February 13, 2016

Tickets Now Available for Ivoryton Playhouse Comedy Night, March 18; Proceeds Support Ivoryton Illuminations

Vincent McElhone

Vincent McElhone

IVORYTON – Leave winter behind and come out for some big laughs at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Friday, March 18, when the theater hosts Comedy Night, headlined by Vincent McElhone.

McElhone, an Old Saybrook resident for 25 years, has worked such famous venues as the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas, Caroline’s on Broadway, Dangerfields in NYC and Mohegan Sun, sharing the stage with such acts as Brian Regan, Jim Gaffigan, Dom Irrera and Denis Leary. He returns to the Ivoryton Playhouse with his special blend of comedy, discussing subjects close to him such as his family, marriage, being raised Irish Catholic and living on the shoreline.

Also on the bill are comedians Tony Liberati and Rick Roberts.   Since making his stand-up debut in 1998, Liberati entertains crowds all over the country. His energetic and charismatic delivery of observational humor connects with all types of audiences and his experience as an elementary school teacher blends a unique feeling of nostalgia and silliness that has audiences crying with laughter.  He has been on ABC’s America’s Funniest People and his jokes have been published alongside greats like Chris Rock and Henny Youngman in The Idiot’s Guide to Joke Telling by Alpha Publishing.

Rick Roberts is a lawyer by day and comedian by night. He has performed in over 300 shows throughout the Northeast. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Comedy through Caroline’s, Rick performs regularly at comedy clubs in New York City.  His unique and jaded perspective on the frustrations of middle-aged life and modern technology are central themes of his hilarious comedy.

Comedy Night takes place at the Ivoryton Playhouse at 103 Main Street.  Doors open at 7:30 p.m.  Tables of six and eight are available.  Tickets are $30.  Balcony seats are $20.  Wine and beer cash bar and teacup auction.  Please call 860-767-9520 x205 to book your seats. A portion of the proceeds of this event will go toward producing the annual Ivoryton Illuminations in December.



‘Creating & Maintaining Change: The Path to Healthy Living’ at Essex Library, Feb. 23

visitingnursesAREAWIDE – Are there areas of your life that you would like to improve? Do you look at yourself in the mirror and say “if only I could be thinner, stronger, happier…” or “I wish I could worry less, have more energy,” etc.?

Research shows us that even small changes in lifestyle can have a big impact on our improving our health. So why do we feel overwhelmed and powerless to change? This interactive workshop will help you explore what is important to YOU and get you started with an action plan for success. Strategies for making healthy lifestyle changes you can live with will be explored.

This free event will be presented by Deborah Ringen, MSN, RN-BC Faith Community Nurse of the Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the Essex Library.

Call the Library at (860) 767-1560 for more information or to register. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.


Augie Pampel to lead Essex go Bragh Irish Parade, March 12

The 5th Annual Essex go Bragh Parade will be held March 12.

The 5th Annual Essex go Bragh Parade will be held March 12.

ESSEX – Many local organizations, led by Grand Marshal Augie Pampel, will be celebrating “All Things Green” at the Fifth Annual Essex go Bragh Irish Parade, on Saturday, March 12.

Mary Ellen Barnes, Park and Recreation Director, said, “Every parade needs a Grand Marshal, and the Essex go Bragh Parade is no exception! We have had some tremendously distinguished individuals serving that honored position in the past. Last year Essex Park and Recreation Commission was proud to announce that Augie Pampel would serve as 2015 Grand Marshal.  However, thanks to a couple of mid-March snow storms, our parade was canceled and Mr. Pampel could not serve.  We are hoping that with a little Irish Luck on March 12, 2016, the parade will return with Augie leading the way!”

Barnes continued, “Mr. Pampel has been living and contributing to the Essex community for many years.  He has worked tirelessly as the Town of Essex Tree Warden since 1994.  He is a proud member of the Essex Garden Club and was instrumental in securing Keep America Beautiful Grants, used for tree restoration throughout the three villages. We are tremendously honored by Augie Pampel’s participation in our 5th Annual Essex go Brag Parade as Grand Marshal.”

