August 23, 2014

Community Music School Hosts Open House Week – Sep. 8-12

CENTERBROOK – Community Music School, located in the Spencer’s Corner professional complex at 90 Main Street in Centerbrook, is now registering for the Fall semester which begins on September 3rd, and welcomes the general public to visit during Open House Week September 8 through 12. Children and adults can tour the School’s studios, meet teachers and staff, enjoy a FREE preview lesson, and learn about a vast array of programs including private and group lessons, jazz and string ensembles, musical theater, the Kindermusik early childhood program, and music therapy services. Community Music School is open from 9 am to 7 pm weekdays. Those interested in a 15-minute preview lesson are requested to call 860-767-0026 for scheduling.

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.

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

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.

Concert in the Garden Featuring Simon Van Gend – Sep. 12

Simon002

Photo Courtesy Simon van Gend

The Concert in the Garden at the Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio on Friday September Gates open  at 6:30 pm. First come first seated. Rain or Shine! Performances are held inside the Gallery during inclement weather.

More info (860) 526-2077 www.nilssonstudio.com

Simon van Gend

South African singer-songwriter Simon van Gend has been writing songs since forming his first band in the early nineties. Originally inspired by songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Paul Simon, he has developed a style of writing and performing all his own, mixing soulful melodies with lyrics that chart new territories in the internal world.

Simon has recorded four albums with his band, Simon & the Bande à Part. The latest album, Blinking and Breathing, was produced by acclaimed Australian producer Ian Pritchett, famed for his work with Angus & Julia Stone and The Beautiful Girls.

Simon has recently challenged himself to write a song every week for a year. Follow his progress at www.asongaweek.simonvangend.com

“It’s the songs that take you by surprise.  Persuasive without being preoccupied, full of words without being wordy, delivering life’s lessons without being preachy, they never quite go where you expect.” – Richard Haslop, Audio Video

“The second half of the performance took us deeper into the tapestry of beautifully put together songs with an impressive complexity of chord uses. Evidently real care has been taken to construct these songs and to create interesting progressions, something of great value in contrast to the “three chord theory” often employed by folk artists.” – Marie-Claire de Villiers, What’s on in Cape Town

More details: www.simonvangend.com

 

The Meeting House Players’ Open Auditon – Sep. 9 and 11

The Meeting House Players are pleased to announce open auditions for Steven Dietz’s new, laugh out loud comedy “BECKY’S NEW CAR”.   Auditions will be held on September 9 & September 11, 2014 at 7 PM in the Meeting House located at 4 Liberty Street in Chester, CT.  

A friend of Becky Foster’s had a theory:  “When a woman says she needs new shoes, what she really wants is a new job.  When she says she needs a new house, she wants a new husband.  And when she says she wants a new car, she wants a new life.”  Becky seems to be caught in middle age, middle management and in a middling marriage—with no prospects for change on the horizon.  Then one night a socially inept and grief-struck millionaire walks into the car dealership where Becky works.  Becky is offered nothing short of a new life…and the audience is offered a chance to share the ride.  “BECKY’S NEW CAR” is a delightful romp down the road not taken.

The play’s seven member ensemble is made up of three women and four men.  The cast of characters are as follows:

Becky Foster:  a car dealership title clerk & office manager, mid to late 40’s.

Joe Foster:  Becky’s husband, a roofer, mid 40’s to early 50’s.

Chris Foster:  their son, a psychology student still living at home, mid 20’s.

Walter Flood:  a very wealthy businessman, widowed, 60’s.

Kensington (Kenni) Flood:  Walter’s daughter, early to mid 20’s.

Steve:  Becky’s co-worker, late 40’s to early 50’s.

Ginger:  Walter’s neighbor, late 40’s to early 50’s.

Those auditioning will be asked to read from the script.  Directed by Debbie Alldredge, the production will open at the Meeting House in Chester on Friday, November 7 and continue on November 8, 14 & 15, 2014.  For additional information please contact Deb Alldredge at Deb@DebAlldredge.com .

 

Taste Of The Valley -Tickets on Sale Now – Sep. 5

Taste of the Valley 2014 is an evening of delicious food and great dancing music to benefit Tri-Town Youth Services.  Save the date – Friday, September 5, 2014 at 6:00 pm  - and get your tickets TODAY!

Each year, our community gathers on a late summer evening on the beautiful grounds of the Deep River Historical Society to try delectable samples from local area restaurants and caterers.  The 2014 Restaurants and Caterers so far are: Apple Rehab Old Saybrook, Da Vinci’s , Dough on Main, Essex Coffee & Tea, Gabrielle’s, The Ivory Restaurant, La Vita Gustosa, Main Street Sweet Shoppe and Saybrook Soup and Sandwich Co, Kenwood Catering Company, A Perfect Thyme, and The Red House of Deep River.

As part of the event, the Taste of the Valley Committee is excited to announce a new “Happy Hour Venue” and the return of the Silent Auction!   Some of the exciting items so far include: Tickets to The Goodspeed, restaurant gift certificates to, River Tavern, Six Main, Simons, a Car Detailing package courtesy of Grossman Chevrolet and a Yoga and Zumba membership donated by IFoundFitness.

The music will be provided again by toe tapping band Mass-Conn-Fusion so bring your dancing shoes!

You will also cast your ballot for the restaurant that takes home the coveted Taste of the Valley FORK!   There will also be awards for Best Appetizer, Best Dessert, Best Presentation, and other categories.

Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at Celebrations in Deep River or on Tri-Town Youth Service Bureau’s website via PayPal www.ttysb.org

Note: This is event is for adults over the age of 21. 

TASTE OF THE VALLEY 2014 is generously sponsored by Middlesex Hospital, The Clark Group, Essex Savings Bank, Eye Doctors, Tower Labs, Tom Alexa, Marine Special Products Group, LLC, Haynes Material Co., PCI Medical and many more.  For more information or tickets, contact Gail Onofrio at Tri-Town Youth Services at (860) 526-3600 or view our website: www.ttysb.org.  If you would like to be a sponsor or donate an item for our silent auction, send an email to: cmariewalsh@gmail.com

The Deep River Historical Society is located at 245 Main Street, Deep River, CT.

Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus Concert – Sep. 14

Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus drawing inspired in St. Paul Lutheran  Church in a 2005 concert, drawn by Madeleine Favre of Deep River.

Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus drawing inspired in St. Paul Lutheran
Church in a 2005 concert, drawn by Madeleine Favre of Deep River.

Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus Concert will be presented on Sun., Sept. 14, 7:30 pm at The Old Lyme Congregational Church on the corner of Ferry Rd. and Lyme St., Old Lyme 06371. The concert features selections from Irving Berlin and Oklahoma, A Patriotic Salute, Just a Closer Walk, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, Barbershop and Solos.Tickets $15 at CappellaCantorum.org  or 860-526-1038  or at the door. 12 and under free.

The Antidepressant Seduction – Author Charles Barber Reads From Book – Sep. 14

charles_rightimageAuthor Charles Barber, whose book on mental illness has challenged common treatment practice, will read at a free Books & Bagels program at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, on Sunday, September 14, at 9:30 a.m.  The public is invited, and no reservations are required.

As a starred review in the Library Journal points out, “Barber convincingly argues against the over-prescription of psychiatric drugs in the United States and sums up the history of U.S. psychiatry from the asylum to the community to glitzy but still elementary neuroscience. A blockbuster book.”

Barber traces the project to a time in the early 1990s when he went to a cocktail party at his parents’ house in Middletown. His mother and father both taught at Wesleyan, and the gathering included other well-educated people who expressed surprise and disapproval at what Charles did for a living.

As he recalls, “People knew I’d been to Ivy League schools – they were suspicious of the Ivy League – and wondered why I had become a case manager for mentally ill clients, including some homeless people. Their view was that many of the mentally ill were shiftless.”

Ten years later, Barber attended a second party at his parents’ house, and the judgment had changed dramatically. “Everybody at the party thought what I was doing was terrific. They thought they had an advanced understanding of mental illness.”

What had changed? For one thing, in 1997, drug companies began advertising their antidepressants – Prozac being the first — on television. For another, ideas about mental illness evolved – from deep, dark Freudian secrets to a biological explanation, including chemical imbalances. And so, many of the guests at the Middletown party had begun taking antidepressants themselves – part of a widespread society treated by doctors for everything from stress to the blues to the very real and difficult illness of clinical depression.

Now, about ten percent of Americans take drugs for depression, and the number keeps growing. It’s a number that Charles and others who have examined this topic consider too high. According to his book, many people relying on such drugs would be better off employing other ways – without the side effects – to reduce stress and deal with “the blues.”

Reviews of Charles’s book have been positive but not without controversy. When the book was first published, Charles had to defend his position on scores of talk shows. Charles will talk about these matters and answers questions from the audience at his Books & Bagels appearance.

Over the last year, the synagogue has presented several programs on the issue of mental health – one that deeply affects one in five American families.

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester.  For more information, call the office at 860-526-8920.

Rotary Club of Chester Lobster Fest Fundraiser – Sep. 6

The Rotary Club of Chester will host its 44nd Annual Lobster Festival at the Chester Fairgrounds on Saturday, September 6, 2014.

Tickets are on sale now! Admission tickets for double entrée meals are $40 in advance, $45 for remaining tickets at the gate.  Single entree dinner tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the gate.  Enjoy live music and dancing throughout the evening.  Access to the Lobster Festival is restricted to dinner ticket holders.  Seating is limited.

Visit www.ChesterRotary.org  for more information and to purchase tickets on-line.   Tickets can also be purchased at CENTURY 21 Heritage Company, Chester Package Store, Chrisholm Marina or from any Chester Rotarian. Chester Rotarians are dedicated to providing funding and service to local, national and international charitable organizations.  All proceeds from this event support these causes.

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.

 

Exhibit of Paintings by Tom Mayer at Acton Library – Through Aug. 31

Exhibit of paintings by Tom Mayer, Acton Library through August 31

Exhibit of paintings by Tom Mayer, Acton Library through August 31

For the month of August, the Acton Public Library, 60 Old Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook welcomes an exhibit of  paintings by Tom Mayer of Plantsville. Mr. Mayer, inspired by the coastal scenery of New England and Florida, creates these colorful works with layers of acrylic paints combined with pasted papers. His exhibit will run through August 31.

For further information, please call 860-395-3184, or visit the library during regular hours: Monday through Thursday 10–8:30 and Friday and Saturday 9–5.

Chester Rotary Club Community Picnic – Aug. 31

Chester Rotary Club Community Picnic August 31st 5 – 9 p.m. at the Chester Meeting House.  FREE EVENT – OPEN TO ALL.  Bring your own picnic and enjoy music provided by D.J. Gary Torello.  Silent auction of “Potty Art” to benefit Simply Smiles sanitation projects in Oaxaca Mexico.

Authors Jane Green and Dorie Greenspan at Bee & Thistle – Aug. 23

Jane Green (photo courtesy of Ian Warburg).

Jane Green (photo courtesy of Ian Warburg).

The Big Book Getaway team is delighted to announce that New York Times bestselling author, Jane Green, and award-winning cookbook author, Dorie Greenspan, will appear at the next Big Book Getaway luncheon at The Bee & Thistle Inn onSaturday, August 23, 11am-1pm.  Jane Green actually wrote one of her books, Family Pictures, while staying at the Inn!  To register, simply click here: www.thebigbookclub.org/ lunch-jane-green-bee-thistle- inn/

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

 

Essex Art Association “Earth, Wind & Fire” Opens Aug. 22

The Essex Art Association announces the last show of the season “Earth Wind & Fire”,  Opening Reception August 22, 2014 from 6-8 pm public welcome. This is an open show and features the artwork of any artist over the age of 18 who wishes to submit work. Open daily 1-5pm, except Tuesdays, August 23th. to September 13th.,2014. Essex Art Association is a seasonal gallery and after this last show members will be renting the gallery through October for their own group shows.

In the Exit Gallery is the art of Dan Nichols “My Travels”

Dan was drawing from a very young age. Crayola crayons were then his favorite medium. As a teenager he started doing watercolor,  His father taught him perspective. He attended the freshman foundation year at RISD, and also attended the Paier School of Art, working both with the strict realistic discipline of Ken Davies, as well as John Massimino’s freer, more abstract approach.

Today, Dan prefers switching from one medium to the other, and has used oils, pastels, watercolor, gouache, acrylics, and oil sticks — or soft oil pastels in big sticks. Dan paints a number of subjects — with landscapers his favorite subject — but one subject that is unique is antique cars. He knows them well and will also do a commission of anyone’s antique or vintage vehicle. He loves all media and he also likes to mix them up. He’s very creative in that respect. He’s taken Canson, or printing paper, shellacked over it and then painted in oils on it. He’s gessoed over a discarded water color and then used oil paint over it.  Dan is also a member of CPAPS, and Maple & Main Gallery.

