December 13, 2017

Archives for August 2017

Final Days to See ‘Saturday Night Fever’ at Ivoryton Playhouse

Michael Notardonato plays ‘disco king wannabe’ Tony.

IVORYTON — Put on your “Boogie Shoes” and get ready for Saturday Night Fever, one of the most loved dance stories of all time at Ivoryton Playhouse.

The year is 1979 and in Brooklyn, New York, Tony Manero, a young man with a dead-end job and an extraordinary ability to dance, has only one ambition in life … to become the disco king. When he meets Stephanie, who also dreams of a world beyond Brooklyn, they decide to train together for a dance competition and their lives begin to change forever.

Based on the 1977 film that became a cultural phenomenon, the electrifying score is packed with legendary hits from the Bee Gees including the classics: “Stayin’ Alive,” “Night Fever,” “Jive Talking,” “You Should Be Dancing” and “How Deep is Your Love?”

Caroline Lellouche plays aspiring dancer Stephanie.

Originally based on Nik Cohn’s 1975 New York Magazine article, “Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night,” this stage adaptation premiered in the West End in 1998 at the London Palladium, and then at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre Oct. 21, 1999, playing 27 previews and 501 regular performances before closing Dec. 30, 2000.

Almost all of the songs from the original movie sound track are included in the stage musical. The album remained 24 weeks on the top of the U.S. album charts and stayed until March 1980 on the charts. In the UK, the album also achieved first place for 18 weeks and is one of the most successful movie sound tracks ever. In 1979, it won a Grammy as Album of the Year. In 2003 it reached #131 of Rolling Stone’s “500 best albums of all time”.

The production stars Michael Notardonato* as Tony and Caroline Lellouche* as Stephanie. Lellouche was seen last year in Ivoryton’s production of Chicago. Notardonato is reprising the role of Tony, which he has performed twice previously to critical acclaim.

The production is directed and choreographed by Todd Underwood and musical directed by Mike Morris, with set design by Martin Marchitto, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Lisa Bebey.

Be advised that Saturday Night Fever, in similar fashion to the movie, contains adult language and situations.

Saturday Night Fever opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse Aug. 9 and runs through Sept. 3. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Additional matinee performances on Saturday, Aug. 19, at 2 p.m. and Sept. 2, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $50 for adults; $45 for seniors; $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting www.ivorytonplayhouse.org

(Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

Photographs courtesy of Ivoryton Playhouse

*denotes member of Actors Equity

Share

Glenn Close to Receive 2nd Annual Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award at Tonight’s Annual Gala


OLD SAYBROOK —
Acclaimed actress Glenn Close has been named the recipient of the 2nd annual Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award. The award, given by the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, is bestowed yearly upon an individual who embodies the spirit, independence, and character of the legendary actress.

The award will be presented to Close at the organization’s annual Summer Gala on Saturday, Aug. 26.

Close has been nominated for six Academy Awards, won three Tonys and three Emmys, and advocates for mental health issues.  She made her feature film debut in The World According to Garp, for which she received an Oscar nomination. She was subsequently Oscar-nominated for The Big Chill, The Natural, Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons and Albert Nobbs.  For the latter, she was also a producer, co-wrote the screenplay and composed the lyrics for the Golden Globe nominated theme song, “Lay Your Head Down.”

Close won two consecutive Emmys along with a Golden Globe Award, and three SAG nominations for her portrayal of ‘Patty Hewes’ on Damages. She won a third Emmy for her title role performance in Serving in Silence: the Margarethe Cammermeyer Story (for which she also received a Peabody Award as executive producer).

In 1974, Close made her professional, theatre, and Broadway debut in The Phoenix Theatre’s Love for Love, directed by Harold Prince. Over her forty-three year career, she has always returned to the theater, receiving Tony Awards for Death and the Maiden, The Real Thing and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Sunset Boulevard, as well as an Obie Award for The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs. Last spring, Close made her London-West End debut in a new production of Sunset Boulevard, for which she won a London Evening Standard Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award. She is presently starring, to great acclaim, in that same production, on Broadway.

Close’s decision to join the acting profession in part stems from viewing one of the most famous and first ever television interviews with Katharine Hepburn, conducted by Dick Cavett, the inaugural Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award Winner.  Hepburn became an inspiration to Close and Hepburn welcomed this role, finding small ways to support Close through communications and appearances at events honoring Close.

The Aug. 26 Gala at the Kate will take place on the historic Old Saybrook Town Green. The event begins at 6 pm with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails under the tent.  Dinner and dessert by Max Catering will be complemented by live and silent auctions as well as remarks celebrating Close and another tremendous year of arts and culture at “The Kate.“ The Kate will then turn the party up a notch, filling the dance floor with current tunes and crowd favorites and dancers/instructors from the Fred Astaire – Old Saybrook Dance Studio will perform and join the party.

During the event, Close will receive the award, a graceful statuette sculpted in the likeness of Hepburn by Kimberly Monson, an artist and faculty member of the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts.

Numerous sponsorship levels are available, which include a variety of benefits, visibility, and the possibility to meet and greet with Close. The event’s top sponsor may participate in the awarding of the Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award to Close.

Visit http://thekate.org/events/2017KateGala/ for sponsorship details or to purchase tickets.  For more information contact Dana Foster at dana.foster@thekate.org

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is a non-profit performing arts organization located in an historic theatre/town hall on Main Street in Old Saybrook. Originally opened in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Center has been renovated with public funds from the Town of Old Saybrook and donations raised by the Trustees of the Center. It includes a 250-seat theatre and a small museum honoring Katharine Hepburn, Old Saybrook’s most celebrated resident. As befits an organization born of such a public/private partnership, programming is eclectic, offering something for all ages and income levels on the Connecticut shore and in the lower river valley.

Share

Essex Zoning Gives Unanimous Approval to Proposed Waterfront Marina, Restaurant

Rendering of the Essex Boat Works – Carlson Landing Building

ESSEX — Essex Boat Works, LLC and Carlson Landing LLC received a unanimous vote of approval on the proposed application for the Carlson Landing Project at the Essex Town Zoning Commission Meeting held on Monday, Aug. 21.

At the meeting, three applications were approved:  an application for a Special Exception to construct a new building for marina and accessory restaurant along with accessory site work; an application for Special Exception to allow a restaurant as an accessory use as a marina located at a lot known as Assessor’s Map 47, Lot 21-1, Main Street, Essex; an application for Coastal Area Management site plan review for vacant property known as Assessors Map 47, Lot 21-1.

Diana Gregory, Controller at Essex Boat Works, commented, “The approval of the Carlson Landing, LLC project confirms the vision that we and our community members have for our town.  We are grateful for all of the support that we have received from our community and look forward to sharing our new waterfront marina and restaurant with our local residents and visitors from out of town.  We thank the Essex Zoning Commission for their work and cooperation with the many partners on the project to ensure the application met the requirements of the town.”

Christopher Dobbs, Executive Director of the Connecticut River Museum, added, “The Museum is pleased to have a new neighbor.  We feel that many of our concerns were addressed throughout the public hearing processes and look forward to working with Essex Boat Works in the future.”

A.J. Shea Construction of Essex, CT has been contracted for the Carlson Landing project and expects to break ground in the coming month upon the final written approval and as permitting allows.  The 7000 square foot, two-story marina/office building and restaurant is the first restaurant to be developed on the Essex waterfront in over 20 years.   The restaurant, accessed by Main Street will feature waterfront indoor and outdoor dining with an occupancy of 55.

