April 24, 2014

New Chester Marketing Firm to Focus on Non-Profits and Charitable Organizations

New business partners Michelle Paulson (left)  and Susan Daniels (right) have teamed up to make a difference for their marketing clients and their communities

New business partners Michelle Paulson (left) and Susan Daniels (right) have teamed up to make a difference for their marketing clients and their communities

Chester, CT – New business partners Susan Daniels and Michelle Paulson have a long history of bringing voice to their clients’ stories. Going all the way back to the 1980s and having lived parallel lives for most of their careers, the duo recently teamed up to form PaulsonDaniels llc, a marketing communications firm with a mission to help businesses grow while benefitting non-profit or charitable organizations. The innovative approach is a combination of two tried and true marketing disciplines – lifestyle marketing and cause marketing – where a client’s distinct brand beliefs, attitudes and social conscience are used as the foundation for engaging and communicating to consumers with similar views. “Every business has its own brand personality with foundational values that set it apart from like businesses,” explained Daniels, “We work with those values to create a greater awareness of our clients’ commitment to the customer experience and to the communities that support them.”

Case in point is the highly successful Dinner At The Farm benefit dinner series created by Paulson’s long-time client River Tavern restaurant. Continually sold-out for the past seven years, the project was developed to promote and support Connecticut’s farming community, and has helped earn the State a place in the local food movement and kept the River Tavern’s mission out in front through a multitude of well-placed feature stories including: Time Magazine, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, New York Times, BusinessWeek, The Cooking Channel, Yankee Magazine, Connecticut Magazine and more. “The beauty of this approach is that it creates opportunities for customers and the community at large to make a difference and support a good cause while enjoying a very special dining experience,” commented Paulson, “It’s all good.”

Daniels’ work for Best Cleaner’s COATS FOR CONNECTICUT campaign is another example of the use of marketing to make a difference. The company’s deep-rooted tradition of doing what they do best to better the community was the inspiration for the development of the program where Best collectsgently-used winter coats donated by customers and the general public and then cleans and delivers them to Connecticut Salvation Army centers for distribution to those in need throughout the cold-weather months. Media partnerships with WFSB-TV 3, YZ 92.5, The River 105.9 and Young’s Printing helps get the word out and has resulted in over 20,000 coats collected in just five years.

According to the two partners who have an office in Chester, success has come from a shared passion and enthusiasm for solving problems anchored by a no-nonsense ability to get things done and keep the process simple. The firm offers a full complement of marketing and design services including brand development, strategic planning, website development, advertising, public relations, social media, direct marketing, photography, interior space planning and design.

ABOUT MICHELLE PAULSON

Michelle is a seasoned professional in the areas of public relations, advertising, graphic design and strategic brand management including social media and internet/digital marketing. She served as account manager for Connecticut’s leading advertising and creative agencies including Decker Rickard (now Decker), Mintz & Hoke and Cummings & Good managing corporate, state agencies, arts and non-profit accounts. In establishing her own marketing communications company for small to mid-sized businesses, Michelle has developed and directed communications programs for clients in the manufacturing, restaurant, environmental, and architectural/interior design industries, often wearing multiple hats as writer, designer, photographer, web & social media content developer and more. Michelle also co-founded the award-winning Dinners At The Farm , a summertime benefit event series that helped put Connecticut on the Local Food Movement map. Her efforts garnered local, statewide and national press (including AP, TIME, BusinessWeek, New York Times and the Cooking Channel) and led to her helping develop the State’s first Farm-to-Chef Harvest Celebration Week. For that good work, Michelle earned an invitation to the White House for the launch of Michelle Obama’s Chefs Move to Schools campaign, inspiring her to help create Region 4 School’s healthy school lunch initiative, Get Fresh 4 Schools. Michelle’s key operating principal: “Know your passion.” One of hers is photography which often comes in handy for certain client work.

Michelle studied Journalism at American University and has a B.A. in History with a Marketing Minor from Central Connecticut State University.

ABOUT SUSAN DANIELS

Susan is a business strategist who focuses on her client’s bottom-line growth opportunities. Her talent is identifying brand attributes that have real market value and delivering marketing communications plans that are strategically sound and highly actionable. Susan’s background includes both corporate and agency leadership positions within consumer, business-to-business and non-profit organizations, giving her an unusual blend of big-picture savvy and realistic, achievable goal definition. Susan’s experience includes local, regional and national work in the fields of retail, consumer products and services, healthcare, entertainment/leisure,new technology, public service and non-profit. Having served in the role of marketing director, agency account director, media planner, and broadcast producer/writer for a diverse range of companies, she has a comprehensive knowledge of all marketing disciplines with an in-depth understanding of market research, advertising, public relations, direct marketing and interior space planning and design. The end result is a marketing communications that is as efficient as it is effective for each and every client. Prior to establishing her own brand-planning consultancy and marketing company, Susan served as Vice President, Marketing for TJX Companies-Bob’s Stores. She also held the positions of Executive Vice President, Marketing Services for KGA Advertising, a retail marketing firm; Director of Sales and Marketing for the Arrow Prescription Center franchise; Account Supervisor at Maher/Hartford Advertising and Public Relations; and Broadcast Manager for Sage-Allen department stores. A confessed sports nut, she has worked with UCONN Division of Athletics, Hartford Whalers, Red Sox, Patriots, Boston Bruins, and the Greater Hartford Open. Susan’s non-profit work includes the Connecticut River Museum, Community Music School, Essex Elementary School Foundation and Community Foundation of Middlesex County. Susan has a B.A. in Psychology from Trinity College, a M.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Hartford, and a certificate in Interior Design from Rhode Island School of Design.

 

 

The Essex Community Fund Donates an English Oak

ETC-ECF 2012 giftIn 2012 the Essex Community Fund donated $500 to the Essex Tree Committee so that the Essex Tree Committee could purchase and plant an English Oak at #7 Dennison Road. 

The English Oak (quercus robur) provides architectural elegance to any landscape. When fully grown, it has an imposing trunk and a broad-rounded habit with wide spreading branches. The 3-7 lobed, 2 to 5 inch long, rich blue green leaves remain until late fall with limited autumn color.  This tree has adapted well from its native English countryside to the USA, from North Dakota to Utah to Georgia. It will grow to 40 to 60 feet high and wide. Augie Pampel, Tree Warden carefully selected the location on Dennison Road so that the tree would eventually show off its natural beauty. Fred Weber Associates planted the tree.

Ms. Lauren Caiazzo, ECF Secretary said that as part of its mission, the Community Fund is committed to the preservation and protection of Essex’s natural environment, including planting trees.  Since the 1940s ECF has given grants to help local non-profits provide services and enhance the quality of Essex, Centerbrook and Ivoryton.  Augie Pampel recently thanked Ms. Lauren Caiazzo, (pictured), for the Community Fund’s generous donation.  The Essex Tree Committee looks forward to continued collaboration with the Essex Community Fund in its efforts to protect the natural beauty of the villages of Essex.

If you or your organization would like more information about tax deductible tree donations, contact Augie Pampel, Tree Warden at augiepampel@att.net.

Essex Savings Bank and Essex Financial Services, Inc. to Contribute $223,373 to Charity

 

Essex Savings Bank President & CEO Gregory R. Shook

Essex Savings Bank President & CEO Gregory R. Shook

Essex, CT – Gregory R. Shook, President & Chief Executive Officer of Essex Savings Bank announced January 17, 2014, “We are extremely proud to report available contributions of $223,373 from our Community Investment Program in our 163rd year”.  The Bank annually commits 10% of its after tax net income to qualifying organizations within the immediate market area consisting of  Chester, Deep River, Essex, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.  This program provides financial support to over 200 non-profit organizations who offer outstanding services to the ever-increasing needs of our communities.  By year end, a total of $3,896,917 will have been distributed since inception in 1996.  Essex Savings Bank customers determine 30% of the fund allocations each year by voting directly for three of their favorite causes, charities or organizations who have submitted applications to participate.  Ballots will be available at all Essex Savings Bank Offices between February 1 and March 15 to determine an allocation of $67,012.  The Bank’s Directors, Senior Officers, Branch Managers and Essex Financial Services, Inc., the Bank’s subsidiary, will distribute the remaining 70%, or $156,361.

Organizations (85) qualifying to appear on the 2014 ballot includes:

Act II Thrift Shop, Inc. * Bikes for Kids, Inc. * Brazilian and American Youth Cultural Exchange (BRAYCE) * Bushy Hill Nature Center * Camp Claire, Inc. * Camp Hazen YMCA * CDE (Chester, Deep River, Essex) Cooperative Nursery School * Chester Historical Society * Chester Land Trust, Inc. * Common Good Gardens, Inc. * Community Music School * The Connecticut River Museum at Steamboat Dock * The Country School, Inc. * The Deacon John Grave Foundation * Deep River Ambulance Association, Inc. * Deep River Elementary PTO, Inc. * The Deep River Fire Department * Deep River Historical Society, Inc. * Deep River Junior Ancient Fife & Drum Corps, Inc. * Deep River Land Trust, Inc. * Dog Days Adoption Events, Inc. * Essex Ambulance Association, Inc. * The Essex Art Association, Incorporated * Essex Community Fund, Inc. * Essex Elementary School Foundation, Inc. * Essex Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization, Inc. * Essex Fire Engine Company #1 * Essex Historical Society, Inc. * Essex Library Association * Essex Winter Series, Inc. * Estuary Council of Seniors, Inc. – Meals on Wheels * Florence Griswold Museum * Forgotten Felines, Inc. * Friends In Service Here (F.I.S.H.) * Friends of Hammonasset, Inc. * Friends of the Acton Public Library * Friends of the Chester Public Library, Inc. * Graduation Night, Inc. – Old Saybrook * High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc. * Hope Partnership, Inc. * Ivoryton Playhouse Foundation, Inc. * The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, Inc. * Literacy Volunteers – Valley Shore, CT, Inc. * Lyme Ambulance Association, Inc. * Lyme Art Association, Inc. * The Lyme Fire Company, Inc. * Lyme Land Conservation Trust, Inc. * Lyme-Old Lyme Education Foundation * Lyme-Old Lyme Safe Graduation Party, Inc. * Lyme Public Hall Association, Inc. * Lyme Public Library, Inc. * Lymes’ Elderly Housing, Inc. (Lymewood) * The Madison ABC Program, Incorporated (aka Madison A Better Chance, Inc.) * Madison Ambulance Association, Inc. * Madison Community Services, Inc. * The Madison Foundation, Inc. * Madison Historical Society, Inc. * Madison Land Conservation Trust, Inc. * Maritime Education Network, Inc. * Musical Masterworks, Inc. * Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center, Inc. * Old Lyme Historical Society, Inc. * Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library Association * Old Saybrook Education Foundation * Old Saybrook Fire Company Number One, Inc. * Old Saybrook Historical Society * Old Saybrook Land Trust, Inc. * Pet Connections, Inc. * Potapaug Audubon Society * The Region 4 Education Foundation, Inc. (R4EF) * Scranton Library, Madison (aka E.C. Scranton Memorial Library) * The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries * Sister Cities Essex Haiti, Inc. * Tait’s Every Animal Matters (TEAM) * The Touchdown Club, Inc. (Valley Regional High School/Old Lyme High School Football) * Tracy Art Center, Inc. * Tri-Town Youth Services Bureau, Inc. * Valley Baseball-Softball Booster Club, Inc. * Valley Shore Animal Welfare League * Valley-Shore YMCA * Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley, Inc. (VNLV) * Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center, Inc. * Westbrook Project Graduation, Inc. * Westbrook Youth and Family Services, Inc. * The Woman’s Exchange of Old Lyme.

