November 21, 2014

Essex Meadows Receives LEED Gold Certification

ESSEX — Imagine what a group of residents and staff who cares about its environment can do for a 26-year-old retirement community with 318,936 sq. ft. of space. With lighting upgrades, solar power, geothermal heating, low-flow plumbing and an ozone injection system, among other investments, the result is a resourceful use of water, chemicals and electricity in daily life. Essex Meadows, a lifecare retirement community located at 30 Bokum Road in Essex, Conn., has implemented these green principles, and is proud to announce that the U.S. Green Building Council has recognized the community’s efforts and has given it one of the organization’s highest honors: LEED Gold certification. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an initiative promoted by the U.S. Green Building Council to recognize organizations across the country and their efforts to reduce global footprints.

“We’re honored to receive this certification,” said Jennifer Rannestad, Executive Director of Essex Meadows. “We find it very important to make a difference, and now our efforts to do our part have been recognized.”

Senior living communities across the country are making renovations to improve environmental sustainability as a new wave of older adults, with progressive priorities in addition to a desire for the traditional necessities of retirement living, are searching for active, engaged communities to call home. Essex Meadows took the necessary steps to meet changing expectations, which include: installation of a solar power system; geothermal heating and cooling used in new construction; lighting upgrades; extensive HVAC balance testing; non-potable water used in irrigation; new low-flow plumbing fixtures; an ozone injection system added to laundry; a full recycling and green cleaning program; and naturalized meadows for wildlife and reduced mowing. Essex Meadows also purchases locally grown food when feasible, and provides real-time monitoring of the community’s solar power system on its website to show the positive impact the installation is having.

“Our green initiatives are important aspects of what makes Essex Meadows what it is,” Rannestad said. “And these initial principles we’ve implemented are a step in the right direction for us to continue making a difference.”

The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program takes into account many factors while considering whether a structure is certified “green.” Categories judged and scored for each building include: Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental, Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, and Innovation in Operations.

 

New Pastor at First Baptist Church in Essex

On September 28th, First Baptist Church in Essex officially installed their new pastor, Rev. Joy Perkett.  Participants in the service included Rev. Joe Delahunt, a representative of the American Baptist Churches of Connecticut, Rev. Amy Hollis, a local Baptist pastor and former member of First Baptist Church in Essex and Philip Miller, the state representative for the 36th Assembly District.

Joy Perkett was called by the congregation in early May and her first Sunday was July 13th.    She is an ordained minister in the American Baptist tradition and holds a Master of Divinity and Master of Social Work from Boston University.  Rev. Perkett is also a Licensed Master Social Worker.  Prior to her appointment at First Baptist Church in Essex, she worked as a campaign coordinator around issues of economic justice and as a case manager with people recovering from addiction and mental illness.   Rev. Perkett’s vision for ministry is one in which we experience God’s love and peace in our own lives and then go forth and share it with the world.  She is passionate about spiritual growth and development as well as meaningful work in the community.   She was drawn to First Baptist Church in Essex by the deep, abiding love they share with one another and with the world.

First Baptist Church in Essex was founded in 1811 and built in its current location in 1846.  The church’s slogan is “Planting the Seeds of God’s Love since 1811”.  One of the notable ways the church planted seeds of God’s love is by envisioning and starting the Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries in 1989.  Since then, the non-profit has grown to include eight soup kitchens and four food pantries in an eleven town area.  First Baptist Church remains active in the Shoreline Soup Kitchen and continues to envision new ways to serve including donating meat for the local food programs and collecting food donations at local grocery stores.  The church also fosters relationships and spiritual growth through its book and Bible studies.  They meet for worship on Sundays at 10 a.m.  For more information, visit the church website at www.fbcinessex.org or call the office at 860-767-8623.

Bjornberg Endorsed by Connecticut Working Families Party

The Connecticut Working Families Party announced their endorsement of 33rd District State Senate candidate Emily Bjornberg in the upcoming November 4th election. As a mother of two young children, the wife of an Iraq War veteran, and the Director of Youth and Family Ministries of the Deep River Congregational Church, Bjornberg represents the many facets of the Connecticut working family.

The Working Families Party line helps to elect a candidate with strong values and a history of standing up for the working and middle class and unemployed. Bjornberg’s family settled in the Lower Connecticut River Valley over 160 years ago, creating a true small business which still survives to this day.

As State Senator, Bjornberg will be committed to ensuring all Connecticut families have the same opportunities as her own family, including access to affordable healthcare and a quality education for all children. During a Tuesday September 23rd debate, these beliefs were reflected in Bjornberg’s statements about resolving the issues related to regressive axes, which negatively affect our state’s middle class and unemployed.

“My opponent has proposed multiple pieces of legislation that, if successful, would have eliminated the earned income tax credit—the equivalent of a tax increase on the working poor. In this difficult economy, that would impose a significant hardship on a great number of families. Instead, we should work to reduce regressive taxes—like the property tax and the car tax—wherever possible,” said Bjornberg.

“This election is about what Connecticut families need in order to build a strong future. One of the best ways we can help Connecticut families is by making sure our small and family-owned businesses can succeed,” stated Bjornberg. “Small businesses are the true engines of job growth in our economy, but too often our government caters to the needs of large corporations without a thought for the needs of small businesses, which can’t afford teams of lobbyists in Hartford.”

Bjornberg makes it clear that her politics are deeply rooted in her belief in the importance of giving back to the community. Her work at the Deep River Congregational Church focuses on addressing social needs like homelessness and hunger. She previously ran an AIDS clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa to tend to the needs of the sick and dying.

The Working Families Party focuses on economic justice issues like creating good jobs with fair pay and quality benefits, and ensuring that all workers can retire with financial security and dignity. These issues are of special concern for the 33rd District, and Bjornberg is committed to creating new opportunities for young families, as well as supporting seniors living on fixed incomes.

“We are proud to endorse Emily Bjornberg, an independent-minded candidate whose genuine concern for working people and strengthening the middle class is rooted in years of advocacy work both around the world and here at home. She is the best choice for voters on November 4th,” said Lindsay Farrell, Executive Director of the Working Families Party.

Bjornberg’s endorsement by the Working Families Party comes with the grassroots support of the Working Families Party, its formidable door-to-door voter mobilization program, and placement of the candidate’s name on the Working Families Party ballot line, Row C.

The 33rd State Senate District includes the communities of: Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

Essex Savings Bank Receives NEFMA Marketing Awards

The second annual New England Financial Marketing Awards Gala produced by Agility Resources Group, was held last Wednesday, September 26, at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Framingham, Massachusetts.

The NEFMA Awards are presented to community banks and credit unions located throughout New England. They are broken up into six categories including, brand, loan, deposit, service, public relations and internal marketing. The NEFMAs salute the marketing campaigns, community projects and innovative people who have raised the bar on bank and credit union marketing and have achieved outstanding results. The awards gala also included the Community Champion Awards that honor community banks and credit unions that took extraordinary measures to service their communities. The Community Champion Awards are also divided into six different categories including, economic development, civic involvement, financial education, arts, overall philanthropy, and inspiration.

“Agility Resources Group is thrilled to recognize and celebrate the incredible efforts of these outstanding organizations,” said Vince Valvo, CEO of Agility Resources Group. “These banks and credit unions have demonstrated true creativity in their marketing efforts. In addition, they have gone above and beyond to make a difference in their communities and have greatly impacted the lives of many in need.”

From a field of fifty award-winners, Essex Savings Bank received five awards in the category of the Community Champion Awards 2013. They are:  *Gold Award – Economic Development; *Gold Award – Civic Involvement; *Gold Award – Overall Philanthropy (Awarded for the Bank’s Community Investment Program which was established to distribute 10% of the Bank’s net profits to 501(c)3s on an annual basis; *Silver Award – Branding; *Silver Award – Arts, awarded for the contributions of both Bank funds and employee volunteers to the local cultural arts.

Gregory R. Shook, President & CEO noted: “He was proud to see the bank receive recognition for our efforts to build goodwill and trust with our community and clients.”

Essex Savings Bank is a FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851. The Bank serves the Connecticut River Valley and shoreline with six offices in Essex (2), Chester, Madison, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook.  Financial, estate, insurance and retirement planning are offered throughout the state by the Bank’s Trust Department and wholly-owned subsidiary, Essex Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC.  Investments in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and annuities are not FDIC insured, may lose value and are not a deposit, have no Bank guarantee and are not insured by any Federal Government Agency.

Essex Historical Society Receives $12,500 Grant from 1772 Foundation

The Pratt House

The Pratt House

ESSEX — The Essex Historical Society (EHS) has been awarded a $12,500 grant from the 1772 Foundation, in partnership with CT Trust for Historic Preservation, to support restoration work on the Pratt House Museum. The award is part of the 1772 Foundation’s highly competitive matching grant program for historic preservation projects.

The funding will support repair on the Pratt House that was recommended by Building Conservation Associates, Inc. of Dedham, Mass., in its 2012 Architectural Conservation Assessment. These recommendations include: repair of the Pratt House’s exterior foundation, painting the exterior and glazing its windows, repairing gutter work, cleaning the interior of the chimney and replacing a missing door in the cellar.

“We are grateful to the 1772 Foundation for their support,” said Sherry Clark, president of the Essex Historical Society. “With the grant and the matched funding by the Essex Historical Society, nearly all of the necessary repairs and maintenance recommended in the Architectural Conservation Assessment of the Pratt House will be completed.”

The restoration work is scheduled to begin October 2014 and to be complete by May 2015.

The historic Pratt House was built in 1701 and was home to the descendants of Lt. William Pratt, one of the three first settlers of Essex for two centuries. Its barn, traditional herb garden and meadow complete the pastoral setting of a New England farmhouse. The house remained in the Pratt family ownership until 1952, when it was deeded to the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (now known as Historic New England). In 1985 Historic New England transferred the property and much of its contents to EHS, and EHS has been caring for the property ever since. Visitors are invited to tour the home Fridays through Sundays, from June through September.

About the 1772 Foundation —The 1772 Foundation was named in honor of its first restoration project, Liberty Hall in Union, NJ, which was built in 1772 and is the ancestral home of the Livingston and Kean families. The late Stewart B. Kean was the original benefactor of the 1772 Foundation. The Foundation seeks to continue his legacy throughout the country by helping preserve architectural and cultural history and agricultural landscapes for generations to come. For more information, visithttp://www.1772foundation.org/.

About the Essex Historical Society — The Essex Historical Society seeks to promote awareness and understanding of the people, places and events that have shaped the history of Essex, Connecticut. The Society collects and interprets artifacts and archival material, and provides educational programs and exhibits to bring those interpretations to the community. To house this collection and to provide a window into earlier Essex life, the Society maintains two historic structures: Pratt House (1701) and Hills Academy (1832). Recognizing the importance of the past to our understanding of the present and our planning for the future, the Essex Historical Society advocates the preservation of significant structures and sites that reveal the history of Essex. To learn more, visit the EHS website and follow EHS on Facebook.

Chester/Deep River Boy Scout Troop 13 Newest Eagle Scout

Chester/Deep River Boy Scout Troop 13 newest Eagle Scout Benjamin Dale Swartzell (Photo by John Kollmer)

Chester/Deep River Boy Scout Troop 13 newest Eagle Scout Benjamin Dale Swartzell (Photo by John Kollmer)

Boy Scouts of America would like to congratulate Benjamin Dale Swartzell for earning the rank of Eagle Scout. An Eagle Scout Court of Honor was held for Ben on September 21, 2014 at Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Essex, CT.

To become an Eagle Scout, Ben earned 40 merit badges and advanced through the seven scout ranks by learning Scout and Life skills while simultaneously providing leadership to his Troop and service to his community. One of the final requirements for the Eagle Rank is to show leadership in and complete a service project that benefits the boy’s community, school, or religious institution.

Ben’s project was to replace the boardwalk through the historic Cedar Swamp at Bushy Hill Nature Center in Ivoryton. The old walkway had deteriorated over time and was posing a safety risk for campers. The walkway allows campers to walk through the swamp to view ecological diversity at the camp. This project included building a new boardwalk, removing the old walkway and getting the site ready to install the new portion. Ben used leadership skills he learned by attending Boy Scouts National Youth Leadership Training and as a staff member of the CT Rivers Council National Youth Leadership Training program.

