July 3, 2015

Registration Open for Chester Rotary’s 37th Annual “Four on the Fourth” Road Race

Rotary 2015 Road Race logoCHESTER — On Saturday, July 4, the Rotary Club of Chester will sponsor its perennially popular 37th Annual “4 on the 4th” Road Race – a time-honored Chester tradition.  The start time is 9 a.m.   The scenic, rolling course that loops its way around and through the quaint Village of Chester is USATF sanctioned and measured.

On-line, pre-entry is available through www.Active.com until 9 p.m. on Wed., July 1.  Information is also available at www.chesterrotary.org.  Entry fee is $25.

New this year, Advanced Registration is available Friday evening, July 3, between 4 and 6 p.m. at St Joseph’s Parish Center, 48 Middlesex Ave., Chester, Conn.

Race Day Registration will be between 7 and 8:30 a.m. at St Joseph’s Parish Center.   Pre-registered runners may pick up race packets at either the Friday evening advanced or Saturday morning, race day registration. All entrants receive a road race T-shirt (while they last) and a complimentary drink ticket for use after the race.

Entertainment, food and drinks for participants and spectators will be available.  Beer will be offered at the Rotary-sponsored beer tent.  Food will be available from Chester Main Street merchants.

Chester will be closed at 8 a.m. on race day.  Parking will be limited; carpooling is encouraged.  Detour and parking data are available on-line at www.chesterrotary.org.

Chester Rotarians are dedicated to providing funding and service to local, national and international charitable organizations.  All proceeds from this event support these causes.

Project to Beautify Essex’s West Ave. and Beyond (Finally) Begins

Bruce Glowac, President of the Essex Foundaation and Augie Pampel, Essex Tree Warden admire the new Eastern Red Cedars along West Avenue in Essex.  Missing from the photo is Paul Fazzino, Jr., Essex Fire Chief.

Bruce Glowac, President of the Essex Foundaation and Augie Pampel, Essex Tree Warden admire the new Eastern Red Cedars along West Avenue in Essex. Missing from the photo is Paul Fazzino, Jr., Essex Fire Chief.

ESSEX — For many years there has been concern about the appearance of the West Avenue entrance into Essex Village.  Following a public hearing in 2001, Augie Pampel, Essex Tree Warden, requested that the Essex Tree Committee develop a plan for the area and that the existing arborvitae trees remain in situ until a West Avenue Gateway Plan had been developed.

Now, 14 years later, with the help of local funding and cooperation, the plan is underway and work has begun to beautify this Essex Village gateway.

As residents enter Essex Village, they will see new Eastern Red Cedar trees providing both screening and greenery along West Ave. to the intersection with Routes 154 and 153, making the Fire Department rear buildings and Eversource electric sub-station far less visible.

The significant funds for this project were equally provided by The Essex Foundation and the Essex Fire Department with a smaller contribution by the Essex Tree Committee.  Dave Caroline and his Town crew cleared the site prior to the planting and Fred Weber and Associates and his crew skillfully handled the planting of the large specimen trees. Ken Bombaci, a member of the Essex Tree Committee, was instrumental in procuring the beautiful Eastern Red Cedar trees.

Additionally, Augie Pampel, Bruce Glowac, President of the Essex Foundation, and Fred Weber are developing landscape designs for the state property at the intersection of Routes 154 and 153 opposite West Ave. The landscape design will require state approval prior to implementation, but the hope is that the landscaping will begin in 2016.

In the meantime, the Connecticut Department of Transportation has cleared the property of invasive species and undesirable vegetation. The goal is to plant areas with attractive, low maintenance, indigenous species of trees and shrubs.

Funding from The Essex Foundation was made possible by a generous bequest from the estate of the late Elizabeth “Diz” Callender.  The Essex Foundation is a local non-profit  public charitable foundation dedicated to the betterment of the community of Essex and its residents.  Foundation President Glowac noted, “The Essex Foundation is proud to be a means through which Mrs. Callender’s wishes are being fulfilled.”

Pampel, in turn, expressed his appreciation to The Essex Foundation and Essex Fire Department, whose combined funds finally took this project off the shelf and caused it to swing into action along West Ave. and beyond.

Letter to the Editor: Thanks to Police for Prompt Assistance, Follow-up in Home Burglary

To the Editor:
 
I live in Chester, CT and I would like to take this opportunity to publically thank our local Resident Trooper, Officer Ewing and Troop F Officer G. for all the hard work they have done on my family’s  behalf.
 
