September 24, 2017

Archives for September 2017

Register Now for ‘Bikes for Kids’ Annual Bike Ride, Oct. 1

Dave Fowler hard at work on refurbishing a donated bike.

‘Bikes for Kids’ is holding its 2nd Annual Charity Ride on Sunday, Oct. 1.  The charity which was founded by Chuck Graeb is now run by retired Lyme-Old Lyme Schools teacher Dave Fowler.

Bikes For Kids is a  Connecticut based non-profit organization founded in 1989 that brings smiles to children one bike at a time. Volunteers collect, repair, and safety test donated used bicycles. The refurbished bicycles, along with new helmets, are given away to individuals of all ages and needs.

Donated bikes from ‘Bikes for Kids’ bring smiles ‘one bike at a time.’

Most donated bicycles remain in Connecticut, but some have reached children in other states and countries. More than 1,000 bicycles are given away annually. Requests for bicycles come from local and state social service organizations, churches, schools, non-profits, and individuals. 21,000 bicycles have been donated to date.

Support this charity by participating in the Annual Charity Ride.  All rides start in Essex. There will be four rides to choose from.

  • The Family Ride will have two options – a 3-mile or a more challenging 12-mile ride.
  • The Intermediate Ride will be 27 miles
  • (for the die-hards) there will be a 55-mile ride through 7 towns.

These rides go through some of the most beautiful sections of Connecticut’s River Valley. Depending on the route you select, you can ride through Essex, Deep River, Chester, Haddam, Killingworth, Westbrook and Clinton.  After the ride, all cyclists are invited for food, fun and tours at the new ‘Bikes for Kids’ Wheelhouse in Essex.

Visit this link for more information.

Visit this link to register for a ride.

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RISD Professor, Architect Discusses ‘Historic Houses: Inside & Out’ at Essex Library, Friday

“Historic Houses: An Architect’s View Inside and Out” is the subject of a lecture Sept. 22, at Essex Library.

ESSEX — The 10th season of the Essex Library’s Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series kicks off Friday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. with Rhode Island School of Design Professor and Architect Jim Barnes. Barnes lives with his wife in a Queen Anne period home in the Elmwood Historic District of Providence. His talk, “Historic Houses: An Architect’s View Inside and Out” is a subject dear to his heart and will be held in The Cube at Centerbrook Architects’ offices at 67 Main St. in Centerbrook.

Barnes states that our experience of historic houses is most often framed by their exterior appearances.  We come to identify and understand historic time periods and changing styles of architecture through building forms, rooflines, materials, and even paint colors.  These are the elements of a public realm accessible to all.  Exterior patterns can build whole neighborhoods and clearly reflect our culture’s constantly shifting shared values.

We know less well interior spatial patterns, the private domestic realm hidden from view.  Yet we know the power of interior spatial arrangement to convey cultural values. Room placement, stairway arrangements and fireplaces are among the many tools that architects and builders use to shape and express domestic life. This illustrated talk will address the changing styles of historic houses in an historic Providence neighborhood by comparing the shifting patterns of exterior forms and interior floor plans from the mid-19th century to the beginning of the 20th century.

This program is free and open to the public. Call the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560 to register or for more information. Centerbrook Architects is located at 67 Main St. in Centerbrook.

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Essex Land Trust Welcomes Volunteers for ‘Source to Sea’ Clean Up on ‘Great Meadow,’ Friday

ESSEX — The Essex Land Trust (ELT) is looking to do its part in helping to clean the shores and marshes of our beautiful Connecticut River and, specifically, on Essex’ Great Meadow. The event, coordinated by ELT and sponsored by the Connecticut River Watershed Council, will also be conducted simultaneously by volunteers along the length of the river from Old Saybrook to Canada.

Meet for your assignment at 9 a.m. at the Essex Boat Club, at the far end of the dirt road accessed between #143 and #145 River Rd., the lane that also serves Pettipaug Yacht Club. Wear waterproof boots, bring gloves and come rain or shine.

Refreshments will be served. All ages and abilities are welcome.

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Music Now Foundation Hosts Sunset Soiree Fundraiser at Griswold Point, Saturday

AREAWIDE — Music Now Foundation hosts its second annual Sunset Soiree Fundraiser at beautiful Griswold Point in Old Lyme Saturday, Sept. 23, from 4 p.m. Come out to support the initiatives of Music Now, while you enjoy beautiful water views, a great meal, and live musical performances by talented young artists until sunset.

Ticket cost is $50 for adults and includes food, beer, wine and soft drinks. There will also be a vegetarian option offered. Youth ticket cost is $20.

The MusicNow Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)3 charitable organization based in Old Lyme CT. Its mission is to engage, enrich, and inspire young aspiring artists by providing performance opportunities, workshop programming and mentorships thereby nurturing creative and artistic growth and supporting the development of live music in our communities.

For more information about MusicNow, visit www.musicnowfoundation.org

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Reception to Celebrate Photography Exhibit by 7th Grader to be held at Deep River Library, Sunday

The Deep River Public Library is hosting a reception to celebrate the photography of Isabella Capezzone on Sunday, Sept. 24, from 3 to 6 p.m.

Capezzone is a 7th grade student at John Winthrop Middle School and has had a fascination with photography from an early age, photographing pets, sunsets, flowers and the beauty she sees in nature. After completing a photography course through Girl Scouts, Capezzone continued her studies by participating in a photography enrichment program at Deep River Elementary School.

Light refreshments will be served. Capezzone’s collected works will be on sale and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Deep River Food Pantry.

No registration is required. All are welcome.

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High Holy Day Services Continue at CBSRZ

CHESTER — At Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ), in Chester, CT, on Jewish holidays, High Holy Days – Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – are major highlights every year, with beautiful music led by Cantor, Belinda Brennan and our Choir, inspiring teachings from our religious and spiritual leader Rabbi Marci Bellows, and lay people within the CBSRZ community, as well as special services and activities for children and young families.

The schedule for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is as follows:

Erev Rosh Hashanah: Wednesday, September 20, 7:30 pm; Rosh Hashanah morning service, Thursday, September 21, 9:30 am, Children’s service 2:30 pm; second day of Rosh Hashanah, Friday, September 22, 9:30 am, Kol Nidre, Friday, September 29, 7:30 pm. Yom Kippur, Saturday, September 30, morning service 9:30 am, Children’s service 2:00 pm, afternoon Yizkor, Neilah, 3:30 pm.  Communal break-the-fast will be at the conclusion of services. All are welcome.

For information regarding tickets, contact the CBSRZ office or visit cbsrz.org.  Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester.

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Musical Masterworks, Community Music School Announce Scholarship Recipient

From left to right, Alden Murphy and Abigail Nickell stand with Musical Masterworks scholarship winner Giovanna Parnoff at the piano.

AREAWIDE — Musical Masterworks and Community Music School are pleased to announce the recipient of the first Musical Masterworks Scholarship in Honor of Nancy D. Thomas.

Giovanna Parnoff, already an accomplished pianist and exceptional sixth grade student from Old Lyme, was presented with the scholarship by Alden Murphy, President of Musical Masterworks and Abigail Nickell, Executive Director of Community Music School.

“We are so pleased to honor Nancy’s memory with an award to one of her very own students, in partnership with another of her most beloved arts organizations.’ said Nickell.  Nancy Thomas was a devoted staff member of Musical Masterworks for nearly 25 years.   “It is particularly fortuitous that Giovanna, as a life-long student of Nancy Thomas, is the first winner of this scholarship; we couldn’t be more pleased,” added Murphy.

Giovanna has attended The Community Music School since she was six months old. She discovered her love of music through Kindermusik and Kate’s Camp programs and eventually started individual piano instruction under the tutelage of Nancy Thomas at the age of 3.

She has received perfect scores at the New London Piano Festival organized by the Middlesex/New London Chapter of the Connecticut State Music Teacher’s Association. Giovanna is a member of Mensa and Intertel, two high IQ societies and was recently inducted into the Junior Mensa Honor Society for her academic performance, leadership skills and volunteerism/community service.

