September 18, 2017

Deep River HS Hosts Native American Exhibit This Weekend at Stone House

Deep River Historical Society presents an exhibition titled Native American Harvest at the Stone House, 245 Main St. Deep River.

DEEP RIVER — In conjunction with Deep River Family Day activities on Saturday, Sept. 16, the Deep River Historical Society (DRHS) will present an exhibition at the Stone House, 245 Main St. Deep River. This is a guided exhibition titled Native American Harvest and will be available for viewing from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and again on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017 from 2 to 4 p.m. during the regular open hours of the Stone House.

Richard Kalapos, trustee of DRHS and town historian, will be discussing the relationship that the Native Americans had with their environment and how the forest, waterways and sea provided them with all their wants.  Through their relationship with nature, they felt as one with their surroundings.  The forest was, in today’s terms, their grocery store, hardware store and pharmacy.

This is a multi-generational program so drop by and bring the whole family to explore the heritage of our first Americans. Come and learn about the unique relationship they had with their world and find out about the foods that nourished them.

For further information contact, Richard Kalapas at (860)-526-3254 or Sue Wisner at (860) 526-9103.

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Cappella Cantorum Concert Late Registration Scheduled for Tomorrow

Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus by Madeleine Favre of Deep River.

AREAWIDE — Late registration for Cappella Cantorum’s 2017 Christmas concert is Sept. 18, at 7 p.m. at John Winthrop Middle School, 1 Winthrop Rd., Deep River. No auditions are required. Use the rear entrance.

All are welcome to join Cappella Cantorum and its new director, Simon Holt, to prepare for the Dec. 2 concert. Holt is also the artistic director of the Salt Marsh Opera and director of music at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. He joins Cappella in its 48th year.

The program will feature Bach’s Cantata #140 (“Sleepers Wake”), Rutter’s “Gloria” and Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on Christmas Carols.”

Registration fee is $40; music is $20.

For more information or to register in advance, visit www.CappellaCantorum.org.

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David Handler Presents His Latest Book Today at Essex Library

ESSEX — On Saturday, Sept. 16, at 4 p.m. the Essex Library will host Edgar and American Mystery Award-winning author David Handler, who will discuss his latest book, The Girl With Kaleidoscope Eyes, published in August by William Morrow.

This is the ninth entry in the Hoagy and Lulu mystery series that Harlan Coben calls “One of my all-time favorite series! … David Handler is so good at writing one smart, funny page-turner after another that he makes it look easy.” 

Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

David Handler

Handler has also written eleven novels in the bestselling Berger & Mitry series. He lives in a 230-year-old carriage house in Old Lyme, Conn. 

This event is free and open to the public. Call the Essex Library to register or for more information at (860) 767-1560. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Ave. in Essex.

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Essex Garden Club Announces Officers for 2017-2018


ESSEX —
Officers for the Essex Garden Club for 2017-2018 are Barbara Burgess, president, 1st VP Augie Pampel, 2nd VP, MyLan Sarner, Recording Secretary, Betsy Godsman, Corresponding Secretary Phyllis Graf, Treasurer , Patricia Mather and Assistant Treasurer is Barbara Muhlfelder.
In her opening remarks at the September meeting, Burgess said that the focus of the Essex Garden Club this year will be on enhancing each member’s floral design skills. These design principles will be applied when the Garden Club decorates the town’s window boxes and planters for the holidays.
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State Orders Recount in Republican Primary for 33rd District Probate Judge; Delia Wins by Nine Votes in First Count

Tuesday’s unofficial winner, Anselmo Delia.

AREAWIDE — The Connecticut Secretary of State has informed all the towns that comprise the 33rd District Probate Court that they need to conduct a recount of Tuesday’s Republican Primary. The Town of Essex has scheduled their recount on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 11 a.m. at the town hall. Deep River held their recount yesterday, Thursday, Sept. 13. We do not have details of the timing of recounts in other area towns at this time.

Tuesday’s race between the party-endorsed candidate Attorney Anselmo Delia of Clinton and challenger Attorney Kevin Hecht of Old Saybrook ended with a 859-850 win for Delia after all the unofficial results had been declared in the nine towns.

Unofficial results given on the Connecticut Secretary of State’s webpage for towns covered by ValleyNewsNow.com towns are as follows:

Chester: Hecht 23 – Delia 12
Deep River: Delia 24 – Hecht 14
Essex: Delia 79 – Hecht 59
Old Saybrook: Hecht 277 – Delia 46
Westbrook: Hecht 90 – Delia 41.

