October 23, 2016

Essex Park & Rec. Announces Exciting Range of Fall Programs

ESSEX — Essex Park and Recreation (P & R) Department has announced that registration is now open for all Fall 2016 programming.

A small sample of the extensive and varied range of programs includes track, tennis, archery, cooking, floor hockey, Kids on the Move, Pre-Season Basketball and Outdoor Nature Exploration

Registration for the Winter Youth Basketball Program is also open at this time.

Essex P & R is also offering a bus trip to see the Patriots play the Jets at MetLife Stadium.

Finally, don’t forget to Save the Date for the Ivoryton Village Pumpkin Festival on Oct. 22!

Click on this link to view the color guide to Essex P & R Fall Programs aptly sub-titled, “The Benefits are Endless”.

For further information or to register for programs, call 860.767.4340 x 110 or email recreation@ essexct.gov. The P & R office is located inside the Essex Town Hall at 29 West Ave., Essex.


Join Fun Fridays for Pre-Schoolers at Deep River Library, Wide Range of Children’s Programs Also Offered

DEEP RIVER — Every Friday is Fun Friday at the Deep River Public Library!  The following story times and programs are offered for the month of September:

Sept. 1 — This Fun Friday Story time is a Preschool Power Hour with stories and songs in an interactive setting, followed by Open Play. Starts at 10:30 am, open to all ages.

Sept. 9 – This Fun Friday Story time is a Preschool Power Hour with stories and songs in an interactive setting, followed by Open Play. Starts at 10:30 am, open to all ages.

Sept. 16 — This Fun Friday Story time is a Preschool Power Hour with stories and songs in an interactive setting, followed by Open Play. Starts at 10:30 am, open to all ages.

Sept. 23 – This Fun Friday Story time is a Preschool Power Hour with stories and songs in an interactive setting, followed by Open Play. Starts at 10:30 am, open to all ages.

Sept. 30 — Today there will be a Fun Friday Guest — ABC Amigos returns. Starts at 10:30 a.m., open to all ages. Preschool Power Hour with stories and songs in an interactive setting. Starts at 10:30 am, open to all ages.

Additional Children’s Programs:

Sept. 8 & Sept. 22: Brick Bunch meets from 3:45 – 4:45 pm for open Lego construction. This is a drop-in program. We now have large blocks for the younger kids!!

Sept. 21: Cooking Club starts at 6:00 pm. Whip up a tasty treat with friends! Registration is required for this program and limited to 10 children. Call 860-526-6039 or email drplchildrensdept@gmail.com to sign up!

Sept. 17: All new Baby Bounce with Miss Elaine. This is a one-a-month story time exclusively for non-walking babies and their caregivers. Older siblings may attend, but the program will be geared toward the littlest library users. No registration required. Starts at 10:30 am.

For more information on any of these programs, call 860-526-6039 or email at drplchildrensdept@gmail.com


Yoga & Pilates Practice Opens in Essex Catering to Individuals with Physical, Mobility Challenges

Karen DiRenzio works with a client in her new facility in Essex.

Karen DiRenzio works with a client in her new facility in Essex.

ESSEX — Karen DiRenzo has announced the opening of Yoga & Pilates for Health and Well-Being, a private practice located at 3 New City Road, Essex, CT.  The practice focuses on working one-on-one with individuals who have physical limitations and mobility challenges and is fully equipped with Pilates apparatus on premises.  In addition to being a Certified Pilates Instructor, she is specially trained in Adapting Yoga for Disabilities, Chair Yoga, Cardiac Yoga and Silver Sneakers.

DiRenzo, a retired Navy Nurse for over 30 years chooses to work with individuals looking to improve their health who have sustained injuries, illness and limitations.

She explains, “I’ve taken the fear out of fitness classes and large studio environments for individuals looking to improve their health.  By establishing a Pilates and Yoga in-home practice, clients feel at ease to work at a pace that suits them.  My focus is on outcome, and I am dedicated to working with those who feel uncomfortable with larger studios environments.  I can modify any movements to make them accessible for all.”

With over 30 years of experience as a Registered Nurse, DiRenzo has the skills and understanding to work with all clients, especially those with physical problems, older individuals and post-rehabilitation to bridge the gap after physical therapy completion.   Pilates and Yoga provides a variety of movements to improve balance and strength, increase bone density and improve mobility.

DiRenzo has worked with clients recovering from bilateral mastectomy reconstructions, strokes, arthritis, fibromyalgia and more.  In addition to her Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree, she holds a Master of Science Degree in Community Health Administration and Wellness Promotion.

Yoga and Pilates for Health and Well-Being offers Private One Hour Sessions,  In-home Sessions, Group Pilates mat or Yoga for Schools, Businesses, Churches and Chair Yoga at Assisted Living Facilities.

For more information, visit www.yogaandpilatesforhealth.com


Essex Library Hosts Wesleyan Professor Speaking on Women in Politics, Oct. 22

Professor Sarah Willarty

Professor Sarah Willarty

ESSEX — On Saturday, Oct. 22, at 1 p.m. Wesleyan Government Professor Sarah Wiliarty will give a talk at Essex Library on women in politics, thus helping to put Hillary Clinton’s campaigns for the presidency into some perspective, both internationally and historically.

Being related to a male political leader is actually an exceptionally common way for women to gain executive office in many other places. She will also talk about other scholarship on what conditions tend to facilitate or hinder women gaining office more generally.

Sarah Wiliarty is an Associate Professor of Government at Wesleyan University. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. in Physics from Harvard University. Her book, The CDU and the Politics of Gender in Germany: Bringing Women to the Party was published by Cambridge University Press in 2010.

This program is free and open to all. Call the Library to register in advance: (860) 767-1560.

The Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.


Blumenthal Discusses Proposed High Speed Rail Route with Community Leaders Friday Morning in Old Lyme

Senator Richard Blumenthal (File photo)

Senator Richard Blumenthal (File photo)

OLD LYME — Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder issued the following announcement Thursday, Aug. 11:
Senator Richard Blumenthal will be meeting in the Old Lyme Town Hall Meeting Hall, Friday, Aug. 12, at 10:30 a.m. This will be a roundtable discussion with community leaders from area towns, though the public is welcome to attend.

“After recent issues raised by the USDOT’s concept for future rail service in Connecticut and the operation of rail service by Amtrak, Senator Blumenthal will meet with municipal leaders to hear their concerns and ideas for the future of rail service along the shoreline from the Connecticut River to the Rhode Island border. This discussion will help inform Senator Blumenthal on the impact of federal policies on local communities and determine how he may assist the town leaders.”


The Country School Partners with Level Up Village for Pioneering Global Steam Enrichment

These photos show campers with flashlights, which they created in a Global Inventors camp. During the camp, students in Madison were partnered with students in Kenya, communicating about their inventions through video exchanges.

These photos show campers with flashlights, which they created in a Global Inventors camp. During the camp, students in Madison were partnered with students in Kenya, communicating about their inventions through video exchanges.

This summer, The Country School teamed up with Level Up Village to offer pioneering global STEAM (STEM + Arts) courses as part of the school’s Summer Fun and Learning program. In addition to engaging in STEAM programs, participants collaborated one-on-one with partner students from one of Level Up Village’s Global Partner organizations in a developing country via video message exchanges.

Camps offered through the Level Up Village-Country School partnership included Global Inventors and Global Video Game Designers. At the Global Inventors camp, participants used 3D printers to create solar flashlights – and they did so while collaborating with friends in Kenya. For Global Video Game Designers, participants explored Scratch and used video camera sensors and drawings to build and hack video games, collaborating through videos with friends in Palestine.

“Joining forces with Level Up Village is a natural extension of what we do throughout the year at The Country School, developing 21st Century skills and incorporating STEAM into our PreSchool through 8th Grade programs,” said John Fixx, Head of School. “In addition, the global collaboration ties in seamlessly with our curricula that stir appreciation for various cultures and traditions, important for the fulfillment of our school’s mission as we prepare our students to enter an global and interconnected world.”

Level Up Village empowers children to make a difference in the world with courses that promote design thinking and one-to-one collaboration on real-world problems between K-9 students in the U.S. and Global Partner students in 20+ countries. U.S. school partners directly sponsor Global STEAM education in developing countries through Level Up Village’s “take a class, give a class” model: a portion of the tuition is used to deliver the same class to students at one of Level Up Village’s Global Partners, many of whom are living on less than $2 a day. More information is available at www.levelupvillage.com.

Level Up Village - Global Inventors (2)

“We connect students from around the world for shared STEAM learning experiences that are both impactful and relevant so they can develop the skills and mindset they need to become compassionate global citizens,” said Amy McCooe, CEO of Level Up Village. “Our cutting-edge global STEAM courses include fully developed curricula, comprehensive teaching training and experienced management of the global collaboration process.”

The Country School looks forward to continuing its partnership with Level Up Village – and with its partner schools – during the coming school year. What did campers think of the program this summer?

From Gabriel, a rising Country School 3rd Grader, who collaborated with a Palestinian student for the Global Video Designers camp:

It was really cool making my own video game! My friend from Palestine was like me. He had the same things. He liked to play outside, has an Xbox, and made video games too. He also had a brother!

From Nadia, a rising Country School 4th Grader:

It was neat to use the computer to make my own video game and then play it and share it, which is really awesome. It was awesome to have a friend from somewhere else in the world. Abdul loved burgers just like me. I didn’t know they have burgers in Palestine.

Founded in 1955, The Country School is a coeducational, independent day school serving 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.

For more about Level Up Village, contact Andrea Sherman, PR & Communications at Level Up Village at andrea@levelupvillage.com


Paolucci, Gingras Appointed to Essex Financial Services Board of Directors

Essex Financial Services, Inc. (EFS) has announced that Robert Paolucci and Patrick Gingras, two of the firm’s Financial Advisors, have been appointed to serve on the company’s Board of Directors. In addition, both have been promoted to Senior Vice President.

In a statement announcing the appointment, EFS President and Chief Executive Officer Charles R. Cumello, Jr. said, “We are delighted to add two of our most senior advisors to our board. We look forward to their ongoing contributions to the growth and oversight of the firm.”

Paolucci has been in the financial services industry for nearly 20 years and joined EFS in 2009. He has earned the Certified Financial Planner®. Paolucci and his family reside in Killingworth.

Gingras joined EFS in 2006 after numerous years serving as an institutional advisor. He and his family live in Old Lyme.

Essex Financial Services is one of the leading independent financial advisory firms in the United States. Cited by Barron’s and other leading publications, the firm’s unbiased, independent, client-centric approach has made it a leader in providing exceptional service to clients for over three decades.

For more information on Essex Financial Services, visit essexfinancialservices.com


Essex Winter Series Awards Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship to Austin Rannestad of Chester

Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship winner Austin Rannestad stands with his parents John and Jennifer Rannestad John Rannestad,

Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship winner Austin Rannestad stands with his parents John and Jennifer Rannestad.

ESSEX — The Board of Trustees of Essex Winter Series has announced that Austin Rannestad of Chester is the recipient of the 2016 Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship. A 2016 graduate of Valley Regional High School (VRHS), Austin is the son of John and Jennifer Rannestad. The scholarship was awarded by Essex Winter Series trustee Louisa Ketron at the VRHS senior awards night in June.

Named for a founding member of Essex Winter Series, the Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a graduating senior of VRHS who will be studying music in college. The generous scholarship provides $1,000 for each year of study, for a total of $4,000. The Scholarship was established in 1995 after the passing of EWS board president Francis Bealey to honor his commitment to music and arts education.

Austin plays trumpet and, during his high school career, was a member of the concert and jazz bands as well as a musician in the pit orchestra for school and community musicals. He was a member of the Greater Hartford Youth Wind Ensemble, played varsity tennis and was a member of the ski club. This summer, Austin was employed as a sailing instructor at Pettipaug Sailing Academy and, with his family, hosted a Spanish exchange student for several weeks. He plans to attend Ithaca College to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music.

Bringing world-class classical and jazz music to the shoreline area was the dream of the founders of the Essex Winter Series, established in 1979.  The late Fenton Brown became involved early on and devoted many years to expanding the series, and ultimately recruited pianist Mihae Lee to become Artistic Director.  The “Fenton Brown Emerging Artists Concert” series was begun to honor Brown’s commitment to promoting the careers of young artists.

