October 20, 2014

Oct. 21 Information Meeting on Shooting Ordinance to be Held at Chester Meeting House

CHESTER— The Oct. 21 public information meeting on a possible municipal ordinance regulating target shooting in residential neighborhoods will be held at the Chester Meeting House on Liberty Street. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. The location of the meeting is a change because most town meetings over the 18 months have been held in a second floor meeting room that was constructed after interior renovations to the town hall on Route 154.

The board of selectmen scheduled the session in response to a petition submitted in August signed by about 30 residents requesting consideration of a town ordinance that would limit and regulate target shooting and discharge of a firearm in Chester. Most of the petitioners were from the Wig Hill Road-Baker Road neighborhood, with many objecting to shooting that is occurring at one residential property in the area. First Selectman Edmund Meehan will present information at the meeting on shooting ordinances that are in place at other cities and towns in Connecticut.

Essex Selectmen Schedule Nov. 5 Public Information Meeting on Ivoryton Main Street Project

ESSEX— The board of selectmen has scheduled a Nov. 5 public information meeting on a grant-funded improvement project for a section of Main Street in the Ivoryton village. The session will begin at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at town hall.
The project, which includes four new raised crosswalks, new curbing and sidewalks and some new lighting, is to be funded by a $435,000 grant awarded last year from the state’s Main Streets Investment Fund program. The town has hiredAnchor Engineering Services of Glastonbury to prepare design plans for the improvements.

Selectwoman Stacia Libby, who been coordinating the project said at Wednesday’s board meeting that project engineers would be at the Nov. 5 meeting to review the plans with residents and answer questions. Libby said the plans have been reviewed by the parks and recreation and planning commissions, and had received a favorable response at a recent meeting with members of the Ivoryton Alliance, a group comprised of business and property owners in Ivoryton Village. The preliminary design plans will also be on display at the Ivoryton Library before the Nov. 5 meeting

The plans also include removal of a paved island at the intersection of Main and Summit streets that was constructed in the early 1970s. The removal would create a wider T-shaped intersection that would be safer and more convenient for winter snow plows and fire trucks from the Ivoryton Firehouse on Summit Street. Selectmen are hoping to put the project out to bid by May 2015 for construction next year.

Used Bike Collection at Essex Plaza – Saturday

ESSEX — On Saturday, October 18, Jacob Azzinaro from Boy Scouts Troop 12, will be holding a used bike collection at the Essex Plaza off Main Street near the Essex Steam Train Exit 3 off Route 9. The bike collection will be held in parking lot from noon to 4:00 p.m., rain or shine.  Used bikes will be taken back to the Bikes for Kids facility and repaired as needed and distributed to children in need.  In appreciation for donations, Pedal Power will give a 15% off accessories and ½ off a bike tune up coupon to be used for the purchase on that day.  In addition, receipts will be provided for you tax deductible donation.

This bike collection will be run with the support of Bikes for Kids, a non-profit organization. Bikes for Kids was started out of a few garages fixing and distributing bikes locally to children who could not afford bikes.  Now, years later, they are distributing bikes to places as far as Africa.  The goal for Jacob’s collection is to collect and repair greater than 150 bikes. With your help we can give children the opportunity to experience the joy of having their very own bike to ride, an opportunity all children should have no matter what their economic background.

Please consider donating a bike on October 18, from noon to 4:00 p.m. at Essex Plaza. You will be giving a gift to a child in need.  For more information contact Jacob Azzinaro at jacob11011@outlook.com or call 860-767-9497.

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Essex Garden Club Installs “Francesca”

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Essex Garden Club has created “Francesca” to compete in this year’s Scarecrow Competition sponsored by the Essex Board of Trade. Pictured left to right are Eve Potts, Mylan Sarner and Sandy French.  “Francesca” sits at the entrance to Town Park on Main Street where the Garden Club members recently completed their fall cleanup.

