February 28, 2015

Old Lyme Country Club Trial Memberships for 2015

Try Old Lyme Country Club (OLCC) for the 2015 Season and enjoy full use of a wide range of sports and social activities, including golf, tennis, swimming, dining and more.

“Absolutely convenient. No tee times.” That’s what OLCC golfers appreciate the most. This family-friendly, low-key course is easily accessible, but sporty and challenging!

“Absolutely convenient. No tee times.” That’s what OLCC golfers appreciate the most. This family-friendly, low-key course is easily accessible, but sporty and challenging!

A limited number of trial memberships are available for the 2015 Season. This plan offers affordable dues and no first year initiation fee.

The OLCC pool continues to be the best kept secret in the Shoreline area. The sparkling pool provides a wonderful variety of activities for adults and children, and the pool terrace is a favorite spot for relaxing, entertaining, socializing, partying and dining.

The OLCC pool continues to be the best kept secret in the Shoreline area. The sparkling pool provides a wonderful variety of activities for adults and children, and the pool terrace is a favorite spot for relaxing, entertaining, socializing, partying and dining.

To obtain all the details on this remarkable offer, email the membership office at admissions@oldlymecc.com or visit the membership page on the OLCC website at www.oldlymecc.com/Membership.aspx.

Members are involved in year-round racquet sports at the OLCC where there are four Har-Tru Tennis courts and two Platform Tennis courts to keep them active through the whole year.

Members are involved in year-round racquet sports at the OLCC where there are four Har-Tru Tennis courts and two Platform Tennis courts to keep them active through the whole year.


Stand By Your Man: The Tammy Wynette Story Opens at Ivoryton Playhouse, March 18

Katie Barton

Katie Barton

IVORYTON:  Tammy Wynette was a country music icon. Called the “First Lady of Country Music”, she was one of country music’s best-known artists and biggest-selling female singer-songwriters. Wynette’s “Stand by Your Man” was one of the best-selling hit singles by a woman in the history of country music. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Wynette charted 23 No. 1 songs, helping to define the role of women in country music.

STAND BY YOUR MAN, opening at the Ivoryton Playhouse on March 18, brings the woman behind the legend and the incredible songs that made her the first lady of country music, off the stage and into your heart. Through her eyes, the audience relives her journey from the cotton fields of Itawamba, Mississippi, to international superstar.

With comic flare and dramatic impact STAND BY YOUR MAN recounts triumphs and tragedies and explores Tammy’s relationships with the five husbands she stood by, including George Jones, her beloved daughters, her strong-willed mother and two of her dearest friends: colorful writer and producer Billy Sherrill and film star Burt Reynolds. Among the 26 songs are “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” “Til I Can Make It on My Own” and “Golden Ring.”

Directed  and musical directed by the husband and wife team of David and Sherry Lutken, who were last here in 2012 with the amazing production, RING OF FIRE,  the show stars husband and wife team Katie Barton* and Ben Hope*. Hope made his Broadway debut in 2012 as the lead in the Tony Award winning musical ONCE and Barton has just recently finished the national tour of MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET.

The show also features Eric Anthony*, Brien Brannigan,  Jonathan Brown, Marcy McGuigan*, Morgan Morse, Sam Sherwood*, Lily Tobin* and Louis Tucci*.

The set is designed by Dan Nischan, lighting by Marcus Abbott, wigs by Liz Cipollina and costumes by Anya Sokolovskaya.

STAND BY YOUR MAN opens in Ivoryton on March 18 and runs through April 5. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm.

Tickets are $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 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.

Generously sponsored by:  A.R. Mazotta and Essex Savings Bank

*member of Actors Equity

Music and Song of the Emerald Isle at Essex Library, March 19

Ringrose & Freeman

Ringrose & Freeman

Come celebrate all things Irish as the Essex Library proudly presents the celebrated musical duo Ringrose & Freeman for an evening of Irish and Celtic music on Thursday, March 19, from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Library’s Program Room.

This unique Celtic duo combines fiddler Jeanne Freeman, whose playing has been described as effortlessly virtuosic, — and singer/guitarist Dan Ringrose, whose voice has been called “stunning.” Together, they bring a lively freshness to traditional and original tunes and songs, along with stories, poetry, and humor.

Both on the faculty of the Connecticut Academy of Irish Music, they have been featured on Connecticut Public Television, at the Greater Hartford Irish Festival, and in many other venues.

Ringrose was reared on Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem music and began singing their songs by the age of three. With his rich and  powerful baritone voice, a mischievous sense of humor, and a comfortable command of the stage, he has entertained crowds in festivals, fairs, and concert halls for 30 years.

Along with numerous radio and television appearances, Ringrose has performed with some of the most notable names in Celtic music, including Tommy Makem, fiddler P.V. O’Donnell, The Clancy Brothers, John Whelan, and others. He also teaches traditional singing at the Connecticut Academy of Irish Music, and has a number of solo releases.

Freeman studied with the late Donegal fiddler P.V. O’Donnell, with whom she played for many years, and in 2013 she founded the Connecticut Academy of Irish Music, where she teaches fiddle and serves as Director. She was the Irish fiddle soloist with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra at the Bushnell Theatre in 2012, has been featured at the Greater Hartford Irish Festival, and has appeared in many other venues.

Freeman hosts a lively weekly traditional Irish music session in downtown Hartford, and in 2014, released her solo debut CD, “The Fiddler You Are.”

Admission is free and open to all. Call the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560  to register in advance as seating is limited.

Miller Backs Bill to Cap Monthly Fixed Charge on Electric Bills

State Representative Phil Miller

State Representative Phil Miller

State Representative Philip Miller (D-Essex/Chester/Deep River/Haddam) is calling for approval of legislation that would cap the monthly fixed charge on residential electric bills.

Rep. Miller Tuesday submitted testimony in favor of S.B. 570, “An Act Concerning Electric Savings And Fixed Bill Fees”, a bill under consideration by the legislature’s Energy and Technology Committee.

Rep. Miller emphasized he favors capping the monthly fixed charge on electric bills at ten dollars, saying it is fair and constant, not subject to change.

“Our recent utility hike on this fixed charge was done under the guise of investing to correct deferred maintenance,” Rep. Miller said. “I feel as though it was really a thinly veiled excuse to enrich utility shareholders.”

Lawmakers last year passed a public act that implemented several reforms to protect electric consumers. Included in the public act was a new provision that begins in July requiring that every residential customer’s monthly bill must display their rate for the coming month.

Rep. Miller contended that the providers should make the case for regular rate hikes as needed.

“Customers may practice conservation, including solar installation, among other emergent technologies, in efforts to reduce and limit their use, to save money,” Rep. Miller said. “Senate Bill 570 is a good bill and ought to pass.”

Rep. Miller is House Chair of the Planning and Development Committee.

Essex Land Trust Hosts Hike of the Month at Turtle Creek Preserve, March 7

Turtle Creek
The Essex Land Trust will hold its monthly Hike of the Month on Saturday, March 7, at The Nature Conservancy’s Turtle Creek Sanctuary. The 93-acre preserve straddles the Essex and Old Saybrook town lines on Watrous Point Road off of Rte. 156.

Turtle Creek goes back a long way — Native Americans drew water from the spring off the main trail. Later known
as Hayden Point after the property’s owner, Uriah Hayden, builder of the war ship Oliver Cromwell, it was used as grazing land. The pond was created for ice production. Dorothy S. Bowles, wife of former Connecticut Governor and U.S. Secretary of State Chester Bowles, donated the bulk of the preserve to The Nature Conservancy.

Winter offers an ideal time to see the dense woods of this preserve without the cover of vegetation. A popular hiking site, Turtle Creek offers rare glimpses of the Connecticut River from South Cove and Turtle Creek itself. Given this winters’ extreme weather, the trails are passable but require use of appropriate footwear. Bad weather will cancel the hike.

Contact Judy Saunders at 860-581—8108 with any questions.

How to Raise a Drug-Free Child: Country School Holds Parenting Event, April 9

MADISON - The Country School presents How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid: THE STRAIGHT DOPE FOR PARENTS, an evening of conversation with Dr. Joseph A. Califano, Jr. and Yale University psychiatry experts.

On April 9 at 6 p.m. in The Country School’s DeFrancis Gymnasium, join Dr. Califano, former US Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, founder of The National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), and author of the new completely revised and updated edition of How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid: The Straight Dope for Parents, as he provides insights on how to help get children through the dangerous decade from 10 to 21, those formative pre-teen, teen, and college years.

Topics covered will include: legalized and synthetic marijuana, social media, the prescription drug epidemic and abuse of ADHD medications, rampant drinking and drug use on college campuses, and the latest findings on the critical connection between teen brain development and substance use.

Dr. Califano’s talk will be followed by a panel discussion and Q & A session with Yale psychiatry experts, including his daughter, Claudia Califano, MD, Adolescent and Child Psychiatrist, Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale Child Study Center, and a Country School parent; Joseph L. Woolston, MD, Albert J. Solnit Professor of Pediatrics and Child Psychiatry at the Yale Child Study Center; and Greer Richardson, MD Psychiatrist and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University.

The panel will be moderated by Samuel A. Ball, PhD, President and CEO of The National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) and Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine.

This event, part of The Country School’s Teacher Institute-Partnering With Parents Initiative, is supported by M.A.D.E. in Madison (www.madeinmadison.org), a coalition of community members striving to promote positive youth development. The evening is free and open to the public, but all attendees are asked to RSVP ahead of time.