Troop 13 Boy Scouts serves the boys ages 11-18 of Chester and Deep River. The purpose of the Boy Scouts of America is to help young men develop their character and life skills all while having fun. There is much emphasis placed on assisting these young men to develop into strong healthy citizens who will lead our communities and country in the years ahead. The Boy Scout methods help to promote these ideals through the challenge of putting them into practice with the Troop Program. This is done in a way that is both challenging and fun. To learn more information about joining Troop 13 please contact our Scoutmaster, Steven Merola @ 860-526-9262

Following Strong Debate Performance, Bjornberg Challenges Linares to Appear in 33rd District’s Northern Towns

Following a strong performance Tuesday evening during a public debate at the Valley Regional High School in Deep River, Democratic State Senate Candidate Emily Bjornberg criticized her Republican opponent, Art Linares of Westbrook, for refusing multiple invitations for further debates from non-partisan organizations across the 33rd Senate District.

“My opponent may not wish to talk about his record in the Northern part of our district, but the residents of Colchester, East Hampton, Portland, Haddam and East Haddam deserve to hear what he has to say about it. And they should be concerned at his reluctance to appear there,” said Bjornberg. “There are important issues in this campaign, and real differences between my opponent and myself. We need to better address the needs of our small businesses, and put their interests first before those of lobbyists and special interests. We need lower property taxes, and greater state education aid to make that possible. We need to put more people back to work, particularly our unemployed returning veterans.”

Linares has not accepted a single invitation in one the district’s northern towns, including any and all proposed events north of the Town of Deep River.

The 33rd State Senate District includes twelve towns: Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

“I believe in a full and open debate of the issues in this election. It takes over an hour to drive across the 33rd Senate District, one of the largest in the state. Each community has their own unique needs and concerns. For my opponent to agree to debates only in the southern portion of the district is a disservice and an insult to those northern communities,” said Bjornberg.

In response to a recent invitation to debate from the Haddam Bulletin, Linares’ campaign manager and brother, Ryan Linares, emailed the following statement in response (follow link to Linares’ full email):

“For this election  (just like last election) we’ve already been asked to participate in over 8-9 debates. Myself and our campaign team [sic] have decided to participate in four, believing that this is more then [sic] sufficient for all candidates to voice their opinion on certain matters. Those debates include the New London Day (Lyme), Rotary Club (Essex), Essex library (Deep River) & Westbrook Council of Beaches (Westbrook) – we made our decision off a first come bases [sic] and to geographically space them out for all to conveniently attend.”

Of the four events the Linares’ campaign has agreed to, two have already occurred, one of which was not located within the 33rd District itself (The Day’s debate was actually held in Old Lyme). Only one of the two events that remain will be open to the public, with approximately six weeks remaining before the general election. The Essex Rotary event is open to club members only.

“Art Linares may wish to limit public debate in this election, but the voters deserve a broader discussion. I have challenged my opponent to twelve debates in twelve towns, and I renew that challenge today. If my opponent is proud of his voting record and his positions on the issues, he has no reason to hide,” said Bjornberg.

To date, the Bjornberg campaign has accepted invitations for upcoming debates from all of the following organizations. Bolded events have either not received a response from the Linares campaign, or have had their invitation declined:

Haddam Bulletin Debate
October 14th or 15th, Time TBD
Haddam-Killingworth High School
95 Little City Road, Higganum, CT 

Colchester AARP Candidate Forum
October 28th at 2PM
Colchester Senior Center, 95 Norwich Avenue, Colchester, CT

Morgan School Debate
October 23rd, Time TBD
The Morgan School, 27 Killingworth Turnpike, Clinton, CT 

CT Mirror Debate at Chamard Vineyard in Clinton
Date TBD

Essex Rotary Club Candidate Forum
Tuesday, September 30th
Cocktails at 5:45pm, Dinner begins at 6:15pm
Essex Yacht Club, 13 Novelty Ln, Essex, CT

Westbrook Council of Beaches Candidate Forum
Monday, October 6th, 7pm
Teresa Mulvey Municipal Center, 866 Boston Post Rd, Westbrook, CT
The 33rd District includes the communities of: Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

Three 33rd District Candidates Hold Lively Debate at High School in Deep River

Democratic candidate Emily Bjornberg, Republican candidate Senator Art Linares and Independent Candidate Colin Bennett (photo by Jerome Wilson)

Democratic candidate Emily Bjornberg, Republican candidate Senator Art Linares and Green Party Candidate Colin Bennett (photo by Jerome Wilson)

DEEP RIVER— The three candidates in the 12-town 33rd State Senate District, one-term incumbent Republican Sen. Art Linares, Democratic challenger Emily Bjornberg, and Green Party candidate Colin Bennett, held a lively debate Tuesday that covered the economy and taxes, along with social issues such as reproductive rights and possible right-to-die legislation.

A crowd of more than 100 voters filled the auditorium at Valley Regional High School, with sign waving supporters of the two major party candidates gathering outside the school before the start of the debate. The 90-minute session was moderated by Essex  Library Director Richard Conroy, who posed questions that had been submitted in writing before the debate from district voters.

Linares, describing his record as “pro-growth and pro jobs,” attempted to tie Bjornberg to tax increases imposed during the administration of Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy and the Democrat-controlled legislature. Bjornberg noted that she was not in the legislature when most of the higher taxes were approved, and pledged to be “very wary” of increases in “regressive taxes,” such as the sales and gasoline taxes, in any future budget decisions.

Objections from Linares to the Malloy Administration First Five program of grants and loans for business expansion prompted one of the sharpest exchanges of the session, with Bjornberg noting that Linares had accepted a $350,000 state low interest loan for his Middletown-based Green Skies solar power company while later voting against funding for the program.  She also contended Green Skies resells cheaper solar panels from China at the expense of producers in Connecticut and the United States. Linares replied that Bjornberg’s comments show “my opponent is ready to attack a good thing,”  describing the business he co-founded as a clean energy company that is providing jobs.

The candidates differed on possible right-to-die legislation for the terminally ill, with Bjornberg pledging support for what she called the “compassionate choices” bill that failed to win approval in this year’s legislative session. Linares said he is “concerned about human error,” under the proposed legislation. Bennett also expressed support for the bill that is expected to be considered again next year.

A question on reproductive rights and insurance coverage for birth control brought passionate remarks from Bjornberg, declaring that she is concerned about her young daughter losing rights that women have fought for and secured over the past 40 years. Linares said he was “born a Catholic” and is “not running for the U.S. Supreme Court,” before changing the topic to his support for new legislation to protect women from domestic violence.

Marijuana and the minimum wage brought the most passionate remarks from Bennett, who has run as the Green Party candidate in three previous elections in the 33rd District. Bennett said  “ending the prohibition” on marijuana would help the state’s economy and finances. Linares dismissed the idea of legalizing marijuana, while Bjornberg said she would not support legalization at the present time but favors a “careful and measured” review of the option and possible further reductions in penalties for possession of marijuana.

Bennett said the minimum wage, set to increase to $10.10 per hour in the coming years, should be even higher and suggested there should be a “maximum wage” for the highest paid earners. Linares said he opposed the minimum wage hike adopted earlier this year because Democrats had blocked all amendments to establish a lower starting wage for workers under age 21. Bjornberg said Linares and state Republicans were “fear mongering” on the minimum wage issue and quoted Eleanor Roosevelt’s Depression era comment that “we all do well when we all do well.”

In her closing remarks, Bjornberg called on Linares to agree to hold another campaign debate in one of the northern towns of the sprawling district. Other sessions set for early October are more limited forums that include candidates for state House seats. The 33rd District includes the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep  River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Portland, Westbrook, and sections of Old Saybrook.

Talking Trash – Essex Land Trust Coordinates Shoreline Cleanup

In general, Essex is not one of those communities where trash in public places is a problem. Along the length of our Connecticut River shoreline, however, it is another matter. The amount of debris that accumulates along our shores is nothing short of amazing. Unfortunately, there seems to be a never-ending supply of debris along the riverbanks.

The Connecticut River’s steady flow towards its mouth brings with it logs, branches and other organic material that are swept into the river by storms, high tides and occasional flooding. It also brings with it an incredible array of items that have clearly been carelessly allowed to be swept away or dumped outright into the river.

For the past two years the Essex Land Trust has tried to do its part by focusing on cleaning up Essex’s Great Meadow. This past Fall, on a bright and sunny Saturday morning, 65 volunteers dedicated three hours to gathering all kinds of trash including, significant quantities of Styrofoam, bottles, cans, car tires and more.

This effort is part of an annual program sponsored by the Connecticut River Watershed Council Participating. Called the Source to Sea Cleanup, each September communities along the 410-mile length of the Connecticut River dedicate themselves to cleaning up their shoreline. This past year, 2,227 volunteers collected a total haul of 45 tons, which included electrical appliances, furniture, automotive parts, and mattresses, among many other items.

The list of debris collected on the Essex Great Meadow is shown below:

  1. Glass bottles (5 five gallon buckets)
  2. Plastic bottles (27 thirty gallon bags)
  3. Plastic items (3 five gallon buckets)
  4. Styrofoam (35 thirty gallon bags)
  5. Tires (19)
  6. Wood (19 lbs)
  7. Metal items (10)
  8. Other items (6′ x 3′ plastic tub, 50 gallon plastic and metal drums, 30 gallon plastic drum, 2′ x 4′ plastic float, fiberglass kayak, hunting tent, large float/raft, LP gas container, plastic sled)

Besides being unsightly, trash in our water bodies has a damaging effect on the environment particularly impacting wildlife and vegetation. One measure of this impact is the decomposition rate of common debris. The following chart illustrate how long items last in our environment, i.e., 200 years for aluminum cans and 450 years for plastic bottles.

Untitled

 

The Connecticut River has come a long way from the 1950s when it was called the “best landscaped sewer in the country.” The passage of the Clean Water Act and the ban on DDT in 1972 have done much to help the river recover to a Class B status, meaning that it is safe for all purposes excluding drinking. Turning to the future, our challenge is to build on the progress achieved by ensuring a cleaner and healthier river, one that would harken back to the days when the Algonquians gave it its name, the “quinetucket,” the place of the long tidal river.

The Land Trust intends to repeat the Great Meadow clean up this coming September. The date has already been set: Saturday, September 27 at 9 am. So, mark your calendars!

 

Local Resident Recalls Eleanor Roosevelt Endorsement of State Senate Candidacy

Eleanor Roosevelt endorsing the candidacy of Essex resident Jerome Wilson, when he was a candidate for the New York State Senate back in 1962

Eleanor Roosevelt endorsing the candidacy of Essex resident Jerome Wilson, when he was a candidate for the New York State Senate in 1962

What with much of the country riveted by the PBS documentary on the “Roosevelt’s,” Essex resident Jerome Wilson has released a photograph of his one time meeting with Eleanor Roosevelt. The photograph was taken in the fall of 1962, and it pictured Mrs. Roosevelt’s endorsement of Wilson’s candidacy for the New York State Senate in Albany. Wilson won his race in 1962 and went on to serve three terms in the New York State Senate.

Wilson was a member of what was called the Reform Movement in New York City in the 1960’s. The leaders of the Reform Democratic movement were three notable national Democrats: Eleanor Roosevelt, former New York State Governor Herbert Lehman and former Secretary of the U.S. Air Force, Thomas Finletter. The purpose of this group was to defeat Tammany Hall, Democratic Party officeholders (the so-called “bosses”), and replace them with Reform Democrats.

On the West Side of Manhattan, the Reform Democrats had already beaten Tammany Hall candidates in the 1960 elections, electing a U.S. Congressman and a New York State Senator. Wilson’s election as a State Senator on the Manhattan East Side in 1962 would be yet another victory for the Reform Democrats. In addition to electing public officials, the Reform Democrats had set up Reform Democratic clubs on both on the West Side and the East Side of Manhattan. At the time of his election to the New York State Senate, Wilson was the President of the Yorkville Democratic Club, a Reform Democratic club located on East 79th Street in Manhattan.

Wilson’s most significant accomplishment during his service in the New York State legislature was to lead the fight to reform the state’s 179-year-old divorce law. New York’s divorce law up until 1966 had only one ground for divorce, which was for adultery. There was not even a ground for extreme physical cruelty. Through his efforts, as Chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee and Family Law, Wilson exposed the inadequacy of the one-ground divorce law, and, as a result, the New York State legislature adopted new grounds for physical and mental cruelty, among other humane grounds for divorce.

Essex Wellness Center – New Essex Business Unlike Any Other

ESSEX — The Essex Wellness Center has opened its doors at 28 Main Street in the colonial village of Essex, Connecticut.

The first of its kind in or near this idyllic riverfront community, Essex Wellness Center offers a strategically developed range of holistic services in one location. Medical specialties and complementary therapies include naturopathic and Chinese medicine, acupuncture, anti-aging techniques, nutrition for health and weight loss, hypnosis, life coaching, therapy for body image and eating disorders, massage, integrative nurse coaching, mindful meditation, life and business/executive leadership coaching, and counseling for substance abuse and addictions.

