October 19, 2017

Archives for October 2017

Artist-Run Contemporary Gallery to Open in Essex Village, Saturday

‘Summer Series 1’ is one of the signature works in ‘Cool & Collected’ opening at the new Melanie Carr Gallery, Oct. 21.

ESSEX – Melanie Carr Gallery will host a grand opening featuring its inaugural exhibition of Cool & Collected, a group exhibition of 14 contemporary artists on view at 1 North Main Street (across from the Essex Art Association) from Oct. 21 through Dec. 3. The opening reception will be Saturday, Oct. 21, from 4 to 7 p.m.

This exhibition will highlight the work of artists in Carr’s collection including Mary Dwyer whose historical portrait paintings revolve around historic lore and her love of early portraiture paintings; Kevin Van Aelst whose cerebral photographs consist of common artifacts and scenes from everyday life, which he rearranges into various forms, patterns, and illustrations; Bombay born artist Rashmi Talpade’s photomontages are amalgamations of reconstructed landscapes that reflect the intersection of Eastern and Western cultures.

‘Untitled’ by Matthew Best.

The exhibition also includes mesmerizing graphite drawings by Thea Wilcox Ciciotte; Robert Gregson’s geometric drawings which stem from his love of architecture; Matthew Best’s collages deal with power, gender, and authority; Kathleen Jacobs’ landscape paintings reveal nature’s abiding beauty, grace and order; Artist Ben Parker delights in his masterful folded paper constructions.

Conceptual artist David Borawski’s Blast drawings will be on view, puppeteer and artist Kimberly Van Aelst’s combines her love of science, nature, and art, Suzan Shutan’s Tar Roofing Paper pieces straddle the worlds of two and three dimensions; University of Connecticut Professor of Art John O’Donnell’s works on paper utilize appropriated images and objects relating to art history, popular media and consumer culture; and Margaret Vaughan who appropriates imagery from the fashion and porn industry states “my works fit in the fine line between lust and revulsion.”

Carr’s studio will occupy the back of the gallery. Works on paper of gallery artists will be available in the Flat Files; a ten-drawer cabinet of flat drawers that will allow more intimate works on paper available for sale in addition to the artwork on view. Also, there will be a dedicated space to serve as a hand’s on mark-making lab for visitors of all ages. Visitors are invited to explore different artist’s materials as a way to demystify and encourage the process of drawing, encourage creativity, develop a deeper understanding, appreciation, and interest in art.

Melanie Carr is a Connecticut-based artist who received her MFA from the College of Art and Design at Lesley University in 2011. Carr began her studies in visual art after serving in the United States Navy. After 10 years at the New Britain Museum of American Art as a Director/Curator, Carr is now Adjunct Professor at Central Connecticut State University and recently joined the staff at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, University of New Haven.

Melanie Carr

Carr’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Soapbox Gallery, NY, Stockman Gallery, New Britain, CT, City Arts on Pearl, Hartford, CT, Westport Arts Center, Westport, CT, and Pegasus Gallery, Middletown, CT. In addition, Carr’s work was included in numerous group exhibitions nationally. Carr has work in the collections at the New Britain Museum of American Art, The Loomis Chaffee School, and the Boston Public Library, as well as many private collections.

Susan Malan, Essex Economic Developer comments, “Essex is thrilled that Melanie Carr is opening a new art gallery at 1 North Main Street.  Her spirit and enthusiasm is bountiful and her gallery will add to the energy of Essex Village.  Melanie also chose Essex as her hometown – highlighting that Essex is a great place to live and work!”

Douglas Hyland Director Emeritus New Britain Museum of American Art notes, “As a respected curator, experienced arts administrator, and talented artist, Melanie Carr is ideally suited to found and operate an art gallery.  I look forward to her exhibitions as I know they will reflect her deep understanding and appreciation of our region’s burgeoning contemporary art scene.”

For more information, email melcarrstudio@comcast.net or call 860.830.6949

Editor’s Note: Melanie Carr Gallery is an artist-run project space dedicated to the practice, exhibition, and sale of contemporary art. The goal of Melanie Carr Gallery is to promote the importance of contemporary art and examine its impact on society while providing its artists greater exposure to new audiences. All are welcome. “artisnotdecoration  #theworldneedsmoreartists #neverenoughart  #collectart #ctartist #artsharpensthemind

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Community Music School Hosts Master Clarinetist to Teach Technique Intensive, Saturday

Clarinetist Ken Lagace will lead a full day clarinet workshop, Oct. 21.

CENTERBROOK – Community Music School presents master clarinetist Ken Lagace, who will lead a full day of workshops on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 10 a.m.to 4 p.m., focusing on intermediate/advanced level clarinet technique on a wide range of topics.  The intensive will be hosted on Community Music School’s main campus in Centerbrook and will cost $95, with lunch included.   Register online at www.community-music-school.org/clarinet-intensive or by calling 860-767-0026.

The morning session will include in-depth information on clarinet reeds, including how to select them, maintain them, fix them, properly play them, and even how to make them. The afternoon session will provide an introduction to Lagace’s signature REALM method, which stands for Reed, Embouchure, Air, Ligature, and Mouthpiece.  This method teaches players to achieve an excellent sound with flexibility, range, control, and many other aspects of good clarinet performance.

Each session will be followed by a chance for the participants to experiment with their newly learned skills. During the final session, participants will be broken into two or more groups where they can apply their new techniques in a chamber ensemble setting, with feedback from Lagace and other clarinet instructors.

Lagace received his Bachelor of Music degree at Hartt College of Music (CT) in 1960.  He studied with Keith Wilson at Yale in 1955, Bernard Portnoy in New York City from 1958 to 1960.  He served as a member of the US Coast Guard Band and studied with Kalmen Opperman in New York City from 1962 to 1966. He instructed at the Hartt College of Music (CT) from 1966 to 1987. Under the tutelage of Kalmen Opperman, Lagace learned to make his own reeds and reface clarinet and saxophone mouthpieces which has become a skill he willingly shares with his peers.

He was a member of the Hartford (CT) Symphony Orchestra from 1966 to 1987 playing Assistant Principal Clarinet, Bass Clarinet and Eb Clarinet. He was Principal Clarinetist in the Hartford (CT) Chamber Orchestra from its inception until 1987.  His performances include many on TV and Radio, and at Lincoln Center (NYC) and Carnegie Hall (NYC) with the Hartford Symphony.  He also made a CD recording of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Hartford (CT) Chamber Orchestra in 1976.

In 1987 Mr. Lagace abandoned the clarinet to program computers and in 2008 after retiring, dusted off the clarinet and is enjoying being back in the clarinet world again.

 

About Community Music School

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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Tickets Now on Sale for Meeting House Players Madcap Comedy, ‘Play On!’, Opens Oct. 27

A scene from a recent rehearsal of “Play On!”

CHESTER — The Meeting House Players will present a number of performances of Rick Abbot’s madcap comedy “Play On!” at the end of this month and in early November.  The production opens on Friday, Oct. 27, and continues Oct. 28, and on Nov. 3 and 4, at the Meeting House located on 4 Liberty St. in Chester, Conn.  The curtain will rise at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 27 and 28, and Nov. 3.  On Nov. 4, there will be a 2 p.m. matinee and an 8 p.m. evening performance.

Written as a play within a play, “Play On!”  treats its audiences to a hilarious look behind the scenes of a local community theatre troupe desperately trying to mount a production of a new play.  With only a few rehearsals left before the opening night, chaos ensues.  Dress rehearsal is a disaster. 

On opening night, anything that can go wrong, does go wrong but the ensemble continues to “play on” until the final curtain falls.  The play’s talented ensemble cast features David Cardone, Vickie Blake, Derek Clark, Jessica Chan, Nancy Cardone, Timothy Rowe, Elizabeth Alvord, Barbara Harvey, Alexis Hartman and Andrew Jaworski. The production is directed by Debbie Alldredge

Tickets for “Play On!” are on sale now.  Tickets prices are $25 for Preferred Seating tickets and $15 for Open Seating tickets.  Reservation requests for both Preferred and Open seating are available at www.TheMeetingHousePlayers.com  or by calling 860-526-3684.  Unreserved tickets will be available at the door.

For additional information, contact TheMeetingHousePlayers@gmail.com.  The Meeting House Players is a not-for-profit community theatre organization.  The group pursues the theatre arts with the talents and interests of people throughout Connecticut.   

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Letter to the Editor: Pacileo Will Fight for Essex, Confront Malloy for Fair State Funding,

To the Editor:

I endorse Vin Pacileo for First Selectman of Essex.

Under the Malloy Budget, Education Cost Sharing Grant for Essex will be 0. I don’t know why the Governor’s Budget would pass on his irresponsibility to Towns and Cities. Education for goodness sake! Isn’t that a bi-partisan issue? Vin Pacileo vows to confront the Governor for fair state funding. I agree with him.