Each year, the Essex Winter Series presents a series of concert performances by top-rated musicians from around the world with each season including a mix of such performances as chamber music, instrumental soloists, opera singers, symphony and chamber orchestras, and jazz bands.

For additional information, visit www.essexwinterseries.com.


Deep River Library Offers Programs Galore During October

DEEP RIVER — Deep River Public Library is offering the following programs during October:

Oct. 7 — Preschool Power Hour with stories and songs in an interactive setting. Starts at 10:30 am; open to all ages.

Oct. 14 — Preschool Power Hour with stories and songs in an interactive setting. Starts at 10:30 am; open to all ages.***Special Guest Rick Daniels from the Deep River Fire Department arrives at 11:00 am to learn about Fire Safety!

Oct. 21 — Special FUN FRIDAY GUEST! Please join us for Spanish story time with ABC Amigos! Starts at 10:30 am;

Oct. 28 — Special FUN FRIDAY Activity! We are going to have a Halloween Party!! Dress in costume for spooky snacks and fun games with friends! Starts at 10:30 am; open to all. ages.

Additional Children’s Programs

Oct. 13 & Oct. 27 : Brick Bunch meets from 3:45 – 4:45 pm for open Lego construction. This is a drop-in program. We now have large blocks for the younger kids.

Oct. 26: Cooking Club starts at 6:00 pm. Whip up a tasty treat with friends! Registration is required for this program and limited to 10children. Call 860-526-6039 or email drplchildrensdept@gmail.com to sign up.

Oct. 8: All new BABY BOUNCE with Miss Elaine! This is a one-a-month story time exclusively for non-walking babies and their caregivers! Older siblings may attend, but the program will be geared toward the littlest library users! No registration required. Starts at 10:30 am

For more information on any of these programs, call 860-526-6039 or email at drplchildrensdept@gmail.com


Shoppers at Adams Hometown Market in Deep River Give Generously to CT Food Bank Milk Drive

The Adams Homemarket in Deep River

Shoppers at the Adams Hometown Market in Deep River gave generously to The Great American Milk Drive. Photo by Jerome Wilson.

DEEP RIVER — Shoppers at Adams Hometown Market, Better Valu and Tri Town Foods stores in Connecticut gave generously to The Great American Milk Drive, raising more than $12,000 for milk vouchers to help people served by the Connecticut Food Bank network of food assistance programs. Connecticut Food Bank spokesperson Paul Shipman spoke warmly of the tremendous contribution made by the Adams Hometown Store located in Deep River, telling ValleyNewsNow.com that, “the store has been wonderful supporting this program.”

By donating $1, $3 or $5, or rounding up their change at the register, shoppers raised $12,232 for milk vouchers. Shipman said it was the most successful Milk Drive yet for the food bank. Shoppers at the 12 participating stores have donated more than $25,000 since 2014.

Milk is one of the most requested items at food pantries, Shipman said, but it is difficult for people to obtain. “Many of our participating programs have limited refrigeration, so keeping a supply of milk is difficult, but it’s sought after by many people who need help with basic food needs.” Shipman said that many people who visit food pantries may only be able to access one gallon of milk per person in a year.

By providing vouchers for people visiting food banks, we can ease some of the transportation and refrigeration barriers and make milk a more regular part of people’s diets,” Shipman said.

The drive was part of a national program aimed at providing sought-after and highly nutritious gallons of milk to people in need. This local drive included the New England Dairy Promotion Board’s Must Be the Milk program, Guida’s Dairy, and the dairy farm families of Connecticut.

The milk drive was conducted at 12 Adams Hometown Market, Better Valu, and Tri Town Foods locations.

For more information on the Great American Milk Drive, visit www.mustbethemilk.com/milkdrive/

Editor’s Notes:

  1. Adams Hometown Market is a Connecticut-owned and operated company, which is owned by Bozzutos Incorporated, and is dedicated to providing service and support to the local community. Learn more at AdamsSuperFood.com
  2. The Connecticut Food Bank is committed to alleviating hunger in Connecticut by providing food resources, raising awareness of the challenges of hunger and advocating for people who need help meeting basic needs. The Connecticut Food Bank partners with the food industry, food growers, donors and volunteers to provide food, which last year provided 19.2 million meals. We distribute that food through a network of community based programs to six Connecticut counties – Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London and Windham counties – where more than 300,000 people struggle with hunger. Visit us on the web at www.ctfoodbank.org, like us on Facebook and follow @CTFoodBank on Twitter and Instagram.

Old Saybrook Schools, Saint John School Announce Free, Reduced Price Meal Policy

school_lunchThe Old Saybrook Public Schools and Saint John School have announced their policy for determining eligibility of children may receive free or reduced-price meals served under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP),  served under the Special Milk Program (SMP).

Local school officials have adopted the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Income Eligibility Guidelines (IEGs) for family size and income criteria for determining eligibility.

The income guidelines at this link will be used in Connecticut from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 for determining eligibility of participants for free and reduced-price meals and free milk in the Child Nutrition Programs.

The above income calculations are made based on the following formulas: Monthly income is calculated by dividing the annual income by 12; twice monthly income is computed by dividing annual income by 24; income received every two weeks is calculated by dividing annual income by 26; and weekly income is computed by dividing annual income by 52.  All numbers are rounded upward to the next whole dollar.

Children from families whose income is at or below the levels shown are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.  Application forms are available through online registration, on the district website www.oldsaybrookschools.org and are being sent to all homes with a letter to parents.  To apply for free or reduced-price meals , households should fill out the application and return it to the school. Additional copies are available at the principal’s office at each school.]

Only one application is required per household and an application for free or reduced- price benefits cannot be approved unless it contains complete eligibility information as indicated on the application and instructions.  The information provided on the application is confidential and will be used only for the purposes of determining eligibility and for administration and enforcement of the lunch, breakfast and milk programs.

Note that the district MAY share your eligibility information with education, health, and nutrition programs to help them evaluate, fund, or determine benefits for their programs, auditors for program reviews, and law enforcement officials to help them look into violations of program rules.  This information may also be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program officials.  Applications may be submitted at any time during the year.

For up to 30 operating days into the new school year, eligibility from the previous year will continue within the same local educational agency (LEA).  When the carry-over period ends, unless the household is notified that their children are directly certified or the household submits an application that is approved, the children must pay full price for school meals and the school will not send a reminder or a notice of expired eligibility.

No application is required if the district directly certifies a child based on a household member receiving assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or the Temporary Family Assistance (TFA) program.  All children in these households are eligible for free meal benefits.  Households receiving assistance under the SNAP/TFA programs will be notified of their eligibility and their children will be provided free benefits unless the household notifies the determining official that it chooses to decline benefits.

If any children were not listed on the eligibility notice, the household should contact the district or school to have free meal benefits extended to those children.  Households receiving SNAP or TFA benefits for their children should only submit an application if they are not notified of their eligibility by August 31, 2016.

If a child is not directly certified, the household should complete a free and reduced-price meal application form.  The application for the SNAP or TFA households require the SNAP or TFA case number.  The signature of an adult household member is also required.

Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals.  Please send in an application or contact the determining official for more information.

When known to the district/school, households will be notified of any child’s eligibility for free meals if the individual child is Other Source Categorically Eligible because the child is categorized as either:  Homeless; runaway as defined by law and determined by the district’s or school’s homeless liaison; or enrolled in an eligible Head Start or pre-kindergarten class as defined by law.  Households with children who are categorically eligible under Other Source Categorically Eligible Programs should complete an application and check-off the relevant box.

Questions should be directed to the determining official.  For any child not listed on the eligibility notice, the households should contact the school or determining official about any child also eligible under one of these programs or should submit an income application for the other children.

Households notified of their children’s eligibility must contact the determining official or school if it chooses to decline the free meal benefits.  If households/children are not notified by the district/school of their free meal benefits and they receive benefits under Assistance Programs or under Other Source Categorically Eligible Programs, the parent/guardian should contact the determining official or their school.

Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court, are categorically eligible for free meals.  A foster parent does not have to complete a free/reduced meal application if they can submit a copy of the legal document or legal court order showing that the child is a foster child.  Additionally, a foster child may be included as a member of the foster family if the foster family chooses to also apply for benefits.  If the foster family is not eligible for free or reduced-price meal benefits, it does not prevent a foster child from receiving free meal benefits.  Note however, that a foster child’s free eligibility does not automatically extend to all students in the household.

Application forms for all other households require a statement of total household income, household size and names of all household members.  The last four digits of the social security number of an adult household member must be included or a statement that the household member does not have one.  The adult household member must also sign the application certifying that the information provided is correct.

Under the provisions of the policy for determining eligibility for free and reduced-price meals, the determining official,  Julie Pendleton, Director of Operations, Facilities and Finance jpendleton@oldsdaybrookschools.org (860) 395-3158 x1013 will review applications and determine eligibility.  If a parent is dissatisfied with the ruling of the determining official, he/she may wish to discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis. If he/she wishes to make a formal appeal, a request either orally or in writing, may be made to Jan G. Perruccio, Superintendent of Schools, 50 Sheffield Street, Old Saybrook, CT 06475 jperruccio@oldsaybrookschools.org (860)395-3157 for a hearing to appeal the decision.

The policy contains an outline of the hearing procedure.  Each school and the central office of the school district has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by an interested party.

If a household member becomes unemployed or if household size changes at any time, the family should contact the school to file a new application.  Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for reduced-price meals, free meals, , if the family income falls at or below the levels shown in the Income Guidelines.

Questions regarding the application process may be directed to the determining official at (860)395-3158.

This is the Public Release we will send on August 3, 2016 to the following news media outlets, the local unemployment office, major employers contemplating layoffs, etc.

1. The Hartford Courant 3. New Haven Register
2. The Day 4. CT Department of Labor

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. 

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1)  mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)  fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3)  email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


The Country School, Madison Racquet & Swim Club Join Forces at Country School’s New Rothberg Tennis Center

Will de Chabert, a Madison resident, Country School student, and player for Madison Racquet & Swim Club, serves during a match on one of the new Rothberg Tennis Center courts at The Country School.

Will de Chabert, a Madison resident, Country School student, and player for Madison Racquet & Swim Club, serves during a match on one of the new Rothberg Tennis Center courts at The Country School.

MADISON, CT — As part of a new partnership designed to dramatically expand tennis opportunities in Madison and on the shoreline, Madison Racquet & Swim Club (MRSC) and The Country School (TCS) held a joint open house at the Rothberg Tennis Center — The Country School’s new, state-of-the-art tennis complex. Several families gathered to explore the new facilities and to enjoy a celebrational barbecue on the new patio overlooking the athletic complex.

Through this newly announced arrangement, Madison Racquet and TCS are co-hosting USTA tournaments, offering clinics, running training camps for adults and children, and scheduling social tennis outings. In addition, MRSC has agreed to have one of their teaching pros join the coaching staff of The Country School’s varsity tennis team.

Going forward, TCS and MRSC will share scheduling technology, so that members of the school community and MRSC members can access available courts with ease.  Madison Racquet has also created a new membership featuring use of courts and programs at both sites.

“This partnership is exciting and supports our strategic plan to advance our athletic program,” said Head of School John Fixx. “By teaming with Madison Racquet & Swim Club, the premier tennis club in our area, we provide our Country School families and the greater shoreline community a state-of- the-art tennis complex and facilities.”

Robert Dunlop, owner of Madison Racquet & Swim Club, shared Fixx’s enthusiasm about the new partnership. “Each of us has been providing educational and recreational opportunities for many years,” he said. “By joining forces, we will offer our members and TCS families a bigger, stronger MRSC.”

The Country School opened The Rothberg Tennis Center in May as part of the school’s new outdoor athletic and recreational complex, created in celebration of the school’s 60th anniversary. The complex also includes two new soccer fields, a baseball /softball diamond, new playground, and full-sized outdoor basketball court.

