July 22, 2017

Essex Democrats Endorse Candidates For Municipal Elections

Bipartisan Slate Of Proven Leaders Announced

Incumbent Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman and Selectman Stacia Rice-Libby have been endorsed again for those positions in the November 2017 election by the Essex DTC (File photo by Jerome Wilson)

ESSEX — On Wednesday, July 19, the Essex Democratic Town Committee (EDTC) endorsed 10 candidates for the November municipal elections.  The endorsed candidates included incumbents seeking reelection, new candidates and members of both major politic parties.

“Democrats in Essex endorsed the best candidates to serve our town irrespective of their political party.  What is important is that the candidates are proven leaders in our community and will work to retain the quality of life we all enjoy,” stated Brian Cournoyer, Chairman of the EDTC.

He continued, “By cross-endorsing candidates from the opposing party, the EDTC has rejected the vitriol and damaging rhetoric being played out on the national level,” 

Endorsed Candidates include:

First Selectman: Norm Needleman (D)

Selectwoman:  Stacia Rice-Libby (D)

Town Treasurer:  Jim Francis (D)

Tax Collector: Megan Haskins (D)

Town Clerk: Joel Marzi (R)

Essex Board Of Education: Loretta McCluskey (D)

Region 4 Board of Education: Kate Sandmann (D)

Board of Finance: Keith Crehan (R)

Board of Finance: Ethan Goller (D)

Board of Assessment Appeals: Mark Bombaci (D)

“We believe the endorsed slate of candidates brings the proven experience, knowledge, passion and dedication to best serve the town of Essex and look forward to a spirited and respectful campaign,” said Cournoyer.

Municipal elections will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 7.  Contact Brian Cournoyer at brian_cournoyer@hotmail.com or 781-483-2021 to learn how to become involved in the campaign.

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Senators Formica, Somers and Linares Applaud Governor’s Signing Tribal Casino Expansion Bill

Senator Paul Formica (left) and Art Linares (right). File photo

AREAWIDE — State Senators Paul Formica (R-East Lyme), Heather Somers (R-Groton) and Art Linares (R-Westbrook) applauded the Governor’s ceremonial signing of legislation that will allow for the expansion of southeastern Connecticut’s tribal casinos to support thousands of local jobs.

“I thank the governor for his support of this bill and the bipartisan efforts of many lawmakers. Supporting the tribes is an important piece of a long-term puzzle to enhance tourism, support our community, protect economic development and preserve all that the tribes have accomplished for our region thus far,” said Senator Paul Formica. 

“We have seen firsthand the impact of the tribes on the local economy and on the thousands of casino employees and their families who live in our Senate districts. I applaud the legislature for working together in bipartisanship to make this important piece of legislation a reality,” said Senator Heather Somers.

“From tourism to manufacturing, southeastern Connecticut has seen quality growth thanks to the enormous efforts of the Mohegans and Mashantucket Pequots and the impact of their destination casinos. That’s why it was so important that lawmakers and the governor come together this year to help the tribes protect the thousands of jobs they’ve created,” said Senator Art Linares.

Senator Paul Formica (R-20) represents the communities of Bozrah, East Lyme, a portion of Montville, New London, Old Lyme, a portion of Old Saybrook, Salem, and Waterford.

Senator Heather Somers (R-18) represents the communities of Griswold, Groton, North Stonington, Plainfield, Preston, Sterling, Stonington and Voluntown.

Senator Art Linares (R-33), represents the communities of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

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Essex Park & Rec. Host Summer Concert Series, ‘Long Island Sound Band’ Perform July 25

‘The Long Island Sound Band’ perform on Ivoryton Green, July 25.

ESSEX — Essex Park and Recreation is excited to be able to offer another great set of bands this year for their 2017 Summer Concert Series.  Hosted on alternating Tuesdays at The Ivoryton Green and Wednesdays at The Essex Main Street Park, concerts take place at 6:30 p.m. from June 27 through Aug. 16.

Admission is free to all. Note the location carefully as the venue changes each week.

The Long Island Sound Band offers an energized and dynamic performance that an audience can’t help but enjoy, when they rock the Ivoryton Green on July 25.

Chester natives, The Meadows Brothers are brothers with an American Folk and Rock ‘n Roll sound. They will perform on Aug. 2, at the Essex Main Street Green.

The following week, another great set of locals, U.H.F. will be making the best soulful Rock, Funk, Reggae and Blues music they can  make on Aug. 8 at the Ivoryton Town Green.

The concert series will conclude with a performance from Blues on the Rocks, bringing their dynamic and enthusiastic mix of Blues, R&B, Motown, and Rock sure to get you up and dancing to Essex Main Street Park on Aug. 16.

For more information on the Summer Concert Series or Park and Rec. programs, visit https://www.facebook.com/SXParkandRec. You may also contact Park & Rec. by email at recreation@essexct.gov or call the office at 860-767-4340 x148.

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Leif Nilsson Hosts ‘The Meadows Brothers’ at ‘Concert in the Garden,’ July 27

‘The Meadows Brothers’ will play a ‘Concert in the Garden’ on July 27 at Spring Street Gallery.

CHESTER — Leif Nilsson hosts a Thursday evening ‘Concert in the Garden,’ Thursday, July 27, from 7 to 9 p.m.,  featuring The Meadows Brothers at the Spring Street Studio and Gallery at 1 Spring St, Chester Center.  Arrowhead will open the show.

Ian and Dustin Meadows have been playing music together for most of their lives. In 2011, they made the decision to leave the band they were playing in, and strike out on their own as a duo. Their distinct brand of roots music draws inspiration from a huge list of influences; combining Folk, Blues, Country, and Rock n’ roll genres into what The Boston Globe calls “An engagingly twangy sibling sound all their own.”

The brothers’ original songs; which they typically write together, have been praised for their emotive, relatable lyrics and memorable hooks. Several of their tunes have won awards, and been covered by international acts.

For more information about tThe Meadows Brothers, visit this link.

This monthly concert series highlights eclectic international singer/songwriter artists from cool jazz to blue grass.

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

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

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Essex Historical Society Expands Popular “Walking Weekend” Program, Offers Four Tours July 28-30

EHS’s Brien Reidell leads a walking tour up Main Street, Essex.  Courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

Community Foundation of Middlesex County Funds New Centerbrook Tour 

 

Combining the outdoors and history, Essex Historical Society (EHS) expands its popular outdoor program, “Walking Weekend,” on July 28, 29 and 30.  The event features four different walking tours within the Town of Essex as follows:

Friday, July 28, 2017, 7 p.m.; Saturday, July 29, 2017, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.; Sunday, July 30, 7 p.m.

Pratt House, 19 West Avenue, Essex (July 28)

Ivoryton Library, 106 Main Street, Ivoryton (July 29)

Essex Elementary School, 108 Main Street, Centerbrook (July 29)

Foot of Main Street, Essex, (July 30)

During the tours, attendees enjoy an easy stroll along the Town’s historic streets learning about the major industries, structures and personalities that shaped the area. Essex Historical Society’s trained, knowledgeable guides will lead an hour+ long tour over fairly level, paved terrain, covering three centuries of history.

For the first time, this year’s Walking Weekend will feature a guided walking tour of Centerbrook Village, led by renowned Essex historian Brenda Milkofsky.  The walk is funded in part through a grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County.   New guides are welcome to join us and learn the tour.

An early view of Connecticut Valley Manufacturing, now Centerbrook Architects.  Courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

On July 28  at 7 p.m., the first tour will meet at the Pratt House, 19 West Avenue, Essex, for a trip down West Ave. and Prospect Street to explore the histories behind the structures of “Pound Hill” including several 19th century churches, Hills Academy, the Old Firehouse and more.

On July 29, at 10 a.m., the second tour will meet at Ivoryton Library, 106 Main Street, Ivoryton, for an in-depth look at this historic village, from its beginnings as a company town surrounding the Comstock-Cheney Co., the stories of 19th century immigration, the striking examples of Victorian architecture and its unique cultural attractions that continue to this day.  The tour will be led by historian and author Chris Pagliuco.

On July 29, at 1 p.m., the third tour will meet at Essex Elementary School, 108 Main Street, Centerbrook, for our newest walk featuring Essex’s oldest village.  Learn about Centerbrook’s transition from its early farming days as “Center Saybrook” to its later manufacturing development powered by the Falls River.  This walk will be developed and led by Brenda Milkofsky.


All spiritual, social and business matters in early “Center Saybrook” revolved around the Centerbrook Meeting House.    Courtesy of Essex Historical Society

Interested in being a guide for later walks of Centerbrook?   Contact the EHS offices to learn more, 860-767-0681, or ehs@essexhistory.org.  No experience is necessary and all training is provided.

On July 30, at 7 p.m., the final tour will meet at the Foot of Main Street, Essex, for a trip down Main Street in Essex Village to capture the rich maritime history of 18th century “Potapaug,” its working waterfront and ship-building prominence in the early 19th century as well as its development as a beautiful visitor destination of today.  The tour will be led by EHS’s knowledgeable guides Brien Reidell and Mary Ann Pleva.

Each walk is a separate event and you are welcome to attend all four or select your favorites.

Essex Historical Society is committed to fulfilling its mission of engaging and inspiring the community in the three villages of Centerbrook, Essex and Ivoryton.  Each tour is $5 per person and is open to the general public; free to members of EHS.  Admission helps support the educational and cultural programming of Essex Historical Society.

Essex Historical Society expresses its gratitude to the Community Foundation of Middlesex County for funding the new Centerbrook tour.  For more information, visit www.essexhistory.org or call (860) 767-0681.

 

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Deep River Public Library Hosts a ‘Mad Hatter’s Garden Party,’ July 28

Will a hat like this win the contest?

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Public Library and the Deep River Garden Club would like to let you in on a secret … all the best people are simply MAD about Garden Parties! Join the fun on Friday, July 28, from 6 to 9 p.m. for the library’s third annual Mad Hatter Garden Party.

Tickets are on sale now at the library for $25 each. Join us for hors d’oeuvres, drink, live music, good conversation and a teacup raffle. Prizes will be awarded for the top two favorite hats. All funds benefit the beautification of the library garden and grounds.

Don’t be late for this very important date! Stop in the library and buy your ticket today.

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

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Essex Art Association Hosts “Weather, Whether” Juried Show, Opening Reception is July 28

‘Cloud Formation’ by Pam Carlson.

ESSEX — “Weather, Whether” is the second juried show of the Essex Art Association’s (EAA) 2017 season. Gallery visitors will delight in the variety of high quality artwork in this exhibit, which will be juried for entry and awards. Monetary prizes totaling $1900 will be awarded in addition to the prestigious Exit Gallery Award which offers the winning artist a solo exhibit in the Art Association’s Exit Gallery during the next gallery season.

To quote the originators of the show’s theme:  “Weather, whether it’s sunny or cloudy, hot or cold, raining or snowing, windy or calm, there is beauty to be found. Cover your brush with your weather paint and just have fun putting it on your canvas where it will last forever…but do it quickly before it changes.”

The exhibit’s opening reception is Friday, July 28, from 6 to 8 p.m. The show runs July 29  through Aug. 19. 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.

‘Wave Action’ by Pam Carlson is an acrylic painting on display in the Exit Gallery “Forever” show.

The Exit Gallery show, “Forever,” showcases paintings by Pam Carlson, who was born and raised in Darien, Conn., where she loved art and participated in local school art shows. While attending college she utilized her Art Major skills by working each summer in N.Y. in commercial art within the advertising world. Teaching won her heart and she finished college with a degree in both Fine Art and Education.

Carlson taught in public schools in Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania, before becoming a full-time mother, dress designer, and bringing her craft back into her own home studio. She has exhibited her work in local galleries and ‘town green’ art shows up and down the east coast for over twenty years. She is now concentrating on gallery shows.

