October 31, 2014

Sunrise over Long Island Sound (photo by Nigel Logan)

Sunrise over Long Island Sound (photo by Nigel Logan)

http://valleynewsnow.com/2014/10/27136/

Letter: Response to Latest Mailings

To the Editor:

Ladies and Gentlemen of the 33rd District.

The political mailings, particularly the last two I have received on behalf of Democratic candidate Emily Bjornberg who is running for a senate seat in Connecticut representing our 33rd district,  have been, to say the least, the lowest, most nasty mailings that I have ever received prior to an election for a senatorial candidate who would represent me in Hartford.

Not only have these last two mailings been disgraceful and full of lies, but, having attended the last two debates among Emily Bjornberg, Art Linares and Colin Bennett, I have also been disgusted with the attack dog tactics and misinformation coming from Emily against Art Linares. Her behavior makes the definition given to a pit bull terrier pale in comparison to her progressive, socialistic demands and attitudes about what should or should not be rule of law for everyone.

Please, back off Emily. You have shown your true colors.  We have had good representation in the 33rd district with Senator Art Linares.  We need Art to return to his duties in Hartford and continue the work of trying to keep Connecticut from collapsing under the heavy weight of a democratic governor and a democratically controlled House and Senate.

Respectfully submitted

 

Melanie Phoenix
Essex

Letter: Essex Democratic Town Committee Honored to Support Miller, Bjornberg

To The Editor:

The Essex Democratic Town Committee (EDTC) is honored to support Representative Phil Miller, State Senate Candidate Emily Bjornberg, and the other Democrats running for office this fall.

Since being elected in 2011, Representative Miller has become a trusted leader in House of Representatives on policy matters impacting the environment and public health, as well as behavioral health.   In addition to serving as a statewide policy leader, Rep. Miller works tirelessly for the residents of Essex, Deep River, Chester and Haddam.

If elected, Emily Bjornberg, candidate for the state senate would serve as a partner with Phil in the General Assembly.  Emily’s history of caring for those in need and her commitment to protecting and preserving the CT River will bring a much needed voice to the state senate on these matters. Emily’s plan to focus the state’s attention on the needs of small business, help unemployed veterans return to work, and fight for greater state education aid to lower property taxes would yield many benefits for our economy.

Essex residents and those of the surrounding towns deserve a state representative and state senator who are able to articulate the needs of the district and then work collaboratively to effectuate the changes needed to improve our communities.

The EDTC believes a legislative team of Representative Phil Miller and Emily Bjornberg will serve the town of Essex and surrounding towns well and we urge you to vote for them on November 4.
Sincerely,
Brian Cournoyer, Chairman
Essex Democratic Town Committee

Letter: If You Want Change Get Out and Vote

To the Editor:

I’m not a Republican. But I’m voting for Bob Siegrist, the Republican candidate for State Representative.

It’s important not to raise taxes, but more important for me is being sure my tax money and the money I have to pay as a business owner is being spent properly.

I’m competing against three companies, one national, one based out of state and one Connecticut company. All three are operating in one or more ways illegally.

The out-of-state company has been caught for not registering to do business in Connecticut and failing to pay business entity taxes. To avoid paying workers’ compensation insurance, this company is also classifying people as subcontractors who should be paid as employees. But nobody at Department of Labor has bothered following up on it. This company underbid a good locally-operating business until it left the state. Connecticut lost all the tax revenue on that business and its’ employees. Since these workers were paid in the state, Connecticut also lost any money made by these people spending their paychecks here.

The Connecticut company has forced subcontractors to take pay cuts while denying them the right to renegotiate their contracts. It was bouncing paychecks for two years. No one at the state level has done anything about that either. Two subcontractors had the courage to approach someone in the Labor Department and were told there was nothing they could do about it because the two individuals were subcontractors.

By breaking the law, these companies can afford to underbid me on work in the state. The state should be sure everybody doing business here is registered and doing business legally and paying for that right. The state should be collecting all the money that it is owed.

It seems like it takes a whistleblower or a news story to alert state departments to problems like this. Otherwise, nothing seems to happen until somebody gets hurt. Why can’t the various departments within the state investigate on their own?

Our legislature should act as a proper board of directors or trustees for all the departments of the state. Bob Siegrist understands this.

Our voters are like shareholders and elect our representatives to set a proper vision for the future of Connecticut. It’s our representatives’ work to be sure our state runs efficiently and everyone working for the state is doing their job. Bob Siegrist has promised me he will work hard if he is elected.

Everybody should realize that if they are unhappy with the way our state and national governments are working, waiting for change means waiting forever. The easiest way to make change happen is to get out and vote.

Sincerely,

Mark Bruce Guthrie
Chester

Letter: Linares’s Business Experience: What Is It Exactly?

To the Editor:

The suggestion that voters should support Art Linares for state senator due to his “business experience” deserves closer examination. So does Linares’s portrayal of himself as a champion of free enterprise.

Linares’s company, “Greenskies”, installs solar panels. It is undoubtedly among the most heavily subsidized companies in Connecticut.  In 2012, the Hartford Courant reported that “the biggest impact on Greenskies’ potential for growth by far is how successful it is in capturing state subsidies.” In a lobbying paper to the Connecticut legislature, Greenskies president called such support  “critical”.

How many Connecticut companies depend for growth “by far” mainly on state subsidies? Most companies, like the successful car dealership run by the family of Emily Bjornberg  (Linares’s opponent) must compete on their own merits.  Given the extensive state aid propping up Greenskies, how relevant is Linares’s experience to most businesses ?

Tea Party politicians like Linares usually revile such support as “corporate hand outs” and a bone-headed effort by government to “pick winners and losers”. We’re not hearing that here, however.

Meanwhile – and this is a key point — Linares wants to cut many other state programs supporting equally worthy causes and opposes increasing the minimum wage. For others, Linares believes the free market should set wages and prices – just not in the sector where he does business.

Greenskies use of Chinese solar panels takes this double standard to a new level. In 2012, the U.S. Government found that factories controlled by the Chinese government were selling the panels at prices below their cost of production.  This is an unfair trade practice under U.S. law, known as “dumping”.  Our government imposed tariffs on the panels.

Greenskies liked the artificially cheap panels dumped by the Chinese because they hurt its competitors, who, unlike Greenskies, make their panels in the U.S. Greenskies president bluntly told the press “When we go to toe to toe, we enjoy an advantage. We were perfectly happy with low-cost equipment from China.”

It did not seem to bother Greenskies or Linares that, according to our own government, this “advantage” resulted from Chinese market manipulation. The matter is now before the World Trade Organization.

So I am trying to understand this. It appears that Linares’s business experience is with a company that enjoys state subsidies on a huge scale not available to virtually anyone else, which enable it to distribute panels dumped by Chinese communists at artificially low prices, damaging American companies and destroying U.S. jobs.

That’s quite a business model for a champion of free enterprise.

Sincerely,


David Harfst

Essex

Letter: Linares Ranked Low by League of Conservation Voters

To the Editor:
When my husband and I moved to Essex, one of the compelling reasons for doing so was the natural beauty of the Lower Connecticut River Valley.  We are fortunate that this area has been protected from major development.  In the upcoming election you have an opportunity to choose between two candidates for state senator who share very different views on conservation:  the incumbent Art Linares and his challenger Emily Bjornberg.

Mr. Linares received a lifetime score for his voting record by the independent group League of Conservation Voters that ranks the second lowest in the entire state senate.  Art may work at a solar energy company, but as an intern to Tea Party Senator Marco Rubio in 2010, he must have picked up some very bad ideas on the role of government in protecting the environment.  I cannot believe his voting record on these issues is representative of the people of his district.

Emily has not been ranked by the League as she is not a sitting legislator. However, she is a very committed environmentalist who has served as a member of the Lyme Land Trust for many years. She has been endorsed by State Rep. Phil Miller of Essex, a leading environmental legislator, as well as by Melissa Schlag, now the First Selectman of Haddam and a former Green Party Candidate for the State Senate.

If you appreciate the beauty of our state’s environment, please vote with me for Emily Bjornberg.
Sincerely,
Jane Piro
Essex 

Letter: Judge Terrance Lomme Asks for Your Vote

To the Editor:

I am Terrance D. Lomme, your Judge of Probate and believe I am the best candidate for this office due to my compassion and experience. These two qualities are essential to being an effective Judge. I am very concerned about all of the people who appear before me. I fully understand that there are difficult circumstances that bring people to the Court. As a Veteran, I am sensitive to the Veteran’s issues that are presented to me.

