April 26, 2015

TTYS Hosts ‘Outstanding Ones’ Playgroup Starting April 15

Calling all toddlers!  Tri-Town Youth Services, at 56 High Street in Deep River, offers an Outstanding Ones play group led by Parent Resource Coordinator, Meredith Adler.  The groups offer a mixture of free play and circle time.  Caregivers have a chance to chat with each other and browse the parent resource library.  Outstanding Ones meets Wednesdays, April 15-June 17 from 11:00 to 11:30 a.m. with a cost of $45 for Tri-Town residents and $55 for non-residents.  Register at www.tritownys.org or call Tri-Town 860-526-3600.

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

Photographer Tony Donovan Exhibits at Essex Library During May

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ESSEX — A photography exhibit will be held at Essex Library Association through the month of May featuring guest artist, Tony Donovan.

Ivoryton resident Tony Donovan began his photography career in Ireland in north Belfast in the early 1970s. As he puts it, “It was a difficult place to take pictures, the people were on edge and wary; suspicious of a stranger.” He shot street scenes and people he befriended, mostly children, with a handheld Leica and the available light. The situation was extreme since he had no control over events and that has shaped his work ever since. He considers himself a documentary, artistic photographer seeking to make expressive, poetic pictures from life. The photograph’s subject is the most important consideration for him.

Donovan has also captured woodsman Amos Congdon at his Lyme, Conn., sawmill, see photo above. Congdon makes the perfect image of the American past; sharpening a saw, feeding cattle and tallying a woodlot. A sawmill is a wonderful place to take photos with its patterns of circles and squares, scattered pieces of wood and the lines lumber produces.

Donovan has been photographing a summer basketball tournament, more recently, for a number of years, even receiving a Middletown Commission on the Arts grant to do so in 2010. The Middletown Summer Hoopfest has offered Donovan the opportunity to record some of the drama, effort, spirit and grace played out in those games. He comments, “Photography, like any creative process, often requires a subject that summons up in the artist the will and commitment to work over a long period of time. The Hoopfest has been such a subject for me. Certainly, these basketball images have an historic value and, hopefully, some of them attain a poetic worth.”

The exhibit will be open Saturday, May 2, and run through Saturday, May 30: it is free and open to all. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue, Essex, CT 06426.

Second Session of ‘Beowulf’ Seminar in Essex Library, April 28

beowulf-coverESSEX – Who was the first superhero in the English language?

Whose epic adventures greatly influenced J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit?

It was Beowulf, of course.

Follow the Old English story of Scandinavian warrior Beowulf who, armed with only a magic sword and a heroic code, vanquishes the monster Grendel –and Grendel’s mother too. After becoming a wise and noble King of the Danes, he battles a mighty, fire-breathing dragon with tragic consequences.

Using the Northern Ireland Poet Laureate Seamus Heaney’s magnificent translation, University of New Haven faculty member Chuck Timlin will lead a seminar looking at the great 3182 line poem that stands as the beginning of English Literature.

This seminar will also look at several passages of the poem in the original Old English.

The five-seminar sessions will be held on Tuesday evenings April 14 & 28 and May 5, 12 and 19 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Essex Library. This seminar is free and open to the public. Register in advance by calling 860-767-1560.

The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue, Essex, CT.

‘Nights on Broadway’ Gala Benefits Community Music School, Saturday

Looking forward to welcoming guests at Nights on Broadway are (standing L to R): Melissa Lieberman and David LaMay of Essex Financial Services; Robin Andreoli, CMS executive director CMS; vocalist Courtney Parrish; vocalist Richard Pittsinger; honorary co-chairs Jennifer and John Bauman. Seated are Laureen Sullivan of Essex Savings Bank and Charles Cumello, CEO of Essex Financial Services.

Looking forward to welcoming guests at Nights on Broadway are (standing L to R): Melissa Lieberman and David LaMay of Essex Financial Services; Robin Andreoli, CMS executive director CMS; vocalist Courtney Parrish; vocalist Richard Pittsinger; honorary co-chairs Jennifer and John Bauman. Seated are Laureen Sullivan of Essex Savings Bank and Charles Cumello, CEO of Essex Financial Services.

ESSEX — Curtain Up! Light the Lights! On Saturday, April 18, Community Music School students and faculty take center stage performing classic Broadway show tunes for Nights on Broadway, the School’s 10 annual benefit gala. Guests will gather at the charming Lace Factory, 161 River Street, Deep River, for a lively party with gourmet food stations inspired by Broadway hits and prepared by Cloud Nine Catering, silent and live auctions, and a fun photo booth. Nights on Broadway promises to be a magical, musical evening!

Selections from the shows Wicked, RENT, Fiddler on the Roof, and Les Misérables are scheduled to be performed. Featured student performers include Emma Hunt (vocals) of Essex; Michael Rasberry (saxophone) of Lyme; Sonny Capaccio (vocals) of Guilford; Courtney Parrish (vocals) of Westbrook; Arnold Moore (violin) of Killingworth; and Richard Pittsinger (vocals) of Essex, a recipient of the Carolyn R. Greenleaf Memorial Music Award. Faculty performers include Karli Gilbertson (piano/vocals), Matthew McCauley (bass), Kevin O’Neil (guitar), Andrew Studenski (saxophone), and music director Tom Briggs (piano).

Support of the Community Music School gala provides the resources necessary to offer scholarships to students with a financial need, music therapy services, and outreach through arts education and community concerts. “Nights on Broadway is an extremely important event for us,” stated Executive Director Robin Andreoli, “Proceeds will help us continue our mission of enrichment through the arts with a focus on public performances and community outreach.”

She continues, ” Of course, musical theater has always been a part of our programming with Broadway Bound, a summer program for ages 8 to 15, so it’s fitting that Broadway music is this year’s theme. Programs like Broadway Bound, Kate’s Camp for Kids, the CMS Jazz Ensemble, New Horizons Band and many others allow students of all ages to build on their individual and ensemble skills for performance.”

Nights on Broadway sponsors include Essex Savings Bank and Essex Financial Services, Bogaert Construction, The Clark Group, Tower Laboratories LTD, Grossman Chevrolet-Nissan, Thomas H. Alexa – Comprehensive Wealth Management, Angelini Wine LTD, The Bauman Family Foundation, Brewer Pilots Point Marina, Essex Winnelson, Gowrie Group, Guilford Savings Bank, Leonardo & Associates P.C., W. Jay Mills CFP® – The Oakely Wing Group at Morgan Stanley, Periodontics P.C., Ring’s End, The Safety Zone, and Valley Courier.

Tickets for the evening are $100 per person ($40 is tax deductible). A sponsor ticket of $150 per person provides a greater charitable gift ($90 is tax deductible) and is also available. Tickets may be purchased online at community-music-school.org, at the school located at 90 Main Street in the Centerbrook section of Essex or by calling 860-767-0026. Now in its 32nd year of building community through music, the Community Music School is a private, non-profit organization.

St. John School Produces “Twinderella”

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OLD SAYBROOK — More than 30 fifth to eighth graders formed the cast and crew of the St. John School Drama Club production, “Twinderella,” led by their coaches, Sister Gabriela (2nd grade teacher) and Ann Corcoran (5th grade teacher), assisted by St. John School alumnae, Molly Sullivan.

More information about the great performance is available on St. John School website at http://saintjohnschoolos.org/news/2015/04/drama-club-dazzles-with-twinderella

Congratulations to the cast and crew!

Celebrate the End of Winter Today at Chester’s Spring Carnivale

Street entertainers delight the crowds at the Chester Carnivale. Photo by John Stack.

Street entertainers delight the crowds at the Chester Carnivale. Photo by John Stack.

CHESTER – What a winter we had! Chester’s 25th Annual Winter Carnivale had to be cancelled because of the weather on Feb. 15, but now it’s back, reborn as Spring Carnivale.

On Sunday, April 12, the picturesque small town of Chester will be filled with people cheering on ice carvers as they create beautiful sculptures from blocks of ice, while laughing at the antics of street performers and applauding a long parade of new and antique tractors being driven down Main Street by their proud owners. All that, and food, music, art, and shopping too!

Richard Daly works on his ice sculpture during the 2014 Winter Carnivale. Daly holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest time to create ice sculptures. Photo by John Stack

Richard Daly works on his ice sculpture during the 2014 Winter Carnivale. Daly holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest time to create ice sculptures. Professional ice carver Rich Daly has been a regular at Chester Carnivale through the years. He recently won the National Ice Carving Championship. Come watch his prizewinning talent in action! Photo by John Stack

The day begins at 10:30 a.m. when the carvers get started on their ice sculptures. Both professional and student ice carvers will be hard at work, demonstrating their techniques to onlookers while they try to be finished by 1 p.m. for judging.

Meanwhile, the Chester Hose Company is holding its 15th annual “Chilly Chili Cook Off” fundraiser. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., go to the Chester Hose Company Fire House at 6 High Street and pay your $5 admission so you can taste all the different chilis cooked and dished out by restaurants, caterers and fire departments. You can vote for your favorite fire department chili, favorite restaurant chili, most original chili, and best dressed chili serving table.  Beverages will be sold. All proceeds go to the Chester Hose Company.

Still hungry? There’s pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, soups, and lots more available inside and outside the restaurants in town. Also, lemonade, popcorn, kettle corn, and cupcakes – everything to satisfy every taste.

Tractors and more tractors descend on Chester on Carnivale day for the 14th Annual Tractor Parade. Photo by John Stack

Tractors and more tractors descend on Chester on Carnivale day for the 14th Annual Tractor Parade. Photo by John Stack

Just be sure to be back out on Main Street by 2 p.m. for the 14th Annual Chester Tractor Parade. Colorful and rusty, big and small, antique and new, decorated and plain – tractors are driven through the town center in an incredibly long parade. You never knew there were so many tractors in the Connecticut River Valley!

There is no shortage of free activities to keep the whole family entertained for the day. Colorful beads and balloons will be handed out throughout town all day and face painting is available at Century 21 Heritage. The Chester Museum at The Mill will be open at no charge, offering a place to explore Chester history. A photo booth will be at Maple and Main Gallery of Fine Art.

Celebrate spring at Spring Carnivale by making an origami butterfly at Connecticut River Artisans on 4 Water Street during Carnivale.

Celebrate spring at Spring Carnivale by making an origami butterfly at Connecticut River Artisans on 4 Water Street during Carnivale.

Other galleries and shops will be open, many with special events from prize drawings to origami. The Spring Street String Band, Arrowhead, will be playing from noon to 4 p.m. at the Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio & Gallery.

Main Street will be closed to traffic. Free parking is available in the commuter lot on Rte. 148 at the foot of Route 9 and in the Roto-Frank parking lot on Inspiration Lane (exit 6) and at Greenwald Industries on Rte. 154 (212 Middlesex Avenue). (Follow the signs.) All lots will be served by courtesy shuttle buses to the town center.

For more information, go to facebook.com/chesterctwintercarnivale or https://finditinchesterct.wordpress.com/

‘Concert in the Garden’ Today Features Singer/Songwriter Robert Nasta

Robert Nasta

Robert Nasta

Leif Nilsson hosts another Concert in the Garden, Sunday, April 12, from 4 to 6 p.m. in a Concert for World Peace featuring singer/songwriter Robert Nasta aka Chester “Big Boy” Coda and Special Guests. This monthly concert series highlights eclectic international singer/songwriter artists from cool jazz to blue grass.