Carlson is the Vice President of the Essex Art Association. She developed and participates annually in the October invitational exhibit at the EAA gallery, ‘Five Women Painting,” and is a charter member of the Maple and Main Gallery in Chester. Sherecently completed a One Woman Show at Maple and Main’s Stone Gallery, which raised thousands of dollars for the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter. In addition to several recent commissions, five of her paintings depicting Connecticut’s Farm animals are hanging in the Congressional Office Building in Washington DC.  www.artmajeur.com/en/artist/pastelpam

Exhibition juror, Lenny Moskowitz, is a Connecticut landscape painter who lives in New Haven with his wife. He graduated with his B.F.A from the Philadelphia College of Art and received his M.F.A. from Michigan’s Cranbrook Academy. He has participated in both group and solo shows at numerous galleries throughout the U.S. and has taught classes and workshops in Connecticut, Block Island, and Nantucket. Presently, he teaches at Quinnipiac University and several community art schools.

Moskowitz has been awarded several artist residencies, including at the Anderson Center in Michigan and at the NISDA Foundation on Nantucket, Mass. In the summer of 2011, he was awarded a residency at Weir Farm in Wilton, Conn.  He makes yearly painting trips to Maine, Nantucket, and frequent sojourns to the surrounding the Connecticut woods to paint the landscapes.

For more information, visit www.lennymoskowitzart.com

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Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival 2017 Highlights Art, Culture in Annual Celebration, July 28-29

Flowers at the Festival: the Florence Griswold Museum hosts a number variety fresh flower, fruit and vegetable vendors.

OLD LYME– A “quintessential New England” weekend, this year’s Old Lyme Midsummer Festival kicks off July 28, with a toe-tapping Friday night concert on the lawn of the Florence Griswold Museum, and continues Saturday, July 29, up and down Lyme Street with new offerings and old favorites throughout the day.

This year’s 31st annual festival again takes place in the heart of Old Lyme’s historic district. The mission of the festival partners is to celebrate the cultural heritage of Old Lyme, with art, music, food and family fun.

Nick and the Shady Creek band will entertain in a free concert on Friday evening, July 28.

The festivities kick-off Friday night featuring the bluegrass sounds of Nick and the Shady Creek with a lawn concert beginning at 7 p.m. This free concert is sponsored by All Pro Automotive and the Graybill Family.  Before the concert the Florence Griswold Museum will host an open house, with free admission to the special exhibition Flora/Fauna: The Naturalist Impulse in American Art from 5 to 7 p.m.

The Saturday Festival continues with arts exhibitions, kid’s activities, music, food and specialty shopping at locations along historic Lyme Street. Many locations also include “hands on” arts activities.

The bulls at the Lyme Art Association are alway a major draw at the Festival.

Shuttle buses will be available for the length of the festival, and take participants from designated parking lots to stops along Lyme Street. Parking lots will be open at the high school campus on Lyme Street, as well as the Old Lyme Marketplace on Halls Road.

Partner activities and events on Saturday include the following (from the north end to south end of Lyme Street):

Old Lyme Lions Club: Annual Antique Car Show, held at the Bee & Thistle. The Lions will also serve hamburgers and hot dogs.

Florence Griswold Museum: a new Bohemian Street Fair, Hands-on/Minds-on Activities, Parading Paws Dog Show, food trucks, Folk Musician Dave Fry, The Shop Super Sale, and reduced admission to historic house and exhibitions

Lyme Art Association: Art sales and exhibitions, savory pies, LAA’s famous Ice Tea and Lemonade, and a fun and interactive “Masterpiece Photo Op”

Old Lyme Inn: Live music and refreshments under the tent, air-conditioned table service inside the historic inn

The “Fence Artists” will be back at the Old Lyme Inn this year.

Fence Artists Show: Now at the Old Lyme Inn, this group of local artists will sell artwork and provide art demonstrations throughout the day.

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts: Art demonstrations, student/alumni exhibition, live music and refreshments

Chamber of Commerce: A Vendor Fair and youth music tent

The 2017 Summer Sculpture Showcase features exhibits from more than 15 guest sculptors as well as some 80 pieces by owner and sculptor Gil Boro.

Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds: Summer Sculpture Showcase, fashion show, dance performance, live music and artist talk

Patricia Spratt for the Home: The always-anticipated warehouse sale of specialty linens

Lymes Youth Services Bureau: The Midsummer 5K

See a selection of historic looms in action at the old Lyme Historical Society’s presentation in the former Grange building on Lyme St.

Old Lyme Historical Society: Handweavers’ demonstration and community loom, troubadour Jim Lampos, Historical Society publications for sale.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools: Learn more about the extracurricular activities of the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools including the High School Crew Team and musical opportunities.

Town of Old Lyme/Senior Center: Music & Movement yoga for families, Magician “Mr. Magic,” caricature drawings, King Arthur Flour Cookie Truck

Old Lyme-PGN Library: Phoebe’s BookCellar Midsummer Sale, hourly story times, Young Adult’s screenprinting, History Press authors, hands-on learning on e-books and more

Most locations will have food options available.

A detailed listing of events and activities is available at www.OldLymeMidsummerFestival.com.

Key sponsors of the Festival include Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services, Pasta Vita, LymeLine.com/ValleyNewsNow.com, and The Day Publishing. Additional financial support comes from Paul Burdick Oil Company, Old Lyme Marketplace, Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, Florence Griswold Museum, Zelek Electric, and Caliber Computing.

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Theater Along the River Returns with ‘The Tempest,’ July 29

2. Flock Theatre will bring Shakespeare to life on the Connecticut River Museum lawn with their performance of The Tempest.

ESSEX — New London’s Flock Theatre Company returns to the Connecticut River Museum on Saturday, July 29, this time bringing their production of Shakespeare’s classic play The Tempest.  This evening of outdoor theater is made possible through the generous support of the Essex Wellness Center.

The Tempest is an exciting story set on a remote island, where the sorcerer Prospero, rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place using illusion and skillful manipulation.  A tempest, shipwreck, marooning, and redemption are all twisted into this classically inspired storyline.

According to director Derron Wood, “We are pleased to return for a fourth year to the Connecticut River Museum.  It offers a spellbinding backdrop for outdoor theater and allows us to reach a new audience.”

The Tempest, a story of shipwreck and magic, is one of Shakespeare’s most musical plays and will be the featured performance for Theater Along the River this July 29 at the Connecticut River Museum. Art by Flock Theatre.

The Connecticut River Museum’s executive director, Christopher Dobbs, said that “Flock Theatre is a master of Shakespeare.  We feel fortunate to offer this level of entertainment at the Museum and hope that the audience enjoys the production and its backdrop – the River.”  Dobbs was quick to note that the Museum is only able to host this event and keep the ticket prices reasonable for all ages to enjoy through the “generosity of the Essex Wellness Center.”

The Museum’s grounds will open at 6 PM for picnickers to layout blankets and chairs.  Museum staff encourage the audience to make the picnic part of the experience.  In fact, there will be a special prize awarded to the “best” picnic arrangement.

Tickets are $18 for the general public, $12 for museum members, and $10 for children (12 and under).  A cash bar serving beer and wine will be available for theatergoers.  No carry-in alcohol is permitted.

Tickets may be bought at www.ctrivermuseum.org or at the door starting at 6 PM the night of the performance. Curtain opens at 7 PM.

Flock Theatre is a professional, not-for-profit theatre company founded in 1989. The theater company is dedicated to creating original, collaborative and educational theater. Perhaps best known for their long-standing summer Shakespeare in the Arboretum, Flock Theatre performs year-round in a variety of venues, including their winter “nest” at the First Congregational Church, on the New London Pier, at the historic Shaw Mansion Museum and throughout New England.

Essex Wellness Center offers a range of holistic-minded health services, including, Fitness on the Water, a beautiful, private workout studio. The Essex Wellness Center experience is focused solely on you and the achievement of your goals, physically, mentally and emotionally.

For more information on the program, contact the Connecticut River Museum at 860.767.8269 or visit the website, ctrivermuseum.org.  The Connecticut River Museum is dedicated to the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its Valley.  Explore the three floors of exhibits, take a sail on the Onrust or rent a canoe, kayak or SUP to paddle the coves of Essex when you visit.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

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See Heartwrenching ‘West Side Story’ at Ivoryton Playhouse Through July 31

Arianne Meneses (Consuelo) and Jason Daniel Rath* (Pepe) rehearse a scene from West Side Story.

IVORYTON – Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is transported to modern-day New York City in the breathtaking musical, West Side Story, which opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on July 5. With book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the original 1957 Broadway production ran for over 700 performances before going on tour, and garnered six Tony nominations.

Mia Pinero makes her debut at Ivoryton as Maria in ‘West Side Story.’

The story is set in the Upper West Side of New York City in the mid-1950s and explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds. When, Tony, a Jet, falls in love with Maria, a Shark, the young lovers struggle to keep their love alive in a world of hate, violence and prejudice.

The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theatre when it was first produced; West Side Story remains one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching and relevant musical dramas of our time.

The film version starring Natalie Wood, Russ Tamblyn, Richard Beymer and Rita Moreno won 10 Academy Awards and in 2009, Karen Olivo won a Tony for her portrayal of Anita in the Broadway revival.

Stephen Mir* plays Tony in the Ivoryton Playhouse production of ‘West Side Story’ opening July 5.

Stephen Mir* returns to Ivoryton to play the role of Tony and Mia Pinero* makes her Ivoryton debut in the role of Maria.

The production is directed and choreographed by Todd Underwood and musical directed by Mike Morris, with set design by Dan Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Elizabeth Cipollina. Executive Producers are Michael A. Dattilo and Frank Perrotti

Tonight, Tonight, won’t be just any night!  Don’t miss the experience of this show live on stage at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

West Side Story opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Wednesday, July 5, and runs through Sunday, July 30. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

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

Pictures by Ivoryton Playhouse

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

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CT River Museum Hosts ‘Conquer the Current’ Regatta, Aug. 13; Benefits Museum’s Scholarship Fund

Calling all paddlers! Conquer the Current challenges you to row from Haddam to Essex in support of education scholarship programs at the Connecticut River Museum. Photo by Tom Walsh, Shoreline Aerial Photography, Connecticut River Museum Collection.

ESSEX — The Connecticut River Museum’s first downriver paddle regatta to benefit the Museum’s education scholarship fund will take place on Aug. 13, from 8 to 3 p.m.  The Regatta is open to all paddle craft- canoes, kayaks, stand up paddleboards and rowboats.

The nine-mile race will start at Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam and finish in front of the Connecticut River Museum in Essex. Paddlers will haul out at the Essex town boat launch and transportation will be provided back up to Eagle Landing State Park.

There will also be activities on the Museum lawn throughout the day, including stand-up paddle board demonstrations by Paddleworks of Clinton and a family fun paddle parade in Essex Harbor at 12 p.m. Refreshments will be available from Porky Pete’s, Deep River Snacks, and Cannoli’s on the Run.

Pre-registration is $30 per paddler with an additional $70 fundraising goal or $110 registration fee day of event. Prizes will be awarded for race winners and top individual and team fundraisers. All proceeds from the event will go directly toward supporting the Museum’s education scholarship fund.  

Connecticut River Museum’s first annual ‘Conquer the Current’ Regatta takes place Aug. 13.

During the 2016/17 school year, 4,000 school children from across the state of Connecticut received invaluable hands-on history and environmentally-based programs at the Museum and in their classrooms.  The scholarship program allowed for nearly 1,000 of these students to receive free or reduced admission, creating invaluable opportunities for students who might not otherwise have this experience.   

For more information about this program, visit the website at ctrivermuseum.org or contact the Connecticut River Museum at 860.767.8269 or via email at esistare@ctrivermuseum.org. The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for children age 6-12, free for children under 6.  This year a recreation of Adriaen Block’s the ONRUST is at the Museum’s docks and providing special programs and public cruises.

Conquer the Current is generously sponsored by: Denali, Essex Marine Group, Family Legacy Partners, Ivory Wealth Management, Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, The Sound Runner and Deep River Chips.

Photos:

Photo 1 – Paddlers:  The Connecticut River Museum’s first annual Conquer the Current Regatta takes place Aug. 13.