Since opening in late spring, the new facilities have been used for soccer and tennis camps and clinics through the school’s Summer Fun and Learning program. The tennis portion of the school’s annual Golf & Tennis Classic for Scholarship last month was also played on the school’s new courts.

Madison Racquet & Swim Club and The Country School held a joint open house at The Country School's Rothberg Tennis Center to celebrate their new partnership. Pictured are: (top row) Taylor Fay and Dawn Fagerquist, both pros at Madison Racquet; (middle row) youth players Will de Chabert, Sam Duffy, Loden Bradstreet and John Kelly; (sitting) Ellery Bradstreet and Connor Duffy.

Madison Racquet & Swim Club and The Country School held a joint open house at The Country School’s Rothberg Tennis Center to celebrate their new partnership. Pictured are: (top row) Taylor Fay and Dawn Fagerquist, both pros at Madison Racquet; (middle row) youth players Will de Chabert, Sam Duffy, Loden Bradstreet and John Kelly; (sitting) Ellery Bradstreet and Connor Duffy.

Madison Racquet & Swim Club has developed an outstanding tennis program under the leadership of Rick Fay, Director of Tennis.  In addition to Fay, MRSC has five other senior level tennis pros year round, including Kitty Palmer and Dawn Fagerquist, the coaches of the Daniel Hand High School girls and boys tennis teams, which have consistently been at the top of their conference and in the state. Both have been named Coach of the Year several times.

Junior Tennis begins with the 10 & under program and offers programs for the recreational and competitive level player through college. The club’s USTA and interclub teams have had great success. MADRackets, the 14 & under intermediate team, has won the New England Sectionals the past two years and placed second in the country at the nationals held in South Carolina.

In addition to programs for juniors, Adult Tennis includes clinics for all levels, starting with the introductory Play Tennis Fast clinic. More competitive players on USTA or interclub teams have one practice and one match per week. Play programs such as Cardio Tennis and Point Play have become very popular, as they provide excellent aerobic workouts.

Founded in 1955, The Country School is an independent, coeducational school serving students in PreSchool-Grade 8. In addition to a rigorous academic program that seeks to educate the whole child through active, hands-on learning, The Country School is committed to vital offerings in the arts and athletics. Each year, Country School graduates go on to play sports at the high school and collegiate levels. The school looks forward to hosting athletic contests and tournaments at its new athletic complex in the coming months and years.

Learn more at www.thecountryschool.org.


Valley Shore YMCA’s 25th Annual Golf Classic Raises Funds for Annual Campaign

A smiling group of YMCA golf tournament winners.

A smiling group of YMCA golf tournament winners.

The Valley Shore YMCA’s 25th Annual Golf Classic drew a crowd of nearly 100 golfers Monday, July 18th to the Clinton Country Club for a day of “Golfing for a Cause”. The event raised over $45,000 for the Valley Shore YMCA’s Annual Campaign, which funds scholarships for local families and community health initiatives.

The majority raised came from sponsorships, including the Tournament sponsorships of Brown and Knapp Group Benefits; Mr. & Mrs. Leighton Lee IV; Art Linares and Family; Guilford Savings Bank; L.H. Brenner, Inc./Thompson & Peck Insurance; Pat Munger Construction; Wacker Wealth Management; and Whelen Engineering. Supporting sponsors included East Commerce Solutions and Kyocera.

The day of the tournament was a beautiful summer day, sunny with slight breezes in support of the golfers. Additional fun games were held throughout the course to enhance the fun factor, including Longest Drive, Closet to the Pin, Putting and Hole in One contests. Former Y Board President David Brown and Y Board Member Leighton Lee IV co-chaired the event and rallied sponsors, volunteers and prizes.

Committee members and volunteers included Marc Brodeur, Hal Dolan, Lisa LeMonte, Elizabeth McCall, Susan Norton, Melissa Ozols, Matt Sullivan, Tony Sharillo, Marcus Wacker and Jacquelyn Waddock.

No golfer made a hole-in-one for the prized Subaru generously provided by Reynolds’ Garage and Marine.

First Net Score winners were Jeff Knapp, Steph Brodeur, Justin Urbano and Scott Wiley; second place went to Casey Quinn, Paddy Quinn, Chick Quinn and Ryan Quinn.

First Gross winners were the team of David Brown, Jeff Dow, Mike Satti and Shane O’Brien; second place  went to Bob Brady, Geoff Gregory, John Brady and Bobby Edgil.

Chris Pallatto, YMCA CEO, thanked all the golfers and local organizations who came together to make this event possible. “Once again, we had another successful event, made possible by all of our supporters here today.  They all make it possible for the Y to continue to make an impact in our community.”


Florence Dutka Interviewed by Mary Ann Pleva on ‘Looking Back’ TV Show

The technical crew of the Looking Back series posed for a photo after a recent show.

The  taping occurred at Valley Shore Community Television in their Westbrook studio.

Pictured in the photo above are Chris Morgan, Bill Cook, Bill Bevan, Terry Garrity, and Tim Butterworth
Seated are Florence Dutka who was interviewed by host, Mary Ann Pleva.  This is the fifth in a series that features community members, who have led extraordinary lives.
The programs air regularly on Channel 19, public access television.  Scheduling information is available weekly  in the Valley Courier.

Connecticut River Artisans Now Open in Essex

Connecticut River Artisans new home will be at 55 Main St. in Essex.

Connecticut River Artisans new home will be at 55 Main St. in Essex.

ESSEX — Connecticut River Artisans are moving from Chester to Essex.

They have closed their Chester shop and now reopened at their new location at 55 Main St., Essex.

Summer hours are Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Call for seasonal hours.

For more information, visit ctriverartisans.org or call 860.767.5457.


Newly Designed Marine Room Opens at Stone House Museum in Deep River

Curator Rhonda Forristall (left) and Kathy Schultz (right) stand in the Deep River Historical Society's Marine Room. All photos by Sue Wisner.

Curator Rhonda Forristall (left) and Kathy Schultz (right) stand in the Deep River Historical Society’s new Marine Room. All photos by Sue Wisner.

DEEP RIVER — It is always a challenge for the curators and trustees to come up with new exhibits to attract return and first time visitors to the Stone House Museum in Deep River and the Deep River Historical Society (DRHS).

There are tours, either a self-guided tour or with a greeter if available, of the house itself and all the history that goes with it and the many exhibits already designed.


This summer the DRHS Museum is excited about their newly designed Marine Room, which demonstrates the importance of ship building and the masters of their boats pertaining specifically to Deep River’s rich history in both of these topics during the mid 1800’s.

This exhibit is a culmination of three years of preparation and planning as many items had to be cataloged and stored away. Then the actually physical restoration of the room with painting, carpentry work, artifacts displayed, paintings framed and all items labeled, completed the project for the recent Open House.


The Stone House Museum also highlights collections of the town’s industries and products. Included in this is an extensive collection of Niland cut glass, ivory products of Pratt & Read Co., WWII glider models, WWI exhibit, auger bits from Jennings Co., a display on the Lace Factory Manufacturing in Deep River and much more.


William A. Vail schooner

The William A. Vail schooner, which was one of the last ships to be built at the Deep River shipyard.

The Stone House, pictured above, was built of local granite in 1840 and the property and house was left to the Society by Ada Southworth Munson in 1946. The rooms reflect the period of time that the family presided there including the Parlor, Living Room, and bedrooms. As one walks through the house, it is a venture back into another era and the furniture and collections are carefully preserved.

Visits to the Stone House are encouraged to view the new exhibit and also the many other interesting items on display.  The photo to the right is of the schooner William A. Vail and symbolizes the shipbuilding heritage in Deep River. The schooner was built right at the shipyards on the Connecticut River near the landing and was probably one of the last ships built before steam ships took over. Exhibits at the Stone House have several photos of the Denison shipyard with boats in various stages of production. The William A. Vail is, in fact, the model for the ship depicted in the official seal of Deep River.

Summer weekend hours are Saturday and Sunday in July, August and into mid-September from 2-4 p.m.

The Stone House Museum is located at 245 Main Street, Deep River.

Check out the Museum on Facebook, Deep River Diaries, or the DRHS website that is presently under new construction at: http://www.deepriverhistoricalsociety.org

For further information, call 860-526-1449.


State Senate Candidate Needleman is First to Reach Fundraising Goal

Democratic candidate for the 33rd State Senate District, Norman Needleman

Democratic candidate for the 33rd State Senate District, Norman Needleman.

AREAWIDE — Democratic State Senate candidate Norm Needleman, who is running in the 33rd District, announced today that his campaign has reached the fundraising requirements needed to qualify for public financing in compliance with the Citizens’ Election Program. Needleman is the first to qualify for such financing in the 33rd District race.

“Since I began this campaign I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support,” said Norm Needleman. “Every day I meet more and more residents of the 33rd District who are ready to fix Hartford and bring a non-partisan, business approach to our state government. I am proud to have their support.”

Norm For Senate raised over $16,390 from 364 individual contributors, with 319 of those contributors coming from one of the 12 towns in the 33rd State Senate District (Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, and Westbrook). The campaign far outraised the required totals of $15,000 from 300 donors residing in the District.

Making good on fulfilling his promise to run a clean campaign without the influence of special interests, Needleman refused to accept donations from lobbyists. None of the 300-plus donors to the campaign are lobbyists.

Needleman is the founder and CEO of Tower Laboratories, an Essex-based manufacturing business that employs over 200 people, most of whom are local to the District. He also serves as First Selectman of Essex.

“Norm’s solution-focused, business-empowering message is really resonating throughout the twelve towns of the 33rd district,” said Campaign Manager Kevin Coughlin. “There’s a real groundswell around his candidacy from citizens across the spectrum.”

The Citizens’ Election Program is a voluntary system of public campaign financing that is designed to encourage citizen participation and limit the role of private money in politics.  The program was created under former Republican Governor Jodi Rell, after her predecessor, John Rowland, resigned amid corruption allegations. To qualify, candidates must raise small qualifying contributions and agree to adhere to spending limits and disclosure requirements.


America’s Roots and Diversity Shine at Deep River Muster


What more striking example of the American melting pot and immigrants longing for liberty than to watch African-Americans, Asian-Americans, descendants of India, along with Americans of many generations, marching in uniforms and playing music that inspired the country during its struggle for independence in 1776?

This was the scene for two hours on Saturday as a parade of fife and drum corps stepped smartly down Main Street in a blazing mid-day sun in Deep River.

Drummer_from_LAThe roots of this tradition go back 137 years, to 1879. Officially known as the Deep River Ancient Muster, it features fife and drum corps from throughout our local region and some much farther afield. This year, one came from sea to shining sea.

The whole town, it seems, grinds to a halt for the muster. It actually began the night before with a camp-out and warm-ups at Devitt Field. Hundreds lined the streets on Saturday morning, bringing folding chairs, canopies and coolers to sustain two-plus hours in the sun. Many had a birds-eye vantage point from property or apartments high above street level.

Some were picnicking while revolutionary-era re-enacters, many in full wool uniforms, entertained them. The contrast could not have been more striking. But their resounding applause, given to every passing unit, showed appreciation and understanding.


Others walked alongside or behind the real participants, but the true stars of the show provided perhaps the finest example of America and who we truly are.  People of all generations, genders, ethnicities and sizes, marching together and clearly dedicated to ensuring the root values of America, as exemplified in these musical rituals, are carried forward.


With more than 50 marching units participating, it’s clear that many people feel inspired to join groups whose purpose is to honor and celebrate our forebearers. Marching in 90-degree heat in full dress uniforms is one small reminder of the sacrifices required of the colonists who rebelled against their domineering mother country.


If that isn’t moving enough, imagine the determination of a young man rolling along in his wheelchair while playing the fife. It was clear that his was not a temporary injury. What an inspiring sight he was!

There is something about the rolls and rhythms of drums and the pitch of fifes that touches a chord in the soul. Perhaps that’s the seat of man’s yearning for liberty, a most basic desire to be left alone to pursue one’s hopes and dreams in any way, so long as they do not infringe upon the rights and property of others.


If the Deep River Ancient Muster is any indication, our youngest generation is full of people who will ensure that all the struggles and sacrifices of our American forefathers will continue to be honored. May their efforts strike the chords in the souls of generations yet to come and instill appreciation of those struggles.