Results for the remaining towns in the District are:

Clinton: Delia 444 – Hecht 228
Haddam: Delia 140 – Hecht 37
Killingworth: Hecht 78 – Delia 53
Lyme: Hecht 44 – Delia 20.

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Take a Tree Swallow Cruise Tonight With OS Land Trust

Tree swallows gather on branches. Photo (inset) by Diana Atwood Johnson.

AREAWIDE — The Old Saybrook Land Trust (OSLT) hosts a tree swallow watching cruise Sept. 15, from 5 to 8 p.m. on the vessel Adventure located at Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam.  The cruise will be run by Connecticut River Expeditions.

For the past 14 years, Connecticut River Expeditions have taken individuals and groups to a special spot on the Connecticut River where hundreds of thousands of tree swallows gather. After spending the day miles away, the swallows return each night to sleep in the reeds. They gather at sunset and perform aerial ballets forming an amazing display of art, coordination and cooperation.

Over the years, Captains Mark and Alex have found the best way to maneuver the boats to allow perfect views from open decks. Travel on Adventure, a newly refurbished classic riverboat with flexible seating that ensures everyone gets optimal “up close and personal” viewing.

Enjoy the entire evening aboard. You will spend about three to five hours on the water. There is so much to see while cruising along the river. Many birds are migrating through the area now; last year we saw a record number of Bald Eagles and Great Egrets.

On-board naturalist(s) will educate you on the swallow phenomenon and all the other wildlife we see.

On the return cruise home, there is time to chat with others and experience the river at twilight, blending into night. The OSLT will be serving appetizers and you are able to bring your own picnic basket or snacks and your favorite “beverage” to enjoy on this special cruise. Don’t forget your camera and binoculars (or borrow a pair of our binocs)!

This is a small group experience that is unique each sailing. This is a fundraising event to benefit the OSLT Scholarship, which is awarded each year to a graduating Old Saybrook student pursuing Environmental Studies.

Cost: $50 per person. Limited seating. Reservations can be made by emailing oldsaybrooklandtrust@oslt.org

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Essex Democrats Announce Party Platform For 2017 Municipal Elections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essex Democratic Candidates

  • First Selectman/Selectwoman: Norm Needleman/ Stacia Rice-Libby
  • Town Treasurer: Jim Francis
  • Tax Collector: Megan Haskins
  • Essex BOE: Loretta McCluskey
  • Region 4 BOE: Kate Sandmann
  • BOF: Ethan Goller
  • BOF : Keith Crehan
  • Board Assessment Appeals: Mark Bombaci
  • Town Clerk: Joel Marzi
  • Judge Of Probate: Jeannine Lewis
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Deep River Historical Society’s ‘Stone House’ Open to Visitors This Weekend

Stone House, owner by the Deep River Historical Society, opens July 1.

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Historical Society presents an opportunity to step back in time. This house and property is considered the crown jewel at 245 Main St., Deep River. The Stone  House was built in the 1840’s by Deacon Ezra Southworth for his bride. Three generations of the Southworth family have lived here and left their mark on Deep River.

Ada Southworth Munson bequeathed the family home to the Deep River Historical Society in 1946. It has since been used by them to highlight the town’s history along with offering events and community interaction.

There are many exhibits that showcase the lives of the family; sea faring stories to the Industrial Revolution, lace and textiles and of course the history of ivory in the area.

There is a World War I exhibit that tells of the Deep River “boys” in the Great War, which dates back 100 years.  The small settlement of Winthrop (in the northwest corner of Deep River) and is featured also with recent research updated.

Come and stop in for a free visit throughout the summer, Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 2 to 4 p.m., starting Saturday July 1st.  Greeters will be available to help with making the self-guided tour a learning experience.

Visit the Deep River Historical Society at their website at  http://www.deepriverhistoricalsociety.org or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/deepriverhistoricalsociety/

Call the DRHS at 860-526-1449 or the curator Rhonda Forristall, at 860-526-5086.

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Final Day of Community Music School’s Free Preview Week is Today

AREAWIDE – Community Music School, located at 90 Main Street in Centerbrook and 179 Flanders Rd. in East Lyme, welcomes the general public to visit during Free Preview Week Sept. 11 through 15. Children and adults can tour the School’s studios, meet teachers and staff, enjoy a free preview lesson, and learn about a vast array of programs for all ages including private and group lessons, adult cabaret, jazz ensemble, string ensembles, music therapy services, Kindermusik for babies and toddlers, and more.