Before being elected Judge, I practiced probate law for over 30 years in the towns that now constitute the 33rd District Court. This experience, combined with being the East Haddam Probate Judge for three years was invaluable to me when, shortly after my election in 2010, I was given the task of merging nine individual courts into the new Saybrook District Probate Court. This was the largest merger of individual Courts in the State.

I am aware my decisions have a major affect on people’s lives, whether it is a decision to conserve an elderly person, to award custody of a child to a grandparent or the loss of a loved one.

As a probate lawyer for 30 years, and seven years as a Judge presiding over three thousand five hundred hearings, I have assisted thousands of families through the probate process. The Court and my clerks have received exemplary ratings from Probate Administration in each of its three reviews. Additionally, the Court budget has not increased since my election.

Further, as a member of the Executive Committee of the Probate Assembly and a member of the National College of Probate Judges, I keep current on State and National trends that may affect the Court.

For the above reasons I ask you to vote for me on November 4th.

Sincerely,

 

Terrance D. Lomme,
Essex

 

Letter: Bjornberg’s Criticism of Sen. Linares is Hypocritical

To the Editor:

As a lifelong Democrat, a former legislator and a former Selectman representing shoreline Towns, and a partner with State Senator Art Linares, Jr. at Greenskies Renewable Energy, I was shocked and quite frankly embarrassed for my party to receive the recent mailer from Emily Bjornberg on Senator Linares’ track record on the environment and the economy.  Her false and hypocritical statements regarding our business seems to be representative of her “win at all costs” mantra, and her criticism of one of Connecticut’s most dynamic and environmentally responsible startup companies clearly displays her basic lack of understanding about both the environment and the economy.

A puzzling and disturbing fact regarding Ms. Bjornberg’s criticisms regarding Senator Linares’s lack of concern for the environment centers around her family business, which has enjoyed millions of dollars of profits for generations selling automobiles, the single largest contributor to carbon monoxide pollution in the atmosphere.  Greenskies sole mission is to reduce carbon footprint throughout Eastern United States through the development of photo-voltaic solar systems.  Even more disturbing (and hypocritical) is the automobile that her family business sells are Subaru! These vehicles are entirely manufactured in Japan by Fuji Heavy Industries.  Yet the most outlandish statement in her mailer is that Senator Linares does not care about Connecticut jobs.  Without political fanfare, without beating his chest, but simply because it was the right thing to do, Senator Linares supported consummating a relationship with the electrical union, and today Greenskies currently employs over 300 IBEW electricians in four states, including Connecticut.  If she cared so much about Connecticut jobs, perhaps, Ms. Bjornberg should consider unionizing her automobile dealership.

In today’s world economy, we enjoy an international platform of business opportunity to benefit all.  Greenskies has purchased products from both U.S. manufacturers and from overseas, and we embrace and are extremely proud of our track record.  I personally appreciate the success of Ms. Bjornberg’s family business as well, which has proudly served the shoreline for generations.  But Ms. Bjornberg’s attempt to malign Senator Linares’ record on the environment and on the economy clearly indicates that she does not possess the balance or the intellectual maturity to represent our district.  She should focus on the issues that separate her and her opponent, and their respective parties, and let voters elect the right candidate for the right reasons.

Sincerely,

 

Robert A. Landino
Westbrook

 

Letter: Bjornberg has the Intellectual Capacity

To the Editor:

After review of the candidates’ backgrounds I am choosing to vote for Emily Bjornberg as our next State Senator.    I need to know my elected representative has the brain power to think on her feet, the intellectual curiosity to dig deeply into issues, the personal skills to listen to and interact with a wide range of people, the leadership skills to influence legislation on issues relevant to our area, and the heart to care.

Emily has real-life experience volunteering and caring for others including aiding the sick in South Africa and working to engage local young people in community service and social justice.    She has real-life experience supporting veterans, including her own husband, who served with the Connecticut National Guard in Iraq.

Emily also has real-life experience as a mother who knows that quality education and protecting children from toxins are important issues if we care about future generations.   She has real-life experience working on behalf of our local environment.   And she has real-life experience with business deeply rooted in the community.  Her family’s business has helped people get where they need to go for generations, from wagon wheels to automobiles, and now Emily is dedicated to helping our constituents go where they want to go…whether they dream of education, a good job , a clean forest for hiking, or a comfortable retirement.

At one of the debates Emily’s opponent decided to attend, our sitting senator said “anyone who is running on social issues doesn’t have anything important to run on.”  He also refused to participate in local debates where he was not provided with questions in advance.

I served on local boards of education for 10 years and know first-hand that balancing budgets with the needs of all of our citizens is difficult.  No decision can be made without considering the impact on all constituents.  This requires analysis and showing up for community dialogues.  “Social issues” do not exist separately from financial issues.

Emily Bjornberg has the maturity, intellectual capacity, and diplomatic skills to make a difference for our region.    She will represent us well and will show up on behalf of all of us.  That’s why she is getting my vote.

Sincerely,

 

Lynne Pease
Chester

Letter: Deep River First Selectman Endorses Bjornberg

To the Editor:

Emily Bjornberg is clearly the choice to represent the 12 towns that comprise Connecticut’s 33rdSenatorial District.  That conclusion is based on 25 years of first hand experience.  Early in my tenure as First Selectman I learned just how important it is to maintain close contact with our representatives in Hartford.  I have spent many hundreds of hours testifying before our Legislators, the men and women who play such an important part in the health of our communities.  The actions—or, unfortunately, inactions, of our representatives in Hartford are crucial to our future.

We have been largely fortunate in our legislative choices: Jamie Spallone, Phil Miller and, for 20 years, Eileen Daily, whose presence we have sorely missed during the two years since she stepped down.  But we have been afforded a golden opportunity, the chance to elect a Senator with the drive, the capacity and the promise to follow in that fine tradition.

Emily Bjornberg speaks passionately and compellingly; she states her beliefs frankly; she clearly enumerates her goals as our State Senator.  Emily has spent time with residents in all corners of the towns she seeks to represent.  She understands us.  Her honesty is immediately apparent.  She will devote herself to the service of her constituents.  Emily Bjornberg should be our next State Senator.
Sincerely,

Richard H. Smith
First Selectman, Deep River

Letter: Greatly Respect Essex First Selectman

To the Editor:

I am responding to a letter by a man I greatly respect, who governs our town in a nonpartisan manner. He is a welcome relief from his predecessor, who had a policeman come to Board of Selectman meetings to save him from debate over his decisions.

Negotiations between a Democratic Governor, a Supermajority State House and a Supermajority State Senate is akin to a Chinese Student negotiating with a Tiananmen tank. They just don’t listen!

Sincerely,

Lynn Herlihy
Essex

Imagining Chester: Special Exhibition Opens Nov. 1

Gray Jacobik of Deep River: Connecticut River (Lord's Cove)

Gray Jacobik of Deep River: Connecticut River (Lord’s Cove)

CHESTER – Imagining Chester, a special exhibit of paintings interpreting scenes of Chester will be shown during November at Maple and Main Gallery and will benefit residents in need.

A percentage of each painting sold will be contributed to the Community Fund and Emergency Fuel bank which allocates money to residents who need help with their heating bills and other emergencies.

The show will be in Maple and Main’s Stone Gallery and will feature paintings done from photographs of Chester Creek, the Pattaconk Brook, the Connecticut River looking toward the East Haddam Bridge, a red barn in town and a scene from the Winter Carnivale.

On Saturday, Nov. 1, there will be an informal wine reception to usher in the exhibit from 5 to 7 p.m.

The gallery, at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Some of the Chester paintings can be seen in the events section of the gallery website: mapleandmaingallery.com.

 

Letter: Road Tolls Not Simple Solution to Gas Tax Replacement

To the Editor:

I attended the debate between Representative Phil Miller and Challenger Bob Siegrist at the Valley High School. I enjoyed the policy debate over issues that face Connecticut. There was one comment that did catch my attention by Representative Miller when he said he wanted to get rid of the gas tax and replace it with tolls. I love a good research project and looked into this campaign idea.

When you combine both the gasoline taxes (gas tax and the gross receipts tax) it totals approx. $900M. One would say great, get rid of burdensome taxes. However, to replace that revenue one would have to litter CT with tolls. And remember that tolls cost money. For comparison, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority incurred approx. $470,000 in costs last year to run them. By the way, there is currently a Federal prohibition of tolls on all interstate highways in CT as they are currently configured (with few exceptions).

