April 26, 2018

9 Town Transit Faces Bus Cuts, Fare Increases; First Public Hearing to be Held Tuesday in Deep River

AREAWIDE — 9 Town Transit (9TT) is preparing for a 15 percent reduction of state funding beginning July 1, 2018 with a proposal of service cuts and fare increases.  The agency says the reductions are due to the failure of revenue into the state’s Special Transportation Fund to keep up with expenses.

Under the proposal, bus fares would rise from $1.75 to $2 on bus routes and to $4 on Dial-A-Ride.  This would be the second fare increase in 18 months.

The agency is also proposing multiple service reductions.  They include:

  • Elimination of the senior fare subsidy, which would result in seniors paying a fare on all services for the first time in 37 years.
  • Reducing service on Rte. 2 Riverside, which provides service between Chester and Old Saybrook, by eight hours per weekday.
  • Elimination of all Saturday service.
  • Reducing service on Rte. 1 Shoreline Shuttle by three hours per day (7:30 a.m. trip leaving Old Saybrook, 9 a.m. leaving Madison).

9TT is holding the following hearings:

May 1, at 2 p.m. at Deep River Town Hall, 174 Main St, Deep River, CT;
May 2, at 9 a.m. at Clinton Town Hall Green Room, 54 E Main St, Clinton, CT;
May 3, at 5 p.m. at Mulvey Municipal Center (Multi-Media Room), 866 Boston Post Rd, Westbrook, CT regarding the proposed service changes.

Written statements concerning the proposal may be submitted either at the hearing, by email to info@estuarytransit.org or mail.

9 Town Transit is encouraging transit users and supporters to let their state representative and senator know how important 9 Town Transit, Shoreline East or other public transit services are to them.

More information about the possible service reductions and ways to help prevent the funding cuts can be found at www.9towntransit.com/fundtransit.

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CT River Museum Hosts ‘Tavern Night’ Tomorrow With Beer, Ale Tasting and Games Galore

The Connecticut River Museum’s War of 1812 Tavern Night features an evening of food, drink, music and games in the Museum’s historic Samuel Lay House. Photo: Connecticut River Museum.

ESSEX — Join the final Connecticut River Museum Tavern Night of the season on Friday, April 27!  This lively 19th century evening will take place at the museum’s historic Samuel Lay House overlooking scenic Essex harbor.  The house will be transformed into a candlelit riverside tavern from the War of 1812.

The evening includes a Beer and Ale tasting by Olde Burnside Brewing Company, drinking songs and ballads by Rick Spencer, Dawn Indermuehle & Chris Dobbs, tavern games, and early American cuisine provided by Catering by Selene.  Additional wine and beer will be available at the cash bar.

Catering by Selene is creating a sampling of appetizers/light dinner featuring early 19th-century food. These are based on chef Selene Sweck’s extensive research and collection of early American cookbooks and will comprise such foods as hearty corn chowder, chess pie, and other light bites.

As part of the evening, participants will have an opportunity to try their hand at historic games such as Skittles (played with a top that goes through a maze knocking down pins) and Captain’s Mistress, a game with a scandalous sounding name.

Tastings take place at 6 and 8 p.m.  Space is limited and reservations are required.  Call to reserve tickets at 860-767-8269 or visit ctrivermuseum.org.  Tickets are $24 for museum members or $29 for the general public (must be 21 or older and show valid ID).  Includes Beer and Ale tasting, light bites, and entertainment.  The evening is sponsored in part by Catering by Selene, Connecticut Rental Center and Bob’s Centerbrook Package Store.

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

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

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Community Music School Hosts 35th Anniversary Gala Tomorrow

Making plans for this year’s 35th anniversary CMS gala are, from left to right, CMS Music Director Tom Briggs, CMS Trustee and Gala Sponsor Bruce Lawrence of Bogaert Construction, CMS Trustee and Gala Sponsor Jennifer Bauman of The Bauman Family Foundation, and CMS Executive Director Abigail Nickell.

DEEP RIVER – Community Music School’s (CMS) largest annual fundraiser is the CMS Gala and this year the organization is  celebrating its 35th anniversary with For the Love of Music! The event takes place on Friday, April 27, at 6:30 p.m. in Deep River at The Lace Factory and includes fabulous musical entertainment provided by CMS faculty and students. Enjoy cocktail jazz and an exquisite dinner show, as well as gourmet food, dancing, silent auction, fine wines and more.

Featured faculty and student performers include Music Director Tom Briggs, Noelle Avena, John Birt, Amy Buckley, Luana Calisman-Yuri, Audrey Estelle, Joni Gage, Silvia Gopalakrishnan, Martha Herrle, Ling-Fei Kang, Barbara Malinsky, Matt McCauley, Kevin O’Neil, Andy Sherwood, and Marty Wirt.

Support of the Community Music School gala provides the resources necessary to offer scholarships to students with financial need, as well as weekly music education and music therapy services for students with special needs.

For The Love of Music! sponsors include The Bauman Family Foundation, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Bogaert Construction, Clark Group, Essex Savings Bank, Essex Financial Services, Grossman Chevrolet Nissan, Guilford Savings Bank, Jackson Lewis, Kitchings & Potter, Maple Lane Farms, Reynold’s Subaru, Ring’s End, Shore Publishing, Thomas Alexa Wealth Management, Tidal Counseling LLC, and Tower Labs LTD.

Early bird tickets for the evening are $125 per person ($65 is tax deductible) by April 13 and $135 thereafter. Event tickets include hors d’oeuvres, gourmet food stations, wine and beer, live music, and dancing. Tickets may be purchased online at community-music-school.org/gala, at the school located at 90 Main Street in the Centerbrook section of Essex or by calling 860-767-0026.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 35 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. The CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.  To learn more, visit www.community-music-school.org or call (860)-767-0026.

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“Speaking Light’ on View at Melanie Carr Gallery; Opening Reception, Saturday

ESSEX — Melanie Carr Gallery hosts a new exhibit, ‘Speaking Light,’ featuring the work of Hartford-based interdisciplinary Joe Bun Keo, on view at 1 North Main Street (across from the Essex Art Association) from April 20 through May 8. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, April 28, 2 – 4 P.

While incorporating everyday items and popular commercial products, Bun Keo’s sculptural, installation and conceptual works utilizes semantics to bring forth issues of cultural identity and the evolution of language.

He’s also interested in the relationship between art and work, specifically the correlation between global supply chain management and the art world. ‘Speaking Light’  explores the mysteries of autism and light – in the Artist’s words:

‘Speaking Light’

Autism is a spectrum.
Light is a spectrum.
We are all on that spectrum.
Cinema marquees light up the night with the newest films to enjoy.
The challenges of autism play themselves out in an action-packed feature.
You have your Oscar-winning moments of progress and then you have your empty seat moments of helplessness and frustration.
Light is a revelation, it is a beacon, it is a sign.
These light boxes feature terms, phrases, and soundbites I’m hearing, reading and learning about as a parent to an autistic child.
Let these be educational, but also let them be comforting and reassuring for those living life on the spectrum.

Artist Bio:   Joe Bun Keo

Joe Bun Keo received his BFA from the Hartford Art School. He was a candidate for The Mountain School of Arts (2012; Los Angeles, CA), nominated for the Wellesley College Alice C. Cole ’42 Fellowship (2013-2014; Wellesley, MA) and is currently pursuing his MFA. Bun Keo has participated in/ assisted with projects in Germany, United Kingdom, France, and has exhibited all over the United States.

Bun Keo is an active member of the creative community in Connecticut. He was selected for SLIDE SLAM at Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT (2010). He’s exhibited in pop-up galleries with David Borawski’s ATOMspace NOW ON (2012) and CT ArtList (2013). He has been featured in group exhibitions such as A Crew In Interest (Accruing Interest) at The Mill at Trinity College (Hartford, CT) and Hartford DADA at Pump House Gallery at Bushnell Park (Hartford, CT).

He had his most recent solo exhibition Head to Toe, at ArtWalk at Hartford Public Library, Hartford, CT (2015), group exhibitions, Distracted Driving, at Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT (2016) , Scars and Stripes, at Spaceworks Gallery, Tacoma, WA (2017),  Cool + Collected, at Melanie Carr Gallery, Essex Village, CT

He is a contributor to CT ArtList, a growing online arts resource for the State of Connecticut. Joe has also worked alongside Sharon L. Butler as a contributor for her award-winning blog, Two Coats of Paint. Bun Keo lives and works in Hartford, CT.

Melanie Carr Gallery is hybrid artist-run project space dedicated to the practice, exhibition, and sale of contemporary art and design. Carr’s studio occupies the back of the gallery and the goal of MCG is to promote the importance of contemporary art and examine its impact on society while providing its artists greater exposure to new audiences.

Melanie Carr, Owner and Director, is a Connecticut-based artist who received her MFA from the College of Art and Design at Lesley University in 2011. Carr began her studies in visual art after serving in the United States Navy as an Operations Specialist onboard the USS Willamette (AO-180) in Pearl Harbor, HI. Carr spent over 10 years at the New Britain Museum of American Art, her most recent role as Curator of New Media. She is now Adjunct Professor at Central Connecticut State University, where she teaches drawing, and joined the staff at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, University of New Haven.

For more information, email melaniecarrgallery@gmail.com or call 860.830.6949

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‘Green Up’ Old Saybrook, Saturday

Butterflies and flowers should be littering the landscape, not plastic and other trash. Join the Fifth Annual ‘Green Up’ Day effort in Old Saybrook on April 28. Photo by Ann Gamble.

Join the fifth annual town wide Old Saybrook ‘Green Up’ Day, Saturday, April 28, beginning at 8 a.m. This is a great opportunity to get out and see friends and neighbors, help “green up” the town for the season, and remove the litterbugs’ trash that’s been hiding under all the snow.

For added social networking, start your trash journey with the ‘Green Up’ send-off celebration, at 8 a.m. on the Green and disperse from there to clean up roadside litter. Whether starting from the Green, or working in your own neighborhood, participants may pick up free garbage bags at designated drop-off locations: the Town Hall parking lot near the Green, Clark Memorial Park (Town Park) or the Town Beach Parking Lot.

Full garbage bags may be brought back to these locations as well for disposal.

There are many community activities taking place April 28, why not bring along a bag or two and look for trash on your way to baseball or the fishing derby? Every can, bottle, bag and fast food container picked up is one less item that will end up in Long Island Sound.

For more information about how and where you can help “green up” the town visit the Green Up Facebook page, the Old Saybrook Green Up website, or email bcasertano@comcast.net.