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 $10 donation is appreciated.  The event is BYOB – buy your own wine or beer at the Chester Package Store across the street.

Nasta is a composer, performer, multi-instrumentalist and educator. He studied music at The Berklee College of Music, The State University of New York ( B. A., Music), Wesleyan University (M.A., Ethnomusicology, Experimental Music), and The Hartt School of Music (D.M.A., Composition, Music Theory). Like many composers of his generation he has composed and performed in a wide variety of musical settings, and his work has been influenced by the whole of European/American concert music, as well as blues, jazz, and various musical traditions from around the world.

In addition to composing for “traditional” instrumentation, Dr. Nasta has developed a repertory of work based on his exploration of the sonic properties of various found objects. He has performed his compositions at numerous venues throughout the United States and has received grants from Meet the Composer, The New York Foundation for the Arts, The New York State Council on the Arts, and Arts In Education.

His music is recorded on The Sonic Utensil label, with additional recordings on Heffley Records, Didjeridu Planet, and World In One labels. He has received commissions from the town of Otego, NY, and The Foreman Gallery, Hartwick College.

In addition to his own work, he has featured the music of John Cage, Alvin Lucier, Morton Feldman, Earl Brown, Iannis Xenakis and James Tenney. He has taught at the high school and middle school levels, The State University of New York, The Hartwick College Music Camp, privately, and was a teaching fellow at the Hartt School of Music. He has been a Lecturer in Music at Middlesex Community College, Middletown, CT since 1999. – See more at:http://robertnasta.com/bio/#sthash.Q1OreFha.dpuf

Cynthia E. Rockwell, Associate editor,Wesleyan Magazine says, “Chester “Big Boy” Coda was so good—clever and true-hearted lyrics, with foot-tapping rhythms, gravely-voiced melody, and quick-picking notes for his stories of ghosts, love, politics, religion, aging, near-death experiences—all with wry sweet humor.”  See more at:http://robertnasta.com/chester_big_boy_coda/#sthash.BjjGZlY2.dpuf

Essex Savings Bank Donates Over $29,000 as Part of Community Investment Program

ESSEX – Results of the recent voting by Essex Savings Bank customers who participated in the Bank’s Community Investment Program were announced at a meeting of employees, directors and trustees at the Bank’s Plains Road Office on Wednesday, April 8.

The Top Ten Winners in attendance received special recognition.  They were in order by number of votes:

  1. The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries
  2. Forgotten Felines, Inc.
  3. Old Saybrook Fire Company Number One, Inc.
  4. High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc.
  5. Tait’s Every Animal Matters (TEAM)
  6. Dog Days Adoption Events, Inc.
  7. The Essex Fire Engine Company No. 1
  8. Bikes for Kids, Inc.
  9. Pet Connections, Inc.
  10. Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley, Inc. (VNLV)

The customer balloting portion of Essex Savings Bank’s 2015 Community Investment Program, began on Feb. 2 and concluded on March 2. The program entitles the Bank’s customers to select up to three charities from a list of 90 qualified non-profit organizations. Fund allocations are awarded based on the results of these votes.

Gregory R. Shook, President and Chief Executive Officer of Essex Savings Bank stated, “At Essex Savings Bank, we believe the way to move the world forward is by giving back. Our Community Investment Program is designed to provide vital financial support to those organizations that enhance the quality of life in our communities.”

Each year, the Bank donates 10 percent of its net income to non-profit organizations within the immediate market area consisting of Chester, Deep River, Essex, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook. This year, the Bank has allocated $98,741 to assisting non-profit organizations who offer outstanding services to our community and one third of that amount is then voted upon by the Bank’s customers.

According to Thomas Lindner, Vice President and Community Relations Officer for Essex Savings Bank, 6,987 votes were cast this year for a total of $29,620. By year end 2015, the total distribution of charitable funds will reach 4 million dollars since the inception of the Bank’s Community Investment Program in 1996.

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

Click here to see the full results with voting numbers and amounts donated to each organization.

Recycle for Diapers! OSHS Hosts Electronics, Computer Drive, April 25;

OLD SAYBROOK – For three years now, the Old Saybrook High School has been hosting an electronics and computer recycling drive to help raise material support and awareness for single shoreline parents in need.

By donating to this “recycle for diapers and other baby needs program,” your unwanted, broken, or obsolete electronics, computers and cell phones can be recycled and redeemed into tangible baby products that can be locally dispersed.

The drive will be held Sat. April 25, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Old Saybrook High School parking lot and hosted by the Old Saybrook HS Ecology Club. The project recycles the electronics through AFA Electronic Recyclers. (www.afaelectronicrecyclers.com)

Donations of the following will be accepted

Electronics of any kind.

Computers laptops cell phones any computer related gear

Wire of any kind

Games / systems / telecommunications

Motors of any kind – lawn mower, snow blowers

Lead battery – car, truck , boat

AFA Electronic Recyclers process is established through the guidelines set forth by the State of CT. for secure computer disposal. Please visit our web-site for more specifics regarding our data security protocol. “AFA is the safest way”.

AFA Electronic Recyclers of CT offers free pick-up of larger items or items in bulk.

For questions or more information, please contact:

Karen Carlone, Old Saybrook High School  – kcarlone@oldsaybrookschools.org

Paula Bartone, AFA Electronic Recyclers – 203 421 4187, pbartone@comcast.net  – www. afaelectronicrecyclers.com

Local Fire Departments Host Areawide Food Drive Today

Food donations collected last year are gathered beside an Old Saybrook firetruck

Food donations were collected in Old Saybrook last year by the Old Saybrook Fire Department.

AREAWIDE – For the fourth year, local Fire Departments are hosting an area-wide food drive to collect non-perishable food for area residents in need.

The fire stations will be open to receive donations of non-perishable food on Saturday, April 11, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The donations will go to five local food pantries run by the Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP).

SSKP hopes to include as many fire departments as possible in the 11 shoreline towns they serve. So far, the Old Saybrook, Chester, Killingworth, Clinton, Niantic and Westbrook fire departments have committed to the event. All fire departments are welcome to participate.

At a time of year when food donations are low, this food will help to restock the pantries and ensure that everyone in our communities will have a place at the table.

The Soup Kitchens’ five pantries combine to distribute approximately 17,000 pounds of food every week. Only 40 percent of this food comes from the CT Food Bank; the remainder must be either purchased or donated, so every item is appreciated. Last year’s drive raised 6,500 pounds of food. Join the effort by bring your donation to a participating firehouse on April 11.

The most needed items are:

Canned Meats (tuna, chicken, salmon)

Canned Fruits & Vegetables

Peanut Butter

Canned & Boxed Meals

Canned or Dried Beans

Pasta & Rice

Cereal

Items that cannot be accepted:

Rusty or Unlabeled Cans

Perishable Items

Homemade Items

Noncommercial Packaged or Canned Items

Alcoholic Beverages & Mixes

Open or Used Items

For more information call (860) 388-1988 or cbellerjeau@shorelinesoupkitchens.org or visit www.shorelinesoupkitchens.org.

The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries provides food and fellowship to people in need and educates the community about hunger and poverty, serving the Connecticut shoreline towns of Essex, Chester, Clinton, Madison, Old Saybrook, East Lyme, Lyme, Old Lyme, Killingworth, Westbrook and Deep River. Founded 26 years ago, in 1989, at the Baptist Church in Essex, the agency continues in its mission to feed the hungry in body and spirit. Last year with a small staff and over 900 dedicated volunteers, SSKP served almost 950,000 meals worth of food to shoreline neighbors in need.

Run Forwards or Backwards Today! Race Event in Essex Benefits LVVS

And they're off!

And they’re off!

ESSEX – This coming Saturday, April 11, Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS) will hold its 8th Annual Backward Mile and 5K Run/3K Walk.  Registration for the races begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Essex Town Hall, on West Avenue. The Erl and Dot Nord Memorial Backward Mile race, open to runners older than 18, begins at 8:30 a.m.; the 5K race and 3K walk both begins at 9:15 a.m.. T-shirts will be given to the first 100 runners.

Runners below the age of six can participate in the Lollipop Run, which begins at 8:50 a.m.  All Lollipop runners will receive lollipops.

Registration forms are available from the LVVS offices, (860) 399-0280 or you can register online at www.register.fasttracktiming.com. Fees for those signing up prior to March 31  are $18 for the backward mile, $23 for either the 3K walk or 5K run, $5 for the Lollipop race and to compete in any combination $40. Students can participate for $10 per race or $15 for any two races.

Runners with additional questions about the race may contact Elizabeth Steffen, Race Director at esteffen@vsliteracy.org .

‘Chester Creative Challenge’ Variations to be Unveiled This Evening

David Rau’s "Bull Market" for this year's Hooked Again! Creative Challenge to support the Chester Historical Society was inspired by two hooks, commissioned by the New York Stock Exchange in the 1970s and made in Chester by M.S. Brooks & Sons.

David Rau’s “Bull Market” for this year’s Hooked Again! Creative Challenge to support the Chester Historical Society was inspired by two hooks, commissioned by the New York Stock Exchange in the 1970s and made in Chester by M.S. Brooks & Sons.

CHESTER – This spring the Chester Historical Society is hosting its fifth annual Creative Challenge, dipping back into Chester’s roots as a manufacturing town. For five years, area artists, sculptors, photographers, engineers, jewelers, and all others with a creative mind have accepted the challenge to use artifacts from Chester’s rich manufacturing history to create items for a silent auction and reception to raise funds for the Chester Historical Society.

This is just another great example of making history current, the ‘then and now’ that is often part of the Society’s exhibits at Chester Museum at The Mill.

Those accepting the 2015 Hooked Again! Challenge issued by the Historical Society are working with assorted sample hooks, handles and hardware, which were still enclosed in small sealed manila envelopes, from Chester’s former M.S. Brooks & Sons factory.

“Hooked on Mandalas” by Bill Vollers is a framed, signed, archival digital image.

“Hooked on Mandalas” by Bill Vollers is a framed, signed, archival digital image.

The finished pieces of art, jewelry, sculptures, photographs, etc. will be exhibited and sold by silent auction at the Historical Society’s Reception on Saturday, April 11, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Chester Meeting House.

The reception will feature hearty hors d’oeuvres and desserts from Chester kitchens served with wine and non-alcoholic beverages.

Tickets for the evening are $30 and will be limited. They can be purchased at Chester Gallery and Ceramica, both in the center of Chester, or by calling Sosse Baker at Chester Gallery, 860-526-9822.

All the proceeds from the event will benefit the Chester Historical Society and its programs, including Chester Museum at The Mill. Information is available on the Society website, www.chesterhistoricalsociety.org or at Facebook.com/chestercthistoricalsociety.

Caption:

Caption:

Caption: To create “Hooked on Amazonite,” Donna Carlson used Amazonite stone and the special order hooks created for The Tigers Den by M. S. Brooks.

Middlesex Land Trust & CT River Gateway Commission Announce Open Space Acquisition in Haddam Neck

haddamNeckMapRaulBrownFINAL031815_v2HADDAM NECK – In February of this year the Middlesex Land Trust, in partnership with the Connecticut River Gateway Commission, purchased 50 acres of open space for permanent protection in Haddam Neck. This new preserve offers breathtaking views across the Connecticut River to Haddam Meadows State Park from a rough path that runs along the base of dramatic cliffs created from the property’s historic use as a quarry.