Essex Savings Bank is a FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851.  The Bank serves the Lower Connecticut River Valley with six offices in Chester, Essex (2), 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.

Plans Announced for Goodspeed Leadership Transition

Goodspeed Musicals’ Board of Trustees announced today that a change in leadership will occur at the theatre after the 2014 season. Michael Price, who has led the organization for 45 years, has decided to retire from the position of Executive Director at the end of 2014 but will remain active with Goodspeed in advisory and fundraising roles through 2016.

“Michael Price has been an extraordinary and tireless leader of Goodspeed Musicals for virtually its entire existence. In 1968, he arrived at a small, struggling summer theatre and built it into one of the most respected, artistically successful and financially secure theatres in the country. The institution he entrusts to his successor is among the elite of American artistic institutions, having shaped musical theatre for generations of audiences and artists from our East Haddam and Chester stages to Broadway and beyond. We are extremely grateful for Michael’s service and leadership,” said John F. (Jef) Wolter, President of the Goodspeed Board of Trustees.

“I have had the honor and the privilege of leading Goodspeed Musicals for more than 45 years but believe with my whole heart, that the time has come to pass the reins onto someone new who will lead the institution into its next phase. The greatest joy is working with the most incredible theatrical team ever assembled, a team that together will take Goodspeed to even greater heights. I look forward to working with our Board of Trustees and staff during the transition period,” said Michael Price.

“It has been my privilege and thrill to lead Goodspeed and help make theatre magic. Every Goodspeed production has been a joint effort between our audience members, our Board of Trustees, our supporters, our amazing staff and some of the most talented artists—both on the stage and behind the scenes—to ever work in theatre. I know that with their continued passion and support, Goodspeed’s future is brighter than ever,” added Price.

The Board of Trustees will conduct a national search for a new Executive Director who is expected to assume leadership of Goodspeed in late 2014. “The Board of Trustees and our staff have been preparing for this transition and are extremely confident that Goodspeed’s future is bright and secure,” said Wolter. “We are also excited about the search process and the prospect of bringing a worthy successor to Michael into the Goodspeed family. Goodspeed will continue to provide the world-class musical theatre experience that our audiences expect at the Goodspeed Opera House and The Norma Terris Theatre,” added Wolter.

Dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre, Goodspeed Musicals produces three musicals each season at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Conn., and additional works at The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn., which was opened in 1984 for the development of new musicals. The first regional theatre to receive two Tony Awards (for outstanding achievement,) Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essex Savings Bank Donates to Local Communities

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Essex – Each year all six branches and the corporate office of Essex Savings Bank hold a holiday contest designed to help those less fortunate in the local communities.  The goal of this year’s event was to collect food and non-perishables for the Shoreline Soup Kitchen as well as the food pantries in Chester and Madison.

The festive displays at each office location centered on a particular food course, and the entries ranged from breakfast selections to desserts.  Although this contest adds to the fun of the season, the deeper goal for all of the Bank employees is to help those in need as that is the true spirit of the season.

All donations were at the employees’ expense and generated by their goodwill.

As a result of everyone’s efforts, on Monday, Dec. 23, Essex Savings Bank employees delivered 845 pounds of food to the Shoreline Soup Kitchen.  Additional donations were made to the pantries in Chester and Madison.

Branch Manager/AVP Marla Bogaert serves on the Board of Directors for the Shoreline Soup Kitchen and a team of Bank employees volunteer to prepare and serve dinner throughout the year.  The ingredients for these meals are collected through the generous donations from Bank employees.

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Editor’s Note: Essex Savings Bank is a FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851. The Bank serves the Connecticut River Valley and shoreline with six offices in Essex (2), Chester, Madison, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook. 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 and are not a deposit, have no Bank guarantee and are not insured by any Federal Government Agency.

 

 

Essex Savings Bank Chester Branch Celebrates One Year Anniversary

Branch Manager/AVP Lisa Berube with the winner, Michael Cressman of Chester.

Branch Manager/AVP Lisa Berube with the winner, Michael Cressman of Chester.

The Chester office of Essex Savings Bank opened its doors on December 14, 2012 and has been embraced by the local community.  The anniversary was marked by a weeklong celebration at the branch.  Customers were treated with appetizers, desserts, beverages, giveaways, and raffles throughout the week of December 9 through 14.   All visitors to the Chester Branch were encouraged to enter their name for the grand prize drawing, an Apple iPAD.  On December 17, President and CEO Gregory R. Shook selected the winning entry.   Bank management is proud of the Chester Branch’s successful first year serving the Connecticut River Valley.

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 and are not a deposit, have no Bank guarantee and are not insured by any Federal Government Agency.

Country School Robotics Team Wins Two Awards at State Robotics Championship

Members of The Country School's Wise Guys Robotics Team at the First Lego League State Championship in December. Pictured, front row, left to right, are: Andre Salkin, Gordie Croce, Robbie Cozean, Ben Iglehart, Aidan Chiaia, and Joseph Coyne. Back row, left to right, are Nate Iglehart, Liam Ber, Emmett Tolis, and Coach Heather Edgecumbe. Missing from the photo is Sarah Platt.

Members of The Country School’s Wise Guys Robotics Team at the First Lego League State Championship in December. Pictured, front row, left to right, are: Andre Salkin, Gordie Croce, Robbie Cozean, Ben Iglehart, Aidan Chiaia, and Joseph Coyne. Back row, left to right, are Nate Iglehart, Liam Ber, Emmett Tolis, and Coach Heather Edgecumbe. Missing from the photo is Sarah Platt.

Madison, CT— Members of The Country School’s Wise Guys Robotics Team won two awards at the First Lego League state championships held at Central Connecticut State University in December. Of the 51 teams participating, the Wise Guys won a First Lego League core value award for Innovation and a second award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers for the way they worked together to come up with an innovative solution to a problem. The IEEE award was accompanied by a $200 cash prize.

This was the second year that The Country School has fielded a robotics team and the second time a TCS team has qualified for the First Lego League Connecticut state championship. The team qualified during a competition held in Old Lyme in the fall. In addition to the Wise Guys, The Country School also fields a team called the Archimedes Owls. Nineteen students in grades 5- 8 participated on the school’s two robotics teams. The Country School also offers a summer robotics camp and hosts periodic Robotics Nights on campus for the broader community.

According to the First Lego League, the FLL Innovation Award is presented to a team that is “empowered by their FLL experience and displays extraordinary enthusiasm and spirit.” The award from the IEEE was presented to five teams who displayed an innovative solution to a problem caused by nature’s fury. The Country School team chose to focus on how towns can clear roads and clean up after blizzards in a safe and effective way.

The Wise Guys remembered how hard it was for Connecticut towns to recover from last February’s blizzard. Team member Sarah Platt, an 8th Grader, interviewed John Bower, Director of Emergency Management for the town of Madison, to try to identify the biggest issues the town had to deal with during the blizzard. Team members then came up with a plan for a robotic plow which, while plowing, would send snow into a container. There, the snow would be melted down to water, which would later be deposited in a safe area.

The Wise Guys are coached by Country School science teacher Heather Edgecumbe of Madison. In addition to Sarah Platt, a Madison resident, team members include Andre Salkin of Old Lyme (6th Grade), Gordie Croce of Killingworth (6th Grade), Robbie Cozean of Madison (6th Grade), Nate and Ben Iglehart of Guilford (both 6th Grade), Aidan Chiaia of Guilford (6th Grade), Joseph Coyne of Madison (7th Grade), Liam Ber of Westbrook (8th Grade), and Emmett Tolis of Madison (7th Grade).

The Country School, founded in 1955, is a coeducational, independent day school serving students in PreSchool through Grade 8. At The Country School, a rigorous academic program is accompanied by a commitment to hands-on learning and discovery and a focus on the whole child. The robotics program is part of the school’s commitment to advancing 21st century skills through STEAM, or integrated science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.

Learn more about Robotics and other STEAM offerings at The Country School by visiting www.thecountryschool.org/steam. The Country School will also have a special STEAM focus at its Open House on Sunday, January 26, from 1-3:30 p.m. Learn more at www.thecountryschool.org/openhouse.

 

 

Adams Hometown Market Supports Deep River Fire Department

Customer Service Manager Kevin Hunt  (left) and Adams Manager Jeff Prindle present  DRFD Chief Tim Lee with a check for the Department.

Customer Service Manager Kevin Hunt (left) and Adams Manager Jeff Prindle present DRFD Chief Tim Lee with a check for the Department.

Adams Hometown Market in Deep River sold paper fire alarms and held a hotdog fund raiser in support of the Deep River Fire Department. According to Adams Manager Jeff Prindle ” It is our responsibility to support an organization of men and women who are willing to protect their community 24/7. Due to the support of our community, we are able to provide the vehicle in which to do this”.

In thanking Adams for their support, Fire Chief Tim Lee commented ” The Department appreciates this very generous gift. This financial support will allow us to purchase tools and equipment necessary to provide the best possible protection in an ever changing fire fighting world.

TriTown Outdoor Lighting Competition Winner Announced

The winning entrant of the 2013 TriTown Outdoor Lighting Competition

The winning entrant of the 2013 TriTown Outdoor Lighting Competition

This year’s Tritown competition was the best ever. The number of entrants was a record and the quality of the displays was remarkable. This year’s winning entrant was Will Grote of Cedar Lake Road, Deep River.

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, over 15 prizes were awarded, which is, also a new record. Thank you to everyone who participated in the competition and for making this the best competition ever.

Deep River Fire Department Offers Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smoke alarmNews Channel 8 recently partnered with Kidde, The Home Depot, and the Burn Center and the Trauma Center at Bridgeport Hospital to present Operation Save a Life; a life-saving program designed to increase public awareness of fire and carbon monoxide dangers. One of the cornerstones of this program is the distribution of smoke alarms to Connecticut families in need.

