September 16, 2014

Blurred Lines, Sharp Art – Local and Beyond, Essex Art Association – Sep. 26-28

Catmint on the Wall  -  by Jill Beecher Matthew

Catmint on the Wall – by Jill Beecher Matthew

A weekend of art by Brushstrokes will be presented September 26, 27, and 28 at the Essex Art Association at 10 N. Main Street in Essex.  The public is invited to an opening reception on Friday, September 26, from 5 to 8 pm.
 
Brushstrokes is a local group of artists who frequently paint together both en plein air and in the studio.  Their show, entitled “Blurred Lines, Sharp Art – Local and Beyond,” will feature local scenes of CT and greater New England, as well as scenes from the artists’ travels.  Members of the group exhibiting are:  Phyllis Bevington, Rosemarie Cushing, Diane Aldi DePaola, Gail Estrade, Catherine Jackson, Elaine Lifland, Jill Beecher Matthew, Brenda Newbegin, Carol Robertson, and Maureen Tarbox.  

The Skelligs, Ireland  -  by Maureen Tarbox

The Skelligs, Ireland – by Maureen Tarbox

 
Hours of the exhibit are:  Friday, Sept. 26, 3 – 8 pm, Opening Reception 5 – 8 pm; Saturday, Sept. 27, 11 am – 5 pm; and Sunday, Sept. 28, 12 noon – 4 pm.  For more information call:  860-227-7485.   

 

Incredible India! A Cultural Expo, Marketplace and Gala – Oct. 18

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In honor of the Lyme Art Association’s 100th anniversary, the LAA presents Incredible India!, an expo and gala celebrating the culture of India. This incomparable event to benefit the LAA has two exceptional activities: A Cultural Expo and Marketplace in the afternoon of Saturday, October 18, followed by a Benefit Gala in the evening.

“For anyone looking for an interesting, exotic, and genuinely authentic experience, I can assure you that our Incredible India event is exactly that!” stated LAA’s Director of Development Gary Parrington.

The Cultural Expo and Marketplace will be a fun afternoon for the entire family to discover and experience the culture and charm of India. India vendors will display art, photographs, shawls, brassware, and other fine marketplace items. There will also be Indian food vendors, and musicians to entertain visitors. The Cultural Expo and Marketplace runs from noon until 3pm and is open to the public, free of charge.

The Benefit Gala, which takes place from 6pm until 10pm, will be an extraordinary experience including select items from the Expo, a palm reader, Henna hand painter, a unique India gift for every guest, and the opportunity to bid in an auction for travel packages to India.

The Presenting Sponsor for Incredible India is Air India in collaboration with the Government of India’s Ministry of Tourism. The Premier Media Sponsor for the expo and gala is The Day.

For additional information on Incredible India and to make a reservation for the Benefit Gala, please visit the website at www.LymeArtAssociation.org  or contact LAA’s Director of Development Gary Parrington at gary@lymeartassociation.org.

 About the Lyme Art Association

The Lyme Art Association was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Lyme Art Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within an historic district. Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, Sunday 1 to 5pm. For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802 or visit www.lymeartassociation.org

Comedy is Hard Opening at The Ivoryton Playhouse

Micky Dolenz* and Joyce DeWitt* (photo courtesy of Anne Hudson).

Micky Dolenz* and Joyce DeWitt*  (photo courtesy of Anne Hudson).

IVORYTON – The world premiere of a brand new play by acclaimed writer of The Simpsons, Mike Reiss, will take place at the historic Ivoryton Playhouse in Ivoryton, CT. Previews begin September 24th – the play opens on September 26th and runs through October 12th. Micky Dolenz (of The Monkees) will star alongside Joyce Dewitt,  veteran actress and star of the ABC television hit series Three’s Company.

Dolenz has delighted audiences with his performances on stage in the Elton John/Tim Rice production of Aida;Grease; Pippin’; A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum; and, most recently Hairspray in the West End playing Wilbur Turnblad.

Said Dolenz, “The opportunity to originate this role in Mike’s new play is terrific. I am ready to un-leash my inner-comedian.”

Joyce DeWitt is no stranger to the hilarious writing of Mike Reiss as she starred in the world premiere of his play I’m Connecticut in 2012 at CT Repertory Theatre. DeWitt, who has performed in almost every theatrical genre from Medea to South Pacific, jumped at the chance to perform in another Mike Reiss play. “The idea of figuring out how to play this woman who goes through a deep, heart-place transformation/evolution–in the middle of a wonderfully written comedy!  With Micky Dolenz? At the beautiful, historic Ivoryton Playhouse? “Yes” was a no-brainer.”

Comedy is Hard is a story of friendship and friction between an aging comedian and a veteran dramatic actress in a home for retired performers.  It’s about life, love, show business, and the importance of growing old disgracefully.

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.

Comedy is Hard! opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on September 24 and runs through October 12, 2014. Directed by Playhouse Artistic Director, Jacqueline Hubbard, the cast includes Michael McDermott*, Dan Coyle, Dorian Mendez and Michael Hotkowski. The set design is by Dan Nischan, lighting by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Lenore Grunko. Executive Producer is Michael A. Dattilo.

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

There will be talkbacks with the writer – check our website for details. 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.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

Generously sponsored by Hamilton Connections and Middle Oak.

 

Essex Garden Club Announces Officers for 2014

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New Officers of the Essex Garden Club. From L to R: Carol Denham, Barbara Burgess, Linda Newberg, Patricia Mather, Dianne Sexton, Barbara Marden and Barbara Hall

Essex Garden Club has announced its new officers.  Officers for the for 2014-15 are Linda Newberg, president; Barbara Burgess, first vice president; Dianne Sexton, second vice president; Barbara Hall, recording secretary, Barbara Marden, corresponding secretary; Patricia Mather, treasurer; and Carol Denham, assistant treasurer.

In her opening remarks at the September meeting, Newberg described the club’s agenda and activities for the coming year, and introduced the theme for this year, “A Tribute to You”.  She went on to say that the success of the club’s projects is directly dependent on the tireless work of the many club volunteers.  These projects include civic beautification, scholarships, and educational and conservation initiatives.

33rd District State Senate Candidate Debate at VRHS – Sep. 23

Senate debate pictureDon’t miss this opportunity to hear the candidates answer the questions that matter to you and your town!  The Essex Library will be hosting a debate between Colin Bennett (Green), Emily Bjornberg (D) and Art Linares (R), the candidates for State Senator in the 33rd District beginning at 7 PM on Tuesday, Sept. 23 at the Valley Regional High School Auditorium.

The debate will be moderated by Essex Library Director Richard Conroy. Voters are urged to send questions for the candidates to the Essex Library, by email (rconroy@essexlib.org), US mail (attention of Richard Conroy, Director, Essex Library, 33 West Avenue, Essex 06426), or in person at the Essex Library. Questions for the candidates should be relevant to issues affecting our state and district.  All questions should include the questioner’s name, address and contact phone number, for verification.

Admission is free and open to anyone who would like to attend.

Nautical Book Sale – Sep. 26-28

An unusual selection of nautical books, as well as vintage classics and beautiful rare volumes will be included in the Friends of the Guilford Free Library Book Sale September 26, 27 and 28. Sale hours are Friday, 9 to 6; Saturday, 9 to 4; and Sunday, 11-3. Many books are in gift-able condition and all marked at low, low prices. Sunday is half price day. And on Saturday, a variety of home-baked delectable will also be sold in the Library lobby. More info at www.guilfordfreelibrary.org .

Lego Collection on Display at Acton Public Library – Through Sep.

For the month of September, the Acton Public Library in Old Saybrook will be displaying Riley Haworth’s Lego collection. Riley is nine years old and has been building with Legos since he was three.  His favorite Lego sets are the Word World II military reproductions. The display represents only a tiny fraction of Riley’s Lego collection. In the six years that he has been building with Legos, he has amassed thousands and thousands of bricks. The Acton Library is open Monday through Thursday from 10am until 8:30 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 9am to 5 pm.

Lori Warner Studio Hosts Andraab Trunk Show of Finest Cashmere – Sep. 21

The Lori Warner Studio/Gallery is very pleased to welcome Yasmin and Mohamed Andraab back to the gallery for an exclusive, second annual trunk show featuring their gorgeous collection of cashmere scarves, shawls, stoles and wraps.  Join us on Sunday, September 21, 2014 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm to view these extraordinary cashmere pieces.