Having a team of holistic minded health professionals under one roof is beyond convenient; it allows for assessments and a comprehensive wellness plan for a client who may be experiencing complicated symptoms triggered by anxiety, allergies, burnout, sports injury, or for someone who wants to strengthen their immune system or overcome a struggle with weight, smoking, insomnia, phobias, substance abuse or addiction.

Services and classes at Essex Wellness Center’s waterside locations on nearby Novelty Lane include Tai Chi and Qigong with Master Teacher David Chandler, Pilates, yoga, mindfulness meditation, Reiki, Barre, Zumba and personal and private fitness training.Essex Wellness Center founder and director Heidi Kunzli, MS, LADC, created this consortium of highly experienced holistic providers following the same high standards by which she grew her internationally acclaimed Privé-Swiss mental health retreat program in Laguna Beach, California. Founded 14 years ago, Privé-Swiss maintains a world-renowned reputation for offering clinical excellence through practitioners who deliver exceptional quality in care.

“Bringing the Essex Wellness Center to this enchanting village of Essex is a thrill,” said Kunzli, a Connecticut native and Essex resident. “The charm of this town and natural beauty of the river seem like a perfect fit for our natural approach to healing and maintaining optimum physical and mental health for a long, fulfilling life.”

Program updates, class schedules, new services and news about health and wellness will be posted through  facebook.com/ essexwellnesscenter , on Twitter @essexwellnessct and at www.essexwellnessctr.com. Call 860.767.7770 with questions or to make an appointment.

Local Businesses Support Cancer Center goPINK Project

Logo14PINKblackbg2Now in its fifth year, the goPINK Project is an annual event held during the month of October, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in which hair salons, businesses and schools come together throughout Middlesex County to raise funds for the Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center.

Donations cover the costs of integrative medicine therapy for patients, a complement to conventional treatment that focuses on the whole person – mind, body and spirit. Patients choose from yoga, Reiki, massage, reflexology, meditation and more.

Middlesex Hospital’s Cancer Center and its Nationally Accredited Comprehensive Breast Center provide the latest technology, treatment and clinical trials for a wide variety of cancers, with the personal touch of a nurse navigator.

Georgi Marino and Ellie Gagnon, owners of EG Salon in Middletown, established this annual fundraiser in 2010. Since that time, the event has raised $68,393 to support breast cancer patients at Middlesex Hospital.

During the event, individuals receive pink hair extensions and purchase t-shirts for $20 each from area hair salons and can make purchases at local businesses to support the cause.

“We are extremely grateful for the overwhelming support the goPINK fundraiser provides to women in our community,” says Sarah Moore, Middlesex Hospital Director of Philanthropy. “The dedicated efforts of everyone involved make a real difference for our patients.”

Participating businesses in the Shoreline area include:

Chester

A Style Above Salon – offering pink hair extensions the entire month of October. Dyed pink streaks are also available, as well as t-shirts to purchase.

Clinton

Klippers Beauty Supply Depot – goPINK donation box at this location.

Essex

The Spa of Essex

Old Saybrook

Bella Capelli – offering pink hair extensions the entire month of October and t-shirts.

ESSENCE for Beauty & Wellness – October 23, 5 to 8 p.m., donating 10% of Gio Minerals sales. T-shirts also available for sale.

For more details about goPINK throughout October, go to www.middlesexhospital.org/events-and-calendar/2014/9/29/gopink-project-2014

About Lilith and Self-Repression in Women

I first met Lilith (a legendary character from post biblical literature) while doing some supplemental reading for a theology course. In the article “The coming of Lilith: Toward a Feminist Theology” authored by Judith Plaskow, Lilith is described as a “demon of the night” who according to rabbinic legend was Old Testament Adam’s first wife.

That night, after reading the article, I had what Carl Jung termed a Doppelganger dream (two representatives of the dreamer appearing in the same dream). In the dream, Ali A and Ali B were two little girls of about four years old. A was dressed in a pale pink, stiffly starched pinafore. B was dressed in torn jeans and on her feet she was wearing sneakers with big holes. She looked untidy-even dirty.

The two girls were sitting at an outside table playing scrabble. In the dream, A was busy assembling words such as good, quiet, polite and kind. Each time A finished a word, B would reach out and scatter the letters to the ground. Frustrated, A reached over and shoved B off her chair. B fell down, but dragged herself up and swept all the letters off of the table.

A then calmly entered a big white house and returned with a gun. She filled B with several rounds of bullets, stamped on the body until it was flat. Then, she folded the body into a square package and tossed it into a gutter.

When I awakened from the dream, I had no idea what the dream was telling me and made no connection of the dream to the Lilith article. It was several weeks later while listening to Dolores Williams, an Africa American Womanist theologian, speak about her “search for Hagar” (Old Testament Sarah’s Egyptian slave maid) and how this text became a powerful paradigm for Womanists that I began making connections between the article about Lilith and my dream.

I suspected that the legend of Lilith was a powerful paradigm for me. What were her characteristics that made it impossible for her to remain in Adam’s garden and why did I toss her in the gutter?

I told my sister who was a Jungian Analyst about the dream and she gave me an article published in The Quadrant-a journal of the C.G. Jung Foundation. The article was written by another Jungian analyst-Barbara koltov. The title of the article was simply-Lilith.

I only read to page three; my eyes were riveted to the description of Lilith: “It is said that Lilith has the form of a beautiful woman from the head to the navel, and from the navel down she is flaming fire.”  I had painted that picture many, many years before while attending a convent boarding school. It was Lilith. I would guess that the nuns tossed my painting as I never saw it again.

Reading further, I learned that the legend of Lilith, found in Arabic, Assyrian, Babylonian, Canaanite, Hebrew, Persian, Sumerian and Teutonic mythology abounds with her characteristics. She is the embodiment of rebelliousness and assertiveness. Lilith is instinctual, earthy, prophetic, intuitive, fiery, dark, a seductress, desolate and full of rage. She is powerful.

In the article, Koltov reminds her readers that the traditional patriarchal mode of dealing with such a counter-force that derives her energy from opposition has been to suppress-or cast her out. As my dream suggests, I took that part of my feminine nature, that part of me that wants to make trouble and cause chaos, and threw it in the gutter-out of Adam’s garden.

Is it any wonder? After all, there is ever in the consciousness of a small child the need to feel safe and consequently the tendency to deny or split-off what appears to be unacceptable. I am certain that as a child of a patriarchal culture, I learned early on that the characteristics of Lilith were unacceptable. However, sometimes our psyche urges us through dreams, meaningful coincidence and illness to exteriorate what lies within.

Several months after my encounter with Lilith, my body, through illness, presented me with another image that punctuated the repression of my rebellious and assertive characteristics. I learned that I had a melanoma near my right jaw. While under local anesthesia, I can remember that as I lay on the table and the surgeon made his incision, I had an image in my mind’s eye of my jaw as a channel lock-locked in a position of about one-third open. As the surgeon continued working, although I could not feel anything, it “felt” as if a pin had been removed from my jaw and I would finally be able to open my mouth fully.

It was at that moment that I knew that Lilith’s energy that had been walled off for so long was finally going to be available to me. I had been holding dear to false security for too long. Thanks to many meaningful coincidences, I welcomed that part of me, the part that I tossed into the gutter, back home.

It is still a struggle. But when I feel that energy-mostly my fiery anger with cruelty to animals (e.g., the hideous and unnecessary drowning of “pesky” beavers in Essex), the cynical and scandalous disregard of our military, the politically inspired obtrusion, aimed at low information voters, that there is a “war on women” and dopey academic elites who indoctrinate our children and grandchildren with the “joy” of Socialism and the ruse of human-caused climate change (aka, Global warming), I am no longer polite or taciturn.  To ignore those feelings would simply be an out-picturing of a once deeply embedded false belief that my full feminine nature is not worthy of my deepest respect.

These are a few of my hot-blood issues. I suspect that there are legions of women, particularly from the over-fifty crowd, who experience this brand of self-repression; the anger wells-up, the blood begins to boil, but the fire in the belly is quickly extinguished for fear of being labeled “bossy,” bitchy or aggressive. I say self-repression as it seems unproductive to keep chiseling and growling about our American men who made the mistake of also being born into a patriarchal culture. Oppressing them as we feel or felt oppressed is not the answer.

Old School feminists, who achieved much for American women, made the mistake of projecting their dissatisfaction outward onto our guys and launched a war on the men in this country. For the past forty plus years, there has been a concerted effort to demonize, infantilize, feminize and over-medicate American men and boys.

It appears to me that as long as we project dissatisfaction outward onto the men in our society, we are using a neurotic means of attempting to overcome the uneasiness of self-repression. Yes, we were born into a patriarchal culture as were our men, but the path to wholeness is to pay attention to our own unique inner-drama by listening to what our psyche is trying to communicate to us through dreams, meaningful coincidences, illness and that fire in the belly.

Essex Selectmen Review Plan for Ivoryton Main Street Improvements

ESSEX— The board of selectmen Wednesday reviewed a conceptual plan for state grant-funded  improvements to Main Street in the Ivoryton section that could be put out to bid in the spring of 2015.

The town last year was awarded a $435,000 state Main Street Investment Fund grant for several improvements that would  slow traffic through Ivoryton village and create an improved pedestrian environment with four new or improved raised crosswalks. Based on a recommendation from an advisory committee chaired by Selectwoman Stacia Libby, the town earlier this year hired Anchor Engineering Services of Glastonbury to prepare preliminary plans for the project.
One key component of the plan is the removal of a raised island at the intersection of Summit Street and Main Street  that was constructed in the early 1970s with little input from the public.  The removal would create a wider T intersection for the two streets.

The plan also calls for new curbing and sidewalk, along with the new crosswalks. There would also be several new lantern pole-style streetlights installed on the easternmost end of Main Street, extending lighting that was first installed with state grant funding in 2005.  A reconfiguration of the parking area for the Ivorvton Park on the north side of Main Street would add a handful of additional public parking spaces for the village.

Libby said some of the improvements depicted in the plan would require approval from owners of private property on the street. Libby said the conceptual plan is now being reviewed by several town commissions, with a goal of putting the project out to bid by May 2015.

33rd Senate Candidates Clash Over Task Force Appointment in First Campaign Debate

Colin Bennett (Green Party), Republican Senator Art Linares and Democratic challenger Emily Bjornberg in first campaign debate

Green party candidate Colin Bennett, Republican Senator Art Linares and Democratic challenger Emily Bjornberg in first campaign debate

OLD LYME— A legislative appointment to a state task force on children’s jewelry was the focus of the sharpest exchange Tuesday as three candidates for the 12-town 33rd State Senate District seat faced off in the first campaign debate.
Republican State senator Art Linares of Westbrook, Democratic challenger Emily Bjornberg of Lyme, and Green Party nominee Colin Bennett of Westbrook appeared before a crowd of nearly 100 voters at the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School for an hour-long session that was co-sponsored by the New London Day and the League of Women voters. Day editor Paul Chionere posed written questions, most submitted from audience members, to the candidates.

Linares, a 25 year-old incumbent seeking a second term, and Bjornberg, a mother of two who works in the Youth and Family Ministry of Deep River Congregational Church, agreed on some issues, such as support for small businesses, and differed on others, such as the  stricter state gun law enacted last year. Linares had voted against the gun bill, contending it was never fully presented at a public hearing and imposed “unnecessary” restrictions on “law abiding citizens.” Bjornberg, noting she is from a “family of hunters”, said she would have supported the legislation, and contended Linares was not engaged during the crafting and debate on the bill.

Linares called for tighter control over state spending, along with possible reductions in the state gas and sales taxes. Bjornberg promised “fiscal responsibility,” while adding that she would “not balance the budget on the backs of children and senior citizens.”

But it was a question on the environment that prompted the sharpest exchange of the session, with Bjornberg contending a Linares appointment to a 16-member state task force reviewing the safety of children’s jewelry, particularly the presence of cadmium in the jewelry, showed a lack of concern for the environment and children’s safety.

As the ranking Republican member of the Children’s Committee, Linares was appointed to the task force, or allowed to designate a member in his place. Linares named Brent Cleaveland, the executive director of the Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association of  Rhode Island.

Bjornberg said Cleaveland is a paid lobbyist for the children’s jewelry business, and has publicly opposed limits on the mineral cadmium in jewelry.  She noted that cadmium has been listed as a potential human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration, and also claimed that Cleaveland has publicly downplayed the hazards of lead. Bjornberg raised this issue during the exchange on the environment, and again in the final minutes of the debate.
Linares said Cleaveland is “an advocate for making children’s jewelry safe.”  Linares also contended a bill that Bjornberg had expressed support for, to ban all pesticides from high school athletic fields, would have imposed a costly new mandate on schools districts in the 33rd District.

