September 23, 2017

Register Now for ‘Bikes for Kids’ Annual Bike Ride, Oct. 1

Dave Fowler hard at work on refurbishing a donated bike.

‘Bikes for Kids’ is holding its 2nd Annual Charity Ride on Sunday, Oct. 1.  The charity which was founded by Chuck Graeb is now run by retired Lyme-Old Lyme Schools teacher Dave Fowler.

Bikes For Kids is a  Connecticut based non-profit organization founded in 1989 that brings smiles to children one bike at a time. Volunteers collect, repair, and safety test donated used bicycles. The refurbished bicycles, along with new helmets, are given away to individuals of all ages and needs.

Donated bikes from ‘Bikes for Kids’ bring smiles ‘one bike at a time.’

Most donated bicycles remain in Connecticut, but some have reached children in other states and countries. More than 1,000 bicycles are given away annually. Requests for bicycles come from local and state social service organizations, churches, schools, non-profits, and individuals. 21,000 bicycles have been donated to date.

Support this charity by participating in the Annual Charity Ride.  All rides start in Essex. There will be four rides to choose from.

  • The Family Ride will have two options – a 3-mile or a more challenging 12-mile ride.
  • The Intermediate Ride will be 27 miles
  • (for the die-hards) there will be a 55-mile ride through 7 towns.

These rides go through some of the most beautiful sections of Connecticut’s River Valley. Depending on the route you select, you can ride through Essex, Deep River, Chester, Haddam, Killingworth, Westbrook and Clinton.  After the ride, all cyclists are invited for food, fun and tours at the new ‘Bikes for Kids’ Wheelhouse in Essex.

Visit this link for more information.

Visit this link to register for a ride.

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RISD Professor, Architect Discusses ‘Historic Houses: Inside & Out’ at Essex Library, Friday

“Historic Houses: An Architect’s View Inside and Out” is the subject of a lecture Sept. 22, at Essex Library.

ESSEX — The 10th season of the Essex Library’s Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series kicks off Friday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. with Rhode Island School of Design Professor and Architect Jim Barnes. Barnes lives with his wife in a Queen Anne period home in the Elmwood Historic District of Providence. His talk, “Historic Houses: An Architect’s View Inside and Out” is a subject dear to his heart and will be held in The Cube at Centerbrook Architects’ offices at 67 Main St. in Centerbrook.

Barnes states that our experience of historic houses is most often framed by their exterior appearances.  We come to identify and understand historic time periods and changing styles of architecture through building forms, rooflines, materials, and even paint colors.  These are the elements of a public realm accessible to all.  Exterior patterns can build whole neighborhoods and clearly reflect our culture’s constantly shifting shared values.

We know less well interior spatial patterns, the private domestic realm hidden from view.  Yet we know the power of interior spatial arrangement to convey cultural values. Room placement, stairway arrangements and fireplaces are among the many tools that architects and builders use to shape and express domestic life. This illustrated talk will address the changing styles of historic houses in an historic Providence neighborhood by comparing the shifting patterns of exterior forms and interior floor plans from the mid-19th century to the beginning of the 20th century.

This program is free and open to the public. Call the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560 to register or for more information. Centerbrook Architects is located at 67 Main St. in Centerbrook.

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Essex Land Trust Welcomes Volunteers for ‘Source to Sea’ Clean Up on ‘Great Meadow,’ Friday

ESSEX — The Essex Land Trust (ELT) is looking to do its part in helping to clean the shores and marshes of our beautiful Connecticut River and, specifically, on Essex’ Great Meadow. The event, coordinated by ELT and sponsored by the Connecticut River Watershed Council, will also be conducted simultaneously by volunteers along the length of the river from Old Saybrook to Canada.

Meet for your assignment at 9 a.m. at the Essex Boat Club, at the far end of the dirt road accessed between #143 and #145 River Rd., the lane that also serves Pettipaug Yacht Club. Wear waterproof boots, bring gloves and come rain or shine.