During the academic year, Community Music School is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.Monday to Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. Those interested in a 30-minute preview lesson are requested to call 860-767-0026 for scheduling.  The public is also welcome to observe any group class or ensemble during Free Preview Week.

For additional information, visit www.community-music-school.org/programs 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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‘A Connecticut Christmas’ by Local Photographer Caryn Davis to be Released Sept. 26

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

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

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

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

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

A Connecticut Christmas will retail at $26.00.

 

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Musical Masterworks, Community Music School Announce Scholarship Recipient

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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CBSRZ Adds New Programs to Current Education Offerings for Fall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Applications Due by Nov. 9 for Rockfall Foundation Grants

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

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

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

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Republican Primary Today for Judge of Probate

Anselmo Delia is the Republican party endorsed candidate for Judge of Probate in the 33rd District.

AREAWIDE — Registered Republicans in Chester, Deep River, Essex, and Old Saybrook are eligible to vote tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 12, in a primary election to determine the party’s candidate for 33rd District Probate Judge in the November election.

Kevin J. Hecht of Old Saybrook is challenging the party-endorsed candidate, Anselmo Delia, of Clinton.

In addition to the towns listed above, the 33rd District Probate Court, which is located in Old Saybrook, covers  Clinton, Haddam, Killingworth, Lyme, and Westbrook.

There is no Democratic Primary since party-endorsed candidate Jeannine Lewis is not being challenged.

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Join CT River Museum Tonight for a ‘Taste of The Netherlands’

Spend an evening enjoying historic Dutch cultural traditions at the Connecticut River Museum and take a cruise aboard Onrust. Photo by Pim Van Hemmen.

ESSEX — On Saturday, Sept. 9, from 5  to 8 p.m., experience The Netherlands as the Connecticut River Museum hosts a night to support The Onrust Project.  Enjoy Dutch culture with samples of traditional food and drinks.  There will also be classic Dutch tavern games, music, and a cannon demonstration – all from the Museum’s beautiful north deck overlooking the Connecticut River. 

The Onrust is a reproduction of the famed Captain Adriaen Block’s 1614 era vessel that was the first European vessel to chart and explore Long Island Sound, parts of Rhode Island, and the Connecticut River.  Block’s accomplishments ushered in great changes that would forever alter life along the Connecticut River, help lead to the fur trade, and the eventual founding of New Netherlands and what would become Hartford. 

A Dutch drink tasting will take place with Mark Griswold and Stephen Gencarella.  Griswold and Gencarella are the talent behind the popular weekly radio show “Fermented,” which airs every Thursday night on iCRV Radio.  The two will share some of the history and interesting characteristics of traditional Dutch drinks.  One such beverage that will be sampled is genever – a spirit that is the forerunner of gin and has been popular since the 1500s. 

Catering by Selene, enjoyed by the Museum for their excellence and creativity in recreating historic recipes, will provide several traditional Dutch foods for people to sample.  This includes stamppot which is the Dutch name for any puree made of vegetables and often served with sausage.  There will also be bitterballen (tiny meatballs) and the delectable stroopwafel. 

Also taking place this night will be a cannon demonstration by Dan Walls.  Walls will not only shoot off one of Onrust’s reproduction cannons, but will share a little history on the evolution of such weaponry.  There will also be live music and some traditional tavern games for people to play.

The historic replica vessel Onrust is docked at the Connecticut River Museum through mid October for public cruises and programs. Photo by Judy Preston.

A Supporting level ticket will include a 45-minute cruise aboard the Onrust, a special mixed drink and a conversation with Greta Wagle, Director of The Onrust Project. 

The Standard ticket includes the drink and food tasting, music, games, and cannon demonstration and is $30 for members/$35 for non-members.  The Supporting ticket includes the above as well as the special cruise and is $50 for members/$55 for non-members (When reserving you will need to select a cruise time of 5:15 or 6:30 p.m.) Additional beverages will be available at a cash bar.  Participants must be 21 years of age or older and show ID.  To buy a ticket, visit the Connecticut River Museum’s website at ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.

Funds will go towards supporting the educational mission of The Onrust Project, a nonprofit floating museum that provides the public with a living history experience of 17th century life and maritime exploration. 