Contrast this with our present First Selectman who wants to use our “rainy day fund” to close the loss. Isn’t that just giving up? Surely, there are other things we need to fund in Essex, perhaps an even larger amount to fund the pension, or the Library or the Fire Department. Personally, I believe our present First Selectman should join those Selectmen and Mayors working to force Governor Malloy to find other means to solve Connecticut’s budget crises. After all the Governor would listen to someone who gave a substantial donation to his campaign. Governor Malloy shows that he is not bi-partisan, since he vetoed a bi-partisan budget that was passed in the General Assembly. He might listen to a Democrat.

Since, I served on the Board of Education In Portland, I know that our state has burdened the towns and cities with expensive unfunded mandates for years. In a ValleyNewsNow.com article, dated September 15, 2017, Norm said, “ if re-elected he will continue to fight the proliferation of unfunded mandates.” He has the “bully pulpit” now. Why not fight now? This is not just a state issue, it effects Essex. Change Starts Locally.

I want a First Selectman who will fight for Essex. Vin Pacileo is that man. I urge you to vote for Vin Pacileo on November 7.

Sincerely,

Lynn D. Herlihy,
Essex.

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Lyme Art Association Hosts ‘Palate to Palette,’ a Delicious, Fun-filled Fundraiser, Thursday

AREAWIDE — Lyme Art Association (LAA) hosts a delicious and art-filled fundraiser, ‘Palate to Palette,’ Oct. 19, from 6 to 9 p.m.

Enjoy a sumptuous offering by the area’s top restaurants and caterers, plus a variety of craft beer and wine.

The event includes a silent auction featuring works of art specially created by LAA member artists as well as celebrity artists.

Tickets are $45 for LAA members, or $50 for guests.

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Legal News You Can Use: Why Many Car Accidents Happen Close to Home

Part of the reason many accidents occur near home is because driving in familiar places can cause drivers to rely on memory instead of what is happening around them. This auto-pilot phenomenon can prevent people from remaining vigilant while driving, potentially causing them to miss important visual cues. It is imperative that drivers combat this phenomenon by staying awake and alert as unpredictable elements, such as other drivers, crossing animals or mechanical failure, can always cause an accident. However, because others are also likely driving on auto-pilot, motorists should also ensure that they always buckle their seat belt no matter how far they are driving.

Further, fatal car accidents are more likely to occur at certain times of times of the day, particularly when workers are heading home or when residents are out running errands. For example, 16 percent of fatal accidents that occurred in 2013 took place between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.. Further, 31 percent of car accidents in 2013 occurred between 6 p.m. and midnight.

Car accidents that occur on interstates, local highways or even rural roads can result in serious injuries or even death. If the accident occurred due to another driver’s negligence or risky driving habits, those who suffered injuries could seek compensation for the damages they sustained in the incident, including recovering the cost of their medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering. However, some insurance companies may attempt to settle the claim for less than what the injured individuals need. In such an event, filing a lawsuit against the at-fault motorist with an attorney’s help might be advisable.

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

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Essex Historical Society Hosts Antique & Classic Car Show & Tour Today

ESSEX — Start your engines!

From sleek vintage roadsters to classic muscle cars, Essex Historical Society’s Antique & Classic Car Show highlights the best of automotive history.  All photos courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

Essex Historical Society (EHS) is partnering with Essex Automobile Club & Antique Auto Service to present the 7th Annual Antique & Classic Car Show & Tour Sunday, Oct. 15, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  This annual event combines the best in viewing classic cars, followed by a fall foliage tour around the area.

Held on the beautiful grounds of the historic Pratt House, 19 West Ave., Essex, the car show welcomes all antique and classic cars 25 years and older, with no entrance fee.  Exhibiting cars may arrive after 10:30 a.m.  The general public is welcome to attend this family-friendly, free event.  Onsite refreshments will be available for purchase, provided by Porky Pete’s Catering.

See antique cars of all kinds on Saturday, Oct. 15.

Since it will be the height of fall foliage season, exhibitors are welcome to join in a driving tour of area attractions, to enjoy autumn’s beauty in the Valley/Shore area for a late season ride.  The tour will begin around 12 p.m., maps will be provided and the touring cars will return to the Pratt House grounds.  The show will remain open for those who do not participate in the tour.   Visitors are welcome to explore the grounds and reproduction barn of the 1732 Pratt House.

Join your fellow car-enthusiasts for this lovely day in Essex as that weekend also features the decorated Scarecrows On Main Street.   For more information, visit www.essexhistory.org or 860-767-0681.

There is no rain date for this event.

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Last Day to see ‘I Hate Musicals: The Musical’ 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.

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Essex-based ‘Overabove’ Expands with Opening of West Coast Office 

The staff of OverAbove gather for a group photo in front of their premises at the Witch Hazel Works in Essex.

ESSEX – Overabove, a strategic marketing and communications firm based in Essex, Conn., has expanded its business footprint and enhanced its offerings with the opening of a Los Angeles office. The firm’s new office is located in Manhattan Beach on the Manhattan Beach Studios’ Media Campus – a facility where media arts, studio production, new technology and ideas converge.

The creative space is just south of Hollywood and bustling with the kind of activity at the heart of Overabove’s culture and services. Seasoned industry leader Tara Walls has been appointed to lead the firm’s new office.

As Head of Entertainment for Overabove, Walls will draw upon nearly 25 years of experience in the Hollywood entertainment industry to connect brands with television shows, feature films and talent. She’ll leverage industry relationships and tap her experience in brand integration and promotional partnerships, as well as with music and influencers, to craft customized entertainment partnerships to elevate brands of all sizes. She’ll also create original content to give brands exposure.

Walls’ depth of experience in identifying and structuring relationships between Hollywood properties and brands will bring strong added value to Overabove’s clients. While Walls only recently joined Overabove in a formal capacity, she’s been an extension of the Overabove team for more than a decade – collaborating with the firm on a number of entertainment partnerships for shared clients.

A resident of Los Angeles, Walls joins the Overabove team after serving as executive vice president of brand integrations & entertainment partnerships at FRUKT and Rogers & Cowan. She previously worked as a product placement executive at two Hollywood film studios.

“We are thrilled that our business footprint will now reach from coast to coast and that our new office is in such an ideal, exciting location – spearheaded by someone as talented and experienced as Tara,” said Ralph Guardiano, principal and co-founder of Overabove. “We know that these enhancements will greatly benefit our clients’ strategic and creative plans and look forward to seeing the results.”

John Visgilio, principal and co-founder of Overabove with Guardiano, added, “The opening of our West Coast office along with Tara’s hiring is part of our continued evolution to keep our clients’ brands above the noise, make our offerings as extensive and accessible as possible, and tap new growth opportunities.”

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Shoreline Legislators Attend Bridge Dedication Ceremony

From left to right, back row: State Senator Art Linares; State Representative Jesse MacLachlan; Noel Bishop, First Selectman of Westbrook; James P. Redeker, Department of Transportation Commissioner, and State Representative Devin Carney; front row, Tom Callinan and Sid Holbrook met in Westbrook on Thursday, Oct. 5, to attend the bridge dedication ceremony.

WESTBROOK – Shoreline legislators, Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner, local officials and residents all came together on Thursday, Oct. 5, at the Clubhouse North Yard Pilot Point in Westbrook for a bridge dedication ceremony.

During the 2017 legislative session, Carney, MacLachlan and Linares presented proposals to officially name two bridges in Westbrook.

  • House Bill 5573An Act Naming A Bridge in Westbrook “The Singing Bridge” sought to give the bridge over the Patchogue River in Westbrook a permanent name. This historic landmark was constructed in 1925 and had no official name up until now. Due to the sound generated by motor vehicle tires passing over the grid deck, residents nicknamed the bridge “The Singing Bridge.”
  • House Bill 5679An Act Naming A Bridge In Westbrook The “John H. Wilson Bridge” sought to honor John H. Wilson, who passed away in 2015, and was the founder of the Westbrook Historical Society and a veteran of the Korean War.

Both proposals were heard at a public hearing on January 30, 2017 in the legislature’s Transportation Committee and later passed into law during the 2017 legislative session.

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Voting Continues in Essex’s Scarecrow Festival Through Oct. 29

Gru and the Minions made an appearance at the 2015 Scarecrow Festival. Photo by Elizabeth Cadley.

ESSEX — The scarecrows are coming!

The Essex Board of Trade will host the annual Scarecrow Festival on Saturday Oct. 14.  Local merchants and community organizations as well as individual residents and families all contribute life-size straw figures for the event. The goal is to have enough scarecrows for all the lampposts on Main Street in Essex and Ivoryton.