Bennett, a substitute teacher who has run for the seat previously on the Green Party line, avoided direct criticism of the two major party candidates. Bennett said he was uncertain whether he would have supported the 2013 gun law, but expressed opposition to plans to expand natural gas service in Connecticut because much of the gas is produced through hydraulic fracking. Bennett also called for expanded investments in clean energy technology and legalization of the recreational use of marijuana as economic development measures for the state.

Bennett will also participate in a second debate scheduled for Tuesday Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. at Valley Regional High School in Deep River. Another debate sponsored by the Westbrook Council of Beaches is scheduled for Oct. 6 at the Mulvey Municipal Building in Westbrook. The 33rd District includes the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Portland, Westbrook and sections of Old Saybrook.

Regional School District 4 Prevails in Lawsuit Filed by Former High School Principal

REGION 4— A summary judgment from Middlesex Superior Court Judge Julia Aurigemma has ended a lawsuit filed against the school district by former Valley Regional High School Principal Eric Rice, though an appeal of the decision to the Connecticut Appellate Court remains a possibility.

In a decision issued on August 15, Judge Aurigemma rejected claims by Rice that the school district violated terms of his October 2010 release and resignation agreement when it released emails and other information on his brief tenure as the high school principal in response to a freedom of information request from the Hartford Courant. The newspaper published an article on Rice’s departure from the principal position in June 2011 that included information from the emails. Rice, represented by the Hamden law firm Gesmonde, Petrosimone & Srigrinari, filed a lawsuit in December 2011 contending the release of the information violated the terms of the agreement and defamed him. The legal action was also filed against Superintendent of Schools Ruth Levy and former assistant superintendent Ian Neviaser as individuals.

After months of proceedings and motions before four different judges, and depositions from Levy and Neviaser, Aurigemma agreed last spring to hear arguments and issue a summary judgement on the case, which was initially listed for a trial at the Middletown courthouse in November.

In the decision, Aurigemma determined the release and resignation agreement between Rice and the school district that was signed before his departure from the high school principal job in October 2010 was “comprehensive,” and under its terms Rice waived any further legal claims against the school district. Under the agreement, Rice, who assumed the principal job in August 2010 and was later a subject of complaints from teachers and other staff, received $62,000 in severance pay and health insurance coverage until he found other employment.

The agreement also included a letter of recommendation which was negotiated by attorneys for Rice and the school district. Rice, a Chester resident, later assumed a teaching position with the West Haven school system.
The judge’s decision also rejected claims that the school district had defamed Rice by releasing the emails and other documents in response to the freedom of information request. Aurigemma determined that all of the documents were from the time period covered by the release and resignation agreement, and that school officials had been “deliberative” in deciding which documents to release to the newspaper. The judge determined that Rice had not been defamed by the school district, or by Levy and Neviaser.

Attorneys for Rice earlier this month filed a motion to appeal Aurigemma’s decision to the Connecticut Appellate Court. A status hearing ion the case is scheduled for Oct. 9 at Middlesex Superior Court.

Essex Savings Bank Donates to Non-Profits

ESSEX – Gregory R. Shook, President & CEO of Essex Savings Bank announced the completion of distribution from the Directors’ portion of the Community Investment Fund amounting to $44,000.  Amounts range from $10,000 to $500.  Total distributions for the year will amount to $223,373 and $3.9 million since the 1996 inception of distributing 10% of after tax net income.  Donations for this portion have been allocated to the following non-profit organizations.

Camp Hazen YMCA * The Chester Historical Society, Inc. * Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, Inc. * Community Foundation of Middlesex County * Connecticut River Museum at Steamboat Dock * The Deep River Historical Society * Essex Historical Society * Essex Land Trust * Essex Winter Series * Florence Griswold Museum * The Ivoryton Library Association * Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center & Theatre * Lawrence & Memorial Hospital * Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts * Lyme Art Association * Lyme Land Conservation Trust, Inc. * Lyme Public Library, Inc. * Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau * MacCurdy Salisbury Educational Foundation, Inc. * Madison Community Services, Inc. * Madison Land Conservation Trust * Middlesex Hospital * Musical Masterworks * The Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library Association, Inc. * Rotary Club of Essex Foundation * Tri-Town Youth Service Bureau, Inc. * Valley Shore YMCA * Vista (Vocational Independent Supported Transitional Alternative).

Essex Savings Bank is a FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851.  The Bank serves the Connecticut River Valley and shoreline with six offices in Essex (2), Chester, Madison, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook.  Financial, estate, insurance and retirement planning are offered throughout the state by the Bank’s Trust Department and wholly-owned subsidiary, Essex Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC.  Investments in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and annuities are not FDIC insured, may lose value and are not a deposit, have no Bank guarantee and are not insured by any Federal Government Agency.

Eastern Connecticut Ballet Partners with The Kate

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Let the dancing begin! In September young dance students from our shoreline communities will soon be putting on ballet slippers for classes at The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. Eastern Connecticut Ballet is proud to offer its Young Children’s Program for ages 3-7 in this landmark theater.

Known for encouraging creativity and fun, the program was voted The Shoreline’s Best Children’s Ballet School by Connecticut magazine. With expert instruction, girls and boys learn basic ballet skills, coordination, and a love of music. The classes provide an excellent foundation for the future study of classical ballet.

Founded in East Lyme in 1992, Eastern Connecticut Ballet is one of the state’s premiere schools for dance with an enrollment of more than 300 students from age two to college-age. From their first steps in the studio to performing onstage, ECB dancers discover the joys of this vibrant art form.

Space is available in classes on the East Lyme main campus as well.

Visit easternctballet.com for information and registration forms or call ECB at 860-739-7899.

Contracts to be Signed for Deep River Industrial development

DEEP RIVER– The board of selectmen this week approved contracts with three local firms for development on a town-owned parcel at the Plattwood Park Industrial Area. The board endorsed the contracts at a meeting Tuesday after selecting the three firms earlier this summer following a request for proposals.

First Selectman Richard Smith said the three firms, Top Notch Electrical Services LLC, Winthrop Tool LLC, and Moyers Landscaping Services LLC, will be required to begin construction of an industrial building on their assigned parcel by April 2015. The industrial building lots are being divided from a four-acre parcel on the northwest corner of the town industrial area that the town purchased last year for $270,000 from local resident Gary Mislick.

The plans, which have received approval from town land use commissions, call for three lots fronting on a new road that would end in a cul-de-sac. The agreement calls for the town to construct the access road for the parcels.
Under the contracts, the three businesses would be required to pay municipal property tax on the property, including tax on all buildings and equipment. Under the terms of a 40-year lease, the businesses would pay a nominal rent on the land of only $1 per year for the first ten years, with annual rent increasing to $3,600 per year in October 2024. The lease also includes an option to buy the parcels, with the annual rent on the parcels rising every ten years through 2054.

In a separate development Smith reported that a large manufacturing company that had expressed interest in a 59-acre industrial parcel on the east side of Route 154 has now stepped back from a possible purchase of the land from the Mislick family. Smith had announced a possible sale of the parcel, which was rezoned industrial in 2006, at the Aug. 12 board of selectmen meeting.

Smith said the costs of constructing an access road in to the parcel, which would have to extend more than 1,000 feet after a crossing of the Valley Railroad tracks, were too much for the unidentified prospective buyer. Smith said the land remains on the market for sale and development.

Republican Senator Art Linares and Democratic Challenger Emily Bjornberg Schedule Debate for 33rd District Contest

AREAWIDE— Republic State Senators Art Linares and Democratic challenger Emily Bjornberg have agreed to at least three public debates for their election contest in the 12-town 33rd Senate district, though Bjornberg is calling for at least one more face-off to be held in one of the northern towns of the district.

In a separate campaign development, Colin Bennett of Westbrook has been endorsed the receive the Green Party line on the Nov. 4 ballot. Bennett has run for the seat several times as the Green Party nominee in past elections where former Democratic State Sen. Eileen Daily of Westbrook faced Republican challengers.

The Green Party has secured a ballot line in the district with past campaigns by Bennett, and particularly with the 2012 contest after Daily’s retirement where Melissa Schlag of Haddam won nearly ten percent of the vote as the Green Party candidate in the contest with Linares and Democratic nominee Jim Crawford of Westbrook. Schlag was elected last year as the Democratic first selectwoman of Haddam, and is supporting Bjornberg in this year’s election.

Bennett is not believed to be waging an active campaign for the Nov. 4 vote, but he has been included in at least one of the Linares-Bjornberg debates. Bennett has been invited to participate in a Sept. 23 debate at Valley Regional High School in Deep River that is sponsored by the Essex Library. The debate begins at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium, with written questions from the audience that will be screened by the debate moderator, Essex Librarian Richard Conroy.

The first campaign face off between the one-term Republican incumbent and Bjornberg, of Lyme, will be held Tuesday Sept. 16 at the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School in Old Lyme. The session, sponsored by the New London Day, begins at 8 p.m.
Old Lyme is part of the 20th Senate District, but Lyme, its northern neighbor, is in the 33rd District. The district also includes the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Portland, Westbrook, and parts of Old Saybrook.

The candidates will also appear at a debate sponsored by the Westbrook Council of Beaches in early October, and at a forum, not a debate, sponsored by the Chester-Deep River-Essex chapter of the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce on the morning of Oct. 3 at the Chester Meeting House.

Bjornberg this week urged Linares to agree to hold one additional public debate in one of the five northern towns of the district, Colchester, East Haddam, East Hampton, Haddam, or Portland. Bjornberg said she would keep her schedule open for a northern town debate.

Essex Officials Cut Ribbon on Town Hall Civic Campus Project

Cutting the ribbon: (l to r) First Selectman Norman Needleman, Ryce Libby, Maizy Libby, Selectman Stacy Libby, Selectman Bruce Glowar (photo by Jerome Wilson)

Cutting the ribbon: (l to r) First Selectman Norman Needleman, Ryce Libby, Maizy Libby, Selectman Stacy Libby, Selectman Bruce Glowar (photo by Jerome Wilson)

ESSEX— A crowd of more than 70 residents was on hand late Wednesday afternoon as the board of selectmen held a dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting for the Town Hall Civic Campus project.

The project, which includes a an expanded and improved parking area for town hall, new tennis courts, and a new handicapped accessible children’s playscape, was funded through a combination of state grand funds with some town funding. Completion of the tennis courts earlier this year marked the final phase for a project hat began last fall with work on the town hall parking lot. Most of the heaviest construction work was done by Xenelis Construction Inc. of Middlefield, with some work completed by town public works employees and sub-contractors.

The town was awarded a $471,500 Small  Town Economic Assistance Program, (STEAP) grant for the project in the fall of 2012. Town Finance Director Kelly Sterner said this week the total cost of the project was about $620,000, with the largest components covered by the grant funding, Town funds were used for improvements to the front entrance to town hall on West Avenue, and new crosswalks and sidewalks on Grove Street  at the other side of the building. A $10,000 donation from the Bauman Family Foundation paid for lighting for the tennis courts.

Sterner was one of several town employees praised for their efforts on the project by First Selectman Norman Needleman at the ceremony Wednesday. Needleman, who described the project as a “perfect example of state and local partnership,” said Sterner had helped prepare the grant application while also guiding the different sources of funding for the project. He also praised Parks and Recreation Director Rick Audett for his efforts during construction of the tennis courts and playscape at the Grove Street Park that abuts the town hall property.

Essex First Selectman  Norman Needleman makes opening remarks prior to ribbon cutting (photo by Jerome Wilson)

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman makes opening remarks prior to ribbon cutting (photo by Jerome Wilson)

Also participating at the ceremony Wednesday were two incumbent legislators from different political parties who are seeking new terms in the Nov. 4 election, 36th District Democratic State Rep. Phil Miller of Essex, and 33rd District Republican State Senator Art Linares of Westbrook.

Comedy is Hard Opening at The Ivoryton Playhouse

Micky Dolenz* and Joyce DeWitt* (photo courtesy of Anne Hudson).

Micky Dolenz* and Joyce DeWitt*  (photo courtesy of Anne Hudson).

IVORYTON – The world premiere of a brand new play by acclaimed writer of The Simpsons, Mike Reiss, will take place at the historic Ivoryton Playhouse in Ivoryton, CT. Previews begin September 24th – the play opens on September 26th and runs through October 12th. Micky Dolenz (of The Monkees) will star alongside Joyce Dewitt,  veteran actress and star of the ABC television hit series Three’s Company.

Dolenz has delighted audiences with his performances on stage in the Elton John/Tim Rice production of Aida;Grease; Pippin’; A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum; and, most recently Hairspray in the West End playing Wilbur Turnblad.

