October 20, 2017

Middlesex Hospice & Palliative Care Seeks New Volunteers

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

Training is held on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and at the same time on Oct. 28. Both sessions are mandatory. The program is especially in need of male volunteers and Veterans.

The unit is specifically looking for individuals who would like to work in homecare and nursing homes visiting patients.

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

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Legal News You Can Use: Proving Negligence in a Car Accident Case

Photo by Samuel Foster on Unsplash

SPONSORED POST: To recover compensation in a car accident case, a plaintiff must satisfy the required elements of a negligence claim: duty, breach, causation and damages. Specifically, the plaintiff must persuade the jury that the defendant breached his or her duty of care, resulting in injury, by a preponderance of the evidence standard.

Element Two: Breach of Duty

As we discussed in a recent post, every licensed driver has a duty of care to operate his or her vehicle in a responsible manner. That duty includes abiding by traffic laws and paying attention to traffic and road conditions. Thus, the most contested element of a car accident case is usually not whether a duty existed, but whether the defendant driver’s actions breached that duty.

Types of Evidence in a Car Accident Claim

A plaintiff may use both direct and circumstantial evidence in a car accident case. Thanks to technology, there may be direct evidence of a defendant driver’s actions. For example, street cameras may have recorded the driver running a stop sign or red light. If a crash victim suspects that the other driver was texting behind the wheel, a subpoena to the driver’s cell phone carrier may confirm that suspicion. Many newer motor vehicles also contain an Event Data Recorder (EDR), or “black box,” which may have recorded speed and braking patters immediately before the collision.

Creating a Trial Narrative With Expert Testimony

Suisman Shapiro also has established relationships with accident reconstruction specialists. These professionals may offer testimony that interprets circumstantial evidence, such as skid marks, vehicle resting positions, EDR data, and the driver’s memories immediately before the crash. However, none of this evidence may be apparent without the skilled investigative efforts of a personal injury attorney.

The Law Firm of Suisman Shapiro focuses on this area of the law.

Source: Washington Post, “Study on drug-impaired driving gets pushback — from other safety advocates,” Fredrick Kunkle, May 1, 2017

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Deep River Historical Society Launches New Book of ‘Deep River Stories’ with Reception, Oct. 19

The Deep River Historical Society (DRHS) is proud to announce the launch of its newest publication “Deep River Stories.” DRHS Trustee Frank Santoro has created 10 short stories bringing Deep River’s legends from XYZ to Dick Smith together in an entertaining and educational book for all ages.  Santoro has a lighthearted approach and each story has a moral ending. The stories are enriched by the talents of eleven local artists who have donated their time to this project.

The Society is grateful for the generosity of these truly creative people: Rachel Carlson, Karen F. Carroll, Janet Edgerton, Linda Elgart, Sarah Gustafson, Andrea Isaacs, Lori Lenz, Alicia Melluzzo, Sophie Spaner, Cindi Stannard (DRHS Trustee) and Virginia (Gin) Wylie. This project truly exemplifies our mission statement as it interacts with our community, interprets Deep River’s place in America’s history and hopefully will inspire current and future generations.

The Deep River Historical Society invites you to an evening reception to meet the author and artists behind “Deep River Stories” on Thursday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. at the Carriage House, 245 Main Street Deep River. Come for a fun evening of stories as the Society launches its newest publication. Books will be available for $10. 

All proceeds will benefit the Deep River Historical Society in its work to maintain this gem of a historic building and create new interactive exhibits. For further information, call Rhonda Forristall at 860-526-5086.

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Asch Retires from Cappella Cantorum After 47 Years, Holt Appointed New Music Director

Barry Asch is retiring after 47 years at the helm of Cappella Cantorum.

AREAWIDE — Co-founder, music director, and conductor of Cappella Cantorum, Barry B. Asch, has announced his retirement from the Cappella Cantorum MasterWorks Chorus.  Asch has conducted the MasterWorks Chorus for 47 years during which time over 65 major choral works have been performed. 

The inaugural performance was March 1970 with Schubert’s Mass in E Flat.  Asch formed the popular Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus in 1977, and the SummerSings series in 1987.  Both events still continue.

The Eighth Annual Messiah Sing or Listen in 2016 at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center was nearly filled to capacity.  This favorite holiday tradition was conducted and organized by Asch.  ‘The Kate’ will host the ninth annual event on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017.

Group sessions and vocal classes have been offered to Cappella members with renowned soprano Patricia Schuman and tenor Brian Cheney.

Asch began Cappella Cantorum’s European Concert Tours in 1981.  The tours are currently organized by member Patricia Hill of Madison.

Simon Holt has been named the new Musical Director of Cappella Cantorum.

A highlight of Cappella Cantorum was performing five concerts at Carnegie Hall, New York City with Mid-America Productions.  This opportunity was initiated by Asch.

Cappella Cantorum has represented 20 communities throughout southeastern Connecticut.

Simon Holt, artistic director of Salt Marsh Opera and director of music at The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme will be the new music director of the Cappella Cantorum MasterWorks Chorus.

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A La Carte: You Can’t Beat Beets!

Borscht

Not everyone likes beets. This is hard for me to understand. What’s not to like with beets. My mother didn’t like vegetables. I found this later in life, when I asked my mother why we I didn’t have vegetables, canned or fresh, except for sweet corn and tomatoes in the summer and canned green beans and canned peas in the fall, winter and spring. Simple, she explained. She didn’t like vegetables.

She did, however, like borscht. It was one of five or six dishes she actually made. Even later in my life I found out that she did like borscht but that she never made it from fresh beets. Rather, she used canned beets.

I love beets and I especially love borscht. I make it often and, in my everlasting quest for fresh tomatoes (maybe by the time you read this, there will be local and fresh tomatoes), I am finding beets. Last week I went to White Gate Farm in East Lyme, a place I visit rarely because I find the prices exorbitant, figuring that if any place had tomatoes, they would. They didn’t, but I did see beautiful beets. I bought two bunches (beets are always inexpensive), and that evening I made borscht.

This is my mother’s recipe and requires three ingredients: beets, onions and lemons. To this, you add water, salt and pepper. If you want a bit of sophistication, top perhaps with fresh dill fronds. My family ate in icy cold, with a warm boiled potato and a big dollop of sour cream. I dispense with the potato and just spoon a tablespoon or two of the sour cream into the soup. It turns it a gorgeous dark pink.

Borscht

Yield: serves 6

6 good sized beets, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes*
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
Juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fronds of dill (optional)
Sour cream for serving

Place beets and onion into a good-sized soup pot, with cold water to cover.

Bring to a boil, then bring to a simmer for about 45 minutes, or until beets are soft. Add lemon to soup and allow it to cool. Using the grating or slicing tool of a food processor, process the beets and onions. Add vegetables back into the dark, red broth and warm the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate. To serve, pour cold soup into bowls (I love to use white bowls), stir in sour cream, add dill fronts and serve.

*I would love a few recipes for beet greens. I throw them into the disposal, but I know many think that is sacrilegious.

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Essex Attorney Selected as Official Democratic Candidate for District 33 Probate Court Judge

Attorney Jeannine Lewis

AREAWIDE — On Thursday, July 20, delegates representing nine towns within the 33rd State Senate District selected Jeannine Lewis, an attorney at Hudson and Kilby, as the Democratic candidate for the upcoming vacancy of District 33 probate court judge.  Connecticut’s 33rd Probate Court District includes the Town of Lyme as well as Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.  The probate court for District 33 is located in Old Saybrook.

In announcing her selection, the District 33 Democratic Town Committee delegates commended Lewis for her extensive experience and expertise in Connecticut probate law; her deep understanding of the issues and responsibilities involved; and her personal and professional commitment to protecting the rights of – and serving the needs of – area residents who require the assistance of the probate court.  The delegates also thanked the other three individuals who had been vying for this nomination – attorneys James Carey, Sean Donlan and Stephen Sheehan. 

Probate judges typically handle estates, trusts, adoptions, name changes, and the termination of parental rights and conservatorships, among other important matters. All candidates for the position must be members of the Connecticut bar. 

Upon receiving the nomination, Lewis said, “Since I first applied to law school, it has been a dream of mine to serve my community as judge of probate.  If elected to this position in November, I plan to dedicate my time outside of the  court’s daily duties to mentoring new attorneys, and to providing assurances that our elderly and disabled community members are properly cared for and protected.”

Lewis, in addition to her law practice – which is focused on probate matters, estate planning and elder law – is the Chair of the Continuing Legal Education Committee of the Connecticut Bar Association’s (CBA’s) Elder Law Section, and serves on the Integrity of the Practice/Pro Bono Committee of the CBA’s Estates and Probate Section.  She is a board member of the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries, and provides pro bono legal counsel to Sister Cities Essex Haiti, a local charity that helps residents of the town of Deschapelles, Haiti.

Lewis will face Republican and other challengers in the Tuesday, Nov. 7, special election later this year.

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Essex Foundation Completes Second Phase of Gateway Landscape Project

Sullivan Lawn Service crew members install evergreen shrubs and ornamental perennial plants at the intersection of Route 154 and Route 153 in Essex, the second phase of a landscape beautification project funded by The Essex Foundation.

300+ Perennials Planted Along Intersection of Rte. 154 and Rte. 153 in Essex

ESSEX – Just three months after funding the installation of 12 Chanticleer pear trees along Rte. 154 near the intersection of Rte. 153, The Essex Foundation, Inc. has completed the second phase of a multi-phase gateway beautification project.

Over 300 low-growing, low-maintenance evergreen and perennial ornamentals were planted in the southeast corner of state-owned land in the Rte. 9/ Exit 3 underpass area of Essex. The charitable organization hired Matthew Verry Landscape Design for design planning and state approval oversight while Sullivan Lawn Services, LLC was contracted for the installation services. 

Sullivan Lawn Service crew members install evergreen shrubs and ornamental perennial plants at the intersection of Route 154 and Route 153 in Essex, the second phase of a landscape beautification project funded by The Essex Foundation.

With the goal of creating a colorful, year-round visual display that is both drought-tolerant and pest-resistant, The Essex Foundation board of directors opted for a combination of Vibernum, KnockOut Rose,  Black-eyed Susan, Sedum Autumn Joy and Winterberry. Funds for the cost of the planning, plant purchase and installation were provided through a bequest to The Essex Foundation by the late Elizabeth “Diz” Barnes Callender and her predeceased sister Mary Frances Barnes.

The gateway beautification project, which also included funding for the highway bridge painting, is a good example of the types of community efforts supported by The Essex Foundation.  The Foundation’s community projects tend to be unique, require quick action, and have an immediate impact.

The Essex Foundation was founded in 1970. It is a non profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Essex residents. The foundation is funded through donations from the community and strives to fill needs not met by other organizations or sources. In general, funds are granted for special purposes, including buildings, equipment, land, and programs, but not to recurring expenses. More information can be found at www.theessexfoundation.org.

PHOTO CAPTION: Sullivan Lawn Service crew members install evergreen shrubs and ornamental perennial plants at the intersection of Route 154 and Route 153 in Essex, the second phase of a landscape beautification project funded by The Essex Foundation.    

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Ready for Some Football? Old Saybrook Conditioning Camp Attracts More Than 40 Youngsters

More than 40 students in Grades 2through 8 participated in the four-day football conditioning camp held at Old Saybrook High School.

OLD SAYBROOK — The coaches from Old Saybrook High School and Old Saybrook Westbrook Youth Football & Cheer (OSW) recently partnered with the Town of Saybrook Parks and Recreation Department to host a four-day football conditioning programming for children from 2nd through 8th grade.

Youth from several towns on the shoreline participated in warm-up exercises and performed drills to learn the fundamentals of football and hone their skills.

Intensity and enthusiasm were evident at all times during the camp.

Coach Ryan Percival founded the program to help shoreline youth learn the fundamentals in a safe and non-competitive environment.

