December 3, 2016

Ivoryton Hosts Sixth Annual Illuminations Extravaganza Tonight

Tree4IVORYTON — Looking for a different way to celebrate Christmas? Then head down to Ivoryton for the Seventh Annual Ivoryton Illuminations on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 5 to 8 p.m.

The entire village of Ivoryton will be participating in this Holiday Extravaganza with carol singing, Santa’s Grotto, Holiday Bazaar, and culminating with the arrival of Santa and the lighting of the states’ largest living Christmas Tree at 6 p.m.  Ivoryton will be lighting up the holiday with over 300,000 lights throughout the village.

Family activities from 5 p.m. include writing letters to Santa and cards to our soldiers which is taking place at the Ivoryton Library; Christmas Craft making and visits with Santa in the Playhouse (bring your camera if you want a picture!); a Holiday Bazaar featuring community and local church groups in the Fire House; an Elf Scavenger Hunt, open auditions at iCRV Radio, a Petting Zoo provided by Circle K Farm, fine art for gift giving at Six Summit Gallery as well as special events at The Ivoryton Tavern and Cafe, Blue Hound Cookery and Taproom, The Copper Beech Inn, Elephant Crossing, The Ivoryton Inn and Porky Pete’s BBQ & Brew.

Music will be provided by local musicians playing at various locations throughout the village.  There will also be Stuff a Cruiser to support Shoreline Soup Kitchens and bring a new, unwrapped toy to Ivoryton Library to benefit the Child and Family Agency of SECT.

Free parking will be available at the First Congregational Church and The Copper Beech Inn with a shuttle bus service to the village. The Illuminations will shine brightly through Jan. 5, and visitors can tune their car radios to 101.5FM and watch as the lights dance to the music.

This event is supported entirely by volunteers and sponsors including Essex Lions, Essex Savings Bank, Valley Courier, Riggio & Sons General Contractors, Wilcox Tree Service and Essex Rotary Club.

If you would like to experience some real Christmas cheer, then come and join the party in Ivoryton, the brightest village in Connecticut!

For more information, visit www.ivorytonalliance.org

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Deep River Congregational Church Hosts 50th Annual Ye Olde English Christmas Faire This Weekend

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DEEP RIVER — Help Deep River Congregational Church, 1 Church Street, Deep River, celebrate its 50th Annual Ye Olde English Christmas Faire!
Festivities begin this evening, Friday, Dec. 2, with Dessert by Candlelight – enjoy homemade desserts and beverage in a delightful atmosphere for only $5.00 a plate!  Two seatings are available at 5:30 and 7 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at the church office.
Tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 3 is the Big Event!  Ye Olde English Christmas Faire is open from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., where you can shop for unique gift baskets, homemade pies and sweets, live wreaths, home décor, handcrafted ornaments, knitted and crocheted items, as well as, specialty & gently used treasures.  Don’t forget to take home some homemade soup or chili and homemade bread!  Santa will be paying a visit, plus we have crafts for kids and a restaurant service breakfast and lunch.
The festivities continue on Sunday, Dec. 4, with a wonderful Christmas Concert at 3 p.m., featuring Bil Groth – tickets for the concert are; adults $10, children (6-12) $5 and children under 5 – free.  Tickets can be purchased in the church office.  If you have questions, visit www.deeprivercc.org or call the church office at (860) 526-5045.
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Enjoy Trees, Trains & Traditions at Deep River Historical Society Today

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screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-1-41-57-pmDEEP RIVER — The Deep River Historical Society (DRHS) at 245 Main Street presents the 4th Annual Festival of Trees Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1-3, from 5 to 8 p.m. daily.

Enjoy some holiday fun for the whole family!  This event is free to the public — the DRHS considers it their gift to the community.

Lights will be glowing in the beautiful rooms of the Stone House and Carriage House as it is decorated for the Festival of Trees, Trains & Traditions. A special train layout is being designed by Trustee member Frank Santoro for viewing along with many trees that are decorated with specific themes from different civic organizations in Deep River.  Participants will be able to vote for their favorite themed categories.

Donations of non-perishable food for the Deep River Pantry are much appreciated.
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Christmas Fair to be Held at Ivoryton Congregational Church Today

A Christmas Fair with luncheon will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Ivoryton Congregational Church, 57 Main Street, Ivoryton.

Come for lunch or shop before the Ivoryton Illuminations.  Enjoy soup, sandwiches and dessert for lunch.

This event features an assortment of handcrafted gifts, the church’s famous bean soup, and published cookbook, teacup raffle and silent auction,
A donation to the Mitten Tree is most welcome — mittens, gloves, hats, scarves for children and adults are donated to the Essex Elementary School and Lower Valley Visiting Nurses.
Call Isobel @ 860-767-8167 or the church office @ 860-767-1004 for more information.
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Essex Church Hosts ‘Christmas on the Hill Craft Fair’ Today

ESSEX — The annual Christmas on the Hill Christmas Craft Fair at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 14 Prospect Street, Essex, CT., will be held on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. In the parish hall.

There will be a silent auction, raffle baskets, baked goods, hand made Christmas ornaments and knitted items, a Christmas boutique, greenery, and a cafe lunch.

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

For more information, call Pat Rivers 860-767-2671

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United Church of Chester Holds Christmas Fair Today

The United Church of Chester, 29 West Main Street, Chester, CT holds its annual Christmas Fair on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Come enjoy shopping for hand-crafted items and delicacies, decorations, greens, knitted goods and mouth-watering morsels for holiday giving.

There will also be a silent auction, tea-cup auction and Grandma’s attic to prowl through for Christmas treasurers and charitable gift-giving possibilities.

Lunch will be served between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

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Mrs. Claus to Visit Deep River Library Today

DEEP RIVER — Hang on to your icicles!
Mrs. Claus visits the Deep River Public Library on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 1:30 p.m. Join the Children’s Library staff for stories and carols and learn about life at the North Pole!
There is no registration for this event. There will be fruit-flavored candy canes or holiday lollipops to hand out to the kids.
This event is intended for children under 9.
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Inaugural ‘Advent in Essex’ Celebration Planned; Essex Churches to Participate in Series of Advent Programs

Advent in Essex celebrations take place at the churches in the Essex Villages, including The First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC.

Advent in Essex celebrations take place at the churches in the Essex Villages, including The First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC.

ESSEX — The churches of the Essex Villages have jointly coordinated some special celebrations  throughout the Advent season  (Nov. 27 – Dec. 18) at their respective houses of worship.

Every Tuesday in Advent, a Potluck Dinner and Compline (Night Prayers) will take place at Trinity Lutheran Church in Centerbrook at 6:15 p.m. Bring a dish and come for a time of conversation, followed by a prayer service at 7:00 p.m.

On Dec. 3, St. John’s Episcopal Church in the Village of Essex will host “Making Space For Stillness” from 10 am to 1 pm. The church’s Sanctuary will be open for rest, mindfulness, meditation and prayer.

A “Christmas Soiree” is planned for Dec. 9, at 5:30 p.m. at The First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC, 6 Methodist Hill in Essex Village. Enjoy food, wine and soft drinks, followed by music and carols. Tickets are $12 per person at the door.

On Dec. 10, The First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC also sponsors “Advent Quiet Day” in the church Sanctuary from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Anne Simpkinson from the Mercy Center in Madison, CT will teach participants about contemplative practices and help cultivate inner stillness for the Advent season.

“A Service of Lessons and Carols” will be held on Dec. 11, at 4 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church. A reception follows. The Service of Lessons and Carols for Advent was originally celebrated at King’s College, Cambridge.

On Dec. 18, at 3:30 p.m., The First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC hosts a “Blue Christmas Community Service” of grieving, praying and healing for all who are missing loved ones during the holiday season.