While CT is discussing tolls in Southwestern CT along 95, it is part of a pilot program to strategically place tolls in a limited basis in the hopes of reducing traffic congestion, not to raise revenue. In fact, one of those exceptions to place tolls in CT includes all non-interstate highways. Rt. 9 is a non-interstate highway. Get ready for more traffic on Rt. 9 if tolls go up. Do we really need I95 traffic in our backyard?

I would only suggest that before you make any campaign suggestions as massive as this one that you do the research first. What we don’t need are more ways to raise revenue and more spending in a bloated budget. Let’s vote for a candidate who won’t raid the transportation fund and wants to fix our roads and highways, not create more traffic on them. I’m voting for Bob Siegrist on November 4th.

Sincerely,

Ashley Amaio
Chester

 

Letter: Linares has the Business Experience

To the Editor:
I just received the latest campaign mailer from Emily Bjornberg in which she repeats claims that she has made during her debates with Senator Linares regarding his use of “cheap Chinese products over American jobs” in his business.  This attack on Senator Linares is odd in that Emily also claims a great deal of experience working in her family’s small business, Reynolds Subaru, a company that has not sold an American brand car since the Studebaker in 1964.

The hypocrisy is not the real issue. The lack of understanding of the needs of small business and their need to compete in a real world based upon cost of goods sold and satisfying customers’ need is the real issue.

Obviously Emily’s family recognized the changing environment in the 1960’s for automobile purchasers and adapted to the new market realities by importing cars that meet consumer demands.  What she fails to understand, and why she is a bad candidate for representing small business, is that Senator Linares has had to deliver to his clients the product they want at a price that is competitive.

By the way, how many of us have products, for example televisions, or for that matter automobiles, that are entirely made from parts that are only made in the USA?  I suggest that not many can make that claim.

I will vote for Art Linares, a realist, with real business experience.  He knows how to deliver a product that his customers want, knows how to create jobs, and knows how to stimulate business.  Emily apparently does not have that real world knowledge.

Sincerely,

 

John Ackermann
Essex

Essex Corinthian Flo Wins the Tri Club Series

Toby Doyle and the crew of Flo race to honors in the2014 Tri Club River Race Series

Toby Doyle and the crew of Flo race to honors in the2014 Tri Club River Race Series

The yacht Flo skippered by Toby Doyle from the Essex Corinthian and Pettipaug Yacht Clubs, took overall honors in the 2014 Tri Club River Race Series.  The Tri Club series consists of three Connecticut River races sponsored each October by the Essex, Essex Corinthian, and Pettipaug Yacht Clubs.

Joined by crew members Bill Robinson, John Peterson, and Cindy Gibbs; Toby guided Flo to first place in the Thomas Willets Memorial Race, sponsored by the Essex Yacht Club on October 4th; and the Tom Clark Memorial Race sponsored by the Essex Corinthian Yacht Club on October 11th.

L to R:  Bill Robinson, Deb Sands, Toby Doyle, and Cindy Gibbs.  Not pictured:  John Peterson.

L to R: Bill Robinson, Deb Sands, Toby Doyle, and Cindy Gibbs. Not pictured: John Peterson.

Last year’s defender, Celebration, skipped by Jeff Going and Ed Birch, won the Charles Birch Memorial Race sponsored by the Pettipaug Yacht Club on October 18th.  Jeff and Ed are past commodores of both the Essex Corinthian and Pettipaug Yacht Clubs.

While each race presented unique challenges around wind, weather, current, and river navigation; every race provided crews fun sailing and camaraderie during and after racing.

The series traditionally ends at the Decommissioning Party of the Pettipaug Yacht Club where the Tri Club River Race trophy was presented to the winning crew.

Letter: Linares Debate Response Misunderstood

To the Editor:

I attended the debate between State Senator Art Linares, Emily Bjornberg, and Colin Bennett on October 8th at Valley Regional High School. With regard to the letter from Sue Huybensz, who also attended the debate, I am certain that she misunderstood the discussion. In particular, she completely misinterpreted the response by Senator Linares regarding his stand on the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision.

In no way did Senator Linares say that he is opposed to a woman’s right to choose. He pointed out that this issue is not germane to candidates running for the State Senate. If he were running for the United States Senate or were in line for consideration for a position on the Supreme Court, the issue of what methods of birth control must be paid for by a private enterprise would be a worthwhile topic for debate. At a debate for election to State Senator, the issue is a red herring.

When Art shared that he was raised Catholic, he was pointing out that nobody’s personal and religious beliefs supersede the laws of our country. The aim of Senator Linares on the evening of October 8th was to bring the debate’s discussion back to issues that are germane to CT residents, issues that a state senator is empowered to do something about: returning prosperity and top-notch educational and  professional opportunity to the residents of our state.  As a CT woman, I plan to cast my vote for Senator Art Linares.

Sincerely,
Alice van Deursen
Essex

Acton Public Library to Host Author James Rourke Book Talk – Nov. 5

eternal struggleActon Public Library, 60 Old Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook, will host author James Rourke at a Book Talk at 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 5, 2014. Mr. Rourke is the author of two non-fiction books, The Comic Book Curriculum: Using Comics to Enhance Learning and Life, and From My Classroom To Yours: Reflections on Teaching. He will present his novel, The Eternal Struggle, a “supernatural adventure” for Young Adults, and discuss the writing and publishing process. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, please call the library at 860-395-3184, or visit during regular business hours. The library is open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m to 8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.

LVVS November’s ‘Pay It Forward’ Book Donation Program

Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore, CT, Inc. encourages you to pay it forward by donating your gently used 2004 and newer books to replenish its bookstore. You can feel great knowing you are supporting an organization that makes a difference by helping to sustain its tutoring programs. During fall cleaning address that clutter you’ve been meaning to get to by going through books you have already read. Come full circle by dropping off your old books and choosing new ones from our bookstore. Drop off your used books and visit the bookstore Monday-Thursday, 9-2PM, and the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month, 10a.m.-noon. We have a wide selection of hardcovers, paperbacks, children’s books, puzzles and DVD’s. We are located on the lower level of the Westbrook Library, 61 Goodspeed Drive. For more information visit www.vsliteracy.org or call 860-399-0280.

Human Powered Submarines: The Turtle to Jesse III – Nov. 15

Students from Old Saybrook High School and teachers Fred Frese and Gretchen Bushnell with their human powered submarine, Jesse III. The students and the sub will be part of the Connecticut River Museum’s upcoming program Human Powered Submarines: The Turtle to Jesse III.

Students from Old Saybrook High School and teachers Fred Frese and Gretchen Bushnell with their human powered submarine, Jesse III. The students and the sub will be part of the Connecticut River Museum’s upcoming program Human Powered Submarines: The Turtle to Jesse III.

ESSEX —  The Connecticut River Museum will bring past and present together for this program exploring the local heritage of submarine design; from David Bushnell’s American Revolution submarine, Turtle, to Old Saybrook High School’s submarine design program. Come for an afternoon exploring the story of human powered submarines with noted submarine historians Fred Frese and Roy Manstan, along with students from Old Saybrook High School. After a short talk, Old Saybrook High School students and their teachers Fred Frese and Gretchen Bushnell will have their one-man sub Jesse III on view. They will share their experiences designing, building and operating the sub.  The students in the OSHS submarine program are involved in all aspects of the engineering and operations of this human powered sub, including testing the sub at the Bethesda, MD naval testing facility against submarines from around the world.

The program will take place from 2:30 – 5:00, Saturday, November 15, 2014. It will begin with a short talk by Fred Frese and Roy Manstan. Following the talk, visitors can talk with the speakers and the OSHS students, view the Connecticut River Museum’s replica Turtle and the OSHS submarine Jesse III. Admission to the program is free with museum admission. To register, please call 860.767.8269.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open Tuesday – Sunday from 10 am – 5 pm. For more information, call 860.767.8269 or go to www.ctrivermuseum.org.

Books & Bagels – Why Liberal Arts? Chester – Nov. 16

Dr. Michael Roth

Dr. Michael Roth

Why Liberal Arts?  At Books & Bagel in Chester, Wesleyan University’s president defends the liberal arts in the age of specialization

Jobs for young people prove scarce today, and those that are most often available seek graduates who are skilled in specific areas of study. But Wesleyan University’s president, Michael Roth, author of the very influential new book, Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters, argues that it is more important than ever for youngsters to get a well-rounded education.