Editor’s Note: Many participants and onlookers wore pink at the parade in honor of the late long-time First Selectman of Deep River, Dick Smith.


Greg Shook, of Essex Savings Bank, Becomes New Chairman of Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce

 Greg Shook 2016Gregory R. Shook, President and CEO of Essex Savings Bank, has been elected chairman of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce.

Shook will serve a one-year term, which began on June 7. He takes over for Vincent Capece, President and CEO of Middlesex Hospital. Shook was selected to serve as chairman by the nominating committee of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce.

“Greg has been President and CEO of Essex Savings Bank for a number of years and has done a remarkable job with this successful and innovative community bank. He is a great man and corporate leader, and he is ready to lead the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce for the next year. We are really excited about him leading the chamber as chairman,” said Larry McHugh, President of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce.

Prior to being elected to this position, Shook served as the chamber’s vice chairman for the past year and was active member of the chamber’s board of directors and executive committee as well as the chamber’s Essex division.

 “I am honored and excited to serve as the new chairman for the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce, an organization with over 2,175 members representing a diverse membership from small businesses to large companies. The chamber is committed to the success of its members. I look forward to working with the executive committee, the board and the chamber’s staff to add value for our members and strengthen the business community in our tremendous region,” Shook said.

Shook began his 40-plus-year career as an Assistant Manager with the Signal Finance and Mortgage Corporation in Fairfax, Va. Since that time he has worked in all facets of the banking industry including lending, investor relations, human resources, marketing, retail and, insurance.

In 1997 he joined Essex Savings Bank as Vice President of Administration and was promoted in July 1999 by the bank’s Board of Directors as the new president and chief executive officer. After only 18 months on the job, this vote of confidence served to underscore Greg’s ongoing, dedicated commitment to the bank, his community and his family.

As President and CEO of Essex Savings Bank, Shook advocates relationship building while leading the $364 million bank that has been in existence as a FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851. Serving the Connecticut River Valley and shoreline with six offices, two in Essex, and one in Chester, Madison, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook, each providing a full complement of personal and business banking.

Shook has also led the bank forward with its full-service Trust Department, from zero to $300 million in assets, and is responsible for the bank’s interaction and involvement in its wholly-owned subsidiary Essex Financial Services, LLC, a full-service broker-dealer. This business has grown since 1999 from $700 million in managed assets to over $3.5 billion today.

He has served his industry across Connecticut and the entire New England Region in both a professional and altruistic manner. In 2014, Greg was elected to serve on the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston as a member of their Board of Directors. Previously he served on the first Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Other professional associations include the Connecticut Bankers Association, where he served on the Executive Committee and serves on the Legislative Committee; the American Bankers Association Mutual Banks Advisory Council; HOPE Partnership; the Community Music School in Essex; and the Middlesex Health Care System. He served as a Director to both Essex Savings Bank and Essex Financial Services’ boards. Additionally he has been a sought after public speaker.

Shook also leads the bank in its service to the community at large. He has been the number one proponent in the continuance of the bank’s Community Investment Program through which the bank has annually donated up to 10 percent of its net profits to over 200 non-profit groups in the bank’s market area. Since the inception of the program in 1996, the bank has donated over $4 million dollars to community non-profit organizations. He maintains a grass-roots approach of sharing directly from the bank’s bottom line, which is uncommon in the industry. He shares the importance of corporate commitment to the community with the bank’s nearly 80 employees to emphasize the value of giving back especially during times of economic hardship.

For his contributions of both time and money, Shook has been recognized by many organizations throughout Connecticut including the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce with their Distinguished Citizen Award.

Shook has been married to his wife, Nancy, for 40 years and is the proud father of four children: Rachel, Ryan, Julia, Kyle, and one grandchild, Cyrus.



Chester Village West’s Fall Lifelong Learning Program Opens With “History of Hollywood,” Part 2 on Sept. 13

Jason Day, Ph.D

Jared Day, Ph.D

CHESTER — Chester Village West, an independent senior living community, will offer six lectures and informative presentations by biographers, historians and medical experts in September, October and November. The talks, which are being presented in partnership with the Wesleyan Institute for Lifelong Learning and Middlesex Hospital, are free and open to the public. Registration is required. Chester Village West is located at 317 W. Main St., Chester, CT 06412.

The series kicks off on Tuesday, Sept. 6, from 4:30 to 5 p.m. and Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 4 to 5 p.m. with “History of Hollywood: “Icons of the 1950s.” Presented by historian Dr. Jared Day, this two-part lecture will examine the gradual decline of the studio system in the 1950s. Special focus will be given to mega-stars such as Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe, Burt Lancaster and Elizabeth Taylor.

A Q&A and reception with light refreshments will be held after the program.

Pre-registration is required. Registration will be limited to 40 registrants per lecture or presentation. Registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

To register for one or more programs, call 860.322.6455, email ChesterVillageWest@LCSnet.com or visithttp://www.chestervillagewestlcs.com/events-and-resources/lifelong-learning-program/. Chester Village West is located at 317 W. Main St., Chester, CT 06412.

Located in historic Chester, Conn., Chester Village West gives independent-minded people a new way to experience retirement and live their lives to the fullest. Since the independent seniors 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 at chestervillagewestlcs.com; visit the community on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChesterVillageWest.


Marshview Gallery Features Diane Aldi DePaola in July

AOM 07 2016 DePaolo

Oil by Diane Aldi DePaola

OLD SAYBROOK – The July artist of the month at Marshview Gallery at the Estuary Council of Seniors will be Diane Aldi DePaola.

Diane retired from a career as a psychiatric nurse.  She joined the board of the Tracy Art Center, an art center in Old Saybrook, which encouraged her to begin drawing and painting. She has studied with Nancy Tracy, Bernie McTigue, Noel Belton and Leif Nilsson.

Diane enjoys painting with oil best… its smell, its thick texture, the way it covers the canvas like frosting on a cake.  To get that “certain effect,” she has been known to use Q-tips, rags and even kitchen utensils. Painting has taught her to see differently than before…. color, light, nature. Painting challenges her assumptions about the color of things in life: the grass is not always green, the sky is often not blue.

Diane hopes her paintings will bring the same joy and fun to those who see them. View or purchase her paintings on-line at dianedepaola.com or contact her at 860-388-6353.

The Estuary Council is at 220 Main St., Old Saybrook. More information at 860-388-1611.


House Approves Courtney-Sponsored Amendment Restricting Sale of Plum Island

Representative Joe Courtney

Representative Joe Courtney

Local Congressional Representative Joe Courtney (CT-02) announced yesterday, Thursday, July 7, that a bipartisan amendment he had led, along with Representatives Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and Peter King (R-NY), to prohibit the sale of Plum Island was passed by the House of Representatives.

The amendment, which will prohibit the General Services Administration (GSA) from using any of its operational funding to process or complete a sale of Plum Island, was made to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of 2017..

In a joint statement, the Representatives said, “Our amendment passed today is a big step toward permanently protecting Plum Island as a natural area. Plum Island is a scenic and biological treasure located right in the middle of Long Island Sound. It is home to a rich assortment of rare plant and animal species that need to be walled off from human interference.”

The statement continued, “Nearly everyone involved in this issue agrees that it should be preserved as a natural sanctuary – not sold off to the highest bidder for development.”  Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump had shown interest in the property at one time.


In 2008, the federal government announced plans to close the research facility on Plum Island and relocate to Manhattan, Kansas. Current law states that Plum Island must be sold publicly to help finance the new research facility.

Aerial view of Plum Island.

Aerial view of Plum Island.

The lawmakers  joint statement explained, “The amendment will prevent the federal agency in charge of the island from moving forward with a sale by prohibiting it from using any of its operational funding provided by Congress for that purpose,” concluding, ” This will not be the end of the fight to preserve Plum Island, but this will provide us with more time to find a permanent solution for protecting the Island for generations to come.”

For several years, members from both sides of Long Island Sound have been working in a bipartisan manner to delay and, ultimately, repeal the mandated sale of this ecological treasure. Earlier this year, the representatives, along with the whole Connecticut delegation, cosponsored legislation that passed the House unanimously to delay the sale of Plum Island.



Auditions for Chester Meeting House Players Comedy, Sept. 7 and 8

meeting house players tinyCHESTER – The Meeting House Players are pleased to announce open auditions for John Cariani’s witty, romantic comedy “Almost Maine.”   Auditions will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 7 and Thursday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. in the Meeting House located at 4 Liberty Street in Chester.

“Almost Maine” is a series of nine romantic vignettes, set on a cold, clear midwinter night in the mythical town of Almost, Maine.  As the northern lights drape across the night sky, the residents of Almost find themselves falling in and out of love in unanticipated and often hilarious ways. The play’s flexible casting of roles for men and woman ages mid-20s to late 30s/40 may provide actors with an opportunity to create multiple roles.

Those auditioning will be asked to read from the script.  Directed by Debbie Alldredge, the production will run for five performances opening at the Meeting House in Chester on Friday, Oct. 28, continuing on Oct. 29 and Nov. 4 and 5.  In addition to the four 8 p.m. evening performances, there will be a 2 p.m. matinee on Nov. 5.   For additional information please contact Deb Alldredge at TheMeetingHousePlayers@gmail.com or at 860-526-3684.


38th Annual Chester Road Race Attracts 800+ Runners

And they're off! (Al Malpa photo)

And they’re off! (Al Malpa photo)

On a glorious Fourth of July morning, 800-plus runners (and a few walkers) participated in the 38th Fourth on the Fourth Chester Road Race. Four miles, up and down Chester’s many hills, the race is a major fundraiser for the Chester Rotary Club and attracts many of the same runners year after year.
Chris Rosenberg of Old Saybrook, the store manager of Sound Runner, was the first place winner with a time of 21:13. Chris won the race in 2015 as well. (Al Malpa photo)

Chris Rosenberg of Old Saybrook, the store manager of Sound Runner, was the first place winner with a time of 21:13. Chris won the race in 2015 as well. (Al Malpa photo)

Nick Fresenko, of Louisville, Ohio, was second overall. His time was 21:38. (Al Malpa photo)

Nick Fresenko, of Louisville, Ohio, was second overall. His time was 21:38. (Al Malpa photo)

Coming in third place overall, Lee Cattanach, with a time of 21:54. (Al Malpa photo)

Coming in third place overall, Lee Cattanach of New London, with a time of 21:54. (Al Malpa photo)


The list of winners in each category can be seen here: 2016 road race results


Cheryl Anderson was the first woman to win, with a time of 23:11. (Al Malpa photo)

Cheryl Anderson was the first woman to win, with a time of 23:11. (Al Malpa photo)


The POW/MIA veterans group comes every year to run in the Chester Road Race. (Al Malpa photo)

The POW/MIA veterans group comes every year to run in the Chester Road Race. (Al Malpa photo)



Literacy Volunteers Recognizes 23 Students at Awards Ceremony

Student Awards 2016

AREAWIDE – Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore celebrated its 24th Annual Students Awards program at St. Mary’s of the Visitation Church in Clinton on May 26. Roughly 50 tutors, students and guests enjoyed an evening of conversation and international potluck cuisine.

Each year the students of the Basic Reading and English as a Second Language program are recognized for their Annual Essay Contest accomplishments and for other achievements they have attained.   (Each year an essay contest for Basic Reading and English as a Second Language students and achievements attained by them are recognized at this event.)

Essay Contest award winners included: in High Advanced ESL (English as a Second Language), Gloria Robison of Westbrook; IN Low Advanced ESL, Abigail Cruz of Deep River; in High Intermediate ESL, Gloria Saldarriaga of Clinton; in Low Intermediate ESL, Teresa Orellana of Westbrook; in High Beginning ESL, Emerson Ferreira of Clinton; in Beginning ESL, Ahmad Khallouf of Clinton; and in Basic Reading, Mary Rubino of Middletown.

Second place winners were: in Beginning ESL, Umelia Cardenas of Westbrook; in Low Intermediate ESL, Keith Dutra of Clinton; in High Intermediate ESL, Diego Valverde of New Haven; and in High Advanced ESL, Jenny Idrovo of Deep River.