Subsequent to the Old Saybrook High School football coaches and staff joining ranks with the OSW coaches, the program swelled this year to more than 40 participants.

Coach Rob Marone summed up the philosophy of the program, “It’s all about the kids.  We teach skills, but we also emphasize safety, listening, teamwork and respect.”

For more information on the upcoming season or to register for football or cheerleading, visit oswyouthfootball.com.

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1772 Foundation Grant Awarded for deKoven House Exterior Maintenance

The historic deKoven House Community Center in Middletown received a grant of $10,700 for exterior maintenance.

MIDDLETOWN — The Rockfall Foundation recently received a matching grant of $10,700 to support exterior maintenance of the historic, 18th century deKoven House Community Center located at 27 Washington Street, Middletown. The grant was awarded by the 1772 Foundation in cooperation with the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation and will allow for painting, wood repair, and chimney repointing.

Bequeathed to the Foundation by the organization’s founder, Clarence S. Wadsworth, the deKoven House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Captain Benjamin Williams House. The brick Georgian mansion was built between 1791 and 1797 and is just yards from the banks of the Connecticut River. Previously renovated with architectural work by Jeffrey Dale Bianco, AIA, the current exterior project is part of a long-range plan to care for the building.

“One of the Rockfall Foundation’s main responsibilities is stewardship of the deKoven House,” said Robin Andreoli, the Foundation’s executive director. “In addition to the Foundation, its offices are occupied by several groups whose missions are concerned with natural resource education, research, and conservation in the Lower Connecticut River Valley.”

Since 1942, the Rockfall Foundation has provided subsidized, low-cost office space in the deKoven House to a variety of nonprofit environmental and educational organizations. Current resident organizations include the Middlesex Land Trust, Connecticut River Conservancy, Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District, Mattabeseck Audubon Society, Connecticut Land Conservation Council, Artists for World Peace, Connecticut Center for Spiritual Living, and the Connecticut Association of Conservation and Inland Wetlands Commission.Two meeting rooms are also available to community groups for use and host more than 150 gatherings per year.

The Rockfall Foundation is a private, non-profit foundation that supports environmental education, conservation programs and planning initiatives in the Lower Connecticut River Valley. Established in 1935, it is one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations. The Foundation annually awards environmental grants to other non-profits and sponsors education programs and symposia.

For additional information, call 860-347-0340 or visit www.rockfallfoundation.org.

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A La Carte: Bring on the Bountiful Blueberries! Must be Time for a Sour Cream Cake

Blueberry sour cream cake

What would make me think that if I go from one farmer’s market to another, I will find tomatoes at one and not on another? The nice people at Whittle’s told me their tomatoes would not be available until the end of July, but that their sweet corn would be ready in about 10 days.

So I went to Becky’s, in Waterford, and found out that their tomatoes would not be ready for another couple of weeks. Corn? I asked. Not yet, she said.

I looked at the beautiful strawberries/ Are they yours, I wondered? No, they have been gone for a couple of weeks, but the blueberries are just picked, she said. So I got a quart of blueberries, even though I really like the teeny little Maine blueberries rather than the big local cultivated ones.

Just in case the people were wrong at Whittles, I stopped by two days later, a week after I’d stopped before. There was the big sign: Corn. I bought half a dozen, since I am making a corn salad for tomorrow. I peered at the baskets of tomatoes? Yours? I asked. I am sure she recognized me. No, soon, she said.

Feeling like a dweeb, I bought some of the middle Connecticut tomatoes. Truth is, they are delicious, too. As for the corn, just gorgeous.

So this afternoon, I made a recipe given to me by Edie Freeman for the blueberries I got at Becky’s. This recipe is sort of a cake, but also a little like a cheesecake. It calls for a little butter, but sour cream instead of cream. Her family calls it blueberry orgasm. It is really delicious.

Blueberry Sour Cream Cake

From Edie Friedman, cadged from Bon Appetit, sometime in the 80s

Yield: 8 to 12 servings

Butter an 8- or 9-inch springform pan; heat oven to 350 degrees with oven rack in the center

For the cake:

One half cup butter, softened (1 stick)
One-half cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
One and one-half cups all-purpose flour
One and one-half teaspoon baking powder
1 quart fresh blueberries, washed and picked over for stems

For the custard:

2 cups sour cream
2 egg yolks
one-half cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the cake: In an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together for about 1 minute. Add egg and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk flour and baking powder, then add to the mixed ingredients and stir together. Pour batter into prepared springform pan and level the batter. Evenly toss blueberries onto the batter and set aside.

For the custard: Mix well sour cream, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla and pour custard over the blueberries.

Place cake on the rack in the preheated oven and bake about 1 hour or until custard is set. Cool cake in springform pan on a rack on the counter. When cool, run a thin knife around the cake, then open the springform pan. Serve somewhat cool or refrigerate.

While Edie’s recipe says to bring cake to room temperature before serving, I like it colder.

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Essex Foundation Provides Support For Essex Place Furnishings

Bruce Glowac. President of The Essex Foundation, Inc. presents a check to Janice Atkeson, President of Essex Elderly and Affordable Housing, Inc. outside Essex Place, the newly constructed affordable senior housing complex on Main Street in Centerbrook.

Foundation underwrites cost of common area furniture in newly constructed senior housing 

ESSEX — Two weeks before the grand opening of Essex Place, a 22-unit, affordable senior rental housing complex developed by Essex Elderly & Affordable Housing, Inc. and the Women’s Institute of Housing & Economic Development, The Essex Foundation was called upon to help cover the cost of furniture for the common area spaces.

Last minute adjustments to the overall project budget left no available resources for completing the already constructed community room, game room, office, and kitchen.  After a thoughtful presentation by Janice Atkeson and Yolanda Lowe, both representing Essex Elderly & Affordable Housing, Inc., members of The Essex Foundation Board of Directors approved the request for financial assistance.

Funds from The Essex Foundation were used to cover the cost of upholstered furniture, dining tables, game tables, occasional tables, stacking chairs, office furniture, and miscellaneous kitchen items.  Essex Place is located at 26 Main Street in the Centerbrook section of Essex, adjacent to the Essex Court senior apartments.

The common areas are accessible to all residents of Essex Place and Essex Court, and will also be used for general meetings and as a designated emergency shelter. Community members who would like to donate to the project can send a check made out to The Essex Foundation, PO Box 64, Essex, CT 06426, indicating that it is for the Essex Place community room.

The Essex Foundation was founded in 1970. It is a non profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Essex residents. The foundation is funded through donations from the community and strives to fill needs not met by other organizations or sources. In general, funds are granted for special purposes, including buildings, equipment, land, and programs, but not to recurring expenses. More information can be found at www.theessexfoundation.org.

 

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PHOTO CAPTION: Bruce Glowac. President of The Essex Foundation, Inc. presents a check to Janice Atkeson, President of Essex Elderly and Affordable Housing, Inc. outside Essex Place, the newly constructed affordable senior housing complex on Main Street in Centerbrook.

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CT River Conservancy Launches Source to Sea Jump-In Journey, Celebrating 65 Years of Success

AREAWIDE – To celebrate its 65th anniversary, the Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC), formerly Connecticut River Watershed Council, is traveling the length of the Connecticut River this month to celebrate the many successes that have significantly improved the health of New England’s great river. Just as importantly, this Journey will lay out the work still to be done to meet the legal requirements and public expectations to make our rivers truly clean and full of life.

The Source to Sea Jump-In Journey begins at the source of the Connecticut River near the Canadian border on July 15 and ends at the Long Island Sound on July 30. The Source to Sea Jump-In Journey is an opportunity for everyone who loves our rivers to join CRC in speaking up for our rivers.

The public is invited to join the Source to Sea Jump-In Journey at events celebrating the many ways people use, enjoy, and take sustenance from their rivers. These events include opportunities to directly engage with important issues as well as have fun and celebrate. Opportunities include boating events as well as joining Splash Mobs, ‘flash mob’ style events where groups of river fans will jump in the river to publicly show support for their rivers. To learn more or follow the Journey online, visit www.ctriver.org/s2sjourney.

“Our rivers have come a long way,” says CRC Executive Director Andrew Fisk. “This Journey is retracing a trip taken by one of our trustees in 1959. Back then, they wore gas masks and scooped sludge from the river to highlight pollution problems. On this Journey, we have the pleasure of highlighting how clean our rivers have become and all the awesome ways people use our rivers for recreation. But our rivers still face challenges every single day. Our job is to find environmental problems and help solve them.”

The important work that remains to be done includes:

  • Removing deadbeat dams and making flood ready culverts to connect habitat and protect infrastructure
  • Restoring migratory fish populations so that millions of fish return each year
  • Fighting roll-backs of environmental regulations that protect our rivers, streams and lakes
  • Investing in aging and outdated water and wastewater infrastructure

CRC Executive Director Andrew Fisk and his wife Karen will make the trip down the Connecticut River.

The two most local events on the itinerary are as follows:

Saturday, July 29
What: 43rd Connecticut River Raft Race & Splash Mob
Where: Portland, CT
Details: 10am – 2pm, 43rd Annual Connecticut River Raft Race, Race begins at Gildersleeve Island and ends at the Portland Riverside Marina
Large community event with very creative rafts being raced.

What: Bass Fishing
Where: Salmon River boat launch E. Haddam, CT (Rt 149, E Haddam Moodus Road)
Details:  4:00 – 8:00 pm

Sunday, July 30
What: Onrust Cruise with CT River Museum
Where: Connecticut River Museum, Essex, CT
Details: 4 – 8pm, Join Connecticut River Museum and Connecticut River Conservancy to celebrate the completion of the Source to Sea Jump In Journey, food & drinks provided.
Sunset sail to the Sound on the historic Onrust, a replica of Dutch explorer Adriaen Block’s 1614 vessel, the first European ship to sail up the Connecticut River

What: Kayak the Salmon River & Pizza Party, Splash Mob
Where: Haddam, CT
Details: Paddle 10am – 12pm, Pizza Party 12 – 2pm

The remainder of the itinerary is as follows:

Sunday, July 16
What: Hike to the source of the Connecticut River, 4th Connecticut Lake to launch the journey
Where: Pittsburg, NH

Monday, July 17 to Wednesday, July 19
What: Paddle the upper reaches
Where: Canaan, VT to Guildhall, NH

Thursday, July 20
What: Pontoon Boat trip & Splash Mob
Where: Hanover, NH

Friday, July 21
What: River Parade & Community Paddle, Splash Mob
Where: Lyme, NH / Thetford, VT
Details: Launch from Orford, NH boat ramp, Paddle 1:30-3:30pm, Celebration at 599 River Road Lyme, NH 3:30-4:30pm. Lyme Town Band will perform on boats on river joined by flotilla of paddling friends.

Saturday, July 22
What: Reception & Community Conversation
Where: Windsor Welcome Center, 3 Railroad Ave., Windsor, VT
4-6pm, Walking tours of Windsor river recreation projects.

What: Float with the Kennetticut River Pigs & Splash Mob
Where: Cornish to Claremont, NH
Details: Paddle Launch at11am, near the Cornish-Windsor covered bridge.

Sunday, July 23
What: Riverboat Cruise with Tribal Leaders
Where: Northfield Mtn Recreation Facility, 99 Millers Falls Rd, Northfield, MA
Details: 12:45 – 3pm, Cruise departs from Riverview picnic area dock.
David Brule from Nolumbeka Project (MA), Roger Longtoe Sheehan Chief of Elnu Abenaki tribe (VT), and Rich Holschuh of VT Commission for Native American Affairs will speak about the Native American history of the river and their vision for its future.
What: Scuba Diving & Splash Mob
Where: Brattleboro, VT

Monday, July 24
What: Honor David Deen’s Retirement with CRC
Where: Whetstone Station, Brattleboro, VT
Details: 4-7pm, Recognize David Deen’s retirement after 19 years as River Steward with CRC and welcome new River Steward, Kathy Urffer.