The Middlesex Land Trust now owns the preserve and is planning to develop a trail system for the public to enjoy for hiking, passive recreation and education. The tract lies along Injun Hollow Road just north of the 585 acres Connecticut Yankee property.

The land has been named the Brainerd Quarry Preserve to reflect the historic importance of the Brainerd Family in Haddam. Daniel Brainerd was one of the 28 founding settlers of Haddam in 1662, and a century later, in 1762, Deacon Esra Brainerd opened a quarry on the now preserved site. The quarry operated for more than 150 years, shipping stone down river to New York and as far south as Maryland, Virginia and New Orleans.

A 2011 study of the history and archeology of the area describes the Brainerds as “a family of entrepreneurs in the forefront of early industry and commerce in the Connecticut River Valley” and recommends the quarry site as “an ideal candidate for use as an outdoor classroom for studies in local history, geology, mining, early American industry, the Industrial Revolution in Connecticut and other related topics for grammar school, high school and college students.”

This significant property along the Connecticut River is now owned and managed by the Middlesex Land Trust, a regional not-for-profit volunteer land conservation organization that, since 1987, has been dedicated to the preservation of open space in northern Middlesex County.

The purchase was initiated by, and made possible through grant funding from the Connecticut River Gateway Commission, a state-local compact that protects the Lower Connecticut River Valley, one of the “most important ecological landscapes in the United States” according to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

A dedication ceremony for the new Brainerd Quarry Preserve and the opening of the preserve to the public is anticipated for the summer of 2015.

Students Support Meals on Wheels, ‘Blizzard Bag’ Drive a Great Success

OLD SAYBROOK – ‘Meals on Wheels’ in the Nine-Town Estuary region are provided to seniors along the Shoreline exclusively by The Estuary Council of Seniors and delivered by dedicated volunteers. Their volunteers brave all kinds of weather, from extreme heat to thunderstorms to snow.  They go out of their way to ensure that the nearly 200 clients have meals and a friendly visit each weekday.  However, there are days when weather conditions make it impossible to deliver meals and provide that all important personal visit.

An essential part of the Meals on Wheels program is to make certain homebound seniors have food in the case of emergency when delivery is not possible. The emergency meal is a day’s worth of shelf-stable food items, which is provided at no charge to clients. Each time meal delivery is canceled, the emergency meal is replenished.

This year, Old Saybrook students held the first annual “Blizzard Bag Drive”, collecting non-perishable food items for the emergency “Blizzard Bag” food for Meals on Wheels clients. These Blizzard Bags replaced the former pre-packaged emergency meals.  Each Blizzard Bag was decorated by local students and included a personal item for the recipient.

A meals on Wheels spokesperson commented, “The students did an outstanding job reaching out to our community and local businesses to generate incredible support of our homebound neighbors. Thank you to everyone who helped us with this first annual “Blizzard Bag” drive.”

If you, or anyone you know age 60 years old or better, need Meals on Wheels, call Carol Adanti at 860-388-1611, x217 for details.

Community Music School Hosts Free Concert by Multi-Generational Orchestra, April 28

CMSStringEnsemble_FullStagePhoto

Close to 50 string musicians of all ages will fill the Valley Regional High School stage for the Community Music School’s Sinfonia and String Ensemble Concert on Tuesday, April 28 at 6:30. The concert is free and open to the public.

CENTERBROOK – On Tuesday, April 28, at 6:30 p.m., nearly 50 string musicians will take the stage at Valley Regional High School in Deep River for the Community Music School’s Sinfonia and String Ensemble Concert.  Ranging in age from nine to eighty-four, members of the two multi-generational performance groups will play a variety of classical pieces, including works by Vivaldi, Bach, and Dvorak, all under the direction of Martha Herrle.  The free concert is open to the public and sponsored by the Essex Winter Series.

Both Sinfonia, a group of 10 beginning violin, viola, and cello musicians, and String Ensemble, a group of 35 intermediate to advanced players, are a rare breed of orchestra and quite possibly the only of its kind in Connecticut.   “There are many youth orchestras and many adult orchestras around the state but I am not aware of any ensembles where all ages are allowed and encouraged to participate,” stated Martha Herrle, conductor and founder of both orchestra groups.

Herle continued, “As a musician and a teacher, it is a joy to work with various ages and backgrounds, to have school-age musicians playing alongside adult members.  The String Ensemble is a very mixed bag of some very talented people  –  students, several teachers, an inventor, a physician, a veterinarian, an attorney, a pastor, even two professional opera singers – all who share the same passion for music.”

String Ensemble members come from several shoreline towns (and beyond) to rehearse together at Old Saybrook High School for 26 weeks beginning in September and ending just prior to the annual concert performance.  Compared to its modest start in 2002, with just four children and one senior adult, the orchestra’s growth is a testament to its all inclusive policy of being open to all intermediate to advanced string musicians, regardless of age and with no audition requirement.

The orchestra also serves as a great opportunity for family members to share in their musical interests and spend time together.  In fact, the current ensemble boasts three sets of mother and child musicians.  East Haddam resident Irene Haines and her 16-year old daughter Bridget is one.

“Martha has a special gift. She is able to teach, nurture and direct young, old and everyone in between with varied abilities into an amazing performance,” commented Irene Haines. “I am the luckiest mom in the world as I get to share a stand with my daughter in the viola section – what a great way to spend quality time together!”

Herle received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Hartt College of Music, studying both violin and viola. She spent the following year studying string quartet literature at the University of Connecticut with the Laurel String Quartet. She is the founder of Goodwin Strings, a before-school group violin instructional program for 2nd and 3rd graders at Goodwin Elementary School in Old Saybrook.

She also presents the Community Music School’s weekly music program for the collaborative preschool students at Essex Elementary School and is a teaching artist for Kate’s Camp for Kids. Martha is the founder and conductor of CMS Sinfonia and CMS String Ensemble orchestras, and the Chamber Connections program.

For more information on the Sinfonia and String Ensemble Concert taking place at Valley Regional High School, located at 256 Kelsey Hill Road in Deep River, or other Community Music School events, visit www.community-music-school.org or call 860.767.0026.

The Community Music School, located at 90 Main St. in Centerbrook is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to building community through music since 1983.

‘Closer Look at Birds’ on Show at Maple and Main Through April 30

'Spring Please' by Claudia van Nes

‘Spring Please’ by Claudia van Nes

CHESTER – Natural Influences: A Closer Look at Birds is on show in the Stone Galleryin the Stone Gallery at Maple and Main, One Maple Street. through April 30.  Bird, nest, feather and birdhouse paintings and sculptures by the gallery artists will be on display.

The show offers the opportunity to experience the natural world and the deep transformative experiences that humans can have in nature expressed in the drawings, paintings and sculptures of the gallery artists.

The Spring Exhibition of all new paintings by 37 artists is also on display in the Main, Joslow and Small Works Galleries.

The galleries are open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Visit www.mapleandmain gallery.com, call 860-526-6065 or email mapleandmain@att.net. for more information and to purchase art not in the gallery.

‘New Artists & Artwork’ on Show at Artisans’ Harbor Through May 30

Artwork by Mary Green LaForge.

Artwork by Mary Green LaForge.

OLD SAYBROOK – Artisans’ Harbor at 188 Main St., Old Saybrook announce their ‘Welcome Spring New Artists & Artwork Show’ which will be on view from April 15 to May 30.

The Gallery is showing paintings and artwork by 42 award winning and nationally recognized artists while also showcasing three new artists this spring.

Award- winning artists include acrylic painter Linda McCarthy, watercolorist and instructor Mary Green LaForge, photographer Sharon Monroe, and jewelry designer Leslee Kachadoorian, will all be all showing their newest collections.

In addition to new artists Artisans Harbor is excited to exhibit the new arrivals of artworks of our veteran artists, which depict beautiful sea and landscapes, river and pasture scenes, florals, wildlife, rendered in oil, acrylic, pastel and watercolor. A collection of hand thrown pottery, jewelry, stained glass, framed photography, handpainted stools, and tables offer the art enthusiast and home decorator a variety of original and very affordable creations to choose from.

For information on artist display space, art classes for adults, teens, and children, Harbor Nights painting pARTies, and events, visit www.artisansharbor.com or email artisansharbor@att.net or call: 860-388-9070.

Free Weekend of “Soul Strengthening” at CBSRZ, May 1-3

Alan Morinis

Alan Morinis

CHESTER – The public is invited on the weekend of May 1 to 3 to learn what may seem like (and is) an obscure Jewish teaching – called Mussar – but requires no knowledge of Judaism, only a desire to strengthen one’s soul.

Alan Morinis is the director and founder of the Mussar Institute, dedicated to the idea of “improving or remedying the traits of the soul, to bring the soul to wholeness and holiness.” He explains this in a free program over a three-day span as the Sheldon Kutnick Scholar in Residence at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek in Chester.

As the cover of one of his books says, “Jewish by birth, though from a secular family, Alan Morinis, explored Hinduism and Buddhim as a young man. But in the face of a personal crisis he turned to his Jewish heritage and happened upon a spiritual tradition called Mussar. He soon realized that it is an insightful discipline for self-development, complete with contemplative and transformative practices designed to penetrate the deepest roots of the inner life…. He decided to seek out a Mussar teacher. This was not an easy task, since almost the entire world of Mussar had been swept away in the Holocaust.”

Specifically, Morinis addresses 18 soul traits: humility, patience, gratitude, compassion, order, equanimity, honor, simplicity, enthusiasm, silence, generosity, truth, moderation, loving kindness, responsibility, trust, faith and yirah (a combination of fear and awe, without a true English counterpart).

Of his most recent book, “Everyday Holiness,” the author Daniel Goleman sais, “Morinis chronicles the archetypal odyssey of the spiritual pilgrim in a warm, witty and insightful manner,” and the book has received rave reviews from Publishers Weekly and other commentaries.

Bruce Josephy, a former congregational president who arranged for Morinis’s visit, says, “At our core we are spiritual beings on a material journey, not material beings on a spiritual journey. As physical exercise strengthens one’s body, Mussar practice strengthens one’s soul.”

According to CBSRZ’s rabbi, Rachel Goldenberg, “The Mussar tradition is a beautiful example of how spiritual work can and must transform our most mundane, everyday interactions and experiences.

There is no requirement to sign up for the program. Schedule is as follows:

Friday, May 1, 6 p.m., A Dairy/Vegetarian Shabbat potluck dinner, followed at 7 p.m. by a Shabbat Evening service with an introductory sermon by Morinis, “What is Mussar and Why Should I Care?”

Saturday, May 2, 10 a.m. Shabbat morning service with a sermon by Morinis, “Torah Through a Mussar Lens., followed by a dairy potluck luncheon and, at 1 p.m., a text study entitled, “Why You Are, How You Are and What’s Your Potential?

Sunday, May 3, 11:10 a.m., Experiential workshop for parents and interested adults.

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester.  For more information, visit www.cbsrz.org or call 860-526-8920.

VRHS Students Travel to Paris, Transport to JFK Paid by Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund

Ready for take-off: Valley Regional HS language students gather for a photo at the school immediately prior to departure.

Ready for take-off: Valley Regional HS language students gather for a photo at the school immediately prior to their departure across ‘The Pond.’

REGION 4 – The Valley Regional High School (VRHS) World Language Department organized a week-long trip to Paris over the 2015 spring break.