Judy Heiser of the Essex Board of Trade notes, “It’s never been a problem to get them; people are really enthusiastic about this.” The scarecrows come in all sorts of garbs, from lacy wedding dresses to Cub Scout uniforms from the local troop. Restaurants often make chef scarecrows. Heiser described the scarecrows fashioned by the Essex Hardware, which has put several straw men in front of its building, as “a bit gory, very interesting, and very hardware store-ish.”  This year there are themes as well: Best Town Spirit, Most Creative, Most Beautiful, Most Original, and Scariest.

The scarecrows need to be delivered to Jim D’Alessio at J. Alden Clothiers on Essex Main Street by Oct. 4.  Once they are installed, everyone is encouraged to visit and vote for their favorites!  Ballots are available at participating merchants in town.  Scarecrow voting will take place until Oct. 29, with winners announced on the 31st.

Scarecrow Festival Activities

On Oct. 14 from 12 to 4 p.m., there will be music, games, food and activities all along Essex’s Main Street. As you stroll the street and enjoy the scarecrows be sure to:

  • Drop in to Main Street Park for a bowl of the Congregational Church’s chili and music (10:00-2:00) from the Shiny Lapel Trio (12:00-1:30) ;
  • Enjoy a Revolutionary Ale at the Griswold Inn Tap Room and take home a complimentary pint glass;
  • Hear folk singer Larry Kaplan from 2 to 3:30 p.m. outside Toy’s Ahoy;
  • Play games on the lawn at the Connecticut River Museum;
  • Enjoy a cannoli from Cannoli on the Run food truck;
  • Browse the Village Shops, and more!

The Essex Board of Trade includes virtually every type of business within the three villages that comprise Essex Township.  The EBOT organizes many of the events in Essex that have been family traditions for years.  The EBOT also supports numerous non-profit organizations by offering them low cost memberships and assists them in their various events and causes. For more information about the Essex Board of Trade, its programs, and members, visit essexct.com.

Photo Captions:

  1. Inspiration for designs comes from movies, Halloween themes, and even famous musicians! Photo by Elizabeth Cadley.
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CT River Museum Hosts a Fall Feast Gala Tonight

Executive Director Christopher Dobbs, Becker’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry’s Bill McGuinness and Guilford Savings Bank’s Lisa LeMonte peruse the menu for the 2017 Fall Feast. Photo by Connecticut River Museum.

Connecticut River Museum’s 2017 Fall Feast, catered by the River Tavern’s Jonathan Rapp, will be a culinary celebration of the Connecticut River Valley.  On Saturday, Oct.14, Fall Feast guests will savor a delicious farm-to-table meal and enjoy a lively performance by the Amherst College, all-male a cappella group, The Zumbyes while overlooking beautiful Essex harbor.

The evening will be hosted by WFSB’s Scot Haney who will be auctioning off a spectacular line-up of  items including an eight-day/seven-night voyage on American Cruise Lines’ Columbia & Snake River Cruise, a five-night get-away to Nantucket Island, four Trophy Club passes to the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, a six-day/five-night Trek Bike Tour from Prague to Vienna, and a stunning diamond bracelet donated by Becker’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry will adorn the wrist of one lucky Fall Feast guest.

Tickets for the event are $150 and all proceeds benefit the Connecticut River Museum.  Contributions from Fall Feast provide critical support for the Museum’s education programs, exhibits, and environmental and cultural programs.

Fall Feast 2017 sponsors include: Underwriting Sponsor Becker’s Diamond & Fine Jewelry; Benefactor Sponsors Guilford Savings Bank, American Cruise Lines, Connecticut Rental Center and the Cooper Companies; Sustaining Sponsors Brewer Essex Yacht Yards, C. Sherman Johnson Co., Reynolds’ Garage & Marine, Siris/Coombs Architects and Tower Laboratories;  Supporting Sponsors Bogaert Construction Company, Caulfield & Ridgway, Inc., J.N. Mehler, CFP, LLC., Sapia Construction Corp., and Sullivan Lawn Services; Friend Sponsors  Clark Group, Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services and Dr. Stephen Sinatra; In-kind Sponsors include Eco/Blast All Inc., and Maris Wacs Design.

To purchase tickets and preview auction items, visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.

 

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Children’s Tree Montessori School Hosts Family Fall Festival Today

On Saturday, Oct. 14, the Children’s Tree Montessori School at 96 Essex Rd., Old Saybrook, hosts a Family Fall Festival from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with pumpkin painting, face painting, music and fun activities.

Admission is free and all are welcome.

Rain date is Oct. 15.

For more information, visit www.childrenstree.org  or call 860-388-3536.

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‘Pour for a Pup’ at New Reynolds’ Building Raises Funds for CT Pound Pups, Tonight

Renee DiNino and friend.

LYME — Reynolds’ Subaru will be hosting Pour for a Pup event Saturday, Oct.14, to help support the Connecticut pound pups. The event will take place in Reynolds’ brand new state of the art facility. All are welcome.

This charity event will have wine and beer tastings from Tony’s Package Store and Staehly’s Farm, Tito’s has offered to provide cocktail tastings, fun auction items will be available, Best of Everything Country Gourmet will be catering the event, and DJ Boppers will be providing music!

Vice president of the CT Animal House, Jude Levin, states “Pour for a pup, yep that’s right! Come join us for a fun night with a wine and beer tasting, delicious food, awesome DJ “Boppers”, and the beautiful and gracious Renee DiNino who will be our Mistress of Ceremonies. All proceeds go directly to help the CT Pound dogs in need!”

The event will take place 6:30-10 p.m. at Reynolds’ Subaru, 268 Hamburg Road, Lyme CT. To purchase your tickets at $35 per person come to Reynolds’, Malloves Jewelers, or visit www.ctanimalhouse.org.

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Country School Welcomes ‘Minds in Motion’ Back to Campus

Claudia Califano, M.D., child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist and Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale Child Study Center will be part of the panel discussion “How do you raise technologically healthy children?”

AREAWIDE – The Country School welcomes Minds in Motion back to campus for a full day of fun, fast-paced, hands-on workshops for students in PreK-Grade 6 on Saturday, Oct. 14, when this signature event of the Connecticut Association for the Gifted returns to The Country School for the fourth time. In addition to children’s programming, there will also be free parent and teacher programs designed to help parents explore ways to challenge and inspire their children.

There will be free literature, resources, and networking opportunities available, as well as a range of exhibitors, camps, books, and educational toy sales for parents to explore.

Over 25 different student workshops this year will range from Sizzling Sensory Science, Life by the Wigwam 300 Years Ago!, Introduction to Robotics, Fencing, Poetry and Math, Owl Pellet Detectives, Paint Like the Masters, Intro to STEAM, 3D Printing and Design, Roller Coaster Physics, Chess, Think Like DaVinci, and more.

This year’s keynote for parents will feature a panel discussion on the role of technology in the lives of children. How much is too much? How can you best ensure your child’s safety online?

Panelists will include Claudia Califano, M.D., child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist and Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale Child Study Center; Peggy Chappell, LCSW and Consultant with over 30 years of experience working with children, parents, and teachers; Jerry Zigmont, Owner, MacWorks, LLC, technology consultant with over 30 years experience in technology industry; and Bill Leidt, Technology Director and Technology Teacher at The Country School. Beth Coyne, Dean of Student Life at The Country School, will serve as moderator. Panelists will also offer parent workshops on this topic.

Learn more about the workshops for children and opportunities for adults at http://www.thecountryschool.org/student-life/minds-in-motion. Space is limited and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so register early to reserve your spot. Registration closed Oct. 7.

Founded in 1955, The Country School serves 213 students in PreSchool-Grade 8 on its 23-acre campus in Madison. The Country School is committed to active, hands-on learning and a vigorous curriculum that engages the whole child. Signature programs such as Elmore Leadership, Public Speaking, STEAM, and Outdoor Education help prepare students for success in high school and beyond. See the school community in action during Fall Open House on Oct. 29 from 1-3:30 p.m. Learn more at www.thecountryschool.org.

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New London’s St. Francis House To Hold Book Sale Today

AREWIDE — New London’s St. Francis House will hold a book sale on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., to benefit the St. Francis House library. The library, which is open to the public on Mondays from 4 to 6 p.m. or by appointment, offers a unique collection of books on theology, social justice, biography and women’s issues, along with poetry and more.

The sale will take place at the non-profit, located at 30 Broad Street in New London.  Books in the sale will include children’s books and poetry as well as fiction, spirituality, philosophy and social justice.

St. Francis House is an intentional Christian Community, where members share the daily work of living while working to improve the social and economic conditions of the surrounding community. The community supports initiatives and ongoing works, having played a role in the Homeless Hospitality Center, Voluntown Peace Trust, Spark MakerSpace, Drop-In Learning Center, FRESH, Hearing Youth Voices among others.

The library at St. Francis House offers a look into the philosophy behind the organization, and guidance for the work which others may contemplate.