Tuesday, July 25
What: Waterskiing at the Oxbow & Splash Mob
Where: Easthampton, MA

Wednesday, July 26
What: Watch a Dragon Boat Race & Splash Mob
Where: Northampton Community Rowing & Connecticut River Greenway Park, 80 Damon Road,Northampton, MA
Details: Approx 5:30 – 7pm, Watch a dragon boat challenge race with the Paradise City Dragon boat team and several of our local officials and community members. Learn relationship to Cancer Connection.

Thursday, July 27
What: Rowing Flotilla & Splash Mob
Where: Holyoke to Springfield, MA
Details: Time TBD, Rowing activities start at Holyoke Rows, 25 Jones Ferry Rd in Holyoke, and finish at Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club at the North Riverfront Park, 121 West Street, Springfield, MA. 

Friday, July 28
What: E. Windsor American Heritage River Commission Paddle & Picnic
Where: East Windsor, CT
Details: Approx. 2 – 6pm, Launch at Kings Island boat ramp in Enfield, CT. End paddle & picnic at Volunteer Park in E. Windsor, CT.
Paddle with an active group of local citizens who have worked to maintain the legacy of the American Heritage River designation of the CT River

What: Air-boating with Conte Refuge
Where: Enfield & Hartford, CT

 

Since 1952, Connecticut River Conservancy has been the voice for the Connecticut River watershed, from source to sea. We collaborate with partners across four states to protect and advocate for your rivers and educate and engage communities. We bring people together to prevent pollution, improve habitat, and promote enjoyment of your river and its tributary streams. Healthy rivers support healthy economies. To learn more about CRC, or to make a contribution to help protect the Connecticut River, visit www.ctriver.org.

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Deven Spear Named Chief Innovation Officer at ‘Overabove’ in Essex

ESSEX — Deven Spear has joined Connecticut-based Overabove as the strategic marketing firm’s Chief Innovation Officer.

Former managing partner of Spear Consultants Ltd. and CEO and founder of BrightDoor Systems,
Inc., Spear previously partnered with the Overabove team on successful sales and marketing
engagements including Homestead Preserve in Virginia and New Hampshire’s Mount Washington
Resort.

“Joining Overabove gives me a great opportunity to apply the lessons I’ve learned in real estate
sales and marketing to a wide variety of Overabove clients,” comments Spear, who notes the firm is
also developing targeted strategies for Fortune 500 high-tech companies.

In addition to cultivating new business opportunities for Overabove, Spear is closely involved in
Overabove’s work on strategic marketing for Wildlight, a new community being developed by
Rayonier’s community development subsidiary Raydient People + Places.

“Overabove was built for the way people consume information today,” states cofounder and
principal John Visgilio, “and digital is changing everything.” Hiring Deven to focus on marketing
technology is another step in the firm’s continuing evolution as a disruptive marketing leader, he
notes.

Editor’s Note: Overabove is a full-service strategic marketing firm located in Essex, Conn. The company was built from the start for the way people consume information today.

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Maple & Main Hosts Special Poetry Reading Tonight; Open to Public

Members of the Connecticut River Poetry Conference gather for a photo.

CHESTER — Members of the prestigious Connecticut River Poetry Conference will do a reading in the round in Maple and Main’s Stone Gallery Wednesday, July 19, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. A reception of wine and food follows.

This unusual event, open to the public, is the second year the group has read in the Stone Gallery where “Sharing the Vision,’’ a two-woman exhibit by Maple and Main artists Linda DeStefanis and Barbara Rossitto is being shown during July.

‘Beach Day’ by Barbara Rossitto is a signature painting for the new show at Maple & Main.

For the past seven years a singular group of poets meets for a summer week of workshops, seminars, readings, camaraderie and literary high-jinx at Chester’s Guest House Conference Center Shoreline. Gray Jacobik, a poet and Maple and Main artist and Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely founded this conference, which grew out of an advanced poetry seminar at The Frost Place in Franconia, NH.

‘Mandarin Sky II’ by Linda DeStefanis is featured in the two-woman show at Maple & Main Gallery.

Jacobik and Meneely will be joined by notable and much-published poets: Ruth Foley of Attleboro, MA., Sharon Olson of Lawrenceville, NJ., Carole Stasiowski of Cotuit, MA., Hiram Larew of Upper Marlboro, MD., Anne Harding Woodworth of Washington, D.C., and Lawrence Wray of Pittsburgh, PA.

Maple and Main, at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday and Thursday, noon to 6 p.m.; Friday, noon to 7 p.m.; Saturday, noon to  7 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mapleandmaingallery.com; 860-526-60605; mapleandmain@att.net; visit the gallery on Facebook and Instagram.

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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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So Much to See This Summer at Chester Museum at The Mill

A front view of Chester Museum at the Mill. Photo from chesterhistoricalsociety.org.

Upstairs and down, all the new Chester history being featured at the Chester Museum at The Mill this year will delight you.

Downstairs is the seasonal exhibit prepared by Keith Dauer and Sandy Senior-Dauer, called “Chester Postcards & Three Chester Notables.” There are more than 200 Chester postcards on display as well as exhibits devoted to three people who lived in or impacted Chester, namely, Judge Constance Baker Motley, The Leatherman (see the life-size sculpture made by Weymouth Eustis), and photographer Hugh Spencer.

There is a replica of the Waterhouse Gristmill, intricately and lovingly handcrafted by Nathan Jacobson, in the entry level. And on the second floor, there’s a redo of the Museum’s permanent exhibit, which now includes a replica of Chester Pharmacy’s soda fountain (guaranteed to make you hungry!)

Museum hours are Saturdays 1 to 4 p.m. and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is free (but donations are always welcome to help the Historical Society continue to collect and preserve items of Chester history).

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Essex DTC Endorses Jeannine Lewis as Democratic Candidate for Saybrook District Probate Judge

Attorney Jeannine Lewis

ESSEX – On Wednesday, June 28, the Essex Democratic Town Committee (EDTC) endorsed Jeannine Lewis – an attorney at Hudson and Kilby – as their preferred Democratic candidate for the position of Judge of Probate-Saybrook District.  A Special Election for Judge of Probate will be held on November 7, 2017 to fill the anticipated vacancy due to the July 18, 2018 retirement of current Judge, Terrance “Terry” Lomme.

Attorney Lewis, along with three other Democratic candidates addressed the EDTC over the course of several months, where each presented their qualifications for the position and responded to questions from the members of the committee.  EDTC Chairman Brian Cournoyer said, “Although each candidate demonstrated qualities that would serve the district well, members were impressed with Attorney Lewis’s unique combination of experience in probate law and commitment to ensuring all citizens seeking assistance through the court would be treated with care and attention.”

In addition to running a law practice focused on probate matters, estate planning and elder law, Lewis serves on the Continuing Legal Education Committee of the Connecticut Bar Association’s (CBA’s) Elder Law Section, and on the Integrity of the Practice/Pro Bono Committee of the CBA’s Estates and Probate Section.  She is a board member of the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries and provides pro bono legal counsel to Sister Cities Essex Haiti, a local charity that helps residents of the town of Deschapelles, Haiti.

Probate judges typically handle estates, trusts, adoptions, name changes, and the termination of parental rights and conservatorships, among other important matters.  The probate court for the Saybrook District is located in Old Saybrook and serves the towns of Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

The EDTC meets on the fourth Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. in the Essex Town Hall. Meetings are open to the public and all registered Democrats are encouraged to attend.

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Essex Foundation Funds Veterans Memorial Hall Parking Lot Paving

Members of the Essex Foundation Board of Directors present a check to Veterans Memorial Hall to pay for the paving of their parking lot. Pictured from left to right are Judy Bombaci, Jim Clark, Bruce Glowac, Sam Riggio (EVMH member), Alex Breen (EVMH member), Herb Clark, and Stick Hyde.

ESSEX – The Essex Foundation Board of Directors recently approved a request for financial assistance from the Essex Veterans Memorial Hall, the last known stand-alone, 501(c)(19) nonprofit  veterans organization on the East Coast. The donated funds will be used to fully underwrite the cost of paving the 10,633 square-foot gravel parking lot on the group’s property located at 3 Westbrook Rd. in Centerbrook.

Sullivan Paving Company, Inc. submitted the winning bid, which also includes a donation of their time and materials to line stripe and mark the new pavement.  Work will be completed this summer.

The Essex Foundation is underwriting the cost of paving this gravel parking lot at the Essex Veterans Memorial Hall in Centerbrook.

The paving project is one of several initiatives undertaken by the Hall’s 184 members to improve the building’s interior and exterior over the past three years. Once the Centerbrook Schoolhouse, the building became Essex Veterans Memorial Hall in 1946, and now serves as a resource for veterans, their families, and the greater community, including free hall usage to area nonprofit organizations and scout groups.

The Essex Foundation board members considered all of these factors when making the funding decision, agreeing that the project fell within their typical parameters of being of benefit to Essex residents, of being somewhat unique, and requiring relatively quick action.

“The Essex Foundation board members were impressed with the hard work and dramatic improvements that have been made by members of Essex Veterans Memorial Hall over the past few years,” stated Chairman Bruce Glowac, “We are happy to be able to help them with this upgrade to the property that has become a valuable community center.”

Editor’s Notes: 

i) Community members who would like to donate to the project can send a check made out to the Essex Foundation, PO Box 64, Essex, CT 06426, indicating that it is for the Veterans Memorial Hall parking lot.      

ii) The Essex Foundation was founded in 1970. It is a non profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Essex residents .   The foundation is funded through donations from the community and strives to fill needs not met by other organizations or sources. In general, funds are granted for special purposes, including buildings, equipment, land, and programs, but not to recurring expenses.

More information can be found at www.theessexfoundation.org.

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Three Chester Residents Honored in 60 Over 60 Awards

Lee Howard has championed access to the arts throughout her life.

CHESTER — Three Chester residents were recently honored with 60 Over 60 Awards.  They are Lee Howard, Phyllis McDowell, and Nancy Smith, all of whom are residents at Chester Village West.

This is the first year the awards have been presented to honor Connecticut citizens over age 60 who make a difference in the lives of others or in their communities.  The 60 Over 60 award was created by Duncaster as a way to showcase the lives of people 60 or better, who continue to have a unique impact on their world. Howard, McDowell, and Smith were celebrated at a reception on the Duncaster campus in Bloomfield.

Howard is a life-long leader in greater access to the arts for all.  Lee has worked with local arts councils and alliances across the country to develop their technical services, and with advocacy and arts programs throughout the country.

Phyllis McDowell has advocated for those with mental health issues and those who care for the environment.

McDowell has changed the lives of those with mental health issues and those who care for the environment.  She and several volunteers from the Mental Health Association of New Haven launched Fellowship Place, a socialization program for psychiatric patients.

Smith is a writer, an editor, and a connector of people. She is an active member of the Susan B. and William K. Wasch Center for Retired Faculty at Wesleyan University.

Duncaster began their search for 60 Over 60 on Jan. 1.  It received nominations of remarkable individuals from throughout Connecticut.  “Our state has so many extraordinary people who are 60 or better, so we were not surprised at the number of nominations we received.  Clearly there are many people who wanted to recognize people 60 or better for their continued accomplishments,” says Carol Ann McCormick, VP Sales and Marketing at Duncaster.

Nancy Smith continues her work as a writer and editor, and has been a lifelong learning advocate

She continued, “We’ve all heard of 40 Under 40 awards that highlight the successes of this group of people.  We thought it was high time to recognize the ongoing inspiration and achievement of those 60 or better.  We were delighted with the response to it.”

Duncaster, the Hartford area’s first LifeCare community, is located minutes from West Hartford and Simsbury in Bloomfield CT.  This boutique Life Plan Community sits on 94 acres.  While catering to those who are active and engaged in independent living neighborhoods, Duncaster also offers options for those seeking assisted living, memory care, long-term care and rehab services (all private) in intimate settings.