Share

Essex Corinthian YC Supports Leukemia Cup Regatta This Weekend


ESSEX –
The Essex Corinthian Yacht Club is proud to join Duck Island Yacht Club, North Cove Yacht Club and Brewer Pilot’s Point Marina in supporting the 2017 Leukemia Cup Regatta in Eastern Long Island Sound.

The annual Leukemia Cup Regatta will be held on Aug. 25 and 26, consisting of a Skippers Meeting and cocktail reception on Friday, Aug. 25 at 6 p.m. at the North Cove Yacht Club in Old Saybrook, followed by the regatta in Eastern Long Island Sound on Saturday, Aug. 26, concluding with a post-race party with live music at Brewer Pilot’s Point Marina that same evening.

The Leukemia Cup Regatta is the perfect way to combine the joy of sailing and raising funds for the lifesaving work of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Sailors who enter their boats in the regatta are eligible to win great prizes, including a chance to participate in the Fantasy Sail in Annapolis this coming fall with Gary Jobson.

Jobson is the National Leukemia Cup Chairman, as well as being a world-renowned America’s Cup sailor and sports commentator. He became chairman in 1993, and 10 years later, was diagnosed with lymphoma. In his own words he “became a beneficiary of the research advances I had helped support”, and is cancer-free today.

The Leukemia Cup Regatta is an important event in support of blood cancer research, as well as all related areas of assistance for patients and their families.

The post-race party is open to the interested public: everyone, no matter whether you are a sailor or not, is invited to attend and find out more on how we can help support the lifesaving work of LLS. Party tickets are available online.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the Leukemia Cup, refer to the contact information below.

For more information, to register for the 2017 Connecticut Leukemia Cup Regatta on Aug. 26, or to purchase tickets to the Post-Race Party at Brewer Pilot’s Point Marina in Westbrook, visit: www.leukemiacup.org/ct or email: mailto:leukemiacup2017@essexcorinthian.org

Share

Middlesex Hospice & Palliative Care Seeks New Volunteers

AREAWIDE — At Middlesex Hospice and Palliative Care, volunteers are an integral part of the interdisciplinary team, reaching out to patients and families as they cope with the challenges of terminal illness. Volunteers are eligible to begin after completing 12 hours of classes and a 12-hour mentorship on our inpatient hospice unit.

Training is held on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and at the same time on Oct. 28. Both sessions are mandatory. The program is especially in need of male volunteers and Veterans.

The unit is specifically looking for individuals who would like to work in homecare and nursing homes visiting patients.

For more information and to begin the application process, contact Jackie Thurnauer Orlowski, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, at (860) 358-6955 or jaclyn.thurnauer@midhosp.org, at your earliest convenience.

Share

Legal News You Can Use: Proving Negligence in a Car Accident Case

Photo by Samuel Foster on Unsplash

SPONSORED POST: To recover compensation in a car accident case, a plaintiff must satisfy the required elements of a negligence claim: duty, breach, causation and damages. Specifically, the plaintiff must persuade the jury that the defendant breached his or her duty of care, resulting in injury, by a preponderance of the evidence standard.

Element Two: Breach of Duty

As we discussed in a recent post, every licensed driver has a duty of care to operate his or her vehicle in a responsible manner. That duty includes abiding by traffic laws and paying attention to traffic and road conditions. Thus, the most contested element of a car accident case is usually not whether a duty existed, but whether the defendant driver’s actions breached that duty.

Types of Evidence in a Car Accident Claim

A plaintiff may use both direct and circumstantial evidence in a car accident case. Thanks to technology, there may be direct evidence of a defendant driver’s actions. For example, street cameras may have recorded the driver running a stop sign or red light. If a crash victim suspects that the other driver was texting behind the wheel, a subpoena to the driver’s cell phone carrier may confirm that suspicion. Many newer motor vehicles also contain an Event Data Recorder (EDR), or “black box,” which may have recorded speed and braking patters immediately before the collision.

Creating a Trial Narrative With Expert Testimony

Suisman Shapiro also has established relationships with accident reconstruction specialists. These professionals may offer testimony that interprets circumstantial evidence, such as skid marks, vehicle resting positions, EDR data, and the driver’s memories immediately before the crash. However, none of this evidence may be apparent without the skilled investigative efforts of a personal injury attorney.

The Law Firm of Suisman Shapiro focuses on this area of the law.

Source: Washington Post, “Study on drug-impaired driving gets pushback — from other safety advocates,” Fredrick Kunkle, May 1, 2017

Share

A la Carte: When it’s Humid and Hot, Salmorejo Hits the Spot

Salmorejo

Yes, it has been humid and hot, hot, hot.

Usually at this point in August, I am sort of done with the beach. Last Saturday I went out to dinner with friends and to see a movie (“Wind River” is terrific. Don’t miss it.). Because we  had decided to go to see the movie in Mystic, although it is not our favorite destination cinema hall (don’t like the recliners that don’t “recline” our legs), we had wine at my condo before the movie.

Nancy mentioned that I was pretty tan and had I been at the beach that afternoon. “No,” I explained, “this was pretty much left over from my four days at the New Jersey shore. Anyway, it was too hot to go to the beach,.”

As September begins to beckon, I think about cooking. Sure, I cook during the summer, but I grill meats, vegetables and desserts on my Weber, prepping salad and eating inside. Of course, produce is gorgeous this time of year and, finally, there are tomatoes.

Last week I stopped at Becky’s in Waterford and bought tomatoes, beets and a pint of those yellow cherry tomatoes. Maybe they are called Sun Gold. In any case, I ate the full pint by the time I got off I-95.

Last night I looked over my new issue of Food & Wine, the issue about Spain. I looked up the recipes and found one for a tomato soup. It sounded divine. I had enough tomatoes to double the recipe. It should be served cold. I love cold soup, especially when the weather is still sticky and hot, so I would happily eat it for a couple of days. And the recipe uses no heat, just a blender.

Salmorejo

From Food & Wine, September, 2017

Yield: serves 4

2 and one-half pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, cored and chopped
One-half pound rustic white bread, crust removed, cubed (2 and one-half cups)
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
One-quarter cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving, if you like
Kosher salt
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
One-half cup chopped serrano ham (prosciutto will do nicely)

In a blender, puree the chopped tomatoes with the bread, garlic, vinegar and one-half cup of water at high speed until very smooth. about 1 minute. With the blender on, drizzle in the one-quarter cup of oil until incorporated. Season with salt, Cover and refrigerate until the soup is cold, at least 30 minutes.

Divide the soup among 4 bowls. Garnish with chopped eggs and ham, then drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Make ahead: The soup can be refrigerated for up; to 2 days.

Share

OS Library Hosts Ann Nyberg to Discuss Her Book on Katharine Hepburn at OS Library, 11am Today

OLD SAYBROOK — Ann Nyberg, author and Emmy nominated WTNH-TV anchor and reporter, hosts a conversation about her recently published book, “Remembering Katharine Hepburn: Stories of Wit and Wisdom About America’s Leading Lady” at Acton Public Library in Old Saybrook on Tuesday, Aug. 22, at 11 a.m.

Nyberg is a founding member and the Vice President of the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (The Kate) also in Old Saybrook.  Her book reflects the life of Miss Hepburn “through personal remembrances from the people whose lives she influenced.”

Nyberg’s zest and zeal for all things Connecticut and Kate will make this a captivating conversation.

Ann Nyberg

For more about Nyberg and her work, visit her popular website “Network Connecticut.”

This program is free and open to the public but registration is strongly recommended.

Nyberg will sign copies of “Remembering Katharine Hepburn,” which will be available for sale.

Share

‘Rock Solid Alibi’ Give Final Concert in ‘Rhythm by the Rails’ Series at Essex Steam Train, Wednesday

‘Rock Solid Alibi’ will play the final concert in the ‘Rhythm by the Rails’ series at the Essex Steam Train location.

