazed, salt hay harvested and duck hunting blinds once lined the shore. The bar was also a base for the local shad fishing industry. Great Meadow is topped by cattails and reeds while wild rice and bulrush grow at the water’s edge. Rare plants include horned pondweed and tidewater arrowhead. A well-known eagle habitat, the cove and meadow also attract ospreys, hawks, red-wing blackbirds, goldfinches and swallows.

Meet at the public boat launch, foot of Bushnell St., off of No. Main St Participants should register on site beginning at 1:30 p.m. and launch their boats prior to the 2 p.m. departure. A safety boat will accompany.  Bad weather cancels.

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Essex Public Safety Day Scheduled for Today

Firefighters demonstrate the Jaws of Life in a crash simulation.

ESSEX — The Town of Essex, Essex Fire Company and Essex Ambulance will host Essex Public Safety Day on Sunday, June 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Essex Fire Headquarters, 11 Saybrook Rd.

Activities will include:
• Jaws of Life Extrication Demos
• Lucas CPR Demos
• Quick–Clot Bandaging Table
• Burn Boxes
• Stove Fire Prop
• Walking Wounded
• Helicopter “subject to availability”
• Mobile Command Vehicle
• Lenny & Joe’s Food Truck

This is a hands-on event. Come see and experience how you can become a part of the Town of Essex First Responder team!

Rain date is scheduled for June 18.

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BLUE Exhibition Featuring Monotype Prints on View at Lori Warner Gallery

‘Blue 02’ (2017) by Lori Warner.

CHESTER — BLUE features new monotype prints by Elvira Ormaechea, Elizabeth Gourlay, Pat Smith and Lori Warner. Three artists were invited to create artwork with Lori Warner in her personal printmaking studio. Each artist created a series of prints using a variation on the color blue.

The exhibition opened May 19 and closes July 10. In addition to the opening, the artists will be present at the gallery on Saturday, June 10, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to informally discuss their work at a special gallery Open House.

Artists selected to exhibit in BLUE have various levels of printmaking experience. Elizabeth Gourlay has the most printmaking experience, creating monotypes with master printers. Gourlay’s primary medium is painting. Elvira Ormaechea printed while studying painting at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Art. Pat Smith is a sculptor. This wa

Unnamed work by Pat Smith.

s Smith’s first experience with printmaking.

In addition to their monotypes, an artwork in their primary medium will be exhibited to demonstrate the interpretation and influence of the process of printmaking.

As we all know, it’s difficult to step away from your comfort zone. The artists included in BLUE experimented with a new process, new tools and inks in an unfamiliar studio space – all with the intention of showing their work to the public. The works created for BLUE are exceptional because each piece demonstrates a rare glimpse into the artist’s unhindered interpretation of their personal vision through the revealing nature of simply working in an unfamiliar process. Allowing this creative vulnerability often marks a significant turning point for an artist. The Lori Warner Gallery is pleased to encourage this level of creativity and personal growth.

Before opening her gallery in Chester, Warner set up her printmaking studio in 2003 with award money received for excellence in printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design. Her intent was to invite artists to print, as finding access to an etching press is often difficult and expensive. BLUE is the first exhibition featuring works created by invited artists in Warner’s Hadlyme studio.

Additional information about each artist can be found on the gallery website, on Facebook, or in person at the Lori Warner Studio / Gallery in Chester, CT. Info below.

This event is free and open to the public.

Lori Warner Studio / Gallery is located at 21 Main Street in Chester, CT
For more information, call (860) 322-4265 or visit gallery@loriwarner.com, www.loriwarner.com, www.facebook.com/loriwarnergallery/

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Deep River Presents Annual, Fundraising ‘Strawberry Social,’ Today

strawberry photo

Marian Staye (left) and Gail Gallagher serve up fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream in Deep River. File photo.

DEEP RIVER – The Deep River Historical Society is holding its annual fundraising Strawberry Social on Sunday, June 11, from 2 to 4 p.m. Yes, you can expect fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream … and soft drinks are included too!  There will also be a selection of Berry Basket Surprise items available.

Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children 5 years and under. The event will include other surprises for the guests.

The event is held in the Carriage House on the grounds of the Deep River Historical Society at 245 Main Street (Rte. 154), Deep River.

For more information, contact Sue Wisner at 860.526.9103.

 

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Cappella Cantorum Presents ‘Music From Around the World,’ Today

Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus will present Music From Around the World on June 11, 3 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Old Saybrook

AREAWIDE — ‘Music From Around the World’ sung by the Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus will fill St. Paul Lutheran Church, 56 Great Hammock Rd. Old Saybrook on June 11, at 3 p.m.  The Chorus will present an extraordinary evening of great male choral music under the direction of Barry B. Asch with accompanist Deborah Lyon.

Featured selection along with their country of origin include: Sweden-Brothers, Sing On!; Wales-All Through the Night; Hebrew-Bashana Haba’ah; France-Cantique de Jean Racine; Germany-Brahms Lullaby; France-Viva L’Amour; and America: Climbin’ up the Mountain Children; Ezekiel Saw de Wheel; Johnny Cash Medley and Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen. 

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Volunteers Needed to Control Invasive Plant in Local Rivers

Water chestnut is an invasive plant that is easy for volunteers to remove & keep under control. Join CRC for upcoming volunteer events to learn about & remove this invasive plant.

AREAWIDE — There is an emerging threat to the Connecticut River and the waters within its basin that any boater, paddler, angler or property manager can help control. European water chestnut (Trapa natans) is an aquatic invasive plant that spreads rapidly, covering bodies of water with dense foliage impeding recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and swimming.

The Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC), formerly Connecticut River Watershed Council, is hosting a variety of opportunities this summer for residents to learn more and help remove this threat.

Quick and thorough action must be taken to prevent this plant from taking over because water chestnut reproduces exponentially. “The good news is that this plant is easy to identify, it reproduces only by seed, and pulls up easily,” notes Alicea Charamut, River Steward for the Connecticut River Conservancy.

She continues, “It can be managed by trained volunteers. For small to moderate infestations, no chemicals or equipment are needed other than willing volunteers in canoes, kayaks, and shallow draft boats. This work offers an opportunity for those of us who love our rivers, lakes and ponds to give back to them in a fun and easy way.”

There are two opportunities to learn to identify and report the plants. CRC hosted an information session at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex on Tuesday, June 13, and will do so again at LL Bean at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor on Friday, June 19. Both events are at 6:30 p.m. There will be a brief presentation, live plants on display, and plenty of time for questions.

Charamut is also available to give talks to groups within the Connecticut River watershed, who want to bring this information to their organization or club.

Paddlers and boaters can also help CRC manage known infestations. Five hand-pulling events are already scheduled for the floating meadows of the Mattabesset River in Middletown and Keeney Cove in Glastonbury in June and July with more to be scheduled as new infestations are reported. The work is fairly easy, a little dirty and very rewarding. Supplies are provided. Those who wish to attend need only bring their boat and PFD.

In addition, CRC is coordinating a River Sweep of the Connecticut River, its coves and ponds to scout for this invasive plant. “Because the seeds from these plants can last for up to twelve years, knowing where these plants have been found is crucial. In order to effectively control the spread of these plants we must monitor locations where they have been found each year and have as many eyes on the water as possible.” Paddling and boating groups can adopt a section of the river to scout for plants on or around Saturday, June 24.

“It will take a community of those who care coming together to help control this plant,” says Charamut. The Connecticut River Conservancy joins many partners in the effort to control water chestnut in the Connecticut River watershed. The US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Lower Connecticut River Council of Governments, Jonah Center for Earth and Art, Connecticut River Museum, and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station are all active participants working to help control this aquatic invasive plant.

More groups are encouraged to join the effort. Much of the work in the lower Connecticut River Valley here in Connecticut is possible thanks to a generous grant from the Rockfall Foundation.