For more information, visit http://www.Duncaster.org or call (860) 380-5005.

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Meeting House Players to Hold Open Auditions for “Play On,” Aug. 29-30

CHESTER — The Meeting House Players has announced open auditions for Rick Abbot’s madcap comedy “Play On!”.   Auditions will be held on Aug. 29 & 30, at 7  p.m. in the Meeting House located at 4 Liberty Street in Chester.

Written as a play within a play, “Play On! “treats its audiences to a hilarious look behind the scenes of a local community theatre troupe desperately trying to mount a production of a new play.  With only a few rehearsals left before the opening night, chaos ensues.  Dress rehearsal is a disaster.  On opening night, anything that can go wrong, does go wrong but the ensemble continues to “play on” until the final curtain falls!

The play’s 10-member ensemble includes the following cast of characters:

  • Henry Benish, 50-early 60’s, a character actor, plays Lord Dudley
  • Polly Benish, 50-early 60’s, a character actress, plays Lady Dudley
  • Marla “Smitty” Smith, early 20’s, a supporting actress, plays Doris, the Maid
  • Saul Watson, 40’s, a supporting actor, plays Dr. Rex Forbes, the Villain
  • Billy Carewe, mid 20’s- early 30’s, an athletic looking actor, plays Steven Sellers, a Young Man
  • Violet Imbrey, 20’s, a supporting actress, plays Diana Lassiter, the Ingenue
  • Aggie/Algie Manville, 30-50, the stage manager & prompter (can be male or female)
  • Gerry/Jerry Dunbar, 40-55, the community theatre director (can be male or female)
  • Louise/Louie Peary, 25-50, the sound-lighting-scenic technician (can be male or female)
  • Phyllis Montague, any age over 40, the community’s eccentric & somewhat haughty playwright

Those auditioning will be asked to read from the script. 

Directed by Debbie Alldredge, the production will run for five performances opening at the Meeting House in Chester on Friday, Oct. 27 and continue Oct.28 and Nov. 3 & 4, 2017 with both a matinee and an evening performance on Nov. 4.

For additional information, contact Deb Alldredge at 860-526-3684 or TheMeetingHousePlayers@gmail.com .

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Key Bank Westbrook Volunteers Help Beautify the Estuary Senior Center


WESTBROOK/OLD SAYBROOK —
Key Bank’s Westbrook employees, some of whom are pictured above, visited the Estuary Senior Center recently and worked hard cleaning up the outside area, making the place even more beautiful! They have a 27-year tradition of volunteering in the communities they serve.

On behalf of all the seniors that the Estuary Center serves, Estuary board members wish to express their sincerest thanks to all the Key Bank, Westbrook volunteers who donated their time to work at the Estuary facility.

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Chester’s Juliette Linares Earns Girl Scouting’s Highest Award

Juliette Linares of Chester has earned Girl Scouting’s top award.

CHESTER – Girl Scout Juliette Linares of Chester has received her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn in Girl Scouting.

The Girl Scout Gold Award requires Girl Scouts grades nine through 12 to spend at least 80 hours researching issues, assessing community needs and resources, building a team, and making a sustainable impact in the community. A Gold Award recipient’s accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart as a community leader.

Nationally, only 6 percent of older Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award. Girl Scouts of Connecticut recently honored the 71 Girl Scouts in Connecticut who have achieved this honor on Sunday, June 4.

Juliette’s project addressed the need for families to encourage their younger children to foster a love for literature at a young age. Juliette hosted a Dr. Seuss family event where 25 families along with Girl Scout troops, guests from surrounding towns, two guest readers, teachers, principals, and reading specialists attended. Juliette will continue to host the Dr. Seuss family event until she graduates high school. She hopes that it will continue to be a success and the school would agree to make it an annual event.

“I am beyond proud of our Girl Scouts as we celebrate another century of young women taking the lead and making a sustainable change in our communities,” said Mary Barneby, CEO of Girl Scouts of Connecticut. “By earning the Gold Award, Girl Scouts set themselves apart as top achievers, and are incredible go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders. I can’t wait to see what they will accomplish in the future!”

For more information about the Gold Award or how to become a Gold Award volunteer or mentor, visit gsofct.org.

Girl Scouts of Connecticut are more than 47,000 members strong – nearly 32,000 girls and over 15,000 adults – who believe that every girl can change the world. They’re part of a sisterhood of 2.6 million strong around the globe—1.8 million girls and 800,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world.

The Girl Scouts organization’s extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Ga., she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, her vision and legacy have been honored, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. The organization is the preeminent leadership development one for girls. And with programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success.

To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit gsofct.org.

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Deep River Students Recognized at 13th Annual eesmarts™ Student Contest at State Capitol

Jolie Edwards (left) and Ella Pitman, who are both in seventh grade at John Winthrop Middle School in Deep River, stand proudly with their 1st and 2nd place awards respectively at the 13th annual eesmarts Student Contest award ceremony held on June 2, at the State Capitol.

Statewide contest provided students the opportunity to creatively promote energy efficient and renewable energy technologies

DEEP RIVER – John Winthrop Middle School classmates Jolie Edwards and Ella Pitman were honored last week at the 13th annual eesmarts™ Student Contest ceremony held at the State Capitol for their winning entries in the seventh-grade category.

Presented by Energize Connecticut in partnership with Eversource and AVANGRID, Inc. subsidiaries United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas, the eesmarts Student Contest invites Connecticut students in grades K-12 and college to create projects about energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability.

Jolie received 1st place for her persuasive speech addressing the Connecticut General Assembly’s Energy and Technology Committee about why our state should become more energy efficient. Her recommendations for combating climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions included switching to more energy efficient resources, enforcing public transportation, installing solar panels, buying energy-efficient appliances and making energy-efficient home improvements.

Ella was awarded 2nd place for her speech persuading the Committee to consider utilizing off-shore wind farms and water and solar power. “Energy efficiency is very important because it creates a safer and cleaner environment.” She argues that these steps are necessary to lower our state’s carbon emissions and will save money over time.

The ceremony attracted more than 150 students, parents, teachers, elected officials, and clean energy supporters from across the state in celebration of the students’ hard work. Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Deputy Commissioner Mary Sotos was the keynote speaker for the event, and FOX 61 meteorologist Joe Furey served as Master of Ceremonies.

For more information on the student contest and the eesmarts program, visit www.eesmarts.com.

Editor’s Note: Energize Connecticut helps you save money and use clean energy. It is an initiative of the Energy Efficiency Fund, the Connecticut Green Bank, the State, and your local electric and gas utilities, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills. Information on energy-saving programs can be found at EnergizeCT.com or by calling 1.877.WISE.USE.

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Essex Garden Club Awards Three Scholarships to Local Students

Essex Garden Club Scholarship committee chair, Anne Elich, is seated with 2017 scholarship recipients Daniel Taylor and Haley Hammen. Missing from photo, Annie Brown. Photo courtesy of Leslie Barlow

ESSEX — The Essex Garden Club recently awarded college scholarships to three area students:

  • Annie Brown of Essex, who attends the University of Vermont, is pursuing a major in Elementary Education with a minor in Environmental Studies.
  • Daniel Taylor of Ivoryton, a 2017 graduate of Valley Regional High School, will attend Vassar College in the fall to study Biology.
  • Haley Hammen of Essex, a 2017 Valley Regional High School graduate, will attend Pennsylvania State University in the fall to study Biology.

In addition, the Garden Club is proud to provide funding for young children from Essex, Ivoryton and Centerbrook to attend local nature camps. This year, scholarships were given the Essex Parks and Recreation Summer Program for 25 children to attend their one-week nature and science sessions.   Also, the Club has provided funding to allow four students to attend camp at The Bushy Hill Nature Center, which provides two weeks of in-depth nature experience.

The Essex Garden Club sincerely thanks all who support the annual May Market, the proceeds of which enable the Club to make these donations. This year, additional scholarship funds were contributed in memory of Garden Club members who were devoted to the education of young people in our community.

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Registration Still Open for Tri-Town Youth Services’ Summer Co-op Second Session, Starts July 10

TRI-TOWN — Tri-Town Youth Services Summer Co-op 2017 is open to 7th, 8th and 9th graders with Session 2 running July 10 to 13.  Each day will start at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. at Tri-Town Youth Services, 56 High St., Deep River.

Session 2 includes trips to: July 10 – Bushy Hill Nature Center; July 11 – Ocean Beach; July 12 – Launch Trampoline Park and Laser Tag; July 13 – Lake Compounce.

The cost per session is $225. and $200. For additional sibling.  Registration forms are available throughout the tri-town region at elementary schools and at John Winthrop Middle School.  These programs are open to students entering grades 7, 8 and 9 who live in Chester, Deep River, and Essex.

For further information, call Tri-Town Youth Services at 860-526-3600 or visit www.tritownys.org

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Community Music School Receives Grant from Middlesex Community Foundation/River View Cemetery Fund

Community Music School’s New Horizons Band is a not-for-profit program that provides Middlesex County with an adult beginners band, many of whom have had never played an instrument before joining.

CENTERBROOK — Community Music School (CMS) has received a $3,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County (CFMC)/River View Cemetery Fund in order to fund the New Horizons Band.

Community Music School’s New Horizon Band is a not-for-profit program that provides Middlesex County with an adult beginners band of 13 members, many of whom have had never played an instrument before joining. Under the direction of Patricia Hurley, the CMS New Horizons Band performs marches, jazz selections, and music from the stage and screen, and much more. The band has recently collaborated with the John Winthrop Middle School band and has also participated in several concerts open to the public, in the past six months.

The CFMC grant will be used to further the advancement of the New Horizons Band. The New Horizons Program provides an entry point to music making for seniors, including those with no musical experience at all, or those who were active in school music programs but have been inactive for a long period. The band is nurturing, non-competitive, and supportive in style. There are no auditions or tryouts, and everyone is welcome, and many seniors enjoy the socialization of group instruction and ensemble playing.

Seniors participating in such a music program meet new friends, become an important part of a group, and have events to anticipate. The New Horizons Band has become an important part of the cultural life of our community as well, performing in many different settings and for special events. In addition to formal concerts, performances in community centers, and summer concerts in parks, they often play for retirement and nursing homes where added events are so needed.

“This program is so important to our seniors – both those who perform in the band and those who enjoy their many concerts throughout the year,” states Abigail Nickell, CMS Executive Director. “We are so grateful for CFMC’s support of this program so we can continue to serve the seniors in our community.”

For additional information, visit www.community-music-school.org or call CMS at 860-767-0026.

Editor’s Notes:
  1. 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. 
  2. The Community Foundation of Middlesex County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Middlesex County, and to help Good People Do Great Things. 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 effect grant making, in order t address community needs, as well as Let Good Grow.
    Since its founding in 1997, the Community Foundation has provided 1,815 grants, totaling more than $5.4 million, to organizations for the arts, cultural and heritage programs, educational activities, environmental improvements, and for health and human services.
    To learn more, contact the Community Foundation at (860)347-0025, or info@MiddlesexCountyCF.org
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Environmental Program Looks To ‘Foster Future Stewards’ in Lower CT River Valley

From left to right, Peter and Elsie Patton, Marilyn Ozols, president, and Robin Andreoli, executive director. Photo by Joan Levy Hepburn.

LOWER CT RIVER VALLEY – The Rockfall Foundation recently announced the launch of a special campaign to commemorate 45 years of environmental grant making and support programs for students in the Lower Connecticut River Valley. The Fostering Future Stewards campaign will fund environmental education for kindergarten through 8th grade students with multi-year grants to schools for school-time, after school or summer programs.

Consecutive years of funding will allow educators to continue programs that introduce and sustain environmental literacy and the continuity of those programs will greatly benefit students.

The Foundation looks to raise $45,000 over two years and the campaign is off to a very positive start, thanks in large part to Peter and Elsie Patton of Middletown. Two of the Foundation’s most ardent supporters, the Pattons were the first to come forward with a leadership gift of $5,000 to the campaign.