Giovanna has been accepted into Duke University’s Talent Identification Program, Stanford University’s Gifted and Talented Program, and Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. She is a competitive foil fencer, and has been coached for six years by the Fencer’s School of CT.

Giovanna is an award-winning poet, having seen her work published in “The Mensa Bulletin” and “The Young American Poetry Digest.” She lives in Old Lyme with her parents, Dr. John Parnoff and Ms. Monique Heller, and her younger sister, Mattea, who is also a piano student at The Community Music School.

The Musical Masterworks Scholarship in Honor of Nancy D. Thomas provides the tuition for a middle school student to take music lessons, 30 minutes each, for one full year at Community Music School.  The scholarship will be awarded annually for the next four years.  To be eligible, the candidate must be a student of classical voice or instrumental music and reside in Middlesex County or New London County.

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.

Musical Masterworks brings to Southern New England world-class chamber music performances and outreach programs which attract, entertain, and educate a diverse audience. Now planning its 27th season, Musical Masterworks offers five weekends of performances from October through May in Old Lyme.  Learn more by visiting www.musicalmasterworks.org or by calling 860.434.2252.

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Previews for ‘I Hate Musicals: The Musical’ Begin Wednesday at Ivoryton Playhouse

Equity member Stephen Wallem plays the lead in Ivoryton Playhouse’s upcoming production of  “I Hate Musicals: the Musical.”

ESSEX — Simpsons’ television writer and producer Mike Reiss is back in Ivoryton with his hilarious world premiere of I Hate Musicals: The Musical. It’s the story of a cranky comedy writer trapped in the rubble of an LA earthquake.  His life is playing out before his eyes in the form of a musical — and he hates musicals …  With numbers sung by everyone from Sigmund Freud and Satan, will he learn to be less cranky?

Previews for I Hate Musicals: The Musical begin Sept. 27 and then the show opens at the Playhouse Sept. 29 and runs through Oct. 15.

Stephen Wallem*, a SAG Award-nominated actor best known as Thor Lundgren for seven seasons on the Emmy-winning Showtime series “Nurse Jackie”, will lead the cast as Alvin, the comedy writer. Stephen worked as a stage actor and After Dark Award-winning cabaret singer in Chicago before moving to New York to make his television debut on “Nurse Jackie.” Other television appearances include Randall on Louis CK’s surprise limited series “Horace and Pete” and Chad on “Difficult People.”

I Hate Musicals: The Musical features new music composed by Walter Murphy, composer of the 70’s classic A Fifth of Beethoven (which was included in the soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever. The play is one man’s zany ride through relationships with mothers and fathers, analysts and wives and with a host of surprising characters making unexpected appearances. Ultimately, the story is a traditional one about life, love, show business, and the importance of being kind.

Reiss, who is writer and producer for the long running TV show, The Simpsons, also created the animated series The Critic; the webtoon Queer Duck and worked on the screenplays for Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs; Horton Hears a Who!; The Simpsons: The Movies; and, My Life In Ruins. Ivoryton audiences turned out in droves in the June 2013 for his hilarious play, I’m Connecticut, which was a huge popular and critical success and Comedy is Hard in September of 2014 with Micky Dolenz and Joyce DeWitt.

Directed by James Valletti, the cast includes Playhouse favorite R. Bruce Connelly*, and Will Clark, Sam Given*, Amanda Huxtable*, Ryan Knowles*. The set design is by Dan Nischan, lighting by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Elizabeth Cipollina.

Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $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 our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

 

Picture – Stephen Wallem*

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‘Cruise, Blues & Brews’ Sept. 30 Festival Features Top CT Blues Bands, Benefits ‘At-Risk Boys’ 

CHESTER — When organizers for the 3rd Annual Cruise, Blues & Brews Festival approached legendary local blues performer Ramblin’ Dan Stevens, they received immediate and enthusiastic support. Stevens had the connections and the passion to recruit top blues talent for this unique festival to benefit the At-Risk Boys Fund.

“As soon as I was asked to help, I was confident my friends at the Connecticut Blues Society and fellow Blues musicians would want to help this important cause, and have a lot of fun doing it too” says Dan Stevens. Turns out, Dan was right. Ed Stack, Connecticut Blues Society President, promptly started promoting the Cruise Blues & Brews Festival to all the Society’s members to help boost attendance and raise more money for the At-Risk Boys Fund.

Stevens’ Blues musician friends were quick to respond too. One by one six bands agreed to perform on the Festival Stage between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. “We’ve got some of the best blues artist in Connecticut, many of whom have represented our state at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis TN, with several advancing to the finals. I’m so grateful they agreed to help in raising money and awareness for this great cause” says Stevens.

Here is the list of bands scheduled to play: Frank Breen, Traditional Acoustic Blues; Peter Magrane and the Drive by Blues Band,Upbeat Ragtime & originals; Blues on the Rocks, Genuine Blues; Ramblin’ Dan Stevens and the Fiery Band, Eclectic Fingerstyle Blues, Slide & originals; Jake Kulak and The Lowdown featuring Braiden Sunshine, a collaboration between award winning 17 year old blues Phenom Jake Kulak and finalist on The Voice, Braiden SunshineRyan Hartt and Tom FerraroNew England Blues super group.

In addition to live performance by these top Blues musicians the Cruise Blues & Brews Festival will also feature hundreds of antique and unique cars on display, a food court with a variety of up-scale food trucks, locally brewed craft beer by on tap by Thimble Island Brewery, a market place of vendors, a kids play area, trophies, games and prizes.

“Thanks to Ramblin’ Dan Stevens, we have more than doubled the number of blues bands for this year, and that is a really big deal for us” says Bill Guerra, Volunteer Chairman of the Festival.

“Established only four years ago, The At-Risk Boys fund has awarded over $61,000 in grants to organizations, throughout Middlesex County. These grants have helped hundreds of boys and young men achieve success and a better life”, Guerra added.

The 3rd Annual Cruise Blues & Brews Festival, will be held Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (rain date, Sunday, Oct. 1), at the Chester Fair Grounds. Admission: $5 donation, children under 12 free. To learn more about this Festival, buy tickets in advance or make a donation to the At-Risk Boys Fund of the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, visit:  www.atriskboysfund.org . Tickets may also be purchased at the gate during the Festival.

 

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Essex Garden Club Announces Officers for 2017-2018


ESSEX —
Officers for the Essex Garden Club for 2017-2018 are Barbara Burgess, president, 1st VP Augie Pampel, 2nd VP, MyLan Sarner, Recording Secretary, Betsy Godsman, Corresponding Secretary Phyllis Graf, Treasurer , Patricia Mather and Assistant Treasurer is Barbara Muhlfelder.
In her opening remarks at the September meeting, Burgess said that the focus of the Essex Garden Club this year will be on enhancing each member’s floral design skills. These design principles will be applied when the Garden Club decorates the town’s window boxes and planters for the holidays.
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Deep River HS Hosts Native American Exhibit This Weekend at Stone House

Deep River Historical Society presents an exhibition titled Native American Harvest at the Stone House, 245 Main St. Deep River.

DEEP RIVER — In conjunction with Deep River Family Day activities on Saturday, Sept. 16, the Deep River Historical Society (DRHS) will present an exhibition at the Stone House, 245 Main St. Deep River. This is a guided exhibition titled Native American Harvest and will be available for viewing from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and again on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017 from 2 to 4 p.m. during the regular open hours of the Stone House.

Richard Kalapos, trustee of DRHS and town historian, will be discussing the relationship that the Native Americans had with their environment and how the forest, waterways and sea provided them with all their wants.  Through their relationship with nature, they felt as one with their surroundings.  The forest was, in today’s terms, their grocery store, hardware store and pharmacy.

This is a multi-generational program so drop by and bring the whole family to explore the heritage of our first Americans. Come and learn about the unique relationship they had with their world and find out about the foods that nourished them.

For further information contact, Richard Kalapas at (860)-526-3254 or Sue Wisner at (860) 526-9103.

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‘Junior Souls Yoga Program’ Starts in Old Saybrook for Youth, Grades 4-8

OLD SAYBROOK — Working with the Old Saybrook Parks and Recreation department, Saybrook Soul Sweat will be running an eight week long after school program, Junior Souls Yoga Program (JSYP), for grades 4 – 8.  The program will be held at the Recreation Center Gym every Monday beginning Sept. 18, from 2:45 to 4 p.m.

