June 20, 2018

Gencarella Shares ‘Wicked, Weird, and Wily Yankees’ at CT River Museum Tomorrow

ESSEX — On Tuesday, June 19, at 5:30 pm, join Stephen Gencarella as he shares some of his fantastic stories of the prophets, vagabonds, fortune-tellers, hermits, lords, and poets who shaped New England.  New England has been a lot of things–an economic hub, a cultural center, a sports mecca–but it is also home to many of the strangest individuals in America.  Wicked, Weird, & Wily Yankees explores and celebrates the eccentric personalities who have left their mark in a way no other book has before.

Some folks are known and others not so much, but the motley cast of characters that emerges from the pages of his book represents a fascinating cross-section of New England’s most peculiar denizens.  Listen as Steve tells the tales of the Leather Man and the Old Darned Man, who both spent years crisscrossing the highways and byways of the northeast, their origins and motivation to remain forever unknown.  

Delve into the magnificent homes of William Gillette and Madame Sherri, famed socialites who constructed enormous castles in the New England countryside.  Learn of William Sheldon’s apocalyptic prophecies and wild claims including that the American Revolution had hastened the end of the world and that he could, through his mastery of the “od-force” prevent cholera across the eastern United States. 

And find out about the mysterious fortune-teller Moll Pitcher whose predictions, some say, were sought by European royalty and whose fame made her the subject of poems, plays, and novels long after her death. 

Stretching back to the colonial era and covering the development and evolution of New England society through the beginning of the 21st century, this book captures the rebel spirit, prickly demeanors, and wily attitudes that have made the region the hotbed for oddity it is today.  This event is free and the program begins at 5:30 p.m. 

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street on the Essex waterfront and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum, located in the historic Steamboat Dock building, offers exhibits and programs about the history and environment of the Connecticut River.

For a full listing of Museum programs, visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.

Share

Ivoryton Village Farmers’ Market Opens for the Season on Saturdays on Ivoryton Green


IVORYTON — Summer’s back and so is the Ivoryton Farmers’ Market.  The Ivoryton Green will be bustling with vendors showcasing Connecticut-Grown produce and prepared foods. Local artisans and crafters will be displaying their latest creations and area musicians will be performing, live.

Brought to you by the Ivoryton Village Alliance, the market is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and runs weekly from June 16, through Sept.29. Everyone is invited to visit our village, shop the market and enjoy the free, live entertainment.

More information is available at www.ivorytonfarmersmarket.com or www.facebook.com/ivorytonfarmersmarket

Share

Deep River Congregational Rummage Sale Seeks Donations

DEEP RIVER — The Annual Rummage sale will be held inside at the Deep River Congregational Church on Saturday, Aug. 18, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a Preview Sale on Friday, Aug. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m.  
The church is seeking donations for the event beginning June 1.   The following items cannot be accepted:  large furniture, TVs and large appliances, car seats, cribs, books, clothing, shoes, VHS tapes or items that are in disrepair.  
Contact Cathy Smith for more information  at 860-767-1354 or smithcathleen@sbcglobal.net, or Kris, in the church office at 860-526-5045 or office.drcc@snet.net.
Share

Deep River Congregational Church Invites Vendors to Their August Flea Market

DEEP RIVER — The Annual Flea Market will be held at the Deep River Congregational Church on Saturday, Aug. 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The Market will be held on the church lawn and on Marvin Field, located on Rte. 154, just as you enter Deep River from the South.  
Spaces are 20 x 20 foot and are available for $30 and can be reserved by contacting Kris in the church office at 860-526-5045 or office.drcc@snet.net as soon as possible since the 80 spaces go quickly.   
Registration forms and a map of the spaces can also be found on our web site, www.deeprivercc.org.
 
Share

Mr. Gym Visits Deep River Library, June 28

DEEP RIVER — Get movin’ and groovin’ to the musical stylings of Mr. Gym on Thursday, June 28, at 10:30 am.

Mr. Gym, aka Chris Keithan, is a certified gym/health teacher with 15 years experience in elementary education. Kids will enjoy his interactive music and parents will love his positive messages about health, fitness and fun.

This program is geared for children age 2 – 8. Free and open to all, no registration required.

Programs are sponsored by the Friends of the Deep River Public Library.

For more information, visit http://deepriverlibrary.accountsupport.com and click on the monthly calendar, or call the library at 860-526-6039 during service hours: Monday 1 – 8pm; Tuesday 10 am – 6 pm; Wednesday 12:30 – 8 pm; Thursday and Friday 10 am – 6 pm; and Saturday10 am – 5 pm.

Share

Seeking Golfers, Sponsors for Ädelbrook Golf for Kids Tournament

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Share

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Share

Middlesex Hospice & Palliative Care Seeks New Volunteers

AREAWIDE — At Middlesex Hospice and Palliative Care, volunteers are an integral part of the interdisciplinary team, reaching out to patients and families as they cope with the challenges of terminal illness. Volunteers are eligible to begin after completing 12 hours of classes and a 12-hour mentorship on our inpatient hospice unit.

Training is held on Saturday April 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and April 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Both sessions are mandatory. The Hospice is specifically looking for individuals who would like to work in homecare and nursing homes visiting patients. 

For more information and to begin the application process, contact Jackie Orlowski, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, at (860) 358-6955 or jaclyn.orlowski@midhosp.org at your earliest convenience.

Share

Rebooting New England: What Do YOU Think? Op-Ed from SECoast

On Tuesday, Feb. 27 we [SECoast] participated in a round table in New Haven hosted by New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, with 40 or so others to discuss alternatives to NEC Future high-speed rail planning. Attendees included administrators from Yale and Trinity college, Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) head Kristina Newman-Scott, former CTDOT Commissioner Emil Frankel, engineer Foster Nichols, among others. The project is being organized by former RPA head Bob Yaro, and former DECD head Kip Bergstrom. You can download the 50 mb 200+ page document here.

In the most simple terms, the plan resembles NEC Future Alternative 3.2, with high-speed rail service heading north, rather than east from New Haven, and then east from Hartford, through Storrs, to Providence. Yaro and Bergstrom are specifically offering “Rebooting New England,” as they call it, as an opportunity to avoid the impacts (and opposition) through southeastern Connecticut and southern Rhode Island to NEC Future planning. It also includes the audacious idea of a tunnel across the Sound.  Here’s an illustration:

And while NEC Future was tailored for the needs of the largest cities along the Northeast Corridor, Yaro and Bergstrom have rather crafted a plan which also benefits inland and mid-sized cities along the corridor, by drawing from similar efforts in Great Britain to connect Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Hull and Newcastle, in the north, to London.

You can find an hour-long video presentation of the project from last July to the Lincoln Institute here. Given the current lack of funding, it’s an ambitious plan, but a serious one, worth serious consideration. SECoast’s Gregory Stroud will be meeting with project leaders again on Thursday for further discussions. In the meantime, I’d encourage you to take a look at the project, and tell us what you think.

About those Transit hearings…

With Connecticut’s Special Transportation Fund on the verge of insolvency, and the Malloy administration proposing a first wave of drastic cuts, and fare increases, to train and bus service to take effect on July 1, [detailed here], the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) has been holding hearings over the last three weeks across Connecticut, and (more surprisingly) in Massachusetts.

SECoast board and staff members attended a February 28 hearing in New London, where a diverse group of 50 or so members of the public — young and old, poor and well-to-do, African-American, Asian-American, Latino, and White — offered relatively muted criticism of proposed fare increases, together with broad and pointed opposition to proposed service cuts. [Take a look at Kim Drelich’s  coverage for The Day here].

In turn, CTDOT commissioner James Redeker presented a persuasive case for increased revenues and investments, including two-cents yearly increases over seven years to the gasoline tax, and new tolling along the state’s major roadways, to avoid these unsustainable cuts to transportation.

This all made for good theater for the Malloy administration, but also missed an essential purpose of such hearings, which is not just to allow the public the chance to air its grievances, but also to take part meaningfully in the decision-making process. As far as the latter goes, meaningful public participation requires a level of transparency which has been lacking in the materials provided. And we have significant concerns that these proposals have been presented as simply mandated, rather than as the result of limited, but real choices made behind closed doors.

In much this vein, RiverCOG executive director Sam Gold briefly outlined lengthy written comments and opposition to the proposed cuts. Gold questioned the fairness of cuts to towns like Old Saybrook, which played by the rules, embraced CTDOT priorities, and heavily invested in transit-oriented development (TOD). Gold further questioned the priorities and motivation of CTDOT cuts which would spare CTDOT’s own CTTransit, while falling heavily on towns like New London with municipal-supported (and controlled) transit. We agree.

In contrast to an earlier hearing in Stamford, where elected officials have faced criticism for cutting a lengthy line to present comments, few elected officials turned up in New London. State Rep. Devin Carney, ranking member on the Connecticut General Assembly Transportation Committee, was a notable exception.

We strongly encourage you to write to CTDOT by March 16 with your comments. Just click here.

Widening I-95

On Feb. 22, as part of a larger coordinated rollout by the Malloy administration of revenue proposals, announced project cuts, service cuts, and fare increases, CTDOT reintroduced targeted plans to widen I-95 through Fairfield County and southeastern Connecticut. Kim Drelich covers the announcement for The Day, here, you can also find coverage in the Hartford Courant, and in the Yale Daily News here.

While we appreciate the need to improve safety and reduce congestion on I-95, we have several concerns about the announcement. Most importantly, whether you are for or against proposals to widen I-95, by failing to release the actual studies, and by providing the public with only summary findings, CTDOT is depriving the public of a chance to meaningfully participate in a decision on the topic.  In southeastern Connecticut, we are left to wonder whether this latest plan differs materially from earlier planning proposed in 2005, which would require significant takings and environmental impacts. In Fairfield County, we are left to wonder about the impacts to the densely settled corridor.

In the case of the National Historic Landmark Bush-Holley house for example, it appears that while keeping to the existing right of way, and to CTDOT property, such widening could still significantly impact properties alongside the corridor, with enormous potential impacts to the property, and to ongoing projects  by the Greenwich Historical Society.

Take a look at a graphic we produced by cross-referencing the released graph of potential land use, with project parameters, and mileage markers:

We are of course encouraged that the plan keeps as much as possible to the existing right of way, and to CTDOT property, but we’d like to know much more about the actual impacts and plans for construction at the Mianus river crossing in particular. Such plans are simply too important to made behind closed doors, and without timely and sufficient public scrutiny. And they obviously make little or no sense when paired with transit cuts that would send thousands of additional commuters onto I-95.

SECoast has submitted a Freedom of Information Request to obtain planning documents. We [SECoast] will let you know, when we know more about these plans …

Editor’s Note: We also urge readers to write to CTDOT by March 16 with your thoughts on the first wave of drastic cuts, and fare increases, to train and bus service to take effect on July 1.  Just click 

Share

CT DOT Schedules Public Hearings Tomorrow in Chester & New London on Proposed Rate Hikes, Service Reductions for Local Bus, Rail, Ferry Services

AREAWIDE — The Connecticut Department of Transportation will conduct public hearings on proposed public transit fare increases for bus, rail and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit services; and proposed service reductions to the New Haven Line, New Canaan Line, Danbury Line, Waterbury Line and Shore Line East rail services.
The nearest hearing to the ValleyNewsNow.com coverage area on these proposed changes will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 28, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the New London City Hall Council Chambers, 181 State St.  The snow date is Wednesday, March 7, at the same time and location.  There are also hearings scheduled at New Haven (2/20) and Hartford (2/22.)

Additionally, information meetings will be held on proposed Connecticut River ferry fare increases.  The hearing for those will also be on Wednesday, Feb. 28, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Chester Town Hall Conference Room, 203 Middlesex Ave., Chester. The snow date is Tuesday, March 6, at the same time and location.

No bus or ADA paratransit services reductions are proposed at this time.

If approved, a rail fare increase would take effect in three phases:

  • 10 percent on July 1, 2018
  • 5 percent on July 1, 2020
  • 5 percent on July 1, 2021, for a cumulative total of 21.28 percent.