Dr. Roth, a member of CBSRZ, will spell out his arguments at a free Books & Bagels program, open to the public, at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, November 16.

His book quickly became a national sensation, with its second printing already sold out, and is required reading for every freshman at Harvard.

He says his motivation for writing it can be traced to prevailing attitudes in the age of technology to shun the liberal arts and train just for the job market.  “If we dumb our educational down so it’s vocational we’ll become the call center of the world.” But, he says, “We won’t educate people in the broadest sense, and prepare them to be problem solvers. The liberal arts prepare students for a lifetime of learning.”

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester.  No reservations are necessary; for more information, call the office at 860-526-8920.

Lessons From Life and Fairytales at Deep River Auditorium – Nov. 15

Keryn Nightingale presents her one-woman show, ‘Sympathy for the Devil: The Cancer Initiation of the Handless Maiden’, on Saturday, November 15, at the Deep River Auditorium.

‘Sympathy for the Devil’ is the story of two women: one, a modern-day mother of three, the other, the heroine of an old Eastern-European fairytale. Both women are transformed through trials of endurance.

Keryn Nightingale expertly weaves her personal narrative with that of the handless maiden, creating a show of spellbinding imagery and heartfelt honesty. Lessons about the beauty of helplessness, the relief of letting go, the inspiration of laughter and the power of transcending illusion are presented with humor and punctuated by contemporary music.

Saturday, November 15, at the Deep River Town Hall Auditorium, 174 Main Street. 7:30

$20.00 General Admission (A portion of the proceeds to benefit the Mobile Mammography Lab at Hartford Hospital). Tickets can be purchased at Chester Gallery or at scratchproductions2014.weebly. com.

Essex Meadows – Haitian Art Show Sponsored by Sister Cities Essex Haiti – Nov. 3

Haitian Art 2Sister Cities Essex Haiti is delighted to have been invited once again by Essex Meadows to display a collection of Haitian art in their Meadows gallery.  The opening reception on Monday, November 3 is open to all.

An important aspect of the mission of Sister Cities Essex Haiti is to make people of Essex and all of Southeastern CT aware of the many positive aspects of Haiti.  Haitian art is wonderful- from their colorful paintings to their unique work with metal from discarded oil drums.  This show will focus on the metal art work but will also have several of  colorful paintings depicting rural scenes.  The profits from the sale of the art work will benefit the work of SCEH in Deschapelles Haiti.

The opening reception is open to all and representatives from SCEH will be there until 7:00.  Essex Meadows is located at 30 Bokum Road, Essex.

Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition Meeting – Nov. 5

The Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition will hold its next meeting at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at Tri-Town Youth Services, 56 High Street in Deep River.  The Coalition is comprised of all who live or work in the tri-town area who are concerned about substance abuse and interested in its prevention.

In addition to ongoing prevention programming in our schools and communities the tri-town area is currently involved in Healthy Communities ● Healthy Youth and the Drug Free Communities federal grant.  With 2014-15 being “The Year of the Story” many activities, programs, and events are highlighting the use of stories to promote developmental assets.

Please do join the Coalition to share your thoughts, to learn more about prevention, and to get involved!  For further information, call 860-526-3600.

Fall day in Essex 2

Sunset pond by Jerome Wilson

Sunset pond by Jerome Wilson

Friends of the Essex Library Donate $10,000 to the Library for New Front Doors

Friends Essex Library October 2014

Linda Levene, President of the Friends of the Essex Library presented Richard Conroy, Director of the Essex Library with a check for $10,000 at the Annual Meeting of the Library on Wednesday evening October 15.  The donation will be used to install new, easy to operate front doors on the Library’s Grove Street entrance.  Richard Conroy thanked the Friends for their gift, saying it would be “…appreciated by everyone each time they visit the Library.”

The Friends donation is the result of two very successful fundraising events this Fall:  “Our Library Rocks” in September and the annual Fall Book Sale in October.

Letter: An Open Letter to Republican Women

To the Editor:

I am a fellow Republican woman who always wanted to be married, but I wanted a career instead of children. Thankfully, when I headed off to college in 1974, I had access to birth control and thanks to Roe v. Wade I also had access to what could be a very excruciating choice. [Thankfully I never had to make that choice.] So it was time travel for me to hear Art Linares’ answer to this question at the debate held on October 8 at the Valley Regional High School: “Where do you stand on the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision?” Linares only stated that “he was raised Catholic and isn’t up for appointment as a Supreme Court Justice.” In other words, he is against a woman’s right to choose even birth control!

Haven’t we already dealt with this issue 40 years ago? This extremely right-wing view could have totally changed my life and taken my choice to have a career away from me. Also, I would note that extremist views such as Linares’ are not a fit with his own district’s constituency.

Birthing a child sometimes can be life-threatening. Linares doesn’t care: “No exceptions.” I have had a colleague who died from a brain hemorrhage while she was trying to have a child.

I may have wanted to hear more on Linares’ stances, but it seems he doesn’t like to show up to debates.

Please, if you value your choices as a woman, do not vote for Art Linares.

Sincerely,

Sue Huybensz,
Deep River

“A Letter From Paris” is Back! Amidst Economic Depression, Two Nobel Prizes for France Lift the Communal Spirit

Nicole Prévost Logan

Nicole Prévost Logan

We are delighted to welcome back Nicole Logan, who has returned to Paris for the winter from her summer home in Essex.  She writes our weekly, “Letter from Paris,” which gives a unique insight into France and the French.  Today she writes about the depressing state of the French economy and contrasts it to the tremendous excitement that winning two Nobel Prizes has brought to the country.

It is the time of year when financial laws are voted on and budgets submitted.  The 2015 budget represents a triple hurdle for France since the country is under scrutiny from the European Union (EU) Commission in Brussels headed now by Jean Claude Yuncker from Luxemburg; the Eurogroup (made up of the ministers of finances from the 18 members of the euro zone) and led by Jeroen Dijsselbloem from the Netherlands; and finally by the European Council, presided over by Herman Van Rompuy from Belgium.

Will France meet the criteria set in the 1992 Maestrich Treaty, namely an annual deficit of less than 3 percent and a public debt no more than 60 percent of that GDP?   It is most unlikely, since the latest figures stand at a 4.3 percent deficit.  François Hollande is criticized for not having used the two years respite, granted in 2013, to undertake structural reforms.  Instead, he has limited his action to carry out an austerity program by steadily increasing taxes on the most vulnerable individuals like retirees, wage earners or small entrepreneurs.

So to-day the French government is scrambling for ways to reduce its expenses by 21 billion Euros.  Three sudden measures have shocked public opinion:  closing of the Val de Grace hospital, an historical institution in Paris, the military base of Chalon, and the oldest air base of France in Dijon.  More savings are on the table but promise to provoke violent confrontation since they are all considered as untouchable taboos.

Given the fact France’s economy is the second of Europe, the widespread opinion is that it cannot be allowed to fail.  Imposing sanctions of 0.02 percent would make it even more impossible for the country to pull out of a recession with dire consequences for the rest of the continent.  Behind the scenes, the new French Minister of Economy Emmanuel Macron and his German counterpart are at work on the elaboration of a common investment policy.

Two Nobel prizes have just been awarded to French nationals. This unexpected news has definitely lifted the spirits here.

Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano received the prize for Literature, following in the footsteps of Camus, Sartre and Gide.  Several of his many novels take place during the German Occupation of France. One of them inspired Louis Malle for his outstanding 1974 film Lacombe Lucien.

The Nobel prize for Economics is particularly interesting because it rewards  not only an individual, but also an institution.  Jean Tirone, born in 1953 and a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique, holds a PhD from MIT.  In 2007, he founded  the Toulouse School of Economics (note that this name is in English), inspired  from an American model.  It is today one of the world’s 10 most important centers for economic research.

Tirone belongs to the school of economists using a rigorous scientific and mathematical approach.  His research is centered on the regulation of free market economy.  Tirone’s nomination follows the phenomenal success of Thomas Piketty ‘s ” Capital in the Twenty First Century” published in 2013.

 

Headshot

About the author:  Nicole Prévost Logan divides her time between Essex and Paris, spending summers in the former and winters in the latter.  She will write 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 will cover 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.

