May 24, 2017

Tickets on Sale Now for Essex Rotary’s Annual Shad Bake at CT River Museum, June 3

Shad planked and baking in front of the fire similar to the way local Native Americans would have done it centuries ago

ESSEX — One of our State’s great culinary customs returns to the Connecticut River Museum with the 2017 Essex Annual Shad Bake.  For 59 years, the Rotary Club of Essex has been proudly holding this annual rite of spring, nailing delicious American shad onto oak planks and roasting them around a large bonfire.  Share this wonderful Connecticut tradition with your family and friends!

This year’s Bake is made possible through the generous support of Guilford Savings Bank and AJ Shea Construction.  Additional support comes from The JECM Foundation, Norman Needleman & Jacqueline Hubbard, Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services, Middlesex Hospital and many other sponsors.

This year’s Shad Bake will take place while the Connecticut River Museum’s feature exhibit, Connecticut’s Founding Fish, is on view. This new Museum exhibit focuses on the history and lifecycle of this important fish that helped shape our region.  The Museum’s executive director, Christopher Dobbs said “We are pleased to host and partner with the Rotary Club of Essex on this iconic event that celebrates part of the Connecticut River’s heritage and supports the many worthwhile projects of Rotary and Museum.”

Preparing Shad – Rotary Club of Essex volunteers prepare shad the traditional way by nailing them onto oak boards and using a specially prepared rub.

This volunteer-run event has been organized by the Rotary Club of Essex and is coordinated by Bake Master Joseph Shea. Shea stated that “We offer one of the most unique culinary traditions in New England and now we are merging it with one of the most majestic and historic locations. It is a winning combination!”

A variety of activities are taking place throughout the afternoon. Join seasoned Shad Bake pioneers for a story from shad bakes of yesteryear including the year of the big flood.  The Shad Museum in Haddam and the Connecticut River Museum will also offer programs on the history and traditions of the shad fishery.  The Museum’s authentic Connecticut River shad boat, Alva Starr, will be on display throughout the afternoon.

For shad lovers, the lure is the secret ingredients and the authentic method of preparing and baking the fish which has been handed down through generations of Connecticut natives.  Nailed onto oak planks with salt pork and placed in front of the bonfire, the fish picks up the smoky flavor of the fire and the seasoned oak boards on which it is baked. Add to this delicacy homemade potato salad, tossed green salad, and pie from Lyman Orchards and your shad experience is complete.

Don’t care for shad?  Grilled chicken and hot dogs are also available!  In addition to the food, participants will be able to enjoy live music and touring the Museum, which will be open until 6 pm.  The vibrant atmosphere is enhanced with picnickers and the delicious smell of shad baking around the open fire.

Buy your tickets today!  The $30 adult (Shad or Chicken dinner option) and $10 child (12 and under) ticket includes the full meal and admission to the Museum.  Tickets will be an additional $5 on the day of the event. Beer, wine and soda will be available for purchase with a valid ID.  Freshly shucked clams and oysters will also be available at an additional price beginning at 3:00 pm. No carry-in alcohol will be permitted.

To purchase tickets, visit shop.ctrivermuseum.org or buy them in person at the Centerbrook Package Store or the Connecticut River Museum.  On-site and street parking at the Connecticut River Museum is limited.  On the day of the event, a free shuttle will be running between the Museum and the Essex Town Hall parking lot.

The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street and is open 10 am to 5 pm, closed Mondays until after Memorial Day. The Museum, located in the historic Steamboat Dock building, offers exhibits and programs about the history and environment of the Connecticut River. For a full listing of Museum programs and events, go to www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.

The Rotary Club of Essex is the local chapter of Rotary International whose membership is made up of service minded professionals.  The club and its members are committed to improving the community, connecting with other professionals, sharing their time and experience with the young, supporting global causes, and using their skills to help others.  For more information about the Shad Bake and Rotary Club visit http://www.rotaryclubofessex.com.

Representative from the two lead sponsors, Bake Master Joseph Shea of AJ Shea Construction, and David Carswell Branch Manager of Guildford Savings Bank join Connecticut River Museum Executive Director Chris Dobbs to celebrate the upcoming Shad Bake.

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Friends of Essex Library Host Annual Spring Book Sale Today

ESSEX — The Friends of Essex Library host their Annual Spring Book Sale on Saturday, May 20, and Monday, May 22.  Doors will open Saturday at 9 a.m.

 Hardcovers are priced at $2; paperbacks at $1.  From 3 to 4 p.m. books will sell for half price.

“Fill your Bag for $5” will run from 4 to 5 p.m. for all books except those specially priced.

You are invited to bring your own tote or paper bag.  Free paper bags will be available at the library.

The “Fill your Bag for $5” sale will continue on Monday, May 22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Free bags will again be provided, if needed

Unique to this sale is a collection of 30 Life magazines from the 1930’s and 40’s, featuring everyone from Winston Churchill to Roy Rogers and Trigger. Each is in a plastic sheet protector and priced between$3 -$5.

Also available for sale will be a jazz aficionado’s collection of 150 CDs, from Diana Krall and Hoagy Carmichael to Starbucks and Pottery Barn choices, each for $1.00.

Additional special offerings, including a large collection of signed books and books of particular
interest, can be viewed on the Essex Library website.Click HERE for more information.In addition to the books for purchase, there will be a large number of board games from which to choose.

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Country School Classes Over in June, but Learning Opportunities Continue Through Summer

Recording thoughts in her writer’s notebook for the camp Word Play: Creative Writing at The Country School.

AREAWIDE — Each year the offerings at Country School’s Summer Fun and Learning become more engaging and more popular with area families. Not limited to students at The Country School, we welcome children in grades PreK-8 to our full or half-day week-long programs, all of which take place on our newly appointed 23-acre campus in Madison.

Whether you’re searching for something academic, artistic, or athletic, we’ve got you covered. Country School teachers, outside educators and professionals, athletes, and alumni will present workshops throughout the summer. Academic camps include Scratch, Minecraft and Crafting, 3-D Printing, Beginning Robotics, Robotics for Girls, Intro to Algebra, Word Play Creative Writing, Exploring Media and Technology, Debate, and Learning Olympics. More interested in the arts? Check out Intro to A Cappella, Young Actors’ Workshop, and Art Adventure. Need to release some energy? Multi Sport Camp with Madison Racquet and Swim Club, Soccer with Victory or Shoreline FC, and Running will keep the children moving.

Learn more about these camps at http://www.thecountryschool.org/summer2017. Summer Fun and Learning 2017 – Follow your passions and discover new ones!

Founded in 1955, The Country School serves 200 students in PreSchool-Grade 8 on its 23-acre campus in Madison. The Country School is committed to active, hands-on learning and a vigorous curriculum that engages the whole child. Signature programs such as Elmore Leadership, Public Speaking, STEAM, and Outdoor Education help prepare students for success in high school and beyond. Learn more at www.thecountryschool.org.

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Ivoryton Library Annual Book, Bake & Plant Sale is Today

The Ivoryton Library annual Book, Bake & Plant Sale will be held on Saturday, May 20 from 9 a.m.to 1 p.m. There will be perennials from members’ gardens, homemade baked goods and the big used book sale. Baked goods can be dropped off on Saturday morning.

New this year: Buy an Ivoryton Library Book Bag for $15 and fill it with used books from the sale for free. Bring it back to the sale next year and fill it for $5.00!

This sale is a great time to stock up on summer reading for all ages as well as goodies for your kitchen and garden. Support from those who make donations and/or attend the sale is much appreciated.  For more information, call the library at 867-767-1252. The Ivoryton Library is located at 106 Main St in Ivoryton.

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Essex Land Trust Hosts Birding and Nature Walk in Essex Meadows Today

Watching for birds on an Essex Land Trust hike.

ESSEX — May is the optimal time to see and hear the many birds that have returned from wintering in points south. Many will be singing and claiming nesting territories. Come explore the grounds of Essex Meadows.

Essex Land Trust Board Member and birder Jim Denham will lead a casual 1 1/2 hour stroll that coincides with the peak of spring bird migration. All levels of knowledge are welcome.  Essex Meadows will provide refreshments at the conclusion of the walk.

Easy to moderate walking on trails. Bad weather cancels. The event takes place Saturday, May 20, 10 am. Meet at Essex Meadows Main Building Entrance.

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Essex Corinthian YC Hosts Annual Spring Party Tonight; Benefits Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

ESSEX — Continuing its tradition of supporting charitable events, the Essex Corinthian Yacht Club (ECYC) will host its Annual Spring Party to Benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on Saturday, May 20, starting at 6: 30 p.m. at the club on Novelty Lane in Essex.

What is better than to enjoy entertainment in a beautiful location overlooking the Connecticut River and do something for a good cause at the same time?

The event is supported by members of the Essex Corinthian Yacht Club, in cooperation with the Duck Island and North Cove Yacht Clubs. The Arrowhead String Band from Chester, with renowned local artist Leif Nilsson, has graciously donated their performance at this event to this worthy cause. There will also be a raffle and silent auction, and a few more surprises!

All proceeds will benefit the lifesaving work of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

To register, visit https://tinyurl.com/LLSBenefit2017atECYC  

Questions? E-mail events@essexcorinthian.org

For further information, call Jean Little, Office Manager, ECYC at 860-767-3239.

The ECYC is located at 9 Novelty Lane, PO Box 759, Essex CT 06426. 

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RiverFare Returns for 24th Year of Delicious Fun on Essex Waterfront

Photo from left to right Tom Wilcox, Chairman Connecticut River Museum; Evan Barrett, The Blue Hound Cookery & Taproom; Chris Dobbs, Executive Director Connecticut River Museum; Francis D’Urso, Cannoli’s on the Run; Bill McGuinness, Becker’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry; Anna Lathrop, Gourmet Galley Catering; and Norman Needleman, Tower Laboritories.

ESSEX — On Thursday, June 1, from 6 to 9 p.m., the waterfront lawn of the Connecticut River Museum will come to life as the scenic setting for RiverFare 2017.  Known as the unofficial kick off of summer on the shoreline, RiverFare, the area’s most popular tasting event, will feature a craft beer garden, gourmet food and wines and a huge silent auction all on the Museum grounds overlooking beautiful Essex Harbor.  Like a kid in a candy store, move from table to table and sample the best culinary delights the Connecticut River Valley has to offer.