All programs are free, with the exception of the Christmas Soiree.

For more information, visit www.adventinessex.org.

Accompanying photograph: Advent in Essex celebrations take place at the churches in the Essex Villages, including The First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC.

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Hear Cappella Cantorum Sing Handel’s ‘Messiah’ This Weekend

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Come and celebrate the beginning of the Holiday Season with the Cappella Cantorum MasterWorks Chorus performing Handel’s Messiah (Christmas Section), Saturday, Dec. 3, 8 p.m. at St. Paul Roman Catholic Church, 170 Rope Ferry Rd., Waterford CT 06385. The concert will be repeated Sunday, Dec. 4, 3 p.m. at John Winthrop Middle School, 1 Winthrop Road, Deep River 06417. 

The chorus will be joined by members of the choir of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme and will be accompanied by a professional orchestra. Simon Holt will conduct at the Waterford concert, and Barry Asch will direct at the Deep River performance.

Messiah is one of the most popular choral works and is a joyous start to the season. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased at the door or at www.CappellaCantorum.org

Cappella Cantorum is the lower Connecticut River Valley and Shoreline’s premiere non-auditioned community choral organization whose primary purpose is to learn, perform and enjoy great choral music while striving for excellence and the enrichment of its singers and audience.

For more information, call Barry Asch at 860-388-2871.

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Essex Rotary Club Donates $5,000 to Meals on Wheels

From left to right, Essex Rotary President, Jordan Welles, presents a check to Estuary Council Executive Director, Paul Doyle.

Essex Rotary President, Jordan Welles (left), presents a check to Estuary Council Executive Director, Paul Doyle.

The Essex Rotary Club generously donated $5,000 to the Estuary Council of Seniors Meals on Wheels program at their Oct. 4 Rotary dinner meeting in Essex. The $5,000 donation will help to ensure that Meals on Wheels will continue without any interruption of service to those in need along the shoreline. The Estuary Council, like many providers in the country, has had cuts to their funding.

While other providers have created waiting lists for seniors requesting meals, the Estuary has remained committed to getting meals to anyone from their service area who calls. The Estuary Council of Seniors serves both Meals on Wheels and congregate meals in the nine-town Estuary Region. During the fiscal year October 2015 – September 2016, the Estuary will have served approximately 80,000 home delivered and congregate meals to area seniors in the nine towns that they serve, including Essex.

The Estuary Council expresses their sincerest thanks to the Essex Rotary for their support.

For more information about the many services provided by the Estuary Council of Seniors, please call 860-388-1611.

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Musical Masterworks Concerts Feature ‘Brooklyn Rider’ This Weekend

Brooklyn Rider will perform at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme in the next Musical Masterworks concert on Dec. 3.

Brooklyn Rider will perform at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme in the next Musical Masterworks concerts on Dec. 3 and 4

OLD LYME — In December, Musical Masterworks welcomes back the popular ensemble Brooklyn Rider, performing works by Boccherini, and pairing Beethoven’s pivotal “Serioso” String Quartet with a new work by their own violinist/composer Colin Jacobsen. The musicians will also perform a set of folk-inspired works by four exceptional composers of our time.

The December performances are Saturday, Dec. 3, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 4, at 3 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, an acoustically rich and beautiful venue for chamber music.

Musical Masterworks’ season runs from October 2016 through May 2017.  To purchase a series subscription ($150 each) or individual tickets ($35 individual; $5 student), visit Musical Masterworks at www.musicalmasterworks.org or call 860.434.2252.

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An Evening for Women: Living with Uncertainty in Times of Change, Division, Monday

CHESTER — Has the election left you with uncomfortable emotions and questions about the future? Feel that you are on unsteady ground?

Such stress can affect our daily lives and our health. Come together in a safe space to express your feelings, and begin to process them in a supportive environment.

Chester resident Pamela Lape MS,LP, LMHC, of Integrated Perspectives Psychotherapy, will facilitate an evening of support, Monday, Dec. 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Chester Library.

Lape has been leading women’s groups for 35 years and feels that women can benefit greatly by reaching out to one another in these trying times. There is no charge to attend.

Email pamelalape@aol.com to attend

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Essex Garden Club Decorates Essex for the Holidays

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ESSEX — In preparation for the holidays, the Essex Garden club members decorated merchant window boxes, the “silent Policeman” and  tubs of the villages of Essex .  Using a variety of evergreen cuttings from members and other generous donors from the community, the Garden Club helped the town put on a festive face for the “Trees in the Rigging” held Nov. 27,  and the Holiday Stroll, Dec. 9 and  10.

Thanks to both Liz Fowler and Suzanne Tweed for their efforts in coordinating the day of decorating.

Finally, The Essex Garden Club would like to thank the Essex community for its continued support, especially during our spring May Market and extends best wishes to all the resident of Essex, Centerbrook and Ivoryton for a Healthy and Happy New Year.

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Literacy Volunteers Announce Graduation of Fall Training Class of Tutuors

AREAWIDE — Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore is pleased to announce the graduation of the Fall training class of tutors.  Tutors are trained through comprehensive nationally accredited workshop sessions held by Literacy Volunteers. On completion of workshop sessions, trainees receive certification as a tutor and are assigned a mentor for support and guidance.

Trained volunteer tutors are matched with students in English as a Second Language or Basic Reading. Tutors carry out our mission of providing one-on-one tutoring to anyone seeking to improve their English skills.

Through our services, students become acclimated to our culture and language resulting in becoming productive, happy, members of our community. There is no cost to the student.

The 2016 Fall class of tutors consisted of Joseph Hines of Branford, Sara Davis and Peg Reyer of Chester, Muriel Moore and Dr. Susan Seider of Clinton, Chip Lowery, Michele Millham and Ron Repetti of Guilford, Susan Hosack of Essex, Sheila Meyers of Ivoryton, Jeanette Kehoe Allen, Beth Baird, Paul Diwik, Dan Mulvey and Susan Graves of Madison, Kathy Lee of Old Saybrook and Brian Clampet of Westbrook.

Tutor training is underwritten by grants from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County and the Westbrook Foundation.

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The Bells of Dublin Part III Opens at Ivoryton, Dec. 7

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Michael Hotkowski and Maggie McGlone Jennings in “The Bells of Dublin Part III” Photo by Anne Hudson.

If you have loved following the escapades and adventures of Paddy Bell and his family in The Bells of Dublin at the Ivoryton Playhouse, then you won’t want to miss the third play in the trilogy. And even if you are new to the story, you will enjoy their exploits as Paddy brings the whole family to New York for Christmas. Carols and Irish songs and even a little vaudeville to warm your heart and get you in the spirit of the season.

It’s Christmas Eve in O’Lunney’s Pub in New York. Maggie, the bag lady who roams the neighborhood around 50th and Broadway, settles into O’Lunney’s doorway to weave a story with a cast of characters from here and across the ocean. The Bells of Dublin has become an Ivoryton tradition and has garnered rave reviews from our patrons. Here is one of the many comments received –

“The Bells of Dublin – Part II is truly one of Ivoryton’s most entertaining, fun, and meaningful Christmas play we’ve seen in a long time!  It had every facet and emotions of Life and Family!  Laughter galore, yet moving and truthful. I can’t wait for Part III!”

The Bells of Dublin, Parts I, II & III  were conceived and directed by Playhouse Executive/Artistic Director, Jacqueline Hubbard. “For 345 days a year, we work around the clock here – maintaining this beautiful building and producing 7 amazing professional shows. The holiday show is our chance to have some fun! I wanted to put together a show with some great music – traditional Irish and American – a little bit of magic and a lot of laughs. So – here ‘tis!”