LAA Hosts ‘Incredible India’ Cultural Expo & Marketplace, Gala, Saturday

Incredible India full page (2)In honor of the Lyme Art Association’s (LAA) 100th anniversary, the Lyme Art Association presents Incredible India!, an expo and gala celebrating the culture of India. This exceptional event to benefit the LAA has two components: A Cultural Expo and Marketplace in the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 18, followed by a Benefit Gala in the evening.“For anyone looking for an interesting, exotic, and genuinely authentic experience, I can assure you that our ‘Incredible India’ event is exactly that!” says LAA’s Director of Development Gary Parrington, adding, “The Association has a long tradition of lavish themed galas dating back to the Association’s founding a hundred years ago.”

The Cultural Expo and Marketplace will be a fun-filled afternoon for the entire family to discover and experience the culture and charm of India. Vendors will display art, photographs, shawls, brassware, and other fine marketplace items from India. There will also be Indian food vendors, and musicians to entertain visitors. The Cultural Expo and Marketplace runs from noon until 3 p.m. and is open to the public, free of charge.

The Benefit Gala, which takes place from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m., will be an extraordinary experience including select items from the Expo, a palm reader, Henna hand painter, a unique India gift for every guest, and the opportunity to bid in an auction for travel packages to India.

The Presenting Sponsor for ‘Incredible India’ is Air India in collaboration with the Government of India’s Ministry of Tourism. The Premier Media Sponsor for the expo and gala is ‘The Day.’

For additional information on ‘Incredible India’ and to make a reservation for the Benefit Gala, visit www.LymeArtAssociation.org or contact LAA’s Director of Development Gary Parrington at gary@lymeartassociation.org.

The Lyme Art Association was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community.

The Lyme Art Association is located at 90 Lyme St., Old Lyme, CT, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within an historic district. Admission is free with contributions appreciated.

Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802 or visit www.lymeartassociation.org.

 

Republican Sen. Linares Agrees to Final 33rd District Debate on Oct. 23 in Clinton after Skipping Tuesday Session in Haddam

AREAWIDE— Republican State Senator Art Linares has committed to participating in a final 33rd Senate District debate on Oct. 23 at Morgan High School in Clinton after skipping a session held Tuesday at Haddam-Killingworth High School amid disagreements with the sponsor and moderator for the session.

Linares announced his willingness to participate in the Oct. 23 debate, set for 7 p.m. in the auditorium at the Clinton school, after declining to participate in the session Tuesday that was sponsored by the Haddam Bulletin, a monthly newspaper for Haddam. The Oct. 23 debate will be run by students in the Morgan High School current issues class, which had sponsored 33rd Senate debates in previous years.

Democratic challenger Emily Bjornberg and Green Party nominee Colin Bennett faced off Tuesday before about 30 voters in the Haddam-Killingworth High School auditorium, with an empty chair on the stage for the absent Linares. Moderator Edward Schwing, editor of the Haddam Bulletin said Ryan Linares, the senator’s brother and campaign manager, had imposed several conditions on participation in the session that included a demand to review questions in advance. Schwing said such a condition would be “contrary to the spirit and intent of the debate.”

Ryan Linares said Wednesday it was Schwing’s role as moderator that prompted the demand to review questions in advance. He noted that Schwing had helped run the 2012 state senate campaign of Green Party nominee Melissa Schlag in the three candidate contest where Art Linares was elected for his first term. Schlag was elected in 2013 as the Democratic first selectwoman of Haddam, and has endorsed Bjornberg for the Nov. 4 vote. “The senator is not interested in that kind of debate,” he said.

Bennett, who has run as the Green Party nominee in previous 33rd Senate contests, used the session in Haddam to contend the current Democratic majority in the Legislature has failed to address several issues and priorities that Bjornberg has stressed in her campaign. Bennett said he is “100 percent committed to this campaign” despite raising and spending no money on the race. Bjornberg said if elected she would be a voice for the district towns in the majority party caucus.

The three candidates had faced off previously at debates on Sept. 16 at the Lyme-in Old Lyme High School, Sept. 23 at Valley Regional High School in Deep River, and an Oct. 6 session with House candidates that was sponsored by the Westbrook Council of Beaches. But Bjornberg has pushed for a debate in one of the northern towns of the sprawling 12 town district, and suggested the session Tuesday at Haddam-Killingworth could have been the missing northern town debate. The 33rd District includes the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Portland, Westbrook, and parts of Old Saybrook.