Four students were recognized for perseverance in obtaining citizenship. They were: Abigail Cruz and Justa Maignan of Deep River, Katherine Wu of Killingworth and Meiying Wu of Clinton. Ten students received recognition for making significant progress or reaching a milestone they established with their tutors with citations for Outstanding Student Participation.


Chester Library Says Goodbye to Linda Fox, Hello to Stephanie Romano

A reception for outgoing Library Director Linda Fox and incoming Director Stephanie Romano will be held at Chester Library on July 7. (Skip Hubbard photo)

A reception for outgoing Library Director Linda Fox and incoming Director Stephanie Romano will be held at Chester Library on July 7. (Skip Hubbard photo)

CHESTER – After 13-plus years of being the Director of Chester Public Library, Linda Fox retires from her position on Thursday, July 7, and Stephanie Romano stepped into Linda’s position full-time on July 6.

Linda wrote the Library Board of Trustees in February, to tell them of her plan to leave the library this summer. She said, “Being a Public Library Director is a job that I never expected to love, but love it I have for more than a decade.  It has been challenging, rewarding and a great pleasure to work for and with you, the library staff, the Friends, and the people of Chester.  We’ve accomplished good things together, haven’t we?  The library is more technologically current, staff and service hours have been expanded, and the community is more engaged with the library, not to mention that we are closer than ever to creating an accessible, 21st-century library building for the community.  The thought of not being around for the opening of those doors brings with it a true sense of disappointment.”

Longtime Library Friends member Sally Murray said, “Linda has consistently given her all, and then some, for the people of Chester; her tireless efforts have brightened our town in ways most people will never recognize but which benefit all of us.”

Longtime Library Board of Trustees Chairman Terry Schreiber, who hired Linda in 2002 and Stephanie this spring, added, “We feel Stephanie will be a perfect match for our library. She is enthusiastic and willing to reach out to people to continue to make Chester Library a warm, friendly, welcoming place.  We will miss Linda very very much – she was the face of the library for so many years – but we wish her well and know she looks forward to new  adventures.”

Stephanie Romano comes to Chester from the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, where she worked since May 2007, most recently as Access Services Manager (see separate article on LymeLine.com here). Describing herself, Stephanie wrote, “My path to being a librarian has not been a direct one! I worked at Research Books (a book distributor for corporate libraries) in Madison for about eight years before deciding to go back to school. The work I was involved in with Research Books involved interaction with librarians on all different levels and was the reason I chose to pursue a degree in Library Science.  I loved the fact that every librarian I spoke with, no matter which field they were in, loved their job.  I knew that I also wanted a job that I was going to love after 25 years.”


‘Youth Art Booth’ is Marshview’s ‘Artist of the Month’ for August

The Marshview Gallery’s August Artist of the Month is actually a group of young artists featured in Old Saybrook’s “Youth Art Booth” at the Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Arts and Crafts Festival.

Sponsored by Old Saybrook Youth and Family Services (OSYFS) and Old Saybrook Healthy Communities Healthy Youth (OS HCHY) the Youth Art Booth features a collection of talented young artists each year working in a variety of media.  Since 2005 approximately 175 young artists (ages 7 through college) have been featured in the booth, gaining a unique opportunity to exhibit and discuss their artwork with patrons and other artists at the Festival.

This group of talented young people credits the excellent art programs in Old Saybrook’s public schools for sparking their interest in the arts.  While a few have also studied at private art schools in the area, others have explored working in different mediums on their own!  The booth curator  says that several of the artists who have been featured in the booth in the past have gone on to major in fine art or art education post high school.

The group’s exhibit includes photography; charcoal and pencil drawings; watercolor and acrylic paintings; as well as beadwork and other crafts.  Subject matter will include Landscapes, Fantasy, Shell Art, Animals, Portraits and more.

Everyone is welcome to join us at the Artists’ Reception on Friday, Aug. 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

The Estuary Council of Seniors is located at 220 Main St., Old Saybrook


Music, Dancing and All That Jazz! See “Chicago” at Ivoryton Playhouse

Lyn Philistine (Ivoryton Playhouse photo)

Lyn Philistine (Ivoryton Playhouse photo)

IVORYTON – Tickets are going fast for the steamy and sexy musical, “Chicago,” opening at the Ivoryton Playhouse tonight and running through July 24.  Winner of six 1997 Tony Awards, including Best Musical Revival, “Chicago” has everything that makes theater great:  a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz;  one show-stopping song after another; and the most energetic dancing you’ve ever seen!

Set in Prohibition-era Chicago, the musical (book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb) is based on a 1926 play of the same name by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins based on actual criminals and crimes. The story is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice and the concept of the “celebrity criminal” – as timely today as it was when it first opened on Broadway in 1975.

“Chicago” was revived on Broadway in 1996 and holds the record as the longest-running musical revival and the longest-running American musical in Broadway history, and is the second longest-running show in Broadway history, behind “The Phantom of the Opera.” The London revival ran for nearly 15 years, becoming the longest-running American musical in West End history.

Christopher Sutton* returns to Ivoryton in the role of Billy Flynn and will be accompanied by his wife, Lynn Philistine* in the role of Roxie Hart. CCC award-winning actress Sheniqua Trotman* also returns to Ivoryton, this time in the role of Mama Morton. She was last seen in Ivoryton as Effie in “Dreamgirls.” Stacey Harris* will be playing Velma Kelly, Z. Spiegel is Mary Sunshine and Ian Shain is Amos Hart.

Christopher Sutton (Ivoryton Playhouse photo)

Christopher Sutton (Ivoryton Playhouse photo)

The production is directed and choreographed by Todd Underwood and musical directed by Paul Feyer, with set design by Martin Marchitto, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Elizabeth Cipollina. Executive producers are Michael A. Dattilo and Frank Perrotti.

Whether you’ve seen it before and want to recapture the magic or you’ve been thrilled by the Academy Award-winning film, “Chicago” always delivers.  Don’t miss the experience of this show live on stage at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

“Chicago” runs through July 24. 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. They are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting www.ivorytonplayhouse.org. Group rates are available by calling the box office for information. The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.
*denotes member of Actors Equity




Essex Art Association’s Summer Open Exhibition on Show Through July 23

Golden-Iris-by-C-DunnESSEX — The third exhibition of the Essex Art Association (EAA) 2016 season is an open show whose theme is “Inside Out.” The juror, Jon Sideriadis, is a member of the faculty at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Old Lyme. A science fiction and fantasy illustrator and author, Sideriadis is currently writing and illustrating an original mythology series. $1,700 will be awarded to exhibiting artists for their work in various media.

Each season five EAA artists are selected by a juror to exhibit their work in the small “Exit Gallery.” The Exit Gallery artist during this exhibition is Carol Dunn, an award-winning printmaker, photographer and mixed media artist, specializing in alternative processes for creating artwork. She says, “I enjoy working with many non-traditional mediums. I continue to learn and experiment with new materials and techniques. I also like to combine many techniques into one piece, which often makes it difficult to explain to someone exactly how something was created.”

Dunn continues, “More than anything else in the creative process, I love the interplay of color and texture. I have spent countless hours photographing peeling paint and rusting metal. When I mix inks to begin printmaking, I often get sidetracked by marveling at the pigments on my palette, enjoying how the colors play off each other, wondering what will happen if I mix two unrelated colors into a blend with my brayer.”

She concludes, “Sometimes I think I could just mix colors forever and never begin the actual application of the color to plate or paper. When working with collage, I have difficulty eliminating items, because I find such beauty in the smallest scraps of handmade paper, or an old ledger filled with beautifully drawn numbers, letters, and script.”

Dunn’s techniques include Mixed Media, Photopolymer Etchings, Overprinted Collages, Acrylic Skins, Printing on Handmade Papers, Collagraphs, Prints on Aluminum, Polaroid Emulsion Lifts and Transfers, Linocuts and Monotypes. She notes, “I have a large studio full of natural light, where I enjoy teaching others many of my techniques for art making. I hope you enjoy my work. You can contact me or find out more about my classes, and see more of my work, through my website: www.caroldunnart.com.“

The “Inside Out” exhibition opening reception will be held Friday, July 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. Both exhibits are open at no charge to the public from July 2 to July 23 at the Essex Art Association Gallery located in the sunny yellow building in the center of Essex at 10 North Main Street. Gallery hours are 1-5 p.m. daily, closed Tuesdays.
For more information, call 860-767-8996.

Essex Zoning Commission Approves New Restaurant in Centerbrook Section of Town

30 Main Street, Centerbrook

30 Main Street, Centerbrook

ESSEX — The zoning commission Monday approved a special permit for a new restaurant to be located on the first floor of a partially vacant commercial building at 30 Main St. in the Centerbrook section.

The application of ECC Realty and Colt Taylor was unanimously approved after a brief public hearing where several residents spoke in support of the plans. Taylor told the panel he was raised in Essex,  has been involved with restaurants in both New York and California,and wants to return to open a restaurant in his hometown.

The three-story building at 30 Main St. once housed a restaurant for a few years in the late 1980s, but has housed mostly office uses in recent years. The plans call for a 130-seat restaurant and bar.
In approving the permit, the commission specified that use of the second floor would be limited to a small office for the business and storage. Taylor said he hopes to open the restaurant, which would offer “progressive New England comfort food,” before the end of the year.

Essex Zoning Commission Approves 52-Unit Apartment Complex on Plains Rd.

The Plains Road property where the Iron Chef restaurant has been long empty has been approved for apartments.

The Plains Road property where the Iron Chef restaurant has been vacant for many years has been approved for the Essex Station apartments.


ESSEX — The zoning commission Monday approved plans for a three-building 52-unit apartment complex with an affordable housing component at a 3.7-acre parcel on Plains Road that includes the long-vacant former Iron Chef restaurant property.

The special permit for the Essex Station apartments at 21, 27 and 29 Plains Road was approved o a 4-1 vote, with commission Chairman Larry Shipman and members Alvin Wolfgram, Jim Hill and Susan Uihlein  voting to approve the permit and member William Reichenbach opposed. The application from Signature Contracting Group LLC was submitted under state statute 8-30g, a law intended to promote additional affordable housing in Connecticut.

The statute limits the jurisdiction of municipal land use commissions to issues of public health and safety, while requiring that at least 30 percent of the dwelling units in a development be designated affordable housing and reserved for people or families with incomes at or less than 80 percent of the median income for the municipality. At least 16 of the Essex Station units would be designated as moderate income housing with monthly rents expected to be about $1,800.

The plans were presented at a series of public hearings that began in February, and appeared to generate increasing objections from some residents as the review process continued. Many of the objections focused on the proximity of the site to the Valley Railroad tourist excursion line.

In more than 90 minutes of discussion Monday, the panel considered two draft motions prepared by longtime commission counsel Peter Sipples, one to approve the permit with conditions, and another to deny the application. In the end, the motion of approval included several conditions, most of which had been accepted by the applicant during the public hearing process.

The major conditions include a strict prohibition on any expansion or condominium conversion of the units, construction of a six-foot high security fence around the perimeter of the property,  installing sound barriers if needed between the residential units and the railroad, and construction of a walking-bicycle path on Plains Rd. that would extend east to connect with existing sidewalks on Rte. 154. There would also be a requirement for elevators in the buildings, particularly the single three-story building, and a provision in future leases that would note the proximity to other uses, including the tourist railroad and a nearby wood-processing facility. The development site is located in a business and industrial zone.

During the discussion, Shipman noted the apartments would be a better residential use near the railroad than owned condominiums, and suggested the requirements of the affordable housing statute limited the panel’s ability to control some aspects of the project, including density and building height. The sewage disposal system for the three building complex must be approved by the state Department of Public Health.

Bozzuto’s Inc. Kicks Off ‘Reach for the Stars’ Campaign to Help Special Olympics Athletes Shine

special olympicsDEEP RIVER – This summer, until Aug. 13, grocery shoppers can visit their neighborhood IGA supermarket (such as Adams in Deep River) and make a donation to help Special Olympics athletes reach for the stars.