This year’s lineup of Connecticut’s leading restaurants and food purveyors includes RiverFare newcomers Cannoli on the Run and Anna’s Café, Savour Café & Bakery, Sixpence Pie Company, Atria Crossroads Place, Spice Catering Group and Wright’s Bar + Wood Fired Grill. Back by popular demand are Red House, Fromage Fine Foods & Coffees, Gourmet Galley Catering, Griswold Inn, Essex Coffee & Tea, Catering by Selene, The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook, Coastal Cooking Company, The Blue Hound Cookery & Taproom, Dough on Main and others.

RiverFarers will also have the opportunity to join in the fun of bidding in the silent auction, which features a diverse array of fine gifts, services, and entertainment experiences.  Items include a private island weekend get-away on Brockway Island, a Stand up Paddle Board, and an overnight at Mohegan Sun including dinner at Tuscany Restaurant.  Check out additional auction items at ctrivermuseum.org.

RiverFare 2017 is presented by Tower Labs Ltd., with major support provided by Becker’s Diamond & Fine Jewelry and Bogaert Construction.  Additional support is provided by C. Sherman Johnson Co., Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services, Sapia Builders Corp., Centerbrook Architect and Planners, Clark Group, Egidio Assante Wealth Management, Ivory Wealth Management, Middlesex Hospital,  North by Northeast Enterprises, Reynolds’ Garage & Marine, Inc., blp Enterprises, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Carr, Douglas & Cline, Caulfield & Ridgway, Innovative Display & Design and Stillman & Associates.  Additional in-kind support is provided by Bob’s Centerbrook Package Store, Rhode VanGessel Design, and Connecticut Rental Center.  Media support is provided by Valley Courier.

RiverFare admission is $60 per person in advance and $65 on the day of the event.  Patron tickets may be purchased for $150 and include a premium bar and $100 tax deduction.  Net proceeds will help support the Connecticut River Museum’s mission to increase public awareness and access to the heritage, and natural beauty of New England’s Great River. 

For more information or to make advance reservations, visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860.767.8269.  The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street in Essex.

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Shoreline Soup Kitchens Opens New Westbrook Meal Site, All Welcome

AREAWIDE — The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP) new Westbrook meal site is open for dinner from 6 to 7 p.m. every Friday.  The site is located at the Westbrook Congregational Church, 1166 Boston Post Road.  All are welcome to attend.

Don’t be shy, bring the whole family and enjoy a meal with wonderful dinner companions and nutritious food. You don’t need to call ahead or “make a reservation.”

Did you know that last year over 900,000 meals worth of food were distributed to individuals and families during The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries grocery distribution program?  And, that over 17,000 nutritious and delicious meals were provided at our 9 meal sites, serving seven days a week?

There are those among us who are hungry and alone. You can change that; you can make a difference in the lives of those who are hungry in body and spirit.  Contact SSKP to learn about the many opportunities to volunteer.

The SSKP offers food and fellowship to the communities of Chester, Clinton, Deep River, East Lyme, Essex, Killingworth, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

The SSKP’s family-oriented meal sites serving nutritious and delicious food are located in Centerbrook, Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Old Lyme, Westbrook and Old Saybrook.  And, SSKP food pantries are located in Clinton, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, East Lyme and Westbrook.  Also, provided to those who have limited cooking facilities are heat-n- meals that can be picked up at any of our pantries.

Community support of the SSKP is appreciated.  If you have any questions or for a more information, call 860.388.1988 or email at pdowling@shorelinesoupkitchens.org.

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BLUE Exhibition Featuring Monotype Prints on View at Lori Warner Gallery: Open House with the Artists, June 10

‘Blue 02’ (2017) by Lori Warner.

CHESTER — BLUE features new monotype prints by Elvira Ormaechea, Elizabeth Gourlay, Pat Smith and Lori Warner. Three artists were invited to create artwork with Lori Warner in her personal printmaking studio. Each artist created a series of prints using a variation on the color blue.

The exhibition opened May 19 and closes July 10. In addition to the opening, the artists will be present at the gallery on Saturday, June 10, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to informally discuss their work at a special gallery Open House.

Artists selected to exhibit in BLUE have various levels of printmaking experience. Elizabeth Gourlay has the most printmaking experience, creating monotypes with master printers. Gourlay’s primary medium is painting. Elvira Ormaechea printed while studying painting at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Art. Pat Smith is a sculptor. This wa

Unnamed work by Pat Smith.

s Smith’s first experience with printmaking.

In addition to their monotypes, an artwork in their primary medium will be exhibited to demonstrate the interpretation and influence of the process of printmaking.

As we all know, it’s difficult to step away from your comfort zone. The artists included in BLUE experimented with a new process, new tools and inks in an unfamiliar studio space – all with the intention of showing their work to the public. The works created for BLUE are exceptional because each piece demonstrates a rare glimpse into the artist’s unhindered interpretation of their personal vision through the revealing nature of simply working in an unfamiliar process. Allowing this creative vulnerability often marks a significant turning point for an artist. The Lori Warner Gallery is pleased to encourage this level of creativity and personal growth.

Before opening her gallery in Chester, Warner set up her printmaking studio in 2003 with award money received for excellence in printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design. Her intent was to invite artists to print, as finding access to an etching press is often difficult and expensive. BLUE is the first exhibition featuring works created by invited artists in Warner’s Hadlyme studio.

Additional information about each artist can be found on the gallery website, on Facebook, or in person at the Lori Warner Studio / Gallery in Chester, CT. Info below.

This event is free and open to the public.

Lori Warner Studio / Gallery is located at 21 Main Street in Chester, CT
For more information, call (860) 322-4265 or visit gallery@loriwarner.com, www.loriwarner.com, www.facebook.com/loriwarnergallery/

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Tri-Town Youth Services Announces Summer Co-op Sessions

TRI-TOWN — Tri-Town Youth Services will kick off its Summer Co-op 2017 with Session 1 running June 26-29 and Session 2 running July 10 to 13.  Each day will start at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. at Tri-Town Youth Services, 56 High St., Deep River.

Session I includes trips to: June 26 – Empower; June 27 – Bowling and Lyman Allen Museum; June 28 – Hammonasset Beach and Meigs Point Nature Center; June 29 – Brownstone.

Session II includes trips to: July 10 – Bushy Hill Nature Center; July 11 – Ocean Beach; July 12 – Launch Trampoline Park and Laser Tag; July 13 – Lake Compounce.

The cost per session is $225. and $200. For additional sibling.  Registration forms are available throughout the tri-town region at elementary schools and at John Winthrop Middle School.  These programs are open to students entering grades 7, 8 and 9 who live in Chester, Deep River, and Essex.

For further information, call Tri-Town Youth Services at 860-526-3600 or visit www.tritownys.org

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Deep River Public Library Introduces Wandoo Reader

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Public Library will be introducing Wandoo Reader, an interactive program to log summer reading. Interested participants can access Wandoo Reader from the library’s home page. There will be a two registration options, one for adults and the other for children. Registration begins June 14. Logging begins on June 28.

Participants can sign up by choosing the “join here” tab and filling in the appropriate information, including choosing a user name and password to access their account. Kids under age 18 will be eligible for prizes and weekly raffles, which include novelties, snacks, craft kits, Avery’s Gross Soda, gift certificates for scoops from the Sweet Shoppe, and cookies at Dough on Main. We will also raffle off an Erector set and a gift certificate to Deep River Pizza.

Wandoo Reader for Kids has a fun interface to help encourage children to complete the Governor’s Reading Challenge. As they log books, participants earn points to modify their adventure character. Wandoo Reader makes it easy for students to keep track of their books. No more lost paper logs – simply print your list of books at summer’s end!

Parents and Adults can enjoy a simpler version of Wandoo Reader. Register and log your reading with Wandoo Reader Adult and become eligible for the end-of-summer raffle, which include gift certificates to local Deep River merchants.

Summer Reading programs are free and open to all. Programs are sponsored by the Friends of the Deep River Public Library, Dough on Main, Deep River Pizza, the Sweet Shoppe and the Hartford Yardgoats.

For more information, visiy http://deepriverlibrary.accountsupport.com and click on our 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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Community Music School Opens Summer Registration for Arts, Music Programs & ‘Broadway Bound’

Broadway Bound with the Community Music School.

CENTERBROOK & EAST LYME – Community Music School is currently enrolling for summer arts programs for students of all ages, including Broadway Bound, a two-week summer musical theater experience for ages 8 to 15. This very popular program, now in its 17th season, will produce “The Addams Family” and “The Lion King.”

At the School’s Centerbrook location, private lessons, group classes and ensembles are available including Tutti Flutie Flute Ensemble with Cheryl Six; Beginning Group Piano with Tom Briggs; CMS Drum Village with Marty Wirt; Introduction to Music Technology with Tom Briggs; Jazz for the Beginning Student with Tom Briggs; Drums & Percussion Workshop with Tom Briggs; the Science of Sound with Christine Coyle; and Summer Kindermusik Drop-in Classes with Martha Herrle.

Community Music School’s eight-week summer session of private lessons runs from June 26th through August 18th and registrations are accepted throughout the summer. Summer lessons can be scheduled around family vacations at your convenience, and a four-pack of lessons is offered at reduced rate.  For additional information, visit www.community-music-school.org/summer or call CMS at 860-767-0026.

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 www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

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‘Nilsson & Newton’ Exhibition on View at Spring Street Gallery

CHESTER — Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery at One Spring Street, Chester, presents Nilsson & Newton, a special exhibit of paintings by Leif Nilsson and sculptures by Richard Newton.

Nilsson works with oil paint on canvas and Newton works with shaped and painted steel. The exhibit will be open from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and other times by appointment through June 4, 2017.

Oil paint on steel  52 x 168 inches by Richard Newton

Mdina, Malta – spring afternoon  oil 12 x 18 inches by Leif Nilsson 2017 ©

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Obituary: Death of Matilda A. Colihan (Tillie) Announced

In this submitted photo, the late Tillie Colihan is seen tending her flowers.

Avid gardener, conservationist, seeker of solutions to make the world and our local communities better places, Tillie Colihan died peacefully in her Essex Meadows home on May 2, 2017.

Born May 20, 1920 in Mount Vernon, NY to William and Rowena Alston, Tillie attended Madeira School in Greenway, VA, and graduated from Pine Manor College, Chestnut Hill, MA in 1940.  She made lasting friendships with classmates and served as alumnae secretary for both schools.

Not wanting to be left behind after her brothers enlisted in the Armed Services, Tillie joined the Red Cross in December 1943. She was assigned to the 85th Division, stationed in northeastern Italy, and served until the war ended.  She was awarded a Medal of Freedom for “gallantry in the line of duty and devoted service while under enemy fire.” (While immensely proud of her medal, Tillie always insisted, with undue modesty, she was just serving donuts and coffee to the G.I.’s.)