Bjornberg said Wednesday she will participate in the Oct. 23 session in Clinton, but contended Linares is “locking out” the northern towns of the district from a public debate. “The district’s two most populous towns in particular, Colchester and East Hampton, deserve to have their residents’ questions asked and their issues addressed” she said.

Bjornberg said she is still working to have the Norwich Bulletin sponsor a debate at the high school in Colchester, but Ryan Linares said Wednesday no one from the newspaper has contacted the campaign about a debate in Colchester.

Halloween Parade and Safe Trick-or-Treating in Chester Center

Elvis is coming to Chester! Look for Elvis (that’s Gary Torello, Chester Rotarian who provides DJ and Karaoke services throughout the area) in Chester Center on Halloween night, playing music so you can dance in the middle of Main Street till 8:00 p.m.

Elvis is coming to Chester! Look for Elvis (that’s Gary Torello, Chester Rotarian who provides DJ and Karaoke services throughout the area) in Chester Center on Halloween night, playing music so you can dance in the middle of Main Street till 8:00 p.m.

On Friday, Oct. 31, the town of Chester is collaborating on a safe and fun evening for all ages in the center of Chester, from one end of Main Street to the other. Leave your car in the public parking lot at Maple Street, Water Street, or North Quarter Park and do some walking.

The merchants of Chester will be welcoming trick-or-treaters starting at 5 p.m. Or start at the other end of Main Street, where you can do some trunk-or-treating in the parking lot at St. Joseph’s Parish Center, from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Elliot Stack and JayLee Milhomme are eagerly waiting for the Halloween Costume Parade in Chester on Halloween night. Photo by Spiritdog Photography

Elliot Stack and JayLee Milhomme are eagerly waiting for the Halloween Costume Parade in Chester on Halloween night. Photo by Spiritdog Photography

At 6 p.m., convene at Chesterfields, near North Quarter Park, to enjoy the jack-o’lantern display while lining up for the costume parade, led by Chester’s Fife & Drum Corps. We will parade into Chester Center, where DJ Elvis (Gary Torello) will be playing music for the street dance party till 8 p.m. Prizes will be awarded by the Chester Merchants for scariest, silliest, ugliest, prettiest, best super hero, best animal, funniest, (and more!) costume categories.

Enjoy Halloween treats from the Chester merchants. Don’t forget to check out the spooky Halloween Box display at Bell’Oliva and see what other scary surprises are lurking in Chester Center.

Chester Merchants are getting ready to celebrate Halloween in Chester Center on Oct. 31. The Three Witch Matchbox from The Joy of Lighting at 5 West Main Street is just what you need to light your jack-o’lantern. Photo by Susan Schneider

Chester Merchants are getting ready to celebrate Halloween in Chester Center on Oct. 31. The Three Witch Matchbox from The Joy of Lighting at 5 West Main Street is just what you need to light your jack-o’lantern. Photo by Susan Schneider

Main Street will be closed to traffic during the evening. More info at Facebook.com/VisitChesterCT.

Essex Savings Bank Earns Sustained Superiority Award

ESSEX — Essex Savings Bank has earned the prestigious Sustained Superiority Award from BauerFinancial, Inc. of Coral Gables, Florida, the nation’s leading independent bank rating and research firm, for continuing at their highest 5-Star rating for strength and stability.  Bauer Financial has been reporting on and analyzing the performance of U.S. banks since 1983.  No institution can pay BauerFinancial to rate it, nor can an institution choose to be excluded.  Essex Savings Bank has proven its commitment to superiority by earning this top rating for at least the latest 57 consecutive quarters.  Fewer than 10% of the nation’s banks can claim this distinction.  In order to do so, the Bank has excelled in areas of capital adequacy, delinquent loan levels and profitability to name just a few.  Consistently earning BauerFinancial’s highest rating assures customers and the community that Essex Savings Bank is a strong financial institution that will be able to fulfill their banking needs for years to come and is the gold standard of choices in a complex financial industry. Gregory R. Shook, President and CEO, noted, “ We are proud to receive this award and hope that individuals, families and businesses will appreciate the opportunity to build long term relationships with us.”