The parade steps off from Essex Town Hall at 10:30 a.m. The parade route is down West Avenue to Main Street, turning onto Ferry Street. Marching groups must arrive by 10 a.m. For more information about participating in the parade, contact Mary Ellen Barnes at 860-767-4340 x100 or mbarnes@essexct.gov.

In case of severe weather, the parade will be held on March 13.


Beer, Music, History and Pizza at CT River Museum, March 18


ESSEX – The Connecticut River Museum will host “A Glass of Beer History” on Friday, March 18 at 7 p.m.

This multimedia program will feature the sights, sounds and tastes of 6,000 years of brewing history. Presented by the Museum’s executive director Christopher Dobbs and folk musician Rick Spencer, the program will explore the origins of beer, its growth as a popular beverage, and its evolving place in American society. From ancient civilizations to the modern microbrew craze of today, tastings will reflect beer’s evolution.

Five beers will be tasted throughout the night. These include a barleywine, which Dobbs notes is “considered to be the world’s first beer.” Other beers being tasted are a German-American lager, a classic English-style porter, an India Pale Ale (IPA) and a featured local beer.

Steady Habit Brewing Company will be featured as one of Connecticut River Valley’s newest microbreweries. Based out of Haddam, owner and brewmaster Jon Peterson will join Dobbs and Spencer during the tasting with one of his handcrafted beers.

In addition to the tastings and history, Spencer will join Dobbs with rousing drinking songs that support the program’s themes. They will be accompanied by signer Dawn Indermuehle. Spencer, an accomplished folk musician, said that “these songs do more than just support the night’s themes; they expand the audience’s understanding and dive into the social customs and concerns around drink.” Both Dobbs and Spencer noted that you cannot just reflect on beer’s history without also discussing temperance and vice.

Deep River’s Pizzeria DaVinci is donating food that will complement the assorted beers. Dobbs stated that this is the “perfect way to enjoy a beer tasting. Pizzeria DaVinci is known in the area for their high quality New Haven style pizza and wonderful breads and desserts.”

The event is open to the public; however, reservations are required due to limited space. Participants must be 21 or over and show valid ID at the door. Tickets include the program with beer and food tastings. Prices are $10 for Museum members and $16 for the general public.

For more information and to register, visit CTRiverMuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.




Bring Dinner, Wear Dancing Shoes to Chester Rotary’s Longest Dinner Table Fundraiser, April 23

Bring your own dinner and drinks to the Longest Dinner Table and help support local hunger programs.

Bring your own dinner and drinks to Chester Rotary’s Longest Dinner Table evening in April and help support local hunger programs.

CHESTER – The Rotary Club of Chester continues its long practice of giving back to the Town of Chester and its residents.  Its fund raisers, such as the 4 On The Fourth road race and the Lobster Festival (to be held this year on Sept. 10 at the Chester Fairgrounds) are two of its successful events.

The Longest Dinner Table is a relatively new fund raiser, with the goal of raising funds to benefit local organizations such as the Chester Food Pantry, the Back Pack Program and the Shoreline Soup Kitchens.

This year The Longest Dinner Table is being held Saturday, April 23, at St. Joseph’s Parish Center in Chester from 7 to 11 p.m.  It is an adults only evening consisting of music, food, silent auction and fun.

Buy tickets at $25 each and create your own dinner menu with beverages centered on your theme. Gather your friends and create a themed table with your own decorations. Wear costumes, if you want! After dinner, dance to the rockabilly tunes of Four Barrel Billy, an upbeat local band. Everyone will have a great time and you will be supporting the Rotary’s local programs.

Tickets can be purchased at www.ChesterRotary.org or at the door.


Paint “The Starry Night” with Vista, March 7

Paint like Van Gogh at a gathering sponsored by Vista.