Chester Historical Society 11th Antiques & Jewelry Appraisal Program – Nov. 8

On Saturday, Nov. 8, the Chester Historical Society is presenting its 11th Antiques & Jewelry Appraisal program, with 11 experts appraising art works, furniture, books, ephemera, jewelry, clocks and watches, coins and currency, stamps, glass, textiles, and much more.  It will be at St. Joseph’s Parish Center at 48 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 154) in Chester from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon.

Paul Indorf, of Connecticut Jewelry Appraisers, and Gay Sherman Weintz will appraise gemstones and fine jewelry and vintage costume jewelry. Garry Craig, of The Timekeeper in Wallingford (not shown), appraises watches and antique clocks.

Paul Indorf, of Connecticut Jewelry Appraisers, and Gay Sherman Weintz will appraise gemstones and fine jewelry and vintage costume jewelry. Garry Craig, of The Timekeeper in Wallingford (not shown), appraises watches and antique clocks.

Three of the appraisers are generalists, meaning they deal with the full range of antiques. With decades of experience as professional appraisers, they’ve seen it all. They are: Norman and Linda Legassie of Stepping Stones Antiques LLC in Old Saybrook, and Tom Perry of One of a Kind Antiques (www.OneOfaKindAntiques.com).

Tom Perry, of One of a Kind Antiques, is a longtime antiques expert and appraiser

Tom Perry, of One of a Kind Antiques, is a longtime antiques expert and appraiser

The other eight appraisers have specialties. They are: Garry Craig of The Timekeeper (watches and clocks); Orville Haberman of CT River Books (books and ephemera); Paul Indorf of Connecticut Jewelry Appraisers (fine jewelry and gemstones); Steve Lutar and Dave Passamano of Guilford Coin Exchange (coins, currency, and stamps); Tom Medlin of Essex (American furniture of the 18th and 19th centuries, American paintings, and base metals, especially brass candlesticks); John Newman of Deep River (American-made glass and Aladdin oil and electric lamps); and Gay Sherman Weintz (vintage and antique costume jewelry).

Orville Haberman, of Connecticut River Books in Deep River, appraises all types of books and ephemera.

Orville Haberman, of Connecticut River Books in Deep River, appraises all types of books and ephemera.

 

Each attendee may bring up to three separate items to be appraised. If the item is too large to carry, bring photographs (if it’s a table or dresser, bring in a drawer too). Verbal appraisals will cost $10 for the first item; $20 for 2 items; or $25 for 3 items. All proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Chester Historical Society and the Chester Museum at The Mill.

John Newman is an American glassware expert. If he doesn’t have the answers you need, generalist appraisers Norman and Linda Legassie and Tom Perry will.

John Newman is an American glassware expert. If he doesn’t have the answers you need, generalist appraisers Norman and Linda Legassie and Tom Perry will.

St. Joseph’s Parish Center is near the intersection of Main Street and Rte. 154 (Middlesex Avenue) in Chester. There is ample parking and handicapped access. More information, including directions to the event, is on the website, ChesterHistoricalSociety.org, or email your questions to chestercthistoricalsociety@gmail.com or call 860-558-4701.

Pagliugos Win Ivoryton Library’s 5K Road/Trail Race

Meghan Pagliuco

Meghan Pagliuco

2014-10-18 09.36.39 (2)

Christopher Pagliuco

Christopher Pagliuco and Meghan Pagliuco were the overall winners in the Ivoryton Library’s Run Local Read Local 5K Road Trail on Saturday, October 18. Beating 150 other competitors, Christopher was the first to cross the finish line at 19:17 minutes and Meghan finished first in the women’s group at 21:43 minutes.

Second place overall winners in the men’s and women’s groups were Paul Mezick and Nikki Bauman. Third place overall winners were Nick Klomp and Anna Iacovella.

The winners of all age groups as well as the times for all participants can be found on the website of RAT RACE Timing: www.aratrace.com.

The morning’s competition began with the Pumpkin Run for children 8 and under. Directed by the Library’s “Queen of Hearts”, the children’s librarian, Elizabeth Bartlett, the race ended with pumpkin decorating and storytelling for the 20 children participating.

Of the several costume awards, the best group costume prize went to Jerry and Louisa Ketron for their Ocktoberfest costumes.

2014-10-18 10.37.53

This was the Library’s 5th annual race and was sponsored in kind by the Essex Land Trust, Essex Park and Recreation, Essex Police Department, Essex Fire Department, the Ivoryton Congregational Church,  The Order of Ancient Weeders, Riverside Press, Olsen Sanitation, CL &P, Carl Echtman, Essex Boy Scouts (Troop 12), the Village of Ivoryton and the Town of Essex.  Scott’s Essex Farm Market provided the pumpkins for the children.

The fabulous food donations were generously provided by the Blue Hound Cookery, The Ivoryton Tavern, Panera Bread of Waterford, Adams Market, Colonial Market, Stop and Shop of Old Saybrook, Big Y, and Dunkin’ Donuts of Deep River.

The Library is grateful to the many volunteers who worked tirelessly for months up to and including Saturday morning to make this fun, family-friendly event the success that it was.

2014-10-18 08.52.33

Acton Library November Children’s Programs

The Acton Public Library in Old Saybrook announces 3 special Children’s programs for November. On Thursday, November 6th at 6:30pm, join us for “Maddie & Beanie’s Magical Journey” with children’s author, Marilyn Davis; on Wednesday, November 12th,  watch the The Eastern Connecticut Ballet’s preview performance of “The Nutcracker”; and on Thursday, November 20th at 6:30pm,  come for “Money Oragami,” and create some great gifts by folding money!

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

Pursuit Athletic Performance Grand Opening in Chester – Nov. 12

pursuitCHESTER — Pursuit Athletic Performance, an industry leader in gait analysis, athletic training, and sports medicine, is pleased to announce its grand opening and open house on Wednesday, November 12 from 6pm to 8pm at its new state-of-the-art facility. All are invited to meet the staff and tour the 7,000 square-foot space, located at 8 Inspiration Lane in Chester, Conn.

“We are very excited about our expansion, which allows us the opportunity to bring kids’ injury prevention boot-camp classes, adult fitness classes, yoga, strength and conditioning, and our unique advanced gait analysis process, to the entire Middlesex county region,” said Coach Al Lyman, co-owner of Pursuit Athletic Performance. “Our grand opening and open house will allow us to show the public what we have to offer, and we can’t wait.” The business was previously located in a smaller space in Old Saybrook, Conn.

Speaking about the youth boot camps, Coach Graham Rider (Ticks youth lacrosse and Valley Regional High School lacrosse) said: “These programs have been great for our athletes. I’ve already seen improvements in quickness and agility, and there’s no question in my mind that this work will reduce the number of injuries we see. I absolutely recommend the classes to any parent who’s serious about keeping their kids healthy or helping them get to the next level, and I can tell you that my own kids are having a blast.”

About Pursuit Athletic Performance: Pursuit Athletic Performance is a company created by athletes for athletes. Its mission is to provide cutting-edge fitness and injury prevention classes and personal training that help and support athletes of any age, ability level and sport to be injury resistant, stronger, faster, and better.

For more information about the grand opening and new space, visit the facility’s website at: http://pursuittrainingcenter.com,

For more information and images about the grand opening and recent “Team Pursuit” open house, visit the company’s blog at: http://pursuitathleticperformance.com/2014/pursuit-athletic-performance-announces-grand-opening-and-open-house/

For more information about the company’s unique gait analysis process and “Team Pursuit Athletic Performance”, visit http://pursuitathleticperformance.com, or follow the company on Twitter: @PursuitAthlete.

 

Test Results Place Country School Math Students at the Top – Worldwide

TIMSS FINALIn an international math assessment, Madison Country School 4th Graders placed in the highest band possible—alongside students in Singapore and Chinese Taipei.

Last year, when they were in 4th Grade, members of The Country School’s Class of 2018 participated in a math assessment known as the Connecticut Independent School Test of Mathematics. Given through the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools, the test is a replica assessment drawn from previous administrations of the international math test, Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). By participating in the test, Connecticut independent schools are given a benchmark, allowing them to compare Connecticut students to relative students in 26 countries in the TIMSS sample.

The results, announced recently by the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools, include some great news for The Country School: The score of the average Country School math student falls in the highest band possible. In fact, the score of the average TCS student “places the school at or above the achievement level of the countries in the top decile of performance (Singapore and Chinese Taipei),” according to an announcement from Doug Lyons, Executive Director of the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools. “You and the faculty at The Country School should be proud of this result,” Dr. Lyons said. “Bravo!”