Refreshments will be served. All ages and abilities are welcome.

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Music Now Foundation Hosts Sunset Soiree Fundraiser at Griswold Point, Saturday

AREAWIDE — Music Now Foundation hosts its second annual Sunset Soiree Fundraiser at beautiful Griswold Point in Old Lyme Saturday, Sept. 23, from 4 p.m. Come out to support the initiatives of Music Now, while you enjoy beautiful water views, a great meal, and live musical performances by talented young artists until sunset.

Ticket cost is $50 for adults and includes food, beer, wine and soft drinks. There will also be a vegetarian option offered. Youth ticket cost is $20.

The MusicNow Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)3 charitable organization based in Old Lyme CT. Its mission is to engage, enrich, and inspire young aspiring artists by providing performance opportunities, workshop programming and mentorships thereby nurturing creative and artistic growth and supporting the development of live music in our communities.

For more information about MusicNow, visit www.musicnowfoundation.org

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Reception to Celebrate Photography Exhibit by 7th Grader to be held at Deep River Library, Sunday

The Deep River Public Library is hosting a reception to celebrate the photography of Isabella Capezzone on Sunday, Sept. 24, from 3 to 6 p.m.

Capezzone is a 7th grade student at John Winthrop Middle School and has had a fascination with photography from an early age, photographing pets, sunsets, flowers and the beauty she sees in nature. After completing a photography course through Girl Scouts, Capezzone continued her studies by participating in a photography enrichment program at Deep River Elementary School.

Light refreshments will be served. Capezzone’s collected works will be on sale and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Deep River Food Pantry.

No registration is required. All are welcome.

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High Holy Day Services Continue at CBSRZ

CHESTER — At Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ), in Chester, CT, on Jewish holidays, High Holy Days – Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – are major highlights every year, with beautiful music led by Cantor, Belinda Brennan and our Choir, inspiring teachings from our religious and spiritual leader Rabbi Marci Bellows, and lay people within the CBSRZ community, as well as special services and activities for children and young families.

The schedule for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is as follows:

Erev Rosh Hashanah: Wednesday, September 20, 7:30 pm; Rosh Hashanah morning service, Thursday, September 21, 9:30 am, Children’s service 2:30 pm; second day of Rosh Hashanah, Friday, September 22, 9:30 am, Kol Nidre, Friday, September 29, 7:30 pm. Yom Kippur, Saturday, September 30, morning service 9:30 am, Children’s service 2:00 pm, afternoon Yizkor, Neilah, 3:30 pm.  Communal break-the-fast will be at the conclusion of services. All are welcome.

For information regarding tickets, contact the CBSRZ office or visit cbsrz.org.  Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester.

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Musical Masterworks, Community Music School Announce Scholarship Recipient

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Previews for ‘I Hate Musicals: The Musical’ Begin Wednesday at Ivoryton Playhouse

Equity member Stephen Wallem plays the lead in Ivoryton Playhouse’s upcoming production of  “I Hate Musicals: the Musical.”

ESSEX — Simpsons’ television writer and producer Mike Reiss is back in Ivoryton with his hilarious world premiere of I Hate Musicals: The Musical. It’s the story of a cranky comedy writer trapped in the rubble of an LA earthquake.  His life is playing out before his eyes in the form of a musical — and he hates musicals …  With numbers sung by everyone from Sigmund Freud and Satan, will he learn to be less cranky?

Previews for I Hate Musicals: The Musical begin Sept. 27 and then the show opens at the Playhouse Sept. 29 and runs through Oct. 15.

Stephen Wallem*, a SAG Award-nominated actor best known as Thor Lundgren for seven seasons on the Emmy-winning Showtime series “Nurse Jackie”, will lead the cast as Alvin, the comedy writer. Stephen worked as a stage actor and After Dark Award-winning cabaret singer in Chicago before moving to New York to make his television debut on “Nurse Jackie.” Other television appearances include Randall on Louis CK’s surprise limited series “Horace and Pete” and Chad on “Difficult People.”