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See the Wonderful, World Premiere of ‘Love Quest’ at Ivoryton

Photo by Emily Ash
In this rehearsal photo from Love Quest, Katherine Crawford (played by Linda Purl*) checks computer dating activity with her daughter (played by Susan Slotoroff).

IVORYTON – A renowned scientist once theorized that finding “intelligent life” on other planets in the universe would be like shooting a particular blackbird in a room full of blackbirds, with the lights out. Ironically, the same probability applies for finding a “normal man (or woman)” on an online dating service.

Love Quest – a new comedy opening at the Ivoryton Playhouse on April 25 – explores the journeys of two women in the perilous world of online dating.

Kate Crawford, 60, was married for 30-years and divorced for three. Her husband left her for a younger woman and she is dealing with issues of abandonment, old age and the new world order of internet dating. It is a position in which she never thought she would find herself. Her concerned daughter, Megan, posts Kate’s profile on the Love Quest dating site and Kate is thrust into unknown territory.

The “gentleman caller” is a thing of the past. Now a relationship is decided in a millisecond with the “swipe” of a finger across your smart phone. And speed dating gives Kate 60 seconds to present herself, 30 seconds too long for many of the younger men who sit across from here.

Brook Davis, 35, single, has climbed the corporate ladder in the fashion industry with a driven, single minded focus. Her ambition left her little time for socializing which is just fine with her. Raised in foster homes she has learned to only trust herself. A relationship would only get in her way.

However, executives in her firm want her to raise her celebrity profile by being seen and photographed at the right places with eye candy dates. Her assistant, Bové, reluctantly signs her up on Love Quest. Brook is far more cynical than Kate and is more amused than shocked by what she encounters in the world of high speed dating.

Kate and Brook meet after a bad date goes awry and become friends and allies in this strange new dating world. This is their story.

Jacqui Hubbard – Playhouse Artistic Director – is taking the helm of this new production. “It has been part of the mission of the Ivoryton Playhouse for the last five years to try to include one new play in our season. I saw a reading of Love Quest in the city last year and was immediately impressed by the humor and the heart and most especially, audience response. This is a funny, poignant and very timely story that I know many in my audience will relate to.”

Love Quest stars Linda Purl* as Katherine Crawford. Many will remember Linda for her roles at Charlene Matlock in Matlock and Ashley Pfister, Fonzie’s girlfriend in Happy Days but her career has included many movie and TV appearances. She can currently be seen in The Oath (recurring), and in recent episodes of Homeland, True Blood, The Office, and  Designated Survivor.

Sharing the stage with Linda are Playhouse favorites Josh Powell* (My Way) and Mike Mihm* (Biloxi Blues), Jes Bedwinek, Joe Candelora* and Susan Slotoroff will be making their Playhouse debut.

Love Quest opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on April 25 and runs through May 13, 2018.  Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $50 for adults; $45 for seniors; $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

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Saybrook Point Commemorates Earth Day With Clothing Drive This Weekend, Ends Monday

Old Saybrook Inn aims to reduce textile waste and give new life to gently used clothing

OLD SAYBROOK – Saybrook Point is honoring Earth Day 2018 with a clothing drive at the property Friday, April 20 through Monday, April 23.  This effort aims to reduce textile waste and give new life to gently used clothing, as well as keep goods out of landfills and reduce waste from manufacturing, trucking, and packaging new goods.

Saybrook Point will have donation boxes set up in the hotel lobby throughout the weekend for Old Saybrook residents, neighbors and guests to participate. Accepted items include clothing, shoes, belts, purses, tablecloths and similar items in good condition, and all items will be donated to the local Goodwill, a non-profit organization that serves people with disabilities, economic disadvantages and other challenges to employment.

According to Planet Aid, a non-profit organization working to bring about worldwide environmental and social progress, Americans throw away 85 percent of the clothes in their closet that they don’t want, but almost everything can be repurposed in some way. Perhaps the most important impact has to do with stopping the acceleration of climate change. 

The greenhouse effect, as it is sometimes called, is associated with increasing amounts of CO2 released into the atmosphere. When solid waste such as textiles are buried in landfills they release greenhouse gases as they decompose, including methane, a particularly destructive substance. Similarly, at the other end of the clothing life-cycle spectrum, the production of textile fibers and the manufacture of cloth burns considerable quantities of fuel that releases CO2 into the atmosphere. Approximately 3-4 pounds of CO2 are saved for every pound of clothing that is spared from disposal. 

Green Initiatives and Sustainable Tourism at Saybrook Point

Saybrook Point operates under eco-friendly practices, all year-round. The property uses solar energy to help reduce energy consumption, as well as a natural gas co-generation plant which provides 45 percent of electricity and 80 percent of the Point’s heat. The Marina at Saybrook Point, was named Connecticut’s first ever Clean Marina in 2003, and has maintained this status ever since.  Fresh Salt, the restaurant at Saybrook Point, participates in a Farm-to-Chef program, using local farms and vendors for food sources, as well as their very own on-site vegetable and herb gardens.

About Saybrook Point Inn: The Inn is located along the scenic shores of historic Old Saybrook, Connecticut where the Connecticut River meets Long Island Sound. The Main Inn includes a collection of 82 classically-appointed guestrooms, many featuring water views and private balconies.

The Main Inn also hosts SANNO, a relaxing and restorative full-service spa, Fresh Salt, a casual fine-dining experience, and elegant ballroom and a variety of intimate gathering spaces, which can be used for private parties, meetings and receptions, and The Health Club, which is a state-of-the-art fitness center.

Saybrook Point Inn also features two luxury guesthouses, the historic Three Stories and Tall Tales both offering guestrooms that convey the story of famous Old Saybrook residents. The pristine Saybrook Point Marina, is a landmark boating destination conveniently located at the mouth of the Connecticut River, serving as a focal point for the Inn and home to the outdoor Marina Bar.

More information is available at www.saybrook.com.

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Cappella Cantorum to Perform Haydn’s ‘Creation’ Today with Pittsinger, Cheney, Callinan as Soloists

Tenor Brian Cheney

Bass David Pittsinger

DEEP RIVER — Celebrate Earth Day and the creation of this beautiful planet by attending Cappella Cantorum Masterworks Chorus’ performance of Franz Joseph Haydn’s “Creation” on Sunday, April 22, 3 p.m. at John Winthrop Middle School, 1 Winthrop Rd., Deep River.

Simon Holt will lead the chorus, professional soloists and orchestra. Soloists will be internationally known Bass David Pittsinger, Tenor Brian Cheney and Soprano Sarah Callinan.

Haydn’s oratorio depicts the creation of the world from darkness and chaos to the creation of light, order and harmony. It is considered one of Haydn’s finest works.

Tickets are $25 purchased in advance, $30 at the door. For more information or tickets, visit www.CappellaCantorum.org or call 860-526-1038.

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Centerbrook Architects Hosts SCEH Presentation This Afternoon on Cross-cultural Activities in Haiti

Students from Valley Regional HS teach robotics to Haitian students in the Deschapelles Community Library.

ESSEX — Sister Cities Essex Haiti invites the community to join them Sunday, April 22, at 4:30 p.m. at Centerbrook Architects, 67 Main Street, Centerbrook. Parking on site and across the street at Spencer’s Corner for two Cross-Cultural presentations of activities in Deschapelles, Haiti

The first presentation will be a talk titled, Teaching Robotics in Haiti, which will be in the form of a power point presentation with Valley Regional High School seniors Patrick Myslik, Sam Paulson, and Nicholas Otte about their one-week workshop in Deschapelles teaching programming to the Robotics Club of the Deschapelles Community Library.

The second will be a short film titled, Education in Haiti, by Olivia Henrickson and Gabe Vasquez, freshmen at Amherst College and Yale University. There will be a short Q and A with the students at the end.

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Thatchbed Island Ospreys Return

Webcam image of the nesting ospreys at Thatchbed Island.

ESSEX — The Essex Land Trust’s Thatchbed Island property is once again hosting returning Ospreys. Having wintered in the warmer climates of Central and South America, the arrival of Ospreys towards the end of March is the clearest indication that Spring is on its way.

The Essex Land Trust’s OspreyCam has not been operational for the past two seasons due to battery and camera problems. With these problems now resolved, the Trust took advantage of the opportunity to upgrade the camera to digital quality. This Thatchbed Platform has been hosting a nesting pair since 2003 and has successfully reared numerous fledglings.

I see you! A osprey looks up at the camera from his — or is it her –nest?

Ospreys continue to make a remarkable comeback after having practically disappeared from our coastal region in the 1970s and 1980s. In 2017, the Connecticut Audubon Society’s Osprey Nation Citizen Science Program monitored 540 nest sites throughout the state. Of these sites, there were 394 active nests and 607 total fledglings observed in the state. 

Ospreys are now occupying new nesting sites that are further inland than their historical range along the Connecticut coast.

The Middlesex County Community Foundation/Riverview Cemetery generously funded the initial installation of the Essex Land Trust OspreyCam. The live streaming of the Essex Land Trust OspreyCam is made possible by the generous support of Essex Savings Bank

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Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center Hosts Spring Lecture Series; Next Lecture at Essex Meadows, May 3

ESSEX — The Connecticut Audubon Society’s Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center is hosting a three-part Spring Lecture Series from April 19 through May 17.

The second lecture in the series will be held Thursday, May 3, at 5 p.m. at Essex Meadows and is titled The Remarkable Edward Lear.

Edward Lear (1812-1888) is best known and much loved for “The Owl and the Pussycat.” But he was also a fine painter of birds, mammals, reptiles, and landscapes, and an adventurous, world-wide traveler.

Lear’s paintings of parrots, macaws, toucans, owls, and other birds are among the finest ever published. Often compared to his friend and contemporary, John James Audubon, the two men are considered among the greatest natural history painters of the age. Using slides of Lear’s extraordinary work, Robert Peck will describe his career in natural history. He will show how he compares to and differs from Audubon, and discuss his lasting influence today. RSVP here

The third and final lecture in the series will be held Thursday, May 17, at 5 p.m. at Lyme Art Association and is titled Creation of a Genius: Roger Tory Peterson.

Roger Tory Peterson made his home and, as an adult, found inspiration for his monumental work on the banks of the Connecticut River Estuary. But the seeds of his passion for art and conservation were sown in his youth. Twan Leenders, President of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, N.Y., will focus on Peterson’s early years, his youthful explorations, and how the hidden treasures of his hometown, were to become a passion and eventually lead to inspiring amateur and professional naturalists through generations and throughout the world.  RSVP here.