Paint like Van Gogh at a gathering sponsored by Vista.

AREAWIDE – Artists of all abilities can channel famous painter Vincent Van Gogh on Monday, March 7 during Paint Night with Vista at the Pub, a social art class open to the community.

No prior painting experience is required to join the fun. Local artist and Vista staff member Samantha Listorti will guide participants step-by-step as they recreate “The Starry Night,” one of Van Gogh’s most recognizable works. At the end of the night, participants will leave with their finished work.

The class will be held at Penny Lane Pub in Old Saybrook from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Cost is $35 and includes one complimentary glass of wine or beer. Food and drink will be available for purchase throughout the evening. Space is limited. To reserve a seat, visit www.vistavocational.org or email Amanda Roberts at aroberts@vistavocational.org.

Paint Night with Vista is one of many community arts classes offered by Vista. For more information about arts classes and programming, contact Amanda Roberts at (860) 399-8080.

Editor’s note: Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center is a 501©3 nonprofit organization. Vista’s mission is to provide services and resources to assist individuals with disabilities achieve personal success. For more information about Vista, please visit www.vistavocational.org.


Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition to Meet March 9

tri town ysb
The Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, March 9 at 9 a.m. at Tri-Town Youth Services, 56 High St., Deep River.

The Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition is a grassroots organization whose membership is open to all who live or work in the tri-town area who are concerned about substance abuse and committed to its prevention.  Many “sectors” of the community are represented on this council: schools, youth-serving organizations, law enforcement, government, civic groups, parents, students, the faith community and health care, to name a few.

At the March meeting, the Drug Free Communities grant application will be shared.  The next meeting of the Coalition will be on May 18.  For further information, call Tri-Town at 860-526-3600.

Editor’s note: Tri-Town Youth Services (TTYS) supports and advances the families, youth and communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex.  TTYS coordinates and provides resources needed to make positive choices, reduce substance abuse, and strengthen the relationships that matter most. Discover programs and information for families, as well as opportunities for community collaboration at www.tritownys.org.


Mark Starr Featured Speaker at CT Valley Camera Club Meeting, Feb. 29

Mark Starr photo

Mark Starr photo

AREAWIDE – The CT Valley Camera Club’s monthly meeting on Monday, Feb. 29, will feature a presentation by Mark Starr, a documentary photographer from Connecticut.

Describing his work, Starr said, “My goal has been to preserve something of the working cultures of New England, now rapidly disappearing. Over the past seven years, I have largely focused on commercial fishermen, but I have also documented such things as the last family dairy farms in my home town, the closing of the last sardine cannery in America, traditional agricultural fairs throughout New England, and historic barns. The photographs I take and interviews I conduct are turned into books for distribution. My work has been featured in magazines such as LensWork, The Sun, Vermont Magazine, Rhode Island Monthly, Edible Rhody, and Yankee Magazine, and the photographs from my major projects have been selected for inclusion in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress.”

Starr has published 11 books and is working on the 12th. He sees photography as a way to tell the stories of his projects’ subjects. He will give an overview of his work and show examples.

The Camera Club meets the last Monday of each month at the Deep River Library (lower level) at 7 p.m. Meetings are open to the public. For more information, contact Ed McCaffrey, 860-767-3521.


Friends of Essex Library Host Eagle and Winter Wildlife Cruise on CT River, March 2

eagleESSEX – Join the Friends of the Essex Library on Wednesday, March 2, from 1 to 3:30 p.m., for a two-and-a-half-hour cruise aboard RiverQuest, departing from Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam.

The group will search for Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles and the rich variety of other birds wintering along the river. Along the way Captain Mark and his crew, accompanied by a member of the Essex Land Trust, will assist in bird
identification and will share information about the Connecticut River. Bring your cameras and binoculars.

RiverQuest has a heated cabin and an outdoor viewing area. Hot cider with optional rum is included. You are welcome to bring your own picnic and beverages.