A description of the program states, “Yoga is a practice that exercises your body on a physical, emotional, and mental level; the younger we can get kids practicing, the better prepared they will be for the world as they progress. Junior Souls Yoga Program is a weekly, 60-minute practice that is derived from the vinyasa style of yoga, but with a New Age twist.

Instead of teaching students to sit down and meditate, JSYP uses the philosophy that to work into a meditation of the mind, you first must physically work out your body. Combining a youthful, energetic series of postures with fast tempo, upbeat pop music, JSYP gets kids moving and grooving for 45 minutes, followed by a 15-minute meditation.

The junction of physical fitness with positive mindfulness is a great way to teach kids poses, self-empowerment, stress relief, and healthy living.”

Junior Souls Yoga Program is instructed by Courtney Brooks, a 200-hour registered yoga teacher in Vinyasa yoga. Brooks has been practicing yoga for six years and teaching full-time for over one year, with experience teaching yoga to children at Corpus Christi in Wethersfield, CT, and developing a yoga program with the Hartford Police Athletic League throughout various schools in Hartford, CT.

The Saybrook Soul Sweat studio will open for business Oct. 14.

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Cappella Cantorum Concert Late Registration Scheduled for Tomorrow

Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus by Madeleine Favre of Deep River.

AREAWIDE — Late registration for Cappella Cantorum’s 2017 Christmas concert is Sept. 18, at 7 p.m. at John Winthrop Middle School, 1 Winthrop Rd., Deep River. No auditions are required. Use the rear entrance.

All are welcome to join Cappella Cantorum and its new director, Simon Holt, to prepare for the Dec. 2 concert. Holt is also the artistic director of the Salt Marsh Opera and director of music at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. He joins Cappella in its 48th year.

The program will feature Bach’s Cantata #140 (“Sleepers Wake”), Rutter’s “Gloria” and Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on Christmas Carols.”

Registration fee is $40; music is $20.

For more information or to register in advance, visit www.CappellaCantorum.org.

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David Handler Presents His Latest Book Today at Essex Library

ESSEX — On Saturday, Sept. 16, at 4 p.m. the Essex Library will host Edgar and American Mystery Award-winning author David Handler, who will discuss his latest book, The Girl With Kaleidoscope Eyes, published in August by William Morrow.

This is the ninth entry in the Hoagy and Lulu mystery series that Harlan Coben calls “One of my all-time favorite series! … David Handler is so good at writing one smart, funny page-turner after another that he makes it look easy.” 

Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

David Handler

Handler has also written eleven novels in the bestselling Berger & Mitry series. He lives in a 230-year-old carriage house in Old Lyme, Conn. 

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

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State Orders Recount in Republican Primary for 33rd District Probate Judge; Delia Wins by Nine Votes in First Count

Tuesday’s unofficial winner, Anselmo Delia.

AREAWIDE — The Connecticut Secretary of State has informed all the towns that comprise the 33rd District Probate Court that they need to conduct a recount of Tuesday’s Republican Primary. The Town of Essex has scheduled their recount on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 11 a.m. at the town hall. Deep River held their recount yesterday, Thursday, Sept. 13. We do not have details of the timing of recounts in other area towns at this time.

Tuesday’s race between the party-endorsed candidate Attorney Anselmo Delia of Clinton and challenger Attorney Kevin Hecht of Old Saybrook ended with a 859-850 win for Delia after all the unofficial results had been declared in the nine towns.

Unofficial results given on the Connecticut Secretary of State’s webpage for towns covered by ValleyNewsNow.com towns are as follows:

Chester: Hecht 23 – Delia 12
Deep River: Delia 24 – Hecht 14
Essex: Delia 79 – Hecht 59
Old Saybrook: Hecht 277 – Delia 46
Westbrook: Hecht 90 – Delia 41.

Results for the remaining towns in the District are:

Clinton: Delia 444 – Hecht 228
Haddam: Delia 140 – Hecht 37
Killingworth: Hecht 78 – Delia 53
Lyme: Hecht 44 – Delia 20.

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Take a Tree Swallow Cruise Tonight With OS Land Trust

Tree swallows gather on branches. Photo (inset) by Diana Atwood Johnson.

AREAWIDE — The Old Saybrook Land Trust (OSLT) hosts a tree swallow watching cruise Sept. 15, from 5 to 8 p.m. on the vessel Adventure located at Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam.  The cruise will be run by Connecticut River Expeditions.

For the past 14 years, Connecticut River Expeditions have taken individuals and groups to a special spot on the Connecticut River where hundreds of thousands of tree swallows gather. After spending the day miles away, the swallows return each night to sleep in the reeds. They gather at sunset and perform aerial ballets forming an amazing display of art, coordination and cooperation.

Over the years, Captains Mark and Alex have found the best way to maneuver the boats to allow perfect views from open decks. Travel on Adventure, a newly refurbished classic riverboat with flexible seating that ensures everyone gets optimal “up close and personal” viewing.

Enjoy the entire evening aboard. You will spend about three to five hours on the water. There is so much to see while cruising along the river. Many birds are migrating through the area now; last year we saw a record number of Bald Eagles and Great Egrets.

On-board naturalist(s) will educate you on the swallow phenomenon and all the other wildlife we see.

On the return cruise home, there is time to chat with others and experience the river at twilight, blending into night. The OSLT will be serving appetizers and you are able to bring your own picnic basket or snacks and your favorite “beverage” to enjoy on this special cruise. Don’t forget your camera and binoculars (or borrow a pair of our binocs)!

This is a small group experience that is unique each sailing. This is a fundraising event to benefit the OSLT Scholarship, which is awarded each year to a graduating Old Saybrook student pursuing Environmental Studies.

Cost: $50 per person. Limited seating. Reservations can be made by emailing oldsaybrooklandtrust@oslt.org

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Essex Democrats Announce Party Platform For 2017 Municipal Elections

Essex Democrats have again endorsed incumbent First Selectman Norman Needleman as their candidate for the same position in November.

ESSEX — Rejecting divisive politics and continuing a bi-partisan approach to solving problems is the cornerstone of the platform announced today in a press release by First Selectman Norm Needleman and Brian Cournoyer, Chairman of The Essex Democratic Town Committee.

“Towns throughout the state look to Essex as a model for best management practices. Under Norm’s and Stacia Rice-Libby’s leadership over the past six years, taxes are among the lowest in the state, yet we deliver high quality services and excellent schools,” Cournoyer said.

Needleman said that the collaborative, non-partisan approach to government will continue if he and running mate Stacia Rice-Libby are re-elected.

“First, and perhaps most important, we reject toxic partisan politics. Instead, we value and encourage independent thinking and inclusive dialogue that lead to real-world solutions,” Needleman said.

“Second, we will continue to manage our town with emphasis on fiscal responsibility. Essex operates in contrast to the dysfunction in Hartford. We have balanced our town budget every year I have been in office. Our budget policies have kept Essex self-reliant, while maintaining property taxes lower than 87% of the municipalities in our state.”

Libby added focusing on economic growth is another important area of focus.

“An essential element is support for the business community. Essex is home to over 700 businesses, and that number is growing. We have reduced regulations and simplified processes in the past six years, and it is essential that we sustain our policy of eliminating barriers to success,” Libby said, adding that streamlining and optimizing land use regulations will be critical for retaining and attracting local companies.

“Another vital element in our plan for the next two years is support for the robust volunteer base in our town,” Needleman said, “Municipal government, quality of life, and social services have evolved in Essex to become a partnership among elected officials, volunteer organizations, and dedicated individual volunteers. That partnership defines life in our town, and we will continue supporting the volunteers who support us.”

Needleman said if re-elected he will continue to fight the proliferation of unfunded state mandates.

“Your vote for our bipartisan slate of candidates on November 7 is vital to keeping Essex moving in the right direction,” Cournoyer said.