The Deep River Fire Department has a limited number of these smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors that we will install for free in your home. Please call the Deep River Fire Department at 860-526-6042 and leave a message if you or anyone you know is in need of a smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector. Someone will return your call and schedule a time for installation.

East Haddam to Offer Public Transit Service with 9 Town Transit

9 town transit bus2East Haddam residents will soon have greater mobility with new access to a regional transit system. Beginning January 15th, the town of East Haddam will begin a contract with 9 Town Transit to provide general public Dial-A-Ride service throughout the town.

9 Town Transit, operated by the Estuary Transit District, currently provides Dial-A-Ride service throughout Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook.  Any location within East Haddam and Moodus will now also be included in the new expanded service area.

“This is a great opportunity to add East Haddam to the 9-Town Transit system.   Our contract with 9-Town Transit will enable all residents, not just senior citizens, to take advantage of the Dial-A-Ride service and secure a ride anywhere in the 9-Town Transit district”, remarks East Haddam First Selectman Mark Walter.

9 Town Transit will also offer East Haddam residents service to parts of Westchester and Colchester, CT, including the Stop & Shop supermarket.  In addition, East Haddam residents may travel to the Middletown Stop & Shop supermarket, Middlesex Hospital, Middlesex Community College and the Saybrook Road area medical offices.

“I know that residents in East Haddam will see immediate benefits from this service. I am thrilled that after meeting with transit officials only a few weeks ago, we were able to make this service available to all residents, regardless of age, at the beginning of the New Year. I look forward to seeing their green bus around Moodus, Lake Hayward and all areas of town”, says State Representative Melissa Ziobron, who assisted in the collaboration.

To reserve a trip, customers will call 9 Town Transit at up to two weeks but no less than one day in advance.  The fare will be $3.00 each way, with seniors age 60 and over eligible to ride at a suggested donation of $1.50.  The hours of service are 6:00 AM until 6:00 PM Monday through Friday.  The service is open to the general public with no age restrictions.  All vehicles are fully accessible with wheelchair lifts and service is available for any trip purpose.

Additional information, route maps and schedules are available online at www.9towntransit.com or by calling 9 Town Transit at 860-554-0551.

Essex Land Trust: Hike of the Month Schedule – Get to Know Essex Outdoors

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The Essex Land Trust is pleased to announce a new program to encourage enjoyment of our special outdoor open spaces. Hikes are planned for every month on the first Saturday, starting at 9am and lasting approximately 1 hour. Meet at each property’s entrance. Hikes will be canceled in the event of bad weather.

Explore Essex’s outdoor open space by visiting many of the special sites that have been preserved for the benefit of all. For directions please refer to the Essex Land Trust Trail Guide, or on line at www. essexlandtrust.org. This activity is being co-sponsored by the Essex Park and Recreation Department as part of their Essex Outdoors program, which encourages families and people of all ages to experience the natural beauty of our community.

Hikes will be led by Essex Land Trust volunteers and are scheduled as follows.

  • Jan 4 – Turtle Creek Preserve – Watrous Point Road, off Route 154
  • Feb 1 – Canfield Preserve – Park at the Book Hill Woods Road entrance
  • Mar 1 – Heron Pond Preserve – Heron Pond Road, off Route 154
  • Apr 5 – Tiley-Pratt Preserve – On unmarked Kreis Lane, off Laurel Road
  • May 3 – Viney Hill Brook Preserve – Parking lot at end of Cedar Grove Terrace
  • June 7 – The Millrace – Park at the Ivory Street entrance Part of CT Trails Day
  • July 5 – Osage Trails – Take Maple Avenue, off N. Main to Foxboro Road
  • Aug 2 – Windswept Ridge – On Windermere Way, off of Mare’s Hill Road,
  • Sept 6 – Falls River Preserve – End of Falls River Drive, off Main St., Ivoryton
  • Oct 4 – Bushy Hill Nature Preserve – Park on Bushy Hill Road entrance
  • Nov 1 – Fern Ledge – Next to Shoreline Clinic, off Route 153
  • Dec 6 – James Glen – End of Hudson Lane, off River Road

For more information email the Essex Land Trust: info@essexlandtrust.org

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Letters: Essex Grove Street Park Project Update

Dear Friends of Essex Park & Recreation,

First, we would like to wish everyone a very Happy and Healthy Holidays!

Also, please note our previous email on our terrific offering of youth after-school programs beginning in January. All EES students should have received our brochure through the school, here is a link to it as well: www.essexct.gov/sites/essexct/files/winter_13-14.pdf. Please do not delay in registering for these programs.

We would like to update you on our Civic Campus / Grove Street Park Improvement Project. The new playground is now open for use! It is wintertime, however on nice days like today it is sure to be used. The playground was finished on December 1 however our installer accidentally damaged a piece of equipment which had to be re-ordered and shipped, and a brand new one was installed just a few days ago. Work will continue in the spring as we will perform grounds remediation and repair, shift benches and picnic tables back into place, and we will install a new entrance pathway from the parking lot to the playground.

We hope everyone enjoys the new playground and we thank you for your patience during this process. The tennis courts will be finished in the spring as well as soon as conditions permit, I know our local tennis players are eager to use our new facility.

As always, we welcome you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have.

Sincerely,

Mary Ellen Barnes
Essex Park and Recreation

Town of Essex
Recreation Program Manager &
Social Services Representative

Literacy Volunteers-Valley Shore Trains Sixteen New Tutors

Sixteen area residents were intensively trained in fall workshops to tutor adults in Basic Reading and English as a Second Language. The seven-session workshop introduces individuals to the fundamentals of teaching basic reading as well as English to foreign individuals. This year’s fall graduates were Joanne Argersinger of Deep River, Emily Brown of Essex, Paul Chapman of Guilford, Bill Etter of Guilford, Wendy Gifford of Madison, Nicholas King of Old Lyme, Katy Klarnet of Old Lyme, Valerie Klein of Niantic, Lori Miller of Chester, Barbara Pilcher of Old Saybrook, Patricia Rivers of Essex, Andrew Rogers of Clinton, Jennifer Rugarber of Madison, Christine Stout of Old Lyme, Penny Tosatti of Westbrook, and Ellen Wagner of Branford.

As an accredited affiliate of ProLiteracy America, LVVS is in its third decade of helping people in Valley Shore towns learn to read, write, and speak better English to improve their lives. These services are free of charge to the student and completely confidential. For further information contact the Literacy Volunteers office by calling (860) 399-0280, email info@vsliteracy.org or visit our website at www.vsliteracy.org.

For more information about this release, contact;  Peter Mezzetti, Communications Chairperson,  Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore CT., Inc. (203) 506-8135 or by e-mail at pmezzetti@vsliteracy.org

River Valley Slimdown is Losing For Good

Deep River, CT - Donna Scott’s River Valley Slimdown returns to tackle New Year’s Resolutions for the body and spirit! While participants will compete to lose the most weight over 12 weeks, they will also be raising funds for charity. Those who take the challenge will be dropping the holiday pounds for the good of their health, and of their community.

The next River Valley Slimdown will begin on January 11, and will run for 12 weeks, ending on April 5.  Over the past six challenges, Donna Scott and her team at IFoundFitness in Deep River, CT, have helped over 120 participants shed over 860 pounds! They’ve also raised over $1,100 for multiple organizations, including Shoreline Soup Kitchens, and Tri-Town Youth Services, to name just a few.  The Winter 2014 River Valley Slimdown will donate 20% of the challenge jackpot to the charity decided upon by the participants.

The jackpot itself is even determined by those who take the weight loss plunge. Participants agree to pony up $65 to participate in the challenge, which includes a weekly weigh in. Any weight gain results in a penalty fee. All penalties, and the original registration fees go towards the final jackpot. That jackpot is then divided between the contest winners, and the charity of choice.

“People love that extra motivation!” says Donna. “While, of course, we tend to over-indulge during the holidays, it’s also a time to give back to others. My clients are amazing. Their dedication to their health is only matched by the dedication they have to helping these charities!”

The Fall 2013 River Valley Slimdown resulted in a jackpot of over $2300. Both the first and second place winners dropped over ten pounds each. For the upcoming challenge, Donna will again be working with Penny Smyth, CHHC, AADP Certified Health Coach, to provide nutritional and weight management seminars to the challenge-takers throughout the challenge.  RVSD will also be offering a Brand New On-Line Meal Planning Program where participants can choose from over 450 menu choices, including vegan and gluten free diets!!  Need one more reason to get involved? Sign up before January 1st to receive a free pass card to five fitness classes at IFoundFitness (new members only).

Registration is currently open for the Winter 2014 River Valley Slimdown. Email Donna at donna@ifoundfitness.com for complete rules and registration forms.

For more information on the River Valley Slimdown, please visit: www. ifoundfitness.com/rv-slim-down/

To contact Donna Scott of IFoundFitness:  (860) 961-4507

Letter: A Message from TTYS on Suicide Prevention

To the Editor:

“Be the 1 to start the conversation” is the tagline of three billboards scheduled by the Tri-Town Youth Services Suicide Prevention Workgroup for installation in the tri-town area during November and December. The billboards are intended to create awareness of local and statewide efforts to prevent suicide.

It’s a shocking thought that in 2011, 8.5 million people nationwide had seriously contemplated suicide and that in Connecticut someone dies by suicide on average every day of the year. A person considering suicide is in pain; they very often do not see any alternatives to suicide. They may engage in despondent and self-defeating thinking, increasing their sense of hopelessness. We, ordinary people, can learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of suicidal thinking and how to act—for example, when and how to use 2-1-1 for crisis intervention—to let a person in severe emotional pain know we care.

The conversation about suicide is also a conversation about mental health and well-being. The statistics surrounding mental health disorders are formidable as well. Every year in the United States, 1 out of every 5 adults over the age of 18—or 45.6 million people—will experience a mental illness. Lifetime rates are even higher. Across a lifespan, 1 out of 2 people will suffer with a mental health problem at some point. So it is extremely likely we’ll encounter someone in our families, workplaces, schools, churches, or communities, who lives with a diagnosed mental disorder. Studies show the vast majority of people experiencing mental illness can be treated effectively and live full, satisfying lives, contributing positively in all the places they live, work and play. Yet nearly 60% of people with disorders do not seek mental health treatment. Of those who do seek treatment, even they typically delay doing so for a decade. Stigma can be a determining factor in preventing people from receiving the help they need.

