May 28, 2016

Townwide Tag Sales Today Bring Hundreds to Chester

townwide tag sale 1

CHESTER: Chester’s 26th Annual Townwide Tag Sale will be on Saturday, May 28 – the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Sales open at 8 a.m. and end by 3 p.m.(or earlier). The event is rain or shine.

You’ll find well over 50 tag sales throughout the entire town of Chester, in residences and businesses.

As you enter town, you will see friendly volunteers selling maps (a mere $1) that will give you the locations of everyone hosting a tag sale. Spend more time with the maps and less time trying to find the sales by randomly driving around– although, that is fun,  too.

The first such event of its kind in the Lower Connecticut River Valley, the Chester Townwide Tag Sale was started by a group of Chester merchants in the mid-90’s and was run by the Merchants Group for several years.  In 2003, the Chester Historical Society took over the event and ran it for the next seven years.  The event is now organized by Chester Republican Town Committee..

For more information, contact Kris Seifert at (860) 526-8440 or kris.seifert@gmail.com.

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Death Announced of Veteran ’60 Minutes’ Correspondent, Chester Resident Morley Safer

Morley Safer

Morley Safer

The death was announced Thursday morning of award-winning journalist and long-time ’60 Minutes’ correspondent Morley Safer, who had a home in Chester.  The Hartford Courant reports, “Safer, 84, recently retired from the popular news show and was the subject of a special report on his lengthy career Sunday night.”

Read the full article published today on the Courant.com by ‘Wire Reports’ at this link.

 

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Lyme Land Trust Hosts ‘Tour de Lyme’ Today; Event Also Benefits ‘Bikes For Kids’

Tour de Lyme riders cycle past Grassy Hill Church

Tour de Lyme riders cycle past Grassy Hill Church

The Lyme Land Trust inaugurated Tour de Lyme in 2013 as an annual bike ride to raise funds to support its mission of preserving and protecting environmentally important land in Lyme. More than 725 riders participated last year.  It is being held this year on Sunday, May 15.  For more information about the Tour de Lyme and to register, visit this website.

The Tour de Lyme is intended for all to enjoy. It is not competitive (there are no “races” or timed finishes), but rather is designed as a way to showcase and celebrate the preservation of Lyme’s spectacular natural beauty. While some of the courses will be challenging, there are others intended for casual cyclists, and there is even a family ride.

Departure times are designed so that all riders will return to Ashlawn Farm for lunch at about the same time.

Details of the ride options are as follows:

The Challenge– 60 miles – The name says it all. Changes we have made are sure to please returning riders. A few more beautiful miles, a hill or two eliminated but still a challenge. Detailed cue sheet here and a map of the Challenge Ride 2016. Ride departs at 8:00am. Follow red arrows.

The Valley35 – 35 miles –The popular Valley rides are less hilly than the Classic. The Valley35 is a longer version of the original with the northern loop of 9 added miles along beautiful roads. Detailed cue sheet here and a map of the Valley 26&35 Rides. Ride departs at 9:00am. Follow green arrows.

The Valley26 – 26 miles – A scenic fun ride. Detailed cue sheet here and a map of the Valley 26&35 Rides. Ride departs at 9:30am. Follow green arrows.

The Classic – 25 miles – Shorter than The Challenge but still challenging. Ride departs at 9:30am. Detailed cue sheet here and a map of the Classic Ride 2016. Follow blue arrows.

The Family – 8 miles – ideal for families riding with children. For returning riders, please note we have reversed the route direction to avoid confusion at some turns. Ride departs at 10:15am. The Family Ride cue sheet here and a map of the Family Ride. Follow purple arrows.

The Church Goers Ride – 7.6 to 8.8 miles – After services, approximately 11:45am riders leave Old Lyme Congregational and Christ the King and meet up with other riders at Saint Ann’s and then ride to Ashlawn Farm. Follow purple arrows. Detailed cue sheet and map coming soon.

To register for any of the rides listed above, visit http://www.tourdelyme.org/register/

Join the fun of the Tour de Lyme!

Join the fun of the Tour de Lyme!

The Lyme Land Conservation Trust announced it is pleased to again host used bike drop offs along with Reynolds Subaru for Bikes for Kids, Old Saybrook, CT. Any sized donated bike is welcome.

Reynolds Subaru, 286 Hamburg Road (Rte. 156), Lyme, Conn., is accepting used bike donations from May 9 to May 21, 2016.

Registered riders for the Tour de Lyme can drop off used bikes for donation on May 15, 2016 on arrival at Ashlawn Farm’s parking lot prior to signing in for their cycling event.

Bikes for Kids is a charity organization that collects, refurbishes and distributes bikes primarily to kids, teenagers and some adults to CT families in need. All refurbished bikes are distributed with new cycling helmets.

Bikes for Kids since its founding in 1989 has collected, refurbished and distributed 18,000 bikes to families primarily in the inner cities of New Haven, New London, Middletown and Hartford. Bikes for Kids efforts extend beyond CT and include deliveries to Bell Harbor, New York, Haiti and 30 mountain bikes to Tanzania.

John Pritchard, President of the Lyme Land Trust the organizer of the Tour de Lyme, said “Bikes for Kids is one of our area’s outstanding outreach organizations. We’re delighted again to serve as a host site along with Reynolds Subaru for used bike donations.”

David Fowler, President of Bikes for Kids, and a former science teacher in Lyme Old Lyme’s Middle School, indicated we put people on wheels who would either be walking or not really going anywhere at all. “Last year we delivered almost 1,400 bikes and with the help of the Tour de Lyme collected 150 bikes in the last two years. We hope to deliver and collect more this year.”

The motivating factor of Bikes for Kids’ Founder was “every kid needs a bike”.

For Early Bird home pick-up contact: Dave Fowler, 860-388-2453 or davefowler05@gmail.com

Or drop offs can be made from May 9 to May 21, at Reynolds Subaru, 286 Hamburg Road ( Rte 156), Lyme, CT 06371.

For additional information on the Tour de Lyme go to www.tourdelyme.org; for Bikes for Kids, www.bikesforkidsct.org

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Lyme Land Trust Seeks to Preserve Whalebone Cove Headwaters

Lyme Land Trust Preservation Chairman Anthony Irving, kneeling, and Vice President Don Gerber next to Whalebone Creek in the proposed Hawthorne Preserve in Hadlyme.

Lyme Land Trust Preservation Chairman Anthony Irving, kneeling, and Vice President Don Gerber next to Whalebone Creek in the proposed Hawthorne Preserve in Hadlyme.

The Lyme Land Conservation Trust has announced a fund raising drive to protect 82 acres of ecologically strategic upland forest and swamp wildlife habitat in Hadlyme on the headwaters of Whalebone Cove, one of the freshwater tidal wetlands that comprises the internationally celebrated Connecticut River estuary complex.

The new proposed preserve is part of a forested landscape just south of Hadlyme Four Corners and Ferry Road (Rt. 148), and forms a large part of the watershed for Whalebone Creek, a key tributary feeding Whalebone Cove, most of which is a national wildlife refuge under the management of the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

The Land Trust said it hopes to name the new nature refuge in honor of William Hawthorne of Hadlyme, whose family has owned the property for several generations and who has agreed to sell the property to the Land Trust at a discount from its market value if the rest of the money necessary for the purchase can be raised by the Land Trust.

“This new wildlife preserve will represent a triple play for habitat conservation,” said Anthony Irving, chairman of the Land Trust’s Preservation Committee.

“First, it helps to protect the watershed feeding the fragile Whalebone Cove eco-system, which is listed as one of North America’s important freshwater tidal marshes in international treaties that cite the Connecticut River estuary as a wetland complex of global importance. Whalebone Creek, one of the primary streams feeding Whalebone Cove, originates from vernal pools and upland swamps just south of the Hawthorne tract on the Land Trust’s Ravine Trail Preserve and adjacent conservation easements and flows through the proposed preserve. Virtually all of the Hawthorne property comprises much of the watershed for Whalebone Creek.

“Second, the 82 acres we are hoping to acquire with this fund raising effort represents a large block of wetlands and forested wildlife habitat between Brush Hill and Joshuatown roads, which in itself is home to a kaleidoscope of animals from amphibians and reptiles that thrive in several vernal pools and swamp land, to turkey, coyote, bobcat and fisher. It also serves as seasonal nesting and migratory stops for several species of deep woods birds, which are losing habitat all over Connecticut due to forest fragmentation.

“Third, this particular preserve will also conserve a key link in the wildlife corridors that connects more than 1,000 acres of protected woodland and swamp habitat in the Hadlyme area.” Irving explained that the preserve is at the center of a landscape-scale wildlife habitat greenway that includes Selden Island State Park, property of the US Fish & Wild Life’s Silvio O Conte Wildlife Refuge, The Nature Conservancy’s Selden Preserve, and several other properties protected by the Lyme Land Conservation Trust.

Map showing the location of the proposed Hawthorne Preserve.

“Because of its central location as a hub between these protected habitat refuges,” said Irving, “this preserve will protect forever the uninterrupted access that wildlife throughout the Hadlyme landscape now has for migration and breeding between otherwise isolated communities and families of many terrestrial species that are important to the continued robust bio-diversity of southeastern Connecticut and the Connecticut River estuary.”

Irving noted that the Hawthorne property is the largest parcel targeted for conservation in the Whalebone Cove watershed by the recently developed US Fish & Wildlife Service Silvio O Conte Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan.

Irving said the Land Trust hopes to create a network of hiking trails on the property with access from both Brush Hill Road on the east and Joshuatown Road on the west and connection to the Land Trust’s Ravine Trail to the south and the network of trails on the Nature Conservancy’s Selden Preserve.

Irving said there is strong support for the Land Trust’s proposal to preserve the property both within the Hadlyme and Lyme communities and among regional and state conservation groups. He said letters of support have come from the Hadlyme Garden Club, the Hadlyme Public Hall Association, the Lyme Inland Wetlands & Watercourses Agency, the Lyme Planning and Zoning Commission, the Lyme Open Space Committee, the Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments, the Lyme Garden Club, the Lyme Public Hall, The Nature Conservancy, The Silvio O Conte Refuge, the Connecticut River Watershed Council, and the Friends of Whalebone Cove, Inc.

He reported that between Hawthorne’s gift and several other pledges the Land Trust has already received commitments of 25 percent of the cost of the property.

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Free Day For All at FloGris, May 7

Families are invited to create hands-on crafts during Community Free Day on May 7, at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

Families are invited to create hands-on crafts during Community Free Day on May 7, at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

OLD LYME — The Florence Griswold Museum presents its annual Community Free Day on Saturday, May 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Old Lyme. The event offers free admission to the Museum’s 11-acre campus, and includes family activities as well as two performances by Master Storyteller Tom Lee.