A 14.3 percent, or 25-cent, bus fare increase would take effect on July 1, 2018.

Rail service reductions would also take effect on or about July 1, 2018; no bus service changes are proposed at this time.

A $1 increase in the car fare for the Rocky Hill-Glastonbury and Chester-Hadlyme ferries is also proposed.

The rail service proposals include significant reductions to off-peak and weekend rail services on the New Canaan, Danbury and Waterbury branch rail lines, and elimination of off-peak and weekend service as well as significant reductions in peak period service on Shore Line East.

Proposed Bus Fare Increases (pdf)

Proposed Rail Fare Increases

   New Haven Line Proposed Fares to/from Grand Central Terminal – July 2018 (pdf)

   New Haven Line Proposed Fares to/from Grand Central Terminal – July 2020 (pdf)

   New Haven Line Proposed Fares to/from Grand Central Terminal – July 2021 (pdf)

   New Haven Line Proposed Intermediate Station Fares – July 2018 (pdf)

   New Haven Line Proposed Intermediate Station Fares – July 2020 (pdf)

   New Haven Line Proposed Intermediate Station Fares – July 2021 (pdf)

   New Haven Line UniTicket Proposed Fares 2018-2021 (pdf)

   Shore Line East and UniRail Proposed Fares – July 2018 (pdf)

   Shore Line East and UniRail Proposed Fares – July 2020 (pdf)

   Shore Line East and UniRail Proposed Fares – July 2021 (pdf)

   Hartford Line Proposed Fares – July 2018

   Hartford Line Proposed Fares – July 2020

   Hartford Line Proposed Fares – July 2021

Proposed Rail Service Reductions

   New Haven Line and Branch Line Weekday Service Reductions – July 2018 (pdf)

   New Haven Line and Branch Line Weekend Service Reductions – July 2018 (pdf)

   Shore Line East Service Reductions – July 2018 (pdf)

Proposed Ferry Fare Increase (pdf)

Service and Fare Equity (SAFE) Analysis (pdf) (available 2/20/18)

Public hearings on the proposed bus and rail fare increases and rail service reductions, and informational meetings on ferry fare increases, will be held as follows:

In case of inclement weather, public hearings or informational meetings that need to be re-scheduled will be announced through local media and on the CTDOT website at www.ct.gov/dot

At these hearings, CTDOT will provide information and accept public comments about the fare and service proposals and the Service and Fare Equity (SAFE) Analysis.  The SAFE Analysis evaluates the proposed changes to determine if they will cause a disparate impact to minority populations or have a disproportionate burden on low income populations.

The proposed fare increases and service reductions may be viewed on the Department’s website at www.ct.gov/dot/farecomments. The Service and Fare Equity (SAFE) Analysis is available for public review as of Friday, Feb. 16. Note the SAFE will not be available until Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Written comments on the proposed fare changes must be received by March 9, 2018 at COMMENT ON PROPOSED FARE AND SERVICE CHANGES, Bureau of Public Transportation, P.O. Box 317546, Newington, CT 06131-7546 or via e-mail to dot.farecomments@ct.gov

The meeting facilities are ADA accessible. Language assistance may be requested by contacting the Department’s Office of Rail at (203) 497-3374 at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting. Persons with a hearing and/or speech disability may dial 711 for Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS). Language assistance is provided at no cost to the public, and efforts will be made to respond to timely requests for assistance. 

Share

Wayne Eisenbaum Charitable Foundation Donates $20,000 to Operation Fuel

OLD SAYBROOK — The Wayne Eisenbaum Charitable Foundation, of Old Saybrook, has donated $20,000 to Operation Fuel for energy assistance.

Operation Fuel is a statewide nonprofit organization that provides emergency energy assistance year-round to lower-income working families and individuals, the elderly, and disabled individuals who are in financial crisis.

Individuals who need energy assistance should call 211.

For more information on Operation Fuel or to make a donation, visit www.operationfuel.org.

Share

New Book Club to Start at Deep River Public Library, Welcomes Members

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Public Library is looking for a few good readers!

The Library is forming a new reading group to be facilitated by members, to meet once a month in the reading room. Participants will take turns each month, choosing a book and leading the discussion. This is a great opportunity to meet and mingle with other members of the community and enjoy meaningful chats centered on topical books. The library can request holds for members through its consortium, Bibliomation.

If you are interested in joining, email the library at: deepriverpubliclibrary@gmail.com and let us know your name, if your prefer Monday or Wednesday evening and the types of books you’re most interested in reading.

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

Share

The End of an Era … but the Journey Continues: Jeff Andersen Retires From the FloGris Museum After 41 Years

Retiring Florence Griswold Museum Director Jeff Andersen stands between State Senator Paul Formica (left) and State Rep. Devin Carney holding the State Citation with which the two legislators had presented him.

OLD LYME — There wasn’t a parking spot to be found Sunday afternoon at the Florence Griswold Museum, nor come to that at the Lyme Art Association. And the reason?  Despite torrential rain, it seemed as if the whole town had come out to say a fond farewell to Jeff Andersen, the much beloved Director of the Florence Griswold Museum, who was retiring after an amazing 41 years in that position.

Jeff Anderson stands with Charter Trustee George Willauer and New York Times best-selling author Luanne Rice alongside the Willard Metcalf painting, “Kalmia,” which the board has now dedicated to Andersen in honor of his 41 years service.

The Museum hosted a wonderful party to celebrate Jeff and his wife, Maureen McCabe, and both Marshfield House and the tent situated in the courtyard outside were packed almost to capacity. Federal, state and local dignitaries were there along with Museum trustees, staff, volunteers, friends and pretty much anyone who had ever had a connection with Jeff, Maureen or the Museum — well over 400 people in total.

The formal segment of the event was emceed by Charter Trustee Jeff Cooley, who opened the proceedings by introducing Senator Richard Blumenthal. Describing the Florence Griswold as “a world-class Museum,” Blumenthal went on to present Andersen with a Certificate of Recognition from the US Senate, which he noted to considerable laughter, “was approved by an overwhelming bi-partisan vote.” He thanked Andersen warmly for, “Your immense public service … and your values.”

State Rep. Devin Carney says, “It all started with just one … and that was, you, Jeff.”

State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th) and State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) stepped up next the podium and Carney noted poignantly, “It all started with just one … and that was you, Jeff.”  Carney was referring to the fact that 41 years ago, Andersen was the Museum’s first — and only – employee whereas now the Museum has 20 staff, 255 volunteers, 3,000 members and 80,000 visitors annually.

Saying, “I truly want to thank you, Jeff, for doing so much good for the economy as a whole,” Carney pointed out that many of the visitors to the Museum, “come, stay and shop,” in Old Lyme and the surrounding area, adding, “You did a great job at the Museum … but you also stopped a train!”  This latter was a reference to the Federal Railroad Administration’s proposal to route a high speed train through the center of Old Lyme, which Andersen actively worked to defeat.

State Sen. Paul Formica reads the Citation from the state in honor of Jeff Andersen.

Formica then presented Andersen with a Citation from the Connecticut House and Senate, which recognized Andersen for his “passionate dedication directing, restoring and revitalizing the Florence Griswold Museum,” noting, “For 40 years you shared your vision and inspired countless volunteers and workers to help fulfill this vision expanding exhibits, gardens and collections making it into the reputable attraction we know today.” The Citation concluded, “We want to thank you for your tireless leadership and congratulate you on your retirement.”

Following the legislators was Old Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, who immediately confessed, “Frankly, I have to say I didn’t think there would ever be a time when Jeff wouldn’t be here.”  She continued, “It’s good for him [Jeff] and all of us to be aware of all you have done.  You’re part of our DNA, you’re the heart of our culture,” and then announced that the Town of Old Lyme was declaring Feb. 11 as “Jeff Andersen Day,”  adding to loud applause and much laughter that it was a unanimous vote.

Andersen mingled freely with the more than 400 guests gathered to say their goodbyes.

She read a Proclamation from the Town which stated, “Since he began working with the Museum in 1976, the Florence Griswold Museum has grown from a small seasonal house museum where he was the only staff member to a nationally recognized center for American art.” The Proclamation also noted that, “Jeff is recognized today as the pre-eminent scholar on the historic Lyme Art Colony … and has helped grow the Museum’s modest collection of works of American Impressionism into a deep and distinguished regional collection of American art.”  Describing Andersen as a “visionary Leader,” with a “thoughtful devotion to excellence,” Reemsnyder concluded, still reading from the Proclamation, that Andersen’s, “tireless advocacy for the Museum and its uniquely Connecticut story has transformed the Florence Griswold Museum into one of the state’s most important and beloved cultural destinations.”

Jeff Cooley (center) emceed thw formal proceedings at the party. His wife Betsy stands to his left.

Charter Trustees George Willauer and Cooley then unveiled the beautiful 1905 painting titled, “Kalmia,” by Willard L. Metcalf to which a plaque had been attached stating that it now honored Andersen’s 41 years of service during which he “transformed” the Museum “through his unswerving devotion to preserving the legacy of the Lyme Art Colony.”

Jeff Andersen addresses the at capacity audience.

A clearly emotional Andersen then addressed the audience, which by now was overflowing the tent, saying simply, “We are feeling the love …”  He gave a long list of thank you’s, noting that he and his wife had, “felt such affection and regard since announcing his retirement.” Andersen then shared his opinion that, “whatever you give to the Museum – whether time, talent or money – it is returned to you many fold.”  He said, “Not many get the opportunity to have a career in one place [in his case, from age 23 to 64] and for that I am deeply grateful and humble.  Stressing, “Be assured the future is bright,” he commented almost wistfully, “What an incredible journey this has been … but the journey continues.”

Jeff Andersen and his wife Maureen McCabe applaud the pianist after he played a tune to which they had danced together at the very end of the party.

And with that, Cooley proposed a toast to Jeff and Maureen, glasses were raised, Prosecco was drunk and then vigorous applause and loud cheers erupted all around.

Florence Griswold Museum docent Linda Ahnert points out a detail from the newspaper cutting to fellow doscents.  The cutting announced Andersen’s arrival as the Museum’s first director — and then only employee — 41 years ago.

We here at LymeLine.com can only add our deep and personal thanks to Jeff and Maureen for an extraordinary career in which so much given with such incredible warmth and humility.  Rep. Carney said it best so we’ll end by echoing his words, “The Florence Griswold is truly a treasure, but so are you … Miss Florence would be really proud of you.”

Share

Special Olympics CT Winter Games Offer an Action-Packed Weekend of Competition, Feb. 24-25

AREAWIDE — Celebrate the joy and spirit of sports competition and Special Olympics’ 50th Anniversary at the 2018 Special Olympics Connecticut Winter Games, which will be held at multiple venues in Hartford County, Saturday, Feb. 24, and Sunday, Feb. 25. Winter Games offers athletes of all abilities from across the state the opportunity to compete in sports with their peers and teammates after a season of training and preparation.

Winter Games weekend is presented by Eversource Energy – a sponsor of the event for 28 years – and all events are free and open to the public.

For more information, visit soct.org, email specialolympicsct@soct.org or call 203-230-1201.

Winter Games sports, locations and times* include:
Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding
Location: Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort, 99 Powder Hill Road, Middlefield
• Opening Ceremonies – 9:30 a.m. (Saturday)
• Competition – 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Saturday); 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Sunday)
• Awards – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Saturday); 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Sunday)

Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
Location: Eversource, 1985 Blue Hills Avenue Extension (Route 187), Windsor
• Parade of Athletes – 9:45 a.m. (Saturday)
• Opening Ceremonies – 10 a.m. (Saturday)
• Competition – 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Saturday); 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Sunday)
• Awards – 12:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Saturday); 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Sunday)

Figure Skating and Speed Skating
Location: International Skating Center of Connecticut, 1375 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury
• Opening Ceremonies – 10 a.m. (Saturday)
• Competition for Figure Skating – 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Saturday); 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Sunday)
• Awards for Figure Skating – 1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Sunday)
• Competition for Speed Skating – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Saturday); 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Sunday)
• Awards for Speed Skating – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Sunday)

Unified Floor Hockey and Skills
Location: Pratt & Whitney Hangar, East Hartford
Located off Silver Lane
• Opening Ceremonies – 9 a.m. (Saturday)
• Competition – 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Saturday); 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Sunday)
• Awards – 12 to 3:30 p.m. (Sunday)

Gymnastics
Location: Farmington Valley Gymnastics Center, 5 Northwest Drive, Plainville (Sunday only)
• Opening Ceremonies: 10:30 a.m. (Sunday)
• Competition: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Sunday)
• Awards: 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. (Sunday)

As part of Special Olympics’ Healthy Athletes Program, athletes will have the opportunity to participate in activities that teach good nutrition, proper hydration and improving fitness at the Floor Hockey venue on Saturday and Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing on Sunday.