For more information about education and volunteer opportunities to help control European water chestnut, visit www.ctriver.org/get-involved or contact Alicea Charamut at acharamut@ctriver.org.

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On Board the ‘Onrust,’ Famed Re-creation of Adriaen Block’s Boat Sails up Connecticut River

The ‘Onrust’ docked at Saybrook Point Inn and Spa.

ESSEX —  It was “a momentous occasion,” according to Connecticut River Museum Executive Director Chris Dobbs when a group of dignitaries and invited guests gathered to board the re-creation of Adriaen Block’s boat Onrust last Thursday (June 1.)  Dobbs pointed out that it was, “400 years ago — 403 to be precise” since the original Onrust commenced its exploration of the Connecticut River ultimately exploring it upstream to just a little further north than present-day Hartford — a distance of approximately 60 miles from Long Island Sound.

Connecticut River Museum Executive Director Chris Dobbs takes a brief break from his duties as host on board the ‘Onrust.’

While overwintering (1613-1614) in New York Bay, the Dutch explorer Block’s first ship, the Tyger (Tiger), caught fire and burned to the waterline.  Working through the frigid winter, Block built a new ship from the salvaged remnants and named it the Onrust, Dutch for ‘Restless.’

It was the first vessel built by Europeans in New York State and the first yacht built in the New World.  In 1614, Block and his crew set off to explore coastal New York, Long Island, Connecticut, and Rhode Island with the intent of developing trade partnerships with Native Americans.  During his time on the water, Block became the first known European to travel up the Connecticut River  

The re-created Onrust was launched in 2009 by The Onrust Project, an all-volunteer non-profit out of New York, which built the vessel after painstakingly researching traditional Dutch shipbuilding techniques.  

To reach the Saybrook Point Inn at Old Saybrook, Conn., where the guests boarded the ship, the Onrust followed a similar path to the one that Block took in 1614.  It departed from Kingston, N.Y., traveled to New York Bay, traversed the treacherous Hell Gate, entered Long Island Sound and sailed to the mouth of the Connecticut River. 

While preparations were made to launch, Connecticut River Museum Board Chairman Tom Wilcox told the guests now assembled on board the Onrust, “This is a most auspicious occasion,” and correctly predicted they would have, “a lovely sail.”  Despite an earlier threat of rain, the weather cooperated completely with warm temperatures and clear skies.

Steven Tagliatella, owner of the Saybrook Point Inn and Spa, addressed the guests on board the ‘Onrust.’

Another guest on board was Steven Tagliatella, owner of the Saybrook Point Inn, who spoke effusively about the upcoming trip to the Connecticut River Museum describing the Onrust as “a spectacular sight.”  He also took the opportunity to mention the new tourism coalition he has formed to promote tourism in the state, noting that the Onrust offers “a wonderful opportunity” for tourism.

Connecticut State Historian Walter Woodward speaks on the theme of ‘restlessness,’ echoing the name of the boat — ‘Onrust’ translates from the Dutch to ‘restless.’

Walter Woodward, Connecticut’s State Historian, unquestionably spoke for everyone on the boat when he said, “To be on this boat on this day is so exciting,” but then asked the guests to take themselves back in time to the spring of 1614 when Block brought the ship he had built the previous winter and named Onrust – Restless – to the mouth of the river the natives call Quinitticut.  Woodward declared that Block, “was as restless as his little vessel,” explaining, “The 47-year-old trader-explorer was anxious to make up the losses he had experienced the previous winter, when his ship the Tyger had accidentally caught fire.”

Woodward pursued the theme of ‘restlessness’ as he continued, saying, “Then as now, the word restless had many meanings … A generation of restless Europeans … both Dutch and English would come to this river, first in search of trade with the indigenous people, and soon after, in the quest for their land and resources.”

Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna (center in sunglasses) chats with a guest during the trip up the Connecticut River.

Woodward added, “Some were restless too in a godly way – troubled in mind and spirit, seeking a place to serve God as their consciences demanded.”