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.

Letter: Essex First Selectman Endorses Bjornberg

To The Editor:

As a business owner and the First Selectman of Essex, I am keenly aware of the difficulties companies and municipalities face here in Connecticut. Small towns like are taking on an unfair share of the burden and are feeling the weight of an increasing number of unfunded mandates from the state.

We need a stronger voice in Hartford, and that’s why I am endorsing Emily Bjornberg for State Senate in the 33rd District. She has the life experience, tenacity and drive to effect real change in Hartford.

Representing our region in Hartford needs to be more than casting a partisan protest vote against the state budget and then blaming the state’s problem on others. What our region needs is someone who will be at the table as important decisions are being made to represent the needs of our towns.

She understands the needs of small business, having grown up working with her family who owns Reynolds Subaru in Lyme. It’s through that family, made up of prominent local Republicans and Democrats, who have instilled in her the ability to find the common ground necessary to bring about constructive and positive change.

I ask that you join me in voting for Emily on November 4.

Sincerely,

Norman Needleman
First Selectman, Essex.

 

 

Say Goodnight Gracie Opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse

Bruce Connelly  (Photo courtesy of Anne Hudson).

Bruce Connelly
(Photo courtesy of Anne Hudson).

IVORYTON — Ivoryton favorite Bruce Connelly returns to the Playhouse stage on October 29th, in the hit Broadway show, Say Goodnight Gracie. This stunning tour de force invites you to spend an hilarious, heart-warming evening in the uplifting company of the world’s favorite and funniest centenarian, George Burns, who spanned one hundred years of American entertainment history. Say Goodnight Gracie was Broadway’s third longest running solo performance show and was nominated for a 2003 Tony Award for BEST PLAY and won the 2003-04 National Broadway Theatre Award for BEST PLAY.

In Say Goodnight Gracie, George Burns looks back upon his impoverished, plucky youth on the lower East Side of New York… his disastrous but tenacious career in Vaudeville … the momentous day when he meet a fabulously talented young Irish girl named Grace Ethel Cecile Rosalie Allen … their instant chemistry, with his flawless timing a perfect mate to her dizzy delivery … his wooing of her, their marriage and their rise to the pinnacles of Vaudeville, Movies, Radio and Television. Gracie’s demise forced George to start from square one in life and in his career, eventually achieving an equal level of success as a solo raconteur and Academy Award-winning actor, portraying everything from a Sunshine Boy to, oh, God.

Say Goodnight Gracie was written by multiple Tony Award-winning playwright Rupert Holmes, whose Broadway credits include the Tony Award-winning musical The Mystery Of Edwin Drood and who is also creator and writer of the nostalgic Emmy Award-winning comedy series Remember WENN.

Bruce Connelly* appeared last at the Ivoryton Playhouse as Jim in the summer production All Shook Up. Notable roles include Barney Cashman in Last Of The Red Hot Lovers, Max Bialystock in The Producers, Felix Unger inThe Odd Couple, Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and Finian in Finian’s Rainbow. Since 1993, Bruce has played Barkley, Jim Henson’s Muppet dog on Sesame Street for which he has been honored fifteen times by the National Academy of Television and Radio at the Daytime Emmy Awards.

Say Goodnight Gracie is a tender, funny, life-affirming love story … a personal guided tour through an American century in the company of George Burns, a man who laughingly lived and loved each day for all it had to offer, until he finally went “gently into that good night” to forever reunite with his beloved Gracie.

Say Goodnight Gracie opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on October 29th and runs through November 9th, 2014. Directed by Michael McDermott, the set design is by Dan Nischan, lighting by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Kari Crowther.

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

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.

Generously sponsored by Clark Corporation and Essex Meadows.