Winter Games weekend is made possible through the support of dedicated volunteers and coaches and the generosity of sponsors. In addition to Eversource, sponsors include Adams Hometown Markets, Griffin Industrial Realty and Powder Ridge – Gold Sponsors, and Atlas Copco, Ferry Law Group, Henkel, MDC, Michels Corporation, Otis Elevator Company, and Pratt & Whitney – all Bronze Sponsors. Farmington Valley Gymnastics and Olsen Construction are Supporting Sponsors and iHeart Radio Connecticut and NBC Connecticut, Media Sponsors.

Special Olympics Connecticut provides year-round sports training and competitions for over 12,000 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 172 countries around the world by promoting good health and fitness and inspiring inclusion and respect for all people, on and off the playing field. (www.soct.org) 

Partner Sponsors: Adams Hometown Markets/IGA Hometown Supermarkets, Dream Ride, ESPN, Eversource Energy, The Golisano Foundation, Law Enforcement Torch Run, NBC Connecticut, TD Bank, United Technologies and WWE.

Year-Round Suppliers: Adams Hometown Markets/IGA Hometown Supermarkets, Campus Customs, The Coca-Cola Company, Connecticut Portable Storage/PODS, Crystal Rock Water and Coffee Company, Dunkin’ Donuts, Guida’s Milk and Ice Cream, Lamar Outdoor Advertising, Marcus Communications, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch Community Service and WORX.

Share

A Rally to Remember — Women (Mostly) Gather to Call Attention to Power of Peaceful Protest

Three generations fighting for freedom: from left to right, Dale Griffith of Ivoryton takes time out from the rally for a photo with her five-year-old granddaughter, Eva Levonick, and her daughter (Eva’s mom) Becky Petersen, both of Old Lyme.

EAST HADDAM — More than 400 warmly dressed people gathered Saturday morning under clear skies on the forecourt of the Two Wrasslin’ Cats cafe in East Haddam to stand in solidarity with all the other Sister Marches taking place all over the country … and beyond.  The event was organized by Together We Rise CT (TWRCT) and facilitated by Theresa Govert, founder and chair of TWRCT.

Govert, pictured above, spoke passionately to the assembled crowd, which spanned both age and gender, reminding members that it was precisely one year since President Trump took office and to look back on all the things his presidency had changed and to be cognizant of all the things that are in line for change.  She emphasized the need at all times for peaceful protest and was emphatic about never responding to violence.

Govert is a recently returned United States Peace Corps Volunteer. She served for three years in Botswana, where she worked with her community to organize thousands for a national campaign to end gender-based violence, started a small business as an alternative economic employment opportunity for female sex workers and presented to participants of the White House Mapathon on the importance of free, accessible data.

In 2016, she was selected to receive the prestigious John F. Kennedy Service Award, awarded every five years to six individuals.

Christine Palm of Chester gave an impassioned speech to the attentive crowd.

The keynote speaker was Chester resident Christine Palm, who is Women’s Policy Analyst for the General Assembly’s Commission on Women, Children and Seniors and also principal of Sexual Harassment Prevention, LLC.

Palm opened by reminding those gathered that, “One year ago, many people predicted the Women’s March would fizzle out — that we couldn’t sustain the momentum,” but then pointed out that, in fact, the opposite has happened, and, “In this past year, it’s only grown broader and deeper and more ferocious and more inclusive, and now nothing coming out of Washington escapes our notice, or our resistance.”

Noting, “It has not escaped our notice that this administration is defunding programs for veterans, kicking brave transgendered soldiers out of the military, and attacking women’s reproductive rights  that have been in place for decades,” Palm added, “We have paid attention to the fracking, back-stabbing … money-grubbing and gerrymandering,” before declaring, “The Women’s March has grown to encompass it all.”

Recalling the words of the renowned African-American civil rights lawyer Constance Baker Motley, who lived locally in Chester, Palm said, “There appears to be no limit as to how far the women’s revolution will take us,” pointing out, “That’s why we’re all still here, a year later.”

After thanking all those attending for “paying attention to what’s going on in our fractured, frightened world,” and acknowledging the work of all “the new, well organized progressive groups,” Palm expressed her gratitude to, “the hard-core folks who have kept vigil at this enlightened business, Two Wrasslin’ Cats, through rain and sweltering heat, every Saturday, for a year.”

Palm urged everyone not to give up, commenting on the fact that for the older people present, “it seems, we’ve been boycotting, and protesting, and working to right what is wrong,” for a very long time, but she noted, “We are buoyed not only by one another, but in remarkable new ways, by a smart, hardworking and committed group of young people.”  She thanked the Millennials for their “passion and energy,” which she determined, “cannot be overestimated.”

Palm gave a list of practical steps out of which she proposed everyone present could find at least one to follow.  Her suggestions included, “If you’re old enough to vote, do it. Don’t forget the municipal elections, which  have been lost and won by a handful of votes. If you are unaffiliated, please consider registering with a party so you can vote in the primary,” and “If you have a driver’s license and a car, offer to drive an elderly voter to the polls in November.”

She continued, “If you have any disposable income, support candidates you believe in. If you can walk, knock on doors. If you can hear, make telephone calls. If you like to cook, make food for a house party. If you speak a language other than English, offer to translate for an immigrants’ rights group. If you can write, pen an op-ed or a letter to the editor. If you teach, welcome difficult conversations in the classroom.”

Finally, she offered the idea, “If you can speak into a mic, testify at the Capitol,” before closing with the rousing call to all to, “Stay vigilant.  But stay hopeful, too,” and …

Pink “pussy” hats were much in evidence at the rally.

Share

Volunteers Needed to Help Valley Shore Residents With Literacy Challenges

AREAWIDE — Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore, CT, Inc. is a private non-profit organization.  Its mission is to train tutors to help residents of the Valley Shore area who wish to improve their reading, writing or speaking English to improve their life and work skills.  This one-to-one instruction is held confidential and is completely without charge to the student.

Tutor training is a 14-hour program conducted over seven sessions held each spring and again in the fall of every year.  The next training session begins March 22 and runs through May 15. Workshop Leaders have developed a comprehensive program that provides prospective tutors the skills and resources to help them succeed.

A background in education is not necessary – just a desire to tutor and a commitment to helping a student improve their skill in basic literacy or English as a Second Language over the period of one year after the completion of training.

If you are interested in becoming a tutor, contact the Literacy Volunteers office in the lower level of the Westbrook Public Library by phone at (860) 399-0280 or by e-mail at jargersinger@lvvs.org .  Registration for the spring session is open now.

Share

Masonicare Acquires Chester Village West, Community to now be called “Masonicare at Chester Village”


CHESTER —
Masonicare, the state’s largest not-for-profit provider of senior healthcare and retirement living, has acquired Chester Village West, pictured above, from Iowa-based Life Care Services (LCS), an acquisition which fits seamlessly into Masonicare’s plan for sustained, smart growth and future success in Connecticut.

A Life Plan/Continuing Care Retirement Community set on 55 acres in the Connecticut River town of Chester, the community consists of 105 cottages and apartments.  “The addition of Chester Village to our organization is a win-win for all,” said Jon-Paul Venoit, President/CEO of Masonicare.  “We have extensive experience in the retirement living arena and our cultures are very similar.  We are retaining nearly all of their employees, and we expect to invest in some capital improvements on the campus as well.”

Hilde Sager, Vice President for Residential Services at Masonicare, added, “We’re delighted to welcome Chester Village West residents and staff into our Masonicare family.  We love the Chester area and look forward to Masonicare at Chester Village now being an integral part of the full continuum of senior care we are able to offer statewide.”   

Venoit noted that through its extensive continuum of care, Masonicare will be able to bring Assisted Living services to Chester Village residents as well as offer in-home care through its home care agencies. 

Masonicare’s continuum includes the 360-unit Ashlar Village in Wallingford, which is also a Life Plan/Continuing Care Retirement Community.  In April, Masonicare celebrated the grand opening of Masonicare at Mystic, a rental model with 179 Independent and Assisted Living apartments.

Editor’s Note: Masonicare affiliates include Masonicare Home Health & Hospice, Masonicare at Ashlar Village, Masonicare at Home, Masonicare at Mystic, Masonicare at Newtown, Masonicare Health Center and The Masonic Charity Foundation of Connecticut.

Share

Rebekah Beaulieu Appointed Director of the Florence Griswold Museum

Becky Beaulieu is the new Executive Director of the Florence Griswold Museum.

OLD LYME — The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Conn., has announced the appointment of Rebekah (Becky) Beaulieu as Director of the Museum. With a distinguished career that traverses both art museum and historic site administration, Beaulieu has most recently been the Associate Director of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine. She begins her new role on Feb. 19, 2018.

Beaulieu was selected from a highly qualified pool of candidates after a rigorous national search led by a committee of trustees. She follows Jeffrey Andersen, who has served as the Museum’s Director for the past 41 years. Beaulieu and Andersen will briefly work together in February to effect a smooth management transition.

“It was important for us to get this right,” states Ted Hamilton, President of the Museum’s Board of Trustees. “We’ve not had to look for a director in over 40 years and we were very fortunate to find a wonderful candidate that is such a good fit for the institution. Not only is Becky’s academic record outstanding, but she comes with the highest of recommendations as well. We’re all looking forward to welcoming her aboard.”

“I am thrilled to lead the Florence Griswold Museum into its next chapter,” notes Beaulieu. “The Museum has experienced tremendous growth during Jeff Andersen’s remarkable tenure, and I look forward to working with board, staff, and volunteers to continue its upward trajectory. It is my honor to join the Florence Griswold Museum family.”

As the Associate Director of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Beaulieu managed all administrative activities including staffing, finances, communications, visitor experience, and operations. Besides being well versed in the administration of an art museum, Beaulieu has experience managing historic sites. As the first Executive Director of the Winchester Historical Society (MA), Beaulieu managed operations for the Society and its cultural site, the Sanborn House Historical and Cultural Center. This breadth of experience makes her an exceptional fit for the Florence Griswold Museum.

The Museum has grown from an historic house museum to a place-based art museum featuring a modern gallery for temporary exhibitions of American art; education and landscape centers; and the National Historic Landmark Florence Griswold House (1817), interpreted today as the boarding house of the Lyme Art Colony. The Museum is located on thirteen acres along the Lieutenant River in Old Lyme.

“Becky is a consummate museum professional who understands well the value of cultural institutions in our communities,” states Anne Collins Goodyear and Frank H. Goodyear, Co-Directors of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. “As the Associate Director at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, she has played an important role in expanding the number of exhibitions and programs we offer and has worked closely with her colleagues to broaden access to the Museum and its collections. She will be greatly missed at Bowdoin. We wish her every success in this new chapter in her professional life and congratulate the Florence Griswold Museum on selecting a great new leader.”

Beaulieu brings an outstanding educational background to her new post.  She holds a B.A. in American Studies from George Washington University. She earned two Masters degrees, one in Art History and Museum Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and another in Arts Administration from Columbia University, before completing her Ph.D. in American and New England Studies at Boston University.