The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street in Essex and is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. 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, visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.

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Chester Rotary’s ‘Lobster Festival’ Takes Place Today

Loving lobster! Happy LobsterFest-goers savor the feast. (File photo.)

CHESTER — Join the Rotary Club of Chester’s 47th Annual Lobster Festival to be held at the Chester Fairgrounds on Saturday, Sept. 9.

The event is highlighted by classic double entree dinners featuring Twin Lobster, Twin Steak, or Surf and Turf and single entrée Lobster or Steak dinners. Traditional sides include corn on the cob, potatoes and coleslaw.  The gates will open at 4 p.m. for table decorating and general admission.  Dinners will be served from 5 p.m. and continue until 7 p.m.   Soft drinks, bottled water, beer and wine are available for sale throughout the evening.

Live music for your dancing and listening pleasure will be provided by two great bands, Driving Route 9 and Old Dog New Trick until closing at 10 p.m.

Admission tickets for twin lobster or twin steak or surf and turf dinners are $40 in advance, $45 for remaining tickets at the gate. Single lobster or single steak dinner tickets are $30 in advance, $35 for remaining tickets at the gate.  Seating is limited, so early purchase is recommended.  Access to the Lobster Festival is restricted to dinner ticket holders.

Tickets are available at the following Chester locations: LARK, Pattaconk Bar & Grill, Chester Package Store, Chrisholm Marina, Chester Bottle Shop and at the Sunday Market as well as on-line at  http://www.ChesterRotary.org.

Proceeds from this event will be used to benefit the community.  Join friends and family for a memorable evening of great food, good fun and live music!

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Take a Challenging Hike in ‘The Preserve’ Today with Essex Land Trust

View looking south of The Preserve. Photo by Bob Lorenz.

ESSEX — Join the Essex Land Trust on Saturday, Sept. 9, for a fast paced, challenging two-hour hike through the Preserve, starting in Essex and going to Old Saybrook and back. Chris Cryder will lead this hike while sharing his knowledge of The Preserve, its history and its many special natural characteristics. Cryder represented the Connecticut Fund for the Environment in the protracted effort to save this unique property.

The Preserve is a 1,000-acre coastal forest located in Old Saybrook, Essex, and Westbrook, CT. It is the largest unprotected coastal forest remaining between New York City and Boston and is larger than New York City’s Central Park.

The dense canopy of forest and the Pequot Swamp Pond act as a refueling stop for many migratory birds, and the many freshwater seeps on the property are home to amphibian species such as the northern dusky salamander, spotted turtles, and box turtles. Bobcats and fisher cats have also been spotted on the property. The land includes 38 vernal pools, 114 acres of wetlands, headwaters of the Oyster River, and tributaries of the Mud and Trout Brook Rivers. These rivers eventually flow into Long Island Sound.

Meet at 9 a.m. at the West Parking Lot off Ingham Hill Rd., Essex. Leave from the second/west entrance at the end of Ingham Hill Rd. Easy to moderate terrain. Hiking boots suggested. Bad weather cancels.

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21st Annual Venture Smith Day Festivities to be held This Afternoon

Keynote speaker, Russell Shorto, will talk about “Venture Smith and American Freedom” at the 21st annual Venture Smith Day on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 1 to 4 pm in the cemetery at the First Church of Christ, 499 Town St. (Rte. 151), in East Haddam.

EAST HADDAM, CT – The 21st annual Venture Smith Day Festivities will be held on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the cemetery at the First Church of Christ, 499 Town Street (Rte. 151), East Haddam, Conn.where he is buried (1729-1805).

Son of an African king, Venture Smith became the first black man to document his capture from Africa and life as an American slave and successful black freeman in Connecticut.  Well-known and respected, Venture Smith spent the majority of his freedom years in East Haddam and Haddam Neck, Conn.  His grave is one of the original sites on the Connecticut Freedom Trail.

Keynote speaker, Russell Shorto, author of the best seller “The Island at the Center of the World,” about the Dutch founding of Manhattan, will talk about “Venture Smith and American Freedom.” His newest book, “Revolution Song: A Story of American Freedom,” which weaves together the lives of Venture Smith, George Washington and four other early Americans, will be released Nov. 7.

Shorto believes the revolutionary period, through which Venture Smith lived, is more relevant now than ever. Shorto has won numerous awards for his writing, and his books have been published in 14 languages.