Storyteller Tom Lee

Storyteller Tom Lee

“Our Community Free Day is a great way for all ages to spend the day at the Museum,” stated David D.J. Rau, Director of Education and Outreach. “The fun and educational activities planned for this year are a wonderful introduction for the many first-time visitors we get on this annual day.”

Museum-goers visiting the original Florence Griswold House are treated to guides sharing stories of the Lyme Art Colony artists who stayed with Florence Griswold in the boardinghouse over 100 years ago. The house, decorated as it was in 1910, includes the original paintings that artists created on the door and wall panels of the house.

On view in the Museum’s Krieble Gallery is Ten/Forty: Collecting American Art at the Florence Griswold Museum. The exhibition details the growth of the Museum’s art collection over the past forty years, including a range of American art from the Tonalist style of the late 1800s to today’s modern Abstraction.

Ten/Forty: Collecting American Art at the Florence Griswold Museum, will be on view on Community Free Day, May 7 at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

Ten/Forty: Collecting American Art at the Florence Griswold Museum, will be on view on Community Free Day, May 7 at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

Community Free Day attendees can also visit the Chadwick Art Studio, presented as it would have looked in 1920, the Rafal Landscape Center, as well as the Museum’s gardens and grounds along the Lieutenant River.

Family-Fun on Community Free Day

Community Free Day highlights family enjoyment of the Florence Griswold Museum. In addition to performances by Tom Lee, the Museum offers a special family craft activity in the Hartman Education Center from 11am to 4pm.

On May 7, Community Free Day visitors will hear about life in an artists' boardinghouse at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

On May 7, Community Free Day visitors will hear about life in an artists’ boardinghouse at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

While at the Museum, families are encouraged to follow scavenger hunt cards in the Florence Griswold House, and uncover art details in the Krieble art gallery with “Can You Find Me” game cards.

A historic center for American art, the Florence Griswold Museum is considered the Home of American Impressionism. The Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95.

For additional information contact the Museum at 860-434-5542 or www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org.

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Musical Masterworks Celebrates Conclusion of its 25th Season This Afternoon

Violinist Chee-Yun

Violinist Chee-Yun

Musical Masterworks’ 25th Anniversary Season will end with a burst of excitement as eight extraordinary musicians perform works of Richard Strauss, Bartók, Mendelssohn and contemporary composer Giovanni Sollima. The last concert of this season, which will feature veteran violinist Chee-Yun, will be held Sunday, May 1, at 3 p.m.

The anniversary season will be celebrated with a free 25th Anniversary Party after the final concert on May 1, to which all ticket buyers will be invited.

The finale of each concert will be one of the best-loved works in the chamber music repertoire: the Mendelssohn Octet.It promises to be a wonderful conclusion to the group’s first quarter century.

Artistic Director, Edward Arron commented, “I feel privileged to be the curator of this unique concert series. As the years go by, I continue to be inspired by the beauty of the Congregational Church, the art of chamber music, the artistry of my colleagues, and the warmth of our audience.”

To learn more about Musical Masterworks, visit www.musicalmasterworks.org. This summer information will be posted about the 26th season, which begins in October 2016.

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Lyme Art Association Hosts Opening Reception This Evening for Two New Shows

Del-Bouree Bach's 'The Good Life' is one of the signature paintings of the 2016 Elected Artist's Exhibition.

Del-Bouree Bach’s ‘The Good Life’ is one of the signature paintings of the 2016 Elected Artist’s Exhibition.

The Lyme Art Association (LAA) presents the annual showcase of the best new works of art by Elected Artists Members. These artists are professionals of note and significance whose works are known, collected, and exhibited throughout the country, as well as along the Shoreline. The LAA hosts an opening reception for this show and Body Language, displaying artwork based on the human figure in all its forms, on Friday, April 29, from 5 to 7 p.m. All are welcome and admission is free — come and meet the artists, enjoy the music and celebrate fine art.

The 95th Annual Elected Artist Exhibition and Body Language are both on view through June 3, 2016.

Also on view in The Art Market is an unjuried show featuring an entirely new collection of affordable smaller works. All artwork on display is for sale.

The Lyme Art Association was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt located within an historic district. Admission is free with contributions appreciated.

Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10am to 5pm, or by appointment.

For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802 or visit www.lymeartassociation.org

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It’s Connecticut’s Presidential Primary Day — Don’t Forget to Vote!

All registered Democrats and Republicans can vote in today’s Presidential Primary election. Unaffiliated registered voters must wait until the November election to cast their ballots.

Voting locations are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. as follows:

Chester residents:

Chester Town Hall – Community Room

Deep River residents:

Deep River Town Library – Community Room.

Essex residents:

Essex Town Hall – Auditorium

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Essex Savings Bank Announces 2016 Community Investment Balloting Results

essex savings bank
ESSEX
 – Results from Essex Savings Bank’s customers recent voting in the Bank’s Community Investment Program were announced at a meeting of employees, directors and trustees at the Bank’s Plains Road Office on April 12. According to Thomas Lindner, Vice President and Community Relations Officer for Essex Savings Bank, 7,206 votes were cast this year for a total of $33,001.

The non-profits that received the top 10 number of votes were in attendance for special recognition. They are, in order: Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries, Forgotten Felines, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Valley Shore Animal Welfare League, Old Saybrook Fire Company Number One, Bikes for Kids, Dog Days Adoption Events, Essex Fire Engine Company Number 1, Tait’s Every Animal Matters (TEAM) and Pet Connections.  See full results here.

The customer balloting portion of Essex Savings Bank’s 2016 Community Investment Program began on Feb. 1 and concluded on Feb. 29. The program entitled the bank’s customers to select up to three charities from this year’s list of 80 qualified non-profit organizations. Fund allocations are awarded based on the results of these votes.

Gregory R. Shook, President and Chief Executive Officer of Essex Savings Bank, said, “As we celebrate our 165th year of operation, we are proud to share in our success by giving back. Our Community Investment Program is designed to provide vital financial support to those organizations that enhance the quality of life in our communities.”

Each year the bank donates up to 10 percent of its net income to non-profit organizations within the immediate market area consisting of Chester, Deep River, Essex, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook. Since the program’s inception in 1996, the bank has donated over $4 million to well over 200 organizations. This year, the bank has allocated $110,000 to assisting non-profit organizations who offer outstanding services to our community and one third of that amount is then voted upon by the bank’s customers.

Editor’s note: 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 providing a full complement of personal and business banking. 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.

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It’s 400 Years Since The Bard Died: ‘The New Consort’ Remembers Him Saturday in Word, Song

‘The New Consort’ will present a concert commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare on Saturday, April 23, at St. Ann’s Church in Old Lyme.

‘The New Consort’ will present a concert commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare on Saturday, April 23, at St. Ann’s Church in Old Lyme.

AREAWIDE — ‘The New Consort’ will present a concert commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare on Saturday, April 23, at St. Ann’s Church in Old Lyme.

Tomorrow, Saturday, April 23, St. Ann’s of Old Lyme presents a special musical program, Much Ado About Music: 400 Years of Shakespeare Set to Song.

The_New_Consort_singing_from_behind

Another view of ‘The New Consort’ in song.

In commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, this musical celebration of the Bard’s enduring legacy will be performed by The New Consort, a project-based vocal ensemble directed by baritone and Old Lyme native Brian Mummert.

William Shakespeare, 4/23/1564 – 4/23/1616

William Shakespeare, 4/23/1564 – 4/23/1616

The evening’s hour-long program will include music written by English composers of Shakespeare’s time, settings of Shakespeare’s texts by a variety of more recent composers, and readings from some of his greatest plays and sonnets.

St. Ann’s is particularly excited to present the world premiere of When He Shall Die, composed specifically for The New Consort on this occasion by Lyme resident and Wesleyan emeritus faculty member Sarah Meneely-Kyder. The concert aims to celebrate the life and work of this great artist, whose characters and stories continue to wield influence across our culture to this day.

The_New_ConsortWinners of the 2015 American Prize in Chamber Music, The New Consort was founded in 2014 and has quickly made embracing stylistic contrasts one of its hallmarks: from Renaissance polyphony to contemporary and non-classical works, nothing is off limits. Members of The New Consort come together in shoreline CT for an intensive week of rehearsals leading up to each set of concerts.

The group’s singers have appeared in venues including Washington’s Kennedy Center and New York’s Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall and have performed in ensembles ranging from the Choirs of Trinity Wall Street and the National Cathedral to Chanticleer, but relish the opportunity that The New Consort presents to collaborate with each other as chamber musicians.

Admission is a suggested donation of $20 for adults and $5 for children aged 12 and under. The performance will begin at 5 p.m. and doors open at 4:30 p.m. Audience members are invited to meet members of The New Consort at a reception following the concert.

Saint Ann’s is an Episcopal parish in Old Lyme, Conn., where the rector The Reverend Canon Mark Robinson and the temporary assistant rector The Reverend Patricia Hames invite and welcome all visitors to this family-friendly event. Saint Ann’s is located at 82 Shore Rd. (Rte. 156), two miles off I-95, Exit 70. Parking is adjacent to the church.

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

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Chester Resident Adams Signs to Play Baseball at Mitchell College in Fall

Buzz Adams signs his Letter of Intent to play baseball at Mitchell College

Buzz Adams signs his Letter of Intent to play baseball at Mitchell College

CHESTER — Buzz Adams, a senior at Plainville High School, whose family recently moved to Chester, has signed a Letter of Intent to play baseball at Mitchell College in the fall.

Congratulations, Buzz!

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Deep River Housing Authority Breaks Ground for Addition to Kirtland Commons Affordable Housing

Participating in the ground-breaking ceremony at Kirtland Commons last Friday were (from left to right) Karl Kilduff, Executive Director, CHFA (CT Housing Finance Authority), Helen Muniz, Community Development Specialist, State of Connecticut Department of Housing, Joann Hourigan, Executive Director, Deep River Housing Authority, Jim LaRosa , Chief Operating Officer, LaRosa Building Group, Chris Widmer, Architect, Mazie Dennison, Tenant Commissioner, DRHA, and Dave Oliveria, Selectman, Town of Deep River.

Participating in the ground-breaking ceremony at Kirtland Commons last Friday were (from left to right) Karl Kilduff, Executive Director, CHFA (CT Housing Finance Authority), Helen Muniz, Community Development Specialist, State of Connecticut Department of Housing, Joann Hourigan, Executive Director, Deep River Housing Authority, Jim LaRosa , Chief Operating Officer, LaRosa Building Group, Chris Widmer, Architect, Mazie Dennison, Tenant Commissioner, DRHA, and Dave Oliveria, Selectman, Town of Deep River.

Deep River Housing Authority breaks ground for an 18 unit addition to Kirtland Commons, its Elderly/Disabled affordable housing facility. The project also includes rehab to the existing 26 units.

