August 30, 2016

Senator Chris Murphy Hosts Town Hall Discussion This Afternoon in Chester

CHESTER — Congress heads back into session next month, and Senator Chris Murphy wants to know what’s on your mind …

Join him this afternoon, Tuesday, Aug. 30, at 4:30 p.m. at the Chester Meeting House to talk about issues you care about and ask him your questions. This event is open to the public, so invite your friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors.

Questions and RSVPs can be directed to Emily Boushee at Emily_boushee@murphy.senate.gov

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Chester/Deep River Boy Scout Troop 13 Announces Five New Eagle Scouts

Chester/Deep River Boy Scout Troop 13 presents five new Eagle Scouts: from left to right are Andrew Myslik, Jacob Beauliu, Adam Dalterio, Benjamin Toles and  Alexander Maxwell VI.  Photo by Alexander Toles.

Gathered for a photo are Chester/Deep River Boy Scout Troop 13’s five newest Eagle Scouts. From left to right are Andrew Myslik, Jacob Beauliu, Adam Dalterio, Benjamin Toles and Alexander Maxwell VI. Photo by Alexander Toles.

CHESTER/DEEP RIVER — Troop 13 – Boy Scouts of America would like to congratulate five Chester residents on earning the rank of Eagle Scout. These five young men have been in scouting together since elementary school as Cub Scouts in Pack 13.

The Eagle Scouts completed projects at Camp Hazen YMCA, recreation and historic locations in the town of Chester.  All the work completed benefits the visitors, school groups and residents of Chester as they enjoy these areas around town.

To become an Eagle Scout, a Boy Scout must earned 21 merit badges and advance through the seven scout ranks by learning Scout and Life skills while simultaneously providing leadership to his Troop and service to his community.

One of the final requirements for the Eagle Rank is to show leadership in and complete a service project that benefits the Scout’s community, school, or religious institution; all of this work must be completed prior to the young man’s eighteenth birthday.

Benjamin James Toles’ Eagle Scout Service Project involved developing and implementing a plan to demo eleven sets of non-complaint aged wooden stairways and replace with new treated wood, code compliant steps, platform and railings on cabins in and around the Sachem Village portion on the grounds of Camp Hazen YMCA. The completed project improved the safety of the venue while maintaining its rustic appearance. Ben was awarded the rank at this Eagle Scout Court of Honor Ceremony on March 20, 2016.  Ben will attend University of Rhode Island this fall.

Andrew James Myslik’s Eagle Scout Service Project involved developing and implementing a plan to improve the deteriorating border of the Chester Burial Grounds fronting on North Main Street. Specifically, the project involved the removal of an old wire fence, stumps and debris and replaced it with one hundred and eighty feet of painted picket fence and posts and included the installation of a recycled historic iron gate. The completed project presents the site in a more historically correct, respectful appearance.

Andrew was awarded the rank at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor Ceremony on June 5.  Andrew will attend George Washington University in Washington, DC this fall.

Adam Gerard Dalterio’s Eagle Scout Service Project was to replace three aging benches with two new hand built oversized Adirondack benches and a hand build eight-foot tall giant chair embossed with Camp Hazen signage complete with newly restored landscaping features on the grounds of Camp Hazen YMCA.

Adam was awarded the rank at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor Ceremony on Aug. 14.  Adam will attend Vermont Technical College this fall.

Jacob Louis Beaulieu’s Eagle Scout Service Project involved developing and implementing a plan which included the construction of a new tether ball court, the installation of two reinforced poured concrete access ramps serving site sheds, the stripping and resurfacing of stationary pedestal cooking grills and edging and grading of various sections of the site that make up the Robert H. Pelletier Park on the shores of Cedar Lake.

Jacob was awarded the rank at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor Ceremony on Aug. 14.  Jacob will attend Middlesex Community College this fall.

Alexander Maxwell, VI‘s Eagle Scout Service Project involved developing and implementing a restoration plan to remove all the decking, railing, seating and a gateway to be replaced with new treated lumber complimented with decorative end post caps on the Chester Creek Scenic Overlook near its confluence with the Connecticut River. The completed project improved the safety and usability of the overlook while maintaining its rustic appearance.

Alex was awarded the rank at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor Ceremony on August 14.  Alex will attend University of Rhode Island this fall.

We at ValleyNewsNow.com send hearty congratulations to these five, fine young men on this great achievement!

Troop 13 Boy Scouts serves the boys ages 11-18 of Chester and Deep River. The purpose of the Boy Scouts of America is to help young men develop their character and life skills all while having fun. There is much emphasis placed on assisting these young men to develop into strong healthy citizens who will lead our communities and country in the years ahead.

The Boy Scout methods help to promote these ideals through the challenge of putting them into practice with the Troop Program. This is done in a way that is both challenging and fun.

To learn more information about joining Troop 13, contact Scoutmaster, Steven Merola at 860-526-9262

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Essex Library Hosts Art Exhibition by Phyllis Bevington Through September

One of the signature paintings by Phyllis Bevington that will be on display in Essex Library's September exhibition.

One of the signature paintings by Phyllis Bevington that will be on display in Essex Library’s September exhibition.

ESSEX — With her father’s encouragement, Phyllis Bevington’s interest in art began during her childhood. Yet it was not until later, when she studied at the Lyme Academy of Fine Art that this interest developed into a passion. Bevington’s creative development was fostered by numerous artists and teachers at both the Academy and Lyme Art Association, including Dean Keller, Dan Gheno, Jerry Caron, Lou Bonamarte, Noel Belton, Bernie McTigue, Christopher Zhang, and Leah Lopez.

Reflecting upon her artistic career, Bevington states, “Those tentative classes at the Academy have led to years of discovery, satisfaction, frustration and enduring friendships. I have been fortunate to travel to fascinating sites to paint and to meet with many people with similar interests, all while doing something I love.”

This passion for painting has prompted Bevington to attend workshops in New Mexico, Portugal, Madeira, France and Ireland. Throughout her career, she has worked in many media, but currently prefers to work in oil. Today, the artist frequently participates in shows and exhibitions and is active with “The Brushstrokes,” a group of en plein air painters. Her paintings are featured in collections in the United States, United Kingdom, and Chile.

Bevington’s exhibit will run from Saturday, Sept. 3 through Wednesday, Sept. 28. The exhibit is free and open to all.

The Essex Library is located at 33 West Ave. in Essex.

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September is ‘Fine Forgiveness Month’ at Deep River Public Library

DEEP RIVER — September is ‘Fine Forgiveness Month’ at the Deep River Public Library. Bring in a canned or non-perishable item to donate to the Tri-Town Food Pantry and the library will erase your fines. This program is valid only through the month of September.

For more information, visit http://deepriverlibrary.accountsupport.com and click on the monthly calendar, or call the library at 860-526-6039 during service hours: Monday 1 – 8pm; Tuesday 10 am – 6 pm; Wednesday 12:30 – 8 pm; Thursday and Friday 10 am – 6 pm; and Saturday 10 am – 5 pm.

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Paint ‘Almond Blossoms’ by Van Gogh with Vista Tonight at Penny Lane Pub

'Almond Blossoms' by Vincent Van Gogh.

‘Almond Blossoms’ by Vincent Van Gogh.

Artists of all skill levels can recreate “Almond Blossoms” by Vincent Van Gogh on Monday, Aug. 29, during Paint Night With Vista at Penny Lane Pub in Old Saybrook.

Paint Night With Vista is a social group art class hosted by Vista Life Innovations, an organization that provides services and resources to individuals with disabilities.

No prior painting experience is required to participate. Vista Arts Specialist Samantha Listorti will guide participants step-by-step during the process. At the end of the night, participants leave with their finished pieces—and memories of a fun night out.

The class begins at 6 p.m. Cost is $35 and includes one complimentary glass of wine or beer. Food is available for purchase.

Penny Lane Pub is located at 150 Main Street, Old Saybrook. To reserve seats, visit www.vistalifeinnovations.org/paint-night.

 

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Vista Life Innovations is a 501©3 nonprofit organization. Vista’s mission is to provide services and resources to assist individuals with disabilities achieve personal success. For more information about Vista, please visit www.vistalifeinnovations.org.

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Latest Beautification Phase of Bushnell St. Access Point Now Complete

ESSEX — The Essex Harbor Management Commission recently completed its latest phase for the beautification of the Bushnell Street Access Point.  The current project removed an older, overgrown hedge row and replaced it with Arborvitae plantings. The old hedge proved to be problematic aesthetically and hindered keeping the area properly manicured.

The Commission wishes to thank the Town’s Tree Warden Augie Pampel, the Town’s Maintenance Department, and Acer Gardens for their assistance.

Over the past five years, the Commission has managed numerous improvements to the Bushnell Street Access Point, including the removal of older, diseased trees, strategic plantings to provide added privacy for its neighbors, the removal of abandoned small boats, an observation deck, and storage racks for the highly successful Small Vessel Storage Program.

These improvements have been made possible through Grants and Permits Fees from the Small Vessel Storage Program.

The Bushnell Street facility has become a popular launching area for kayakers and canoeists who utilize the protected waters of North Cove.  The Access Point is available for all to use and provides ample parking.

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‘Historic Sewing Circle’ Ladies Visit Deep River Historical Society This Afternoon

Kandie Carle, here in Edwardian dress, will be one of the Aug. 28 visitors.

Kandie Carle, here in Edwardian dress, will be one of the Aug. 28 visitors.

Come and welcome the ladies of the Historic Sewing Circle who will be gathering at the Deep River Historical Society at the Stone House, 245 Main Street, Deep River on Aug. 28, at 2 p.m.

Ladies from all over Connecticut, who interpret different historical time periods from the 1740s to the early 1900s, will be sewing at the Stone House and discussing their projects with visitors. They will be delighted to chat about their fashions and the sewing techniques of the various eras they represent.

While they have visited numerous other historic sites, this is the first time that they will be at the Stone House in Deep River, and wearing reproduction historic clothing. Also on display will be the Society’s extensive vintage quilt collections and ladies hats.

Photo is of Kandie Carle in Edwardian clothing.

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Last Chance to see ‘RENT’ at Ivoryton Playhouse This Afternoon

Rent
IVORYTON —  Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway musical RENT opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Wednesday, Aug. 3, running until Aug. 28.

Johnny Newcomb* as Roger and Alyssa Gomez* as Mimi Marquez in 'Rent' at Ivoryton Playhouse opening Aug. 3.

Johnny Newcomb* as Roger and Alyssa Gomez* as Mimi Marquez in ‘Rent’ at Ivoryton Playhouse opening Aug. 3.

Loosely based on Puccini’s opera, La Boheme, RENT details one year in the life of seven artists and musicians, living in New York’s run down “Alphabet City” in the late 1980s.  As this circle of friends struggle with life, love, infidelity, and the usual hopes & fears of modern day life, they must also cope with drug addiction and the rising specter of AIDS.  In the midst of all this, one of them attempts to capture all of their lives on film, hoping to make artistic sense of it all.