Photo 2 –  Aerial Photo:  Calling all paddlers! Conquer the Current challenges you to row from Haddam to Essex in support of education scholarship programs at the Connecticut River Museum. Photo by Tom Walsh, Shoreline Aerial Photography, Connecticut River Museum Collection.

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Chester Village West Employee’s Type O Donations Have Saved 48 Lives; Facility Hosts Blood Drive, Aug. 18

CHESTER – Chester Village West, an independent senior living community, will host a Red Cross Blood Drive on Friday, Aug. 18 from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m.  Chester Village West is located at 317 W. Main St., Chester, Conn. 06412.

To schedule your appointment, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Chester Village West employees regularly participate in the blood drive. Old Saybrook resident Richard Mulvihill, one of the community’s security guards, has donated more than two gallons (16 units) of blood over the past 18 years. According to the American Red Cross, Mulvihill’s blood donations have helped to save the lives of more than 48 people. A donor since age 18, Richard has been giving valuable ‘double red cell’ donations three times per year since 1999, when he joined the Old Saybrook Fire Department as a volunteer fireman.

“I feel great about helping people this way,” said Mulvihill, who is Type O Positive. According to the American Red Cross, double red cell donations from Type O donors and donors with Rh-negative blood types play a very important role in maintaining blood supply levels. Double red cell donation is done with the help of an apheresis machine, which collects the red cells but returns most of the plasma and platelets to the donor. “Because I get my platelets and plasma back, I don’t feel as drained afterwards,” he added.

Other Chester Village West employees who regularly donate blood include Marketing Director and Westbrook resident Sara Philpott, Director of Operations and Deep River resident Jim Jake, Marketing Assistant and Deep River resident Brenda Kollmer, Transportation Coordinator and Killingworth resident Priscilla Soucy and Debra Millspaugh, Accounting Manager and Deep River resident.

“My father’s life was saved by a blood transfusion,” Philpott said. “Most of us don’t think about the importance of maintaining the blood bank until we have a personal crisis. Our blood banks are always in need of more donors. It’s such a small thing to do that can literally save the life of another. It makes me feel good to know that my donation can help someone when they need it most.”

Editor’s Note: Located in historic Chester, Connecticut, Chester Village West gives independent-minded people a new way to experience retirement and live their lives to the fullest. Since the community was founded more than 25 years ago, Chester Village West residents have directed and embraced active learning. Within a small community of private residences that offer convenience, companionship, service and security, Chester Village West enriches lives with a comprehensive program that enhances fitness, nutrition, active life, health and well-being. Find out more atchestervillagewestlcs.com; visit the community on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChesterVillageWest.

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Essex Foundation Provides Support For Essex Place Furnishings

Bruce Glowac. President of The Essex Foundation, Inc. presents a check to Janice Atkeson, President of Essex Elderly and Affordable Housing, Inc. outside Essex Place, the newly constructed affordable senior housing complex on Main Street in Centerbrook.

Foundation underwrites cost of common area furniture in newly constructed senior housing 

ESSEX — Two weeks before the grand opening of Essex Place, a 22-unit, affordable senior rental housing complex developed by Essex Elderly & Affordable Housing, Inc. and the Women’s Institute of Housing & Economic Development, The Essex Foundation was called upon to help cover the cost of furniture for the common area spaces.

Last minute adjustments to the overall project budget left no available resources for completing the already constructed community room, game room, office, and kitchen.  After a thoughtful presentation by Janice Atkeson and Yolanda Lowe, both representing Essex Elderly & Affordable Housing, Inc., members of The Essex Foundation Board of Directors approved the request for financial assistance.

Funds from The Essex Foundation were used to cover the cost of upholstered furniture, dining tables, game tables, occasional tables, stacking chairs, office furniture, and miscellaneous kitchen items.  Essex Place is located at 26 Main Street in the Centerbrook section of Essex, adjacent to the Essex Court senior apartments.

The common areas are accessible to all residents of Essex Place and Essex Court, and will also be used for general meetings and as a designated emergency shelter. Community members who would like to donate to the project can send a check made out to The Essex Foundation, PO Box 64, Essex, CT 06426, indicating that it is for the Essex Place community room.

The Essex Foundation was founded in 1970. It is a non profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Essex residents. The foundation is funded through donations from the community and strives 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.theessexfoundation.org.

 

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PHOTO CAPTION: Bruce Glowac. President of The Essex Foundation, Inc. presents a check to Janice Atkeson, President of Essex Elderly and Affordable Housing, Inc. outside Essex Place, the newly constructed affordable senior housing complex on Main Street in Centerbrook.

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Deep River Congregational Church Hosts Annual August Flea Market & Rummage Sale, Aug. 19

All the fun of the Flea Market can be enjoyed Aug 19.

 

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Congregational Church, 1 Church St., Deep River, has been preparing for its Annual Flea Market and Rummage Sale which will be held on Aug. 19.  
The Flea Market, which is held on Marvin Field and on the grounds around the church, runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. with over 80 vendors, who bring a wide variety of items to sell, from antiques to hand crafted pieces.  There will be a variety of fresh baked goods for sale, prepared by church members and friends.  
Refreshments may also be purchased throughout the day: coffee and doughnuts in the morning and hamburgers, hotdogs, and side dishes throughout the day. There are only a few 20 x 20 foot spaces available for $30, and you can reserve yours by contacting the church office for a reservation form and map.
 
The Rummage Sale Committee has been collecting items since June for our Rummage Sale during the same weekend as our Flea Market.  It will be a two-day event running from Aug. 18 through Aug. 19.   All are invited to a Rummage Pre-Sale on Friday, Aug. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. for a $5 admission fee.  The Main Rummage Sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19. 
For further information, contact the church office at (860-526-5045or office.drcc@snet.net) or check out our church web site at www.deeprivercc.org.
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CT River Conservancy Launches Source to Sea Jump-In Journey, Celebrating 65 Years of Success

AREAWIDE – To celebrate its 65th anniversary, the Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC), formerly Connecticut River Watershed Council, is traveling the length of the Connecticut River this month to celebrate the many successes that have significantly improved the health of New England’s great river. Just as importantly, this Journey will lay out the work still to be done to meet the legal requirements and public expectations to make our rivers truly clean and full of life.

The Source to Sea Jump-In Journey begins at the source of the Connecticut River near the Canadian border on July 15 and ends at the Long Island Sound on July 30. The Source to Sea Jump-In Journey is an opportunity for everyone who loves our rivers to join CRC in speaking up for our rivers.

The public is invited to join the Source to Sea Jump-In Journey at events celebrating the many ways people use, enjoy, and take sustenance from their rivers. These events include opportunities to directly engage with important issues as well as have fun and celebrate. Opportunities include boating events as well as joining Splash Mobs, ‘flash mob’ style events where groups of river fans will jump in the river to publicly show support for their rivers. To learn more or follow the Journey online, visit www.ctriver.org/s2sjourney.

“Our rivers have come a long way,” says CRC Executive Director Andrew Fisk. “This Journey is retracing a trip taken by one of our trustees in 1959. Back then, they wore gas masks and scooped sludge from the river to highlight pollution problems. On this Journey, we have the pleasure of highlighting how clean our rivers have become and all the awesome ways people use our rivers for recreation. But our rivers still face challenges every single day. Our job is to find environmental problems and help solve them.”

The important work that remains to be done includes:

  • Removing deadbeat dams and making flood ready culverts to connect habitat and protect infrastructure
  • Restoring migratory fish populations so that millions of fish return each year
  • Fighting roll-backs of environmental regulations that protect our rivers, streams and lakes
  • Investing in aging and outdated water and wastewater infrastructure

CRC Executive Director Andrew Fisk and his wife Karen will make the trip down the Connecticut River.

The two most local events on the itinerary are as follows:

Saturday, July 29
What: 43rd Connecticut River Raft Race & Splash Mob
Where: Portland, CT
Details: 10am – 2pm, 43rd Annual Connecticut River Raft Race, Race begins at Gildersleeve Island and ends at the Portland Riverside Marina
Large community event with very creative rafts being raced.

What: Bass Fishing
Where: Salmon River boat launch E. Haddam, CT (Rt 149, E Haddam Moodus Road)
Details:  4:00 – 8:00 pm

Sunday, July 30
What: Onrust Cruise with CT River Museum
Where: Connecticut River Museum, Essex, CT
Details: 4 – 8pm, Join Connecticut River Museum and Connecticut River Conservancy to celebrate the completion of the Source to Sea Jump In Journey, food & drinks provided.
Sunset sail to the Sound on the historic Onrust, a replica of Dutch explorer Adriaen Block’s 1614 vessel, the first European ship to sail up the Connecticut River

What: Kayak the Salmon River & Pizza Party, Splash Mob
Where: Haddam, CT
Details: Paddle 10am – 12pm, Pizza Party 12 – 2pm

The remainder of the itinerary is as follows:

Sunday, July 16
What: Hike to the source of the Connecticut River, 4th Connecticut Lake to launch the journey
Where: Pittsburg, NH

Monday, July 17 to Wednesday, July 19
What: Paddle the upper reaches
Where: Canaan, VT to Guildhall, NH

Thursday, July 20
What: Pontoon Boat trip & Splash Mob
Where: Hanover, NH

Friday, July 21
What: River Parade & Community Paddle, Splash Mob
Where: Lyme, NH / Thetford, VT
Details: Launch from Orford, NH boat ramp, Paddle 1:30-3:30pm, Celebration at 599 River Road Lyme, NH 3:30-4:30pm. Lyme Town Band will perform on boats on river joined by flotilla of paddling friends.

Saturday, July 22
What: Reception & Community Conversation
Where: Windsor Welcome Center, 3 Railroad Ave., Windsor, VT
4-6pm, Walking tours of Windsor river recreation projects.

What: Float with the Kennetticut River Pigs & Splash Mob
Where: Cornish to Claremont, NH
Details: Paddle Launch at11am, near the Cornish-Windsor covered bridge.

Sunday, July 23
What: Riverboat Cruise with Tribal Leaders
Where: Northfield Mtn Recreation Facility, 99 Millers Falls Rd, Northfield, MA
Details: 12:45 – 3pm, Cruise departs from Riverview picnic area dock.
David Brule from Nolumbeka Project (MA), Roger Longtoe Sheehan Chief of Elnu Abenaki tribe (VT), and Rich Holschuh of VT Commission for Native American Affairs will speak about the Native American history of the river and their vision for its future.
What: Scuba Diving & Splash Mob
Where: Brattleboro, VT

Monday, July 24
What: Honor David Deen’s Retirement with CRC
Where: Whetstone Station, Brattleboro, VT
Details: 4-7pm, Recognize David Deen’s retirement after 19 years as River Steward with CRC and welcome new River Steward, Kathy Urffer.

Tuesday, July 25
What: Waterskiing at the Oxbow & Splash Mob
Where: Easthampton, MA

Wednesday, July 26
What: Watch a Dragon Boat Race & Splash Mob
Where: Northampton Community Rowing & Connecticut River Greenway Park, 80 Damon Road,Northampton, MA
Details: Approx 5:30 – 7pm, Watch a dragon boat challenge race with the Paradise City Dragon boat team and several of our local officials and community members. Learn relationship to Cancer Connection.

Thursday, July 27
What: Rowing Flotilla & Splash Mob
Where: Holyoke to Springfield, MA
Details: Time TBD, Rowing activities start at Holyoke Rows, 25 Jones Ferry Rd in Holyoke, and finish at Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club at the North Riverfront Park, 121 West Street, Springfield, MA. 

Friday, July 28
What: E. Windsor American Heritage River Commission Paddle & Picnic
Where: East Windsor, CT
Details: Approx. 2 – 6pm, Launch at Kings Island boat ramp in Enfield, CT. End paddle & picnic at Volunteer Park in E. Windsor, CT.
Paddle with an active group of local citizens who have worked to maintain the legacy of the American Heritage River designation of the CT River

What: Air-boating with Conte Refuge
Where: Enfield & Hartford, CT

 

Since 1952, Connecticut River Conservancy has been the voice for the Connecticut River watershed, from source to sea. We collaborate with partners across four states to protect and advocate for your rivers and educate and engage communities. We bring people together to prevent pollution, improve habitat, and promote enjoyment of your river and its tributary streams. Healthy rivers support healthy economies. To learn more about CRC, or to make a contribution to help protect the Connecticut River, visit www.ctriver.org.