Stigma isolates, shames, embarrasses and literally threatens the well being of an individual.  Think of the words we commonly hear when people talk about a person with mental illness; none of them are attractive. While we would be hard pressed to hear someone referred to as “a cancer,” or “a broken leg,” we often do hear people referred to as “manic depressives” or “schizophrenics.” This kind of labeling is disrespectful and creates a daunting barrier to recovery. Because mental health problems impact one’s ability to work, carry out daily activities and engage in satisfying relationships, the longer a person waits to receive help the more their illness will have disrupted their lives. While the above statistics address the adult population, consider this: half of all mental health problems arise before age 14, and 75% before age 25, a period of time we now know is critical for brain development. How can we begin to eliminate stigma and increase the likelihood that people suffering from mental health concerns or in crisis will get the help they so urgently need?

Eliminating misconceptions about mental illness, engaging the media in reducing erroneous stereotypes, and providing tools for community members to support their acting positively, confidently and compassionately when mental health concerns do arise can go a long way to eliminating stigma. For example, despite the prevalent misconception that people with mental illness are violent, there is generally very little risk of violence or harm to a stranger from casual contact with an individual with a mental health disorder. In fact, a person with a mental illness is much more likely to be a victim than a perpetrator of violence. The media offers hope for eradicating stigma because of its power to educate and influence public opinion. And in Deep River, a course is being offered by Tri-Town Youth Services on January 7th and 14th entitled Mental Health First Aid which teaches members of the public how to respond in a mental health emergency and offer assistance to someone who appears to be in emotional distress.

Not every person in psychological distress is at risk of suicide or has a mental disorder, but the strains, stresses, and challenges of today’s society increase our vulnerability. With a 50 – 50 chance of developing a mental health concern in a lifetime, committing to connection vs. isolation and support vs. shame—whether we find ourselves in a position to give or to receive—increases all of our chances for individual and community well-being.

Sincerely,

Claire Walsh
14 Dickinson Court
Deep River, CT 06417

Claire M. Walsh has had extensive experience working with adults and adolescents as a Clinical Social Worker and Addictions Specialist. She is a member of the Tri-Town Youth Services Suicide Prevention Workgroup.

 

 

Trees In the Rigging Boat Parade Contest Winners Announced

Trees in the Rigging’s Lighted Boat Parade winners Chris and Casey Clark receive their award from Connecticut River Museum executive director, Chris Dobbs.

Trees in the Rigging’s Lighted Boat Parade winners Chris and Casey Clark receive their award from Connecticut River Museum executive director, Chris Dobbs.

Essex – On Tuesday, December 9, the Connecticut River Museum officially announced the winners of the annual Trees in the Rigging Lighted Boat Parade.  The event, held on December 1, featured festively-lit vessels passing in front of the museum’s historic 1878 Steamboat dock and warehouse.  Out of a field of 12 participants in the judged competition, Chis and Casey Clark of FOLLOWING C won first place, Bill Sullivan of PATIENCE took second place, and Andy and Beth Pye of MONOMOY were awarded third place.

Trees in the Rigging is a community event presented annually by the Connecticut River Museum, the Essex Historical Society, and the Essex Board of Trade.

Letter: Chester Library Expansion Clarification

To Editor:

As a Chester Library Trustee, I would like to clarify that the expansion “plan” mentioned in Mr. Stannard’s article is more of a concept. There are no specific architectural plans but conceptual drawings of an idea for a lower level. The Board of Trustees has scheduled a community conversation to present this concept to the people of Chester on Saturday, January 11 (snow date 1/25) at the Meeting House. Details to be announced soon.

Sincerely,

Deedee Prisloe
Chester Library Trustee

Literary Volunteers Valley Shore Needs Fundraising Committee Members

In the season of giving, why not give a gift of time in your community? While our attention and thoughts of volunteering are more dominant during the holidays, help is needed year round. LVVS are looking for friendly, outgoing people to populate their fundraising events committee. If you are a creative thinker and can commit some time to serve on a committee, they need you to help develop and facilitate the scheduling of fundraising events.

Meet new people, have fun, and be a part of a worthy organization. LVVS serves 11 CT Valley Shore towns through one-on-one tutoring programs in English as a Second Language(ESL) and Basic Reading(BR).  Fundraisers benefit these much needed programs.  Contact  info@vsliteracy.org or 860-399-0280.

Essex Resident Earns Honors at Sacred Heart Academy

Sacred Heart Academy Principal Sr. Maureen Flynn, ASCJ recently announced the Honor Roll for the FIRST marking period of the 2013 – 14 academic year.

The following student from ESSEX earned honors this quarter:  Sophie Park – HIGH HONORS

Honors are awarded at the end of each quarter to students attaining an average of 3.5 or better. Those students who achieve a Grade Point average of 3.8 or greater are awarded High Honors.

Sacred Heart Academy, an independent Catholic college preparatory school founded in 1946 by the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, successfully prepares young women in grades 9 –12 for learning, service and achievement in a global society. The Academy has an enrollment of 500 students hailing from New Haven, Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex and New London counties.

Essex Library Celebrates its Stellar Volunteers

Friends of the Essex Library President Wendy Madsen is presented with her Volunteer Of The Year Award by Library Director Richard Conroy, an honor she shared with Library Board Member Barbara Burgess, at the recent Volunteer Appreciation event held at the Essex Library.)  Photo by Fred Szufnarowski.

Friends of the Essex Library President Wendy Madsen is presented with her Volunteer Of The Year Award by Library Director Richard Conroy, an honor she shared with Library Board Member Barbara Burgess, at the recent Volunteer Appreciation event held at the Essex Library.) Photo by Fred Szufnarowski.

At the Essex Library Association’s recent Volunteer Appreciation party, Essex Library Director Richard Conroy presented Volunteer of The Year awards to two stellar volunteers, Friends of the Library President Wendy Madsen (pictured) and Library Board Member Barbara Burgess, whose efforts in fundraising and other areas of support exemplified the best qualities of effective volunteerism; energy, enthusiasm, and can-do attitudes. In his remarks at the presentation, Conroy talked about both of the winners’ tireless work on the “Our Library Rocks!” fundraiser, as well as Wendy Madsen’s efforts in getting the new storage shed put up behind the Library, from taking the project through the Town’s permit process to seeing it installed.  In his remarks, he noted, “Both of these women seemed to be everywhere, all the time, always cheerful and upbeat, and going above and beyond what our excellent volunteers ordinarily do.  Their love for the Library shines through all of their efforts, and the Essex Library Association could not function without the help of dedicated community members like these.”

Valley/Old Lyme Complete Undefeated Season, Defeat H-K 48-0

The teams warm up before the start of tonight’s game. Photo by T. Devlin.

Photo by T. Devlin.

The Valley Regional/Old Lyme football team advanced to an 11-0 undefeated record and ended a spectacular season as the top seeds in the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) Class M division with a 48-0 win over Haddam-Killingworth Tuesday.

The Pequot Football Conference South Division game at the H-K field saw Old Lyme senior Phil Cohen throw two touchdown passes for the Warriors.

View a video of the Warriors previous game against Gilbert-NorthWestern at this link.

Congratulations, Warriors!

Letters: Stuff-a-Cruiser Fundraiser – Thank You Essex!

To the Editor:

Thank You ESSEX!

Members of the Essex Community Fund recently had an opportunity to work with Russ Gingras and Todd Belcort of the Essex Police Department at the Stuff-a-Cruiser event for the Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries.  Our job was small, yet with a large impact. We asked Colonial Market shoppers if they would help stuff the cruiser by purchasing a few extra items with their regular groceries.  Nearly ever person approached said they would, and most came out with bags of food and were happy to do so.  A few people offered money instead which we accepted and our members purchased food on their behalf.  Essex people have always been extremely generous, which makes our job easier.  When thanked, one food donor said, “you know, I get to eat every day, but that is not true for everyone.”   At 7:00 pm, we went to the Congregational Church in Old Saybrook to drop off, weigh, and help organize the food along with the food bank coordinator and other volunteers.  The total amount of food collected was over1800 lbs.   Although there may be other places (and warmer ones) we could have spent a few hours that evening, but no other place would have been as gratifying or rewarding. Thank you all.  The next Stuff a Cruiser event will be December 13th from 3:30 to 7:00 at the Colonial Market. We hope to see you then.

Sincerely,

The Board of Directors
Essex Community Fund

 

Letters: TTYS Suicide Awareness Program

To the Editor:

“Be the 1 to start the conversation” is the tagline of three billboards scheduled by the Tri-Town Youth Services Suicide Prevention Workgroup for installation in the tri-town area during November and December. The billboards are intended to create awareness of local and statewide efforts to prevent suicide.

It’s a shocking thought that in 2011, 8.5 million people nationwide had seriously contemplated suicide and that in Connecticut someone dies by suicide on average every day of the year. A person considering suicide is in pain; they very often do not see any alternatives to suicide. They may engage in despondent and self-defeating thinking, increasing their sense of hopelessness. We, ordinary people, can learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of suicidal thinking and how to act—for example, when and how to use 2-1-1 for crisis intervention—to let a person in severe emotional pain know we care.

The conversation about suicide is also a conversation about mental health and well-beingThe statistics surrounding mental health disorders are formidable as well. Every year in the United States, 1 out of every 5 adults over the age of 18—or 45.6 million people—will experience a mental illness. Lifetime rates are even higher. Across a lifespan, 1 out of 2 people will suffer with a mental health problem at some point. So it is extremely likely we’ll encounter someone in our families, workplaces, schools, churches, or communities, who lives with a diagnosed mental disorder. Studies show the vast majority of people experiencing mental illness can be treated effectively and live full, satisfying lives, contributing positively in all the places they live, work and play. Yet nearly 60% of people with disorders do not seek mental health treatment. Of those who do seek treatment, even they typically delay doing so for a decade. Stigma can be a determining factor in preventing people from receiving the help they need.

Stigma isolates, shames, embarrasses and literally threatens the well being of an individual.  Think of the words we commonly hear when people talk about a person with mental illness; none of them are attractive. While we would be hard pressed to hear someone referred to as “a cancer,” or “a broken leg,” we often do hear people referred to as “manic depressives” or “schizophrenics.” This kind of labeling is disrespectful and creates a daunting barrier to recovery. Because mental health problems impact one’s ability to work, carry out daily activities and engage in satisfying relationships, the longer a person waits to receive help the more their illness will have disrupted their lives. While the above statistics address the adult population, consider this: half of all mental health problems arise before age 14, and 75% before age 25, a period of time we now know is critical for brain development. How can we begin to eliminate stigma and increase the likelihood that people suffering from mental health concerns or in crisis will get the help they so urgently need?