A $1,300 grant from the Christopher Belfoure Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County provided for the group’s transportation to John F. Kennedy airport in New York City for their flight to Paris. These funds were, as in years past, generated by the Run For Chris 5K, held annually in Essex in Belfoure’s memory.

"Embark on your journey and only look forward. Not too fast but not too slow. It is the ones that remain idle that get lost in the memories of the past and not the dreams of the future. We as human-beings need to dream again once more.”   These words were written by Chris Belfoure to his friend Valerie Tinker.

“Embark on your journey and only look forward. Not too fast but not too slow. It is the ones that remain idle that get lost in the memories of the past and not the dreams of the future. We as human-beings need to dream again once more.”  These words were written by Chris Belfoure, pictured above, to his friend Valerie Tinker.

Belfoure was just 24 when he tragically died in July 2011. Yet his passions – his belief in the global community, his dedication to teaching and the environment – will be shared through the Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County (CFMC).

A graduate of VRHS and West Virginia University, Belfoure spoke fluent Mandarin and was pursuing a career as a corporate trainer in Shanghai. He is remembered as a charming, intelligent, ambitious man with a zest for life and adventure.

Belfoure believed knowledge to be a bridge between cultures and a key in developing innovative approaches to education and customer service. He loved to talk and knew that overcoming the barriers of language provided people an opportunity to learn about one another, to share hopes and dreams, and that just by talking, one could encourage people to see themselves as members of a global community.

Belfoure’s mother and stepfather, Robin and George Chapin, established the Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation in January 2012. This designated Fund supports Middlesex County-Lower County public schools and public library programs focused on integrating multicultural experiences, learning foreign languages, and environmental programs into the curricula.

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 12.12.48 AMThe Chapins and a host of family friends launched the Fund with the first annual Run for Chris – Run for Education on Saturday, June 23, 2012, in Essex; the proceeds were donated to the Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund.

This year’s event will be held June 27.  There will also be a 2- mile walk, 1-mile run for ages 7-14, and a kids’ Fun Run. Registration is open at ARatRace.com

Robin Chapin says, “Keeping Chris’ dreams alive is so important to us. Chris was passionate about life, and I want to share his passion and determination with others, so they can grow and enhance their lives. He was always smiling and inspiring others to pursue their dreams.” She continues, “The Fund allows us to provide opportunities for schools and libraries to fund their foreign language programs and global education programs. Giving back to the community was a part of who Chris was. This all helps to keep his memory alive.”

Editor’s Note: Information about and the photograph of Christopher Belfoure and the fund named after him have been taken from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County website.

‘First Mondays:  Get Plugged in’ Course for Seniors at Saybrook Library Starts May 4

Join Acton Public Library for First Mondays: Get Plugged In from 1 to 2 p.m. starting May 4.  The library is offering beginner’s workshops on computer literacy.
Spring topics will include email and internet security as well as Facebook (June  1).

These free sessions are targeted primarily at seniors, but all are welcome.

CT Author Jacqueline Masumian To Discuss Memoir Writing at Essex Library, April 23

NobodyHomeCoverJacqueline Masumian will discuss her book, Nobody Home, a portrait of her troubled mother and their relationship, as well as the art and joys of writing memoir at the Essex Library on Thursday, April 23, from 7 to 8 p.m.

Masumian will also talk about what memoir is, how it is different from other literary forms and why it is important for everyone, not just professional writers, to practice this art form and reap the benefits of doing so.

Masumian, a Connecticut resident, has enjoyed careers as an actress, performing arts manager, and landscape designer, and now writes short stories.

Admission is free; call the Essex Library to register at (860) 767-1560. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.

Essex Land Trust Hosts ‘Hike of the Month’ Today at Heron Pond

ESSEX – The Essex Land Trust hosts its April Hike of the Month tomorrow, Saturday, April 4 at Heron Pond Preserve, Heron Pond Road, off Rte. 154.  Meet at 9 a.m. to join the hike, which will be led by Karen Carlone.

With two lively watercourses flowing down separate valleys with a ridge in between, Heron Pond is a stream-follower’s delight. The 30-acre preserve’s easy-walking terrain is crisscrossed by four trails reaching from high ground and rocky outcroppings to sandy streambeds. Trails can be wet, and stream crossings are unimproved.

Heron Pond, once the homestead of John Clark Pratt and later, his son, Ralph, was acquired through the private development of surrounding property and opened in 2007. Traces of old roadbeds and stonewalls hint at the land’s early uses, which included logging and the pasturing of farm animals.

The new-growth forest canopy has kept undergrowth to a minimum, giving Heron Pond an open feel. A prominent grove of evergreens and birch surround the pond, which is on private property. Larger maple, beech and oak trees appear on higher ground among the eroded rock ledges.

Also, keep a look for ferns and mountain laurel—and don’t be surprised to see Barred Owls throughout the year.

Spring Book Discussion at Chester Library, April 21 & May 5

American Pastoral, Philip Roth’s 1997 novel, a runner-up for the New York Times Best Novel of the Past 25 Years, might also be called a modern Book of Job.

It will be the subject of a two-part book discussion series at Chester Library this spring.

The deeply ironic book title makes reference to the life of Swede Levov, who appears to have fulfilled the American Dream and to live an American idyll. Roth examines the enigmatic figure through the character of Nathan Zukerman, Swede’s younger admirer.

The revelations unfold a historical perspective through first generation immigration, assimilation, WW II, and then the radical ’60s.  Career and life appear to be at an apogee, but . . . and there hangs a tale.

The discussion series will be on Tuesdays, April 21 and May 5, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Edward Wheeler, retired Dean of Faculty of the Williams School, will lead the discussion.

Books are available at the library  Call to register (860-526-0018) or visit the library website at http://chesterct.org/?page_id=286 to register online (look under Upcoming Programs and Events).

Brett Elliott Appointed New Executive Director at ‘The Kate’

Brett Elliott

Brett Elliott

OLD SAYBROOK – The Board of Directors of the Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (“The Kate”) has announced the appointment of Brett Elliott as Executive Director.

Elliott served as ‘The Kate’s’ Interim Director since founding Executive Director Chuck Still announced his departure in December.

Sonny Whelen, President of the Board of Trustees, stated, “We couldn’t be happier having Brett join us as our next Executive Director. In his position as interim director, Brett has shown us that he has all of the skills and leadership qualities to bring the Kate forward as we continue to expand our role in the community. This is a very exciting time for all of us”.

Starting in 2012, Elliott spent two years in Chicago where he received his MFA in Arts Leadership from DePaul University, a joint program with the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Elliott produced several projects for Chicago Shakespeare including the world premiere of “Since I Suppose”, a technology driven, live interactive performance developed by Australia’s one step at a time like this. Elliott also spent a brief period in the finance and operations department at Broadway in Chicago.

Elliott is no stranger to Eastern Connecticut or the Kate. He worked at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center from 2009-2012. He then found his way to ‘The Kate’ through lighting and production work.

Holding a BA in Theater from Saginaw Valley State University, Elliott is a proud product of the Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival, an organization, which gave him his start.

“After six years, there is no doubt about the quality, quantity, and variety of entertainment at ‘The Kate'; it truly is a cultural gem on the shoreline,” Elliott stated. “I am very proud to not only be back at ‘The Kate,’ but to lead this organization at such a vibrant and exciting time. I look forward to getting to know those in the community, as well as the thousands of patrons that come to the Kate each year,” Elliott concluded.

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, ‘The Kate,’ is a non-profit performing arts organization located in the historic theatre/town hall on Main Street in Old Saybrook. Originally opened in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, ‘The Kate’ has been renovated with public funds from the town of Old Saybrook and donations raised by the Trustees of the Center.

It includes a 250-seat theatre and a small museum honoring Katharine Hepburn, Old Saybrook’s most celebrated resident. As befits an organization born of such a public/private partnership, programming is eclectic, offering something for all ages and income levels on the Connecticut shore and in the lower river valley.

Community Music School Presents New Horizons Band in Concert, April 23 & 26

The New Horizons band of the Community Music School gather for a photo.

The New Horizons band of the Community Music School gather for a photo.

The New Horizons Band of Community Music School (CMS) is performing two concerts on April 23 and April 26. The band will present a joint concert with Groton New Horizons at the Groton Senior Center, 102 Newtown Rd. in Groton at 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 23. Both bands will perform separately, and then collaborate on several pieces in a variety of styles.

The CMS New Horizons Band will also play on Sunday, April 26at 3 p.m. at the Acton Library, 60 Old Boston Post Rd. in Old Saybrook.

The band is a beginning adult band of 17 members, many of whom had never played an instrument before joining, and is part of a national network. Under the direction of Patricia Hurley, the CMS New Horizons Band will perform marches, jazz selections, and music from the stage and screen. Hurley has provided guidance to the musicians who have started the Groton chapter.

Both concerts are free and open to the public. Readers are invited to come and meet Hurley and the members of the band to find out more about the program. Prospective new members are invited to attend a rehearsal any time. The band rehearses on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:45 a.m. to noon at the Community Music School, 90 Main Street, Centerbrook. No previous experience necessary.

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.

Visit www.community-music-school.org or call 860-767-0026 for program information.

Miller Testifies in Support of a Bill to Increase Education Grant for Haddam

State Representative Phil Miller

State Representative Phil Miller

HADDAM – State Representative Philip Miller (D-Chester/Deep River/Essex/Haddam) testified this week in support of legislation that he is co-sponsoring that would increase the education grant for Haddam up to the 50 percent  level under the state’s Education Cost Sharing formula (ECS).

Miller testified before the legislature’s Appropriations Committee on SB 816, “An Act Establishing A Minimum Level Of Funding Under The Education Cost Sharing Grant Formula.”  Miller was joined by Haddam First Selectwoman Melissa Schlag and Region 17 Haddam-Killingworth Superintendent, Dr. Harry Thiery.

Miller pointed out that of Connecticut’s 169 municipalities, more than 40 of them are overfunded under the ECS formula, while 19, including Haddam, are underfunded below the 50 percent ECS funding level. He added that introducing a bill that would fully fund Haddam would be futile, because similar requests have died in committee in the past.

“This bill, however, would bring the 19 lowest, including Haddam, that are all funded less than 50 percent, at least up to the halfway point,”  Miller commented. “It is not a long term solution, but it is a step in the right direction. We should fund the overfunded municipalities at the full funding level, and no more.”

First Selectwoman Schlag, speaking in support of the bill, told committee members the proposed legislation is a step in the right direction, saying, “If we can’t fix the regressive property tax system in Connecticut, let’s at least fix the ECS system making it fair for all municipalities, large and small.”

Miller noted that the bill has bi-partisan support, which he believes gives the measure a better chance of passage as it continues along the legislative process.

Calling all Chester Poets, Submit up to Three Poems for ‘Chester Voices’ by April 23

CHESTER – For five years, the Chester Public Library has presented a reading by Chester poets in celebration of National Poetry Month. This year, “Chester Voices” will be on Monday evening, May 4, at the Chester Meeting House.

The featured poets each year have been published Chester poets as well as a few Chester Elementary sixth graders who worked with Chester poet Pamela Nomura.

This year, the library is taking a slightly new direction. Besides several published Chester poets who will read their work on May 4, everyone from Chester of any age is asked to submit a poem to the library’s contest by April 23. The submissions will be read by several judges, who will then select several to be read at the May 4 “Chester Voices” evening.