Democratic Town Committee Chairman Brian Cournoyer invites all Essex voters to learn more about the candidates by visiting the Essex Democratic Town Committee website/Facebook page at: essexdems.com.  The candidates will also be available to discuss issues and ideas at neighborhood meet-and-greet gatherings throughout the campaign.

Essex Democratic Candidates

  • First Selectman/Selectwoman: Norm Needleman/ Stacia Rice-Libby
  • Town Treasurer: Jim Francis
  • Tax Collector: Megan Haskins
  • Essex BOE: Loretta McCluskey
  • Region 4 BOE: Kate Sandmann
  • BOF: Ethan Goller
  • BOF : Keith Crehan
  • Board Assessment Appeals: Mark Bombaci
  • Town Clerk: Joel Marzi
  • Judge Of Probate: Jeannine Lewis
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Deep River Historical Society’s ‘Stone House’ Open to Visitors This Weekend

Stone House, owner by the Deep River Historical Society, opens July 1.

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Historical Society presents an opportunity to step back in time. This house and property is considered the crown jewel at 245 Main St., Deep River. The Stone  House was built in the 1840’s by Deacon Ezra Southworth for his bride. Three generations of the Southworth family have lived here and left their mark on Deep River.

Ada Southworth Munson bequeathed the family home to the Deep River Historical Society in 1946. It has since been used by them to highlight the town’s history along with offering events and community interaction.

There are many exhibits that showcase the lives of the family; sea faring stories to the Industrial Revolution, lace and textiles and of course the history of ivory in the area.

There is a World War I exhibit that tells of the Deep River “boys” in the Great War, which dates back 100 years.  The small settlement of Winthrop (in the northwest corner of Deep River) and is featured also with recent research updated.

Come and stop in for a free visit throughout the summer, Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 2 to 4 p.m., starting Saturday July 1st.  Greeters will be available to help with making the self-guided tour a learning experience.

Visit the Deep River Historical Society at their website at  http://www.deepriverhistoricalsociety.org or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/deepriverhistoricalsociety/

Call the DRHS at 860-526-1449 or the curator Rhonda Forristall, at 860-526-5086.

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Final Day of Community Music School’s Free Preview Week is Today

AREAWIDE – Community Music School, located at 90 Main Street in Centerbrook and 179 Flanders Rd. in East Lyme, welcomes the general public to visit during Free Preview Week Sept. 11 through 15. Children and adults can tour the School’s studios, meet teachers and staff, enjoy a free preview lesson, and learn about a vast array of programs for all ages including private and group lessons, adult cabaret, jazz ensemble, string ensembles, music therapy services, Kindermusik for babies and toddlers, and more.

During the academic year, Community Music School is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.Monday to Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. Those interested in a 30-minute preview lesson are requested to call 860-767-0026 for scheduling.  The public is also welcome to observe any group class or ensemble during Free Preview Week.

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

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.

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‘A Connecticut Christmas’ by Local Photographer Caryn Davis to be Released Sept. 26

CHESTER — Globe Pequot has announced the Sept. 26 release of A Connecticut Christmas: Celebrating the Holiday in Classic New England Style by Chester resident and photographer Caryn B. Davis, with accompanying essays by author Eric D. Lehman.

Celebrated chef, author, and Connecticut resident Jacques Pépin described A Connecticut Christmas as,“a sentimental journey through the lore of Connecticut and makes you want to sing Irving Berlin’s ‘White Christmas.’ The beautiful pictures celebrate the marvelous diversity, beauty, and spirit of the Nutmeg State . . . this heartwarming book makes you smile.”

A Connecticut Christmas is a photographic journey celebrating classic New England traditions, beauty, spirit, and community surrounding the holiday. From light displays to decorated churches and inns, spectacular private homes, festivals, carolers, town greens, and picturesque villages, this beautiful book of images takes readers on a magical holiday tour through the Nutmeg State.  There is also an event and location listing in the back of the book that for residents and tourists who love all things Christmas which is why this book has an appeal beyond the Nutmeg State.

A series of local book signings is planned — full details of these will be published on ValleyNewsNow.com as they become available.

Davis began her career in the visual arts 30 years ago as a cameraperson, editor, and producer of documentaries. She has been a professional photographer since 2000, specializing in architectural photography. Her work has taken her to over 50 countries, and still counting. She often combines her images with words to create compelling articles that have been featured in more than 60 magazines.

A Connecticut Christmas will retail at $26.00.

 

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Take a Trip with the Estuary to NY’s Botanical Gardens, Sunday

The Estuary Council of Seniors at 220 Main St Old Saybrook is offering a trip on Sunday, Sept. 17,   to New York’s Botanical Gardens at a cost of $115 per person.

The tour includes: roundtrip motor-coach transportation, lunch at Ann & Tony’s Restaurant, admission to the NY Botanical Gardens, all taxes and gratuities (including driver and tour director.)

For more information, stop by the Estuary Council at 220 Main St., Old Saybrook for a flyer or call 860-388-1611 ext.204.

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CBSRZ Adds New Programs to Current Education Offerings for Fall

CHESTER — The education team at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ) is offering new programming in the Kivvun wing. Kivvun means “direction” or “pathway,” and this year it is CBSRZ’s intention to provide more “paths” or “access points” into Judaism, while empowering each child to grow into their best selves, and experience their lives through a Jewish lens, within a vibrant Jewish Community.

Utilizing the Shalom Learning curriculum, and incorporating many aspects of the Project Based Learning model, learners will drive the creation of “questions” in order to determine how to answer the question,“What makes a strong Jewish community?”

Students will explore answers to their questions through the study of Hebrew, Prayer, Holidays and Values.  The learners will begin to formulate ideas while they analyze and express their thoughts through modes such as art, legos, cooking and storytelling. These electives or “Chugim” will be chosen by the students according to their interests and will offer an opportunity for learners of all grades to interact.

In addition to restructured program for young learners, new opportunities for teens will be offered, including student teaching, social action and recreational interaction. Gesher, a monthly class for 8th and 9th grade students, and Makom, a confirmation class for 10th grade students, will continue to be offered.

Registration is now open to everyone. To obtain your registration packet, contact Belinda Brennan, Cantor and Educator, at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, belinda@cbsrzorg, the office at 860-526-8920 and visit www.cbsrz.org/learn/youth for more information. CBSRZ is located at 55 East Kings Highway, Chester, CT 06412.

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A La Carte: Incredible Cookies Combine Caramel and Chocolate

At the end of my spacious, galley-like kitchen, there is a bay window under which is a window seat that holds all my somewhat heavy, counter-type appliances. These include two Cuisinart (one a big one, one a little one), a Ninja Pro that purees faster than a blink of one’s eye, a big Crock-Pot, two grinders, a machine that turns water into carbonated drinks and a blender. In the back is an industrial-grade Bernzomatic to make crème brulee. (What? You don’t have one? Really?)

What has been missing for almost three weeks is the biggest of my tiara of gadgets: my KitchenAid mixer. It is about 10-years-old and a new one costs around $600.

At some point, the arm that holds the bowl had become stuck. Nothing I did would make it go up and down. As the diagnostician, I figured out what was wrong and looked at YouTube to see if I could fix it. It would have involved taking the head off, removing the engine, taking off the arm and buying the plastic part that was broken.

Were I able to do this, it involved about 16 screws. I am sure I would have lost many of them. So I called KitchenAid who were of little help.

Finally, HomeAdvisor gave me the name of a man in Rhode Island. He sounded lovely on the phone, so I drove the monster to his house in Central Falls. A few days later, he called and told me what was wrong. I gave him the go-ahead. A week and $166 later, my baby is back.

By the way, my diagnosis was wrong.

I am now a happy camper. I am hoping this will last for another 10 to 20 years. My aunt had one when she got married, in 1934. When she died, in 1995, I gave it to my friend Marilyn Whiney. She still uses it.

What did I make first? I doubled the recipe for a cookie that called for the muscles of a weight lifter or, in my case, my KitchenAid.

Caramel-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

From Martha Stewart Living, September, 2017, page 76

Yield: 12 cookies

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 and one-half cups packed light brown sugar
One-half cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Three-quarter teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into one-half inch pieces
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (1 whole bag)
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
24 caramels, such as Kraft, halved

Preheat oven to 375 degrees with racks on top and middle. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together flour, both sugars, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add butter; beat on medium speed until combined but some pea-size butter chunks remain. Add chocolate chips and beat until combined, then beat in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla.