John Fixx, Head of School at The Country School, said the school is immensely proud of the results—and of students and teachers. “For almost 60 years, The Country School has reviewed and adopted best practices in education,” he said. “I am so proud of our faculty for wholly embracing curricular advances and for their deep commitment to our students. Likewise, I am proud of our students for being such eager and enthusiastic learners.”

Mr. Fixx also thanked the community for its commitment to teacher professional development. “To prepare our graduates for the finest secondary schools and high schools in the United States requires a perpetual commitment to the professional development of our faculty,” he said. “It is both exciting and rewarding to see The Country School community come together to support our students, who show they are among the best in the world.”

Founded in 1955, The Country School is a coeducational, independent day school serving students in PreSchool through Grade 8. At The Country School, a rigorous academic program is accompanied by a commitment to hands-on learning, a dynamic STEAM curriculum (integrated science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), and a focus on the whole child. The Country School prepares students to meet the future with confidence, encouraging them to reach their highest, both in school and in life. Learn more at www.thecountryschool.org.

TTYS Program “Raising Your Children in the Digital Age” – Nov. 13

We raise our children in a world filled with screens. Does it matter? What impact is it having? You are invited to the free program, “Raising Young Children in the Digital Age”, on Thursday, November 13th from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Chester Elementary School Auditorium.  Come hear what child health advocates and educators, including Dr. Cara Barbierri from Pathways Center for Learning and Behavioral Health, have to say about our young children’s exposure to digital media.

The first 15 participants to register will receive a free copy of Talking Back to Facebook.  Please call 860-526-3600 or visit www.tritownys.org to register.  This program, which is funded through a grant from Middlesex United Way, is made possible through a collaboration of the Early Childhood Council of Chester, Deep River, and Essex and Tri-Town Youth Services Bureau.

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

 

Two Events for Local Artist Dan Dahlstrom at Essex Library in November

Dan Dahlstrom Pic PaintingThe Essex Library will be hosting an art exhibit November 3rd through November 28th, and artist’s “Meet and Greet” on Saturday November 8th, 2014, 1-4 PM, for painter, Daniel (Dan) Dahlstrom.

Mr. Dahlstrom, originally of Essex, CT, currently resides in Chester, CT. His work has been accepted into many local juried shows, including the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, Connecticut, held in conjunction with the Lyme Art Association.  Dan has studied at the prestigious Lyme Art Academy, and with several professional, local artists.

Current commissioned pieces are on display at the Water’s Edge Resort, Westbrook, Connecticut, The Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station, Haddam, Connecticut , and in private collections with select interior designers.

Mr. Dahlstrom’s inspiration comes from the light effects of nature, and his renderings impact a serene, peaceful quality. He often paints scenes of his beloved Chester, The Connecticut River, Long Island Sound, and the surrounding vistas of the beautiful countryside of New England. He enjoys working “en plein air” (in the open air) and in his studio.

Patrons may view his work at The Essex Library: 33 West Avenue, Essex, CT. For more information you may call the library at: (860) 767-1560 or go to: www.youressexlibrary.org.

 

Concert in the Garden Featuring DB Rielly and Local Duo Ebin Rose – Nov. 9

D. B. Rielly

D. B. Rielly

DB Rielly and Local Duo Ebin Rose will be featured at the Concert in the Garden at the Leif Nilsson Studio and Gallery on November 9 from 4-6 pm.

$10 donation – BYOB and picnic – Outdoor Bistro Style Seating in the Amphitheatre.
First come first seated. Rain or Shine! Performances are held inside the Gallery during inclement weather.

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

Local duo Ebin Rose will open the show.

D.B. Rielly is an award-winning singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who, along with his band, performs a wide-ranging collection of Americana music, including Roots, Zydeco, Blues, and Alt-Country. WMLB in Atlanta calls him “One of the best songwriters you’ve never heard of” and Country Music People Magazine says he is “Rootsy, frequently very funny, witty and cynical, literate and highly enjoyable. Rielly is definitely someone to watch out for.” D.B. promises his listeners an “instantaneous cure for all afflictions.”

Check out his videos, they are amazing!

http://www.dbrielly.com
http://www.youtube.com/dbrielly
http://www.facebook.com/pages/DB-Rielly/43416220585

 

Letter: Old Saybrook Causeway Litter is Eyesore and Safety Issue

To the Editor:

Walking the causeway in Old Saybrook is more of an obstacle course than relaxing.  The condition of the causeway is an absolute disgrace.  There are mothers with baby strollers walking in the roadway to avoid the mess and stench on the sidewalk left by fishermen.

The blood stains, fish parts, plastic bags, fishing hooks, fishing line, broken nets, beer and liquor bottles are trashing one of Old Saybrook’s most scenic areas.  This litter is not just an eyesore and safety issue, but also has a major impact on our wildlife.

Others who walk the causeway see the same mess and they have gone to express their concerns to the First Selectman’s Office who in turn told them he has written letters to the DEEP, and all to no avail was his response.

Fishing is permitted year round here.  Unsafe habits of the fishermen will continue to destroy our beautiful Sound and endanger our wildlife.  Just as the town beach is regulated, the causeway needs to be too.  Perhaps charges need to be set per fishing pole/net to offset cleanup costs and deter such behavior.  Maybe your readers will have other thoughts how this abuse can be stopped.

Sincerely,

Christina LaVaughn,
Local resident

Pancake Breakfast Essex Fire Engine Co. No. 1 – Nov. 2

Essex Fire Company will be hosting a pancake breakfast on Sunday November 2 from 7 am – 11 am at the Essex Fire Headquarters, 11 Saybrook Road, Essex

They will have fire apparatus on display along with rescue equipment.  Sparky the fire dog will also be there!

Please bring a can of food for the Shoreline Soup Kitchen.

EFD Pancake Breakfast and Parade_Page_1

 

Essex Garden Club Installs “Francesca”

Franchescagardenclub

Essex Garden Club has created “Francesca” to compete in this year’s Scarecrow Competition sponsored by the Essex Board of Trade. Pictured left to right are Eve Potts, Mylan Sarner and Sandy French.  “Francesca” sits at the entrance to Town Park on Main Street where the Garden Club members recently completed their fall cleanup.

Israeli Novelist Comes to Chester – Nov. 6

The Hilltop - Assaf GavronSettlements in the West Bank have been the subject of fierce debate in Israel and around the world. What public officials say often misses the human consequences of this state of affairs. But these consequences become obvious and compelling in the novel The Hilltop, by the Israeli author Assaf Gavron.

Gavron will speak about the West Bank and read from his highly praised book at 8:00 pm on Thursday, Nov 6th in a free program open to the public at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek in Chester.

“With the conflict in the Middle East over the summer, we have been facilitating several congregational meetings at CBSRZ to discuss the events happening over seas and to work out our frustrations about a difficult situation. It was very timely and fortuitous that we were contacted by RJ Julia Booksellers at the exact same moment to co-sponsor this event with them and to host Assaf Gavron at CBSRZ to talk about his book, The Hilltop, that examines precisely these types of struggles,” says Tracy Kleinberg, chair of the program committee, which has produced Books & Bagels for more than twenty years.

Khaled Hosseini, author of the “Kite Runner,” says, “In The Hilltop, Gavron’s unique gift is on full display in all of its eccentric, genre-bending glory. He treads the line between the serious and the absurd, the tragic and the comical, the sincere and the satirical, and creates a sweeping, complex story that raises more questions than it provides answers.”

From the review in Booklist: “Israeli settler Othniel just wants to grow some arugula, some tomatoes, and keep a goat. He wanders out of his settlement onto a hilltop overlooking the Judean desert and a Palestinian village and comes upon the ideal plot of land. Soon he’s the unofficial leader of an illegal little settlement contending with a monstrous web of red tape…

“Life on the hilltop grows evermore imperiled as the rogue settlers finally provoke the wrath of the epically ambivalent authorities by triggering an international incident. This many-storied, funny, shrewd, and tender satire dives into the heart of Israel, a land of trauma and zeal, fierce opinions and endless deliberation. From failed marriages to governmental dysfunction to the tragic Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Gavron’s spirited desert saga embraces the absurd and the profound and advocates for compassion and forgiveness, even joy.”

For more information on Books and Bagels or other programs at CBSRZ, please contact the office at 860-526-8920.   Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester.