Following the war, she became a receptionist at the Young & Rubicam advertising agency in New York City.  There, she met William J. Colihan, whom she married in May 1948. Tillie and Bill settled in Greenwich, CT, where they raised four children, Alston Colihan of Washington, D.C., Jane Colihan of Brooklyn, NY, William Colihan of New York, NY, and Abby Colihan of Montpelier, VT.  During these years, Tillie took up yoga and developed an interest in natural foods and alternative medicine.

In 1980, Tillie and Bill moved to a house – designed by Bill and her brother, Henry Alston – on the Connecticut River in Essex. Tillie spent springs and summers in her field, surrounded by bluebirds and wildflowers.  She enthusiastically organized the making of trough gardens for May Markets. Wanting to share nature’s beauty, Tillie regularly brought flowers from her garden to the Essex Meadows Medical Center – a practice she kept up for many years. During the winters she and her husband traveled in the U.S. and internationally. Bill died at Essex Meadows Medical Center in July 1994.

In 1998, Tillie moved to an apartment in Essex Meadows.  Hours that she had spent in her garden she now spent feeding birds and keeping up with all things happening in the world.  In recent years she has enjoyed watching her four rarely-disciplined grandchildren, Dan, Jim, Dana, and Molly, turn out fine.

As she wished, there will be a small memorial service later this summer.

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Essex Boat Works, Carlson Landing Present Proposed Marina, Restaurant Building Plans at Last Monday’s Zoning Hearing

Rendering of the proposed waterfront premises by Centerbrook Architects.

ESSEX — Essex Boat Works, LLC and Carlson Landing LLC presented their finalized building plans for its Main Street property for review by the Town of Essex Zoning Board on Monday, May 15.  The details of the plans will begin with the construction of a new marina building and accessory waterfront restaurant with Main Street access.

The business and property were purchased in February of 2016, by Richard (Rick) E. Carlson/Carlson Landing, LLC of Essex, Conn.  Carlson purchased the property with the vision to preserve a very important piece of boating and Essex history while beautifying the waterfront area and supporting the economic business development goals of the town.

A team of expert consultants, Centerbrook Architects and Milone & MacBroom, have developed a proposal that complies with regulatory and code requirements.  Centerbrook Architects has planned and designed a suitable year-round building to be used for office space, marina customers along with an accessory waterfront restaurant.

The design goal was established to keep to the historical look and feel of the downtown Essex area, specifically the nearby buildings.  The new establishment, located on the Essex Harbor, will be an anchor for the town.  It is a prime location for visitors from the water to dock their boats, visit the local restaurants and shops throughout Essex Village.  The accessory restaurant will feature waterfront indoor and outdoor dining with a menu of ‘lite bites,’ small plates of upscale casual seafood selections.

Editor’s Note: One of the oldest remaining shipyards in the country, the location of Essex Boat Works predates the War of 1812, where the building of the U.S. warships was performed.  Located in the heart of the historic Essex Village, EBW continues the legacy of top-notch customer relations and professional services including; marina, storage, service, brokerage and new yacht sales.  A new office, marina building with an accessory restaurant are planned for construction beginning in 2017. For more information visit:  www.essexboatworks.com  or call 860-767-8276.

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‘Maple & Main’ Offers Moms a Treat (or Two!) on Mother’s Day

‘Hellebore and backcloth’ by Claudia van Nes is featured in the ‘Little Gems’ show.

CHESTER– Bring your mother to Maple and Main Gallery Sunday where she – and you – will be served mimosas, chocolate-covered strawberries and other chocolate treats from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Little Gems show in the Stone Gallery on the lower level is filled with 8”x 8” paintings, all $200 and perfect for gifts as are the paintings in our Small Works Gallery on the main floor.  There are also gift certificates and reasonably priced original, unframed works for sale.

Or, maybe you’re a mom. If so, just come by and spend some quality time with art  – you deserve it!

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Essex May Market, an Essex Garden Club Extravaganza, Takes Place Today

Plants galore for sale at May Market.

ESSEX — You’re in for a treat on Saturday, May 13, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine, when the Essex Garden Club will have a one-day extravaganza in the Town Park on Main Street. 

Just in time for Mother’s Day, there will be herbs and herbal gift creations as well as the Garden Club’s ‘world famous’ garlic salt, made from a closely-guarded secret recipe since 1953.

Always the star of Essex May Market are 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. 

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. People start lining up at 8 a.m. to get the finest specimens. 

On the other side of the park, the Annuals Tent will be stocked with the healthiest hanging baskets, and blooming annuals. 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.

Sales of Essex Garden Club’s ‘World Famous’ Garlic Salt are always brisk.

The “Treasures” section is a great place to find gently used pieces of jewelry, garden pieces, planters, books, cnildren’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. One of the features of the Market is a Silent Auction.  This year one of the Club’s members has made a very special donation to the Silent Auction offerings:  one dozen Beatrix Potter collectable figurines made by Beswick Pottery in England.  These delightful figurines include many of the storybook characters made famous by the writings and drawings of Beatrix Potter.  Three are mounted as music boxes.  They were produced under license from F. Warne & Co., the publisher of her stories and thus are faithful to her drawings.  

And back again this year is the Jewelry Tree.  Here you will find an extensive and superb collection of vintage bangles, earrings, necklaces and pins.

The May Market Café offers donuts and coffee starting in the morning and light lunch fare at midday. Local Connecticut breads and honey will be for sale and make great gifts

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.  Plantings are also purchased for the Essex Town hall, Town Park and for public schools serving Essex students. 

Funds also provide scholarships for high school seniors and college students, summer camper-ships for young students, and educational programs for Essex Elementary school and John Winthrop Middle school

May Market is truly a gardener’s dream.  Come early and you will definitely find something beautiful for your garden or a special gift to take home. It is, after all, the quintessential Essex event!

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Op-Ed: CT River Museum Raises Questions About Essex’s Changing Waterfront

The following op-ed was submitted by the Executive Director of the Connecticut River Museum, Christopher Dobbs.

The Connecticut River Museum may be getting a new neighbor – a restaurant called Carlson’s Landing, to be located at 63 Main Street on a flag lot that bisects the Museum’s campus – the main Museum at 67 Main Street and the Lay House at 57 Main Street. The Museum is delighted Essex is getting a business that might draw welcome patronage to the Village’s main commercial district. However, the organization does have reservations about the application for the new restaurant which it will air at the upcoming Zoning Commission’s public hearing at 7:00 pm on May 15th .

Careful review of the Carlson’s Landing application by engineers, a zoning specialist, and a surveyor have resulted in several concerns. The majority of these stem from inadequate information. Major concerns at this time are: 1) increased traffic congestion and impact; 2) inadequate parking; and 3) under equipped bathroom facilities and septic system.

The Museum is worried that the developers have seriously under-represented the burden that additional traffic will have on the foot of Main Street and the Museum. The proposed restaurant (according to an application now on file with the Zoning Commission) will be accessed with one-way traffic from 63 Main – including commercial delivery and trash removal trucks – with egress contemplated across the Essex Boat Works lot and onto Ferry Street. (The developers are also the new owners of Essex Boat Works which is accessed via a driveway at 9 Ferry Street.)

The proposed plan permanently removes the Museum’s stairway connecting the two halves of its campus. This staircase, in honor of Sherry and Herb Clark, was donated to the Museum in 2013 by the Rotary Club of Essex with the permission of the property’s previous owner. It has allowed the Museum to thrive and better serve the community. Removal will result in the two halves being disconnected and the Museum installing a new set of stairs to the Lay property from the village sidewalk. More importantly, thousands of program attendees, including school children, will need to walk along the road and cross the entrance of the restaurant.

Increased traffic by cars and trucks, no matter where pedestrians cross to stroll down to the waterfront, will transform the foot of Main Street. For safety and aesthetic reasons, the Museum has suggested to the owners that commercial traffic enter and exit via 9 Ferry Street, which they have refused to do. The Museum has also requested that they limit traffic off of Main Street during major community events such as Burning of the Ships Day, the Annual Essex Shad Bake, Dogs on the Dock, and Trees in the Rigging. To date, the developers have not formally agreed.

Parking on the restaurant lot (10 spaces are identified on the plan) is inadequate. To meet zoning regulations, the plans call for using the adjacent Essex Boat Works property for parking. Since the Boat Works will continue to operate as a boat yard and marina, the Museum is concerned that the operations will impinge on the theoretical parking spaces and that restaurant patrons will need to find parking elsewhere, including in the Museum’s lot.

The Museum worries that if 63 Main Street and 9 Ferry Street were ever sold separately that the one-way driveway will need to become two-way (including commercial traffic) and there will then be even more inadequate parking on the restaurant lot with subsequent further strain on the Museum parking lot. One solution to this problem would be to secure cross-property easements (between 63 Main Street and 9 Ferry Street) for parking and ingress/egress that would survive any future sale of either lot.

Finally, the Museum has concerns about the new restaurant’s septic system design and bathroom capacity. The application indicates that the system’s leaching fields will be located on the flag lot between the Museum’s two properties – uphill and very close to the line. Sewage will need to be pumped uphill to the leaching fields. The Museum’s engineer questions the fields’ ability to withstand inundation from rainfall, let alone over-use. There are only two restrooms shown on the plans for the new restaurant that are meant to accommodate 59 restaurant patrons. In addition to restaurant patrons, the restrooms and septic system will also need to accommodate restaurant and marina employees along with showers for marina customers. The Museum questions whether the new restaurant has made adequate provision and is concerned that its own restroom facilities (the two in the Lay house and the three in its main building) will have additional demand placed on them by people frequenting lower Main Street.

The Museum is pleased to have a new neighbor on the foot of Main Street. Carefully addressing these concerns will allow the Museum, the restaurant, and our community to flourish.

Editor’s Note: For 43 years, the Connecticut River Museum has been a significant community and regional asset. Over 25,000 visitors each year attend the Museum’s programs with many more using the front lawn and Lay house property as their park and access to New England’s great river.

The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street and is open 10 am to 5 pm, closed Mondays until Memorial Day. The Museum, located in the historic Steamboat Dock building, offers exhibits and programs about the history and environment of the Connecticut River. For more information on the Museum, visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.

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Essex Foundation Continues Gateway Beautification Work

As part of the Essex Foundation’s gateway beautification project, Chanticleer pear trees were planted along Route 154 in Essex by a Sullivan Lawn Services installation crew.