“We are grateful to Peter and Elsie for inspiring others through their passion for this cause and their generous gift,” said Robin Andreoli, the Foundation’s executive director. “With a commitment from our Board of Directors, we have already achieved twenty-five percent of our goal and have heard from many friends in the community who support the project.”

Established in 1935, the Rockfall Foundation is one of Connecticut’s oldest non-profit environmental organizations and is the steward for the historic deKoven House Community Center in Middletown. The Foundation receives support from donors with a passion for the environment and connects them to local programs that help make the Lower Connecticut River Valley a better place to live.

Annual grant awards provide funding for local environmental education, conservation programs and planning initiatives. The Foundation also presents educational public programs throughout the year, which include symposia and public forums, informal networking opportunities, and family hikes.

For the past 45 years, the Rockfall Foundation’s grant making has supported and promoted outstanding environmental programs delivered by non-profit organizations, schools, and municipalities throughout the Lower Connecticut River Valley. The first grants awarded in 1972 provided a total of $5,000 to support four planting projects in Essex, Old Saybrook, and Chester. Since then, the Foundation has helped to fund 350 programs with awards totaling nearly half a million dollars.

For information about the Rockfall Foundation or how to contribute to the Fostering Future Stewards fund, visit www.rockfallfoundation.org or call 860-347-0340.

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Chester Village West Foundation Awards $30K in Scholarships to 10 Employees, Two Employees’ Children

Chester Village West Foundation, Inc. recently awarded $30,000 in college and university scholarships to 10 Chester Village West employees and two employees’ children. Left to right: Chester Village West resident and scholarship committee volunteer Whitey Wilson, Evan Swanson and Julie Fredericksen (both, Killingworth); Gabriella Dess (Madison); Ashlyn O’Boyle (Killingworth); Kira Woodworth (East Haddam); Jack Liggett (Deep River); Kristine Davis (Deep River); Elizabeth Forsythe (Killingworth); Leah Ann Sopneski (Deep River); Kenna Campbell (Chester); Chester Village West resident and foundation president Joan Galliher. Not pictured: Brandon Miller (Madison) and Johanna Regan (Northford).

Residents of Chester, Deep River, East Haddam, Killingworth, Madison and Northford enrolled at local and national colleges and universities

CHESTER – Ten Chester Village West employees and two children of employees have each been awarded a $2,500 scholarship from the Chester Village West Foundation, Inc. The scholarships will help the employees and their children continue their education at colleges and universities in Connecticut and beyond.

“Chester Village West employees are part of our extended family, dedicating their work to making our community a great place to live,” said Joan Galliher, a six-year resident and the foundation’s volunteer president. “And every year, our residents express their appreciation by generously supporting the foundation’s scholarship program to help staff members – and their children – pursue higher education.” 

Created as not-for profit entity in 1998 by a group of Chester Village residents, over the past 18 years the Chester Village West Foundation has provided more than $280,000 in scholarships to the community’s staff and their children, helping them to further their education beyond high school. The foundation’s income comes from voluntary donations made by residents of Chester Village West and memorial gifts from family and friends.

Recipients of the Chester Village West Foundation’s 2017 scholarships are:

Chester resident Kenna Campbell, a front desk employee and third year student at Central Connecticut State University.

Deep River resident Kristine Davis, a dining room employee and second year student at University of Tampa.

Madison resident Gabriella Dess, a dining room employee and fourth year student at Providence College.

Killingworth resident Elizabeth Forsythe, a dining room employee and second year student at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Killingworth resident Julie Fredericksen, daughter of housekeeping employee Debra Fredericksen and a first year student at Middlesex Community College.

Deep River resident Jack Liggett, a dining room employee and first year student at Marist College.

Madison resident Brandon Miller, son of marketing director Sara Philpott and third year student at Muhlenberg College.

Killingworth resident Ashlyn O’Boyle, a dining room employee and first year student at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Northford resident Johanna Regan, a dining room employee who is in her final year of teacher’s certification at Central Connecticut State University.

Deep River resident Leah Sopneski, a housekeeping employee and third year student at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Killingworth resident Evan Swanson, a dining room employee and third year student at Cedarville University.

East Haddam resident Kira Woodworth, a dining room employee and first year college student.

Located in historic Chester, Connecticut, Chester Village West gives independent-minded people a new way to experience retirement and live their lives to the fullest. Within a small community of private residences that offer convenience, companionship, service and security, Chester Village West enriches lives with a comprehensive program that enhances fitness, nutrition, active life, health and well-being.

Find out more at chestervillagewestlcs.com.

Visit the community on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChesterVillageWest.

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Ivoryton Playhouse Presents “A Night on the Town’ Cabaret-Dinner at Water’s Edge, Sunday

AREAWIDE — Ivoryton Playhouse, in a new partnership with Water’s Edge Resort,  will present a series of eight cabaret-style dinner theatre performances beginning Sunday, June 11, written for and performed exclusively at Water’s Edge.  This original series will showcase the professional talent of Ivoryton Playhouse performers and musicians in four unique events.

This original series of four uniquely themed productions celebrate a broad array of musical styles and genres:

Great Balls on Fire: Sunday, June 11 and Sunday, June 18
‘50s Rock N’ Roll and so much more.

A Night on the Town: Sunday, June 25 and Sunday, July 9
Featuring the musical inspiration of New York City.

That’s Amore: Sunday, July 16 and Sunday, July 23
Favorites from opera and musical theatre celebrating all things Italian.

Sounds of the ‘70s: Sunday, July 30 and Sunday, Aug. 13
Hits from the disco era.

Carly Callahan. Photograph courtesy of Carly Callahan

Each evening will feature a professional cast of performers, in addition to a trio led by Music Director, Eric Trudel and directed by Carly Callahan.

Cast members include Marsha Ackerman, Schuyler Beeman, Carly Callahan, Billy DiCrosta, Amy Maude Helfer, Kate Hubbard, Emily Johnson, Mia Pinero, Jorge Prego, Michael Scarcelle and Charlie Widmer.

“We have put together some great talent for these evenings, including cast members from our season, to bring the Water’s Edge audience a night of entertainment that they won’t forget,” said Jacqui Hubbard, Artistic Director of Ivoryton Playhouse.

Water’s Edge, previously known as Bill Hahn’s Hotel, was an entertainment destination in the 1940s and 50s and featured both up-and-coming singers and stars such as Henry Youngman, Art Carney and Barbra Streisand.  “We’re thrilled to revive the wonderful provenance of this resort, and look forward to entertaining a new audience inspired by Bill Hahn’s delightful evenings here decades ago”, said Hubbard.

Tickets are $69 per person, including dinner and the show, and can be purchased by calling Water’s Edge Resort at 860-399-5901.  Tickets are not available through the Ivoryton Playhouse website or theatre box office.

For more information, visit watersedgeresortandspa.com.

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Volunteers Needed to Control Invasive Plant in Local Rivers

Water chestnut is an invasive plant that is easy for volunteers to remove & keep under control. Join CRC for upcoming volunteer events to learn about & remove this invasive plant.

AREAWIDE — There is an emerging threat to the Connecticut River and the waters within its basin that any boater, paddler, angler or property manager can help control. European water chestnut (Trapa natans) is an aquatic invasive plant that spreads rapidly, covering bodies of water with dense foliage impeding recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and swimming.

The Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC), formerly Connecticut River Watershed Council, is hosting a variety of opportunities this summer for residents to learn more and help remove this threat.

Quick and thorough action must be taken to prevent this plant from taking over because water chestnut reproduces exponentially. “The good news is that this plant is easy to identify, it reproduces only by seed, and pulls up easily,” notes Alicea Charamut, River Steward for the Connecticut River Conservancy.

She continues, “It can be managed by trained volunteers. For small to moderate infestations, no chemicals or equipment are needed other than willing volunteers in canoes, kayaks, and shallow draft boats. This work offers an opportunity for those of us who love our rivers, lakes and ponds to give back to them in a fun and easy way.”

There are two opportunities to learn to identify and report the plants. CRC hosted an information session at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex on Tuesday, June 13, and will do so again at LL Bean at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor on Friday, June 19. Both events are at 6:30 p.m. There will be a brief presentation, live plants on display, and plenty of time for questions.

Charamut is also available to give talks to groups within the Connecticut River watershed, who want to bring this information to their organization or club.

Paddlers and boaters can also help CRC manage known infestations. Five hand-pulling events are already scheduled for the floating meadows of the Mattabesset River in Middletown and Keeney Cove in Glastonbury in June and July with more to be scheduled as new infestations are reported. The work is fairly easy, a little dirty and very rewarding. Supplies are provided. Those who wish to attend need only bring their boat and PFD.

In addition, CRC is coordinating a River Sweep of the Connecticut River, its coves and ponds to scout for this invasive plant. “Because the seeds from these plants can last for up to twelve years, knowing where these plants have been found is crucial. In order to effectively control the spread of these plants we must monitor locations where they have been found each year and have as many eyes on the water as possible.” Paddling and boating groups can adopt a section of the river to scout for plants on or around Saturday, June 24.

“It will take a community of those who care coming together to help control this plant,” says Charamut. The Connecticut River Conservancy joins many partners in the effort to control water chestnut in the Connecticut River watershed. The US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Lower Connecticut River Council of Governments, Jonah Center for Earth and Art, Connecticut River Museum, and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station are all active participants working to help control this aquatic invasive plant.

More groups are encouraged to join the effort. Much of the work in the lower Connecticut River Valley here in Connecticut is possible thanks to a generous grant from the Rockfall Foundation.

For more information about education and volunteer opportunities to help control European water chestnut, visit www.ctriver.org/get-involved or contact Alicea Charamut at acharamut@ctriver.org.

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On Board the ‘Onrust,’ Famed Re-creation of Adriaen Block’s Boat Sails up Connecticut River

The ‘Onrust’ docked at Saybrook Point Inn and Spa.

ESSEX —  It was “a momentous occasion,” according to Connecticut River Museum Executive Director Chris Dobbs when a group of dignitaries and invited guests gathered to board the re-creation of Adriaen Block’s boat Onrust last Thursday (June 1.)  Dobbs pointed out that it was, “400 years ago — 403 to be precise” since the original Onrust commenced its exploration of the Connecticut River ultimately exploring it upstream to just a little further north than present-day Hartford — a distance of approximately 60 miles from Long Island Sound.

Connecticut River Museum Executive Director Chris Dobbs takes a brief break from his duties as host on board the ‘Onrust.’

While overwintering (1613-1614) in New York Bay, the Dutch explorer Block’s first ship, the Tyger (Tiger), caught fire and burned to the waterline.  Working through the frigid winter, Block built a new ship from the salvaged remnants and named it the Onrust, Dutch for ‘Restless.’

It was the first vessel built by Europeans in New York State and the first yacht built in the New World.  In 1614, Block and his crew set off to explore coastal New York, Long Island, Connecticut, and Rhode Island with the intent of developing trade partnerships with Native Americans.  During his time on the water, Block became the first known European to travel up the Connecticut River  

The re-created Onrust was launched in 2009 by The Onrust Project, an all-volunteer non-profit out of New York, which built the vessel after painstakingly researching traditional Dutch shipbuilding techniques.  

To reach the Saybrook Point Inn at Old Saybrook, Conn., where the guests boarded the ship, the Onrust followed a similar path to the one that Block took in 1614.  It departed from Kingston, N.Y., traveled to New York Bay, traversed the treacherous Hell Gate, entered Long Island Sound and sailed to the mouth of the Connecticut River. 

While preparations were made to launch, Connecticut River Museum Board Chairman Tom Wilcox told the guests now assembled on board the Onrust, “This is a most auspicious occasion,” and correctly predicted they would have, “a lovely sail.”  Despite an earlier threat of rain, the weather cooperated completely with warm temperatures and clear skies.

Steven Tagliatella, owner of the Saybrook Point Inn and Spa, addressed the guests on board the ‘Onrust.’