Said Dolenz, “The opportunity to originate this role in Mike’s new play is terrific. I am ready to un-leash my inner-comedian.”

Joyce DeWitt is no stranger to the hilarious writing of Mike Reiss as she starred in the world premiere of his play I’m Connecticut in 2012 at CT Repertory Theatre. DeWitt, who has performed in almost every theatrical genre from Medea to South Pacific, jumped at the chance to perform in another Mike Reiss play. “The idea of figuring out how to play this woman who goes through a deep, heart-place transformation/evolution–in the middle of a wonderfully written comedy!  With Micky Dolenz? At the beautiful, historic Ivoryton Playhouse? “Yes” was a no-brainer.”

Comedy is Hard is a story of friendship and friction between an aging comedian and a veteran dramatic actress in a home for retired performers.  It’s about life, love, show business, and the importance of growing old disgracefully.

Reiss, who is writer and producer for the long running TV show, The Simpsons, also created the animated series The Critic; the webtoon Queer Duck and worked on the screenplays for Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs; Horton Hears a Who!; The Simpsons: The Movies; and, My Life In Ruins. Ivoryton audiences turned out in droves in the June 2013 for his hilarious play, I’m Connecticut, which was a huge popular and critical success.

Comedy is Hard! opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on September 24 and runs through October 12, 2014. Directed by Playhouse Artistic Director, Jacqueline Hubbard, the cast includes Michael McDermott*, Dan Coyle, Dorian Mendez and Michael Hotkowski. The set design is by Dan Nischan, lighting by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Lenore Grunko. Executive Producer is Michael A. Dattilo.

Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm.

There will be talkbacks with the writer – check our website for details. Tickets are $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

Generously sponsored by Hamilton Connections and Middle Oak.

 

Essex Garden Club Announces Officers for 2014

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New Officers of the Essex Garden Club. From L to R: Carol Denham, Barbara Burgess, Linda Newberg, Patricia Mather, Dianne Sexton, Barbara Marden and Barbara Hall

Essex Garden Club has announced its new officers.  Officers for the for 2014-15 are Linda Newberg, president; Barbara Burgess, first vice president; Dianne Sexton, second vice president; Barbara Hall, recording secretary, Barbara Marden, corresponding secretary; Patricia Mather, treasurer; and Carol Denham, assistant treasurer.

In her opening remarks at the September meeting, Newberg described the club’s agenda and activities for the coming year, and introduced the theme for this year, “A Tribute to You”.  She went on to say that the success of the club’s projects is directly dependent on the tireless work of the many club volunteers.  These projects include civic beautification, scholarships, and educational and conservation initiatives.

Essex Transfer Station and Recycling Center Procedures Starting October

Pitching in the garbage with feeling

Pitching in the garbage with feeling

The Town of Essex’s Transfer Station and Recycling Center, which is located a 5 Dump Road in Essex, will adopt new use procedures, effective October 1, 2014. From that date forward, users of the transfer station must either have: 1) a valid official sticker affixed to the windshield of their vehicle, or 2) a pre-paid punch card in hand, before disposing of household garbage and trash at the Essex town transfer station.

Use of the transfer station is limited, exclusively, to the residents of Essex, Centerbrook and Ivoryton. The transfer station is located in Essex at 5 Dump Road off Route 154. It is also just off Exit 4 of Route 9. The hours of operation at the facility are Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Windshield stickers permitting a year’s unlimited access to the transfer station can only be purchased at the Town Clerk’s office at the Town Hall in downtown Essex. The cost of a one year permit is $125, and $75 for seniors. They can be paid for by cash or check, but not by credit card. The Town Clerk will also sell 10 bag punch cards for $25 a card.

In the addition, the transfer station at 5 Dump Road will sell 10 bag punch cards. which can be paid for by check, credit or debit card, but not by cash.

Supplemental Disposal Fees

Effective October 1, there will also be additional Supplemental Disposal Fees for users of the transfer station. The supplemental fees, which will be collected at the transfer station, will range in price from $5 for the disposal of an old tire, to $20 for the disposal of sleeping furniture. However, there will be no extra Supplemental Disposal Fees for many items, such as antifreeze, computers, leaves or paint.

Payment of Annual Stickers and Punch Cards Online

Essex residents can download the Transfer Station’s Resident Pass Application form by going to the Essex town website at www.essexct,gov. The form on the website is listed under “News & Announcements.” Also available on the Town of Essex Transfer Station & Recycling Center website is a complete roster of Supplemental Waste Disposal fees, effective October 1.

A benefit when purchasing an annual user sticker before October 1, 2014 is that purchasers can begin using the annual stickers immediately, thus giving them some days free of fees before the October 1, 2014, the effective date of the new windshield stickers and punch cards.

In announcing its new waste disposal rules Essex residents were reminded that the annual stickers and punch cards only allow the disposal of household garbage and trash. Information regarding other accepted disposal items can be found in the transfer station’s brochure, which is available at the transfer station, and on its website.

The Betty Pierson Recycling Building

Another service at the Essex transfer station is a recycling center that offers reusable items that Essex residents are offering without charge to their neighbors. Items such as wooden furniture, household items and bicycles in good condition may be left for the use of fellow Essex residents at the center. The items are for personal use only.

The recycling center

The Betty Pierson Recycling Building

Essex residents who wish to pick up these items are restricted to one trip a week to the Betty Pierson Recycling shed. No loitering at the building is permitted, and the staff at the transfer station will enforce these policies.

Lawsuit Involving Essex Veterans Memorial Hall is Withdrawn

ESSEX— A lawsuit against the Essex Veterans Memorial Hall Inc. that was filed last December has been withdrawn after a Middlesex Superior Court judge held settlement conferences with the parties. The lawsuit filed by local lawyer Michael Peck included the town because the town remains a fall back owner of the Essex Veterans Memorial Hall property located in the Centerbrook section.

Peck, a veteran and Chester resident, filed the lawsuit on behalf of Michael Bergeron, a town resident who is a Gulf War veteran. Peck claimed in the suit that Begeron had been improperly banned from the property, including a club area where alcoholic beverages are sold, and from local veterans activities. The lawsuit also claimed Essex Veterans Memorial Hall Inc. had lost, and never regained, its status as a non-profit tax exempt organization, and that a majority of the EVM club members are no longer U.S. military veterans.

The town-owned property was donated to returning World War II veterans in 1946 for use as a meeting hall for local veterans organizations. The building has served as a meeting hall for the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post and occasionally other veterans organizations for more than 60 years. The separate club has been in operation during this time for sale of alcoholic beverages to members and their guests.

Peck said this week he withdrew the lawsuit at the end of July after three settlement conferences directed by Middlesex Superior Court Judge Edward Domnarski, who is an Essex resident. Also participating in the sessions was Richard Palladino, an Old Saybrook lawyer retained by EVM Inc. in response to the lawsuit. Peck said town attorney David Royston declined to participate in the sessions.

Peck said the settlement did not result in reinstatement of Bergeron as a club member, but did clarify the legal status of the property and various procedures that are required of EVM Inc.. as a tax exempt not-profit veterans organization. He said EVM Inc. has regained its 501C18 status as a tax exempt organization, and has also  pledged to strive to ensure that at least 75 percent of club members are veterans.

After a review by the state Liquor Control Commission, the EVM club retains its liquor license. The club is planning its annual Pig Roast, which is open to the public, for Saturday Sept. 13.

Essex Capital Projects Submitted to Selectmen, Bonding Could Exceed $6 Million

 

ESSEX— The board of selectmen Wednesday received a long-awaited report on municipal capital building projects. The selectmen deferred discussion to a Sept. 17 meeting on a list of projects that could require more than $6 million in bonding if all of the projects were included in a bonding authorization resolution.

The 22-page report was prepared by a Capital Projects Building Committee that was established the fall of 2013 to carry forward the efforts of a capital projects study committee that was formed in 2012. The committee was chaired by Selectman Bruce Glowac, with members that included Finance Director Kelly Sterner and Leigh Rankin, a former U.S. Coast Guard officer who also serves on the Region 4 Board of Education. The committee worked with the engineering firm CME Associates Inc. of Woodstock to develop preliminary cost estimates for each project.

Glowac said the report lists projects in priority order, and includes projects the committee believes should be addressed by the town looking forward for the next ten years. The top priorities are replacement of the Walnut Street and Ivory Street bridges in the Ivoryton section, along with five improvements at Essex Elementary School, the most important being replacement of most of the school roof.

Cost estimates for the bridge projects are $2.1 million for the Walnut Street bridge, and $450,000 for the Ivory Street bridge. The elementary school projects total $2.52 million, including  $1.4 million for the roof replacement, $600,000 for air conditioning at the school, $225,000 for paving work around the front entrance, and $185,000 for improvements to the school media center, including removal of asbestos located under the floor tiles. The town has already expended $110,000 to convert the school to newly available natural gas heating.

The report estimates the Walnut Street bridge replacement and the school roof replacement would be eligible for $2,055,000 in grant funding reimbursement that would reduce the actual expense for town taxpayers.

The report lists six improvements at town hall with a total estimated cost of $1,165,000. Projects include roof replacement-$200,000, 47 new energy efficient windows-$115,000, reconfiguring land use offices-$500,000, air quality improvements-$200,000, bathroom improvements $120,000, and a new fire alarm system that would include a fire suppression system for the town records vault-$30,000.

The report lists three improvements for the town public works garage with a total estimated cost of $470,000. The projects include replacing the roof of the garage that is  more than 30 years old-$109,000, a new heating system for the facility-$97,000, and a new two bay garage with a covered storage area for road salt and sand-$264,000.

The selectmen are expected to review the report with the board of finance later this month, and hold one or more public information sessions during the fall before final decisions are made on a bonding authorization resolution that would be presented to town voters for approval in a referendum.

Clinton Stumps for Malloy in New Haven, Highlights Governor’s Strengths

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Photo by Christine Stuart/CTNewsJunkie.com

Former President Bill Clinton told a friendly crowd of party loyalists Tuesday that Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy should be elected by 10 points or more based on what he’s been able to accomplish.

That’s the message Clinton told a half-full ballroom of supporters at the Omni Hotel in New Haven. He also said …

Read the full story by Christine Stuart and published on CTNewsJunkie.com Sept. 2

Essex Land Trust Seeks to Raise Funds for The Preserve

Jim Denham, President of the Essex Land Trust

Jim Denham, President of the Essex Land Trust

In a recent letter to its members, Jim Denham, President of the Essex Land Trust, writes, “The Essex Land Trust is an active partner in the campaign to purchase and protect the 1,000 acre forest known as The Preserve. Over the past months, we have been working with a number of organizations to identify the $10 million in funding needed to make this project a reality.”

Noting that Essex land is a part of The Preserve, Denham writes, “The 70-acre Essex gateway to The Preserve is located off Ingham Hill Road. It will be owned and stewarded by the Essex Land Trust. It is part of a unique property representing the largest remaining, contiguous costal forest between New York City and Boston.”

Visiting the Essex Part of The Preserve

Visitors wishing to take a look at Essex’s 70-acre part of The Preserve can do so by driving down Route 153 from Essex towards Westbrook. Take a left off Route 153 on to Ingham Hill Road. Drive down Ingham Hill road until the road ends at a gated fence. To the left of the fence, and looking over the fence, are portions of the Essex part of The Preserve.

In his letter Denham continues, “Three rivers find their headwaters in The Preserve; they are important contributors in our region’s water aquifer. The Preserve’s un-fragmented oak woodland and swamps offer nesting habitats for birds of conservation concern and is an important stop over for migrant species. Freshwater pools are home to amphibians while Bobcats and Fisher cats also have been spotted.”

Fresh water pools in The Preserve

Fresh water pools in The Preserve

Denham observes, “With support from Essex and Old Saybrook voters, the Governor and our legislator, approximately $6.5 million of the $7 million public funding target has been committed, and the remainder is in process. We have achieved over $1.6 million of a targeted $3 million in private funding from committed land trust members and conservationists. We are working hard to secure the remaining $1.4 million.”

Forest Trail in Essex’s Part of the Preserve

Forest Trail in Essex’s Part of the Preserve

Denham concludes his plea for contributions to The Preserves acquisition. “To help reach our goal an anonymous donor has pledged to match the first $20,000 committed between now and September 15th. This is your opportunity to be a part of this historic effort. I hope you will join in.”

Two New Deep River Sewer Project Bids Within Available Funding

DEEP RIVER— Two new bids for the town’s sewer expansion project fall within the $4 million in available funding, but without any of the alternates that were initially part of the project.