Recently, my husband entered our home and discovered we had been robbed.  He called the Trooper’s office and then he called me.  But, before I could get home, Trooper G. was already there.  Later, he was joined by Officer Ewing who at the time was on another case.
 
Both officers performed a thorough investigation and were extremely helpful.  The robbers took off with the typical stuff but it was reported by a Good Samaritan that there was no car in our driveway during the robbery. So the Troopers thought they may have taken off on foot out in the woods.  So they brought in a tracking dog to track the nearby woods.
 
So far, our things have not been recovered, but I know Officer Ewing is still looking as he has called with updates and one time stopped by the house and spoke with our family.
 
We are fortunate to live in such a lovely town that is so well protected.  I feel safer now just knowing how our security is handled. Good job Officers Ewing and Officer G.  Thank you both so, so much.
 
Sincerely,
The Monahan family including,
Christina and Steven Monahan, Chester.

Essex Winter Series Awards Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship to Daniel Leffingwell

Louisa Ketron, a member of the Board of Trustees of Essex Winter Series, presented the Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship to VRHS senior Daniel Leffingwell.

Louisa Ketron, a member of the Board of Trustees of Essex Winter Series, presented the Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship to VRHS senior Daniel Leffingwell.

REGION 4 — Daniel Leffingwell of Chester, a senior at Valley Regional High School (VRHS), is the recipient of the 2015 Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship, provided by Essex Winter Series (EWS). The scholarship was presented to Leffingwell by EWS trustee Louisa Ketron at the VRHS senior awards night on June 3.

Named for one of the founding members of the EWS, the Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a graduating senior of VRHS who will be studying music in college. The generous scholarship provides $1,000 for each year of study, for a total of $4,000.

Leffingwell took part in drama, music, and sports programs throughout his career at VRHS. He participated in the school’s musical production, landing a lead role in his senior year. He sang in the school’s  Concert Choir, the selective Madrigal Consort, and Madmen for all four years, and sang in the student-led a cappella group, serving as leader for one year.

Also an instrumentalist, he played percussion in the school band and played bass and guitar in the jazz band. He was selected to participate in the All-State and New England music festivals for three years, elected to student council, and chosen for membership in the National Honor Society.

In athletics, he played on the baseball and tennis teams.

Laffingwell was highly recommended by members of the faculty, who noted he,“… is an extremely bright student both musically and academically,” “… a model student,” and “… a good young man who is interested in helping others as well as himself.” In the fall, Leffingwell will enroll at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Ill., where he will major in music education.

The Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship was established in 1995 after the passing of EWS board president Francis Bealey to honor his commitment to music and arts education.

Bringing world-class classical and jazz music to the shoreline area was the dream of the founders of the EWS, established in 1979.  The late Fenton Brown became involved early on and devoted many years to expanding the series, and ultimately recruited pianist Mihae Lee to become Artistic Director.

The “Fenton Brown Emerging Artists Concert” series was begun to honor Brown’s commitment to promoting the careers of young artists.  Each year, the EWS presents a series of concert performances by top-rated musicians from around the world. These concerts, held at Valley Regional High School or John Winthrop Middle School in Deep River, are presented on Sunday afternoons in January, February, and March.  A single season may include a mix of such performances as chamber music, instrumental soloists, opera singers, symphony and chamber orchestras, and jazz bands.

More information may be found at www.essexwinterseries.org.

Summer Reading Program for School Credit Open to all Region 4 Students

Region 4 summer reading books for middle and high school students.

Region 4 summer reading books for middle and high school students.

REGION 4 — John Winthrop and Valley Regional students from Chester, Deep River and Essex are invited to take part in the summer reading discussions at Chester Public Library to receive school credit.

The discussion leader will be Sally Murray, who has been leading these popular discussions for several years.

For John Winthrop students, the discussion will be on Thursday, July 16, at 5 p.m.  “Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time,” by Marc Adams, is the title to be discussed for summer credit. Refreshments will be served and each participant will receive a certificate of completion for their non-fiction requirement.

On Thursday, Aug, 6, at 5 p.m., Valley Regional students are invited to discuss “172 Hours on the Moon” by Johan Harstad. Students who demonstrate that they have completed the book will receive credit for their fiction requirement. Food will be part of the fun.

Copies of the books can be borrowed at the library. Registration at 860-526-0018 is required.