He also noted that, “For those already here, the arrival of the Onrust heralded a new native restlessness – first, as the indigenous people jostled with each other for control of the distribution of European trade goods … and later to fight the efforts of these insurgents to drive them from their homes.”

Jennifer White-Dobbs enjoys the glorious river views with her son (right) and a guest.

Keeping to his theme, Woodward ended with the words, “I know you are restless to get underway, so let me conclude by saying, “ It is a privilege to be here today to mark the moment in time, when Adriaen Block and his Onrust entered the river he named Fresh River, and a world-transforming era of restless change began.”

The Essex Sailing Masters of 1812 greeted the ‘Onrust’ with bright melodies in front of the Museum.

Before introducing the next speaker, Dobbs noted, “The amount of research to build this vessel was amazing,” and also that it had taken, “Around 250 people to build the Onrust.”  He explained that the Onrust will be a floating exhibit at the Museum through early October, open for dockside tours, school and Scout programs, along with public cruises and charters.

The guests vigorously waved Dutch flags as the ‘Onrust’ pulled into the Connecticut River Museum’s dock.

Dobbs then presented Emily Boucher, who brought a message from Senator Chris Murphy, which she read aloud to the guests on the Onrust.  In the message, Murphy expressed the wish that he could join everyone on the trip, and noted he was pleased with the financial assistance the state had given the Museum which, “was going to allow it [the Museum] to not float away.”

A crew member prepares to fire the cannon to announce the boat’s arrival at the Connecticut River Museum.

Finally the Onrust departed from Saybrook Point inn and sailed serenely up the Connecticut River offering spectacular views in all directions. As the three-man crew prepared for arrival at the Museum during the first hour of the popular RiverFare event, one crew member fired a celebratory cannon.  Meanwhile, Essex’s very own Sailing Masters of 1812 provided a cheery, musical fanfare as the historic vessel approached the Museum’s dock. 

It was indeed a wonderful and “momentous” trip!

For more information on the Connecticut River Museum and the Onrust, visit the Museum’s website.  The Museum extends special thanks to Saybrook Point Inn, Marina & Spa, Essex Meadows, the Sailing Masters of 1812, and The Onrust Project for their efforts in arranging the vessel’s arrival. 

The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street in Essex and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum, located in the historic Steamboat Dock building, offers exhibits and programs about the history and environment of the Connecticut River. For a full listing of Museum programs or to buy tickets for the Onrust, RiverFare, and many other events go to www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.

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Letter From Paris: (Old Hand) Putin Meets (New Kid) Macron With Surprising Results

Nicole Prévost Logan

The hour-long press conference held jointly by long-standing Russian President Putin and newly-elected French President Macron in the Palace of Versailles on May 29, was a spectacle not to be missed.

Vladimir Putin

Emmanuel Macron

Putin had been absent from the high-powered week during which US President Donald Trump met with heads of state at the new NATO headquarters in Brussels and at the G7 summit in Taormina, Sicily. Macron seized an opportunity to invite the Russian president. The timing, location and format of the encounter of the two presidents were a smart move on the part of Macron.

He was not organizing a “state visit” – lest he offended Angela Merkel – but asking the Russian leader to be present at the inauguration of an exhibit marking the 300th anniversary of the visit of Tzar Peter the Great to France. The two presidents met in the grandiose 17th century palace of the French monarchs. Putin would probably find similarities between the ornate rooms and his elegant home town of St. Petersburg.

The visit was organized under the sign of culture and meant to revive the historical ties between the two countries. Macron mentioned how much Peter the Great had wanted to open up his country to the West and learn about its military architecture, crafts, and sciences. Putin contributed proudly an even earlier historical fact – the marriage at Queen Ann of Kiev, daughter of Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise, to French King Henry I, in 1051.

During the press conference, the supposedly “novice” French president appeared self-assured, and totally in charge of the proceedings. He described how he envisaged cooperation with Russia. His road map for Syria was to guarantee humanitarian aid to the population and emphasize that the use of chemical weapons would constitute a red line that would be met with an immediate response from France.