This funny and fantastic tale is filled with songs you know and songs you wish you did – with a wonderful band of local musicians beautifully directed by Melanie Guerin, who also arranged much of the music. Cast includes many Playhouse favorites – R. Bruce Connelly*, Michael McDermott*, Maggie McGlone Jennings, Vanessa Vradenburgh, Ted Philips and Norm Rutty from the local band Save the Train, Jenna Berloni, Nancy and David Cardone, Emma Hunt, Olivia Harry, Alec Bandzes, Vickie Blake, Larry Lewis, Michael Hotkowski, Dylan Vallier and Celeste Cumming. The set for this production is designed by Dan Nischan, costumes by Elizabeth Cipollina and lights by Marcus Abbott.

Come and experience the true magic of the season Ivoryton style with this original Christmas musical – for two weeks only.

The Bells of Dublin Part III: A New York Fairytale opens on Wednesday, Dec. 7, and runs thru Dec. 18, for two weeks. Performance times are Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm. There is also a Wednesday matinee on Dec. 14.

Tickets are $35 for adults, $32 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.

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9 Town Transit Announces Bus Fare Increase From Jan. 2 

AREAWIDE — 9 Town Transit will increase its fares on all services beginning January 2, 2017.  The increase will up the regular cash fare to $1.75 on bus routes and $3.50 on the Dial-A-Ride services and off-route trips.

9 Town Transit officials say the increase is necessary to help offset a decrease in funding from the Connecticut Department of Transportation.  The fares were last increased in 2012.

The increase will be offset by the introduction of a senior and disabled fare.  It will allow seniors 65 or over and people with disabilities to ride any bus route for $.85, or $31 for unlimited trips with a monthly pass.  To qualify, a Medicare card or a Connecticut reduced fare I.D. must be shown on boarding.  I.D.’s can be obtained by visiting www.9towntransit.com.  Seniors 60 and over residing in the region will still be able to obtain and utilize 9 Town Transit Senior Fare Cards.

For a full listing of the new fare schedule or to purchase passes and tickets, visit www.9towntransit.com.

For more information, call 9 Town Transit at 860-510-0429.

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Literacy Volunteers Offer Original, Affordable Holiday Gift Idea

bag-of_booksAREAWIDE — In the spirit of affordable giving, Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS), CT, Inc. is having a “Bring a Bag and Fill it for $5” December book promotion on specially selected books. The LVVS bookstore has a large variety of hardcover, paperback, and children’s books that include selections by well-known authors and topics such as gardening, crafts, as well as popular fiction.

Buy a bag full and fill a basket or stocking for a special reader or favorite teacher in your life.  Also, this month, all children and young adults can select a book for free! Encourage your youngster to read with this free book promotion only at Literacy Volunteers.

LVVS is located on the lower level of the Westbrook Library, 61 Goodspeed Drive. Book sale hours are Monday-Thursday, 9-2:00 and the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, 10 am-noon.

Visit www.vsliteracy.org or call at 860-399-0280.  All book sales, promotion or otherwise, benefit the LVVS tutoring programs in English as a Second Language or Basic Reading.

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Estuary Senior Center Seeks Volunteer ‘Meals on Wheels’ Drivers

AREAWIDE — The Estuary Council of Seniors Regional Senior Center provides Meals on Wheels to seniors living along the shoreline.  The Estuary delivers meals to Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook.

The Estuary Senior Center is looking for volunteer drivers to help deliver meals to homebound seniors. Set schedules can be arranged. Training will be provided. A valid driver’s license and reliable car is required.

Contact Carol Andanti at 860-388-1611 x217.

The Estuary thanks you for making a difference in your community.

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‘Trees in the Rigging’ Held Sunday in Essex

Boats in the annual Trees in the Rigging Lighted Boat Parade are decorated with holiday lights. Photo by Jody Dole.

Boats in the annual Trees in the Rigging Lighted Boat Parade are decorated with holiday lights. Photo by Jody Dole.

ESSEX –- Kick off the holiday season Sunday, Nov. 27 in Essex with the annual Trees in the Rigging Community Carol Sing and Lighted Boat Parade.   The Connecticut River Museum, the Essex Board of Trade, and the Essex Historical Society combine to present this annual event that includes a traditional, lantern-lit carol stroll down Main Street where spectators are invited to bring their own lanterns or flashlights and join in with the Sailing Masters of 1812 Fife and Drum Corps and a parade of antique cars. 

Participants can gather at the Essex Town Hall at 4 p.m. The stroll steps off at 4:30 p.m. beginning on West Ave. and ending at the Connecticut River Museum with a parade of vessels dressed out in holiday lights and passing in review along the Connecticut River.  Santa and his elves will arrive by one of the parade boats for visits with children on the lawn of the Connecticut River Museum.

The Connecticut River Museum will also be open that evening for all to attend the 23rd Annual Holiday Train Show at a reduced admission of $6.

Register Your Boat for the Lighted Boat Parade

A critical and crowd-pleasing part of this free community event is the parade of boats dressed in holiday lights that sail along Essex’s waterfront. The decorated boats are part of a friendly competition.  A modest 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prize will be awarded to the best dressed boats. Winners will be invited to receive their prize and participate in a photo-op on Monday, Nov. 28, at 4:30 p.m. at the Connecticut River Museum.  

Registration is required to participate in the boat parade that usually begins around 5:15 p.m. from the south end of Essex Harbor. To register, send emails to: kperkins@ctrivermuseum.org. Information should include: vessel name; type of boat and description; owner(s) name; contact information (phone and preferred email); decorating scheme (if known at time of registration). registration must be received by Monday, Nov. 21 at 4:30 p.m.  

Make your Own Parade Lantern

Carolers can come to the Essex Historical Society for a free, family activity.  A tin lantern making workshop will be held at the Pratt House, 19 West Ave, Essex from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Contact the Essex Historical Society for workshop information at ehs@essexhistory.org or 860-767-0681.

To make your own lanterns at home: 

  • Step 1: fill an empty aluminum can with water and freeze. This will make it easier to punch holes for the design in the can.
  • Step 2: using a hammer and nail, punch holes in the can to make a connect-the-dots style picture of a holiday design. Use plenty of holes to allow the light to shine through.
  • Step 3: punch two holes near the rim to attach a wire handle.
  • Step 4: after the ice is melted, attach a votive or other small candle to the inside bottom of the can.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information, call 860.767.8269 or visit www.ctrivermuseum.org.

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VRHS’s Ginny King Honored as Connecticut’s “PE Teacher of the Year”

On Nov. 17, Ginny King of Valley Regional High School was honored with the CTAHPERD High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award.

On Nov. 17, Ginny King of Valley Regional High School was honored with the CTAHPERD High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award.

REGION 4 — The Connecticut Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CTAHPERD) held the Annual Fall Conference on Nov. 17 and 18 and Awards Banquet on Nov. 17, at the Radisson Hotel in Cromwell, Conn.

Among the honorees was Virginia King, Physical Education teacher at Valley Regional High School (VRHS) in Deep River, who received the CTAHPERD High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award.

A graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University with a B.S. degree in Physical Education with a Health minor, King continued her Education at the University of Connecticut with a M.S. degree in Sport Management and Leisure Studies. She has 24 years of teaching experience at VRHS in Deep River. In addition to her teaching duties, King is the Regional School District #4 Health and Physical Education Department Coordinator for Grades 7-12.

King has deep content knowledge, a fine repertoire of pedagogical skills, and contagious enthusiasm for teaching and learning. She has spearheaded a transformation in curriculum and course offerings that has created a more personalized approach for high school students.

The primary focus of the curriculum is lifelong fitness through lessons that embrace standards in an atmosphere that is fun, engaging and supportive. PE Fit is an elective course characterized by goal setting by students, exposure to a variety of fitness activities, guest instructors, and field trips to local fitness centers. A Recreation and Leisure unit was developed to include lifelong leisure activities that promote 21st century learning skills to help the students better meet academic, social and civic expectations within physical education.