Beaulieu is committed to local community service. She serves as Trustee for the Pejepscot Historical Society in Brunswick, Maine and was appointed to the Public Arts Commission and Historical Commission Review Board there. Dedicated to the museum field as a whole, she is involved in numerous professional organizations. She serves as a board member of the New England Museum Association, a faculty member of the American Association for State and Local History’s Seminar for Historical Administration, and a Peer Reviewer for the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

In addition, she has been an Accreditation/MAP Peer Reviewer
for the American Alliance of Museums, where she is also a board member for the Historic Houses and Sites Network. “When I first met Becky, my impression was ‘this woman is one to watch,’” remembers Dawn Salerno, Deputy Director for Public Engagement & Operations at the Mystic Museum of Art. “The next year, I was recruiting her for the board of the New England Museum Association, where I’m thrilled to have her as a colleague. And now I couldn’t be happier to have her as a colleague in Connecticut.” Beaulieu and Salerno are working with Mark S. Gold as editors of The State of Museums: Voices from the Field, to be published in the fall of 2018 for the hundredth anniversary of the New England Museum Association.

Beaulieu has written, edited, or contributed to books and scholarly journals in her field. Besides her former position as the Managing Editor for Modern Intellectual History, an academic journal published by Cambridge University Press, Beaulieu has written Financial Fundamentals for Historic House Museums (2017), which outlines the basic tenets of organization and financial management for small museums. Stephanie Meeks, President and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has hailed this book as a “superb” contribution to the field.

“Becky values the identity of the Florence Griswold Museum as a place where art, nature, and history intersect,” remarks John E. Noyes, Chair of the Search Committee. “She also understands how important it is to grow, to reach new audiences, and to develop new initiatives.”

Looked to as a leader in the art and history communities, Beaulieu has spoken at local, regional, and national events, conferences, and symposia, including annual conferences of the New England Museum Association, the College Art Association, and the National Council for Public History.

Beaulieu will relocate to the area with her husband Patrick Ford.

A trustee-led search committee composed of eight members with diverse backgrounds in business, academia, and the arts led the process. The committee’s members were John E. Noyes (Chair), Andy Baxter, Jeffrey W. Cooley, David W. Dangremond, Frank W. (Ted) Hamilton, Andrea Griffis Inglis, Lee Pritchard, and Carolyn Wakeman. The search process was coordinated by Naree Viner, Principal, Nonprofit Practice, New York for the executive search firm Korn Ferry.

The Florence Griswold Museum has been called a “Giverny in Connecticut” by the Wall Street Journal, and a “must-see” by the Boston Globe. In addition to the restored Florence Griswold House, with its unique collection of painted doors and walls left by the members of the Lyme Art Colony, the Museum has renowned collections of American art, including the Hartford Steam Boiler Collection presenting three centuries of art associated with Connecticut. The Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, Connecticut. Visit FlorenceGriswoldMusuem.org for more information.

About the Bowdoin College Museum of Art
The collections of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art are among the most comprehensive of any college museum in the United States. The Museum is housed in the landmark Walker Art Building designed in 1894 by Charles Follen McKim, and features murals by John La Farge, Kenyon Cox, Elihu Vedder, and Abbott Thayer. The Museum is the centerpiece of Bowdoin’s vibrant arts and culture community and offers a wealth of academic and educational programs. Visit Bowdoin.edu/art-museum for more information.

Share

Despite Snow, Record Numbers Attend to View, Vote on Deep River Historical Society’s Holiday Trees

Church Street Child Care won the Deep River Historical Society’s 2017 Festival of Trees ‘Best of Show’ award with this delightfully decorated tree.

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Historical Society’s (DRHS) 5th Annual Festival of Trees, Traditions and Legends was held on Dec. 8 and 9in both the Stone House and Carriage Houses on 245 Main St. in Deep River.

Despite the snowstorm, which added a special winter wonderland atmosphere to the evening, a record attendance was recorded that came to vote and view the wonderful selection of trees and decorations for this year’s event. 

Voting was done by people’s choice in both Adult and Youth Categories and there was a Best of Show special ribbon award also.  The categories were Best Theme, Traditional and Most Creative Use of Materials. 

Trees were presented by different civic organizations in Deep River and youth groups.

Some visitors searched for the legends that were highlighted from the DRHS’s newest publication Deep River Stories.

Award winners:

Best of Show: Church Street Child Care     (see photo above)

First Place Ribbons: Adult Category

Best Theme: Deep River Democratic Town Committee

Most Traditional: Club 60

Most Creative: Deep River Democratic Town Committee

First Place Ribbons: Junior Category

Best Theme: Deep River Junior Ancient Fife & Drum Corps

Most Traditional: Deep River Junior Ancient Fife & Drum Corps

Most Creative: Deep River Congregational Church Green Team & Sunday School

Second Place Ribbons: Adult Category

Best Theme: Winthrop Cemetery Association

Most Traditional: Winthrop Cemetery Association

Most Creative: Deep River Garden Club

Second Place Ribbons: Junior Category

Best Theme: Girl Scouts

Most Traditional: Deep River Congregational Church Green Team & Sunday School

Most Creative: Deep River Junior Ancient Fife & Drum Corps

Third Place Ribbons: Adult Category

Best Theme: American Legion Post #61 and Deep River Ambulance (tied)

Most Traditional: Fountain Hill Cemetery Association

Most Creative: Winthrop Cemetery Association

Third Place Ribbons: Junior Category

Best Theme: Deep River Congregational Church Green Team and Sunday School

Most Traditional: Girl Scouts

Most Creative: Girl Scouts

Share

Chester Ornaments From Prior Years for Sale at Maple & Main

These wonderful Chester ornaments from prior years are for sale at maple & Main Gallery.

CHESTER — Each year for a number of years, a Chester artist designed a pewter ornament and a limited number were made and sold at this time of year to support local, non-profit organizations.

The last one was done in 2015, and there are no plans to continue the tradition, making the remaining ones definite collector items. Each one has the singular Chester seal, designed by Cummings and Good, on one side; the art on the other.

There are about 70 of these terrific treasures left from the various years, and they’re for sale at $10 each at Maple and Main Gallery while they last. They make excellent stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, additions to your Christmas tree and even classy pulls for window shades.

All the proceeds go to the Chester Merchants to help with their efforts on behalf of the town.

Maple and Main is open Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Share

Looking Ahead to 2020, CBSRZ Leaders Network With Thousands of Peers at URJ Biennial in Boston

CHESTER –  Leaders from Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ) in Chester will join 5,000 Jewish leaders for the 2017 Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Biennial, being held in Boston, Massachusetts, from Dec. 6-10.

The URJ Biennial is the largest Jewish religious gathering in North America. Clergy, professionals, lay leaders, educators, youth leaders, and high school and college students will come together to learn, pray, share ideas, network, celebrate, make Reform Movement policy, and create engagement opportunities for the 2 million people – representing nearly 900 Reform Jewish congregations in the U.S. and Canada – who comprise the Reform Jewish community.

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is one of 138 Reform Jewish congregations from across North America who will send a group delegation to the conference. Participants from 480+ congregations in 57 states/provinces will attend intensive leadership training and learning sessions about congregational life, designed to enrich personal skills and knowledge, and deliver tangible take-aways to bring back to their congregations.

Attendees may choose from more than 200 learning sessions from 400 expert presenters. Programming is organized within five intensive tracks that reflect the top priorities of the URJ’s bold 2020 Vision action plan: Strengthening Congregations, Audacious Hospitality, Tikkun Olam (social justice), Youth Engagement, and Transforming Texts (presented in partnership with the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion). View the detailed schedule.

“For clergy, synagogue professionals, and lay leaders, the URJ Biennial offers new and creative solutions about every aspect of congregational life,” said Chair of the URJ Biennial 2017 Luise Mann Burger. “Biennial is simply the best way for local leaders to learn from, share ideas, and network with peers and leading experts.”

“URJ Biennial is like a big family reunion – you get to learn, pray, share best principles, network, and catch up with 5000 of your closest Reform Jewish friends and colleagues,” shares Rabbi Marci Bellows, spiritual leader at CBSRZ. “I always return from Biennial feeling refreshed, as well as reinvigorated with new, creative programs, music, and other ideas for our wonderful congregants back at home.”

Biennial attendees will hear from a variety of speakers and expert practitioners, including:

  • Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren
  • Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker
  • Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, social justice leader of Moral Mondays, Repairers of the Breach
  • Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Michigan State University-Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative: her study exposed elevated lead blood levels in Flint children
  • David Grossman, Israeli author and activist, just named the winner of Man-Booker International Prize for Literature
  • Krista Tippett, host of On Being public radio show and podcast
  • Jodi Nussbaum, VP, Sesame Workshop
  • Rabbi Rick Jacobs, URJ President
  • Daryl Messinger, Chair of URJ North American Board of Trustees

Visit www.urj.org/biennial for event info. Use hashtag #URJBiennial. Follow the URJ on Facebook & Twitter.

 

For more information about URJ, visit www.URJ.org

Share

Deep River Re-Names Town Hall After Beloved First Selectman Dick ‘Smitty’ Smith

The plaque that dedicates the Deep River Town Hall to Richard H. Smith, known to all as ‘Smitty.’ The popular Deep River First Selectman, who had served in that role for 27 years, passed away unexpectedly in 2016.

DEEP RIVER — State Senator Art Linares (R-33rd) and State Representative Robert Siegrist (R-36th) attended the Deep River Town Hall renaming ceremony that took place on Tuesday, Nov. 28.

Deep River’s Town Hall is now named the Richard H. Smith Town Hall after Richard H. Smith, also known as ‘Smitty,’ who dedicated 27 years of service to the people of Deep River as First Selectman. Over 100 individuals attended the renaming ceremony and the Secretary of State Denise Merrill spoke about Smith’s service to the town of Deep River and State of Connecticut.

“Words cannot express how great of a man Mr. Smith was. He left a lasting mark on the town of Deep River that will live on for years to come,” said State Representative Robert Siegrist. “It was great to see so many people in attendance to support such an amazing guy. Elected officials, community activists and residents from all over came to honor Mr. Smith – and rightfully so. He left Deep River a better place, his ‘second home’ was the Town Hall and it’s only right to dedicate it to him.”

Sen. Linares (center) talks to Jim Olson (right) and another ceremony attendee.

“Dick Smith gave so much of himself to Deep River and its residents,” Sen. Linares said. “Naming the town hall after him is a perfect way to memorialize the impact he has had on the community.”

Richard H. Smith Town Hall, Democratic First Selectman of Deep River for 27 years passed away unexpectedly in 2016.

Sen. Linares represents the 33rd District communities of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook. State Rep. Siegrist represents the 36th District communities of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam.

Share

Letter From Paris: André Derain: Major Artist, “Fauvism” Champion Featured in Parisian Retrospective

Nicole Prévost Logan

André Derain usually evokes cheerful scenes of sailboats bobbing up and down in the bright colors of a Mediterranean fishing port.

Actually, Derain (1880-1954) is a complex artist, who had a strong influence on the evolving avant-garde movements at the start of the 20th century.  The Pompidou Center is currently holding a retrospective titled, “Derain – 1904-1914. The radical decade.”

The curator of the Pompidou exhibit, Cecile Debray, comments, “Derain is the founder with Matisse of Fauvism and an actor of Cezanne’s Cubism with Picasso.” Never before had the artist been attributed such a crucial role. Derain was not only the link between the masters — Gauguin and Van Gogh — and the next generation of artists, but also an explorer of new sources of inspiration, including primitive Italians, along with African and Oceanic art. 

To quote Gertrude Stein (the writer and art collector famous on the cultural Parisian scene in the 1920s and 1930s), “Derain was the Christopher Columbus of modern art, but it is the others who took advantage of the new continents”

Not interested in the career of engineer planned for him by his father, the young Derain preferred to spend all his time at The Louvre, copying  the classics. He shared a studio with his friend Vlaminck on the Chatou island northwest of Paris where he was born. His first paintings had as subjects the Seine river, its banks and bridges, and the activities of workers. He displayed a distinctive technique of fast brush touches, (slightly different from “pointillism“), innovative plunging views and cropping, which give  his works the spontaneity of photographic snapshots.