Dr. Karl P. Stofko, East Haddam’s Municipal Historian and Venture Smith family genealogist since the 1970s, will talk about “Charles Holt, the Forgotten Publisher of Venture Smith’s 1998 Narrative.” Venture Smith’s family genealogy and artifacts and crafts from Ghana and other regions of Africa will be on display. A town proclamation will be presented and wreath-laying ceremony by the descendants of Venture Smith and the annual Venture family reunion photograph will take place in the cemetery by Venture’s grave.

The ladies of “Sisters In Stitches Joined by the Cloth” of eastern Massachusetts will return this year with their magnificent African American quilts on display. The recent discovery of the Starks family, descendants of Venture’s granddaughter Cynthia Smith Matson, was added to Venture Smith’s family genealogy and will be on display. In addition, a restored original copy Venture Smith’s 1798 narrative will be on exhibit at the event. A facsimile of this booklet will be on sale for $5.

Adults and children who are interested in learning more about Connecticut history in the 1700 and 1800s are encouraged to attend. Bring lawn chairs or blanket. In case of inclement weather the celebration will move into the parish house of First Church.

There will be plenty of time to renew old friendships, talk with speakers, and Venture’s descendants and enjoy light refreshments in the Parish Hall next to the cemetery.

Call (860) 873-9375 with questions.  To review the original Venture Smith autobiography, visit  www.docsouth.unc.edu/neh/venture2/menu.html

A Brief Biography of Venture Smith

Born around 1729, Venture Smith’s African birth name was Broteer, and he was the eldest son of King Saungm Furro of the tribe of Dukandarra in Guinea, West Africa. He was captured about 1736 when he was seven years old and was sold for “4 gallons of rum and some calico” at Anamabo on Africa’s Gold Coast to Robinson Mumford, the steward of a Rhode Island slave ship. Broteer was renamed Venture because he was purchased by Mumford’s own private venture. Venture grew up as a slave on Fishers Island, New York, which was being leased by the Mumford family at that time.

Around 1750 he married Meg, another Mumford slave, and they had four children. After a failed escape attempt in 1754, Venture was sold to Thomas Stanton of Stonington Point, Connecticut. In 1760, he was purchased for the last time by Oliver Smith, of Stonington. Smith allowed Venture to purchase his freedom in 1765 and in return Venture took the name Smith as his surname.

Venture then lived and worked on Long Island to raise money to purchase the freedom of his wife and children. During these years he cut wood, farmed, fished, and spent seven months on a whaling voyage. In 1774, Venture sold all his land on Long Island and in Stonington and moved his family to East Haddam. He then began purchasing land on Haddam Neck along the Salmon River Cove from Abel Bingham and others. His farm grew into 134 acres with three houses; twenty boats, canoes and sailing vessels; two fishing businesses and a commercial orchard. His entrepreneurial ventures included river trafficking, lumberjacking, carpentry and farming. All this he accomplished without the ability to either read or write.

In 1798, Venture dictated his autobiography to teacher Elisha Niles, which was then published in pamphlet form by Charles Holt, editor of the New London Bee weekly newspaper. It has been reprinted many times. It is the only slave narrative of the 18th century that recounts life in Africa. His life story has been an inspiration to many over the years. Venture died on September 19, 1805, at age 77 as a highly respected man by all in the Haddams. His wife, two sons, Cuff and Solomon, and several grandchildren survived him. Several of his descendants still live in Connecticut.

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Estuary Hosts ‘Shoreline Artists’ Workshop’ Show

AREAWIDE — Members of The Shoreline Artists’ Workshop are exhibiting their paintings at the Marshview Gallery of the Estuary Council of Seniors in Old Saybrook for the month of September. An opening reception for the exhibition will be held Friday, Sept. 8, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Start your weekend with a lovely gathering to meet the artists and enjoy their works.

Representing six shoreline communities from Niantic and the Lymes to Old Saybrook and Essex, these artists paint and grow in their art each Friday at the Lymes’ Senior Center in Old Lyme.

The group includes: Beverly Ahlers, Gene Bekaert, Linda Beagle, Cathy Castonguay, Susan Coppejans, Jane Critchett, JoAnn Dongweck, Gerri Hallgren, Elin Larson, Keiko Kaiser, Frank Ossman, Hilde Reichenbach, Susan Simler, Sharol Stewart, Andre Walker, Valerie Washburn, Bob Whitcomb and Brian Willis.