I Hate Musicals: The Musical features new music composed by Walter Murphy, composer of the 70’s classic A Fifth of Beethoven (which was included in the soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever. The play is one man’s zany ride through relationships with mothers and fathers, analysts and wives and with a host of surprising characters making unexpected appearances. Ultimately, the story is a traditional one about life, love, show business, and the importance of being kind.

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 and Comedy is Hard in September of 2014 with Micky Dolenz and Joyce DeWitt.

Directed by James Valletti, the cast includes Playhouse favorite R. Bruce Connelly*, and Will Clark, Sam Given*, Amanda Huxtable*, Ryan Knowles*. The set design is by Dan Nischan, lighting by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Elizabeth Cipollina.

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

Tickets are $50 for adults, $45 for seniors, $22 for students and $17 for children 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.

 

Picture – Stephen Wallem*

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‘Cruise, Blues & Brews’ Sept. 30 Festival Features Top CT Blues Bands, Benefits ‘At-Risk Boys’ 

CHESTER — When organizers for the 3rd Annual Cruise, Blues & Brews Festival approached legendary local blues performer Ramblin’ Dan Stevens, they received immediate and enthusiastic support. Stevens had the connections and the passion to recruit top blues talent for this unique festival to benefit the At-Risk Boys Fund.

“As soon as I was asked to help, I was confident my friends at the Connecticut Blues Society and fellow Blues musicians would want to help this important cause, and have a lot of fun doing it too” says Dan Stevens. Turns out, Dan was right. Ed Stack, Connecticut Blues Society President, promptly started promoting the Cruise Blues & Brews Festival to all the Society’s members to help boost attendance and raise more money for the At-Risk Boys Fund.

Stevens’ Blues musician friends were quick to respond too. One by one six bands agreed to perform on the Festival Stage between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. “We’ve got some of the best blues artist in Connecticut, many of whom have represented our state at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis TN, with several advancing to the finals. I’m so grateful they agreed to help in raising money and awareness for this great cause” says Stevens.

Here is the list of bands scheduled to play: Frank Breen, Traditional Acoustic Blues; Peter Magrane and the Drive by Blues Band,Upbeat Ragtime & originals; Blues on the Rocks, Genuine Blues; Ramblin’ Dan Stevens and the Fiery Band, Eclectic Fingerstyle Blues, Slide & originals; Jake Kulak and The Lowdown featuring Braiden Sunshine, a collaboration between award winning 17 year old blues Phenom Jake Kulak and finalist on The Voice, Braiden SunshineRyan Hartt and Tom FerraroNew England Blues super group.

In addition to live performance by these top Blues musicians the Cruise Blues & Brews Festival will also feature hundreds of antique and unique cars on display, a food court with a variety of up-scale food trucks, locally brewed craft beer by on tap by Thimble Island Brewery, a market place of vendors, a kids play area, trophies, games and prizes.

“Thanks to Ramblin’ Dan Stevens, we have more than doubled the number of blues bands for this year, and that is a really big deal for us” says Bill Guerra, Volunteer Chairman of the Festival.

“Established only four years ago, The At-Risk Boys fund has awarded over $61,000 in grants to organizations, throughout Middlesex County. These grants have helped hundreds of boys and young men achieve success and a better life”, Guerra added.

The 3rd Annual Cruise Blues & Brews Festival, will be held Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (rain date, Sunday, Oct. 1), at the Chester Fair Grounds. Admission: $5 donation, children under 12 free. To learn more about this Festival, buy tickets in advance or make a donation to the At-Risk Boys Fund of the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, visit:  www.atriskboysfund.org . Tickets may also be purchased at the gate during the Festival.