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Deven Spear Named Chief Innovation Officer at ‘Overabove’ in Essex

ESSEX — Deven Spear has joined Connecticut-based Overabove as the strategic marketing firm’s Chief Innovation Officer.

Former managing partner of Spear Consultants Ltd. and CEO and founder of BrightDoor Systems,
Inc., Spear previously partnered with the Overabove team on successful sales and marketing
engagements including Homestead Preserve in Virginia and New Hampshire’s Mount Washington
Resort.

“Joining Overabove gives me a great opportunity to apply the lessons I’ve learned in real estate
sales and marketing to a wide variety of Overabove clients,” comments Spear, who notes the firm is
also developing targeted strategies for Fortune 500 high-tech companies.

In addition to cultivating new business opportunities for Overabove, Spear is closely involved in
Overabove’s work on strategic marketing for Wildlight, a new community being developed by
Rayonier’s community development subsidiary Raydient People + Places.

“Overabove was built for the way people consume information today,” states cofounder and
principal John Visgilio, “and digital is changing everything.” Hiring Deven to focus on marketing
technology is another step in the firm’s continuing evolution as a disruptive marketing leader, he
notes.

Editor’s Note: Overabove is a full-service strategic marketing firm located in Essex, Conn. The company was built from the start for the way people consume information today.

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Maple & Main Hosts Special Poetry Reading Tonight; Open to Public

Members of the Connecticut River Poetry Conference gather for a photo.

CHESTER — Members of the prestigious Connecticut River Poetry Conference will do a reading in the round in Maple and Main’s Stone Gallery Wednesday, July 19, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. A reception of wine and food follows.

This unusual event, open to the public, is the second year the group has read in the Stone Gallery where “Sharing the Vision,’’ a two-woman exhibit by Maple and Main artists Linda DeStefanis and Barbara Rossitto is being shown during July.

‘Beach Day’ by Barbara Rossitto is a signature painting for the new show at Maple & Main.

For the past seven years a singular group of poets meets for a summer week of workshops, seminars, readings, camaraderie and literary high-jinx at Chester’s Guest House Conference Center Shoreline. Gray Jacobik, a poet and Maple and Main artist and Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely founded this conference, which grew out of an advanced poetry seminar at The Frost Place in Franconia, NH.

‘Mandarin Sky II’ by Linda DeStefanis is featured in the two-woman show at Maple & Main Gallery.

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

Maple and Main, at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday and Thursday, noon to 6 p.m.; Friday, noon to 7 p.m.; Saturday, noon to  7 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mapleandmaingallery.com; 860-526-60605; mapleandmain@att.net; visit the gallery on Facebook and Instagram.

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The Country School Offers Fun, Learning Opportunities Throughout the Summer

Budding authors craft their own stories and enjoy collaborative writing in Word Play: Creative Writing at The Country School. Check out the school’s July and August offerings: Victory and Shoreline FC Soccer, Intro to A Cappella, Intro to Algebra, Young Actors, and Beginning Robotics. 

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, children in grades PreK-8 are welcome to attend the full or half-day week-long programs, all of which take place on the school’s newly appointed 23-acre campus in Madison.

Whether you’re searching for something academic, artistic, or athletic, The Country School has 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.

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

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. Follow your passions and discover new ones.

Editor’s Note: 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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Join Essex Land Trust to Trail Blaze Invasive Plants Today on Johnson Farm


ESSEX —
Want to help control invasive plants at Johnson Farm?

Join Essex Land Trust Stewards Geoff Furtney and Dana Hill Saturday, July 8, in identifying, managing and clearing invasive plants on Johnson Farm.  In line with the Land Trust’s mission, of maintaining properties in a natural state, this group is working to address the presence of invasive plants on our properties.

This is a work project so bring loppers, clippers and heavy work gloves. All ages and abilities welcome.

Meet at parking lot off Read Hill Rd. at 9 a.m. Read Hill Rd. is accessed off Comstock Avenue in Ivoryton. Rain date July 9.

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Big Band Event at Brewers Essex Island Marina Benefits Local Charities, Aug 20

Bob Hughes plays his saxophone on the dock at Brewers Essex Island Marina.

ESSEX — Saxophonist and band leader Bob Hughes is inspired by views of the Connecticut River at Brewers Essex Island Marina, where he and his 16-piece orchestra, “The Bob Hughes Big Band,” are scheduled to perform on Sunday, Aug. 20.  Billed as an “Island Swing,” the fundraising event is sponsored by the Essex Council of the Knights of Columbus of Our Lady of Sorrows Church.

The Bob Hughes Big Band will present a fundraising ‘Island Swing,’ Aug. 20.

Hughes, a resident of Essex, has had a lifelong love affair with big band and swing music.  In addition to the rare and vintage saxophone that has accompanied him for more than 70 years on his musical journey, Hughes is proud of his library of arrangements that he has used to educate himself in the styles of such greats as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Artie Shaw and his personal favorite, Stan Kenton.

View from Brewers Essex Island Marina, where the Bob Hughes Big Band will give a concert, Aug. 20.

Hughes has led his Essex-based band for 15 years and is extremely proud of the exceptional local musicians that have bonded under his leadership.  Together, they are helping to keep top-level swing music alive in this part of New England.

In addition to outstanding music and dancing, attendees of the Aug. 20 “Island Swing” event, which will run from 5 to 8 p.m., will enjoy an evening of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres supplemented by a buffet, wine, beer and soft drinks.  Tickets are $50.  All proceeds will support local charities.

For tickets or more information, call Ed McCaffrey at 860-575-4694 or visit http://www.olos-sxorg/2017_knightsofcolumbus_islandswing.pdf

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So Much to See This Summer at Chester Museum at The Mill

A front view of Chester Museum at the Mill. Photo from chesterhistoricalsociety.org.

Upstairs and down, all the new Chester history being featured at the Chester Museum at The Mill this year will delight you.

Downstairs is the seasonal exhibit prepared by Keith Dauer and Sandy Senior-Dauer, called “Chester Postcards & Three Chester Notables.” There are more than 200 Chester postcards on display as well as exhibits devoted to three people who lived in or impacted Chester, namely, Judge Constance Baker Motley, The Leatherman (see the life-size sculpture made by Weymouth Eustis), and photographer Hugh Spencer.

There is a replica of the Waterhouse Gristmill, intricately and lovingly handcrafted by Nathan Jacobson, in the entry level. And on the second floor, there’s a redo of the Museum’s permanent exhibit, which now includes a replica of Chester Pharmacy’s soda fountain (guaranteed to make you hungry!)

Museum hours are Saturdays 1 to 4 p.m. and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is free (but donations are always welcome to help the Historical Society continue to collect and preserve items of Chester history).

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Three Chester Residents Honored in 60 Over 60 Awards

Lee Howard has championed access to the arts throughout her life.

CHESTER — Three Chester residents were recently honored with 60 Over 60 Awards.  They are Lee Howard, Phyllis McDowell, and Nancy Smith, all of whom are residents at Chester Village West.

This is the first year the awards have been presented to honor Connecticut citizens over age 60 who make a difference in the lives of others or in their communities.  The 60 Over 60 award was created by Duncaster as a way to showcase the lives of people 60 or better, who continue to have a unique impact on their world. Howard, McDowell, and Smith were celebrated at a reception on the Duncaster campus in Bloomfield.

Howard is a life-long leader in greater access to the arts for all.  Lee has worked with local arts councils and alliances across the country to develop their technical services, and with advocacy and arts programs throughout the country.

Phyllis McDowell has advocated for those with mental health issues and those who care for the environment.

McDowell has changed the lives of those with mental health issues and those who care for the environment.  She and several volunteers from the Mental Health Association of New Haven launched Fellowship Place, a socialization program for psychiatric patients.

Smith is a writer, an editor, and a connector of people. She is an active member of the Susan B. and William K. Wasch Center for Retired Faculty at Wesleyan University.

Duncaster began their search for 60 Over 60 on Jan. 1.  It received nominations of remarkable individuals from throughout Connecticut.  “Our state has so many extraordinary people who are 60 or better, so we were not surprised at the number of nominations we received.  Clearly there are many people who wanted to recognize people 60 or better for their continued accomplishments,” says Carol Ann McCormick, VP Sales and Marketing at Duncaster.

Nancy Smith continues her work as a writer and editor, and has been a lifelong learning advocate

She continued, “We’ve all heard of 40 Under 40 awards that highlight the successes of this group of people.  We thought it was high time to recognize the ongoing inspiration and achievement of those 60 or better.  We were delighted with the response to it.”

Duncaster, the Hartford area’s first LifeCare community, is located minutes from West Hartford and Simsbury in Bloomfield CT.  This boutique Life Plan Community sits on 94 acres.  While catering to those who are active and engaged in independent living neighborhoods, Duncaster also offers options for those seeking assisted living, memory care, long-term care and rehab services (all private) in intimate settings.

For more information, visit http://www.Duncaster.org or call (860) 380-5005.

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Deep River Historical Society’s ‘Stone House’ Now Open Saturdays & Sundays

Stone House, owner by the Deep River Historical Society, opens July 1.

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Historical Society presents an opportunity to step back in time. This house and property is considered the crown jewel at 245 Main St., Deep River. The Stone  House was built in the 1840’s by Deacon Ezra Southworth for his bride. Three generations of the Southworth family have lived here and left their mark on Deep River.

Ada Southworth Munson bequeathed the family home to the Deep River Historical Society in 1946. It has since been used by them to highlight the town’s history along with offering events and community interaction.

There are many exhibits that showcase the lives of the family; sea faring stories to the Industrial Revolution, lace and textiles and of course the history of ivory in the area.

There is a World War I exhibit that tells of the Deep River “boys” in the Great War, which dates back 100 years.  The small settlement of Winthrop (in the northwest corner of Deep River) and is featured also with recent research updated.

Come and stop in for a free visit throughout the summer, Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 2 to 4 p.m., starting Saturday July 1st.  Greeters will be available to help with making the self-guided tour a learning experience.

Visit the Deep River Historical Society at their website at  http://www.deepriverhistoricalsociety.org or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/deepriverhistoricalsociety/

Call the DRHS at 860-526-1449 or the curator Rhonda Forristall, at 860-526-5086.

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Summer Show on View at Maple & Main Thru Sept. 3

‘The Way we Wore’ by Claudia Van Nes of Chester is a signature painting of the ‘Summer Exhibit’ at Maple & main.

CHESTER – The opening reception for the Summer Exhibit at Maple and Main Gallery is Saturday, June 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. when newly created works by 55 artists will be shown.

Wine and a variety of appetizers will be served and live music will be played by Alan James, an accomplished musician and artist from Deep River who is also showing his watercolors in the show.

The artists featured in the Summer Exhibit are from all corners of Connecticut and beyond and their work ranges from luminous landscapes to abstract multimedia works. The show runs through September 3.

“Summer Tides,” a solo show of beach, water and marine scenes by Rhode Island artist Vanessa Piche is on view in the Stone Gallery through June. There is a small, special exhibit of paintings in the main gallery by Bob Dietz who will do a demonstration of pastel painting Saturday, June 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Maple and Main Galley, at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday and Thursday, noon to 6 p.m.; Friday, noon to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mapleandmaingallery.com; 860-526-6065; mapleandmain@att.net. Visit the gallery on Facebook and Instagram.

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Key Bank Westbrook Volunteers Help Beautify the Estuary Senior Center


WESTBROOK/OLD SAYBROOK —
Key Bank’s Westbrook employees, some of whom are pictured above, visited the Estuary Senior Center recently and worked hard cleaning up the outside area, making the place even more beautiful! They have a 27-year tradition of volunteering in the communities they serve.

On behalf of all the seniors that the Estuary Center serves, Estuary board members wish to express their sincerest thanks to all the Key Bank, Westbrook volunteers who donated their time to work at the Estuary facility.