Nature Conservancy, East Haddam Preserve 133 Acres of Priority Lower CT River Lands

LogoEAST HADDAM — A project providing a key addition to a 10-mile conservation corridor has been successfully completed by The Nature Conservancy.  Protection of more than 130 acres of forest will connect two popular conservation and outdoor recreation areas, while safeguarding three-quarters of a mile of streams and wetlands that feed into one of New England’s most important natural resources: the Connecticut River.

“Protecting the forests and wetlands that border Connecticut River tributaries benefits the health of the entire lower Connecticut River, as well as everything—and everyone—that relies on it,” said Sarah Pellegrino, land protection and strategies manager for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut.

“In this case, the newly protected land will help preserve water quality for brook trout, migratory fish and mussels; provide habitat for migratory birds and other animals and secure beautiful outdoor spots where current and future generations can hike, birdwatch and simply get out in the woods,” Pellegrino said.

Located within the basin of the Eightmile River, a Connecticut River tributary, the acreage includes two separate acquisitions on which the town of East Haddam and The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut collaborated. Both acquisitions were awarded Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition grants from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). Both areas will be open to the public for passive recreation.

The acquisitions are adjacent to the Conservancy’s Burnham Brook Preserve, which was the first land protected by the Conservancy in the entire Connecticut River watershed, starting in 1960.

Conservation of one of these properties—the 113-acre Lefebvre property—accomplished a long-standing Conservancy goal of connecting Devil’s Hopyard State Park and Burnham Brook Preserve. It adds to a roughly 10-mile conservation corridor that extends to the confluence of the Eightmile and Connecticut rivers.

This project was awarded a DEEP open space grant of $263,700 towards the total purchase price. The property will be jointly owned and managed between the Conservancy and the town.

The second acquisition—the 20-acre Zeleznicky property—is a 20-acre parcel that supports mixed hardwoods and contains over 1,000 feet of Burnham Brook. To protect this land, the Conservancy and East Haddam jointly applied for a DEEP open space grant and were awarded $78,000 towards the purchase price.  The town will own and manage the property.

“These acquisitions were possible only because of the patience and commitment of willing land owners and of the conservation partners who played a role,” Pellegrino said “We’re extremely pleased both of these properties will remain as natural areas.”

Editor’s Note: The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people.  To date, the Conservancy and its more than one million members have been responsible for the protection of more than 18 million acres in the United States and have helped preserve more than 117 million acres in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org/connecticut.

Tickets on Sale for Exclusive Pittsinger, Schuman Benefit Concert for Ivoryton Playhouse

David Pittsinger

David Pittsinger

IVORYTON — World renowned artists David Pittsinger and Patricia Schuman will be performing songs from The Great American Songbook – including works by Gershwin, Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein as well as some contemporary composers – at an exclusive concert on Sunday, July 12, at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

This concert is a benefit for the 104-year-old Playhouse to further its mission to provide theatre of the highest quality to the residents and visitors to our community.

Pittsinger is a world renowned operatic performer who recently garnered critical acclaim for his performance of Emile DeBecque in the Lincoln Center’s Tony Award winning ‘South Pacific’ – a role he is currently reprising at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

Patricia Schumann

Patricia Schuman

His wife, Patricia Schuman, an internationally celebrated soprano, was recently seen as The Duchess in Odyssey Opera’s production of ‘Powder Her Face’, and will also be joining David as Bloody Mary in ‘South Pacific.’

This special concert is a rare opportunity to see them together in the intimate setting of the Ivoryton Playhouse performing a brand new repertoire.

Pittsinger says,”Please join me and my wife Patricia for an intimate and personal celebration of the American Songbook, honoring Ivoryton Playhouse.  These iconic treasures, some of the most cherished in all of American Musical Theatre, reflect our love for each other, the stage, and the music that has shaped our lives”

Tickets for this unique event are $125 each and there will be a reception at 6 p.m. with cocktails, wines and heavy hors d’oeuvres followed by the performance at 7 p.m. Pittsinger and Schuman will join guests after the show for coffee and dessert.

Seating is limited; call the theatre box office at 860.767.7318 to reserve your seat for this special evening.  Premier seating is available for patrons.

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

Throughout the month of July, Pittsinger will be revisiting the role of Emile deBecque in ‘South Pacific’ – the role he played in the Lincoln Center production to great critical acclaim and Schuman will be making her Ivoryton debut in the role of Bloody Mary.  ‘South Pacific’ opens at the Playhouse July 1 and runs through July 26

Visit www.ivorytonplayhouse.org for more information.