Another guest on board was Steven Tagliatella, owner of the Saybrook Point Inn, who spoke effusively about the upcoming trip to the Connecticut River Museum describing the Onrust as “a spectacular sight.”  He also took the opportunity to mention the new tourism coalition he has formed to promote tourism in the state, noting that the Onrust offers “a wonderful opportunity” for tourism.

Connecticut State Historian Walter Woodward speaks on the theme of ‘restlessness,’ echoing the name of the boat — ‘Onrust’ translates from the Dutch to ‘restless.’

Walter Woodward, Connecticut’s State Historian, unquestionably spoke for everyone on the boat when he said, “To be on this boat on this day is so exciting,” but then asked the guests to take themselves back in time to the spring of 1614 when Block brought the ship he had built the previous winter and named Onrust – Restless – to the mouth of the river the natives call Quinitticut.  Woodward declared that Block, “was as restless as his little vessel,” explaining, “The 47-year-old trader-explorer was anxious to make up the losses he had experienced the previous winter, when his ship the Tyger had accidentally caught fire.”

Woodward pursued the theme of ‘restlessness’ as he continued, saying, “Then as now, the word restless had many meanings … A generation of restless Europeans … both Dutch and English would come to this river, first in search of trade with the indigenous people, and soon after, in the quest for their land and resources.”

Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna (center in sunglasses) chats with a guest during the trip up the Connecticut River.

Woodward added, “Some were restless too in a godly way – troubled in mind and spirit, seeking a place to serve God as their consciences demanded.”

He also noted that, “For those already here, the arrival of the Onrust heralded a new native restlessness – first, as the indigenous people jostled with each other for control of the distribution of European trade goods … and later to fight the efforts of these insurgents to drive them from their homes.”

Jennifer White-Dobbs enjoys the glorious river views with her son (right) and a guest.

Keeping to his theme, Woodward ended with the words, “I know you are restless to get underway, so let me conclude by saying, “ It is a privilege to be here today to mark the moment in time, when Adriaen Block and his Onrust entered the river he named Fresh River, and a world-transforming era of restless change began.”

The Essex Sailing Masters of 1812 greeted the ‘Onrust’ with bright melodies in front of the Museum.

Before introducing the next speaker, Dobbs noted, “The amount of research to build this vessel was amazing,” and also that it had taken, “Around 250 people to build the Onrust.”  He explained that the Onrust will be a floating exhibit at the Museum through early October, open for dockside tours, school and Scout programs, along with public cruises and charters.

The guests vigorously waved Dutch flags as the ‘Onrust’ pulled into the Connecticut River Museum’s dock.

Dobbs then presented Emily Boucher, who brought a message from Senator Chris Murphy, which she read aloud to the guests on the Onrust.  In the message, Murphy expressed the wish that he could join everyone on the trip, and noted he was pleased with the financial assistance the state had given the Museum which, “was going to allow it [the Museum] to not float away.”

A crew member prepares to fire the cannon to announce the boat’s arrival at the Connecticut River Museum.

Finally the Onrust departed from Saybrook Point inn and sailed serenely up the Connecticut River offering spectacular views in all directions. As the three-man crew prepared for arrival at the Museum during the first hour of the popular RiverFare event, one crew member fired a celebratory cannon.  Meanwhile, Essex’s very own Sailing Masters of 1812 provided a cheery, musical fanfare as the historic vessel approached the Museum’s dock. 

It was indeed a wonderful and “momentous” trip!

For more information on the Connecticut River Museum and the Onrust, visit the Museum’s website.  The Museum extends special thanks to Saybrook Point Inn, Marina & Spa, Essex Meadows, the Sailing Masters of 1812, and The Onrust Project for their efforts in arranging the vessel’s arrival. 

The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street in Essex and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum, located in the historic Steamboat Dock building, offers exhibits and programs about the history and environment of the Connecticut River. For a full listing of Museum programs or to buy tickets for the Onrust, RiverFare, and many other events go to www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.

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Memories of Memorial Day

CHESTER — Our thanks to Kris Seifert for sending us these wonderful photos of Chester’s Memorial Day parade and commemoration ceremony, which was held despite the inclement weather.

National Guard members stand to attention.

Members of Boy Scout Troop 13 pay their respects.

 

Chester Fife & Drum Corps march by in the rain.

 

From left to right, State Rep Bob Siegrist (waving), Selectwoman Carolyn Linn, and First Selectwoman Lauren Gister.

From left to right, Selectwoman Carolyn Linn, Selectwoman Charlene Janecek, and State Rep Bob Siegrist stand together.

Selectwoman Carolyn Linn and State Representative Bob Siegrist with Former First Selectman and Grand Marshall Bob Blair, Sr.


Boy Scout Troop 13 and Troop leaders at Flagpole with First Selectwoman Lauren Gister, Selectwoman Carolyn Linn and Selectwoman Charlene Janecek.

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Vista’s ‘Man of La Mancha’ Dazzles at the Kate

The cast of ‘Man of La Mancha’ gather for a celebratory photo.

AREAWIDE — A unified cast of performers with and without disabilities worked together to achieve the “Impossible Dream” by bringing Vista Life Innovations’ production of Man of La Mancha to life on stage at the Kate in Old Saybrook May 19, 20 and 21.

Starring a cast of 10 performers from the greater shoreline theater community and 16 members of Vista Life Innovations, this production of Dale Wasserman’s Tony Award winning musical drew more than 600 audience members during its three-day run.

More than 50 community members and over 50 Vista students and members participated in the production in various roles, including set and costume design, lighting, sound, pit orchestra and ushering.

Directed by Pat Souney, Man of La Mancha marked Vista’s fourth all-inclusive musical production and second to play at The Kate.

This production was funded in part through a grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County/River View Cemetery Fund. Show sponsors included Farmers Insurance, the Wrotnowski Family, the Lee Family, Cornerstone Construction Services, Bruce Baber, Guilford Savings Bank, and Laurie Pilcher and Sharon Grogan.

With campuses in Madison, Westbrook and Guilford, Vista Life Innovations is a nationally accredited post-secondary program that has been supporting the personal success of individuals with disabilities for over 27 years.

Editor’s Note: Vista Life Innovations is a 501©3 nonprofit organization. Vista’s mission is to provide services and resources to assist individuals with disabilities achieve personal success. For more information about Vista, visit www.vistalifeinnovations.org.

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Education Mandate Relief Passes House

Rep. Bob Siegrist testifies during a Public Hearing.

AREAWIDE — On Tuesday, May 30, State Representative Robert Siegrist, who represents the communities of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam supported legislation to promote real progress for education mandate relief.

The proposal, HB 7276, An Act Concerning Education Mandate Relief, includes recommendations from concerned superintendents, administrators, teachers, Board of Education members, parents, and advocates. School districts and town officials from across the state have been strongly urging members of the legislature to provide mandate relief.

“I am happy to see the passage of this bipartisan proposal in the House, and it is my hope that this legislation will be signed into law by the governor,” said Rep. Siegrist who cosponsored the bill. “The passage of this proposal will amount to monetary savings for our districts and towns, but will also allow our dedicated educators to focus their attention on providing the best possible education and services to our students.”

The bill’s provisions include:

  • Eliminate the requirement for school districts to adopt a regional calendar
  • Require the state to purchase one digital school management and reporting software system
  • Provide a digital school management and reporting software system at no cost to districts; allowing districts to decide how they provide education to expelled students; and allowing districts to focus training in procedures for handling highly sensitive behavioral issues on staff who have direct contact with students

The bill is supported by Connecticut Council of Small Towns (COST) and passed out of the House of Representatives; it now heads to the Senate.

The 2017 legislative session adjourns on June 7.

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Community Music School Offers New Music Therapy Group Classes


CENTERBROOK — Community Music School is offering new music therapy programs this summer.  In addition to one-on-one music therapist sessions, CMS is debuting three new group classes beginning in June led by board certified music therapist, Amy Hemenway.

Music Therapy Group Class for Young Children with Autism begins June 28 at 10am for ages 2-5. This group will consist of 6, 30-minute group sessions to target various skills including communication, joint attention, gross/fine motor skills, socialization and other sensory-related needs. The final 15 minutes of each session will be reserved for parent/guardian feedback and questions with the therapist.

Music Therapy Social Skills Group for Adolescents & Young Adults with Autism begins June 28 at 5:30pm for ages 13-22.  This group will consist of 6, 45-minute group sessions for individuals ages 13-21 that have high-functioning autism.  The final 15 minutes of each session will be reserved for parent/guardian feedback and questions with the therapist.  Group endeavors will involve lyrical analysis, songwriting and improvisation activities designed to promote self-expression, creative/musical expression, communication of thoughts/ideas, group collaboration and peer support.

Music Therapy Drum Circles are scheduled for July 14 and August 11 at 7pm.  This family-oriented event will promote socialization and creative/musical expression.  Individuals of all ages and abilities may participate.  Not restricted to music therapy students!

Amy Hemenway is a board-certified music therapist who enjoys providing clinical services to children, adolescents and adults on the autism spectrum.  She also has experience in working with individuals with a variety of cognitive, psychological and motor impairments.  She received her Bachelor of Music degree from Marywood University, Scranton, PA in 1998 and recently received her Master of Arts in Music Therapy degree from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Terre Haute, IN.

For additional information, visit www.community-music-school.org/therapy or call CMS at 860-767-0026.

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.

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Letter to the Editor: Essex Garden Club Expresses Thanks to May Market Donors

To the Editor:

On Saturday May 13th in Town Park the Essex Garden Club held its 65th May Market.  The Silent Auction Committee of May Market would like to thank our area merchants, friends and artists for the incredible generosity they showed in supporting this year’s Silent Auction.  They are:

Abby’s Place Restaurant, Acer Gardens, Aegean Treasures, Ashleigh’s Garden, Bartlett Tree Experts, Black Seal, Blue Hound Cookery, Connecticut River Publishing Co., Copper Beech Inn, Cortland Park Cashmere, Ron Cozzolino, De Paula Jewelers, Dough on Main, Essex Olive Oil Company, Essex Winter Series, Goodspeed Musicals, Haystacks, Ivoryton Playhouse, Marily MacKinnon Interior Design, Wendy and John Madsen, Charlotte Meyer Design, Musical Masterworks, New Earth Acupuncture, One N Main, Jeanette Pollard, Pough Interiors, Patricia Spratt for the Home, 1738 Farm, That’s the Spirit Shoppe, The Valley Railroad Company, Weekend Kitchen, and Weltner’s Antiques and Art.

With thanks.

Sincerely,

Dawn Boulanger, Alyson Danyliw, Genie Devine, Marily MacKinnon
The Essex Garden Club
May Market Silent Auction Committee

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Shoreline Soup Kitchens Opens New Westbrook Meal Site, All Welcome

AREAWIDE — The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP) new Westbrook meal site is open for dinner from 6 to 7 p.m. every Friday.  The site is located at the Westbrook Congregational Church, 1166 Boston Post Road.  All are welcome to attend.

Don’t be shy, bring the whole family and enjoy a meal with wonderful dinner companions and nutritious food. You don’t need to call ahead or “make a reservation.”

Did you know that last year over 900,000 meals worth of food were distributed to individuals and families during The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries grocery distribution program?  And, that over 17,000 nutritious and delicious meals were provided at our 9 meal sites, serving seven days a week?

There are those among us who are hungry and alone. You can change that; you can make a difference in the lives of those who are hungry in body and spirit.  Contact SSKP to learn about the many opportunities to volunteer.

The SSKP offers food and fellowship to the communities of Chester, Clinton, Deep River, East Lyme, Essex, Killingworth, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

The SSKP’s family-oriented meal sites serving nutritious and delicious food are located in Centerbrook, Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Old Lyme, Westbrook and Old Saybrook.  And, SSKP food pantries are located in Clinton, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, East Lyme and Westbrook.  Also, provided to those who have limited cooking facilities are heat-n- meals that can be picked up at any of our pantries.