 

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Essex Garden Club Announces Officers for 2017-2018


ESSEX —
Officers for the Essex Garden Club for 2017-2018 are Barbara Burgess, president, 1st VP Augie Pampel, 2nd VP, MyLan Sarner, Recording Secretary, Betsy Godsman, Corresponding Secretary Phyllis Graf, Treasurer , Patricia Mather and Assistant Treasurer is Barbara Muhlfelder.
In her opening remarks at the September meeting, Burgess said that the focus of the Essex Garden Club this year will be on enhancing each member’s floral design skills. These design principles will be applied when the Garden Club decorates the town’s window boxes and planters for the holidays.
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‘Junior Souls Yoga Program’ Starts in Old Saybrook for Youth, Grades 4-8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Essex Democrats Announce Party Platform For 2017 Municipal Elections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essex Democratic Candidates

  • First Selectman/Selectwoman: Norm Needleman/ Stacia Rice-Libby
  • Town Treasurer: Jim Francis
  • Tax Collector: Megan Haskins
  • Essex BOE: Loretta McCluskey
  • Region 4 BOE: Kate Sandmann
  • BOF: Ethan Goller
  • BOF : Keith Crehan
  • Board Assessment Appeals: Mark Bombaci
  • Town Clerk: Joel Marzi
  • Judge Of Probate: Jeannine Lewis
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‘A Connecticut Christmas’ by Local Photographer Caryn Davis to be Released Sept. 26

CHESTER — Globe Pequot has announced the Sept. 26 release of A Connecticut Christmas: Celebrating the Holiday in Classic New England Style by Chester resident and photographer Caryn B. Davis, with accompanying essays by author Eric D. Lehman.

Celebrated chef, author, and Connecticut resident Jacques Pépin described A Connecticut Christmas as,“a sentimental journey through the lore of Connecticut and makes you want to sing Irving Berlin’s ‘White Christmas.’ The beautiful pictures celebrate the marvelous diversity, beauty, and spirit of the Nutmeg State . . . this heartwarming book makes you smile.”

A Connecticut Christmas is a photographic journey celebrating classic New England traditions, beauty, spirit, and community surrounding the holiday. From light displays to decorated churches and inns, spectacular private homes, festivals, carolers, town greens, and picturesque villages, this beautiful book of images takes readers on a magical holiday tour through the Nutmeg State.  There is also an event and location listing in the back of the book that for residents and tourists who love all things Christmas which is why this book has an appeal beyond the Nutmeg State.

A series of local book signings is planned — full details of these will be published on ValleyNewsNow.com as they become available.

Davis began her career in the visual arts 30 years ago as a cameraperson, editor, and producer of documentaries. She has been a professional photographer since 2000, specializing in architectural photography. Her work has taken her to over 50 countries, and still counting. She often combines her images with words to create compelling articles that have been featured in more than 60 magazines.

A Connecticut Christmas will retail at $26.00.

 

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CBSRZ Adds New Programs to Current Education Offerings for Fall

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

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

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

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

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

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A La Carte: Incredible Cookies Combine Caramel and Chocolate

At the end of my spacious, galley-like kitchen, there is a bay window under which is a window seat that holds all my somewhat heavy, counter-type appliances. These include two Cuisinart (one a big one, one a little one), a Ninja Pro that purees faster than a blink of one’s eye, a big Crock-Pot, two grinders, a machine that turns water into carbonated drinks and a blender. In the back is an industrial-grade Bernzomatic to make crème brulee. (What? You don’t have one? Really?)

What has been missing for almost three weeks is the biggest of my tiara of gadgets: my KitchenAid mixer. It is about 10-years-old and a new one costs around $600.

At some point, the arm that holds the bowl had become stuck. Nothing I did would make it go up and down. As the diagnostician, I figured out what was wrong and looked at YouTube to see if I could fix it. It would have involved taking the head off, removing the engine, taking off the arm and buying the plastic part that was broken.

Were I able to do this, it involved about 16 screws. I am sure I would have lost many of them. So I called KitchenAid who were of little help.

Finally, HomeAdvisor gave me the name of a man in Rhode Island. He sounded lovely on the phone, so I drove the monster to his house in Central Falls. A few days later, he called and told me what was wrong. I gave him the go-ahead. A week and $166 later, my baby is back.