Email beth.coyne@thecountryschool.org by April 2, 2015, with your name and the number of guests joining you (limit four people per RSVP). All attendees will receive a copy of Dr. Califano’s book. Beverages and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

The Country School thanks Dr. Califano, the panelists and moderator, and M.A.D.E. in Madison for partnering with the school in the search to improve lives through education. Founded in 1955, The Country School is a coeducational, independent day school serving students in PreSchool through Grade 8 on its 23-acre campus. The Country School is located at 341 Opening Hill Road in Madison. Learn more at www.thecountryschool.org.

Explore a Sustainability-Palooza! Today at the YMCA

Sustainability-Palooza_image_lgMark your calendars for Sustainability-Palooza!, on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the YMCA, 201 Spencer Plains Road in Westbrook, from 1 to 3 p.m.

This free event will showcase representatives from local companies, farms, groups, clubs and agencies. Attendees will learn about local farming and gardening, transportation choices, energy conservation, raising backyard livestock, reuse and recycling, solar energy, nutrition and cost-effective sustainability practices.

Sponsored by the Shoreline Basic Needs Task Force, this showcase of local resources seeks to help shoreline residents increase self-sufficiency through sustainable efforts.

The Shoreline Basic Needs Task Force is a collaboration of community groups and concerned people, working to affect change that increases self-sufficiency among vulnerable individuals and families in need along the Connecticut Shoreline.

For more information, contact Patty Dowling at pdowling@shorelinesoupkitchens.org or (860) 388-1988

Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Hosts Coalition Meeting, March 11

The Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition will hold its next meeting at Tri-Town Youth Services, 56 High Street in Deep River at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 11.

Resident Trooper Dawn Taylor will present current information about substance use to the Coalition.

Membership on This Coalition is open to all who live or work in the tri-town area who are concerned about substance abuse and interested in its prevention.  In addition to ongoing prevention programming in our schools and communities, the tri-town area is currently involved with Healthy Communities ● Healthy Youth, an initiative funded through Middlesex United Way.  The Coalition also receives funding through the Drug Free Communities support program.

Join the Coalition to share your ideas, to learn more about prevention, and to become  involved.  For further information, call Tri-Town at 860-526-3600.

Tri-Town Youth Services supports and advances the families, youth and communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex.  TTYS coordinates and provides resources needed to make positive choices, reduce substance abuse, and strengthen the relationships that matter most.  Discover programs and information for families, as well as opportunities for community collaboration at www.tritownys.org

Madison Beach Hotel Hosts “Dog Days” Night, March 7

Dog Days Event
Next Saturday, March 7, the Madison Beach Hotel will host a fundraiser in support of Dog Days Adoption Events and The Red Dog Project. The public is invited to come enjoy an evening of fabulous food, fantastic auction items and music by the highly acclaimed Cartells.

Dog Days Adoption, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding homes for shelter dogs. Additionally, they are the only rescue organization contracted with the State of Connecticut to place shelter dogs with inmate handlers for rehabilitation.

“We are looking forward to a really fun evening at the Madison Beach Hotel,” said Dog Days Founder Lorin Liesenfelt.  “This fundraiser will help us raise money for our two main programs: rescuing and rehoming shelter dogs in need. While we’re very grateful to partner with the state of Connecticut for our Red Dog Project, the expenses of that program are paid solely by our charity.

“This important fundraiser is an excellent opportunity for us to give back to the community,” said John Mathers, Madison Beach Hotel General Manager. “Dog Days is a terrific organization and we are proud to support this worthy cause.”

The fundraiser will take place from 7 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, March 7, at the Madison Beach Hotel located at 94 West Wharf Road in Madison, CT.  Tickets are $100 per person and are available online at www.GoDogDays.org or by calling 800.653.3134.

Since 2010 Dog Days has committed to help dogs in shelters by rescuing them, assessing and helping them through rehabilitation issues and then finding them great homes. Their dedication is not only to these forgotten and discarded dogs but to the good people who help continue the rescue effort by adopting them.

Charities neither rescue rescue nor adopt dogs, people do and Dog Days places a great deal of importance on training and supporting the people who are willing to join the organization in the effort needed to save the life of a dog.

The organization’s adoption program, Dog Days Adoption Events, helps find adopters for dogs who are in foster with rescue groups or for dogs sitting in municipal pounds. Their rescue and rehabilitation program, The Red Dog Project, saves dogs from shelter kill lists and puts them with pre-screened inmate handlers for rehabilitation and time to heal before being found permanent family homes.

“Methuselah’s Guide to Online Dating …” at Spring Street Studio Tonight

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 1.03.46 AM

CHESTER – Leif Nilsson has added a new show to the current Concert in the Garden season.  He is offering a sneak preview of “Methuselah’s Guide to Online Dating: For Those with Reading Glasses” on Saturday, Feb. 28, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

This theatrical production, written by Ira Sakolsky and Todd Little of Riverway Studio, includes music, improvisation and scripted elements.  Scenes from this interactive play will be performed at the Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio & Gallery at 1 Spring St, Chester Center.  Audience participation and feedback are encouraged.

All are welcome: a $10 donation is requested and the event is BYOB.

For more information call 860-526-2077 or log on http://www.nilssonstudio.com/events/.

St. Joseph’s First 2015 Fish Fry Hailed a Success, Fries Continue Fridays Thru March 27

IMG_7354 (1)The Lenten Season at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Chester kicked off last Friday with a tremendous turnout at the Fish Fry Dinner.  Started last year as a combination faith/fundraising event for the church community, the Fish Fry was so successful that it grew from 104 dinners the first night to 240 dinners the last night.

After its successful kick-off on the Feb. 20, the remaining dinners will run every Friday through March 27 from 4 to 7 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Hall located at 48 Middlesex Avenue (Rte. 154) in Chester.

Menu includes $12 for Fish and Chips, Fried Shrimp, Clam Strips and Baked Tilapia (all seafood dinners include coleslaw and fries); $5 for Children 12 & under Macaroni & Cheese and French Fry Dinner.   Also available are Soups ($4); French Fries ($2); Mixed Green Dinner Salad ($6).    All meals include Bread & Butter, Drinks and Dessert.   Meals are also available for Take-Out.

St. Joseph’s is a thriving, active, and growing community.  The Fish Fry offers great food, the enthusiasm of the staff is wonderful and there’s no clean-up afterwards for guests.

St. Patrick’s Celebration Benefits Ivoryton Playhouse, March 15

Pictured: from the left – Kathleen Mulready, Annie Kerins, Morgan Crowley and Michael McDermott in the 2011 production – The Irish …and How they got that Way. Photo: Anne Hudson

Pictured: from the left – Kathleen Mulready, Annie Kerins, Morgan Crowley and Michael McDermott in the 2011 production – The Irish …and How they got that Way. Photo: Anne Hudson

IVORYTON:  On Sunday, March 15, at 2 p.m., join Playhouse favorite Michael McDermott and his group, Cead Mile Failte, to celebrate Celtic culture and heritage through stories and song. The afternoon will be filled with traditional Irish music including “That’s An Irish Lullaby”, “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”, “Star Of The County Down”, “Carrickfergus”, and, of course, “Danny Boy”.

Michael will be joined by Kathleen Mulready, an Ivoryton Playhouse favorite who starred in Finian’s Rainbow and shared the stage with Michael in The Irish… and How They Got That Way Michael has been seen many times at the Playhouse – most recently in The Bells of Dublin: The Carol of the Bells and he will be back in April – though this time it will be Italian arias and not Irish ballads that he will be singing.

He has been performing with Cead Mile Failte for several years and says, “”Cead Mile Failte means A Hundred Thousand Welcomes in Irish Gaelic.  This has always been a saying that has warmed and inspired my heart and is especially meaningful for me here in Ivoryton which is like my second home. For me, the month of March is a time of renewed hope, that feeling of spring just around the corner.  We celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and feel the weather change with the old saying, “in like a lion out like a lamb” when strong gusts of wind push out winter and warmer, greener days are joyfully welcomed.”

He adds,  “And boy, do we ever need that now!”

He explains the origins of the group as being a combination of,  “this inspiration from nature, combined with my deep love for Irish music,”  So the group Cead Mile Failte was formed and, “As a group, we strive to create that feeling in our concerts – the feeling that all are welcomed to share in the stories and music that the Irish tell so well.  At our concerts you will find friendly hospitality, good conversation, and great music – a hundred thousand welcomes!”

The St. Patrick’s Celebration to benefit the Ivoryton Playhouse will take place at Centerbrook Meeting House at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 15. Tickets are $30 and include light refreshments after the concert.

For tickets and information, call 860.767.7318.

Seating is limited so book early to avoid disappointment.


Essex Winter Series Hosts Male Vocal Ensemble ‘Chanticleer’ Tomorrow

Essex Winter Series hosts the 12-member male vocal group 'Chanticleer' March 1 at Old Saybrook High School.

Essex Winter Series hosts the 12-member male vocal group ‘Chanticleer’ March 1 at Old Saybrook High School.

The Grammy award-winning male vocal ensemble Chanticleer will perform on the Essex Winter Series (EWS) on Sunday, March 1, at 3 p.m. at Old Saybrook High School. Chanticleer has been hailed as “the world’s reigning male chorus” by The New Yorker, and under its newly-appointed music director, William Fred Scott, the 12-voice ensemble will perform a program of music from the sixteenth century to the present titled, “The Gypsy in My Soul.”

The appearance by Chanticleer will mark the first appearance by a professional chorus in the 37-year history of the Essex Winter Series, currently under the artistic direction of Mihae Lee.

Tickets, all general admission are $35, $5 for full-time students, and may be purchased on the EWS website, www.essexwinterseries.com, or by calling 860-272-4572.

Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for their “tonal luxuriance and crisply etched clarity,” San Francisco-based Chanticleer is known around the world as “an orchestra of voices” for the seamless blend of its 12 male voices ranging from soprano to bass and its original interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance to jazz and popular genres, as well as contemporary compositions. Chanticleer celebrates its 37th season in 2014-15, performing in 25 of the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Sweden.

“The Gypsy in My Soul” follows the journey of the wandering spirit, inspired by the historical travels and trials of the Romani people, the borders they crossed, the music of the peoples they encountered, the beauty of the world they traveled, and the yearning for love, safety, and belonging shared by all people.

The March 1 Chanticleer Concert is sponsored by Essex Savings Bank.

Tickets on Sale Now for ‘Band Geeks!’ at Valley Regional HS, March 13-15

Valley Regional Musical Production cast members Nathan Russo and Miranda Holland “tune up” for their roles as Spitz and Natalia, Cuyahoga High Marching Band Marching Beavers in the upcoming production of Band Geeks! .

Valley Regional Musical Production cast members Nathan Russo and Miranda Holland “tune up” for their roles as Cuyahoga High Marching Band Marching Beavers Spitz and Natalia in the upcoming production of ‘Band Geeks!’

DEEP RIVER: – Valley Regional High School (VRHS) is soon to become Cuyahoga High for a few days in March when students there stage the musical production of Band Geeks!. Based on the book by Tommy Newman and Gordon Greenberg, with music and lyrics by Mark Allen, Gaby Alter and Tommy Newman, Band Geeks! is the story of the Cuyahoga High Marching Beavers who are down to a handful of members, dealing with dwindling funds and facing extinction.

When a troubled athlete is relegated to their ranks, the band must find a way to unite and save the Marching Beavers. A total of 122 Valley Warrior students, including 80 cast, 34 crew and 8 orchestra pit members, have taken on the challenge and are busy preparing to stage this high school marching band tribute with four performances on March 13 through March 15.

Performance times are Friday, March 13, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, March 14, at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, March 15, at 1 p.m. Admission is $12 for all shows except the Saturday matinee is $10.

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased at VRHS in Deep River, Gather in Ivoryton, Toys Ahoy! in Essex, Celebrations in Deep River and The Wheatmarket in Chester.

More information is available at the school’s website at www.vrhs.reg4.k12.ct.us or by calling the school’s office at 860-526-5328.

TTYS Launches Six-Postcard ‘Parent Toolkit’ to Increase Marijuana Danger Awareness

ttysContinuing through June, 2015, Tri-Town Youth Services Bureau (TTYSB) is conducting a direct mail campaign to provide every household in the community with a “Parent’s Toolkit.” Not just for parents, the six-postcard toolkit is designed to enhance both the awareness of and the capacity for all adults in the tri-town area to share among themselves and to deliver valuable and consistent messages to youth about the dangers for young people in using marijuana before their brains have fully matured.

The toolkit counters the persistent myths and confusion around marijuana use, including that smoking marijuana is “no big deal,” and that “everything in moderation” is a prescription for child and adolescent health.

While we still need a machine—an fMRI—to literally illustrate the negative effects of marijuana on a young person’s brain, research clearly shows that marijuana use can hijack the brain’s sensitive construction process. Since human brain development continues through age 25, the rule — rather than the exception — for healthy youth development is delay, delay, delay any substance use, including the use of marijuana in any form.

The health of our children and young people is a measure of the health of our whole community. One researcher recently proclaimed: “Keep them alive ‘till 25!” She was talking to both young people and adults since youth have a responsibility to their futures selves. They can keep their healthy brain cells and process alive and well now to increase the likelihood that they will have the best chance of success for the rest of their lives.

Adults, meanwhile, can persist, in spite of the current controversies about marijuana decriminalization, medicalization and legalization — both in Connecticut and nationwide — to share among themselves the facts, rather than the myths, and to send consistent, science-based messages to our young people to ensure the greatest possibility of individual, family and community health.

The Parent Toolkit was originally developed by the Croton Community Coalition of Croton-on-Hudson, NY, and cited as a significant resource for community coalitions by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), the premier membership organization representing those working to make their communities safe, healthy and drug-free.

Tri-Town Youth Services Bureau supports and advances the families, youth and communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex.  The Bureau coordinates and provides resources needed to make positive choices, reduce substance abuse, and strengthen the relationships that matter most.  Discover programs and information for families, as well as opportunities for community collaboration at www.tritownys.org

CBSRZ Hosts Immigration Forum & Program, March 22

Hear their stories . . .

UntitledCHESTER – Jose was nine years old when his parents brought him to the U.S. from Mexico, not by plane or bus, as Jose thought, but across the desert on foot, through thirst and contact with “coyote’s.”

Amparo and her husband brought their two sons to the U.S. legally on a tourist visa 12 years ago but stayed.  Her sons are protected against deportation and now consider themselves “Americans,” however, the parents are now deportable.  Both Amparo and her husband would like to return to Ecuador, but because their tourist visa expired, they would then have to wait 10 years before returning.

Patricia came to the U.S. from Mexico 20 years ago with her four children.  She worked as a home care worker, which she enjoyed, but when she asked to work less than 60 hours a week, they cut her to 4-6 hours a week, which forced her to find other work.  Paty’s son was also picked up by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), held and then deported back to Mexico, even though he knew no one in Mexico, because he came to the U.S. when he was one-year-old.

Mariano came to the U.S. from Mexico at an early age and remembers little or nothing about his home country.  Educated in the New Britain school system, while attending Capital Community College, Mariano was put in a detention center when he was unable to produce documents to local police investigating an unrelated crime suspect.  Mariano was on the verge of being deported when Sen. Richard Blumenthal stepped in and persuaded immigration officials to grant a rare stay of deportation.

On March 22 at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ) starting at 1 p.m., you will hear these and other immigrants.

Part of this program will include attendees participating in an exercise where you will “walk in the shoes” of a new immigrant, Pablo, taking you through challenging problems facing today’s immigrants – before and after they get to America.

And come tell your story . . .

The synagogue hopes you will share your family’s story of coming to America – however many generations ago. We all know part of this story. The hope of freedom and a better life has always been the driving force for immigrants entering the United States – for all our families as well.

A discussion on immigration reform will follow.

There is no cost for this program, but CBSRZ requests an RSVP to 860-526-8920. Refreshments will be served.

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester.


Friends of Essex Library Host Annual Spring Sale, May 16 & 17


Pictured above are Dee Grover, Nancy Gould, Peggy Tuttle, and Joan Weingardt preparing for the Friends of Essex Library Spring Sale to be held at Essex Library, May 16 and 17. 

The Friends of Essex Library are hosting their Annual Spring Sale on May 16 and 17.  The sale will include current and classical books of fiction, as well as large selections of non-fiction featuring books on gardening, history, literature, art, travel, philosophy, science, nature, sports, self-help and foreign languages.  Always popular is the selection of books on CD’s.

Diligent volunteers spend hours carefully sorting through stacks of books, CD’s, and DVD’s to ensure that only good quality items are placed in the sale. 

The annual sale will provide funds to support the library’s special programs and activities.  Proceeds from previous sales made possible the installation of new sliding doors at the main entrance.

Specific information about the sale, including signed books and titles offered in the various categories, will be on the Essex Library website: www.youressexlibrary.org.  Click on “Friends” and the “Book Sale” page.

Essex Library Association Hosts Artist Exhibit by Susan Chamberland During March

"Are We There Yet?"
ESSEX – An art exhibit will be held at Essex Library Association, 33 West Ave., through the month of March featuring guest artist, Susan F. Chamberland.  The exhibit is free and open to all.

Chamberland, a 21-year-member and past-president of the Essex Art Association, lives in Ivoryton and has been bending and making paper, painting on silk and photographing abstract earthly elements for 40 years.

She is an avid sailor. Her work is simple, graphic, often combining elements surrounding water.  Chamberland’s art mixes earth bound images in mystical ways which host incongruous messages implanted in their titles. Edge is ever prevalent in her pieces, mixing color and contrast, enveloping the viewer to question.

Recently, Chamberland has completed her first children’s novel, The Adventures of Minifred the Mouse. The story brings the reader on a voyage from Liverpool to Boston during the 1848 Irish potato famine through the antics of a six month-old abandoned kitten and a smarty pants ship board mouse.

More of her work can be seen on her website: www.susanfchamberland.com

Join Sacred Heart Academy to Fundraise “Under the Tuscan Sun,” March 28

Join Sacred Heart Academy "Under the Tuscan Sun" Saturday Evening, March 28 Jeff and Frances Pellegrino Granquist '80 - 2015 "Under the Tuscan Sun" Auction Chairs.  Photo Courtesy of Storytellers Photography of North Haven

Jeff and Frances Pellegrino Granquist, Class of ’80, are the Auction Chairs at Sacred Heart Academy’s “Under the Tuscan Sun” event, March 28. Photo Courtesy of Storytellers Photography of North Haven

Experience the tastes of Tuscany with hors d’oeuvres, buffet dining, and Italian desserts at Sacred Heart Academy’s signature fundraising event – The 2015 Live and Silent Auction Under the Tuscan Sun – on Saturday, March 28.

This year’s Auction promises a wonderful evening – an event with a great theme, staging, cuisine, and the opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind items,” offered President Sr. Sheila O’Neill, ASCJ, Ph.D.,’71.  The Auction is our signature event and chairs Jeff and Fran Pellegrino Granquist, Class of ’80, and their committee are working tenaciously to make this a tremendous success.” she added.