Community support of the SSKP is appreciated.  If you have any questions or for a more information, call 860.388.1988 or email at pdowling@shorelinesoupkitchens.org.

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Deep River Public Library Introduces Wandoo Reader

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Public Library will be introducing Wandoo Reader, an interactive program to log summer reading. Interested participants can access Wandoo Reader from the library’s home page. There will be a two registration options, one for adults and the other for children. Registration begins June 14. Logging begins on June 28.

Participants can sign up by choosing the “join here” tab and filling in the appropriate information, including choosing a user name and password to access their account. Kids under age 18 will be eligible for prizes and weekly raffles, which include novelties, snacks, craft kits, Avery’s Gross Soda, gift certificates for scoops from the Sweet Shoppe, and cookies at Dough on Main. We will also raffle off an Erector set and a gift certificate to Deep River Pizza.

Wandoo Reader for Kids has a fun interface to help encourage children to complete the Governor’s Reading Challenge. As they log books, participants earn points to modify their adventure character. Wandoo Reader makes it easy for students to keep track of their books. No more lost paper logs – simply print your list of books at summer’s end!

Parents and Adults can enjoy a simpler version of Wandoo Reader. Register and log your reading with Wandoo Reader Adult and become eligible for the end-of-summer raffle, which include gift certificates to local Deep River merchants.

Summer Reading programs are free and open to all. Programs are sponsored by the Friends of the Deep River Public Library, Dough on Main, Deep River Pizza, the Sweet Shoppe and the Hartford Yardgoats.

For more information, visiy http://deepriverlibrary.accountsupport.com and click on our monthly calendar, email the Children’s Department at drplchildrensdept@gmail.com or call the library at 860-526-6039 during service hours: Monday 1 – 8pm; Tuesday 10 am – 6 pm; Wednesday 12:30 – 8 pm; Thursday and Friday 10 am – 6 pm; and Saturday 10 am – 5 pm.

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Community Music School Opens Summer Registration for Arts, Music Programs & ‘Broadway Bound’

Broadway Bound with the Community Music School.

CENTERBROOK & EAST LYME – Community Music School is currently enrolling for summer arts programs for students of all ages, including Broadway Bound, a two-week summer musical theater experience for ages 8 to 15. This very popular program, now in its 17th season, will produce “The Addams Family” and “The Lion King.”

At the School’s Centerbrook location, private lessons, group classes and ensembles are available including Tutti Flutie Flute Ensemble with Cheryl Six; Beginning Group Piano with Tom Briggs; CMS Drum Village with Marty Wirt; Introduction to Music Technology with Tom Briggs; Jazz for the Beginning Student with Tom Briggs; Drums & Percussion Workshop with Tom Briggs; the Science of Sound with Christine Coyle; and Summer Kindermusik Drop-in Classes with Martha Herrle.

Community Music School’s eight-week summer session of private lessons runs from June 26th through August 18th and registrations are accepted throughout the summer. Summer lessons can be scheduled around family vacations at your convenience, and a four-pack of lessons is offered at reduced rate.  For additional information, visit www.community-music-school.org/summer or call CMS at 860-767-0026.

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.

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‘Nilsson & Newton’ Exhibition on View at Spring Street Gallery

CHESTER — Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery at One Spring Street, Chester, presents Nilsson & Newton, a special exhibit of paintings by Leif Nilsson and sculptures by Richard Newton.

Nilsson works with oil paint on canvas and Newton works with shaped and painted steel. The exhibit will be open from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and other times by appointment through June 4, 2017.

Oil paint on steel  52 x 168 inches by Richard Newton

Mdina, Malta – spring afternoon  oil 12 x 18 inches by Leif Nilsson 2017 ©

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Reps. MacLachlan, Carney, House Republicans Unveil Revised No-Tax-Increase Budget Proposal

HARTFORD — State Representatives Jesse MacLachlan (R-35th) and Devin Carney (R-23rd) joined their House Republican colleagues May 16 to issue their revised no-tax-increase budget for 2018-19 that eliminates the projected $5 billion budget deficit, increases school funding for all towns, reduces the corporate surcharge and mitigates municipal aid losses by reallocating funds.

“The governor’s revised budget continues to make devastating cuts to our communities to shift money to major cities,” said Rep. MacLachlan. “Our revised budget protects and provides adequate funding to all communities throughout the state. I am proud to also see that our budget closes the deficit by making long-term structural changes. I will continue to work with members of my caucus and with members from across the aisle to find common ground, but I will not vote in favor of a budget that increases taxes or zeros out education funding to our communities.”

“Connecticut cannot afford another budget that raises taxes on the middle class or burdens our small towns. I am proud of the budget that my Republican colleagues and I have put forth as it does not rely on tax hikes or passing huge costs, such as teacher’s retirement, onto municipalities. I am hopeful that Republicans and Democrats in the legislature can work together to restore the fiscal health of Connecticut by passing a common sense budget that will allow our state and its residents to thrive,” said Rep. Carney.

In this current proposal, Republicans revert back to the former Education Cost Sharing formula, while also adding $20 million to the distribution.  In addition, the proposal establishes a $90 million grant in order to ensure that no municipality loses aid compared to the current fiscal year.

Other structural changes include:

  • Implements a strict Constitutional Spending Cap
  • Reduces bond issuance cap from $2 billion to $1.3 billion for each fiscal year
  • Ensures municipalities are held harmless
  • Establishes a wage freeze for state employees, but no layoffs

Republicans now join Democrats and Gov. Malloy at the negotiating table to come up with a final budget plan that can pass both the House and Senate.

For more information on the House Republican budget proposal, visit www.cthousegop.com/budget.

 

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Obituary: Death of Matilda A. Colihan (Tillie) Announced

In this submitted photo, the late Tillie Colihan is seen tending her flowers.

Avid gardener, conservationist, seeker of solutions to make the world and our local communities better places, Tillie Colihan died peacefully in her Essex Meadows home on May 2, 2017.

Born May 20, 1920 in Mount Vernon, NY to William and Rowena Alston, Tillie attended Madeira School in Greenway, VA, and graduated from Pine Manor College, Chestnut Hill, MA in 1940.  She made lasting friendships with classmates and served as alumnae secretary for both schools.

Not wanting to be left behind after her brothers enlisted in the Armed Services, Tillie joined the Red Cross in December 1943. She was assigned to the 85th Division, stationed in northeastern Italy, and served until the war ended.  She was awarded a Medal of Freedom for “gallantry in the line of duty and devoted service while under enemy fire.” (While immensely proud of her medal, Tillie always insisted, with undue modesty, she was just serving donuts and coffee to the G.I.’s.)

Following the war, she became a receptionist at the Young & Rubicam advertising agency in New York City.  There, she met William J. Colihan, whom she married in May 1948. Tillie and Bill settled in Greenwich, CT, where they raised four children, Alston Colihan of Washington, D.C., Jane Colihan of Brooklyn, NY, William Colihan of New York, NY, and Abby Colihan of Montpelier, VT.  During these years, Tillie took up yoga and developed an interest in natural foods and alternative medicine.

In 1980, Tillie and Bill moved to a house – designed by Bill and her brother, Henry Alston – on the Connecticut River in Essex. Tillie spent springs and summers in her field, surrounded by bluebirds and wildflowers.  She enthusiastically organized the making of trough gardens for May Markets. Wanting to share nature’s beauty, Tillie regularly brought flowers from her garden to the Essex Meadows Medical Center – a practice she kept up for many years. During the winters she and her husband traveled in the U.S. and internationally. Bill died at Essex Meadows Medical Center in July 1994.

In 1998, Tillie moved to an apartment in Essex Meadows.  Hours that she had spent in her garden she now spent feeding birds and keeping up with all things happening in the world.  In recent years she has enjoyed watching her four rarely-disciplined grandchildren, Dan, Jim, Dana, and Molly, turn out fine.

As she wished, there will be a small memorial service later this summer.

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Letter to the Editor: Proposed Library Plans Warrant Close Inspection, More Questions From Chester Residents

To the Editor:

I love libraries. I visit different ones weekly. But I have concerns about whether or not an 8,000 square foot, $7.4 million library (excluding bonding costs), can be sustained by Chester’s taxpayers, or utilized enough by Chester’s population to warrant a building of this magnitude.

There’s been much discussion about developing North Quarter Park. But until the Board of Finance and taxpayers vote on it, it’s not a done deal although a lot of time, money and hard work have gone into creating these plans. Perhaps there are more cost effective options to keep taxes down so young families can afford to move here, and older families can afford to stay.

Has a feasibly study been done on the space where the Essex Savings Bank is after their lease is up? It’s large enough. There’s plenty of parking. There’s a community room upstairs. It’s already built. The town owns it. It’s 0.6 miles from the center. Can we revisit expanding the current library since a survey conducted by the Chester Public Library stated residents “resoundingly preferred to stay in the current location.”

Perhaps we build a smaller library. The state recommendation is 1.6 square feet per person. With a population of 4,245, and approximately 1,041 cardholders, does 6,720 square feet or smaller make sense? Certainly, it would cost less to build, staff and maintain. Libraries are also going digital and ultimately will require less space to house collections. Should this be considered when deciding on how much square footage is need? We also have 6 neighboring libraries offering programs and events all within a 12-minute drive or less that can easily be utilized.

We, the taxpayers, should carefully consider what the size, scope and cost of this project should be, and what we as a town, really need.

Sincerely,

Caryn B. Davis,
Chester, CT.

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Essex Boat Works, Carlson Landing Present Proposed Marina, Restaurant Building Plans at Last Monday’s Zoning Hearing

Rendering of the proposed waterfront premises by Centerbrook Architects.

ESSEX — Essex Boat Works, LLC and Carlson Landing LLC presented their finalized building plans for its Main Street property for review by the Town of Essex Zoning Board on Monday, May 15.  The details of the plans will begin with the construction of a new marina building and accessory waterfront restaurant with Main Street access.

The business and property were purchased in February of 2016, by Richard (Rick) E. Carlson/Carlson Landing, LLC of Essex, Conn.  Carlson purchased the property with the vision to preserve a very important piece of boating and Essex history while beautifying the waterfront area and supporting the economic business development goals of the town.

A team of expert consultants, Centerbrook Architects and Milone & MacBroom, have developed a proposal that complies with regulatory and code requirements.  Centerbrook Architects has planned and designed a suitable year-round building to be used for office space, marina customers along with an accessory waterfront restaurant.

The design goal was established to keep to the historical look and feel of the downtown Essex area, specifically the nearby buildings.  The new establishment, located on the Essex Harbor, will be an anchor for the town.  It is a prime location for visitors from the water to dock their boats, visit the local restaurants and shops throughout Essex Village.  The accessory restaurant will feature waterfront indoor and outdoor dining with a menu of ‘lite bites,’ small plates of upscale casual seafood selections.

Editor’s Note: One of the oldest remaining shipyards in the country, the location of Essex Boat Works predates the War of 1812, where the building of the U.S. warships was performed.  Located in the heart of the historic Essex Village, EBW continues the legacy of top-notch customer relations and professional services including; marina, storage, service, brokerage and new yacht sales.  A new office, marina building with an accessory restaurant are planned for construction beginning in 2017. For more information visit:  www.essexboatworks.com  or call 860-767-8276.

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Essex Foundation Continues Gateway Beautification Work

As part of the Essex Foundation’s gateway beautification project, Chanticleer pear trees were planted along Route 154 in Essex by a Sullivan Lawn Services installation crew.

ESSEX – The Essex Foundation recently completed the first phase of a multi-phase landscape plan for the grounds surrounding the newly painted bridge in the Rte. 9/ Exit 3 underpass area of Essex. Twelve Chanticleer pear trees were planted on the state-owned land south of the Rte. 154 and Rte. 153 intersection, directly across from the Essex Fire Department station and commuter lot.