Essex Art Association is a non-profit open free to the public.

Amtrak Exhibit Train at Essex Steam Train & Riverboat – Aug. 23-24

Can you hear the sound of a whistle? That’s the Amtrak Exhibit Train coming to the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat, August 23-24 from 10:00
am – 5:00 pm.

Climb aboard, take a free, self-guided tour to learn about Amtrak’s history, and catch a glimpse into the company’s future. Displays include vintage advertising, past menus and dinnerware, period uniforms, photographs, and other items of memorabilia from Amtrak’s creation in 1971 to a model of today’s modern-sleeping accommodations and high-speed rail service displays. Interactive displays include railroad horns, trivia questions, workable signals and an engineer’s stand.

Whether you’ve been riding since the company’s beginning, or are just becoming part of it, there is something on the Exhibit Train that’s guaranteed to strike a chord. Join us and discover more about America’s love of trains.

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.

Acton Library August Display Case Highlights Local Boy Scout Activities

For the month of August, the Acton Public Library in Old Saybrook will be hosting a display of information related to the various activities offered by the local chapter of the Boy Scouts and how to get involved with the group. Please contact Michele Holt regarding Boy Scout activities at Pack21cubs@yahoo.com. The Acton Library is open Monday through Thursday from 10am until 8:30 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 9am to 5 pm.

Sixth Annual Labor Day Car Show at Saybrook Point Inn – Sep. 1

Classic car owners and spectators alike will enjoy the Sixth Annual Labor Day Car Show on September 1 from 12 noon to 4 pm at Saybrook Point Inn.

Classic car owners and spectators alike will enjoy the Sixth Annual Labor Day Car Show on September 1 from 12 noon to 4 pm at Saybrook Point Inn.

OLD SAYBROOK — Calling all classic cars and car enthusiasts! The Saybrook Point Inn is sponsoring its Sixth Annual Labor Day Car Show on Monday, September 1, from 12 noon to 4 pm, at the Inn, Two Bridge Street in Old Saybrook. Owners of classic, antique, rare or muscle cars are invited to bring their cars down to this beautiful setting near the Saybrook Point Inn Marina.

The day’s activities include live music by The Cartells and refreshments, including hot dogs and hamburgers, on the Fresh Salt patio. A 50/50 raffle will also be held. Numerous “People’s Choice” trophies will be awarded to the cars in various categories. Entry fee is $10 per car, with a portion of the proceeds from the fee going to support a local charity to be announced. The first 100 vehicles at the show will receive complimentary dash plaques for their support.

For more information or to reserve a car space, contact Show Chairperson, Chris Loader at Saybrook Point Inn at (860) 395-2000 or via email at chrisloader@saybrook.com.

“Our Library Rocks” Celebrates Essex Library’s 125th Anniversary – Sep. 13

Our Library Rocks (1)

Due to popular demand the Essex Library is Rockin’ again!  Save the date of Saturday, September 13from 5:00-9:00 p.m. for a return of “Our Library Rocks”, a community event for all ages.

From 5-6 p.m. children can enter the Inventor’s Workshop where imaginations run wild!  We’ll provide the sights, sounds and supplies needed to foster our youngest engineers, scientists, designers and artists from 3 to 12 years.  Our workshop will be filled with the tools needed to foster inquiry-based exploration, with adults on hand to help inventors with strategy and creation.  We invite children to use interesting materials to create fabulous gizmos and gadgets for home display.

Klins (1)

Entertainment for all ages includes the amazing show “Magic & Beyond” by illusionist David Garrity in the tent.  Have fun dressing up and posing in the photo booth.  Relax in the lounge area of the library while enjoying a musical performance by the Andy Sherwood Ensemble.  There will also be a silent auction with items that are sure to appeal to adults and families.

Refreshments come in many forms.  The ever-popular gourmet brick oven pizza trucks are returning.  They will be serving a large variety of pizzas with gluten free available on request, salads and desserts.  There’s a tent for popcorn, lemonade and water.  For adults, enjoy beer, wine and soda from the bar.  This celebration is the final Essex Library birthday event to celebrate 125 years of service.  A birthday cake will be unveiled for all to share.

This event is being underwritten in part by Essex Financial Services/Essex Savings Bank and other generous corporate sponsors.

Stop by the library now to buy your tickets.  We sold out early last year.  Tickets are just $20 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under, free for those under 2.  Your ticket includes dinner and all entertainment.  Wine, beer & photo booth are an extra charge.  Free parking will be available at Town Hall.

 

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

La Cage Aux Folles at The Ivoryton Playhouse – Opens Aug. 6

James Van Treuren and David Edwards (Photo by Anne Hudson)

James Van Treuren and David Edwards (Photo by Anne Hudson)

IVORYTON:  It’s the dog days of summer but in Ivoryton, August is kicking its way through the heat in feathers, glitter and six inch heels! LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, the smash hit Broadway musical opens in Ivoryton on August 6th and runs through August 31st. Written by Harvey Fierstein, Jean Poiret and Jerry Herman, the original 1983 Broadway production received nine nominations for Tony Awards and won six, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. LA CAGE was later turned into a popular movie, The Birdcage, starring Nathan Lane and Robin Williams.

After twenty years of un-wedded bliss Georges and Albin, two men partnered for better-or-worse get a bit of both when Georges’ son announces his impending marriage to the daughter of a bigoted, narrow-minded politician. Albin tries to help by making a perfect family with hilarious results. Further complicating the situation, Albin and Georges run a drag nightclub in St. Tropez, where Albin is the star performer ‘Zaza.’ Georges reluctantly agrees to masquerade as “normal” when he meets the family of the bride-to-be. But Albin has other plans, with hilarious results.

The show features some beautiful songs by Jerry Herman including I Am What I Am and Song on the Sand, and some hilarious situations. But, more than anything else, LA CAGE is an old fashioned love story wrapped in feathers, sprinkled with glitter and tied with a bow. This wild and warmhearted farce about the importance of nonconformity and being true to oneself will appeal to audiences of all ages.

Directed by Lawrence Thelen, choreographed by Todd Underwood and musical directed by Michael Morris, the show features David Edwards* as Albin and James Van Treuren* as Georges. Edwards has appeared on Broadway in BY JEEVES and THE ROTHSCHILDS and Van Treuren was in THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL. Both actors have performed these roles before and are good friends on and off stage. Zach Trimmer* is reviving the role of Jean Michel for his third time; marTina Vidmar* is Jacqueline; Frank Calamaro* of Chester is Ms. Dindon and Samantha Talmadge of Groton is Mme. Dindon

The set is designed by Cully Long, lighting by Doug Harry, wigs by Liz Cipollina and costumes by Njaye Olds.