Each museum quality design is hand-woven of the finest natural cashmere with intricately embroidered details lovingly made in Kashmir, India

Each museum quality design is hand-woven of the finest natural cashmere with intricately embroidered details lovingly made in Kashmir, India

Each piece is limited in production and all are unique.  Each museum quality design is hand-woven of the finest natural cashmere with intricately embroidered details lovingly made in Kashmir, India and signed by the artist working on the piece. Andraab is a family business with boutiques in India and select retailers in the United States. It’s always a perfect time of year for cashmere, and always the perfect gift. These wearable works of art are sure to be cherished for generations either on the body or hanging in the home.

These wearable works of art are sure to be cherished for generations either on the body or hanging in the home

These wearable works of art are sure to be cherished for generations either on the body or hanging in the home

The Lori Warner Studio/Gallery is a unique source for artwork and objects that make a lasting impression. The gallery exhibits a small number of exclusive and award winning work and regularly hosts informal events featuring their represented artists and designers. The gallery is located at 21 Main Street in Chester, Connecticut. (860) 322-4265. www.loriwarner.com.

Each piece is limited in production and all are unique

Each piece is limited in production and all are unique

Preschool Program at CBSRZ Begins – Sep. 14

Join the “little dumplings” of Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (Chester) for a free, twice a month preschool program.  Led by our wonderful educator, Sandy Herzog, this program is geared towards children from birth through 4 years old, along with their parents.   The program is from 10-10:45 am and includes a variety of activities including songs, crafts, stories and a snack.  The program will introduce children to Jewish values and holidays in a fun and educational setting.   Upcoming program dates will be September 14th and 21st and October 12th and 19th.

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester.  This program is free and open to the public.  No advance registration is required.  For more information, please call the office at 860-526-8920.

The Music of Movies Series at Acton Public Library Through December

The Acton Public Library in Old Saybrook will be hosting “The Music of Movies” Series  this fall featuring movies with notable scores and soundtracks. The series will run mostly 3rd Mondays  September  through December at 6:30. On September 15th , The Pink Panther Strikes Again with the music of Henry Mancini will be shown; on Monday, October 20th, Stand By Me with 1950s music, will be shown and on November 24th, The Book Thief with the music of John Williams will be shown. The movie for Dec 15th will be determined by library patron feedback.

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.

Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore Participates in Family Day – Sep. 21

Join Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore at the 16th annual Family Day celebration held by Old Saybrook Youth and Family Services and Healthy Communities/Healthy Youth. Stop by our table where we would love to meet you and answer any questions you may have about our tutoring programs for English, life and work skills.  This family event will be held on the Old Saybrook town green from 1pm-4pm on Sunday, September 21st (rain date: Sunday, September 28th).

Come and enjoy food, live music, and activities all free in the atmosphere of community togetherness.  It will be a fun filled day for all ages, see you there!

First Congregational Church of Essex Rummager Sale – Oct. 4

ESSEX — Plans are underway for the annual Rummage Sale at The First Congregational Church in Essex, 6 Methodist Hill, to be held  on October 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., rain or shine. New this year is an Early Sales event on October 3 from 6 pm to 8 pm. For a $5 admission per person, customers will have the opportunity to be the first to preview and buy from the extensive selections of merchandise.

Items for sale will include finer women’s, men’s and children’s clothing and shoes; women’s accessories and jewelry; books and CDs; tools; small electronics; housewares, including lamps and frames, and selected small furniture. This year, the sale will also feature children’s toys and a linens department. A popular focus of the yearly sale is the “Boutique and Antiques” room, which will offer rare and unusual gifts and collectibles. On Saturday, October 4,  a bake sale will feature home made fare and refreshments will be available at The Grill. Proceeds from the sale go to support the missions of the church.

Rummage donations are currently being accepted at the church office, Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 1 pm.  Donations will also be accepted during extended hours, the week prior to the sale, September 29 throughOctober 2. If you have items that you wish to donate but need them picked up by a sale volunteer, please call the church office at (860) 767-8097. The church will not accept any appliances, air conditioners or televisions of any kind.

 

Clinton Stumps for Malloy in New Haven, Highlights Governor’s Strengths

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Photo by Christine Stuart/CTNewsJunkie.com

Former President Bill Clinton told a friendly crowd of party loyalists Tuesday that Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy should be elected by 10 points or more based on what he’s been able to accomplish.

That’s the message Clinton told a half-full ballroom of supporters at the Omni Hotel in New Haven. He also said …

Read the full story by Christine Stuart and published on CTNewsJunkie.com Sept. 2

CMS Hosts U.S. Coast Guard Band Saxophone Quartet – Sep. 27

USCG Saxophone Quartet
CENTERBROOK – Community Music School is pleased to present a concert by the United States Coast Guard Band Saxophone Quartet on Saturday, September 27th at 1 pm. The concert takes place at the Centerbrook Meetinghouse, 51 Main Street, Centerbrook and is FREE and open to the public.

The United States Coast Guard Band Saxophone Quartet is comprised of the saxophone section of the U.S. Coast Guard Band, one of the five premier U.S. military bands. In addition to performing throughout Taiwan in 2009 and 2010, the Quartet performs regularly at conferences held by the World Saxophone Congress and the North American Saxophone Alliance, and has performed at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic and at Carnegie Hall. The Quartet also performs at universities throughout New England and on recitals as part of the Coast Guard Band’s Chamber Players concert series. The Quartet’s members also form the Element Saxophone Quartet, winning medals at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.

The members of the quartet are:

Chief Musician Joshua Thomas

Musician 1st Class Greg Case

Musician 1st Class Joe D’Aleo

Chief Musician Jeff Emerich

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 that they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives. Additional information can be found at orwww.community-music-school.org.

Please call 860-767-0026 for additional information.

 

Concert in the Garden Jennifer Lowe and the Fire Band – Sep. 18

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The Concert in the Garden at the Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery, 1 Spring Street, Chester on Thursday, September 18 will feature Jennifer Lowe and the Fire Band from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Gates open at 6.30 p.m.

First come first seated. Rain or Shine! Performances are held inside the Gallery during inclement weather.
More info (860) 526-2077 www.nilssonstudio.com

Arborist Isaac Taylor will be Sharing Expertise at Essex Library – Sep. 27

2014_08_28_17_14_591Isaac Taylor, a CT Arborist, from The Tree Company will be sharing his expertise on the “Supporting the Growth of Healthy Trees” at the Essex Library on Saturday, September 27 at 10:30-11:30 am.  His focus will be on the care and preventative maintenance of both young and mature trees.   He will discuss pruning, the specific care of a newly planted tree, and how to avoid diseases and root collar disorders.  He will present information and also provide a hands-on demonstration outside on the discussed techniques.

Essex Corinthian Yacht Club Hosts Cross Sound Challenge Sailboat Race Sep. 20

Cross sound challengeThe Cross Sound Challenge is open to all Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF) rated cruising/racing boats 23.5 feet or longer with a valid PHRF certificate.  Racing classes will include both non-spinnaker and spinnaker.

The Race Committee intends to set a course starting west of the Saybrook Outer Light, through a gate formed by the buoys Bell 8 and the east end of Long Sand Shoal, to a turning mark off Truman Beach on the North Fork of Long Island, then a return to the finish line near the Outer Light.  First warning will be at 11:00am.

The Cross Sound Challenge is a sanctioned Eastern Connecticut Sailing Association “points” race.

For more information to include the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions, and an entry form, please visit:  www.essexcorinthian.org/ecyc-cross-sound-challenge.html.

TTYS Babysitter First Aid and CPR Training Program – Starts Sep. 23

Tri-Town Youth Services will offer the American Heart Association’s Pediatric First Aid and CPR course along with a babysitter certificate program on Tuesday evenings, Sept. 23, 30 and Oct. 7, 6-8 p.m. at Tri-Town Youth Services, 56 High Street in Deep River.  This course is for youth ages 12-17.  The $70 fee includes instruction, books, and certificate.  To register, call 860-526-3600 or go to Tri-Town’s webpage: www.tritownys.org

Tri-Town Youth Services supports and advances the families, youth and communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex.  We coordinate and provide 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.tritwnys.org

Fun Line-Dance Series at Essex Library Begins – Sep. 18

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The Essex Library, 33 West Avenue, presents a FREE four-class series for beginners.  Line-dancing is fun, easy to learn, a great social outlet, and fantastic exercise!  Come and enjoy the wonderful world of line-dancing by learning steps to popular party dances like “The Cupid Shuffle” and “Cha-Cha Slide”, mixed with slower dances like country style “Boot Scootin’ Boogie”……even a  Waltz!  All steps are done in a line, thus, no partners are necessary.  Appropriate for all ages.  Click here to view a sample of “The Cupid Shuffle” !!   All Classes are 6:30-7:30pm.  Thursdays, Sept. 18th, 25th, and October 2nd, and Wednesday,  October 8th.   Pre-registration recommended.  Call or stop by The Essex Library: (860) 767-1560.  Comfortable clothes and leather-soled shoes or boots, recommended.

Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore “Back to School Reading”

Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore is welcoming the school year with its September Book Promotion “Back to School Reading”.  Whether your student has a monthly reading quota, book report or just enjoys the company of a good book, we have the variety of popular contemporary or classics selections they are looking for. Many teachers come to the book store for substantial savings as teachers often use their own money to supplement desired materials and supplies. Children’s book prices range from $.50-$1.00. Literacy Volunteers’ book store is centrally located in downtown Westbrook on the lower level of the Westbrook Library, 61 Goodspeed Drive. Look for the roadside sign on Route 1.  For more information, visit  www.vsliteracy.org or call 860-399-0280. Book sale hours are Mon-Thurs 9-2 and every 1st and 3rd Sat 10-noon and benefit LVVS tutoring programs.

Centerbrook Architects Designing Seaport Exhibition Hall

MysticMuseum-Centerbrook (1)

Centerbrook Architects is designing a new 14,000-square-foot Exhibition Hall for Mystic Seaport in Connecticut that will be the keynote building at the northern entrance to the 19-acre riverfront campus. The new building, which is seeking zoning approval from the town of Stonington, will be located where the Seaport’s existing indoor-oriented exhibit spaces are concentrated, helping to form a “Gallery Quad.”

Along with a 5,000-square- foot exhibition gallery with a high ceiling for displaying boats, the building will feature visitor reception and events space, a retail shop, a café, and outdoor terraces overlooking the Mystic River.

Leading the design team is Centerbrook partner Chad Floyd, who has worked on numerous cultural projects, among them the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, the Garde Arts Center, the Florence Griswold Museum, and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Locate in Essex, Centerbrook Architects has a national clientele and was awarded the prestigious Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects.

The building’s asymmetrically curving roof and end walls recall nautical themes while also establishing a contemporary architectural presence amid a recreated 19th century maritime village. Along with its existing neighbors, the building forms a sociable courtyard for outdoor gatherings, events, and concerts.

Mystic Seaport, the Museum of America and the Sea, was founded in 1929 and is the home to the Charles W. Morgan, the nation’s last remaining wooden whaling ship.

John Rafal Ranks 7th in Barron’s 2014 Top Advisor List

John Rafal, long term resident of Old Lyme and the Founder and current Vice Chair of Essex Financial Services, has been ranked 12th in Barron’s special report of the nation’s Top 100 Financial Advisors.

John Rafal

ESSEX – Barron’s, the acclaimed financial and investment newsweekly, has ranked John W. Rafal of Essex, Connecticut, number 7 on its Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors list for 2014. The Barron’s list of the Top 100 Independent Advisors was first launched in 2007. Mr. Rafal has appeared on the list each year.

The Barron’s list evaluates America’s leading independent financial advisors, based on assets under management, revenue generated for the advisors’ firms, excellent client service and quality of practices. Mr. Rafal is the Founder and current Vice Chair of Essex Financial Services, which is owned by Essex Savings Bank. The ranking appears in the August 25 edition of Barron’s (www.barrons.com).

“We are delighted that John has once again led our firm to a prominent spot in the Barron’s listing of top independent financial advisors,” said Charles R. “Chuck” Cumello Jr., CEO and President of Essex Financial Services. “It is always an honor to be included in this distinguished group, and we deeply appreciate his efforts, the support shown by our entire team and most importantly the loyal clients who make it possible.”

“I’m thankful to Barron’s for recognizing the quality and commitment of our entire team here at Essex Financial Services,” said Mr. Rafal. “In particular, I want to express my gratitude to our clients, many of whom we have worked with for more than three decades. We deeply value our client relationships, and the loyalty and trust that they entail.”

Essex Financial Services is a wealth management firm serving the high net worth and institutional markets, and has $3.6 billion of assets under management or administration. Founded in 1851, Essex Savings Bank is a mutual financial institution chartered to provide a full complement of financial products and services including business banking.

Rep. Phil Miller Named 2014 Champion by CT League of Conservation Voters

Rep. Phil Miller Named 2014 Champion by CT League of Conservation Voters

Rep. Phil Miller Named 2014 Champion by CT League of Conservation Voters

The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV) has named State Representative Phil Miller (D – Essex, Deep River, Chester, and Haddam) as a 2014 Legislative Champion for his leadership on GMO legislation and the statewide water plan.  Rep. Miller also fought for $2 million in bonding for “The Preserve,” a large, rare coastal forest.

The CTLCV released their 2014 Environmental Scorecard for the Connecticut State Legislature in August. The 15th annual release of such scores was bolstered by nearly 20 environmental bills that passed through the Connecticut General Assembly this year, providing an expanded base for scoring.

“I am honored to be so recognized as a conservationist,” said Rep. Miller. “Clean air, soil, and water are essential to a healthy economy. I feel that our State of Connecticut has a role in assuring this.”

Rep. Miller sits on the Environment Committee in the General Assembly. Rep. Miller was also a sub-committee co-chair of the Water Planning Summit’s subcommittee on Water Infrastructure and works as a naturalist and conservationist.

“Rep. Phil Miller is one of the best informed legislators on environmental issues in the General Assembly and he is always willing to lead the way,” says Lori Brown, Executive Director of CTLCV.  “Aside from the tireless work Rep. Miller has done with The Preserve, he helped guide the direction of the Statewide Water Plan, legislation on chemicals of concern, and so many other issues.”

Rep. Miller has a 96% lifetime score on environmental issues according to the League.

The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters is CT’s leading environmental watchdog organization, which works to pass pro-environment laws, elect pro-environment candidates, and hold all elected officials accountable. CTLCV Scorecards dating back to 2000 can be found online at www.ctlcv.org/scorecard.

Chester Synagogue Begins Live Streaming of Religious Services – Sep. 24, 25

Cantorial Soloist, Belinda Brennan, and Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg in front of the Ark at CBSRZ

Cantorial Soloist, Belinda Brennan, and Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg in front of the Ark at CBSRZ

Last year, as the Jewish High Holidays approached, a man who was very ill with cancer was unable to gather the strength to attend services at his synagogue, Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, in Chester.

A very good friend of his, also a member of the congregation, mentioned to Cantor Belinda Brennan that there ought to be some way to meet the spiritual needs of the ill congregant and others with similar issues at the holiest time on the Jewish calendar.

In the following months, the congregation’s Religious Affairs Committee came up with a solution, with the help of technology guru Lon Seidman, that is rare among synagogues and churches in Connecticut: live streaming of services. An investment was made in the camera equipment necessary, and volunteers were recruited to produce the videos.

And so this year, anyone who can’t attend Rosh Hashanah services, or those for Yom Kippur, or anyone else from the community can be “present” simply by calling up YouTube and typing in Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek. (Other services throughout the year, scheduled for Shabbat or other holidays, will also be available.)

Stephen Davis, president of the CBSRZ board of directors, says, “Live streaming can help those at home find inspiration and comfort, but it has also galvanized a new cohort of volunteers to pioneer ways to build community. CBSRZ is described as both ‘ancient and cool.’ Our new video arm will keep that maxim true in ways we can only now imagine.”

The schedule of High Holiday services on YouTube:

Rosh Hashanah: Wednesday, September 24, 7:30 p.m., Thursday, September 25, 9:30 a.m.

Yom Kippur: Friday, October 3, 7:30 p.m. (Kol Nidre), and Saturday, October 4, 9:30 a.m.

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester.  For more information on CBSRZ, please visit their website www.cbsrz.org or call the office 860-526-8920.

Chester Fair Photo Winners Represent 11 Connecticut Towns

Winner of the 2014 Special Theme - A Child’s Perspective.  The photo is titled ‘Bumper Crop’ and was taken by Stuart Johnson of Chester

Winner of the 2014 Special Theme – A Child’s Perspective. The photo is titled ‘Bumper Crop’ and was taken by Stuart Johnson of Chester

The 135th Annual Chester Fair was again a showcase for amateur photographers from both near and far. A total of 73 adult and youth photographers entered a total of 292 prints at this year’s exhibition and competition.