CT Firefighters & Policemen Endorse Emily Bjornberg for State Senate

On Friday Democratic State Senate Candidate Emily Bjornberg announced that the police officers and firefighters of the Connecticut Police and Fire Union (CPFU), as well as the Uniformed Professional Firefighters Association of Connecticut (UPFFA), have officially endorsed her candidacy in the November 4thelections to represent the 33rd State Senate District.

“Our state’s police officers and firefighters put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities and look out for the safety and well being of our families. They have earned all our gratitude for their hard work, and deserve our ongoing support as they continue to perform their duties. I am honored to receive their endorsement in this election,” said Bjornberg.

“Emily Bjornberg is an exciting candidate and a passionate advocate for her community. She is committed to promoting and preserving public safety, and can be counted on to ensure our firefighters and policemen have the support they need to carry out their duties and get the job done,” said Glenn Terlecki, President of the Connecticut Police and Fire Union.

Emily Bjornberg’s husband, Jason Bjornberg, served as a Military Police Officer in the Connecticut National Guard from 1998 to 2004. He was deployed to Baghdad, Iraq in January of 2003, and returned home in April of 2004.

Jason now volunteers as a firefighter with the Lyme Fire Company, an all-volunteer non-profit fire and rescue service. As an employee of the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, Jason also serves as a member of the Connecticut Interstate Wildfire Crew, whose members travel all across the continental United States to combat wildfires and protect the people, property and essential ecosystems threatened by the flames.

This past August, Jason was deployed with the Interstate Wildfire Crew to fight the Eiler fire in Northern California, a blaze which burned 32,416 acres of land that month before it was contained, destroying 7 residences, 2 commercial facilities and 12 outbuildings.

“I could not be more proud of my husband’s service as a firefighter, whether as a volunteer at home in Lyme or across the country with the Interstate Wildfire Crew. I know firsthand that first responders’ service also asks a lot of their families, but as Jason and I tell our children, a service done for others benefits us all,” said Bjornberg.

The Connecticut Police and Fire Union (CPFU), IUPA Local-74/IAFF Local S-15, is comprised of over 900 public safety professionals employed across the State of Connecticut.

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

Local Student Awarded Carolyn Greenleaf Memorial Music Award

The Carolyn Greenleaf Committee is happy to announce the winner of this semester’s Carolyn Greenleaf Memorial Music Award.  She is Elizabeth (Libby) Ryan, an oboe student of Johanna Lamb at the Community Music School and a student at Nathan Hale Ray High School in East Haddam.

The award was established in honor of Carolyn Greenleaf, who was passionate about music education. To ensure Carolyn’s legacy, the Carolyn Greenleaf Memorial Award Committee partnered with the Community Foundation of Middlesex County in 2007 to establish the Carolyn Greenleaf Memorial Fund.

This merit-based award, open to students in Middlesex County and the Lymes, provides a semester of private instruction at the Community Music School.

In addition to her study at the Community Music School, Libby has participated in several master classes at the school and plays principal oboe and English horn in the Thames Valley Youth Symphony, as well as in her high school band.  In addition, she has participated in CMEA All-state Orchestra as principal oboe and the UCONN and UMASS High School Honors Bands.   This past summer she participated in the Ithaca College Summer Music Academy.  Her future plans include majoring in music in college.

The Carolyn Greenleaf Memorial Music Award Committee accepts applications twice a year.  The deadline for the Spring 2015 semester will be Friday, January 9th at 4 PM. Applications may be downloaded from the websites of the Community Music School (www.community-music-school. org) and the Community Foundation of Middlesex County (www.middlesexcountycf.org) in June and January each year.

Community Foundation of Middlesex County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Middlesex County.  Its two-fold mission is: (1) to work with charitably-minded individuals and organizations to build permanent endowments and other charitable funds; and (2) to support local nonprofit organizations through effective grant making and multiple programs to address community needs. Since its founding in 1997, the Community Foundation has provided over 1,100 grants totaling more than $3.6 million to organizations for the arts, cultural and heritage programs, educational activities, environmental improvements, and for health and human services. For more information, contact CFMC at 860.347.0025 or info@MiddlesexCountyCF.org