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Maple & Main Hosts Two Special Shows in July

‘Beach Day’ by Barbara Rosetti is a signature painting for the new show at Maple & Main.

CHESTER – Maple and Main Gallery, in addition to its Summer Exhibit, is hosting both a sculpture show and a two-woman show of paintings during July with receptions for both on Friday, July 7 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Selected sculptures created by members of the Society of Connecticut Sculptors will be on view in the main gallery where wine, cheese and desserts will be served July 7.

In the lower level of Maple and Maple there will be another party July 7 to herald in “Sharing the View,“ a two-women show in the Stone Gallery of new works by long-time gallery artists Linda DeStefanis and Barbara Rossitto.

July 7 is also First Friday in Chester when all the shops, galleries and restaurants are open late with special offerings. This First Friday also includes 10 Chester businesses, which operate outside the downtown, but will be set up in the town center from 5 to 7 p.m. with drawings, gifts and more.

Maple and Main Gallery, at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 6 p.m.; Friday from noon to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please visit the website, mapleandmaingallery.com  to view works from the Summer Exhibit, the sculpture show and “Sharing the Vision.”  860-526-6065;mapleandmain@att.net. Visit on Facebook.

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Chester’s Juliette Linares Earns Girl Scouting’s Highest Award

Juliette Linares of Chester has earned Girl Scouting’s top award.

CHESTER – Girl Scout Juliette Linares of Chester has received her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn in Girl Scouting.

The Girl Scout Gold Award requires Girl Scouts grades nine through 12 to spend at least 80 hours researching issues, assessing community needs and resources, building a team, and making a sustainable impact in the community. A Gold Award recipient’s accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart as a community leader.

Nationally, only 6 percent of older Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award. Girl Scouts of Connecticut recently honored the 71 Girl Scouts in Connecticut who have achieved this honor on Sunday, June 4.

Juliette’s project addressed the need for families to encourage their younger children to foster a love for literature at a young age. Juliette hosted a Dr. Seuss family event where 25 families along with Girl Scout troops, guests from surrounding towns, two guest readers, teachers, principals, and reading specialists attended. Juliette will continue to host the Dr. Seuss family event until she graduates high school. She hopes that it will continue to be a success and the school would agree to make it an annual event.

“I am beyond proud of our Girl Scouts as we celebrate another century of young women taking the lead and making a sustainable change in our communities,” said Mary Barneby, CEO of Girl Scouts of Connecticut. “By earning the Gold Award, Girl Scouts set themselves apart as top achievers, and are incredible go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders. I can’t wait to see what they will accomplish in the future!”

For more information about the Gold Award or how to become a Gold Award volunteer or mentor, visit gsofct.org.

Girl Scouts of Connecticut are more than 47,000 members strong – nearly 32,000 girls and over 15,000 adults – who believe that every girl can change the world. They’re part of a sisterhood of 2.6 million strong around the globe—1.8 million girls and 800,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world.

The Girl Scouts organization’s extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Ga., she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, her vision and legacy have been honored, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. The organization is the preeminent leadership development one for girls. And with programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success.

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

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‘Rock Solid Alibi’ Give Final Concert in ‘Rhythm by the Rails’ Series at Essex Steam Train, Aug. 23

ESSEX — Summer fun at The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat continues with the final free concert in a three-part summer music series.

Mark your calendars for Aug. 23 when Rock Solid Alibi will play great music from the 60s to 80s and wrap up the concert series.

The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat is located at 1 Railroad Ave., Essex, CT. Follow signs for Parking/Free admission.

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Glenn Close to Receive 2nd Annual Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award at Annual Gala, Aug. 26


OLD SAYBROOK —
Acclaimed actress Glenn Close has been named the recipient of the 2nd annual Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award. The award, given by the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, is bestowed yearly upon an individual who embodies the spirit, independence, and character of the legendary actress.

The award will be presented to Close at the organization’s annual Summer Gala on Saturday, Aug. 26.

Close has been nominated for six Academy Awards, won three Tonys and three Emmys, and advocates for mental health issues.  She made her feature film debut in The World According to Garp, for which she received an Oscar nomination. She was subsequently Oscar-nominated for The Big Chill, The Natural, Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons and Albert Nobbs.  For the latter, she was also a producer, co-wrote the screenplay and composed the lyrics for the Golden Globe nominated theme song, “Lay Your Head Down.”

Close won two consecutive Emmys along with a Golden Globe Award, and three SAG nominations for her portrayal of ‘Patty Hewes’ on Damages. She won a third Emmy for her title role performance in Serving in Silence: the Margarethe Cammermeyer Story (for which she also received a Peabody Award as executive producer).

In 1974, Close made her professional, theatre, and Broadway debut in The Phoenix Theatre’s Love for Love, directed by Harold Prince. Over her forty-three year career, she has always returned to the theater, receiving Tony Awards for Death and the Maiden, The Real Thing and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Sunset Boulevard, as well as an Obie Award for The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs. Last spring, Close made her London-West End debut in a new production of Sunset Boulevard, for which she won a London Evening Standard Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award. She is presently starring, to great acclaim, in that same production, on Broadway.

Close’s decision to join the acting profession in part stems from viewing one of the most famous and first ever television interviews with Katharine Hepburn, conducted by Dick Cavett, the inaugural Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award Winner.  Hepburn became an inspiration to Close and Hepburn welcomed this role, finding small ways to support Close through communications and appearances at events honoring Close.

The Aug. 26 Gala at the Kate will take place on the historic Old Saybrook Town Green. The event begins at 6 pm with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails under the tent.  Dinner and dessert by Max Catering will be complemented by live and silent auctions as well as remarks celebrating Close and another tremendous year of arts and culture at “The Kate.“ The Kate will then turn the party up a notch, filling the dance floor with current tunes and crowd favorites and dancers/instructors from the Fred Astaire – Old Saybrook Dance Studio will perform and join the party.

During the event, Close will receive the award, a graceful statuette sculpted in the likeness of Hepburn by Kimberly Monson, an artist and faculty member of the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts.

Numerous sponsorship levels are available, which include a variety of benefits, visibility, and the possibility to meet and greet with Close. The event’s top sponsor may participate in the awarding of the Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award to Close.

Visit http://thekate.org/events/2017KateGala/ for sponsorship details or to purchase tickets.  For more information contact Dana Foster at dana.foster@thekate.org

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is a non-profit performing arts organization located in an historic theatre/town hall on Main Street in Old Saybrook. Originally opened in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Center has been renovated with public funds from the Town of Old Saybrook and donations raised by the Trustees of the Center. It includes a 250-seat theatre and a small museum honoring Katharine Hepburn, Old Saybrook’s most celebrated resident. As befits an organization born of such a public/private partnership, programming is eclectic, offering something for all ages and income levels on the Connecticut shore and in the lower river valley.

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Essex Garden Club Awards Three Scholarships to Local Students

Essex Garden Club Scholarship committee chair, Anne Elich, is seated with 2017 scholarship recipients Daniel Taylor and Haley Hammen. Missing from photo, Annie Brown. Photo courtesy of Leslie Barlow

ESSEX — The Essex Garden Club recently awarded college scholarships to three area students:

  • Annie Brown of Essex, who attends the University of Vermont, is pursuing a major in Elementary Education with a minor in Environmental Studies.
  • Daniel Taylor of Ivoryton, a 2017 graduate of Valley Regional High School, will attend Vassar College in the fall to study Biology.
  • Haley Hammen of Essex, a 2017 Valley Regional High School graduate, will attend Pennsylvania State University in the fall to study Biology.

In addition, the Garden Club is proud to provide funding for young children from Essex, Ivoryton and Centerbrook to attend local nature camps. This year, scholarships were given the Essex Parks and Recreation Summer Program for 25 children to attend their one-week nature and science sessions.   Also, the Club has provided funding to allow four students to attend camp at The Bushy Hill Nature Center, which provides two weeks of in-depth nature experience.

The Essex Garden Club sincerely thanks all who support the annual May Market, the proceeds of which enable the Club to make these donations. This year, additional scholarship funds were contributed in memory of Garden Club members who were devoted to the education of young people in our community.

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Community Music School Receives Grant from Middlesex Community Foundation/River View Cemetery Fund

Community Music School’s New Horizons Band is a not-for-profit program that provides Middlesex County with an adult beginners band, many of whom have had never played an instrument before joining.

CENTERBROOK — Community Music School (CMS) has received a $3,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County (CFMC)/River View Cemetery Fund in order to fund the New Horizons Band.

Community Music School’s New Horizon Band is a not-for-profit program that provides Middlesex County with an adult beginners band of 13 members, many of whom have had never played an instrument before joining. Under the direction of Patricia Hurley, the CMS New Horizons Band performs marches, jazz selections, and music from the stage and screen, and much more. The band has recently collaborated with the John Winthrop Middle School band and has also participated in several concerts open to the public, in the past six months.

The CFMC grant will be used to further the advancement of the New Horizons Band. The New Horizons Program provides an entry point to music making for seniors, including those with no musical experience at all, or those who were active in school music programs but have been inactive for a long period. The band is nurturing, non-competitive, and supportive in style. There are no auditions or tryouts, and everyone is welcome, and many seniors enjoy the socialization of group instruction and ensemble playing.

Seniors participating in such a music program meet new friends, become an important part of a group, and have events to anticipate. The New Horizons Band has become an important part of the cultural life of our community as well, performing in many different settings and for special events. In addition to formal concerts, performances in community centers, and summer concerts in parks, they often play for retirement and nursing homes where added events are so needed.

“This program is so important to our seniors – both those who perform in the band and those who enjoy their many concerts throughout the year,” states Abigail Nickell, CMS Executive Director. “We are so grateful for CFMC’s support of this program so we can continue to serve the seniors in our community.”

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

Editor’s Notes:
  1. 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. 
  2. The Community Foundation of Middlesex County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Middlesex County, and to help Good People Do Great Things. Its two-fold mission is: (1) to work with charitably-minded individuals and organizations to build permanent endowments and other charitable funds; and (2) to support local nonprofit organizations through effect grant making, in order t address community needs, as well as Let Good Grow.
    Since its founding in 1997, the Community Foundation has provided 1,815 grants, totaling more than $5.4 million, to organizations for the arts, cultural and heritage programs, educational activities, environmental improvements, and for health and human services.
    To learn more, contact the Community Foundation at (860)347-0025, or info@MiddlesexCountyCF.org
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Environmental Program Looks To ‘Foster Future Stewards’ in Lower CT River Valley

From left to right, Peter and Elsie Patton, Marilyn Ozols, president, and Robin Andreoli, executive director. Photo by Joan Levy Hepburn.

LOWER CT RIVER VALLEY – The Rockfall Foundation recently announced the launch of a special campaign to commemorate 45 years of environmental grant making and support programs for students in the Lower Connecticut River Valley. The Fostering Future Stewards campaign will fund environmental education for kindergarten through 8th grade students with multi-year grants to schools for school-time, after school or summer programs.

Consecutive years of funding will allow educators to continue programs that introduce and sustain environmental literacy and the continuity of those programs will greatly benefit students.

The Foundation looks to raise $45,000 over two years and the campaign is off to a very positive start, thanks in large part to Peter and Elsie Patton of Middletown. Two of the Foundation’s most ardent supporters, the Pattons were the first to come forward with a leadership gift of $5,000 to the campaign.

“We are grateful to Peter and Elsie for inspiring others through their passion for this cause and their generous gift,” said Robin Andreoli, the Foundation’s executive director. “With a commitment from our Board of Directors, we have already achieved twenty-five percent of our goal and have heard from many friends in the community who support the project.”

Established in 1935, the Rockfall Foundation is one of Connecticut’s oldest non-profit environmental organizations and is the steward for the historic deKoven House Community Center in Middletown. The Foundation receives support from donors with a passion for the environment and connects them to local programs that help make the Lower Connecticut River Valley a better place to live.