Line two baking sheets with parchment (I use Silpat instead.) Scoop dough into 4-ounce balls (each about one-half cu), make a deep, wide hollow in each center. Enclose 3 pieces of caramel in each; roll back into a ball. Place 6 balls on each sheet. Freeze 15 minutes.

Bake, with one sheet on each rack, 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, swap sheet positions and bake until centers are almost but not completely set (press gently on tops with your fingers to check), 7 to 10 minutes more. Remove from oven. Bang sheets on a counter a few times to create cracks on tops of cookies. Place sheets on a wire rack; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

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Applications Due by Nov. 9 for Rockfall Foundation Grants

AREAWIDE — Continuing the philanthropic tradition of its founder, Clarence S. Wadsworth, the Rockfall Foundation invites non-profit organizations, municipalities, and schools in the Lower Connecticut River Valley to apply for grants through the annual Competitive Grant Program. The Foundation seeks to support projects that preserve and enhance the environment and to increase public knowledge of and respect for natural resources. Projects that demonstrate new and imaginative ways to achieve this are encouraged.

Applications are due by Nov. 9 and can be downloaded from www.rockfallfoundation.org.  For detailed eligibility criteria or additional information, call 860-347-0340 or visit www.rockfallfoundation.org.

Founded in 1935 by Middletown philanthropist Clarence S. Wadsworth, the Rockfall Foundation is one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations. The Foundation supports environmental education, conservation and planning initiatives in the Lower Connecticut River Valley through public programs and grants.  In addition, the Rockfall Foundation operates the historic deKoven House Community Center that offers meeting rooms and office space for non-profit organizations.

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Republican Primary Today for Judge of Probate

Anselmo Delia is the Republican party endorsed candidate for Judge of Probate in the 33rd District.

AREAWIDE — Registered Republicans in Chester, Deep River, Essex, and Old Saybrook are eligible to vote tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 12, in a primary election to determine the party’s candidate for 33rd District Probate Judge in the November election.

Kevin J. Hecht of Old Saybrook is challenging the party-endorsed candidate, Anselmo Delia, of Clinton.

In addition to the towns listed above, the 33rd District Probate Court, which is located in Old Saybrook, covers  Clinton, Haddam, Killingworth, Lyme, and Westbrook.

There is no Democratic Primary since party-endorsed candidate Jeannine Lewis is not being challenged.

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Join CT River Museum Tonight for a ‘Taste of The Netherlands’

Spend an evening enjoying historic Dutch cultural traditions at the Connecticut River Museum and take a cruise aboard Onrust. Photo by Pim Van Hemmen.

ESSEX — On Saturday, Sept. 9, from 5  to 8 p.m., experience The Netherlands as the Connecticut River Museum hosts a night to support The Onrust Project.  Enjoy Dutch culture with samples of traditional food and drinks.  There will also be classic Dutch tavern games, music, and a cannon demonstration – all from the Museum’s beautiful north deck overlooking the Connecticut River. 

The Onrust is a reproduction of the famed Captain Adriaen Block’s 1614 era vessel that was the first European vessel to chart and explore Long Island Sound, parts of Rhode Island, and the Connecticut River.  Block’s accomplishments ushered in great changes that would forever alter life along the Connecticut River, help lead to the fur trade, and the eventual founding of New Netherlands and what would become Hartford. 

A Dutch drink tasting will take place with Mark Griswold and Stephen Gencarella.  Griswold and Gencarella are the talent behind the popular weekly radio show “Fermented,” which airs every Thursday night on iCRV Radio.  The two will share some of the history and interesting characteristics of traditional Dutch drinks.  One such beverage that will be sampled is genever – a spirit that is the forerunner of gin and has been popular since the 1500s. 

Catering by Selene, enjoyed by the Museum for their excellence and creativity in recreating historic recipes, will provide several traditional Dutch foods for people to sample.  This includes stamppot which is the Dutch name for any puree made of vegetables and often served with sausage.  There will also be bitterballen (tiny meatballs) and the delectable stroopwafel. 

Also taking place this night will be a cannon demonstration by Dan Walls.  Walls will not only shoot off one of Onrust’s reproduction cannons, but will share a little history on the evolution of such weaponry.  There will also be live music and some traditional tavern games for people to play.

The historic replica vessel Onrust is docked at the Connecticut River Museum through mid October for public cruises and programs. Photo by Judy Preston.

A Supporting level ticket will include a 45-minute cruise aboard the Onrust, a special mixed drink and a conversation with Greta Wagle, Director of The Onrust Project. 

The Standard ticket includes the drink and food tasting, music, games, and cannon demonstration and is $30 for members/$35 for non-members.  The Supporting ticket includes the above as well as the special cruise and is $50 for members/$55 for non-members (When reserving you will need to select a cruise time of 5:15 or 6:30 p.m.) Additional beverages will be available at a cash bar.  Participants must be 21 years of age or older and show ID.  To buy a ticket, visit the Connecticut River Museum’s website at ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.

Funds will go towards supporting the educational mission of The Onrust Project, a nonprofit floating museum that provides the public with a living history experience of 17th century life and maritime exploration. 

The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street in Essex and is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. 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, visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.

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Chester Rotary’s ‘Lobster Festival’ Takes Place Today

Loving lobster! Happy LobsterFest-goers savor the feast. (File photo.)

CHESTER — Join the Rotary Club of Chester’s 47th Annual Lobster Festival to be held at the Chester Fairgrounds on Saturday, Sept. 9.

The event is highlighted by classic double entree dinners featuring Twin Lobster, Twin Steak, or Surf and Turf and single entrée Lobster or Steak dinners. Traditional sides include corn on the cob, potatoes and coleslaw.  The gates will open at 4 p.m. for table decorating and general admission.  Dinners will be served from 5 p.m. and continue until 7 p.m.   Soft drinks, bottled water, beer and wine are available for sale throughout the evening.

Live music for your dancing and listening pleasure will be provided by two great bands, Driving Route 9 and Old Dog New Trick until closing at 10 p.m.

Admission tickets for twin lobster or twin steak or surf and turf dinners are $40 in advance, $45 for remaining tickets at the gate. Single lobster or single steak dinner tickets are $30 in advance, $35 for remaining tickets at the gate.  Seating is limited, so early purchase is recommended.  Access to the Lobster Festival is restricted to dinner ticket holders.

Tickets are available at the following Chester locations: LARK, Pattaconk Bar & Grill, Chester Package Store, Chrisholm Marina, Chester Bottle Shop and at the Sunday Market as well as on-line at  http://www.ChesterRotary.org.

Proceeds from this event will be used to benefit the community.  Join friends and family for a memorable evening of great food, good fun and live music!

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Take a Challenging Hike in ‘The Preserve’ Today with Essex Land Trust

View looking south of The Preserve. Photo by Bob Lorenz.

ESSEX — Join the Essex Land Trust on Saturday, Sept. 9, for a fast paced, challenging two-hour hike through the Preserve, starting in Essex and going to Old Saybrook and back. Chris Cryder will lead this hike while sharing his knowledge of The Preserve, its history and its many special natural characteristics. Cryder represented the Connecticut Fund for the Environment in the protracted effort to save this unique property.

The Preserve is a 1,000-acre coastal forest located in Old Saybrook, Essex, and Westbrook, CT. It is the largest unprotected coastal forest remaining between New York City and Boston and is larger than New York City’s Central Park.

The dense canopy of forest and the Pequot Swamp Pond act as a refueling stop for many migratory birds, and the many freshwater seeps on the property are home to amphibian species such as the northern dusky salamander, spotted turtles, and box turtles. Bobcats and fisher cats have also been spotted on the property. The land includes 38 vernal pools, 114 acres of wetlands, headwaters of the Oyster River, and tributaries of the Mud and Trout Brook Rivers. These rivers eventually flow into Long Island Sound.