Early in the history of the organization, the question of valuing written works presented itself, as the late Father Emmett Jarrett was confronted with having to put a price on a soon-to-be-published book of his poetry. The issue for Fr. Emmett, a published New Directions poet, was of detracting from the sacredness of writing by placing a market-based price on it.

Carrying on this discussion, books will be offered at the St. Francis book sale for whatever price the buyer deems reasonable; or, for what value the buyer places on the continued operation of the St. Francis House Library.

A catalog of the library’s collections may be viewed at www.stfrancishouseNL.org. To schedule a time to visit the library, or for more information on the book sale, contact: stfrancishouseNL@att.net, or 860-437-8890.

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Letter to the Editor: Registered Republican Urges Readers to Vote for Democrat Lewis as Probate Judge

To the Editor:

The Connecticut Probate Court System is an often misunderstood, vitally important part of our community.  I am writing to encourage anyone who reads this to cast their ballot for Jeannine Lewis; as I know no one better suited to be our next Judge of Probate in the 33rd District. Having known Jeannine as a caring parent and a polished attorney for almost a decade has been my distinct pleasure.

Attorney Lewis has a resume uncannily tailored precisely to this type of work. Aside from being thoroughly skilled in handling the administration of decedents’ estates, she is particularly well suited to handle the lesser known aspects of probate matters as well.  More than half of the work performed by probate judges involves children, seniors, persons with mental illness, and adults with intellectual disability. The ability to be a compassionate and understanding advocate for these people is a most critical skill in a probate judge; and Jeannine Lewis has a limitless reserve of compassion, care and consideration for everyone she encounters.

Attorney Lewis has adeptly handled many legal matters for my family over the years, and I hope that I am a long way away from needing her services as Judge of Probate; but I will rest far easier knowing that, should the need arise, my family, friends and I will have the best person sitting on the bench. Every one of us is just one bad bump on the head away from possibly needing the probate system to work for us to establish and monitor a conservatorship or oversee the timely administration of our estate assets.

As a registered Republican and an elected official, I encourage voters to ignore making this important choice based on party line, and to elect the best person for the job – Jeannine Lewis.

Sincerely,

DG Fitton,
Essex.

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Letter to the Editor: Needleman Confirms Financial Status of Essex is Strong, Despite State’s Budget Woes

To the Editor:

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Essex

Although the State of Connecticut is in turmoil, we are not. We are as anxious as anyone to see how the budget gets resolved. However, the result will have a minimal effect on us

because we have been diligent in our efforts.

For fiscal year 2016/2017, Town of Essex will once again finish the year with a budget surplus.  The surplus is the result of positive variances on both the revenue and expenditure sides versus budget.  Higher than anticipated revenue from property tax and local revenue sources were more than sufficient to offset the loss of State revenue during the fiscal year.  Expenditures finished the year under budget for both the General Government and Education.  Bottom line, the Town will add approximately $161 thousand to the rainy day fund. In addition to that, $260 thousand dollars of surplus was utilized for a one-time payment to pension funds and additional money for capital sinking funds.  In other words, our total surplus was over $420 thousand.

It has been through the Town’s careful budgeting, healthy fund balance and minimal reliance on State funding sources that earned the Town an increase in credit rating to AA+ with S&P Global Ratings in the face of a downgraded rating for the State of CT.  Armed with this improved rating, the Town issued $6 million in General Obligation Bonds on September 19th with a true interest cost of 2.49%. These bonds represented the final financing of the Capital Improvements Program approved at the December 2014 referendum.

Moreover, building activity was at a record pace in 2016-17 and businesses throughout town have been opening, including restaurants, galleries, and other retail shops.

All in all, I’m proud to say that through the collaborate efforts of our Board of Selectmen the state of our town is in great shape.

All the Best,

Norm Needleman,
Essex.

Editor’s Note: The author id the first selectman of Essex.

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Letter to the Editor: Current Leadership is Working in Essex

To the Editor:

Let’s stay with what’s working.  Norm Needleman and Stacia Libby are doing a great job serving Essex as selectpersons.  They and their team have strengthened our financial management, keeping tight reins on the budget while enhancing services.  They are moderate and reasonable and work successfully with a broad range of people and opinions.  Unlike state and national politics Essex has been able to maintain open dialogue across party lines because our leaders act like the public servants they were elected to be. 

Let us also be good citizens and go to the polls on November 7th.  Vote for what you know has been working and then find ways to pitch in and help this town and it’s leaders to preserve the “best small town” reputation we have rightly earned.

Sincerely,

Claire Matthews,
Essex.

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Letter to the Editor: Re-elect Needleman; Puts Town First, Party Second

To the Editor:

The Essex election for first selectman is here again, and I’d like to voice my support for Norm Needleman. Like many folks in Essex, I am not a member of either of the major political parties; for me the reason is that I find the partisanship disheartening. There cannot be a better example than the dysfunction we have today in our federal government. I believe every issue worth discussing should be done so openly and without an allegiance to some party position. This is why I support Norm; while nominally a Democrat, he is a mindful leader that will try and execute a decision based on what is good for the town. I may not agree with everything he has done or will do, but I fully support the way in which he comes to the decisions. I think we are lucky to have him So, vote for Norm, not because he is a Democrat but rather because he genuinely has the best interests of Essex as his core principal.

Sincerely,

Bob Ward,
Essex.

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Letter to the Editor: Pacileo Will be a Full-Time, Hands-On Essex First Selectman

To the Editor:

With a 2017/2018 budget of over $24,000,000 and approximately 45 full & part time employees, Essex needs a full-time, hands on First Selectman. Vin Pacileo, the Republican candidate for First Selectman, will devote his full attention and time to the job and he has the experience to very effectively manage the town’s budget and employees.

Vin is a former Essex Selectman who currently serves on Essex’s Board of Finance. In addition, he is the chief administrative officer of the town of Stonington (a position he will resign shortly after being elected). His business experience includes management positions at Pfizer, The Hartford and Aetna.

Vin has the experience Essex needs and is committed to fighting for fair state support, engaging our community, and growing our tax base.

I urge all Essex residents to vote for Vin Pacileo for Essex First Selectman on November 7th.

Sincerely,

Bruce MacMillian
Essex.

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A la Carte: Add a (K)rumble to Key Lyme Pie!

Key Lime Pie with Crumble

Does it make you crazy that Halloween candy was on the shelves in August and today, in mid-October, the stores are already showing lawn reindeer? Yeah, me too. But it’s not too soon to think about Christmas presents, especially as I dream that someone will buy me an Instant Pot for the holidays?

Who am I kidding?

I want that Instant Pot now. I can get it on Amazon this very minute and, with Amazon Prime, the shipping is free!

But the holidays shouldn’t be about what I want. Yesterday I sent an Instant Pot to my oldest granddaughter, whose birthday is this month. She is a second-year medical student at the University of Minnesota. She and her roommates have little time, and Lily is a good cook. She will let me know whether I should get one for myself.

For Christmas, each of my grandchildren will get cookbooks, and over the next few weeks, I will decide which cookbooks I will buy for them. My first choice so far is Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough’s latest (of 30!) called “All-Time Favorite Sheet Cakes and Slab Pies.”

But instead of waiting until the holidays, get a copy for yourself now. These recipes will make you Santa Claus during the holidays. All use a half-sheet pan (13 x 18 inches) and each pie or cake will feed about 16 or 24 people. Here is just one of the 100.

Key Lyme Cheesecake with Oat Crumble

from Weinstein and Scarbrough “All-Time Favorite Sheet Cakes and Slab Pies,” St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2017

For the crumble crust and topping
24 tablespoons (3 sticks) cool unsalted butter cut into small chunks, plus additional for the sheet pan
3 and one-half cups all-purpose flour
3 and one-half cups rolled oats
1 and one-half cups granulated white sugar
1 and one-half cups light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg white at room temperature

Generously butter the inside of a 13- by 18-inch lipped sheet pan.

Using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the flour, nuts, both sugars, baking powder and salt in a large bowl at medium speed until uniform, about 1 minute.

Add butter chunks and beat at medium-low speed until well blended, about 4 minutes. Add egg white and beat at medium speed until mixture can hold together like dry oatmeal cookie dough when squeezed, less than 1 minute.

Scoop 6 cups of the mixture into the prepared sheet pan using clean, dry fingers to press the mixtu5re into an even crust across the bottom (even to the corners, but not up the side of the pan.

For the cheesecake
1 pound full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 14-ounce can full-fat sweetened condensed milk
1 cup fresh lime juice (I use Key lime juice, available in most supermarkets)
One-third cup granulated white sugar
6 large egg yolks, at room temperature

Position rack in center of the oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Put cream cheese, condensed milk, lime juice, sugar and egg yolks in a large food processor or blender. Cover and process or blend until smooth. Pour this mixture onto the prepared crust in an even layer.