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES opens in Ivoryton on August 6th and runs through August 31st. Performance times areWednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday andSaturday at 8pm. There are 2 extra matinees for this show on Saturday August 16th  and 23rd  at 2pm. 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:  Sennheiser and Webster Bank

*member of Actors Equity

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.

 

Play Ball! 19th-Century Style – Sep. 21

The historical societies of Chester, Deep River and Essex are teaming up to present a tri-town Vintage Base Ball game on Sunday, Sept. 21 at Devitt Field in Deep River. The 2 p.m. game will be free to the public.

Three teams – one from each town – are being formed. The teams will play by late 19th-century rules (such as no bunting or stealing) and customs to recreate the earliest days of America’s pastime, when courtesy prevailed on and off the playing field. There is no swearing, no spitting and no “ungentlemanly” behavior anywhere during the games.

Ballists (players) will use replica equipment such as authentic reproduction wooden bats and hand-sewn hard balls. No gloves are worn.

The three teams will play two or three-inning games in a round-robin format.

Men and women over age 16 who enjoy playing baseball and have an interest in the game’s history are encouraged to submit their name to chestercthistoricalsociety@gmail.com before July 29 to be considered for a team. Team members will be asked to pay $20 each for a vintage team shirt.

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)

Saybrook Point Inn & Spa Donates $25,000 to The Preserve

Saybrook Point Inn and Spa, Old SAybrook.

Saybrook Point Inn and Spa, Old Saybrook.

OLD SAYBROOK –– The Saybrook Point Inn & Spa, through the Louis F. and Mary A. Tagliatela Family Foundation, has donated $25,000 to “The Preserve,” a swath of 1,000 acres of coastal forest along the towns of Old Saybrook, Essex and Westbrook, Connecticut.  As the largest unprotected coastal forest between New York and Boston, this land is rich in natural resources, wildlife and habitat that not only offers residents with outdoor recreational opportunities, but also provides an important coastal buffer against storm waters during natural disasters.  Residents of Connecticut treasure this 1,000-acre coastal forest as a place to connect with nature close to home. Known locally as The Preserve, the woodland plays an important role in maintaining water quality in Trout Brook and the Oyster and Mud rivers, which feed into the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound. The partnership to preserve and protect this natural ecosystem in Connecticut consists of the State of Connecticut, neighboring towns (Old Saybrook, Essex and Westbrook), and The Trust for Public Land.

“On behalf of my family, we are proud to be able to preserve and protect one of Connecticut’s most sacred ecosystems for generations to come,” said Stephen Tagliatela, Innkeeper/Managing Partner, Saybrook Point Inn & Spa. “It’s always been a founding principle of our family to care and maintain the environment we live in. It’s through our efforts, in cooperation with the Trust for Public Land, Town of Old Saybrook, and Essex Land Trust, that we will conserve this important coastal forest to forever as a natural asset for our region and our state.”

On Tuesday, July 8th, voters in Old Saybrook overwhelmingly approved the purchase of “The Preserve,” which will now be protected in perpetuity as open space for Connecticut residents for generations to come. As the largest unprotected coastal forest between New York City and Boston, this 1,000-acre ecosystem will be permanently protected from future development. It will connect to 500 acres of existing town parkland providing expanded opportunities for hiking and viewing a variety of birds and other wildlife.

“We are very grateful that the Tagliatela family has made this very generous gift to support the Campaign to Protect the 1,000 Acre Forest,” said Kate Brown, Project Manager for The Trust for Public Land. “This is a wonderful boost that will help us move closer to the fundraising goal and permanent protection of the land.”

The Louis F. and Mary A. Tagliatela Foundation was established in 1997 by North Haven business leader Louis F. Tagliatela. Over the years, the Foundation has donated more than $9 million to support local non-profit organizations including hospitals, schools and churches. In addition, the organization helped establish the Tagliatela School of Engineering at the University of New Haven and the Tagliatela School of Business at Albertus Magnus College.

The Preserve is a 1,000-acre coastal forest located in Old Saybrook, Essex, and Westbrook, Connecticut. It is the largest unprotected coastal forest remaining between New York City and Boston. The dense canopy of forest and the Pequot Swamp Pond act as a refueling stop for many migratory birds, and the many freshwater seeps on the property are home to amphibian species such as the northern dusky salamander, spotted turtles, and box turtles. Bobcats and fisher cats have also been spotted on the property.  The land includes 38 vernal pools, 114 acres of wetlands, headwaters of the Oyster River, and tributaries of the Mud and Trout Brook Rivers. These rivers eventually flow into Long Island Sound.

The property has a fifteen-year history of development proposals, foreclosure, and lawsuits by neighbors and conservationists opposing its development. The land is currently owned by Lehman Brothers Holdings, the holding company that emerged from the 2008 Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. The holding company has agreed to sell the property to The Trust for Public Land for its fair market value of $8.09 million. If protected, this highly unusual intact coastal forest will be preserved and the public will have passive recreational access to the property via trails.

The Trust for Public Land is working in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environ-mental Protection, the Towns of Old Saybrook, Essex, and Westbrook, the Old Saybrook Land Trust, the Essex Land Trust, The Connecticut Fund for the Environment, the Alliance for Sound Area Planning, Audubon Connecticut, The Nature Conservancy, and others to raise the funding necessary to protect The Preserve. The goal of the fundraising effort is to raise $10 million to cover the purchase price, costs and stewardship. We expect to raise $3 million via a private fundraising campaign, to supplement $7 million in public funding.

Since it opened 25 years ago, Saybrook Point Inn & Spa has adapted and changed. It has taken a decidedly green direction, win­ning numerous awards for its often best-in-class green practices, including the first Connecticut inn to be named a Certified Energy Hotel in 2007. The Inn now features SANNO, a full service European spa, as well as Fresh Salt, a restaurant designed by Peter Niemitz that opened to strong reviews in 2011.  The property employs more than 260 hospitality professionals in the town of Old Saybrook, Connecticut, and is among the town’s top employers and economic engines.