Macron added that failed states lead to chaos. Hence the necessity to keep Bachar el Assad until ISIS is eradicated. In Ukraine, he stressed that an agreement should be reached within the framework of the Minsk accord. The objective there is both to stop progression of the spheres of influence of Russia in the region and the escalation of violence. He did not say the word ‘Crimea,’ however, implying that its return to the Ukraine was not on the agenda.

In his statement, Macron declared that during their three-hour-long conversation they covered all topics, including areas of disagreement. As he mentioned the treatment of homosexuals and transgenders in Chechnia, he turned toward Putin and told him to his face, “We will monitor the progress you make in that area.”

During his talk, Putin looked fidgety, ill-at-ease, squirming, and with shifty eyes. He mumbled his comments. He did say though that he would be ready to engage in a dialogue. Then, turning toward the audience of international media, he almost pleaded with them, saying, “You have to convince public opinion that the sanctions are stifling Russia. Tell the world they have to be lifted.”

French journalists raised questions about the spread of fake news on the social networks and in magazines like Sputnik and Russia Today intended to destabilize the leader of the En Marche movement during the campaign. Macron retorted that those people are not journalists and will not be treated as such.

Journalists also asked what the French government was going to do about the hacking of 70,000 documents belonging to then-candidate Macron 40 hours before the first round of the vote. Macron responded that he was not going to dwell on those events, adding, “What I want to do is to move on.”

From the exchanges between the two protagonists, it was clear that Macron was in control of the situation. His message was clear and direct. The days when Putin disregarded the EU as being too weak were now over. The power dynamic was the correct one for Macron to use and Putin understood that.

This was a textbook situation where the two protagonists, although not liking each other, could work out a resolution from which both could profit. Since 1990, Putin — a major player behind the war in Syria — has been shattered by the implosion of the Russian empire. Moreover, since sanctions are hurting his country severely, the give and take of negotiation is therefore possible.

Now, we can only hope that effective action will match the quality of this performance by Macron.

Editor’s Notes:
i) This is the opinion of Nicole Prévost Logan.
ii) Nicole is, in fact, now back in Essex, but events in France are currently moving so fast that she’s continuing to write for us from this side of the Atlantic in an effort to keep readers over here up to date.  Merci, Nicole!

Nicole Prévost Logan

About the author: Nicole Prévost Logan divides her time between Essex and Paris, spending summers in the former and winters in the latter. She writes a regular column for us from her Paris home where her topics will include politics, economy, social unrest — mostly in France — but also in other European countries. She also covers a variety of art exhibits and the performing arts in Europe. Logan is the author of ‘Forever on the Road: A Franco-American Family’s Thirty Years in the Foreign Service,’ an autobiography of her life as the wife of an overseas diplomat, who lived in 10 foreign countries on three continents. Her experiences during her foreign service life included being in Lebanon when civil war erupted, excavating a medieval city in Moscow and spending a week under house arrest in Guinea.

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CT State Supreme Court Justice Richard Palmer to Speak on Journey to Same-Sex Marriage Equality, June 21


DEEP RIVER –
On June 21, Connecticut Supreme Court Associate Justice Richard Palmer will discuss the legal battle for same-sex marriage in Connecticut at an event hosted by The Valley Stands Up.

Justice Palmer authored the majority opinion in Connecticut’s 2008 decision to permit gay marriage, which was followed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states in 2015.

The event, “Equal Love: Celebrating Connecticut’s Journey to Equality in Marriage,” will be held on Wednesday, June 21, from 6:30-8:00 PM in the Deep River Library Community Room, 150 Main Street (Rt. 154).

Following Justice Palmer’s talk, the community is invited to share stories of what this ruling has meant for their own lives and to reflect on the ongoing struggle for LGBTQ rights in our communities, state, and country.

Palmer, a graduate of Wethersfield High School, earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Connecticut Law School. He has served in private practice and as a U.S. Attorney for Connecticut. In 1993, he was sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, where he continues to serve.