ESSEX – The Essex Foundation recently completed the first phase of a multi-phase landscape plan for the grounds surrounding the newly painted bridge in the Rte. 9/ Exit 3 underpass area of Essex. Twelve Chanticleer pear trees were planted on the state-owned land south of the Rte. 154 and Rte. 153 intersection, directly across from the Essex Fire Department station and commuter lot.

The charitable organization contracted with Matthew Verry, a graduate of the University of Connecticut’s Landscape Architecture program, for the planning and coordination of the work. His company, Matthew Verry Landscape Design, provided the landscape design and oversight of the state approval and installation bid process.  Sullivan Lawn Services, LLC was hired for the installation work.

The Chanticleer pear tree was selected for its beauty and hardiness.  It is one of the most profuse flowering trees with a narrow, tailored appearance.  It tolerates many urban conditions, making it a popular street tree choice where spread may be a bit limited. The next phase of the landscape beautification, which includes planting of low growing, low maintenance evergreen and perennial ornamentals in the southeast corner of the gateway area, is also targeted for completion this spring.

Funds for the cost of the planning, design, tree/plant purchase and installation were provided through a bequest to the Essex Foundation by the late Elizabeth “Diz” Barnes Callender and her predeceased sister Mary Frances Barnes.

“The gateway beautification has been a true community effort,” stated Bruce Glowac, Chairman of the Essex Foundation Board of Trustees, “It is exactly the type of project we like to get behind – somewhat unique, requiring relatively quick action. It’s also nice that the impact can be seen immediately. Now that the bridge painting is complete, the trees are installed, and the ornamentals are being planted, .”

The Essex Foundation was founded in 1970 through an open-ended bequest to benefit the town.  Board members are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Essex citizens by providing medical, educational, social, welfare, cultural, recreational, and civic support. Thanks to the Foundation’s endowment, as well as the many donations received from individuals, businesses and other organizations, the Essex Foundation is able to provide “seed money” for new services and to allocate funds to fill needs not met by other organizations or sources. In general, funds are granted for special purposes, including buildings, equipment, land, and programs, but not to recurring expenses. More information can be found at www.theessexfoundaton.org.

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Musical Masterworks, Community Music School Announce New Scholarship

ESSEX/OLD LYME — Musical Masterworks and Community Music School (CMS) have announced a new scholarship to honor the memory of Nancy D. Thomas.

Ms. Thomas was a well-known and beloved piano instructor with Community Music School for 30 years and initiated the Kindermusik program and Kate’s Camp for Kids at CMS.  She influenced the lives of many young musicians and inspired their talents.  “We are thrilled to provide an additional opportunity for young people to study music through this new endeavor and are so honored to have Musical Masterworks by our side in this partnership.” said Abigail Nickell, Executive Director of Community Music School

Ms. Thomas also was on the staff of Musical Masterworks for almost 25 years.  She was fastidious in her responsibilities working with the pianists onstage and was well loved by all.  “Nancy was an indispensable part of Musical Masterworks.  We are delighted to partner with her beloved Community Music School in establishing this scholarship in her name, so that more young people can discover the power of music in their lives. We believe this would have pleased Nancy immensely,” said Alden Rockwell Murphy, President of Musical Masterworks.

Community Music School and Musical Masterworks are pleased to honor her memory with the Musical Masterworks Scholarship in Honor of Nancy D. Thomas, which will provide the tuition for a middle school student to take music lessons, 30 minutes each, for one full year at Community Music School.  The scholarship will be awarded annually for the next five years.  To be eligible, the candidate must be a student of classical voice or instrumental music and reside in Middlesex County or New London County.

Interested students must complete an application and submit an audio recording of two pieces of classical music in contrasting styles as well as a written recommendation.  A three-member jury comprised of representatives of both Community Music School and Masterworks will review applications.

The application deadline for the scholarship is June 16, 2017, and the scholarship recipients will be notified mid-summer. To learn more and to obtain an application, contact Community Music School at (860) 767-0026.

Editor’s Notes: 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 www.community-music-school.org or call 860.767.0026.

Musical Masterworks brings to Southern New England world-class chamber music performances and outreach programs which attract, entertain, and educate a diverse audience. Now planning its 27th season, Musical Masterworks offers five weekends of performances from October through May in Old Lyme.  Learn more by visiting www.musicalmasterworks.org or by calling 860.434.2252.

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Understanding Local Pollinators is Topic of CT River Museum Forum Today at 5:30pm

Photo from Unsplash.com by Stefan Steinbauer.

ESSEX – The Rockfall Foundation and the Connecticut River Museum present “Understanding Local Pollinators,” a free environmental forum on Thursday, May 11, at 5:30 p.m. at the Museum, 67 Main Street, Essex. Speakers will address issues relating to pollinators and the plants they sustain in the Connecticut River valley, including natural environment, organic farming, and home gardening of flowers, vegetables and shrubs.

Presenters include Judy Preston, Connecticut Sea Grant; Gail Reynolds, UCONN Extension Master Gardeners Program; Jeff Cordulack, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut; and  Jane Seymour, CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

This free event is sponsored by the Rockfall Foundation and is part of its “Meet Your Greens” monthly networking series. Refreshments will be served and a reception continues on the Museum’s north deck following the presentations. Advanced registration is encouraged by calling the Connecticut River Museum at 860-767-8269.

The Rockfall Foundation supports environmental education, conservation programs and planning initiatives in the Lower Connecticut River Valley. Established in 1935, it is one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations and annually awards grants to non-profits, schools and municipalities. Meet Your Greens is an official program of Green Drinks International’s informal monthly gatherings that offer attendees a chance to network with other local people interested in environmental issues, and the means to solve them.

The Connecticut River Museum’s mission is to lead in the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its valley. By deepening understanding of the River’s importance to past generations, the Museum inspires the stewardship of future generations.

For additional information, contact the Rockfall Foundation at 860-347-0340 or visitwww.rockfallfoundation.org.

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Siegrist Hails Passage of Proposal to Allow Return of Prescription Drugs to Pharmacies

State Rep. Robert Siegrist (R-36th)

AREAWIDE — State Rep. Robert Siegrist hailed the passage of a bill in the House of Representatives this week that looks to allow certain state pharmacies to accept and dispose of unused prescription drugs. Rep. Siegrist proposed a similar measure in the General Assembly in the beginning of the 2017 legislative session.

Rep. Siegrist, a member of the legislature’s public safety and security committee, said, “The opioid crisis is at an all-time high and I believe this proposal is another step in the right direction to combat growing crisis. I also believe this proposal will help the rural district that I represent, specifically the towns of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam.”

Currently, prescription drug drop boxes in Connecticut are located in local police stations.

The legislation, HB 5077, An Act Concerning The Return Of Prescription Drugs To Pharmacies, passed unanimously in the House and now heads to the State Senate for further action. After much negation in the House with all stakeholders, the bill as passed allows for Connecticut licensed pharmacies to accept and dispose of unused prescription drugs.  The bill also allows for the potential for cooperative agreements between pharmacies and local law enforcement, which should help independent and rural pharmacy locations

The bill has the support of the Connecticut Association of Community Pharmacies.

According to Governor Dannel Malloy, Connecticut saw an increase in the amount of unused prescription medications that residents dropped off at collection boxes during 2016, with the state collecting a total of 33,803 pounds worth of various medications throughout the year. That amounts to a 43 percent increase compared to the amount that residents dropped off in 2015, when 23,651 pounds of unused drugs were collected by the state.

The final rule on the Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in September of 2014 expanded the authority of authorized hospitals/clinics and retail pharmacies to voluntarily maintain collection receptacles. These receptacles would still be subject to regulation and protections under the law. This bill will give pharmacies the option to participate as a collection site, not require it, and would likely help to get more prescription drugs off the street from people  who would otherwise feel uncomfortable returning them to the police directly.

Editor’s Note: Siegrist represents the 36th District communities of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam.

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Rockfall Foundation Hosts Fundraising ‘Sustainable Seafood Soiree,’ May 24

From left to right, Robin Andreoli, executive director of the Rockfall Foundation and Nat, Sariah, and Kate Novick of Killingworth look forward to the Sustainable Seafood Soiree on May 24 to benefit environmental education programs in the Lower Connecticut River Valley.

AREAWIDE – The Rockfall Foundation and the Noank Aquaculture Cooperative present a “Sustainable Seafood Soiree” on Wednesday, May 24, to raise awareness of locally farmed oysters with proceeds to benefit the Foundation’s grants and environmental education programs. This unique event will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the beautiful and “Green Lodging Certified” Saybrook Point Inn, 2 Bridge Street, Old Saybrook.

Steven Plant of Connecticut Cultured Oysters will speak about the Noank Aquaculture Cooperative’s efforts as responsible shellfish farmers. Member farmers focus on growing some of the finest oysters in the Northeast, including Mystic Oysters and Thimble Island Oysters. Attendees will enjoy an abundant oyster raw bar, hors d’oeuvres and beverages on the patio overlooking the majestic marina, surrounded by fresh salt air and breathtaking views.

Proceeds will support environmental education programs of the Rockfall Foundation, including the “Greening Kids” grant program with the goal of nurturing future environmental stewards. The program funds environmental literacy activities offered in schools and by several non-profit organizations throughout the Lower Connecticut River Valley. The Rockfall Foundation is one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations, founded in 1935 by Clarence S. Wadsworth, and is headquartered in Middletown.

Tickets are $75 per person and advanced registration is encouraged by calling the Rockfall Foundation at 860-347-0340 or by visiting www.rockfallfoundation.org. The event is generously supported by Guilford Savings Bank and Attorney John Boccalatte and Dr. Michele Salonia.

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Run for Chris 5K Partners With Valley Shore YMCA This Year, Free Registration for Kids Under 14 Before June 1

Tony Sharillo of Middletown and son complete the Run for Chris last year.

AREAWIDE — The 6th Annual Run For Chris 5K, With The Y will be held Saturday, June 24, in Essex, Conn., starting at Town Hall. Of note is the addition of “With the Y” to the run’s name, reflecting this year’s official partnering with the Valley Shore YMCA. The YMCA will bring a family aspect to this already great race and continue to have The Run for Chris kick off the Y’s Run Club’s race season as their featured race.

To encourage families to race together, all children under 14 can register for free before June 1.  This fun family event, which includes a Kids’ Fun Run, face painting, music and games, is truly a great way to spend some quality family time together.