Photo Superintendent Skip Hubbard said, “We annually attract entries from a wide area.  This year’s top winners alone represented 11 towns.”

For those wishing to look ahead, in addition to the standard categories, ‘Architecture’ will be the Special Theme category for 2015.

The 2014 blue ribbon and special award winners were as follows:

Black & White Photography

People: Lesa Soja (Higganum)

General Interest: Joyce Kjos (Clinton)

Best in Show (B&W): Joyce Kjos

Color Photography

People:  Mary Jane Monahan (Naugatuck)

Animals: Robin Ehle-Meyer ((Centerbrook)

General Interest: William Perrelli (Hamden)

Flowers:  Jonathan Steele (Ivoryton)

Landscapes / Seascapes: Jonathan Steele

Fair:  Diane Lindsay (Chester)

Youth ages 1-12:  Caroline Haskins (Essex)

Youth ages 13-16:  Madeline Gifford (Killingworth)

Theme 1 – Two Colors:  Judy Denberg (Marlborough)

Theme 2 – A Child’s Perspective:  Stuart Johnson (Chester)

Best in Show (Color): Jonathan Steele

Special Awards

Joseph’s Photography Award for Achievement: Dama DeManche (Chester)

Devlin Photography Award: Jonathan Steele

Ken Kells Youth Photo Award: Meaghan Akehurst (Chester)

 

Webster Bank Holds Shoreline “Stuff-A-Truck” Food Drive for SSKP

Hunger never takes a vacation, and during the summer months, as many are taking time off, local food pantries often see a sharp decrease in  food drives. Fortunately, staff members at 16 local Webster Bank branches stepped up to fill the pantry shelves, with a “Stuff-A-Truck” food drive for The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP).

The August drive, held by Webster bankers from East Haven to East Lyme, was a big success, collecting 618 pounds of much needed household staples, such as soups, peanut butter, tuna, rice and beans.

“We are so grateful that our friends at Webster Bank were able to organize this summertime food drive. The food SSKP received will help assure that those in our community who are facing financial difficulties will have a place to turn for food and fellowship.  On behalf of all those we serve, who experience a community that cares each time they come to one of our pantries, I sincerely thank Webster Bank,” said Patty Dowling, executive director of SSKP.

“Living up to our communities is what matters most at Webster,” said Catherine Velez, vice president, market manager, New Haven region at Webster. “Through the leadership of David Verzillo, banking center manager in Old Saybrook, we were able to assist families in need and make a positive difference in the community.”

About The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP)

Founded 25 years ago, The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries provides food and fellowship to people in need and educates the community about hunger and poverty, serving the Connecticut shoreline towns of Essex, Chester, Clinton, Madison, Old Saybrook, East Lyme, Lyme, Old Lyme, Killingworth, Westbrook and Deep River. For more information, visit www.shorelinesoupkitchens.org

About Webster

Webster Financial Corporation is the holding company for Webster Bank, N.A. With $22 billion in assets, Webster provides business and consumer banking, mortgages, private banking, trust and investment services through 166 banking offices; 311 ATMs; telephone banking; mobile banking; and the Internet. Webster Bank owns the asset based lending firm Webster Business Credit Corporation; the equipment finance firm Webster Capital Finance Corporation; and provides health savings account trustee and administrative services through HSA Bank, a division of Webster Bank. Member FDIC and equal housing lender. For more information about Webster, including past press releases and the latest annual report, visit the Webster website at www.websterbank.com or follow us on LinkedIn linkedin.com/company/ webster-bank and Twitter twitter.com/ WebsterBank.

Sen. Linares: We Can’t Afford a $150/Year Electricity Rate Hike

Sen. Art Linares has submitted testimony to state officials opposing Connecticut Light and Power’s proposed rate hike:

“CL&P has proposed a rate hike request that would increase an individual customer’s bill by an average of $150 a year,” Sen. Linares said. “This rate hike would hurt Connecticut residents.”

Sen. Linares urged residents to email comments to Pura.Executivesecretary@ct.gov .  The email should include “Docket Number 14-05-06” in the subject line.

Sen. Linares urged those who do not have access to email to contact his office at 800 842 1421 so that he can help pass along their concerns to state officials.

Chester/Deep River Boy Scout Troop 13 Newest Eagle Scout

Bobby Hamblett - Eagle Scout

Bobby Hamblett – Eagle Scout

Troop 13 – Boy Scouts of America would like to congratulate Deep River resident Bobby Neil Hamblett for earning the rank of Eagle Scout. An Eagle Scout Court of Honor was held for Bobby on August 15, 2014 at the Deep River Town Hall Auditorium.

To become an Eagle Scout, Bobby earned 28 merit badges and advanced through the seven scout ranks by learning Scout and Life skills while simultaneously providing leadership to his Troop and service to his community.  One of the final requirements for the Eagle Rank is to show leadership in and complete a service project that benefits the boy’s community, school, or religious institution.

Bobby showed leadership over others by developing and implementing a plan to clear and grade an existing aged tree stump and sod area to replace it with a commemorative live pin oak and a newly laid handicapped accessible brick patio with two reflecting benches at the entrance to the Deep River Elementary School. To complete this project Bobby worked with various municipal agencies, attended meetings with the Deep River Board of Selectmen, secured donations for supplies and designed and oversaw volunteers through the planning and construction period. This project is a benefit to the Deep River Elementary School staff and students and all Deep River residents and their guests visiting the school grounds.

Information about Troop 13 – BSA

Troop 13 Boy Scouts serves the boys ages 11-18 of Chester and Deep River. The purpose of the Boy Scouts of America is to help young men develop their character and life skills all while having fun. There is much emphasis placed on assisting these young men to develop into strong healthy citizens who will lead our communities and country in the years ahead. The Boy Scout methods help to promote these ideals through the challenge of putting them into practice with the Troop Program. This is done in a way that is both challenging and fun.  To learn more information about joining Troop 13 please contact our Scoutmaster, Steven Merola @ 860-526-9262

Obituary: Beulah May Sullivan – 8/14/2014

Beulah May Sullivan. Died August 14, 2014, age 99 years.

Beulah May Sullivan. Died August 14, 2014 at 99 years of Age.

Beulah May Sullivan born Southampton, Ma. February 17, 1915, died Greenfield, Ma. August 14, 2014 at 99 years of age.

Beulah had an open heart, an easy smile and a grace about her that touched everyone in her life.

Beulah married Francis R. Sullivan in 1950 and together they operated the Centerbrook Package Store for 20 years. In their off hours they enjoyed their boat the “Equanil” on trips to the islands.

After her husband’s death Beulah met and spent many years with her wonderful companion John J. Kiely. They toured New England in a little Mercedes and spent time with all their friends at the Gris (Griswold Inn, Essex Ct.)

Beulah will be missed by all, including her family Peter, Kathy and Dan Sullivan and the wonderful staff of Charlene Manor where Beulah spent the last four years of her life.

Services will be private. In lieu of flowers please stop by the Gris and raise your glass to Beulah.

Holiday Crafters Wanted for Estuary Council Craft Fair

2014 Craft Fair-Marino

Diana Marino pictured with her granddaughters Jessica (L) and Marissa (R) Thomas displaying their handmade crafted items at the 2013 Holiday Craft Fair

OLD SAYBROOK  —   The Estuary Senior Center is looking for crafters for its annual Holiday Craft Fair.  The Fair will be held on November 22, 2014 from 8 am to 1 pm, at the Senior Center located at 220 Main Street in Old Saybrook. Space is available to local crafters with hand crafted items for a $20 donation. Space is limited and filling quickly. Call Mike or Judy at 860-388-1611 to reserve your space.

The Estuary Council of Seniors Inc. (ECSI) is a non-profit regional senior center located in the M. Monica Eggert Senior Center on the Connecticut River Estuary at 220 Main Street in Old Saybrook. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for people 50 years and older. ECSI is a community resource for the nine-town Estuary region’s residents over 50 years old providing nutrition, transportation, health support services, education opportunities, and socialization.  For more information call 860-388-1611 or visit our website at www.ecsenior.org

Letter: Bjornberg Shows Genuine Concern for Children’s Safety

To the Editor:

State Senator Linares recently issued a press release calling for hearings on recent infant fatalities in families having dealings with the Department of Children and Families (DCF).  Few would dispute the importance of understanding why these deaths occurred, and whether DCF can be doing a better job.