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Housing Authority (DRHA) hosted a ground-breaking ceremony Friday at its elderly/disabled income-based housing facility, Kirtland Commons, located at 60 Main St. in Deep River.  The current facility has been providing housing for the past 23 years and currently has 26 one-bedroom apartment units that are available to seniors aged 62 and over, as well as disabled individuals.

The new addition will provide an additional 18 one-bedroom units.  The project is made possible through a $3.2 million dollar grant and $1 million dollar recoverable grant from the State of Connecticut, Department of Housing (DOH.)  In addition to the new units, the existing units will be rehabbed including new doors, windows and heating conversion to natural gas. 

Joann Hourigan, Executive Director of DRHA, will oversee the project with the assistance of Dale Kroop, Consultant and the DRHA Board of Directors.  La Rosa Building Group LLC, headquartered in Meriden, is the general contractor and Chris Widmer of Guilford, Conn., is the Principal Architect.  The project is scheduled for completion in the early spring of 2017.

“Until there is a need, people generally don’t understand that the availability of affordable housing is limited.  I receive calls every week for people who can no longer afford to maintain their homes on their limited income.  They are surprised to learn that submitting an application places them on a waiting list with recent wait times of two years or longer,” said Hourigan. 

She continued, “The new units will increase our ability to provide much needed housing as well as help the DRHA spread its operating expenses over a broader base.  Without this expansion, we were not on a sustainable course.  The process to obtain funding has been long and difficult.  We have been seeking funding for about five years and the Champ V grant was awarded in 2014.  We are so excited to finally break ground.”

Helen Muniz, DOH, stated that the grants represent the State of Connecticut’s commitment to expand the availability of affordable housing.  In a press release in January of this year, Governor Malloy stated, “Housing is key to economic growth, and that’s why we’re taking steps like never before.  We’ve done more on housing in the past few years than we’ve done in the past few decades, and in 2015, we continued to make significant stridesEvery resident of Connecticut should have access to quality, safe, and affordable housing,”

While the grants provide the majority of funding for this project, there are additional projects and funding needs.  Last December, DRHA kicked off a “Buy a Brick” fundraising campaign.  Commemorative bricks are available for $50 and $100 and will be placed in an outdoor sitting area in front of the building.  Forms for buying bricks will be made available at several events throughout the year, and can also be obtained by contacting Hourigan directly at (860) 526-5119.

Kirtland Commons is owned and operated by the DRHA and reports to the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA).  DRHA consists of the Executive Director; a four member volunteer board appointed by the Deep River First Selectman; and a Resident Commissioner (who resides at Kirtland Commons and acts as a resident representative).  The board is committed to providing high quality, well maintained affordable housing and promoting a welcoming, family atmosphere.

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Talking Transportation: Why There’s No Wi-Fi On Metro-North

wifi-train-600x397A few weeks ago a friend was showing me his new Chevy Volt.  Not only does the hybrid-electric car get 42 mpg, it has its own Wi-Fi hotspot.  That’s right.  The car is a Wi-Fi device, so kids in the backseat can watch YouTube.

Days later we were on a road-trip from the Maryland shore when we caught the Lewes – Cape May ferry.  Onboard the vessel they offered passengers free Wi-Fi.

Airlines have offered flyers Wi-Fi for years now. Discount bus lines like Megabus have free Wi-Fi.  Even Connecticut’s new CTfastrak commuter bus system to Hartford gives its passengers free Wi-Fi.

But there is no Wi-Fi on Metro-North.  And the railroad says none is planned, even though the new M8 railcars are ready for the needed gear.  And therein lies a story.

Offering Wi-Fi on a moving vehicle usually involves cellular technology.  That’s how the first airline Wi-Fi was offered by companies like Go-Go, though JetBlue and Southwest now rely on proprietary satellite systems, which are much faster (up to 30 mb per second.)

When Amtrak first offered Wi-Fi on its Acela trains between Washington and Boston, they immediately had bandwidth issues.  So many passengers were using their cell phones and tablets, speeds dropped to 0.6 mb per second and the complaints came pouring in.

That’s part of the reason that Metro-North is reluctant to offer Wi-Fi:  if an Acela train carrying 300 passengers can’t handle the online load, how could a 10-car train carrying a thousand commuters?  The railroad has enough complaints as it is.

Metro-North’s experience with on-board communications has left them feeling burned.  Remember years ago when the railroad installed pay-phones on the trains?  Great idea, until a year later when costs came down and everyone had their own cell phone.  Those pay cell phone booths went unused and were eventually removed.

Back in 2006 then-President of MNRR Peter Cannito said Wi-Fi would be built into the new M8 cars, both for passengers and to allow the railcars to “talk” to HQ by beaming diagnostic reports.  The railroad issued an RFP for ideas and got a number of responses, including from Cablevision, with whom they negotiated for many months.  They even initiated on-train testing of Wi-Fi gear on one railcar.

But Metro-North insisted any Wi-Fi would have to cost it nothing, that all the expense and tech risk would be borne by Cablevision or its customers.  And that’s where the negotiations deadlocked.

Today the railroad sees Wi-Fi as just a convenience.  Smart phones and cell-card configured laptops can access the internet just fine, they say, using cellular technology.  But to their credit the railroad is trying to get cell providers to fill in the coverage gaps, for example, in the tunnels and at GCT.

So don’t look for Wi-Fi anytime soon on America’s biggest and busiest commuter railroad.  It’s not seen as a necessity … except perhaps by its passengers who really have no other transportation option.

Jim Cameron

Jim Cameron

About the author: Jim Cameron is founder of The Commuter Action Group, and a member of the Darien RTM.  The opinions expressed in this column are only his own.  You can reach him at CommuterActionGroup@gmail.com  

For a full collection of “Talking Transportation” columns, visit www.talkingtransportation.blogspot.com

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Essex to Host Energy Fair & Free LED Light Bulb Swap for Residents, Saturday

ESSEX – On Saturday, April 9,  the Town of Essex and the Essex Citizens for Clean Energy (ECCE) will host an energy fair and free LED light bulb swap for residents. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Essex Town Hall.

Essex residents, with identification, may bring up to five incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) light bulbs in any condition and exchange them for new, energy-efficient LED bulbs free of charge.  (Offer is for up to 5 LED light bulbs per household while supplies last.)  Other styles of LEDs and lighting products will be available for purchase at a discounted rate.

A single LED bulb has a life expectancy of 23 years, uses up to 80 percent less energy, and can save homeowners as much as $10 per year versus a traditional incandescent bulb, which has about a 1.5 to 2.5 year lifespan.

Energy experts from Eversource will be on-hand at the light bulb swap to answer questions and provide people with additional information on how they can save money and energy at home, including the popular in-home service, Home Energy SolutionsSM (HES).   There will be an activity for children and alternative fuel cars from local dealers will be on display.

In addition, a variety of energy related information and services will be available from vendors such as Competitive Resources, Ameri Group, Southern Connecticut Gas, and Benedetto Heating & AC.   Representatives from Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) and the Public Utility Regulation Authority (PURA) will be on hand to talk about the electric industry in Connecticut and discuss selecting suppliers to save money on residential electric bills. (Residents may bring a recent electric bill.)

The Town is using a $4,500 grant, earned through participation in Energize Connecticut’s Clean Energy Communities (CEC) program, to fund the exchange.  In October 2012, Essex signed the CEC pledge, committing to make efforts to reduce municipal building energy consumption by 20 percent, attain 20 percent of municipal electricity needs from renewable sources, and take other actions to support the deployment of clean energy by 2018.

Residents and businesses that took advantage of Energize Connecticut energy efficiency solutions helped the community earn the grant and will reap the benefits with this LED giveaway.

For more information about how residents and businesses can save energy and money, visit EnergizeCT.com or call 877.WISE.USE (877-947-3873) or for more information on the Energy Fair & LED Light Bulb Swap visit the ECCE Website at www.essexcitizensforcleanenergy.com, call 860-227-7753 or check  https://www.facebook.com/SXCleanEnergy/

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Small Vessel Permits for 2016 at Bushnell Access Have Reached Maximum Capacity

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ESSEX — Bushnell Access maximum storage capacity of 75 small vessels has been reached. Applications received from this point forward will be placed on a wait list and checks will be returned to the applicants.

Bushnell Access is still open to use for those who wish to bring their craft for the day and take it away at the end of the day.  Should it be determined that additional vessels can be accommodated at some point during the season, which runs from April 1 to Nov. 30, additional permits may be issued.

Direct any inquiries to the Harbor Management Commission email address at HarborManagementCommission@EssexCT.gov.

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Niantic Toastmasters Hold Open House, April 18

Niantic Toastmasters will hold an Open House on Monday, April 18, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Niantic Community Church, 170 Pennsylvania Ave., Niantic.

The club will be presenting a One Act play titled, “To Toast or Not Toast.”  Written by a club member and performed by club members, it shows what it’s like to be in a Toastmasters club. Afterwards there will be a facilitated discussion to answer any questions audience members may have, followed by a cast party with the players and refreshments.  This is a free event.

Toastmasters clubs give people a space to become confident communicators and learn the art of public speaking by doing it.  Twice a month, club members meet to deliver prepared or impromptu speeches, and work on aspects of public speaking such as body language or vocal variety.  Toastmasters clubs provide a safe environment for people who have something to say but might not have the confidence.  Members also learn how to give feedback to energize others to do better the next time.

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Photo Gallery by Kim Tyler of Monday Night’s Vigil for Deep River First Selectman Richard Smith

DEEP RIVER — Deep River resident and professional photographer Kim Tyler, who graciously supplied all of the photos published with Charles Stannard’s story on ValleyNewsNow.com, has also generously agreed to make many of the photos that she took at the vigil available to our readers at no charge.

We applaud her wonderful act of public service and the photos are now published below.

For more information about Kim Tyler Photography, visit ktphoto.net

 

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Linares Hosts Town Hall Meeting in Chester

State Senator (R) Art Linares

State Senator (R) Art Linares

Sen. Art Linares hosted a Town Hall Meeting yesterday evening at the Chester Town Hall Community Room.

Linares had invited the public to hear the latest update from the State Capitol and to have their questions answered.

 

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John Winthrop MS Presents “Xanadu Jr.”

Xanadu Jr. JWMSAREAWIDE — Region 4’s John Winthrop Middle School in Deep River presents “Xanadu Jr.” on Friday, April 1, and Saturday, April 2.  Both performances are at 7 p.m.

With over 60 students involved, “Xanadu Jr.” promises to be an energetic, family-friendly performance.  The plot follows Greek muse Kira as she helps surfer Sonny with his dream to create a roller disco in 1980 Venice Beach, Calif.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children and seniors.  Tickets are available by calling the John Winthrop Middle School main office at (860) 526-9546.