Annual grant awards provide funding for local environmental education, conservation programs and planning initiatives. The Foundation also presents educational public programs throughout the year, which include symposia and public forums, informal networking opportunities, and family hikes.

For the past 45 years, the Rockfall Foundation’s grant making has supported and promoted outstanding environmental programs delivered by non-profit organizations, schools, and municipalities throughout the Lower Connecticut River Valley. The first grants awarded in 1972 provided a total of $5,000 to support four planting projects in Essex, Old Saybrook, and Chester. Since then, the Foundation has helped to fund 350 programs with awards totaling nearly half a million dollars.

For information about the Rockfall Foundation or how to contribute to the Fostering Future Stewards fund, visit www.rockfallfoundation.org or call 860-347-0340.

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Chester Village West Foundation Awards $30K in Scholarships to 10 Employees, Two Employees’ Children

Chester Village West Foundation, Inc. recently awarded $30,000 in college and university scholarships to 10 Chester Village West employees and two employees’ children. Left to right: Chester Village West resident and scholarship committee volunteer Whitey Wilson, Evan Swanson and Julie Fredericksen (both, Killingworth); Gabriella Dess (Madison); Ashlyn O’Boyle (Killingworth); Kira Woodworth (East Haddam); Jack Liggett (Deep River); Kristine Davis (Deep River); Elizabeth Forsythe (Killingworth); Leah Ann Sopneski (Deep River); Kenna Campbell (Chester); Chester Village West resident and foundation president Joan Galliher. Not pictured: Brandon Miller (Madison) and Johanna Regan (Northford).

Residents of Chester, Deep River, East Haddam, Killingworth, Madison and Northford enrolled at local and national colleges and universities

CHESTER – Ten Chester Village West employees and two children of employees have each been awarded a $2,500 scholarship from the Chester Village West Foundation, Inc. The scholarships will help the employees and their children continue their education at colleges and universities in Connecticut and beyond.

“Chester Village West employees are part of our extended family, dedicating their work to making our community a great place to live,” said Joan Galliher, a six-year resident and the foundation’s volunteer president. “And every year, our residents express their appreciation by generously supporting the foundation’s scholarship program to help staff members – and their children – pursue higher education.” 

Created as not-for profit entity in 1998 by a group of Chester Village residents, over the past 18 years the Chester Village West Foundation has provided more than $280,000 in scholarships to the community’s staff and their children, helping them to further their education beyond high school. The foundation’s income comes from voluntary donations made by residents of Chester Village West and memorial gifts from family and friends.

Recipients of the Chester Village West Foundation’s 2017 scholarships are:

Chester resident Kenna Campbell, a front desk employee and third year student at Central Connecticut State University.

Deep River resident Kristine Davis, a dining room employee and second year student at University of Tampa.

Madison resident Gabriella Dess, a dining room employee and fourth year student at Providence College.

Killingworth resident Elizabeth Forsythe, a dining room employee and second year student at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Killingworth resident Julie Fredericksen, daughter of housekeeping employee Debra Fredericksen and a first year student at Middlesex Community College.

Deep River resident Jack Liggett, a dining room employee and first year student at Marist College.

Madison resident Brandon Miller, son of marketing director Sara Philpott and third year student at Muhlenberg College.

Killingworth resident Ashlyn O’Boyle, a dining room employee and first year student at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Northford resident Johanna Regan, a dining room employee who is in her final year of teacher’s certification at Central Connecticut State University.

Deep River resident Leah Sopneski, a housekeeping employee and third year student at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Killingworth resident Evan Swanson, a dining room employee and third year student at Cedarville University.

East Haddam resident Kira Woodworth, a dining room employee and first year college student.

Located in historic Chester, Connecticut, Chester Village West gives independent-minded people a new way to experience retirement and live their lives to the fullest. Within a small community of private residences that offer convenience, companionship, service and security, Chester Village West enriches lives with a comprehensive program that enhances fitness, nutrition, active life, health and well-being.

Find out more at chestervillagewestlcs.com.

Visit the community on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChesterVillageWest.

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Ivoryton Playhouse Presents “A Night on the Town’ Cabaret-Dinner at Water’s Edge, Sunday

AREAWIDE — Ivoryton Playhouse, in a new partnership with Water’s Edge Resort,  will present a series of eight cabaret-style dinner theatre performances beginning Sunday, June 11, written for and performed exclusively at Water’s Edge.  This original series will showcase the professional talent of Ivoryton Playhouse performers and musicians in four unique events.

This original series of four uniquely themed productions celebrate a broad array of musical styles and genres:

Great Balls on Fire: Sunday, June 11 and Sunday, June 18
‘50s Rock N’ Roll and so much more.

A Night on the Town: Sunday, June 25 and Sunday, July 9
Featuring the musical inspiration of New York City.

That’s Amore: Sunday, July 16 and Sunday, July 23
Favorites from opera and musical theatre celebrating all things Italian.

Sounds of the ‘70s: Sunday, July 30 and Sunday, Aug. 13
Hits from the disco era.

Carly Callahan. Photograph courtesy of Carly Callahan

Each evening will feature a professional cast of performers, in addition to a trio led by Music Director, Eric Trudel and directed by Carly Callahan.

Cast members include Marsha Ackerman, Schuyler Beeman, Carly Callahan, Billy DiCrosta, Amy Maude Helfer, Kate Hubbard, Emily Johnson, Mia Pinero, Jorge Prego, Michael Scarcelle and Charlie Widmer.

“We have put together some great talent for these evenings, including cast members from our season, to bring the Water’s Edge audience a night of entertainment that they won’t forget,” said Jacqui Hubbard, Artistic Director of Ivoryton Playhouse.

Water’s Edge, previously known as Bill Hahn’s Hotel, was an entertainment destination in the 1940s and 50s and featured both up-and-coming singers and stars such as Henry Youngman, Art Carney and Barbra Streisand.  “We’re thrilled to revive the wonderful provenance of this resort, and look forward to entertaining a new audience inspired by Bill Hahn’s delightful evenings here decades ago”, said Hubbard.

Tickets are $69 per person, including dinner and the show, and can be purchased by calling Water’s Edge Resort at 860-399-5901.  Tickets are not available through the Ivoryton Playhouse website or theatre box office.

For more information, visit watersedgeresortandspa.com.

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All Welcome This Evening at Opening Reception for Studio 80’s ‘Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017’

View of the Sculpture Grounds at Studio 80 where the Opening Reception for Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017 will be hosted on June 10. Three works by Gilbert Boro can be seen in the photo.

Opening Reception Features Live Performances by GUSTO Dance & River Valley Dance Project 

Gilbert Boro, owner and sculptor at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds in Old Lyme, is hosting an Opening Reception on Saturday, June 10, from 5 to 8 p.m. for two new exhibitions on his property, Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017 and The Golden Hour. All are welcome to attend the reception at which light refreshments will be served.

During the Opening Reception, there will be two live, outdoor performances at 6 and 7 p.m. by the GUSTO Dance & River Valley Dance Project. All are welcome to attend the reception, watch the dance performances and wander the beautiful gardens and on-site gallery to view the works.

GUSTO Dance & River Valley Dance Project will present two live performances on Saturday, June 10, at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds.

Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017 follows on naturally from last year’s extremely successful juried exhibition of the same name , which drew large crowds and had to be extended into October to meet public demand.  This new exhibition on the grounds adjoining Boro’s studio and inside the Emily Seward Boro (ESB) Gallery on the property features works created by 17 widely acclaimed sculptors interspersed among Boro’s own sculptures, along with works by 22 other contributing artists.  More than 30 sculptors from across the country responded to the Call for Entries submitting some 60 works.

Boro’s expansive Sculpture Gardens are located on 4.5 acres of his residence on historic Lyme Street in the heart of Old Lyme, Conn.  The beautifully landscaped grounds slope down toward the Lieutenant River offering a unique en plein air experience for the exhibition, which combines both large- and small-scale contemporary sculptures. Many of the works, which are in a variety of media, are for sale.

In Love with an Idea’ is the signature mixed media piece in Susan Hickman’s ‘The Golden Hour’ exhibition on view in the ESB Gallery at the Sculpture Grounds during Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017.

A second exhibition will be on view in the ESB Gallery located on the Studio 80 grounds during the Showcase. “The Golden Hour” will feature mixed media works by talented indoor artist Susan Hickman, who was born a twin in rural Ohio.  She grew up in a small town and went on to study graphic design and photography at Ohio University.

Hickman moved to New York for a year before making her way up to the New England area where she has spent the last 15 years.  She is currently a resident artist of Hygienic Gallery in New London.  An eclectic mixed media artist working with paper, acrylic, ink, oils, found objects, graphic design, clothing design, photography and more, Hickman has also owned and managed several small galleries in New London including DEW ART Gallery, TAKEOUT Gallery and Down Gallery in Mystic.

She utilizes studio waste, discarded paintings, and found textiles as well as new ones, thus creating a restorative process, making something new from the past. She enjoys experimenting with texture and color and finds making art of any kind an exploration and an escape.

The sculptors and the title(s) of their work(s) included in the Showcase are as follows:
Michael Alfano • Fox
Greg Bailey • Green Descent
Henneke Beaumont • Connected-Disconnected
Brooke Bofill • Tension, Reveal
Jerry Erlich • Third Wheel
Denis Folz • Structured Form 1

‘Amulet’ by Gints Grinbergs is the signature piece of Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017.

Gints Grinbergs • Amulet, Stainless Steel Globes
Deborah Hornbake • Leap
David Judelson • Pablo
Elizabeth Knowles & William Thielen • Locating
Carlin Morris • Untitled
Christ Plaisted • Victorious Vine
Marcia Raff • 3’s a Crowd
Janet Rutkowski • Cymbalic Journey
Lisa Simonds • Silueta
Matthew Weber • Cedar Shingles & Shim Stacks
Melanie Zibit • Echo

The signature piece of the exhibition is Amulet by Gints Grinbergs, who works with a variety of metals, including copper, bronze, and stainless steel, to create open forms.  Welding metal spheres and partial spheres, he creates modern structures, for indoors or out. Fascinated by pictures taken by the Hubble telescope and electron microscopes, Grinbergs makes associations with galaxies and molecular structures. The combination of a modern metal structure with rough, natural stone make these works unique sculptural forms.

Grinbergs has a BFA and a BA. in architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design and has studied at Massachusetts College of Art and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. His work has been featured at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park; Michael Beauchemin Gallery, Boston; and Lever House Gallery, New York, N.Y. and is Included in private and corporate collections throughout North America.

‘Green Descent’ by Greg Bailey is a featured piece in Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017.

Greg Bailey’s Green Descent is a striking work featuring elongated cones creating a continuum in the shape of an arc.  Bailey comments, “I am more than halfway through my life and besides some fleeting glimpses of awakening, I remain to be a predominantly unconscious individual. I am surprised that I have not grown past being manipulated by advertisements, angered by the news, or frustrated by the people around me. My hope is that by the end of my days I can learn to be present and at peace.”

He adds, “The production of art offers opportunities for discovering unconscious motivations and rationalizations. In this way, working in the studio is a practice of introspection and clarification.”

Fox by Michael Alfano is a delightful, engaging study in realism.  The sculptor explains that he has been, “… sculpting figures, monuments, and philosophical pieces for 20 years,” and comments, “If the artist taps into a universal truth, the piece is felt by everyone like clear mountain air.” He first studied at the Art Students League of New York with an emphasis on life size sculpture and anatomy.

His formal education continued at Boston University, and was augmented by internships with several prominent sculptors. He continues his training with master classes, and occasionally teaches sculpture.  Alfano exhibits his work at galleries and other public venues, and he is a regular entrant in art shows, where he has garnered over 60 awards.  His sculptures are found in private collections throughout the world and can be seen in monuments and other public art on permanent display in the United States.  Alfano’s work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, books, and on television.

‘Fox’ by Michael Alfano is a featured piece in Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017.

The jurors for the exhibition were sculptor Gilbert V. Boro, art historian Barbara Zabel and photographer Christina Goldberg.