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It’s May Market Time in Essex, May 12

Flowers for the asking at the Essex May Market.

ESSEX — The long-awaited May Market is almost here.   Set your Calendars, i-Phone and Smart Phones to Saturday, May 12, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine, in the town park, located on Main Street in Essex Village.

Just in time for Mother’s Day there will be herbs and herbal gift creations as well as the Garden Club’s famous garlic salt, made from a closely guarded secret recipe since 1953. This garlic salt is made by the Essex Garden Club and its “world Famous”

Always the star of Essex May Market is the ever-popular Members Plants.  People have been coming to Essex on May Market day for years from all over New England to take advantage of the healthy plants dug and nurtured by the Garden Club members.  These plants include perennials, ground covers , grasses and shrubs dug and potted from the garden club members. 

Members’ plants of all kind will be for sale at the Essex May Market

An early sell-out in the Members’ Plants area each year are the many varieties of tomato plants grown from seed and cultivated carefully.  There will be 300 tomato plants, including many heirloom varieties guaranteed to grow in our climate. There will also be a colorful assortment of annuals and hanging baskets for sale. 

Knowledgeable Garden Club members will be available to help with any questions on caring for the plants.  Back by popular demand this year is the all-natural compost available for sale.

The “Treasures” section is a great place to find gently used pieces of jewelry, garden pieces, planters, books. Children’s items, gardening tools and a mix of odds and ends. There will be lots of interesting finds for all ages.

The Silent Auction will have an incredible array of goods and services donated from many generous merchants. Gift for Mother’s Day. 

Last year the fresh flowers were such in demand, we are going to have them again! In addition, we have also added a few new things … garden gifts, things that every gardener would love to have, or children could purchase as a Mother’s Day gift.

The May Market Café offers donuts and coffee starting in the morning and light lunch fare at midday.

Don’t forget to look for the Artist in the Park who will be painting scenes of May Market.

May Market is the Garden Club’s only annual fundraising event.  Proceeds support civic improvement projects, such as beautifying town parks and traffic islands in Essex, Centerbrook and Ivoryton.  Funds also provide scholarships for high school seniors and college students, summer camperships for young students, and educational programs for Essex Elementary school and John Winthrop Middle school.  Funds also support adult and children’s  programs in both Essex and Ivoryton Libraries.

May Market is truly a gardeners dream.  Come early, rain or shine,  and for sure you will find something beautiful for your garden or a special gift to take home.

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Con Brio Choral Society Presents “Mass for Troubled Times” Tomorrow in Old Lyme

Soprano Louise Fauteux

AREAWIDE — In times of angst and uncertainty, nothing helps heal the soul like the experience of glorious uplifting choral music performed live.

So for those in search of a respite from the world of today and a healing moment, come hear Franz Joseph Haydn’s response to the trials of his era, the Lord Nelson Mass also called a Mass for Troubled Times, performed by the 70 voices of the Con Brio Choral Society.

Haydn’s chief biographer, H.C. Robbins Landon, has written that this mass “is arguably Haydn’s greatest single composition.”

The mass calls for four soloists and this concert features four of the best. Con Brio welcomes for the first time soprano Louise Fauteux, and returning favorites of Con Brio audiences, Clea Huston, Contralto; Terrence Fay, Tenor; and Christopher Grundy, Baritone – performing with the Con Brio Festival Orchestra under the baton of Dr. Stephen Bruce.

The concert is on Sunday, April 15, at 4 p.m., at Christ the King Church, 1 McCurdy Lane, Old Lyme, CT.

Soprano Louise Fauteux has performed in a solo role in Peer Gynt with the New York Philharmonic and actor John de Lancie, on a tour in Venice with DeCapo Opera and with the Fairfield County Chorale. The Hartford Courant described her performance in Un Ballo in Maschera with Connecticut Concert Opera as a “pert, boyish Oscar” with “clarion tone in her two showpiece arias and a soaring top in the great Act I ensemble.”

Contralto Clea Huston

Contralto Clea Huston has a unique and powerful voice, “with formidable virtuosity over a wide range” (The Boston Globe) and “her mezzo-soprano voice is nothing less than spectacular in its power, agility and beauty” (San Francisco Classical Voice). Ms. Huston enjoys both the concert and operatic stage where she has performed across the country and internationally. Highlights of her solo symphonic engagements include a Wagner program with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and Verdi’s Requiem with the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra; a few of her many opera roles include the title role in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Jo in Little Women and La Principessa in Suor Angelica.

Lauded as a “musical polymath” by the New London Day, Tenor Terrence Fay is enjoying a burgeoning career as a tenor soloist and an active choral artist while also serving as principal trombonist of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, Opera Theater of Connecticut, and assistant principal trombonist of the New Haven Symphony. As tenor soloist, he has performed with the Eastern Connecticut and New Haven Symphony Orchestras, the Greater Middletown Chorale and Con Brio.

Tenor Christopher Grundy

Baritone Christopher Grundy has performed as a soloist throughout North America and Europe in opera, oratorio and recital. In the title role of Don Giovanni a reviewer said he “made an impact in the part, vocally and dramatically.” As the baritone soloist in Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, he “brought eloquence and musicality to the performance.” Connecticut soloist appearances include with the Stamford Chorale, Fairfield County Chorale, Connecticut Lyric Opera, Orchestra New England and Con Brio.

The concert’s second-half will open with C. Hubert H. Parry’s grand anthem I Was Glad, written for the coronation of Edward VII in 1902 and performed at coronations and royal weddings ever since. The next two pieces honor the host countries for Con Brio’s upcoming European tour: a Slovenian piece, Handl’s Ascendit Deus, long a standard in Renaissance choral literature, and a fun Croatian nonsense song, Terezinka.

As in every Con Brio concert, two eight-part pieces for double choir, Regina Coeli Laetare by Victoria and Dona Nobis Pacem by Rheinberger, will be performed in the round, with singers arrayed all around the Sanctuary of Christ the King church.

Rounding out the program will be Unclouded Day arranged by Shawn Kirchner, Mack Wilberg’s arrangement of Homeward Bound, Somewhere from Bernstein’s West Side Story, and two American pieces, one performed by the Ladies of Con Brio – Rosephanye Powell’s Still I Rise, and by the Gentlemen of Con Brio, Coney Island Baby/We All Fall.

For the rousing ending to the program, the Con Brio chorus, the four soloists and the Con Brio Festival Orchestra will perform the twelve-part Grand Finale from Act III of Verdi’s opera Falstaff.

Tickets for the performance are $30 each, $15 for students. Purchase them in advance online at www.conbrio.org or call 860-526-5399.

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‘The Lonely Heartstring Band’ Brings Bluegrass to ‘Music & More’ at CBSRZ, Tomorrow

The Lonely Heartstring Band will perform at CBSRZ, April 15.

CHESTER — Music & More at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ) brings nationally known masterful bluegrass band The Lonely Heartstring Band to the stage on Sunday, April 15, at 4 p.m. Nourished by deep roots in the expansive canon of traditional American music, The Lonely Heartstring Band embodies the modern American condition—an understanding and reverence for the past that informs a push into the future.

This multi-talented group of musicians is a classic Bluegrass quintet—always far greater than the sum of its parts. Combining soulful instrumental virtuosity with soaring three-part harmonies, their growing repertoire of original songs and compositions showcases not only their considerable talents, but a dedication to meaningful roots-conscious music.

Since their beginnings in 2012, The Lonely Heartstring Band has been on the rise and shows no sign of slowing down. With their 2015 IBMA Momentum Award and their 2016 release of their debut full-length album on the legendary Rounder Records label, there is every reason to hope that they are at the front edge of a significant career.

The Lonely Heartstring Band has already generated a devoted following of music-lovers across North America, performing and headlining at major music festivals and historic venues from Western Canada to California, from Kentucky to New Hampshire. Whether it’s a festival stage, theatre, or intimate listening room, The Lonely Heartstring Band always delivers a dynamic, diverse, and heartfelt performance. Over the last three years of touring, the band has crafted shows that generate a genuine connection and bring crowds to their feet.

The Lonely Heartstring Band, named in a tongue-in-cheek, tip-of-the-hat reference to one of their favorite albums, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely-Hearts Club Band, is a genuine musicians’ band, immediately appreciated by fellow-musicians who get their sound. That said, this is not esoteric or effete music intended for a select few, but has listenability that appeals to the bands already devoted following of fans and to music critics alike. Though their music is akin to the Punch Brothers, Alison Krauss, The Infamous String Dusters, or other folk-grass/chamber-grass groups in the Americana world, this band is already well on its way to making a dynamic and distinctive sound all its own.

Though characterized by intricate, precise, even elegant arrangements, The Lonely Heartstring Band’s music still has all the joy and spontaneity of bluegrass or folk grass at its finest, as exemplified in George Clements’s unique and sensitive, yet powerful, lead vocals, and their own extensive repertoire of originals.

The Lonely Heartstring Band is comprised of the aforementioned George Clements on guitar and lead vocals, his identical twin brother Charles on bass and harmony vocals, Gabe Hirshfeld on banjo, Matt Witler on mandolin, and Patrick McGonigle on fiddle, rounding out the harmony vocals as well. Four of the five band members met while students at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. Gabe Hirshfeld, George, and Charles are all from New England, while Matt and Patrick are both from the west coast; California and Vancouver.

“Being a huge fan of bluegrass music, I was drawn to The Lonely Heartstring Band because they bring a soulful quality to their music and voices,” comments David Zeleznik, Music & More producer and member of CBSRZ. “I felt that their particular brand of bluegrass will add to this fan base.”

For more information about The Lonely Heartstring Band visit their website at http://www.lonelyheartstringband.com.

Advance tickets ($25 general admission) can be purchased at www.cbsrz/org/events or through the Music & More at CBSRZ Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/music.more.cbsrz. For more information call the CBSRZ office at 860-526-8920 or through email at office@cbsrz.org.

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

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Learn About Avian Artist Michael DiGiorgio’s Fascinating Life Journey, Tonight

Inca Jay by Michael DiGiorgio 2005

ESSEX – Enjoy a captivating evening with bird artist Michael DiGiorgio on Friday, April 13, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Connecticut River Museum. In his presentation, DiGiorgio will describe his journey from tracking and observing birds in wild to learning how to express their beauty and his feelings about them in drawings and paintings.  Along the way he meets the masters of bird art, finds his voice as an artist, and comes into his own as a nationally recognized nature artist.  The talk will also discuss sketching birds from life and becoming a field-guide artist.