Jonathan Larson died in 1996, the day before his musical opened in New York. He never witnessed its phenomenal success. RENT opened on Broadway on April 29, 1996. It went on to win every major best musical award, including the Tony Award, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

RENT closed after 5,124 performances and is the seventh longest running show in Broadway history.  Over the course of its groundbreaking 12-year New York run, RENT transformed the definition of musical theater – and changed Broadway forever.  The musical has been translated into every major language and been performed on six continents.

The Ivoryton Playhouse welcomes back returning actors Jamal Shuriah*, Sheniquah Trotman*, Collin Howard*, Tim Russell and Grant Benedict as well as Johnny Newcomb*, Alyssa Gomez*, Patrick Clanton*, Jonny Cortes, Maritza Bostic, Stephanie Genito, Ronnie S. Bowman, Jr, Mac Cherny, Sandra Lee, Josephine Gottfried

This production is directed by Ivoryton Playhouse Artistic / Executive Director Jacqueline Hubbard and is choreographed by Todd Underwood.  Musical director is Michael Morris, with set design by Martin Scott Marchitto, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Lisa Bebey.

After Larson’s death and the amazing success of his musical, his friends wanted to honor his commitment to his community of people whose lives are a daily struggle for survival. They set aside the first two rows at each performance as $20 seats so that the people the show was about could afford to see it. These special tickets would go on sale at 6 p.m. each night and the line usually formed by noon on weekdays and often 24 hours in advance on weekends. In honor of Jonathan Larson and the community that we serve, the Ivoryton Playhouse will save 20 seats for every performance at a $25 price. Those seats will be available after 6 p.m. every show day.

If you are interested in helping support this program or our Little Wonder program that provides a free night at the theatre for patients and their families dealing with the nightmare of cancer, please give Krista a call at 860 767 9520 ext 205.

Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.  Due to popular demand, two additional Saturday matinee performances have been added on Aug. 20 and 27 – both at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $50 for adults; $45 for seniors; $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org

(Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

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CT Early Childhood Alliance Names Sen. Linares a 2016 “Children’s Champion”

Sen. Art Linares high fives students during a school visit in Clinton.

Sen. Art Linares high fives students during a school visit in Clinton.

AREAWIDE — Sen. Art Linares has been named a 2016 “Children’s Champion” by the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance for his leadership on issues related to Connecticut’s young children.

Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance (www.earlychildhoodalliance.com) is committed to improving outcomes in the areas of learning, health, safety and economic security for children ages birth to eight.

“I’m honored to be named a Children’s Champion,” Sen. Linares said.  “My focus at the State Capitol is on improving the quality of life for people of all ages in Connecticut.  That includes working with my colleagues in Hartford to shape legislation that impacts the well-being of Connecticut’s young children in the areas of healthy development, early care and education, nutrition and safety.”

He continued, ” I remain committed to passing effective state policies which help all of Connecticut’s children succeed.  I thank the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance for this recognition.”

An Assistant Minority Leader, Sen. Linares, 27, is the lead Republican senator on the state legislature’s Planning and Development Committee. He also serves on the Education Committee, the Internship Committee and the Judiciary Committee. Sen. Linares has previously served on the Children’s Committee, the Commerce Committee and the Banks Committee.

Sen. Linares represents Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, and Westbrook.  He can be reached at Art.Linares@cga.ct.gov or at 800 842-1421. On the web:www.SenatorLinares.com .

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Explore Artisan, Vintage Vendors Galore at ‘Repurpose Happiness’ Event in Chester, Saturday

Bird_logoCHESTER — Chalk Mercantile and the Trove are excited to bring together the most creative artisans and vintage/antique merchants from all over Connecticut. More than 40 vendors are ready to greet folks on Sept. 3, at the Chester Fairgrounds, located at 11 Kirkland Terrace, Chester CT.

Repurpose Happiness is for anyone who wants to see firsthand Connecticut’s vibrant arts and antique culture, looking for rare or limited runs items, or just wanting to have a good time this September in the Historic Town of Chester.

The event showcases an eclectic mix of handmade, vintage, repurposed and antique goods and is sure to have something for every style, taste and age. Along with a myriad of vendors, makers, merchants and artisans, there will also be food trucks and music for all to enjoy.

Repurpose Happiness opens its doors at 10 a.m. (9 a.m. early buyers) and runs until 4 p.m., rain or shine. Admission $2 adults, children under 12 free, $10 early buyers (9am). Part of the proceeds will be donated to the Valley Regional Girls Soccer Booster Club.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/RepurposeHappiness/ or Repurposehappinees.com

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FRA to Host Public Meeting Wednesday in Old Lyme on Proposed Rail Route; Submit Questions, Comments in Advance or at Meeting

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is planning to host a meeting in Old Lyme regarding the proposed high-speed rail route next Wednesday, Aug. 31, at 4:30 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School auditorium, 69 Lyme St., Old Lyme, CT.  It will last about 1.5 to 2 hours, and the FRA will give a short presentation to clarify the process and address misstatements.

Then the FRA representatives will have a roundtable discussion about the NEC Futures Draft EIS with local and state leaders. The meeting will be open to the public in an effort to allow residents and businesses to hear the discussion.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, along with local selectmen and elected officials, have been invited to the meeting.  Congressman Joe Courtney is able to attend until 5 p.m. and CT Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker will be there for the entire meeting.

The Town of Old Lyme requests that comments and questions be submitted to selectmansoffice@oldlyme-ct.gov prior to the meeting so that they may be addressed at the roundtable discussion.  It will also be possible to submit questions at the meeting for discussion by the participants.

Reemsnyder recommends arriving early since the meeting will begin promptly at 4:30 p.m.

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Sales Tax Free Week Ends Tomorrow

AREAWIDE — It’s August, which means Connecticut’s annual “Tax-Free Week” is just around the corner.

The annual sales tax holiday week — during which most individual clothing and footwear items costing less than $100 are exempt from state sales tax — will run from Aug. 21-27.

This is the 16th consecutive year in which the state has held the tax holiday week, which always coincides with back-to-school shopping.

“The tax holiday has become a staple of Connecticut’s back-to-school shopping season,” Department of Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin Sullivan said in a statement. “Many retailers schedule sales … ”

Click here to read the full article by Cara Rosner, which was published Aug. 16 on CTNewsJunkie.com — a member of the Independent Media Network LLC (IMN) of which Shoreline Web News LLC, owner of LymeLine.com, is also a member.

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Essex Child & Family Auxiliary Hosts ‘Black and White Masquerade Gala’ Tomorrow

Black and White Masquerade Committee members gather for a photo.

Black and White Masquerade Gala Committee members gather for a photo in their masks.

On Saturday, Aug. 27, the Essex Auxiliary of Child and Family Agency will hold a Black and White Masquerade Gala on beautiful Griswold Point in Old Lyme, Conn., to benefit Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut.

The inspiration for this event is Truman Capote’s “Party of the Century”  held exactly  50 years ago in 1966. Dust off your black tie apparel, don your mask, and step back in time with us to a more glamorous era as we enjoy an evening filled with music, champagne, dancing and good company.

Capote’s party was held in honor of newspaper legend Katherine Graham. Our gala will be in honor of Child and Family’s own Alva Gimbel Greenberg, the former owner of the Pictorial Gazette and longtime Child and Family Agency volunteer.

Griswold Point will provide the perfect backdrop as the event begins with cocktails on the gorgeous lawn with sweeping views to where the Connecticut River meets Long Island Sound. After taking in a glorious sunset from this perfect vantage point, the remainder of the evening will be devoted to a delicious al fresco dinner and some fun dancing.

Seating for this event will be limited. Tickets can be purchased at www.childandfamilyagency.org  or    http://bit.ly/2adIVRB .

Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut’s programs provide services that address children’s health care, childcare, children’s mental health, child abuse prevention, the treatment of family violence, accident prevention, and parent education.

Major support for this event was provided by Essex Savings Bank and Essex Financial Services.

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Public Hearings on Proposed Shoreline East, Metro North Fare Hikes to be Held Thursday in Old Saybrook

Shoreline_East_logoMTA logoAREAWIDE — The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CT DOT) is proposing to increase public transit fares for the New Haven Line (Metro North) and Shore Line East rail services.  For example, the proposed one-way fare on Shoreline East from Old Saybrook to New Haven would rise on Dec. 1, 2016, from $6.75 to $7.25.  Similarly, the proposed one-way peak fare on Metro North from New Haven to Grand Central would rise from $22.00 to $23.50 and off-peak from $16.50 to $17.50.

The Department will be holding public hearings to receive comments on the proposed fare changes. Those nearest to Chester, Deep River and Essex, will be on Thursday,  Sept. 1, at Old Saybrook Town Hall, 302 Main St., Old Saybrook from 4 to 6 p.m. and then later on the same evening from 7 to 9 p.m.

The CT DOT is also planning to increase fares for CTtransit and CTfastrak local and express bus services, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit services with effect from Dec. 4, 2016, and to amend the tariffs for bus services to allow for the implementation of a new account-based smart card fare payment system (effective on or after Dec. 1, 2016).

Some other notable proposed increases include:

Old Saybrook to New Haven, ten-trip: $60.75 to $65.25
Old Saybrook to New Haven, monthly: $142.00 to $152.25
Westbrook to New Haven, one-way: $6.25 to $6.50
Westbrook to New Haven, ten-trip: $56.25 to $58.50
Westbrook to New Haven, monthly: $129.00 to $136.50
New Haven to Grand Central, weekly: $149.50 to $158.50
New Haven to Grand Central, monthly: $467.00 to $495.00

To see the proposed increases for Shoreline East fares, click here.
To see the proposed increases for Metro-North New Haven line fares to and from Grand Central Station, click here.
To see the proposed increases for Metro-North New Haven line fares to and from intermediate stations, click here.
To see the proposed increases for CTtransit and CTfastrak fares, click here.

In the event that you are unable to appear in person, you are encouraged to email comments to the DOT at dot.farecomments@ct.gov or through the DOT’s website.

Comments may also be mailed to:
Comment on Fare Changes
Bureau of Public Transportation
2800 Berlin Turnpike
P.O. Box 317546
Newington, CT 06131-7546

The comment period closes Sept. 15, 2016.

In the event you cannot make the public hearing in Old Saybrook and would like to testify in person, see the additional dates and locations below for future public hearings.