For those 5K runners who are looking for a great race this June, this is a terrific course passes thru historic Essex with beautiful views of the Connecticut River. Awards and food for the runners, as well as a great raffle, round out the morning’s festivities.

The race is held in memory of Christopher Belfoure, a 2005 graduate of Valley Regional High School (VRHS), with all the proceeds benefitting The Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County.

While a student at Valley, Chris went on several school trips abroad. Chris went on to major in History and Chinese Studies at West Virginia University, where he spent a considerable amount of time studying abroad in China and became fluent in Mandarin.

Influenced by his own life-altering journeys, Chris was passionate about encouraging others to also broaden their horizons and follow their own paths. Sadly Chris lost his life at the age of 24, so to keep his inspiration and passion alive The Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund was established in 2011.

The fund is intended to perpetuate Chris’s vision by helping local area high school students travel abroad.  A race participant added this perspective about the run, “I think the race is also quite indicative of the ups, downs and flat stretches in life we all face from time to time. You have a wonderful foundation that celebrates the life of Chris, and which seeks to help others. That is incredibly admirable.”

To date 142 VRHS students have benefited from the Fund, traveling to such places as Costa Rica, France and Spain, for a total of $9,145 in grants. On April 24 students departed for Paris, supported by a $3,000 grant from the Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund, which is made possible by proceeds from the run and from its sponsors.

To register for the Run, go to www.aratrace.com.  For more information, contact George Chapin, Race Director, at george_c@snet.net.

Visit the website @ www.chrisbel4mf.com

Photos Courtesy of Roger U. Williams

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Free Day For All at FloGris Today

Families are invited to create hands-on crafts during Community Free Day on May 7, at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

Families are invited to create hands-on crafts during Community Free Day on May 7, at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

OLD  LYME — The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme presents its annual Community Free Day on Sunday, May 7 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Old Lyme. The event offers free admission to the Museum’s 13-acre campus, and includes family friendly activities and musicians Steve Elci and Friends at noon.

Museum-goers visiting the original Florence Griswold House are treated to guides sharing stories of the Lyme Art Colony artists who stayed with Miss Florence in the boardinghouse over 100 years ago. The house, decorated as it was in 1910, includes the original paintings that artists created on the door and wall panels of the house.

 On view in the Museum’s Krieble Gallery are two animal-centric exhibitions. Matilda Browne: Idylls of Farm and Garden offers new research on this American artist who specialized in landscapes, gardens and animal portraits. Beasts & Best Friends: Animals of the Lyme Art Colony showcases works of farm and domestic animals.

Free Day attendees can also visit the Chadwick Art Studio, presented as it would have looked in 1920, the Rafal Landscape Center, as well as the Museum’s gardens and grounds along the Lieutenant River. And the award-winning Café Flo will be open.

Family-Fun on Free Day

Free Day highlights family enjoyment of the Florence Griswold Museum. Family friendly entertainment with Steve Elci and Friends begins at noon.

Steve Elci and Friends will entertain at the Museum on Sunday.

Artists and adventurers of all ages can enjoy painting outside in the gardens and learning more about nature through a selection of Explorer Kits. All materials included.

 While at the Museum, families are encouraged to follow scavenger hunt cards in the Florence Griswold House, and uncover art details in the Krieble art gallery with “Can You Find Me” game cards. 

Be one of the first to pick up the newest keepsake publication, My Sticker Book Guide to the Florence Griswold Museum. The beautifully illustrated booklet tells the story of Miss Florence and her artist friends. Each time a child visits the Museum, they earn a sticker to complete one of the booklet illustrations. Those who collect all six stickers receive a gift.

On May 7, Community Free Day visitors will hear about life in an artists’ boardinghouse at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

On May 7, Community Free Day visitors will hear about life in an artists’ boardinghouse at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

A historic center for American art, the Florence Griswold Museum is considered the Home of American Impressionism. The Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95.

For additional information contact the Museum at 860-434-5542 or www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org.

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Take a (Vernal Pool) Hike in The Preserve This Morning

Hikes are fun for all ages.

ESSEX — Essex Land Trust is hosting a hike in The Preserve’s Vernal Pools on Saturday, May 6, starting at 9 a.m.  

Join ecologist and Ivoryton resident Bob Russo on a hike in The Preserve in search of salamanders, frogs, and plants emerging from the long winter.  He will guide hikers to a few of The Preserve’s vernal pools and describe the biological and geological features that make these areas so unique and bountiful.

Russo is a soil scientist, wetland scientist and ecologist, who frequently played in swamps while growing up. He works for a small engineering company in Eastern Connecticut, lives in Ivoryton and is also chair of the Essex Park and Recreation Commission.

Meet at The Preserve’s East Entrance parking lot on Ingham Hill Rd., Essex. The hike will last one and a half hours. 

The terrain is easy to moderate.  Bring boots.  Open to all ages.  Bad weather cancels.

For further information, contactJim Denham at jgdenham@gmail.com or 860-876-0306.

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Regional Boat Dealers Host 2nd Annual CT Spring Boat Show This Weekend

Aerial view of the Brewer Essex Island Marina where the Connecticut Spring Boat Show will be held.

ESSEX – The Connecticut Spring Boat Show has announced the 2nd Annual 2017 in-water show dates of May 5-7, at Brewer Essex Island Marina located in Essex, Conn.    The boating industry has come together to unveil some of the latest innovations in boating, offer purchase incentives and give consumers an ideal opportunity to compare different boats, dealers and options in one convenient location.

Interested boat buyers will enjoy select opportunities for sea trials throughout the weekend; thus giving prospective buyers a unique ‘try-before-you-buy’ experience.  More than 3000 people are expected to attend the free show, rain or shine.

Visitors attending the boat show will enjoy seeing a wide range of new and brokerage, power and sail models of all sizes, 10ft to larger than 60ft including family cruisers, performance boats, downeast trawlers, day sailers, picnic, center consoles, runabouts, pontoon and inflatables.

Boat lines from American Tug, Beneteau, Bennington, Catalina, Chris Craft, Comitti, Cutwater, Defever, Dufour, Eastbay, Elan, Ferretti, Fortier, Grand Banks, Hinckley, Hunt, Legacy, Nordic Tug, Novatec, Ocean Alexander, Post, Rosborough, Rossiter, Sabre, San Juan, Sea Ray, Southport, Tiara, True North, Velasco,  Windy, X-Yachts, and more will be represented.

In addition to boats on the docks, the show will have SUPs and kayaks, gear, accessories and service companies on site from Action Sports, Boaters Buddy, Boatique USA, Boat Name Gear, Brewer Essex Island Marina, CermaLube, Coolermate Insert, Freedom Boat Club, LeafFilter, NMI-Permateek, Pantaenuis America, Connecticut River Museum, Sails UP for Cancer, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, WindCheck Magazine and more to be announced soon.

Brewer Essex Island Marina is located on a 13-acre private Island, accompanied by a complementary ferry service, and offers 125 slips accommodating vessels up to 200’. The resort marina is family friendly and the popular Marley’s Café will be open for the weekend offering food and beverages with a portion of sales proceeds to be donated to Sails Up 4 Cancer.  In addition to the general event, a lively ‘Cinco de Mayo’ celebration is planned for May 5, from 5 to 7 p.m. and will feature live Caribbean music and fare.

Historical Downtown Essex is located on the Connecticut River, a few short miles from Long Island Sound.  The small waterfront town is a boating, sailing and tourist destination featuring quaint shops, markets, and restaurants.

The show is a production of WindCheck Magazine and is sponsored by Brewer Essex Island Marina, Essex Boat Works, Yacht Brokers Association of America (YBAA) and YachtWorld.  Visit www.ctspringboatshow.com for specific event details.  Contact Anne Hannan of WindCheck Magazine at anne@windcheckmagazine.com for dealer and vendor application information.

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Eastern CT Ballet Performs ‘Ballerina Swan/Carnival of the Animals’ at ‘The Kate’ This Weekend


The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, “the Kate”, welcomes back Eastern Connecticut Ballet for two performances in one featuring Ballerina Swan and Carnival of the Animals.

A total of four family-friendly performances will be held this Saturday, May 6, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., as well as Sunday, May 7, at 1 and 4 p.m.

Ballerina Swan is based on a new book by New York City Ballet’s Allegra Kent and is choreographed by Gloria Gorvrin, the Artistic Director of Eastern Connecticut Ballet.  Laugh and cry as Sophie the swan follows her dream leaving the safety of her home on the water to experience humorous escapades in the ballet classroom.  The ballet concludes with breathtaking variations from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.

Complete the unique double-bill family event with Carnival of the Animals.  Lions, birds, and fish will frolic on stage in Camile Saint-Saen’s musical masterpiece.

This promises to be an afternoon of beautiful music and dance.

For more information on tickets for any shows at the Kate, visit www.thekate.org or call the Kate Box Office at 860-510-0453.

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Musical Masterworks Ends 26th Season This Weekend with Program of Russian Works

Violinist and two-time GRAMMY nominee Jennifer Frautschi, who plays in Musical Masterworks upcoming concerts.

AREAWIDE — Musical Masterworks will close their 26th season with a dramatic program of Russian works culminating in Tchaikovsky’s towering Piano Trio.  Pianist Andrew Armstrong, with both passionate expression and exceptional technique, along with violinist and two-time GRAMMY nominee Jennifer Frautschi, will join Edward Arron for a memorable performance.

The May performances are Saturday, May 6, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, May 7 at 3 p.m. at The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, which is an acoustically rich and beautiful venue for chamber music.

To purchase tickets ($35 individual; $5 student), visit Musical Masterworks at www.musicalmasterworks.org or call 860.434.2252.

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So Much to Celebrate at ‘May Daze’ Tonight in Chester

Jewelry will be on sale during May Daze at Dina Varano.

CHESTER – The 26th annual May Daze celebration is First Friday, May 5 when all the shops, restaurants and galleries in town are open late with live music, art events, special deals, Mexican cake, Argentinian sparkling wine, local beer tastings and new lines of artisan jewelry.

This year, because May Daze falls on Cinco de Mayo, a number of businesses are adopting a Mexican flavor for the evening.

Strut your Mutt is staging “Connecticut Shelter Dogs Celebrating Cinco de Mayo” when rescue dogs will be up for adoption and margaritas and chips and salsa will be served.

‘Warmth’ by Pam Carlson of Essex at Maple & Main Gallery.

A Mother’s Day collection of new Leiva jewelry featuring parings of mother/daughter necklaces and earrings, will be unveiled at Lori Warner’s and sangria and sweets will be offered. In the Swoon Boutique downstairs, it’s 10 percent off all Mother’s Day gifts.