Michael DiGiorgio is a nationally recognized artist living in Madison, CT.  His paintings and drawings have appeared in nature books and journals, including Birds of Brazil vol. 1 and 2, Bird Watcher’s Digest, Audubon Field Guide to Birds/Eastern and Western Region, and The Narrow Edge by Deborah Cramer.  Mike recently completely revised the artwork for the new edition of Peterson’s Field Guide to the Birds.

DiGiorgio has painted birds since he was five and studied bird painting under the late Don Eckelberry.  Under Eckelberry’s critical eye, DiGiorgio developed his style emphasizing the character of the bird and its relationship to the environment.  Committed to painting from life, he has traveled extensively to create field sketches of birds, plants, and habitat from all over the Americas, West Indies, Trinidad, and the Outer Islands of Britain.

DiGiorgio won the first ever Eckelberry Endowment Award from the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia for his Bird Illustration work.  His paintings have been exhibited at numerous museums and institutes including the Roger Tory Peterson Institute; The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia; and the The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.

The Connecticut River Museum is the only museum dedicated to the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its Valley.  The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open Tuesday – Sunday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. For questions, call 860-767-8269 or log on to our website www.ctrivermuseum.org.

Photo Credit:  Durham Fairground Bobolink by Michael DiGiorgio 2017

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AAUW Hosts Luncheon Saturday Featuring Best-Selling Authors Brunonia Barry, Randy Susan Meyers

AREAWIDE — The Lower Connecticut Valley branch of AAUW (American Association of University Women) will sponsor a luncheon at the Saybrook Point Inn on Saturday, April 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Randy Susan Meyers, author of the bestseller, The Widow of Wall Street, and Brunonia Barry, author of the novels The Lace Reader and The Fifth Petal, will discuss their books and their writing process.

Tickets are $50 and help to provide scholarships for local women pursuing higher education. There will also be silent and chance auctions.

For more information, visit http://lowerctvalley-ct.aauw.net.

If interested in attending, call Sara Keaney at 860-395-4298.

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Needleman Announces Support For Initiatives To Promote Tourism

Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman, who is also a candidate for the 33rd District State Senate seat.

ESSEX — Norm Needleman, Essex First Selectman and candidate for the State Senate for the 33rd District, today announced 3his support for new initiatives to promote tourism in Connecticut.

Needleman said: “The most recent data shows that tourism delivers $14.7 billion in annual revenue to the state, and supports 120,000 sector jobs. Every dollar invested in promoting tourism returns three dollars in revenue.

“That’s why I support the initiatives developed by The Connecticut Tourism Coalition. The proposed initiatives are common sense ideas that will enhance our tourism presence, which is key to building revenue:

  1. Create of a 15 member volunteer Tourism Advisory Committee, whose role will be to recommend strategies to the Office of Tourism for maximizing use of tourism funds.
  2. Appoint a Director of Tourism, a new position reporting directly to the governor
  3. Commit 3 percent of all taxable lodging revenue as a sustainable source of tourism funding
  4. Reopen visitor centers, using public or private funds

Needleman continued: “Connecticut is blessed with a wealth of historical, entertainment, lodging and recreation options. It makes sense for us to revitalize and sustain support for tourism. That investment will yield significant financial returns, and make our state more competitive with states that border us.”

The 33rd State Senate District consists of the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Portland, Westbrook, and a portion of Old Saybrook.

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Traditional Pulled Pork Dinner Benefits American Cancer Society, May 12

HIGGANUM — The 9th Annual Traditional Pulled Pork Dinner to benefit the American Cancer Society will be held Saturday, May 12, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the St.James Parish Hall, 501 Killingworth Rd,(Rte. 81), Higganum.  Dinner includes pulled pork with barbecue sauces on the side, roll, coleslaw, pasta salad, baked beans, dessert, coffee, lemonade or iced tea.  Everything made fresh on site.

Adults $15, Seniors $12, Children $6, Children ages 2 and under are free.

Don’t have time to eat? Get it on to go!  Takeout available. Don’t eat Pork?  A limited amount of Beef Brisket will also be available.

This event is presented by St.James Episcopal Church Relay for Life Team with a helping hand from Hartford Area Roller Derby.  All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.

For further information, contact Jere Adametz at 860-685-0688 or Elaine Jackson at 860-345-7755.

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Bill to Study State Employee Compensation Moves to Senate

State Senator Art Linares

AREAWIDE — State Senator Art Linares announced that the legislature’s Appropriations Committee has approved a bill he requested to study the long-term financial impact of state employees’ and elected officials’ pay and benefit compensation on the state. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

“Connecticut has been in a state of fiscal crisis for the last several years with budget deficit after budget deficit. This is despite the two largest tax increases in the state’s history,” Sen. Linares said. “We have to look at the state’s fixed costs and why they have gotten so far out of control.”

Sen. Linares said a review of state employee and elected officials compensation could examine ways to save money when the current state employee contract ends in 2027.

“I believe one area that should be considered is capping pension payout at $100,000 a year. The number of retirees receiving pension payments in excess of $100,000 has been growing at an unsustainable rate,” he said. “What do we tell the rank-and-file employees receiving smaller pensions when the pension fund is drained by retirees receiving six-figure payments? We have to make sure the pension plan stays solvent for all retirees.”

Currently, more than 1,400 retirees collect annual pensions in excess of $100,000, Sen. Linares said. The highest paid retiree received more than $300,000 a year.

“Retirement payouts like this were unheard of in the private sector even before most businesses moved away from pensions. Now employees and employers contribute to 401K-type plans,” he said. “We also have to remember that pensions are not the only form of retirement income state retirees receive. They contributed to and can collect Social Security.”

Sen. Linares said he also believes the lowering the expected return on investment in the fund from 8percent to 6 percent should be considered. The 10-year return for the 41 largest state pension funds was 6.59 percent.

“State employees, like their private sector counterparts, work hard to earn the paychecks they receive. We need to ensure that each of them receives the retirement funding they earn, by making sure the pension fund does not run dry due to the excessive pensions of a few,” he said. “I believe a comprehensive review of benefits that includes a $100,000 cap on pensions after 2027 will do that.”

Sen. Linares represents the communities of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

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SECWAC Hosts Presentation Tomorrow on ‘Northeast Asia at the Crossroads?’

Prof. Alexis Dudden, PhD

AREAWIDE — On Thursday, April 12, the Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council presents Professor of History at the University of Connecticut Alexis Dudden, PhD, and who will speak on Northeast Asia at the Crossroads?  

A reception starts at 5:30 p.m.in Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School and the presentation begins at 6 p.m.

Dudden’s topic will consider today’s fluid and complex situation in Northeast Asia with a special emphasis on Korea.

Following the presentation, join the speaker, guests, and fellow members for a meal at Old Lyme Country Club. The cost is $35 per person.

Call 860-912-5718 or email info@secwac.org to make your reservation (vegetarian option available if reserved in advance). Checks payable to SECWAC or credit card payment are accepted before the meeting by Courtney Assad.

Alexis Dudden is a Professor of History at the University of Connecticut. She holds a BA (magna cum laude) from Columbia University, and MA and PhD degrees from the University of Chicago. She is the author of several books and academic articles on Japan and Korea. She is currently writing a book about Japan’s territorial disputes and the changing meaning of islands in international law.

In a WNPR interview in 2017, Dr. Dudden commented that part of the North Korean leadership’s strategy for survival goes back to the end of the Soviet Union, and, specifically to the execution of the Romanian leader Nicolau Ceaucescu, as well as to the Bush “Axis of Evil” speech in 2002, which prompted the Kim regime to accelerate the development of nuclear technology.

How this meshes with the rise of China and the status of Japan is captured in her interview in The Diplomat in 2015, when she commented, “Today we see the return of the more traditional world order in East Asia, one that is increasingly focused around China. The dominance of Japan that shaped the 20th century is fading and the impact of the ‘Western powers’ is less critical, at least in the popular imagination.”

The presentation is a part of the SECWAC Speaker Series. SECWAC meetings are free to members (half-year membership February-June is $37.50/year; $12.50/year for young professionals under 35). Walk-ins are $20 for the general public (non-members; the $20 cost can subsequently be applied towards a SECWAC membership). SECWAC membership is free for area college and high school students.

SECWAC is a regional, nonprofit, membership organization affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). The organization dates back to 1999, and has continued to arrange 8-10 Speaker Series meetings annually, between September and June. The meetings range in foreign affairs topics, and are hosted at venues along the I-95 corridor, welcoming members and guests from Stonington to Old Saybrook, and beyond. SECWAC’s mission is “to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs through study, debate, and educational programming.” It provides a forum for nonpartisan, nonadvocacy dialogue between members and speakers, who can be U.S. policy makers, educators, authors, and other experts on foreign relations. Learn more at http://secwac.org.

Learn more at secwac.org.

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Chester Girl Scout Honored With President’s Volunteer Service Award, Certificate of Excellence

Chester resident Juliette Linares has been honored for exemplary service in her community 

CHESTER – Juliette Linares of Chester, a local Girl Scout, has been honored for her exemplary volunteer service with a Certificate of Excellence from The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, and with a President’s Volunteer Service Award.

Presented annually by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards honors young people across America for outstanding volunteer service. Certificates of excellence are granted to the top 10 percent of all Prudential Spirit of Community Award applicants in each state and the District of Columbia.

President’s Volunteer Service Awards recognize Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country.

Juliette, from Chester, Connecticut, has been in Girl Scouting for 13 years and has spent her career as a Girl Scout giving back to her community. She was chosen to represent local Girl Scouts on the Girl Scouts of Connecticut Board of Directors as Girl Board Member, where she speaks on issues affecting Girl Scouts throughout the state.

Since she was young, Juliette has used funds generated from selling Girl Scout Cookies for community service projects, including volunteering with a local inner-city elementary school. She began conducting book drives and shared 100 stories with 100 kindergarten students and gifted each child the shared book.

Juliette’s community service experience paved the path towards earning her Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. Nationally, only 6 percent of Girl Scouts earn this prestigious honor. Girls must complete 80-100 hours of community service to earn this award. Juliette’s Gold Award Project, Dinner & A Book was a literary celebration addressing the importance of literacy among young children.

Juliette started in 2014, writing a proposal, composing a budget, and fundraising, and 148 hours of planning time later, Juliette hosted an evening where she advocated for literacy. Her program will continue to run after she graduates high school.

“We are extremely proud of Juliette for receiving these incredible honors and for all that she has accomplished in Girl Scouting,” said CEO of Girl Scouts of Connecticut Mary Barneby. “I look forward to following her future endeavors and witnessing her continue to make our world a better place.”