Justice Palmer has served on numerous boards and committees including the Criminal Justice Commission, Appellate Rules Committee, Justice Education Center, and Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. He has also been an adjunct faculty at Yale and Quinnipiac University, and is the recipient of many awards including the 2015 Judicial Recognition Award of the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

For further information on Justice Palmer’s biography, visit https://www.jud.ct.gov/external/supapp/justice6.html

The Valley Stands Up is an independent civic group created to unite our diverse communities in the Lower Connecticut River Valley through outreach, organizing, and advocacy to support the dignity and human rights for all.

Visit The Valley Stands Up on Facebook or https://thevalleystandsup.org/

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Tonight, CT Valley Camera Club Hosts Director of Photography from ‘The Day’

A well-known photo by Sean Elliot, who will speak at the Connecticut Valley Camera Club, Monday, June 5.

AREAWIDE — The June 5 meeting of the Connecticut Valley Camera Club (CVCC) will feature a presentation by Sean Elliot, Director of Photography at The Day in New London, Conn.  The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Lyme’s Senior Center, 26 Town Woods Rd., Old Lyme, Conn.

In addition to overseeing The Day’s staff of visual journalists, Elliot retains responsibilities as a photographer, documenting life in southeastern Connecticut. He started his career at The Day as the paper’s Digital Imaging Technician (a position now titled: night photo editor) in 1993. He was hired as a staff photographer in 1994 and became Chief Photographer in 2002 and was named Director of Photography in 2016. Prior to The Day, Eliot had internships in Lima, Ohio and Brigeport, Conn.

Elliot was born in Norwalk, Connecticut but raised in Eugene, Oregon. He returned to New England where he graduated from the Boston University College of Communications with a degree in journalism.

He has won numerous awards from the National Press Photographers Association Region One, New England Associated Press News Executives Association, Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists and the New England Press Association (NEPA). In 1994 he was the NEPA Rookie of the Year and in 2000, the NEPA Photographer of the Year. In 2007 he was given the Community Photojournalism award by the New England Society of Newspaper Editors. He has served on the board of the National Press Photographers Association, including two terms as that association’s President and chairs the NPPA Ethics Committee.

You can also follow him on Twitter @seandelliot and on Instagram @sdelliot

The Connecticut Valley Camera Club is dedicated to offering its membership the opportunity to become better photographers.  We offer a variety of presentations and interactive workshops to help our members expand their technical and creative skills.  We welcome photographers of all levels of experience.  The club draws members up and down the river, from Middletown to Old Saybrook;  from East Hampton to Old Lyme;  and along the shoreline from Guilford to Gales Ferry.

For more information, visit the club’s website.  CVCC meeting dates, speakers / topics and other notices are also published on the club’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/CTValleyCameraClubPage/

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Learn Legends of the Lower CT River Valley at Essex Library, Aug. 3

Professor Steven Gencarella discusses folklore legends at Essex Library, Aug. 3.

ESSEX — The Connecticut River Valley has been an important site for storytelling ever since humans arrived here. In his talk at the Essex Library on Thursday, Aug. 3, at 7 p.m., Professor Stephen Gencarella will tell and discuss many legends and other folk narratives of the lower Connecticut River Valley.

He will address some of the best known examples such as the Moodus Noises and Lady Fenwick; revive a few long-forgotten ones such as Obed’s Altar and the mystery of the Selden Island lotus; and even discuss an important (and recently discovered) ghost story centered in Essex.

Professor Gencarella is currently at work in developing an exhibit with the River Museum and will welcome audience members to share their stories as well.

Stephen Gencarella is a professor of folklore studies at UMass Amherst and is the resident folklorist at the Connecticut River Museum. He was featured in the June 2017 Connecticut Magazine in an article entitled “The Moodus Noises” (pg. 35), and is also developing a series on Connecticut folklore for iCRV.

This program is free and open to the public. Call the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560 for more information and to register. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Ave. in Essex.