St. John’s Episcopal Church in Essex Partners with Middlesex Habitat for Humanity

logoESSEX — St. John’s Episcopal Church, Essex, and Middlesex Habitat for Humanity have announced a partnership in mission and ministry.  This partnership represents a shared, mutual relationship between the people of St. John’s and Middlesex Habitat.

St. John’s has pledged spiritual, physical, and fiscal support, and Middlesex Habitat has pledged to send representatives to the parish to speak of their vision, to share their needs and plans for the upcoming future, and to provide helpful information to communicate throughout the congregation about their work and the lives that are being changed as a result.

“It is an honor and wonderful endorsement of our work to partner with such a vibrant and respected church. Their support is greatly needed as we begin construction on our thirteenth house,” said Sarah Bird, Middlesex Habitat for Humanity Executive Director.

In addition, the members of St. John’s will help on the work site to construct the home. David Evangelisti, liaison between the St. John’s and Habitat said, “It is these relationships that give our outreach programs the ‘hands on’ characteristic that we treasure and which helps us make a tangible difference in our community. Middlesex Habitat embodies God’s love put into action, which is a central tenet of our Church.”

For 225 years, St. John’s Church has been a house of worship in the Episcopal tradition for the citizens of Essex and the surrounding communities of the lower Connecticut River Valley. Today the parish has over 400 active members under the ministry of Rector, The Rev. Dr. Jonathan H. Folts.

Founded in 1996, Middlesex Habitat for Humanity of CT., Inc. is an independently operated affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a non-profit 501(c)3, Christian, ecumenical housing ministry.  Its sole mission is to build or renovate simple, decent, affordable houses in partnership with eligible families and its objective is to eliminate substandard housing in Middlesex County, CT, one house at a time.  The organization seeks to make decent housing a matter of conscience and action. 

Artists for World Peace Host 3rd Annual Dance for Peace Tonight

Dance For Peace
OLD SAYBROOK — Artists for World Peace will present its 3rd Annual Dance for Peace on Saturday, June 27, at the Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (The Kate), 300 Main St., Old Saybrook, Conn. (860-510-0473).

A reception and pre-show performance begins at 7 p.m.; show time begins at 8 p.m.

Eight celebrated local and regional dance companies will be featured, as well as the International Peace Belt.

Since 2003, the Peace Belt has traveled to over 28 countries on five continents, and has been worn during hundreds of artistic performances and sacred ceremonies.

Join Artists for World Peace as they celebrate the creative spirit in the name of peace.

For online tickets, visit <http://www.katharinehepburntheater.org/blog/box-office/http://www.katharinehepburntheater.org/blog/box-office/
or call The Kate Box Office at 877-503-1286.

For more information about Artists for World Peace, visit: http://www.artistsforworldpeace.org/ or contact Wendy at 860-685-1789

Ivoryton Playhouse Honors Veterans, Soldiers with ‘South Pacific’ Opening Night Half Price Tickets

In rehearsal for 'South Pacific' are (from left to right) David Edwards (Director) Maxwell Carmel, Brian Michael Henry, Johann George, Morgan Morse, Matthew Gregory, Steven Mooney, Grant Benedict and Michael Sullivan. Photograph by Jacqui Hubbard.

In rehearsal for ‘South Pacific’ are (from left to right) David Edwards (Director) Maxwell Carmel, Brian Michael Henry, Johann George, Morgan Morse, Matthew Gregory, Steven Mooney, Grant Benedict and Michael Sullivan. Photograph by Jacqui Hubbard.

IVORYTON – The issue of racism is front and center in America today and the Ivoryton Playhouse production of ‘South Pacific’ could not be more timely.

The story for Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1949 musical is drawn from a Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel by James A. Michener, entitled ‘Tales of the South Pacific,’ and is considered by most critics to be among the greatest musicals of the twentieth century. For their adaptation, Rodgers and Hammerstein, along with co-writer Joshua Logan, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1950.

The original Broadway production won 10 Tony Awards, including all four acting awards, and many of its songs went on to have a life of their own outside of the musical, including “Some Enchanted Evening,” “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair,” “Happy Talk,” “Bali Ha’i,” “Younger than Springtime,” and “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy.”

It inspired a 1958 film adaptation and has enjoyed numerous successful revivals, including Broadway revivals in 1955 and 2008, and West End revivals in 1988 and 2001. The original production featured Mary Martin as Ensign Nellie Forbush and opera star Ezio Pinza, as Emile de Becque.