The guidelines for writing the poems are:

In keeping with the “Chester Voices” theme, all poets must be Chester residents

Poets of all ages are encouraged to submit no more than three poems each

All poems must be original to the poet

All poets must be willing to read their poem aloud to the audience at the “Chester Voices” evening, May 4

All submissions should not contain language unsuited to an audience that will include children

All submissions must be labeled with the name of the poet and age group into which the poet falls:  up to 12 years old, 13-18, or 19 +.  Unlabeled submissions will not be accepted

Decisions of the judges are final

The poems must be emailed to Library@chesterct.org or delivered to the Chester Public Library by Thursday, April 23, at 6 p.m. The library phone number is 526-0018 if you have questions.

‘New Deal’ Art Exhibition on View at CT River Museum

The Connecticut River Museum’s spring exhibit, New Deal Art Along the River, will open April 2nd. This painting, On the Rail by Yngve Soderberg is a watercolor on paper on loan from the Lyman Allen Art Museum. Photo courtesy of Lyman Allen Art Museum.

The Connecticut River Museum’s spring exhibit, New Deal Art Along the River, opens April 2. This painting, On the Rail by Yngve Soderberg is a watercolor on paper on loan from the Lyman Allyn Art Museum. Photo courtesy of Lyman Allen Art Museum.

During the depths of the Great Depression, the federal government created work relief programs to put unemployed Americans back to work. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” programs provided all types of jobs – including opportunities for out-of-work artists. The Federal Art Project (1935 – 1943) paid artists to paint murals and easel art, sculpt, and teach art classes. Their art was always located in a public place such as a school, library, or government building so that all Americans had access to it for inspiration and enjoyment.

The subject matter for much of this artwork is known as the “American Scene” – showcasing regional history, landscapes, and people. The Connecticut River Museum’s new exhibit has selected artwork that represents artists from the Connecticut River Valley, or that depicts views of regional or maritime traditions of the Connecticut River and coastline.

“These paintings offer us a glimpse at Connecticut from sixty years ago,” says Museum Curator Amy Trout. “We think of that time as being dark and depressing, but these paintings show us a vibrant time and place.”

The exhibit contains 20 works of art ranging from pastels, etchings, watercolors, and oils. There are also examples of bas relief work from Essex sculptor Henry Kreis who designed the state’s Tercentenary medal and coin in 1935 under the Civil Works Authority (CWA) funding. The paintings come from area museums such as the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, Mystic Arts Center, Connecticut Historical Society, and the Portland Historical Society, among others.

Even though these paintings were originally intended for public viewing, many have found their way into museum storerooms and are rarely seen. “It’s important to get them out on display and remind people of the wonderful legacy that was left to us. It gives us a chance to talk about Connecticut during the 1930s and appreciate the art that gives us greater insight into that period,” says Trout. The artists are also relatively unknown. Many continued in the field of art after the Depression, but few achieved great fame. “They needed to make a living, so many became commercial artists, illustrators, or teachers.”

The exhibition will open Thursday, April 2, with a preview reception at 5:30 p.m. featuring a short lecture by curator Amy Trout.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. and closed on Mondays after Columbus Day. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for children age 6-12, free for children under 6.

For more information, call 860-767-8269 or go to www.ctrivermuseum.org

Panel Discussion Tonight Commemorates 50th Anniversary of Landmark Woman’s Rights Decision

Civil rights pioneer Estelle Griswold stands outside the offices of Planned Parenthood in New haven, Conn.

Civil rights activist and feminist  Estelle Griswold stands outside the offices of Planned Parenthood in New Haven, Conn.

The Shoreline League of Democratic Women (SLDW) has announced it will host a panel presentation and discussion ‘Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut.’ The event will be held at 7 p.m., Thursday evening, April 2, Westbrook Library (Lower Level), 61 Goodspeed Drive, Westbrook, CT 06498.

Guest panelists include Connecticut State Representative Kelly Luxenberg and Susan Yolen, VP for Public Policy and Advocacy for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. This event is free and open to the public.

In 1965, Estelle Griswold of Executive Director of Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut and Yale Physician and Professor Dr. Buxton challenged the State’s interference in a woman’s right to access birth control, and by extension a woman’s right to privacy over her own body. Upon opening a clinic in New Haven, they were both promptly arrested and appealed to the Supreme Court. Winning a 7-2 victory, they established case law that would ensure women this basic human right across the United States.

Fifty years later, the SLDW shines a light on Griswold and Buxton, and remembers the rights we take for granted today were often hard won, but are inalienable.

The SLDW (http://www.sldw.org) is a chapter of the Connecticut Federation of Democratic Women (CFDW), which is a chapter of the National Federation of Democratic Women. The SLDW continues to seek membership from women who live in Essex, Chester and Deep River as well as Old Lyme, Lyme, Clinton, Madison, Guilford, Branford, Killingworth, Old Saybrook and Westbrook,  Meetings are held monthly from September through May.

The SLDW is dedicated to educating its members about political and social issues important to women of all ages in the Valley-Shore area. Women in the local district are encouraged to join the SLDW and participate in the organization’s valuable work in the community. Members can be involved in any capacity, whether it is 30 minutes a month, or 30 minutes a year. As a part of the SLDW educational charter, members will be notified of important pending state and national legislation.

For more information, email sldworg@gmail.com or contact Kathleen Skoczen at 860-669-7034 or Belinda Jones at860-399-1147. Visit the SLDW website at http://www.sldw.org.

RiverQuest Offers Osprey/Eagle Cruises in April

An osprey, returned from his winter spent in the southern hemisphere, feeds his young on the nest.

An osprey, returned from his winter spent in the southern hemisphere, feeds his young in the nest.

HADDAM – Late March into early April is when the Osprey returns to Connecticut from its southern wintering grounds. It is a wonderful sign that spring is here …

The Osprey is a large bird of prey (raptor) with a wingspan up to 6’ that eats fish, hence, it is sometimes referred to as the fish hawk. Connecticut Ospreys migrate south in late August through late September to areas where their food supply will not be affected by frozen rivers and lakes, sometimes as far south as Argentina. Ospreys of breeding age, at least three-years-old, are returning north now to start a new nest or to re-establish and re-build a nest they may have used in previous years.

Ospreys nest along the edges of the lower Connecticut River, from the mouth of the river in Old Lyme/Old Saybrook up river as far as Middletown. There will be activity on the many man-made nesting platforms at the Roger Tory Peterson Preserve near the mouth of the river in Old Lyme and on several other nesting platforms on the river, in “natural” tree settings and on the top of each of the navigational day markers that indicate the river channel. It is also hoped there will be Ospreys nesting on the new Osprey platform placed on the 101-year-old East Haddam Swing Bridge.

A great way to see this nesting activity is by boat. RiverQuest, an eco-tour vessel located at Eagle Landing State Park in the Tylerville section of Haddam is offering several cruises to the general public throughout April to view and learn about the Osprey and other wildlife that may be spotted, including hawks and another famous raptor, the American Bald Eagle.

After disappearing from Connecticut in 1948, the Bald Eagle has made a return and there are several active eagle nests on the river. It will be possible to view two of these nests from RiverQuest and very possibly, see one or more of the local resident Bald Eagles.

Other areas of interest that will be seen on the cruise include the Goodspeed Opera House, Gillette Castle and the Chester/Hadlyme Ferry. The cruises are about 2.5 hours in length and cost $40 per passenger (no children under 10-years-old.) There will be complimentary coffee and tea and a limited supply of binoculars on loan for the cruise.

To learn more about these informative cruises and/or reserve your spot with the easy on-line booking system, visit ctriverquest.com or phone 860-662-0577.

Chester Historical Society Hosts Baseball ‘Crackerbarrel’ Program Today

Before Valley Regional, Chester and Deep River High Schools played well over 50 times and, truth be known, Chester was usually the loser. If “he who laughs last laughs best has merit,” we can take solace in Chester winning the last of those games in the spring of 1951 in Chester (Ridge Road). It  was the only loss Deep  River suffered that year. Sliding into Base and Down the Hills: Stories of Chester’s Games and Recreation Anecdotes and memories of sports and recreation in Chester, in both winter and summer, will be shared in a Chester Historical Society "crackerbarrel" program on Sunday, March 29, at 4 p.m. at the Chester Meeting House. Named “Sliding into Base and Sledding Down the Hills,” the program will be led by several great storytellers who grew up in Chester – Fran Malcarne, Dave Sepowski, Dual Bibbiani and Peter Zanardi – who promise lots of laughs, whether it’s about town team baseball and high school games or winter sledding and ice skating.  As with all the Historical Society’s “crackerbarrel” programs, we’re hoping you’ll bring your own Chester sports and recreation stories and memories to share.  The program is free and open to all ages. If more information is needed, check the website, chesterhistoricalsociety.org or Facebook.com/chestercthistoricalsociety.  Photo:  Baseball has a long history in Chester, and it’ll be a feature of the Chester Historical Society’s program on Sunday, March 29 at the Chester Meeting House. This photo from the Chester Historical Society archives shows the 1946 town team, taken at the Middlesex Garage (later known as Meyer's Garage) on Middlesex Ave. Front: Bill Gorman, Bibb Deuse, Babe Zanardi, Trent Bibbiani, Fran Grote, Vern Westmore, Bud Zanardi, Frank Monte (manager). Back: Frank Cart, Carl Johnson, Rich Capellini, Jim Grote, Dual Bibbiani, Len Jamison, George Watrous, Al Martorell. Bat boy: Roycroft Monte.

Baseball has a long history in Chester, and it’ll be a feature of the Chester Historical Society’s program on Sunday, March 29 at the Chester Meeting House. This photo from the Chester Historical Society archives shows the 1946 town team, taken at the Middlesex Garage (later known as Meyer’s Garage) on Middlesex Ave. Front: Bill Gorman, Bibb Deuse, Babe Zanardi, Trent Bibbiani, Fran Grote, Vern Westmore, Bud Zanardi, Frank Monte (manager). Back: Frank Cart, Carl Johnson, Rich Capellini, Jim Grote, Dual Bibbiani, Len Jamison, George Watrous, Al Martorell. Bat boy: Roycroft Monte.

CHESTER – Before Valley Regional High School existed, Chester and Deep River High Schools played well over 50 times and, truth be known, Chester was usually the loser. If “he who laughs last laughs best has merit,” one can take solace in Chester winning the last of those games in the spring of 1951 in Chester (Ridge Road). It  was the only loss Deep  River suffered that year.

Anecdotes and memories of sports and recreation in Chester, in both winter and summer, will be shared in a Chester Historical Society “crackerbarrel” program on Sunday, March 29, at 4 p.m. at the Chester Meeting House.

Named “Sliding into Base and Sledding Down the Hills,” the program will be led by several great storytellers who grew up in Chester – Fran Malcarne, Dave Sepowski, Dual Bibbiani and Peter Zanardi – who promise lots of laughs, whether it’s about town team baseball and high school games or winter sledding and ice skating.

As with all the Historical Society’s “crackerbarrel” programs, the organizers are hoping you’ll bring your own Chester sports and recreation stories and memories to share.

The program is free and open to all ages. If more information is needed, check the website, chesterhistoricalsociety.org or Facebook.com/chestercthistoricalsociety.