The charitable organization contracted with Matthew Verry, a graduate of the University of Connecticut’s Landscape Architecture program, for the planning and coordination of the work. His company, Matthew Verry Landscape Design, provided the landscape design and oversight of the state approval and installation bid process.  Sullivan Lawn Services, LLC was hired for the installation work.

The Chanticleer pear tree was selected for its beauty and hardiness.  It is one of the most profuse flowering trees with a narrow, tailored appearance.  It tolerates many urban conditions, making it a popular street tree choice where spread may be a bit limited. The next phase of the landscape beautification, which includes planting of low growing, low maintenance evergreen and perennial ornamentals in the southeast corner of the gateway area, is also targeted for completion this spring.

Funds for the cost of the planning, design, tree/plant purchase and installation were provided through a bequest to the Essex Foundation by the late Elizabeth “Diz” Barnes Callender and her predeceased sister Mary Frances Barnes.

“The gateway beautification has been a true community effort,” stated Bruce Glowac, Chairman of the Essex Foundation Board of Trustees, “It is exactly the type of project we like to get behind – somewhat unique, requiring relatively quick action. It’s also nice that the impact can be seen immediately. Now that the bridge painting is complete, the trees are installed, and the ornamentals are being planted, .”

The Essex Foundation was founded in 1970 through an open-ended bequest to benefit the town.  Board members are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Essex citizens by providing medical, educational, social, welfare, cultural, recreational, and civic support. Thanks to the Foundation’s endowment, as well as the many donations received from individuals, businesses and other organizations, the Essex Foundation is able to provide “seed money” for new services and to allocate funds to fill needs not met by other organizations or sources. In general, funds are granted for special purposes, including buildings, equipment, land, and programs, but not to recurring expenses. More information can be found at www.theessexfoundaton.org.

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Siegrist Hails Passage of Proposal to Allow Return of Prescription Drugs to Pharmacies

State Rep. Robert Siegrist (R-36th)

AREAWIDE — State Rep. Robert Siegrist hailed the passage of a bill in the House of Representatives this week that looks to allow certain state pharmacies to accept and dispose of unused prescription drugs. Rep. Siegrist proposed a similar measure in the General Assembly in the beginning of the 2017 legislative session.

Rep. Siegrist, a member of the legislature’s public safety and security committee, said, “The opioid crisis is at an all-time high and I believe this proposal is another step in the right direction to combat growing crisis. I also believe this proposal will help the rural district that I represent, specifically the towns of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam.”

Currently, prescription drug drop boxes in Connecticut are located in local police stations.

The legislation, HB 5077, An Act Concerning The Return Of Prescription Drugs To Pharmacies, passed unanimously in the House and now heads to the State Senate for further action. After much negation in the House with all stakeholders, the bill as passed allows for Connecticut licensed pharmacies to accept and dispose of unused prescription drugs.  The bill also allows for the potential for cooperative agreements between pharmacies and local law enforcement, which should help independent and rural pharmacy locations

The bill has the support of the Connecticut Association of Community Pharmacies.

According to Governor Dannel Malloy, Connecticut saw an increase in the amount of unused prescription medications that residents dropped off at collection boxes during 2016, with the state collecting a total of 33,803 pounds worth of various medications throughout the year. That amounts to a 43 percent increase compared to the amount that residents dropped off in 2015, when 23,651 pounds of unused drugs were collected by the state.

The final rule on the Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in September of 2014 expanded the authority of authorized hospitals/clinics and retail pharmacies to voluntarily maintain collection receptacles. These receptacles would still be subject to regulation and protections under the law. This bill will give pharmacies the option to participate as a collection site, not require it, and would likely help to get more prescription drugs off the street from people  who would otherwise feel uncomfortable returning them to the police directly.

Editor’s Note: Siegrist represents the 36th District communities of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam.

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‘Olive Oyl’s’ Plans Uptown Move Soon, Possibly June

A cheerful Kevin Kendall, co-owner of Olive Oyl’s in Essex, stands at the counter in the current shop.

ESSEX — Olive Oyl’s, a favorite sandwich shop in Essex, presently located at 77 Main Street, will be changing its address as early as this coming June, according to Kevin Kendall, who co-owns the shop with his wife Jennifer. The shop’s new location will be at 6 Main Street in Essex and the shop there will be considerably larger than the current one.

A flag waves above the entrance to the current Olive Oyl’s shop at 77 Main Street in Essex.

For several weeks, workmen at the new location have been modernizing the present structure and also resurfacing the paved driveway at the front of the store.

Olive Oyl’s new home at 6 Main Street.

Olive Oyl’s move to a new and much larger location in Essex up Main Street can be seen as a clear plus for the town of Essex. It will likely draw more visitors to that section of town though passengers arriving in Essex by boat will have a little further to walk up Main Street to make their purchases … but the delicious offerings at their destination will surely be worth the effort!

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“Anything You Want,” Essex Art Association’s Spring 2017 Juried Show Now Open

Old Wooden Roof by Diana Roberts-Paschall, oil, 12 x 16.

ESSEX — The Essex Art Association (EAA) opens its 2017 exhibit season with a juried show “Anything You Want.” This exhibition encourages artists to display works that show what they are passionate about, art that speaks to their creativity and that inspires their voice.

The exhibit’s opening reception is Friday, May 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. The show runs May 6 – 27. The EAA Gallery is located at 10 North Main Street, Essex, CT. Gallery hours: 1-5 pm daily, closed Tuesdays. For more information visit essexartassociation.com or call 860-767-8996.

The exhibition juror, Leila Daw, is an independent artist with a studio in New Haven, and Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston. Her art practice is rooted in concepts and processes of cartography, archaeology, geology, and the exploration of communities interacting with the natural world. Daw has permanent public installations at Bradley International Airport; the Wilson Branch of the New Haven Public Library; Northwestern CT Community College, and the St. Louis light rail system. Her work is also in many collections nationwide. See more at: www.LeilaDaw.com

$1,800 will be awarded to exhibiting artists for their work in various media, plus one EAA artist will be given a solo exhibit in our Exit Gallery during our 2018 gallery season.

The Exit Gallery show, “Sharing a View”, showcases paintings by Diana Roberts-Paschall. In Diana’s bio she describes her art practice: “I blame how I got here on coloring books. I pressed especially hard to first trace the black lines before filling the spaces with color. When given oil paints in high school I produced an angular, abstract painting with black lines and color filled spaces reminiscent of those coloring book pages.”

She continues, “After college I signed up for my first drawing class. That led to a figure painting MFA. I had a natural interest in paradoxical themes and their juxtaposition (such as bitter/sweet). After moving to Connecticut I took classes at Lyme Academy and explored plein air painting at Lyme Art Association, experiences that softened and blended with my earlier Expressionistic painting tendencies. Even so, I still see the coloring book lines.”

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Letter to the Editor: Republican State Rep’s Outline Their Budget Proposal

To the Editor:

On Thursday we joined our Republican colleagues to unveil “Confident Connecticut”, a no-tax-increase solution for the upcoming biennium. In undertaking this difficult task we have proposed true solutions for the budget and are poised to lead Connecticut back to financial stability.

The Republican proposal concentrates on funding the core functions of government while keeping spending in check. It calls for a strict spending cap and a limit on the amount of bonding that can be allocated.

Our proposal restores funding for Fire Training schools, ensuring that firefighters across the state are properly trained to best respond in an emergency situation. Additionally, we provide for Connecticut’s senior population by preserving funding for Meals on Wheels. Further, municipal aid is fully maintained, and in some cases increased.

It is unmistakable that an undue financial burden has been placed on our cities and towns, which has restricted local budgets. Long-term structural changes must be made to the way the legislature goes about the budgeting process to help our municipalities. Consequently, our proposal requires the state to provide municipalities with projected aid by March 1. This will be a critical tool for creating municipal budgets.

Education represents a large portion of the budget, which is why a more equitable formula was used to disperse education dollars. The Republican proposal accepts the responsibility of our teachers’ pensions, saving municipalities from the governor’s proposal that would have levied $400 million from them to fund that account.

It is also important to note that Middlesex Hospital and other hospitals across the state are held harmless from further tax increases in our proposal.

There are painful cuts in our proposal which were difficult to make. As state revenues continue to change we also recognize that some revisions to our proposal will be needed. However, we are ready to work with our colleagues at the Capitol to generate the best budget possible to instill confidence that our residents, business and municipalities deserve.

Sincerely,

Christie Carpino
State Representative, 32nd District

Bob Siegrist
State Representative, 36th District

Melissa Ziobron
State Representative, 34th District

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CT Audubon RTPEC Offers Estuary Explorations Saturday Mornings

Osprey in flight. Photo by Brock Graham.

AREAWIDE — The Connecticut Audubon Society’s Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center is offering a new program of Saturday morning field trips to natural areas along the lower Connecticut River starting May 6.

Estuary Explorations will be led by PhD ecologist Paul Spitzer, a protégé of internationally recognized naturalist and painter, Roger Tory Peterson. Each exploration will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the possibility of extending the field tripinto the afternoon, depending on the participants’ interest.

The fee for each field trip is $30 per person ($25 per student) and registration is required. To register, visit this link.

Estuary Explorations will give participants a chance to learn about the Lower Connecticut River Estuary’s ecosystems and wildlife as the year progresses from the peak bird migratory season of May, through high summer, and into the late fall.

Paul Spitzer. Photo courtesy of Paul Spitzer.

Spitzer has designed the programs to follow in the footsteps of one of the 20th century’s most famous naturalists, field guide author and illustrator Roger Tory Peterson, who spent his adult life painting in his studio in Old Lyme and examining the flora and fauna of the Connecticut River Estuary and the world.

Spitzer will showcase some of Peterson’s favorite natural sites and share his extensive knowledge of the ecology of the region. Spitzer plans to lead these explorations at a “Thoreauvian saunter,” moving slowly to appreciate many of the birds, plants, and insects that Peterson once enjoyed.

While Old Lyme tends to be recognized for its scenic views and historic artist colony and arts culture, it is also situated at an important ecological hub in New England — the meeting of the waters. In this species-rich estuary, the fresh water of the vast Connecticut River and Long Island Sound mix, resulting in a wealth of natural life.

Spitzer learned his natural history while growing up in the Connecticut River Valley. He is a graduate of Old Lyme High School and continued up the river to attend Wesleyan University. He later earned his PhD in ecological sciences from Cornell University.

More recently, he has studied the now substantial Connecticut River Estuary Osprey colony as a “biomonitor” of migratory menhaden abundance, the Osprey’s preferred food source. Spitzer advocates for sustainable management practices of this keystone fish for its ecosystem, economic, and societal functions.

Working alongside Spitzer will be Old Saybrook native, Jim Arrigoni. Arrigoni has worked as a fisheries biologist in Washington State and developed protocols to evaluate stream water quality in Hong Kong. Most recently, he has taught cultural and aquatic ecology classes at Goodwin College, and he is currently completing a PhD on the conservation value of restored wetlands.

Spitzer has studied Ospreys for 50 years, his research beginning here in the Connecticut River Estuary. By the 1970’s, the impact of DDT in the ecosystem whittled the local Osprey colony down to one active nest. Spitzer was instrumental in the recovery of this important keystone species to these waters.

“The Connecticut River Ospreys are our iconic story of revival from the brink,” said Spitzer. “These guided and educational field trips will open a world of discovery about nature’s profusion in this extraordinary bioregion.”

“Migrant and resident species of the estuary watershed are particularly exciting to observe in May. I will provide up-close and expansive views of the natural world from salt marshes to Yellow Warblers in particularly beautiful places.”

After meeting at the Old Lyme I-95 Park and Ride (Exit 70), participants will enjoy three hours of ecological exploration followed by a brown bag lunch and guided discussion in the field.  Spitzer is also willing to offer optional afternoon sessions gauged by the stamina and interest of the participants.

Beyond the four Saturdays in May, the field trips will occur monthly through November.

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