Saybrook Point Inn & Spa recently opened its new Three Stories guesthouse adjacent to the main Inn. Thiscompletely renovated Italianate home overlooking Long Island Sound was originally built in 1892 as a single-family home for the prominent engineer William Vars. The property has been fully refurbished and revitalized as a seven-room guesthouse with wrap around porches and private gardens, making it the perfect retreat for couples, families and friends to reconnect, rejoice and create lasting memories and experiences. Each individually designed room features a pri­vate balcony, fireplace, fine linens, heated bathroom floors, multiple showerheads, extensive water views, and original artwork by local artists. As a testament to its rich history, each room at Three Stories tells the story of a famed local resident who made sure that the history of the community was well preserved. This includes Katharine Hepburn’s mother, who was a co-founder of Planned Parenthood and leading suffragette, and Anna Louise James, who had the distinction of being one of the first African-American female pharmacists in America and ran the James Pharmacy locally.

About Saybrook Point Inn & Spa

Situated along the picturesque coastal community of historic Old Saybrook, Connecticut in the hamlet of Saybrook Point, Saybrook Point Inn & Spa features 82 elegantly appointed guestrooms, a rejuvenating full-service spa called SANNO, and a casual fine dining restaurant named Fresh Salt. Luxurious spa amenities include 11 treatment rooms, and diverse menu of services including massages, facials, body wraps, manicures and pedicures. SANNO is a latin word meaning to make sound or to heal. The goal at SANNO is to help guests be well, look well, feel well, and eat well. Fresh Salt diners savor fresh, seasonal and local cuisine served in Old Saybrook’s most spectacular setting – the spot where the fresh waters of the Connecticut River meet the salt of Long Island Sound. It’s a treasured and historic place, rich in life, and the restaurant reflects that lively diversity. The Saybrook Point Inn & Spa also features the historic Saybrook Point Marina, a landmark yachting dock conveniently located at the mouth of the Connecticut River with easy access to Long Island Sound. The marina is Connecticut’s first designated Clean Marina, featuring friendly concierge service, award-winning onsite cuisine, AAA Four Diamond accommodations, an indulgent spa, and a community-based member-driven health club. It can accommodate vessels from 12 to 200 feet and has received numerous premier Connecticut marina awards. More information is available at www.saybrook.com.

About the Trust for Public Land

Founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land is the leading nonprofit working to conserve land for people. Operating from more than 30 offices nationwide, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than three million acres from the inner city to the wilderness and helped generate more than $34 billion in public funds for conservation. Nearly ten million people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. Learn more at www.tpl.org.

 

Camp Claire Receives Donation Of Automated External Defibrillator Machine

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Surrounded by Camp Claire campers, Russell Sage, center, Michael Sage’s father and Director of the MVSDF, stands with James P. Berryman (left in blue shirt), a Director at Suisman Shapiro, which is a major sponsor of MVSDF, after the presentation of an AED to Camp Claire’s Director, Beth Owen-Mishou.

Representatives of the Michael Vincent Sage Dragonheart Foundation, Inc. (MVSDF) donated a new automated external defibrillator (AED) machine to Camp Claire last Thursday, July 10, at a group meeting for staff and campers.

An AED is a lightweight, portable device that delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart. The shock can stop an irregular rhythm and allow a normal rhythm to resume in a heart that is experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of cardiac related death in the United States; it strikes without warning, and if not treated within minutes, quickly leads to death.

There are 1,900 to 14,200 cases of out-of-hospital SCA in children each year. Early defibrillation with an AED and CPR can more than double chances of survival. The American Heart Association estimates that 20,000 to 100,000 Sudden Cardiac Arrest deaths could be prevented if defibrillation was readily available.

The MVSDF was established in memory of Michael Vincent Sage, who died on February 5, 2010 at the age of 29 from a sudden cardiac arrhythmia (SCA). He was active in sports for most of his life and never exhibited any of the warning signs associated with SCA, such as episodes of dizziness, fainting, or seizures. He arrived at work at the New London offices of Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law on a beautiful February morning, had a cup of coffee with his colleagues, then collapsed and died.

People on the scene attempted to revive Michael using CPR, but there was no AED available, and by the time the paramedics arrived, Michael could not be saved. In a matter of moments, Michael was gone.

The mission of the MVSDF is to raise awareness and support research into the early diagnosis and prevention of sudden cardiac arrest, including bystander awareness education, CPR training, and availability of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in schools, athletic facilities, and other public forums.

Camp Claire, a summer camp for children aged 7-14 located in Lyme, Conn., applied to the MVSDF for the donation of an AED defibrillator machine and was selected by the Board of Directors to receive the gift. Organizations must meet various criteria including the required number of CPR-trained employees; the number of persons served and their age groups; current AED status; and overall worthiness/need of the organization.

The cost of an AED defibrillator machine ranges from $1,000 to $2,500. The MVSDF has donated more than 30 machines to organizations in Connecticut over the last two years.

The mission of Camp Claire is to provide a natural community environment that encourages curiosity and creativity, and increases self-esteem, while providing a lifetime of memories that prepares children for an active place in a multicultural society. The camp began as a conference retreat for members of the First Congregational Church of Meriden in 1916. It incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1954, and relies on the support of alumni and friends to continue its mission of providing children with an enriching and memorable camping experience.

Major sponsors of the Michael Vincent Sage Dragonheart Foundation include Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law (New London), Defibtech, Inc. (Guilford, CT), The Survival Group (North Haven, CT), and The Ralph L. Rossi Foundation (Hamden, CT).

For more information about the MVSDF, visit the Foundation’s website at www.defibandlive.org

To learn more about Camp Claire, visit www.campclaire.org .

Artisans Harbor of Old Saybrook to Hold Summer Art Classes

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New Children’s Art Workshops! Workshops offered for children Wednesday July 16th, 30th,  and Aug. 6th 10:00 a.m. -10:45 a.m. ages 4-7 and from 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. for children ages 8-10.  Saturday afternoon charcoal drawing classes for children & teens ages 8-14 start July 17-Aug. 23. Check out the website for more info.

Adults & Teen art classses begin on July 17th  2014.  Classes are for beginners and those wanting to further their skills.  Classes offered in Oil painting, Watercolor painting, Drawing, and Pastel.

Harbor Nights pARTies are hosted every  Friday and Saturday evenings 7-9 pm. Reservations 48 hours prior to evening of your choice is required.  Come into our studio sip wine and paint your own masterpiece in one night! No experience necessary. BYOB -wine or beverage of your choice we provide appetizers, set-ups and all your art supplies! Private parties may be arranged any day or time based on availability.

Check out our website for details on class times. www.artisansharbor.com   Give yourself or someone you care about some “CREATIVE ME TIME”!