Squeeze small portions of the remaining crumble mixture into little oblongs, then crumble these into little stones and pebble across the filing.

Baked until browned and set with a slight jiggle to the center of the pan, about 30 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before cutting into squares.

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‘Safe Futures’ Hosts ‘Power of Purple’ 4K Walk, Sunday; Benefits Domestic Violence Victims, Survivors

AREAWIDE — Sign up … Step Out … Save Lives

Join Safe Futures this Sunday, Oct. 15, as the organization takes a stand against domestic violence. Their efforts during Safe Futures 40th Anniversary Power of Purple 4K Walk will help to bring the community together to show survivors and victims of sexual assault, stalking, and trafficking in southeast Connecticut that they matter and that Safe Futures is there to help them.

The walk will be held in the Crystal Mall at Waterford and registration is at 8:30 a.m., speeches at 9:15 a.m. and the walk start is at 9:30 a.m. Registration fees are $25 for adults and $15 for kids.

Can you help them during Domestic Violence Awareness Month by honoring and supporting the victims of abuse?

You can still pre-register at: https://www.firstgiving.com/413648/safe-futures-4k-walk

For sponsorships, raffle basket donation, and other registration questions, contact Amanda Boaz, Development Associate, aboaz@safefuturesct.org (860) 447-0366 x.220

 

 

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Soroptomist CT Shoreline Club Offers Cash Grant to Women Seeking Financial Assistance for Education/Training Expenses

AREAWIDE — The CT Shoreline Club of Soroptimist International of the Americas has announced that it is currently accepting applications for its annual Live Your Dream award.

The award seeks to support women who serve as the primary wage earners for their families seeking financial assistance to continue their education or to receive training. Information and an application are available at https://soroptimistnortheasternregion.org/files/ShorelineLYDapplication2018.pdf, or by contacting the co-chair Mary Jean Cummiskey at maryjeancummiskey@gmail.com. The application deadline is Nov. 15. Applicants will be notified in January 2018.

The CT Shoreline club will provide a $1,000 cash grant to its award recipient, who will then advance to the Soroptimist Northeast Region level, where recipients could receive up to an additional $5,000. The program culminates with three finalist $10,000 awards.

Recipients can use the Live Your Dream Award to offset costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education or additional skills and training. This includes tuition, books, childcare, carfare or any other education related expense. 

Nationally, the Live Your Dream Award provides over $2 million in cash grants to head-of-household women in need each year. Since the program’s inception in 1972, more than $30 million has helped tens of thousands of women achieve their dreams of a better life for themselves and their families. 

A study conducted by The Fels Institute of Government, a research and consulting organization based at the University of Pennsylvania, confirmed the efficacy and impact of this program. It improves the recipients’ quality of life; builds their confidence; strengthens their self-determination and makes them want to, in turn, help others. Helping women in this way has the demonstrated effect of leading to stronger communities, nations and the world. 

Chartered in February 2017, the new CT Shoreline club is part of Soroptimist International of the Americas, a global organization that works to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. CT Shoreline members join with almost 80,000 Soroptimists in about 120 countries and territories to contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women and girls.

Soroptimist, a 501(c)(3) organization that relies on charitable donations to support its programs, also powers LiveYourDream.org—an online community offering offline volunteer opportunities in support of women and girls. For more information about how Soroptimist improves the lives of women and girls, visit www.soroptimist.org. 

This new chapter welcomes members. To learn more, visit www.soroptimistner.org or www.liveyourdream.org.

Applications available at: https://soroptimistnortheasternregion.org/files/ShorelineLYDapplication2018.pdf

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KeyBank Supports Connecticut Food Bank with Regional Food, Fund Drive

OLD SAYBROOK – KeyBank is presenting the Super-Size-Me Food Drive to benefit the Connecticut Food Bank. Through Oct. 28, special collection boxes for nonperishable food donations will be placed at KeyBank branches in nine towns across the area served by the Connecticut Food Bank. KeyBank will also host an online virtual food drive, allowing individuals who may not be able to visit a branch to support the Food Bank with a financial donation.

The drive is the inspiration of KeyBank employee James Trimble, a longtime volunteer with the Connecticut Food Bank that has made his annual drive a tradition, along with volunteer work at other food bank activities.

“James has been a wonderful volunteer champion for the Connecticut Food Bank,” said Bernie Beaudreau, CEO of the Connecticut Food Bank. “Since beginning this project in 2013, he has raised enough food and funds to provide nearly 16,000 meals.”

Beaudreau said the drive will support the work of the Connecticut Food Bank, which distributes food through a network of more than 600 community based food assistance programs. An average of 148,000 people visit the programs each month seeking help with food needs.

“The dollars and food raised through this drive will have tremendous impact on fighting hunger,” Beaudreau said. “We know it will be a success, based on James’ energy and personal commitment and on the help and resources provided by KeyBank.”

Jeff Hubbard, KeyBank Connecticut and Western Massachusetts Market President, said that James Trimble has been named KeyBank’s Connecticut Food Bank Ambassador.

“We are proud of James’ volunteer service and we are glad to help him achieve a goal of fighting hunger in the communities we serve,” Hubbard said. “Like the Connecticut Food Bank, we want Connecticut families and communities to thrive. This month-long drive is part of a larger relationship with the Connecticut Food Bank; it’s an investment in their hunger fighting mission.”

Food drop boxes will be placed at KeyBank branches in Old Saybrook, as well as eight other locations.

More information about the drive and a way to make a financial donation online can be found at www.ctfoodbank.org/keybanksupersizeme.

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Essex Library Hosts Essex First Selectman Candidate Forum, Nov. 2

ESSEX — On Thursday, Nov. 2, the Essex Library will sponsor a forum to provide local citizens with an opportunity to hear from candidates vying against each other in this year’s election for First Selectman. Incumbent Norm Needleman and challenger Vin Pacileo will appear at 7 p.m. at the Essex Town Hall auditorium.  Essex Library Director Richard Conroy will serve as moderator.

The format will be a free flowing discussion between the two based on questions submitted in advance by Essex residents.  Potential questions can be dropped off in person at the Library; sent via email to rconroy@essexlib.org; or by US mail to: Essex Library, 33 West Avenue, Essex, CT 06426.  Questions should be relevant to issues that pertain to Essex, and not reflect a bias toward either candidate.

In a new twist from the debates sponsored by the Library in the past, cards will also be available at the door that can be used by those who attend the forum to write questions for the candidates.  The final two questions asked will be selected from the pool of possibilities submitted in that manner.  Pre-registration is not necessary to attend, but call the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560 with any questions related to the forum.

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Letter to the Editor: A Gubernatorial Candidate’s Vision for Republicans to Move Forward

To the Editor:
I am running for Governor of the State of Connecticut, 2018, as a Republican and believe that our party has a positive message that can be presented in the African- and Hispanic-American communities and
that is what I intend to do. While our nation is buffeted by divisive elements of political correctness, identity politics and the illiberal winds of intolerance blowing on our college campuses, we have so much more that unites us than separates us. The core of my campaign is our common humanity. We are all sisters and brothers, children of God.
It is my message of education for our children and jobs for our children and ourselves that resonates across all social strata. The business of Connecticut should be business and not government. Many of
our fellow citizens have voted with their feet and have headed off to Republican-led states where jobs are more plentiful and the cost of living more reasonable.
We need Republican leadership of Connecticut to get our fiscal house in order and to create the conditions to nurture business in our state. In addition, we have almost 7,000 K-12 students on wait lists for charter schools. That means 7,000 charter school seats should be made available to those students as soon as possible. Education is freedom. There are also elements of the Administrative State that need to be dismantled or lessened to accentuate the liberty of the individual in his or her private and economic spheres. Again, this resonates across all social strata.

Gratitude, common humanity and liberty are the core of my message at www.SaveConnecticut.com along with the additional eight universal principles that Republicans, Democrats and independents all share! It is for the Republicans to embrace their role as the Big Tent party and unify behinds jobs and education. I respectfully ask for your vote and look forward to meeting you on the campaign trail over the coming months!

Sincerely,
Peter Thalheim,
Riverside, Conn.Editor’s Note: The author is a Republican Candidate for Governor, 2018.

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Deep River Library Children’s Programs for October

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Public Library is offering a terrific selection of children’s programs during October, AS FOLLOWS:

Baby Bounce on Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26
Come to a story time for babies, newborn to 24 months. Simple stories and songs, followed by play and social time. Older siblings may attend.

Fun Friday on Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27, at 10:30 a.m.
Stories and songs in an interactive setting, followed by craft and open play. Perfect for the preschool set. Get ready for two special Fun Friday Guests this month. Rick Daniels from the Deep River Fire Department will come with his truck on 10/13 and ABC Amigos brings a Spanish story time on 10/20.

Brick Bunch is back on Oct. 5 & 19, from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m.
Open Lego play with friends. We provide the bricks, you bring your imagination.