ESSEX — There’s “Rhythm by the Rails” this Wednesday, August 23 at 6:30 p.m., as Essex Steam Train and Riverboat presents their final concert of the summer lawn concert series at the Essex Steam Train. Bring your blanket or lawn chair and cooler and come enjoy the music of Rock Solid Alibi who will play music from the 60s,70s, 80s, and 90s.  Admission is free.

This event will be held rain or shine.  The concert will be moved indoors to River Valley Junction if it rains. 

Food will be available at the Trackside Café for the duration of the show at 1 Railroad Ave., Essex, CT.

Follow signs for parking in main lot.

Share

Painting Party for Alzheimer’s Research to be Held This Afternoon at Chester Village West

CHESTER — Love to paint in a fun group setting? Want to support critical Alzheimer’s research?

Join the Chester Village West independent seniors’ community to paint for this cause on Monday, Aug. 21, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. With guidance from award-winning local artist Gloria Nilsson, participants will paint a beautiful floral arrangement. Light refreshments will be served.

Per-person donation for the event is $35; proceeds will support the Alzheimer’s Association of Connecticut. Seating is limited. Call (860) 526-6010 to reserve your space. Chester Village West is located at 317 W. Main St., Chester, Conn. 06412.

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.

Share

Last Day to Enjoy 116th Hamburg Fair; See the ‘Ox Pull’ at 9am

The carousel is always a popular attraction.

LYME — Midway Carnival rides, animal exhibits, food concessions, pony rides, oxen-pull, crafts, kids games and top local musicians are among the favorite attractions for visitors attending the annual Hamburg Fair, now celebrating its 116th year.  Hosted by The Lyme Grange, the fair takes place rain or shine Friday Aug. 18, 5 to 10:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 19, 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 209 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 1 Sterling City Rd., Lyme, Conn. (located at the intersection of Rte. 156 and across from Reynolds’ Subaru.)

General admission to the fair is $7 per person, children up to age 12 are free.   Senior Citizens and Active Service men and women $5 per person (ID required).  Tickets are available for purchase at the entrance and free parking is offered on and nearby the site.

The three-day, family-friendly fair showcases many agricultural fair traditions including entries and exhibits for farm, animal, crafts, fruits, vegetables and more.  The intimate size of the fair makes for easy navigation, parking and crowd control.

Young fairgoers will enjoy children’s games offered on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., which will include a watermelon-eating contest, face-painting, three-legged race and prize winning contests.  Visitors are invited to watch the traditional pony- and horse-pulls on Saturday at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. and the oxen-pull on Sunday morning at 9 a.m.

Free on-stage music talent and entertainment is a growing Hamburg Fair highlight.  From country to pop, fiddlers to funk, there is something for everyone who enjoys live music.  The fair kicks off Friday evening music with performances in the amphitheater from country music favorites Katie Perkins and Branded.

See many local young artists hosted by Music Now and Nightingale’s Showcase on Saturday afternoon including; Connected, Sophie Spaner, Jake Kulak and Braiden Sunshine.  Saturday evening features local headliners Plywood Cowboy followed by Shiny Lapel Trio.  Sunday afternoon concludes with the tradition of bluegrass and fiddling by Eight Mile River Band and the Old Time Fiddlers.

The full music entertainment line-up is as follows:

Friday

  • 6:00-8:00pm: Katie Perkins
  • 8:30-10:30pm: Branded

Saturday

  • 1:00pm -5:45pm: Music Now/Nightingale’s Showcase – Up and coming local talent
    • 1:00-1:10: Rossi Sisters
    • 1:20-1:40: Galen Donovan
    • 1:45- 2:05: Chris Gregor
    • 2:10-2:30: Ciara Klimaszewski
    • 2:35-2:55: Chloe Morgan
    • 3:00-3:20: Sophie Spaner
    • 3:25-3:45: Greta Stroebel
    • 3:55-4:30: Conn3cted
    • 4:45-5:45: Jake Kulak and the Lowdown with special guest  Braiden Sunshine
  • 6:00-8:00pm: Plywood Cowboy
  • 8:30- 10:30pm: Shiny Lapel Trio

Sunday

  • 12:00-1:30pm: BlueGrass Duo
  • 1:45-3:00pm: Eight Mile River Band
  • 3:00-6:00pm: The Old Time Fiddlers

Each year the Hamburg Fair honors a cherished community member.  The 116th Hamburg Fair is dedicated in memory of Marita Knutson Rand, who proudly supported her community as a member and secretary of the Lyme Grange #147 and served as Hamburg Fair Committee Chairman and gatekeeper for over 30 years.  Knutson Rand was well known in the community through her involvement in Lyme Girl Scouts, Sunday school teaching at the First Congregational Church of Lyme, American Legion Auxiliary, Lymes’ General Store as a partner and Old Lyme Pharmacy Gift as shop manager for 35 years.

Highlighted sponsors of the Hamburg Fair include Reynolds’ Subaru, Hamilton Point Investments, GeoMatrix, Essex Savings Bank, Connected Systems, Guilford Savings Bank, Bogaert Construction, Middlesex Hospital, Lyme Public Hall Association, Wind River Environmental, Maddy Mattson Coldwell Banker, Block Design Build, Sapia Builders, Ring’s End, New England Power Equipment and Tiffany Built.

Visit www.hamburgfair.org for fair schedule, exhibit entry, and more information.  The 116th Hamburg Fair is hosted by Lyme Grange #147 and organized by many local volunteers to build community relationships and create lasting family memories.

Share

Public Invited to Explore I-Park This Afternoon at Free Open Studios Event


East Haddam 
— The public is invited to explore the grounds of I-Park and meet this month’s resident artists at a free Open Studios on Sunday, Aug. 20, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the I-Park campus in East Haddam.

The 450-acre artists’ retreat is generally closed to visitors to give the resident artists undisturbed time to work on their creative endeavors. But once a month, at the conclusion of each four-week residency, visitors are invited to meet the artists in their studios, attend a presentation featuring some of their work, enjoy complimentary refreshments, and stroll some of the trails winding through I-Park’s bucolic, art-filled campus.

Studios will only be open from 2 to 3:30 p.m., so guests are advised to arrive early so they have enough time to visit all six studios before the 3:30 p.m. presentation. A reception follows, with refreshments courtesy of On the Rocks restaurant.

  • Lindsey Drager, Michigan: Creative Writing
  • Azita Moradkhani, Massachusetts/Iran: Visual Arts
  • Anna Louise Richardson, Australia: Visual Arts
  • Harry Stafylakis, New York: Music Composition/Sound Art
  • Octavio Vazquez, New York/Spain: Music Composition/Sound Art
  • Senbo Yang, California/China: Landscape/Ecological Design

Admission to Open Studios is free, but visitors are encouraged to make reservations in advance by going to i-park.org and clicking on the events tab.

For additional information, write events@i-park.org or call 860-873-2468.

I-­Park is an artists-in-residence program offering fully-funded, four-week residencies in visual arts, architecture, moving image, music composition/sound art, creative writing and landscape/ecological design. Since its founding in 2001, I-­Park has sponsored more than 800 residencies, and has developed cross-­disciplinary projects of cultural significance and brought them into the public domain.

I-­Park’s 450-acre campus encourages dialogue between the natural and built environments, and has been the setting for exhibitions, performances, symposia, and programs that facilitate artistic collaboration.

For more information, visit i-­park.org.

Share

Big Band Event at Brewers Essex Island Marina Today Benefits Local Charities

Bob Hughes plays his saxophone on the dock at Brewers Essex Island Marina.