Bozzuto’s Inc. and The IGA Hometown Foundation invite their customers and the community to join them in supporting local Special Olympics athletes by participating in their annual ‘Reach for the Stars’ campaign by making a donation of $1, $2, $5 or more at checkout. In recognition of each contribution, a “star” with the donor’s name (if desired) will be displayed in the store for the duration of the campaign.

The ‘Reach for the Stars’ campaign aims to help share the joy of sport and encourage inclusion and respect for people of all abilities – on and off the playing field. Since 2008, the hang tag promotion has been conducted to assist Special Olympics in providing year-round sports training and competition opportunities for thousands of athletes, statewide.

All proceeds from this effort will go to the local Law Enforcement Torch Run Program, which encompasses a variety of events supporting Special Olympics that include the annual Torch Run, and Cop-on-Top and Tip-A-Cop fundraising events, all hosted and run by volunteer law enforcement officers.

Bozzuto’s, Inc., is a family-owned, full service, wholesale food distribution company headquartered in Cheshire, Connecticut, that serves over 1,500 supermarket retailers in 10 states.  Bozzuto’s is a proud supporter of IGA and is a five-time winner of IGA’s highest honor, The President’s Cup.

The Hometown Foundation is a non-profit, charitable foundation dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for individuals and their families in hometowns and surrounding communities where it operates. The Hometown Foundation honors and assists five key areas of interest: Children, Cancer, Diabetes, Military, and Emergency Response Personnel.

Special Olympics Connecticut (www.soct.org) provides year-round sports training and competitions for close to 13,000 athletes of all ages with intellectual disabilities and Unified Sports® partners – their teammates without disabilities. Through the joy of sport, the Special Olympics movement transforms lives and communities throughout the state and in 170 countries around the world by promoting good health and fitness and inspiring inclusion and respect for all people, on and off the playing field.


Cello Recital by Eva Ribchinsky at Essex Library

Eva Ribchinsky

Eva Ribchinsky

ESSEX – A cello recital by local resident Eva Ribchinsky will be held on Saturday, June 25, at 4 p.m. at Essex Library.

Ribchinsky has just graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music and is headed to Carnegie Mellon University this fall to pursue a master’s degree in music. She will play works by Bocherini, J.S. Bach and Gaspar Cassado.

Admission to this program is free and open to the public. Please call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560 to register or for more information. The library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.


Acton Library Screens ‘Mad Hot Ballroom,” Hosts Discussion, Today

Image courtesy of Paramount Vantage

Image courtesy of Paramount Vantage

For the final movie in the Summer Dance Movie Series, Mad Hot Ballroom, Acton Public Library in Old Saybrook welcomes Raeleen St. Pierre of Fred Astaire’s Bloom Ballroom to discuss and demonstrate the benefits of dance after the 1 p.m. showing on Friday, Aug. 19.

Mad Hot Ballroom is a documentary of New York City’s schoolchildren’s dance competition and their introduction to ballroom dances. The film follows a few of the 4th grade students from three of the 60 participating schools tracking their transformation from hesitant participants to enthusiastic dancers of the merengue, rumba, tango, the foxtrot and swing.

Raeleen St. Pierre, Owner and Professional Instructor at Fred Astaire’s Bloom Ballroom, was recently asked by USA Dance to take over a local chapter for Programming in K-12 Schools. USA Dance is a non-profit organization designed to promote social dancing nationwide. She will discuss the four pillars of dance: rhythm, control, balance, and coordination and why dance can help anyone involved in sports by improving kicks, swings, hits, etc.

St. Pierre began ballroom dancing at the age of five with square dancing and round dancing (country western ballroom) with her family. She continued dancing through high school adding baton, gymnastics, and theatre arts into the mix. St. Pierre also studied tap, ballet, jazz, yoga, and tai chi; always pursuing the world of health and fitness, even opening her own fitness coaching business for a time.

Through her adult years, St. Pierre continued her education, attaining degrees in Child Development, English, Psychology and Business Development as well as certifications in group fitness including Zumba, CPR, First Aid and personal training. Dancing, however, remained her passion and she honed her skills while raising a family, incorporating it into her work with children and at risk populations.

In March 2007, she joined a newly opened Fred Astaire Dance Studio. In April 2012 she accepted a position in Old Saybrook. In June 2014, she accepted the General Manager position at Fred Astaire Ridgefield where she managed a staff of six while teaching couples, singles, and children. And last year in July of 2015, St. Pierre was asked to take over the Old Saybrook studio. This has allowed her to combine her love of physical fitness and psychological health with her passion for dance.

For more information, call The Acton Library at 860-395-3184, or visit the library during regular hours: Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10am – 5pm, or visit on-line at www.actonlibrary.org .


Valley Regional Celebrates Class of 2016 With Memories, Music and Merriment

In the distance on the bleachers, the Valley Regional High School Class of 2016. All photos by Laura Matesky of lauramateskyphotography.com

In the distance, the Valley Regional High School Class of 2016 stands on the bleachers. All photos by Laura Matesky of lauramateskyphotography.com

A clear blue sky accompanied by 75° weather and a gentle breeze created the perfect ambience for the Valley Regional High School’s (VRHS) 151 students of the Class of 2016 to graduate this past Wednesday, June 15.

The girls of the Class of 2016 filed into the stadium.

The girls of the Class of 2016 file into the stadium.

Teacher Kevin Woods (wearing sunglasses) filed in with the faculty.

Teacher and boy’s varsity basketball coach Kevin Woods (wearing sunglasses) files in with the faculty.

Valley Regional Principal Michael Barile hugs this year's VRHS Hall of Fame inductee.

Valley Regional Principal Michael Barile hugs this year’s VRHS Hall of Fame inductee.

Valedictorian Christina Mitchel.

Valedictorian Christina Mitchel (above) and Salutatorian Acacia Bowden (below delivered heartfelt and inspirational speeches that led the graduates to reflect on the past, the present, and the future.

Honor Essayist Mary Proteau (below) completed the triumvirate with an equally compelling speech.

Honor Essayist Mary Proteau.


While the students gave their speeches, the dignitaries listened attentively.

Principal ?? beamed as he listened to the speeches.

Michael Barile, VRHS Pricipal, smiles broadly as he listens to the speeches.

Several students in the graduating class lightened the mood with two musical numbers.
The bright Scottish tune, “Loch Lomond” was sung by Valley’s senior ensemble choir, including sopranos Angelina Annino, Miranda Holland, Carly Zuppe, Emma Colby, Eme Carlson, Avery Carlson, and Erica Vaccaro; altos Cassidy French, Leslie Clapp, Jordan Adams­Sack, Joy Molyneux, Amanda Hull, Caitlin Glance, and Rachel Breault; tenor Dilan Rojas; and basses John Cappezzone, Brooks Robinson, Riley Sullivan, and Will Elliot. This song showcased seniors Dilan Rojas, Emma Colby, Carly Zuppe, and Eme Carlson.

Valley Regional's Senior Ensemble sang 'Loch Lomond' and "I lived' during the event.

Valley Regional’s Senior Ensemble sang ‘Loch Lomond’ and “I lived’ during the event.

The second musical song, a cover of “I Lived”, by One Republic, was performed by singers Dilan Rojas, Carly Zuppe, and John Cappezzone, supported by Tyler Atkinson on the guitar and Brooks Robinson on drums.

Senior Class Treasurer Julia Hammond and Secretary Katie Amara presented the Class Gift.

Senior Class Treasurer Julia Hammond and Secretary Katie Amara presented the Class gift of benches for the art hallway during the ceremony as well.

The presentation of diplomas began ...

The presentation of diplomas began …


… and continued … with Region 4 Superintendent Dr. Ruth Levy shaking each graduate’s hand …

... and ended!

… and ended!



The evening culminated when the class tossed their caps high into the air, symbolizing their level of energy and high ambition for the next chapter of their lives.

When the ceremony was complete, all that remained were fond memories ... and a handful of hats on the ground.

When the ceremony was complete, all that remained were fond memories … and a handful of hats scattered on the ground.


Shoreline “Stuff-the-Ambulance” Drive Collects Over 3,000 Pounds of Food

Volunteers from the Chester and Deep River Ambulance Companies at the June 11 food drive at the Deep River Adams Market. They were joined by Ambulance Companies from Essex, Madison and Clinton holding food drives at other locations.

Volunteers from the Chester and Deep River Ambulance Companies at the June 11 food drive at the Deep River Adams Market. They were joined by Ambulance Companies from Essex, Madison and Clinton holding food drives at other locations.

AREAWIDE – Five area ambulance companies across the shoreline held food drives at local supermarkets on Saturday, June 11, challenging residents to “stuff” their ambulances with food for Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP). Shoppers responded generously, and in total gave over 3,000 pounds of non-perishable food. Supporters also donated over $860, which will provide enough food for over 2,200 meals. Volunteers from five ambulance companies participated, including Essex, Chester, Deep River, Madison and Clinton. Once “stuffed,” the ambulances delivered the food to SSKP’s food pantries, where the volunteers helped unload the food and restock the pantry shelves.

“We are so grateful to the Ambulance Companies from Essex, Chester, Deep River, Madison and Clinton for generously volunteering their time,” said Patty Dowling, Executive Director of SSKP. “Every day they provide life-saving medical care – and now they are giving back even more to help others. We are also very thankful to all those who donated both food and funds. Often there are fewer food drives during the summer months, and this will really make a difference in the lives of families along the shoreline who are struggling.”

Held at Colonial Market in Essex, Stop & Shop in Clinton, Adams Hometown Market in Deep River and Roberts Food Center in Madison, the dedicated volunteers from each ambulance company worked together to make the drive a huge success.

“It’s just another way we can work together to help the people in need,” said Steve Olsen with the Essex Ambulance Association, adding that he hopes this will become an annual tradition.

The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP) provides food and fellowship to people in need and educates the community about hunger and poverty, serving 11 shoreline towns. Founded 27 years ago, they accomplish their mission with the help of over 900 dedicated volunteers. Last year SSKP provided food for over one million meals to over 8,000 local residents in need.



In 33rd CT Senate District, Incumbent Linares, Challenger Needleman State Their Respective Cases

State Senator Art Linares (R-33rd)

State Senator Art Linares (R-33rd)

AREAWIDE — In a recent fund raising e-mail message, State Senator Art Linares (R-33rd) stated his case for re-election for a third term in this November’s general election.

He said, “Over the past two years, we have taken on the big spenders, as well as those who believe that temporary cuts are the way to deal with the budget up in Hartford. I stood up and voted against a budget that called for quick one time solutions, which would continue to be a burden on the citizens of our state.”

Linares continued, “I will not stop making the argument that in order to solve our fiscal problems, we need a real structural change to how we spend our tax payer dollars. We also need to put forth policies that promote a business friendly environment, so that those who create jobs have an opportunity to do so.”

Democratic candidate for the 33rd State Senate District, Norman Needleman

Democratic candidate for the 33rd State Senate District, Norman Needleman

When asked to comment on his qualifications as a State Senator, Norman Needleman, the Democratic candidate opposing Senator Linares, wrote, “As a local business owner for over 30 years and a first selectman for almost five years, I know how we can get Hartford to work better for our businesses and towns. I’m running for state Senate to change how state government budgets and operates. I will be a Senator who finds real solutions to Connecticut’s fiscal problems.”

The extensive 33rd State Senate district, where the Linares-Needleman race will take place, comprises the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, Westbrook and portions of Old Saybrook.


Ann Carl Receives “Making A Difference” Award from Essex Congregational Church


The First Congregational Church in Essex presented its “Making A Difference” Award to Valley Regional High School graduated senior Ann E. Carl of Chester (front row center) at a recent ceremony at the church. Family and members of the church’s Justice and Witness Committee who gathered for the award announcement are: (front row L-R) committee member Delcie McGrath of Essex, parents Elizabeth Carl and Joseph Carl of Chester; committee member Mary-Lawrence Bickford of Essex; (back L-R) church pastor Rev. Ken Peterkin, and committee members Emily Williams of Essex, Sharyn Nelson of Ivoryton and Mike Hennessy of East Lyme.