Gallery19 Summertime Show – Through Aug 31

Gallery19 of Essex will be showing “Helen Cantrell and Judy Friday: Summertime,” new paintings and works on paper, July 1 – August 31, Gallery19, 19A Main St., Essex, CT. Thursdays-Sundays 11-5 pm. 860 581 8735, www.gallery19essex.com.

TriTown Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition to Take Part in National Conference

Health advocates from the Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (SAPC) will join more than 1,700 substance abuse prevention specialists from across the country at the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s (CADCA) 2014 Mid-Year Training Institute in Orlando, Fla., from July 20-24. The week-long training will take place at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Hotel.

CADCA’s Mid-Year Training Institute—a one-of-a-kind intensive training opportunity—will offer more than 70 half-day and two-day courses geared towards helping participants find solutions to their community’s toughest substance use/abuse concerns. Attendees will participate in a variety of lecture and hands-on sessions to expand their knowledge in prevention science and improve their skills in implementing evidence-based strategies to reduce drug and alcohol use.

The conference will feature renowned experts in the field of substance abuse prevention and will cover a wide range of topics – everything from how to prevent prescription drug abuse and the abuse of synthetic drugs to how to create tobacco-free environments, reduce impaired driving and develop policies to reduce marijuana use and underage drinking. SAPC and other community members attending this Mid-Year Training Institute include Deep River First Selectman Richard Smith, Deep River Resident Trooper Dawn Taylor, Deep River Constable Pete Lewis, Gina Sopneski, Dave Fitzgibbons, Claire Walsh, Gail Onofrio and Cate Bourke.

Tri-Town Youth Services and the SAPC offer programs and services to support the positive growth and development of youth and families in Chester, Deep River and Essex. Through education, counseling, youth development programs and prevention activities, Tri-Town serves to help community members of all ages thrive. For more information on the conference, Tri-Town Youth Services or the SAPC, see www.tritownys.org or call 860-526-3600.

Marshview Gallery August Artist of Month – Carin Roaldset

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OLD SAYBROOK – The Marshview Gallery features the photography of Carin Roaldset during the month of August. Carin discovered photography as a means of illustrating her love of nature. Her style is “less is more” and she enjoys combining animate and inanimate objects.

Now a resident of Old Saybrook, Carin’s childhood on a Swedish farm, urban life in Germany and years in rural Norway along with small town living here in Connecticut feeds her passion. She’s been in numerous exhibits on the Shoreline, including juried all media shows at the Slater Memorial Museum, West Hartford Art League and The Essex Art Association.

Please join us for the Artist Reception, Thursday, August 14th from 5-7 pm. Everyone is welcome and refreshments are provided.

Letter: Responding to the OS Economic Development Commission on The Preserve

To The Editor:

The OS EDC, which has itself endorsed the acquisition of The Preserve, recently released a letter asking five questions.  They deserve a response.  In order of importance, they are:

  1. Cost to the taxpayer.   In short, very little and perhaps nothing at all.  Read on.

    Acquiring The Preserve under the proposed agreement saves Old Saybrook potentially tens of millions of dollars the town would have incurred if development as planned had gone forward—and might still incur if The Preserve is left open to development.  Perhaps more important to some residents is that acquiring The Preserve will almost certainly save Old Saybrook money.  First, the cost to taxpayers for the bonding required for the town’s share of the purchase price—less than 40%–implies annual property taxes for a median home of $12 to $24 dollars, depending on the form of bonding.  So for $1-$2 a month, residents take control of an extraordinarily important 1000 acres, the headwaters of three rivers, a critical source of clean water for the area aquifer, and an environmentally important area.  Second, the costs the town now incurs will almost certainly go down.  The proposed agreement includes a very substantial permanent endowment (perhaps reaching $1 million) which will provide funds to cover proper management of The Preserve, including trail mapping, trail marking (so folks no longer get lost on the unmarked, tangled trails they now hike), and permit sustainable forestry practices.  In addition, because of the partnership with the State, state conservation officers will share the responsibility for policing the area, relieving Old Saybrook police of some of that responsibility.  And because the area will now be managed properly, residents in Old Saybrook and adjacent towns no longer face the very real threat of damage to the aquifer and degradation of their water supply—thus again saving potentially thousands of dollars for every household affected.  On balance, it is almost certain that town costs will fall by more than the cost of the bonding.

    Wen considering costs, beyond the offsetting savings we can immediately recognize, preserving The Preserve will create value for the town and the region.  Real estate professionals will tell you that the two things potential home buys ask about are the quality of the schools and access to public open space, whether parks or forests.  Multiple studies confirm that towns that acquire and manage significant open space clearly benefit along a host of vectors.   Given how well this acquisition is planned, with the creation of an endowment to provide continuous funding and the partnership with State, preserving The Preserve will deliver real value to the town and the region.

  2. Why the State is interested in assuming more than 40% of the purchase price: Connecticut has, since the early 1970s, taken a very strong bipartisan interest in preserving open space and improving environmental quality.  Perhaps some remember when the lower Connecticut River was heavily polluted and the target of quite embarrassing coverage by the New York Times.  The river is now remarkably clean and a major asset to the region.  Moreover, the Federal government provides significant financial incentives and support for these kinds of initiatives, which are so important to sustaining and strengthening a healthy natural environment.
  3. Has anyone approached Lehman Brothers directly?  I don’t know; I suspect not.  Frankly, Old Saybrook could acquire very little by trying to “go it alone” with its $3 million.  Buying two fifths of The Preserve appears absurd on its face—it avoids none of the potential costs the town would incur if the balance of the land were then developed (new school, new police and fire stations, roads and bridges to maintain—a frightening potential cost)—and captures almost none of the benefits.  It would not achieve environmental protection nor guarantee against degradation of the aquifer with the threat to the three rivers that draw on The Preserve; it would not create well-managed public access; it would not provide an endowment to provide funding to manage and maintain the property.  It is an approach that would have secured virtually no benefit but left the town open to potentially massive expenses in the future.
  4. Is hunting allowed?  Just as with the existing 500-acre Gleason property that Old Saybrook owns, state law does permit “regulated hunting” on these kinds of open spaces.  But Old Saybrook has never permitted hunting on the Gleason property, and it is unlikely that the town would permit it on The Preserve.  Moreover, given that this a state statutory requirement, if the issue ever did emerge—and there is no reason to anticipate that it will, as it has never come up with the Gleason property—then modifying the state law would be quite straight forward.   Besides, leaving The Preserve in private hands would make hunting in all forms much much more likely—just as leaving it in private hands runs the very significant risk of future developments that will impose significant continuing costs on the town.
  5. What are the pros and cons?  The comments above point to multiple pros.  Whether your interest is in environmental protection, assuring access to high quality water (the aquifer), avoiding degradation to rivers flowing form The Preserve, having easy access to a wide array of passive recreational activities, making the region more attractive to potential residents, or simply preserving the forest canopy which mitigates global warming (the NE is an important carbon sink, especially during some months), acuiring The Preserve for a comparatively small sum makes eminent good sense.  And then add the shared responsibility (and costs) with the state and the first-ever dedication endowment in support of a part or open space, and it is extremely hard to find an argument against this acquisition.