“Collioure, the drying of the sails'” by André Derain.

In the summer of 1905, he spent the summer in Collioure with Matisse and was dazzled by the Mediterranean light. Derain defined light as the negation of shadow.  He writes, “Colors become cartridges of dynamite casting off light.”  The room VII of the 1905 Salon d’Automne, called “la cage aux fauves,” caused a scandal, (fauves mean wild animals.)  In 1907, the Russian art collector Ivan Morozov acquired Derain’s paintings from the merchant Ambroise Vollard for the sum of 600 francs.

The following summer,  Derain continued to work with Matisse at l’Estaque, near Marseille. His compositions became more structured, with strong lines, volumes, perspectives and plans.  He still used arbitrary colors.   

‘London’ by Andre Derain.

During two visits to London, he became fascinated by the bustling traffic of barges and tugboats on the Thames. He used the puffs of smoke mixed with the mist to decline all shades of whites. He found a new inspiration in the representation of water and sky. The apotheosis is an almost abstract sunset with the sun breaking through the dark clouds as if putting the sky on fire.

In 1910, Derain is part of the Cubist movement as shown in his representation of the village of Cagnes – an assemblage of cubes with red roofs scattered on a hilly landscape made of geometric lines and volumes of dense vegetation.

The versatility of Derain seems to be boundless. He played the piano, was  a professional photographer, and enjoyed fast cars (he owned 11 Bugattis.)  Using his virtuosity as a draughtsman, he created illustrations for humor publications along with stage and costume designs (for Diaghilev and the Russian ballets.)

The dance” by André Derain.

Before leaving the exhibit, the visitor will be stunned by The Dance, 1906 – a large (185 x 228 cm) decorative composition of three women undulating in a luxuriant forest.  The work is rarely seen, since it belongs to a private collection.  Derain was inspired by a poem by Apollinaire and called it L’Enchanteur pourrissant (the rotting magician) about three fairies looking for Merlin’s tomb. The gestures of the dancers are reminiscent of Egyptian and Indian art, and could have inspired Nijinsky’s choreography. The mysterious vegetation and the hidden meaning of a snake and a multicolored parrot infuse the ritual scene with symbolism.

Editor’s Note: This is the opinion of Nicole Prévost Logan.

Nicole Prévost Logan

About the author: Nicole Prévost Logan divides her time between Essex and Paris, spending summers in the former and winters in the latter. She writes a regular column for us from her Paris home where her topics will include politics, economy, social unrest — mostly in France — but also in other European countries. She also covers a variety of art exhibits and the performing arts in Europe. Logan is the author of ‘Forever on the Road: A Franco-American Family’s Thirty Years in the Foreign Service,’ an autobiography of her life as the wife of an overseas diplomat, who lived in 10 foreign countries on three continents. Her experiences during her foreign service life included being in Lebanon when civil war erupted, excavating a medieval city in Moscow and spending a week under house arrest in Guinea.

Share

Heated Boat Storage Facility Now Open at Chester Point Marina, CT.

CHESTER –  Over the past five years, the marina industry has been sailing along with increased revenue growth and rising profit. While most marinas cater to small boats and recreational boaters, Chester Point Marina is now providing heated storage for larger yachts with their newly completed 15,000-sq. ft. boat storage facility. The largest of its kind on the Connecticut River, this storage facility is 150’ deep.

Pelletier Construction Management joined by Butler Manufacturing designed the facility that met the needs of the marina and their customers. The new facility is designed to enable boat travel lifts to enter and store full- size yachts within the new structure. The innovative pile-supported new design was engineered to withstand hurricane force wind loads and associated potential storm surge.

The demand for boat storage has increased due to rising disposable income, recreational expenditures and the number of boat owners.

Share

Garden Club Decorates Essex for the Holidays

Hard at work on decorations for the Town of Essex are, from left to right, Diane Sexton, Pat Mather and Renate Houchin.

ESSEX — In preparation for the holidays, members  of the Essex Garden Club decorated merchant window boxes,  and tubs of the villages of Essex using a variety of evergreen cuttings from members and other generous donors from the community.

Decorating the “Silent Policeman” are, from left to right, Gay Thorn, DeeDee Charnok and Sandy Meister.

The “Silent Policeman” has been decorated with layers of evergreens, berries and lights. The gazebo also has been decorated with garlands and lights.

The Essex Garden Club has helped the town put on a festive face for Trees in the Rigging on Nov. 26, and the Holiday Stroll on Dec. 1.

Share

It’s Thanksgiving … so Let’s Talk Turkey

As you busy yourself making plans for Thursday’s feast, we are pleased to republish a topical article about the evolution of this quintessential American meal that our good friend — and wonderful writer — Linda Ahnert of Old Lyme wrote for us back in 2007.

Who Doesn’t Love Thanksgiving?

Giving thanks_bookA few years ago, a book entitled “Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving Recipes and History, from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie” was published.  The co-authors are Kathleen Curtin, food historian at the Plimoth Plantation, Mass., and Sandra L. Oliver, food historian and publisher of the newsletter “Food History News.”

The book is a fascinating look at how an autumnal feast evolved into a “quintessential American holiday.”

Most Americans, introduced to the story of the Pilgrims and Indians during childhood, assume there is a direct link between the traditional holiday menu and the first Thanksgiving.  But we learn from the book that many of those food items—such as mashed potatoes and apple pie—were simply impossible in Plymouth, Mass., in 1621.  Potatoes were not introduced to New England until much later and those first settlers did not yet have ovens to bake pies.

What we do know about the bill of fare at the first celebration in 1621 comes from a letter written by colonist Edward Winslow to a friend in England:  “Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors.”

Later 90 Indians joined the party with “their great king Massasoit whom for three days we entertained and feasted.”  Then the Indians “went out and killed five deer which they brought to the plantation.”

So venison was a principal food on the menu.  It also seems safe to assume that mussels, clams, and lobsters (all in plentiful supply) were served as well.   According to other journals of the colonists, the “fowl” that Winslow described were probably ducks and geese.  But wild turkeys were also bountiful in 1621, and so it is very likely that they were on the Pilgrims’ table.  Thank goodness for that.

Throughout the New England colonies, it became common to proclaim a day of thanksgiving sometime in the autumn.  In period diaries, there are many descriptions of food preparation—such as butchering and pie baking—followed by the notation that “today was the general thanksgiving.”

By the 19th century, Americans were taking the idea of a “thanksgiving” to a whole new level.  The religious connotations were dropping away in favor of a holiday celebrating family and food.  Roast turkey had become the centerpiece of these fall celebrations.

Photo by Peter Lloyd on Unsplash

Turkeys, of course, were native to North America.  (Benjamin Franklin, in a letter, had even proposed the turkey as the official U.S. bird!)  And turkey was considered to be a fashionable food back in the mother country.  Just think of the significance of turkey in Charles’ Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”  When Scrooge wakes up in a joyful mood on Christmas morning, he calls to a boy in the street to deliver the prize turkey in the poulterer’s shop to the Cratchit family.  (Earlier in the story, the poor Cratchits were dining on goose.)

It is thanks to a New England woman that Thanksgiving became an American holiday.  Sarah Hale was a native of New Hampshire and the editor of “Godey’s Lady’s  Book,”  a popular women’s magazine.  She lobbied for years for a national observance of Thanksgiving.  She wrote editorials and sent letters to the president, all state governors, and members of Congress.

Finally, in 1863, she convinced Abraham Lincoln that a national Thanksgiving Day might help to unite the Civil War-stricken country.   The fourth Thursday in November was now officially on the American calendar.

Connecticut’s own Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote this description of a New England Thanksgiving in one of her novels—“But who shall . . .describe the turkey, and chickens, and chicken pies, with all that endless variety of vegetables which the American soil and climate have contributed to the table . . . After the meat came the plum-puddings, and then the endless array of pies. . .”

The autumnal feast became a national holiday, but each region of the country put its own spin on the menu.   Not to mention that immigrants have also added diversity.  The result is a true “melting pot” of America.  The second half of “Giving Thanks” contains recipes that reflect what Americans eat for Thanksgiving in the 21st century.

In the South, for instance, the turkey might be stuffed with cornbread and there would be pecan and sweet potato pies on the table.  In New Mexico, chiles and Southwestern flavors may be added to the stuffing.

There’s the “time-honored traditional bread stuffing” recipe.  There’s also one for a Chinese American rice dressing and directions for a Cuban turkey stuffed with black beans and rice.  Desserts run the gamut from an (authentic) Indian pudding to an (exotic) coconut rice pudding.  Old-fashioned pumpkin pie is included as well as the newfangled pumpkin cheesecake.

But no matter what food items grace our Thanksgiving tables, it seems that we all end up stuffing ourselves silly.  Perhaps overeating started at that very first harvest celebration in 1621.  In Edward Winslow’s letter describing the feast with the Indians, he noted that food was not always this plentiful. But he wrote his friend in England “ … yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”

Share

Essex Elementary School Foundation Kicks Off Annual Appeal


ESSEX —
The Essex Elementary School Foundation (EESF) is kicking off its annual appeal and needs your help.  This not-for-profit, volunteer organization provides funds for enrichment programs and tools at EES.  Examples include a 3D printer, an iPad lab, the Justus W. Paul World Cultures Days and an Engineering with Legos program.

On Tuesday, Nov. 14, members met in the school’s media center to stuff envelopes, all part of the foundation’s annual direct mail campaign to Essex area residents and businesses.  In the photo above, board members Chet Kitchings, Marta Collins, Sarah Whitney, Linda Reamer and Bill Jacaruso are seen stuff envelopes.

Send donations to Essex Elementary School Foundation, P.O. Box 882, Essex, CT 06426.

Share

Democrats Sweep First Selectmen Positions Across Tri-Town Region, Republican Fortuna Keeps Top Job in Saybrook

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman (File photo)

AREAWIDE — Perhaps reflecting the mood of the country in Tuesday’s elections, Democrats locally retained control of the majority of seats of government in the Tri-Town area.

Democrat incumbent Norm Needleman convincingly won a fourth term as First Selectman in Essex with an almost 2 to 1 majority of 1,509 votes over Republican challenger Vin Pacileo’s 772.  Needleman is joined again on the board of selectmen by fellow Democrat Stacia Libby (1,204 votes) and Republican Bruce Glowac (1,047 votes)

Needleman’s 737 majority over Pacileo was far higher than the 80-vote margin he achieved over Glowac in 2015, and also in 2011 when, in his first contested election, he defeated Bruce MacMillian by over 400 votes. Needleman was uncontested by town Republicans for a second term in 2013.

Glowac had previously served as first selectman from 1991-1995.

In Deep River, where all three board of selectmen candidates were unopposed, incumbent Democrat Angus L. McDonald, Jr. won 804 votes to be returned as first selectman. He is joined by fellow Democrat incumbent Duane Gates (D) with 601 votes and newcomer William L. Burdick (R), who polled 360 votes.

Democrats Lauren Gister (left) and Charlene Janecek (File photo)

Chester saw another incumbent Democrat Lauren Gister re-elected to the position of first selectwoman with a strong showing of 797 votes, representing a more than 2 to 1 margin over Republican challenger Carolyn Linn (360 votes). Gister’s fellow incumbent Democrat Selectwoman Charlene Janecek, who polled only 32 votes less than Gister, also retains her seat on  the board.  The third member of the board will be Republican James Grzybowski, who defeated Linn by just three votes.

The only Republican success in the area was incumbent Carl Fortuna’s re-election in Old Saybrook with 1,911 votes over Democrat Stephen Sheehan, who polled 1,220 votes. Joining Fortuna on the board will be Republican Scott Giegerich  (1,688 votes) and Democrat Carol Conklin with 1,398 votes.

Share

Tickets on Sale Now for 10th Anniversary Season of ‘Music & More 2018’

The Maccabeats, who will be performing at CBSRZ, March 11, 2018.