Students are encouraged to participate in and then teach these activities to friends and family outside of school hours to promote a better sense of community. Seniors may take an additional physical education course as a Physical Education Assistant/Student Leader. These students assist with such teaching duties as taking attendance, setting up and distributing equipment, officiate, disseminate handouts and reading materials, run round robin tournaments, and work one on one with students that need help with game skills or weight room techniques. This modern curriculum has fostered a transformation in student attitude.

Since becoming a certified Zumba Fitness and Zumba Toning instructor, King introduced the group exercise program into the Wednesday Cardio Workout Sessions for every block of the day at VRHS. Students are enthusiastically engaged through her excellent presentation skills, sense of humor and abundant energy. She has expanded the Zumba instruction into a cross curricular unit with the Spanish class and held Zumba sessions during halftime at home football games.

King has contributed to the school community in many ways: she was a BEST Portfolio scorer; Assistant Girls’ Basketball Coach; Head Volleyball Coach; Athletic Director; is a TEAM mentor teacher, cooperating teacher; intramural Spring sports director; intramural weight room director; member of NEASC sub-committee; Team Handball Tournament Director for VRHS Heart of a PE Warrior Scholarship.

Her service to the greater community includes: free Zumba session for Camp Hazen’s YMCA Women’s Wellness Weekend Retreat; guest lecturer at CCSU; charity Zumba session Chester Fire Hose Company for a VRHS scholarship fundraiser; Zumbathon for Chester Elementary School PTO; Zumbathon for breast cancer at Ifoundfitness; and community projects with the Tri-Town Youth Services Bureau.

Committed to excellence and developing herself as a professional, she is fully committed to providing students with a rigorous and relevant learning experience. CTAHPERD is highly honored to recognize Virginia “Ginny” Mislick King as High School Teacher of the Year for 2016.

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Donations Needed to Help Provide Thanksgiving Meals for Families at ‘Sunday of Service’

Providing Thanksgiving meals for deserving families in the "Backpack Program" in Essex, Chester and Deep River is the focus of November 20's "Sunday of Service" at The First Congregational Church in Essex. Can you help to sponsor a family's meal?

Providing Thanksgiving meals for deserving families in the “Backpack Program” in Essex, Chester and Deep River is the focus of November 20’s “Sunday of Service” at The First Congregational Church in Essex. Can you help to sponsor a family’s meal?

ESSEX — Can you help to make Thanksgiving possible for a deserving family? Today, Sunday, Nov. 20, The First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC will host its “Making A Difference Sunday of Service” by providing the supplies for a full Thanksgiving meal for the families in the Region 4 School District (Essex, Chester and Deep River) who participate in the “Backpack Program.”

This program provides nutritious food items for students to take home on weekends for families with children who qualify for federal meal assistance at school and has the support of The Connecticut Food Bank. At present, the church, located at 6 Methodist Hill inEssex Village,  hosts the volunteer-run program and supplies space to store and stage the take-home food offerings.

On Nov. 20, members and friends of The First Congregational Church in Essex will attend a brief worship service at 10 a.m., followed by the in-service project. Participants will assemble the donated food items— staples for a Thanksgiving dinner for a family of six—- and ready them for delivery to family homes on Nov. 20 or 21.

Monetary donations are needed to make the event possible. The cost to sponsor one family’s Thanksgiving meal is $55 but any amount is appreciated. Donations should be mailed or delivered to the church at 6 Methodist Hill in Essex Village.

To volunteer to help at the event, come to the church at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20.

For more information, call 860-767-8097.

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Local Opera Star Teaches Vocal Masterclass Today; Registration Open to the Public

Tenor Brian Cheney

Tenor Brian Cheney

CENTERBROOK –- Community Music School presents a masterclass with local opera star Brian Cheney on Sunday, Nov. 20, from 4 to 6 p.m.  Cheney will coach participants on intermediate/advanced vocal technique and performance practices in a wide range of genres, including opera, classical, Broadway, jazz, and even pop.

The masterclass will be hosted at the Centerbrook Meetinghouse and the cost is $15 per person.  This event is open to the public and advance registration is requested.

For additional information and to register, visit www.community-music-school.org/brian or call860-767-0026.

Following Cheney’s debut at Carnegie Hall in 2007, he has been performing concert works and oratorio throughout the country. The Daily Gazette in Albany, NY had this to say about his recent performance of the Messiah, “Tenor Brian Cheney was a revelation. Cheney’s voice was like spun gold. He seemed to dwell on his notes, basking in their loveliness. Each phrase was sculpted, each word was cleanly enunciated. Not just a gorgeous voice, Cheney showed imagination as he altered his colors or use of vibrato.”

Cheney has performed numerous times as a soloist at Carnegie Hall with his most recent performance performing a world premiere and US premiere of Hungarian music with the American Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Leon Botstein.

In 2011, Cheney also made his Lincoln Center debut as tenor soloist for the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 at Avery Fisher Hall appearing with acclaimed soprano, Jessye Norman. A now frequent soloist at Lincoln Center, Cheney will return this season for the popular New Year’s Concert, Salute to Vienna.

Engagements in 2016 include Rodolfo in La Boheme with the Windsor Symphony and Norwalk Symphony Opera and Tenor Soloist in Salute to Vienna at Lincoln Center.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 30 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.

Learn more at www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

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Nilsson Hosts a “Concert in the Garden” Today Featuring Hiroya Tsukamoto

Hiroya Tsukamoto

Hiroya Tsukamoto

CHESTER — Leif Nilsson hosts another ‘Concert in the Garden’, Sunday, Nov. 20, from 4 to 6 p.m., this time featuring Hiroya Tsukamoto at the Spring Street Studio and Gallery at 1 Spring St, Chester Center. This monthly concert series highlights eclectic international singer/songwriter artists from cool jazz to blue grass.

Tsukamoto is a guitarist and composer originally from Kyoto, Japan. He began playing banjo when he was 13-years-old. In 2000, he received a scholarship to Berklee College of Music and came to the US.

Since then, he has been performing internationally including several appearances with his group at Blue Note in New York and released five albums as a leader. He recently performed on Japanese National TV program (NHK-TV). Hiroya has developed unique acoustic music which is sometimes described as “Cinematic acoustic music”

The Boston Herald says,”Hiroya Tsukamoto takes us to an impressionistic journey.” while JazzReview.com notes, “…chops, passion and warmth. Zealously recommended!”

To see Tsukamoto in action, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaPLbxCHOFU

To learn more about the artist, visit http://www.hiroyatsukamoto.com

 

Gates open half hour before the show — first come, first seated. BYOB and picnic – indoor Bistro- style seating offered in the Gallery.

Sorry, no pets allowed.

A $20 donation is appreciated.  The event is BYOB – buy your own wine or beer at the Chester Package Store across the street, which is open until 8 p.m.

For more information, call 860-526-2077 or log on www.nilssonstudio.com

 

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Estuary Senior Center Holds Holiday Craft Fair Today

AREAWIDE — The Estuary Senior Center is holding its annual Holiday Craft Fair on Saturday, Nov. 19, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. All ages are welcome. Local artisans will be selling jewelry, Barbie and American Doll clothing, ornaments, fairies, baby quilts, scarves, photographs, art work, snowmen, candles, sculptured rope baskets and bags, and more.

New this year, a hot breakfast will be available for purchase from 8 to 11 a.m. and Santa will be making an appearance from 9 to 11 a.m. for photo op’s.

Don’t forget the Baked Goods Table — pies, cakes, breaks and cookies will be available just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. (Bakers – donations of baked goods to the fair are greatly appreciated.)

Come shop ’til you drop and support local artisans – shop local!

Call 860-388-1611 for details.