Four bids were opened earlier this moth after the project was put out to bid a second time when a first round of bids opened in June all exceeded in the $4 million in funding that was authorized by voters at a May 2013 town meeting. The project is intended to extend municipal sewer service to about 120 properties in the area of the Kirtland Street and River Lane neighborhoods on the east side of Main Street. It was to be funded by $4 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including a $1.2 million grant and a $2.8 million 40-year loan.

The two lowest base bids in the second round of bidding were  $3,609,985 from B&W Paving and Landscaping of Mystic, and  $3,876,373 from Baltazar Construction Inc. of Ludlow, Mass. But inclusion of four project alternates would raise the total bids to $5,444,060 for B&W Paving and Landscaping and $5,456,152 for Baltazar Construction.

First Selectman Richard Smith said Thursday project engineers with the Meriden firm Cardinal Engineering are now reviewing the two lowest bids. He said deferring the project alternates would still allow the town to extend sewer service to at least 90 properties, along with construction of two new pumping stations that are required for the project.

Smith said the town has also asked U.S. D.A. to increase the grant and loan funding for the project, with an response from the federal agency expected within the next 10 days. Any increase in funding for the total project cost would require approval from voters at a town meeting. Smith said he is hopeful a contract can be awarded with one of the low bidders by mid-September to allow for a start of construction this year.,

Centerbrook Architects Designing Seaport Exhibition Hall

MysticMuseum-Centerbrook (1)

Centerbrook Architects is designing a new 14,000-square-foot Exhibition Hall for Mystic Seaport in Connecticut that will be the keynote building at the northern entrance to the 19-acre riverfront campus. The new building, which is seeking zoning approval from the town of Stonington, will be located where the Seaport’s existing indoor-oriented exhibit spaces are concentrated, helping to form a “Gallery Quad.”

Along with a 5,000-square- foot exhibition gallery with a high ceiling for displaying boats, the building will feature visitor reception and events space, a retail shop, a café, and outdoor terraces overlooking the Mystic River.

Leading the design team is Centerbrook partner Chad Floyd, who has worked on numerous cultural projects, among them the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, the Garde Arts Center, the Florence Griswold Museum, and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Locate in Essex, Centerbrook Architects has a national clientele and was awarded the prestigious Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects.

The building’s asymmetrically curving roof and end walls recall nautical themes while also establishing a contemporary architectural presence amid a recreated 19th century maritime village. Along with its existing neighbors, the building forms a sociable courtyard for outdoor gatherings, events, and concerts.

Mystic Seaport, the Museum of America and the Sea, was founded in 1929 and is the home to the Charles W. Morgan, the nation’s last remaining wooden whaling ship.

Region 4 Schools Open Thursday for 2014-2015 Academic Year

REGION 4— Region 4 schools open Thursday for the 2014-2015 academic year with two new administrators and 16 new teachers, along with a new system that provides a faster assessment of student performance in the classroom.
Superintendent of Schools Ruth Levy said administrators and staff are excited about opening day. “The schools are ready and waiting to open the doors tomorrow,” Levy said Wednesday. Levy said student enrollment is down from the totals in the 2013-2014 school year, with no late surge in student registrations over the summer,

The new student assessment system to be implemented at all five districts schools is from a national firm, Northwest Educational Association. It will provide teachers with a quicker assessment of student performance, allowing for a more timely information to guide instructional plans. A school breakfast program that began last spring at two elementary schools will be expanded to all five schools. A new system will also enable parents to pay for school breakfast and lunches on line.
The new administrators are Christian Strickland, the new principal at Deep River Elementary School, and Sarah Smalley, new director pupil services. Strickland, a Middletown resident, worked previously as an assistant principal at an elementary school in Berlin. Smalley, an Old Lyme resident, is the former director of pupil services for Region 17 (Haddam-Killingworth) schools. Smalley worked previously in Region 4 as a special education teacher at Valley Regional High School. She is an elected member of the Region 18( Lyme-Old Lyme) Board of Education.

The highest number of new teachers is at the high school, where several long-time educators retired in June. They include Mary O’Reilly-Spanish, Rachael Cassella-Spanish, Jill Esernia-English, Evan Soderholm- social studies, Augusta Ferretti-mathematics, John Kopcha- technology education, and Michael Naylor as a long-term substitute for physical education.

The elementary schools for Deep River and Essex each have three new teachers. At Deep River Elementary School, there is third grade teacher Allyson Pitney, along with remedial reading and language arts teachers Andrea Ricci and Nicole Flynn. At Essex Elementary Schools, there is sixth grade teacher Erica Fleischman, kindergarten teacher Cynthis Breitenbach, and library/media specialist Renee Mitchill.

Along with Smalley, there are three new teachers funded through the supervision district, technology integration specialist Kirsten Reynolds, and two special education teachers, Emily Dreher at Essex Elementary School, and Elise Johnson at Chester Elementary School Bethany Peters is a new para-educator at Chester Elementary School, and Mary Jane Maltezos is the new secretary to the principal at John Winthrop Middle School.

John Rafal Ranks 7th in Barron’s 2014 Top Advisor List

John Rafal, long term resident of Old Lyme and the Founder and current Vice Chair of Essex Financial Services, has been ranked 12th in Barron’s special report of the nation’s Top 100 Financial Advisors.

John Rafal

ESSEX – Barron’s, the acclaimed financial and investment newsweekly, has ranked John W. Rafal of Essex, Connecticut, number 7 on its Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors list for 2014. The Barron’s list of the Top 100 Independent Advisors was first launched in 2007. Mr. Rafal has appeared on the list each year.

The Barron’s list evaluates America’s leading independent financial advisors, based on assets under management, revenue generated for the advisors’ firms, excellent client service and quality of practices. Mr. Rafal is the Founder and current Vice Chair of Essex Financial Services, which is owned by Essex Savings Bank. The ranking appears in the August 25 edition of Barron’s (www.barrons.com).

“We are delighted that John has once again led our firm to a prominent spot in the Barron’s listing of top independent financial advisors,” said Charles R. “Chuck” Cumello Jr., CEO and President of Essex Financial Services. “It is always an honor to be included in this distinguished group, and we deeply appreciate his efforts, the support shown by our entire team and most importantly the loyal clients who make it possible.”

“I’m thankful to Barron’s for recognizing the quality and commitment of our entire team here at Essex Financial Services,” said Mr. Rafal. “In particular, I want to express my gratitude to our clients, many of whom we have worked with for more than three decades. We deeply value our client relationships, and the loyalty and trust that they entail.”

Essex Financial Services is a wealth management firm serving the high net worth and institutional markets, and has $3.6 billion of assets under management or administration. Founded in 1851, Essex Savings Bank is a mutual financial institution chartered to provide a full complement of financial products and services including business banking.

Rep. Phil Miller Named 2014 Champion by CT League of Conservation Voters

Rep. Phil Miller Named 2014 Champion by CT League of Conservation Voters

Rep. Phil Miller Named 2014 Champion by CT League of Conservation Voters

The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV) has named State Representative Phil Miller (D – Essex, Deep River, Chester, and Haddam) as a 2014 Legislative Champion for his leadership on GMO legislation and the statewide water plan.  Rep. Miller also fought for $2 million in bonding for “The Preserve,” a large, rare coastal forest.

The CTLCV released their 2014 Environmental Scorecard for the Connecticut State Legislature in August. The 15th annual release of such scores was bolstered by nearly 20 environmental bills that passed through the Connecticut General Assembly this year, providing an expanded base for scoring.

“I am honored to be so recognized as a conservationist,” said Rep. Miller. “Clean air, soil, and water are essential to a healthy economy. I feel that our State of Connecticut has a role in assuring this.”

Rep. Miller sits on the Environment Committee in the General Assembly. Rep. Miller was also a sub-committee co-chair of the Water Planning Summit’s subcommittee on Water Infrastructure and works as a naturalist and conservationist.

“Rep. Phil Miller is one of the best informed legislators on environmental issues in the General Assembly and he is always willing to lead the way,” says Lori Brown, Executive Director of CTLCV.  “Aside from the tireless work Rep. Miller has done with The Preserve, he helped guide the direction of the Statewide Water Plan, legislation on chemicals of concern, and so many other issues.”

Rep. Miller has a 96% lifetime score on environmental issues according to the League.

The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters is CT’s leading environmental watchdog organization, which works to pass pro-environment laws, elect pro-environment candidates, and hold all elected officials accountable. CTLCV Scorecards dating back to 2000 can be found online at www.ctlcv.org/scorecard.

Chester Fair Photo Winners Represent 11 Connecticut Towns

Winner of the 2014 Special Theme - A Child’s Perspective.  The photo is titled ‘Bumper Crop’ and was taken by Stuart Johnson of Chester

Winner of the 2014 Special Theme – A Child’s Perspective. The photo is titled ‘Bumper Crop’ and was taken by Stuart Johnson of Chester

The 135th Annual Chester Fair was again a showcase for amateur photographers from both near and far. A total of 73 adult and youth photographers entered a total of 292 prints at this year’s exhibition and competition.

Photo Superintendent Skip Hubbard said, “We annually attract entries from a wide area.  This year’s top winners alone represented 11 towns.”

For those wishing to look ahead, in addition to the standard categories, ‘Architecture’ will be the Special Theme category for 2015.

The 2014 blue ribbon and special award winners were as follows:

Black & White Photography

People: Lesa Soja (Higganum)

General Interest: Joyce Kjos (Clinton)

Best in Show (B&W): Joyce Kjos

Color Photography

People:  Mary Jane Monahan (Naugatuck)

Animals: Robin Ehle-Meyer ((Centerbrook)

General Interest: William Perrelli (Hamden)

Flowers:  Jonathan Steele (Ivoryton)

Landscapes / Seascapes: Jonathan Steele

Fair:  Diane Lindsay (Chester)

Youth ages 1-12:  Caroline Haskins (Essex)

Youth ages 13-16:  Madeline Gifford (Killingworth)

Theme 1 – Two Colors:  Judy Denberg (Marlborough)

Theme 2 – A Child’s Perspective:  Stuart Johnson (Chester)

Best in Show (Color): Jonathan Steele

Special Awards

Joseph’s Photography Award for Achievement: Dama DeManche (Chester)

Devlin Photography Award: Jonathan Steele

Ken Kells Youth Photo Award: Meaghan Akehurst (Chester)

 

Webster Bank Holds Shoreline “Stuff-A-Truck” Food Drive for SSKP

Hunger never takes a vacation, and during the summer months, as many are taking time off, local food pantries often see a sharp decrease in  food drives. Fortunately, staff members at 16 local Webster Bank branches stepped up to fill the pantry shelves, with a “Stuff-A-Truck” food drive for The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP).

The August drive, held by Webster bankers from East Haven to East Lyme, was a big success, collecting 618 pounds of much needed household staples, such as soups, peanut butter, tuna, rice and beans.

“We are so grateful that our friends at Webster Bank were able to organize this summertime food drive. The food SSKP received will help assure that those in our community who are facing financial difficulties will have a place to turn for food and fellowship.  On behalf of all those we serve, who experience a community that cares each time they come to one of our pantries, I sincerely thank Webster Bank,” said Patty Dowling, executive director of SSKP.

“Living up to our communities is what matters most at Webster,” said Catherine Velez, vice president, market manager, New Haven region at Webster. “Through the leadership of David Verzillo, banking center manager in Old Saybrook, we were able to assist families in need and make a positive difference in the community.”

About The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP)

Founded 25 years ago, The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries provides food and fellowship to people in need and educates the community about hunger and poverty, serving the Connecticut shoreline towns of Essex, Chester, Clinton, Madison, Old Saybrook, East Lyme, Lyme, Old Lyme, Killingworth, Westbrook and Deep River. For more information, visit www.shorelinesoupkitchens.org

About Webster

Webster Financial Corporation is the holding company for Webster Bank, N.A. With $22 billion in assets, Webster provides business and consumer banking, mortgages, private banking, trust and investment services through 166 banking offices; 311 ATMs; telephone banking; mobile banking; and the Internet. Webster Bank owns the asset based lending firm Webster Business Credit Corporation; the equipment finance firm Webster Capital Finance Corporation; and provides health savings account trustee and administrative services through HSA Bank, a division of Webster Bank. Member FDIC and equal housing lender. For more information about Webster, including past press releases and the latest annual report, visit the Webster website at www.websterbank.com or follow us on LinkedIn linkedin.com/company/ webster-bank and Twitter twitter.com/ WebsterBank.

Sen. Linares: We Can’t Afford a $150/Year Electricity Rate Hike

Sen. Art Linares has submitted testimony to state officials opposing Connecticut Light and Power’s proposed rate hike:

“CL&P has proposed a rate hike request that would increase an individual customer’s bill by an average of $150 a year,” Sen. Linares said. “This rate hike would hurt Connecticut residents.”