CHESTER — Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek’s (CBSRZ) Music & More (M&M) 10th anniversary season 2018 is set to bring a diverse entertainment package to the shoreline community. For a decade the Music & More series has been known for first class entertainment offerings presenting artists with a broad spectrum of music from classical, folk and jazz to a cappella and has distinguished CBSRZ as a vibrant and significant cultural center. For this M&M 10th anniversary season, CBSRZ is changing it up just a little to present even more entertainment.

Kicking off the M&M series something familiar, something peculiar Comedy Tonight!, on Saturday, January 27, 2018 at 8:00 pm. The CBSRZ stage will be transformed into a New York comedy club featuring Alexandra McHale and Johnny Lampert, both veterans of Comedy Central, network TV, casinos, and the NYC comedy club circuit. This show is for audiences of 18 years old and older. Adult beverages will be served. Doors will open at 7:00 pm for a pre-show reception.

Back from last year’s extremely popular performance, The Maccabeats return on Sunday, March 11, 2018 at 4 p.m. to the M&M stage. The Maccabeats are the premier a cappella group from Brooklyn who are a social media sensation with their inspirational and infectious brand of entertainment. Using nothing more than the unadulterated human voice, a clean-cut presentation, and a little Jewish humor, this unique group of singers is able to connect with fans of all ages. Doors will open at 3pm There will be a reception following the concert for a chance to meet and greet the band.

Described as is an imaginative and dynamic new force on the national bluegrass scene, The Lonely Heartstring Band will bring their unique brand of music to the M&M stage on Sunday, April 15, 2018 at 4:00 pm. This multi-talented group of musicians are a classic Bluegrass quintet combining soulful instrumental virtuosity with soaring three-part harmonies.

“This unique anniversary season offers a tremendous entertainment package that I believe has something for everyone,” comments David Zeleznik, producer of Music & More and member of CBSRZ.

A season subscription through advance ticketing for the three show Music & More series can be purchased at a savings of a 14% discount by visiting www.cbsrz.org/events or through the Music & More at CBSRZ Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/music.more.cbsrz. For more information call the CBSRZ office at 860-326-8920 or through email at office@cbsrz.org.

Performances are held at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, 55 E. Kings Highway, Chester, Connecticut.

Share

I-Park Begins Final Residency of 2017 with International Roster of Artists

EAST HADDAM— I-Park artists-in-residence program welcomed six new artists to its campus this week for the final residency of 2017. The artists represent a variety of disciplines, from architecture to moving image, and hail from the four corners of the globe. Their stay will culminate in an Open Studios day November 19 from 2 to 5 p.m., when the public can meet the artists and view some of the work they’ve produced during their residency.
 
Selected through a competitive, juried process from a field of more than 600 applicants, November’s artists are:
Zhiwan Cheung, a moving image artist from Pennsylvania, creates films that probe the intersection of national identity and personal psyche. 
 
Adam Haddow is an Australian architect whose work focuses on a sense of place and the patterns that appear in the natural and built environments.
 
Xiao Li is a visual artist and curator from Japan participating in her first U.S. residency. Her art probes the intersections of art and nature and art and science. 
 
Julie Anne Mann is a New York–based visual artist who uses materials found in nature to create botanical compositions that encourage us to see the natural realm in a new way.
 
Helen Betya Rubinstein is a writer and essayist from Iowa developing a nonfiction book about her family’s history and heritage.
 
Joseph Tasnadi is a Hungarian visual artist whose multimedia installations explore the relations between information and artistic expression, information and aesthetics, and information and philosophy.
 
“It’s always interesting seeing the parallels between the artists’ work when they gather for the first time,” says I-Park Executive Director Joanne Paradis. “A common theme for this group was the issue of “place”—in nature, architecture and society. It will be intriguing to see how each artist expresses that over the next four weeks.”
 
During their fully-funded residencies at I-Park, each artist will enjoy a private studio and shared accommodations in a c. 1840 farmhouse. Each individual is free to pursue projects of his or her choosing, with minimal distractions except the lure of nature and the camaraderie of their fellow residents. 
 
I-Park is an artists-in-residence program offering fully funded four-week residencies in visual arts, architecture, moving image, music composition/sound art, creative writing and landscape/ecological design. Since its founding in 2001, I-Park has sponsored more than 850 residencies, and has developed cross-disciplinary projects of cultural significance and brought them into the public domain. Set within a 450-acre nature preserve, I-Park encourages dialogue between the natural and built environments, and has been the setting for exhibitions, performances, symposia, and programs that facilitate artistic collaboration. For more information, visit i-park.org.
Share

Change of Location for Ivoryton Congregational Church Worship Services

IVORYTON — Worship Services for the Ivoryton Congregational Church are now being held at the First Congregational Church, 6 Methodist Hill, Essex, from 8:45 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. with Rev. John Van Epps, Pastor.

Fellowship follows the worship service.

All are welcome.

Bible Study is held on Tuesday mornings from 11-noon in the parlor of the Essex Congregational Church with Rev. John Van Epps facilitating.

All are welcome.

Share

Essex Steam Train & Riverboat Welcomes Reservations for Groups to ‘Carol for a Cause’

AREAWIDE — This holiday season brings a new program – “Caroling For A Cause” to the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat.

Created as an opportunity for local non-profits, school groups, families, church choirs and other organizations to raise funds for their favorite charity, this program will also bring additional cheer and holiday spirit to the railroad’s Reindeer Breakfast and Santa Special events.

As “street-singers for donations,” groups volunteering to sing their favorite holiday songs will keep 100 percent of the donations they collect to give to the charity of their choice.  Additionally, as thanks for their participation, the Essex Steam Train will also make a $100 donation to the chosen charity.

Two-hour performance slots are available on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. or 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., on a first-come, first-served basis.

Professional training or talent are not required – only an enthusiasm for the holiday season and a desire to help a worthwhile charity.

For further information or to reserve your group’s spot, contact Pam Amodio at 860-767-0103, Ext 217 or email at pamodio@essexsteamtrain.com.

Share

CT River Museum Hosts Naturalization Ceremony for 50 Immigrants from 26 Countries

The Honorable Robert Richardson, United States District Judge Magistrate, District of Connecticut administered the oath taking, in which 50 people from over 20 different countries became United States citizens.

ESSEX — On Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 11 a.m., the Connecticut River Museum hosted a naturalization ceremony for 50 immigrants from around the world. The ceremony took place on the Museum’s main lawn, directly overlooking the Connecticut River.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) presented candidates for naturalization to the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.  The Honorable Robert Richardson, United States District Judge, District of Connecticut, administered the Oath of Allegiance to America’s newest citizens during the naturalization ceremony.

This young gentleman was waiting so patiently for his mom to become an American citizen. Photo by Phyllis Stillman.

Honored guests and speakers included: The Honorable Robert Richardson, United States District Judge Magistrate, District of Connecticut; Joe Courtney, U.S. Representative; Norm Needleman, First Selectman of Essex; Robert Siegrist, State Representative; and Yanira Rios, Research Aid & Outreach Organizer for the office of U. S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.  Along with the dignitaries, the John Winthrop Middle School’s 8th grade chorus, under the direction of Laura Traver, led participants in singing the national anthem and “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”.

The Museum’s executive director, Christopher Dobbs said “We are honored to host this special, life-changing ceremony. It feels fitting that a River that delivered and became the home of so many immigrants over the centuries continues to be a place that welcomes these new citizens to our great country.”

The candidates came from the following countries:

Bosnia-Herzegovina
Brazil
Cambodia
Canada
Colombia
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
El Salvador
Estonia
Greece
Haiti
India
Jamaica
Mexico
Morocco
Nigeria
Pakistan
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Russia
South Korea
Spain
Thailand
United Kingdom

The Connecticut River Museum is located on the waterfront at 67 Main Street in Essex and is open Tuesday – Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum, located in the historic Steamboat Dock building, offers exhibits and programs about the history and environment of the Connecticut River.

For a full listing of Museum programs and exhibits, visit ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.

Share

Artful Living Invites Students to Submit Original Short Plays for Possible Production at ‘The Kate,’ Scholarship Award

AREAWIDE — Artful Living, Killingworth’s multi-generational community theatre, is seeking original scripts of short plays from Connecticut high school students.  This new program, Playwrights For Tomorrow, offers students the opportunity to win a scholarship and have their play produced on stage at Old Saybrook’s Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (The Kate) on April 29, 2018.

Plays will be reviewed by a panel of theatre professionals. Selected playwrights will be offered the opportunity to collaborate with directors and other theatre artists in the staging of their plays.  Submission Deadline is Jan. 8, 2018.

For full details and an application form, visit www.ArtfulLivingCT.com

Share

Essex-based ‘Overabove’ Expands with Opening of West Coast Office 

The staff of OverAbove gather for a group photo in front of their premises at the Witch Hazel Works in Essex.

ESSEX – Overabove, a strategic marketing and communications firm based in Essex, Conn., has expanded its business footprint and enhanced its offerings with the opening of a Los Angeles office. The firm’s new office is located in Manhattan Beach on the Manhattan Beach Studios’ Media Campus – a facility where media arts, studio production, new technology and ideas converge.

The creative space is just south of Hollywood and bustling with the kind of activity at the heart of Overabove’s culture and services. Seasoned industry leader Tara Walls has been appointed to lead the firm’s new office.

As Head of Entertainment for Overabove, Walls will draw upon nearly 25 years of experience in the Hollywood entertainment industry to connect brands with television shows, feature films and talent. She’ll leverage industry relationships and tap her experience in brand integration and promotional partnerships, as well as with music and influencers, to craft customized entertainment partnerships to elevate brands of all sizes. She’ll also create original content to give brands exposure.

Walls’ depth of experience in identifying and structuring relationships between Hollywood properties and brands will bring strong added value to Overabove’s clients. While Walls only recently joined Overabove in a formal capacity, she’s been an extension of the Overabove team for more than a decade – collaborating with the firm on a number of entertainment partnerships for shared clients.

A resident of Los Angeles, Walls joins the Overabove team after serving as executive vice president of brand integrations & entertainment partnerships at FRUKT and Rogers & Cowan. She previously worked as a product placement executive at two Hollywood film studios.

“We are thrilled that our business footprint will now reach from coast to coast and that our new office is in such an ideal, exciting location – spearheaded by someone as talented and experienced as Tara,” said Ralph Guardiano, principal and co-founder of Overabove. “We know that these enhancements will greatly benefit our clients’ strategic and creative plans and look forward to seeing the results.”

John Visgilio, principal and co-founder of Overabove with Guardiano, added, “The opening of our West Coast office along with Tara’s hiring is part of our continued evolution to keep our clients’ brands above the noise, make our offerings as extensive and accessible as possible, and tap new growth opportunities.”

Share

Shoreline Legislators Attend Bridge Dedication Ceremony

From left to right, back row: State Senator Art Linares; State Representative Jesse MacLachlan; Noel Bishop, First Selectman of Westbrook; James P. Redeker, Department of Transportation Commissioner, and State Representative Devin Carney; front row, Tom Callinan and Sid Holbrook met in Westbrook on Thursday, Oct. 5, to attend the bridge dedication ceremony.

WESTBROOK – Shoreline legislators, Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner, local officials and residents all came together on Thursday, Oct. 5, at the Clubhouse North Yard Pilot Point in Westbrook for a bridge dedication ceremony.

During the 2017 legislative session, Carney, MacLachlan and Linares presented proposals to officially name two bridges in Westbrook.

  • House Bill 5573An Act Naming A Bridge in Westbrook “The Singing Bridge” sought to give the bridge over the Patchogue River in Westbrook a permanent name. This historic landmark was constructed in 1925 and had no official name up until now. Due to the sound generated by motor vehicle tires passing over the grid deck, residents nicknamed the bridge “The Singing Bridge.”
  • House Bill 5679An Act Naming A Bridge In Westbrook The “John H. Wilson Bridge” sought to honor John H. Wilson, who passed away in 2015, and was the founder of the Westbrook Historical Society and a veteran of the Korean War.

Both proposals were heard at a public hearing on January 30, 2017 in the legislature’s Transportation Committee and later passed into law during the 2017 legislative session.