The Estuary Council of Seniors, Inc. Regional Senior Center located at 220 Main Street, Old Saybrook,

lt serves Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

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Essex Land Trust Hosts Cross Lots Preserve Autumn Clean-up Today

Ready for action! Volunteers gather before they start work on the Autumn clean-up.

Ready for action! Volunteers gather before they start work on the Autumn clean-up.

ESSEX — Help put this Land Trust’s Cross Lots Preserve at 40 West Ave. to bed for the winter, get a mild workout, and connect with your neighbors in a beautiful setting. All this offered on Saturday, Nov. 19 starting at 9 a.m.

Refreshments will be served. Please bring rakes, blowers, etc. Families, dogs welcome.

Rain date is Saturday, Nov. 26 at 9 am.

Park on West Avenue or at Essex Town Hall.

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Holiday Exhibit on Show at Maple & Main

"Where To?" by Claudia van Nes is one of the signature paintings of this year's Holiday Show at the Maple and Main Gallery.

“Where To?” by Claudia van Nes is one of the signature paintings of this year’s Holiday Show at the Maple and Main Gallery.

CHESTER – The opening party for the Holiday Exhibit at Maple and Main Gallery is Saturday, Nov. 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. with wine, appetizers, desserts and music by artist/musician Alan James.

From luminous landscapes to abstract collages, marine scenes to scenes from the creators’ imaginations, the show features over 200 paintings and sculptures by 54 established artists from all corners of Connecticut.

In Maple and Main’s Stone Gallery during November is a show of intriguing photographs by members of the Connecticut Valley Camera Club. Gallery artist Janine Robertson will be featured in a solo show in the Stone Gallery during December. The Holiday Exhibit runs through Jan. 22.

Maple and Main Gallery, at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday and Thursday from  noon to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mapleandmaingallery.com; 860-526-6065; visit us on Facebook and Instagram.

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Early Childhood Council Hosts Children’s Health Fair & Preschool Expo Today

childrens-vision-screening
AREAWIDE —
The Early Childhood Council of Essex, Deep River and Chester will be hosting a Children’s Health Fair and Preschool Expo on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to noon at Chester Elementary School.  All families of young children (newborn to six) are invited to attend for fun activities, healthy snacks from Adam’s Hometown Market and helpful resources from Tri-Town Youth Services, Shoreline Speech Therapy and Valley Shore YMCA.  Siblings are welcome.

There will be children’s yoga at 10:30 and 11 a.m.  Essex Lion’s Club will be offering vision screenings and there will be a children’s ID booth.  The Region 4 preschools will each be represented at the Expo, so this will be a great time for families to learn more about the schools and meet the staff.

The Early Childhood Council serves the communities of Essex, Deep River, and Chester.  Its mission is to heighten awareness of the educational needs facing three-, four-, and five-year-old children. The Council is dedicated to providing resources to parents and to the early childhood educators of Connecticut’s public school district Region 4, ensuring seamless communication among caregivers. 

Find more information at earlychildhoodcouncilofessexdeepriverchester.yolasite.com.

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Tri-Town Youth Services Offers Pediatric First Aid, CPR courses in New Year

AREAWIDE — Tri-Town Youth Services will offer Pediatric First Aid and CPR course along with a babysitter training certificate program.  This course provides an excellent opportunity to help youth, 12-17 to build self-confidence as well as job leadership and decision-Making skills.  Completion of this course is a plus on your Job Bank application.  The $75 fee includes instruction, books, and certificate.

The winter session will be held on Wednesday evenings, Jan. 18, 25, and Feb. 1 and 8.  All classes will be held 6-8 p.m. at Tri-Town Youth Services, 56 High Street in Deep River.  Classes fill quickly, so register soon – online (www.tritownys.org) or by calling 860-526-3600.

Tri-Town Youth Services supports and advances the families, youth and communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex.  The organization 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

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Next Meeting of TTYS Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition is Jan. 18, All Welcome

AREAWIDE — The Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition will hold its next meeting of the school year at Tri-Town Youth Services at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017.

The Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition is a grassroots organization whose membership is open to all who live or work in the tri-town area who are concerned about substance abuse and committed to its prevention.  Many “sectors” of the community are represented on this council: schools, youth serving organizations, law enforcement government, civic groups, parents, students, the faith community and health care to name a few.

Future meeting dates are March 8, 2017; May 17, 2017.

For further information, call Tri-Town at 860-526-3600.

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

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Letter to the Editor: Many Thanks in This Season of Giving

To the Editor:

The Essex Community Fund recently joined together with the Essex Police Department for our annual Stuff-a-Cruiser event to benefit the Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Colonial Market shoppers were asked for their help to Stuff-a-Cruiser by purchasing a few extra items with their regular groceries. As always, people in our community were extremely generous with almost 1,700 pounds of food collected. Special thanks to the Essex Boy Scouts and Shoreline Soup Kitchen volunteers who helped with the off-loading and sorting of it all at the Congregational Church in Old Saybrook site that evening.

Thank you to everyone for their generosity in this season of giving. If you didn’t get a chance to participate or if you’d like to give again, join us at our next Stuff-a-Cruiser event – Friday, December 16, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Colonial Market. The John Winthrop Middle School Choir will be singing carols as we aim to collect 2,000 pounds of food!

Jean Schneider,
Essex.

Editor’s Note:
The writer is President of the Essex Community Fund.

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Women Playwright’s Initiative Taking Shape at Ivoryton Playhouse, Director Submissions Now Sought

IVORYTON:  In February 2016, Laura Copland, Director of Play Development, and Jacqui Hubbard, Executive/Artistic Director of The Ivoryton Playhouse, began talks about creating a safe environment for women playwrights to workshop their plays with professional actors and directors. The Ivoryton Playhouse is excited to announce the 2017 inaugural festival of the Women Playwright’s Initiative. The workshopping festival runs from Feb. 26 to March 4, 2017. Staged readings of the winning scripts will take place on Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4, 2017 at The Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main Street, Ivoryton, CT, followed by discussions with playwrights, actors and directors.

A call for one act plays went out on the League of Professional Theatre Women’s website and was picked up across the country. By the submission deadline of Sept. 15, the Initiative received 183 scripts. The scripts hailed from all over the United States and Canada, even Israel.

For Ms. Copland, who read all of the plays, this experience has been humbling and inspiring. “All these women!  All these women expressing in dialogue and conflict, their passion, intelligence, yearning, anger, hurt, love, and humor. Women are a force! It has been my honor to read their work.”

The time constraints of one week rehearsal and two nights of staged readings permitted no more than two hour-long plays, and two shorter plays. After wrenching deliberation, thirteen plays were under consideration. Many fascinating plays with potential had to be eliminated. The small committee included Ms. Copland, Ms. Hubbard, Susan McCann, Box Office Manager at The Ivoryton Playhouse, Margaret McGlone Jennings, director, teacher and actor and Brooks Appelbaum, director and theatre critic.

Four terrific plays were selected. The committee is proud of the choices and looks forward to working with the playwrights, cast, and directors in what we hope will be a successful inaugural season of the Ivoryton Playhouse’s Women Playwright’s Initiative.

The Playhouse is now seeking submissions from local directors. The deadline for resume submissions is Nov. 30, 2016. Submit to Laura Copland at laurac@ivorytonplayhouse.org. (Calls for local actors will be in January, 2017.)

For more information about the Women’s Playwright Initiative, contact Jacqueline Hubbard, Executive Director, The Ivoryton Playhouse, at 860-767-9502 or jhubbard@ivorytonplayhouse.org

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High Hopes Hosts Sixth Annual Holiday Market Today from 11am-4pm, Offers 60+ Local Vendors, Car Raffle

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-8-30-10-amOLD LYME — High Hopes Therapeutic Riding is transforming its indoor arena into a holiday marketplace on Sunday, Nov. 13, for the Sixth Annual Holiday Market sponsored by Reynolds Subaru. The event begins at 11 a.m. and will feature more than 60 local vendors and exhibitors, as well as activities for the entire family including hayrides, a kids’ scavenger hunt, face painting, door prizes and raffle for a 2016 Subaru IV Crosstrek 2.0i.