ESSEX — Saxophonist and band leader Bob Hughes is inspired by views of the Connecticut River at Brewers Essex Island Marina, where he and his 16-piece orchestra, “The Bob Hughes Big Band,” are scheduled to perform on Sunday, Aug. 20, from 5 to 8 p.m.  Billed as an “Island Swing,” the fundraising event is sponsored by the Essex Council of the Knights of Columbus of Our Lady of Sorrows Church.

The Bob Hughes Big Band will present a fundraising ‘Island Swing,’ Aug. 20.

Hughes, a resident of Essex, has had a lifelong love affair with big band and swing music.  In addition to the rare and vintage saxophone that has accompanied him for more than 70 years on his musical journey, Hughes is proud of his library of arrangements that he has used to educate himself in the styles of such greats as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Artie Shaw and his personal favorite, Stan Kenton.

View from Brewers Essex Island Marina, where the Bob Hughes Big Band will give a concert, Aug. 20.

Hughes has led his Essex-based band for 15 years and is extremely proud of the exceptional local musicians that have bonded under his leadership.  Together, they are helping to keep top-level swing music alive in this part of New England.

In addition to outstanding music and dancing, attendees of the Aug. 20 “Island Swing” event, which will run from 5 to 8 p.m., will enjoy an evening of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres supplemented by a buffet, wine, beer and soft drinks.  Tickets are $50.  All proceeds will support local charities.

For tickets or more information, call Ed McCaffrey at 860-575-4694 or visit http://www.olos-sxorg/2017_knightsofcolumbus_islandswing.pdf

Share

Let’s Roar On! Free Concert Benefits ‘Soft Foot Alliance’ at Centerbrook Meeting House Tonight

Michael McDermott will lead a talented group of musicians in a free concert, Aug. 20, to benefit The Soft Foot Alliance, which is working to achieve a sustainable co-existence between humans and wildlife in and around the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.

CENTERBROOK — On Sunday, Aug. 20, at 7 p.m., join Ivoryton Playhouse favorite Michael McDermott and his talented group of musicians at a free concert to raise awareness and funds for The Soft Foot Alliance. The evening will be filled with songs of hope and promise – from “Fields of Gold” to “Here Comes the Sun”; from Celtic culture and heritage through American folk traditions to new works.

McDermott will be joined by Kathleen Mulready, another Ivoryton Playhouse alum who starred in Finian’s Rainbow and shared the stage with Michael in The Irish… and How They Got That Way; also Nancy Herzig on flute,  David Jarkey on piano, Susan Mazer on guitar, Celeste Cumming on cello and the wonderful Lorelei Chang will dance.

This painting of Cecil The Lion by David Roelofs will be up for auction at The Soft Foot Alliance Benefit Concert being held Aug. 20.

McDermott has been seen many times at the Playhouse – most recently in The Bells of Dublin: The Carol of the Bells. He was moved by the story of Cecil the Lion and began a correspondence with Brent Stapelkamp, who lives and works with the animals and people in and around the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.

Stapelkamp formed The Soft Foot Alliance – a new Trust dedicated to improving the lives and landscapes of people living on the boundary of Hwange National Park – that is working to achieve a sustainable co-existence with wildlife. Lion, hyena, elephant, baboon and honey badger are the main focal species of the Trust’s work as they impact people’s livelihoods on the park’s boundaries.

“By designing actions that, firstly, improve the lives and the livelihoods of the people living with these animals, and secondly, promote the conservation of the animal, we hope to achieve co-existence between the two.” says Stapelkamp.

The concert will take place at Centerbrook Meeting House, 51 Main St, Centerbrook, CT 06409 at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 20. There will also be a silent auction with some special prizes, including a portrait of Cecil painted by artist, David Roelofs.

The concert is free but seating is limited. Call 860-707-0732 to reserve your tickets today and join the campaign to support a sustainable future for the people and animals of Zimbabwe.

Visit The Soft Foot Alliance at www.softfootalliance.com

Share

Deep River Historical Society Launches New Book of ‘Deep River Stories’ with Reception, Oct. 19

The Deep River Historical Society (DRHS) is proud to announce the launch of its newest publication “Deep River Stories.” DRHS Trustee Frank Santoro has created 10 short stories bringing Deep River’s legends from XYZ to Dick Smith together in an entertaining and educational book for all ages.  Santoro has a lighthearted approach and each story has a moral ending. The stories are enriched by the talents of eleven local artists who have donated their time to this project.

The Society is grateful for the generosity of these truly creative people: Rachel Carlson, Karen F. Carroll, Janet Edgerton, Linda Elgart, Sarah Gustafson, Andrea Isaacs, Lori Lenz, Alicia Melluzzo, Sophie Spaner, Cindi Stannard (DRHS Trustee) and Virginia (Gin) Wylie. This project truly exemplifies our mission statement as it interacts with our community, interprets Deep River’s place in America’s history and hopefully will inspire current and future generations.

The Deep River Historical Society invites you to an evening reception to meet the author and artists behind “Deep River Stories” on Thursday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. at the Carriage House, 245 Main Street Deep River. Come for a fun evening of stories as the Society launches its newest publication. Books will be available for $10. 

All proceeds will benefit the Deep River Historical Society in its work to maintain this gem of a historic building and create new interactive exhibits. For further information, call Rhonda Forristall at 860-526-5086.

Share

Deep River Congregational Church Hosts Rummage Sale & Flea Market Today

All the fun of the Flea Market can be enjoyed Saturday, Aug 19, along with Main Rummage Sale.  Rummage Pre-Sale takes place Friday.

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Congregational Church, 1 Church St., Deep River, has been preparing for its Annual Flea Market and Rummage Sale which will be held on Aug. 19.  
The Flea Market, which is held on Marvin Field and on the grounds around the church, runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. with over 80 vendors, who bring a wide variety of items to sell, from antiques to hand crafted pieces.  There will be a variety of fresh baked goods for sale, prepared by church members and friends.  
Refreshments may also be purchased throughout the day: coffee and doughnuts in the morning and hamburgers, hotdogs, and side dishes throughout the day. There are only a few 20 x 20 foot spaces available for $30, and you can reserve yours by contacting the church office for a reservation form and map.
 
The Rummage Sale Committee has been collecting items since June for our Rummage Sale during the same weekend as our Flea Market.  It will be a two-day event running from Aug. 18 through Aug. 19.   All are invited to a Rummage Pre-Sale on Friday, Aug. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. for a $5 admission fee.  The Main Rummage Sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19. 
For further information, contact the church office at (860-526-5045or office.drcc@snet.net) or check out our church web site at www.deeprivercc.org.
Share

Chester Village West Hosts Blood Drive Today, 1:30 to 6:30pm

CHESTER – Chester Village West, an independent senior living community, will host a Red Cross Blood Drive on Friday, Aug. 18 from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m.  Chester Village West is located at 317 W. Main St., Chester, Conn. 06412.

To schedule your appointment, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Chester Village West employees regularly participate in the blood drive. Old Saybrook resident Richard Mulvihill, one of the community’s security guards, has donated more than two gallons (16 units) of blood over the past 18 years. According to the American Red Cross, Mulvihill’s blood donations have helped to save the lives of more than 48 people. A donor since age 18, Richard has been giving valuable ‘double red cell’ donations three times per year since 1999, when he joined the Old Saybrook Fire Department as a volunteer fireman.

“I feel great about helping people this way,” said Mulvihill, who is Type O Positive. According to the American Red Cross, double red cell donations from Type O donors and donors with Rh-negative blood types play a very important role in maintaining blood supply levels. Double red cell donation is done with the help of an apheresis machine, which collects the red cells but returns most of the plasma and platelets to the donor. “Because I get my platelets and plasma back, I don’t feel as drained afterwards,” he added.