Doors open at 5 p.m. with complimentary wine and beer, hors d’oeuvres, buffet dining, and Silent Auction followed by desserts and Live Auction with renowned and spirited guest auctioneer, Eric Hummel. This year’s special guest is Marc Garofalo, as master of ceremonies.

Jeff and Frances Pellegrino Granquist of Wallingford, are spearheading “Under the Tuscan Sun” along with a committee comprised of more than 75 parents, alumnae, and friends of the Academy.

Up for bid this year is a Ten Day Escape to Sicily, a Week at Florida’s Marriott Grande Vista and  a Week in Aruba, Five Days in Vegas, a Vespa Scooter, sports tickets including Yankees, Red Sox, NY Giants and more, a Walking Tour of New Haven, a NYC Scavenger Hunt, golf packages, catered dinners, electronics and much, much more.

Adding to the festivities is the $10,000 Cash Raffle. Tickets, at $20 each, are currently on sale and can be purchased by calling the Academy at 203-287-8181, x372. To download a raffle ticket order form, visit www.sacredhearthamden.org/auction. The drawing will be held at 9 p.m. the night of the Auction and winner need not be present.

For additional information on the Auction, including the latest items available and menu, or to make your reservations for “Under the Tuscan Sun” visit www.sacredhearthamden.org/auction or contact Maryanne Pisani at 203-287-8181, x372 or mpisani@sacredhearthamden.org. Tickets are $70 per person and tables of 10 are $700.

Sacred Heart Academy, an independent Catholic college preparatory school founded in 1946 by the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, successfully prepares young women in grades 9 – 12 for learning, service and achievement in a global society. Over 500 students hail from New Haven, Fairfield, Middlesex, New London and Hartford counties.

Join CBSRZ to Experience ‘Shabbat Across America’, March 13, Register by March 6

shabbat-artCHESTER – Whether you celebrate Shabbat regularly, or want to learn how to enrich your home Shabbat celebration, Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ) invites readers to experience its joy at on Friday, March 13, at 6 p.m.

All are invited as CBSRZ again welcomes the shoreline community as part of a nationwide Shabbat Across America celebration hosted by more than 700 synagogues throughout the country.  Shabbat, the weekly Jewish day of rest, is when families and friends gather to observe a traditional service and enjoy a festive meal.

A wine and cheese reception for adults begins at 6 p.m. followed by a traditional family Shabbat dinner.  The main course is provided by Alforno’s of Old Saybrook.  Participants are asked to contribute side dishes and desserts.  Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg and Cantor Belinda Brennan will lead an interactive Shabbat service with all the rituals explained.

Capping the evening will be an Oneg Shabbat when all are invited to enjoy an array of homemade desserts and fellowship.

This special Shabbat Across America celebration is free of charge and open to the shoreline community, however, reservations are required and must be made by Friday, March 6.

CBSRZ is a warm and diverse Reform congregation serving the lower Connecticut River Valley and Shoreline region.  The congregation welcomes interfaith families, singles and nontraditional families.

CBSRZ is located at 55 Kings Highway East in Chester.  For additional information and to RSVP, call the office at 860 526-8920.

Daniel S. Dahlstrom is Marshview Gallery’s ‘Artist of the Month’

OLD SAYBROOK – The Marshview Gallery features the work of Connecticut native Daniel S. Dahlstrom during March. Dahlstrom is a passionate student of the Connecticut River and Shoreline and his inspiration comes from the light effects of nature. He captures the New England landscape with his skillful brush strokes and the viewer is transported into the time and space of each piece.

Dahlstrom studied at the prestigious Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Old Lyme as well as with several professional, local artists. His work has been accepted into many local juried shows and he also works with select interior designers, who follow his work.

The Marshview Gallery at the Estuary Council, 220 Main Street in Old Saybrook is open daily, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. Dahlstrom’s work can also be seen on his website at http://danielsdahlstromartist.com

All are welcome to an Artist Reception on Thursday, March 12, from 5 to 7 p.m. at which Dahlstrom will be present.  Refreshments will be provided.

Hiroya Tsukamoto at Concert in the Garden, March 8

Photo Curtesy Hiroya Tsukamoto

Photo Curtesy Hiroya Tsukamoto

Sunday March 8 Concert in the Garden will feature Hiroya Tsukamoto with Erik Simon Vuoritie opening the show.

BYOB, bistro seating inside the gallery.  $10 donation suggested.

Hiroya Tsukamoto is a guitarist and composer originally from Kyoto, Japan. He began playing banjo when he was thirteen years old. In 2000, he received a scholarship to Berklee College of Music and came to the US. Since then, he has been performing internationally including several appearances with his group at Blue Note in New York and released five albums as a leader. He recently performed on Japanese National TV program (NHK-TV). Hiroya has developed unique acoustic music which is sometimes described as “Cinematic acoustic music”

“Hiroya Tsukamoto takes us to an impressionistic journey” -Boston Herald

“…chops, passion and warmth. Zealously recommended!” -Jazz Review.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=oaPLbxCHOFU


Erik Simon Vuoritie will be opening the show, More info:
Banging on drums at age 2 and starting classical guitar study at 5, Erik Simon Vuoritie learned at an early age that life without music is no life at all. Now, a 17-year-old student at Westbrook High School, Erik plays a combination of classical, Spanish and Latin American guitar music along with his classical-inspired arrangements of Beatles and popular melodies. Erik studies classical guitar with Alexander Vlassenkov and plays guitar and trumpet in the WHS jazz band. His guitar skills have taken him to the White House for a program hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama and to Siena, Italy as part of a strings chamber music program organized by members of the Hartford Symphony. Erik performs as a professional musician in musical theater pit bands and as a solo instrumentalist for special events along the Connecticut shoreline.

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=FhBz9m-4sj0
https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=7UyV0WyxN40


Become a Trained Tutor for Literacy Volunteers, Registration Open Thru March 2

Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore, CT, Inc. is a private non-profit organization.  Their mission is to train tutors to teach Basic Reading (BR) and English as a Second Language (ESL) to residents of the Valley Shore area who wish to improve their reading, writing or speaking English to improve their life and work skills.  This one-to-one instruction is held confidential and is completely without charge to the student.

Tutor training is a seven-session, 14-hour workshop program.  The workshops begin March 26 and run through May 12. A background in education is not necessary – just a desire to tutor and a commitment to help students improve their skill in basic literacy.

If interested in becoming a tutor, contact the Literacy Volunteers office on or before March 2 by phone at (860) 399-0280 or by e-mail at jferrara@vsliteracy.org or you can stop by the office located in the basement of Westbrook’s Public Library weekdays between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

For further information, contact: John Ferrara (860) 391-1198

Essex Resident Earns High Honors at Sacred Heart Academy

Sacred Heart Academy Principal Sr. Maureen Flynn, ASCJ recently announced the Honor Roll for the second marking period of the 2014 – 15 academic year.

Sophie Park of Essex earned High Honors.

Honors are awarded at the end of each quarter to students attaining an average of 3.5 or better. Those students who achieve a Grade Point average of 3.8 or greater are awarded High Honors.

Sacred Heart Academy, an independent Catholic college preparatory school founded in 1946 by the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, successfully prepares young women in grades 9 –12 for learning, service and achievement in a global society. The Academy has an enrollment of 500 students hailing from New Haven, Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex and New London counties.

Acton Public Library’s ‘Oscar Movie Series’ Continues with ‘Bonnie & Clyde’, March 16

Acton Public Library in Old Saybrook will be hosting an Oscars “then and now” movie series featuring a tribute to Robin Williams on Feb. 23, and subsequently a variety of other movies with Oscar awards on third Mondays from March through May at 1 p.m.

The program for the series is as follows:

March 16: Bonnie and Clyde

April 20: Good Will Hunting

May 18: The Theory of Everything

For more information, call The Acton Library at 860-395-3184, or visit the library during regular hours: Monday through Thursday 10am – 8:30pm, Friday and Saturday 9am – 5pm, and Oct – May on Sundays 1pm – 5pm or visit on-line at www.actonlibrary.org .

Also, visit www.commonsensemedia.org for movie ratings and recommendations.

Ribbon-Cutting Celebrates Chester Town Hall’s Solar Array Installation

At the ribbon cutting ceremony for Chester Town Hall's new solar array were (from left to right): Michael Benjamin, Raen Corbett, James Tedeschi, First Selectman Ed Meehan, Chris Lenda from Aegis Solar, Leah Bargnesi, Maggie Treichel from CT Solar Challenge, and Pat Woomer from Chester Energy Team.

At the ribbon cutting ceremony for Chester Town Hall’s new solar array were (from left to right): Michael Benjamin, Raen Corbett, James Tedeschi, First Selectman Ed Meehan, Chris Lenda from Aegis Solar, Leah Bargnesi, Maggie Treichel from CT Solar Challenge, and Pat Woomer from Chester Energy Team.

CHESTER – On Feb. 12, the Chester Energy Team hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Chester Town Hall’s solar array. Due to the weather, the ribbon cutting was reenacted indoors by students from the Chester Elementary School’s Energy Team. The town hall’s photovoltaic solar array, which was installed recently, was awarded to the town for operating the CT Solar Challenge, which resulted in 20 new residential photovoltaic and thermal installations.

“The town hall’s new system marks another step on our town’s path to carbon neutrality,” said Pat Woomer, chairman of the Chester Energy Team. “We are proud to be moving forward with these significant investments in clean energy because we believe we have an obligation to be a model for Chester and other communities.”

With the Energy Team’s help, by 2018 Chester hopes to achieve its commitment to the Clean Energy Pledge signed in 2013.