Last year more than 2,000 visitors attended the event on High Hopes’ 120-acre facility to start their holiday shopping and enjoy popular area food trucks. Items for sale include hand-made jewelry, holiday décor, pottery, crafts, skin care products, organic produce and more.

This year’s gourmet and specialty food truck line-up includes Flanders Fish Market, The Rolling Tomato, The Whey Station, FryBorg, Munchies Food Truck and for dessert, Meriano’s Bakery and Cannoli Truck.

For the first time at the event, attendees can see a glassblowing demonstration by Arch One Glass, and meet Garbanzo, a nine-month-old Mongolian Bankhar Dog who is trained to help nomadic Mongolian families by protecting their livestock from predators.

Raffle and event beneficiaries

High Hopes will hold a raffle drawing at 3:45 p.m. at the Holiday Market for a 2016 Subaru IV Crosstrek 2.0i, an Apple Watch Sport, a New York City overnight with dinner and Broadway show tickets, and a pair of Sorrel Cowboy Boots. The cost of a raffle ticket is $50, with only 1,500 being sold.

Visitors are encouraged to attend the Holiday Market which raises funds that directly support the 1,538 children and adults who are served annually by High Hopes’ programs.

Admission to the Holiday Market is free with a suggested donation of a nonperishable food item for the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries. Last year, more than 2,400 pounds of food was donated to help local families who struggle with hunger.

For more information about the event and to see a list of vendors, visit www.highhopestr.org, or contact Trudy Burgess at tburgess@highhopestr.org or call 860-434-1974, ext. 123.

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Community Music School Present Faculty Concert Today in Centerbrook

Community Music School faculty will present a concert, Nov. 12.

Community Music School faculty will present a concert on Nov. 13.

CENTERBROOK — On Sunday, Nov. 13, members of the Community Music School (CMS) faculty come together to perform an array of chamber music and other works at 3 p.m. at the Centerbrook Meetinghouse, 51 Main St., Centerbrook. This annual event offers the community a unique glimpse into the wealth of talent and experience of the Music School’s faculty as they collaborate on a wide variety of selections. The concert is free and open to the public and a meet-and-greet reception immediately follows. At-will donations are gratefully accepted.

Among the works to be performed are Sicilienne by Faure, Dances from Terpsichore by Praetorius, Tone Poem for Devin by Becker, I’ve Got a Crush on You by Gershwin, Slovanic Dance by Dvorak, Romanza by Poulenc, I Remember You by Schertzinger-Mercer, Trockne Blumen and Die Schone Mullerin by Schubert, Snare Drum Duets no.17 & 19 by Briggs, and Apres un Reve and Elegie by Faure.

Performers include Andrew Sherwood on clarinet, Tom Briggs on piano and snare drum, Bruce Larkin on recorder, John Birt on guitar, Kevin O’Neil on guitar, Russ Becker on clarinet and bass clarinet, Audrey Estelle on piano, Marilyn Lazare on piano, Greta Moorhead on vocals, Martin Wirt on snare drum, and Christine Coyle on cello.  The concert will feature several original works by Community Music School faculty, some for the first time.

This concert will be the first performance played on CMS’s newly acquired Steinway grand piano.  This incredible instrument was recently donated to the School by generous supporter Gregg Cook.  Over 100-years-old, the piano is in impeccable condition and features a rich, full sound, perfect for the acoustics of the Centerbrook Meetinghouse.  Come listen to some top-notch musicians perform on an amazing instrument.

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. The school’s programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.

Learn more at www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

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Valley/Old Lyme Warriors Qualify for Class M Football Playoffs

Coach Tim King didn’t bother to tell his players that a win Saturday would earn the Valley Regional/Old Lyme cooperative program a trip to the CIAC Class M football playoffs.

His first concern was taking care of business against a struggling opponent, winless Canton.

“The kids did exactly what we asked,” King said. “We wanted to get our varsity kids off the field by halftime and we wanted to get our JV group some experience.” … Read the full article by “Day Staff Reports” and published in The Day on Saturday, Nov. 12,  at this link

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Essex Library Honors US Veterans with Presentation of ‘Letter From Italy’ This Morning

letterfromitaly1944coverIn honor of all US veterans, Essex Library presents Letter From Italy, 1944 on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 10:30 a.m. at the Essex Library. 

This is a soldier’s story told in poetry and music with Guilford Poet Society member Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely honoring her father, World War II veteran Dr. John Meneely, who served in the Army’s 10th Mountain Division.

In his letters home during the war, Dr. Meneely described the dread, injury and loss that he experienced during his service; the terror and carnage proved to be more than he could withstand. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) had not been defined in his lifetime but it has affected generations of veterans nevertheless.

Nancy Meneely and her sister, composer Sarah Meneely-Kyder, have created an oratorio to honor their father, which Nancy will share with audience members 

This program is free and open to all. Copies of the poetry book Letter From Italy, 1944 will be free for all veterans in attendance.

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

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Deep River Historical Society Toasts Upcoming Holiday Season With ‘Bourbon & Bubbles’ Fundraiser This Evening

'Bourbon and Bubbles' will make for a fun, fundraising evening, Nov. 12.

‘Bourbon and Bubbles’ will make for a fun, fundraising evening, Nov. 12.

DEEP RIVER — Deep River Historical Society is holding a fund-raiser Saturday, Nov. 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Carriage House, 245 Main Street, Deep River.

Taste a variety of unique bourbons, sparkling wines, craft beers generously provided by Shore Discount Liquors. All proceeds will be helping fund the Society’s mission to preserve the town’s history and artifacts. Appetizers will be served.

Tickets available at the door and priced at $25 per person. You must be 21 years or older to attend. Tickets may be purchased by contacting Peter or Marian Staye (860) 526-8205 or stayeintouch@comcast.net.

Come join the event and help make your choices for what your holiday entertainment might be.

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Honoring Our Veterans Today

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-9-52-28-am

Ceremonies honoring our veterans will be held in Region 4 schools today.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

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WW2 Veteran, Purple Heart Recipient Dave Mann to Speak at Chester Village West Today

Dave Mann in his World War II uniform.

Dave Mann in his World War II uniform.

CHESTER — On Veteran’s Day, Friday, Nov. 11, from 4 to 5 p.m., World War II Veteran and Purple Heart recipient Dave Mann will share his experiences in a special Veteran’s Day talk at the Chester Village West independent seniors community. The event is free and open to the public; all veterans and their families are welcome. Chester Village West is located at 317 W. Main St., Chester, CT 06412.

To register, call 860.526.6800 or visit http://www.chestervillagewestlcs.com/events-and-resources/calendar/world-war-ii-veteran-and-purple-heart-recipient-dave-mann/

Mann was one of 16.1 million Americans who served in World War II. The Chelsea, Massachusetts native–who served under General George S. Patton– received a Purple Heart, as well as harrowing memories, during his time in combat. He’s wondered why he survived and others did not. But he never took his eyes and heart away from why he was there and what it all meant…and what our country still means to those serving in our armed forces today.

Mann’s book, “What I Fought For: An Aging Veteran’s Love Letter to America” chronicles his path from innocent teenager to “trained killing machine” on the bloody fields of Europe, then back to life as a radio broadcast professional after the war. He will offer signed copies of the book, which is available for $10, after his Nov. 11 presentation.