Meet at 9 a.m. at the West Parking Lot off Ingham Hill Rd., Essex. Leave from the second/west entrance at the end of Ingham Hill Rd. Easy to moderate terrain. Hiking boots suggested. Bad weather cancels.

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21st Annual Venture Smith Day Festivities to be held This Afternoon

Keynote speaker, Russell Shorto, will talk about “Venture Smith and American Freedom” at the 21st annual Venture Smith Day on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 1 to 4 pm in the cemetery at the First Church of Christ, 499 Town St. (Rte. 151), in East Haddam.

EAST HADDAM, CT – The 21st annual Venture Smith Day Festivities will be held on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the cemetery at the First Church of Christ, 499 Town Street (Rte. 151), East Haddam, Conn.where he is buried (1729-1805).

Son of an African king, Venture Smith became the first black man to document his capture from Africa and life as an American slave and successful black freeman in Connecticut.  Well-known and respected, Venture Smith spent the majority of his freedom years in East Haddam and Haddam Neck, Conn.  His grave is one of the original sites on the Connecticut Freedom Trail.

Keynote speaker, Russell Shorto, author of the best seller “The Island at the Center of the World,” about the Dutch founding of Manhattan, will talk about “Venture Smith and American Freedom.” His newest book, “Revolution Song: A Story of American Freedom,” which weaves together the lives of Venture Smith, George Washington and four other early Americans, will be released Nov. 7.

Shorto believes the revolutionary period, through which Venture Smith lived, is more relevant now than ever. Shorto has won numerous awards for his writing, and his books have been published in 14 languages.

Dr. Karl P. Stofko, East Haddam’s Municipal Historian and Venture Smith family genealogist since the 1970s, will talk about “Charles Holt, the Forgotten Publisher of Venture Smith’s 1998 Narrative.” Venture Smith’s family genealogy and artifacts and crafts from Ghana and other regions of Africa will be on display. A town proclamation will be presented and wreath-laying ceremony by the descendants of Venture Smith and the annual Venture family reunion photograph will take place in the cemetery by Venture’s grave.

The ladies of “Sisters In Stitches Joined by the Cloth” of eastern Massachusetts will return this year with their magnificent African American quilts on display. The recent discovery of the Starks family, descendants of Venture’s granddaughter Cynthia Smith Matson, was added to Venture Smith’s family genealogy and will be on display. In addition, a restored original copy Venture Smith’s 1798 narrative will be on exhibit at the event. A facsimile of this booklet will be on sale for $5.

Adults and children who are interested in learning more about Connecticut history in the 1700 and 1800s are encouraged to attend. Bring lawn chairs or blanket. In case of inclement weather the celebration will move into the parish house of First Church.

There will be plenty of time to renew old friendships, talk with speakers, and Venture’s descendants and enjoy light refreshments in the Parish Hall next to the cemetery.

Call (860) 873-9375 with questions.  To review the original Venture Smith autobiography, visit  www.docsouth.unc.edu/neh/venture2/menu.html

A Brief Biography of Venture Smith

Born around 1729, Venture Smith’s African birth name was Broteer, and he was the eldest son of King Saungm Furro of the tribe of Dukandarra in Guinea, West Africa. He was captured about 1736 when he was seven years old and was sold for “4 gallons of rum and some calico” at Anamabo on Africa’s Gold Coast to Robinson Mumford, the steward of a Rhode Island slave ship. Broteer was renamed Venture because he was purchased by Mumford’s own private venture. Venture grew up as a slave on Fishers Island, New York, which was being leased by the Mumford family at that time.

Around 1750 he married Meg, another Mumford slave, and they had four children. After a failed escape attempt in 1754, Venture was sold to Thomas Stanton of Stonington Point, Connecticut. In 1760, he was purchased for the last time by Oliver Smith, of Stonington. Smith allowed Venture to purchase his freedom in 1765 and in return Venture took the name Smith as his surname.

Venture then lived and worked on Long Island to raise money to purchase the freedom of his wife and children. During these years he cut wood, farmed, fished, and spent seven months on a whaling voyage. In 1774, Venture sold all his land on Long Island and in Stonington and moved his family to East Haddam. He then began purchasing land on Haddam Neck along the Salmon River Cove from Abel Bingham and others. His farm grew into 134 acres with three houses; twenty boats, canoes and sailing vessels; two fishing businesses and a commercial orchard. His entrepreneurial ventures included river trafficking, lumberjacking, carpentry and farming. All this he accomplished without the ability to either read or write.

In 1798, Venture dictated his autobiography to teacher Elisha Niles, which was then published in pamphlet form by Charles Holt, editor of the New London Bee weekly newspaper. It has been reprinted many times. It is the only slave narrative of the 18th century that recounts life in Africa. His life story has been an inspiration to many over the years. Venture died on September 19, 1805, at age 77 as a highly respected man by all in the Haddams. His wife, two sons, Cuff and Solomon, and several grandchildren survived him. Several of his descendants still live in Connecticut.

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Estuary Hosts ‘Shoreline Artists’ Workshop’ Show

AREAWIDE — Members of The Shoreline Artists’ Workshop are exhibiting their paintings at the Marshview Gallery of the Estuary Council of Seniors in Old Saybrook for the month of September. An opening reception for the exhibition will be held Friday, Sept. 8, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Start your weekend with a lovely gathering to meet the artists and enjoy their works.

Representing six shoreline communities from Niantic and the Lymes to Old Saybrook and Essex, these artists paint and grow in their art each Friday at the Lymes’ Senior Center in Old Lyme.

The group includes: Beverly Ahlers, Gene Bekaert, Linda Beagle, Cathy Castonguay, Susan Coppejans, Jane Critchett, JoAnn Dongweck, Gerri Hallgren, Elin Larson, Keiko Kaiser, Frank Ossman, Hilde Reichenbach, Susan Simler, Sharol Stewart, Andre Walker, Valerie Washburn, Bob Whitcomb and Brian Willis.

Marshview Gallery is located at 220 Main St, Old Saybrook. Call 860-388-1611 for details.

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Registration Open Through Today for Madhatters December Production

AREAWIDE — Madhatters Theatre Company is registering for their December production of ‘Scrooged, with a twist.’  Registration is open to students age 6-18 years.  Rehearsals begin on Saturdays in September at Lyme’s Youth Service Bureau in Old Lyme.

Performance week is Dec. 11-17 at Chester Meeting House in Chester.  Registration is open through Sept. 8.

For further information and to register, email: madhattersctc@aol.com or call (860) 395-1861  www.ctkidsonstage.com/madhatterstheatrecompany

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Tickets Now Available for 44th Season of Collomore Concerts

The Claremont Trio opens the 44th season of the Collomore Concerts on Sept. 24.

CHESTER — For its 44th season, the Robbie Collomore Music Series will offer all four of its concerts in the fall, between Sept. 24 and Nov. 26. These will be on Sundays at 5 p.m. in the historic and charming Chester Meeting House. It is now the time to buy your season subscription.

Beginning the season, on Sunday, Sept. 24, is the Claremont Trio, brought to Chester as the Barbara and Edmund Delaney Young Artists Concert. Called “one of America’s finest young chamber groups,” these three young women have performed worldwide to great acclaim, both as a trio and as individual soloists. One reviewer wrote, “Their exuberant performance and gutsy repertoire… was the kind of fresh approach that keeps chamber music alive.” Their Chester concert will feature sonatas by Bach, Debussy, Britten and Rachmaninoff.

Internationally renowned Jason Vieaux and Julien Labro pair up on classical guitar and bandoneon on Oct. 15.

In recent years, Jason Vieaux and Julien Labro have thrilled Collomore Concert audiences separately – Jason playing classical guitar in a solo concert and Julien playing accordion with the Detroit Hot Club. When the Collomore committee heard they had joined forces touring, playing the guitar and bandoneon, they jumped at the opportunity to have them return to Chester on Sunday, Oct. 15.  You can expect something “entertaining, fun, exciting, virtuosic in the unusual pairing of these two instruments. The program contains some modern classical, world music from Brazil and Argentina, and even some pop music.”