Wednesday, Sept. 7
4 pm – 7 pm
Hartford
Hartford Public Library
500 Main Street

Tuesday, Sept. 13
11 am – 2 pm
Meriden
Meriden Town Hall
City Council Chamber
142 East Main Street

Tuesday, Sept. 13
Waterbury
4 pm – 7 pm
Silas Bronson Library
267 Grand Street

Wednesday, Sept. 14
4 pm – 6 pm and 7 pm – 9 pm
Stamford
UConn Stamford Campus Auditorium
One University Place

Thursday, Sept. 15
4 pm – 6 pm and 7 pm – 9 pm
New Haven
New Haven Hall of Records, Room G-2
200 Orange Street

State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) also invites readers to raise any questions or comments directly with him at devin.carney@housegop.ct.gov or (800) 842-1423.

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World Renowned Horse Whisperer, Animal Communicator to Visit East Haddam, Sept. 9-11

Anna Twinney with her own rescue, Aria, at her home in Elizabeth, Colo.

Anna Twinney with her own rescue, Aria, at her home in Elizabeth, Colo.

EAST HADDAM — Everyone talks to their dog. Those of us with pets, have had casual “conversations” with our furry, feathered, or even finned friends. It’s human nature to chat. We’ve likely bent Rover’s ear too long over trivial irritations that happened at work or lamenting the tedious commute home. Our pets have long been victims of our mindless self-talk and keepers of our deepest secrets.

But what if you could have a real conversation with your animal companion?  What if you knew what they were really thinking or saying …

World renowned animal communicator and horse whisperer, Anna Twinney would say, “The only thing stopping you is your own beliefs of what is truly possible. You absolutely can know.”

On Sept. 9-11, Twinney will lead a group of animal lovers at Ray of Light Farm in East Haddam on a journey to tap into their inherent abilities. Animal Communication is not supernatural, but a natural way of communicating with animals and even people.  Animals communicate telepathically with one another all the time — we just need to reawaken those intuitive senses to explore this extraordinary skill.

Twinney is sought out all over the world by concerned pet and horse owners hoping to find answers to behavioral issues, health problems and other mysteries.

Her own journey into animal communication began over two decades ago.  Having unlocked this missing piece of the puzzle, Twinney knew that she had to share her knowledge. Now known the world over for her exceptional abilities, specific, verifiable methods and extensive knowledge of horses, Twinney often found animal communication techniques helpful during her work with horses as well.

“The language of the horses, called Equus, is almost completely non-verbal. While horses have the ability to vocalize and they do use it … the nuances of their language is in the subtitles only seen by those fluent in the language,” Twinney explains.

The “Evening of Animal Communication” workshop is truly a step through the wardrobe into a world that most people only dream of.

To learn more about Animal Communication, Twinney and the event at Ray of Light Farms, visit ReachOuttoHorses.com or to learn more about Ray of Light Farms and the rescue efforts there, visit www.RayofLightFarms.org.

A portion of the proceeds from Twinney’s workshops will be earmarked to support the ongoing horse rescue and rehabilitation at Ray of Light.

Anna Twinney with her own rescue, Aria, at her home in Elizabeth, Colorado
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Chester Village West’s Fall Lifelong Learning Program Opens With “History of Hollywood,” Sept. 6 & 13

Jason Day, Ph.D

Jared Day, Ph.D

CHESTER — Chester Village West, an independent senior living community, will offer six lectures and informative presentations by biographers, historians and medical experts in September, October and November. The talks, which are being presented in partnership with the Wesleyan Institute for Lifelong Learning and Middlesex Hospital, are free and open to the public. Registration is required. Chester Village West is located at 317 W. Main St., Chester, CT 06412.

The series kicks off on Tuesday, Sept. 6, from 4:30 to 5 p.m. and Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 4 to 5 p.m. with “History of Hollywood: “Icons of the 1950s.” Presented by historian Dr. Jared Day, this two-part lecture will examine the gradual decline of the studio system in the 1950s. Special focus will be given to mega-stars such as Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe, Burt Lancaster and Elizabeth Taylor.

A Q&A and reception with light refreshments will be held after the program.

Pre-registration is required. Registration will be limited to 40 registrants per lecture or presentation. Registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

To register for one or more programs, call 860.322.6455, email ChesterVillageWest@LCSnet.com or visithttp://www.chestervillagewestlcs.com/events-and-resources/lifelong-learning-program/. Chester Village West is located at 317 W. Main St., Chester, CT 06412.

Located in historic Chester, Conn., Chester Village West gives independent-minded people a new way to experience retirement and live their lives to the fullest. Since the independent seniors community was founded more than 25 years ago, Chester Village West residents have directed and embraced active learning.

Within a small community of private residences that offer convenience, companionship, service and security, Chester Village West enriches lives with a comprehensive program that enhances fitness, nutrition, active life, health and well-being.

Find out more at chestervillagewestlcs.com; visit the community on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChesterVillageWest.

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Connecticut Valley Camera Club Hosts Exhibit in Madison; Opening Reception, Sept. 8

The signature photo for the Connecticut Camera Club's exhibition at Scranton Public Library during September.

“Plowing the Field” taken in Rockport, Maine, by Ed McCaffrey is one of the signature photos for the Connecticut Valley Camera Club’s exhibition at Scranton Public Library during September.

AREAWIDE — The Connecticut Valley Camera Club will host a photography exhibit at the Scranton Memorial Library, 801 Boston Post Rd., Madison with an opening reception on Thursday, Sept. 8, from 6 to 8 p.m.  All are welcome to the reception. Viewers will be able to see a variety of photos (open subjects) from 17 local artists from several southeastern Connecticut towns:

Alex Dupuy – Middletown, Ellen Falbowski – Haddam, Dean Rupp – Killingworth, Dama DeManche – Chester, Diane Lindsay – Chester, Elin Dolle – Deep River, Ed McCaffrey – Essex, Richard Spearrin – Essex, Carin Roaldset – Saybrook, Sally Perreten – Saybrook, Stein Roaldset – Old Saybrook, Laura Reynolds – Clinton, Peter Chow – Clinton, Dianne Roberts – Madison, Jim Fennema – Hadlyme, Linda Waters – Salem and Victor Filepp – Gales Ferry.

The exhibition will be on view through Sept. 29.

Meetings are held the first Monday of the month at the Lymes’ Senior Center, 26 Town Woods Rd., Old Lyme, CT (except for the September meeting which will be on Sept. 19.)  The topic for the September meeting will be an educational program on how to have your images printed and framed for exhibits.  New members are always welcome.

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Literacy Volunteers Celebrate International Literacy Day with Free Books for Kids During September

AREAWIDE — Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS) is celebrating the upcoming International Literacy Day set for Thursday, Sept. 8, with a very special promotion. During the month of September, any child or young adult can select any book in their large inventory for free!

Help a child discover the magic of reading and while you are visiting, check out the great selection of adult books as well. Hardcovers are $2 with paperbacks at just $0.50.

LVVS is located on the lower level of the Westbrook Library, 61 Goodspeed Dr. Hours are Mon-Thurs 9 am -2 pm and the first and third Saturday from 10 am-noon.

For more information, visit www.vsliteracy.org or call 860-399-0280.

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Essex Park & Rec. Announces Exciting Range of Fall Programs

ESSEX — Essex Park and Recreation (P & R) Department has announced that registration is now open for all Fall 2016 programming.

A small sample of the extensive and varied range of programs includes track, tennis, archery, cooking, floor hockey, Kids on the Move, Pre-Season Basketball and Outdoor Nature Exploration

Registration for the Winter Youth Basketball Program is also open at this time.

Essex P & R is also offering a bus trip to see the Patriots play the Jets at MetLife Stadium.

Finally, don’t forget to Save the Date for the Ivoryton Village Pumpkin Festival on Oct. 22!

Click on this link to view the color guide to Essex P & R Fall Programs aptly sub-titled, “The Benefits are Endless”.

For further information or to register for programs, call 860.767.4340 x 110 or email recreation@ essexct.gov. The P & R office is located inside the Essex Town Hall at 29 West Ave., Essex.

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Join Fun Fridays for Pre-Schoolers at Deep River Library, Wide Range of Children’s Programs Also Offered

DEEP RIVER — Every Friday is Fun Friday at the Deep River Public Library!  The following story times and programs are offered for the month of September:

Sept. 1 — This Fun Friday Story time is a Preschool Power Hour with stories and songs in an interactive setting, followed by Open Play. Starts at 10:30 am, open to all ages.

Sept. 9 – This Fun Friday Story time is a Preschool Power Hour with stories and songs in an interactive setting, followed by Open Play. Starts at 10:30 am, open to all ages.

Sept. 16 — This Fun Friday Story time is a Preschool Power Hour with stories and songs in an interactive setting, followed by Open Play. Starts at 10:30 am, open to all ages.

Sept. 23 – This Fun Friday Story time is a Preschool Power Hour with stories and songs in an interactive setting, followed by Open Play. Starts at 10:30 am, open to all ages.

Sept. 30 — Today there will be a Fun Friday Guest — ABC Amigos returns. Starts at 10:30 a.m., open to all ages. Preschool Power Hour with stories and songs in an interactive setting. Starts at 10:30 am, open to all ages.

Additional Children’s Programs:

Sept. 8 & Sept. 22: Brick Bunch meets from 3:45 – 4:45 pm for open Lego construction. This is a drop-in program. We now have large blocks for the younger kids!!

Sept. 21: Cooking Club starts at 6:00 pm. Whip up a tasty treat with friends! Registration is required for this program and limited to 10 children. Call 860-526-6039 or email drplchildrensdept@gmail.com to sign up!

Sept. 17: All new Baby Bounce with Miss Elaine. This is a one-a-month story time exclusively for non-walking babies and their caregivers. Older siblings may attend, but the program will be geared toward the littlest library users. No registration required. Starts at 10:30 am.

For more information on any of these programs, call 860-526-6039 or email at drplchildrensdept@gmail.com

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Catamount Medical Education to Hold Marrow Registration Drive, Sept. 13

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CHESTER — Catamount Medical Education is asking local residents to help save a life. On Tuesday, Sept. 13, the organization will be hosting a marrow donor registry drive to raise awareness about the need for marrow donors.

Potential donors can take the first step to save a life between 3 and 7 p.m. Registration requires paperwork and a cheek swab sample taken from the inside of the mouth. And that’s it! Most donations, if you later match a patient, are done through an automated blood donation.

Every year more than 14,000 patients suffer from a variety of bone marrow functioning diseases and a transplant is their only hope for survival. Seventy percent (70%) of patients have no matching donors in their family and turn to the Be The Match registry for someone willing to give them a second chance at life.

To register you must be between the ages of 18-44, in generally good health and willing to donate to any patient in need. Donors are most likely to match someone of their own race or ethnicity and doctors request donors in the 18-44 age group more than 90 percent of the time.

“Giving back to the community is very important to Catamount and with our company’s focus on medical education, it’s even more special that we can help contribute to helping save the lives of patients with cancer,” said Jennifer Green, Chief Learning Officer at Catamount.

Costs for this drive will be covered by health insurance and Michael’s Fund of Fall River, Mass. There will be no out-of-pocket expense for anyone wishing to the join the registry.