Cook Club makes Mountain Dew Ice Cream, Oct. 18, at 5:30 p.m.
Make a simple recipe with friends. Registration is required for this program and limited to 10 children. Recommended age is 4-10. Sign-up can be done through Sign-up Genius. Follow this link to sign up: Cook Club Makes Mountain Dew Ice Cream

Deep River Drive-in, evening edition, Oct. 25, at 5:30 p.m.
Pop in for a fun Halloween movie, Trick or Treat on Sesame Street. This film has a running time of 75 minutes. No registration required. Box car seating for the first 20 kids.

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Join ‘Kate’s Camp for Kids’ to Present ‘Elflandia’ Starting Oct. 18; Holiday Show, Dec. 13

OLD SAYBROOK – The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and Community Music School are partnering again under the umbrella of their performing arts summer camp, ‘Kate’s Camp for Kids,’ to present a holiday after-school program and show entitled ‘Elflandia.’ This exciting program takes place at The Kate, 300 Main St. in Old Saybrook, and runs for 11 weekly sessions on Wednesday afternoons from 4 to 5 p.m. beginning Oct. 18.

Launched in 2013, Kate’s Camp for Kids is a performing arts camp for children incorporating music, dance, theater, and visual art.  The after-school program is offered for ages 7-10.

Directed by Martha Herrle, a 15-year member of the Community Music School faculty and certified Kindermusik educator, this year’s show theme will be ‘Elflandia.’ In Elflandia, the land of Santa’s elves, they are busy making toys and getting ready for Santa’s yearly trip around the world to bring presents to all the deserving humans on the planet. Do human beings really exist? The reports the elves have heard are not very encouraging. Many are grumpy, stressed and loud.

Discover what the elves learn about humans when Santa shows up with a real living example. The ensuing effort to get Elfie Selfies with as many humans as possible makes for a rousing finale!

The cast will rehearse traditional children’s choral repertoire to be performed at the Community Music School Holiday Concert on Dec. 10, and prepare the show Elflandia: a “short” musical about a land of big dreams and curly toes, with a performance on stage at the Kate on Dec. 13.

Tuition for this afterschool program is $165 and scholarships are available for families with a financial need.

For additional information and to register, visit www.community-music-school.org or call 860-767-0026.

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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Nature Writer Hauswirth Offers Nature Writing Workshop Today at Deep River Library

DEEP RIVER — On Saturday, Oct.7, join Deep River nature writer and local author Katherine Hauswirth from 2 to 4 p.m. for an introductory workshop on nature writing.  The workshop portion will include an overview of nature writing formats and authors, a free handbook on getting started, and time for participants to be on their own in nature and record some preliminary ideas or phrases.

Copies of Hauswirth’s latest release, The Book of Noticing: Collections and Connections on the Trail, will be available for sale.

Space is limited. Call the library at 526-6039 to reserve your spot.

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Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center to Hold Open House Today at Second Location

Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center is expanding its services to the Connecticut shoreline and will hold an open house at its second location on October 7 from 10 a.m. until noon.

The new Cancer Center shares space with the Middlesex Hospital Shoreline Medical Center at 250 Flat Rock Place, Westbrook, and will be a full service, accredited cancer center that will provide Connecticut shoreline residents with care closer to home. The center will begin treating patients in November and will offer all of the same services that patients receive at the Cancer Center’s Middletown location. It will also benefit from Middlesex Hospital’s membership in the Mayo Clinic Care Network.

On Oct. 7, members of the public will be able to tour the new Cancer Center and learn more about the services offered, including cancer treatment, integrative medicine and genetic counseling.

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‘Come Home to Chester’ Tonight with Apples and More on ‘First Friday’

Gourmet product samples will be on offer at The French Hen during ‘Come Home to Chester.’

CHESTER –  Come Home to Chester, the long-observed annual event the first Friday of October in the downtown, will be observed this year on Oct. 6  from 5 to 8 p.m. with crisp Autumn apples for all and special events in all the galleries, shops and eateries.

The apples, supplied at cost by Scott’s Orchards in Deep River, will be given to visitors at eight locations: Maple and Main Gallery, The Perfect Pear, Ruba Ruba, Dina Varano Gallery, The French Hen, Lori Warner Gallery, Chester Package Store and Lark. A donation jar will be at each “apple” location with hopes visitors will help the Chester Merchants organization defray the costs of Winter Carnivale – a free annual event for the community in February.

Apples or not – every place in town will be open with special enticements.  For instance The French Hen will be offering tastings of gourmet products imported from Europe, and the Perfect Pear will give away owner Laura Grimmer’s home-made marshmallow popcorn “ears of corn” with any purchase.

Enjoy marshmallow corn from The Perfect Pear.

Arrowsmith will be performing live at Leif Nilsson’s Gallery, and outside the soon-to-open Grano restaurant, owner Joel Gargano will be serving samples of his homemade bread and fall soup.

The Chester Historical Society will be serving refreshments from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Mill Museum to those who come to see its exhibits of Chester postcards, the Leatherman and Nate Jacobson’s Grist Mill replica.

At Maple and Main Gallery, there will be an opening party for “Oasis,” Chester resident and artist Kate Hair’s solo exhibit of recent paintings. Wine, appetizers and desserts will be served including apples with cheese and other “apple” surprises.

The Chester Package Store will offer tastings of OctoberFest beer and fall red wine while Dina Varano Gallery will showcase jewelry designs in gold by Dina and new Fall fashion accessories and Lori Warner Gallery will be serving cider and “a nibble.”

At Ruba Ruba, a new collection of sweater designs will be featured and there will an opening reception for Deep River artist Gray Jacobik whose paintings will be in the windows of the store during October. Spiked apple cider will be served.

Lark will introduce a new jewelry line by Alison Grondino and serve wine and sweet apple treats.

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‘Five Women Painting’ on View This Weekend at Essex Art Association

‘Sunset through the Branches’ by Rosemary Cotnoir is one of the featured works in ‘Five Women Painting.’

ESSEX  — The ninth annual Five Women Painting show Oct. 6 through 9 at the Essex Art Association Gallery features a large selection of new works by Pam Carlson, Rosemary Cotnoir, Claudia Van Nes, Kathleen DeMeo and Janet Rayner.

The gala opening party is Friday, Oct. 6, from 5 to 8 p. m when a selection of wines, homemade appetizers and desserts will be offered and all five artists will be on hand to greet visitors.

The show showcases a wide diversity of styles, medium, sizes and price point by these five established artists. Kathleen, who lives in Old Lyme, primarily does abstract monotypes and Rosemary, from Essex paints large semi-abstract oils and does stone sculptures, Pam, also from Essex, paints water scenes and landscapes in acrylic, Janet from Haddam uses pastels for her realistic paintings while Chester resident, Claudia works in mainly in watercolor.

On Saturday, Oct. 7, from 1 to 4 p.m., Janet will give a pastel demonstration and on Sunday, Oct. 8 from 1 to 4 p.m., Claudia will do a painting using pen and ink and watercolor and Pam will do an acrylic demonstration.

There will be a free drawing for a painting during the exhibit as well.

The show is Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. and by chance that afternoon; Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. and Monday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Essex Art Association Gallery is at 10 North Main Street; 860-767-8996. See Five Women Painting Facebook page.

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Deep River Public Library Presents Paranormal Researcher, Dustin Pari, Tonight

DEEP RIVER — An internationally known paranormal researcher, Dustin Pari presents Documenting the Dead at Deep River Public Library, Friday, Oct. 6, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. This program takes a look at conduct paranormal investigation. Pari will discuss his own experiences, including some of the earliest spirit communication techniques.

Complete with historical stories, documentation, and some “would-be” evidence, Pari provides a respectful retrospective piece on contacting the other side.  Filled with anecdotal talks from his travels and evidence from his investigations, this lecture is just the right mix of educational, fun, and creepy.  Space is limited. Registration is required. Visit the Deep River Library website, Facebook Event page or call for more details.

For more information, go to website at http://deepriverlibrary.accountsupport.com and click on our 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.

Registration link: Register for Dustin Pari

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Bushnell Farm Hosts Free ‘Frost Season ‘ Program, Sunday

Bushnell Farm hosts Frost Season: The Poetry of Robert Frost in Song and Story, Sunday.

OLD SAYBROOK — Bushnell Farm hosts Frost Season: The Poetry of Robert Frost in Song and Story, Sunday, Oct. 8, with State Historian Walt Woodward and the Band of Steady Habits, 4 p.m. 1445 Boston Post Rd., Old Saybrook, CT

This is a free program. The public is welcome. Parking available on-site.

For more information, call (860) 767-0674.

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Local Photographer Caryn Davis Publishes New Book

ESSEX — 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, was released this week by Globe Pequot.