But where was Linares’ concern for children when he voted against the Newtown gun control bill, saying he hadn’t read it? More recently, where was his concern for children when he used his position – some might say abused his position – to appoint a paid representative of companies that manufacture cadmium-containing jewelry to a panel looking into health issues presented by cadmium in jewelry intended for children?

Linares voted against a ban on known carcinogens in children’s clothes, and opposed efforts to create a watch list of chemicals of high concern to children. He was also one of only two Children’s Committee members to vote against a ban on spraying toxic pesticides at all Connecticut schools.  His concern for the safety of children is not at all obvious given his voting record and appointments.

Senator Linares’ opponent, on the other hand, seems to be genuinely concerned for children’s safety.  Emily Bjornberg is the mother of children ages 4 and 7, and for the past seven years has been the Youth and Family Ministries Director of the Deep River Congregational Church.  Her concerns mirror my own and she will get my vote in the November election for State Senator.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Sund
Essex, CT

Essex Art Associastion: A Journey of Explorations and Discoveries – Sep. 19-21

The artists of Parallel Visions invite you to join them at the Essex Art Association Sept. 19-21where you can view journeys both grand and intimate, real and imagined. Travel to exotic locations, Connecticut’s parks and gardens, the evening’s world of shadows and into the world of 3-D reimagined images. Opening reception Friday, Sept.19, 6-8pm. The  show’s hours are as follows; friday 11-8, sat. 11-6, sun. 11-5.

Arnold to Lead Commercial Lending at Essex Savings Bank

Diane H  Arnold

Diane H Arnold

ESSEX — Gregory R. Shook, President & CEO of Essex Savings Bank is pleased to announce the promotion of Diane H. Arnold to the position of Vice President/Senior Commercial Loan Officer.  Mrs. Arnold is responsible for business development and portfolio management, as well as assisting in the growth of the commercial loan department by utilizing her thirty one years of broad banking experience.  Mrs. Arnold previously served as the Vice President of Southington Savings Bank from 1993 until 2001 where she managed the credit department.  From 1988 to 1993, Arnold served as the Assistant Treasurer and Commercial Loan Officer at Branford Savings Bank.  Mrs. Arnold earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Quinnipiac College.  She is also a 1990 graduate of the Connecticut School of Finance and Management.  Mrs. Arnold is a resident of Ivoryton.

Essex Savings Bank is a FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851.  The Bank serves the Connecticut River Valley and shoreline with six offices in Essex (2), Chester, Madison, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook.  Financial, estate, insurance and retirement planning are offered throughout the state by the Bank’s Trust Department and wholly-owned subsidiary, Essex Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC.  Investments in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and annuities are not FDIC insured, may lose value and are not a deposit, have no Bank guarantee and are not insured by any Federal Government Agency.

Transportation: Why a Another Fare Hike Seems Inevitable

Jim Cameron

Jim Cameron

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but chances are we will see another fare hike on Metro-North in the coming months.

Not that any elected official would endorse such a plan (at least not before the November elections), but once again Connecticut is not totally in control of its financial destiny when it comes to our trains.

True, fare increases in Connecticut must be initiated by the state regardless of what NY does to its riders, but the financial numbers speak for themselves.

We are tied to NY’s operations by an antiquated contract going back 30 years.  The cost of running “our” trains is born by both CT and NY, and those costs are soaring from $70 million a year to $110 million thanks to remedial track work and expected contract settlements (with four years of retroactive pay hikes).

How will Connecticut make up this $40 million deficit?  There are only three choices:  raise fares, cut service or find that money elsewhere.  The latter two choices are either undesirable or impossible, leaving the prospect (necessity?) of fare increases.

After a year of slower, unreliable and often-disrupted service, it’s hard to explain to commuters they should be paying more… especially in an election year.  So when the rumored necessity of a fare hike was floated last week, Governor Malloy expressed outrage and bewilderment.

But our governor and his Dept of Transportation knew darn well this was coming.  They’re the ones who pushed Metro-North for badly needed track work after derailments and deaths.  Who did they think would pay for that?  And one wonders… does CDOT ever audit Metro-North’s ever-increasing budgets and bills to our state?

Fares in Connecticut are already the highest in the US because our subsidy of those fares is the lowest.  Upstate lawmakers who dominate our legislature loathe the idea of subsidizing fat-cat investment bankers’ trips to their high-paying jobs in New York City.  But they have no trouble taxing their incomes, do they?

Fairfield County residents represent 26% of our state’s population but pay 40% of its taxes.  Legislators made us subsidize Adriaen’s Landing ($770 million) in Hartford and the UConn football stadium ($90+ million), neither of which we are ever likely to use. So why can’t they keep residing in Fairfield County affordable by keeping Metro-North safe, on-time and affordable.

Since 2012 we’ve already had 12% fare hikes, thanks in part to Governor Malloy using rail fares to balance his budget (a move I called that more of a tax on commuters than anything else.)

The good news is that a fare increase in Connecticut requires 90 days notice and public hearings.  And with the November elections just weeks away, no right minded politician will pull that trigger.

Mind you, it was now-GOP nominee Tom Foley who recently told reporters he thought we in Connecticut spend too much subsidizing mass transit, so who knows?  It should be an interesting campaign season and my hope is that Metro-North will be a much debated topic.

JIM CAMERON has been a Darien resident for 23 years.  He is the founder of the Commuter Action Group and also serves on the Darien RTM.  The opinions expressed in this column are only his own.  You can reach him at CommuterActionGroup@gmail.com

Chester Fair Scholarship Winners

Bailey Baisel receives her scholarship from the Chester Fair.

Bailey Baisel receives her scholarship from the Chester Fair.

The Chester Agricultural and Mechanical Society (Chester Fair) Board of Directors is pleased to announce its 2014 Scholarship winners.  This year there are three recipients, each receiving a $500 scholarship for the 2014-15 academic year.

Bailey Basiel of Durham, participated in the Chester Fair for several years entering her dairy cows.  She will be attending University of New Hampshire in the fall.   Aliza Dube of Deep River is currently enrolled at the University of Maine in Farmington and has completed her freshman year.  She is majoring in elementary education.   The third recipient, Stephanie Groves of Wallingford, is attending Springfield College and studying to be a Physical Therapist.

A portion of the proceeds of the Chester Wine and Beer Tasting Event held in June is applied toward this scholarship fund.  Scholarship applications are accepted though May 15th annually.

Application forms and instructions can be found under ‘About Us’ (Forms and Instructions) at the fair’s website: www.chesterfair.org.

Essex Winter Series Board of Trustees Elects New Members

2014-06-25-new-trustees-press

Left-right: Essex Winter Series vice president Janice Atkeson, newly-elected trustees Madeleine Nichols and Paula Anik, and board president Peter Amos at the organization’s June garden party. Not shown is Henry Resnikoff, who was elected to the board in August. Photo credit: Peter Harron

Peter Amos, president of the Board of Trustees of Essex Winter Series, has announced that Paula Anik of Essex, Madeleine Nichols of Lyme, and Henry Resnikoff of Essex were recently elected to the board of the organizatioin. In addition, Janice Atkeson, who has served on the board since 2012, was elected vice president.

Paula Anik has strong ties to music and has been a member of Essex Winter Series. Her father was a classically-trained vocalist who toured with the USO entertaining troops. Paula’s eldest daughter is also a classically trained vocalist. Paula has lived in Boston, Los Angeles and Essex, where she now resides with her husband, Joel. Paula is a retired residential real estate broker. She has served on various charitable committees in a fund-raising role.

Madeleine Nichols, an interior designer, was born in Budapest, Hungary, and attend Hungarian University of Fine Arts. She has lived in Cairo, Egypt, and Athens and is fluent in in numerous languages. She has been professionally involved with antiques and interior design for nearly thirty years in New York and Connecticut, and is currently as Associate with Jonathan Isleib Design of Old Lyme and owner of MWN Interior Design.

Henry Resnikoff is a professional real estate developer and has developed commercial, residential, industrial and assisted living properties throughout the Northeast and Mid Atlantic states. He was born and raised in New London where his father was also a real estate developer. With the exception of four years, Henry and his wife Daphne Nielsen have lived in Essex since 1978, currently on Ingham Hill Rd.  They have 4 grown sons.