Girl Scouts of Connecticut are more than 41,000 members strong – over 27,500 girls and nearly 14,000 adults – who believe that every girl can change the world.

They are part of a sisterhood of 2.6 million strong around the globe—1.8 million girls and 800,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. Their journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, her vision and legacy are honored, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.

Girl Scouts of America are the preeminent leadership development organization for girls … and with programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success.

To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit gsofct.org.

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Quodlibet Ensemble Plays Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ This Afternoon in Final Essex Winter Series of Season

The Quodlibet Ensemble who will play the final Essex Winter Series concert for 2018.

ESSEX — Essex Winter Series closes its 2018 season on Sunday, April 8, with the Fenton Brown Emerging Artists Concert featuring a 10-member string chamber orchestra, the Quodlibet Ensemble, performing Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, among other works.

The concert takes place on April 8, at 3 p.m. at Valley Regional High School, 256 Kelsey Hill Road, Deep River. Tickets are $35 and $5 for students and may be purchased by visiting www.essexwinterseries.com or calling 860-272-4572.

The New York City-based Quodlibet Ensemble is comprised of young, dynamic artists who present a range of music from the Baroque to the modern day. The players hold degrees from the Yale School of Music, Curtis Institute, Juilliard, New England Conservatory, and Harvard University, among others.

Currently they pursue careers as performing artists in both solo and prominent chamber ensembles ranging from early music group The Sebastians, to contemporary ensemble New Morse Code, to the Amphion String Quartet. A few of the players also serve as faculty at universities such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Yale School of Music, and Connecticut College.

In addition to The Four Seasons, the April 8 program will include music by Mendelssohn, Mozart, and an original piece by Nathan Schram, one of the Ensemble’s members.

Three of the players will take part in Essex Winter Series’ outreach residency and will travel throughout the area conducting workshops, master classes, and special performances in schools and community settings from April 9 through 11.

Essex Winter Series is not-for-profit arts organization and is generously sponsored by The Clark Group, Essex Meadows, Essex Savings Bank, Guilford Savings Bank, Jeffrey N. Mehler CFP LLC, Tower Laboratories, and BrandTech Scientific.

Media sponsor is WSHU Public Radio and outreach activities are supported by the Community Foundation of Middlesex County and donors to the Fenton Brown Circle.

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Final Chance to See ‘The Fantasticks’ This Afternoon at Ivoryton Playhouse

Rehearsing for The Fantasticks are, from left to right, Carly Callahan, David Pittsinger* and Patricia Schuman.*

ESSEX — The Ivoryton Playhouse will open its 2018 season with a romantic fable that has enchanted audiences around the world for over 50 years. The Fantasticks by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt is a timeless tale of young love, shattered dreams and universal truths and it opens in Ivoryton on Wednesday, March 21.

The show was first performed Off Broadway in May 1960 and ran for 42 years, making it the world’s longest running musical. It has helped launch the careers of Liza Minnelli, Glenn Close, F. Murray Abraham, Kristin Chenoweth, and even Ricardo Montalbán.

The Fantasticks has been performed in 82 countries, and each year some 250 productions are mounted worldwide. Its themes — the blind passion of youth, the meddling of parents, the deepening of love through pain and struggle — are timeless and continue to captivate audiences everywhere. This intimate show with a bounty of catchy tunes and beautiful melodies, including the classic “Try to remember the kind of September …”, is a quintessential celebration of love in all its gorgeous simplicity and heartbreaking complexities.

In rehearsal for The Fantasticks seen here are, from left to right, Ryan Bloomquist, Cory Candelet and Kimberley Immanuel*.

David Pittsinger*, who has performed in Ivoryton to great critical acclaim as Emile de Becque in South Pacific,  and  Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha, will be playing the storyteller – El Gallo.  He will be joined by his wife, Patricia Schuman*, Carly Callahan, R. Bruce Connelly*, William Clark, Kimberley Immanuel*, Ryan Bloomquist and Cory Candelet.

The show is directed and choreographed by Brian Feehan, the set is designed by Martin Marchitto, lighting by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Elizabeth Cipollina. Musical direction is by Jill Brunelle.

Don’t miss this opportunity to fall in love again and catch the magic one more time!

The Fantasticks opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse runs through April 8. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. There will be no performance on Easter Sunday, April 1 — the replacement show will be on Saturday, March 31, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $50 for adults, $45 for seniors, $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.)

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

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Gilead Hosts Road Race Today to Raise Awareness About Mental Health

Celebrating last year’s run …

AREAWIDE — Gilead’s 3rd annual road race will be held this Sunday, April 8, at the Middletown Legends 3.5 mile road race to raise awareness about mental illness.

Last year, 360 runners, walkers, volunteers, and cheerers made it to the finish line. It wasn’t just the weather that made the day so beautiful, it was enthusiasm, commitment and generosity that really made this day such a success. Together, $33,000 was raised for individuals receiving Gilead services.

Gilead’s 2018 goals are:

  • To raise awareness about mental illness and how many people are impacted.
  • To support a wellness initiative that brings clients, staff and community together.
  • To grow our team to 500 people in celebration of Gilead’s 50th Anniversary.
  • To raise funds to continue providing quality mental health services to over 600 individuals living throughout Middlesex County.

Check out Race for Every 1 FAQ’s for additional information.

Walk/Run the Race

REGISTER HERE and you’ll be directed the Hartford Marathon Foundation website, where you can also find more details on the race. To check out the race route, click here.

Join the Fundraising Efforts

TEAM GILEAD has set up a fundraising page to make it easier for you. Access it by clicking on this link to Crowdrise. Join a team and then ask your friends, family and co-workers to support you. They can donate to you online or write you a check, use a credit card or donate cash. Click here for a sample note/email you can use to ask your friends and family for support.

If you don’t want to join crowdrise, but would like to donate to a Team Member, just click the Team tab and then on their name/picture.

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Seeking Golfers, Sponsors for Ädelbrook Golf for Kids Tournament

AREAWIDE — Spring is here and Ädelbrook’s Golf for Kids Tournament is right around the corner. This year’s tournament will be held on Thursday, May 31, at the Robert Trent Jones Course at Lyman Orchards Golf Club in Middlefield, CT.

Don’t miss the opportunity to get involved with Golf for Kids to support the children and families served by Ädelbrook. Download the golf brochure at https://adelbrook.org/learn-more/events/golf-for-kids

This is a great sponsorship opportunity as golfers from all over the state with varying business needs attend, providing a diverse audience to showcase your business. As this tournament is in its 23rd year, it has a history of success and our golfers know that they get what they pay for.

The day includes 18 holes of golf, continental breakfast and afternoon buffet, contests for long drive and closest to the pin, free neck and shoulder massages, silent auction and a prize drawing, and a golf cannon. Yes, you read that correctly, a golf cannon.

Golf for Kids offers a wide variety of sponsorship levels from $150 up to $3,500. Being a sponsor allows you to get your company name out, while also benefitting the many children and young adults who are served by Ädelbrook. Being a golfer at this event promises a really great day with good food, fun activities all for a great cause.

Ädelbrook is a multi-service agency specializing in behavioral and developmental services. We are dedicated to meeting the unique needs of families and individuals, of all ages, as they relate to intellectual/developmental disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The organization provides short-term, long-term and respite residential programming for children and young adults. In-home and community-based services are customized from, as little as two hours a week, to round the clock staffing.  Additionally, an educational continuum for students aged 3 – 21 is provided.

For further information, call 860-635-6010 x327 or email Sharon Graves at sgraves@adelbrook.org

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Pegs from the Past Create Art for the Present; Chester Historical Soc. Hosts Reception for Challenge This Evening

CHESTER — What would you do if you were given three wooden pegs to reimagine?

If you’re one of the area artists, sculptors, photographers, engineers, jewelers, designers (you get the picture), you’d turn those pegs into something unique and/or useful, decorative and/or functional, whimsical and/or practical.

All for the Creative Challenge hosted annually by the Chester Historical Society.

For this year’s Pegs Challenge on Saturday, April 7, the Chester Historical Society was given a box of wooden pegs, discovered years ago at M.S. Brooks & Sons on Liberty Street.

Over the past years, the Chester Historical Society’s Creative Challenge has invited area artists to use artifacts from Chester’s rich manufacturing history to create items for a silent auction and reception to raise funds for the Historical Society.

There have been challenges based on hooks from the Brooks factory, knitting gauges from the C.J. Bates factory, manicure sticks from the Bishop & Watrous factory, and even rusted pieces “unearthed” from the yard of one of Chester’s earliest houses.

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

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

Tickets for the evening are $30. They can be purchased at Maple & Main Gallery and Lark, both in the center of Chester, or by calling Sosse Baker at Chester Gallery, 860-526-9822. They may be available at the door, if they have not sold out.

All the proceeds from the event will benefit the preservation and showcasing of Chester history through the Chester Historical Society and the Chester Museum at The Mill. Information is available on the Society website, www.chesterhistoricalsociety.org or at Facebook.com/chestercthistoricalsociety.

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Closing Reception for ‘Mighty Minis’ at Melanie Carr Gallery

This work titled ‘Juncture’ by Susan Breen is one of the signature paintings in ‘Mighty Minis’ at the Melanie Carr Gallery.

ESSEX — A Closing Reception for Mighty Minis curated by Suzan Shutan will be held Saturday, April 7, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Melanie Carr Gallery in Essex.

In the art world where ‘bigness’ reigns, 30 contemporary artists from United States and abroad have come together to reflect and respond to working small. For centuries, artists have utilized pint-size scales to depict and explore cherished, esteemed, and intimate subjects. The contemporary miniature can be seen as an approach to art making that marries craft and concept with gemlike details of tiny treasures.

Despite our fast-paced world, small works require giving time for reflection and thought. The reward may be the element of surprise. There are many reasons for an artist to favor working small. There can be practical limitations regarding space, time or resources, but in the case of the works presented here, working small is the objective.

There is also the reality that few collectors can accommodate only large-sized work. The focus of this exhibit is on the process of abstract painting, the exploration of work in two and three dimensions, on traditional and modern approaches, the space between craft and concept, and content and form.