Marshview Gallery is located at 220 Main St, Old Saybrook. Call 860-388-1611 for details.

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Registration Open Through Today for Madhatters December Production

AREAWIDE — Madhatters Theatre Company is registering for their December production of ‘Scrooged, with a twist.’  Registration is open to students age 6-18 years.  Rehearsals begin on Saturdays in September at Lyme’s Youth Service Bureau in Old Lyme.

Performance week is Dec. 11-17 at Chester Meeting House in Chester.  Registration is open through Sept. 8.

For further information and to register, email: madhattersctc@aol.com or call (860) 395-1861  www.ctkidsonstage.com/madhatterstheatrecompany

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Tickets Now Available for 44th Season of Collomore Concerts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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CT River Museum Issues Call for Actors, Production Crew; Auditions Monday

AREAWIDE — The Connecticut River Museum is looking for a variety of volunteer actors to help with the 2017 production of Haunted River.  Auditions will take place on Sept. 6 and 11 between 4:45 and 6:15 p.m.  Available parts are for adults and children (ages 10 and up).  Roles include actors for seven-minute scenes, theatrical tour guides, and musicians.  No prior acting experience is necessary.  Rehearsals will be held on Wednesday nights and run from Sept. 20 through Oct. 18 with a dress rehearsal on Oct. 25 and evening performances on Oct. 27, 28, and 29 from 5 to 9:30 p.m.

Also needed is production crew.  Positions include stage crew, prop and scene fabricators, and costumers. 

For more information and to arrange an audition, call the Connecticut River Museum at 860-767-8269  x122 or send an email to kperkins@ctrivermuseum.org.

The Connecticut River Museum is located in Essex, Conn., and is the only museum dedicated to the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its Valley.  The recreation of Adriaen Block’s ONRUST, the first vessel to explore and chart Long Island Sound and the Connecticut River, is on display and available for cruises through Oct. 14. 

The Museum is located at 67 Main St., Essex and open seven days per week, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Columbus Day. After Columbus Day the Museum is closed on Mondays.  Visit online at www.ctrivermuseum.org.   

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Nominations for Rockfall Foundation Local Environmental Champions Close Sept. 15

AREAWIDE — The Rockfall Foundation is seeking nominations for the 2017 Environmental Awards, which recognize individuals, organizations, and businesses for environmental efforts that contribute to the quality of life in the Lower Connecticut River Valley. Two categories of awards include the Distinguished Service Award and Certificates of Appreciation in the areas of preservation, conservation, restoration, or environmental education.

Awardees are recognized at the Rockfall Foundation’s annual meeting and grants celebration in November. Nominations must be submitted by Sept. 15, 2017 and a form can be downloaded at www.rockfallfoundation.org or one can be requested by calling 860-347-0340.

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

For additional information about the 2017 Environmental Awards or the Rockfall Foundation, visit www.rockfallfoundation.org or call 860-347-0340.

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Community Music School Announces New Faculty

ESSEX — Community Music School (CMS) is pleased to welcome three area musicians to its faculty: Amy Buckley, who will be teaching voice; Ling-Fei Kang, who will be teaching oboe and English horn; and Corey Johnson, who will be teaching violin and viola.

Amy Buckley – Voice

Amy received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Connecticut, where her study afforded her the opportunity to train at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. She then went on to receive a Master of Music from The Juilliard School. This season Amy made her debut as Music Director at the Ivoryton Playhouse in The Hundred Dresses and starred in The Music Man as Marian Paroo with Artful Living. Credits include Cecile (The Hundred Dresses /Ivoryton Playhouse), Antonia (Man of La Mancha/Ivoryton Playhouse), Mrs. Banks (Mary Poppins/Artful Living), Sandy (I’ll Be Home for Christmas/Ivoryton Playhouse), Coach/Ms. Roosevelt (The Bully/Ivoryton Playhouse), Despina (Così fan Tutte/Pocket Opera of NY), La Fée (Cendrillon/Aspen Opera Theater), Euridice (Orfeo/Wintergreen Performing Arts Festival) and Adele (Die Fledermaus /Lincoln Center). When not performing, Amy serves as Music Director of the theater program at Walsh Intermediate School in Branford and Vocal Music Leader at Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Society in Madison. Amy is a member of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing).