    The cons?  I have been listening intently for nearly a year.  I haven’t heard one argument against this initiative that withstood careful scrutiny and thought.   I believe that the answers to the OS EDC questions strongly confirms that view.

Acquiring The Preserve and thus preserving it for all time is simply a winner on every count.  Old Saybrook will be quite wise to join with the Trust for the Public Lands, the State of Connecticut, and hundreds of individuals who have pledged more than $1 million of their own money to make this happen.  Let’s take control of our future: vote “Yes” on July 8.

Sincerely,

Fred V. Carstensen

Professor of Finance and Economics
Director, Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis
University of Connecticut

Resident: Old Saybrook

Essex Police Officers to Host Tip-A-Cop for Special Olympics at the Griswold Inn

ESSEX – Officers with the Essex Police Department will host a Tip-A-Cop event to benefit Special Olympics Connecticut at the Griswold Inn on Monday, July 21st, from  5 to 10 pm. The Griswold Inn is located at 26 Main Street, Essex.

During the event, officers will assist restaurant staff in taking orders and serving meals to restaurant patrons. At the end of the evening, all tips the officers receive for their efforts will go to Special Olympics Connecticut to support its year-round sports, health and fitness programs for athletes of all abilities.

Tip-A-Cop is a Law Enforcement Torch Run event to benefit Special Olympics Connecticut.

About the Special Olympics Connecticut Law Enforcement Torch Run®

The Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics Connecticut is one of the movement’s largest grass-roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicles. This year-round program involves law enforcement officers from across the state who volunteer their time to raise awareness and funds through events including Tip-a-Cops, Cop-on-Tops, and Jail N’ Bail fundraisers.

In addition, each year in June, over 1,500 officers and athletes carry the Special Olympics “Flame of Hope” through hundreds of cities and towns across the state, covering over 530 miles over three days.  The runners run the “Final Leg” and light the ceremonial cauldron during Opening Ceremonies for the Special Olympics Connecticut Summer Games.

Law Enforcement Torch Run Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors: Dream Ride 2014, Whelen Engineering, WWE; The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund; JN Phillips Auto Glass;Gold Sponsors: Adams Hometown Markets / IGA Hometown Supermarkets, Papa’s Dodge.

About Special Olympics Connecticut

Special Olympics Connecticut provides year-round sports training and competitions for over 14,000 athletes of all ages with intellectual disabilities and Unified Sports® partners – their teammates without disabilities.

Through the joy of sport, the Special Olympics movement transforms lives and communities throughout the state and in 170 countries around the world by promoting good health and fitness and inspiring inclusion and respect for all people, on and off the playing field. (www.soct.org)

Partner Sponsors: Adams Hometown Markets/IGA Hometown Supermarkets, Connecticut Light & Power/Yankee Gas/Western Massachusetts Electric (Northeast Utilities Companies), Law Enforcement Torch Run, NBC Connecticut, TD Bank, United Technologies and WWE.

Year-Round Suppliers: Adams Hometown Markets/IGA Hometown Supermarkets, Campus Customs/Cymplify, The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New England, Crystal Rock Water and Coffee Company, Dunkin’ Donuts, Graebel Connecticut, Guida’s Milk and Ice Cream, Lamar Outdoor Advertising, Marcus Communications, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch Community Service and Worx Branding & Advertising.

Durham Offers General Public Transit Service

Durham First Selectman Laura Francis boards a 9 Town Transit bus at Durham Town Hall (photo by Amanda Pederson)

Durham First Selectman Laura Francis boards a 9 Town Transit bus at Durham Town Hall (photo by Amanda Pederson)

Durham residents will soon have greater mobility with new access to a regional transit system. Beginning July 1st, the town of Durham will begin a contract with 9 Town Transit to provide general public Dial-A-Ride service throughout the town.

9 Town Transit, operated by the Estuary Transit District, currently provides Dial-A-Ride service throughout Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, East Haddam, Haddam, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook.  Any location within Durham will now also be included in the new expanded service area.

9 Town Transit will also offer Durham residents service to parts of Middletown including Stop & Shop supermarket, downtown, Middlesex Hospital and the Saybrook Road area medical offices.

Previously, only Durham seniors and persons with a disability through an application process could utilize public transit.  That service, provided by Middletown Area Transit, will continue to operate within Durham, Middlefield, Middletown, Portland and East Hampton for those residents meeting these criteria.  The new service by 9 Town Transit will be available to the general public who do not meet these criteria, or seniors and persons with disabilities traveling to the 9 Town Transit region.

The partnership is a direct result of information sharing fostered by the recently expanded council of governments and the efforts of Durham First Selectman Laura Francis.  “I am happy to begin our business relationship with 9 Town Transit, which will allow all residents of Durham to get reliable, affordable transportation,” says Francis.

To reserve a trip, customers will call 9 Town Transit at least one day in advance.  The fare will be $3.00 each way, with seniors age 60 and over eligible to ride at a suggested donation of $1.50.  The hours of service are 6:00 AM until 6:00 PM Monday through Friday.  The service is open to the general public with no age restrictions.  All vehicles are fully accessible with wheelchair lifts and service is available for any trip purpose.

Additional information, route maps and schedules are available online at www.9towntransit.com or by calling 9 Town Transit at 860-554-0551.

NY Times Bestselling Author Chris Bohjalian to Speak at the Bee & Thistle Inn

 New York Times Bestselling author Chris Bohjalian at the Bee & Thistle Saturday, July 12, 2014

New York Times Bestselling author Chris Bohjalian at the Bee & Thistle Saturday, July 12, 2014

OLD LYME  – The Big Book Getaway invites readers to convene at the Bee and Thistle Inn for an intimate luncheon with New York Times Bestselling author Chris Bohjalian on Saturday, July 12, 2014.  The first seating from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m is sold out.  A second seating from 2-4pm has been added! This is the second of four events in the Blockbuster Summer Reading Series. The Bee and Thistle Inn will serve a full luncheon and dessert to attendees, prepared by Chef Kristofer Rowe.