The marrow registration drive will take place at Catamount’s office located at 189 Middlesex Turnpike, Suite 210, Chester, CT 06412.

Catamount’s mission is to create learning experiences that maximize the impact on patient care. Education is delivered through live programs, including satellite symposia, local and regional meetings, and online events, as well as through self-directed, enduring formats such as podcasts, videos, Webinars, monographs, newsfeeds, and other enduring formats.

Catamount seeks to add value to its education and ensuring a direct impact on patient care by incorporating practical tools for the clinician (e.g., exam room posters, pocket cards, patient education materials) into every educational experience.  Learn more at www.catmeded.com.

The Rhode Island Blood Center’s Marrow Donor Program is working with Catamount Medical Education to host this event. The Rhode Island Blood Center is a donor center for Be The Match, involved in recruiting marrow donors and facilitating donations throughout New England. Be The Match is a movement that engages a growing community of people inspired to help patients who need a marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant from an unrelated donor.

The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), a leader in the field of marrow and cord blood transplantation, created Be The Match to provide opportunities for the public to become involved in saving the lives of people with leukemia, lymphoma and other life-threatening diseases.

For more information, visit www.bethematch.org or call 800-283-8385 ext.720.

Michael’s Fund is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help adults & children survive cancer through marrow transplants. The organization was founded by family members of Michael Wrobel who in 1996, at the age of 11, lost his battle with lymphoma when a matching donor could not be found.

The organization provides funds that enable the RI Blood Center to add more marrow donors to the Be The Match Registry thus increasing the number of donors available to patients.

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Local DTC’s Invite Readers to ‘Meet the Candidates’ at Gelston House, Sept. 19

Essex First Selectman and Democratic candidate for the 33rd District, Norman Needleman

Essex First Selectman and Democratic candidate for the 33rd District, Norman Needleman

US Senator Joe Courtney

US Senator Joe Courtney

The Democratic Town Committees of Lyme, Haddam and East Haddam are jointly sponsoring a “Meet the Candidates” event with Norm Needleman and Joe Courtney at the Gelston House in East Haddam on Monday, Sept. 19, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.  All are welcome.

Needleman (D) is challenging two-term incumbent Art Linares (R) for the position of 33rd District State Representative. Courtney is running for another term as US Representative for Connecticut’s Second Congressional District, a position he has held since 2007..

Light refreshments will be served.  A cash bar will be available.

A $10 donation is suggested.

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Yoga & Pilates Practice Opens in Essex Catering to Individuals with Physical, Mobility Challenges

Karen DiRenzio works with a client in her new facility in Essex.

Karen DiRenzio works with a client in her new facility in Essex.

ESSEX — Karen DiRenzo has announced the opening of Yoga & Pilates for Health and Well-Being, a private practice located at 3 New City Road, Essex, CT.  The practice focuses on working one-on-one with individuals who have physical limitations and mobility challenges and is fully equipped with Pilates apparatus on premises.  In addition to being a Certified Pilates Instructor, she is specially trained in Adapting Yoga for Disabilities, Chair Yoga, Cardiac Yoga and Silver Sneakers.

DiRenzo, a retired Navy Nurse for over 30 years chooses to work with individuals looking to improve their health who have sustained injuries, illness and limitations.

She explains, “I’ve taken the fear out of fitness classes and large studio environments for individuals looking to improve their health.  By establishing a Pilates and Yoga in-home practice, clients feel at ease to work at a pace that suits them.  My focus is on outcome, and I am dedicated to working with those who feel uncomfortable with larger studios environments.  I can modify any movements to make them accessible for all.”

With over 30 years of experience as a Registered Nurse, DiRenzo has the skills and understanding to work with all clients, especially those with physical problems, older individuals and post-rehabilitation to bridge the gap after physical therapy completion.   Pilates and Yoga provides a variety of movements to improve balance and strength, increase bone density and improve mobility.

DiRenzo has worked with clients recovering from bilateral mastectomy reconstructions, strokes, arthritis, fibromyalgia and more.  In addition to her Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree, she holds a Master of Science Degree in Community Health Administration and Wellness Promotion.

Yoga and Pilates for Health and Well-Being offers Private One Hour Sessions,  In-home Sessions, Group Pilates mat or Yoga for Schools, Businesses, Churches and Chair Yoga at Assisted Living Facilities.

For more information, visit www.yogaandpilatesforhealth.com

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All Welcome to Visit Community Music School During Open House Week, Sept. 12-16;

Community Music School Hosts a Beginning Group Piano class.

Community Music School Hosts a Beginning Group Piano class.

CENTERBROOK – Community Music School, located in the Spencer’s Corner professional complex at 90 Main Street in Centerbrook, welcomes the general public to visit during Open House Week Sept. 12 through 16.

Children and adults can tour the School’s studios, meet teachers and staff, enjoy a FREE preview lesson, and learn about a vast array of programs for all ages including private and group lessons, clarinet, jazz, and string ensembles, music therapy services, Kindermusik, and more.

Community Music School is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. Those interested in a 15-minute preview lesson are requested to call 860-767-0026 for scheduling.

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

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

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Ivoryton Playhouse Hosts Benefit Concert Tonight by Schumann & Pittsinger

Patricia Schuman and David Pittsinger (Photo by Deborah Rutty)

Husband and wife David Pittsinger and Patricia Schuman will give a benefit concert for Ivoryton Playhouse, Aug. 22. (Photo by Deborah Rutty)

IVORYTON — World renowned artists David Pittsinger and Patricia Schuman will be performing an exclusive concert on Monday, Aug. 22. “This is The Life” is based on the song by Alan Jay Lerner from ‘Love Life’, and the evening will chronicle the highs and lows in the life of an artist and a marriage.

This special performance will include music from Sondheim, Cole Porter, Lerner and Lowe, and Rodgers and Hammerstein, with classics from Kiss Me Kate, Sweeney Todd, Shenandoah, Carnival, Man of La Mancha, Camelot, No Strings and Sound of Music. This concert is a benefit for the 105-year-old Playhouse to further its mission to provide theatre of the highest quality to the residents and visitors to our community.

David Pittsinger is currently performing at Glimmerglass and earlier this year received rave reviews for his portrayal of Fred Graham in Kiss Me Kate at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.  Pittsinger delighted audiences as Emile DeBecque in last year’s smash hit South Pacific and will be returning to the Ivoryton Playhouse stage playing Don Quixote in the fall production of Man of La Mancha, opening Sept. 7.

His wife, Patricia Schuman, an internationally celebrated soprano, was recently seen as The Duchess in Odyssey Opera’s production of Powder her Face.  This special concert is a rare opportunity to see them together in the intimate setting of the Ivoryton Playhouse performing a brand new repertoire and many duets.

Tickets for this special event are $125. There will be a reception at 6 p.m. with wines and heavy hors d’oeuvres followed by the performance at 7 p.m. David and Patricia will join guests after the show for coffee and dessert.

Seating is limited; call the theatre box office at 860.767.7318 to reserve your seat for this very special evening.  The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

Visit www.ivorytonplayhouse.org for more information.

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Reading Uncertainly? ‘House of Lost Worlds’ by Richard Conniff

House_of_Lost_WorldsFor this month, a local author! Richard Conniff is a science writer, a contributor to The New York Times, and a resident of Old Lyme. He’s also a graduate of Yale University, one reason for his interest in the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, which is now celebrating its first 150 years.

It is the story of a museum and its directors, explorers, paleontologists, ecologists, anthropologists, biologists, ornithologists, primatologists, plus a few reactionaries and, of course, 14 million specimens. It is also the story of large egos listening to “the mute cries of ages impossible to contemplate”(some 50 million years).

He explores five themes: (1) a teaching dream of leaders at the start (George Peabody, the original donor, for whom “education was (his) Rosebud”), (2) the “grandiose personality” of O. C Marsh, its first director, (3) the demolition and movement of the original building in 1905 and its effects, (4) the rise of anthropology and ecology as sciences, and (5) the invitation to go see for yourself.

So how should we pronounce the name: “Pee-body” as Yalies and the donor said it, or “Pee-buh- de” as denizens of Cambridge slur the word?

The egos predominate, highlighting the single-mindedness and secrecy of many collectors.  Hiram Bingham, the sleuth of Machu Picchu, the “lost” Incan city, was one of the most notable. As the author notes, “if paleontologists were as aggressive as brontosauri they would have eaten each other.” In many respects they did: “Maybe academic life merely gives its verbally inclined thinkers the freedom to brood about it for too long, speak it too loudly, and pursue vengeance with wrath-of-God vigor.” They make this history continually exciting and amusing.

The Peabody Museum has expanded into a teaching, research, and study institution, whose practitioners take isolated pieces from the past (human, animal, mineral) to create a logical “story” to help guide us toward the future. But today they face modern visitors, “jaded and smartphone-addled, (who) expect special effects and instantaneous answers almost everywhere.”

In 1866, when the Peabody was created, there was no sign of a “Sixth Extinction” (now forecast by Elizabeth Kolbert), no “climate change,” only 32 million people in these United States (versus 320 million today), and only 1 billion on this earth (now 7.4 billion.)  Can the interest in and funding for museums like the Peabody, their teaching and research, help us alter our behavior for a more favorable future?

Like Alice, I am “curiouser and curiouser,” so I am off to the corner of Whitney Avenue and Sachem Street in New Haven to explore for myself …

Editor’s Note: House of Lost Worlds by Richard Conniff is published by Yale Univ. Press, New Haven 2016.

Felix Kloman_headshot_2005_284x331-150x150About the Author: Felix Kloman is a sailor, rower, husband, father, grandfather, retired management consultant and, above all, a curious reader and writer. He’s explored how we as human beings and organizations respond to ever-present uncertainty in two books, ‘Mumpsimus Revisited’ (2005) and ‘The Fantods of Risk’ (2008). A 20-year resident of Lyme, he now writes book reviews, mostly of non-fiction that explores our minds, our behavior, our politics and our history. But he does throw in a novel here and there. For more than 50 years, he’s put together the 17 syllables that comprise haiku, the traditional Japanese poetry, and now serves as the self-appointed “poet laureate” of Ashlawn Farms Coffee, where he may be seen on Friday mornings. His wife, Ann, is also a writer, but of mystery novels, all of which begin in a bubbling village in midcoast Maine, strangely reminiscent of the town she and her husband visit every summer.

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Essex Historical Society Hosts Summer Member’s Picnic, Sunday; All Welcome

Come and enjoy a picnic with the Essex Historical Society, Aug. 21! Image submitted by EHS.

Come and enjoy a picnic with the Essex Historical Society, Aug. 21! Image submitted by EHS.