At Maple and Main Gallery, “Little Gems”, a show of paintings, all 8”x 8,” all $200 and all newly created by the gallery artists, will open in the Stone Gallery  where wine and Mexican dip and chips will be served.

Mini margaritas will be offered at The French Hen which is launching a new jewelry line by T. Jazelle, created on Cape Cod and perfect for Mother’s Day and graduation.

Dina Varano is offering unique jewelry for mom as well as unveiling new spring arrivals. In another nod to Cinco de Mayo, ginger/lime spritzers with be offered with chips & guacamole.

Perfect Pear will be serving a delicious pinata cake

And, at the Perfect Pear, a festive piñata cake will be served and 10 percent off is being offered on a special selection of Cinco de Mayo-related merchandise.

To herald in spring, The Pattaconk’s ice cream shop will open for the season on May Daze and live music will be performed on the patio from 7 to 10 p.m. while Arrowhead will be playing at Leif Nilsson’s Studio and Gallery .

And for the younger crowd, Circle of Friends Montessori is hosting a May Daze open house from 5 to 7 p.m. featuring music, face painting, art projects and a planting activity with Cold Spring Farm.

C&G is celebrating its 10th anniversary with 10 percent off everything in the store. Argentinian sparkling wine will offered.

A wine tasting by Sunset Hill Vineyards in Lyme will take place at BlackKate Leather and at Chester Package Store there will be a tasting of local beers from 5 to 7 p.m.

At Lark, MaryAnne Delorenzo of Beach House Stained Glass and Jewelry will be featured and wine and appetizers will be served.

At Elle, everything will be 50 percent off in anticipation of a month-long closing in May for renovations and rebranding. A grand re-opening will be on the first Friday in June.

Come back to town Saturday, May 6 when the students in Rayna’s Dance Studio will perform selected numbers from their upcoming recital, “Love and Dance” at noon in the downtown.

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‘Small Gems’ on View at Maple & Main

‘Black-eyed Susans and cherries’ by Claudia Van Nes of Chester.

CHESTER — During May, Maple and Main is devoting its Stone Gallery to a new type of exhibit for the gallery: each unique painting in the show will be 8”x 8” in dimension and sell for $200.

The 60 or so paintings were created especially for this show by Maple and Main artists in a wide selection of styles and medium.

An opening party for the Small Gems: 8”x8” show will be Friday, May 5, from 5 to 8 p.m. which is First Friday in Chester as well as the town’s annual May Daze Stroll.

The gallery will serve wine and Mexican dips in a nod to Cinco de Mayo which is also May 5.  All other galleries, shops and restaurants in Chester will also be open offering food, drink and special events.

The Small Gems show runs from May 6 through May 31.

‘Nocturnal Light’ by Rachel Carlson of Deep River

Maple and Main, at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 6 p.m., Friday, noon to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Contact the gallery at Mapleandmaingallery.com, 860-526-6065 or on Facebook and Instagram.

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“Anything You Want,” Essex Art Association’s Spring 2017 Juried Show Now Open

Old Wooden Roof by Diana Roberts-Paschall, oil, 12 x 16.

ESSEX — The Essex Art Association (EAA) opens its 2017 exhibit season with a juried show “Anything You Want.” This exhibition encourages artists to display works that show what they are passionate about, art that speaks to their creativity and that inspires their voice.

The exhibit’s opening reception is Friday, May 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. The show runs May 6 – 27. The EAA Gallery is located at 10 North Main Street, Essex, CT. Gallery hours: 1-5 pm daily, closed Tuesdays. For more information visit essexartassociation.com or call 860-767-8996.

The exhibition juror, Leila Daw, is an independent artist with a studio in New Haven, and Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston. Her art practice is rooted in concepts and processes of cartography, archaeology, geology, and the exploration of communities interacting with the natural world. Daw has permanent public installations at Bradley International Airport; the Wilson Branch of the New Haven Public Library; Northwestern CT Community College, and the St. Louis light rail system. Her work is also in many collections nationwide. See more at: www.LeilaDaw.com

$1,800 will be awarded to exhibiting artists for their work in various media, plus one EAA artist will be given a solo exhibit in our Exit Gallery during our 2018 gallery season.

The Exit Gallery show, “Sharing a View”, showcases paintings by Diana Roberts-Paschall. In Diana’s bio she describes her art practice: “I blame how I got here on coloring books. I pressed especially hard to first trace the black lines before filling the spaces with color. When given oil paints in high school I produced an angular, abstract painting with black lines and color filled spaces reminiscent of those coloring book pages.”

She continues, “After college I signed up for my first drawing class. That led to a figure painting MFA. I had a natural interest in paradoxical themes and their juxtaposition (such as bitter/sweet). After moving to Connecticut I took classes at Lyme Academy and explored plein air painting at Lyme Art Association, experiences that softened and blended with my earlier Expressionistic painting tendencies. Even so, I still see the coloring book lines.”

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Vendors Sought for Westbrook Historical Society Arts and Craft Fair, July 9

WESTBROOK — Vendors are wanted for the Westbrook Historical Society Arts and Craft Fair on Sunday, July 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Handcrafted or hand produced items have first preference.

For information, call 410 490 3223 or 860 399 6100.

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Letter to the Editor: Republican State Rep’s Outline Their Budget Proposal

To the Editor:

On Thursday we joined our Republican colleagues to unveil “Confident Connecticut”, a no-tax-increase solution for the upcoming biennium. In undertaking this difficult task we have proposed true solutions for the budget and are poised to lead Connecticut back to financial stability.

The Republican proposal concentrates on funding the core functions of government while keeping spending in check. It calls for a strict spending cap and a limit on the amount of bonding that can be allocated.

Our proposal restores funding for Fire Training schools, ensuring that firefighters across the state are properly trained to best respond in an emergency situation. Additionally, we provide for Connecticut’s senior population by preserving funding for Meals on Wheels. Further, municipal aid is fully maintained, and in some cases increased.

It is unmistakable that an undue financial burden has been placed on our cities and towns, which has restricted local budgets. Long-term structural changes must be made to the way the legislature goes about the budgeting process to help our municipalities. Consequently, our proposal requires the state to provide municipalities with projected aid by March 1. This will be a critical tool for creating municipal budgets.

Education represents a large portion of the budget, which is why a more equitable formula was used to disperse education dollars. The Republican proposal accepts the responsibility of our teachers’ pensions, saving municipalities from the governor’s proposal that would have levied $400 million from them to fund that account.

It is also important to note that Middlesex Hospital and other hospitals across the state are held harmless from further tax increases in our proposal.

There are painful cuts in our proposal which were difficult to make. As state revenues continue to change we also recognize that some revisions to our proposal will be needed. However, we are ready to work with our colleagues at the Capitol to generate the best budget possible to instill confidence that our residents, business and municipalities deserve.

Sincerely,

Christie Carpino
State Representative, 32nd District

Bob Siegrist
State Representative, 36th District

Melissa Ziobron
State Representative, 34th District

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CT Audubon RTPEC Offers Estuary Explorations Saturday Mornings

Osprey in flight. Photo by Brock Graham.

AREAWIDE — The Connecticut Audubon Society’s Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center is offering a new program of Saturday morning field trips to natural areas along the lower Connecticut River starting May 6.

Estuary Explorations will be led by PhD ecologist Paul Spitzer, a protégé of internationally recognized naturalist and painter, Roger Tory Peterson. Each exploration will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the possibility of extending the field tripinto the afternoon, depending on the participants’ interest.

The fee for each field trip is $30 per person ($25 per student) and registration is required. To register, visit this link.

Estuary Explorations will give participants a chance to learn about the Lower Connecticut River Estuary’s ecosystems and wildlife as the year progresses from the peak bird migratory season of May, through high summer, and into the late fall.

Paul Spitzer. Photo courtesy of Paul Spitzer.

Spitzer has designed the programs to follow in the footsteps of one of the 20th century’s most famous naturalists, field guide author and illustrator Roger Tory Peterson, who spent his adult life painting in his studio in Old Lyme and examining the flora and fauna of the Connecticut River Estuary and the world.

Spitzer will showcase some of Peterson’s favorite natural sites and share his extensive knowledge of the ecology of the region. Spitzer plans to lead these explorations at a “Thoreauvian saunter,” moving slowly to appreciate many of the birds, plants, and insects that Peterson once enjoyed.

While Old Lyme tends to be recognized for its scenic views and historic artist colony and arts culture, it is also situated at an important ecological hub in New England — the meeting of the waters. In this species-rich estuary, the fresh water of the vast Connecticut River and Long Island Sound mix, resulting in a wealth of natural life.

Spitzer learned his natural history while growing up in the Connecticut River Valley. He is a graduate of Old Lyme High School and continued up the river to attend Wesleyan University. He later earned his PhD in ecological sciences from Cornell University.

More recently, he has studied the now substantial Connecticut River Estuary Osprey colony as a “biomonitor” of migratory menhaden abundance, the Osprey’s preferred food source. Spitzer advocates for sustainable management practices of this keystone fish for its ecosystem, economic, and societal functions.

Working alongside Spitzer will be Old Saybrook native, Jim Arrigoni. Arrigoni has worked as a fisheries biologist in Washington State and developed protocols to evaluate stream water quality in Hong Kong. Most recently, he has taught cultural and aquatic ecology classes at Goodwin College, and he is currently completing a PhD on the conservation value of restored wetlands.

Spitzer has studied Ospreys for 50 years, his research beginning here in the Connecticut River Estuary. By the 1970’s, the impact of DDT in the ecosystem whittled the local Osprey colony down to one active nest. Spitzer was instrumental in the recovery of this important keystone species to these waters.

“The Connecticut River Ospreys are our iconic story of revival from the brink,” said Spitzer. “These guided and educational field trips will open a world of discovery about nature’s profusion in this extraordinary bioregion.”

“Migrant and resident species of the estuary watershed are particularly exciting to observe in May. I will provide up-close and expansive views of the natural world from salt marshes to Yellow Warblers in particularly beautiful places.”

After meeting at the Old Lyme I-95 Park and Ride (Exit 70), participants will enjoy three hours of ecological exploration followed by a brown bag lunch and guided discussion in the field.  Spitzer is also willing to offer optional afternoon sessions gauged by the stamina and interest of the participants.

Beyond the four Saturdays in May, the field trips will occur monthly through November.