All Performances of ‘Motherhood Out Loud’ at Ivoryton This Weekend Cancelled

Pictured from top left are Beverley Taylor and Michael Cartwright. From bottom left – Atticus Nischan, Jeanie Rapp, Kase Vradenburgh, Vanessa Vradenburgh, Elle Vradenburgh. Photograph by Anne Hudson

Gathered for a photo are some of the Motherhood Out Loud performers and their children. From top left are Beverley Taylor and Michael Cartwright and from bottom left, Atticus Nischan, Jeanie Rapp, Kase Vradenburgh, Vanessa Vradenburgh, Elle Vradenburgh.  Photograph by Anne Hudson

1:30pm Update: Due to the threat of bad weather this weekend, all three performances of Motherhood Out Loud have been cancelled.

CANCELLED:  Friday, February 20 at 7:30pm in partnership with Women and Family Life Center
CANCELLED:  Saturday, February 21 at 7:30pm in partnership with Community Foundation of Middlesex County to support the Sari A. Rosenbaum Fund for Women & Girls
CANCELLED:  Sunday, February 22 at 2:00pm in partnership with Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut

Call the Ivoryton Playhouse at 860.767.7318 for ticket refunds.

ESSEX – “Mom!” “Mommy!!” “Ma!!!” How many times a day does a mother hear these words? Being a mother is one of the most rewarding, hilarious, joy-filled and heartbreaking jobs in the world. Come and celebrate all things Mom during a staged reading of Motherhood Out Loud at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Feb. 20, 21 and 22 to benefit local agencies that promote programs for women and children.

Motherhood Out Loud features a great variety of pieces by women reflecting upon the diversity of the parenting experience in America today, yet at the same time, the universality of it. From the wonder of giving birth to the bittersweet challenges of role reversal and caring for an aging parent, it is all shared with tremendous candor, heart and humor.

Conceived by Susan R. Rose and Joan Stein, Motherhood Out Loud is written by a collection of award-winning American writers including Leslie Ayvazian, Brooke Berman, David Cale, Jessica Goldberg, Beth Henley, Lameece Issaq, Claire LaZebnik, Lisa Loomer, Michele Lowe, Marco Pennette, Theresa Rebeck, Luanne Rice, Annie Weisman and Cheryl L. West.

Henley is a Pulitzer-Prize winner, Rebeck is the creator of the television series SMASH, and Pennette was Executive Producer of Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty and is Executive Producer of Kirstie Alley’s television show. Luanne Rice is the New York Times best-selling author of 33 novels, who has a home in Old Lyme.

Directed by Maggie McGlone Jennings (who has directed several shows at the Playhouse), the play features local actors who are well known in the shoreline community. The cast includes Beverley Taylor (a regular on the Playhouse stage), Jeanie Rapp (known to local audiences as the artistic director of Margreta Stage), Vanessa Daniels and Michael Cartwright.

This special production is a partnership between the Ivoryton Playhouse and several different organizations that promote programs for women and children. Friday, Feb. 20, is in partnership with Women & Family Life Center in Guilford; Saturday, Feb. 21, is in partnership with the Sari A. Rosenbaum Fund for Women & Girls at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County; and Sunday, Feb. 22, is in partnership with Child & Family Agency of Southeastern CT. The Ivoryton Playhouse is proud to partner with three different organizations to raise funds to help those in need in New Haven, Middlesex and New London Counties.

Performance times are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m; Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $40 and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting the Playhouse’s website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main St. in Ivoryton.

Letter to the Editor: Organizers Express Thanks to Carnivale Supporters, Helpers

To the Editor:

The committee for the 25th Annual Chester Winter Carnivale was quite disappointed to have to cancel Carnivale on Sunday, Feb. 15. With blizzard warnings and travel advisories in place, cancellation was unavoidable. There was simply no way to have the all-day outdoor event go on with the bitter cold and 40 mph winds.

Heartfelt thanks to all who worked so hard for many months planning the event, which will be nearly impossible to reschedule.

Carnivale has been made possible through the generous donations of time, talent and funds from residents, businesses and supporters of the Chester Merchants. The committee would especially like to thank those who generously contributed $500 or more: Aaron Manor; All-Waste; Archambault Insurance Company; Peter H. Charbonnier; Cummings & Good; First Niagara Bank; Mario S. Gioco; Greenwald Industries; Roto-Frank; Shepherd, Miller, Finkelman & Shah; Stark Agency Insurance; Town of Chester; and Whelen Engineering.


Chester Winter Carnivale Committee

2015 ‘Essex Go Bragh’ Irish Parade & Festival to be Held March 14

St. Paddy Day 9ESSEX – ‘Essex Go Bragh’ translates as ‘Essex Forever’ and is the name of the Irish Parade and Festival that takes place in town this year on Saturday, March 14.  The Parade will step off from the Essex Town Hall at 10:30 a.m., led by 2014 Grand Marshal Mr. Augie Pampel.

Pampel, has been living and contributing to the Essex Community for many years.  He has worked tirelessly as the Town of Essex Tree Warden since 1994.  He is a proud member of the Essex Garden Club and was instrumental in securing Keep America Beautiful Grants, used for Tree Restoration throughout the three villages.

St. Paddy Day 11 (2)Pampel will lead more than 100 marchers through down Main Street Essex in front of hundreds of spectators. The parade will feature nearly 25 units including elected officials, fife & drum corps, floats, Irish step dancers, boy and girl scouts, community organizations, church groups, police, fire, EMS, military, accompanying service and antique vehicles, and more. Members of the Essex Veterans Memorial Hall are the parade honor guard.

The Festival will follow in the Village offering Food, Drink, Horse Drawn Carriage Rides, Live Music by “Rock of Cashel” at the Griswold Inn, and Kids Activities sponsored by the Community Music School.

st. paddy day 11Professional Face Painting by Z Face & Body Art, an Irish Step Dancing demonstration and Guinness Pour at the Gris are some of the festivities planned for after the parade.  The organizers encourage visitors to stay downtown after the parade, enjoy the festival and visit local restaurants and businesses to check out their special St. Patrick Day promotions.

The organizers invite your group or organization to march in the parade.  To confirm your group’s participation or for more information, contact Essex Park and Recreation at 860-767-4340 x110 or recreation@essexct.gov.

Sponsorship opportunities are as follows:

Band Sponsor – $500 

Name Identification on the banner preceding one of the six bands.

An opportunity to participate in the parade ahead of the band

Sponsor volunteers may distribute marketing materials to spectators.

Logo identification on the park and recreation web site

Logo identification on all Flyers distributed

Float Sponsor – $1,000 

Name identification on banners on both sides of Grand Marshal’s Horse Drawn Carriage

Opportunity to participate or march in the parade ahead of the Carriage

Sponsor volunteers may distribute marketing materials to spectators.

Name identification on all flyers distributed

Name identification on Park and Recreation website, www.essexct.gov

Parade Program Advertisers 

Business card size- $150

1/4 page- $250

Half page- $400

‘China Day’ at Essex Elementary Offers Lantern Learning

3rd Grader Raegan Wyrebek-Brasky makes a paper lantern during EESF's China Day.

3rd Grader Raegan Wyrebek-Brasky makes a paper lantern during EESF’s China Day.

ESSEX – Second and third grade students recently practiced martial arts, made paper lanterns and learned new letters during China Day at Essex Elementary School.  The celebration, funded by the Essex Elementary School Foundation’s (EESF) Justus W. Paul World Cultures Program, included activities with Asian Performing Arts of Connecticut and Malee’s School of Tae Chi.
Chinese lanterns made during China Day at Essex Elementary School funded by the EESF.

Chinese lanterns made during China Day funded by EESF at Essex Elementary School. .

The EESF is looking for your support.  The not-for-profit, volunteer organization provides funds for enrichment programs that bring a mathematician and historian-in-residence into the classrooms, as well as an iPad lab and author visits.

For donation information, visit www.essexelementaryschoolfoundation.org.

Chester Synagogue Hosts Children’s ‘Purim Spiel & Carnival,’ March 1

CHESTER – Join the fun at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ) for their annual children’s Purim Spiel and Carnival on Sunday morning, March 1, from 10 a.m. until noon.  Children are welcome to come in costume and be part of the Costume Parade.

Admission and games are free.  Lunch can be purchased and all proceeds go to a local charity.  This is a perfect activity for families with children up to age 12.

The CBSRZ is a reform synagogue located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester.  For more information, contact the office at 860-526-8920.  Visit www.cbsrz.org and on Facebook at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek.

Acton Public Library Presents Key Chain Collection During March

For the last weeks of February and the month of March, the Acton Public Library will be hosting a display of 7th grade St. John’s Student Katie Conklin’s collection of keychains. Katie has been collecting keychains since the age of three.

The Acton Public Library is open Monday through Thursday from 10am until 8:30 pm, Friday and Saturday from 9am to 5 pm, and Sunday from 1pm to 5pm.


Essex Garden Club Hosts Successful Terrarium Workshop


Sandy Meister, left, works with a participant at the terrarium workshop.


ESSEX – The Essex Garden Club and Essex Library Association co-sponsored a terrarium workshop on Saturday, Feb. 7, at Essex Library.

Workshop participants create their masterpieces.

Workshop participants create their masterpieces.

Twenty participants were given step-by-step instructions by Sandy Meister of the Essex Garden Club.  She also provided information on choosing plants and tips on garden maintenance.


A Swashbuckling Party Planned at CT River Museum’s ‘Privateers’ Bash,’ March 14

Join the pirate crew for a night of merriment and mayhem at the Connecticut River Museum on March 14.