Ivoryton Playhouse is thrilled to announce that world renowned American bass-baritone David Pittsinger* will be reprising his Kennedy Center role as Emile de Becque in this production.  He will be joined by his wife, internationally celebrated soprano Patricia Schuman, who will also be making her Ivoryton Playhouse debut, as Bloody Mary.

The Playhouse production of ‘South Pacific’ is directed by David Edwards, who starred last year as Albin in our hugely popular production of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES. David has played both Cable and DeBecque and last directed this show at Surflight Theatre. Michael A. Dattillo is the Executive Producer.

Along with Pittsinger and Schuman, the show also features Peter Carrier* as Cable, Adrianne Hicks* as Nellie, William Selby* as Billis, R. Bruce Connelly* as Captain Brackett and Annelise Cepero as Liat.

The musical is directed by Michael McAssey, the set designed by Daniel Nischan, the lighting by Marcus Abbott and the costumes are by Lenore Grunko.

On Wednesday, July 1at 7:30 p.m., the Playhouse is celebrating our local veterans and currently serving military by hosting a very special night. Honoring our Veterans and Soldiers Night offers half price tickets for veterans and active military and will raise awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project and Essex Veterans Memorial Hall. Call the box office at 860 767 7318 for more information.

‘South Pacific’ opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse July 1 and runs through July 26, 2015. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

There will be no performance on July 4; there will be two additional Saturday matinees on July 18 and 25 at 2 p.m. and one additional matinee on Thursday, July 16.

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.

 

This production is generously sponsored by Middlesex Hospital, Middle Oak and Guilford Savings Bank.

Photograph by Jacqui Hubbard

Pictured (from left):  David Edwards (Director) Maxwell Carmel, Brian Michael Henry, Johann George, Morgan Morse, Matthew Gregory, Steven Mooney, Grant Benedict, Michael Sullivan

Tickets Sales Open for “Moon Over Buffalo” by Saybrook Stage at ‘The Kate”

The cast of 'Moon Over Buffalo.'

The cast of ‘Moon Over Buffalo.’

OLD SAYBROOK — The Saybrook Stage Company takes you back to the 1950’s with Ken Ludwig’s hilarious play “Moon Over Buffalo” performed live at The Kate from July 16 through July 19.

This fast-paced comedy takes place in one of the country’s most traditional theater’s located in Buffalo New York during the early 1950’s. “Moon Over Buffalo” is a laugh out loud comedy about a seasoned group of traveling actors trying to survive despite the recent success of television and film.

Howard Roz shows his surprise in this scene from the play.

Howard Roz shows his surprise in this scene from the play.

The play centers around an older married couple given one last shot at real stardom – the famous movie director, Frank Capra is coming to town to see their matinee performance and if he likes what he sees they could be cast in an upcoming major motion picture. And this is when the fun really starts – anything that could go wrong does go wrong – from the husband’s dalliance with a young actress, to their daughter’s clueless fiancé, to their deaf, elderly stage mother who hates her son-in-law more than anything. All these mishaps will make you cry with laughter as the antics unfold.

“Moon Over Buffalo” originally opened on Broadway in 1995 to rave reviews – “Stuffed with comic invention, running gags and a superb sense of absurdity, this is truly a loveletter to live theatre.”

The production received several Tony nominations and ran for over 300 performances.

Martin Scott Marchitto directs 'Moon Over Buffalo'

Martin Scott Marchitto directs ‘Moon Over Buffalo’

The Saybrook Stage Company is pleased to return once again to The Kate in this hilarious comedy directed by Martin Scott Marchitto. This will be their 10th production at The Kate and could prove to be their funniest yet – previous plays are Our Town, 12 Angry Men, The Dining Room, You Can’t Take It With You, A Piece of My Heart, Enchanted April, Almost Maine, Rumors, and most recently this past January to a sell-out audience, The Wayside Motor Inn.

Visit www.thekate.org or call 877.503.1286 to reserve tickets.

For more information about Saybrook Stage Company, visit www.SaybrookStage.org

Editor’s Note: The Saybrook Stage Company was founded as a non-profit corporation dedicated to providing quality local theater on the Connecticut Shoreline at the Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. Saybrook Stage welcomes actors of all levels and abilities – and anyone who genuinely loves the arts – to come together and share in the experience that only live theater can provide. Actors that have been part of The Saybrook Stage Company to date have varied backgrounds and “day jobs” from teachers, artists and homemakers to lawyers, business people and judges. The Company looks forward to producing many more quality productions at the beautiful venue of The Kate and continuing to thrive in this wonderful, artistic region of Connecticut.