The artists exhibiting include: Nancy Baker, NY Caroline Blum, NY Susan Breen, CT Andy Cunningham, CA Kevin Daly, CT Ellen Hackl Fagan, CT Judith Farr, SPAIN Kathy Goodell, NY Elizabeth Gourlay, CT Bob Gregson, CT Richard Griggs, CT Julie Gross, NY Debbie Hesse, CT Jeffrey Cortland Jones, OH Zachary Keating, CT Susan Knight, NE Bonny Leibowitz, TX Barbara Marks, CT ML McCorkle, GA Irene Miller, CT Juan Alberto Negroni, TX Paula Overbay, NY Heidi Pollard, NM Karen Schifano, NY Susan Scott, CT Belle Shafir,ISRAEL Dee Shapiro, NY Suzan Shutan, CT Andrew Small, PA Jill Vasileff, CA

Suzan Shutan graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting/Drawing from California Institute of the Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in Installation from Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts. Shutan has taught at Rhode Island School of Design, Quinnipiac University, CT, University of Omaha, NE and currently teaches Sculpture at Housatonic Community College.

She has attended artist residencies, has been awarded grants that include CEC Artslink, Art Matters, Berkshire Taconic Foundation’s A.R.T, and recently a Fellowship in Sculpture from the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism funding all work created in 2012-13. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions nationally including Bank of America Headquarters in N. Carolina and internationally in Germany, France, Sweden, Poland, Argentina, Russia, Canada and Columbia.

She has been reviewed by the NY Times, High Performance Magazine, and has work in private and public collections such as the Villa Taverna Foundation and UCLA.

Melanie Carr Gallery is an artist-run project space dedicated to the practice, exhibition, and sale of contemporary art and design. The goal of Melanie Carr Gallery is to promote the importance of contemporary art and examine its impact on society while providing its artists greater exposure to new audiences.

Melanie Carr, Owner and Director, is a Connecticut-based artist, who received her MFA from the College of Art and Design at Lesley University in 2011. She began her studies in visual art after serving in the United States Navy as an Operations Specialist onboard the USS Willamette (AO180) in Pearl Harbor, HI.

Carr spent over10 years at the New Britain Museum of American Art, her most recent role as Curator of New Media. She is now Adjunct Professor at Central Connecticut State University, where she teaches drawing, and joined the staff at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, University of New Haven. Other teaching venues include Spectrum Art Gallery, Centerbrook, Pathways Senderos, New Britain, CT, Green Street Arts Center, Middletown, CT, and the New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT.

Carr’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Soapbox Gallery, NY, Stockman Gallery, New Britain, CT, City Arts on Pearl, Hartford, CT, Westport Arts Center, Westport, CT, and Pegasus Gallery, Middletown, CT. In addition, her work was included in numerous exhibits that include The Point, United Kingdom, Gibney Dance, NYC, Gallery Aferro, New Jersey, The Delaware Center for the Cotemporary Arts in Wilmington, Mattatuck Museum, CT, Hans Weiss Newspace Gallery, CT, and Herter Gallery, MA.

Carr has work in the collections at the New Britain Museum of American Art, The Loomis Chaffee School, and the Boston Public Library, as well as many private collections

For more information, email melaniecarrgallery@gmail.com or call 860.830.6949

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Rep. Carney, Sen. Formica Hold Legislative Update This Morning, All Welcome

State Rep. Devin Carney

State Senator Paul Formica

OLD SAYBROOK — State Representative Devin Carney and State Sen. Paul Formica will hold a Legislative Update at the Vicki Duffy Pavilion, 150 College Street, Old Saybrook on Thursday, April 5, from 8 to 9 a.m.  This event is being hosted by the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce and all Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce members are welcome to attend, as well as the general public.

Admission is free but registration at this link would be appreciated.

The event will be an informal discussion highlighting legislative issues and bills, and what Rep. Carney and Sen. Formica hope to achieve in Hartford. Time will be allotted for Q&A.

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Essex Winter Series, Community Music School Present Master Class for Strings, Tuesday

CENTERBROOK Community Music School (CMS) and Essex Winter Series present a master class with members of the Quodlibet Ensemble, April 10, at 4 p.m. at the Centerbrook Meeting House, 51 Main Street in Centerbrook. The musicians will offer advice on technique and performance for student musicians who will each play during the class. The master class is free and open to the public.

The Quodlibet Ensemble is a New York-based string chamber orchestra of young, dynamic artists, who present a range of great music from the Baroque to the modern day. After its debut in 2008, the Ensemble has since performed at the Shepherd Music Series in Collinsville, the Yale British Arts Center, and at Drew University in Madison, N.J.

The Quodlibet Ensemble made its New York debut in March 2016, followed by an appearance at Rockefeller University. Their debut CD, Quodlibet Ensemble: Concerti Grosso, in which all players adapt gut strings, was released in the fall of 2014.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 34-year-tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity, and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.  Learn more at visit www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

As part of its robust outreach program, EWS brings highly accomplished young artists to public schools, senior residences, and community organizations in several Shoreline communities each year. This year’s outreach program expands to two cities, five towns, eight schools, three senior residences, and two community service organizations over the course of just three days, from May 8 through 10. These outreach programs are sponsored by the EWS’ Fenton Brown Circle, Community Music School, and in part by a grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County/River View Cemetery Fund.

For additional information or to register, visit www.community-music-school.org/argus or call CMS at 860-767-0026.

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Spring Exhibit on View at Maple & Main

‘My Cousin’s Chickens’ by Claudia van Nes is one of the signature works in the Maple & Main Spring Exhibit.

CHESTER — The Spring Exhibit at Maple and Main Gallery features selected works by more than 60 artists in a wide range of styles, sizes, mediums and price points.

The show opens Wednesday, April 4, and the opening reception will be Sunday, April 8, from 3 to 5 p.m. when there will be a wine tasting by Sunset Hills Vineyard in Old Lyme, live music by Alan James and refreshments.

Guests will be able to meet and talk with many of the artists.

In the Stone Gallery during April, students from Haddam Killingworth High School’s art program will exhibit their newest works.

The opening for this annual show is Friday, April 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. and includes small bites and beverages created by the school’s culinary art students and live music performed by students in the music program.

To see images from both exhibits, visit the gallery website at MapleandMainGallery.com. Also, visit the gallery on Facebook and Instagram.

Maple and Main Gallery at One Maple Street is open Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 860-526-6065.

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Essex Land Trust Hosts UConn Professor Tonight on Protecting CT’s Groundwater Resources

Dr. Gary Robbins will speak March 29 on Connecticut’s groundwater resources at Essex Town Hall.

ESSEX — The Essex Land Trust presents a lecture on protecting Connecticut’s groundwater resources on Thursday, March 29, at 7 p.m. at Essex Town Hall, 29 West Ave. The lecture will have a focus on the lower Connecticut River valley.

Gary Robbins, Professor of Geology in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Connecticut, Storrs will be stressing groundwater resources—so will start with a Groundwater 101. Then look at the hydrogeology of the lower CT river valley and talk about groundwater conditions and contamination issues now and in the future.

Dr. Robbins specializes in Hydrogeology and has been at UCONN for 31 years. He has published many papers related to Connecticut groundwater resources.

It is important to note that the date for this event has changed from March 26 to March 29.

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Needleman Supports Legislation to End False Advertising by Limited Service Pregnancy Centers

Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman

ESSEX — Essex First Selectman and businessman Norm Needleman submitted testimony Monday, March 26, to the Public Health Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly in support of a bill to require limited service pregnancy centers to end deceptive advertising practices.

Needleman submitted testimony in support of Senate Bill 5416, An Act Concerning Deceptive Advertising Practices Of Limited Services Pregnancy Centers. In his testimony, Needleman stated his reason for supporting the bill: ”Every other business in our state and in our nation is held accountable for false advertising practices. Limited service pregnancy centers should not be exempt from the rule of law that requires all businesses to be truthful in advertising and promotion.”

His testimony identified the advertising practices the legislation seeks to end: “By law, women can seek and obtain the medical services they desire relative to their pregnancies. It is patently deceptive to use advertising to lure these women into centers that do not provide the services they are seeking. Limited service pregnancy centers should not be permitted to engage in these false and deceptive advertising practices.”

Needleman went on to point out that the legislation does not impact the operation of limited service pregnancy centers: “It is important to note that the legislation does not in any way impact the services these centers actually provide, nor does it in any way impede their operation. They are free to continue delivering services they believe are appropriate.”

The 33rd State Senate District consists of the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Portland, Westbrook, and a portion of Old Saybrook.

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Sharing our Stories with Ellen Luby, Gerontologist, at Essex Library, April 16

ESSEX — Have you ever wanted to share the stories of your life with your family but don’t know where to start? 

Research has shown that sharing your lifestory can bring an increase in self-esteem, resolve past conflicts and promote successful aging.  The Sharing Our Stories presentation reviews the different lifestory methods of Reminiscence, Life Review, Guided Autobiography, Memoir and Personal History to help you determine how you want to tell your story.

The goal of the program is to help people see how sharing stories can help to make sense of the past, gain insight for the future and connect generations.  This informational meeting will be presented by Ellen Luby, a gerontologist on Monday, April 16 at 10:30 a.m. 

Sharing your unique LifeStory can be a wonderful, meaningful and fun experience.

This presentation is free and open to all.

For more information, call the Essex Library. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.

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Poetry and the Human Condition: a Five-Evening Series Continues with Prof. David Cappella, April 26

ESSEX — Poetry is a spiritual gift. Poetry reclaims the worth of subjective experience, expanding the human mind and spirit in endless ways. It celebrates our basic experience of living in the world. Thus, poetry cannot be reduced to a stock answer. In this sense, it is an art that pushes back against our commodified society.

Using selected poems from a pairing of various poets, these sessions will explore the enormous possibility that poetry, through the art of language, offers its readers to plumb the experience of being human.

Join Essex Library for five consecutive Thursday evenings beginning April 19 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Poets will include: Robert Frost/ Emily Dickinson; Hayden Carruth/Jane Kenyon; Wallace Stevens/Elizabeth Bishop; Jim Harrison/Maxine Kumin and Czeslaw Milosz/Anna Akhmatova.

Dr. Cappella is Emeritus Professor in the English Department at Central Connecticut State University. He has co-authored two widely used poetry textbooks, Teaching the Art of Poetry: The Moves and A Surge of Language: Teaching Poetry Day to Day.

This series is free and open to all.

For more information, call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.

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Melanie Carr Gallery Hosts a ‘Critical Conversation’ on the ‘Artist as Curator,’ Saturday

ESSEX — The Melanie Carr Gallery in Essex will host a ‘Critical Conversation: Artist as Curator Round Table,’ Saturday, March 31, at 2 p.m.

All are welcome and admission is free.