Sen. Linares urged residents to email comments to Pura.Executivesecretary@ct.gov .  The email should include “Docket Number 14-05-06” in the subject line.

Sen. Linares urged those who do not have access to email to contact his office at 800 842 1421 so that he can help pass along their concerns to state officials.

Chester/Deep River Boy Scout Troop 13 Newest Eagle Scout

Bobby Hamblett - Eagle Scout

Bobby Hamblett – Eagle Scout

Troop 13 – Boy Scouts of America would like to congratulate Deep River resident Bobby Neil Hamblett for earning the rank of Eagle Scout. An Eagle Scout Court of Honor was held for Bobby on August 15, 2014 at the Deep River Town Hall Auditorium.

To become an Eagle Scout, Bobby earned 28 merit badges and advanced through the seven scout ranks by learning Scout and Life skills while simultaneously providing leadership to his Troop and service to his community.  One of the final requirements for the Eagle Rank is to show leadership in and complete a service project that benefits the boy’s community, school, or religious institution.

Bobby showed leadership over others by developing and implementing a plan to clear and grade an existing aged tree stump and sod area to replace it with a commemorative live pin oak and a newly laid handicapped accessible brick patio with two reflecting benches at the entrance to the Deep River Elementary School. To complete this project Bobby worked with various municipal agencies, attended meetings with the Deep River Board of Selectmen, secured donations for supplies and designed and oversaw volunteers through the planning and construction period. This project is a benefit to the Deep River Elementary School staff and students and all Deep River residents and their guests visiting the school grounds.

Information about Troop 13 – BSA

Troop 13 Boy Scouts serves the boys ages 11-18 of Chester and Deep River. The purpose of the Boy Scouts of America is to help young men develop their character and life skills all while having fun. There is much emphasis placed on assisting these young men to develop into strong healthy citizens who will lead our communities and country in the years ahead. The Boy Scout methods help to promote these ideals through the challenge of putting them into practice with the Troop Program. This is done in a way that is both challenging and fun.  To learn more information about joining Troop 13 please contact our Scoutmaster, Steven Merola @ 860-526-9262

Deep River Planning and Zoning Approves Used Car Dealership at 444 Main Street

DEEP RIVER— After two years of disputes, the planning and zoning commission Thursday gave a quick and unanimous special permit approval for a used motor vehicle dealership in a portion of a former industrial building at 444 Main St. The approval for local resident George Bartlett Jr. ends a two-year controversy that beginning in 2012 led to two lawsuits and conflict between the commission and the zoning board of appeals.

Bartlett’s new application for a used vehicle dealership in a section of the former industrial building was presented at a brief public hearing where there were no objections to the proposed use. Essex lawyer John Bennet, representing Bartlett, said the applicant had secured two required variances from the zoning board of appeals, along with a permit from the inland-wetlands commission. Bennet said any repairs performed at the site would be for motor vehicles that are in the inventory of the dealership, with no general shop for other vehicle repairs.

Zoning Enforcement Officer Cathy Jefferson said all issues related to the application had been resolved. There will be a paved display area at the front of the property for eight used vehicles. After Jefferson’s comments, the commission approved the special permit on a unanimous vote without discussion.

That was not the case in June 2012, when Bartlett first proposed the used vehicle dealership in the vacant industrial building he had purchased earlier that year. Bartlett was required to apply for variances from the zoning board of appeals because the parcel was about six-feet short of the 150-feet of road frontage that zoning regulations required for uses in the turnpike industrial zone.

The ZBA approved a dimensional variance for the road frontage requirement, but there was dispute with the planning and zoning commission over whether it had also approved a variance for the motor vehicle dealership use. Bartlett filed a lawsuit against the ZBA after the board in September 2012 amended it’s minutes to clarify that it had approved only one variance at the June 19, 2012 meeting.

The case was still pending in Middlesex Superior Court during the spring when the commission amended regulations for the turnpike industrial zone to remove the 150-foot road frontage requirement for all uses. But Bennet continued to object to the decision last May, maintaining that other provisions of the amended regulations would make it “virtually impossible” for Bartlett to pursue his plan for a used vehicle dealership.

Bartlett filed a new lawsuit in May challenging the amended regulations, while also putting the new application for the used vehicle dealership before the commission. The approval of a special permit for the used vehicle dealership is expected to lead to a withdrawal of any pending lawsuits involving the 444 Main St. property.

Obituary: Beulah May Sullivan – 8/14/2014

Beulah May Sullivan. Died August 14, 2014, age 99 years.

Beulah May Sullivan. Died August 14, 2014 at 99 years of Age.

Beulah May Sullivan born Southampton, Ma. February 17, 1915, died Greenfield, Ma. August 14, 2014 at 99 years of age.

Beulah had an open heart, an easy smile and a grace about her that touched everyone in her life.

Beulah married Francis R. Sullivan in 1950 and together they operated the Centerbrook Package Store for 20 years. In their off hours they enjoyed their boat the “Equanil” on trips to the islands.

After her husband’s death Beulah met and spent many years with her wonderful companion John J. Kiely. They toured New England in a little Mercedes and spent time with all their friends at the Gris (Griswold Inn, Essex Ct.)

Beulah will be missed by all, including her family Peter, Kathy and Dan Sullivan and the wonderful staff of Charlene Manor where Beulah spent the last four years of her life.

Services will be private. In lieu of flowers please stop by the Gris and raise your glass to Beulah.

Emily Bjornberg Endorsed by Public School Teachers

On Friday Democratic State Senate Candidate Emily Bjornberg, a mother with two children in the Lyme public schools, proudly announced the endorsement of her campaign by Connecticut’s public school teachers. Both the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) and the Connecticut affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) have voted to endorse Bjornberg for the November 4th General Election. The organizations collectively represent all of Connecticut’s public school teachers.

“More than anything else, education is an issue that should bring all of us together, as we work to prepare our children for success in a rapidly changing world,” said Bjornberg. “As a mother of two young children I have a vested interest in a public school system that works for our families, and provides students with the skills they need to get ahead in life.”

“Parents, administrators, teachers and taxpayers must work together to provide better schools and a brighter future for our students. Emily Bjornberg will work hard to help our teachers succeed, and ensure our schools have the resources they need to educate the next generation,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen.

“We need someone in the State Senate who will work with her colleagues on issues important to working families. Whether it’s reclaiming the promise of education, expanding access to quality, affordable healthcare, or preserving vital public services, Emily will help clarify the conversation, not muddy the political waters,” said Melodie Peters, president of AFT Connecticut, which also represents public schools’ support staff, nurses and healthcare workers, higher education faculty, and state and municipal employees.

“We need to have a more candid conversation about education in our small towns,” said Bjornberg. “Our local schools consistently perform at a high level, yet they are subject to increasing mandates from the state that increase our expenses—and our property taxes—without improving school performance. If a school district does very well year after year, we should lighten the burden of these requirements as an added incentive. Education reform efforts must focus on where performance is low, and not burden our most successful schools.”

“It is critically important that we stand up and fight for additional state education aid for our small towns. Too many of our school districts have not gotten their fair share of education funding, and that has put upward pressure on property tax rates. Our children deserve better, and our seniors and others on limited fixed incomes need a break,” added Bjornberg.

More than 2,100 CEA and AFT Connecticut members live in the towns of the 33rd State Senate District, which includes the communities of: Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

Holiday Crafters Wanted for Estuary Council Craft Fair

2014 Craft Fair-Marino

Diana Marino pictured with her granddaughters Jessica (L) and Marissa (R) Thomas displaying their handmade crafted items at the 2013 Holiday Craft Fair

OLD SAYBROOK  —   The Estuary Senior Center is looking for crafters for its annual Holiday Craft Fair.  The Fair will be held on November 22, 2014 from 8 am to 1 pm, at the Senior Center located at 220 Main Street in Old Saybrook. Space is available to local crafters with hand crafted items for a $20 donation. Space is limited and filling quickly. Call Mike or Judy at 860-388-1611 to reserve your space.

The Estuary Council of Seniors Inc. (ECSI) is a non-profit regional senior center located in the M. Monica Eggert Senior Center on the Connecticut River Estuary at 220 Main Street in Old Saybrook. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for people 50 years and older. ECSI is a community resource for the nine-town Estuary region’s residents over 50 years old providing nutrition, transportation, health support services, education opportunities, and socialization.  For more information call 860-388-1611 or visit our website at www.ecsenior.org

Linares wins Independent Line Endorsement

On Thursday August 21, 2014 Senator Linares received the endorsement from the Independent Party.  Linares’ name will now appear twice on the ballot, as both the chosen candidate for the Republican Party and the Independent Party.

Senator Linares attended the Independent Party convention in Danbury, CT on Thursday night to speak directly to the delegates.  Linares said of his endorsement, “I am honored to be representing the Independent Party, as well as the Republican Party.  All people want the same thing – stabilization of taxes, more accountability in spending, conservation of certain lands, more job creating businesses and more educational opportunities.”

“That is exactly what we are working towards in Hartford for all Connecticut residents and I will continue to do so if I’m given the opportunity to represent the district again in November.”

Senator Linares, who has been working non- stop on his re-election campaign, has already visited residents in all 12 towns in his district.  He plans to continue his door to door campaign up until Election Day.

Senator Linares has been very visible throughout the district and his campaign staff has also attended numerous fairs with the Senator. In addition to the many fairs and festivals, Senator Linares also has attended numerous parades in the district.

Senator Linares represents the towns of Clinton, Westbrook, Old Saybrook, Colchester, Portland, East Hampton, Essex, Deep River, Haddam, East Haddam, Chester, Lyme.

33 Plains Road Cease and Desist Order Rescinded with “Path to Zoning Compliance”

ESSEX— A town cease and desist order issued earlier this year to resident  John Finkeldey for alleged zoning violations with a structure at his 33 Plains Road property has been rescinded after Finkeldey agreed to file applications with the zoning commission to resolve the zoning issues.
The action by Zoning Enforcement Officer Joseph Budrow came Tuesday, the day the zoning board of appeals was scheduled to reopen a public hearing on the order that began in June. After months of discussion with Finkeldey that followed a complaint, Budrow last winter issued an order charging that Finkeldey had built a structure on the property without permits from the town, and that the structure was improperly being used as a residential dwelling in the town’s limited industrial zone.
During a two-part hearing before the ZBA where he was represented by local attorney Terrance Lomme, Finkeldey maintained the structure had been in place for more than three years without enforcement action from the town, a lapse that would make it a legal, non-conforming structure. The issue of residential use in the limited industrial zone remained unresolved when the last public hearing recessed on July 15. Lomme also serves as the elected judge of probate for the nine town region.
Michael Wells, lawyer for the ZBA, distributed a report from Budrow that was received Tuesday advising the board the cease and desist order had been rescinded. Budrow reported that a recent meeting between he and zoning commission attorney Peter Sipples with Finkeldey and Lomme had established a “path to zoning compliance” that would end the alleged zoning violations. Budrow advised that the zoning commission had concurred with the decision to rescind the cease and desist order.
Under the agreement, Finkeldey would be required to apply with the commission for a zone change from limited industrial to residential for a section of his property, and to apply for a resubdivision that would separate the disputed structure from the rest of the parcel. If the zone change and resubdivision was approved by the commission, the zoning issues on the property would be resolved. Budrow could not be reached later this week for further comment on the resolution of the case.

Pettipaug Yacht Club Ends Sailing Season with Just a Whisper of Wind

Paul Risseeuw stands next to the banner that marked the recent Junior Sailing Regatta at the Pettipaug Yacht Club

Paul Risseeuw stands next to the banner that marked the recent Junior Sailing Regatta at the Pettipaug Yacht Club

Over 40 small sailboats competed in the “Paul Risseeuw Junior Sailing Regatta,” which was held in the waters off the Pettipaug Yacht Club on August 17. There was only one thing that made things difficult at the regatta, there was very little wind.

Even so there were winners in the three, slow, slow races. The four kinds of boats that were sailed in the regatta were: 420s, Optimists, Lasers, and Blue Jays. The winners by the boats, in which they sailed, are as follows.

420s – Winners: Libby Ryan and Megan Ryan of the Pettipaug Yacht Club.

Optimists -Winners:

White fleet: Nick Hughes of Guilford

Blue fleet: Chris Annino of Ram Island Yacht Club

Red fleet: Stewart Gurnell of the Wickford Yacht Club, Rhode Island

Lasers – Winner: Jack Hogan, Watch Hill Yacht Club, Rhode Island

Blue Jays – Winners: Ryan Shasha and Freddie Kerr of the Pettipaug Yacht Club

This annual race at the Pettipaug Yacht Club, the last of the races in sailing season, is named after Paul Risseeuw, who is the Director of the Pettipaug Sailing Academy, among a host of other activities at the club.