By the way, my diagnosis was wrong.

I am now a happy camper. I am hoping this will last for another 10 to 20 years. My aunt had one when she got married, in 1934. When she died, in 1995, I gave it to my friend Marilyn Whiney. She still uses it.

What did I make first? I doubled the recipe for a cookie that called for the muscles of a weight lifter or, in my case, my KitchenAid.

Caramel-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

From Martha Stewart Living, September, 2017, page 76

Yield: 12 cookies

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 and one-half cups packed light brown sugar
One-half cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Three-quarter teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into one-half inch pieces
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (1 whole bag)
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
24 caramels, such as Kraft, halved

Preheat oven to 375 degrees with racks on top and middle. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together flour, both sugars, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add butter; beat on medium speed until combined but some pea-size butter chunks remain. Add chocolate chips and beat until combined, then beat in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla.

Line two baking sheets with parchment (I use Silpat instead.) Scoop dough into 4-ounce balls (each about one-half cu), make a deep, wide hollow in each center. Enclose 3 pieces of caramel in each; roll back into a ball. Place 6 balls on each sheet. Freeze 15 minutes.

Bake, with one sheet on each rack, 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, swap sheet positions and bake until centers are almost but not completely set (press gently on tops with your fingers to check), 7 to 10 minutes more. Remove from oven. Bang sheets on a counter a few times to create cracks on tops of cookies. Place sheets on a wire rack; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

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Applications Due by Nov. 9 for Rockfall Foundation Grants

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

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

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

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Tickets Now Available for 44th Season of Collomore Concerts

The Claremont Trio opens the 44th season of the Collomore Concerts on Sept. 24.

CHESTER — For its 44th season, the Robbie Collomore Music Series will offer all four of its concerts in the fall, between Sept. 24 and Nov. 26. These will be on Sundays at 5 p.m. in the historic and charming Chester Meeting House. It is now the time to buy your season subscription.

Beginning the season, on Sunday, Sept. 24, is the Claremont Trio, brought to Chester as the Barbara and Edmund Delaney Young Artists Concert. Called “one of America’s finest young chamber groups,” these three young women have performed worldwide to great acclaim, both as a trio and as individual soloists. One reviewer wrote, “Their exuberant performance and gutsy repertoire… was the kind of fresh approach that keeps chamber music alive.” Their Chester concert will feature sonatas by Bach, Debussy, Britten and Rachmaninoff.

Internationally renowned Jason Vieaux and Julien Labro pair up on classical guitar and bandoneon on Oct. 15.

In recent years, Jason Vieaux and Julien Labro have thrilled Collomore Concert audiences separately – Jason playing classical guitar in a solo concert and Julien playing accordion with the Detroit Hot Club. When the Collomore committee heard they had joined forces touring, playing the guitar and bandoneon, they jumped at the opportunity to have them return to Chester on Sunday, Oct. 15.  You can expect something “entertaining, fun, exciting, virtuosic in the unusual pairing of these two instruments. The program contains some modern classical, world music from Brazil and Argentina, and even some pop music.”

Latin Jazz comes to Chester on Nov. 5, with the Curtis Brothers Quartet featuring Ray Vega, percussionist.  The Curtis Brothers Quartet takes bold steps towards a modern Latin Jazz sound, fearlessly pushing their musical approach into new territories. Their unique rhythmic concept is what separates them from most other jazz quartets. All of their music, original or not, is based on the percussive concepts that they have accumulated through their various musical experiences.

And on Nov. 26, the soulful songs of the Gullah culture will be brought to life by Ranky Tanky, a five-piece band of native South Carolinians who mix the low country traditions with large doses of jazz, gospel, funk, and R&B. They’ve been called “infectious, intoxicating and exotic” with
“frisky and hypnotic rhythms with a bone-deep mix of spirituals and gutbucket blues.”