Other Chester Village West employees who regularly donate blood include Marketing Director and Westbrook resident Sara Philpott, Director of Operations and Deep River resident Jim Jake, Marketing Assistant and Deep River resident Brenda Kollmer, Transportation Coordinator and Killingworth resident Priscilla Soucy and Debra Millspaugh, Accounting Manager and Deep River resident.

“My father’s life was saved by a blood transfusion,” Philpott said. “Most of us don’t think about the importance of maintaining the blood bank until we have a personal crisis. Our blood banks are always in need of more donors. It’s such a small thing to do that can literally save the life of another. It makes me feel good to know that my donation can help someone when they need it most.”

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 atchestervillagewestlcs.com; visit the community on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChesterVillageWest.

Share

Chester Hose Company Auxiliary Hosts Annual Apple Pie Night, Oct. 17

CHESTER — Chester Hose Company Auxiliary hosts its Annual Apple Pie Night Tuesday, Oct. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Chester Firehouse.

The “good witches” of the Hose Company will serve you up nothing but treats at a Chester tradition when you can indulge your sweet tooth on a slice of homemade apple pie, cheese, ice cream, and cider, coffee or tea. Enter the festive raffle and enjoy socializing with family and friends.  There’s even a ‘to-go’ option.

Prices are $5 for adults or $3 for kids. All funds benefit the annual Chester Hose Company Auxiliary Scholarship presented in the spring.

For more information, email chcauxiliary@gmail.com.

Share

Courtney Holds Town Hall Meeting This Evening at VRHS

Representative Joe Courtney

DEEP RIVER  — Rep. Joe Courtney will hold a town hall meeting for constituents of the Second Congressional District at 6 p.m. this evening at Valley Regional High School, 256 Kelsey Hill Rd., Deep River.

All are welcome. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

There will be a wide ranging discussion on issues such as the successful effort to stop the ‘Kenyon Bypass’ passenger rail tracks, higher education affordability, the future of Social Security and Medicare, and the thriving manufacturing economy in eastern Connecticut.

Share

Essex Park & Rec. Host Summer Concert Series, ‘Blues on the Rocks’ on Stage Tonight

‘Blues on the Rocks’ conclude the Essex Park & Rec.Concert series.

ESSEX — Essex Park and Recreation is excited to be able to offer another great set of bands this year for their 2017 Summer Concert Series.  Hosted on alternating Tuesdays at The Ivoryton Green and Wednesdays at The Essex Main Street Park, concerts take place at 6:30 p.m. from June 27 through Aug. 16.

Admission is free to all.

The concert series concludes with a performance from Blues on the Rocks, bringing their dynamic and enthusiastic mix of Blues, R&B, Motown, and Rock sure to get you up and dancing to Essex Main Street Park on Aug. 16.

For more information on the Summer Concert Series or Park and Rec. programs, visit https://www.facebook.com/SXParkandRec. You may also contact Park & Rec. by email at recreation@essexct.gov or call the office at 860-767-4340 x148.

Share

Shoreline Bus Schedule Change Announced Effective Aug. 14

OLD SAYBROOK — 9 Town Transit is planning schedule changes to its Rte. 1 bus service between Old Saybrook and Madison.  The changes, which reduce the number of daily trips by two, begin Monday, Aug. 14.

The district began a public comment process in March in response to reductions in subsidies from the Connecticut Department of Transportation.  Through the process, 9 Town Transit was able to identify trips that impacted the least amount of people.  Still, as many as 50 people’s daily travel will be impacted by these changes.

“We understand the impact these changes have on our community,” says Joseph Comerford, Executive Director of 9 Town Transit, “but when our subsidies are reduced, we must cut back service to remain financially stable.”

Comerford says the district pushed off the changes as long as possible, while they worked with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and legislators in an attempt to secure the necessary funding.  With a new fiscal year beginning, the district felt it could no longer delay the changes.

Additional information and schedules are available at www.9towntransit.com or by calling 860-510-0429.

Share

CT River Museum Hosts ‘Conquer the Current’ Regatta Today; Benefits Museum’s Scholarship Fund

Calling all paddlers! Conquer the Current challenges you to row from Haddam to Essex in support of education scholarship programs at the Connecticut River Museum. Photo by Tom Walsh, Shoreline Aerial Photography, Connecticut River Museum Collection.

ESSEX — The Connecticut River Museum’s first downriver paddle regatta to benefit the Museum’s education scholarship fund will take place Sunday, Aug. 13, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The Regatta is open to all paddle craft- canoes, kayaks, stand up paddleboards and rowboats.

The nine-mile race will start at Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam and finish in front of the Connecticut River Museum in Essex. Paddlers will haul out at the Essex town boat launch and transportation will be provided back up to Eagle Landing State Park.

There will also be activities on the Museum lawn throughout the day, including stand-up paddle board demonstrations by Paddleworks of Clinton and a family fun paddle parade in Essex Harbor at 12 p.m. Refreshments will be available from Porky Pete’s, Deep River Snacks, and Cannoli’s on the Run.

Pre-registration is $30 per paddler with an additional $70 fundraising goal or $110 registration fee day of event. Prizes will be awarded for race winners and top individual and team fundraisers. All proceeds from the event will go directly toward supporting the Museum’s education scholarship fund.  

Connecticut River Museum’s first annual ‘Conquer the Current’ Regatta takes place Aug. 13.

During the 2016/17 school year, 4,000 school children from across the state of Connecticut received invaluable hands-on history and environmentally-based programs at the Museum and in their classrooms.  The scholarship program allowed for nearly 1,000 of these students to receive free or reduced admission, creating invaluable opportunities for students who might not otherwise have this experience.   

For more information about this program, visit ctrivermuseum.org or contact the Connecticut River Museum at 860.767.8269 or via email at esistare@ctrivermuseum.org. The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for children age 6-12, free for children under 6.  This year a recreation of Adriaen Block’s the ONRUST is at the Museum’s docks and providing special programs and public cruises.

Conquer the Current is generously sponsored by: Denali, Essex Marine Group, Family Legacy Partners, Ivory Wealth Management, Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, The Sound Runner and Deep River Snacks.

Share

Hike Turtle Creek Preserve This Morning with Essex Land Trust


One of the coolest places to hike on a warm summer day, is the 92-forested-acres known as Turtle Creek, owned by The Nature Conservancy. Readers have a chance to experience the hike on Saturday, Aug. 12, starting at 9 a.m.

The creek winds through extensive wetlands to the south to a narrow strip of beach along the Connecticut River. Higher ground to the north borders South Cove in Essex. This easy to moderate hike will be led by Essex resident and naturalist Phil Miller.

Turtle Creek goes back a long way; Native Americans drew water from the spring off the main trail. Later, Hayden Point, named for a prominent 19th-century Essex family, was used as grazing land. The pond was created for ice production.

The bulk of the preserve was donated to the Nature Conservancy by ex-Governor Chester Bowles.

Leashed dogs are welcome on this hike. Access is off Watrous Point Rd. (Rte.154), Old Saybrook. Bad weather cancels.

Share

Estuary Center Offers Guided Paddling Tour of Whalebone Cove This Morning

The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center is offering a guided paddling tour of Whalebone Cove this coming Saturday, Aug. 12.

Led by the Estuary Center’s aquatic ecologist Jim Arrigoni, the tour will explore the maze of channels in Whalebone Cove, one of the most placid and wildlife-filled habitats in the lower Connecticut River.