Photo:  Baseball has a long history in Chester, and it’ll be a feature of the Chester Historical Society’s program on Sunday, March 29 at the Chester Meeting House. This photo from the Chester Historical Society archives shows the 1946 town team, taken at the Middlesex Garage (later known as Meyer’s Garage) on Middlesex Ave. Front: Bill Gorman, Bibb Deuse, Babe Zanardi, Trent Bibbiani, Fran Grote, Vern Westmore, Bud Zanardi, Frank Monte (manager). Back: Frank Cart, Carl Johnson, Rich Capellini, Jim Grote, Dual Bibbiani, Len Jamison, George Watrous, Al Martorell. Bat boy: Roycroft Monte.

Essex Winter Series Presents Season Finale Today

Artistic Director and pianist Mihae Lee has been captivating audiences throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia in solo recitals and chamber music concerts

Artistic Director and pianist Mihae Lee has been captivating audiences throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia in solo recitals and chamber music concerts

For the fourth and final concert of the Essex Winter Series (EWS) 2015 season, pianist and artistic director Mihae Lee will take the stage with two other celebrated artists in a program of masterpieces of the rich piano trio repertoire.

The concert will take place on Sunday, March 29, at 3 pm at Valley Regional High School in Deep River. Making their EWS debuts in this program, “Mihae Lee and Friends,” will be violinist Chee-Yun and cellist Julie Albers. Both have performed as soloists with many of the world’s major orchestras, are highly-regarded artists on the chamber music circuit, and have recorded extensively.

The selections include piano trios from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. First on the program will be the Trio No. 39 in G major by Joseph Haydn, who, along with Mozart, developed the genre by adding a cello to the violin-piano duo to create many more interesting musical possibilities. Written in 1795, the piece is nicknamed the “Gypsy” trio after its finale in the Hungarian style.

In contrast to Haydn, who ultimately wrote 45 piano trios, the early twentieth-century composer Maurice Ravel wrote just one. This 1914 work, completed just before his enlistment in the French army at the start of World War I, has become a staple of the repertoire and will be performed before intermission.

The concert will conclude with the second and final trio by one of the great nineteenth-century composers, Felix Mendelssohn. His C minor Trio from 1845 is among the romantic master’s finest and most beloved works.

Tickets, all general admission, are $35, with $5 tickets for full-time students, and may be purchased on the EWS website, www.essexwinterseries.com, or by calling 860-272-4572.

The March 29 concert is dedicated to the memory of Marilyn Buel, former member of the board of trustees of EWS, who passed away in August, 2014. Mrs. Buel, an ardent supporter of the arts, helped build support for Essex Winter Series’ Fenton Brown Emerging Artist Concerts and also served as president of the board of Chestnut Hill Concerts.

About the artists:
Mihae Lee

Praised by Boston Globe as “simply dazzling,” Artistic Director and pianist Mihae Lee has been captivating audiences throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia in solo recitals and chamber music concerts with her poetic lyricism and scintillating virtuosity. She has performed in such venues as Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Jordan Hall, Berlin Philharmonie, Academia Nationale de Santa Cecilia in Rome, Warsaw National Philharmonic Hall, and Taipei National Hall.

An active chamber musician, Lee is an artist member of the Boston Chamber Music Society and is a founding member of the Triton Horn Trio with violinist Ani Kavafian and hornist William Purvis. Her recordings of Brahms, Shostakovich, Bartok, and Stravinsky with the members of BCMS were critically acclaimed by High Fidelity, CD Review, and Fanfare magazines, the reviews calling her sound “as warm as Rubinstein, yet virile as Toscanini.”

Lee has appeared frequently at numerous international chamber music festivals including Dubrovnik, Amsterdam, Groningen, Festicamara (Colombia), Great Woods, Seattle, OK Mozart, Mainly Mozart, Music from Angel Fire, Chamber Music Northwest, Rockport, Sebago-Long Lake, Bard, Norfolk, Mostly Music, Music Mountain, Monadnock, and Chestnut Hill Concerts.

In addition to many years of performing regularly at Bargemusic in New York, she has been a guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Speculum Musicae; has collaborated with the Tokyo, Muir, Cassatt, and Manhattan string quartets; and has premiered and recorded works by such composers as Gunther Schuller, Ned Rorem, Paul Lansky, Henri Lazarof, Michael Daugherty, and Ezra Laderman.

In addition to her concert career, Lee maintains her commitment to give back to her community and help many worthy charities. At the invitation of the Prime Minister and the First Lady of Jamaica, she has organized and performed in concerts in Kingston and Montego Bay to benefit the Jamaica Early Childhood Development Foundation. For many years she brought world-class musicians, both classical and jazz, to perform in fund-raising concerts for the Hastings Education Foundation outside of New York City, and she recently launched an annual Gala Concert for the Community Health Clinic of Butler County, a free health clinic outside of Pittsburgh.

Born in Seoul, Korea, Lee made her professional debut at the age of 14 with the Korean National Orchestra after becoming the youngest grand prizewinner at the prestigious National Competition held by the President of Korea. In the same year, she came to the United States on a scholarship from the Juilliard School Pre-College, and subsequently won many further awards including First Prize at the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competition, the Juilliard Concerto Competition, and the New England Conservatory Concerto Competition.

Lee received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School and her artist diploma from the New England Conservatory, studying with Martin Canin and Russell Sherman. She has released compact discs on the Bridge, Etcetera, EDI, Northeastern, and BCM labels.

Violinist Chee-Yun's flawless technique, dazzling tone and compelling artistry have enraptured audiences on five continents

Violinist Chee-Yun’s flawless technique, dazzling tone and compelling artistry have enraptured audiences on five continents

Chee-Yun

Violinist Chee-Yun’s flawless technique, dazzling tone and compelling artistry have enraptured audiences on five continents. Charming, charismatic and deeply passionate about her art, Chee-Yun continues to carve a unique place for herself in the ever-evolving world of classical music.

Winner of the 1989 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and the 1990 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Chee-Yun performs regularly with the world’s foremost orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, and the Toronto, Houston, Seattle, Pittsburgh and National symphony orchestras. Additionally, she has appeared with the Atlanta Symphony, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and has performed with such distinguished conductors as Hans Graf, James DePriest, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Michael Tilson Thomas, Krzysztof Penderecki, Neeme Järvi, Pinchas Zukerman, Manfred Honeck and Giancarlo Guerrero.

Internationally, Chee-Yun has toured with the Haifa Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Germany’s Braunschweig Orchestra and the MDR Radio Leipzig and performed with the St. Petersburg Camerata, the Bamberg Philharmonic, the Bilbao Symphony, the London Festival Orchestra, the Nagoya Philharmonic, and the KBS Symphony Orchestra.

Her orchestral highlights include a concert with the Seoul Philharmonic conducted by Myung-Whun Chung that was broadcast on national network television, a benefit for UNESCO with the Orchestra of St. Lukes at Avery Fisher Hall, and her tours of the United States with the San Francisco Symphony (Michael Tilson Thomas conducting), and Japan with the NHK Symphony. Recent and upcoming engagements include return subscription weeks in Pittsburgh and Jacksonville, as well as the Colorado and Austin symphony orchestras and the National Philharmonic.

Julie Albers

Cellist Julie Albers is recognized for her superlative artistry

Cellist Julie Albers is recognized for her superlative artistry

American cellist Julie Albers is recognized for her superlative artistry, her charismatic and radiant performing style, and her intense musicianship. She was born into a musical family in Longmont, Colo., and began violin studies at the age of two with her mother, switching to cello at four. She moved to Cleveland during her junior year of high school to pursue studies through the Young Artist Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Richard Aaron.

Albers soon was awarded the Grand Prize at the XIII International Competition for Young Musicians in Douai, France, and as a result toured France as soloist with Orchestre Symphonique de Douai.

She made her major orchestral debut with the Cleveland Orchestra in 1998, and thereafter has performed in recital and with orchestras throughout North America, Europe, Korea, Taiwan, Australia, and New Zealand. In 2001, she won Second Prize in Munich’s Internationalen Musikwettbewerbes der ARD, and was also awarded the Wilhelm-Weichsler-Musikpreis der Stadt Osnabruch . While in Germany, she recorded solo and chamber music of Kodaly for the Bavarian Radio, performances that have been heard throughout Europe.

In 2003, Albers was named the first Gold Medal Laureate of South Korea’s Gyeongnam International Music Competition, winning the $25,000 Grand Prize.

In North America, Albers has performed with many important orchestras and ensembles. Recent performances have included exciting debuts on the San Francisco Performances series and with the Grant Park Music Festival where she performed Penderecki’s Concerto Grosso for 3 cellos with Mr. Penderecki conducting. Past seasons have included concerto appearances with the Orchestras of Colorado, Indianapolis, San Diego, Seattle, Vancouver, and Munchener Kammerorchester among others.

In addition to solo performances, Albers regularly participates in chamber music festivals around the world. 2009 marked the end of a three year residency with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two. She is currently active with the Albers String Trio and the Cortona Trio. Teaching is also a very important part of Albers’ musical life. She currently is Assistant Professor and holds the Mary Jean and Charles Yales Cello Chair at the McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.

Albers’ debut album with Orion Weiss includes works by Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, Schumann, Massenet, and Piatagorsky and is available on the Artek Label. Julie Albers performs on a N.F. Vuillaume cello made in 1872 and makes her home in Atlanta with her husband, Bourbon.

Deep River Congregational Church Hosts Men’s Palm Sunday Breakfast Today

Dr. Hornbake

Dr. Hornbake

Every Palm Sunday, men, young and old, from congregations throughout the Connecticut River Valley gather in Deep River for the annual Palm Sunday Men’s Communion Breakfast.  All are welcome at 7 a.m. on Palm Sunday, March 29, to share in an ecumenical Communion Service, a bountiful breakfast, and an inspiring message from the speaker, Dr. Rodney Hornbake.   The event will end by 9 a.m. so that those participating will have time to attend worship services in their own churches.

Plan to join other men from throughout the Valley Shore for this long-time Valley-Shore tradition  by calling the Deep River church office before Tuesday, March 24 (860-526-5045), or by e-mailing your reservations to office.drcc@snet.net.   Or sign up on the sheet on the bulletin board across from the kitchen.
The speaker will be Dr Rodney Hornbake,  who is currently president of Essex Internal Medicine, a group medical practice in Essex, Conn., and part of ProHealth Physicians a state wide multispecialty group practice. He has previously led group medical practices in New Bern, North Carolina and Rochester NY.   He has held senior executive positions at major US hospitals and public corporations.  He is an Active/Senior Attending physician at Middlesex Hospital.  Board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, Dr. Hornbake provides comprehensive medical care for older adults including home visits.

Dr. Hornbake and his wife Deborah  also have founded New Mercies Farm.   It is a five-acre organic farm nestled in the quiet countryside of  Lyme, CT.  They bought the property for the farm after a 2011 fire destroyed a pre-Revolutionary home in Lyme. The idea behind the farm is to provide quality food to local residents, preserve Lyme’s agricultural land for future generations and allow a young resident farmer to earn a living wage.   On the New Mercies Farm web page is the text of the hymn Great Is Thy Faithfulness, pointing to Dr. Hornbake’s deep faith

VRHS Seeking Hall of Fame Nominations, Deadline is April 30

AREAWIDE – Nominations and applications are being accepted for the 32nd annual Valley Regional High School (VRHS) Hall of Fame Award. Anyone may nominate a VRHS graduate who has gone on to excel in a particular profession, avocation, business, hobby, sport, etc., and who was graduated from Valley at least five years prior to nomination.