Space is limited so please visit Essex Library at 33 West Avenue (860-767-1560) to reserve a seat. Cash or checks are accepted at $60 per person. Due to high fees credit cards cannot be accepted.

PLEASE NOTE: In case of very bad weather, the cruise will be rescheduled for Thursday, March 3, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. If you cannot cruise on March 3, please give your tickets to a friend or sell them to someone on the wait list. If very bad weather on both days prevents the group from going on the river, a full refund will be given for all tickets.


Kristen Graves to Perform at Spring Street Gallery, Feb. 21

kristen grav CHESTER —- Leif Nilsson hosts another Concert in the Garden, Sunday, Feb. 21, from 4 to 6 p.m., this time featuring Kristen Graves at the Spring Street Studio and Gallery at 1 Spring St, Chester Center. This monthly concert series highlights eclectic international singer/songwriter artists from cool jazz to blue grass.

Kristen Graves is a singer/songwriter and humanitarian from Green Bay, living in Fairfield, Conn. She was recently listed as part of the “new generation of folk music” in the New York Times and was mentioned in Rolling Stone for her music’s environmental activism. She has shared the stage with Rusted Root, Dar Williams, Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary), and the late Pete Seeger.

With catchy songs, a penchant for storytelling, and inspiring lyrics, Graves performs nearly 200 shows a year through the United States and Europe.

On her first visit to the Concert in the Garden series, she will be performing her own original songs as well as some classic folk sing-alongs. You’ll be invited to sing, laugh, cry, and enjoy each other as Graves shares the stories behind her music – from sharing Lincoln Center stage with Peter Yarrow, to sharing lentil soup with Pete Seeger. This is an evening of stories and songs you won’t want to miss.

Read more about Graves at www.kristengraves.com.

Doors open a half hour before the show – first come, first seated. The concert is held inside the gallery this time of year. Sorry, no pets are allowed.

A $20 donation is appreciated. The event is BYOB. Buy your own wine or beer at the Chester Package Store across the street, which is open until 3 p.m.

For more information, call 860-526-2077 or log on www.nilssonstudio.com.



Auditions for Ivoryton Playhouse Production, Feb. 12

AREAWIDE – The Ivoryton Playhouse will hold local auditions for Equity actors for “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks,” by Richard Alfieri on Friday, Feb. 12, in Centerbrook, and Monday, Feb. 15, in New York City.

The Playhouse is looking for two characters:

Lily, an attractive woman, early to late 60s, with an ability to dance (or can take simple choreography for) swing, tango, foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, and cha-cha.

Michael Minetti (late 30s/40s), an attractive man of 45 who is trying to look 35. Ability to dance (or can take simple choreography for) swing, tango, foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, and cha-cha.

All auditions are by appointment and actors should bring a picture and resume. More information is available online at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org.

For audition appointments, call 860-767-9520, ext. 204.


Tickets Available Now for ‘Caravan of Thieves’ in Chester, Feb. 28

Caravan of Thieves. Photo by Shervin Lainez

Caravan of Thieves. Photo by Shervin Lainez

Question: How does a hot band get recruited to play in a concert series?
Answer: One way is when it sneaks up on and knocks out the series producer.

This is how the booking for Caravan of Thieves, the musical ensemble that has dazzled audiences throughout North America with their creativity and showmanship, came to be. The band will perform at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek in Chester in a concert open to the public.

David Zeleznik, the new director of the synagogue’s Music & More concert series, recalls that he had his first Caravan “experience” unexpectedly several years ago in Norwalk when it was the opening act for Hot Tuna.

“We had never heard of Caravan of Thieves before, but from the first song they immediately hooked us and were the subject of much animated discussion in the car ride home. Their songs are witty, completely original, and speak to the themes of love and life with a big helping of irreverence and fun. When I starting putting together this, my first season as producer of Music & More, I immediately thought of Caravan as my ‘producer’s choice’ selection for the series. My hope is that others catch the energy and get on board the Caravan Freaks bandwagon.”