Whalebone Cove is a tidal, freshwater marsh that is habitat for foraging ospreys, egrets, herons, swans, and marsh wrens, as well as basking turtles and blooming lilies.

It has been described by The Nature Conservancy as “one of the least disturbed freshwater tidal marshes in all of New England.” Because Whalebone Cove has one of the largest stands of wild rice in New England, it is a favorite stop for many species of migratory ducks.

Enjoy the natural beauty of Whalebone Cove from the calm of your kayak.

With help from a crew of summer interns researching submerged aquatic vegetation and invasive species in the Cove, Arrigoni will point out wildlife and plants and explain their role in the Connecticut River estuary.

He will also address management challenges posed to the Cove by invasive species and unregulated recreation and development.

This paddling trip is part of the Estuary Center’s year-long Estuary Explorations program which seeks to connect biologists and other experts with the public to increase ecological knowledge of and appreciation for our land and waterscapes. The tour is being sponsored in conjunction with Friends of Whalebone Cove.

Kayaking is a great way to experience the wonder of Whalebone Cove.

The tour embarks from the boat launch next to the Hadlyme Ferry Landing on Rte. 148 (Ferry Rd., Lyme). Please have your canoe or kayak ready to go at 9 a.m.

This will be a relatively easy paddle. There will be a short leg down the main stem of the Connecticut River to the entrance to the Cove, hugging the eastern shoreline and paddling with a slack tide. The same route upstream on return will be with a rising tide astern. Tides in the Cove will be rising gently.

Life jackets are required. Binoculars, sun screen and insect repellent are recommended. After returning to the boat launch at noon, stay for a bag lunch (bring your own) and recap at the Gillette Castle State Park picnic area next to the Hadlyme Ferry Landing. Bag lunches can be purchased prior to launch at the Hadlyme Country Market at the intersection of Rte. 82 and Rte. 148 (Ferry Rd.) about a mile east of the Ferry Landing.

Rain date is Saturday, Aug. 19.

Fee Structure: $30 per adult;  $25 per student.  Space is limited. Pre-registration is required. For more info & registration: http://www.ctaudubon.org/2017/07/guided-ecology-paddle/#st

Share

Community Music School & ‘Savour’ Present Summer Concert Tonight; All Welcome

CENTERBROOK – Bring your blanket or lawn chair and enjoy a summer evening concert presented by Community Music School (CMS) in partnership with Savour Café & Bakery. The concert will be held Friday, Aug. 11, from 5 to 8 p.m. outside CMS and Savour at Spencer’s Corner, and will benefit CMS music therapy programs, scholarships, and community outreach. It will also provide exposure for young artists.

Be sure to stop into Savour during the concert to get a bite to eat.

Any musician under the age of 22 is encouraged to sign up to perform, whether involved at CMS or not. All genres and types of groups and solos are welcome.

To register to perform, email info@community-music-school.org with your name, age, phone number, and pieces you would like to perform. There is a limit of two pieces per performer. All acts must be approved by CMS.

There is a $5 sign up fee for performers, and the concert will be free of charge and open to the public. At-will donations are gratefully accepted.

For additional information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/256253234861296/ or call CMS at 860-767-0026.

Editor’s Note: 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.  Learn more at www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

Share

Hear ‘Elison Jackson’ Play at Acton Library at 4pm Today

Sam Perduta

OLD SAYBROOK — Next up in Acton Public Library’s Summer Concert Series is Elison Jackson, fronted by Acton’s very own former Young Adult/Reference Librarian, Sam Perduta.  The concert will be held Friday, Aug. 11, from 4 to 5 p.m.  This event is free and open to all.

Originally out of New Haven, Elison Jackson now comes to Connecticut by way of Philadelphia, Pa. Their homegrown garage-folk sound is imbued with thoughtful reflective lyrics combined with a creative flair.

Preview some of “I Do Believe She Flew Out the Drainpipe,” at elisonjackson.bandcamp.com.

Spare acoustic lines and haunting vocals won the band a Connecticut Music Award for “Song of the Year” for their single titled “2009,” and the New England Music Award for “Songwriter of the Year” in 2015. 

Come enjoy an afternoon of original songs by the band on Friday, Aug. 11.  

Share

Op-Ed: Educational Advocate Sandmann is Excellent Choice for Region 4 BOE, Offers Hope for Future

Returning from vacation, I was ecstatic to find a long-time Region 4 volunteer running for a seat on the Region 4 Board of Education (BOE).  For the past 13 years I have known Kate (Kathryn) Sandmann as a tireless advocate and a steadfast agent to build and enrich the educational experience for our community children.  Kate has served on the PTO/Parent Council for Essex Elementary School (EES), John Winthrop Middle School (JW), and Valley Regional High School (VRHS).  Kate is not a politician she is an educational advocate.  Not only does her candidacy give me hope for the future of Region 4, it gives me personally, a reason to reconsider sending my youngest to VRHS rather than a private school.  Not to mention Kate has always counseled me to keep my children in the Region 4 system based on her strong belief in our staff and potential outcome for all students in Region 4.

Kate has a vision of how public education can best meet the needs of our diverse population of learners.  Also, having two children who graduated from VRHS, she has knowledge of the complete Region 4 experience.  As the parent of any High School student knows, it is a much different experience than at the elementary school.  The value of speaking with articulate teens (and their families) about their educational experience makes Kate an invaluable candidate; one with insights to the strengths and challenges of a public education in a small town(s).  Kate has had the value of speaking to hundreds of students who were in the musical, sports, National Honor Society, etc.  She has had her finger on the pulse of our children’s educational experience for the past 15 years.  Some of her experience at the High School has helped move from a block schedule, which often put our students at a disadvantage with standardized testing necessary for college entrance.  She was also a parent volunteer that helped VRHS through a successful NEASC recertification.

As a professional who serves children with disabilities in a school system, I have first-hand knowledge about Kate’s commitment to this population.  Under her leadership as PTO President at Essex Elementary School a new playground, accessible to students of all abilities, was built by the PTO through fundraising.  Kate was also a vocal supporter of the pre-school move to Essex Elementary School.

Not every student will be college-bound, and Kate knows programs for these students need nurturing as well.  Programs like School-to-Work, and vocational training are also an important part of the educational experience at VRHS.

Kate also understands the challenge of meeting the educational needs of our gifted students.  Meeting the needs of these students is not mandated by law, but is a moral obligation that benefits our community as a whole.  Why do many of our students move on to private school after JW?  Losing these students does not strengthen Region 4.  It is necessary to infuse our BOE with leaders that understand the importance of strengthening and growing our programs for our gifted students.

It is a tricky time for education.  It is a time for fresh thinking and creative solutions.  Declining enrollment and budgetary constraints are challenges that make it necessary to think out of the box.  Kate’s experience with fundraising and budgeting for enrichment through PTO programs gives her the advantage of creativity in finding solutions.  Her experience with attending monthly Superintendent meetings for Region 4 has given her depth of insight into the challenges Region 4 faces in the coming years.  The leadership of Region 4 has expressed confidence in Kate’s decision making by including her in committees to hire the JW Principal, Region 4 Assistant Superintendent and the VRHS Vice Principal.

As a registered Republican, I will definitely be crossing party lines for a candidate I am confident has the benefit of every student as her number one priority.  A candidate who had the time, energy and enthusiasm our children need.  I will cast my vote for Kate Sandmann.

 

Sincerely,

 

Share

Rockfall Foundation Presents a Night at Ivoryton Playhouse to Benefit Environmental Programs, Aug. 17

IVORYTON — The Rockfall Foundation presents the 2nd annual Night at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Thursday, Aug. 17, at 6 p.m. The 1970s brought us the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act and it’s also the decade that brought us disco! It’s been 40 years since the release of the film Saturday Night Fever – the inspiration for this electrifying musical – and the Foundation invites you to celebrate this milestone while supporting essential environmental programs.