Call the VRHS office  at 860-526-5328 for an application, or write to the principal, Mrs. Kristina Martineau, 256 Kelsey Hill Rd., Deep River, CT 06417, listing the name of the candidate, address, telephone number, year of graduation and his/her outstanding accomplishments. Deadline for submitting applications is April 30, 2015.

The winner of the Hall of Fame Award will be honored at the graduation ceremony at VRHS on Wednesday, June 17, 2015, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Spring Exhibit on View at Maple and Main

'You Can't Keep a Good Turnip Down' by Gray Jacobik of Deep River.

‘You Can’t Keep a Good Turnip Down’ by Gray Jacobik of Deep River.

CHESTER - The opening reception for Maple and Main Gallery’s fifth annual Spring Exhibition is Saturday, March 28, from 5 to 8 p.m.

The show will feature all new art by 37 artists, three of whose work is featured in this article, from traditional landscape paintings of the Connecticut countryside and waterways to contemporary abstracts.

'Daybreak' by Pam Carlson of Essex.

‘Daybreak’ by Pam Carlson of Essex.

'Lobster Pots' by Claudia van Nes of Chester.

‘Lobster Pots’ by Claudia van Nes of Chester.

Appetizers, the gallery’s signature selection of chocolates and wine will be served throughout the evening and from 6 to 7 p.m., the Chester Package Store will offer a spring wine tasting.

A special show of nature paintings will be on view in the Stone Gallery downstairs and there will be a number of smaller works offered in our Small Works Gallery on the main floor.

The show opens Wednesday, March 25 and runs through Sunday, May 24.

Maple and Main Gallery, at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Visit the gallery on Facebook and at mapleandmaingallery.com where there is information about events and classes and where art may be purchased online.  For more information, call 860-526-6065 or email mapleandmain@att.net.

LVVS Features the Classics in April Book Promotion

WESTBROOK – Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS) is celebrating spring, Easter, and all things new during their April book promotion.

This month they are featuring the classics.  Any classic novel, such as Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre, Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and more, is on sale for $1. All other hardcover books are $2 and paperbacks are $1.  Stock up now on some of the best loved novels of all time.

Also on sale this month –  all puzzles are half price.  Stop in to the LVVS book sale Monday-Thursday 8 am -2 pm and Friday 8 am -Noon.  The LVVS is located on the lower level of the Westbrook Library, 61 Goodspeed Dr. 860-399-0280.

The organization is always accepting gently used books 2004 and newer.

CT River Museum Offers Canoe, Kayak Paddle Program Partly Funded by Cabela’s

Connecticut River Museum Expands On-water Experiences with the Development of a Canoe and Kayak Paddle Program. Photo credit: Joan Meek.

Connecticut River Museum Expands On-water Experiences with the Development of a Canoe and Kayak Paddle Program. Photo credit: Joan Meek.

ESSEX – The Connecticut River Museum (CRM) will launch a canoe and kayak paddle program on the museum campus in Essex, CT this summer as a major expansion of its environmental outreach.  The Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion, conservation and improvement of wildlife and wildlife habitat, hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor sporting and recreational activities, has made a generous contribution to CRM that will fund the purchase of 10 boats as well as assorted equipment that will make this important educational program possible.

According to the museum’s director, Chris Dobbs, “The Connecticut River Paddle Explorations Program is an exciting expansion of our ongoing environmental education activities and will allow more members and visitors to get out on the water.  We are thankful to the Cabela’s Outdoor Fund for making this possible.”

“Cabela’s Outdoor Fund is proud to support the Connecticut River Museum and its efforts in educating and exposing the community to the great outdoors,” said Jeremy Wonch, vice president of Cabela’s Outdoor Fund. “The Connecticut River Paddle Explorations Program will be great for both the community and the conservation efforts on the Connecticut River.”

Between June and September, CRM will offer canoes and kayaks at a nominal fee as a member benefit and to the public.  The program will allow visitors to explore the local marshes and tributaries around CRM, a great way for adults and families to access the River.

Dobbs commented, “Through the generosity of the Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, the museum will be able to use these boats for a variety of education programs.”  He said that this would include “guided paddles, exploration of nature preserves along the River, and places further afield.”  As part of the expanded vision for the museum, Dobbs would like the paddle program to partner with land trusts, historical societies, and other organizations up and down the River as a way to build appreciation for this “magnificent cultural and environmental resource.”

For more information about this program, to volunteer with the paddle program or to provide additional support, contact the Connecticut River Museum at 860.767.8269 or via email at crm@ctrivermuseum.org.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10 AM – 5 PM and closed on Mondays until Memorial Day. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for children age 6-12, free for children under 6.

For more information, call 860-767-8269 or go to www.ctrivermuseum.org.

 

Photo Credit: Support from Cabela’s Outdoor Fund will allow the Connecticut River Museum to expand its paddle programs and provide more people with wonderful experiences like the annual swallow migration. Photo courtesy of Joan Meek.

New State Funding Announced for Elderly Affordable Housing in Essex

State Representative Phil Miller

State Representative Phil Miller

ESSEX – State Representative Philip Miller (D-Chester/Deep River/Essex/Haddam) has welcomed the announcement that elderly affordable housing development in Essex will benefit from a $60 million statewide investment to bolster housing programs announced by Governor Dannel P. Malloy.

The funding for Essex is as follows:

  • Essex Place, Essex– Department of Housing will provide up to $3.83 million to assist in the development of Essex Place, a newly constructed 22-unit affordable elderly apartment building.  Essex Place will be located adjacent to the existing 36-unit Essex Court elderly housing development.  The site is walkable via town sidewalks to local services, grocery stores, restaurants and other community resources. The project is in close proximity to public transportation offered by the Estuary Transit District (ETD) that has regularly scheduled service on the Riverside Shuttle from Chester to Old Saybrook.  The project will consist of 18 one-bedroom and 4 two-bedroom rental units.  The units will serve residents or below 80% of the area median income.

“I welcome the Governor’s announcement that Essex will be awarded $3.83 million for the development of Essex Place. The development of affordable elderly apartments will help residents who live in the community stay in the community,” Rep. Miller said, “In addition the construction of new units has a positive economic impact by creating jobs and providing dollars for the purchase of materials and services. I thank Governor Malloy for this initiative in Essex.”

Rep. Miller is House Chairman of the Planning and Development Committee.

‘Paws and Read’ at Acton Public Library, Saturdays

OLD SAYBROOK – Calling all kids! Bring your favorite book or use one of the library’s to read to Hazel, a sweet Border Collie mix who will be at the Acton Public Library on select Saturdays waiting for you to read to her.

Hazel is a certified therapy dog who is trained and fully insured and will be accompanied by her handler. She is an Allan’s Angels Therapy Dog (AATD), which is a chapter of  The Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc.

Call and register for a 15-minute reading session on Saturday, April 18 beginning at 10 a.m., first come, first served. Free and open to all ages.

For more information, call 860-395-3184 during service hours: Monday – Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Acton Library Seeks Kid’s Collections for New Display Case

OLD SAYBROOK – The Acton Public Library is looking for your display for their new Children’s Display case. If you have a collection you would like to share for a month, you can sign up in the Children’s Department or call the Library.

Some popular examples of collections to display might be: Star Wars; My Little Pony; dinosaur figures; Silly Bands; teddy bears; keychains; models; or Legos. Sign up today to reserve your month now.

If you have any questions, call the library at 860-395-3184 during service hours of: Monday – Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

CBSRZ Hosts Youth Program Open House

CHESTER – Congregation  Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ) is hosting an Open House for its Youth Programs For Families with children from birth through age 15  on Sunday, April 19, starting at 10 a.m.

At CBSRZ, they weave Jewish traditions, history, celebrations, and values into the everyday fabric of life’s modern day challenges. By helping young people uncover the riches of their traditions, they seek to empower and nourish their inner lives, and help them to discover the possibilities within themselves and in the world.

Visitors will have the opportunity to tour the building and meet the staff, youth and parents of our diverse community consisting of many interfaith families.

If you would like more information prior to the Open House, contact the CBSRZ office at 860-526-8920 or bethshalom@snet.net.

For further information about CBSRZ Youth Programs, contact Belinda Brennan, Cantor/Educator at 860-526-8920 or by e-mail at edcant@cbsrz.org.

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester.

Essex Library Offers Presentation on Scams, Frauds, and How to Avoid Them, April 14

ESSEX – We live in a fast-paced, technological world.  Scammers are all around us and their only goal is to steal your financial information to commit fraud.  Some are high-tech and use their computer to attempt to steal personal financial information.  Some are savvy and use the telephone to try to scam us.  Others simply steal our wallets or rummage through our trash.

What can you do to prevent this from happening?  Your best defense is awareness.

Richard Lalor, Associate Financial Examiner from the Government Relations and Consumer Affairs Division of the Connecticut Department of Banking, will share important tips on how to avoid identity theft and minimize your risk of becoming a victim of financial fraud at the Essex Library on Tuesday, April 14, at 11 a.m.  Admission is free.

Call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560 for more information and to register.

The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue, Essex CT 06426

CT River Museum Hosts Tavern Night with Craft Beer, Fine Wine, Good Food; April 25

The Connecticut River Museum’s 1814 Tavern Night features an evening of food, drink, music and games in the Museum’s historic Samuel Lay House. Photo: Connecticut River Museum.

The Connecticut River Museum’s 1814 Tavern Night features an evening of food, drink, music and games in the Museum’s historic Samuel Lay House. Photo: Connecticut River Museum.

The Connecticut River Museum brings back its popular 1814 Tavern Night for a double hitter. These spirited 19th-century evenings transform the historic Samuel Lay House into a seaside tavern from the War of 1812. The nights include a wine or beer tasting, food pairings of early American cuisine provided by Catering by Selene, tavern games and raucous drinking songs and ballads. The event is being made possible through the generous support of Guilford Savings Bank.

ELH1814Tavern.winebarOn Saturday, April 25, a variety of fine wines will be enjoyed with Angelini Wines & Estate Wines. This night, Craig Edwards will saw out popular fiddle tunes that get people stomping their feet and singing.

Executive Director Christopher Dobbs states, “Last year’s programs sold out and were a huge hit.” He described the programs as “enchanting evenings that take you back in time – giving visitors a great taste of the food, drink, music and games of early 19th century America.”

Space is extremely limited and advance reservations are required. Tastings take place each night at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $22 for museum members or $27 for general public (must be 21 or older and show an ID). Tickets include wine or beer tasting, light bites, and entertainment. Additional wine and beer is available each night for purchase. You must be 21 or over to attend the event and show a valid ID.

Due to limited space, reservations are required. Tickets may be purchased by going online to www.ctrivermuseum.org or over the phone at 860-767-8269.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Mondays after Columbus Day. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for children age 6-12, free for children under 6.

For more information, call 860-767-8269 or go to www.ctrivermuseum.org.

Acton Public Library Hosts Ceramic, Stuffed Rabbit Collection in April

For the last weeks of March and the month of April, the Acton Public Library will be hosting Library employee Barbara Peterson’s collection of ceramic and stuffed rabbits. Peterson raised Netherland Dwarf rabbits in her house for many years, after receiving her first rabbit at age 9 from a magician.

The Acton Public Library is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. until 8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

Master Knitter Lee Gant at Essex Books, May 9

Join Master Knitter Lee Gant at Essex Books at Gather on Saturday, May 9, from 3 to 4 p.m.