Eliminating misconceptions about mental illness, engaging the media in reducing erroneous stereotypes, and providing tools for community members to support their acting positively, confidently and compassionately when mental health concerns do arise can go a long way to eliminating stigma. For example, despite the prevalent misconception that people with mental illness are violent, there is generally very little risk of violence or harm to a stranger from casual contact with an individual with a mental health disorder. In fact, a person with a mental illness is much more likely to be a victim than a perpetrator of violence. The media offers hope for eradicating stigma because of its power to educate and influence public opinion. And in Deep River, a course is being offered by Tri-Town Youth Services on January 7th and 14th entitled Mental Health First Aid which teaches members of the public how to respond in a mental health emergency and offer assistance to someone who appears to be in emotional distress.

Not every person in psychological distress is at risk of suicide or has a mental disorder, but the strains, stresses, and challenges of today’s society increase our vulnerability. With a 50 – 50 chance of developing a mental health concern in a lifetime, committing to connection vs. isolation and support vs. shame—whether we find ourselves in a position to give or to receive—increases all of our chances for individual and community well-being.

 

Claire Walsh
14 Dickinson Court
Deep River, CT 06417

Claire M. Walsh has had extensive experience working with adults and adolescents as a Clinical Social Worker and Addictions Specialist. She is a member of the Tri-Town Youth Services Suicide Prevention Workgroup.

Rep. Phil Miller Earns 2013 CTLCV Legislative Champions Award

State Representative Phil Miller

State Representative Phil Miller

CT’s leading environmental watchdog organization releases 2013 Environmental Scorecard – awards State Representative Philip Miller (D – Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam) with the 2013 CTLCV Champions Award for his work on environmental issues in Connecticut.

The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters released their 2013 Environmental Scorecard for the Connecticut State Legislature. The 14th annual release of such scores was bolstered by the 20 or so environmental bills that passed through the Connecticut General Assembly this year, providing an expanded base for scoring.

According to the League, “by sharing how each member of the Legislature voted on 20 of the most critical conservation bills this year, CTLCV helps Connecticut voters better understand where their legislators stand when it comes to protecting the environment. The sheer number of bills that were voted on this year reflects how deeply environmental issues are ingrained in every aspect of Connecticut’s well-being, from public health and safety to the economy and growing jobs.”

“I’m honored to be so recognized,” stated Rep. Miller. “We have a great natural bounty in our Connecticut, air and water quality worth advocating for. We are improving our oversight to help assure a better future for all of us.”

“Rep. Phil Miller did painstaking, behind the scenes work to put to final rest one of the most environmentally controversial issues in recent years, the Haddam land swap,” says Susan Merrow, CTLCV Board of Directors. “He did it without fanfare… just with a principled devotion to what was right. Anyone who cares about public opens space should be very grateful.”

The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters works to pass pro-environment laws, elect pro-environment candidates, and hold all of our elected officials accountable. CTLCV Scorecards dating back to 2000 can be found online at www.ctlcv.org/scorecard.

CBSRZ Members Take Action on Local Wendy’s

CBSRZ members taking action for Fair Food at Guilford Wendy's

CBSRZ members taking action for Fair Food at Guilford Wendy’s

On Sunday, November 10, Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ) members and their children took action at Wendy’s, located in Guilford, to call on the restaurant chain to support human rights in its tomato supply chain by joining the internationally-recognized Fair Food Program (FFP). The FFP is a groundbreaking social responsibility program that ensures a humane workplace and increased pay for over 30,000 Florida farmworkers and has won the praise of human rights observers from the White House to the United Nations. ­­Coinciding with Wendy’s Founder’s Week – a week-long celebration of Wendy’s Founder Dave Thomas’s core values – the action is part of a series of protests in dozens of cities nationwide this week.

Rabbi Goldenberg, Ziv Goldenberg, Jeannette Ickovics and Melinda Alcosser deliver letters to manager of Wendy's in Guilford

Rabbi Goldenberg, Ziv Goldenberg, Jeannette Ickovics and Melinda Alcosser deliver letters to manager of Wendy’s in Guilford

On Saturday, CBSRZ Religious School parents and their children learned about the problem of abuse and even modern-day slavery conditions in the tomato industry. Then, on Sunday afternoon, eighteen CBSRZ members delivered dozens of letters to the manager of the Wendy’s in Guilford, urging Wendy’s to sign on to the Fair Food Program.

Of the five largest fast food corporations in the country — McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King, Taco Bell (Yum! Brands) and Wendy’s — Wendy’s is the only one not participating in the Fair Food Program. Wendy’s CEO Emil Brolick was the President of Taco Bell in 2005 when that chain became the first to sign a Fair Food Agreement. He announced that agreement by stating, “We are willing to play a leadership role within our industry to be part of the solution,” and added, “We hope others in the restaurant industry and supermarket retail trade will follow our leadership.”  Eight years later, despite those words, and now with 11 corporations and 90% of the Florida tomato industry on board, Wendy’s under Brolick’s leadership refuses to participate in the Program.

“As Wendy’s celebrates Founder’s Week and champions such values as ‘Treat People with Respect,’ ‘Give Something Back,’ and ‘Do The Right Thing,’” stated Gerardo Reyes of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, “We are calling on Wendy’s to use this week as an opportunity to turn the values it claims to support into a reality by ensuing that as farmworkers our basic human rights and dignity are respected.”

Guilford resident Holly Starkman, a participant in Sunday’s action, explained her participation saying, “I am united with my fellow congregants today to support human rights for farmworkers who are not currently receiving fair treatment.  The Fair Food Program enforces fair treatment through adequate wages and working – it’s the right thing to do.”

Rabbi Goldenberg commented on Wendy’s recent response to consumer demands that the company join the Fair Food Program saying, “Claiming your company is already working to respect farmworkers’ rights, while refusing to commit to the only proven, verifiable, and transparent solution, the Fair Food Program, misleads your customers and tarnishes Wendy’s brand. As 21st century consumers, we want to know the story behind our food and this means we expect and demand that the farmworkers who pick your tomatoes be treated with dignity and respect.”

Explaining the participation of a synagogue in this action, Rabbi Goldenberg continued, “As Jews we learn from our sacred teachings that all human beings are created in the Divine image and must be treated with dignity -  from the citizen, to the immigrant, to the destitute laborer. This is a moral issue, and we must not be silent.”

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Fair Food Program is an historic partnership among farmworkers, Florida tomato growers, and eleven leading food corporations. By committing to the FFP, participating corporations demand more humane labor standards from their Florida tomato suppliers and purchase exclusively from those who meet those higher standards, among them required time clocks, health and safety protections, and a zero tolerance policy for slavery and sexual assault. Participating corporations also pay a “penny-per-pound” premium which is passed down through the company’s supply chain and paid out to workers by their employers. The FFP was heralded in the Washington Post as “one of the great human rights success stories of our day” and in a White House report concerning global efforts to combat human trafficking as “one of the most successful and innovative programs” to that end.  Since 2011, buyers have paid over $11 million through the Fair Food Program.

 

Fundraising Events Committee Needed for LVVS

Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS) is looking for friendly, outgoing people to populate our fundraising committee. If you are a creative thinker and can commit to a minimum 1 yr service, we need you to develop and facilitate a schedule of events. LVVS serves 11 CT Valley Shore towns through one-on-one tutoring programs of English as a Second Language (ESL) and Basic Reading (BR).  Fundraisers benefit these much needed programs.  Contact us at vsliteracy.org or 860-399-0280.

 

Chester Rotary Gives Dictionaries to All Students

ROTARY DICTIONARIES (1)

Students in grade 3 at Chester Elementary School received their very own Webster Dictionary on October 16th. One of the Rotary Club’s goals is to promote literacy, and each year they fulfill that goal by donating a dictionary to each third grader at CES.

Rotary Club members met with the students during an assembly which concluded with a Vocabulary Quiz Show game. The assembly was held on October 16th, which is Noah Webster’s birthday.

Deep River Resident/Author Supports Local American Legion

Todd CurryTodd Curry has been a resident of Deep River for over twenty years and is a veteran of the US Army and a retired Madison Police Officer with 22 years of service. He recently wrote and published a book of short horror/thriller stories (“Revolting Tales“) which is widely available and a book signing tour is planned.

Concerned that the local American Legion branch had insufficient funds to purchase American flags to place at the grave sites of  fallen soldiers, Curry and his co-author decided to donate a portion of their profits to the Chester American Legion Local 97 in order to assist them with the purchase of flags.  The American Legion place flags by the graves of fallen soldiers twice a year, on Flag Day and Veterans Day.

Nature Conservancy Plans Deer Hunts at Selden Creek, Burnham Brook Preserves

The Nature Conservancy is coordinating deer hunts at its Selden Creek Preserve in Lyme and Burnham Brook Preserve in East Haddam during the firearms deer hunting season. The goal of the hunts is to reduce the negative impacts of forest overbrowse in these important habitats.

Hunting will begin Wednesday, Nov. 20 and last through Tuesday, Dec. 31; Burnham Brook Preserve will be closed to public access during that period.

The hunt at Selden Creek Preserve in Lyme will take place during the same timeframe; however, the preserve will not be closed because the hunting area is safely separated from the part of the preserve with public trails.

Safety for the hunters and neighbors of the preserves is a top priority for the Conservancy. Signs will be posted at Burnham Brook Preserve informing visitors the preserve is closed during the hunting season, and neighbors have been notified that hunting will take place. At both preserves, the hunters involved have been hunting together for many years and have hunted on the land before.

The Nature Conservancy maintains that managed hunting is an effective tool that can reduce deer populations and curb the damage they cause, allowing native natural communities, plants and trees to recover their full vigor and diversity. After several years of hunting, encouraging signs are appearing.

At Burnham Brook, overbrowsing impacts forest regeneration, wildflowers and the shrub layer. This not only affects the health of the forest but also the animals that depend on it. Birds that nest and feed on or near the ground have lost the groundcover necessary for protection from predators as well as sources of food.

The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide.

Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org/connecticut

Letter From Paris: Taxing Times in France

Paris_v2

In spite of lively street scenes in Paris, crowds strolling in the Tuileries gardens, restaurant terraces full of people enjoying a copious lunch and long lines at museums and movie theaters, the ongoing austerity measures imposed by the Socialist government contribute to a morose mood in France .

In the past two years, new taxes have multiplied. More people have to file income taxes, some retirees are struggling to survive on their pensions, the Taxe sur la Valeur Ajoutée (TVA – the equivalent of sales tax in the US) on restaurants — after being lowered — is going up again to reach 10% next January. Corporate taxes have also increased.

The population was encouraged to invest its savings into special accounts. Promises of a guaranteed interest of 3 percent on these savings accounts have gradually vanished. It is today below 1 percent.