Join Melanie Carr Gallery representatives for a discussion of how the role of artist influences the job of curator featuring:

Suzan Shutan, Independent Curator
Jacquelyn Gleisner, Independent Curator
David Borawski, Independent Curator for Real Art Ways
Joe Bun Keo, Independent Curator
Ellen Hackl Fagan, Owner, Odetta Gallery
Jane Rainwater, Independent Curator

See the current exhibition on view through April 8, Mighty Minis, curated by Suzan Shutan, which has been described thus: In the art world where bigness reigns, 30 contemporary artists from the United States and abroad have come together to reflect and respond to working small. For centuries, artists have utilized pint-size scales to depict and explore cherished, esteemed, and intimate subjects.

The contemporary miniature can be seen as an approach to art making that marries craft and concept with gemlike details of tiny treasures. Despite our fast-paced world, small works require giving time for reflection and thought. The reward may be the element of surprise. 

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Learn How to Spring Into Genealogy Research at Essex Library, Tuesday

ESSEX — Spring is always a great time to start researching your family history.

The citizens of Connecticut are very fortunate to have an abundant amount of genealogy resources at the State Library in Hartford. To learn more about the resources that are available there, join a presentation on Tuesday, April 3, at 5:30 p.m. to hear Gerald Seagrave, a Librarian in the Connecticut State History & Genealogy Department.

Seagrave will present information on materials and services available for genealogy research at the Connecticut State Library.  The presentation will include using State archives, town vital records and accessing databases.

Seagrave has been a Librarian at the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, the Police Officer Standards and Training Council and, most recently, the Connecticut State Library.

This program is free and open to the public.

For more information, call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue.

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Essex Library Hosts Author of ‘The Sunken Gold,’ Wednesday

ESSEX — Author Joseph A. Williams will visit the Essex Library to discuss the true story of the HMS Laurentic, which, laden with 44 tons of gold bullion was sunk by German mines off the coast of Ireland during the Great War. 

Britain desperately needed that sunken treasure, but any salvage had to be secret since the British government did not want to alert the Germans to the presence of the gold.

Lieutenant Commander Guybon Damant was the most qualified officer to head the risky mission. As the war raged on, Damant was called off the salvage to lead a team of covert divers to investigate and search through the contents of recently sunk U-boats for ciphers, minefield schematics, and other secrets. The information they obtained, once in the hands of British intelligence, proved critical toward Allied efforts to defeat the U-boats and win the war.

Williams, a historian, archivist and librarian brings this exciting, true tale of undersea diving and early 20th century naval operations to life on Wednesday, April 4, at 7 p.m.

Copies of The Sunken Gold will be available for purchase and signing.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is advised. Call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560 to register or for more information.

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

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Centerbrook Announces New Hires; Archer, Brakels Join Architectural Staff

René Brakels  (left) and Cassie Archer have recently joined the staff of Centerbrook Architects. Photo by Derek Hayn/Centerbrook Architects

CENTERBROOK – Centerbrook Architects & Planners is excited to announce two new hires as it has welcomed Cassie Archer and René Brakels to the architectural staff.

Archer, who grew up in Nigeria and England, comes to Centerbrook from Kenneth Boroson Architects in New Haven, Connecticut, where she was a senior job captain. After graduating from Wentworth Institute of Technology in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in architecture, Archer began her career as a designer in California. She now resides in East Haddam with her husband.

Brakels joins Centerbrook with a diverse background of 15 years in the architecture industry that includes positions in his home country The Netherlands, Ireland, Latvia and New York. Most recently he served as a job captain at RGB Architects in Providence, Rhode Island. Brakels earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture in The Netherlands, where he is a licensed architect. Brakels and his family currently live in Mystic.

Both Archer and Brakels joined Centerbrook in February and have hit the ground running on Quinnipiac University projects.

“We look for well-rounded people who have a spark. We were delighted to find René and Cassie who are full of energy, care about people and are driven to excel at the craft of building,” said Centerbrook Principal Jim Childress, FAIA. “They are already proving to be great additions to our staff.”

Centerbrook currently has designs under construction in Connecticut, Florida, North Carolina, New York and Texas, and active projects in seven states, Canada and China.

Centerbrook Architects & Planners is a firm conceived in 1975 as a community of architects working together to advance American place-making and the craft of building. A collaborative firm with an exceptional history of building, Centerbrook is known for inventive design solutions that are emblematic of its client and their traditions. Centerbrook’s designs have won 380 awards, including the Architecture Firm Award, a distinction held by only 36 active firms nationwide.

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‘March For Our Lives’ Draws Hundreds of Protesters in Old Saybrook

All photos by Valerie Chapman.

People of all ages from across southeast Connecticut gathered on Main Street in Old Saybrook yesterday to march in support of action against gun violence and in solidarity with some 800 other marches taking place worldwide.  Those who had marched in the January 2017 Women’s March in Old Saybrook estimated that the crowd for yesterday’s event was substantially larger than the 2017 one.

The signs people held were many and various …

… but the message was loud …

… and clear.

Spirits were high …

… but the questions remain unanswered …

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Creative Dance Class for Preschoolers to be Held at Deep River Public Library, April 11

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Library will be hosting a Creative Dance Class for Preschoolers on Wednesday, April 11, at 4 p.m. This class will be taught by Christine Finch from the Eastern Connecticut Ballet School and will feature the theme of rainbows. Children ages 3 to 5 will don their dancing shoes (or sneakers) and explore different movements that celebrate the magic behind the making of a rainbow.

Registration is required for this 45-minute class and limited to 15 children, ages 3-5. Younger siblings can enjoy playtime in our Children’s Area while class is being held.

Registration will be done through our Sign Up Genius. Check out our Facebook Events page or website for the link to register.

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

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Connecticut River Artisans Coop Hosts New Artist Reception, April 14

ESSEX — Connecticut River Artisans Cooperative is pleased to welcome the following new members with a reception on Saturday, April 14, from 1 to 4 p.m.

  • Sharon Chaples – a painter specializing in landscapes and houses, who lends an impressionist flair to her artwork.
  • Sandy Sicignano – a painter, who leans toward the modern, she gives an abstract quality to everyday items.
  • Andrea Aron –  a jeweler, who creates one-of-a-kind, silver pieces as well as enamel work.

The reception will be held at the Artisan’s Co-op at 55 Main St., Essex. Wine and nibbles will be served and there will be an opportunity to meet the new artists and enjoy their unique work.

For more information, visit www.ctriverartisans.org, the Artisan’s Facebook page or call 860-767-5457

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Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series Continues Tonight with ‘Designing for Fun: The State of Play’

A free, illustrated talk on Luckey Climbers, an example of which is shown in the photo above,  will be presented by Spencer Luckey at 7 p.m. March 23 in The Cube at Centerbrook Architects. Luckey will focus on where Luckey LLC came from, why they do what they do, and why they push the boundaries of sculpture, play, art and design with each piece.


ESSEX —
Luckey LLC is a small design/build firm in New Haven that produces whimsical play structures throughout the world. Part artwork, part playground, Luckey Climbers can be found at children’s museums, science centers, malls and public parks.

On Friday, March 23, at 7 p.m. in The Cube at Centerbrook Architects, Spencer Luckey will talk about where Luckey LLC came from, why they do what they do, and why they push the boundaries of sculpture, play, art and design with each piece. The lecture will cover built and unbuilt schemes in an attempt to demonstrate the struggles and triumphs of the intrepid playground designer.

Luckey is president and chief architect of Luckey LLC, which creates bespoke children’s climbing sculptures for institutional and commercial clients around the world. Creating soaring, whimsical, gravity-defying play structures for kids, Luckey is helping to reinvent the state of play, inspiring it with the limitlessness of a child’s imagination and the complexities of conceptual art.

After completing his degree at the Yale School of Architecture, Spencer rejoined Luckey Climbers in 2006 after his father, Thomas Walker Luckey, suffered a terrible accident.

Tom, Spencer and the making of the 2007 Luckey Climber at The Boston Children’s Museum were the subjects of the documentary film “Luckey” that depicts the early struggles and triumphs the family had in reconciling life directly following Tom’s accident. The film played at festivals all over the world including SXSW and was aired several times on the Sundance Channel.

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560. Centerbrook Architects is located at 67 Main St. In Centerbrook.

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Together We Rise CT Holds a ‘March For Our Lives’ in East Haddam, Saturday

AREAWIDE — In support of students across the country, a March For Our Lives event will be held at Two Wrasslin’ Cats, 374 Town Street, East Haddam, on Saturday, March 24, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Hosted by Together We Rise CT – Building Bridges for Justice, the event will be one of more than nearly 700 world-wide.

March For Our Lives was created, inspired, and led by students who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of school shootings. March For Our Lives believes the time to take action is now.

Students across the country are leading the way, and Together We Rise CT is proud to follow their lead. All are welcome to join them for a peaceful vigil of commemoration, featuring youth speakers and music, as everyone stands together in non-violent witness. Participants are requested to bring peaceful signs or banners only — and no pets.

RSVP at http://act.everytown.org/event/march-our-lives-events_attend/8903. If you wish to volunteer or have questions, e-mail togetherwerisect@gmail.com.

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Chester Garden Club Hosts Avian Author John Himmelman Tomorrow

CHESTER — On Tuesday, March 20, at 7 p.m., the Chester Garden Club will be hosting a presentation by author, John Himmelman from Killingworth, Conn., on“Birds; Their Side of the Story …” at the United Church of Chester, 29 West Main Street, Chester, CT.

He will share light-hearted stories of birds and bird watching – from cuisine to cartoons; ornaments to icons, murmurs to murders. You’ll be given a whole new look at the avian friends we so admire (and some, not so much…)

Members of the Chester Garden Club and the public are invited to attend.  The cost for guests will be $5.

For additional information, contact Chester Garden Club Co-President Brenda Johnson at (860) 526-2998.

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Award-Winning Author Rachel Kadish Comes to Books & Bagels at CBSRZ This Morning

It’s not often that Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ) gets to welcome a winner of a National Jewish Book Award to Chester.

But that’s exactly what’s going to happen this morning, Sunday, March 18, at 9:30 a.m. when Rachel Kadish will be discussing and reading selections from her third novel, The Weight Of Ink, that won her the prestigious Jewish Book Council’s Book Club Award. This award ‘recognizes an outstanding work of fiction or nonfiction authors that inspires meaningful conversation about Jewish life, identity, practice, or history and is dedicated to promoting Jewish continuity for the next generation.’

“In many ways a book about books, The Weight Of Ink surprises with delights that are gradually revealed. At first it might seem almost necessary to take notes to follow the complex plot, but soon the reader will become absorbed in this rich opus of impressive breadth”, comments Kristin Gibbons in a review published in the Jewish Book Counsel’s website.