Ling-Fei Kang – Oboe & English Horn

A native of Taiwan, oboist Ling-Fei Kang has performed as chamber musician and soloist nationally and internationally, including recitals with Oboe Duo Agosto at the conferences of the Asian Double Reed Association in Bangkok, Thailand, and the International Double Reed Society in Redlands, California and Tokyo, Japan.  She served as Professor of Oboe at the Festival Eleazar de Carvalho in Fortaleza, Brazil and taught master class at University of Southern Mississippi, Univeristy of South Alabama, Georgia State University and University of Alabama. She is also an experienced educator and teaches oboe at The Loomis Chaffee School, Miss Porter School, Renbrook School and Simsbury High School in Connecticut. Ms. Kang graduated with the Prix avec grande distinction from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal and also earned an Artist Diploma from The Hartt School, University of Hartford. Her principal teachers include Humbert Lucarelli and Bernard Jean.

Corey Johnson

Corey Johnson – Violin & Viola

Corey has been playing violin since 2003 and teaching since 2013. She is classically trained and has studied with the Hartford Symphony’s Jaroslaw Lis, who received a master’s degree from the Yale School of Music. Corey has extensive experience playing in ensembles, namely the quartet setting. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2017. Corey aims to make her lessons as fun as possible while still focusing on the core technical aspects of violin playing. She has advanced piano skills and sometimes accompanies her students in lessons. She loves to find or arrange music that her students enjoy playing.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 30 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 visit www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

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Siegrist Attends RSD 17 Convocation

State Rep. Bob Siegrist addressed RSD 17’s Convocation on Aug. 29

AREAWIDE — On Tuesday, Aug. 29, State Rep. Robert Siegrist was joined by the Superintendent of School, Howard J. Thiery III along with administrators and school staff in attending the RSD17 District Convocation held at Haddam-Killingworth High School.

The event signified the official start of the 2017 school year and included special events like staff recognition, as well as opportunities to bring together all staff and administrators as a community of professionals.

Rep. Siegrist, a Haddam-Killingworth High School graduate class of 2001 said, “Investing in our schools and our students is a benefit to the entire 36th district community, and I was happy to attend this kickoff to the 2017 school year. The future of our children begins with a quality education and I am so grateful for our dedicated staff and thankful for all that they do to ensure that our students succeed.”

“I wish the students and staff a successful school year and if the kids need anything that they could reach out to me,” Rep. Siegrist added.

Siegrist represents the 36th District communities of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam.

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Deep River Public Library to Join Bibliomation

Deep River Library building at 150 Main Street, Deep River

DEEP RIVER — Coming in October, the Deep River Public Library will be joining Bibliomation, Connecticut’s largest library consortium. This is exciting news for our patrons, who will gain access to materials from a network of 82 libraries.

Deep River patrons will benefit from sharing technology and resources, including the ease of placing online holds and reserving items from within the consortium of libraries, some of which are large enough to have specialized collections.

For more information, visit http://deepriverlibrary.accountsupport.com and click on the monthly calendar, 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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‘Nurse Jackie’s’ Stephen Wallem Leads in, ‘I Hate Musicals: The Musical’ at Ivoryton

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

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

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

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

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

Reiss, who is writer and producer for the long running TV show, The Simpsons, also created the animated series The Critic; the webtoon Queer Duck and worked on the screenplays for Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs; Horton Hears a Who!; The Simpsons: The Movies; and, My Life In Ruins. Ivoryton audiences turned out in droves in the June 2013 for his hilarious play, I’m Connecticut, which was a huge popular and critical success and Comedy is Hard in September of 2014 with Micky Dolenz and Joyce DeWitt.

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

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

Tickets are $50 for adults, $45 for seniors, $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

 

Picture – Stephen Wallem*

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It’s ‘First Friday’ Tonight! Come Celebrate ‘Taste of Chester’

Joel Gargano is opening Grano Restaurant in Chester in the fall.

CHESTER — Raw oysters, brick over pizza slices, heirloom tomatoes with ricotta and basil, wine and beer tastings, ice cream cones, free drinks and more will be offered by downtown eateries First Friday, Sept. 1 from 5 to 8 p.m.

The first annual Taste of Chester will even include tastings by Grano Restaurant, which isn’t opening until later this fall in the former brick bank building on Main Street. Outside the building, owner Joel Gargano will be serving heirloom tomatoes and marinated roasted cauliflower.