Boro has enjoyed an extraordinary and distinguished more than 50-year-career as a successful architect, sought-after international design consultant and an inspiring educator.  With a BFA from Duke University and post-graduate degrees from Columbia University, NYC, his work explores the interplay of space, place and scale in a wide range of media including steel, stone, wood, metal, aluminum and fiberglass.

Working in sculpture has been a compulsion rather than a possibility for Boro.  While mastering the rigors of technical competence, he developed a deep-seated passion for three-dimensional art, which continues to be the influential force behind his creations. He is both inspired and motivated by the creative freedom of sculpting, finding that abstract work is the means to fulfill his vision.  Boro’s sculptures can be found in art centers and public art venues across the US and throughout Europe; they have also been purchased by private collectors, corporations and foundations in both the US and internationally.

Sculptor Gilbert V. Boro in his studio.

Zabel is Professor Emerita of Art History at Connecticut College, where she taught modern and contemporary art.  She received her PhD at the University of Virginia and has received grants from the NEH, the Smithsonian, and the Mellon Foundation. She has written for art magazines and has published two books, the latest Calder’s Portraits, published in 2011 by the Smithsonian for the exhibition she curated at the National Portrait Gallery.

Since her retirement, Professor Zabel has taught several courses at local museums and has organized several exhibitions for the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, most recently The David Smalley Memorial Exhibition, which opens June 3 and is on view through Aug. 13.

Goldberg has worked as Exhibitions Coordinator and resident photographer for Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds for almost five years.  She is chief curator of Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017 and also photographs all the works exhibited on the sculpture grounds on a revolving basis. Additionally, she builds and designs web content for a great range of social media outlets, both for Studio 80 and external clients.

With a background in visual arts and communications from the University of Hartford Art School and Suffolk University, Goldberg’s photographs have been published extensively in numerous local print and digital venues including Coastal Connecticut magazine, Middletown Press, and Events magazine. A selection of her photographs will be on display in the coming months at Paynter Fine Art Gallery, located in the heart of Old Lyme’s Historical District.

View across Gil Boro’s Sculpture Grounds looking towards Studio 80.

This Summer Sculpture Showcase offers a unique opportunity for established sculptors to exhibit their work in a different location, while also effectively creating a new exhibition within the Sculpture Gardens.  Boro comments, “I’m delighted to be able to open my grounds to these exceptional sculptors whose work intrigues me.  Each one offers original creative thinking resulting in a combination of contrasting conceptual designs in a variety of media.  I think any visitor to the exhibition is going to be thoroughly engaged by what he or she sees – including children.”

Boro is somewhat unusual as a professional sculptor in that he loves to see folk of all ages directly interacting with his sculptures, noting that he has a strong aversion to exhibitions, “… where people can’t touch my work.”  Apart from attracting visitors to see the works on his grounds, Boro is thoroughly invested in the vibrant Old Lyme arts scene and hopes this exhibition will help cement the town as a summer destination for art-loving visitors from near and far, especially during the town’s Midsummer Festival, which this year is on Friday, July 28, and Saturday, July 29.

About Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds:  Located at 80-1 Lyme St., less than a minute from Exit 70 on I-95, the Sculpture Grounds are open 365 days a year from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.  Admission is free.  Children, field trips and group visits are all welcome. The Studio is open by appointment.  For further information, contact 860-434-5957, visit www.sculpturegrounds.com or email studio80sculpturegrounds@gmail.com

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Essex Historical Society Reopens Much Improved Hills Academy History Center

Volunteers at the newly refurbished Hills Academy History Center catalog and safeguard its historic treasures. Photo courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

ESSEX — Essex Historical Society (EHS) shines the spotlight on its historic structures in 2017, focusing its energies on setting the stage for a friendlier, community-centric approach to sharing their stories.  The Society’s library and offices at 22 Prospect St. reopen as the Hills Academy History Center on June 10.

Workers prepare for upgraded technology at Hills Academy to better serve the public. Photo courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

Improvements include outdoors land design, improved mechanicals, safety upgrades, new security systems, new research technology, painting and window repair to create a community History Center.

The Hills Academy History Center reopens June 10. Courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

Visitors who have negotiated Hills’ narrow staircase to visit the archives or conduct research will be pleasantly surprised that we are moving downstairs to the first floor!  Now, researchers and volunteers benefit from improved access at ground level to examine EHS’s frequently-used collections and visit their database via upgraded technology, funded in part through a grant from Guilford Savings Bank.

The public is welcome to join in the grand opening on Saturday, June 10, from 1 to 3 p.m.  The event is free and refreshments will be served.  Hills Academy History Center is open year-round Tuesday and Thursday mornings and by appointment.

Also that afternoon, EHS’s historic house museum, Pratt House, will participate in the statewide museum event, Connecticut Open House Day, Saturday, June 10, from 1 to 4 p.m.  Admission is free.  Both beautiful properties serve as historic resources for the entire community, helping EHS live up to its mission of Engaging and Inspiring the Community: Essex. Ivoryton. Centerbrook.  

For more information, visit www.essexhistory.org or 860-767-0681. 

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Essex Public Safety Day Scheduled for Today

Firefighters demonstrate the Jaws of Life in a crash simulation.

ESSEX — The Town of Essex, Essex Fire Company and Essex Ambulance will host Essex Public Safety Day on Sunday, June 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Essex Fire Headquarters, 11 Saybrook Rd.

Activities will include:
• Jaws of Life Extrication Demos
• Lucas CPR Demos
• Quick–Clot Bandaging Table
• Burn Boxes
• Stove Fire Prop
• Walking Wounded
• Helicopter “subject to availability”
• Mobile Command Vehicle
• Lenny & Joe’s Food Truck

This is a hands-on event. Come see and experience how you can become a part of the Town of Essex First Responder team!

Rain date is scheduled for June 18.

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BLUE Exhibition Featuring Monotype Prints on View at Lori Warner Gallery

‘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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Cappella Cantorum Presents ‘Music From Around the World,’ Today

Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus will present Music From Around the World on June 11, 3 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Old Saybrook

AREAWIDE — ‘Music From Around the World’ sung by the Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus will fill St. Paul Lutheran Church, 56 Great Hammock Rd. Old Saybrook on June 11, at 3 p.m.  The Chorus will present an extraordinary evening of great male choral music under the direction of Barry B. Asch with accompanist Deborah Lyon.

Featured selection along with their country of origin include: Sweden-Brothers, Sing On!; Wales-All Through the Night; Hebrew-Bashana Haba’ah; France-Cantique de Jean Racine; Germany-Brahms Lullaby; France-Viva L’Amour; and America: Climbin’ up the Mountain Children; Ezekiel Saw de Wheel; Johnny Cash Medley and Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen. 

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Volunteers Needed to Control Invasive Plant in Local Rivers

Water chestnut is an invasive plant that is easy for volunteers to remove & keep under control. Join CRC for upcoming volunteer events to learn about & remove this invasive plant.

AREAWIDE — There is an emerging threat to the Connecticut River and the waters within its basin that any boater, paddler, angler or property manager can help control. European water chestnut (Trapa natans) is an aquatic invasive plant that spreads rapidly, covering bodies of water with dense foliage impeding recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and swimming.

The Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC), formerly Connecticut River Watershed Council, is hosting a variety of opportunities this summer for residents to learn more and help remove this threat.

Quick and thorough action must be taken to prevent this plant from taking over because water chestnut reproduces exponentially. “The good news is that this plant is easy to identify, it reproduces only by seed, and pulls up easily,” notes Alicea Charamut, River Steward for the Connecticut River Conservancy.

She continues, “It can be managed by trained volunteers. For small to moderate infestations, no chemicals or equipment are needed other than willing volunteers in canoes, kayaks, and shallow draft boats. This work offers an opportunity for those of us who love our rivers, lakes and ponds to give back to them in a fun and easy way.”

There are two opportunities to learn to identify and report the plants. CRC hosted an information session at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex on Tuesday, June 13, and will do so again at LL Bean at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor on Friday, June 19. Both events are at 6:30 p.m. There will be a brief presentation, live plants on display, and plenty of time for questions.

Charamut is also available to give talks to groups within the Connecticut River watershed, who want to bring this information to their organization or club.

Paddlers and boaters can also help CRC manage known infestations. Five hand-pulling events are already scheduled for the floating meadows of the Mattabesset River in Middletown and Keeney Cove in Glastonbury in June and July with more to be scheduled as new infestations are reported. The work is fairly easy, a little dirty and very rewarding. Supplies are provided. Those who wish to attend need only bring their boat and PFD.

In addition, CRC is coordinating a River Sweep of the Connecticut River, its coves and ponds to scout for this invasive plant. “Because the seeds from these plants can last for up to twelve years, knowing where these plants have been found is crucial. In order to effectively control the spread of these plants we must monitor locations where they have been found each year and have as many eyes on the water as possible.” Paddling and boating groups can adopt a section of the river to scout for plants on or around Saturday, June 24.

“It will take a community of those who care coming together to help control this plant,” says Charamut. The Connecticut River Conservancy joins many partners in the effort to control water chestnut in the Connecticut River watershed. The US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Lower Connecticut River Council of Governments, Jonah Center for Earth and Art, Connecticut River Museum, and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station are all active participants working to help control this aquatic invasive plant.

More groups are encouraged to join the effort. Much of the work in the lower Connecticut River Valley here in Connecticut is possible thanks to a generous grant from the Rockfall Foundation.

For more information about education and volunteer opportunities to help control European water chestnut, visit www.ctriver.org/get-involved or contact Alicea Charamut at acharamut@ctriver.org.

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CT Valley Camera Club Exhibits at Clinton Library, Opening Reception, Aug. 5

AREAWIDE — There will be a photography exhibit by the CT Valley Camera Club from Aug. 1 to Aug 29, at the Clinton Library at 10 Killingworth Turnpike, Clinton, Conn.  There will be 12 members exhibiting at the show that has an open theme.

An opening reception will be held on Saturday, Aug. 5, from 2 to 4 p.m. All are welcome.

For further information, call Ed McCaffrey at 860-767-3521.

The Connecticut Valley Camera Club, founded in 2001, has a prime directive of encouraging, accommodating, and implementing multiple photographic experiences for our members. Photographers of all levels are welcome. With the overall intent of improving our skills, information is shared about techniques and equipment, as well as the provision of mutual support in evaluating images.

The club meets on the first Monday of each month at the Lymes’ Senior Center, 26 Town Woods Rd., Old Lyme. Visitors are welcome. You can find out more about our club on our website and Facebook postings.

To view images by club members and for more information, visit ctvalleycameraclub.smugmug.com  or Facebook.com/CTValleyCameraClubPage/

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See Broadway Star’s Laiona Michelle’s in Benefit Concert, Aug. 5

New England native and Broadway start Laiona Michelle will give a one-woman show at Spring Street Gallery, Aug. 5. The show will benefit the Bingham Camp Theatre Retreat.

CHESTER — Broadway’s Laiona Michelle comes to the Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio & Gallery in Chester, CT, on Saturday, Aug. 5, to star in a benefit concert called Little Girl Blue, the words and music of Nina Simone.

Little Girl Blue is Laiona Michelle’s one woman show inspired by her idol, the legendary jazz singer, songwriter and civil rights activist Nina Simone.   With personal stories and plenty of songs, all performed in Laiona’s exuberant, raw and crowd-pleasing style, Little Girl Blue is an evening that will reach deep into your soul.
Laiona Michelle is an actress and singer who has graced stages across the USA, performing in musicals, contemporary plays and Shakespeare in addition to appearing in film and on television in shows such as Law and Order.   Recently seen on Broadway in Amazing Grace and on tour in The Book of Mormon, Laiona grew up in Springfield, Mass., where she is the creator of Shakers Performing Arts Camp, which teaches Shakespeare in a “hip” fun way to inner city youth.
All proceeds from the concert will benefit the Bingham Camp Theatre Retreat (BCTR), a non-profit theatrical organization which develops new work for the stage that promotes and celebrates diversity.  Its mission is to create musicals and plays that give voice to under-represented communities onstage and promote inter-cultural dialogue and understanding.  It is located at an historic property in Salem, Conn., more than 100 years old, where theatre artists from around the country take residence each September.
Little Girl Blue direction is by BCTR’s Artistic Director Devanand Janki and musical direction is by Mark Fifer.
The performance takes place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5, at The Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio & Gallery, 1 Spring Street, Chester, CT 06412. Concert tickets are $20 and available at the door and on sale now online at www.binghamcamptheatreretreat.org
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Folklore Talk, Hike in Devil’s Hopyard With UMass Amherst Prof. Gencarella, Aug. 5

Chapman Falls in Devil’s Hopyard will be included in Prof. Gencarella’s hike.