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Enjoy Essex Rotary’s Annual Shad Bake at CT River Museum Today

Shad planked and baking in front of the fire similar to the way local Native Americans would have done it centuries ago

ESSEX — One of our State’s great culinary customs returns to the Connecticut River Museum with the 2017 Essex Annual Shad Bake, which will be held Saturday, June 3, from 3 to 6 p.m.  For 59 years, the Rotary Club of Essex has been proudly holding this annual rite of spring, nailing delicious American shad onto oak planks and roasting them around a large bonfire.  Share this wonderful Connecticut tradition with your family and friends.

This year’s Bake is made possible through the generous support of Guilford Savings Bank and AJ Shea Construction.  Additional support comes from The JECM Foundation, Norman Needleman & Jacqueline Hubbard, Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services, Middlesex Hospital and many other sponsors.

This year’s Shad Bake will take place while the Connecticut River Museum’s feature exhibit, Connecticut’s Founding Fish, is on view. This new Museum exhibit focuses on the history and lifecycle of this important fish that helped shape our region.

The Museum’s executive director, Christopher Dobbs said “We are pleased to host and partner with the Rotary Club of Essex on this iconic event that celebrates part of the Connecticut River’s heritage and supports the many worthwhile projects of Rotary and Museum.”

Preparing Shad – Rotary Club of Essex volunteers prepare shad the traditional way by nailing them onto oak boards and using a specially prepared rub.

This volunteer-run event has been organized by the Rotary Club of Essex and is coordinated by Bake Master Joseph Shea. Shea stated that “We offer one of the most unique culinary traditions in New England and now we are merging it with one of the most majestic and historic locations. It is a winning combination!”

A variety of activities are taking place throughout the afternoon. Join seasoned Shad Bake pioneers for a story from shad bakes of yesteryear including the year of the big flood.  The Shad Museum in Haddam and the Connecticut River Museum will also offer programs on the history and traditions of the shad fishery.  The Museum’s authentic Connecticut River shad boat, Alva Starr, will be on display throughout the afternoon.

For shad lovers, the lure is the secret ingredients and the authentic method of preparing and baking the fish which has been handed down through generations of Connecticut natives.  Nailed onto oak planks with salt pork and placed in front of the bonfire, the fish picks up the smoky flavor of the fire and the seasoned oak boards on which it is baked. Add to this delicacy homemade potato salad, tossed green salad, and pie from Lyman Orchards and your shad experience is complete.

Don’t care for shad?  Grilled chicken and hot dogs are also available!  In addition to the food, participants will be able to enjoy live music and touring the Museum, which will be open until 6 pm.  The vibrant atmosphere is enhanced with picnickers and the delicious smell of shad baking around the open fire.

Buy your tickets today!  The $30 adult (Shad or Chicken dinner option) and $10 child (12 and under) ticket includes the full meal and admission to the Museum.  Tickets will be an additional $5 on the day of the event. Beer, wine and soda will be available for purchase with a valid ID.  Freshly shucked clams and oysters will also be available at an additional price beginning at 3:00 pm. No carry-in alcohol will be permitted.

To purchase tickets, visit shop.ctrivermuseum.org or buy them in person at the Centerbrook Package Store or the Connecticut River Museum.  On-site and street parking at the Connecticut River Museum is limited.  On the day of the event, a free shuttle will be running between the Museum and the Essex Town Hall parking lot.

The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street and is open 10 am to 5 pm, closed Mondays until after Memorial Day. The Museum, located in the historic Steamboat Dock building, offers exhibits and programs about the history and environment of the Connecticut River. For a full listing of Museum programs and events, go to www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.

The Rotary Club of Essex is the local chapter of Rotary International whose membership is made up of service minded professionals.  The club and its members are committed to improving the community, connecting with other professionals, sharing their time and experience with the young, supporting global causes, and using their skills to help others.  For more information about the Shad Bake and Rotary Club visit http://www.rotaryclubofessex.com.

Representative from the two lead sponsors, Bake Master Joseph Shea of AJ Shea Construction, and David Carswell Branch Manager of Guildford Savings Bank join Connecticut River Museum Executive Director Chris Dobbs to celebrate the upcoming Shad Bake.

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