Caravan of Thieves began as a duo consisting of Fuzz Sangiovanni (of Deep Banana Blackout fame) and his wife Carrie Sangiovanni. The two discovered their voices blended quite well with one another. Fuzz said, “It started as a romantic, bohemian vision of a couple making music, performing on the road, in parks, venues, traveling around and avoiding responsibility as much as possible …The first thing we discovered was we loved singing together, harmonizing our voices. Just seemed to click right away.”

The couple added a violinist and an upright bass player in 2008 and the band released their debut album Bouquet in 2009. Their second album, Mischief Night, was recorded at a sold-out show in Fairfield. Caravan of Thieves released a third album in 2012, and a fourth last year.

Fuzz said about the group’s third album: “We had a concept going in, both from a sound and production standpoint, lyrically and thematically. A lot of crazy stuff happens on the road, and we took our experiences from on and off the stage, and brought them into the studio with us.”

He continued, “Life is ridiculous, all our lives, like an amusement park ride. In this case, we picked a funhouse, since those are ridiculous too. And we wanted to expand the range of what we can do instrumentally but still keep it non electric, so we added a few more gritty and twangy stringed instruments that were fun to spank, like banjos, resonator guitars and ukuleles, as well as an orchestra of kitchen appliances for some additional percussive bang.”

Samples of Caravan of Thieves music can be found on YouTube.

Tickets ($25 general admission; no charge for children under 16) for this concert are on sale now and may be purchased online at cbsrz.org, or by calling the synagogue office at (860) 526-8920.  Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester.



Romance Novels Featured in LVVS February Sale

AREAWIDE – Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS) has announced that February’s monthly book promotion gives all aspiring cupids an opportunity to shine.

Romance novels are the special feature of the month.  Pay just $1 for five selected paperbacks or $1 for all hardcover romance novels.

The book sale is located in the LVVS offices in the lower level of the Westbrook Public Library, 61 Goodspeed Drive. Hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Friday 9 a.m. to noon.

All book sale proceeds benefit the LVVS tutoring programs. For more information, email info@vsliteracy.org or call 860-399-0280.


“Connecticut History’s Bad Boys” Annual Lecture Series in Essex Begins Feb. 21

ESSEX – Explore the dark side of the state’s past this winter at “Connecticut History’s Bad Boys,” a lecture series presented by Essex Historical Society and Essex Meadows, Sundays, Feb. 21, Feb. 28 and March 6 at 3 p.m. The illustrated talks will be held at Essex Meadows, 30 Bokum Rd., and are free and open to the public.

Each program will feature in-depth discussion about our state’s shadowy characters, such as spies, rum-runners and traitors, placing them in historical context with their equally dark and mysterious times along Connecticut’s Shoreline.

The series begins on Sunday, Feb. 21, with “Spies Among Us: Connecticut’s Crucial Role in the Secret War of American Independence” with Rachel L. Smith. In addition to Nathan Hale and Benedict Arnold, the state was also home to diplomats, double agents, couriers and innovators who took intelligence-gathering to new heights and altered the course of the Revolutionary War. Discover how Connecticut’s geographic, political, and cultural climate helped it play an outsized role in supplying and sustaining the secret war for independence.

Rachel Smith, a historian of Early America, works for the Office of the Connecticut State Historian at the UConn as a historical consultant and as an administrative editor for Common-place: the Journal of Early American Life.

“Capture of Nathan Hale, Korder,” 1940, courtesy of Rachel L. Smith

“Capture of Nathan Hale, Korder,” 1940, courtesy of Rachel L. Smith

On Sunday, Feb. 28, Robert McKenna will present “Smuggling at Sea During Prohibition: The Real McCoy, The Bootleg Queen, Rum Row, and the Origin of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

McKenna is an author and the expert on rum-running during Prohibition. He has researched, updated, edited and republished six books about liquor smuggling in the 1920s. He was a researcher, subject matter expert and executive producer of the five-time Emmy Award winning documentary film The Real McCoy (2012), and a contributor to Connecticut Public Television’s Emmy-winning documentary Connecticut Goes Dry (2012). As a former Coast Guard officer, he interdicted smugglers and practiced the legal precedents that were established during the Prohibition-era.