Buy a season subscription now and save money, plus you’ll be certain you will have a seat even when a concert is sold out. A subscription to all four concerts is just $98. Individual concert tickets cost $28. For students from elementary through graduate school, a subscription is $15 ($5 per concert). Tickets and subscriptions can be purchased online at www.collomoreconcerts.org using PayPal. All ticket-holders are invited to stay for a reception after the concert to meet the performers. For more information, check the website or call 860-526-5162.

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Reading Uncertainly? ‘The Tide’ by Hugh Aldersey-Williams

A present from a New Hampshire daughter, The Tide is a delightful, entertaining, and thought-provoking mix of lucid, often poetic, language with numerous literary quotations plus detailed scientific explanations of the tides that embellish our lives on this earth. It is Aldersey-Williams’s thought-experiment.

It is also his history of the oceanic tides, mixed with a bit of mathematics. But not more than you can handle. As he notes, “You may be relieved to know that I will leave the mathematics aside here.” And, given that many tell us the world’s tides are soon to be much higher, this is a most worthwhile book.

It is, as he states, “not a book about the sea” (sailors, ships, and winds), but rather a book “about the seas” and the ever-changing space between land and water. The tide, he explains, “offers an irresistible mathematical tease” as we attempt to understand and predict it. It is both a horizontal and a vertical force. That is a “scientific challenge” and “a physical; and psychological influence on our culture.” The classic story of King Canute’s (or Cnut, as the author spells it) attempt to stem the tide may have altered the English view of nobility.

This is the author’s story of watching tides around the world, from the English Channel to, of all places, Griswold Point on the Connecticut River, with a cousin, David Redfield. Tides are entrancing: they give us slow, relative motion that produces a “hallucinatory feeling.” Water is, after all, “an inelastic fluid (that) cannot be compressed or expanded.” I too have been mesmerized: by the 10-foot tides in Tenants Harbor, Maine; by the rising waters in Bosham, West Sussex, England, that regularly swamp cars in the local bar’s parking lot; and by the rushing tidal currents in the Straits of Shimonoseki, between Honshu and Kyushu, Japan, through which we once sent our Navy ship (at slack water, of course!)

He acknowledges the inevitability of climate change and global warming, and the fact they will lead to rising seas: “The greatest impact of rising sea levels and the changing tides that may accompany them will be on human habitation.” After all, we easily succumb to the human drive to cling to shores. “In the long term, if not the short, ‘managed retreat’ is our only option. The sea always wins in the end.”

Trying to ‘stop the sea? “It is a futility that Sisyphus would understand all too well.” So New York is a potential Venice … and New London too!

But do not be deterred by such pessimism. The Tide is full of rich, poetic language, as in this description of birds above the sea: “Once aloft, the birds first coalesce as an egg-shaped cloud low over the water, before gaining height and taking on ever more extravagant, twisted shapes like a pixelated flamenco dancer.”

It is enough to send me down to the end of Ely’s Ferry Road to watch the Connecticut River slip by the marshes of Essex.

Editor’s Note: ‘The Tide’ by Hugh Aldersey-Williams was published by W. W. Norton, New York 2016.

Felix Kloman

About the Author: Felix Kloman is a sailor, rower, husband, father, grandfather, retired management consultant and, above all, a curious reader and writer. He’s explored how we as human beings and organizations respond to ever-present uncertainty in two books, ‘Mumpsimus Revisited’ (2005) and ‘The Fantods of Risk’ (2008). A 20-year resident of Lyme, he now writes book reviews, mostly of non-fiction that explores our minds, our behavior, our politics and our history. But he does throw in a novel here and there. For more than 50 years, he’s put together the 17 syllables that comprise haiku, the traditional Japanese poetry, and now serves as the self-appointed “poet laureate” of Ashlawn Farms Coffee, where he may be seen on Friday mornings. His wife, Ann, is also a writer, but of mystery novels, all of which begin in a bubbling village in midcoast Maine, strangely reminiscent of the town she and her husband visit every summer.

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