ESSEX — Join friends and neighbors in celebrating the summer season at Essex Historical Society’s (EHS) Summer Member’s Picnic on Sunday, Aug. 21, from12 to 2 p.m.  The public is welcome to enjoy this free family-friendly outdoor event as EHS fires up the grill for hamburgers and hot dogs on the beautiful grounds of the historic Pratt House, 19 West Ave., Essex.

Sunny Train will entertain at the Essex Historical Society's picnic on Aug. 21 -- and the public is invited!

Sunny Train will entertain at the Essex Historical Society’s picnic on Aug. 21 — and the public is invited!

Musical duo ‘Sunny Train’, the husband and wife team of Ana and Christopher Jankowski, will provide family entertainment to delight all ages with their lively tunes, hula-hoop activities and giant bubbles!  Attendees can also visit the gracious 1732 Pratt House and newly installed kitchen gardens.  Dessert delivered via ice cream truck.  In case of rain, the event moves into the Pratt House barn.

Formed in 1955, EHS is committed to fulfilling its mission of educating and inspiring the community in the three villages of Centerbrook, Essex and Ivoryton.  The event is free and open to the general public.  The organizers invite readers to join them for what is sure to be an enjoyable afternoon.
For more information, visit www.essexhistory.org or call (860) 767-0681.
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Leif Nilsson Hosts ‘Opius Bliss’ at Special ‘Concert in the Garden,’ Tonight

'Opius Bliss' with lead singer Michelle Walker, center.

‘Opius Bliss’ with lead singer Michelle Walker, center.

CHESTER — Leif Nilsson hosts a special Friday night ‘Concert in the Garden,’ Aug. 19, from 7 to 9 p.m., this time featuring Opius Bliss at the Spring Street Studio and Gallery at 1 Spring St, Chester Center. This monthly concert series highlights eclectic international singer/songwriter artists from cool jazz to blue grass.

With their wide-ranging, eclectic and roots-oriented approach to making music, the new indie power group Opius Bliss defies categorization leaving audiences fully enthralled. Rearranging harmonies of familiar tunes, the members of Opius Bliss dive into an exploratory musical narrative. The Washington Post says of lead vocalist Michelle Walker, “… she has a soul-comforting allure …” With Walker’s deep, dark and rich tone, the band draws listeners into a spellbound musical space.

Walker’s soothing tone is matched by the guitar talent of acclaimed guitarist Jason Ennis, pianist Sean Fitzpatrick, bassist Michael O’Brien and drummer Sean Dixon. With their inviting style, the music moves at times to an acoustically-sparse, vocal-heavy murmur to powerful punch improvisational zeal. The band delivers seductive interludes with harmonies, energetic compositions with an overlay of gospel and blues tinged-soul.

In the short time since their inception, Opius Bliss has begun to grab the attention and praise of concert-goers, critics and talent buyers. The band stretches with wide appeal with comparison’s to Tedeschi Trucks band, Gov’t Mule, Bonnie Raitt, Cassandra Wilson, Alabama Shakes and Gregory Porter.

Gates open half hour before the show — first come first seated. Seating is Bistro Style in the amphitheater. The concert will be moved indoors in the event of inclement weather.

A $20 donation is appreciated. The event is BYOB – pack a picnic and buy your own wine or beer at the Chester Package Store across the street.

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Join an End of Summer Reading Family Festival on Sunday at Ivoryton Green

Judi Ann of Dancin' with Hoops will entertain at the Ivoryton Family Festival.

JudiAnn of Dancin’ with Hoops will entertain at the Ivoryton Family Festival.

Join Ivoryton Library Assistant Director and Children’s Librarian Elizabeth Bartlett at the Ivoryton Green Sunday, Aug. 21, from 5 to 7 p.m. for the End of Summer Reading Family Festival, an event the whole family will enjoy.

She hopes that you have had a great summer, enjoyed time with friends and made new discoveries. Ms. Elizabeth looks forward to hearing about your favorite books and summer activities.

For children who have not been able to visit the library with their logs, Summer Reading Prize Packages will be available. *Please Register Your Child For Prize Package*

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JudiAnn (pictured above) of Dancin’ with Hoops will be performing as well as teaching some great new moves for children and parents alike. There will be a raffle for a custom hula hoop that she designed.

Guests are encouraged you to bring their own picnic. Scoops of Centerbrook generously has donated an ice cream sundae bar for everyone to enjoy.

Call Elizabeth Bartlett at the Ivoryton Library for more details and to register your child for a prize package. 860-767-1252

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Middlesex County Chamber Hosts ‘Business After Work’ Networking Session at ‘Water’s Edge’

AREAWIDE — Chairman Gregory Shook of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce announced that a ‘Business After Work’ event will be held at the Water’s Edge Resort and Spa in Westbrook on Tuesday, Aug. 16.

The ‘Business After Work’ event is for Middlesex Chamber members and will take place from 5 until 7 p.m. The event will feature the resort’s fantastic waterfront views with a great spread of food and drinks, and outstanding summer networking for guests.

“The Water’s Edge team puts out a delicious spread of food and drink which always includes a little extra shoreline flavor, and the views of the beach and water are remarkable. Water’s Edge Resort and Spa is a strong and active member of our chamber and we appreciate it. I want to take a moment to especially acknowledge Director of Sales and Chamber Board Member Keith Lindelow, Corporate Sales Manager Karen Robidoux, and the Dattilo Family for their constant support of the chamber,” said Larry McHugh President of Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce.

The event is located on Water’s Edge Resort & Spa, 1525 Boston Post Road in Westbrook.

The chamber’s next ‘Business After Work’ will be held on Sept. 15 and will be held at Valley Railroad Company – Essex Steam Train & Riverboat in Essex.

The Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce is a dynamic business organization with over 2,175 members that employ over 50,000 people.  The organization strives to be the voice of business in Middlesex County and the surroundingarea.

 

 

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St. John’s Episcopal Hosts Rummage Sale, Oct. 14 & 15

The 'Essex Attic' is always a popular attraction at St. John's Annual Rummage Sale!

The ‘Essex Attic’ is always a popular attraction at St. John’s Annual Rummage Sale!

Once again it’s time to come down to Essex and ‘rummage!”   Visit the annual Rummage Sale at St. John’s Episcopal Church and find the treasures you have long been seeking.

The Sale will be on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 14 and 15 from 9 a.m.. to 2 pm.  It is a huge sale with way too many items to list – everything from furniture, household appliances, books, clothing, electrical appliances, tools, etc.  Hundreds of items are priced under $10.

Prepare to be inspired in the Boutique, where you can pick out the perfect outfit.  “Essex Attic” has exceptional treasures and really cool costume jewelry.  The Silent Auction is full of unique and special items waiting for your bid.

Cider and doughnuts will be available, and on Saturday there will also be a bake sale, plus hot dogs. 

The Church is located at the corner of Main & Cross Streets, Essex, CT 06426 – opposite the park.

For more information, call the church office at:  860-767-8095

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All Welcome to Join Final SummerSing Monday Featuring Beethoven’s ‘Mass in C’

The sixth and final SummerSing of the season will feature Beethoven’s Mass in C,  with Steve Bruce-Con Brio Choral Society, on Monday, Aug. 15, 7 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 56 Great Hammock Rd., Old Saybrook. All singers are welcome to perform in this read-through of a great choral work.

The event features professional soloists and is co-sponsored by two shoreline choral groups, Cappella Cantorum and Con Brio.

An $8 fee covers the costs of the event. Scores will be available, but bring yours if you have it and the church is air-conditioned.

For more information call (860) 388-4110 or (860) 434-9135 or visit www.cappellacantorum.org or www.conbrio.org.

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Adam’s Hometown Markets, Local Law Enforcement Team Up to Raise $29,000 For Special Olympics Connecticut

special olympicsDEEP RIVER — Adam’s Hometown Markets and local law enforcement officers teamed up to raise $29,000 for Special Olympics Connecticut through a campaign at 14 Adams Markets across the state throughout May and June. For each donation, a “paper torch” with the donor’s name (if desired) was displayed in the store for the duration of the campaign.

The money raised will go to support Special Olympics Connecticut’s year-round sports, health and fitness programs for athletes of all abilities.

The Paper torch campaign is a Law Enforcement Torch Run event to benefit Special Olympics Connecticut.  For more information about Special Olympics Connecticut, visit www.soct.org.

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

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

Special Olympics Connecticut provides year-round sports training and competitions for over 13,000 athletes of all ages with intellectual disabilities and Unified Sports® partners – their teammates without disabilities.

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

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Blumenthal Discusses Proposed High Speed Rail Route with Community Leaders Friday Morning in Old Lyme

Senator Richard Blumenthal (File photo)

Senator Richard Blumenthal (File photo)

OLD LYME — Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder issued the following announcement Thursday, Aug. 11:
Senator Richard Blumenthal will be meeting in the Old Lyme Town Hall Meeting Hall, Friday, Aug. 12, at 10:30 a.m. This will be a roundtable discussion with community leaders from area towns, though the public is welcome to attend.

“After recent issues raised by the USDOT’s concept for future rail service in Connecticut and the operation of rail service by Amtrak, Senator Blumenthal will meet with municipal leaders to hear their concerns and ideas for the future of rail service along the shoreline from the Connecticut River to the Rhode Island border. This discussion will help inform Senator Blumenthal on the impact of federal policies on local communities and determine how he may assist the town leaders.”

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The Country School Partners with Level Up Village for Pioneering Global Steam Enrichment

These photos show campers with flashlights, which they created in a Global Inventors camp. During the camp, students in Madison were partnered with students in Kenya, communicating about their inventions through video exchanges.

These photos show campers with flashlights, which they created in a Global Inventors camp. During the camp, students in Madison were partnered with students in Kenya, communicating about their inventions through video exchanges.

This summer, The Country School teamed up with Level Up Village to offer pioneering global STEAM (STEM + Arts) courses as part of the school’s Summer Fun and Learning program. In addition to engaging in STEAM programs, participants collaborated one-on-one with partner students from one of Level Up Village’s Global Partner organizations in a developing country via video message exchanges.

Camps offered through the Level Up Village-Country School partnership included Global Inventors and Global Video Game Designers. At the Global Inventors camp, participants used 3D printers to create solar flashlights – and they did so while collaborating with friends in Kenya. For Global Video Game Designers, participants explored Scratch and used video camera sensors and drawings to build and hack video games, collaborating through videos with friends in Palestine.

“Joining forces with Level Up Village is a natural extension of what we do throughout the year at The Country School, developing 21st Century skills and incorporating STEAM into our PreSchool through 8th Grade programs,” said John Fixx, Head of School. “In addition, the global collaboration ties in seamlessly with our curricula that stir appreciation for various cultures and traditions, important for the fulfillment of our school’s mission as we prepare our students to enter an global and interconnected world.”