“Liquor-Laden Schooner,” courtesy of Robert McKenna

“Liquor-Laden Schooner,” courtesy of Robert McKenna

The series concludes on Sunday, March 6, as Eric D. Lehman, author of Homegrown Terror: Benedict Arnold and the Burning of New London,  discusses how Connecticut native Benedict Arnold and 1,600 British soldiers and loyalists captured Fort Griswold and burned down the settlement of New London in 1781, and explores how and why Arnold betrayed his countrymen and killed his neighbors.

Lehman, a professor of creative writing at the University of Bridgeport, has widely published fiction, travel stories, essays and nonfiction.

Cover of “Homegrown Terror,” courtesy of Eric Lehman

Cover of “Homegrown Terror,” courtesy of Eric Lehman

More information can be found at www.essexhistory.org or by calling Essex Historical Society, 860-767-0681.


Valley Regional Presents “The Addams Family,” March 11-13

addams family artREGION 4 — Valley Regional Musical Productions will present a new musical comedy, “The Addams Family,” on the weekend of March 11-13 at Valley Regional High School in Deep River.

The musical is based on the characters drawn and made famous by Charles Addams.

Rehearsals have already begun under the direction of Ingrid Walsh. “The Addams Family” features a cast of 73 and a crew of 30 with an additional nine students in the music pit.

Four shows will be presented: Friday, March 11, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, March 12, at 1 and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, March 13, at 1 p.m.

Tickets for all seats are $12 except for the Saturday matinee, which will be $10. Tickets will be available beginning Jan. 31 at the school, Celebrations, Elephant Crossing, Toys Ahoy, and The Wheatmarket.

“The Addams Family” cast members (L-R): front: Miranda Holland, Nathan Russo; second row: Maggie Walsh, Connor Riordan, James D’Amico, Annie Brown, Jonny Leffingwell; back: Dilan Rojas, Jennifer Roberts, and Mitch Conrad

“The Addams Family” cast members (L-R): front: Miranda Holland, Nathan Russo; second row: Maggie Walsh, Connor Riordan, James D’Amico, Annie Brown, Jonny Leffingwell; back: Dilan Rojas, Jennifer Roberts, and Mitch Conrad

The Valley Regional Musical Program (VRMP) has been under the direction of Ingrid Walsh since 1998 and has been recognized by the Connecticut High School Music Theatre Awards multiple times for such awards as Outstanding Hair and Makeup, Outstanding Sound Design, and Outstanding Actress, among others.

The VRMP won awards for Outstanding Production of the Year in 2012 for “Titanic” as well as Outstanding Chorus in 2012 and 2013. Last year VRMP was honored with the inaugural “The Future of Theatre Award,” recognizing its success in producing the new musical show, “Band Geeks.”


Old Saybrook Church Hosts a Cappella Sing-off Concert, March 5

The Ruby Fruit a cappella group will participate in the sing-off being held March 5.

‘Ruby Fruit’ a cappella group will participate in the sing-off being held March 5.

OLD SAYBROOK – Two of UCONN’s a cappella groups will perform in a sing-off Saturday, March 5, 7 p.m. at the First Church of Christ in Saybrook, 366 Main St. The Rubyfruits and Extreme Measures will also work with some Old Saybrook High School singers who will also be part of the performance.

Tickets are $15, children eight and under are admitted free. Funds raised will support the church’s 2016 teen mission trip to N.Y.’s Adirondacks. Tickets are available online, www.firstchurchsaybrook.org, in the church office Monday through Friday, or call 860-388-3008.