Bringing world-class classical and jazz music to the shoreline area was the dream of Fenton Brown, who established the Essex Winter Seriesin 1979. Each year, the Essex Winter Series presents a series of concert performances by top-rated musicians from around the world. These concerts, held primarily at Valley Regional High School in Deep River, are presented on Sunday afternoons in January, February and March. A single season may include a mix of such performances as instrumental soloists, opera singers, chamber orchestras, and jazz bands.

 

TTYS Toddler Playgroup Programs – Start Sep. 17

Calling all toddlers!  Tri-Town Youth Services, at 56 High Street in Deep River, offers play groups led by Parent Resource Coordinator, Meredith Adler.  The groups offer a mixture of free play, music, art, and story time.  Caregivers have a chance to chat with each other and browse the parent resource library.  Both groups run on Wednesdays from September 17 through November 19.  Outstanding Ones meets from 11:00 to 11:30 a.m. with a cost of $45 for tri-town residents and $55 for non-residents.  Terrific Twos meets from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. with a cost of $60 for tri-town residents and $70 for non-residents.  Register at www.tritownys.org or 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.  We coordinate and provide 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

 

2014 Women of Fire Named

Lynn Giroux, named as a 2014 Woman of FIRE

Lynn Giroux, named as a 2014 Woman of FIRE

ESSEX– Lynn Giroux of Essex Savings Bank has been named a 2014 Woman of FIRE by The Commercial Record. Women of FIRE is an annual award that recognizes the key, female players in the local FIRE (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate) sector.  The annual Women of FIRE award celebrates the best and the brightest women in the industry.

“We searched for the best of the best – those women who are making a difference through innovation, hard work, team-building, philanthropy, mentoring or leadership – and these women demonstrate these exemplary qualities,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group, publisher of The Commercial Record.

Lynn is a Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Essex Savings Bank responsible for Deposit Service Operations,Branch Administration, Compliance, Human Resources and Facilities Management along with numerous other duties.  She also makes time to serve our community on the Board of Camp Hazen YMCA, is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, and is an ambassador to the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce.

“Lynn has made an outstanding difference at our bank, for our staff and the community. Her positive attitude while balancing multiple disciplines is amazing.  In this year alone, she has handled human resource management – where she has overhauled the Bank’ssalary structure, implemented due diligence procedures for the Bank Secrecy Act, managed the renovation of our Old Saybrook branch, has served as compliance officer with responsibilities for the labyrinth of new regulations for Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, the Dodd- Frank Act  and implementation of remote deposit capture andother business banking enhancements all on top of her everyday Branch Administrative duties… She is an inspiration to all of us here at the Bank, well respected in our community – I can think of no one more deserving of this award, “stated Gregory R. Shook, President and CEO of Essex Savings Bank.

“I feel overwhelmed and incredibly honored to receive this special award.  More importantly, I am grateful to President Shook and the Board of Directors to have been given the opportunity throughout the years to make a difference and impact the lives of our employees and our customers of Essex Savings Bank in meaningful ways. Finally, although this award is about how we women have made a difference in our field of expertise, what has made a difference in my life has been working with all of the great people that I have come to know over the years both professionally and personally and receiving the support that my family has always provided to me.”

Lynn was one of 13 women named this year’s Women of FIRE.

About the Women of FIRE awards

The Commercial Record is shining a light on the female innovators who are making a significant impact on the finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) industries. There is a growing amount of women who are paving the way in what was once a male-dominated sector, and as more and more women rise to the top of these industries, their achievements should be illuminated, acknowledging them and inspiring others.

Nominees must be women employed in Connecticut by any business or institution facilitating transactions for finance, insurance or real estate at any level.

The awards luncheon will be held at The Hartford Club on August 20th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Commissioner Evonne M. Klein will give the keynote speech. The Commercial Record will be running profiles of each woman in a special section in the August issue.

Essex Savings Bank is a FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851.  The Bank serves the Connecticut River Valley and shoreline with six offices in Essex (2), Chester, Madison, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook.  Financial, estate, insurance and retirement planning are offered throughout the state by the Bank’s Trust Department and subsidiary, Essex Financial Services, Inc, Member FINRA, SIPC. Investments in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and annuities are not FDIC insured, may lose value and are not a deposit, have no Bank guarantee and are not insured by any Federal Government Agency.

TTYS Babysitter Training Begins – Sep. 23

Tri-Town Youth Services will offer the American Heart Association’s Pediatric First Aid and CPR course along with a babysitter certificate program on Tuesday evenings, Sept. 23, 30 and Oct. 7, 6-8 p.m. at Tri-Town Youth Services, 56 High Street in Deep River.  This course is for youth ages 12-17.  The $70 fee includes instruction, books, and certificate.  To register, call 860-526-3600 or go to Tri-Town’s webpage: www.tritownys.org

Tri-Town Youth Services supports and advances the families, youth and communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex.  We coordinate and provide 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.tritwnys.org

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts Becomes Sixth College of University of New Haven

The Chandler Academic Center at Lyme Academy College

The Chandler Academic Center at Lyme Academy College

The University of New Haven announced Thursday that it has finalized its affiliation with Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, making the fine arts school in Old Lyme the university’s sixth college.

“This a historic event, and we look forward to providing outstanding educational opportunities to generations of aspiring artists,” said University of New Haven President Steven H. Kaplan. “The affiliation of our two institutions will raise the stature of fine arts education in the Northeast while providing expanded benefits, services and opportunities to students, faculty and alumni at both the University of New Haven and Lyme Academy College. We also intend to expand the outreach efforts at Lyme Academy College to benefit local residents and, in fact, all Connecticut residents.”

The Board of Governors of the University of New Haven and the Board of Trustees at Lyme Academy College approved the affiliation in early April. The Connecticut Office of Higher Education and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges also approved the affiliation. Since that time, both institutions have worked to merge their student services, faculty units and other support and operating systems. Those integrations will continue through the upcoming academic year.

Todd Jokl, associate professor and past chair of the UNH Department of Art and Design, will serve as the campus dean at Lyme Academy College. Jokl will be based at the College in Old Lyme. Jokl received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University and his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Connecticut.

“I envision great things happening in the months and years ahead,” Kaplan said. “We will work closely with Lyme Academy College to create a top-tier fine arts education program.”

The affiliation presents many advantages to both institutions. Lyme Academy College will benefit from the operational breadth and depth of the University of New Haven, gaining access to an expanded range of liberal arts courses and complementary UNH art programs, such as design and digital media. The University of New Haven also offers study-abroad opportunities at its campus in Tuscany, Italy, where Lyme Academy College students can attend classes. Lyme Academy College students also will gain access to the university’s broad liberal arts program and new learning opportunities.

Administrators have said that little will change regarding the student experience at Lyme Academy College. The small classes will be retained, and students will continue to be provided the hands-on experiences and the opportunity to become immersed in figurative and representational art. But through the affiliation, students will be provided access to more courses, technologies and academic initiatives that will strengthen their educational experience.

The University of New Haven will add Lyme Academy College’s high-quality Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) program to its curriculum, making it possible for UNH students to study painting, sculpture, drawing and illustration. The university does not currently offer a B.F.A.

“Our university is known for the unique experiential programs it offers to students,” Kaplan said. “The program at Lyme Academy College fits in well with our rapidly expanding offerings at our main campus in West Haven, our new campus in Orange, and our international program in Italy.

“We are determined to protect and preserve the mission of Lyme Academy College, retaining the unique qualities that appeal to students seeking an arts degree in an idyllic, rural setting that nurtures creativity,” he added.

The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. The university has 80 degree programs at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. Founded in 1920, the university enrolls approximately 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates.

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts is nationally known for its academic tradition of figurative and representational fine art that prepares students for a lifetime of contemporary creative practice. The college offers bachelor of fine arts degrees in drawing, illustration, painting, and sculpture (full- and part-time study); certificates in painting and sculpture, a post-baccalaureate program; continuing education for adults; and a pre-college program for students aged 15-18.