Join the pirate crew for a night of merriment and mayhem at the Connecticut River Museum on March 14.

ESSEX –- Ahoy, Matey! Come if ye dare and be part of the swashbuckling crew who are lookin’ for a lively way to let off a bit of winter steam!  Grab your sword and hoist your sails to the Privateers’ Bash on Saturday, March 14 at the Connecticut River Museum, presented by Gosling’s Rum.

All are invited to come in costume and relive Riverfront history at the Ninth Annual Bash, a playful nod to the privateers who made their wealth by relieving foreign ships of their valuable cargo during the War of 1812.  Grog, grub, music and dancing will fill three floors of exhibit galleries from 6:30 to 10 p.m.

The Sun Kings, a Caribbean party band, will help create the tropical mood. Savory bites will be provided in-part by Gourmet Galley, Coffee’s Country Market, Emily’s Catering Group, Coastal Cooking Company, Da Vinci Pizza and David Allen Catering. Treasure can be found with great prizes up for raffle, plus booty awarded for best costumes.

The Sun Kings will bring the Caribbean to Essex

The Sun Kings will bring the Caribbean to Essex

A $50 Privateer ticket includes hors d’oeuvres, grog and one complimentary drink. Or take advantage of a two-ticket purchase deal and buy two Privateer tickets for just $85.  A $75 Commodore ticket also includes hors d’oeuvres and grog plus an open bar.

Net proceeds benefit the Connecticut River Museum.

Support for the Privateers Bash is provided in part by Bogaert Construction; Reynolds’ Garage & Marine, Drs. McAraw, Cantner, Cantner, Foisie & Barasz LLC., All Pro Automotive, Brown & Brown/McCutcheon Burr & Sons, Clark Group, Sound Rigging Services, Daniel’s Oil, Shore Discount Liquor & CCA Services.  In-Kind support provided by McChesney Design, Apparel + Plus and Connecticut Rental Center.

Tickets may be purchased by calling 860-767-8269, online at www.ctrivermuseum.org, or at the door on the evening of the event.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street on the Essex waterfront.  It is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to lead in the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its valley.

‘Healthy Addiction’ in Old Lyme Offers New Indoor Rowing Classes, All Levels Welcome

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 8.07.37 AM

OLD LYME — Healthy Addiction, located at 5 – 1 Davis Rd. East in Old Lyme, has announced the opening of four, new indoor rowing classes each week. These classes are run by Lizzie Simons, a certified “rowing” and “learn-to-row” instructor, as well as a personal trainer.

Monday and Thursday classes are for advanced rowers, meeting from 6 to 7:30 p.m., with “Long and Strong” rowing on Mondays, and “Strength and Speed” on Wednesdays. Tuesday and Thursday classes take place between 5:30 and 7 p.m., with an emphasis on “Heart Health.”

Lizzie Simon in action

Lizzie Simons in action

Rod Clingman, a Tuesday-Thursday rower, comments, “Staying true to my New Year’s resolution of keeping in shape, I was very happy to learn about the offerings of Healthy Addiction … I took advantage of a free learn to row seminar on a Sunday afternoon and was quickly brought up to speed by the instructor, Lizzie Simons. I was now ready to row! He continues, “We run through different drills which include rowing and stretching. Lizzie has a new lesson plan for each session to keep your workout fresh. Healthy Addiction really is a hidden gem.”

For more information, visit HealthyAddiction.net or call 860.237.3707.

Tractor Supply Co. Announces Third Annual National FFA Scholarship Program

AREAWIDE – Coming off the heels of a successful second year in 2014, Tractor Supply Company has announced the third annual Growing Scholars program in partnership with the National FFA Foundation. Last year, Tractor Supply customers donated $447,671, resulting in 334 scholarships awarded to FFA members in their pursuit of a college degree.

The Growing Scholars program will be supported nationally by each of the more than 1,400 Tractor Supply and Del’s Feed & Farm Supply stores Feb. 20 – March 1, which includes National FFA Week. Tractor Supply customers can donate $1 or more at store registers during the checkout process to support local FFA chapters and their members. Ninety percent of funds raised through Tractor Supply’s Growing Scholars program will be utilized to fund scholarships for FFA members. The remaining 10 percent of donations will benefit state FFA organizations.

“The funding we received from our customers last year was tremendous,” said Tractor Supply President and CEO Greg Sandfort. “We’re honored to be able to provide critical funding to FFA members who intend to pursue a college degree. Many of these students go on to be agriculture educators – and we know how important ag. ed. is to our communities, customers, and the lifestyle they value. Local FFA chapters enrich the lives of young members by teaching life skills, citizenship and leadership qualities. Giving back to our 1,300-plus communities that we serve is very important, and the Growing Scholars program is one of the ways that we support our current and future customers and future team members.”

To be eligible for the scholarship program, students must be current FFA members and either high school seniors or a freshman, sophomore or junior college student seeking a two- or four-year degree or other specialized training program. Major areas of study will also be considered when determining scholarship recipients.

“We can’t thank Tractor Supply and its customers enough for supporting FFA, student and alumni members and agriculture education in general,” said National FFA Foundation President Molly A. Ball. “The Growing Scholars program truly makes a difference in the lives of our youth.”

In addition to the Growing Scholars program, Tractor Supply and the National FFA Foundation have many other joint initiatives, including the FFA horse evaluation career development event, National FFA Week and the annual National Association of Agricultural Educators Conference. At an individual store level, Tractor Supply continually hosts fund-raising events and works closely with local FFA chapters and high school agriculture advisors to provide resources and leverage synergies.

“Local high school agricultural advisors and FFA chapters feel at home in their local Tractor Supply stores,” said Christi Korzekwa, senior vice president of marketing at Tractor Supply. “These groups often host fund-raising events at our stores to raise money for community projects, like building a school greenhouse, a new bridge in a public park or an animal care lab. Our stores also work with local FFA members to support specific programs and proficiencies by providing demonstrations from knowledgeable Tractor Supply employees and our vendor partners, which brings significant value to both organizations.”

Tractor Supply has been a sponsor of the National FFA Foundation for 28 years. The National FFA Foundation is the fundraising arm of the National FFA Organization, which provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 610,240 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,665 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Tractor Supply Company

Tractor Supply Company operates more than 1,400 stores in 49 states, including one in Old Saybrook. Located in the outlying towns in major metropolitan markets and in rural communities, Tractor Supply Company stores are focused on supplying the lifestyle needs of recreational farmers and ranchers and others who enjoy the rural lifestyle, as well as tradesmen and small businesses. The Company offers a comprehensive selection of merchandise for the health, care, growth and containment of horses, livestock and pets including select Purina and Nutrena brand feeds; hardware, truck, towing and tool products; and seasonal products, including lawn and garden items, power equipment, gifts and toys. In addition, the company sells work/recreational clothing and footwear for the entire family and maintenance products for agricultural and rural use. For more information on Tractor Supply, access the website at www.TractorSupply.com.

National FFA Foundation
The National FFA Foundation builds partnerships with industry, education, government, other foundations and individuals to secure financial resources that recognize FFA member achievements, develop student leaders and support the future of agriculture education. Governed by a 19-member board of trustees comprised of educators, business leaders, individual donors and FFA alumni, the foundation is a separately-registered nonprofit organization. About 82 percent of all sponsorship dollars received by the foundation support FFA members and agricultural education opportunities. For more, visit the National FFA Foundation at http://www.FFA.org/Give.

LVVS Seeks Volunteers to Help Valley Shore Residents with Reading, Writing

AREAWIDE - Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS), CT, Inc. is a private non-profit organization. Their mission is to train tutors to teach Basic Reading (BR) and English as a Second Language (ESL) to residents of the Valley Shore area who wish to improve their reading, writing or speaking English to improve their life and work skills. This one-to-one instruction is held confidential and is completely without charge to the student.

Tutor training is a 14-hour program conducted over seven sessions held each spring and again in the fall of every year. The next training session begins March 26 and runs through May 12. Workshop Leaders at LVVS have developed a comprehensive program that provides prospective tutors the skills and resources to help them succeed. A background in education is not necessary – just a desire to tutor and a commitment to helping a student improve their skill in basic literacy or English as a Second Language over the period of one year after the completion of training.

If you are interested in becoming a tutor, contact the Literacy Volunteers office in the basement of Westbrook’s Public Library by phone at 860-399-0280 or by e-mail at jferrara@vsliteracy.org.  Registration for the fall session is open now and the deadline for applications is March 2.

Linares Meets with AARP Volunteers to Discuss Issues Affecting Seniors

From left to right, Barbara Rutigliano of Essex, Marian Speers of Old Saybrook, Sen. Art Linares, and Jean Caron of Old Saybrook.

Gathered for a photo during Senator Linares’s meeting with AARP volunteers are (from left to right) Barbara Rutigliano of Essex, Marian Speers of Old Saybrook, Sen. Art Linares, and Jean Caron of Old Saybrook.

Sen. Art Linares met with Connecticut AARP volunteers at Essex Coffee and Tea Co. on Feb. 5, to discuss issues impacting seniors.  Linares urged seniors from throughout the region to contact him with any issues of concern.

He can be reached by phone at 800-842-1421 or email at Art.Linares@cga.ct.gov or on the web at www.senatorlinares.com.

Nilsson Offers Five Day Painting Workshop in August

Leif Nillson painting outdoors

Leif Nillson painting outdoors

CHESTER — Acclaimed local artist Leif Nilsson is offering a five day painting workshop from Aug. 3 to 7, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily for $500 per student.