Having gained recognition from authors and readers all around the world, Chris Bohjalian is set to deliver yet another masterpiece in writing. With 17 novels published in more than 25 languages, nine of which made their way to the New York Times Bestsellers list, Bohjalian’s latest story, Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands will be released on July 8.

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is the story of Emily Shepard, a homeless teen living in an igloo made of ice and trash bags filled with frozen leaves. Half a year earlier, a nuclear plant in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom had experienced a cataclysmic meltdown, and both of Emily’s parents were killed. Devastatingly, her father was in charge of the plant, and the meltdown may have been his fault. Was he drunk when it happened? Thousands of people are forced to flee their homes in the Kingdom; rivers and forests are destroyed; and Emily feels certain that as the daughter of the most hated man in America, she is in danger. So instead of following the social workers and her classmates after the meltdown, Emily takes off on her own for Burlington, where she survives by stealing, sleeping on the floor of a drug dealer’s apartment, and inventing a new identity for herself — an identity inspired by her favorite poet, Emily Dickinson. When Emily befriends a young homeless boy named Cameron, she protects him with a ferocity she didn’t know she had. But she still can’t outrun her past, can’t escape her grief, can’t hide forever — and so she comes up with the only plan that she can. A story of loss, adventure, and the search for friendship in the wake of catastrophe, Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is one of Chris Bohjalian’s finest novels to date.

Bohjalian’s most recent novel, The Light in the Ruins, debuted in 2013 as a New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and national Indiebound bestseller.  Several of Bohjalian’s other books have been chosen as Best Books of the Year by the Washington Post, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Hartford Courant, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Bookpage, and Salon. He has been honored with the ANCA Freedom Award for his efforts to inform Americans about the Armenian Genocide. Bohjalian also won a number of awards for his titles including Sandcastle Girls, The Night Strangers, and Midwives.

Bohjalian has written for a various array of newspapers and magazines, such as the Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Reader’s Digest, and the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. A resident of Vermont, he is also a weekly columnist for the Burlington Free Press since 1992.

Tickets to “An Intimate Luncheon with Chris Bohjalian” are $45 each; which includes a full luncheon, dessert, author presentation and book signing session. Visit www.thebigbookclub.org for more information or to purchase tickets. Tickets are also available at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/684006.

The historic Bee and Thistle Inn is an important stop within Old Lyme, Connecticut’s art colony, arguably one of the most famous Impressionist-oriented art communities in America.   While retaining the integrity of the historic landmark built in 1756, the transformed Bee and Thistle Inn provides a link to the past while nurturing artists of the present.  Innkeepers Linnea and David Rufo are building a truly inspirational environment, which serves as a gathering place for artists and authors to collaborate, display and sell their work.  The Inn is located directly next door to the renowned Florence Griswold Museum. Visit the Inn’s website at www.beeandthistleinn.com.
The official bookseller for the event is Bank Square Books of Mystic. Locally owned and independently operated, Bank Square Books has been a staple of the downtown Mystic community for 25 years.

The Big Book Club is a creation of LaFrancois Marketing Consultants and Essex Books.  Initiated in February 2013, The Big Book Club has presented multiple “Big Book Getaway” events at Mohegan Sun, the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and the Bee and Thistle Inn.  Since its inception, more than 200 authors have presented their work to over 1,500 enthusiastic attendees.  The official website is www.thebigbookclub.org .

Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore Membership

Imagine coming to a country where the language and culture are foreign to you and only a smile is universal. Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore’s literacy program directly acclimates students to the English language, culture, and idioms. With expanding literacy skills, confidence grows and transition begins.  Imagine progressing from being functionally illiterate in the English language to gaining employment, building relationships, becoming a citizen or even owning your own business.  Memberships supports the literacy needs of you, your family, your employees or your neighbors to better improve their personal, work and life skills.

How is LVVS unique?  Our tutoring services are free, confidential, and supportive. LVVS endeavors to meet the student “where they are” and address their needs and wants. We have pride in what we do for the betterment of the community. LVVS is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit agency and your contribution, at any level, is fully tax deductible.  Visit our website www.vsliteracy.org to make a credit card payment or send a check to LVVS, Inc. P.O. Box 1006, Westbrook, CT 06498. Thank you for supporting an organization you care about in your community.

Swallow Spectacular Boat Cruises – Late Aug. though Early Oct.

swallow funnel

Photos by Mindy Hill

Remember to save a date for one of Connecticut Audubon Society EcoTravel’s most popular events! One of the migration highlights of the birding year is the Tree Swallow concentration that can be found each fall on the Connecticut River. During fall migration, thousands of swallows congregate on the lower Connecticut River and at sunset settle in on a giant communal roost. The birds come from as far away as 25 miles and converge at dusk, often creating a “ballet” and “funnel” of birds before and as they settle down to roost. Join Connecticut Audubon Society naturalists as you journey down river to see the spectacular display. Bring a picnic supper and your favorite beverage to enjoy on the trip, and your binoculars. The Swallow cruises sell out quickly so reserve a space well in advance by calling our office (860-767-0660) or signing up online on our website. A truly awe-inspiring display! If you only take one trip with EcoTravel this fall, make sure it’s this one! Fee: $40. – Children 8 and over please. To book on-line go to www.ctaudubon.org and go to the EcoTravel link. Cruises depart from Eagle Landing State Park, Haddam, CT.

For more information on these cruises feel free to call 860-767-0660.

Letter: OS Economic Development Commission – Become Informed About Preserve

To the Editor:
In Preparation for the Upcoming Town Meeting to discuss the ‘Preserve’ which is currently scheduled to occur on June 30th, the Economic Development Commission of Old Saybrook believes that it is important for the town be properly informed regarding the ‘Preserve’ purchase. We have the following questions which we hope will be answered at the upcoming meeting:

1. If hunting is allowed, how will it be regulated? Are you comfortable having hunting here? What types of ammunition will be allowed?
2. What is the exact cost per taxpayer?
3. Has anyone from Old Saybrook approached Lehman Brothers directly regarding an outright purchase by Old Saybrook? What would OS purchasing the land itself cost dealing directly with Lehman Brothers? What would $3,000,000 buy without the state’s added investment?
4. Why is the State interested in investing into the ‘Preserve’?
5. What are the Pro’s and Con’s to this purchase?

We encourage residents to attend the meeting come prepared with your own questions. “If you have all the facts the decision will make itself.”
Respectfully,
Old Saybrook Economic Development Commission