Davis will be at The Griswold Inn Store: Goods & Curiosities located at 47 Main Street in Essex, on Sunday, Oct. 8, from 1 to 4 p.m. signing copies of her new book.

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 more 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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Presentation in Essex Tonight on ‘Wangunks and Connecticut’s Indigenous Communities’

Digging at the archaeological site at Wangunk Village.

ESSEX — Learn about the rich histories of Connecticut’s first land stewards, vibrant Native Indian cultures just before and after European contact. Dr. Lucianne Lavin’s lecture will focus particularly on the Wangunks, a populous, powerful tribe with homelands on both sides of the Connecticut River Valley. This lecture is co-sponsored by the Essex Land Trust, the Essex Historical Society, the Deep River Historical Society and the Deep River Land Trust. The program takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 7 p.m. at Essex Town Hall, 29 West Avenue.

Lucianne Lavin is Director of Research and Collections at the Institute for American Indian Studies, a museum and research and educational center in Washington, CT. She is an anthropologist & archaeologist who has over 40 years of research and field experience in Northeastern archaeology and anthropology, including teaching, museum exhibits and curatorial work, cultural resource management, editorial work, and public relations.

Dr. Lavin is a founding member of the state’s Native American Heritage Advisory Council and Editor of the journal of the Archaeological Society of Connecticut. Dr. Lavin is a Connecticut born resident, having lived much of her life in the lower Housatonic River Valley.

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Essex Steam Train Offers ‘Three B’s’ (Beer, Bratwurst, Beautiful Fall Foliage) Cruise, Thursday

ESSEX — It’s the “Three B” cruise! Beer, Bratwurst, and Beautiful fall foliage on the Connecticut River. A great night is in store for you from the minute you smell the brats sizzling on the grill to the last sip of beer as you glide into dock after the last rays of a stunning sunset.

This unique evening on Thursday, Oct. 5 runs from 5:15 to 8:30 p.m. Arrive 5:15 p.m. in Essex for departure at 5:30 p.m. for a two-hour cruise on the Becky Thatcher Riverboat. Return to Essex at 8:30 p.m.

The evening offers:

•    tastings of several carefully selected craft beers provided by Cellar Fine Wines and 30 Mile Brewing Company
•    a buffet of brats and all the fixin’s
•    gift bag including an engraved beer glass as a memento

Note this event is for adults 21+.  Ticket prices are $60 in advance/ $70 Walk-up (pending availability.)

Visit EssexSteamTrain.com for tickets and more information.

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A la Carte: Mushrooms by the Million? Sounds Like Soup!

I am such a spoiled princess, even if I don’t have anyone around to spoil me.

Because the temperature is dipping into the 40s at night, I opened two windows in the living room and one in the bedroom. Since I had turned on the central air in late May and hadn’t yet turned it off on the first of October, I thought I would go into this slowly. (Actually, I am not a spoiled princess in the winter—I like cold weather and keep my thermostat at around 60 degrees until late March or early April.)

Once I feel if a snap of coolness, I begin to think about what to cook for the next two seasons. In the late spring, summer and early fall, I buy a lot of fresh produce at farm markets let those ingredients speak for themselves, eating them raw, like tomatoes, sweet peppers and salads with a whisper of dressing, or simply grilled with a little olive oil and fresh herbs.

Last week I began dream of squashes and roasted vegetables and soups. I was at BJs, loading up on bags of flour and sugar (pies, cookies, cakes) and saw big containers of mushrooms. Soup, I thought. Lots of soups on the cooktop and in my slow cookers (I am also thinking about an Instant Pot. Let me know what you think about yet another counter appliance since my old blender is gone and the pressure cooker is in the garage.)’

Anyway, I made two batches of mushroom soup. I had a couple of recipes in my head, but decided that it is time to play around with soup. So this recipe is all mine. And I must say, it is better than any other mushroom soup I’d ever made. Once again, a few steps are important—saute the mushrooms and onions, add cream sherry twice (I have Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry, but I also have a bottle of Sheffield Cream Sherry of California at a fraction of Harvey’s)  If you want to add more onions or more mushrooms, be my guest. Maybe 1 percent milk would work.

Lee’s Mushroom Soup

1 stick of unsalted butter
20 ounces or more fresh, sliced white mushrooms
1 large onion, peeled and diced fairly fine
4 tablespoons cream sherry, divided (never use supermarket cooking sherry)
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk (I use 2 percent)
1 32-ounce carton low-sodium, low-fat chicken or vegetable stock

In a large heavy-bottomed pot (I use a Le Creuset Dutch oven), melt butter on medium heat and add mushrooms. Stir periodically until mushrooms take up all the butter, then add onions. Continue stirring until onions are light blonde in color. Pour 2 tablespoons sherry into the pan and cook until almost dry. Toss flour over mushrooms and onions and stir until veggies are coated. Add milk, stir, then turn heat to medium low. Add the rest of the sherry. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring periodically. Add all the chicken or vegetable stock, stirring, and add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another 10 minutes or so and taste again for salt and pepper.

I wait until the soup is cool, then puree it just a little in my big Ninja of use an immersion blender. Or do neither. Soup can be served immediately or refrigerate and reheat over gentle heat. If soup is too thick, add more stock or water.

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Essex Steam Train & Riverboat Announces ‘Visions of the Holidays’ Art Contest

ESSEX — Call for Artists!

Design the front of a holiday greeting card and be eligible to have your original artwork displayed on the walls of River Valley Junction for the holidays.

The contest will be judged for three age groups – adult, young adult (ages 12-18), and youth (ages 7-11).

Visit the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat website and look under  “Specials” for contest details. Submit your entry by Oct. 25, 2017.

Winners will be announced on Oct. 26, 2017.

Prizes will be awarded in all categories.

www.essexsteamtrain.com

For further information contact Pam Amodio at 860-767-0103, Ext 217 or email at pamodio@essexsteamtrain.com.

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Applications Open for Rockfall Foundation’s Environmental Leadership Scholarship

AREAWIDE — The Rockfall Foundation has announced the Virginia R. Rollefson Environmental Leadership Scholarship, which recognizes an area high school student who demonstrates leadership and initiative in promoting conservation, preservation, restoration, or environmental education. One $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to an eligible student residing the Foundation’s service area, including Chester, Clinton, Cromwell, Deep River, Durham , East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Lyme, Middlefield, Middletown, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, or Westbrook.

Students must describe their role in an environmental project and its impact. Applications are due by 4 pm on Friday, March 2, 2018.

The scholarship is named in honor of former Executive Director of The Rockfall Foundation, Virginia R. “Ginny” Rollefson, who retired in 2010 after 24 years with the Foundation. The award honors her long service to the Foundation, her enthusiasm, and her belief that we all benefit when young people are actively engaged in making their communities a better place to live.

For a copy of the application or for more information, visit www.rockfallfoundation.org or call 860-347-0340.

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Deep River Elementary PTO Hosts Used Goods Drive

DEEP RIVER — Winter is fast approaching!
If you are looking for a reason to clean out your clutter, Deep River Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization (DRES PTO) has a way to help each other and it costs you zero dollars, What’s more, it will brings in hundreds of dollars that can be spent on the students.

It’s time to get rid of all the clothes that your kids have outgrown and DRES PTO has an easy solution for you. Beanie Babies taking over your home? Toss’em. Playroom too cluttered? Just rake it up.  If you haven’t worn it in two years, get rid of it. If it doesn’t fit or make you feel fabulous, bag it up and drop it off in our covered container generously donated by Calamari Recycling.

Where: 56 High Street, TriTown Youth Services parking lot.

When: from 8 a.m.Monday, Oct.16 to 1 p.m.Friday, Oct. 20.

How does it work?  You clear out your closets, bag up your items in kitchen garbage or contractor bags and drop them off in our container. On the Oct. 20, a truck will come from A&E Clothing.  Kids and PTO parent volunteers load up the truck which goes back to a facility in NJ.  All the items go in a “cage” on a scale.  A&E pays us by the pound (about 50 cents) then resells the items for about $1 per pound. You feel good because you can finally see the floor of your closet and you helped a worthy cause. DRES PTO feels good because they can buy educational items for students. It’s just a win-win all around.

Used goods accepted: Clothing, linens, curtains, shoes, belts, handbags, sports equipment, TOYS (hard or soft, including stuffed animals), small rugs, art supplies.

Not accepted: anything breakable, no glass or china, no electronics or any kind of appliance.  No books, board games, puzzles, bikes, furniture or large items.

You are respectfully requested to adhere to these restrictions.  Last year we had a record number of donations, but unfortunately, many bags included unacceptable items so we received no money for them.

All used goods must be bagged in large kitchen or contractor bags. No boxes.

The DRES PTO provides curriculum and social enrichment activities as well as support for the administration, faculty, and staff of Deep River Elementary School.  Recent items purchased by the DRES PTO include: class room air conditioners, court yard picnic tables, school furniture, recess equipment, monkey bars, and Day of the Arts performers.