Enjoy a pre-show reception with hearty hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar on the tent-covered patio at the Ivoryton Playhousebeginning at 6 p.m.  Then, get ready for the nostalgic songs of the Bee Gees that defined the disco generation! Can’t stay for the show? Join the Foundation for networking at the reception – a limited number of tickets are available for the reception only.

Tickets are $60 for the reception and performance. There are a limited number of $20 tickets for the reception only available. Proceeds support environmental education programs and grants. To purchase tickets, visit www.rockallfoundation.org or call 860-347-0340.

The Rockfall Foundation is a private, non-profit foundation that supports environmental education, conservation programs and planning initiatives in the Lower Connecticut River Valley. Established in 1935, it is one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations. The Foundation annually awards environmental grants to other non-profits and sponsors education programs and symposia.

Share

Old Saybrook’s Gengras Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Skip Gengras. Photo credit: J. Fiereck Photography.

OLD SAYBROOK — Skip Gengras of Gengras Motor Cars of Old Saybrook, a member of the Greater Hartford community, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Awards in recognition of his longtime contributions to business and community. Three other people were similarly honored.

“Each of these individuals has made a significant impact on our region,” Joe Zwiebel, president and publisher, Hartford Business Journal, said. “We commend this year’s honorees on their achievements. They are wonderful examples of how one person can drive change, inspire achievement and help an organization to reach new levels of success.”

Apart from Gengras, the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award winners are:

  • Andy Bessette, Travelers

  • Cheryl Chase, Chase Enterprises

  • Margaret Lawson, independent consultant

During the awards breakfast honorees participated in a panel discussion moderated by Richard Sugarman, President, Hartford Promise, during which they shared lessons, highlights and wisdom gleaned from their careers.

The 2017 Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented by Hartford Business Journal with the support of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (presenting sponsor); UConn School of Business (education leadership sponsor); and, The Pita Group (event sponsor). Event partners include: Bond Ballroom, Rider Productions, Merritt Graphics, J. Fiereck Photography, The Perfect Promotion and Co-Communications Marketing and Public Relations.

Hartford Business Journal is the only audited weekly, subscription-based business publication in Connecticut. Whether it’s market trends, the latest merger news or an update on state government, this award-winning weekly is the “must read” for area business leaders. Hartford Business Journal has a total readership of 31,000 affluent and educated business decision makers in the 61 towns that make up Metro Hartford. For more information, visit www.hartfordbusiness.com or call 860.236.9998.

Share

Take a Folklore Talk, Hike This Morning in Devil’s Hopyard With UMass Amherst Professor

Chapman Falls in Devil’s Hopyard will be included in Prof. Gencarella’s hike.

ESSEX — The Devil’s Hopyard State Park in East Haddam is one of the most intriguing places for folklore in the entire state of Connecticut. As a follow-up to the Essex Library’s folklore program on Thursday, Aug. 3, Professor Stephen Gencarella (UMass Amherst and the resident folklorist at the CT River Museum) will lead a hike throughout the park on Saturday, Aug. 5. at 9 a.m.

Gencarella will tell the copious stories about this unique location; among these are tales about the indigenous people’s culture heroes, a literary work about a wayward son, and the numerous explanations for the park’s unusual name, including the tradition of witches brewing potions in the potholes near Chapman Falls. The hike will offer a view of the valley from a cliff and hikers will have an opportunity to visit a cave along the way.

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 hike will begin at 9 a.m. at the Devil’s Hopyard State Park main parking lot at 366 Hopyard Rd. in East Haddam.

Caption:
A free, folklore talk and hike in Devil’s Hopyard State Park presented by UMass Professor Stephen Gencarella at 9 a.m. Aug. 5 at Devil’s Hopyard State Park, 366 Hopyard Rd. East Haddam. Gencarella will focus on the indigenous people’s culture heroes, a literary work about a wayward son, and the numerous explanations for the park’s unusual name. Hosted by the Essex Library. RSVP: 860-767-1560.

Share

See Broadway Star’s Laiona Michelle Tonight in Benefit Concert

New England native and Broadway start Laiona Michelle will give a one-woman show at Spring Street Gallery, Aug. 5. The show will benefit the Bingham Camp Theatre Retreat.

CHESTER — Broadway’s Laiona Michelle comes to the Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio & Gallery in Chester, CT, on Saturday, Aug. 5, to star in a benefit concert called Little Girl Blue, the words and music of Nina Simone.

Little Girl Blue is Laiona Michelle’s one woman show inspired by her idol, the legendary jazz singer, songwriter and civil rights activist Nina Simone.   With personal stories and plenty of songs, all performed in Laiona’s exuberant, raw and crowd-pleasing style, Little Girl Blue is an evening that will reach deep into your soul.
Laiona Michelle is an actress and singer who has graced stages across the USA, performing in musicals, contemporary plays and Shakespeare in addition to appearing in film and on television in shows such as Law and Order.   Recently seen on Broadway in Amazing Grace and on tour in The Book of Mormon, Laiona grew up in Springfield, Mass., where she is the creator of Shakers Performing Arts Camp, which teaches Shakespeare in a “hip” fun way to inner city youth.
All proceeds from the concert will benefit the Bingham Camp Theatre Retreat (BCTR), a non-profit theatrical organization which develops new work for the stage that promotes and celebrates diversity.  Its mission is to create musicals and plays that give voice to under-represented communities onstage and promote inter-cultural dialogue and understanding.  It is located at an historic property in Salem, Conn., more than 100 years old, where theatre artists from around the country take residence each September.
Little Girl Blue direction is by BCTR’s Artistic Director Devanand Janki and musical direction is by Mark Fifer.
The performance takes place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5, at The Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio & Gallery, 1 Spring Street, Chester, CT 06412. Concert tickets are $20 and available at the door and on sale now online at www.binghamcamptheatreretreat.org
Share

Enjoy a ‘A Little Night Music’ at ‘First Friday’ in Chester Tonight, 5-8pm!

Arrowhead will play on the porch of the Spring Street Gallery & Studio during ‘First Friday in Chester tonight

CHESTER –  A Little Night Music will greet visitors to First Friday, Aug.4, when singers, bands, modern dancers and even a bagpiper will play outdoors in the downtown while shops, restaurants and galleries stay open late with art openings, new jewelry lines and summer sales.

Leif Nilsson’s band Arrowsmith will play from 5 to 8 p.m. on the porch at Leif Nilsson’s Spring Street Studio and Gallery; inside, Leif’s latest paintings will be on display.

At Maple and Main Gallery, Dan Nichols, one of the gallery artists, will be wearing his kilt and playing his bagpipes on the porch. The opening party for “Earth and Air,” a show of Michael DiGiorgio’s bird paintings and Betsy Himmelman’s ceramic vessels will be from 6 to 8  p.m.in Maple and Main’s Stone Gallery.

Dancers from the River Valley Dance Project will perform at ‘Lark’ this evening.

The Gusto Dance Project collaborating with River Valley Dance Project will be performing on the lawn outside Lark; if the mood suits them they may dance through town as well. Lark is featuring painted signs by Jennifer Burr and necklaces from Kenya.

Performing in front of The Perfect Pear beginning at 6 p.m., Connecticut College senior and Deep River native Julia Tackett will be playing the guitar and singing. The Perfect Pear is also introducing its “Back to School” specials Friday and serving samples of  lavender lemonade.