Latin Jazz comes to Chester on Nov. 5, with the Curtis Brothers Quartet featuring Ray Vega, percussionist.  The Curtis Brothers Quartet takes bold steps towards a modern Latin Jazz sound, fearlessly pushing their musical approach into new territories. Their unique rhythmic concept is what separates them from most other jazz quartets. All of their music, original or not, is based on the percussive concepts that they have accumulated through their various musical experiences.

And on Nov. 26, the soulful songs of the Gullah culture will be brought to life by Ranky Tanky, a five-piece band of native South Carolinians who mix the low country traditions with large doses of jazz, gospel, funk, and R&B. They’ve been called “infectious, intoxicating and exotic” with
“frisky and hypnotic rhythms with a bone-deep mix of spirituals and gutbucket blues.”

Buy a season subscription now and save money, plus you’ll be certain you will have a seat even when a concert is sold out. A subscription to all four concerts is just $98. Individual concert tickets cost $28. For students from elementary through graduate school, a subscription is $15 ($5 per concert). Tickets and subscriptions can be purchased online at www.collomoreconcerts.org using PayPal. All ticket-holders are invited to stay for a reception after the concert to meet the performers. For more information, check the website or call 860-526-5162.

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CT River Museum Issues Call for Actors, Production Crew; Auditions Monday

AREAWIDE — The Connecticut River Museum is looking for a variety of volunteer actors to help with the 2017 production of Haunted River.  Auditions will take place on Sept. 6 and 11 between 4:45 and 6:15 p.m.  Available parts are for adults and children (ages 10 and up).  Roles include actors for seven-minute scenes, theatrical tour guides, and musicians.  No prior acting experience is necessary.  Rehearsals will be held on Wednesday nights and run from Sept. 20 through Oct. 18 with a dress rehearsal on Oct. 25 and evening performances on Oct. 27, 28, and 29 from 5 to 9:30 p.m.

Also needed is production crew.  Positions include stage crew, prop and scene fabricators, and costumers. 

For more information and to arrange an audition, call the Connecticut River Museum at 860-767-8269  x122 or send an email to kperkins@ctrivermuseum.org.

The Connecticut River Museum is located in Essex, Conn., and is the only museum dedicated to the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its Valley.  The recreation of Adriaen Block’s ONRUST, the first vessel to explore and chart Long Island Sound and the Connecticut River, is on display and available for cruises through Oct. 14. 

The Museum is located at 67 Main St., Essex and open seven days per week, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Columbus Day. After Columbus Day the Museum is closed on Mondays.  Visit online at www.ctrivermuseum.org.   

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Reading Uncertainly? ‘The Tide’ by Hugh Aldersey-Williams

A present from a New Hampshire daughter, The Tide is a delightful, entertaining, and thought-provoking mix of lucid, often poetic, language with numerous literary quotations plus detailed scientific explanations of the tides that embellish our lives on this earth. It is Aldersey-Williams’s thought-experiment.

It is also his history of the oceanic tides, mixed with a bit of mathematics. But not more than you can handle. As he notes, “You may be relieved to know that I will leave the mathematics aside here.” And, given that many tell us the world’s tides are soon to be much higher, this is a most worthwhile book.

It is, as he states, “not a book about the sea” (sailors, ships, and winds), but rather a book “about the seas” and the ever-changing space between land and water. The tide, he explains, “offers an irresistible mathematical tease” as we attempt to understand and predict it. It is both a horizontal and a vertical force. That is a “scientific challenge” and “a physical; and psychological influence on our culture.” The classic story of King Canute’s (or Cnut, as the author spells it) attempt to stem the tide may have altered the English view of nobility.

This is the author’s story of watching tides around the world, from the English Channel to, of all places, Griswold Point on the Connecticut River, with a cousin, David Redfield. Tides are entrancing: they give us slow, relative motion that produces a “hallucinatory feeling.” Water is, after all, “an inelastic fluid (that) cannot be compressed or expanded.” I too have been mesmerized: by the 10-foot tides in Tenants Harbor, Maine; by the rising waters in Bosham, West Sussex, England, that regularly swamp cars in the local bar’s parking lot; and by the rushing tidal currents in the Straits of Shimonoseki, between Honshu and Kyushu, Japan, through which we once sent our Navy ship (at slack water, of course!)

He acknowledges the inevitability of climate change and global warming, and the fact they will lead to rising seas: “The greatest impact of rising sea levels and the changing tides that may accompany them will be on human habitation.” After all, we easily succumb to the human drive to cling to shores. “In the long term, if not the short, ‘managed retreat’ is our only option. The sea always wins in the end.”

Trying to ‘stop the sea? “It is a futility that Sisyphus would understand all too well.” So New York is a potential Venice … and New London too!

But do not be deterred by such pessimism. The Tide is full of rich, poetic language, as in this description of birds above the sea: “Once aloft, the birds first coalesce as an egg-shaped cloud low over the water, before gaining height and taking on ever more extravagant, twisted shapes like a pixelated flamenco dancer.”

It is enough to send me down to the end of Ely’s Ferry Road to watch the Connecticut River slip by the marshes of Essex.

Editor’s Note: ‘The Tide’ by Hugh Aldersey-Williams was published by W. W. Norton, New York 2016.

Felix Kloman

About the Author: Felix Kloman is a sailor, rower, husband, father, grandfather, retired management consultant and, above all, a curious reader and writer. He’s explored how we as human beings and organizations respond to ever-present uncertainty in two books, ‘Mumpsimus Revisited’ (2005) and ‘The Fantods of Risk’ (2008). A 20-year resident of Lyme, he now writes book reviews, mostly of non-fiction that explores our minds, our behavior, our politics and our history. But he does throw in a novel here and there. For more than 50 years, he’s put together the 17 syllables that comprise haiku, the traditional Japanese poetry, and now serves as the self-appointed “poet laureate” of Ashlawn Farms Coffee, where he may be seen on Friday mornings. His wife, Ann, is also a writer, but of mystery novels, all of which begin in a bubbling village in midcoast Maine, strangely reminiscent of the town she and her husband visit every summer.

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A La Carte: Apricots and Almonds Make Great Galette!

Apricot and Almond Galette

My mother always wanted to live in San Diego, but as far as she got was Troy, NY.

She was born in the beginning of the 20th century, died in the beginning of the 21st century and was buried in an ecumenical cemetery not more than 20 blocks or so from where she lived her whole life.  San Diego, she said, correctly, had the perfect climate: fairly sunny, warm in the daytime and cooler at night. No snow ever.

For me, almost any season is okay. I like the autumn smell of wood smoke in the air and in winter, curling up with two cats as I read long, meandering novels. Spring never seems to linger too long and, now, we bid adieu to summer.

No matter the season, I love to cook. I am still having such fun with all the summer vegetables. I eat two or three tomatoes a day. I am grilling zucchini and summer squash outside or sautéing them with a little butter and garlic and salt on the cooktop in the kitchen. Last night I roasted a spaghetti squash, then tossed the innards with chopped tomatoes, basil and a little butter. Today I will make a frittata with sweet peppers for a 9:30 am meeting at my house.

Next weekend I will make a little dessert with fresh peaches and almonds. The recipe below, from calls for apricots, but any stone fruit will do.

Apricot and Almond Galette

From Bon Appetit, June, 2017

Yield: 4 servings

One-half cup blanched almonds
One-third cup sugar, for more for sprinkling
1 large egg
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
One-half teaspoon almond extract (optional, but I do love almond extract)
One-half teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (plus more for surface)
1 package frozen puff pastry, preferably all-butter, thawed
12 apricots (about 1 and one-quarter pound), halved and pitted (or other stone fruit, quartered if large)

Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Pulse almonds and one-third of sugar in a food processor until very finely ground. Add egg and pulse to combine. Add butter, almond extract (if using), vanilla extract, salt and 1 tablespoon flour; pulse until almond cream is smooth.

Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface just enough to smooth out any creases.

If you are using a package of pastry than as 2 sheets, stack and roll out to a one-quarter- to one-third rectangle.