All proceeds from the Used Goods Drive will be used to support the school and its students.  We thank you all for helping our kids.

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Leif Nilsson Hosts Johnny Martorelli in Next ‘Concert in the Garden,’ Sunday

Johnny Martorelli plays a Concert in the Garden, Oct. 8.

CHESTER — Leif Nilsson hosts a Sunday evening ‘Concert in the Garden,’ Oct. 8, from 4 to 6 p.m.,  featuring guitarist, singer and songwriter Johnny Martorelli at the Spring Street Studio and Gallery at 1 Spring St, Chester Center.  Martorelli will perform classic covers and original works

This Chester native has had a passion for music ever since he can remember. Born and raised by a drummer and singer, music was never too far out of reach. Alfonso, Johnny’s father, played drums with his band at the Cove Road Inn with former Mayor, Bob Blair. After the gig, you would often find them flipping burgers for their patrons at the Al-a-Bob in Chester center.

In his teens, Johnny showcased his talents on guitar fronting bands such as Rush Hour, Wired for Sound and Velocity.

Making a name for himself locally, he found himself in New York City. He soon joined the John McEnroe band touring the world with this tennis legend. You may still see a gig or two from this band annually.

Back in the River Valley, Johnny tours the shoreline playing gigs (with UHF, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or solo) at venues such as Chamard Vineyards, Bill’s Seafood, Donahue’s, Water’s Edge, Cuckoo’s Nest, and a variety of private affairs. Johnny also makes time for younger talents, teaching lessons out of his home in Chester.

For more information on upcoming gigs or lessons, contact Johnny at johnnystrings@comcast.net or www.reverbnation.com/johnmartorelli

This monthly concert series highlights eclectic international singer/songwriter artists from cool jazz to blue grass.

Gates open half hour before the show — first come first seated. Seating is Bistro Style in the amphitheater. The concert will be moved indoors in the event of inclement weather.

A $20 donation is appreciated. The event is BYOB – pack a picnic and bring your own wine or beer or buy it across the street at the Chester Package Store.

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Essex Steam Train & Riverboat Welcomes Reservations for Groups to ‘Carol for a Cause’

AREAWIDE — This holiday season brings a new program – “Caroling For A Cause” to the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat.

Created as an opportunity for local non-profits, school groups, families, church choirs and other organizations to raise funds for their favorite charity, this program will also bring additional cheer and holiday spirit to the railroad’s Reindeer Breakfast and Santa Special events.

As “street-singers for donations,” groups volunteering to sing their favorite holiday songs will keep 100 percent of the donations they collect to give to the charity of their choice.  Additionally, as thanks for their participation, the Essex Steam Train will also make a $100 donation to the chosen charity.

Two-hour performance slots are available on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. or 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., on a first-come, first-served basis.

Professional training or talent are not required – only an enthusiasm for the holiday season and a desire to help a worthwhile charity.

For further information or to reserve your group’s spot, contact Pam Amodio at 860-767-0103, Ext 217 or email at pamodio@essexsteamtrain.com.

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Christmas Craft Fair On The Hill In Essex, Dec. 2

ESSEX — Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Essex will host its annual Christmas Craft Fair on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

There will be a silent auction, a basket raffle, children’s gift buying table, face painting, a craft table, bake sale and a café for lunch, coffe and bagels.

Come to our old-fashioned church fair, and catch the spirit of this beautiful season, and Christmas shopping without the stress.

 

Our Lady of Sorrows Church is at 14 Prospect St. Essex, CT

For more information call Our Lady of Sorrows, 860-767-1284

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Award-Winning Photographer Discusses ‘Tools of Travel Photography’ Tonight at CT Valley Camera Club

Shadows of camels and their riders in the Sahara desert in Erg Chebi, Morrocco (Photo by David H. Wells)

AREAWIDE — The guest speaker at next Monday’s (Oct. 2) meeting of the Connecticut Valley Camera Club (CVCC) will be award-winning photographer/videographer David H. Wells, who will give a presentation titled, “The Tools of Travel Photography.” The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Lymes’ Senior Center, 26 Town Woods Rd., Old Lyme, Conn.  All are welcome.

Wells uses whichever technology he feels is most appropriate for the specific situation to create visual narratives. He is based in Providence, RI, affiliated with Aurora Photos and is also a photo-educator. One editor described him as a “… specialist in intercultural communication and visual narratives that excel in their creative mastery of light, shadow and sound, stills and video.”

Wells became the photographer he is today by first trying on the styles and/or methods of other well-known and historic photographers. Then he mastered the challenging discipline of color slide film. He fused all of these experiences, over 30-plus years, to develop his own style, built on a mastery of light, exposure and tonality, framing and composition with predictable and consistent control over focus and depth of field.

As a photography educator, he leads students to learn how to master consistently these same elements of photography. He was featured in Photo District News as one of “The Best Workshop Instructors.”

A Sicilian sunset (Photo by David H. Wells)

His project on the pesticide poisoning of California farm workers was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Over the years he has worked on assignment for such magazines as Fortune, Life, National Geographic, Newsweek, The Sunday New York Times, Time, etc. He also worked for corporations such as Consolidated Natural Gas and DuPont as well as for non-profits such as the Ford Foundation and the New Israel Fund.

His work has been featured in more than 50 exhibitions and he has taught workshops at the International Center for Photography in NYC and at the Maine Media Workshops. He has received two Fulbright fellowships, a grant from Nikon/N.P.P.A., a fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation’s Program of Research and Writing on International Peace and Cooperation.

For more information on David H. Wells, visit his website.

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

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

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Community Foundation of Middlesex County Helps Sponsor Essex Artist’s Residency at I-Park

Aly Maderson Quinlog

East Haddam — Multi-talented artist Aly Maderson Quinlog begins her four-week residency at I-Park this week, thanks, in part, to a grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County/Ann and George Petry Fund, Loffredo Performing Arts Fund.

The grant, which was bestowed on I-Park earlier this year, helps to underwrite the cost of a residency in the visual arts for a Middlesex County resident. Quinlog, who lives in Essex, was selected for the residency by an impartial jury of visual artists appointed by I-Park.

“I-Park has contributed to the cultural and economic life of Middlesex County since 2001,” says I-Park Executive Director Joanne Paradis. “We’re thrilled by this show of support from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, and are pleased that their generosity will allow us to nurture the career of someone as gifted as Aly.”

A native of Charleston, S.C., Quinlog received her BFA in Photography from Winthrop University and went on to receive a Post-Baccalaureate certificate in Painting from the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts and a Masters in Art Education from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work is exhibited in coastal Connecticut and New York City, and will be on view Sunday, October 22, from 2 to 5 p.m., as part of I-Park’s monthly Open Studios program. The event is free; for details visit i-park.org.

Community Foundation of Middlesex County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Middlesex County. Its mission is to work with charitably-minded individuals and organizations to build permanent endowments and other charitable funds and to support local nonprofit organizations through effective grant making to address community needs. Since its founding in 1997, the Community Foundation has provided 1,815 grants totaling more than $5.4 million to nonprofit organizations for the arts; cultural and heritage programs; educational activities; environmental improvements; and for health and human services.

Editor’s Note: 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 850 residencies, and has developed cross-disciplinary projects of cultural significance and brought them into the public domain. Set within a 450-acre nature preserve, I-Park 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

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‘Bikes for Kids’ Hosts Annual Bike Ride Today; Choice of Four Rides All Starting in Essex

Dave Fowler hard at work on refurbishing a donated bike.

AREAWIDE — ‘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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Jim Benn Presents His Latest Billy Boyle Mystery at Essex Library, Tuesday

ESSEX — The Essex Library welcomes back James Benn in celebration of the release of his 12th Billy Boyle mystery.

The Devouring has earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly and Booklist wrote in their review of the book, ​”Benn​ ​molds an entertaining story out of Billy and his cohorts’ encounters with odious Swiss bankers and a cadre​ of ​Gestapo agents stationed in Bern to protect the loot. Great history here.” Benn’s series is very popular with historical fiction fans, mystery readers, and military buffs.

Benn’s latest Billy Boyle WWII mystery addresses the beginning of the end of the war and the U.S. government’s concerns that looted Nazi gold might be successfully laundered through Swiss banks and used to begin a new German Reich. On Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Essex Library,

Benn will describe fascinating details from the actual events that he researched for the book’s plotlines and more about the upcoming books in the Billy Boyle series.

James Benn

Benn, a new resident of Essex, CT, worked in the library and information technology field for more than 35 years before he started writing full-time. One lesson he says that’s helped him greatly as an author is a quote from Oscar Wilde, “The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of one’s pants to a chair.”

Copies of his books will be available for purchase and signing.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information or to register, call the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560.

The Library is located at 33 West Ave. in Essex.

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