And, at The Pattaconk, the rock band, The Instagaters  will play from 7 to 10 p.m.

‘Stingray’ by Clare Gustafson is one of the featured pieces of the artist’s work on show at Lori Warner Gallery.

Friday will kick off the opening of Weekend of Diamonds with Mandy Carroll-Leiva as well as new glass by Carrie Gustafson and a new series of monotypes by Lori Warner at Lori Warner Gallery.

Chester’s Finders Marketplace, a new enterprise on Rte. 154 across from the entrance to Main Street, will be joining first Friday with light cocktails and snacks.

Blackkate is featuring fine jewelry artist Nick Dedo

At C&G the start of the shop’s 40 percent off August sale of summer hats, sandals and select apparel will begin Friday evening. Sales items on the porch Friday are an additional 10 per cent off.

Dina Varano Gallery will be presenting new jewelry designs by Dina and nature-inspired tabletop designs by Michael Aram. The gallery will also be offering a refreshing beverage in celebration of this town-wide festive evening.

The French Hen will be serving guests spiked lemonade and sales on summer décor.

Share

Asch Retires from Cappella Cantorum After 47 Years, Holt Appointed New Music Director

Barry Asch is retiring after 47 years at the helm of Cappella Cantorum.

AREAWIDE — Co-founder, music director, and conductor of Cappella Cantorum, Barry B. Asch, has announced his retirement from the Cappella Cantorum MasterWorks Chorus.  Asch has conducted the MasterWorks Chorus for 47 years during which time over 65 major choral works have been performed. 

The inaugural performance was March 1970 with Schubert’s Mass in E Flat.  Asch formed the popular Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus in 1977, and the SummerSings series in 1987.  Both events still continue.

The Eighth Annual Messiah Sing or Listen in 2016 at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center was nearly filled to capacity.  This favorite holiday tradition was conducted and organized by Asch.  ‘The Kate’ will host the ninth annual event on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017.

Group sessions and vocal classes have been offered to Cappella members with renowned soprano Patricia Schuman and tenor Brian Cheney.

Asch began Cappella Cantorum’s European Concert Tours in 1981.  The tours are currently organized by member Patricia Hill of Madison.

Simon Holt has been named the new Musical Director of Cappella Cantorum.

A highlight of Cappella Cantorum was performing five concerts at Carnegie Hall, New York City with Mid-America Productions.  This opportunity was initiated by Asch.

Cappella Cantorum has represented 20 communities throughout southeastern Connecticut.

Simon Holt, artistic director of Salt Marsh Opera and director of music at The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme will be the new music director of the Cappella Cantorum MasterWorks Chorus.

Share

9 Town Transit to Reduce Shoreline Shuttle Service from Aug. 14

OLD SAYBROOK — After extensive review of public comments and ridership data, 9 Town Transit is planning to reduce service on the Shoreline Shuttle beginning Aug. 14. The reduction was made necessary by a reduction in state funding.

9 Town Transit has worked very closely with legislators and CTDOT in an attempt to restore funding, but to date has been unsuccessful.

Beginning Aug. 14, the 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. trips from Old Saybrook to Madison, and the 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. trips from Madison to Old Saybrook will be discontinued.

New schedules will be available on buses. Plan to adjust your travel accordingly.

9 Town Transit sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience this will cause to our customers.

9 Town Transit understands the importance of this route to the many people who use it, but must operate within the budget provided.

9 Town Transit stresses it is not too late to contact your state legislators at 800-842-1421 (state senator) and 800-842-1423 (state representative) to voice your concerns about these service cut-backs.

Share

A La Carte: You Can’t Beat Beets!

Borscht

Not everyone likes beets. This is hard for me to understand. What’s not to like with beets. My mother didn’t like vegetables. I found this later in life, when I asked my mother why we I didn’t have vegetables, canned or fresh, except for sweet corn and tomatoes in the summer and canned green beans and canned peas in the fall, winter and spring. Simple, she explained. She didn’t like vegetables.

She did, however, like borscht. It was one of five or six dishes she actually made. Even later in my life I found out that she did like borscht but that she never made it from fresh beets. Rather, she used canned beets.

I love beets and I especially love borscht. I make it often and, in my everlasting quest for fresh tomatoes (maybe by the time you read this, there will be local and fresh tomatoes), I am finding beets. Last week I went to White Gate Farm in East Lyme, a place I visit rarely because I find the prices exorbitant, figuring that if any place had tomatoes, they would. They didn’t, but I did see beautiful beets. I bought two bunches (beets are always inexpensive), and that evening I made borscht.

This is my mother’s recipe and requires three ingredients: beets, onions and lemons. To this, you add water, salt and pepper. If you want a bit of sophistication, top perhaps with fresh dill fronds. My family ate in icy cold, with a warm boiled potato and a big dollop of sour cream. I dispense with the potato and just spoon a tablespoon or two of the sour cream into the soup. It turns it a gorgeous dark pink.

Borscht

Yield: serves 6

6 good sized beets, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes*
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
Juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fronds of dill (optional)
Sour cream for serving

Place beets and onion into a good-sized soup pot, with cold water to cover.

Bring to a boil, then bring to a simmer for about 45 minutes, or until beets are soft. Add lemon to soup and allow it to cool. Using the grating or slicing tool of a food processor, process the beets and onions. Add vegetables back into the dark, red broth and warm the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate. To serve, pour cold soup into bowls (I love to use white bowls), stir in sour cream, add dill fronts and serve.

*I would love a few recipes for beet greens. I throw them into the disposal, but I know many think that is sacrilegious.

Share

Hear All About New England’s Clam, Lobster Shacks at Essex Library,Thursday

Mike Urban will discuss his books on lobster and clam shacks at Essex Library.

ESSEX — Ask any seafood lover and they’ll tell you that there is nothing like New England’s fish and shellfish, especially the lobsters. Moreover, the seafood from New England makes up the basis for one of the region’s authentic cuisines.

Think of chowder, lobster rolls, and fried clams. Still need to get your summer seafood fix?

Join us at the Essex Library on Thursday, Aug. 10, at 7 p.m. to hear local author Mike Urban talk about the best clam shacks and lobster shacks on New England’s coast from Connecticut to the Canadian border. His illustrated talk will be followed by a book signing with copies of his books available for purchase.

Urban is an award-winning food and travel writer and a regular contributor to Yankee Magazine. He is the author of four books: Lobster Shacks, Clam Shacks, The New England Seafood Markets Cookbook, and The New England Diner Cookbook. He lives in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. He and his wife have four grown children.

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

Calendar listing:
AUTHOR TALK: CLAM SHACKS AND LOBSTER SHACKS OF NEW ENGLAND
Essex: Old Saybrook resident and author Mike Urban, free, illustrated talk on New England clam shacks and lobster shacks, 7 p.m. Aug 10, Essex Library, 33 West Ave. focus on a guide to New England’s best clam and lobster joints. RSVP: 860-767-1560.

Caption:
A free, illustrated talk on New England clam shacks and lobster shacks will be presented by Old Saybrook author Mike Urban at 7 p.m. Aug. 10 at the Essex Library, 33 West Ave. Urban will focus on a guide to New England’s best clam and lobster joints. RSVP: 860-767-1560.

Share

CT Women’s Hall of Fame Traveling Exhibit on View at Acton Library in October.

The CT Women’s Hall of Fame traveling exhibit is on view at Acton Public Library in October.

The Inductee Portrait Exhibit is a beautifully executed collection of framed images and biographies honoring Connecticut women, past and present, women of great achievement who have broken new ground or have emerged as leaders in their fields of endeavor. Each portrait is accompanied by a short biography of the Inductee. 

Share