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Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition Hosts Community Breakfast, Discussion, May 10

TRI-TOWNS — Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition will host a Community Breakfast and Discussion on May 10, 8 to 9:30 a.m., at Camp Hazen YMCA (204 Main St., Chester).

All are welcome to join this important conversation about teen drug and alcohol use and local drug trends.  Share your concerns, talk with neighbors about underlying causes and share ideas for connecting with youth and supporting healthy decisions and brainstorm solutions.

The Breakfast is free and open to the public.  Call Tri-Town Youth Services at 860-526-3600 or email jennifer@ttysb.org if you plan to attend.

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Region 4 Budget Passes by 100 Votes

The Region 4 proposed 2017-18 budget passed comfortably today with totals of 429 Yes votes to 329 No votes.

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Referendum on Region 4 Budget Today

The Region 4 Budget Referendum vote will be held Tuesday, May 2, from 12 to 8 p.m. in Chester, Deep River and Essex.

A copy of the proposed 2017-18 budget can be found at this link.

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Tri-Towns Observe ‘High on Life’ Week to Raise Substance Abuse Awareness, May 1-6

Celebrated annually throughout Chester, Deep River, and Essex, the annual High on Life Week is being observed this week, May 1-6, according to the wishes of the three select persons of Chester, Deep River and Essex respectively, Lauren Gister, Angus McDonald and Norm Needleman, who have signed the following Proclamation:

CT State Police report that alcohol and marijuana continue to be used prevalently by young people under 20 in our community.  A recent survey of youth indicates that nearly 40% of Valley students use alcohol and about 24% use marijuana regularly.  There are also emerging concerns that teens are using prescription drugs recreationally, often with alcohol. 

Unfortunately, the communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex are not immune to the current opioid crisis in our nation.  Our Resident State Troopers concur that heroin is now the most common drug found among adults over 25 in our towns.  Drugs and alcohol affect all of us.  Our neighbors, our colleagues, our friends or family members are caught in cycles of using substances to feel better but ultimately succumbing to addiction.

We cannot retreat from any opportunity to enlighten, to inform, and to gain the support of all residents as we work together to ensure that our young people and future generations escape the consequences of lives ruled by substance abuse.

The week of May 1-6 will be such an opportunity.  Tri-Town Youth Services will sponsor the 28th annual substance abuse awareness week to educate our communities about drug and alcohol use and abuse and to help people see that life can be enjoyed to its fullest without drugs.

Our unifying theme this year is: “Self-Esteem”.  The week’s events will include coordinated school assemblies, fun youth activities and community-wide discussions about substance abuse and other addictive behaviors.  Residents are encouraged to attend a Community Breakfast on May 10 from 8-9:30 a.m. at Camp Hazen to discuss local drug trends, share concerns, talk with neighbors about underlying causes and share ideas for connecting with youth and supporting healthy decisions.

Therefore, in recognition of this vital cooperative effort, we, the first selectmen of Chester, Deep River, and Essex, designate May 1-6, 2017 as our tri-town prevention and awareness week and a celebration of our lives free of substance abuse.  We sincerely urge all members of our communities to participate in this week’s important activities.

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Want to Turn Photos into Fine Art? CT Valley Camera Club Hosts Speaker Tonight to Tell You How

‘Tuliptini’ by Patty Swanson.

AREAWIDE — The next meeting of the Connecticut Valley Camera Club (CVCC) will feature a presentation by Patty Swanson, Fine Art Photographer from West Hartford, CT. The meeting will be held Monday, May 1, at 7 p.m. at the Lymes’ Senior Center, 26 Town Woods Rd., Old Lyme, CT

Swanson writes: “Get inspired! Have you considered having a gallery show of your artwork but don’t know how to go about it? Or maybe there’s a particular image you think might work nicely hanging in a gallery? Do you have a lot of landscape, animal, and still life images that need a little boost or enhancement?”

She continues, “I will talk about how to turn a photograph into fine art, how to get your work into a gallery, and how to make your artwork sellable.” Swanson’s photographic fine art has exhibited and sold in galleries around the Hartford area.”

Swanson can be reached at swannycat@sbcglobal.netwww.facebook.com/pattyswansonphotography  or through her website at www.pattyswanson.com.

‘Letting Go’ by Patty Swanson.

The CVCC is dedicated to offering its membership the opportunity to become better photographers.  The Club offers a variety of presentations and interactive workshops to help our members expand their technical and creative skills.  Photographers of all levels of experience are welcomed.

The club draws members up and down the river, from Middletown to Old Saybrook;  from East Hampton to Old Lyme;  and along the shoreline from Guilford to Gales Ferry.

For more information, visit the club’s website at  http://ctvalleycameraclub.smugmug.com.

Connecticut Valley Camera Club meeting dates, speakers / topics and other notices are published on the club’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/CTValleyCameraClubPage/

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Old Saybrook Hosts 5th Annual Green-up Day Today

Green-up Day volunteers gather for a photo with some of their collected trash. File photo.

OLD SAYBROOK — In 2013, Old Saybrook resident and runner, Bill Casertano, noticed the mounting litter along the roadside. He decided to do something about it and started the annual event, Old Saybrook Green-up Day.

Join Casertano, friends and neighbors in this effort Saturday, April 29 for the 5th annual Green-up Day. The rain date is Sunday, April 30.

Trash is everywhere …

Volunteers may collect trash individually in their own neighborhoods, or meet up with others at the Green-up Meet-up on the Green, at 8 a.m. before heading out.

Busy weekend? Take a bag along on your rounds, fill it up, and throw it away at one of the event’s convenient locations. It’s a great example for kids to see everyone working together to keep their favorite places, and the roads to them, clean.

Free garbage bags are available at the Town Hall parking lot, Town Park on Schoolhouse Road and the Town Beach parking lot. Full bags may be returned to these locations as well.

Everyone can help in a small way, or a big way, to prevent roadside litter from becoming a town eyesore. Litter is also a threat to inland waterways and Long Island Sound.  Even doing something as simple as walking around one neighborhood, an individual can have a significant impact on the heath of the area’s beaches, rivers, and estuaries.

To volunteer, or for more information about how you can help, visit www.osgreenup.weebly.com, www.facebook.com/OldSaybrookGreenUpDay, or email bcasertano@comcast.net.

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Enjoy Family Pasta Night Tonight at Ivoryton Congregational Church

Ivoryton Congregational Church hosts pasta night tomorrow. Photo by Pawel Rekas courtesy of Unsplash.com.

IVORYTON — A Family Pasta Night will be held at The Ivoryton Congregational Church, 57 Main Street, Ivoryton on Saturday April 29, offering continuous servings from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Admission prices are as follows: Adults: $10, Children 6-12: $5 and Under 5’s: Free

Reservations are recommended.

The menu is: ziti & meatballs, salad bar, garlic bread followed by dessert with coffee, tea, and water.

For reservations and further information, call Isobel @ 860-767-8167 or the Church Office @  860-767-1004

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From Italy, With Love: Dalia Lazar to Perform Beethoven Sonatas in Chester, Tomorrow

Internationally renowned pianist Dalia Lazar, who will give a concert at the Chester synagogue April 30.

CHESTER — Though the internationally renowned pianist Dalia Lazar now lives in Italy, she is always eager to perform thousands of miles away, in the town of Chester, Conn. “I love playing at the synagogue, as it so inspires me,” she says. And so she will play here for the third time in the nine-year history of Music & More at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek.

On Sunday, April 30, at 5 p.m., Lazar offers her interpretations of four Beethoven sonatas in preparation for a European tour that follows, and during which she will play all 32 of the composer’s works for piano. It is a rare chance for local audiences to see a performer who is described by one of many admiring critics, as that rare combination of charisma, personality and terrific pianistic facility.”

David Zeleznik, the director of the series, says, “She continues to come back every other year because she finds the warmth of our audience, and the wonderful acoustics of our space and our Mason & Hamlin piano to be the perfect match for her expressive playing.  And our audiences appreciate both her generous spirit and virtuosity. This will be a singular opportunity to preview Dalia’s European tour in an intimate setting that she adores. Our audiences respond not only her virtuosity but her enthusiasm and charm.”

Lazar does more than talk about Chester and nearby local towns – she invests in them. The last time she performed, her dress, her shoes, and her jewelry all came from local merchants. When she returns, this spring, she brings with her a long list of accomplishments.

She began studying piano at an early age in her native Zabreb, Croatia, when music “made everything come alive,” she says. “Paintings in my grandmother’s room, the trees outside the window, the courtyard’s balconies, suddenly displayed their own life and movement.   My mother, noticing the effect that music had on me, took me to concerts, where I insisted we sit in the first row from where I experienced feelings of wonder and happiness that have stayed with me since. Her first piano teacher recognized her uncommon talent and pianistic ability, and at the age of sixteen she was admitted to Moscow’s P.I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory.  During her studies in Moscow, Lazar performed throughout Soviet Union. Immediately after her graduation at the Moscow Conservatory, she decided to continue her career in New York and London where she studied with Karl Urlich Schnabel and Maria Curcio.

Lazar made her New York debut at Rubenstein Hall, followed by her Carnegie Recital Hall debut. Since then she has performed a broad repertoire as a soloist in concerts and recitals worldwide, including the United States, Russia, Venezuela, Israel, Switzerland, Croatia, Mexico and Romania.  Her chamber music repertoire includes the works for violin and piano duo and piano trio, which she performed extensively with her late husband, violinist Lucian Lazar.  Her recent CD includes works by Schumann and Chopin.

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester, CT.  For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the cbsrz.org website.

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Preparing for Essex’s Memorial Day Parade; All Veterans Welcome to March

ESSEX — Memorial Day offers an opportunity to reflect on our freedoms and honor those that have given their lives in defending those freedoms. In recognition of these fallen heroes, the Essex Memorial Day Parade will provide a reverent celebration winding through the streets of Essex. The parade will commence on Memorial Day, May 29, at 9 a.m.

All veterans are welcome; wear your uniform of choice or collared shirt/slacks and join your fellow warriors. Assemble at the Foot of Main Street in downtown Essex at 8:45 a.m.

The parade will follow a three-mile route as it makes the following stops to pay respects: Riverview Cemetery, First Baptist Church, Town Hall, Centerbrook Cemetery, and the Essex Veteran’s Memorial Hall. There will be a short ceremony at the Veteran’s Hall at the conclusion of the parade (approximately 11:15 a.m.)