There is also advertising space available in the program booklet for sponsors, either individuals or businesses. In addition to having a self-designed ad printed in the program, commercial sponsors will be recognized on facebook. Options include a quarter, half or full page space for $50, $125 or $250.

To prepare for the weeklong summer trip, the teens and their families commit to a year-long process which includes group fundraising, socio-economic awareness events, worship service activities and more. While in the Adirondacks, the teens will go out into the community for service work and to immerse themselves in the local culture. Mission trips take place every year with varying destinations, alternating between urban and rural locations. Each teen mission trip is life-changing for the young participants and their chaperones.

Come out to hear some great music performed by young people, and support the work of the teen mission-trippers who seek to make a difference in the lives of those they serve.


Meal-Plan Presentation in ‘Healthy You’ Series at Acton Library, Feb. 25

OLD SAYBROOK — ‘Healthy You’ is a series of presentations on various health subjects being hosted at Acton Library in Old Saybrook.  Talks are presented on the second and fourth Thursday of the month from 2 to 3 p.m.  Check the library calendar for specific issues.

On Feb. 25, join Pop Weight Loss’ Director of Nutrition, Kara Ganssle, as she explains easy tips to help any individual meal plan.  Whether you’re cooking for one or five, properly planning can help save time, money and improve your well-being.  So drop in at 2 p.m. for some ideas on how to keep your health up and more cash in your pockets.


Marshview Gallery Exhibits Work of Carlos Rios; Opening Reception on Feb. 12

marshview photo
During February the Marshview Gallery at the Estuary Council of Seniors in Old Saybrook features the art of Carlos Rios.

Born in Colombia, Rios began his training at the Academia Superior de Arte and Bellas Artes in Colombia.  He moved to the U.S. in 1965 to further his education at the Paier College of Art in Connecticut.  He has lived with his wife in Milford for over 30 years.

Rios works in oils, acrylics, pastels and watercolors. His style and taste is eclectic, ranging from impressionistic to contemporary.  He is constantly experimenting and creating new works, as well as researching and developing new materials, media and ideas to use in the creation of new pieces.

His work is internationally known, and his original paintings and prints are in collections and exhibits throughout the world, including many foreign embassies. More information can be found at his website, www.carlosriospaintings.com.

A reception will be held Friday, Feb. 12, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Marshview Gallery. All are welcome to meet the artist. Refreshments will be provided.

The Marshview Gallery at the Estuary Council of Seniors, Inc., 220 Main Street in Old Saybrook is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. All ages are welcome to view the gallery.


Essex Library Hosts Wnek’s ‘Soul of the Landscape’ Photo Exhibit During February

'Whispers of Past' by Peter Wnek illustrate's the photographer's captivating style.

‘Whispers of Past’ by Peter Wnek beautifully illustrate’s the photographer’s captivating style.

ESSEX — Award-winning photographer Peter Wnek explores the ‘Soul of the Landscape’ in his exhibition and sale of fine art photography at the Essex Library, which runs through Feb. 2 – 28, with an opening reception on Sunday, June 7, from 4 to 7 p.m.

‘Soul of the Landscape’ celebrates the beauty and spirit of our woodlands and waterways, as seen in Whispers of the Past and its breathtaking view along the Connecticut River. Wnek’s work captures the light and details one might expect from a painting—which is no accident. He has long been inspired by the purity and innocence of the American landscape as portrayed by the 19th century Hudson River painters. “I strive for that same warm light, the luminous or stormy skies, to invoke a charm or a mood,” he explains.

Wnek’s photographs often reveal the story of the landscape—its whisper of bygone days, the intrinsic cycles of nature. With a focus on local scenes, this exhibit speaks to the beauty that surrounds us, the coastal vistas and woodland spaces that are unique to our state. In a familiar kaleidoscope of colors, see the rising and setting sun, the harmony of sky and land, the collusion of rock and sea.

As Wnek explains, “I am intrigued by the soothing compositions and repetitive patterns that collectively reveal the Divine at work.”