 

Essex Savings Bank Earns Sustained Superiority Award

ESSEX — Essex Savings Bank has earned the prestigious Sustained Superiority Award from BauerFinancial, Inc. of Coral Gables, Florida, the nation’s leading independent bank rating and research firm, for continuing at their highest 5-Star rating for strength and stability.  Bauer Financial has been reporting on and analyzing the performance of U.S. banks since 1983.  No institution can pay BauerFinancial to rate it, nor can an institution choose to be excluded.  Essex Savings Bank has proven its commitment to superiority by earning this top rating for at least the latest 57 consecutive quarters.  Fewer than 10% of the nation’s banks can claim this distinction.  In order to do so, the Bank has excelled in areas of capital adequacy, delinquent loan levels and profitability to name just a few.  Consistently earning BauerFinancial’s highest rating assures customers and the community that Essex Savings Bank is a strong financial institution that will be able to fulfill their banking needs for years to come and is the gold standard of choices in a complex financial industry. Gregory R. Shook, President and CEO, noted, “ We are proud to receive this award and hope that individuals, families and businesses will appreciate the opportunity to build long term relationships with us.”

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

Letter: Essex First Selectman Endorses Bjornberg

To The Editor:

As a business owner and the First Selectman of Essex, I am keenly aware of the difficulties companies and municipalities face here in Connecticut. Small towns like are taking on an unfair share of the burden and are feeling the weight of an increasing number of unfunded mandates from the state.

We need a stronger voice in Hartford, and that’s why I am endorsing Emily Bjornberg for State Senate in the 33rd District. She has the life experience, tenacity and drive to effect real change in Hartford.

Representing our region in Hartford needs to be more than casting a partisan protest vote against the state budget and then blaming the state’s problem on others. What our region needs is someone who will be at the table as important decisions are being made to represent the needs of our towns.

She understands the needs of small business, having grown up working with her family who owns Reynolds Subaru in Lyme. It’s through that family, made up of prominent local Republicans and Democrats, who have instilled in her the ability to find the common ground necessary to bring about constructive and positive change.

I ask that you join me in voting for Emily on November 4.

Sincerely,

Norman Needleman
First Selectman, Essex.

 

 

Free Program on Zentangling at Chester Library – Oct. 30

Want an evening out to try something new? The Friends of Chester Library invite you to their free PopUp program on zentangles at the Library on Thursday, Oct. 30, from 6 to 8 p.m. Sue Zirlen will show you the basics of zentangling – creating black and white drawings that begin with a simple line and then become increasingly more intricate. Zentangling (sometimes called zendoodling) turns drawings into artistic design while reducing stress and improving focus. This PopUp is for adults; no artistic talent required; no supplies needed. No need to preregister; just come! This program was offered in September and was so popular that Sue Zirlen is offering to teach it again this month. More info at 860-526-0018

A fall leaf zentangle by Sue Zirlen – just one of a myriad of designs one can create by zentangling

A fall leaf zentangle by Sue Zirlen – just one of a myriad of designs one can create by zentangling

Local Student Awarded Carolyn Greenleaf Memorial Music Award

The Carolyn Greenleaf Committee is happy to announce the winner of this semester’s Carolyn Greenleaf Memorial Music Award.  She is Elizabeth (Libby) Ryan, an oboe student of Johanna Lamb at the Community Music School and a student at Nathan Hale Ray High School in East Haddam.

The award was established in honor of Carolyn Greenleaf, who was passionate about music education. To ensure Carolyn’s legacy, the Carolyn Greenleaf Memorial Award Committee partnered with the Community Foundation of Middlesex County in 2007 to establish the Carolyn Greenleaf Memorial Fund.

This merit-based award, open to students in Middlesex County and the Lymes, provides a semester of private instruction at the Community Music School.

In addition to her study at the Community Music School, Libby has participated in several master classes at the school and plays principal oboe and English horn in the Thames Valley Youth Symphony, as well as in her high school band.  In addition, she has participated in CMEA All-state Orchestra as principal oboe and the UCONN and UMASS High School Honors Bands.   This past summer she participated in the Ithaca College Summer Music Academy.  Her future plans include majoring in music in college.

The Carolyn Greenleaf Memorial Music Award Committee accepts applications twice a year.  The deadline for the Spring 2015 semester will be Friday, January 9th at 4 PM. Applications may be downloaded from the websites of the Community Music School (www.community-music-school. org) and the Community Foundation of Middlesex County (www.middlesexcountycf.org) in June and January each year.

Community Foundation of Middlesex County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Middlesex County.  Its two-fold mission is: (1) to work with charitably-minded individuals and organizations to build permanent endowments and other charitable funds; and (2) to support local nonprofit organizations through effective grant making and multiple programs to address community needs. Since its founding in 1997, the Community Foundation has provided over 1,100 grants totaling more than $3.6 million to organizations for the arts, cultural and heritage programs, educational activities, environmental improvements, and for health and human services. For more information, contact CFMC at 860.347.0025 or info@MiddlesexCountyCF.org

 

Letter: Siegrist a Fresh Face

To the Editor:

I endorse Bob Siegrist for State Representative in the 36th District, representing Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam.

Bob is a Quinnipiac University graduate, majoring in Political Science and History. He serves as Secretary of the Haddam Republican Town Committee and is a Justice of the Peace. He stepped forward to run for office when the endorsed candidate withdrew to run for Lieutenant Governor.

I am pleased to see a new generation of  Republicans willing to serve their community.

I have been impressed by Bob’s sincerity and concern for the issues facing our district and the state. He is committed to fiscal responsibility and stresses the need for consensus and the need to work together.  Bob Siegrist is keenly aware that state spending is out of control and will oppose tax increases.

Between CT income tax, property tax, sales tax and gas tax the young and the old are fleeing CT. Representative Miller wants to add yet another tax, tolls on Routes 95 and 84. As Mr. Siegrist said about government spending, in the recent debate “Enough is Enough.”

We need a fresh face in the Connecticut House of Representatives.

Sincerely,

Gary van Deursen
Essex

Letter: Thank you from Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore

To The Editor:

The 4th Annual Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore Wine Tasting & Auction held on October 2nd at the Saybrook Point Pavilion helped raise funds to address the urgent need for reaching out to students in need of improving their English or learning English as a Second Language in the Valley Shore towns and the tutoring program that serves them.

Fundraising events like this one are only successful due to the people and organizations who come together for a worthy cause. Literacy Volunteers is especially fortunate to have had an extraordinary combination of those two elements making this year’s event a rousing success. Special thanks to our title sponsors The Clark Group and Bailey, Murphy & Scarano LLC who always seem to answer our call and to SeaSide Wine & Spirits, this year’s title sponsor. We appreciate sponsors A R Mazzotta, Bogaert Construction, Essex Savings Bank, Ivory Wealth Management, Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets and Tower Laboratories for their participation and support. Special thanks are due to Elizabeth Steffen, Barb Erni, Arcangela Claffey, Paula Chabot, Judy Souza and Paula Ferrara as well as staff members Joanne Argersinger and Donna Whelen without whom this event would not have been successful.

Finally, thank you to all those who attended and enjoyed the wine, friendly atmosphere and bid on the many donated items to support L.V.V.S. and the cause of literacy.   We look forward to seeing you again next year!

Sincerely,

John J. Ferrara
Executive Director
Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore, CT, Inc.

Making Middlesex County Bully-Free – Countrywide Campaign

Working to prevent bullying, a group of Middlesex County business leaders and the Community Foundation of Middlesex County (CFMC) announce the Campaign for Bully-Free Communities.

Aiming to highlight the No Bully Zone Program underwritten by the Council of Business Partners  Fund created through CFMC, the campaign will rally Middlesex County individuals, businesses, municipalities, school districts, libraries and other community organizations to “stand together” for a Bully-Free community.

“Bullying has destructive consequences on our young people, and it is something we don’t have to accept. It is a social behavior we’d like to see change,” said Dave Director, Council of Business Partners Chair and CFMC Board member. He also is President/owner of Connecticut Lighting Centers of Hartford and Southington.

“Our feeling [as business owners] is these kids are our future employees, and we need to do what we can to provide them with the necessary tools to be successful in society and to feel good about themselves,” Director said. “We’ve initiated a program that will truly make a difference in their lives, and in all of our lives, too.”

In 2009, working through the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, the Council of Business Partners Fund was established and with the help of Rushford, a Hartford Healthcare Partner, the “No Bully Zone” program was developed and funded. Council members contribute $1,000 annually along with $5,000 to $7,000 donated annually from the Interfaith Golf Open Tournament of Middletown which consists of Congregation Adath Israel of Middletown, CT and St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Portland, CT. The Interfaith Golf Tournament is also a Council member.