Share

Soroptomist CT Shoreline Club Offers Cash Grant to Women Seeking Financial Assistance for Education/Training Expenses

AREAWIDE — The CT Shoreline Club of Soroptimist International of the Americas has announced that it is currently accepting applications for its annual Live Your Dream award.

The award seeks to support women who serve as the primary wage earners for their families seeking financial assistance to continue their education or to receive training. Information and an application are available at https://soroptimistnortheasternregion.org/files/ShorelineLYDapplication2018.pdf, or by contacting the co-chair Mary Jean Cummiskey at maryjeancummiskey@gmail.com. The application deadline is Nov. 15. Applicants will be notified in January 2018.

The CT Shoreline club will provide a $1,000 cash grant to its award recipient, who will then advance to the Soroptimist Northeast Region level, where recipients could receive up to an additional $5,000. The program culminates with three finalist $10,000 awards.

Recipients can use the Live Your Dream Award to offset costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education or additional skills and training. This includes tuition, books, childcare, carfare or any other education related expense. 

Nationally, the Live Your Dream Award provides over $2 million in cash grants to head-of-household women in need each year. Since the program’s inception in 1972, more than $30 million has helped tens of thousands of women achieve their dreams of a better life for themselves and their families. 

A study conducted by The Fels Institute of Government, a research and consulting organization based at the University of Pennsylvania, confirmed the efficacy and impact of this program. It improves the recipients’ quality of life; builds their confidence; strengthens their self-determination and makes them want to, in turn, help others. Helping women in this way has the demonstrated effect of leading to stronger communities, nations and the world. 

Chartered in February 2017, the new CT Shoreline club is part of Soroptimist International of the Americas, a global organization that works to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. CT Shoreline members join with almost 80,000 Soroptimists in about 120 countries and territories to contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women and girls.

Soroptimist, a 501(c)(3) organization that relies on charitable donations to support its programs, also powers LiveYourDream.org—an online community offering offline volunteer opportunities in support of women and girls. For more information about how Soroptimist improves the lives of women and girls, visit www.soroptimist.org. 

This new chapter welcomes members. To learn more, visit www.soroptimistner.org or www.liveyourdream.org.

Applications available at: https://soroptimistnortheasternregion.org/files/ShorelineLYDapplication2018.pdf

Share

Deep River Library Children’s Programs for October

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Public Library is offering a terrific selection of children’s programs during October, AS FOLLOWS:

Baby Bounce on Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26
Come to a story time for babies, newborn to 24 months. Simple stories and songs, followed by play and social time. Older siblings may attend.

Fun Friday on Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27, at 10:30 a.m.
Stories and songs in an interactive setting, followed by craft and open play. Perfect for the preschool set. Get ready for two special Fun Friday Guests this month. Rick Daniels from the Deep River Fire Department will come with his truck on 10/13 and ABC Amigos brings a Spanish story time on 10/20.

Brick Bunch is back on Oct. 5 & 19, from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m.
Open Lego play with friends. We provide the bricks, you bring your imagination.

Cook Club makes Mountain Dew Ice Cream, Oct. 18, at 5:30 p.m.
Make a simple recipe with friends. Registration is required for this program and limited to 10 children. Recommended age is 4-10. Sign-up can be done through Sign-up Genius. Follow this link to sign up: Cook Club Makes Mountain Dew Ice Cream

Deep River Drive-in, evening edition, Oct. 25, at 5:30 p.m.
Pop in for a fun Halloween movie, Trick or Treat on Sesame Street. This film has a running time of 75 minutes. No registration required. Box car seating for the first 20 kids.

Share

Applications Open for Rockfall Foundation’s Environmental Leadership Scholarship

AREAWIDE — The Rockfall Foundation has announced the Virginia R. Rollefson Environmental Leadership Scholarship, which recognizes an area high school student who demonstrates leadership and initiative in promoting conservation, preservation, restoration, or environmental education. One $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to an eligible student residing the Foundation’s service area, including Chester, Clinton, Cromwell, Deep River, Durham , East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Lyme, Middlefield, Middletown, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, or Westbrook.

Students must describe their role in an environmental project and its impact. Applications are due by 4 pm on Friday, March 2, 2018.

The scholarship is named in honor of former Executive Director of The Rockfall Foundation, Virginia R. “Ginny” Rollefson, who retired in 2010 after 24 years with the Foundation. The award honors her long service to the Foundation, her enthusiasm, and her belief that we all benefit when young people are actively engaged in making their communities a better place to live.

For a copy of the application or for more information, visit www.rockfallfoundation.org or call 860-347-0340.

Share

Community Foundation of Middlesex County Helps Sponsor Essex Artist’s Residency at I-Park

Aly Maderson Quinlog

East Haddam — Multi-talented artist Aly Maderson Quinlog begins her four-week residency at I-Park this week, thanks, in part, to a grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County/Ann and George Petry Fund, Loffredo Performing Arts Fund.

The grant, which was bestowed on I-Park earlier this year, helps to underwrite the cost of a residency in the visual arts for a Middlesex County resident. Quinlog, who lives in Essex, was selected for the residency by an impartial jury of visual artists appointed by I-Park.

“I-Park has contributed to the cultural and economic life of Middlesex County since 2001,” says I-Park Executive Director Joanne Paradis. “We’re thrilled by this show of support from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, and are pleased that their generosity will allow us to nurture the career of someone as gifted as Aly.”

A native of Charleston, S.C., Quinlog received her BFA in Photography from Winthrop University and went on to receive a Post-Baccalaureate certificate in Painting from the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts and a Masters in Art Education from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work is exhibited in coastal Connecticut and New York City, and will be on view Sunday, October 22, from 2 to 5 p.m., as part of I-Park’s monthly Open Studios program. The event is free; for details visit i-park.org.

Community Foundation of Middlesex County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Middlesex County. Its mission is to work with charitably-minded individuals and organizations to build permanent endowments and other charitable funds and to support local nonprofit organizations through effective grant making to address community needs. Since its founding in 1997, the Community Foundation has provided 1,815 grants totaling more than $5.4 million to nonprofit organizations for the arts; cultural and heritage programs; educational activities; environmental improvements; and for health and human services.

Editor’s Note: I-Park is an artists-in-residence program offering fully funded four-week residencies in visual arts, architecture, moving image, music composition/sound art, creative writing and landscape/ecological design. Since its founding in 2001, I-Park has sponsored more than 850 residencies, and has developed cross-disciplinary projects of cultural significance and brought them into the public domain. Set within a 450-acre nature preserve, I-Park encourages dialogue between the natural and built environments, and has been the setting for exhibitions, performances, symposia, and programs that facilitate artistic collaboration. For more information, visit i-park.org

Share

Region 4 Board of Education Acquires Property Adjacent to Valley Regional High School

DEEP RIVER – The Region 4 Board of Education has acquired a 34-acre parcel of land adjacent to Valley Regional High School for $350,000. The transaction closed on Aug. 31, 2017.

“This acquisition is great news for Valley Regional High School and the future of our community,” said Chris Riley, Chairman of the Region 4 Board of Education. “While there are no plans for the property at this time, the Board felt very strongly that the opportunity to acquire adjacent property was a smart investment for the future of our region.”

The Region 4 Board, consisting of three representatives from each of the towns of Chester, Deep River and Essex, voted unanimously to make the purchase. The First Selectmen in each of the towns were aware of the opportunity and all expressed their support for the acquisition. The purchase was funded with $350,000 from Region’s sinking funds, eliminating the need to bond or secure a mortgage. The sinking funds currently have a collective balance of $125,000.

For the past several years, the Region 4 Board has adopted the practice of returning 50 percent of any surplus to member towns and depositing 50 percent into sinking fund accounts. With a surplus of nearly $300,000 likely for the past school year, approximately $150,000 will be returned to the Region 4 sinking funds accounts once a final audit is completed. With regular deposits into the sinking funds, the entire purchase could be repaid
in three to five years.

The opportunity was first presented to the board in February of this year, and the board voted to direct Bruce Glowac to enter into negotiations to purchase the property. After several months of discussion with the previous owner and a substantial price reduction (the property was originally listed at $500,000), a deal was reached.

Superintendent Ruth Levy provided an update on the purchase at the September Region 4 Board meeting.

Share

Essex Harbor Management Commission Automates Mooring Permit Application Process

ESSEX — On Oct. 1, the Essex Harbor Management Commission will begin working exclusively with Online Mooring LLC for automating the Mooring Permit Application process, including renewals, Bushnell access storage permits and wait list requests. The new system will make the process “paperless” and more efficient.

Links to the new web based system will be available Oct. 1 through an email blast, through the Town’s web site or by connecting at onlinemooring.com, then going to Town of Essex, CT. Current permit holder information has been stored with Online Mooring to make the renewal process easier and faster. Permit holders will simply verify and/or update the information on file.

The system will handle all boat and contact information, including your state registration (or documentation) without requiring you to send in a paper copy.  Insurance certificates will also be handled electronically. Payment will be available through credit/debit card in a secure transaction.

The process has been tested by members of the Commission. Online Mooring LLC is a well established operation working with numerous harbors in the northeast.

The startup date of Oct. 1 is the normal renewal/application start for the coming year and provides a good point to initiate the simple paperless process. An eblast to current mooring permit holders will initiate the process.

Applicants for new mooring permits, as well as for Bushnell access storage permits will be placed on a wait list, pending the availability of space and review by the Harbor Master and Harbor Commission. Bushnell storage permit renewals will join the system with their eblast on March 1, 2018. Wait list renewals will join the program on April 1, 2018, following the completion of the other permit plans.

For renewing a current permit, you will receive an email on or after Oct.1 or you may go to my.onlinemooring.com/EssexCT and enter your email. The system will provide you with the current information on file. Correct or update the information, filling in any necessary blocks.

For new application, go to onlinemooring.com, Town of Essex, CT and choose whether you want to apply for a mooring permit or Bushnell storage permit.

Complete the application – red checked items must be completed. Double check your information and make sure your email address is accurate. Your insurance certificate can either be downloaded or photoed and included with your application.

Questions may be directed to the Essex Harbor Management Commission or the Harbor Master. You should make sure that your email is correctly  listed with your other information in the Harbor Commission/Harbor Master records.

Wait lists and permit holder lists are maintained by the Harbor Commission and are posted by the EHMC on the Town’s web site and at the Town Hall.

For more information, visit harbormanagementcommission@essexct.gov or harbormaster@essexct.gov

Share

Rep. Siegrist Meets with 9 Town Transit

HADDAM – On Tuesday, Sept. 27, State Representative Robert Siegrist (R-36) met with Joe Comerford the Executive Director of 9 Town Transit and Haddam First Selectwoman at Haddam Town Hall regarding the 9-Town Transit, which is the local bus service that provides dial-a ride service for many residents and especially seniors within the 36th District.

Rep. Siegrist met with Comerford and Milardo to discuss their efforts to expand 9-Town Transit over the last five years. Namely, to create a continuous loop from Middlesex Community College, down Rte. 154 with a stop in Higganum, a stop at Haddam Killingworth High School  and then down Rte. 81 all the way to Clinton. This loop is intended to assist students who take classes at Middlesex Community College, employees who work at local schools and the Outlets and residents in general.

“I was happy to meet with 9 Town Transit Executive Director Joe Comerford and Haddam First Selectwoman Lizz Milardo to learn more about this local bus service and their upcoming developments. This new 9 Town Transit loop would be a great addition to our district. This addition would also do great things for the local economy and our residents. I look forward to seeing how this project advances,” said State Representative Robert Siegrist.

For more information visit: http://estuarytransit.org/.

For more information regarding Dial-A-Ride visit: http://estuarytransit.org/schedules-services/general-public-dial-a-ride/.

 

Share

Musical Masterworks, Community Music School Announce Scholarship Recipient

From left to right, Alden Murphy and Abigail Nickell stand with Musical Masterworks scholarship winner Giovanna Parnoff at the piano.

AREAWIDE — Musical Masterworks and Community Music School are pleased to announce the recipient of the first Musical Masterworks Scholarship in Honor of Nancy D. Thomas.