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Courtney, Linares Pay Tribute to Dick Smith, Services Announced

Dick Smith: A man for all seasons, for all reasons ... and for every job in town.

Dick Smith: A man for all seasons, for all reasons … and for every job in town.

DEEP RIVER — Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) issued the following statement after the passing of Deep River First Selectman Dick Smith:

“Dick was the iconic small town First Selectman who did everything from running town meetings, to plowing snow, to cleaning up storm damage with public works, as well as crowd control at the Deep River Muster, and attending every community event in town. Deep River is one of Connecticut’s jewels because it had a leader like Dick, who was always there to help those in need and help the town grow smartly. Dick was a friend whose support I will always remember and treasure, and he should live on as an example of a citizen-public servant to all who hold elected office.”

State Senator Art Linares (D-33rd), who represents Deep River, issued the following statement on the passing of First Selectman Dick Smith:

“Dick Smith epitomized Deep River. He was a friend to all and his advice was valued by Democrats and Republicans throughout the Connecticut River Valley. Dick was a role model public official who dedicated himself to serving his town and its residents. His loss is deeply saddening and our thoughts and prayers are with Dick’s family and the people of Deep River.”

Services for Dick Smith have now been announced as follows:

There will be a Candlelight Vigil on Monday, March 28, at Deep River Town Hall at dark (about 7:30 p.m.)

Calling hours will also be at the Town Hall on Tuesday, March 29, from5 to 8 p.m.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, March 30, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Chester at 11 a.m.

Deep River Town Hall Closings

Deep River Town Hall will close at noon on Tuesday and remain closed on Wednesday.  Normal business hours will resume on Thursday.

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Town of Deep River Announces Death of First Selectman Dick Smith

A file photo of Deep River First Selectman Dick Smith, who passed away Friday, March 25. Photo by Jerome Wilson.

A file photo of Deep River First Selectman Dick Smith, who passed away Friday, March 25. Photo by Jerome Wilson.

DEEP RIVER — The Town of Deep River has announced the passing yesterday afternoon (Friday, March 25) of Deep River First Selectman Dick Smith. An announcement on the town’s website states, “The Town of Deep River has suffered a terrible loss in the passing of Dick Smith. The town has lost a leader of over 26 years, the community has lost a friend, and we are saddened beyond words, but its immediate thoughts are with Dick’s family, who has lost a father and a grandfather.” The statement adds, “Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”

Details of services have not yet been announced.

Our reporter Charles Stannard wrote in an article published July 28, 2015, on ValleyNewsNow.com that Smith, then 64, was, “one of the longest serving municipal elected officials in Connecticut.”  The article also noted that Smith said he, “never considered stepping aside this year,” adding, “I love what I do, it’s like my extended family.” Smith told Stannard during the interview that his priorities for the next two years were, “Keeping taxes down as much as we can,” along with a firehouse renovation and expansion project.

Stannard also reported, “Smith’s last challenge for the top job came in 2007 from the now defunct Deep River Independent Party. He was uncontested for re-election in 2009, 2011, and 2013. Town Republicans have not nominated a candidate for first selectman since 2005.”

We extend our sincere condolences to Mr. Smith’s family.

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Public Invited to Opioid Addiction Awareness, Education Forum in Old Saybrook This Evening

carney_posterState Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) along with State Senators Art Linares (R- 33rd) and Paul Formica (R-20th) are hosting an Opioid Addiction Awareness and Education Forum in Old Saybrook Wednesday, March 23, at Acton Public Library from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

A panel of experts including local representatives and the state officials will discuss addiction and the current heroin and opioid crisis.

All are welcome at this important event.

The library is located at 60 Old Boston Post Rd. in Old Saybrook.

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Old Lyme Town Band Kicks off 2016 Season at Christ the King, May 22

Old Lyme Town Band

Old Lyme Town Band

The Old Lyme Town Band, under the direction of Carolyn Whinnem, will perform the first concert of their 2016 season at Christ the King Church in Old Lyme on Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 4pm.  Their second concert will be at The Kate, Old Saybrook, on Wednesday May, 25, 2016 at 7 pm.

For more details visit the Old Lyme Town Band website at www.OldLymeTownBand.org

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They’re Creepy, They’re Kooky…Last Chance to see ‘The Addams Family’ This Afternoon at Valley HS

Joseph’s Photography, show photographer, provided this photo to give an idea of what to expect from this award winning program. Front row left to right: Jonny Leffingwell, Miranda Holland, Nathan Russo, Maggie Walsh; Back row left to right: James D’Amico, Zane Bouregy, Mitch Conrad and Annie Brown.

Starring in The Addams Family at Valley Regional: front row (L-R): Jonny Leffingwell, Miranda Holland, Nathan Russo and Maggie Walsh; back: James D’Amico, Zane Bouregy, Mitch Conrad and Annie Brown. Photo by Joseph’s Photography.

REGION 4 — The countdown to show time has begun. This year’s musical at Valley Regional High School in Deep River is The Addams Family and it will open for the weekend from Friday, March 11, through Sunday, March 13, .

The cast, crew and pit are putting the finishing touches on staging, lights, and songs as they prepare for opening night. Ingrid Walsh, director, comments, “I’m just speechless and so proud of how much and how far the cast has dared to go to join The Addams Family.

This is one show that is not to be missed from the dancing and singing to the elaborate scenery, props, makeup and costumes. There are sure to be feelings of nostalgia for those who grew up watching this iconic show. 

Performances are offered on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 1 p.m. Tickets are $12 each for all shows, except the Saturday matinee, which are $10 each. Tickets can be purchased at Celebrations, The Wheatmarket, Elephant Crossing, Toys Ahoy and at the high school.

For further information, call the school at 860 526-5328 and ask for Tina Stoddard.

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TTYS Host Mental Health First Aid Training, May 10 and 17

Tri-Town Youth Services, in collaboration with Rushford Center and with funding from Middlesex United Way and Department of Mental Health and Addictions Services, will offer the 8-hour training certification course, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) in two parts from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at Deep River Public Library, Community Room, on May 10 and 17.  Teaching a five-step action plan to assess a situation, select and implement interventions and secure appropriate care for the individual, MHFA introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common treatments.  This CPR-like program is effective in improving trainees’ knowledge of mental health disorders, reducing stigma, and increasing the amount of help provided to individuals who are experiencing a mental health crisis or developing a mental health concern.

With preference to residents and employees of Middlesex County, anyone can take the 8-hour Mental Health First Aid course – including first responders, faith community leaders, human resource professionals, teachers, individuals who typically work, with the general public, parents, other concerned citizens, etc. – to help them identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness.

For more information or to register, please call Christine Culver at 203-630-5261 or email her at Christine.culver@hhchealth.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.tritownys.org

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Author Speaks on ‘Revolutionary Trees & Birth of America’ at Essex Library

Eric Rutkow-JacketESSEX— On Monday, March 7, at 2 p.m. in Essex Town Hall, the Essex Land Trust and the Essex Garden Club will be jointly hosting a lecture by author Eric Rutkow, whose book “American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation” tells the extraordinary story of the relationship between Americans and their trees across the entire span of the nation’s history.

As symbols of liberty, community, and civilization, trees are perhaps the loudest silent figures in America’s complicated history. Without trees, there would have been no cities, ships, railroads, stockyards, wagons, barrels, furniture, newspapers, rifles, or firewood.  In an entertaining and informative presentation, Rutkow re-conceives America’s historical relationship with the trees and forests that shaped the development of the nation.

Rutkow is renowned as a “promising young historian.” He is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, who has worked as a lawyer on environmental and corporate issues. He currently splits his time between New York City and New Haven, Conn., where he is pursuing a doctorate in American history at Yale. ‘American Canopy’ is his first book.

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Essex Wellness Center Offers Free Lecture on How to Detox, March 12

Have you ever thought about doing a detox but not sure if it’s worth it, or how to do it? Dr. Dana Krete will discuss the pivotal role the liver plays in our overall health and well being, why periodic detoxes are important, and how to go about doing one that will fit in with your life. Dr. Krete will be offering a four-week Group Detox Program starting in April.

Presented by:       Dr. Dana Krete, Naturopathic & Chinese Medicine, Acupunturist

Date and Time:   Saturday, March 12,  2016    1:30-3:00pm

Format:                 60 Minutes Lecture followed by 30 Minutes Q&A

Place:                     8 Novelty Lane, Upstairs, Essex Village

Cost:                       FREE         Pre-registration required as space is limited.  Go to:  https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/home?studioid=255686     Click on:  “Workshops”, Find the Lecture you wish to sign up for and click “Sign Up”     or  Email info@essexwellnessctr.com or call 860-767-7770 to pre-register.

About the Presenter:

Dana Krete ND

Dr. Dana Krete earned her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine and Master of Acupuncture at National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. In addition to her in-depth knowledge of Naturopathic and Chinese medicine, she also has a background in health and fitness as a personal trainer, fitness instructor, triathlete and Division I college scholarship athlete.

Dr. Krete uses a multidisciplinary approach to treatment including acupuncture, Chinese and Western herbs, homeopathy, nutritional supplements, and especially enjoys providing nutritional counseling.

Staying true to the roots of both Chinese and Naturopathic medicine, every patient is treated as a whole person and as an individual. She enjoys treating patients of all ages and, as a mother of two, she is very happy to see children in her practice. She has experience treating a vast array of medical conditions from colicky infants and children with ear infections to autoimmune conditions, diabetes and mood issues such as anxiety and depression.

She also has a particular interest in treating hormonal imbalances including PMS and menopause, digestive disorders, fatigue, anxiety, depression and insomnia, and also musculoskeletal pain including sciatica, low back and neck pain. With her extensive interest and knowledge in nutrition and fitness, she also works with patients whose primary goal is weight loss or optimizing wellness.

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Essex Wellness Center Expands Services to Include Advanced Health & Longevity

Essex Wellness Center at Novelty Ln. in Essex.

Essex Wellness Center at Novelty Ln. in Essex.

Essex Wellness Center is now offering specialized longevity services geared toward the 50+ crowd interested in aging well physically, mentally and emotionally.

The nation’s 90-and-older population nearly tripled over the past three decades, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and National Institute on Aging, and that trend continues to grow.

“While aging puts a person at risk for several health issues, illness and disability are not inevitable,“ said Essex Wellness Center Founder Heidi E. Kunzli, MS, LADC, adding, “Working on your health now improves the odds for good health later. Advancing age requires advanced health strategies to increase longevity with a high ‘active life expectancy.’ This is a projection of how long a person will stay independent, healthy and well.”