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Local Rotaries Present Global Collaborative World’s Faire Today; Includes Sister Cities Essex Haiti

All the full-time doctors at Hospital Albert Schweitzer are Haitian.

All the full-time doctors at Hôpital Albert Schweitzer are Haitian.

CHESTER — Six local Rotary clubs are working together with other organizations to present a Global Collaborative World’s Faire on Sunday, Nov. 6 from 2 to 5 p.m at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, 55 East Kings Highway, Chester, CT. The motto of the event is “Building Bridges across the Globe” as it seeks to bring attention and support to local efforts that serve global causes. Bring the whole family to this fun-filled celebration that will help others around the world!

This event will feature:

  • displays and information on over 15 local organizations that serve international causes
  • children’s crafts and activities with an international focus — make a drum, dragon, mola art project, and more
  • vegetarian soups from around the world, plus pizza, sweets and soft drinks
  • musical entertainment bits
  • a raffle and door prizes

Individuals or groups supporting nonprofit international initiatives will showcase their efforts and raise funds and awareness for their causes. Artisan crafts and alternative gift-giving options will be available for purchase.

Children who bring art work depicting the theme “Building Bridges across the Globe” will receive Rotary Happy Bucks that they can use to purchase items or donate to the charity of their choice.

Admission is free.  Non-profit groups will keep 100% of the money raised from sale of wares, foods, non-alcoholic beverages, raffle items, and charitable donations.

Sister Cities Essex Haiti and Hôpital Albert Schweitzer will also be present at the Rotary Global Collaborative World’s Faire.

At the Faire, Sister Cities Essex Haiti and Hôpital Albert Schweitzer will showcase their efforts in rural Deschapelles, Haiti.  Sister Cities Essex Haiti was established in 2010, shortly after the devastating earthquake, by members of the Essex community who had previously traveled to Haiti.

Children enjoy reading together at the Deschapelles Community Library.

Children enjoy reading together at the Deschapelles Community Library.

It now supports a community library designed by Essex architect Hope Proctor, a tennis program, a music program and an Early Education Teacher Training program.

Hôpital Albert Schweitzer was founded in 1956 by Gwen and Larry Mellon, parents of Essex resident, Jenifer Grant. The full service hospital serves over 300,000 people in its 610 square mile district, and it has outreach efforts with four health centers in the more rural mountainous areas, a reforestation program, and a wells and water program to provide potable water.

Both organizations have been beneficiaries of Rotary support, as well as broad support from people in this area, and are delighted to be invited to participate in this Faire.

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The Country School Presents a Timeless Lesson — Starting With the Holocaust

Author Robert Gillette addresses Middle School students at The Country School.

Author Robert Gillette addresses Middle School students at The Country School.

AREAWIDE — The Country School regularly offers rich learning opportunities, inviting authors, community leaders, and alumni to speak to students. Most recently, TCS welcomed Robert H. Gillette, retired teacher and author of Escape to Virginia: From Nazi Germany to Thalhimer’s Farm, to share the story of two Jewish teenagers who fled from Nazi Germany.

Gillette spoke to his audience about a book’s meaning, what he calls White Fire. The Holocaust, he says, was written in black letters and screamed, “Beware!” White Fire, in contrast, invites readers to learn and not to be afraid. The White Fire in Escape to Virginia teaches readers not to be a perpetrator, a passive victim, or a bystander.

These lessons echo those The Country School teaches as part of its signature Elmore Leadership and Affective Education programs. In a unit called “Bullies, Victims, and Bystanders,” Middle School students learn about the power of words. Mr. Gillette’s message, the White Fire of his historical account of two young students, offers the same.

Seventh-grader Phineas Scott reflected on Mr. Gillette’s presentation, “It could not have gone better. He kept us all on the edge of our seats with his descriptions of what life was like for those refugees. We met the children of Eva who helped Mr. Gillette with the research for his book. Mr. Gillette told us we can learn a lot from history. We can learn about courage and hope from stories like Eva’s and we can learn to always stand up for what is right. He told us that The Country School’s motto, Education that Lasts a Lifetime, is the motto that Eva believed in.”

Founded in 1955, The Country School serves 200 students in PreSchool-Grade 8 on its 23-acre campus in Madison. The Country School is committed to active, hands-on learning and a vigorous curriculum that engages the whole child. Signature programs such as Elmore Leadership, Public Speaking, STEAM, and Outdoor Education help prepare students for success in high school and beyond.

See The Country School community in action during their Fall Open House on Sunday, Nov. 6, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Learn more at www.thecountryschool.org.

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Bushnell Farm Offers ‘Election Day Cake,’ Cider, Harvest Activities at Free Event Today

Bushnell Farm has an authentic 17th century house where visitors can catch a glimpse of busy seasonal life on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 11am-4pm at Harvest Home, a free, family event. Photo by Jody Dole

Bushnell Farm has an authentic 17th century house where visitors can catch a glimpse of busy seasonal life on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 11am-4pm at Harvest Home, a free, family event. Photo by Jody Dole

Bushnell Farm, the 22 acre, 17th century site in Old Saybrook will be open on Nov. 5, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. with autumn activities that reflect the seasonal rhythm of daily life at this Valley-Shore farmstead. The event at 1445 Boston Post Rd. is free and open to the public with on-site parking. 

To celebrate the end of this campaign year, there will be Election Day cake in the oven of the 1678 farm house and demonstrators will be pressing apples for cider outside. Visitors can hear about the vast differences between Connecticut elections in colonial times and today.

The Bushnell family would be busy processing their apples, corn, vegetables and butchered beef into stores that could be preserved for the winter, so there will be several examples of food preservation taking place. The weaver in the Loom House will be working as will the blacksmith in the Forge.

Visitors can take a wagon ride around the Farm and stop near the Grove that is home to an Indian wigwam and there will be opportunities to compare and contrast their fall preparations with those of their English neighbors. 

Bushnell Farm is owned by Herb and Sherry Clark of Essex and is open to the public for seasonal events. The site is used for school programs, Scout campouts and for the Connecticut River Museum’s Summer Camp.

For further information, call the Curator at (860) 767-0674.

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Deep River Hosts First Annual Tri-Town Veteran’s Day Parade Today

DEEP RIVER — The First Annual Tri-Town Veteran’s Day Parade will kick off on Saturday, Nov. 5, from Devitt’s Field in Deep River at 1 p.m. followed by a ceremony at the Memorial Green on Main Street.

All Veterans are encouraged to join the parade.

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Essex Library Hosts Presentation Today on “Black Holes”

Professor Dr. Nikodem Poplawski

Professor Dr. Nikodem Poplawski

ESSEX — On Saturday, Nov. 5, at 1:30 p.m. the Essex Library will welcome University of New Haven’s Theoretical Physicist, who will present “Black holes and the origin of the Universe.”

Black holes are regions of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape because gravity is too strong. They form from the most massive stars or at the centers of galaxies. When the contracting matter in a black hole reaches extremely high densities, the quantum mechanical property of elementary particles called spin turns gravitational attraction into repulsion (torsion). The matter stops collapsing, undergoes a bounce like a compressed spring, and starts rapidly expanding. 

Extremely strong gravitational forces at the bounce cause an intense particle production, increasing the mass inside a black hole by many orders of magnitude. The region on the other side of the black hole’s event horizon becomes a new, growing universe. Accordingly, our own Universe may be the interior of a black hole existing in another universe, with the Big Bang being replaced by a Big Bounce.

Forbes Magazine has called Dr. Poplawski a potential future Einstein for his theory that every black hole is a doorway to another universe, one of the top 10 discoveries of 2010. Dr. Poplawski has appeared on television’s Discovery Channel and Science Channel.

This program is free and open to all. For more information or to register, call the Library at (860) 767-1560. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Ave. in Essex.