Featured in this exhibit is Silver Glade, an image of trees on a ridge near Meriden. It recently won the Salmagundi Club of NYC’s 2015 “Henry O’Connor Award” for excellence, portraying the gentler, quieter landscape of New England.

It is that voice of New England which Wnek most hopes to capture in his photographs, “those intimate moments of our own landscapes” waiting to be revealed.

The exhibit is free and open to the public during the Library’s regular hours. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Ave. in Essex. Call (860) 767-1560 for more information.


For more information about photographer Peter Wnek, visit www.PeterWnekPhoto.com.


Quilting Display at Acton Library During February

OLD SAYBROOK — The Acton Public Library will be displaying Jane P.R. Nettleton’s original quilting designs in their atrium display case for the months of January and February.

The Acton Public Library is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. until 8:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. The library is open on Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.


Acton Public Library Hosts ‘Music with Miss Martha,’ Fridays

The Children’s Department at Acton Public Library will host ‘Music with Miss Martha’ on the third Friday of every month January through May (except February which will be on the fourth Friday) from 10 to 10:45 a.m. This is a special drop-in musical story time and is most appropriate for ages 3-5. The dates are Jan. 15, Feb. 26, March 18, April 15, and May 20.

For more information, call The Acton Library at 860-395-3184, or visit the library during regular hours: Monday through Thursday 10am – 8:30pm, Friday and Saturday 9am – 5pm, and Oct – May on Sundays 1pm – 5pm or visit on-line at www.actonlibrary.org .


Cappella Cantorum to Perform Mozart’s ‘Requiem,’ April 10

AREAWIDE — Late registration and rehearsal for Cappella Cantorum’s performance of Mozart’s Requiem will be Monday, Jan. 11, 7 p.m. at John Winthrop Middle School, 1 Winthrop Rd., Deep River. All singers are welcome; no auditions are required.

The concert, scheduled for Sunday, April 10, will also feature Mozart’s Regina Coeli. Soloists will be Patricia Schuman, Brian Cheney, Heather Petrie and Christopher Grundy.

Registration can also be done online at CappellaCantorum.org. Membership fee is $50, registration $10 and music $15.

For more information, check the web site or call Barry Asch at 860-388-2871.


Tri-Town Youth Services Hosts New Toddler Play Groups Through March

TRI-TOWN — Calling all toddlers!

Tri-Town Youth Services at 56 High St. in Deep River offers play groups led by Parent Resource Coordinator Allison Abramson.  The groups offer a mixture of free play, music, art, and story time.  Caregivers have a chance to chat with each other and browse the parent resource library.

Both groups run on Wednesdays from Jan. 6 through March 9.  Outstanding Ones meets from 11 to 11:30 a.m. with a cost of $45 for tri-town residents and $55 for non-residents.  Terrific Twos meets from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. with a cost of $60 for Tri-Town residents and $70 for non-residents.  Register at www.tritownys.org or call Tri-Town at 860-526-3600.

Tri-Town Youth Services supports and advances the families, youth and communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex. The organization coordinates and provides resources needed to make positive choices, reduce substance abuse, and strengthen the relationships that matter most.  Discover programs and information for families, as well as opportunities for community collaboration at www.tritownys.org


Old Saybrook Library Offers ‘Local & Legal’ Film Series on Second Fridays

OLD SAYBROOK — The Acton Public Library in Old Saybrook will be hosting a “Local & Legal” film series at 1 p.m. in the Grady Thomas Room on second Fridays January through May.

Parrish starring Troy Donahue and shot in and around Old Saybrook will be shown on Jan. 8 ; Ragtime, with a film segment in Essex, will be shown on Feb. 12 ; for the legal side, Witness for the Prosecution will be shown on March 11; 12 Angry Men will be shown on April 8; and Erin Brockovich will be shown on May 13.

For more information, call The Acton Library at 860-395-3184, or visit the library during regular hours: Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Oct to May on Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. or visit online at www.actonlibrary.org .