Giovanna Parnoff, already an accomplished pianist and exceptional sixth grade student from Old Lyme, was presented with the scholarship by Alden Murphy, President of Musical Masterworks and Abigail Nickell, Executive Director of Community Music School.

“We are so pleased to honor Nancy’s memory with an award to one of her very own students, in partnership with another of her most beloved arts organizations.’ said Nickell.  Nancy Thomas was a devoted staff member of Musical Masterworks for nearly 25 years.   “It is particularly fortuitous that Giovanna, as a life-long student of Nancy Thomas, is the first winner of this scholarship; we couldn’t be more pleased,” added Murphy.

Giovanna has attended The Community Music School since she was six months old. She discovered her love of music through Kindermusik and Kate’s Camp programs and eventually started individual piano instruction under the tutelage of Nancy Thomas at the age of 3.

She has received perfect scores at the New London Piano Festival organized by the Middlesex/New London Chapter of the Connecticut State Music Teacher’s Association. Giovanna is a member of Mensa and Intertel, two high IQ societies and was recently inducted into the Junior Mensa Honor Society for her academic performance, leadership skills and volunteerism/community service.

Giovanna has been accepted into Duke University’s Talent Identification Program, Stanford University’s Gifted and Talented Program, and Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. She is a competitive foil fencer, and has been coached for six years by the Fencer’s School of CT.

Giovanna is an award-winning poet, having seen her work published in “The Mensa Bulletin” and “The Young American Poetry Digest.” She lives in Old Lyme with her parents, Dr. John Parnoff and Ms. Monique Heller, and her younger sister, Mattea, who is also a piano student at The Community Music School.

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

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 34-year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity, and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.  Learn more at www.community-music-school.org or call 860.767.0026.

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

Share

Essex Garden Club Announces Officers for 2017-2018


ESSEX —
Officers for the Essex Garden Club for 2017-2018 are Barbara Burgess, president, 1st VP Augie Pampel, 2nd VP, MyLan Sarner, Recording Secretary, Betsy Godsman, Corresponding Secretary Phyllis Graf, Treasurer , Patricia Mather and Assistant Treasurer is Barbara Muhlfelder.
In her opening remarks at the September meeting, Burgess said that the focus of the Essex Garden Club this year will be on enhancing each member’s floral design skills. These design principles will be applied when the Garden Club decorates the town’s window boxes and planters for the holidays.
Share

‘Junior Souls Yoga Program’ Starts in Old Saybrook for Youth, Grades 4-8

OLD SAYBROOK — Working with the Old Saybrook Parks and Recreation department, Saybrook Soul Sweat will be running an eight week long after school program, Junior Souls Yoga Program (JSYP), for grades 4 – 8.  The program will be held at the Recreation Center Gym every Monday beginning Sept. 18, from 2:45 to 4 p.m.

A description of the program states, “Yoga is a practice that exercises your body on a physical, emotional, and mental level; the younger we can get kids practicing, the better prepared they will be for the world as they progress. Junior Souls Yoga Program is a weekly, 60-minute practice that is derived from the vinyasa style of yoga, but with a New Age twist.

Instead of teaching students to sit down and meditate, JSYP uses the philosophy that to work into a meditation of the mind, you first must physically work out your body. Combining a youthful, energetic series of postures with fast tempo, upbeat pop music, JSYP gets kids moving and grooving for 45 minutes, followed by a 15-minute meditation.

The junction of physical fitness with positive mindfulness is a great way to teach kids poses, self-empowerment, stress relief, and healthy living.”

Junior Souls Yoga Program is instructed by Courtney Brooks, a 200-hour registered yoga teacher in Vinyasa yoga. Brooks has been practicing yoga for six years and teaching full-time for over one year, with experience teaching yoga to children at Corpus Christi in Wethersfield, CT, and developing a yoga program with the Hartford Police Athletic League throughout various schools in Hartford, CT.

The Saybrook Soul Sweat studio will open for business Oct. 14.

Share

Essex Democrats Announce Party Platform For 2017 Municipal Elections

Essex Democrats have again endorsed incumbent First Selectman Norman Needleman as their candidate for the same position in November.

ESSEX — Rejecting divisive politics and continuing a bi-partisan approach to solving problems is the cornerstone of the platform announced today in a press release by First Selectman Norm Needleman and Brian Cournoyer, Chairman of The Essex Democratic Town Committee.

“Towns throughout the state look to Essex as a model for best management practices. Under Norm’s and Stacia Rice-Libby’s leadership over the past six years, taxes are among the lowest in the state, yet we deliver high quality services and excellent schools,” Cournoyer said.

Needleman said that the collaborative, non-partisan approach to government will continue if he and running mate Stacia Rice-Libby are re-elected.

“First, and perhaps most important, we reject toxic partisan politics. Instead, we value and encourage independent thinking and inclusive dialogue that lead to real-world solutions,” Needleman said.

“Second, we will continue to manage our town with emphasis on fiscal responsibility. Essex operates in contrast to the dysfunction in Hartford. We have balanced our town budget every year I have been in office. Our budget policies have kept Essex self-reliant, while maintaining property taxes lower than 87% of the municipalities in our state.”

Libby added focusing on economic growth is another important area of focus.

“An essential element is support for the business community. Essex is home to over 700 businesses, and that number is growing. We have reduced regulations and simplified processes in the past six years, and it is essential that we sustain our policy of eliminating barriers to success,” Libby said, adding that streamlining and optimizing land use regulations will be critical for retaining and attracting local companies.

“Another vital element in our plan for the next two years is support for the robust volunteer base in our town,” Needleman said, “Municipal government, quality of life, and social services have evolved in Essex to become a partnership among elected officials, volunteer organizations, and dedicated individual volunteers. That partnership defines life in our town, and we will continue supporting the volunteers who support us.”

Needleman said if re-elected he will continue to fight the proliferation of unfunded state mandates.

“Your vote for our bipartisan slate of candidates on November 7 is vital to keeping Essex moving in the right direction,” Cournoyer said.

Democratic Town Committee Chairman Brian Cournoyer invites all Essex voters to learn more about the candidates by visiting the Essex Democratic Town Committee website/Facebook page at: essexdems.com.  The candidates will also be available to discuss issues and ideas at neighborhood meet-and-greet gatherings throughout the campaign.

Essex Democratic Candidates

  • First Selectman/Selectwoman: Norm Needleman/ Stacia Rice-Libby
  • Town Treasurer: Jim Francis
  • Tax Collector: Megan Haskins
  • Essex BOE: Loretta McCluskey
  • Region 4 BOE: Kate Sandmann
  • BOF: Ethan Goller
  • BOF : Keith Crehan
  • Board Assessment Appeals: Mark Bombaci
  • Town Clerk: Joel Marzi
  • Judge Of Probate: Jeannine Lewis
Share

CBSRZ Adds New Programs to Current Education Offerings for Fall

CHESTER — The education team at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ) is offering new programming in the Kivvun wing. Kivvun means “direction” or “pathway,” and this year it is CBSRZ’s intention to provide more “paths” or “access points” into Judaism, while empowering each child to grow into their best selves, and experience their lives through a Jewish lens, within a vibrant Jewish Community.

Utilizing the Shalom Learning curriculum, and incorporating many aspects of the Project Based Learning model, learners will drive the creation of “questions” in order to determine how to answer the question,“What makes a strong Jewish community?”

Students will explore answers to their questions through the study of Hebrew, Prayer, Holidays and Values.  The learners will begin to formulate ideas while they analyze and express their thoughts through modes such as art, legos, cooking and storytelling. These electives or “Chugim” will be chosen by the students according to their interests and will offer an opportunity for learners of all grades to interact.

In addition to restructured program for young learners, new opportunities for teens will be offered, including student teaching, social action and recreational interaction. Gesher, a monthly class for 8th and 9th grade students, and Makom, a confirmation class for 10th grade students, will continue to be offered.

Registration is now open to everyone. To obtain your registration packet, contact Belinda Brennan, Cantor and Educator, at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, belinda@cbsrzorg, the office at 860-526-8920 and visit www.cbsrz.org/learn/youth for more information. CBSRZ is located at 55 East Kings Highway, Chester, CT 06412.

Share

Applications Due by Nov. 9 for Rockfall Foundation Grants

AREAWIDE — Continuing the philanthropic tradition of its founder, Clarence S. Wadsworth, the Rockfall Foundation invites non-profit organizations, municipalities, and schools in the Lower Connecticut River Valley to apply for grants through the annual Competitive Grant Program. The Foundation seeks to support projects that preserve and enhance the environment and to increase public knowledge of and respect for natural resources. Projects that demonstrate new and imaginative ways to achieve this are encouraged.

Applications are due by Nov. 9 and can be downloaded from www.rockfallfoundation.org.  For detailed eligibility criteria or additional information, call 860-347-0340 or visit www.rockfallfoundation.org.

Founded in 1935 by Middletown philanthropist Clarence S. Wadsworth, the Rockfall Foundation is one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations. The Foundation supports environmental education, conservation and planning initiatives in the Lower Connecticut River Valley through public programs and grants.  In addition, the Rockfall Foundation operates the historic deKoven House Community Center that offers meeting rooms and office space for non-profit organizations.

Share

Community Music School Announces New Faculty

ESSEX — Community Music School (CMS) is pleased to welcome three area musicians to its faculty: Amy Buckley, who will be teaching voice; Ling-Fei Kang, who will be teaching oboe and English horn; and Corey Johnson, who will be teaching violin and viola.

Amy Buckley – Voice

Amy received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Connecticut, where her study afforded her the opportunity to train at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. She then went on to receive a Master of Music from The Juilliard School. This season Amy made her debut as Music Director at the Ivoryton Playhouse in The Hundred Dresses and starred in The Music Man as Marian Paroo with Artful Living. Credits include Cecile (The Hundred Dresses /Ivoryton Playhouse), Antonia (Man of La Mancha/Ivoryton Playhouse), Mrs. Banks (Mary Poppins/Artful Living), Sandy (I’ll Be Home for Christmas/Ivoryton Playhouse), Coach/Ms. Roosevelt (The Bully/Ivoryton Playhouse), Despina (Così fan Tutte/Pocket Opera of NY), La Fée (Cendrillon/Aspen Opera Theater), Euridice (Orfeo/Wintergreen Performing Arts Festival) and Adele (Die Fledermaus /Lincoln Center). When not performing, Amy serves as Music Director of the theater program at Walsh Intermediate School in Branford and Vocal Music Leader at Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Society in Madison. Amy is a member of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing).

Ling-Fei Kang – Oboe & English Horn

A native of Taiwan, oboist Ling-Fei Kang has performed as chamber musician and soloist nationally and internationally, including recitals with Oboe Duo Agosto at the conferences of the Asian Double Reed Association in Bangkok, Thailand, and the International Double Reed Society in Redlands, California and Tokyo, Japan.  She served as Professor of Oboe at the Festival Eleazar de Carvalho in Fortaleza, Brazil and taught master class at University of Southern Mississippi, Univeristy of South Alabama, Georgia State University and University of Alabama. She is also an experienced educator and teaches oboe at The Loomis Chaffee School, Miss Porter School, Renbrook School and Simsbury High School in Connecticut. Ms. Kang graduated with the Prix avec grande distinction from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal and also earned an Artist Diploma from The Hartt School, University of Hartford. Her principal teachers include Humbert Lucarelli and Bernard Jean.

Corey Johnson

Corey Johnson – Violin & Viola

Corey has been playing violin since 2003 and teaching since 2013. She is classically trained and has studied with the Hartford Symphony’s Jaroslaw Lis, who received a master’s degree from the Yale School of Music. Corey has extensive experience playing in ensembles, namely the quartet setting. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2017. Corey aims to make her lessons as fun as possible while still focusing on the core technical aspects of violin playing. She has advanced piano skills and sometimes accompanies her students in lessons. She loves to find or arrange music that her students enjoy playing.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 30 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.  Learn more at visit www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

Share