The northwest region of Brittany is in in uproar following a new “eco-tax” imposed on truckers, fishermen and farmers.

A tax of 75 percent on annual incomes higher than one million will hit particularly the stars soccer players, who threatened to go on strike for one week-end in November. When one knows how fanatic the public here is about its soccer matches, one might expect violent scenes.

The TV series called “A Village Français,” now in its third season, continues to enjoy top ratings. It shows how the average French people behaved during the German occupation. It depicts the whole spectrum of the population, ranging from despicable collaborators to courageous “resistants” with — in between — the vast majority just trying to survive and protect their families. The show is done with honesty, avoiding black and white judgments. By 1943 the French became more daring , as their spirits were lifted by the London broadcasts.

This is a great idea: for a small fee, courses in the English language are offered to the passengers riding the Train à Grande Vitesse (TGV – high speed train) from Rheims to Paris – a facility to be extended to other railroad lines.

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

Transportation: Slow Orders for Metro-North

Jim CameronNo, it’s not your imagination.  Service is getting even worse on Metro-North. And there’s no sign of short-term improvements.

This has been a terrible year for Metro-North and its 120,000 daily riders in Connecticut:  the May derailment / collision, the death of a track worker and the September “meltdown” because of a failed Con Ed feeder.  But the repercussions of these problems still affect us, months later.

Trains are late on a daily basis, even after the railroad adjusted the timetable in August to reflect longer running times.  What used to be a 48 minute ride from Stamford to GCT is now scheduled for 55 to 60 minutes.  But in reality, with delays, it takes more than an hour most days.

Why?  Because of “slow orders”.

After the May derailments, Metro-North brought in some high-tech rail scanning equipment and checked out every inch of track in the system.  Of immediate concern were the below-grade tracks in the Bronx, long subject to flooding.

Concrete ties installed between 1990 and ’96 needed to be replaced due to deterioration.  Ties and fencing were also replaced in a job so large that, at times, three of the four tracks were taken out of service.

Admittedly, it’s hard to run the busiest commuter railroad in the US with 75% of your tracks out of service, but the work was necessary and commuters were asked to be patient.  At last report, the Bronx work was 80% completed.

So that means train schedules will soon return to “normal”?  Sorry, but no.

It turns out that the Bronx is just one of the causes of the current delays, something Metro-North didn’t tell us.

With new timetables coming out on November 17th, some train runs may be improved by a minute (yes, 60 seconds), at best. It seems that all those high-tech track inspections since May turned up many spots where work is needed.  And until that work can be completed, the trains running over those tracks are operating under system-wide “slow orders”, in effect cutting their speeds from 85 or 90 mph to an average of 60 mph.  Don’t believe me?  Fire up your smart phone’s GPS next ride and see for yourself.

The railroad still blames daily delays on the work in the Bronx and wet leaves, but the truth is far worse.  At recent NTSB hearings on the May derailment, Metro-North admitted they are far behind on track maintenance, inspections and repairs in Connecticut but couldn’t explain why.  Until the tracks are fixed, trains won’t be allowed to run at full speed.

One thing they did acknowledge to investigators is that they don’t have the experienced staff to do the needed welding and repair work, having lost so many veteran workers in recent months to retirement.

The slow orders make sense.  Safety should always come first.  But why can’t railroad executives be honest with us about why we are suffering with these delays, how long they will last and what they are doing to minimize the disruption to our daily commutes?  Remember:  winter is coming, adding another layer of misery and delays to our commutes.

Sadly, my mantra from five years ago has proven correct:  Things are going to get a lot worse on Metro-North before they get better.

 JIM CAMERON has been a Darien resident for 22 years.  He is a member of the CT Rail Commuter Council and the Darien RTM.  The opinions expressed in this column are only his own.  You can reach him at CTRailCommuterCouncil@gmail.com  or www.trainweb.org/ct

Suicide Can Be Prevented – TTYS Launches Awareness Initiatives

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Tri-Town Youth Services Suicide Prevention Workgroup, in conjunction with a Suicide Prevention Mini-Grant for Towns, is installing three billboards, one each in Chester, Deep River and Essex, to create awareness of local and statewide efforts to prevent suicide. The billboards utilize the  prize-winning “1 Word, 1 Voice, 1 Life” logo developed by the Connecticut Suicide Advisory Board  whose priority areas include raising awareness of suicide prevention, developing a Statewide Network linking statewide and grass-roots local  efforts, and promoting evidence-based practices for suicide prevention and response.

“Suicidal thinking, feeling and behavior are not rare,” says Gail Onofrio, Executive Director of Tri-Town Youth Services.  “Suicide is a common psychiatric emergency. In the U.S., one suicide is completed every 17 minutes, and in Connecticut, on average, someone dies by suicide every day of the year. But suicide can be prevented.”

While it is common for people to take a CPR course or learn the Heimlich Maneuver, especially those who regularly come in contact with the public, statistics show that we are “more likely to encounter a friend, family member, co-worker, neighbor or other community member in an emotional or mental health crisis than someone having a heart attack,” Onofrio continued. “The ‘1 Word, 1 Voice, 1 Life’ logo has a tag line: Be the 1 to start the conversation. It’s intended to encourage everyone to act if they see someone in distress; to start the conversation to get the distressed person the help that they need.” The billboard also promotes Connecticut’s 2-1-1 service which operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, where callers can reach knowledgeable, multilingual staff and get information, referrals or seek help in a crisis.

Two trainings intended to build the capacity of community members to reach out to someone having an emotional or mental health crisis will be co sponsored by Tri-Town Youth Services for anyone living or working in the tri-town area. Mental Health First Aid, an 8-hour certification course offered on January 7th and January 14th from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., trains participants to utilize a proven effective action plan to provide support to a person experiencing a mental health concern or crisis until professional help can be accessed. A QPR Gateway Training—consisting of three life-saving skills including how to question a person about suicide, persuade the person to get help and refer the person to the appropriate resource—will be offered at a brown bag lunch on January 16 from 12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m.

For more information about these trainings, or to register, contact Tri-Town Youth Services at 860-526-3600.

2013 Community Music School Champions Honored

(l-r) Rolf Peterson, CMS student; Karli Gilbertson, CMS Artist-in-Residence; Sue Sweeney, CMS Champion; Ginny Lewis, CMS student; John Newman, CMS student. Photo Credit Joan Levy Hepburn

(l-r) Rolf Peterson, CMS student; Karli Gilbertson, CMS Artist-in-Residence; Sue Sweeney, CMS Champion; Ginny Lewis, CMS student; John Newman, CMS student. Photo Credit Joan Levy Hepburn

Community Music School recently recognized longtime supporters at its 2013 CMS Champions Award Breakfast held at Water’s Edge Resort & Spa on October 30. Nearly 100 guests gathered to honor this year’s Champions, including: Pam and Gerard Ciccarello of Covenant Kitchens & Baths, Inc. in Westbrook; pianist and recital accompanist Susan Sweeney of Deep River; and proprietors of the Centerbrook Meetinghouse Herb Clark and Norman Needleman of Essex. Community Music School presents the Champions Awards annually to those who have supported the School and its mission over the past 30 years and who strive to improve our community through the arts.

(l-r) Herb Clark, CMS Champion; Robin Andreoli, CMS executive director; Tom Briggs, CMS music director. Photo Credit Joan Levy Hepburn.

(l-r) Herb Clark, CMS Champion; Robin Andreoli, CMS executive director; Tom Briggs, CMS music director. Photo Credit Joan Levy Hepburn.

The 2013 CMS Champions event was sponsored by Essex Financial Services, Essex Savings Bank, and Landscape Specialties. Since 1983, CMS has offered innovative music programming for infants through adults, creating a tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. The Music School offers financial assistance through a scholarship fund and provides arts education and music therapy outreach programs in the public schools and other community organizations.

LVVS Wine and Brew’s Fine Food and Festive Crowd Warmed Chilly Night

LVVS WineBrew '13-1

Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore held its Third Annual Wine & Brew Tasting and Silent Auction on Friday October 25th, 2013 at Essex Meadows, 30 Bokum Road, Essex, CT. The event was sponsored by Essex Meadows and Centerbrook Package Store as well as Bailey, Murphy & Scarano LLC and Aztec Technology People and drew a crowd of 60 who enjoyed scrumptious food, a wide variety of wines and micro brews and bid on a selection of over 45 auction items during the course of the evening. LVVS Executive Director, John Ferrara noted, “This event was, by far, the most fun and biggest success in our history.” He added, “Thanks so much to our wine vendors, David Reynolds of Essex Meadows and Bob Grillo of Centerbrook Package Store who made this night possible.”

As an accredited affiliate of ProLiteracy America, LVVS is in its third decade of helping people in Valley Shore towns learn to read, write, and speak better English to improve their work and life. These services are free of charge to the student and completely confidential. For further information contact the Literacy Volunteers office by calling (860) 399-0280, email info@vsliteracy.org or visit our website at www.vsliteracy.org.

 

Local Firm Wins Design Award for Biomass Heating Facility

Biomass Heating Facility at The Hotchkiss School, Lakeville CT

Biomass Heating Facility at The Hotchkiss School, Lakeville CT

ESSEX  -– A local firm has won several design awards for the Biomass Heating Facility at the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut, which recently earned the top design awards from both the American Institute of Architects (AIA) New England and from AIA Connecticut, as well as the Alexion Award of Excellence, the top “Green Architecture” award of the Connecticut Green Building Council.

The awards went to Centerbrook Architects, the Essex firm that designed the building.

The biomass plant heats the independent school’s campus, with its 600 residents and 85 buildings, by burning sustainably harvested woodchips. The 16,500-square-foot building is part of Hotchkiss’ commitment to becoming carbon-neutral by 2020. The locally sourced woodchips replace some 150,000 gallons of imported fuel oil per year and cut emissions overall, most dramatically sulfur dioxide by 90 percent.

According to the school, the cost benefit in switching from fuel oil to woodchips has been impressive; it expects to save nearly $900,000 for the current fiscal year.

Aesthetically, the building design meets seemingly contradictory goals: creating an iconic campus presence while blending into the natural setting. It is capped by a rolling, vegetated roof that changes color, chameleon like, with each season. The facility also is designed to do double duty as an ancillary classroom, with a mezzanine that affords a view of the plant in operation and that houses an exhibit about the biomass process.

Centerbrook Partner Jefferson B. Riley, FAIA, led a design team that included Project Manager Alan Paradis, Mark A. Herter, Peter Cornell and Erik Lübeck.

Centerbrook’s portfolio (www.centerbrook.com) includes academic, commercial, residential, religious, and civic projects. It has worked on 70 campuses nationwide, including Quinnipiac University, Yale University, and Southern Connecticut State University.