Unmanaged aging can adversely affect quality of life with conditions resulting in:

  • Insomnia
  • Memory decline
  • Weight gain
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Chronic pain
  • Circulatory issues
  • Acute or chronic pain
  • Arthritis
  • Poor self esteem and body image
  • Dwindling energy
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Medication side effects and interactions
  • Cancer, hypertension and other aging-related diseases

If this isn’t what you see for yourself as you acknowledge the passage of time, Advanced Health & Longevity offers an array of evidence-based integrative interventions that include complete functional testing and assessments, nutrition consultation, one-on-one stress management, acupuncture, specialized therapeutic massage, hypnosis, health coaching, fitness programming, injectables, facial enhancements and other advanced aesthetics, body wraps, scrubs and more.

Naturopathic physicians Dana Krete, ND, and Derrick Schull, ND, lead a team of highly experienced and knowledgeable practitioners, each of whom is highly regarded as being “the best of the best” in their specific field. Both Drs. Krete and Schull treat conditions related to the “dis-ease” of aging.

While Dr. Krete is known for her work with functional assessment and natural treatment for chronic conditions, nutrition, supplements, specially formulated tinctures and Chinese medicine, Dr. Schull’s work has been focused on treating pain and discomfort related to the neuromuscular and skeletal systems. He is also proficient with physical therapy techniques, neurofeedback and craniosacral therapy. Acupuncturist Alicia DeMartin, LAc, specializes in orthopedic conditions such as arthritis, injuries and post-surgical pain following joint replacement.

 

Advanced Health & Longevity is located directly behind Essex Wellness Center’s anchor location at 28 Main Street in Essex Village with free off-street parking. New patients are being accepted for primary care and a la carte services. Essex Wellness Center is happy to complement care received through a patient’s existing medical professionals and specialists. Some major insurance is accepted; check with your insurance provider.

For more information, call 860.767.7770 or visit essexwellnessctr.com.

Essex Wellness Center, located at 28 Main Street and 8 Novelty Lane in historic Essex Village, Connecticut, was founded in 2014 to provide personalized wellness programs through a wide range of holistic and complementary therapies that help people attain long-lasting health improvement. The Center attracts visitors from the Connecticut shoreline and Connecticut River Valley areas as well as destination travelers looking for a day or weekend of self-improvement classes and one-on-one coaching. For information, visit www.essexwellnessctr.com or call 860.767.7770.

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Essex Harbor Management Commission Announcement

ESSEX— Bushnell Access small vessel applications have been mailed to 2015 permit holders and wait list applicants with a response deadline of March 15, 2016.  After March 15th, applications will be made available to the public at Essex Town Hall Selectmen’s Office and on the Town website at www.essexct.gov.  Permits will be issued on a first come, first serve basis for applications received after March 15 until the maximum storage capacity of 75 small vessels is reached.  Applications received after storage capacity is reached will be placed on a wait list.   Permits are issued by the Essex Harbor Management Commission for the 2016 boating season which runs from April 1 to November 30, 2016

Please direct any inquiries to the Harbor Management Commission email address HarborManagementCommission@EssexCT.gov.

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Old Saybrook High School Hosts 4th Annual Electronics Drive, April 30

CaptureOld Saybrook High School Ecology Club will host its 4th Annual Electronics Drive on Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Old Saybrook High School.

Help support the environment as well as local organizations that support young mothers and fathers within the shoreline by donating your old/used electronics and metal recyclables. All donated items will be recycled and redeemed for diapers, formula and other baby needs to help support local single mothers and fathers in the area.

The following items will be accepted:

1.  Electronics of any kind including computers, laptops/desktops, tablets, all computer-related gear, old/outdated household appliances (big & small), cell phones, etc.

2. Wires, cables, cords of any kind (i.e.,cell phone chargers, extension cords, computer cables, etc.)

3. Non-working lawnmowers & motors of any kind (i.e., blowers, scooters, generators, saws, vacuums, etc.)

4. Lead batteries of any kind (car, truck, boat, power-wheels)

5.  Appliances of any kind (washer, dryer, microwave, stove, AC units, humidifiers)

6. Odds & ends of metal items (chairs, aluminum, copper, iron, file cabinets–all bulk metal)

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Social Security Tips: Use Your Extra Day to Leap Into Retirement

It’s leap year and that means one thing – you can add one extra calendar day to your February schedule. Many people are preparing for the upcoming elections. Others might be getting a jump on spring cleaning. What will you do with your extra day?

You could use a few of your extra minutes to check out what Social Security offers at www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices. There, you can:
* Apply for retirement, disability, and other benefits;
* Get your Social Security Statement;
* Appeal a recent medical decision about your disability claim;
* Find out if you qualify for benefits;

If you’re planning or preparing for retirement, you can spend a fraction of your extra 24 hours at my Social Security. In as little as 15 minutes, you can create a safe and secure my Social Security account. More than 21 million Americans already have accounts. In fact, someone opens one about every 6 seconds. Join the crowd and sign up today at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. With a personalized my Social Security account, you can:

* Obtain an instant, personalized estimate of your future Social Security benefits;
* Verify the accuracy of your earnings record – your future benefit amounts are based on your earnings record;
* Change your address and phone number, if you receive monthly Social Security benefits;
* Sign up for or change direct deposit of your Social Security benefits;
* Get a replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S for tax season; and
* Obtain a record of the Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid.

And if you have a little time to spare, you can always check out the agency’s blog, Social Security Matters, at blog.socialsecurity.gov. There, you will find guest posts by Social Security experts, in-depth articles, and answers to many of your questions about retirement, benefits, and healthcare. Each post is tagged by topic so you can easily search for what matters most to you.

Leaping from webpage to webpage, you can easily see that Social Security has you covered all year long, not just on that extra day in February.Remember, you can access the Social Security homepage that links to a wide array of online services any day of the week at www.socialsecurity.gov.

Editor’s Note: The author Robert G. Rodriguez is a Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in New Britain , CT

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Essex Wellness Center Offers Free Presentation on Pain Management, Saturday

Essex Wellness Center at Novelty Ln. in Essex.

The Essex Wellness Center at Novelty Lane in Essex.

ESSEX — Essex Wellness Center presents a “Live Well 2016!” lecture series throughout the winter and spring of 2016.  The series features free 90-minute (60-minute lecture plus 30-minute Q & A) educational lectures presented by various Essex Wellness Center holistic professionals.  All lectures will be held at the Essex Wellness Center Group Space upstairs at 8 Novelty Lane in Essex Village — parking is in the lot and on Main Street.  Pre-registration* is required because space is limited.

The final “Live Well 2016″ lecture during February is scheduled as follows :

Lecture No. 6        Feb. 27       1:30 p.m.

Title and Topic:  “Stop the Suffering! Pain Management with Acupuncture”

Pain.  So many of us suffer with it.  So many of us have tried everything it seems to Make. It. Stop.  This lecture will educate us about acupuncture, why, after thousands of years, it continues to be such a powerful treatment for so many conditions, and how it can help us – naturally!     Alicia DeMartin successfully treats many individuals who come to her seeking relief from:

Orthopedic pain including:
Sports injuries
Musculoskeletal pain
Osteoarthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis
Post orthopedic surgery recovery and pain management
Joint replacements

Joint pain including:
Low back pain
Shoulder pain
Knee pain
Foot pain
Ankle pain
Neck pain
Wrist pain
TMJ pain

Pain conditions including:
Migraine headaches
Headaches
Abdominal pain
Pelvic and menstrual pain

REGISTER EARLY TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT — this lecture is already filling up!

Presented by:       Alicia DeMartin, MSOM, LAc

Date and Time:    Saturday, February 27, 2016    1:30pm-3:00pm

Alicia DeMartin Acupuncturist

Alicia DeMartin received her BS from The University of Vermont and a MS in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, Colorado. She discovered a passion for emergency medicine and orthopedics working as a Wilderness EMT and ski patroller at Stowe VT after college. Moving out West to pursue her passion for skiing, horses and an active mountain lifestyle, she successfully utilized the services of an acupuncturist to treat her own orthopedic injuries. Intrigued and healed, she decided to go against the grain of her medical family and enroll in graduate school for Oriental medicine.

DeMartin owned a private practice in Vail, Colorado for six years and has nine years of experience specializing in pain management and orthopedics. Alicia loves working with orthopedic conditions, arthritis, injuries, pain of all varieties and post-surgical rehab, especially joint replacements. DeMartin is currently working towards a Doctorate in Chinese medicine orthopedics and traumatology.

*Pre-registration is required to reserve your seat in these limited-space lectures.   To register online, visit this link, click on ‘Workshops,’  find the lecture for which you wish to register and click ‘Sign Up.’  To register by email or phone, contact info@essexwellnessctr.com or 860-767-7770.

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Connecticut Valley Camera Club Features Wildlife Photographer, April 19

Wildlife photographer Kristofer Rowe will be the guest speaker at CCVC on 19 April, 2016 (photo by Kristofer Rowe)

Wildlife photographer Kristofer Rowe will be the guest speaker at CVCC on April 19 (photo by Kristofer Rowe)

The April meeting of the Connecticut Valley Camera Club (CVCC) will be on Tuesday, April 19 at 7:00 p.m.

The program will feature Kristofer Rowe, a wildlife photographer focusing on osprey, owls and hawks.  You can view some of his photos on Facebook here www.facebook.com/ KristoferRowePhotography/.

For further information, please call Ed McCaffrey at 860-575-4694.

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Essex Winter Series Presents Jeff Barnhart & His Hot Rhythm, Sunday

Jeff Barnhart plays Sunday in the next Essex Winter Series concert.

Jeff Barnhart plays Sunday in the next Essex Winter Series concert.

DEEP RIVER — Jeff Barnhart and His Hot Rhythm will celebrate the rollicking jazz and pop styles of the first half of the twentieth century with a concert on the Essex Winter Series on Sunday, Feb. 21, at 3 p.m. at Valley Regional High School in Deep River. Barnhart, the renowned pianist who serves as Jazz Artistic Advisor forEssex Winter Series, will be joined by a band of all-stars, including Anne Barnhart on vocals and flute; Joe Midiri on reeds; Paul Midiri on vibes and trombone; Vince Giordano on bass, tuba, and bass sax; and Jim Lawlor on drums.

Essex Winter Series Concert Director Mihae Lee.

Essex Winter Series Artistic Director Mihae Lee.

Known for both the quality and variety of its concerts, Essex Winter Series, under the artistic direction of Mihae Lee, features one jazz concert each season. Named for a former board member who encouraged the inclusion of jazz in the series, The Stu Ingersoll Jazz Concert has become very popular, attracting a large and loyal audience.

The Feb. 21 concert is sponsored by the Clark Group and Tower Laboratories.

Tickets, all general admission, are $35 ($5 for students) and may be purchased online at www.essexwinterseries.com or by phone at 860-272-4572.