 

 

Grant Application for Planned New Chester Library to be Ready for Aug. 29 Deadline

CHESTER— A grant application for up to $1 million in state funding for a planned new library at North Quarter Park will be ready for submission by an August. 29 deadline.  The town will learn by mid-November whether it has been awarded the funding.

First Selectman Edmund Meehan said two volunteer committees working on the project, the North Quarter Park planning committee and the library building committee, have concurred on a plan to construct a two-story, 5,600 square-foot library building on the front section of the 22-acre park on the east side of Main Street. He said the board of selectmen should be ready to approve the plan, and sign-off on the grant application, at a special meeting on Aug. 26. The town’s application will be filed with the State Library Board by the Aug. 29 deadline.

Meehan said the successful completion of the grant application, which required decisions on a location and conceptual preliminary plans for the library building, required a focused effort by the two committees over the past three months. “The pieces of these two projects have really come together,” he said.

The North Quarter Park planning committee worked with landscape architects Richter & Cegan Inc. of Avon to prepare a master plan for the entire park that included a proposed library location. The master plan for the park was presented to residents at a July 9 public information meeting. The building committee worked with LLB Architects of Pawtucket, R.I. to prepare the preliminary building plans.

Meehan said approval of the grant funding would cover a significant portion, but not all, of the costs involved in building a new library that would replace the existing 108 year-old library building on West Main St. (Route 148). He said an up front appropriation of town funds would be needed to pay for completion of bid documents for the project by next spring, while additional town funding would also be needed for the total construction costs. He said a possible bonding authorization for the library project could go to the town voters for referendum approval in 2015.

Arnold to Lead Commercial Lending at Essex Savings Bank

Diane H  Arnold

Diane H Arnold

ESSEX — Gregory R. Shook, President & CEO of Essex Savings Bank is pleased to announce the promotion of Diane H. Arnold to the position of Vice President/Senior Commercial Loan Officer.  Mrs. Arnold is responsible for business development and portfolio management, as well as assisting in the growth of the commercial loan department by utilizing her thirty one years of broad banking experience.  Mrs. Arnold previously served as the Vice President of Southington Savings Bank from 1993 until 2001 where she managed the credit department.  From 1988 to 1993, Arnold served as the Assistant Treasurer and Commercial Loan Officer at Branford Savings Bank.  Mrs. Arnold earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Quinnipiac College.  She is also a 1990 graduate of the Connecticut School of Finance and Management.  Mrs. Arnold is a resident of Ivoryton.

Essex Savings Bank is a FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851.  The Bank serves the Connecticut River Valley and shoreline with six offices in Essex (2), Chester, Madison, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook.  Financial, estate, insurance and retirement planning are offered throughout the state by the Bank’s Trust Department and wholly-owned subsidiary, Essex Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC.  Investments in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and annuities are not FDIC insured, may lose value and are not a deposit, have no Bank guarantee and are not insured by any Federal Government Agency.

Transportation: Why a Another Fare Hike Seems Inevitable

Jim Cameron

Jim Cameron

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but chances are we will see another fare hike on Metro-North in the coming months.

Not that any elected official would endorse such a plan (at least not before the November elections), but once again Connecticut is not totally in control of its financial destiny when it comes to our trains.

True, fare increases in Connecticut must be initiated by the state regardless of what NY does to its riders, but the financial numbers speak for themselves.

We are tied to NY’s operations by an antiquated contract going back 30 years.  The cost of running “our” trains is born by both CT and NY, and those costs are soaring from $70 million a year to $110 million thanks to remedial track work and expected contract settlements (with four years of retroactive pay hikes).

How will Connecticut make up this $40 million deficit?  There are only three choices:  raise fares, cut service or find that money elsewhere.  The latter two choices are either undesirable or impossible, leaving the prospect (necessity?) of fare increases.

After a year of slower, unreliable and often-disrupted service, it’s hard to explain to commuters they should be paying more… especially in an election year.  So when the rumored necessity of a fare hike was floated last week, Governor Malloy expressed outrage and bewilderment.

But our governor and his Dept of Transportation knew darn well this was coming.  They’re the ones who pushed Metro-North for badly needed track work after derailments and deaths.  Who did they think would pay for that?  And one wonders… does CDOT ever audit Metro-North’s ever-increasing budgets and bills to our state?

Fares in Connecticut are already the highest in the US because our subsidy of those fares is the lowest.  Upstate lawmakers who dominate our legislature loathe the idea of subsidizing fat-cat investment bankers’ trips to their high-paying jobs in New York City.  But they have no trouble taxing their incomes, do they?

Fairfield County residents represent 26% of our state’s population but pay 40% of its taxes.  Legislators made us subsidize Adriaen’s Landing ($770 million) in Hartford and the UConn football stadium ($90+ million), neither of which we are ever likely to use. So why can’t they keep residing in Fairfield County affordable by keeping Metro-North safe, on-time and affordable.

Since 2012 we’ve already had 12% fare hikes, thanks in part to Governor Malloy using rail fares to balance his budget (a move I called that more of a tax on commuters than anything else.)

The good news is that a fare increase in Connecticut requires 90 days notice and public hearings.  And with the November elections just weeks away, no right minded politician will pull that trigger.

Mind you, it was now-GOP nominee Tom Foley who recently told reporters he thought we in Connecticut spend too much subsidizing mass transit, so who knows?  It should be an interesting campaign season and my hope is that Metro-North will be a much debated topic.

JIM CAMERON has been a Darien resident for 23 years.  He is the founder of the Commuter Action Group and also serves on the Darien RTM.  The opinions expressed in this column are only his own.  You can reach him at CommuterActionGroup@gmail.com

Chester Fair Scholarship Winners

Bailey Baisel receives her scholarship from the Chester Fair.

Bailey Baisel receives her scholarship from the Chester Fair.

The Chester Agricultural and Mechanical Society (Chester Fair) Board of Directors is pleased to announce its 2014 Scholarship winners.  This year there are three recipients, each receiving a $500 scholarship for the 2014-15 academic year.

Bailey Basiel of Durham, participated in the Chester Fair for several years entering her dairy cows.  She will be attending University of New Hampshire in the fall.   Aliza Dube of Deep River is currently enrolled at the University of Maine in Farmington and has completed her freshman year.  She is majoring in elementary education.   The third recipient, Stephanie Groves of Wallingford, is attending Springfield College and studying to be a Physical Therapist.

A portion of the proceeds of the Chester Wine and Beer Tasting Event held in June is applied toward this scholarship fund.  Scholarship applications are accepted though May 15th annually.

Application forms and instructions can be found under ‘About Us’ (Forms and Instructions) at the fair’s website: www.chesterfair.org.

New Trustees Join Connecticut River Museum

ESSEX -– The Connecticut River Museum is proud to announce its 2014 class of incoming trustees.  At the annual meeting on July 11 the Board and Membership of the Museum voted in five new trustees to help manage and oversee the National Register Historic site and museum.  The new trustees include Alison Brinkmann, Peter Coombs, Linda Douglas, Ray Gaulke, and Dr. Allan Rubenstein.

Alison Brinkmann is a resident of Essex where she lives with her husband Stephen.  Before dedicating her time to charitable work, she was a specialty chemical and laboratory supply sales executive. Now, in addition to being the Founder and President of Simply Sharing, a non-profit dedicated to helping the homeless in Connecticut, Alison is also actively involved with the Rotary Club of Essex, sits on the Essex Yacht Club House Committee and serves as membership chair of the Essex Historical Society.  Alison and Stephen enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and boating in the Essex area.

Peter Coombs is a resident of Essex where he and his wife Jane Siris are Principal Partners in Siris/Coombs Architects.  The couple had practiced architecture in Manhattan for 30 years and recently moved the firm’s main office to Essex.  They live in a house which they designed for themselves and built on the site of the family homestead.  Peter also serves on the Board of Directors for Essex Elderly and Affordable Housing and is an active member of the Essex Land Trust.   He is a sailor and has plied the waters of the Connecticut River since childhood where he derived an abiding interest in both the conservation of the River’s environment and its rich history.

Linda Douglas has practiced law in the Essex area for 28 years. She has been an active member of the community where she and her husband Rob raised their three children. The family enjoys sailing and boating on the Connecticut River.

Ray Gaulke is a resident of Old Saybrook where he lives with his wife Sydney Anderson and their five year old standard poodle Riley. Ray was one of the original Mad Men, beginning his advertising career in Chicago in the mid 60’s. He is a retired Navy Captain, an avid sailor turned power boater and a boat builder interested in teaching these skills to young people.

Dr. Allan Rubenstein is Clinical Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at NYU Langone Medical Center, Vice Chairman and Lead Director of The Cooper Companies (COO, NYSE), and Chairman of CalAsia Pharmaceuticals.  He, his wife Jane and son Jordan live in Manhattan and Killingworth.  Rubenstein has had a life-long interest in all things nautical since he built a raft at the age of 11 and attempted to sail (unsuccessfully) from his home on Lake Erie to Europe.

Founded in 1974, the Connecticut River Museum has developed as a place where anyone interested in topics about the River can come and be inspired through exhibitions and collections, a library, educational opportunities and public programs.  The Connecticut River Museum’s mission is to lead in the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its valley. Since 1986 it has had the honor of being accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, a mark of distinction in the field.

The Museum was started with the preservation of the 1878 Essex Steamboat Dock and Warehouse.  Threatened with demolition, the building was saved through preservation efforts by a group of history-minded citizens. Adjacent to Steamboat Dock sat another historic property, the Hayden Chandlery, built in 1813.  In 1982 the building was restored and renovated as the Thomas A. Stevens Library.

​The Museum nearly doubled its campus in 2011 with the purchase of the adjacent historic 1732 Samuel Lay House property. Education is central to the Museum’s mission. Public programs take many forms including workshops for school age children, adult lectures, and on-water excursions aboard the schooner Mary E and Enviro-Lab III ​as part of its popular winter Eagle Watches. Over the past year, the museum has served more than 20,000 general visitors, delivered programing to 3,0​00 school children, and provided scholarship support to ​more than 900 underserved school children and summer campers.

 

According to the museum’s executive director, Christopher Dobbs, “We are pleased to have this talented crew of dedicated ​champions join the museum board and help lead it successfully into the next forty years.” For more information, please call 860-767-8269. The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street and is a membership supported educational organization. Membership is open to all. More information can be found at www.ctrivermuseum.org.

Possible Development Proposal for Deep River Industrial Land Off Route 154

DEEP RIVER— There could be a development proposal for a 59-acre parcel on the east side of Route 154 that was rezoned industrial in 2006. If the plan proceeds, it could bring a new manufacturing building of up to 100,000 square feet to Deep River with the possibility of additional industrial buildings to follow.

First Selectman Richard Smith reported at Tuesday’s meeting of the board of selectmen that he has been in contact with owners of a manufacturing company in a nearby town that are considering acquiring the parcel to relocate and expand in Deep River. He said the name of the interested party would be announced in the coming weeks if the potential sale of the parcel proceeds.

The 59 acre parcel, located on the east side of Route 154 near the intersection with Kelsey Hill Road, was rezoned by the planning and zoning commission from residential to industrial in 2006 at the urging of the late local developer Walter Mislick. Mislick, who died soon after the rezoning, envisioned an access road that would service a new industrial park with up to five buildings.

Mislick, who began his business career as owner of an egg processing company, had developed an industrial park on the opposite side of Route 154 during the 1990’s. The land, which abuts the Canfield Woods Nature Preserve to the east and the Georgetown Apartments property to the north, is now being offered for sale by Mislick’s heirs for a current price of $1.5 million. The parcel has some frontage on Route 154, and would have access to water and sewer service if developed.
Smith said the interested party currently operates a 50,000 square-foot manufacturing facility with nearly 100 employees in a nearby town, but is unable to expand at the current location. He said development of the property, which includes some wetlands areas, would be costly, requiring a 1,000-foot access road and a crossing of the state-owned Valley Railroad tracks.

If the sale proceeds, Smith said he would recommend the town offer a tax abatement to help facilitate the development. State law allows a municipality to abate up to 50 percent of all local property taxes for a new industrial development or expansion for a period of up to seven years. Deep River has authorized similar tax abatements for industrial development or expansions previously, but for shorter time periods.

“I see it as a win even with an abatement if you’re not getting anything to begin with,” Smith said. The board urged Smith to continue his contacts with the unidentified interested party and the Mislick family. “It would be great to get some activity back there”, said Selectman Angus McDonald.