Grant Award to The Nature Conservancy to Help Fund Essex Fish Passage Project

The Nature Conservancy announced an $85,000 grant award from Long Island Sound Futures Fund that will support important fish passage and river connectivity work in Connecticut and on Long Island, including the Tiley-Pratt dam on the Falls River in Essex.

The award will support work at three priority dams. In Connecticut, the dams are the Coleytown dam on the Aspetuck River in Westport and the Tiley-Pratt dam on the Falls River in Essex. In New York, the dam is on Beaver Brook in Oyster Bay, Long Island.

A fish ladder will be constructed at each of the two Connecticut dams. Work could start as early as summer 2014. The dam in Oyster Bay will undergo a feasibility and design alternatives study to determine the best design for fish passage.

“This work will open up more than five miles of critical freshwater spawning habitat for alewife and blueback herring, two species whose populations are in a serious state of decline, and we are hopeful that additional future projects upstream of these dams will allow even more miles of stream to be opened to improve river health,” said Sally Harold, director of migratory fish projects for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut. “The Nature Conservancy is extremely grateful for support from the Long Island Sound Futures Fund and the many other partners who are making this work possible.”

This grant was among 23 awarded totaling almost $1.3 million that were announced today in Norwalk, Conn. Top federal and state environmental officials joined the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Long Island Sound Study to announce the grants, which were awarded to local government and community groups in Connecticut and New York under the Long Island Sound Futures Fund.

The grants are for projects that improve water quality, restore habitat, enhance living resources, and educate and involve the public with the ultimate goal of protecting and restoring the Long Island Sound.

This public-private grant program pools funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service and corporate partners.

The Conservancy’s grant requires a match of almost $60,000, which will be secured through donor support and in-kind contributions.

Letters: Supporting Doug Nagan for the Deep River Board of Finance

To the Editor:

I confidently recommend Doug Nagan for the Deep River Board of Finance.  Doug, a longtime resident of Deep River is an experienced businessman and understands finance and the need to balance budgets.  He is a past Treasurer of the Old Lyme Country Club.

The purpose of the Board of Finance, in Doug’s view, is not to micromanage the daily operations of Deep River, but rather to make sure the department’s budgets reflect the community’s objectives and resources.  Doug realizes every budget reflects a balancing of desires and resources and compromise is necessary as part of the process.  He only wishes that this view was held in Washington, D.C.

Doug’s commitment to responsible town government will help promote financial stability.  If you want thoughtful people serving in town government, join me in supporting Doug Nagan for the Deep River Board of Finance.

Sincerely,

Thomas W. Lindner
Deep River

5th Annual Vista Tour de Shore Reaches New Heights

Vista 2013

On Sunday, October 20, Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center held the 5th Annual Vista Tour de Shore cycling event. This year’s Vista Tour de Shore featured more than 270 riders on a beautiful fall day and raised significantly more funds than in previous years. Total funds raised exceeded $90,000. The event was sponsored by Essex Printing, Zane’s Cycles, Shore Publishing, Thomson Tours, Wells Fargo, Wilcox Energy, WebNow1, The Tolland Fund, Essex Savings Bank and Gowrie Group.

Starting and ending at the Westbrook Elks Lodge, The Vista Tour de Shore featured rides of 5, 25, 40 and 60 miles throughout the Connecticut shoreline communities. Big names in the world of cycling in attendance at this year’s event included Olympian Tim Duggan as well as USA Cycling’s CEO and President Steve Johnson and Director of Development Steve McCauley.

Net proceeds from the Vista Tour de Shore benefit the Endowment Fund of Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center, Inc.

Based in Westbrook and Madison, CT, Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center is a 501©3 nonprofit organization. Vista’s mission is to provide services and resources on an individualized basis to assist adults with disabilities to live independent and successful lives.

For more information regarding Vista, please visit www.vistavocational.org

Revitalizing Historic Main Streets and Village Centers – Essex Town Presentation

The Town of Essex invites you to a presentation & discussion by  Connecticut Main Street Center on Tuesday, October 29 at 7 p.m. at the Essex Elementary School Cafeteria.

The most successful downtowns and village centers encourage citizens to be engaged in helping to determine the future of their communities.  Over 2,000 communities throughout the United States utilize the Main Street Approach™ to create revitalization strategies – engaging citizens in creating and implementing their visions.

CT Main Street Center staff will present the history of the Main Street program and how it works in Connecticut, and will share common issues encountered by many CT Main Street Communities – as well as success stories from across the state.  A generous Q & A session will follow.  Together, we will learn how to take this proven approach and make it work in our historic Village Centers.

We encourage you to be part of this community conversation!

For more information, contact:

Susan Malan, Essex Economic Development Consultant – smalan@essexct.gov   860-767-4340 x 220

John Guszkowski, Essex Planning Consultant – planner@essexct.gov

Susan Westa, Community Engagement Director, CT Main Street Center – susan.westa@nu.com

Dock and Dine Closing, Reopening Next Year at New Elevation, Public Plank Signing

The famous view through the windows of the Dock & Dine restaurant.

The famous view through the windows of the Dock & Dine restaurant.

Dock & Dine Restaurant at Saybrook Point is celebrating their “last hurrah” at an elevation 4.5 ft. above sea-level. Now through Oct. 30, this family-owned restaurant is open every day at 11:30 a.m. until closing for demolition and construction of a new restaurant at a new elevation of 15 ft. above sea-level. During these final days, friends and fans are invited to help “dock-u-ment history,” by signing pieces of the old dock that will be proudly displayed in the new Dock & Dine, which has plans to reopen for the 2014 season.

“All of our restaurants are comprised of a family of employees, serving customers that feel like family,” explains Jon Kodama, CEO of JTK Management, owners of shoreline restaurants including Dock & Dine, Steak Loft, Ten Clams and Go Fish. “When considering how to celebrate our history, as well as our future, of course we wanted to include the guests who have stood by us through two hurricanes…and more!”

The public is invited to stop by and sign the historic wood planks, every day from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., beginning Monday Oct. 21 through Oct. 30. For more information visit http://www.dockdinect.com/ (more)

For those interested in taking home a piece of Dock & Dine history, an onsite auction will be taking place on Nov. 5. Hosted by Adams Auctioneers & Appraisers, this comprehensive auction will make way for new equipment and décor. A preview of items available will take place in the morning, with the live auction taking place mid day. For more information visit: http://adams-auctions.com/currentauctions.asp

Located at Saybrook Point on 145 College Street in Old Saybrook, Conn., Dock & Dine offers fine cuisine using the freshest local ingredients, paired with spectacular views of Long Island Sound. Taking its name from convenient, dock-side dining, Dock & Dine is one of four local restaurants operated by JTK Management including Go Fish: www.GoFishCT.com; Steak Loft: www.SteakLoftCT.com and Ten Clams: www.TenClamsCT.com, all in Mystic, CT.

Dock & Dine, which dates back to the 1940′s, was purchased by Jon Kodama in 1987 and operated year-in/year-out until back-to-back hurricanes Irene and Sandy caused repeat damages, evoking ordinances requiring that the remaining restaurant be demolished and the new structure built to current codes. Dock & Dine is managed by Mari Kodama, the daughter of Jon Kodama, CEO and Founder of JTK Management.

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Essex Elementary School Raises Funds for Sisters Cities Essex Haiti

From left to right: Jeny Sawar- SCEH Board Member, Majorie Russel; EES Social Development Committee and Event Organizer, Jenifer Grant; SCEH Vice President for Deschapelles Projects, Scott Jeffery; EES Principal, David Evangelisti; SCEH Treasurer, Denise D'Avella; SCEH Development Chair, Sue McCann; SCEH Secretary. (Photo by Essex Elementary School Faculty/Staff)

From left to right: Jeny Sawar- SCEH Board Member, Majorie Russel; EES Social Development Committee and Event Organizer, Jenifer Grant; SCEH Vice President for Deschapelles Projects, Scott Jeffery; EES Principal, David Evangelisti; SCEH Treasurer, Denise D’Avella; SCEH Development Chair, Sue McCann; SCEH Secretary. (Photo by Essex Elementary School Faculty/Staff)

The Essex Elementary School Social Development Committee presented a check on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 for $2,754.25 to Sister Cities Essex Haiti. Inc., a 501C3 Foundation. The funds were raised at the Essex Elementary School’s, “Friends and Family on the Green Community Event” held on June 14, 2013.

This family and community event was part of Essex Elementary School’s ongoing partnership and collaborative relationship with Sister Cities Essex Haiti (SCEH) to benefit the people of the town of Deschapelles.

Essex Elementary School began working to support SCEH in the 2011-2012 school year.  Over the past few years our students have grown in their knowledge and understanding of their “sister city” and have worked to connect with Deshapelles, Haiti through their kindness and support.  Efforts from the Essex Elementary School children have raised funds to help support the construction of a library for the students in Haiti who we have learned, while being from a very different culture, with different lifestyles and opportunities, are no different from our own students in terms of wanting to grow, learn and become their personal best.

Through our partnership with SCEH, the students at Essex Elementary School have embraced this and have taken responsibility to help their community friends in Deschapelles, A special thank you goes out to Majorie Russell, the Essex Elementary School Social Development Core Team, Denise D’Avella, Brenda Floyd and Sister Cities Essex Haiti for their efforts in organizing this wonderful event.

Essex Savings Bank Rated 5 Stars – Eighteen Consecutive Years

Essex -  Essex Savings Bank has once again earned the highest 5-Star rating for strength and stability from BauerFinancial, Inc. of Coral Gables, Florida, the nation’s leading independent bank rating and research firm.  Bauer Financial has been reporting on and analyzing the performance of U.S. banks since 1983.  No institution can pay BauerFinancial to rate it, nor can an institution choose to be excluded.  Essex Savings Bank has proven its commitment to superiority by earning this top rating for 71 consecutive quarters.  Fewer than 10% of the nation’s banks can claim this distinction.  In order to do so, the Bank has excelled in areas of capital adequacy, delinquent loan levels and profitability to name just a few.  Consistently earning BauerFinancial’s highest rating assures customers and the community that Essex Savings Bank is a strong financial institution that will be able to fulfill their banking needs for years to come.

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 and are not a deposit, have no Bank guarantee and are not insured by any Federal Government Agency.

Letters: ECSI – Thanks to Our Community and Supporters

To the Editor:

small logoThe Estuary Council of Seniors, Inc. (ECSI) is the sole provider of Meals On Wheels to homebound seniors in the nine Estuary towns of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Clinton, Killingworth, Chester, Deep River, and Essex, and the Town of Madison.  We also provide noon meals for active seniors in four café sites.  Just about every family on the Shoreline knows someone who is either receiving Meals On Wheels or enjoys meals at our café sites.