This workshop will explore the lower Connecticut River Valley’s landscape, its architecture and the light that reveals it through a combination of one shot “alla prima” paintings and by further developing other canvases over the course of several days, all on location in the open air.

Nilsson’s medium of choice is oil paint but he is familiar with other media such as pencil, pastel, watercolor and acrylics, so participants are asked to bring whatever they are comfortable using.

Subjects during the course may include painting the Village of Chester, Nillson’s studio garden (possibly with a live model) and the Connecticut River.

Throughout each day, he will provide a variety of tips and suggestions from how to set up one’s equipment and choosing a composition to learning how to see more through squinted eyes through formal and spontaneous demonstrations and individual discussions.

Technical assistance with drawing, perspective, proportions, color mixing and application will be offered as students work on their own paintings and as the need arises.

A general materials and suggested equipment list will be provided upon registration.

The daily schedule for the course will be:

9 a.m. to noon: Meet at a predetermined location at 9am and work until noon.

Noon to 1 p.m.: Take an hour break for lunch. Students are responsible for providing their own lunch. Chester has some excellent markets for eating in and take out.

1 to 5 p.m.: Start up again at 1 p.m. at an agreed upon location and work until 5 p.m.

Students are welcome to start earlier and work later if they’d like to without me present.

Nillson and his wife Caryn Davis, who is a professional photographer, will host one or two informal dinner parties at their home and gallery during the week to welcome students, share in lively discussions and view everyone’s work.

A list of local motels, B&Bs and Inns is available at: http://www.visitchester.com/chester/merchants/inns_and%20_B_and_Bs.html

A 50 percent non-refundable deposit of $250 is required by May 15, 2015 to secure a place. If the workshop is cancelled, the deposit will be refunded in full.

For more information, visit http://www.nilssonstudio.com/classes/index.html

Literacy Volunteers Feature Romance Novels in February Book Sale

AREAWIDE — February’s monthly book promotion by Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS) features romance novels. Authors include Barbara Taylor Bradford, Jackie Collins, Jude Deveraux and many more.  Hard covers are on sale for $2 and paperback for only 50 cents.

The book sale is located at the LVVS offices in the lower level of the Westbrook Public Library 61 Goodspeed Dr. Westbrook, Conn. Hours are: Monday- Thursday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Fridays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

All proceeds LVVS tutoring programs.

For further information, contact LVVS at info@vsliteracy.org or 860-399-0280.

Celebrate Winter at Chester’s 25th Annual Winter Carnivale, Sunday  

Street entertainers delight the crowds at the Chester Carnivale. Photo by John Stack.

Street entertainers delight the crowds at the Chester Carnivale. Photo by John Stack.

CHESTER – Winter has been pretty dreary so far, but that’s not keeping the townspeople of Chester from looking forward to their 25th annual winter celebration, Chester Winter Carnivale, on Sunday, Feb. 15.

That’s when the picturesque small town of Chester is filled with people cheering on ice carvers as they create beautiful sculptures from blocks of ice, while laughing at the antics of street performers and applauding a long parade of new and antique tractors being driven down Main Street by their proud owners. All that, and food, music, art, and shopping too!

Richard Daly works on his ice sculpture during the 2014 Winter Carnivale. Daly holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest time to create ice sculptures. Photo by John Stack

Richard Daly works on his ice sculpture during the 2014 Winter Carnivale. Daly holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest time to create ice sculptures. Photo by John Stack

The day begins at 10:30 a.m. when the carvers get started on their ice sculptures. Both professional and student ice carvers will be hard at work, demonstrating their techniques to onlookers while they try to be finished by 1 p.m. for judging.

Meanwhile, the Chester Hose Company is holding its 15th annual “Chilly Chili Cook Off” fundraiser. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., go to the Chester Hose Company Fire House at 6 High Street and pay your $5 admission so you can taste all the different chilis cooked and dished out by restaurants, caterers and fire departments. You can vote for your favorite fire department chili, favorite restaurant chili, most original chili, and best dressed chili serving table.  Beverages will be sold. All proceeds go to the Chester Hose Company.

Still hungry? There’s pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, chowder, soups, and lots more available inside and outside the restaurants in town. Also, hot chocolate, popcorn, kettle corn, and cupcakes – everything to satisfy every taste.

Tractors and more tractors descend on Chester on Carnivale day for the 14th Annual Tractor Parade. Photo by John Stack

Tractors and more tractors descend on Chester on Carnivale day for the 14th Annual Tractor Parade. Photo by John Stack

Just be sure to be back out on Main Street by 2 p.m. for the 14th Annual Chester Tractor Parade. Colorful and rusty, big and small, antique and new, decorated and plain – tractors are driven through the town center in an incredibly long parade. You never knew there were so many tractors in the Connecticut River Valley!

There is no shortage of free activities to keep the whole family entertained for the day. Colorful beads and balloons will be handed out throughout town all day and face painting is available at Century 21 Heritage.

The Chester Museum at The Mill will be open at no charge, offering a place to explore Chester history.

A photo booth will be at Maple and Main Gallery of Fine Art, where there will also be a free workshop for kids between 6 and 11 years, led by artist Carol Young from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. Each child will get a workbook handmade by Carol with art projects centered on bees, and they will make the three-dimensional bee depicted in the book.

Other galleries and shops will be open, many with special events. The Spring Street String Band, Arrowhead, will be playing from noon to 2 p.m. at the Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio & Gallery. Winter sales – including a complete storewide sale at ELLE Design – will be going on at a number of stores.

Chester Winter Carnivale is held rain or snow or shine.  Main Street will be closed to traffic. Free parking is available in the commuter lot on Rte. 148 at the foot of Rte. 9 and in the Roto-Frank parking lot on Inspiration Lane (exit 6) and at Greenwald Industries on Rte. 154 (212 Middlesex Avenue). (Follow the signs.) All lots will be served by courtesy shuttle buses to the town center.

For more information, go to facebook.com/chesterctwintercarnivale or https://finditinchesterct.wordpress.com/




Caption: Street performers, balloons, beads and face painting add free fun for all ages to Winter Carnivale. Photo by John Stack


Caption: Richard Daly works on his ice sculpture during the 2014 Winter Carnivale. Daly holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest time to create ice sculptures. Photo by John Stack


Caption: Tractors and more tractors descend on Chester on Carnivale day for the 14th Annual Tractor Parade. Photo by John Stack

Welcome to Our Newest Intern, Adina Ripkin

Adina Ripkin

Old Saybrook High School junior and Shoreline Web News LLC intern         Adina Ripkin

We are delighted to welcome Adina Ripkin to the staff of Shoreline Web News (SWN) LLC through the internship program at Old Saybrook Hgh School (OSHS).  Adina will be working for us through June of this year writing for both of our community news websites, ValleyNewsNow.com and LymeLine.com.

Adina is a junior at OSHS and already much involved in the world of journalism.  She has been writing for the school newspaper, “The Rambler,” for two years and serving as an editor for one.  She comments, “I love participating in The Rambler … it’s a lot of fun,” adding, “I also write and edit for cteenvoice.com, which tries to bring together schools from across the region.”  Not surprisingly for someone who is both a talented and an aspiring writer, one of Adina’s favorite subjects at school is English, but she also likes the sciences.

Adina is involved in the upcoming school production of  the musical, “West Side Story,” for which she is assistant in creating the costumes.  She also is a member of the group known as “Goodwin Buddies,” which she explains is, “A program where high school students help elementary schoolers with their homework.”

Outside school, Adina is an avid reader and enjoys walking her dog.

Last semester Adina was an intern at the Shoreline Medical Center in Westbrook where, in her words, she, “learned what it was like to be in a professional medical environment.”  She notes, “It was great — I was mainly in the lab, which I loved because everyone there was so nice and interesting.  It helped me to get a much more concrete idea of what to expect after college.”

Adina will be covering a range of stories for SWN ranging from town events and municipal news to theater reviews and school happenings … and more.  She told us, “I am lucky to be interning with ValleyNewsNow and LymeLine to experience what it’s like to work for a newspaper. I’m excited to get started.”

Well, we’re certainly excited to have you on board, Adina, and hope you not only thoroughly enjoy but also learn from the experience.  Welcome!

Registration for Toddler Tunes in Old Saybrook Opens Feb. 17

OLD SAYBROOK - Youth and Family Services’ very popular interactive music program for children from birth to 30 months and their parent or guardian – is set to begin again on April 21.

It’s never too early to introduce your little one to the joys of music. Come have fun and join the Toddler Tune circle.  This Spring session of Toddler Tunes, led by local musician Tammi Dunlap, will run for eight Tuesdays and will meet at Acton Public Library.  Children are sure to be delighted as they sing and move to favorite songs, followed by snacks and social time.

Space is limited for this very popular and affordable program and registration is required to participate.  Registration begins Tuesday, Feb. 17, so mark your calendars.  To register online (beginning Feb. 17) visit the News and Announcements section of Youth and Family Services’ webpage at www.oldsaybrookct.org/youth.

This session runs through Tuesday, June 9.  The cost is $32 for Old Saybrook residents; $42 for non-residents.

If you need help with the online registration tool, contact Administrative Assistant Linda McCall at Linda.McCall@OldSaybrookCT.gov or at (860) 510-5040.

CT Audubon Announces EcoTravel Day Trips, Dates Thru Feb. & March

AREAWIDE — Connecticut Audubon Society has announced its upcoming series of EcoTravel Day Trips.

Click here for a full listing of all the trips available and information regarding reservations.