Level Up Village empowers children to make a difference in the world with courses that promote design thinking and one-to-one collaboration on real-world problems between K-9 students in the U.S. and Global Partner students in 20+ countries. U.S. school partners directly sponsor Global STEAM education in developing countries through Level Up Village’s “take a class, give a class” model: a portion of the tuition is used to deliver the same class to students at one of Level Up Village’s Global Partners, many of whom are living on less than $2 a day. More information is available at www.levelupvillage.com.

Level Up Village - Global Inventors (2)

“We connect students from around the world for shared STEAM learning experiences that are both impactful and relevant so they can develop the skills and mindset they need to become compassionate global citizens,” said Amy McCooe, CEO of Level Up Village. “Our cutting-edge global STEAM courses include fully developed curricula, comprehensive teaching training and experienced management of the global collaboration process.”

The Country School looks forward to continuing its partnership with Level Up Village – and with its partner schools – during the coming school year. What did campers think of the program this summer?

From Gabriel, a rising Country School 3rd Grader, who collaborated with a Palestinian student for the Global Video Designers camp:

It was really cool making my own video game! My friend from Palestine was like me. He had the same things. He liked to play outside, has an Xbox, and made video games too. He also had a brother!

From Nadia, a rising Country School 4th Grader:

It was neat to use the computer to make my own video game and then play it and share it, which is really awesome. It was awesome to have a friend from somewhere else in the world. Abdul loved burgers just like me. I didn’t know they have burgers in Palestine.

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

For more about Level Up Village, contact Andrea Sherman, PR & Communications at Level Up Village at andrea@levelupvillage.com

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Paolucci, Gingras Appointed to Essex Financial Services Board of Directors

Essex Financial Services, Inc. (EFS) has announced that Robert Paolucci and Patrick Gingras, two of the firm’s Financial Advisors, have been appointed to serve on the company’s Board of Directors. In addition, both have been promoted to Senior Vice President.

In a statement announcing the appointment, EFS President and Chief Executive Officer Charles R. Cumello, Jr. said, “We are delighted to add two of our most senior advisors to our board. We look forward to their ongoing contributions to the growth and oversight of the firm.”

Paolucci has been in the financial services industry for nearly 20 years and joined EFS in 2009. He has earned the Certified Financial Planner®. Paolucci and his family reside in Killingworth.

Gingras joined EFS in 2006 after numerous years serving as an institutional advisor. He and his family live in Old Lyme.

Essex Financial Services is one of the leading independent financial advisory firms in the United States. Cited by Barron’s and other leading publications, the firm’s unbiased, independent, client-centric approach has made it a leader in providing exceptional service to clients for over three decades.

For more information on Essex Financial Services, visit essexfinancialservices.com

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Medal of Honor Car Unveiled at Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson in Anticipation of New Tribute Center

The Medal of Honor Recipient Recognition ’56 Ford Thunderbird will be the Centerpiece of an Interactive Exhibit and Heroes Tribute Coming to the Dealership during the 2016 Holiday Season and Beyond

The Medal of Honor Recipient Recognition ’56 Ford Thunderbird will be the Centerpiece of an Interactive Exhibit
and Heroes Tribute Coming to the Dealership during the 2016 Holiday Season and Beyond

On Sunday, Aug. 14, at 1 p.m. the public is invited to witness the unveiling of a one-of-a-kind Medal of Honor Recipient Recognition 1956 Ford Thunderbird at Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson.  The Medal of Honor car is an artistic tribute to our country’s military heroes who have received the Medal of Honor, which is the highest award that can be bestowed on a member of the United States Armed Services.

Renowned artist Mickey Harris, who is recognized as a pioneer of free hand airbrushing and whose art works hang in the Pentagon, painted the car in 2012.  On Sept.18, 2013, the Medal of Honor car traveled to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society Convention in Gettysburg, Pa., where 30 surviving Medal of Honor recipients signed it.

When dealership owner Mike Schwartz saw the car at the prestigious Barrett Jackson auction at Mohegan Sun this June, he was inspired to purchase it as a gift to the local military community.

“I knew the car belonged at home, in our area which has such a long, deep and rich military history,” said Schwartz. “The patriotism and realism that was created on the ‘56 T-Bird is impossible to describe. Those who see the car get emotional, from chills to tears of joy. This work of art is something we are proud to share with our customers and in tribute to our country,” Schwartz added.

The amazing artwork on the 1965 Ford Thunderbird

The amazing artwork on the 1956 Ford Thunderbird

The Medal of Honor car will be the centerpiece of a new interactive Tribute Center at Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson dealership and new destination.  The venue is housed in the historic Coca-Cola® bottling plant that operated in New London from the 1930’s until its transformation to a Harley-Davidson® dealership like no other in 2014.

Blending the history of two iconic brands with the region’s storied military history, the Tribute Center will feature a collection of period pieces illustrating and interweaving the fight for freedom that has occurred over the last century, while highlighting Americans’ love for the road.

To help celebrate the unveiling of the Medal of Honor Car, Wounded Warriors Family Support Foundation (WWFS) will make a stop at Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson on Sunday, Aug. 14, from 1 to 3 p.m. as part of their 7th annual High Five Tour 2016.

During the four-month tour, a 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 will travel more than 26,000 miles, criss-crossing the United States and visiting more than 100 cities in 48 states.  The public is invited to sign the 2016 Ford Shelby with a message of support to our country’s veterans and their families. Through the High Five Tour 2016, the WWFS’s goal is to raise $1,000,000 to provide veteran programs to wounded veterans and their families.

Leading up to the Medal of Honor car unveiling, all branches of the U.S. military will be honored as part of Military Appreciation Weekend at Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson which will include complimentary refreshments and entertainment on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 12 to 14, from 12 to 3 pm. The sneak peak of the 1956 Thunderbird will take place on Sunday at 1.30 p.m.

Representatives from each branch of the U.S. Military will be present, as well as the Three Rivers Young Marines unit located in Norwich, Conn.  This will be a special one-time chance to see the Medal of Honor car as the Tribute Center is being prepared for a Holiday 2016 opening.

Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson is located at 951 Bank Street in New London, CT right off of Interstate I-95 in New London CT.   The dealership opened in March 2014 in 55,000 SF within the former Coca-Cola® bottling plant.

Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson is one of the most decorated Harley-Davidson Dealerships in the nation. It recently received The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut honored Mike’s Famous with its Military Community Support Award for it’s work throughout the community involving dozen’s of Military related activities.

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Essex Winter Series Awards Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship to Austin Rannestad of Chester

Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship winner Austin Rannestad stands with his parents John and Jennifer Rannestad John Rannestad,

Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship winner Austin Rannestad stands with his parents John and Jennifer Rannestad.

ESSEX — The Board of Trustees of Essex Winter Series has announced that Austin Rannestad of Chester is the recipient of the 2016 Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship. A 2016 graduate of Valley Regional High School (VRHS), Austin is the son of John and Jennifer Rannestad. The scholarship was awarded by Essex Winter Series trustee Louisa Ketron at the VRHS senior awards night in June.

Named for a founding member of Essex Winter Series, the Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a graduating senior of VRHS who will be studying music in college. The generous scholarship provides $1,000 for each year of study, for a total of $4,000. The Scholarship was established in 1995 after the passing of EWS board president Francis Bealey to honor his commitment to music and arts education.

Austin plays trumpet and, during his high school career, was a member of the concert and jazz bands as well as a musician in the pit orchestra for school and community musicals. He was a member of the Greater Hartford Youth Wind Ensemble, played varsity tennis and was a member of the ski club. This summer, Austin was employed as a sailing instructor at Pettipaug Sailing Academy and, with his family, hosted a Spanish exchange student for several weeks. He plans to attend Ithaca College to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music.

Bringing world-class classical and jazz music to the shoreline area was the dream of the founders of the Essex Winter Series, established in 1979.  The late Fenton Brown became involved early on and devoted many years to expanding the series, and ultimately recruited pianist Mihae Lee to become Artistic Director.  The “Fenton Brown Emerging Artists Concert” series was begun to honor Brown’s commitment to promoting the careers of young artists.

Each year, the Essex Winter Series presents a series of concert performances by top-rated musicians from around the world with each season including a mix of such performances as chamber music, instrumental soloists, opera singers, symphony and chamber orchestras, and jazz bands.

For additional information, visit www.essexwinterseries.com.

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Essex Community Fund Hosts Fundraising Evening at the Ivoryton Playhouse, Sept. 8

Organizers of Essex Community Fund's Benefit Evening stand in front of the Ivoryton Playhouse, where the event will be held.

Organizers of Essex Community Fund’s Benefit Evening stand in front of the Ivoryton Playhouse, where the event will be held.

ESSEX  — Tickets are selling quickly for the Essex Community Fund’s (ECF) Evening at the Ivoryton Playhouse featuring one of the world’s most popular musicals, The Man of La Mancha. Starring Connecticut’s own David Pittsinger returning to the Playhouse, ECF’s Evening at the Playhouse is on Sept. 8.

Inspired by Cervantes’ Don Quixote, considered by many to be “the best literary work ever written,” The Man of La Mancha features the antics of Don Quixote and his faithful sidekick Sancho Panza. Come hear songs like “The Impossible Dream” and “I, Don Quixote” and many others.

Pre-show reception and festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. under the tent with a post-show “Meet the Cast” dessert and coffee. All proceeds go to support ECF’s ongoing mission to enhance the quality of life for the residents of our three villages.

For tickets ($75) or to make a donation, contact a board member or visit our website at www.essexcommunityfund.org.

Contact: Jackie Doane, Playhouse Committee Chair Person, Essex Community Fund at info@essexcommunityfund.org

The Essex Community Fund began over 65 years ago with the same goal – helping local non-profits provide much needed services for the residents of our three villages. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life of our residents in Essex, Centerbrook and Ivoryton. This is accomplished by identifying community needs, providing financial support, and forging partnerships with local non-profit organizations.

Some of their recent initiatives include Compassion Counts: Exploring Mental Wellness, Teen Hunger Initiative, and The Bridge Fund, as well as continuing involvement with the Fuel Assistance Program, The Shoreline Soup Kitchen, Essex Park and Recreation, and the Essex Board of Trade programs and events.

For more information or to make a donation, visit www.essexcommunityfund.org.

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Save the Date for a “Ballet Spooktacular” at The Kate, Oct. 15-16

Spooktacular_Dancer-247x300Treat children of all ages to family-friendly Halloween fun with Eastern Connecticut Ballet’s “Ballet Spooktacular” at The Kate.  Special effects and bewitching costumes set the stage for spirited performances of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Dancing Bones, and Halloween Waltz.

Children are invited to wear their costumes to parade on stage, trick-or-treat throughout the decorated theater and pose for spellbinding photos with the dancers.

Performances will take place on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 15 and 16 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.  Tickets to Ballet Spooktacular are $18 for adults and $12 for children (age 12 and under) and are available through The Kate box office at 877-503-1286.

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Reading by Notable Poets Tonight at Maple & Main in Chester

Some of the poets who will read Wednesday at Maple & Main Gallery in Chester.