Barnhart is an internationally renowned pianist, vocalist, arranger, bandleader, recording artist, composer (member of ASCAP), educator and entertainer.  He began his professional career at age 14 playing and entertaining four nights a week in a restaurant in his home state of Connecticut. Here he began to learn the classic swing, jazz and ragtime repertoire of the early 20th century.

The 21st century has found Barnhart constantly appearing as a soloist and band pianist at parties, festivals, clubs and cruises throughout the world.  In addition, he leads two bands in the UK: the Fryer-Barnhart International Jazz Band, which concentrates on hot music of the 1920s, and Jeff Barnhart’s British Band, which performs small group swing of the 30’s. Due to his versatility, vast repertoire and vibrant energy, Barnhart is in increasing demand as a participant in international jazz events as either a soloist or as pianist in All-Star Jazz ensembles.

 Among the great musicians in the band is the renowned Vince Giordano on bass, tuba, and bass sax.

Among the great musicians in the Hot Rhythm band is the renowned Vince Giordano on bass, tuba, and bass sax.

In addition to his widely acclaimed solo and band appearances, Barnhart is enjoying great success performing with smaller groups, most notably Ivory&Gold®, a group he co-leads with his talented wife, flutist/vocalist Anne Barnhart. Ivory&Gold® has become a mainstay at many jazz and ragtime festivals throughout the US, the UK and Europe.

Barnhart enjoys playing dual piano and has done so with such jazz luminaries as Ralph Sutton, Neville Dickie, Louis Mazetier, John Sheridan and Brian Holland. In addition to his own label, Jazz Alive Records, Barnhart plays piano and sings on the international labels GHB, Summit-World Jazz Records, Music Minus One, and the two largest jazz labels in the UK, Lake Records and P.E.K. Sound.

In 2006, Barnhart joined the roster of artists featured on the Arbors Records label, with four recordings currently available:  the most recent featuring jazz legends Bob Wilber and Bucky Pizzarelli. Barnhart has recorded as both pianist and vocalist on over 100 full-length albums.

He averages 40 weeks a year on the road, bringing his music to all corners of the globe. Music composer, performer and reviewer Jack Rummel, recently summed up the reason for Barnhart’s popularity, averring, “When it comes to talent, speed, versatility, creativity, mastery of multiple genres and just plain entertaining zaniness, Jeff Barnhart stands alone”.

In addition to his active performance and recording schedule, Jeff is a dedicated and enthusiastic educator.  His double BA in Music and English, combined with his MA in Education, make Barnhart a formidable and entertaining force in the clinic, master class and inspirational speaking forums. In the first quarter of 2015, he and his wife have appeared as clinicians at Lone Star College in Kingwood, TX, The University of Colorado Denver and Mississippi State University.

The remainder of Essex Winter Series concerts are listed below.

All of the concerts are on Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m. in Deep River. Concerts take place at Valley Regional High School, with the exception of the March 6 concert, which will be presented at John Winthrop Middle School.

 

March 6: Patricia Schuman, soprano
John Winthrop Middle School

We are delighted to welcome back to our stage the internationally-celebrated soprano Patricia Schuman. Her program, “Winter Romance,” will feature songs of love and loss as well as lighter fare from the great Amer­ican songbook and musical theater. She will be joined by harpist Megan Sesma, pianist Douglas Dickson, and a special surprise guest artist. Ms. Schuman has been engaged by the most distinguished opera houses throughout the world, and has collaborated with many of the foremost conductors and directors of our time. Co-sponsored by Essex Savings Bank and an anonymous foundation

April 3: Fenton Brown Emerging Artists Concert 
New Haven Symphony Orchestra with violinist Tessa Lark
Valley Regional High School

Now in its 121st year of continuous operation, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra is one of the country’s finest regional orchestras. Returning to the series, the orchestra under music director William Boughton will perform Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro, Haydn’s “London” Symphony, and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, featuring our 2016 Emerging Artist, Tessa Lark. Lark won the prestigious Naumburg International Violin Award in 2012, and is one of today’s most sought-after young violinists. Co-sponsored by Guilford Savings Bank and an anonymous foundation

All tickets to Essex Winter Series concerts are general admission. Individual tickets are $35. Tickets may be purchased on the EWS website, www.essexwinterseries.com, or by calling 860-272-4572.

More program information, artist biographies and photos are available on the Essex Winter Series website, www.essexwinterseries.com.

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Author Bob Steele to Speak on ‘The Curse’ at Essex Congregational Church, Sunday

TheCurse_RHSteele_FrontCoverESSEX – With the Connecticut legislature expected to vote early this year on whether to approve a third casino, Essex author and former U.S. Congressman Bob Steele will speak in Essex on the impact of casino expansion on the state and the nation.  The talk, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 14, at The First Congregational Church in Essex, 6 Methodist Hill in Essex Village.

Steele is on an author’s tour regarding his book, The Curse: Big-Time Gambling’s Seduction of a Small New England Town, speaking to some 350 groups across the Northeast.  The book, which has gone into its second printing, is a fact-based novel set against the explosion of casino gambling in Connecticut during the 1990s, when two Indian tribes build the world’s two biggest casinos in the southeastern corner of the state.

WBZ Boston’s Dan Rea calls the novel “powerful” and Connecticut author Martin Shapiro describes it as “compelling and timely … a riveting story of history, money and politics that will make you wonder where America is headed.”

Bob Steele

Bob Steele

The book comes at a time when the Northeast is becoming saturated with casinos and the legislature has created a multi-step process for opening the first of what could eventually be several additional casinos in the Nutmeg State, with the first in the Hartford area.

Steele is chairman of Connecticut-based NLC Mutual Insurance Company and has been a director of numerous other companies, including the American Stock Exchange.  A graduate of Amherst College and Columbia University, he served in the CIA before being elected to Congress, and was a nominee for governor of Connecticut.

For more information, contact The First Congregational Church in Essex at 860-767-8097.

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Carney, Linares to Hold Office Hours in Westbrook Tonight

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State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

AREAWIDE — State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) will hold pre-session office hours in Westbrook at the Westbrook Town Hall on Feb. 9, starting at 6:30 p.m.  State Senator Art Linares (R-33rd) and State Representative Jesse MacLachlan (R-35th) will join Carney at the Westbrook event.

State Senator Art Linares

State Senator Art Linares (R-20th)

This session will provide constituents with an opportunity to ask questions or share their ideas and concerns about state government. Anyone with questions about the event can contact Carney’s office at 800-842-1423 or devin.carney@housegop.ct.gov.

Carney represents the 23rd General Assembly District that includes Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and part of Westbrook.

Linares represents the 33rd District comprising Lyme along with Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook

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Old Saybrook Library Offers ‘Local & Legal’ Film Series; Next Movie April 8

OLD SAYBROOK — The Acton Public Library in Old Saybrook will be hosting a “Local & Legal” film series at 1 p.m. in the Grady Thomas Room on second Fridays January through May.

The next movie is ‘12 Angry Men,’ which will be shown on April 8; and Erin Brockovich will be shown on May 13.

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

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Wesleyan Professor to Discuss Post-World War II Policies at Essex Library, Saturday

Professor Sarah Willarty

Professor Sarah Willarty

Germany and Japan faced immense challenges in 1945 as these countries attempted to recover from World War II while simultaneously pursuing democracy and prosperity. How Germany and Japan met these challenges varied based on their international positions, their geographies and their cultural legacies.

This lecture analyzes similarities and differences in German and Japanese approaches to winning the peace.  The Essex Library is honored to welcome Dr. Sarah Wiliarty who will give a talk on “Winning Peace: Lessons from Post-War Policies, 1945-1950” at the Essex Library on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 2 p.m. This program is part of the Library’s focus on history during the month of February.

Sarah Wiliarty is an Associate Professor of Government at Wesleyan University. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. in Physics from Harvard University. Her book, The CDU and the Politics of Gender in Germany: Bringing Women to the Party was published by Cambridge University Press in 2010.

This program is free and open to all. Call the Library to register in advance at (860) 767-1560. The Library is located at 33 West Ave. in Essex.

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Tri-Town Youth Services Hosts New Toddler Play Groups Through March

TRI-TOWN — Calling all toddlers!

Tri-Town Youth Services at 56 High St. in Deep River offers play groups led by Parent Resource Coordinator Allison Abramson.  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 Jan. 6 through March 9.  Outstanding Ones meets from 11 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. 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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Chester Historical Society Hosts “It Happened to Jane” Walk & Talk, This Afternoon

Louis Bertelli was one of the builders of “Old 97,” a wooden locomotive that was moved into a newly planted park for the “Jane” movie (where the Chester Package Store parking lot is today). Photo courtesy of Peggy Breslin

Louis Bertelli was one of the builders of “Old 97,” a wooden locomotive that was moved into a newly planted park for the “Jane” movie (where the Chester Package Store parking lot is today). Photo courtesy of Peggy Breslin

CHESTER — “It Happened to Jane” never won an Academy Award or a Golden Globe, but as far as Chester folks are concerned, it’s definitely an award winner.

After all, the movie, which starred Doris Day and Jack Lemmon, was made right in the heart of Chester in the summer of ‘58 – in the Chester Meeting House and the Center and on Jennings Pond and by the railroad – and hundreds of Chester folks were movie extras.  So whether you were there in 1958 or came to town later, the movie has every right to be a local treasure.

On Sunday afternoon, Jan. 31, the Chester Historical Society is offering you two opportunities to immerse yourself in “Jane” memories.

At 2:30 p.m., Chester Historian Rob Miceli and Peg Lieberman will lead a walking tour of Chester Center’s sites of interest from the movie. (It’ll be a very short walk, as Chester Center isn’t very big!)

You’ll hear how Carmine Grote’s Appliance Store (now Compass Rose and Red Pepper) became Aaron Caldwell’s Fine Foods & Notions store for the movie. Bill Breslin’s package store (in The Villager building) was turned into a marine supply store. A wooden locomotive was built and moved into the parking lot now used by Chester Package Store, and parking meters were added to town. Jack Lemmon’s law office was above the old Robbie’s store and the Cape Anne, Maine, Telephone Exchange was above today’s Century 21 real estate office.

Jack Lemmon, one of the Hollywood stars in “It Happened to Jane,” takes a break on Main Street in front of the old Chester Bank building during the movie filming. Photo courtesy of Peggy Breslin

Jack Lemmon, one of the Hollywood stars in “It Happened to Jane,” takes a break on Main Street in front of the old Chester Bank building during the movie filming. Photo courtesy of Peggy Breslin

At 4 p.m., at the Chester Meeting House (used as the Cape Anne Town Hall in the movie), the Chester Historical Society is presenting one of its popular “crackerbarrel discussions,” with folks sharing their “Jane” memories. We’ll also view some of the Chester scenes from the movie.

The walk and the crackerbarrel program are free and open to all.