Page Taft and Rachel Thomas Real Estate Merge

Page Taft Real Estate announced Wednesday that the company has merged its Essex, Conn., office with Rachel Thomas Real Estate. The Essex office of Page Taft~Christie’s International Real Estate will now be located in the former Rachel Thomas location at 5 Essex Square. The office will be home to 23 agents specializing in shoreline and Connecticut River Valley properties.
“We’re very pleased about our merger with Page Taft~Christie’s. Our agents are of like minds and both believe in the importance of fantastic customer service. By joining with an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate and one of the strongest companies in our marketplace, we are able to double the resources and services that we offer our clients,” said Maureen O’Grady, co-owner of Rachel Thomas Real Estate.
Rachel Thomas Real Estate has served Essex and surrounding communities under the expert guidance of Maureen and John O’Grady since 2000. During that time, the company has become a force in the luxury real estate market and was selected by Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate to be the exclusive “Regent” affiliate for the greater Essex area.
“I’m delighted to have a quality company like Rachel Thomas join forces with Page Taft. This strategic alliance will increase our presence in the communities we serve, from Branford to Old Lyme,” said Karen Stephens, Broker and Executive Vice-President of Page Taft.
Since opening its doors in 1980, Page Taft has earned an exemplary reputation in the Connecticut shoreline real estate market, earning a 96 percent customer satisfaction rating from the Real Living Premiere Service customer satisfaction survey. The agency is part of the Randall Family of Companies which also includes Randall, REALTORS in Rhode Island and Connecticut, Kinlin Grover on Cape Cod and Pequot Commercial in Connecticut.
“We’re excited about joining the experience and resources of Page Taft and Rachel Thomas,” commented Douglas Randall, CEO of the Randall Family of Companies. “I think it will be hard to find a more knowledgeable team of real estate professionals if you’re looking for a property along the Connecticut shore.”
Information about the Randall Family of Companies, their affiliates and the southern New England market area can be found on http://www.coastalnewenglandliving.com.

Nature Conservancy Begins Fish Passage Project on Falls River in Essex

ESSEX, CT—Work has started along the Falls River on a fishway that will benefit such migratory fish as alewife and blueback herring, as well as migrating American eel and other resident fish.

The work at the privately owned Tiley-Pratt dam will open the way for fish to access an additional 2.5 miles of river, as well as a half-acre pond above the dam. Located at a former mill site, the dam has a stone-wall lined channel that will be modified with a rocky ramp and four stone weirs. Falls River is part of the Connecticut River system.

Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection staff is assisting with construction.  The Essex Land Trust and the dam’s owner are also providing financial and other support for the project, which is expected to be completed during August.

“Connecticut streams are riddled with small dams that have big impacts.  Reconnecting rivers by removing dams and building fishways improves river health by increasing species diversity and providing fish access to more and varied habitat.” said Sally Harold, director river restoration and fish passage for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut.

The Conservancy is working with the Essex Land Trust to develop and install an educational sign describing fish passage and river restoration strategies at the land trust’s nearby Tiley-Pratt Preserve.

“The east bank of Tiley-Pratt Pond is one of six Essex Land Trust preserves which border the Falls River, the ecological and historical lifeline linking together the villages of Essex,” said Bob Nussbaum, past president and current vice president, of the Essex Land Trust, which also has committed $2,000 towards the gravel to be used in constructing the fishway. “We are very excited to participate in this project to improve the river habitat and restore connectivity for migratory river species.”

The Tiley-Pratt dam project also is supported by an $85,000 grant award from The National Fish and Wildlife Foundations’ Long Island Sound Futures Fund.

Portions of the Long Island Sound Futures Fund grant also will support work at Coleytown dam on the Aspetuck River in Westport and a dam on Beaver Lake in Oyster Bay, Long Island. The grant required a Conservancy match of almost $60,000, secured through donor support and in-kind contributions.

New Bids to be Opened August 28 for Deep River Sewer Expansion project

DEEP RIVER— A second round of bids will be opened Aug. 28 for the town’s sewer expansion project after the bids opened in June came in higher than the $4 million in available funding for the project.

All of the six bids opened last month were over the funding authorization that was approved by voters at a May 2013 town meeting. The lowest bid, from Baltazar Contractors Inc., of Ludlow, Mass., was $4,828,958for a base bid and $5,507,658 for a price with all construction alternates. The project, which would extend the town sewer system to about 120 properties on and around River St. and Kirtland St., is funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant of $1.2 million and a $2.8 million 40-year loan.

First Selectman Richard Smith said this week funding for the project can not be increased, leading engineers to publish the latest bid documents without seven residential properties on River Lane. An alternate would include River Lane, while a third alternate would include a new pump station in the vicinity of the Putnam Park apartments.

Smith said two of the River Lane properties are new homes with new septic systems, while other dwellings on the street have not had major septic system problems. Smith added that he is hopeful the town can eventually complete the entire project, including River Lane. Smith said he is hopeful construction on the sewer expansion can begin this fall, for completion by October 2015.

Alzheimer’s Disease Clinical Trial Seeks Volunteers, Includes Free Memory Screening

Adults under the age of 90 who have been diagnosed with mild or moderate Alzheimer’s disease, or undiagnosed individuals experiencing noticeable memory loss may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease currently being conducted at CCRStudies in New London, Conn. The study will include a free memory screening.

This clinical trial research program, led by Dr. Laurence Radin of Neurological Group, PC in New London, is examining an investigational medication being developed to slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Fellow researchers include Andrea Bartels APRN, and Andrea Stewart APRN.

According to Dr. Radin, “this research will ideally bring us closer to a cure for Alzheimer’s, and will help to give hope to the individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s.” The trial is being sponsored by TauxRx Therapeutics.

More than five million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and there is no cure. Approximately 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 have younger onset Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain’s nerve cells, resulting in loss of memory, loss of thinking and language skills, and behavioral changes. “People suffering from memory loss and those around them will tell you how devastating this disease can be,” said Dr. Radin.

CCRStudies is seeking volunteer participants for the current clinicaltrial. Those who become eligible for the trial will receive study related care and psychological testing at no cost. Reimbursement for
time and travel may be available. No insurance is needed to participate in the clinical trial.

For a preliminary phone evaluation, interested individuals can contact CCRStudies at 860-443-4567. Those looking for more information can also visit www.ccrstudies.com.

For further information, contact MaryLou Gannotti, Public Relations and Communications Director for CCRStudies at 860-443-4567, or email marylou@ccrstudies.com.

“Talking Transportation: Is It Safe To Ride Metro-North?

Jim Cameron

Jim Cameron

It has been seven months since a drowsy engineer drove a speeding Metro-North train off the tracks at Spuyten Duyvil, killing four and injuring 59. Months earlier a derailment and collision near Bridgeport sent 70 to the hospital.

Ever since, the railroad has promised that improving safety is its top priority. So does that mean the railroad is now “safe”?

Aside from taking the word of management, how are we to know? Just because we haven’t had another accident doesn’t mean the railroad is safe. Nobody suspected it was unsafe until those two accidents last year showed us just how dangerous our daily commute had become.

In April this year The Commuter Action Group surveyed 642 commuters and asked them, “Do you feel safe riding Metro-North?” and 56% said yes, 15% said no and 29% said they “weren’t sure”.

Neither am I, but I ride those trains regularly, hoping for the best. And so far, so good. I take the railroad at its word when it says safety is its top priority, but I have no way of telling it that’s true. As Donald Rumsfeld famously said, “We don’t know what we don’t know.”

Waiting on a station platform, how can the average commuter look at the tracks, the overhead wires or signals and know that Metro-North is safe? We can’t even see the engineers because they hide in their control booth behind jerry-rigged cardboard curtains ‘lest riders should watch them at work.

Here’s what we do know. The trains are running slower (on-time performance was only 79% in May). And last week we also learned that an entire class of conductor trainees had been dismissed because they were caught cheating on a safety exam. Good for the MTA for catching and disciplining them. But the worry is whether this kind of cheating has been going on for years. Reassuring?

The only way to be sure that Metro-North is safe is better federal oversight by the FRA, the Federal Railroad Administration. That agency still hasn’t issued its final report on the May 2013 derailment… and only fined the railroad $5,000 following a Metro-North trainee’s mistake, which killed one of their own track foremen. As US Senator Richard Blumenthal put it, “The watchdogs were asleep. The FRA has been lax and sluggish.”

That’s why commuters should be reassured that Senator Blumenthal will soon introduce a bill to give the FRA some real teeth: increasing civil penalties for railroad mistakes, strengthening railroad oversight, mandating new safety gear, introduction of a fatigue management plan for personnel, requiring anonymous reporting systems for whistle-blowers, installation of cameras, alerters and redundant safety systems for track workers.

Further, the bill would also require stronger safety standards for crude oil rail-tankers, the “pipelines on wheels” carrying crude oil and petroleum products on US railroads.