Like so many other nonprofits, ECSI has budget cuts and has to tighten its belt.  Although we get funding from Senior Resources Area Agency on Aging and donations from our clients, the funding does not cover the cost of providing the meals.  We could not provide our services without fund raising events.  Our latest Autumn on the Dock Wine Tasting and Auction was held on September 21 and was a success again this year.  I would like to thank all those generous people who attended the event and opened their wallets to support our seniors.  Len DiBella of Luigi’s was our honorary chairman and an eloquent spokesman for our senior nutrition program.

I urge you to support and thank our great sponsors as they donated $23,350 for our senior nutrition program.  They are Scranton Financial Group; Fred Cliffe; Middlesex Hospital; Lenny & Joe’s Fish Tale; First Niagara Foundation; Rachel Thomas Real Estate; the Essex Savings Bank; Tri State Maintenance; Reynolds’ Garage & Marine; the Safety Zone; the Clark Group; the Guilford Savings Bank; Claremont Sales Group; Gladeview Rehabilitation & Health Care; Kitchings & Potter, LLC, Home Instead Senior Care, Ceil Printing, and the Wine Cask.

If you know of a senior in need of our nutrition service, or if you would like to volunteer to drive for Meals On Wheels, please call Peg Barrett at 860-388-1611.

Thank you,

Paula C. Ferrara,
Executive Director

Estuary Council of Seniors Inc.

New Modern Art Venue, Gallery19 Opening in Essex

"Gray Red" monotype, 18"x18", by Judy Friday

“Gray Red” monotype, 18″x18″, by Judy Friday

A new modern art venue, gallery19, is opening its doors at 19A Main Street in Essex, Connecticut’s historic downtown shopping area. Founded by Old Lyme artists Judy Friday and Helen Cantrell, the gallery will feature their abstract and expressionist paintings and works on paper, and will eventually include other artists who share the gallery’s commitment to modernism.

Gallery19’s inaugural reception will be Sunday, October 13 from 3 to 5 p.m., with refreshments catered by nationally-known chef Amanda Cushman. On view will be Cantrell’s expressionist oils, evoking the shoreline’s salt marshes, as well as a new series of suburban houses glimpsed from commuter railway windows. “Art is about perception, not nature,” says the artist, quoting Roy Lichtenstein, “although nature inspires me, as does the work of other artists, especially abstract expressionists like Willem de Kooning and Richard Diebenkorn.” Also featured will be Judy Friday’s new abstract work, which bounces between geometry and chaos, including collages from comics, luminous grids and brushy explosions of color, the freer paintings inspired in part by the work of Joan Mitchell.

Judy Friday has shown extensively in New England and Ohio, where she graduated from Ohio State University in 1980. She has studied at the Lyme Art Academy and is well known in the shoreline arts community as a 20-year veteran of the Cooley Gallery in Old Lyme. “The Cooley Gallery has been vital to my exposure as an artist, and I am grateful for their generosity in showing my work,” Friday says, adding: “Now I am launching a new adventure, a new way to explore all avenues of modernist, contemporary art.” Helen Cantrell, a painter and printmaker who moved to Old Lyme in 2010, is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Diploma 2004). Cantrell says, “We are excited to join Art Essex, the Essex Art Association, the Orison Project, and other artists in this area—we think the time is right to develop modernist and contemporary art synergy.”

Gallery19 will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment. For more information call 860 581-8735, or email Helen Cantrell at info@gallery19essex.com.

"Bridge" oil on canvas, 30"x30", by Helen Cantrell

“Bridge” oil on canvas, 30″x30″, by Helen Cantrell

TTYS Suicide Prevention Work-group Developing Prevention Strategies

The Suicide Prevention Workgroup L-R: Claire Walsh, Megan McDowell, Kevin Brewer, Cate Bourke, Brad Pitman, Gail Onofrio, Rev. Timothy Haut, David Fitzgibbons, Chester First Selectman Ed Meehan.  Absent from photo: Melissa Haines

The Suicide Prevention Work-group L-R: Claire Walsh, Megan McDowell, Kevin Brewer, Cate Bourke, Brad Pitman, Gail Onofrio, Rev. Timothy Haut, David Fitzgibbons, Chester First Selectman Ed Meehan. Absent from photo: Melissa Haines

The members of the Suicide Prevention Work-group have recently received training in Suicide Prevention and are developing strategies to raise awareness throughout the communities of Chester, Deep River, and Essex that suicide can be prevented.

The group has received funding through the Greater Valley Substance Abuse Action Council and will promote the campaign, “1 Word, 1 Voice, 1 Life.  Be the 1 to start the conversation.”  For more information, please go to preventsuicidect.org.

Letters: Run for Chris Fundraiser Huge Success – Thank You

2013 logo

 

To the Editor:

The 2nd Annual 5K Run for Chris on 6-22-13 was a hugh success this year. Thank you to all who made this possible. The Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation at Middlesex County is a non-profit that integrates multicultural and foreign language programs into the schools of Lower Valley of Middlesex County.

Because of the kindness of The Town of Essex, Essex Park and Recreation, The Essex Police, The Resident State Trooper, and all of the people who donated and ran or walked this event we raised funds to support Chris’s dreams and visions. The high school students will benefit thru a grant from the fund to pay for transportation to visit Spain, France and Quebec this school year.

We would also like to thank all the sponsors especially “ From You Flowers “, our premier sponsor. Also instrumental in the success of the run were all the volunteers who donated their time. Special thanks to the race committee members: Cathy Bishop (race director), Julie Conner (for her logo design), George Chapin, Linda Talbott, Chloe Zanardi, and Sarah Delorso.

See you next year at the 3rd Annual 5K Run for Chris on Sat. June 21,2014. The run is now certified by the USATF.

Sincerely,

Robin Chapin

Health Care Reform – What You Need to Know Now!

Open enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act begins on Oct. 1. What do you need to know about the program and how will it affect you? Randi Redmond Oster, an independent health care advocate, reports that there is “not all good news, but it isn’t all bad either.”

On Tuesday, Oct. 22, Oster will be presenting two free programs, sponsored by the Valley Shore Public Libraries, to answer such questions as: What are the top ten changes I need to know about? How much will the new insurance cost? Will I qualify for the health insurance premium subsidies? What is the penalty if I don’t purchase insurance? Does my employer need to offer me insurance? Does my Medicare supplement change?

An afternoon program on Oct. 22 will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Acton Library in Old Saybrook. An evening program will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Chester Meeting House. The programs are open to all at no charge. More information is available through your public library.

Essex Savings Bank Wins New England Financial Marketing Award

Essex, CT — Gregory R. Shook, President & CEO of Essex Savings Bank, is pleased to announce that the Bank was awarded a Silver Level Award for creativity and accomplishment at the first ever New England Financial Marketing Association’s Awards Gala held at the Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center in Framingham Massachusetts.  In spring and early summer, NEFMA scoured New England for the best in bank and credit union marketing initiatives.  The judges were drawn from community banks and marketing companies in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.  Essex Savings Bank was selected as a winner in the Community Champions category for Overall Philanthropy for its Community Investment Program whereby the Bank annually commits 10% of its after-tax net income to local non-profit organizations.  Since its inception in 1996, the program has given back $3.7 million to the communities it serves.  Lynn Giroux, Senior Vice President/Chief Administrative Officer, proudly accepted the award on behalf of Essex Savings Bank.

 

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 and are not a deposit, have no Bank guarantee and are not insured by any Federal Government Agency.

Newman Named New Executive Director at Lyme Art Association

The Lyme Art Association’s (LAA) Board of Directors has announced the appointment of Joseph F. Newman as Executive Director of the LAA, effective Oct. 1. Newman will be replacing Susan Ballek, who has accepted the position of Director and CEO of the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT.

Currently, Newman owns a private firm specializing in American fine art and rare book collection management, and serves as managing partner of Treasure Hill Farm, eastern Connecticut’s 97-acre premier equestrian facility.

Newman was previously responsible for new client development and sales for a major American auction house, as well as a prominent New York City gallery. His fine art career originated in Old Lyme, where he served as director of the Cooley Gallery, responsible for development, sales, and research. Newman received his Bachelor of Arts degrees from Boston College, graduating magna cum laude, and he holds an ALM from Harvard University. Writing as J. F. Newman, he is also the author of The Freeman’s Oath, a novel about the inside world of American rare books and documents.

“For the past two years, Joe Newman has been actively engaged in the Lyme Art Association as a board member, serving on committees dealing with exhibitions planning, development, and the launching of our Second Century Capital Campaign,” says LAA Board President Katherine Simmons. “His enthusiasm and commitment for the mission and values of the LAA, combined with his strong background in the arts and results-oriented style, is a perfect match for the Association’s goals as we embark on our next century of advancing the Lyme tradition of exceptional representational art.”

“The legacy of the Lyme Art Association and its founding artists is extremely important, both for our region and its role in our national art history,” says Newman. “Together with an outstanding and dedicated Board of Directors, I am excited to help lead the LAA and its Second Century Capital Campaign. When complete, the Campaign will strengthen the Association’s standing as an art destination for patrons from throughout the Northeast and beyond, and will improve the LAA’s mission to serve as an educational resource for local artists, schools, and the public. I welcome the community to join us as we embark on an exciting second century.”

The LAA invites its members, friends, and patrons to meet Joe Newman at the Opening Reception of the New England Landscape Invitational Exhibition, to be held on Friday, Oct. 4, from 6 to 8. pm.

The Lyme Art Association was incorporated in 1914 by members of the Lyme Art Colony, which included the American Impressionist masters Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf, William Chadwick, and more. These nationally-recognized artists embraced the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme as pastoral havens to paint, re-kindle their creative energies, and, via the Association’s celebrated exhibitions, sell their work. Architect Charles A. Platt, designer of the Freer Art Gallery in Washington, D.C and the Lyman Allyn Museum in New London, CT, drafted the plans for the Lyme Art Association Gallery, designed specifically to showcase the art of its founders. The gallery opened in 1921.

Nearly a hundred years later, the Lyme Art Association continues to be a vibrant art center dedicated to producing major exhibitions of representational art in its four light-filled galleries. Annually these exhibitions feature over 2,000 pieces of artwork for exhibition and sale. The Association also offers a busy schedule of affordable art classes, workshops, and lectures. The Lyme Art Association, together with the Florence Griswold Museum, the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, and the Cooley Gallery, helps make Old Lyme the place where American art lives. The Lyme Art Association is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit the LAA online at www.lymeartassociation.org, or contact 860-434-7802 or info@lymeartassociation.org.