Walkers should meet at the Century 21 Heritage office before 2:30 p.m. Parking is available at the 20 Water St. public parking lot and the Norma Terris Theatre on North Main St.

Refreshments will be served during the movie.

For more information, call 860-526-2331 or 860-558-4701 or go to Facebook.com/ChesterCTHistoricalSociety.

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Amy Bloom Discusses her Latest Novel at Chester Synagogue Today

Amy Bloom

Amy Bloom

One of the most highly acclaimed authors of our time, Amy Bloom, will come to Chester to read from and discuss her novel “Lucky Us, now out in paperback.

Her appearance, at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 31, is free and open to the public, and is part of the Books & Bagels series of Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ).

“Lucky Us,” her third novel (she also has three collections of short stories, a children’s book, and a collection of essays), received almost universal praise.

From Janet Maslin of the New York Times:  “These two things about Amy Bloom’s surprise-filled Lucky Us are indisputable: It opens with a terrific hook and closes with an image of exquisite resolution … She writes sharp, sparsely beautiful scenes that excitingly defy expectation, and part of the pleasure of reading her is simply keeping up with her. You won’t know where Lucky Us is headed until, suddenly, it’s there …”

Bloom has been a nominee for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, and numerous anthologies here and abroad. She has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, among many other publications, and has won a National Magazine Award for Fiction. Her best-selling novel,Away, was an epic story about a Russian immigrant.

Bloom lives in Durham, and taught at Yale University for the last decade. She is now Wesleyan University’s Distinguished University Writer in Residence.

Referring to her upcoming appearance at CBSRZ, she says, “This is the only synagogue I ever joined. It was a shelter, an education and a playground for my kids and, now that I think about it–it was the same for me. Whenever I go back, I’m home.”

Tracy Kleinberg, who is in charge of the synagogue’s program committee, says she is particularly pleased that the author will be returning to CBSRZ where earlier appearances have drawn large and enthusiastic crowds. “She is an entertaining speaker – warm, witty and wise.”

This program is free and open to the public – no advance registration is necessary.  CBSRZ is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester.

For more information about this program or CBSRZ, visit www.cbsrz.org or call the office 860-526-8920.

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The Country School Offers $10,000 Merit Scholarship

AREAWIDE –– In celebration of The Country School’s 60th Anniversary, the school’s Board of Trustees is providing a $10,000 merit scholarship to a student applying for admission to Grades 4-8 for the fall of 2016. Additional scholarships will be offered to students entering those grades based on applicants’ qualifications and/or need. Founded in 1955, The Country School is celebrating its 60th anniversary during the 2015-2016 school year.

This will be the second 60th Anniversary Merit Scholarship awarded in honor of The Country School’s founding six decades ago. Eloise de Landevoisin Campbell, currently an 8th Grader from Lyme, was awarded the 60th Anniversary Merit Scholarship for the 2015-2016 school year. In addition, other students received partial scholarships after applying for the merit scholarship.

Head of School John Fixx will share information about the 60th Anniversary Scholarship program on Sunday, Jan. 31, at 12:30 p.m. in conjunction with the school’s Winter Open House (taking place from 1-3:30 p.m.). While students sit for the Merit Scholarship test, parents will have the opportunity to tour campus and speak directly with faculty members, current parents, and administrators. To learn more and register, go to http://www.thecountryschool.org/admission/60th-anniversary-merit-scholarship.

The recipient of the $10,000 Merit Scholarship will be selected on the basis of academic merit and personal promise as demonstrated by the merit scholarship testing, school records, and an interview. Finalists will be asked to write an essay describing how a Country School education might benefit them and will be invited to spend a day on campus. The scholarship recipient will be notified in early March.

On January 31, visitors will learn about the academic program and the wide academic, artistic, athletic, and leadership opportunities on campus. They will also learn about The Country School’s six decades-long history of preparing graduates for the strongest independent secondary schools and high school honors programs in the area and throughout New England. Families will receive the impressive list of where Country School graduates attend college and hear how the Secondary School Placement Office assists families in attracting similar scholarship support for secondary school.

Students will sit for the Merit Scholarship test and experience hands-on learning and design challenges similar to those our current students experience on a regular basis. They will also explore campus and meet teachers and students.

The 60th Anniversary Scholarship is for a new student and is renewed each year that the student is enrolled at The Country School, provided the recipient stays in strong academic standing and consistently demonstrates good citizenship. It is The Country School’s expectation that merit scholarship recipients will contribute significantly to the life of the School, creating a stronger overall experience for all students.

The Country School is a coeducational, independent day school serving 200 students in PreSchool through Grade 8, ages 3-14, on its 23-acre campus in Madison. This year, also in honor of the school’s 60th anniversary, the campus is undergoing a major transformation, with new athletic fields, tennis courts, and playground areas being installed. Future enhancements will affect classroom buildings, campus infrastructure, and outdoor common spaces.

For more information, contact Pam Glasser, Director of Admission and Curriculum, at 203-421-3113, extension 122, or pam.glasser@thecountryschool.org.

For further information, visit www.thecountryschool.org.

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Essex Library’s Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series Begins Eighth Year Tonight

The 2016 Centerbrook Lecture Series opens with a talk on the evolution of ocean liners by Chad

The 2016 Centerbrook Lecture Series opens with a talk on the evolution of the modern ocean liner by Chad Floyd.

Chad Floyd

Chad Floyd

The Essex Library invites you to the kick off of the eighth year of its architecture lecture series sponsored by Centerbrook Architects on Friday, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m. at the Essex Town Hall when the program, “SS United States, Hallmark of 20th Century Design” will be presented by architect and raconteur Chad Floyd, FAIA.

Floyd will tell the story of the great ocean liner SS United States, designed by marine architect Francis Gibbs and interior designer Dorothy Marckwald.  He will show how this little-known pair reimagined ocean liners and invented a new mid-century aesthetic that married function with glamour and changed American design forever.

Over the previous seven years, the lecture series has enjoyed presentations by architects and landscape architects from across the United States and Canada. The series was also honored to welcome Nobel Prize winner James Watson, who participated in a discussion on designing science laboratories at Cold Spring Harbor.

Upcoming Centerbrook series lectures this spring will include talks on barns in Connecticut; the architecture of Hugh Ferriss and Lee Lawrie; and a premiere of the film Modern Ruin: A World’s Fair Pavilion by Matthew Silva.

This program is free and open to all.

For more information or to register, call the Library at (860) 767-1560.  The Essex Town Hall is located at 29 West Ave. in Essex.

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The Insane Insidewalk Sale Continues Tomorrow in Saybrook

There will be bargains galore at this year’s Insane Insidewalk Sale in Old Saybrook.

There will be bargains galore at this year’s Insane Insidewalk Sale in Old Saybrook.

OLD SAYBROOK — The-e-list.com presents the Seventh Annual Insane Insidewalk Sale Friday, Jan. 29, and Saturday, Jan. 30, at 105 Elm St., in the Old Saybrook Shopping Center, just a few doors down from the Stop & Shop grocery store. The Sale will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is $5, which covers entry for both days and the first 25 people to enter the Sale on Friday will have their admission fee waived.

This Sale enables people to shop the best stores and designers on the shoreline in one location at up to 75 percent off — it’s a pop-up specialty mall, featuring over 20 of the best local boutiques and designers offering deals on women’s clothing, accessories, shoes, jewelry, gifts, home decor, and kid’s clothing for two days only.

Ann Lightfoot will be selling her beautiful jewelry at the Insane Insidewalk Sale.Ann Lightfoot will be selling her beautiful jewelry at the Insane Insidewalk Sale.

Exhibitors include Ann Lightfoot Jewelry, Just Hatched, Mix Design Store, Grace, Ciao Bella, Ella Where She Shops, Lulu’s, Southern Exposure, J. McLaughlin and many more. For a full list of participating vendors, visit http://theeli.st/1MOsmSy

The Insane Insidewalk Sale was conceived in 2008 to help local retailers who were stuck with excess inventory after the financial crash and a dismal holiday season. The-e-list rented a vacant storefront and invited 20 boutiques to sell their wares at deep discounts. It was a huge success for both vendors and attendees and now it’s become a well-established tradition that Shoreline shoppers eagerly anticipate.

Last January, more than 1,500 enthusiastic shoppers turned out for the Insane Insidewalk Sale. Bargains were snatched up from the likes of Southern Exposure, Silkworm, Stonewear and many more. Erica Tannen, creator and publisher of The-e-List commented, “It was a delight to meet and gab with e-list readers face-to-face,” adding, “I snagged a few steals myself: perfect wineglasses at Mix, de rigeur stretchy fleece leggings from Grace, and a hilarious but too-cozy-for-words hat/scarf/mitten combo (with ears) from Ciao Bella!”

Tannen continued, “It [the 2015 Sale] was the best one yet, and I’ll chalk it up to the enthusiastic crowds and happy vibe. It was a joyful place: vendors were thrilled to clean out their excess stock, shoppers were excited to score extreme bargains.” She noted, “The real fun was in the communal dressing room. Women of all ages, shapes and sizes stripped down to their skivvies and swapped clothes, opinions and advice. Unlike most solitary dressing room experiences (Oh, no! Whose thighs are those?), if you needed a boost to your self esteem, you got it there.”

She concluded, “[The 2015 Sale] left me nostalgic for the days when we shopped en masse versus all alone with a computer screen. Online shopping is handy but will never deliver instant gratification and community like the Insane Insidewalk Sale [does].”

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Coldwell Banker’s Essex Office Donates to Shoreline Soup Kitchen, Essex Housing Authority

The Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Essex office recently presented an $800 donation to the Essex Housing Authority. Pictured from left are affiliated sales associates Dee Hasuly, Roy Monte, Laurel Peters, Tammy Mesite of the Essex Housing Authority, Peter Bonanno, and Jeanne Rutigliano, manager of the Coldwell Banker Essex office.

The Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Essex office recently presented an $800 donation to the Essex Housing Authority. Pictured from left are affiliated sales associates Dee Hasuly, Roy Monte, Laurel Peters, Tammy Mesite of the Essex Housing Authority, Peter Bonanno, and Jeanne Rutigliano, manager of the Coldwell Banker Essex office.

ESSEX – The Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage office in Essex recently donated a total of $1,800 to the Shoreline Soup Kitchen & Pantries and the Essex Housing Authority. The donations were made through the company’s charitable foundation, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Cares Foundation.

A $1,000 donation was presented to the Shoreline Soup Kitchen & Pantries, an interfaith service that provides food and fellowship to those in need and also educates the community about hunger and poverty. Additionally, an $800 donation was made to the Essex Housing Authority.

The Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Essex office presented $1,000 to the Shoreline Soup Kitchen & Pantries. Pictured from left are affiliated sales associates Rick Greene, Laurel Peters, Executive Director Patricia Dowling, and Roy Monte.

The Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Essex office presented $1,000 to the Shoreline Soup Kitchen & Pantries. Pictured from left are affiliated sales associates Rick Greene, Laurel Peters, Executive Director Patricia Dowling, and Roy Monte.

“We are committed to giving back to the community and are especially proud to support these worthy organizations which provide vital services to local residents. The resources and assistance they offer is essential for the health, well-being, security and stability of our neighbors,” said Jeanne Rutigliano, sales manager of the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage office in Essex.

The Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Cares Foundation is supported by the affiliated sales associates and staff of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. Through regular donations, fundraising events and volunteer support, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s affiliated sales associates and staff demonstrate their commitment to unity, hope and vision in the communities of Connecticut and Westchester County.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Cares Foundation is a chapter of Realogy Charitable Foundation, a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in Delaware, tax ID 20-0755090. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Cares Foundation’s primary purpose is to raise funds to provide financial assistance to housing-related causes in the communities where we have a presence.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, a leading residential real estate brokerage company in Connecticut and Westchester County, N.Y., operates approximately 51 offices with more than 2,200 affiliated sales associates serving the communities of Connecticut and Westchester County, N.Y. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is part of NRT LLC, the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage company.

For more information, visit ColdwellBankerHomes.com.

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Essex Historical Society Presents Program on E.E. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Brand, Today

Printing area, ground floor of new office 1929

This 1929 photo shows the printing area and ground floor of the then new E.E. Dickinson office. Image courtesy of the Essex Historical Society.

ESSEX — The 20th century was a time of great change and growth in the manufacturing and marketing of American products. The E.E. Dickinson Company, an Essex-based producer of Witch Hazel, was one of the most successful in dominating the national market and becoming a household name. The fascinating story of the birth of the Dickinson brand will be presented by the Essex Historical Society on Sunday, Jan. 24, at 3 p.m. in the original 1924 corporate office building — now Wells Fargo Advisors — at 31 North Main St. in Essex.

Image courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

Image courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

Local historian Brenda Milkofsky will address the complex, well-timed marketing efforts of the E.E. Dickinson Company, providing historical perspective on the local and national impact of the company’s growth.

A variety of Dickinson advertising and marketing artwork will be highlighted along with images that illustrate the company office environment and processes. Tours of the building’s public areas, including the gracious 1920s lobby, will be given following the program.

This lecture is part of a series of special events celebrating the Essex Historical Society’s 60th anniversary and the E.E. Dickinson Company legacy. The program is free and open to the public.

More information can be found at www.essexhistory.org or by calling 860-767-0681.

 

 

 

 

 

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Region 4’s $53,350 Year-End Surplus to be Returned to Member Towns, Applied to R4 Sinking Funds

REGION 4 — On Jan. 7, 2016, the Region 4 Board of Education received the final audit of the 2014-15 school year that reflects a surplus of $53,350 at the close of the school year.

“The results of this year’s audit are great news, given the significant financial challenges the board and administration faced last year,” said Chris Riley, chairman of the Region 4 Board of Education. “Dr. Levy and her team are to be commended for their continued commitment to both our students and our taxpayers.”

Under a policy adopted last year, the Region 4 Board voted to return 50 percent of the surplus to the member towns and apply the other 50 percent toward capital sinking funds.

Funds will be returned to member towns based on the student population in John Winthrop Middle School and Valley Regional High School as follows:

  • Town of Chester: $6,439
  • Town of Deep River: $8,267
  • Town of Essex: $11,969
    TOTAL $26,675
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Letter from Paris: Exhibition Explores the Elegance, History of Louis Vuitton’s Luggage

Nicole Prévost Logan

Nicole Prévost Logan

The exhibit “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez” (Fly, Sail, Travel) at the Grand Palais takes the visitor to the elegant world of travel in the early 20th century.  It is a retrospective of the luggage, which created the Vuitton dynasty’s fame.  Every  item is beautifully crafted of wood, cloth and leather, such as the famous “sac Noé” created in 1932.

caroussel_grandpalais_460x550_v02These luxurious objects make travel by air, train or sea glamorous and modern. The visitor rides an old-fashioned, wood-paneled train and feels transported into the “Out of Africa” world of Karen Blixen, as the Kenya savannah speeds outside the windows.

Several pieces of the Vuitton family’s private luggage — first seen by the public at the 1900 Exposition Universelle (World Fair) — are scattered  on sand dunes, evoking the beautifully photographed scene of a couple riding  in the desert near the Pyramids in the 1978 Agatha Christy’s movie “Death on the Nile.”

A huge sail reaches all the way to the ceiling.  On the deck of a yacht are displayed a wooden trunk,  fragrant with camphor wood and rosewood; a “wardrobe” trunk whose drawers and hangers contain  an elegant passenger’s apparel;  a gentleman’s  personal case complete with crystal flasks; and fancy hair brushes.

Luxury goods – labeled as “consumer discretionary” in Wall Street jargon – are an important sector of the French economy.  They combine traditional savoir-faire acquired over many generations (the Maison Vuitton has existed since 1835; the Maison Hermes since 1837) with the creative talent of artists and decorators along with  the highly complex robotic machinery used to fabricate, clothes, bags, shoes and more.

At Hermes, silk screen scarves are made from raw silk spun under the constant scrutiny of a worker; artists, assisted by colorists, create the designs.

For decades, not a single famous woman – from Jacqueline Kennedy to French actress Catherine Deneuve – has been seen without the iconic Chanel purse.  The making of the little black purse, with its gold chain, and its distinctive padded outer shell stitched in lozenges, requires the skilled delicate work of 17 people.

The world of fashion and luxury objects could not exist without money — lots of money.  In 1987, the merger of Louis Vuitton fashion house with Moët et Chandon and Hennessy champagne – produced the LVMH multinational conglomerate.  It brought together 90 of the most famous brands of wines and spirits, fashion and luxury goods, as well as perfume and cosmetics.  Dior is the major shareholder with 40 percent of the shares.

Bernard Arnault is CEO of both Dior and LVMH.  He is the richest man of France and holds the fifth largest fortune in  the world — his worth is about 30 billion dollars.  When Arnault arrived in Shanghai for the opening of a new Vuitton boutique, he was received like a head  of state.

It is not uncommon for a tycoon to be a philantropist and an art collector.  In the late 19th century, two Russian businessmen were instrumental in bringing French art to their home country — Sergei Ivanovich Shchukin introduced Impressionist art to Russia after a trip to Paris, and similarly, Ivan Morozov was a major collector of French avant-garde art.

Arnault won a resounding victory over his rival Francois Pinault when he was able to build his art museum on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne in Paris.  (Pinault “only” owns a few islands of Venice.)  In order to promote artistic creation, Arnault built a museum, which he called the Fondation LVMH — it was designed by the American architect Frank Gehry.  At the time of its inauguration in 2014,  it was met with a mixed reaction but gradually it has become part of the landscape. It did help rejuvenate the dilapidated  Jardin d’Acclimatation, a 100-year-old zoo and children’s attraction park, beloved by the Parisians.

Gehry created a wild structure of huge, curved glass panels flying in all directions, like spinnakers blowing in the wind.  To create an area of 125,000 square feet of molded glass, 100 engineers were employed who were supported by Dassault Systèmes, the leading French company specializing in aeronautics and space.

The inside structure, called the “iceberg,” is erratic and disorients visitors. Several intricate levels and vertiginous staircases lead to the upper terrace offering  a view over the Bois in which the skyscrapers of La Défense district appear to be framed by the glass panels.

Nicole Prévost LoganAbout the author: Nicole Prévost Logan divides her time between Essex and Paris, spending summers in the former and winters in the latter. She writes a regular column for us from her Paris home where her topics will include politics, economy, social unrest — mostly in France — but also in other European countries. She also covers a variety of art exhibits and the performing arts in Europe. Logan is the author of ‘Forever on the Road: A Franco-American Family’s Thirty Years in the Foreign Service,’ an autobiography of her life as the wife of an overseas diplomat, who lived in 10 foreign countries on three continents. Her experiences during her foreign service life included being in Lebanon when civil war erupted, excavating a medieval city in Moscow and spending a week under house arrest in Guinea.

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LVVS Hosts Important Presentation Tonight on Refugee Crisis, Pathways to Citizenship,

AREAWIDE — Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS) will host a presentation on refugees and the paths to citizenship on Thursday, Jan. 21, at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of Westbrook’s Public Library. The presentation will feature Claudia Connor CEO of the International Institute of Connecticut and Alicia Kinsman, who is the Director and Managing Attorney of the organization’s Immigration Legal Services Program.

The International Institute of Connecticut, based in Bridgeport, CT (IICONN) is the state’s leading nonprofit provider of integrated legal and social services to new immigrants and refugees.  Kinsman will address immigration issues and explain the various immigration processes that would be relevant to LVVS clients and Connor will explain the refugee admissions process, the security screening process and the refugee resettlement program.

Refreshments will be served.

The event is free but readers are encouraged to reserve as seating is limited. Contact the office by phone at 860-399-0280 or email at info@vsliteracy.org 

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Essex Saving Bank’s Honan Receives ‘New Leaders in Banking’ Award

Shawn P. Honan, CPA.

Shawn P. Honan, CPA

Shawn P. Honan, CPA, has been named one of 13 ‘New Leaders in Banking’ for 2015 by the Connecticut Bankers Association. Honan is entering his 25th year at Essex Savings Bank — starting as an Accounting/Operations manager, Honan has worked his way up through the management ladder of Essex Savings Bank to the point where he is now Senior Vice President, Treasurer, and Chief Financial Officer, and is an essential part of the four-person senior management team.

He enjoys serving the community including spending 10 years coaching Little League baseball and softball while also serving as the Treasurer of the organization for most of those years and is also active both in his local church parish, including serving on the Vestry as Treasurer for four years, as well as serving the broader church throughout the state.

“I am proud to say Shawn has been an integral part of the success of our Bank. He is a thoughtful colleague who has helped shape our balance sheet and assisted in building a business that is sustainable. I enjoy strategizing with him and have appreciated his counsel and friendship,” stated Gregory R. Shook, President and CEO of Essex Savings Bank.

“I am honored and truly flattered to have been nominated for and chosen to receive this award. My sincere thanks to President Shook and the Board of Directors for their support and confidence in me. I consider it a privilege to serve this great institution and the financial needs of the people and businesses in our communities,” said Honan.

The awards are presented by the Connecticut Bankers Association and Connecticut Banking magazine and the ‘New Leaders In Banking’ honorees were chosen by an independent panel. To be eligible, an individual must work in a Connecticut bank, be an outstanding employee, manager, or business leader and make a notable impact within their bank or community.

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 providing a full complement of personal and business banking. 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.

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