Gant is one of the top knitters in the United States and has been featured on PBS, NPR, and in many magazines. She has knitted pieces for world renowned designer Melissa Leapman and can be seen in Vogue, Knitter’s, and Knit ‘N Style.

Gant’s designs have been featured in many books, including 60 Quick Baby Knits, Knitting 2013 Day-to-Day Calendar, Jamieson’s Shetland Knitting Book 2, and Garter Stitch Baby.

She is part of a very active knitting community on social media: her Facebook page has reached 92,000 people in one week. Gant travels internationally on the knitting circuit and is a well-known authority who is also writing knitting pattern books.

In her inspiring book, Love in Every Stitch: Stories of Knitting and Healing, master knitter, teacher, and widely published knitwear designer Gant shares real-life stories about the power of knitting.

As an employee of three different yarn stores, a teacher of countless knitting classes, and a volunteer with at-risk youth, Gant has had the opportunity to gather diverse stories.

The stories Gant shares about herself and fellow knitters from around the world illustrate how each stitch and purl can comfort and calm, heal and renew. A suicidal teenager crochets through pregnancy. A dying woman finds comfort in the company of knitters. A woman finds the courage to face her estranged parents. A woman going blind realizes she can still knit — and experience life. And Gant’s life, riddled with more than just anxiety, has at last become stable and productive. This book includes stories of women, men, and teens who have experienced profound change and enlightenment through knitting and crochet.

“Another lovely story of hope and inspiration. The benefits of knitting and crocheting are seen every day. More and more people turn to these skills to help them deal with so many upheavals in life. Thank goodness we have those to fall back on when everything else seems to go against us.”
—Bouncing Back

A renowned designer and sought-after teacher, Gant is a household name among knitting enthusiasts. Holding the rank of ‘master knitter,’ she enjoys working with adults and children, as young as age eight, teaching self-empowerment through knitting. Some of her designs can be found in 60 Quick Baby Knits, in Knit Picks and Patternfish online, and at Strings and Things in Kauai. Gant’s knitting has won many first place and best-in-show awards at county fairs in northern California. Her new pattern collection for children’s knitwear will publish in the spring of 2016. She now lives in Santa Rosa, Calif., and formerly lived in Guilford, Conn.

To RSVP, call or text Susan McCann at 914-310-5824.

‘Great Women Architects’ is Tonight’s Topic in Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series

The Aqua tower in Chicago by Jeanne Gang. Photo by George Showman.

The Aqua tower in Chicago designed by Jeanne Gang. Photo by George Showman.

ESSEX — Architectural Historian Professor Chuck Benson presents “Great Women Architects and Designers of the 20th and 21st Centuries” at the Essex Town Hall on Friday, March 27, at 7 p.m.

His illustrated presentation focuses on historical luminaries, such as Marion Mahoney Griffin and Mary Colter, as well as prominent contemporary architects like Billy Tsien, Zaha Hadid, and Jeanne Gang. By rising to the topmost level of a historically male-dominated profession, these women and many others like them have blazed the trail for others to follow.

Dr. Benson has been teaching Art and Architectural History for more than 25 years at various universities and has led groups to explore iconic places and buildings in America, Italy, England, France, Germany, Greece, Turkey, and elsewhere. His lecture credits include MOMA, Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. He studied the history of art and architecture at Yale, and holds advanced degrees from Columbia University. He also has studied at Cambridge and Oxford.

His talk is free and part of the Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series, which is one of many programs that are offered regularly by the Essex Library (http://www.youressexlibrary.org/). Call the library at 860-767-1560 to register.

Sponsored by Centerbrook Architects, the series is in its seventh year.

Enjoy ‘Discovery Sundays’ at Florence Griswold Museum

A family enjoys ‘Discovery Sunday’ at the Florence Griswold Museum.

On Sunday, April 12, the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme invites visitors to shake off any leftover winter blues and celebrate the beginning of Discovery Sundays. In addition to the popular “Make-A-Painting” activities, where visitors of all ages use the Museum’s supplies to create their own masterpieces, Discovery Sundays now include a new outdoor Art Cart that guides families to explore the grounds and its connection to the artists who famously painted there.

To celebrate the start of the season, the Co-Co Beaux, an all male a cappella group from Connecticut College, performs in the art gallery from 2 to 4 p.m.. In addition, seasonal buildings including the Chadwick Studio and the Rafal Landscape Center open for the season. And with any luck you’ll find some pops of color starting in the garden!

The Museum is open every Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. and all activities are included with admission. Children 12 and under are always free. The Museum is closed Easter Sunday.

The Florence Griswold Museum is known as the Home of American Impressionism. In addition to the restored Florence Griswold House, where the artists of the Lyme Art Colony lived, the Museum features a modern exhibition gallery, education center, landscape center, extensive gardens, and a restored artist’s studio.

The Museum is located at 96 Lyme St., Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95 and is open year round Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 students, and free to children 12 and under.

For more information, visit the Museum’s website www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org or call 860-434-5542 x 111.

 

Reading Uncertainly: Book Review of ‘The Innovators’ by Walter Isaacson

This is the remarkable and intricate story of the computer, the Internet and the World Wide Web, all of which transformed and continue to alter this globe. It is a story of human collaboration, conflict, creativity and timing, from Ada, Countess of Lovelace in 1843 to the more familiar names of Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, John Mauchly, John von Neumann, Grace Hopper, Robert Moore, Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Tim Berners-Lee, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and, of course, “Watson,” the almost-human Jeopardy contestant of IBM.

Isaacson stresses the importance of the intersection of individual thinking combined, inevitably, with collaborative efforts. Ideas start with non-conformists, in many of whom initiative is often confused with disobedience. But it is in collaboration that we have found the effectiveness of the Web, a “networked commons.”

These changes have come about through conception and execution, plus “peer-to-peer sharing.” Isaacson cites three co-existing approaches: (1) Apple with its bundled hardware and software, (2) Microsoft with unbundled software, and (3) the Wikipedia example of free and open software, for any hardware. No one approach, he argues, could have created this new world: all three, fighting for space, are required. Similarly, he believes that a combination of investment works best: Government funding and coordination, plus private enterprise, plus “peers freely sharing ideas and making contributions as a part of a voluntary common endeavor.”

In his concluding chapter, Isaacson raises the question of the future for AI, artificial intelligence. Stephen Hawking has warned, yet again, that we may create mechanisms that will not only think but also re-create themselves, effectively displacing homo sapiens as a species. But Isaacson is more optimistic: he sees and favors a symbiotic approach, in which the human brain and computers create an information-handling partnership. Recent advances in neuroscience suggest that the human brain is, in many ways, a limited automaton (see System One of Kahneman). But our brain, with its ability to “leap and create,” coupled with the computer’s growing ability to recall, remember, and assess billions of bits of information, may lead us, together, to better decisions.

His final “five lessons” are worth inscribing:

  1. “Creativity is a collaborative process.”
  2. “The digital age was based on expanding ideas handed down from previous generations.”
  3. “The most productive teams were those that brought together people with a wide array of specialties.”
  4. “Physical proximity is beneficial.”
  5. To succeed, “pair visionaries, who can generate ideas, with operating managers, who can execute them.”

Isaacson’s final lesson: humans bring to our “symbiosis with machines . . . one crucial element: creativity.” It is “the interaction of humanities and sciences.”

And we wouldn’t have LymeLine without the Innovators!

Editor’s Note: “The Innovators” is published by Simon & Schuster, New York 2014.

Felix Kloman_headshot_2005_284x331-150x150

About 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.

‘An Exhibition in Four Acts’ on View at Lyme Art Association Through April 17

130 Bank Street by Roger Clements

130 Bank Street by Roger Clements

Four new exhibitions, each with a different theme, are currently on view in the Lyme Art Association (LAA)’s historic galleries through April 17. ‘A Contemporary Look’, ‘Pulled and Pressed’, ‘Industrious America’ and ‘Holding Still’ are running concurrently.

‘Pulled and Pressed’ is an exciting collection of hand-made prints, with the Center for Contemporary Printmaking as invited guests; ‘Industrious America’ celebrates American industry and features imagery of the man-made landscape; ‘Holding Still’ features still life artwork, including trompe l’oeil; and ‘A Contemporary Look’ is an exhibition of new works that evolve the representational art tradition.

'Blue Bowl with Pears' (oil) by Eileen Eder is the signature painting for the 'Holding Still' exhibition.

‘Blue Bowl with Pears’ (oil) by Eileen Eder is the signature painting for the ‘Holding Still’ exhibition.

“’The Exhibition in Four Acts’ is one of our most dynamic and exciting exhibitions, bringing together four distinct types of representational art. Visitors to our spacious, sun-lit galleries will move from the striking realism of still life paintings in ‘Holding Still’ to the evocative art in ‘Contemporary Look’, featuring works that evolve the representational art tradition,” states Katherine Simmons, President of the LAA’s Board of Directors. “’Pulled and Pressed’ features the creativity and precision of fine art, hand-made prints, and ‘Industrious America’ celebrates the vitality of working life.”

The LAA was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community.

The Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within an historic district. Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10am to 5pm, or by appointment.

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

SECWAC Hosts Presentation on Arabs, Israelis and Military Force, Tonight in Old Lyme

Jeremy Pressman

Jeremy Pressman

Jeremy Pressman, Professor of Political Science, Director of Middle East Studies, University of Connecticut, will present Arabs, Israelis, and the Limits of Military Force” on Monday evening, March 23, at the Old Lyme Country Club.  This event is hosted by the Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC)

The reception begins at 5:30 p.m.  followed by the talk starting at 6 p.m.  A dinner follows immediately after the presentation for a limited number of Members and Guests.  Making a dinner reservation is required.

Professor Pressman (PhD, MIT, 2002) is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of Middle East Studies at the University of Connecticut where he studies international relations, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Middle East politics, and U.S. foreign policy.  He has held fellowships at Harvard University, the University of Sydney, and the Humanities Institute at the University of Connecticut.

Pressman previously worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Milt Walters, SECWAC’s Chairman expressed his gratitude that, “Professor Pressman with his extensive Middle East experiences would provide our Members with his first hand insights in these volatile times.”

He has published extensively in academic journals such as Diplomatic History, International Security, and International Studies Perspectives, and appeared on the WNPR program “Where We Live” in 2014.  He has written two books, Warring Friends: Alliance Restraint in International Politics (Cornell University Press, 2008) and Point of No Return: The Deadly Struggle for Middle East Peace, with Geoffrey Kemp (Brookings Institution Press, 1997).

Pressman is currently writing a third book, tentatively titled “The sword is not enough: Arabs, Israelis, and the limits of military force.”  Pressman also writes for Beacon Reader and is on twitter @djpressman

Call 860-912-5718 or emailinfo@secwac.org to make a reservation for this event. On confirmation send a check for $35 for each reservation to: SECWAC, 914 Hartford Turnpike, Waterford, CT 06385.

Please respect others.  Seating and meals are based on actual reservations.

The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council is a regional, non-profit membership organization affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America and foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs through study, debate, and educational programming. Its principal activity is to provide a forum for nonpartisan, non-advocacy dialogue between our members and U.S. policy makers and other experts on foreign relations (http://www.secwac.org).

Guests are welcome to call 860-912-5718 or emailinfo@secwac.org to reserve a guest pass.

Upcoming Program:  Dorothy James, PhD, Professor of Government and International Relations at Connecticut College will speak on “The Art of Chinese Politics and the Politics of Chinese Art” at the Student Center, Connecticut College on April 16.