ESSEX – The First Congregational Church of Essex, UCC has presented its “Making A Difference” Award to Ann E. Carl, a graduated senior from Valley Regional High School.

Sponsored by the Justice and Witness Committee of the church, the $1,000 “Making A Difference” award is given to a senior at Valley Regional High School whose actions continue to challenge those ideas and practices that result in the exclusion of others. These can be small actions: an effort to connect groups or individuals with different ideas and different experiences, acts of inclusiveness, a community project or school activity that unites people in a positive cause or attempts to seek out individuals needing support.

The daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Carl of Chester, award recipient Annie is taking a “Gap Year” to travel and work in Ecuador, the Western United States and South Africa. The “Making A Difference” Award will go towards her fundraising for those efforts.

During her years at VRHS, Annie was a member of the National Honor Society and was active in soccer, track, the Interact Club and the Steering Committee. She has helped to raise funds for “Sharing To Learn,” a non-profit to help the village of Makuleke, South Africa; “CT Brain Freeze,” a polar plunge held by the National Brain Tumor Society; and a soccer game to promote awareness of pediatric cancer.

Other projects that Annie was involved in during her student career include “Tap Is Back Campaign/Chester Cares Initiative” to promote reusable water bottles; “Simply Smiles” Mission Trip to South Dakota to work on the Cheyenne Sioux Reservation; ICVR Radio, promoting accomplishments of local high school students; and a Hiking Sunday to encourage teens to exercise outdoors.




Deep River Resident Recognized for Excellence by Progressive Grocer

Silvana Baxter

Silvana Baxter

DEEP RIVER – Progressive Grocer, a leading retail food industry trade publication, has named Silvana Baxter of Deep River, a Stop & Shop Asset Protection Associate, as a 2016 Top Women in the grocery industry, which honors outstanding female leaders in the retailer and supplier community sectors.  

“Stop & Shop is very proud of the many accomplishments achieved by these dedicated associates who have gone above and beyond their positions within our company and have made many contributions within the communities they serve,” said Robert Spinella, Vice President of Human Resources, Stop & Shop NY Metro Division. “Congratulations to our honorees who serve as true role models for the future of their fellow colleagues.”  

Covering the retail food industry, Progressive Grocer’s core target audience includes top management and key decision makers from chain supermarkets, regional and local independent grocers, supercenters, wholesaler distributors, manufacturers and other supply chain training partners.

The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC employs over 61,000 associates and operates 419 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey.


Roto Frank of America Helps Connecticut’s Veterans

roto frankCHESTER – Supporting Connecticut’s veterans is an issue that is close to the hearts of Roto Frank of America employees. So it wasn’t surprising that when it came time to select a charitable organization for 2016, Roto Frank employees voted overwhelming for Connecticut Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Each year, employees of Roto Frank of America, Inc. select among five local charities on which to focus their fundraising activities, which include voluntary payroll deductions by employees, food sales, and fifty-fifty raffles. “We’re proud to support Department of Veterans’ Affairs in their efforts to improve the lives of Connecticut veterans and their families,“ said Sue LeMire, Roto Frank of America’s HR/General Accounting Manager.

Based in Rocky Hill, the Connecticut Department of Veterans’ Affairs has provided care for veterans and their dependents for over 140 years. This includes a health care facility with approximately 180 beds that provides extended health care to veterans, and a domicile with approximately 483 beds available that provides residents with a continuum of rehabilitation care. Veterans also receive substance abuse treatment, educational and vocational rehabilitation, job skills development, self-enhancement workshops, employment assistance and transitional living opportunities.

Founded in 1979, Roto Frank of America, Inc. is a Chester-based manufacturer of window and door hardware. Roto Frank of America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Roto AG, a global company headquartered in Germany, with 13 production plants and 40 subsidiaries worldwide. Roto Frank of America offers solutions for North American and European hardware applications, has an extensive product line including its renowned X-DRIVE™ casement and awning window systems, sash locks, window-opening-control-devices, sliding patio door systems, and European window and door hardware, among others.

For more information, visit www.rotohardware.com


Essex Savings Bank Offers Financial Tips for Senior Citizens

ESSEX – Every year, millions of seniors fall victim to financial fraud. Studies show elder financial abuse costs seniors approximately $2.9 billion each year. In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, Essex Savings Bank is urging older customers and their trusted caregivers to safeguard all personal information and stay alert to the common signs of financial abuse.

“Fraudsters often prey on seniors experiencing cognitive decline, limited mobility and other disabilities that require them to rely more heavily on others for help,” said Gregory R. Shook, President and CEO. “Appointing someone you know and trust to handle your financial matters aids tremendously in the fight against these crimes.”

Essex Savings Bank is offering the following tips:

Plan ahead to protect your assets and to ensure your wishes are followed. Talk to someone at your financial institution, an attorney, or financial advisor about the best options for you.

Carefully choose a trustworthy person to act as your agent in all estate-planning matters.

Lock up your checkbook, account statements and other sensitive information when others will be in your home.

Never give personal information, including Social Security Number, account number or other financial information to anyone over the phone unless you initiated the call and the other party is trusted.

Never pay a fee or taxes to collect sweepstakes or lottery “winnings.”

Never rush into a financial decision. Ask for details in writing and get a second opinion.

Consult with a financial advisor or attorney before signing any document you don’t understand.

Get to know your banker and build a relationship with the people who handle your finances. They can look out for any suspicious activity related to your account.

Check references and credentials before hiring anyone. Don’t allow workers to have access to information about your finances.

Pay with checks and credit cards instead of cash to keep a paper trail.

You have the right not to be threatened or intimidated. If you think someone close to you is trying to take control of your finances, call your local Adult Protective Services or tell someone at your bank.

If you believe you are a victim of financial abuse, be sure to:

Talk to a trusted family member who has your best interests at heart, or to your clergy.

Talk to your attorney, doctor or an officer at your bank.

Contact Adult Protective Services in your state or your local police for help.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was launched on June 15, 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations.

Cappella Cantorum Present Men’s Chorus Concert in Old Lyme, June 26

Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus drawing inspired in St. Paul Lutheran  Church in a 2005 concert, drawn by Madeleine Favre of Deep River.

Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus drawing inspired in St. Paul Lutheran
Church in a 2005 concert, drawn by Madeleine Favre of Deep River.

Cappella Cantorum presents a Men’s Chorus Concert, Sunday, June 26, at 7:30 pm, the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme at 2 Ferry Rd. Old Lyme, CT 06371.

The music will include When the Saints Go Marching In, Guys & Dolls Selections Order My Steps, Men of Harlech, Ride the Chariot, For the Beauty of the Earth, Barbershop Favorites and Va Pensiero.

Tickets are $20 at the door or online at CappellaCantorum.org. Ages 18 and under are free.  

For more information, contact Barry at 860-388-2871 or barrybasch@gmail.com.


Henry Josten Memoirs Published by Ivoryton Playhouse

 josten 1IVORYTON – The 2016 Tony Awards will be broadcast this week but those of us in the theater world, along the CT shoreline, remember the days of the PIXIE awards – Henry Josten’s personal picks of the best of Connecticut theater.  Henry retired his column in 2008 but he certainly has not stopped working and the Ivoryton Playhouse is proud to announce the publication of his memoirs.

“No Dancing, but…Dealing with the Stars at the Ivoryton Playhouse” is a fascinating collection of stories and anecdotes of his years as the publicist for Milton Stiefel at the Ivoryton Playhouse and as a globetrotting Connecticut “Country Editor.”

Henry began as a copy boy in 1941 with the New Haven Register  and more than 65 years later,  he called it quits having been a reporter, columnist, publicist, editor and publisher. For generations of readers, Henry Josten chronicled all the southeastern Connecticut news that’s been fit to print and, week after week, his readers would be entertained by his gossipy “Jottings” or “View From Here” or informed by his reporting or persuaded by his editorials.

Henry’s book begins with his years working with the stars that passed through the Ivoryton Playhouse. From Katharine Hepburn to Marlon Brando, from Tallulah Bankhead to Art Carney, Henry worked with them all and his wry sense of humor and reporter’s attention to detail makes this a fascinating read.

Henry also takes us on a journey around the world and provides captivating insights, not only on the places he traveled to but also the people he met and interviewed. Over the years, he interviewed several hundred Broadway and Hollywood stars, and political luminaries such as Eleanor Roosevelt who frequently visited Esther Lape in Westbrook where she often wrote her newspaper column, “My Day.”

He had a lengthy interview at the White House with President Jimmy Carter and met or covered Presidents Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and George H.W. Bush.

Henry’s colleagues elected him president of the Connecticut Editorial Association and the New England Press Associations, and in 2000 he was inducted into the New England Newspaper and Press Association Hall of Fame. During his career, he and his newspapers earned over 200 state and national awards for community service and journalistic excellence.

“No Dancing, but…Dealing with the Stars at the Ivoryton Playhouse” is available to purchase at the Ivoryton Playhouse, and copies have been donated to area libraries.
WITH THE ‘FIRST LADY OF THE WORLD’ – Henry Josten interviewed Mrs. Franklin D. (Eleanor) Roosevelt (right) during one of her visits with Esther Lape (center) in Westbrook in the late 1940s. (George Emery Photo).

WITH THE ‘FIRST LADY OF THE WORLD’ – Henry Josten interviewed Mrs. Franklin D. (Eleanor) Roosevelt (right) during one of her visits with Esther Lape (center) in Westbrook in the late 1940s. (George Emery Photo).



Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds Hosts Summer Sculpture Showcase 2016 Through Sept. 13

Mega-Dandelion by Gints Grinsberg is the signature piece of Summer Sculpture Showcase at Studio 80 +Sculpture Grounds, which has an Opening Reception Friday, June 10 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Mega-Dandelion by Gints Grinsberg is the signature piece of Summer Sculpture Showcase at Studio 80 +Sculpture Grounds, which has an Opening Reception Friday, June 10 from 5 to 7 p.m.

OLD LYME — Gilbert Boro, owner and sculptor at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds in Old Lyme, will host an Opening Reception for Summer Sculpture Showcase 2016 this coming Friday, June 10, from 5 to 7 p.m.  All are welcome to attend the outdoor reception at which light refreshments will be served. Guests will be free to explore the expansive sculpture gardens and view the more than 100 sculptures on display during the event.

This juried exhibition follows on naturally from last year’s extremely successful Summer Sculpture Showcase 2015, 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 amongst Boro’s own sculptures, along with works by 13 other contributing artists.  More than 30 sculptors from across the country responded to the Call for Entries submitting some 60 works.

Boro’s 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 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.

The sculptors, whose 25 pieces of work are included in the Showcase, are:
Mark Attebery, Diane Barcelo, Ashby Carlisle, Bryan Gorneau, Gints Grinbergs, Lannie Hart, Jay Hoagland, Deborah Hornbake, Conrad Levenson, Elaine Lorenz, David Madasci, Liza Masalimova, Sui Park, Chris Plaisted,
Bill Vollers, Martha Walker and Melanie Zibit.

The signature piece of the exhibition is “Mega-Dandelion” by Gints Grinbergs.  It is a large — 144” in height, 56” in diameter — yet delicate structure that evokes the intricate design of lace in its welded and stainless steel structure.  Grinbergs explains in his artist’s statement that he looks to nature for inspiration with “interests [that] range from the macroscopic to the microscopic – from flowers and their structure to bacteria and viruses – from the giants of outer space to sub atomic particles.”  He continues, “I build sculptures derived from the universal forms of nature.
All of the sculptures in this series are built from recycled materials … I attempt to transform, up-cycle, these manmade materials into the infinitely more complex forms designed by nature.”

Grinbergs’ work has been featured at various museums and galleries and is included in private and corporate collections throughout North America.

'Water Courses' by Elaine Lorenz is another featured piece in the Showcase.

‘Water Courses’ by Elaine Lorenz is another featured piece in the Showcase.

Created out of cement, fiberglass and paint, Elaine Lorenz’s intriguing “Water Course” comprises three pieces. She states that she has made “sculpture in such diverse materials as wood, metal, concrete, encaustic over a wire armature and ceramic, while maintaining an overall view of nature as a dominant source of energy and influence on her work.”  Lorenz explains her approach in creating art as, “abstract, only alluding to things, relationships or emotions and leaving room for the viewer’s interpretation.”