If weather precludes a parade, ceremonies will be held at Essex Town Hall at 9:30 a.m. and at the Essex Veteran’s Memorial Hall at 11 a.m. All interested parties please contact Alex Breen, Jr., at 609.805.7146 or email huntnfreak@icloud.com  with questions. Veterans who may require transportation are requested to contact the above.

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Find Foxtrots, Friendship, Florida Sunsets in ‘Biloxi Blues’ at Ivoryton Playhouse, on Stage Thru May 14

Cast members of Biloxi Blues in rehearsal: Zal Owen, Conor Hamill, Ethan Kirschbaum, George Mayer, Alec Silberblatt, Chandler Smith, and Mike Mihm.

ESSEX — The Ivoryton Playhouse is leaving behind the music of Ol’ Blue Eyes and heading south to the steamy bayou country of Biloxi, Miss., with the opening of Neil Simon’s Biloxi Blues on April 26. This semi-autobiographical play details his experiences as a young man in boot camp before he was shipped off to serve in the Second World War.

Biloxi Blues is the second chapter in what is known as his Eugene trilogy, following Brighton Beach Memoirs and preceding Broadway Bound, and is the only one in which Eugene is not the central character. Biloxi Blues won the Tony Award when it opened on Broadway in 1985 and ran 524 performances.

Simon’s hit play follows the adventures of Eugene Morris Jerome and his fellow Army inductees as they struggle through basic training near Biloxi, Miss. in 1943. An aspiring writer who sees himself as an outsider observing the craziness around him, Eugene hopes to somehow remain “neutral … like Switzerland,” but finds himself having to make tough choices.

Biloxi Blues is a comedy with real depth about young men growing up, learning about life and how to live together and finally, going off to war. These men are universal soldiers – facing the same fears, anxieties, and loneliness that grip all young recruits about to encounter the ultimate test of combat. Simon brings his great sense of humor and humanity to every word of this play.

A film was also made of the play starring Matthew Broderick and directed by Mike Nichols with screenplay by Neil Simon.

Biloxi Blues is directed by Sasha Bratt and features Zal Owen* as Eugene, Alec Silberblatt* as Arnold and Mike Mihm* as Sergeant Toomey. Cast also includes Andee Buccheri, Conor M. Hamill*, Ethan Kirschbaum, George Mayer, Moira O’Sullivan and Chandler Smith. Set design is by Glenn Bassett, lighting design by Tate R. Burmeister and costume design by Lisa Bebey.

Biloxi Blues opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on April 26 and runs through May 14.  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 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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Acton Library Announces Annual Poetry Contest Winners

AREAWIDE — The Acton Public Library will hold Poetry Night Wednesday, April 26, at 7 p.m. concluding its 23rd Annual Poetry Competition.  Winning poets will read their compositions and receive their awards. The public is invited to attend.

The panel judges for this year’s competition were Barbara Batt of Old Saybrook, Mary Guitar of Lyme, Susan Murphy of Madison, Mary Volk of Old Saybrook, and Jane Ulrich of Guilford. Chief judges were Patricia O’Brien, Old Saybrook’s Poet Laureate, and Nancy Meneely of Essex.

The evening, celebrating National Poetry Month, and the poets’ prizes are sponsored by the Friends of Acton Library. All submitted poems will be on display in the library through May.

The library is open Monday through Thursday 10-8:00, Friday and Saturday 10-5.

Contest winners are:

ADULT PRIZES

1st PRIZE                  My Father by Mike Augusta of Deep River
2nd PRIZE                How She Left by Lorraine Riess of Higganum
3rd PRIZE                Tar by Mike Augusta of Deep River

GRADES 9-12 PRIZES

1st PRIZE                  Parental Boogie by Sophie Spaner of Deep River
2nd PRIZE                 Escape by Stefanie Guo of Madison
3rd PRIZE                 Turns Black When Wet by Julia Collins of Old Saybrook

GRADES 7-8 PRIZES

1st PRIZE                    Snowflakes by Mackenzie Kapp of Old Saybrook
2nd PRIZE                  An Alphabet of Self Reflection by Mia Katz of Branford
3rd PRIZE                   Seeds by Sophie Burdick of Deep River

GRADES 4-6 PRIZES

1st  PRIZE               Moon Haikus by Van Lampos of Old Lyme
2nd PRIZE               Rude Awakening by Sheila Northrup of Madison
3rd PRIZE TIE        Time by Margo Katz of Branford
Oak Tree by Philip Warren of Old Saybrook

GRADES 1-3 PRIZES

1st PRIZE                  Butterfly by Hannah Belknap of Old Saybrook
2nd PRIZE                Valentine’s Day by Toyba Barasz of Old Saybrook

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Haynes Materials of Deep River is Hiring!

DEEP RIVER — Haynes Materials of Deep River is actively looking for Inside Sales Associates and Yard Associates.  All the relevant information is on their website at www.GoHaynes.com.

Interested parties can apply directly through the website or by sending a resume to mroy@haynes-group.com.

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Carney, Siegrist Help Clean Up The Preserve

Reps. Robert Siegrist and Devin Carney (right) joined a group of volunteers to help clean up The Preserve on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, in Old Saybrook.

OLD SAYBROOK – State Representative Devin Carney, who represents the towns of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook, and State Representative Robert Siegrist, who represents the communities of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam, participated in a clean-up day at The Preserve on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22.

The group was led by Chris Cryder, who is the Special Projects Coordinator with Save The Sound, and other volunteers were from throughout the state. Both legislators joined the group of volunteers to de-commission redundant trails through sensitive areas.

The Preserve is a work in progress and is still in the early stages of trail design, but will have trails for hikers and mountain bikers in the near future.

For more information visit: https://preserve1000acres.com/about/

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Child & Family Agency’s Essex River Valley Auxiliary Hosts Annual Tag Sale’s ‘Intake Day,’ May 4

Everything but the dog! A well-stocked car of donations for Child & Family’s Annual Tag Sale.

ESSEX — For the uninitiated, Intake Day is a spring ritual, marking a time to find, dust off, clean, repair and donate those valued, but little-used clothing and items in your care, to benefit The Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut.

On Thursday, May 4, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Essex Town Hall on 29 West Avenue, members of the Essex Auxiliary of Child and Family Agency will be standing by to greet and assist with your donated items. Use the Grove Street parking lot entrance. Tax donation letters will be available on site, and specialty art or jewelry items will be appreciated and handled with care. 

If you need assistance with unusual or bulkier items, pick- ups may be able to be arranged in advance by contacting Pat Mackenzie-Thompson at 860-227-7551

The auxiliary will collect, sort, box and then transport your contributions to the New London Armory for a bonanza, three-day fundraiser, which has earned a reputation for being one of the “Largest Tag Sales in New England.” This year’s 62nd Annual Sale will be held May 5, 6, and 7 at a new, yet old  venue – the New London Armory at 249 Bayonet Street New London, CT  06320.

WANTED:  Art work, furniture, decorative items, sporting goods, clothing, jewelry, household items, linens, tools & toys, vintage and antique items, books, food magazines, records & DVDs.

The motto Bring the Best and Leave the Rest has made the town of Essex a standard bearer for “quality” donations which help to provide for an increasingly successful fund raiser. Proceeds go directly to support the many extraordinary services provided by Child & Family Agency, a non-profit organization which has served Connecticut families for over 200 years. 

Today, programs address children’s mental health, physical health care, child abuse prevention, the treatment of family violence, teen pregnancy, childcare, and parent education.  Child-care and out-of-school programs benefit from volunteers who read one-on- one with children, share a hobby, an athletic skill or a special talent with a classroom, are homework buddies or create sets and costumes for their exciting theatre productions.  To join the auxiliary or to volunteer today, please call 860-443-2896.

Your collective donations make a difference every year in the lives of the children and families served, but in times of economic turmoil your support is crucial, helping to stabilize some very fragile lives.  Last year over 18,000 children and their family members from 79 towns were helped by the agency’s staff of 195 dedicated professionals. For more information about the work of Child & Family, visit www.childandfamilyagency.org.

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Essex Meadows Announces Lifelong Learning Affiliation with Wesleyan University, Courses Open to Public Start May 13

Courses Offer Opportunities for Continuing Education, Intellectual Growth and Socialization

ESSEX – Essex Meadows, in affiliation with Wesleyan University, announces a series of lifelong learning sessions hosted by the retirement community. With intellectually stimulating courses geared toward historians, art aficionados and more, these lifelong learning opportunities will promote cultural ties with the community.

Beginning Saturday, May 13, the classes and interactive learning sessions will focus on a host of topics, taught by Wesleyan faculty members. “Research has shown that adults who engage in intellectual and artistic endeavors feel more connected to their local community,” said Susan Carpenter, director of community life services at Essex Meadows.

She continued, “Whether your passion is history, art, or lifelong learning, in general, this affiliation allows us to offer some wonderful opportunities to broaden one’s knowledge base.”

Rick Friswell, associate director of the Wesleyan Institute for Lifelong Learning, says the topics will cover a variety of content. “Learning is limitless and we’re excited about the content we’ll be covering at Essex Meadows,” he said. “We’re exploring these important topics in a way that should spark curiosity and discussion, and we’re really excited about this affiliation.”

The first course will focus on World War I, and will include a 1957 film on the topic, as well as lecture and discussion.

These events are open to the public, with costs associated with some of the courses.

Schedule of Courses

  • Saturday, May 13:
    One Day University – The Great War to End All Wars $125
  • Thursday, June 8:
    Lecture – The Epic of Gilgamesh No Charge
  • Wednesday, July 12:
    Field Trip – Yale Center for British Art $45
  • Thursday, September 7:
    Mini Course – Three Places in New England: A Guided Tour Through 19th Century Art and Literature $100
  • Sunday, October 29:
    Melodrama – Dark and Stormy Nights: Gothic Fiction and Romantic Music No Charge

To register, contact Susan Carpenter, director of community life services, at carpenters@essexmeadows.com or 860-767-4578, ext. 5156. Checks should be made payable to Wesleyan Institute for Lifelong Learning. Visit www.essexmeadows.com/events to learn more.

Essex Meadows is located at 30 Bokum Road, Essex, CT 06426.

Since 1988, Essex Meadows has provided a lifestyle of dignity, freedom, independence and security to older adults from Connecticut and beyond. A community offering full lifecare, Essex Meadows, located conveniently on the Connecticut River near the mouth of Long Island Sound, prides itself on a financially responsible and caring atmosphere.

Essex Meadows is managed by Life Care Services®™, a leading provider in life care, retirement living. For more information on Essex Meadows, visit the community’s website or call 860-767-7201.

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