ESSEX — The Devil’s Hopyard State Park in East Haddam is one of the most intriguing places for folklore in the entire state of Connecticut. As a follow-up to the Essex Library’s folklore program on Thursday, Aug. 3, Professor Stephen Gencarella (UMass Amherst and the resident folklorist at the CT River Museum) will lead a hike throughout the park on Saturday, Aug. 5. at 9 a.m.

Gencarella will tell the copious stories about this unique location; among these are tales about the indigenous people’s culture heroes, a literary work about a wayward son, and the numerous explanations for the park’s unusual name, including the tradition of witches brewing potions in the potholes near Chapman Falls. The hike will offer a view of the valley from a cliff and hikers will have an opportunity to visit a cave along the way.

Gencarella is a professor of folklore studies at UMass Amherst and is the resident folklorist at the Connecticut River Museum. He was featured in the June 2017 Connecticut Magazine in an article entitled “The Moodus Noises” (pg. 35), and is also developing a series on Connecticut folklore for iCRV.

This program is free and open to the public. Call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560 for more information and to register. The hike will begin at 9 a.m. at the Devil’s Hopyard State Park main parking lot at 366 Hopyard Rd. in East Haddam.

Caption:
A free, folklore talk and hike in Devil’s Hopyard State Park presented by UMass Professor Stephen Gencarella at 9 a.m. Aug. 5 at Devil’s Hopyard State Park, 366 Hopyard Rd. East Haddam. Gencarella will focus on the indigenous people’s culture heroes, a literary work about a wayward son, and the numerous explanations for the park’s unusual name. Hosted by the Essex Library. RSVP: 860-767-1560.

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Community Music School Offers Performance Anxiety Workshop Today

Community Music School faculty member Cheryl Six offers a Performance Anxiety Workshop, June 3.

CENTERBROOK — Community Music School (CMS) will be offering a Performance Anxiety Workshop specifically for musicians on June 3, from 3 to 5 p.m.  Many musicians struggle with stage fright and this workshop will address all the usual symptoms including butterflies, trembling hands, a racing heart, or worse.  The workshop is open to the public and costs just $30 for a two hour interactive workshop.

Community Music School faculty member Cheryl Six will discuss the roots of performance anxiety, the common symptoms, the most popular remedies, and tricks, tips and techniques that you have probably never heard of!  This is your opportunity to listen, learn and share with other musicians.  You will leave feeling hopeful and prepared to tackle your performance anxiety head on.

Six is an active performing flutist and instructor, specializing on piccolo.  She served as piccolo player in the US Coast Guard Band from 1977 until her retirement in 2007, and currently performs with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, a position she has held for over 35 years.  In addition, Six is often heard in the flute sections of the Salt Marsh Opera, the Con Brio Choral Society Orchestra, and other Connecticut ensembles.

After retiring from the US Coast Guard Band, Six pursued a life-long interest in hypnosis and received a certification in Hypnotherapy in 2008.  In 2012, she completed a Master’s Degree in Holistic Thinking with a focus and culminating project on “Insights in to the Use of Hypnosis for Musical Performance Anxiety.”

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

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 30-year -tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities.  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.

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Community Music School Presents ‘A Concert in the Park’ in Downtown Essex, Sunday

ESSEX – Bring your blanket, lawn chair, and picnic basket and enjoy an entertaining concert presented by the Community Music School (CMS) on Sunday, June 4, from 4-6 pm at the Main Street Park Gazebo in Essex. Three CMS student groups will be performing, including the New Horizons Band, New Horizons Brass Ensemble, and the CMS Jazz Ensemble.

Featured pieces include jazz and folk standards, Broadway tunes, and music from the American Songbook. The rain location is St. John’s Episcopal Church located at Main and Cross Streets in Essex.  The concert will be free of charge and open to the public.

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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Vista’s ‘Man of La Mancha’ Dazzles at the Kate

The cast of ‘Man of La Mancha’ gather for a celebratory photo.

AREAWIDE — A unified cast of performers with and without disabilities worked together to achieve the “Impossible Dream” by bringing Vista Life Innovations’ production of Man of La Mancha to life on stage at the Kate in Old Saybrook May 19, 20 and 21.

Starring a cast of 10 performers from the greater shoreline theater community and 16 members of Vista Life Innovations, this production of Dale Wasserman’s Tony Award winning musical drew more than 600 audience members during its three-day run.

More than 50 community members and over 50 Vista students and members participated in the production in various roles, including set and costume design, lighting, sound, pit orchestra and ushering.

Directed by Pat Souney, Man of La Mancha marked Vista’s fourth all-inclusive musical production and second to play at The Kate.

This production was funded in part through a grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County/River View Cemetery Fund. Show sponsors included Farmers Insurance, the Wrotnowski Family, the Lee Family, Cornerstone Construction Services, Bruce Baber, Guilford Savings Bank, and Laurie Pilcher and Sharon Grogan.

With campuses in Madison, Westbrook and Guilford, Vista Life Innovations is a nationally accredited post-secondary program that has been supporting the personal success of individuals with disabilities for over 27 years.

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

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Education Mandate Relief Passes House

Rep. Bob Siegrist testifies during a Public Hearing.

AREAWIDE — On Tuesday, May 30, State Representative Robert Siegrist, who represents the communities of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam supported legislation to promote real progress for education mandate relief.

The proposal, HB 7276, An Act Concerning Education Mandate Relief, includes recommendations from concerned superintendents, administrators, teachers, Board of Education members, parents, and advocates. School districts and town officials from across the state have been strongly urging members of the legislature to provide mandate relief.

“I am happy to see the passage of this bipartisan proposal in the House, and it is my hope that this legislation will be signed into law by the governor,” said Rep. Siegrist who cosponsored the bill. “The passage of this proposal will amount to monetary savings for our districts and towns, but will also allow our dedicated educators to focus their attention on providing the best possible education and services to our students.”

The bill’s provisions include:

  • Eliminate the requirement for school districts to adopt a regional calendar
  • Require the state to purchase one digital school management and reporting software system
  • Provide a digital school management and reporting software system at no cost to districts; allowing districts to decide how they provide education to expelled students; and allowing districts to focus training in procedures for handling highly sensitive behavioral issues on staff who have direct contact with students

The bill is supported by Connecticut Council of Small Towns (COST) and passed out of the House of Representatives; it now heads to the Senate.

The 2017 legislative session adjourns on June 7.

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SummerSing Faure’s ‘Requiem,’ July 31

AREAWIDE — SummerSing “Bill of Rights” by Neely Bruce on Monday, June 26, 7 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 56 Great Hammock Road, Old Saybrook. This session will be conducted by Neely Bruce of Wesleyan University . All singers are welcome to perform in this read-through of a great choral work.

The event is co-sponsored by Cappella Cantorum and Con Brio. Scores will be available, a $10 fee covers the costs of the event. The church is air-conditioned and handicapped accessible.

For more information call (860) 767-9409 or (203)530-0002  or visit www.cappellacantorum.org or www.conbrio.org

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Take the Kids to See ‘BubbleMania’ at Ivoryton Playhouse, July 28

Casey Carle will delight audiences with his ‘Bubblemania’ show at Ivoryton Playhouse, July 28.

IVORYTON — The Ivoryton Playhouse brings you another summer full of fun and educational programs all geared towards children. The Playhouse is proud to present some new and exciting live performances featuring some of Connecticut’s most popular, professional artists.

Performances are for children of all ages. Help your child discover the magic of theatre this summer at The Ivoryton Playhouse.

 

July 14
Crabgrass Puppet Theatre presents

The Pirate, The Princess and The Pea

A swashbuckling pirate and princess adventure!  A pirate’s life isn’t all “yo-ho-ho and a bottle of grog,” ya know. It’s hard work searchin’ for treasure, avoidin’ the sea monsters, keepin’ the crabs from eatin’ your nose, and fallin’ overboard just in time to meet a giant octopus. But it’s worth it when ya haul in that treasure chest . . . but the treasure in this chest happens to be a princess . . . a princess who doesn’t even believe you’re a pirate! And how do you prove you’re a real pirate? Arrgh. Well, ya start with a whole lot o’ mattresses!

July 21
Blashford Bro. Puppet Co. presents
Jack & Jill

Jack & Jill is a one-man puppet show featuring hand-carved, folk-toy-inspired puppets and live music. The show explores the contemporary issue of water conservation in the tradition of the Appalachian Jack Tale. In this story, a young coal miner and his companion go ‘up a hill to fetch a pail of water’ then take on a selfish giant and save a whole neighborhood! Everyone is welcome to a big ol’, heapin’ helpin’ of this good-natured, heartland American story of teaming up and looking out for the little guy.  A show for all ages.

July 28
Casey Carle’s
Bubblemania

Back by popular demand! Casey Carle performs tricky undulations, manipulations and juggling with bubbles. An extremely unique program combining high energy entertainment with artistic achievement, BubbleMania is loaded with visual comedy, quick wit, big band swing music and the untamed, often unbelievable qualities and beauty of spherical liquids. Casey’s creations grow from intricate and imaginative bubble artforms to “trapping” people inside bubbles! This is a bubble show to keep the 5 to 75 year-olds mesmerized.

August 25
The Comedy Magic of Danny Diamond

Come and be amazed by the comedy magic of Danny Diamond. His show will astound and entertain people of all ages. Bring the whole family for some fun and entertainment on a warm summer day.  dannydiamond.com

All performances are at 11am. Tickets are $14 and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  Book early to avoid disappointment. (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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Bill to Protect Rescue Animals in Private Shelters One Step Closer to Becoming Law

State Rep. Robert Siegrist (R-36th)

AREAWIDE — On Wednesday, May 16, State Representative Robert Siegrist applauded the passage of House Bill 6334, which passed unanimously. The bill aims to improve conditions at brick and mortar private, non-profit animal shelters by requiring them to register with the Department of Agriculture (DoAg) and to comply with local zoning requirements.

“This legislation is a step in the right direction that will help prevent animals from being neglected and abused.  We must care for our furry friends with respect and treat them like our own family, they depend on us,” said Rep. Siegrist. “I would like to make it known that I do believe that the majority of Connecticut private, non-profit animal shelters provide exceptional service to the animals in their care. Most of these shelters are run by devoted staffers, but there are a few exceptions to this rule and this legislation addresses those few bad apples.”

Under the bill, DoAg must issue a registration to an applicant upon application and payment of a $50 fee if the applicant complies with applicable state regulations and, for an initial registration, municipal zoning requirements. A registration is effective until the second Dec. 31 following issuance, may be renewed biennially by Dec. 31, and may be transferred to another premise with the commissioner’s approval.

The bill authorizes the commissioner, or his agent, to inspect an animal shelter at any time. If, in his judgement, the shelter is not being maintained in a sanitary and humane manner that protects public safety, or if he finds that contagious, infectious, or communicable disease or other unsatisfactory conditions exist, he may fine the shelter up to $500 for each affected animal, issue orders necessary to correct the conditions, and quarantine the premises and animals.

In addition, if a shelter fails to comply with the commissioner’s regulations or orders or any state law relating to animals, the commissioner may revoke or suspend its registration. Anyone aggrieved by a commissioner’s order may appeal to Superior Court. Anyone operating a shelter without a valid registration is subject to a fine of up to $200.

This bill is supported by CT Votes for animals, ASPCA, the US and CT Humane Societies and Our Companions Animal Rescue.

House Bill 6334 now heads to the Senate, where it will need to be voted on by midnight on June 7.

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