The only thing missing? Mandatory transparency. I’d hope that the FRA would be required to explain its oversight and reassure all railroad riders of their safety in a simple, understandable manner. That would make me feel safe.

Jim Cameron

Jim Cameron has been a Darien resident for 23 years. He is the founder of the Commuter Action Group and also serves on the Darien RTM. The opinions expressed in this column are his own. You can reach him at CommuterActionGroup@gmail.com

Bjornberg Expresses Concern for Implications of Family Institute’s Support of Linares

 

Emily Bjornberg

Emily Bjornberg

Emily Bjornberg, candidate for the 33rd District State Senate Seat, pledged she will oppose any efforts in Connecticut to limit contraceptive coverage for workers through their employer-provided health plans. 

“The recent decision by the US Supreme Court has serious ramifications on women’s rights and their reproductive health,” Bjornberg said, “The most appalling aspect of this decision is that women who are the victims of sexual assault will be denied coverage to emergency contraceptives.” 

Connecticut law requires fully-insured employee benefit plans to include contraceptive coverage, although certain companies such as Hobby Lobby, a lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case, are able to avoid this requirement due to preemption by federal law. 

The Hobby Lobby case has emboldened anti-choice organizations like the Family Institute of Connecticut to seek further legislative changes in states that would provide similar exemptions on what supporters say are religious freedom grounds.

Bjornberg pledged to oppose any efforts to change the law to further limit coverage of contraceptives. 

Her opponent, incumbent State Senator Art Linares, has yet to make any public statements on the issue. Linares did, however, earn the endorsement’s of the Family Institute in 2012 for his support of their issues opposing same-sex marriages and women’s reproductive choices. Family Institute members were seen demonstrating at a Connecticut Hobby Lobby store supporting the Supreme Court decision. 

“As a youth and family ministry director in Deep River I am a strong supporter of religious freedom in our country, but that freedom does not give anyone the right to impose their beliefs on others,” Bjornberg added, “The fact my opponent has been silent on this issue yet has been endorsed by an organization that opposes contraceptives even for victims of sexual assault should give every voter in the 33rd district cause for concern.” 

Editor’s Note: Connecticut’s 33rd State Senate District includes the communities of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

For more information about Emily Bjornberg, visit www.emily4ct.com.

Sen. Linares Endorsed by Connecticut REALTORS

State Senator Art Linares

State Senator Art Linares

Connecticut REALTORS announced that their association voted to endorse Senator Art Linares’ candidacy for Senate District 33.

The association is Connecticut’s largest trade association representing 15,000 real estate professionals.

“We carefully evaluate candidates in determining who may best ensure there is a positive environment for living in or transferring property in Connecticut.  Real estate is essential to economic recovery and stability in the state and the nation and helps to build communities.  We thank you for your commitment to serve,” stated Debra Chamberlain, President, Connecticut REALTORS and Jack Heckman, Government Affairs Director.

“I am honored to have the endorsement of the association.  Realtors understand the importance of a strong economy and affordable, predictable property taxes that will attract businesses to Connecticut. Taxes are a deciding factor for people who are looking to become new homeowners,” stated Senator Art Linares.

Connecticut REALTORS was founded in 1920 with a mission to support real estate professionals and maintain the preservation of property rights, while maintaining a strict Code of Conduct.

Sister Cities Essex Haiti Receives Youth and Education Award

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Sister Cities International based in Washington D.C., has announced that affiliate member Sister Cities Essex Haiti has been awarded the 2014 Sister Cities International Innovation: Youth & Education (Population less than 100,000) Award.  This award is in recognition of the outstanding exchange work done by Sister Cities Essex Haiti in advancing the goals and mission of the sister cities movement.

Sister Cities Essex Haiti will be recognized at the Sister Cities International 58th Annual Conference in San Jose, California July 31 – August 2.The award will be presented at The Lou Wozar Annual Awards ceremony and dinner to be held on August 2.The 2014 Sister Cities International Innovation Award (Youth and Education) recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding community and individual sister city programs that promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation.

The mission of Sister Cities Essex Haiti, Inc. (SCEH) is to build a mutual long-term sustainable relationship between the people of Essex, Connecticut and the people of Deschapelles, Haiti, their extended communities, and Hospital Albert Schweitzer located in Deschapelles.

Since 2011, SCEH has been working on the “Early Education Teacher Training Project” in conjunction with a volunteer group called Organization pour Development Economique et Social (ODES). The objective of the project is to work with teachers in Deschapelles to enhance existing curricula, introduce hands-on educational materials important to cognitive development, provide the necessary equipment and materials, and for American and Haitian teachers to learn from one another.

Stage two of the Early Education Teacher Training Project began in 2013, as SCEH and ODES held workshops in both Essex and Deschapelles. The program has grown from three schools in 2011 to fifteen schools in 2013, as knowledge has been effectively shared collectively with workshop participants and educators at numerous schools in Deschapelles.

Kathleen Maher , SCEH President and founding member  upon receiving news of SCEH being the recipient of this award commented, “ We are extremely honored to accept this award. The energy and enthusiasm of all those involved is to be congratulated and commended, particularly the educators in Deschapelles, Haiti (who approached us with the early education program idea), the volunteer educators in our area who have enthusiastically shared their talents and skills, Essex Elementary School, Region 4 Schools, the SCEH Board for their guidance, ODES (our partnering volunteer organization in Deschapelles), Jenifer Grant for her enthusiastic leadership and wisdom, and all our benefactors.”

Jenifer Grant, SCEH Vice President for Deschapelles Project Coordination and founding member enthusiastically added, “To be able to work with the pre-school teachers in Haiti with my French and Kreyol speaking confreres from the US has been an experience that we will value all our lives.  I never imagined that those efforts would inspire teachers here to find ways for their students, in Essex and Middletown, to create relationships which further understanding between the different cultures. We are grateful for being honored for something that provides us with so much pleasure.”

Dr. Ruth Levy, Region 4 School Superintendant and SCEH Board member sent her “Congratulations!” and commented “It’s all about connections…coming together as a community and a school system, uniting not just one small community but countries in which we can learn from one another, be respectful of diversity, and benefit from the relationships created. It is a small world that we live in. SCEH builds relationships that span oceans.”

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman, offered his congratulations on behalf of the Town of Essex and additionally noted, “There is a great community spirit which is alive and well in Essex, and this award exemplifies this community’s ability to achieve within and beyond its geographical boundaries.”

Sister Cities Essex Haiti continues to build cooperation between the people of these communities, enabling them to learn, work and solve problems together by collaborating with ODES, volunteer partners and with Hospital Albert Schweitzer through an exchange of educational, cultural, professional, municipal, business, and technical initiatives and projects.

For more information contact  Sistercitiesessexhaiti.org

Ballot News Ranks Connecticut’s 33rd Senate Race One of Most Competitive Statewide

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Emily Bjornberg, Democratic candidate for the 33rd Senate Seat

Ballotnews.org ranked the most competitive legislative races in Connecticut on their website today, with the 33rd Senate contest ranked as one of the top four.

The ranking comes a day after Emily Bjornberg, the Democratic candidate for the 33rd Senate Seat, was approved by the State Elections Enforcement Commission for a clean elections fund grant ahead of her incumbent opponent Art Linares.

State grants require the candidate to demonstrate significant support behind their campaign, with small contributions required from at least 300 constituents and at least $15,000 raised in the aggregate.

The 33rd Senate contest is one of only four state senate races statewide held by an incumbent to be ranked as competitive on the Ballotnews.org list.   The full list can be found at:  www.ballotnews.org/ state-legislatures/ legislative-lowdown- identifying-competitive- connecticut-elections-in-2014/ 

Connecticut’s 33rd State Senate District includes the communities of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Old Saybrook as well as Clinton, Colchester, East Haddam, East Hampton, Haddam, Lyme, Portland and Westbrook.

 

100 Pink Flamingos Spotted in Chester!

Flamingos arrive in a 1970 Ford pickup truck

Flamingos arrive in a 1970 Ford pickup truck

On July 13th, during the much loved Chester Sunday Market, pink flamingos converged on the lawn at 4 Water Street in front of a brand new storefront: lark!  Rumor has it that scouts were sent in on Saturday, and the rest arrived Sunday by way of a 1970 pickup truck.

At lark! you will find an ever changing array of hand crafted gifts and unique accessories.  Visit Chester!  Visit Lark!  Experience Chester Sunday Market!  (Through October 15)