Gibbons continues, “The beauty of this story is in the variety of its milieus and sensibilities. As we follow female protagonists of both the seventeenth and twenty-first centuries – Ester Velasquez and Helen Watt, respectively-we also witness to the goings-on of a venerable and drafty house of a rabbi in 1660s London, and glimpse the modern life of a cheeky young American man with heartrending troubles.”

To cap off her triumph, Kadish was just named the inaugural winner of the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) Jewish Fiction Award for The Weight Of Ink.

The Weight of Ink defies strict genre classification, combining as it does a gripping tale of contemporary scholars engaged in academic detective work and historical fiction that brings to light the small Jewish world of Restoration England and the practical daily issues along with more complicated religious and philosophical issues.

One moves back and forth from the competitive world of modern scholarship to the very different world revealed in a trove of newly discovered seventeenth century manuscripts; from the personal involvement of one of the book’s two heroines, Helen Watt, who sets out to uncover the secrets behind the mysterious scribe at first identified solely as ‘Alelph’, to its other heroine, Ester Velasquez, the exceptional scribe for a blind rabbi, a woman who would be remarkable in any time and place.

Ester’s story, partially uncovered by Helen and partially revealed as the story unfolds, plunges us into the London of the 1660s and into the small but gradually expanding Jewish community, largely made up of Sephardic /Converso families. And that story reaches out into a much larger world, connecting us with the life and work of Spinoza and even hinting at the identity of Shakespeare’s ‘Dark Lady’.

Book Browse summarizes The Weight of Ink this way:  Electrifying and ambitious, sweeping in scope and intimate in tone, The Weight of Ink is a sophisticated work of historical fiction about women separated by centuries, and the choices and sacrifices they must make in order reconcile the life of the heart and mind.

Among the many admirers of The Weight of Ink can be found Carol Gilligan, author of In a Different Voice, Margot Livesey, author of Mercury, Leah Hager, author of No Book but the World, and Toni Morrison, Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winner and author of many books including The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, Beloved, and, most recently, God Help the Child.

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

Books & Bagels is free of charge and open to the public. For more information visit                          www.cbsrz.org/events, or call the CBSRZ office at 860-526-8920.

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High Hopes Holds Open House for Prospective Volunteers Today

One of the many tasks that volunteers undertake at High Hopes is to side-walk horses while program participants ride.

OLD LYME — There is a place in Old Lyme where people of all ages come together with a very special herd of therapeutic horses to improve the lives of people with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities.

On St. Patrick’s Day – Saturday, March 17 – between 10 a.m. and noon,  the community is invited to join the staff at High Hopes to find out about a wide range of volunteering opportunities this spring and summer.

“Although we hold programs all year round,” says Volunteer Manager, Amy Tripson, “summer is one of our busiest times when we open High Hopes to the wider community through five weeks of all-inclusive horse camp as well as providing our regular programs. We are looking for volunteers of all ages but would like to encourage middle and high school students (aged 14 or older), seasonal residents, and active retirees in particular. Just one hour a week, or one week during summer camp can make all the difference to one of our campers.”

At the Open House, classes will be running, and the volunteer team will be on hand to answer questions, discuss the types of volunteer jobs available, and create a schedule to suit you.

“No experience with horses is needed,” says Marie Manero, “we provide general orientation and side-walker training for all of our volunteers, and those that want to do more work with the horses can take additional training opportunities in horse-handling and barn activities.”

Over the course of a year High Hopes, an internationally recognized therapeutic riding and horsemanship center, relies on the help of over 650 volunteers to supplement its small staff and provide programs for a wide range of individuals and groups, as well as support its fundraising activities.

Participants include children and adults with physical disabilities, veterans living with PTSD, children grieving the loss of a parent, families recovering from domestic violence and individuals and their families supporting a loved one with a life-long cognitive disability. High Hopes serves over 60 towns in Connecticut and beyond, works with 10 different school districts and a variety of different agencies from across the state. In the summer, High Hopes staff also provide an off-site program at Harkness Camp in Waterford.

If your organization supports community activities and you would like to bring a group of volunteers to High Hopes for the day, the High Hopes volunteer team would also like to talk to you.

For more information, to meet a few volunteers, and/or to express interest in this event, visit https://highhopestr.org/event/volunteer-open-house/

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See ‘From Field to Frame: The Avian Art of Michael DiGiorgio’ at CT River Museum Through May 3

Inca jay by Michael DiGiorgio 2005

ESSEX – The new Spring Exhibit at Connecticut River Museum is From Field to Frame:  The Avian Art of Michael DiGiorgio.  The exhibit opened to the public on Saturday, March 17, and runs through May 3.

Michael DiGiorgio is a nationally recognized artist living in Madison, CT.  His paintings and drawings have appeared in nature books and journals, including Birds of Brazil vol. 1 and 2, Bird Watcher’s Digest, Audubon Field Guide to Birds/Eastern and Western Region, and The Narrow Edge by Deborah Cramer. DiGiorgio recently completely revised the artwork for the new edition of Peterson’s Field Guide to the Birds.

DiGiorgio has painted birds since he was five and studied bird painting under the late Don Eckelberry.  Under Eckelberry’s critical eye, DiGiorgio developed his style emphasizing the character of the bird and its relationship to the environment.  Committed to painting from life, DiGiorgio has traveled extensively to create field sketches of birds, plants, and habitat from all over the Americas, West Indies, Trinidad, and the Outer Islands of Britain.

DiGiorgio won the first ever Eckelberry Endowment Award from the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia for his Bird Illustration work.  His paintings have been exhibited at numerous museums and institutes including the Roger Tory Peterson Institute; The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia; and the The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.

The Connecticut River Museum is the only museum dedicated to the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its Valley.  The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open Tuesday – Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For questions, call 860-767-8269 or visit www.ctrivermuseum.org.

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Gray School of Irish Dance Gives Demonstration Today at Acton Public Library

OLD SAYBROOK — Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the Acton Public Library!

Come for a lively demonstration of Irish Dance on Saturday, March 17, from 3:30 until 4:30 p.m. by the young and talented students of the Gray School of Irish Dance, located in Old Saybrook. This program is sponsored by the Friends of Acton Public Library.

This program is free and open to all; no registration required. All children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult.

For additional information call or 860-395-3184 or visit www.actonlibrary.org

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Learn the Art of Reiki at Deep River Public Library, April 14

DEEP RIVER — Learn the Art of Reiki at the Deep River Library on Saturday, April 14, at 1 p.m. Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that promotes healing. This alternative approach has been shown to provide help for stress, headaches, insomnia and boost confidence and self-worth. Learn how to channel energy through touch to help restore physical and emotional well-being.

Under the guidance of Reiki Master Stephanie Rosally-Kaplan, participants will not only learn about the history of Reiki, but they will be trained on essentials such as meditation, treatment, chakras, crystals, essential oils and self-care. Every major fundamental will be covered in this four-hour-class and partakers will earn their Reiki 1 certification.

Registration is required for this program and limited to 10 participants. You must register through our Signup Genius, which can be accessed at this link.

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

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Death of Former Chester Resident William (Bill) Hanford Burr Announced

William Hanford Burr (Bill), age 87, died on February 11, 2018, in Port St. Lucie, Florida.  A memorial service will be held on June 8, 2018 at 2:00PM at the site of interred cremains in Oak Land Cemetery in Fairfield, CT. 

Born on August 28, 1930 in Westport, CT to parents Morris Lyon Burr and Catherine Aretta Burr, he was married to his surviving spouse Marilyn Jean Weber on August 18, 1962.  He has three surviving children: daughter Catherine Margaret Burr-Utter (married to Steven Utter; children Nathan Michael Utter and Hannah Elizabeth Utter); son William Osborn Burr II (married to Carole Westhfer; children Thaddeus James Burr and Noah Hanford Burr; and daughter Elizabeth Forrest Burr (married to Dale C. Deutscher; children Bremmer William Mock, John Morgan Mock, and Satari Austin Deutscher). 

Dad has three siblings: brother Morris Lyon Burr Jr. (spouse Arlene Davis (deceased)); sister Mary Bolin (deceased) (spouse United States Army Col (retired) James Bolin); and sister Aretta Muir (spouse James Muir).

His education and military experience include a Bachelors of Science in Agriculture from the University of Connecticut and a Masters in Business Administration from Bridgeport University.  He was inducted into the United States Army and served two years in the rank of Specialist as a Medical Corpsman.  His career in business management brought him to Handy & Harmon in Fairfield, CT and later to Lewis Engineering in Naugatuck CT and finally to Bavier, Bulger, and Goodyear Management Consultants in New Haven, CT where he remained until retirement in 1996.

Throughout dad’s life, he lived in Westport, CT from childhood until 1997 when he and Marilyn moved to Chester, CT.  In 2003, they moved to Bozeman, MT and remained there until their move to Port St. Lucie, FL in 2017.

Dad believed in giving back to his community and did so by remaining actively involved in leadership roles at Greens Farms Congregational Church of Westport, CT and the United Church of Christ of Chester, CT.  He regularly volunteered his labor on environmental conservation projects conducted by the Land Trust of Chester, CT.  In Bozeman, MT he maintained a weekly routine of volunteering at the local food bank and tending plants at the Gallatin Gardeners Club.

Dad loved gardening.   He had the soul of a farmer.  He loved all kinds of outdoor work.  He was a driven do-it-yourself handyman, indeed, a frustrated carpenter, woodsman, and homesteader who insisted on doing any size job himself and with antiquated manual tools and equipment leftover from the bygone Burr Farms era of his childhood.  Of his few allowances for modern methods was his 1929 Farmall B-N model tractor that had to be crank started from the front end.  And when he was not growing and putting up vegetable stores (particularly onions) with an intensity that made one believe survival through the winter months hung in the balance, he was sailing on Long Island Sound.  Neither foul weather nor any number of sea-sick crew members hanging over the side was a reason for him to consider a day on the water unpleasant.  A dousing spray of salt water and vomit he considered a reasonable character building experience for all.

Our father was not a verbose man and not one to seek public attention.  He was fond of a saying: “fools names and faces are seen and heard in public places”.  He was not given to overt demonstrations of intense emotion.  Nevertheless, he had a stoic charm that conveyed a genuine strength of character and integrity.  He cherished family gatherings, most especially at Christmas.  He loved us, his children and his wife.  And we love him.  He is remembered with the fondness and respect.  He is missed.

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