LVVS Announces Jack Smith as New Board President

John McG (Jack) Smith

John McG (Jack) Smith

AREAWIDE — Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore, a volunteer based non-profit organization with a mission to help area residents improve their reading, writing and speaking of English as a way to better their life and work skills,has announced the election of John McG (Jack) Smith as the new President of their Board of Directors. Smith will lead the board’s efforts to raise awareness of Literacy Volunteers’ programs, events, fundraising and provide direction and guidance for the affiliate.

“Becoming President of the LVVS Board of Directors provides an opportunity to take a greater role in serving this wonderful organization,” said Smith. “So many volunteers give their time and talents to tutor clients, raise funds and broaden awareness of our mission. It is an honor to work with them and I look forward to helping Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore advance in the year ahead.”

Smith first came to the organization in April, 2014 after a career in medical device logistics and medical education software. He is also a Connecticut Realtor having recently joined the William Raveis Real Estate firm in Guilford.

He brings expertise in board development and operations from stints on the boards of the Waterbury Hospital/Greater Waterbury Health Network, The Connecticut Community Foundation, the Institute for American Indian Studies and as a Literacy Volunteer Instructor at the Greater Hartford YMCA Read to Succeed Program.

His term runs through June 2016.

Editor’s Note: LVVS serves the towns of: Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Guilford, Killingworth, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook

Free Tax Help Available for Households Earning $53,000 or Less

Volunteer David Morgan assists a client with taxes last year at the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site at the Middlesex United Way office.

Volunteer David Morgan assists a client with taxes last year at the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site at the Middlesex United Way office.

AREAWIDE — Families with a household income of $53,000 or less are eligible for free tax preparation assistance is available now through April 11, at two sites Middletown.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is an official IRS program, and all tax preparers are trained and certified to ensure that low- to moderate-income families receive the refunds and credits that they have earned, including the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credits and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.

In 2014, the two VITA sites in Middletown helped more than 530 Middlesex County area residents file their taxes for free and returned $767,781 back to taxpayers. Those who filed with Middletown VITA sites had an average Adjusted Gross Income of $19,676 and received an average refund of $1,706, money they have earned. This impacts not only those who filed their taxes, but also their families and the local economy.

Appointments are required and are being offered during the evenings and on Saturdays in downtown Middletown. To make an appointment, dial 2-1-1 from any phone. 2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Individuals should bring a check or bank statement for direct deposit of their refund. Direct deposit is the quickest way to receive the refund, usually within 7 to 14 days. When attending their pre-scheduled appointment, individuals should bring: valid photo ID for yourself and your spouse; social security cards or ITIN for everyone in the household; birth dates for everyone in the family; documentation for all income; interest and dividend statements; documentation for deductible education expenses and student loan payments; total amount paid for child care as well as day care provider’s tax identification number and address; property taxes paid, including automobile taxes; evidence of health care coverage in 2014; a copy of last year’s federal and state income tax returns, if available; and the current year’s tax package if you received one.

Middletown VITA sites are coordinated by the Middlesex VITA Coalition, a partnership of Middlesex United Way and the North End Action Team. The Middlesex VITA Coalition receives support from the Connecticut Association of Human Services.

Old Lyme Church Hosts Elm City Girls’ Choir in Concert, March 1

The Yevshan singers who will perform at Saint Ann’s Church on Sunday.

Over the winter months Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church in Old Lyme will present four exciting concerts in its ongoing Music Series. The final concert will be held Saturday, March 1 and feature the Elm City Girls’ Choir.

Sunday, March 1 at 3 p.m. – Elm City Girls’ Choir.

Saint Ann’s welcomes the return of this pre-eminent New Haven-based choral ensemble. At this concert they will be joined by choral groups from Old Lyme and from the Isaac Middle School in New London. The Elm City Girls’ Choir is comprised of young women, ages 7 to 18, drawn from throughout the state. The choir has performed with many outstanding choral groups, including The American Boychoir, CONCORA, New York Virtuoso Singers, and Yale Schola Cantorum. They have also toured extensively throughout North America and Europe. A free-will donation will be taken; the proceeds will help to support Saint Ann’s concert series for the community.

Saint Ann’s is an Episcopal parish in Old Lyme and, under the direction of the rector the Rev. Canon Mark K J Robinson, invites and welcomes all visitors to attend these performances in their music series.

Saint Ann’s is located at 82 Shore Road (Rt. 156), two miles off I95, exit 70. Parking is adjacent to the church.

For reservations and more information contact Kathy Rowe at 860-434-1621, via email at office@saintannsoldlyme.org , or visit Saint Ann’s online at www.saintannsoldlyme.org

Ivoryton Announces Spectacular Season for 2015, Features ‘Memphis’, ‘Calendar Girls’

ESSEX: Ivoryton Playhouse has announced details of its upcoming 2015 season as follows:

Stand by Your Man
March 18 – April 5, 2015
By Mark St. Germain

Relive the journey of country music legend, Tammy Wynette, from the cotton fields of Itawamba, Mississippi, to international superstardom, including the five husbands she stood by. Among the 26 songs are “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” “Til I Can Make It On My Own” and “Golden Ring.”

The Last Romance
April 22 – May 10, 2015
By Joe DiPietro

A crush can make anyone feel young again – even an 80 year old widower. This heartwarming comedy about the transformative power of love mixes heartbreak with humor and opera with laughter.

Calendar Girls
June 3rd – June 21st, 2015
By Tim Firth

One of the best-selling plays in British theatre history is making its US premier. This dazzlingly funny and shamelessly sentimental story of the ladies of the Women’s Institute who pose au natural for a fundraising calendar is guaranteed to make you laugh, cry and walk out singing Jerusalem!  Sponsored by Webster Bank, PCI Medical

South Pacific
July 1 – July 26, 2015
By Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan

Who doesn’t love this extraordinary show that includes “Some Enchanted Evening”, “Younger Than Springtime”, “Bali Ha’i”, “There Is Nothin’ Like A Dame”, and “A Wonderful Guy”? But South Pacific is also a deeply felt drama. Its portrayal of Americans stationed in an alien culture in wartime is as relevant today as when it first thrilled audiences back in 1949.

Aug. 5 – Aug. 30, 2015
By Joe DiPietro and David Bryan

Memphis is set in the places where rock and roll was born in the 1950s: the seedy nightclubs, radio stations and recording studios of Memphis, TN. With an original score, it tells the fictional story of DJ Huey Calhoun, a good ole’ local boy with a passion for R&B music and Felicia Farrell, an up-and-coming black singer that he meets one fateful night on Beale Street. From the first notes of its electrifying opening number, right up to a rousing finale , Memphis delivers one energetic song after another. A rollicking new musical.

Little Shop of Horrors
Sept. 23 – Oct. 11, 2015
By Howard Ashman and Alan Menken

The charming, tongue in cheek musical comedy of Seymour who stumbles across a new breed of plant he names “Audrey II” – after his coworker crush, has been devouring audiences for over 30 years. A deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical.

Oct. 28 – Nov. 15, 2015
By Brent Hazelton

Liberace! is a moving and highly entertaining tribute to the performer and musician famous for his charm, glitz, and glamour. Liberace relives the highs (and lows) of his prolific life, with a rollicking piano score spanning classical and popular music from Chopin to “Chopsticks,” and Rachmaninoff to Ragtime.

Subscriptions for 3-play, 5-play or 7-play packages are available now by calling Beverley Taylor at 860.767.9520

Single tickets go on sale Feb. 17 — call 860.767.7318.

For more information, visit www.ivorytonplayhouse.org

Literacy Volunteers-Valley Shore Trains 12 New Tutors

AREAWIDE: Twelve area residents recently completed the Fall workshops, which consist of intensive training enabling them to tutor adults in Basic Reading and English as a Second Language. The seven-session workshop introduces individuals to the fundamentals of teaching basic reading as well as English as a Second Language.  Each session lasts about two hours and is held in the held in the spring and fall of each year.

This year’s Fall graduates were Barbara Batt of Old Saybrook, Lisa Cantey of Madison, Eileen Cummings of Old Lyme, Lina Daly of Guilford, Ann Fitzgerald of Old Saybrook, Marilyn Halbing of Old Saybrook, Theresa Humphries of Killingworth, Gloria Jablonski of Old Saybrook, Maria Lavin of Westbrook, Cheryl Niland of Clinton, Kathy Ring of Old Saybrook and June Venestresca of Guilford.

As an accredited affiliate of ProLiteracy America, LVVS is entering its 36th year of helping people in Valley Shore towns learn to read, write, and speak better English to improve their lives. These services are free of charge to the student and completely confidential.

For further information, contact the Literacy Volunteers office by calling (860) 399-0280, email info@vsliteracy.org or visit their website at www.vsliteracy.org.

Celebrate Groundhog Day Today at Essex Parade

Groundhog fun at last year's parade.

Joining in the groundhog fun at last year’s parade.

The annual Essex Groundhog Day Parade in Essex Village will take place on Sunday, Feb. 1. The parade forms at 1:30 p.m. and steps off at 2 p.m.

Essex Ed will make his annual trip from Essex Boat Works to the top of Main Street. He will lead a raucous parade of antique cars, fire trucks, residents, and visitors.

Everyone is invited to don their groundhog gear and join in the fun. Children are encouraged to bring noisemakers – pots and pans, anything – to help awaken Ed from his long winters nap.

Part of the excitement annually is to find out how Ed is dressed. Each year, Essex Ed is costumed in unique attire to acknowledge a special occasion, person or organization. Past years have seen Ed dressed as historical figures, athletes, thespians, and musical performers. As always, this year’s costume is a secret but organizers guarantee that it will be a “huge hit” when Ed makes his appearance.

The parade is organized by the Essex Board of Trade.

For more information, visit www.essexct.com.