Lorenz has exhibited her work in numerous group exhibitions and sculpture sites throughout the US and her sculptures are in private, public and corporate collections in numerous states including Alabama, California, Florida, New Jersey and Texas. She has been the Vice President of Exhibitions for the Sculptors Guild since 2011.

Jay Hoagland charming ‘Mephisto’s Waltz’ features a viola made out of steel and copper with a kinetic element.  When the integral weathervane at the head of the instrument catches the wind, the bow travels across the strings playing an eerie melody. Hoagland explains the motivation behind his sculpture thus, “I work because the sheer joy of seeing thought turned into material is rejuvenating but my approach is more and more obviously the result of where and who I’ve been.”

'Mephisto's Waltz'is an intriguing piece of kinetic sculpture.

‘Mephisto’s Waltz’is an intriguing piece of kinetic sculpture.

He continues, “I’m inspired by natural science with an injection of humor and contradiction. Inspiration also comes from the minutae of life, the shape of a stone, the footprints of giants like da Vinci, Calder, Giacometti, Gabo, Hepworth, Moore, and Noguchi. Hoagland concludes, “I see my work as a catalyst to understand, and a lens to clarify, my place in the world.”

The jurors for the exhibition were acclaimed sculptors Gilbert V. Boro and Lisa Simonds, and painter Julia Pavone.

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.

Sculptor Gilbert V. Boro in his studio.

Sculptor Gilbert V. Boro in his studio.

Working in sculpture has been a compulsion rather than a possibility for Gil.  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.

"Nest' is one of Gil Boro's most recent pieces.

“Nest’ is one of Gil Boro’s most recent pieces.

Simonds is a visual artist with a BFA in Sculpture from Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, Conn.  She is currently employed as the Exhibitions Coordinator at Lyme Academy and previously worked as an Independent Exhibitions Installer at Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, Conn., for eight years.

Pavone is the co-founder of the Alexey von Schlippe Gallery of Art at the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point Campus, and has served as its Curator/Director for the past 24 years.  During her 29-year career, Pavone, who has a BFA from Long Island University in Westbury, N.Y., and an MEd from Lesley College in Cambridge, Mass., has continued her own work as a painter, while variously serving as a teacher, and guest lecturer, juror and curator for numerous exhibitions.

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 29, and Saturday, July 30.

Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds are 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.

For further information, contact 860-434-5957, visit www.sculpturegrounds.com or email studio80sculpturegrounds@gmail.com


Webster Bank Receives Partner in Business Award

(L-R) Harry Sitilides, president of the board of directors for CCARC; Anne Ruwet, CEO CCARC, Inc., and David Hadd, senior vice president, director continuous improvement.

(L-R) Harry Sitilides, president of the board of directors for CCARC; Anne Ruwet, CEO CCARC, Inc., and David Hadd, senior vice president, director continuous improvement.

AREAWIDE – Webster Bank received the Partner in Business Award from CCARC in New Britain, an organization that provides a wide variety of services to people with disabilities. Webster bankers were awarded this honor on May 5 at CCARC’s annual awards dinner for turning a one-day volunteer project into a 365-day-a-year event.

Last October, members of Webster’s Continuous Improvement group, the Project Management Office, and the Business Solutions Partner group spent a day performing various chores at CCARC. This effort was part of Webster’s “80 Days of Giving” employee volunteer initiative, which earned CCARC a $1,000 grant from Webster. However, the experience had such a profound impact on the group that six members returned to CCARC headquarters in April to help with a spring clean-up effort.

The evolving relationship between the bankers and the nonprofit has also led to a series of meetings at which David Hadd, senior vice president, director Continuous Improvement, and Gabe Rinaldi, senior vice president, Project Management Office, and senior leaders at CCARC have discussed and implemented strategies to streamline the nonprofit’s day-to-day operations.

Webster Bank is a leading regional bank serving businesses and consumers in the Northeast.

(L-R) Harry Sitilides, president of the board of directors for CCARC; Anne Ruwet, CEO CCARC, Inc., and David Hadd, senior vice president, director continuous improvement.


Local Golfers Play in Nancy Lehr Benefit Tournament, Two of Winners From Essex

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Nancy Lehr Benefit participants

On June 2, the Old Lyme Country Club held the annual Nancy Lehr Benefit Tournament to support Junior Girls Golf in Connecticut through the CWGA/PME Foundation. The tournament raised $500 for this worthwhile organization.

The winners of this year’s tournament were Esther Boyle (Essex), Karen Danielson (Old Saybrook), Carol Gordon (Essex) and Hyla Cohen (Old Lyme).



Social Security Supports Fight Against Cancer in Several Ways

cancer_sirvivorsIn 2016, more than a million people will be diagnosed with cancer around the world. This alarming statistic affects people and families everywhere. 

June 5 was National Cancer Survivors Day in the United States and in support of this day, Social Security encourages getting checkups to provide early detection, raise awareness through education, and recognize the survivors who have gone through this battle or are still living with the disease.

Social Security stands strong in support of the fight against cancer. The agency offers services to patients dealing with this disease through its disability and Compassionate Allowances programs. Compassionate Allowances are cases with medical conditions so severe they obviously meet Social Security’s disability standards, allowing cases to be processed quickly with minimal medical information. Many cancers are on our Compassionate Allowance list.

There’s no special application or form you need to submit for Compassionate Allowances. Simply apply for disability benefits using the standard Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) application. Once you are identified as having a Compassionate Allowances condition, they’ll expedite your disability application.

Social Security establishes new Compassionate Allowances conditions using information received at public outreach hearings, from the Social Security and Disability Determination Services communities, from medical and scientific experts, and from data based on our research. For more information about Compassionate Allowances, including the list of eligible conditions, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances.  

If you think you qualify for disability benefits based on a Compassionate Allowances condition, visit www.socialsecurity.gov to apply for benefits.

Editor’s Note: The author Robert G. Rodriguez is a Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in New Britain , CT


‘Where I Live,’ Essex Art Association’s Summer Juried Show Ends Aug. 20

"Haddam Neck Fair Horses," by

“Haddam Neck Fair Horses,” by Mary Lang Killilea

ESSEX –  The fourth exhibition of the Essex Art Association 2016 season is a juried show whose theme is “Where I Live.” The exhibition juror, Karen Bartone, is a professor of art at Eastern Connecticut State University as well as a curator and lecturer for several prominent institutions. $1900 will be awarded to exhibiting artists for their work in various media.

 Each season five EAA artists are selected by a juror to exhibit their work in the small Exit Gallery. The Exit Gallery artist during this exhibition is Mary Lang Killilea, an accomplished artist who has been working in pastel for over 20 years. She is the recipient of many local and national awards for her work. A signature member of the CT Pastel Society, her work mainly focuses on the beauty of nature.

 Her pastel paintings are known for their attention to detail and celebration of the natural world around us. Ms. Killilea has won the Sax Gold Medal Award for watercolor as well as a First Place in the Pastel Journal Annual Competition. In 2006 her work was featured in “Pure Color, The Best of Pastel” from Northlight Publications.

 The “Where I Live” exhibition opening reception will be held Friday, July 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. Both exhibits are open at no charge to the public July 30 – Aug. 20 at the Essex Art Association Gallery located in the sunny yellow building in the center of Essex at 10 North Main St. Gallery hours are 1-5 p.m. daily, closed Tuesdays. For more information, call 860-767-8996.



Monthly Caregivers Support Group Offered at Estuary Council; Next Meeting Aug. 3

estuary councilAREAWIDE – Are you caring for a relative, neighbor, or friend?  Who is taking care of you?

Estuary Council of Seniors has a Caregivers Support Group that meets the first Wednesday of every month at 1 p.m. and is open to the public.

Everyone who gives a piece of themselves to care for someone knows the toll it can take on their life. Sometimes getting the information you need and knowing where to turn can make a big difference for both the patient and the caregiver. This is an invitation to all the caregivers out there to come meet Ann Dipierdomenico from Chesterfield Healthcare Center. Ann is the group facilitator and will help you navigate through all the complicated stuff that comes with being someone’s caregiver.

For more information, call Deb at 860-388-1611  ext. 204. The Estuary Council of Seniors is at 220 Main St., Old Saybrook. 



Hambor’s School-to-Career Program at VRHS Celebrates 10 Successful Years

The 10th Annual Partnership Celebration brought interns and their mentors together to enjoy food and farewells.

The 10th Annual Partnership Celebration brought interns and their mentors together for food and farewells.

AREAWIDE — Ten years ago Valley Regional High School (VRHS) School-to-Career Consultant Mary Hambor started a program for students at the school interested in finding out more about jobs in the real world with five internships.  On May 26 this year, at the 10th Annual Partnership Celebration, she described how during the 2015-16 academic year, she had placed 95 seniors and seven juniors in a total of 102 internships.

Poster boards listed all the businesses and organizations which had taken interns during the 2015-16 academic year.

Poster boards listed all the businesses and organizations which had taken interns during the 2015-16 academic year.

Describing the success of the program as “very rewarding,” a delighted Hambor noted that she felt its “goal [had been] achieved” in that it had now become, “a comprehensive internship program … offering invaluable hands-on experience.”  She expressed her appreciation to all those who had taken on interns during the year and the VRHS administration saying, “I continually feel blessed to be part of such a supportive community.”

Dr. Dave Scruggs of Deep River Animal Hospital stands with Mary Hambor, VRHS School-to-Career Cordinator.

Dr. Dave Scruggs of Deep River Animal Hospital stands with Mary Hambor, VRHS School-to-Career Cordinator.

Many of the student interns spoke about their experiences during the celebration.  Katie Amara and Maddy Ball described how at Deep River Animal Hospital, they had “everyday learned something new,” including “holding a few snakes” and “how to draw blood,” summing up the internship as one in which they, “had learned a lot more than we expected.”

Anastasia Cusack-Mercedez explained that as a direct result of her internship with Integrated Refugee and Immigration Services (IRIS) in New Haven she now knew that she “would like to work for a non-profit.”

Sevigny Fortin said he had been, “very fortunate” to work in the State Prosecutor’s office at New London Superior Court with Attorney Paul Narducci and had even been involved with work on a murder trial. He believed he had benefited from “an opportunity not many high schoolers have,” noting, “I have been very fortunate to work with a mentor so passionate and helpful.”

Mary Hambor (right) stands with Ibby Carothers of iCRV Radio and the students who interned at the radio station.

Mary Hambor (right) stands with Ibby Carothers of iCRV Radio and the students who interned at the radio station.

Hannah Halsey spoke about the experience that she and several of her peers had enjoyed interning at iCRV Radio in Chester and then Ivoryton. She said it was, “a really great learning experience during which she and her friends had “learned about marketing” and acquired many new skills, such as “how to operate a database.”  The interns had actually hosted a radio show at one point!

Sometimes the students explained that the internships had caused them to experience a change in their planned careers.  Tina Mitchell, who had worked at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, had gone into her internship believing she was “interested in politics,” but during her time working with a policy analyst in the House Speaker’s office, determined that she had “found a home in policy.”

Other students like Elizabeth Forsythe freely declared, “I had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life,” but went on to say that her internship at Aaron Manor with Karyn Cotrona had taught her “what HR is all about.”  She thanked her mentors for giving her “the experience to explore what she wanted to do.”

Our very own wonderful ValleyNewsNow.com intern, Maggie Klin.

Our very own ValleyNewsNow.com wonderful intern, Maggie Klin!

Several of the mentors took the opportunity to say publicly how the internship had gone from their angle.  Rebecca Foley from IRIS said, “Anastasia did an incredible job” and noted that she had gone far beyond the call of her internship and raised $827 for the organization in her own time.

Dr. Dave Scruggs of Deep River Animal Hospital commented that when he had first been asked to take an intern, he just said, “No.”  Then he met with the students and was “so impressed” to the extent that — speaking of this year’s interns — , “I would hire both of these young ladies today,” adding in words that seemed to sum up the universal experience of the mentors, “Every student from this high school has achieved the bar … and gone beyond it.”