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Chester Garden Club Hosts 18th Annual Tea This Afternoon

CHESTER — The Chester Garden Club’s 18th Annual Tea will be held on Saturday Nov. 5, at 2 p.m. at the United Church of Chester, 29 West Main Street, Chester.  Come for an afternoon of musical entertainment as the Valley Shore a Cappella, a Chapter of Sweet Adelines International, from Middletown, CT will entertain with songs from romance to rock and roll, show tunes and patriotic melodies, all are sung in the barbershop style, four- part a cappella harmony.

The tea menu will include savory sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, as well as an assortment of delectable desserts that will be served by members. 

Proceeds from this event support the Garden Club’s civic and education efforts in the local area. Tickets are $25 and seating is limited to 100 guests. To make reservations, send name, address, telephone number with ticket requests, payment and a stamped, self-addressed return envelope to the Chester Garden Club, P.O. Box 415, Chester, CT 06412.

For additional information, contact Chester Garden Club Co-President Brenda Johnson, 860-526-2998.

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Community Music School Hosts Italian Cheese Rolling, Wine Tasting Event Tonight

CENTERBROOK — A special Italian wine tasting and a lively game of Italian cheese rolling will take place on Saturday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. at Angelini Wine Ltd., in Centerbrook with proceeds to benefit scholarships and outreach programs at Community Music School. This event is presented by Guilford Savings Bank and includes a guided tasting of fine Italian wines and hearty hors d’oeuvres. Guests will test their bowling skills with a little friendly competition in a rousing party game of cheese rolling, a tradition in many parts of Italy.

Over the past few years, Community Music School has partnered with Angelini Wine to present unique benefit events that blend the arts with intimate guided tastings offered behind the scenes at the Angelini warehouse. Guilford Savings Bank joined as presenting sponsor in 2014 and Shore Discount Liquors is also on board as a partner this year.

What is cheese rolling, anyway?  It’s a hilarious Italian game similar to bowling… but with a wheel of Pecorino!  Come join the fun, either on the sidelines or in the middle of the action —  the winner takes home the cheese!

Led by Julius Angelini and Ron Plebiscito, the tastings allow guests to sample high-end wines, learn about the process of wine making, and ask questions of the experts. Tickets are $65 per person and are available at Community Music School’s business office or at www.community-music-school.org/cheese.

For more information, call 860-767-0026 or visit www.community-music-school.org/cheese.

Community Music School is an independent, nonprofit school which provides a full range of the finest possible instruction and musical opportunities to persons of all ages and abilities, increasing appreciation of music and encouraging a sense of joy in learning and performing, thus enriching the life of the community.

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Maple & Main Hosts CT Camera Club Show

Black Beauty by Elin Dole is the signature photo of the photo exhibition at Maple & Main.

Black Beauty by Elin Dole is the signature photo of the photo exhibition at Maple & Main.

CHESTER  A diverse selection of exceptional photographs is being shown during November in the Stone Gallery.

The work of members of the Connecticut Valley Camera Club are on display from Wednesday, Nov. 2 through Nov. with a reception Friday, Nov. 4 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The opening party is also part of the town-wide First Friday initiative so when you come to town that evening expect many galleries and shops to be open with special offerings.

Maple and Main Gallery, at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday and Thursday from  noon to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mapleandmaingallery.com; 860-526-6065; visit us on Facebook and Instagram.

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Meeting House Players Present Three Performances of ‘Almost Maine’ This Weekend

Almost_Maine_book_coverCHESTER — The Meeting House Players will present John Cariani’s witty, romantic comedy “Almost Maine” early November in the Meeting House, 4 Liberty Street, Chester.

Directed by Debbie Alldredge, the production will be performed Friday and Saturday, Nov. 4 and 5, at 8 p.m.; there will also be a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday.

“Almost Maine” is a series of nine romantic vignettes, set on a cold, clear midwinter night in the mythical town of Almost, ME.  As the northern lights drape across the night sky, the residents of Almost find themselves falling in and out of love in unanticipated and often hilarious ways.

For additional information, contact Deb Alldredge at TheMeetingHousePlayers@gmail.com or at 860-526-3684.

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Chester/Deep River ‘Solarize’ Workshop Scheduled for Tonight

CHESTER/DEEP RIVER — The second Chester/Deep River Solarize Workshop will be held this evening, Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Deep River Town Hall at 7 p.m.

This meeting is for anyone from either Town interested in learning about the environmental and financial benefits of solar.

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Deadline Extended: Become a UConn Extension Master Gardener

AREAWIDE — UConn Extension is accepting applications for the 2017 Master Gardener Program. Master Gardener interns receive horticultural training from UConn, and then share knowledge with the public through community volunteering and outreach efforts. Enrollment in the UConn Extension Master Gardener program is limited and competitive.

“Gardening and the study of it is something we can do our whole lives,” says Karen Linder, a 2015 graduate of the UConn Extension Master Gardener Program at the Bartlett Arboretum in Stamford. “There is always something new to learn – we can get deeper into a subject. Our instructors truly brought subjects to life that I thought could not be made exciting. Who knew soil had so much going on? It has truly changed the way I think and observe the world around me. That is pretty amazing!”

The program is broad-based, intensive, and consists of 16 class sessions (one full day per week) beginning Jan. 9, 2017. The Master Gardener program includes over 100 hours of classroom training and 60 hours of volunteer service. Individuals successfully completing the program will receive UConn Extension Master Gardener certification. The program fee is $425.00, and includes the training manual. Partial scholarships may be available, based on demonstrated financial need.

“Working at the Courthouse Garden signature project in Hartford gave me the opportunity to use my gardening skills to help feed and educate others,” says John Vecchitto, a 2015 graduate from Hartford County. “We’re teaching others, many of whom have never gardened, to enjoy the gardening experience. People expressed their satisfaction when they heard the produce we grew would go to a shelter to help hungry people. We fed those who needed good food, and we fed the spirits of our participants with a taste of kindness. It was empowering.”

Classes will be held in Haddam, West Hartford, Bethel, Brooklyn, and Stamford. The postmark deadline for applications has been extended to Friday, Nov. 18, 2016.

For more information or an application, call UConn Extension at 860-486-9228 or visit the UConn Extension Master Gardener website at: mastergardener.uconn.edu.

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Full Steam Ahead! Cappella Cantorum Hosts Wine & Beer Tasting Fundraiser Tonight

screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-11-19-30-pmAREAWIDE — Help Cappella Cantorum propel into 50 years of tradition with this new, exciting fundraiser slated for Saturday, Oct. 29!

Enjoy tastes of wines and beers from local and regional sources, as well as delicious hors d’oeuvres and a pasta station, while you peruse lots of great silent auction items, including artwork, many gift certificates to local merchants and some surprise items!  Live entertainment will also be provided by Cappella’s own Hilltop Four Barber Shop Quartet.

The event is in the River Valley Junction building at the Essex Steam Train, where you will be enveloped by the delightfully preserved, historical space.

Tickets are $40 per person and can be purchased at the door the night of the event. Tell your friends and family.

All proceeds benefit Cappella Cantorum, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is celebrating its 47th year of tradition in the upcoming 2016-2017 concert season, Moving Full Steam Ahead! Into Our Next Half Century of Cappella Cantorum.

For questions and more information call 860-526-1038 and visit www.cappellacantorum.org.

Cappella Cantorum is the lower Connecticut River Valley and Shoreline’s premiere non-auditioned community choral organization whose primary purpose is to learn, perform and enjoy great choral music while striving for excellence and the enrichment of its singers and audience.

Cappella Cantorum continues because of the support of area businesses and professional people through program advertising; by generous sponsors, our concert audiences, members through dues and hard work, and through the dedication of Music Director Barry Asch, Assistant Music Director Deborah Lyon, and the efforts of the volunteer Board of Directors.

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