Some of the poets who will read Wednesday at Maple & Main Gallery in Chester.

CHESTER – A reading of their best work by notable poets attending the Connecticut River Poetry Conference will be Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Maple and Main Gallery.

For the past six years a select group of poets has met annually for a summer week of workshops, seminars, readings, camaraderie and literary high-jinx at Chester’s Guest House.

Shoreline poets Gray Jacobik and Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely founded the Connecticut River Poetry Conference, which grew out of an advanced poetry seminar at The Frost Place in Franconia, NH. This year, in honor of Gray Jacobik’s exhibition, Lines Spoken: In Paint, in Wax, in Words during August in Maple and Main’s Stone Gallery, the Conference poets will present a group reading in the round at the gallery Wednesday. Wine will be served.

Jacobik and Meneely will be joined by much-published poets: Ruth Foley of Attleboro, MA., Sharon Olson of Lawrenceville, NJ., Carole Stasiowski of Cotuit, MA., Hiram Larew of Upper Marlboro, MD., Anne Harding Woodworth of Washington, D.C., and Lawrence Wray of Pittsburgh, PA.

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Vista Hosts One-Man Show About Living With Autism at ‘The Kate’ Today

Dane Brandt-Lubart presents, "My Life on the Spectrum, Aug. 10 at 'The Kate.'

Dane Brandt-Lubart presents, “My Life on the Spectrum, Aug. 10, at ‘The Kate.’

OLD SAYBROOK — Vista Life Innovations, a community-based program for individuals with disabilities, is partnering with the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook to present My Life on the Spectrum: A Tuneful Rally today, Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 1 p.m.

Starring 24-year-old New York native Dane Brandt-Lubart, this one-man play combines musical performances with personal narratives about Brandt-Lubart’s experience being on the autism spectrum. The show aims to provide others on the spectrum with hope and encouragement while educating the public about the issues facing individuals with disabilities.

“I’m hoping that those who see the show, not only do they get a great entertainment experience, but I’m hoping they carry this message forward: People with special needs are totally worthy of respect,” Brandt-Lubart says in a video promoting the show.

“My Life on the Spectrum” debuted last October at the famed ‘Don’t Tell Mama’ cabaret venue in Manhattan. The production has been described as inspiring, honest, funny and poignant.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at www.vistalifeinnovations.org/MLotS. For questions, contact Amanda Roberts at(860) 399-8080 ext. 255.

With campuses in Madison, Westbrook and Guilford, Vista has been providing services and resources to individuals with disabilities for over 26 years.

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Leif Nilsson Hosts ‘The Grays’ at ‘Concert in the Garden,’ Thursday

The Grays perform the next 'Concert in the Garden' at the Silver Spring Gallery.

‘The Grays’ perform the next ‘Concert in the Garden’ at the Silver Spring Gallery.

CHESTER — Leif Nilsson hosts another ‘Concert in the Garden’, Thursday, Aug. 11, from 7 to 9 p.m., this time featuring ‘The Grays’ at the Spring Street Studio and Gallery at 1 Spring St, Chester Center. This monthly concert series highlights eclectic international singer/songwriter artists from cool jazz to blue grass.

‘The Grays’ are an original jazz-funk music project, which mixes electrified gypsy jazz with odd-time tribal funk beats. The group features Justin Vood Good on guitar, Hans Lohse on percussion, accordion and vocals, Tracey Kroll on drums and electronica, Pat Pollen on acoustic and electric bass, and Steve Fava on sonic sculpting and atmospherics. The band offers deep grooves and dynamic improvisation for listening as well as dancing, and encourages audience participation.

For more information visit the thegrays.bandcamp.com and on Facebook at facebook.com/thegraysmusic.

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

Sorry, no pets allowed.

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

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

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Shoppers at Adams Hometown Market in Deep River Give Generously to CT Food Bank Milk Drive

The Adams Homemarket in Deep River

Shoppers at the Adams Hometown Market in Deep River gave generously to The Great American Milk Drive. Photo by Jerome Wilson.

DEEP RIVER — Shoppers at Adams Hometown Market, Better Valu and Tri Town Foods stores in Connecticut gave generously to The Great American Milk Drive, raising more than $12,000 for milk vouchers to help people served by the Connecticut Food Bank network of food assistance programs. Connecticut Food Bank spokesperson Paul Shipman spoke warmly of the tremendous contribution made by the Adams Hometown Store located in Deep River, telling ValleyNewsNow.com that, “the store has been wonderful supporting this program.”

By donating $1, $3 or $5, or rounding up their change at the register, shoppers raised $12,232 for milk vouchers. Shipman said it was the most successful Milk Drive yet for the food bank. Shoppers at the 12 participating stores have donated more than $25,000 since 2014.

Milk is one of the most requested items at food pantries, Shipman said, but it is difficult for people to obtain. “Many of our participating programs have limited refrigeration, so keeping a supply of milk is difficult, but it’s sought after by many people who need help with basic food needs.” Shipman said that many people who visit food pantries may only be able to access one gallon of milk per person in a year.

By providing vouchers for people visiting food banks, we can ease some of the transportation and refrigeration barriers and make milk a more regular part of people’s diets,” Shipman said.

The drive was part of a national program aimed at providing sought-after and highly nutritious gallons of milk to people in need. This local drive included the New England Dairy Promotion Board’s Must Be the Milk program, Guida’s Dairy, and the dairy farm families of Connecticut.

The milk drive was conducted at 12 Adams Hometown Market, Better Valu, and Tri Town Foods locations.

For more information on the Great American Milk Drive, visit www.mustbethemilk.com/milkdrive/

Editor’s Notes:

  1. Adams Hometown Market is a Connecticut-owned and operated company, which is owned by Bozzutos Incorporated, and is dedicated to providing service and support to the local community. Learn more at AdamsSuperFood.com
  2. The Connecticut Food Bank is committed to alleviating hunger in Connecticut by providing food resources, raising awareness of the challenges of hunger and advocating for people who need help meeting basic needs. The Connecticut Food Bank partners with the food industry, food growers, donors and volunteers to provide food, which last year provided 19.2 million meals. We distribute that food through a network of community based programs to six Connecticut counties – Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London and Windham counties – where more than 300,000 people struggle with hunger. Visit us on the web at www.ctfoodbank.org, like us on Facebook and follow @CTFoodBank on Twitter and Instagram.
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Connecticut Water Issues Voluntary Water Conservation Request

water-conservationPersistent dry weather conditions and higher than normal demand for water has prompted Connecticut Water to ask its customers across the state to voluntarily reduce their water use. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, conditions across Connecticut range from abnormally dry to moderate drought.

The Company has a number of sources and operational flexibility to meet its customers’ needs, but given the extended dry weather conditions and no indication that these weather patterns will change, the company felt it was important to ask its customers now to voluntarily conserve.

Craig J. Patla, Vice President – Service Delivery, states, “Having an adequate supply of water for drinking, sanitation, and fire protection is Connecticut Water’s highest priority.  While our supplies, overall, are in good shape, we face unique challenges with many smaller systems that rely on small local wells and in the Shoreline area where there is a seasonal influx of customers to local beach communities.”

He continues, “We are asking customers to help us by eliminating unnecessary water use and taking steps to avoid wasting water.  This will reduce the demands on our water supplies, reduce stress on local water resources, and ensure sufficient water is available to meet the needs of all customers.” Connecticut Water’s Shoreline area includes the communities of Clinton, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook.

Connecticut Water is asking its customers to voluntarily conserve water by eliminating non-essential water use. Here are some specific things that customers can do:

  • Residential customers are asked to avoid watering their lawns;
  • Businesses, municipalities, and schools are asked to avoid irrigating their grounds and ball fields;
  • Fire departments are asked to avoid using water in their training exercises; and
  • All customers are asked to promptly repair any leaks.

Connecticut Water will continue to monitor water demands and will modify its request for water conservation measures accordingly.

Connecticut Water has additional suggestions on how to save water that are available by visiting its website atwww.CTWater.com/conservation. Customers without internet access can call 1-800-286-5700.

The website of the U.S Drought Monitor is: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/RegionalDroughtMonitor.aspx?northeast

The U.S. Drought Monitor, established in 1999, is a weekly map of drought conditions that is produced jointly by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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Old Saybrook Schools, Saint John School Announce Free, Reduced Price Meal Policy

school_lunchThe Old Saybrook Public Schools and Saint John School have announced their policy for determining eligibility of children may receive free or reduced-price meals served under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP),  served under the Special Milk Program (SMP).

Local school officials have adopted the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Income Eligibility Guidelines (IEGs) for family size and income criteria for determining eligibility.

The income guidelines at this link will be used in Connecticut from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 for determining eligibility of participants for free and reduced-price meals and free milk in the Child Nutrition Programs.

The above income calculations are made based on the following formulas: Monthly income is calculated by dividing the annual income by 12; twice monthly income is computed by dividing annual income by 24; income received every two weeks is calculated by dividing annual income by 26; and weekly income is computed by dividing annual income by 52.  All numbers are rounded upward to the next whole dollar.

Children from families whose income is at or below the levels shown are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.  Application forms are available through online registration, on the district website www.oldsaybrookschools.org and are being sent to all homes with a letter to parents.  To apply for free or reduced-price meals , households should fill out the application and return it to the school. Additional copies are available at the principal’s office at each school.]

Only one application is required per household and an application for free or reduced- price benefits cannot be approved unless it contains complete eligibility information as indicated on the application and instructions.  The information provided on the application is confidential and will be used only for the purposes of determining eligibility and for administration and enforcement of the lunch, breakfast and milk programs.

Note that the district MAY share your eligibility information with education, health, and nutrition programs to help them evaluate, fund, or determine benefits for their programs, auditors for program reviews, and law enforcement officials to help them look into violations of program rules.  This information may also be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program officials.  Applications may be submitted at any time during the year.

For up to 30 operating days into the new school year, eligibility from the previous year will continue within the same local educational agency (LEA).  When the carry-over period ends, unless the household is notified that their children are directly certified or the household submits an application that is approved, the children must pay full price for school meals and the school will not send a reminder or a notice of expired eligibility.

No application is required if the district directly certifies a child based on a household member receiving assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or the Temporary Family Assistance (TFA) program.  All children in these households are eligible for free meal benefits.  Households receiving assistance under the SNAP/TFA programs will be notified of their eligibility and their children will be provided free benefits unless the household notifies the determining official that it chooses to decline benefits.

If any children were not listed on the eligibility notice, the household should contact the district or school to have free meal benefits extended to those children.  Households receiving SNAP or TFA benefits for their children should only submit an application if they are not notified of their eligibility by August 31, 2016.

If a child is not directly certified, the household should complete a free and reduced-price meal application form.  The application for the SNAP or TFA households require the SNAP or TFA case number.  The signature of an adult household member is also required.

Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals.  Please send in an application or contact the determining official for more information.

When known to the district/school, households will be notified of any child’s eligibility for free meals if the individual child is Other Source Categorically Eligible because the child is categorized as either:  Homeless; runaway as defined by law and determined by the district’s or school’s homeless liaison; or enrolled in an eligible Head Start or pre-kindergarten class as defined by law.  Households with children who are categorically eligible under Other Source Categorically Eligible Programs should complete an application and check-off the relevant box.

Questions should be directed to the determining official.  For any child not listed on the eligibility notice, the households should contact the school or determining official about any child also eligible under one of these programs or should submit an income application for the other children.

Households notified of their children’s eligibility must contact the determining official or school if it chooses to decline the free meal benefits.  If households/children are not notified by the district/school of their free meal benefits and they receive benefits under Assistance Programs or under Other Source Categorically Eligible Programs, the parent/guardian should contact the determining official or their school.

Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court, are categorically eligible for free meals.  A foster parent does not have to complete a free/reduced meal application if they can submit a copy of the legal document or legal court order showing that the child is a foster child.  Additionally, a foster child may be included as a member of the foster family if the foster family chooses to also apply for benefits.  If the foster family is not eligible for free or reduced-price meal benefits, it does not prevent a foster child from receiving free meal benefits.  Note however, that a foster child’s free eligibility does not automatically extend to all students in the household.

Application forms for all other households require a statement of total household income, household size and names of all household members.  The last four digits of the social security number of an adult household member must be included or a statement that the household member does not have one.  The adult household member must also sign the application certifying that the information provided is correct.

Under the provisions of the policy for determining eligibility for free and reduced-price meals, the determining official,  Julie Pendleton, Director of Operations, Facilities and Finance jpendleton@oldsdaybrookschools.org (860) 395-3158 x1013 will review applications and determine eligibility.  If a parent is dissatisfied with the ruling of the determining official, he/she may wish to discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis. If he/she wishes to make a formal appeal, a request either orally or in writing, may be made to Jan G. Perruccio, Superintendent of Schools, 50 Sheffield Street, Old Saybrook, CT 06475 jperruccio@oldsaybrookschools.org (860)395-3157 for a hearing to appeal the decision.

The policy contains an outline of the hearing procedure.  Each school and the central office of the school district has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by an interested party.

If a household member becomes unemployed or if household size changes at any time, the family should contact the school to file a new application.  Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for reduced-price meals, free meals, , if the family income falls at or below the levels shown in the Income Guidelines.

Questions regarding the application process may be directed to the determining official at (860)395-3158.

This is the Public Release we will send on August 3, 2016 to the following news media outlets, the local unemployment office, major employers contemplating layoffs, etc.

1. The Hartford Courant 3. New Haven Register
2. The Day 4. CT Department of Labor

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. 

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1)  mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)  fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3)  email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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The Country School, Madison Racquet & Swim Club Join Forces at Country School’s New Rothberg Tennis Center

Will de Chabert, a Madison resident, Country School student, and player for Madison Racquet & Swim Club, serves during a match on one of the new Rothberg Tennis Center courts at The Country School.

Will de Chabert, a Madison resident, Country School student, and player for Madison Racquet & Swim Club, serves during a match on one of the new Rothberg Tennis Center courts at The Country School.

MADISON, CT — As part of a new partnership designed to dramatically expand tennis opportunities in Madison and on the shoreline, Madison Racquet & Swim Club (MRSC) and The Country School (TCS) held a joint open house at the Rothberg Tennis Center — The Country School’s new, state-of-the-art tennis complex. Several families gathered to explore the new facilities and to enjoy a celebrational barbecue on the new patio overlooking the athletic complex.

Through this newly announced arrangement, Madison Racquet and TCS are co-hosting USTA tournaments, offering clinics, running training camps for adults and children, and scheduling social tennis outings. In addition, MRSC has agreed to have one of their teaching pros join the coaching staff of The Country School’s varsity tennis team.

Going forward, TCS and MRSC will share scheduling technology, so that members of the school community and MRSC members can access available courts with ease.  Madison Racquet has also created a new membership featuring use of courts and programs at both sites.

“This partnership is exciting and supports our strategic plan to advance our athletic program,” said Head of School John Fixx. “By teaming with Madison Racquet & Swim Club, the premier tennis club in our area, we provide our Country School families and the greater shoreline community a state-of- the-art tennis complex and facilities.”

Robert Dunlop, owner of Madison Racquet & Swim Club, shared Fixx’s enthusiasm about the new partnership. “Each of us has been providing educational and recreational opportunities for many years,” he said. “By joining forces, we will offer our members and TCS families a bigger, stronger MRSC.”

The Country School opened The Rothberg Tennis Center in May as part of the school’s new outdoor athletic and recreational complex, created in celebration of the school’s 60th anniversary. The complex also includes two new soccer fields, a baseball /softball diamond, new playground, and full-sized outdoor basketball court.

Since opening in late spring, the new facilities have been used for soccer and tennis camps and clinics through the school’s Summer Fun and Learning program. The tennis portion of the school’s annual Golf & Tennis Classic for Scholarship last month was also played on the school’s new courts.

Madison Racquet & Swim Club and The Country School held a joint open house at The Country School's Rothberg Tennis Center to celebrate their new partnership. Pictured are: (top row) Taylor Fay and Dawn Fagerquist, both pros at Madison Racquet; (middle row) youth players Will de Chabert, Sam Duffy, Loden Bradstreet and John Kelly; (sitting) Ellery Bradstreet and Connor Duffy.

Madison Racquet & Swim Club and The Country School held a joint open house at The Country School’s Rothberg Tennis Center to celebrate their new partnership. Pictured are: (top row) Taylor Fay and Dawn Fagerquist, both pros at Madison Racquet; (middle row) youth players Will de Chabert, Sam Duffy, Loden Bradstreet and John Kelly; (sitting) Ellery Bradstreet and Connor Duffy.

Madison Racquet & Swim Club has developed an outstanding tennis program under the leadership of Rick Fay, Director of Tennis.  In addition to Fay, MRSC has five other senior level tennis pros year round, including Kitty Palmer and Dawn Fagerquist, the coaches of the Daniel Hand High School girls and boys tennis teams, which have consistently been at the top of their conference and in the state. Both have been named Coach of the Year several times.

Junior Tennis begins with the 10 & under program and offers programs for the recreational and competitive level player through college. The club’s USTA and interclub teams have had great success. MADRackets, the 14 & under intermediate team, has won the New England Sectionals the past two years and placed second in the country at the nationals held in South Carolina.

In addition to programs for juniors, Adult Tennis includes clinics for all levels, starting with the introductory Play Tennis Fast clinic. More competitive players on USTA or interclub teams have one practice and one match per week. Play programs such as Cardio Tennis and Point Play have become very popular, as they provide excellent aerobic workouts.

Founded in 1955, The Country School is an independent, coeducational school serving students in PreSchool-Grade 8. In addition to a rigorous academic program that seeks to educate the whole child through active, hands-on learning, The Country School is committed to vital offerings in the arts and athletics. Each year, Country School graduates go on to play sports at the high school and collegiate levels. The school looks forward to hosting athletic contests and tournaments at its new athletic complex in the coming months and years.

Learn more at www.thecountryschool.org.

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Estuary Gym is Now Silver Sneakers Approved

The Estuary Council of Seniors has announced that The Estuary Gym is a Silver Sneakers well-being fitness location. If you are a member of a Silver Sneaker participating health plan in Connecticut, the Silver Sneakers plan will pay for your membership to the gym.  This does NOT apply to any fitness classes. Silver Sneakers is exclusively for The Estuary Gym.

These benefits are open to anyone 65 years or older or those under 65 who are Medicare insured.  Check your eligibility by contacting Silver Sneakers by phone at 1.866.666.7956 or log onto their website at www.silversneakers.com

Already a Silver Sneaker member? Come to the Estuary Senior Center at 220 Main St., Old Saybrook to complete the gym forms and get enrolled, or call us at 860-388-1611.

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Valley Shore YMCA’s 25th Annual Golf Classic Raises Funds for Annual Campaign

A smiling group of YMCA golf tournament winners.

A smiling group of YMCA golf tournament winners.

The Valley Shore YMCA’s 25th Annual Golf Classic drew a crowd of nearly 100 golfers Monday, July 18th to the Clinton Country Club for a day of “Golfing for a Cause”. The event raised over $45,000 for the Valley Shore YMCA’s Annual Campaign, which funds scholarships for local families and community health initiatives.

The majority raised came from sponsorships, including the Tournament sponsorships of Brown and Knapp Group Benefits; Mr. & Mrs. Leighton Lee IV; Art Linares and Family; Guilford Savings Bank; L.H. Brenner, Inc./Thompson & Peck Insurance; Pat Munger Construction; Wacker Wealth Management; and Whelen Engineering. Supporting sponsors included East Commerce Solutions and Kyocera.

The day of the tournament was a beautiful summer day, sunny with slight breezes in support of the golfers. Additional fun games were held throughout the course to enhance the fun factor, including Longest Drive, Closet to the Pin, Putting and Hole in One contests. Former Y Board President David Brown and Y Board Member Leighton Lee IV co-chaired the event and rallied sponsors, volunteers and prizes.

Committee members and volunteers included Marc Brodeur, Hal Dolan, Lisa LeMonte, Elizabeth McCall, Susan Norton, Melissa Ozols, Matt Sullivan, Tony Sharillo, Marcus Wacker and Jacquelyn Waddock.

No golfer made a hole-in-one for the prized Subaru generously provided by Reynolds’ Garage and Marine.

First Net Score winners were Jeff Knapp, Steph Brodeur, Justin Urbano and Scott Wiley; second place went to Casey Quinn, Paddy Quinn, Chick Quinn and Ryan Quinn.

First Gross winners were the team of David Brown, Jeff Dow, Mike Satti and Shane O’Brien; second place  went to Bob Brady, Geoff Gregory, John Brady and Bobby Edgil.

Chris Pallatto, YMCA CEO, thanked all the golfers and local organizations who came together to make this event possible. “Once again, we had another successful event, made possible by all of our supporters here today.  They all make it possible for the Y to continue to make an impact in our community.”

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Florence Dutka Interviewed by Mary Ann Pleva on ‘Looking Back’ TV Show

Looking_Back_Crew
The technical crew of the Looking Back series posed for a photo after a recent show.

The  taping occurred at Valley Shore Community Television in their Westbrook studio.

Pictured in the photo above are Chris Morgan, Bill Cook, Bill Bevan, Terry Garrity, and Tim Butterworth
Seated are Florence Dutka who was interviewed by host, Mary Ann Pleva.  This is the fifth in a series that features community members, who have led extraordinary lives.
The programs air regularly on Channel 19, public access television.  Scheduling information is available weekly  in the Valley Courier.
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