If your package contains a single 16-inch to 10-inch sheet of puff pastry, halve it crosswise and roll out one half on a lightly floured surface until rectangle is one-quarter to one-third inch thick, saving remaining half for another use. Transfer to a parchment-lined (or Silpat-lined) baking sheet. Fold over edges of pastry to make a one-half inch border around sides. Prick surface all over with a fork (this keeps the pastry from rising too much when baked and helps it cook through. (Spread almond cream over pastry, staying inside borders. (Chill dough in the freezer for a few minutes if it becomes too soft to work with.) Set apricots, cut sides up, on top of the cream. Sprinkle lightly with sugar.

Bake until pastry is golden brown and puffed, 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue to bake until pastry is deep golden brown and cooked through and apricots are softened and browned in spots, 15 to 20 minutes longer.

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Nominations for Rockfall Foundation Local Environmental Champions Close Sept. 15

AREAWIDE — The Rockfall Foundation is seeking nominations for the 2017 Environmental Awards, which recognize individuals, organizations, and businesses for environmental efforts that contribute to the quality of life in the Lower Connecticut River Valley. Two categories of awards include the Distinguished Service Award and Certificates of Appreciation in the areas of preservation, conservation, restoration, or environmental education.

Awardees are recognized at the Rockfall Foundation’s annual meeting and grants celebration in November. Nominations must be submitted by Sept. 15, 2017 and a form can be downloaded at www.rockfallfoundation.org or one can be requested by calling 860-347-0340.

Founded in 1935 by Middletown philanthropist Clarence S. Wadsworth, the Rockfall Foundation is one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations. The Foundation supports environmental education, conservation and planning initiatives in the Lower Connecticut River Valley through public programs and grants.
In addition, the Rockfall Foundation operates the historic deKoven House Community Center that offers meeting rooms and office space for non-profit organizations.

For additional information about the 2017 Environmental Awards or the Rockfall Foundation, visit www.rockfallfoundation.org or call 860-347-0340.

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Community Music School Announces New Faculty

ESSEX — Community Music School (CMS) is pleased to welcome three area musicians to its faculty: Amy Buckley, who will be teaching voice; Ling-Fei Kang, who will be teaching oboe and English horn; and Corey Johnson, who will be teaching violin and viola.

Amy Buckley – Voice

Amy received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Connecticut, where her study afforded her the opportunity to train at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. She then went on to receive a Master of Music from The Juilliard School. This season Amy made her debut as Music Director at the Ivoryton Playhouse in The Hundred Dresses and starred in The Music Man as Marian Paroo with Artful Living. Credits include Cecile (The Hundred Dresses /Ivoryton Playhouse), Antonia (Man of La Mancha/Ivoryton Playhouse), Mrs. Banks (Mary Poppins/Artful Living), Sandy (I’ll Be Home for Christmas/Ivoryton Playhouse), Coach/Ms. Roosevelt (The Bully/Ivoryton Playhouse), Despina (Così fan Tutte/Pocket Opera of NY), La Fée (Cendrillon/Aspen Opera Theater), Euridice (Orfeo/Wintergreen Performing Arts Festival) and Adele (Die Fledermaus /Lincoln Center). When not performing, Amy serves as Music Director of the theater program at Walsh Intermediate School in Branford and Vocal Music Leader at Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Society in Madison. Amy is a member of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing).

Ling-Fei Kang – Oboe & English Horn

A native of Taiwan, oboist Ling-Fei Kang has performed as chamber musician and soloist nationally and internationally, including recitals with Oboe Duo Agosto at the conferences of the Asian Double Reed Association in Bangkok, Thailand, and the International Double Reed Society in Redlands, California and Tokyo, Japan.  She served as Professor of Oboe at the Festival Eleazar de Carvalho in Fortaleza, Brazil and taught master class at University of Southern Mississippi, Univeristy of South Alabama, Georgia State University and University of Alabama. She is also an experienced educator and teaches oboe at The Loomis Chaffee School, Miss Porter School, Renbrook School and Simsbury High School in Connecticut. Ms. Kang graduated with the Prix avec grande distinction from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal and also earned an Artist Diploma from The Hartt School, University of Hartford. Her principal teachers include Humbert Lucarelli and Bernard Jean.

Corey Johnson

Corey Johnson – Violin & Viola

Corey has been playing violin since 2003 and teaching since 2013. She is classically trained and has studied with the Hartford Symphony’s Jaroslaw Lis, who received a master’s degree from the Yale School of Music. Corey has extensive experience playing in ensembles, namely the quartet setting. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2017. Corey aims to make her lessons as fun as possible while still focusing on the core technical aspects of violin playing. She has advanced piano skills and sometimes accompanies her students in lessons. She loves to find or arrange music that her students enjoy playing.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 30 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 visit www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

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Siegrist Attends RSD 17 Convocation

State Rep. Bob Siegrist addressed RSD 17’s Convocation on Aug. 29

AREAWIDE — On Tuesday, Aug. 29, State Rep. Robert Siegrist was joined by the Superintendent of School, Howard J. Thiery III along with administrators and school staff in attending the RSD17 District Convocation held at Haddam-Killingworth High School.

The event signified the official start of the 2017 school year and included special events like staff recognition, as well as opportunities to bring together all staff and administrators as a community of professionals.

Rep. Siegrist, a Haddam-Killingworth High School graduate class of 2001 said, “Investing in our schools and our students is a benefit to the entire 36th district community, and I was happy to attend this kickoff to the 2017 school year. The future of our children begins with a quality education and I am so grateful for our dedicated staff and thankful for all that they do to ensure that our students succeed.”

“I wish the students and staff a successful school year and if the kids need anything that they could reach out to me,” Rep. Siegrist added.

Siegrist represents the 36th District communities of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam.

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Deep River Public Library to Join Bibliomation

Deep River Library building at 150 Main Street, Deep River

DEEP RIVER — Coming in October, the Deep River Public Library will be joining Bibliomation, Connecticut’s largest library consortium. This is exciting news for our patrons, who will gain access to materials from a network of 82 libraries.

Deep River patrons will benefit from sharing technology and resources, including the ease of placing online holds and reserving items from within the consortium of libraries, some of which are large enough to have specialized collections.

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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It’s ‘First Friday’ Tonight! Come Celebrate ‘Taste of Chester’

Joel Gargano is opening Grano Restaurant in Chester in the fall.

CHESTER — Raw oysters, brick over pizza slices, heirloom tomatoes with ricotta and basil, wine and beer tastings, ice cream cones, free drinks and more will be offered by downtown eateries First Friday, Sept. 1 from 5 to 8 p.m.

The first annual Taste of Chester will even include tastings by Grano Restaurant, which isn’t opening until later this fall in the former brick bank building on Main Street. Outside the building, owner Joel Gargano will be serving heirloom tomatoes and marinated roasted cauliflower.

At Otto’s, slices of brick-oven pizza will be $2 while River Tavern will be offering $1 drinks. The Chester package Store will be doing wine and beer tastings and the Pattaconk Bar and Grill will also offer tastings of any beer on tap and, at its ice cream window, any cone for $1.50

Outside the L&E, the restaurant will be serving oysters on the half shell for $1 each and Thai Riverside will give a drink away with each entrée.

Meanwhile, all the shops and galleries will be open until 8 p.m. with art openings, new lines of merchandise and specials plus wine and treats

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Salt Marsh Opera Presents ‘Opera in the Park’ Tonight in Old Saybrook

Sarah Nordin

OLD SAYBROOK — Salt Marsh Opera presents their annual event of well-known opera selections and musical theatre, “Opera in the Park,” on Friday, Sept. 1, at 6:30 p.m. on Old Saybrook Town Green, adjacent to the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main Street.

Bring family and friends, blankets and chairs, and even relax with a picnic dinner.

Professional performers Sarah Nordin, mezzo-soprano and Tyler Putnam, bass will delight you with glorious music under the stars.

Nordin has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, toured Japan, and the Geneva Light Opera Company.

Tyler Putnam

Putnam has appeared with Opera Omaha, St. Petersburg Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and the Little Opera Theatre of New York.

This event is free, but a $10 donation is suggested to cover expenses.

Rain date is Saturday, Sept. 2, at 6:30 p.m.

For additional information, visit www.saltmarshopera.org

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