In coordinating the Campaign for Bully-Free Communities, CFMC and the Council of Business Partners has joined forces with the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS); EMPOWER; The First Tee of Connecticut; LiveKind; Rushford, A Hartford Healthcare Partner; Former NBA and UCONN basketball player Donny Marshall; and Elizabeth Shulman (LMFT), to encourage everyone in Middlesex County to take a pledge to stand together against bullying and all mean-spirited behavior.

To date, the partnership has implemented the No Bully Zone Program in Keigwin Middle and Woodrow Wilson Middle schools in Middletown; in the Haddam-Killingworth school district; in Oddfellows Playhouse projects; The Country School; and in conjunction with The First Tee of Connecticut youth programs.  Most recently, the program was adapted for school bus travel on buses operated by M&J Bus Inc.

“The No Bully Zone Program has been a very successful initiative, and we are proud to come together as a community to provide positive and useful tools to not only our young people but, also to everyone no matter what age they are,” said Cynthia Clegg, CFMC President and CEO.

The Campaign for Bully-Free Communities will be ongoing, with a kick-off rally on October 22, 2014 that is Unity Day, the highlight of October’s national bullying prevention month. The rally will be held at EMPOWER, located at 2011 South Main Street in Middletown.

The Community Foundation of Middlesex County (CT) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Middlesex County.  Its two-fold mission is: (1) to work with charitably-minded individuals and organizations to build permanent endowments and other charitable funds; and (2) to support local nonprofit organizations through effective grant making and multiple programs to address community needs. Since its founding in 1997, the Community Foundation has provided over 1,100 grants totaling more than $3.6 million to organizations for the arts, cultural and heritage programs, educational activities,  environmental improvements, and for health and human services.

 The Council of Business Partners includes: John Sullivan of A&A Office Systems; Arlene Mazzotta and Laura Pedersen of A.R. Mazzotta Employment Specialists; William, Susan and Shawn McCann of BEST Cleaners; Colin Burr of Brown & Brown of CT, Inc.; David Director of Connecticut Lighting Centers, Inc.; David Gilbert of Direct Energy; William McMinn of Essex Printing/Events Magazines; Daniel Zimmerman of LiveKind; Mauricio Salgar of Gabrielle’s/The Black Seal; James Mahoney of Mahoney Sabol & Co., LLP; Marc Levin of Mallove’s Jewelers; Karen Beebe of M & J Bus Company; Theodore Rossi of The Rossi Group; David Shulman of Suburban Stationers, Inc.; Attorney Nancy Raczka; and St. Mary’s Church in Portland and Congregation Adath Israel in Middletown of the Interfaith Golf Open Tournament.

 

For more information on the Campaign for Bully-Free Communities, go to middlesexcountycf.org or call 860.347.0025

The Estuary Players Present “Fallen Angels” by Noel Coward – Nov. 6 & 13

OLD SAYBROOK —  It’s show time at The Estuary! Noel Coward’s, “Fallen Angels” will be presented at 1:30 p.m. on two Thursdays in November, the 6th and the 13th. This staged reading comedy is the third production of The Estuary Players, a drama club established and directed by Joyce Beauvais. The play is set in London during the 1920’s. A Fluffy, fun and fabulous show, it is one of the best of Noel Coward’s drawing room comedies.

The show is open to the public with seating available on a first come-first served basis. Doors open at 1 p.m. Lunch is served daily at Noon at the Estuary Council. If you wish to enjoy lunch before the show, a reservation is required by calling ahead the day before by 11 a.m.

The Estuary Council of Seniors Inc. (ECSI) is a non-profit regional senior center located in the M. Monica Eggert Senior Center on the Connecticut River Estuary at 220 Main Street in Old Saybrook. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for people 50 years and older. ECSI is a community resource for the nine-town Estuary region’s residents over 50 years old providing nutrition, transportation, health support services, education opportunities, and socialization. Additional information can be found at our website, www.ecsenior.org or by calling 860.388.1611.

Art, Wine and Finance at the Leif Nilsson Spring Gallery – Nov. 6

artPlease join us for a special free event featuring Art, Wine & Finance at the Leif Nilsson Spring Studio & Gallery at 1 Spring Street in Chester Center on Thursday, November 6th from 5:30-7:30 pm.

Fine art, good wine and quality finance share similar characteristics. They all take time to craft and require professional skill and creativity. Come and learn more about the art of finance, fine art and finer living and how they can enrich your life.

Adam Richwine, Financial Advisor with Edward Jones; Artist Leif Nilsson; and Wine Merchant Eric Nelson from The Chester Package Store will share their expertise with you.

A wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres are included. RSVP by November 1st. 860-526-2077.

Essex Meadows Receives LEED Gold Certification

ESSEX — Imagine what a group of residents and staff who cares about its environment can do for a 26-year-old retirement community with 318,936 sq. ft. of space. With lighting upgrades, solar power, geothermal heating, low-flow plumbing and an ozone injection system, among other investments, the result is a resourceful use of water, chemicals and electricity in daily life. Essex Meadows, a lifecare retirement community located at 30 Bokum Road in Essex, Conn., has implemented these green principles, and is proud to announce that the U.S. Green Building Council has recognized the community’s efforts and has given it one of the organization’s highest honors: LEED Gold certification. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an initiative promoted by the U.S. Green Building Council to recognize organizations across the country and their efforts to reduce global footprints.

“We’re honored to receive this certification,” said Jennifer Rannestad, Executive Director of Essex Meadows. “We find it very important to make a difference, and now our efforts to do our part have been recognized.”

Senior living communities across the country are making renovations to improve environmental sustainability as a new wave of older adults, with progressive priorities in addition to a desire for the traditional necessities of retirement living, are searching for active, engaged communities to call home. Essex Meadows took the necessary steps to meet changing expectations, which include: installation of a solar power system; geothermal heating and cooling used in new construction; lighting upgrades; extensive HVAC balance testing; non-potable water used in irrigation; new low-flow plumbing fixtures; an ozone injection system added to laundry; a full recycling and green cleaning program; and naturalized meadows for wildlife and reduced mowing. Essex Meadows also purchases locally grown food when feasible, and provides real-time monitoring of the community’s solar power system on its website to show the positive impact the installation is having.

“Our green initiatives are important aspects of what makes Essex Meadows what it is,” Rannestad said. “And these initial principles we’ve implemented are a step in the right direction for us to continue making a difference.”

The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program takes into account many factors while considering whether a structure is certified “green.” Categories judged and scored for each building include: Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental, Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, and Innovation in Operations.

 

New Pastor at First Baptist Church in Essex

On September 28th, First Baptist Church in Essex officially installed their new pastor, Rev. Joy Perkett.  Participants in the service included Rev. Joe Delahunt, a representative of the American Baptist Churches of Connecticut, Rev. Amy Hollis, a local Baptist pastor and former member of First Baptist Church in Essex and Philip Miller, the state representative for the 36th Assembly District.

Joy Perkett was called by the congregation in early May and her first Sunday was July 13th.    She is an ordained minister in the American Baptist tradition and holds a Master of Divinity and Master of Social Work from Boston University.  Rev. Perkett is also a Licensed Master Social Worker.  Prior to her appointment at First Baptist Church in Essex, she worked as a campaign coordinator around issues of economic justice and as a case manager with people recovering from addiction and mental illness.   Rev. Perkett’s vision for ministry is one in which we experience God’s love and peace in our own lives and then go forth and share it with the world.  She is passionate about spiritual growth and development as well as meaningful work in the community.   She was drawn to First Baptist Church in Essex by the deep, abiding love they share with one another and with the world.

First Baptist Church in Essex was founded in 1811 and built in its current location in 1846.  The church’s slogan is “Planting the Seeds of God’s Love since 1811”.  One of the notable ways the church planted seeds of God’s love is by envisioning and starting the Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries in 1989.  Since then, the non-profit has grown to include eight soup kitchens and four food pantries in an eleven town area.  First Baptist Church remains active in the Shoreline Soup Kitchen and continues to envision new ways to serve including donating meat for the local food programs and collecting food donations at local grocery stores.  The church also fosters relationships and spiritual growth through its book and Bible studies.  They meet for worship on Sundays at 10 a.m.  For more information, visit the church website at www.fbcinessex.org or call the office at 860-767-8623.