At Otto’s, slices of brick-oven pizza will be $2 while River Tavern will be offering $1 drinks. The Chester package Store will be doing wine and beer tastings and the Pattaconk Bar and Grill will also offer tastings of any beer on tap and, at its ice cream window, any cone for $1.50

Outside the L&E, the restaurant will be serving oysters on the half shell for $1 each and Thai Riverside will give a drink away with each entrée.

Meanwhile, all the shops and galleries will be open until 8 p.m. with art openings, new lines of merchandise and specials plus wine and treats

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Salt Marsh Opera Presents ‘Opera in the Park’ Tonight in Old Saybrook

Sarah Nordin

OLD SAYBROOK — Salt Marsh Opera presents their annual event of well-known opera selections and musical theatre, “Opera in the Park,” on Friday, Sept. 1, at 6:30 p.m. on Old Saybrook Town Green, adjacent to the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main Street.

Bring family and friends, blankets and chairs, and even relax with a picnic dinner.

Professional performers Sarah Nordin, mezzo-soprano and Tyler Putnam, bass will delight you with glorious music under the stars.

Nordin has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, toured Japan, and the Geneva Light Opera Company.

Tyler Putnam

Putnam has appeared with Opera Omaha, St. Petersburg Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and the Little Opera Theatre of New York.

This event is free, but a $10 donation is suggested to cover expenses.

Rain date is Saturday, Sept. 2, at 6:30 p.m.

For additional information, visit www.saltmarshopera.org

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Final Days to See ‘Saturday Night Fever’ at Ivoryton Playhouse

Michael Notardonato plays ‘disco king wannabe’ Tony.

IVORYTON — Put on your “Boogie Shoes” and get ready for Saturday Night Fever, one of the most loved dance stories of all time at Ivoryton Playhouse.

The year is 1979 and in Brooklyn, New York, Tony Manero, a young man with a dead-end job and an extraordinary ability to dance, has only one ambition in life … to become the disco king. When he meets Stephanie, who also dreams of a world beyond Brooklyn, they decide to train together for a dance competition and their lives begin to change forever.

Based on the 1977 film that became a cultural phenomenon, the electrifying score is packed with legendary hits from the Bee Gees including the classics: “Stayin’ Alive,” “Night Fever,” “Jive Talking,” “You Should Be Dancing” and “How Deep is Your Love?”

Caroline Lellouche plays aspiring dancer Stephanie.

Originally based on Nik Cohn’s 1975 New York Magazine article, “Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night,” this stage adaptation premiered in the West End in 1998 at the London Palladium, and then at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre Oct. 21, 1999, playing 27 previews and 501 regular performances before closing Dec. 30, 2000.

Almost all of the songs from the original movie sound track are included in the stage musical. The album remained 24 weeks on the top of the U.S. album charts and stayed until March 1980 on the charts. In the UK, the album also achieved first place for 18 weeks and is one of the most successful movie sound tracks ever. In 1979, it won a Grammy as Album of the Year. In 2003 it reached #131 of Rolling Stone’s “500 best albums of all time”.

The production stars Michael Notardonato* as Tony and Caroline Lellouche* as Stephanie. Lellouche was seen last year in Ivoryton’s production of Chicago. Notardonato is reprising the role of Tony, which he has performed twice previously to critical acclaim.

The production is directed and choreographed by Todd Underwood and musical directed by Mike Morris, with set design by Martin Marchitto, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Lisa Bebey.

Be advised that Saturday Night Fever, in similar fashion to the movie, contains adult language and situations.

Saturday Night Fever opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse Aug. 9 and runs through Sept. 3. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Additional matinee performances on Saturday, Aug. 19, at 2 p.m. and Sept. 2, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $50 for adults; $45 for seniors; $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting www.ivorytonplayhouse.org

(Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

Photographs courtesy of Ivoryton Playhouse

*denotes member of Actors Equity

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Glenn Close to Receive 2nd Annual Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award at Tonight’s Annual Gala


OLD SAYBROOK —
Acclaimed actress Glenn Close has been named the recipient of the 2nd annual Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award. The award, given by the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, is bestowed yearly upon an individual who embodies the spirit, independence, and character of the legendary actress.

The award will be presented to Close at the organization’s annual Summer Gala on Saturday, Aug. 26.

Close has been nominated for six Academy Awards, won three Tonys and three Emmys, and advocates for mental health issues.  She made her feature film debut in The World According to Garp, for which she received an Oscar nomination. She was subsequently Oscar-nominated for The Big Chill, The Natural, Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons and Albert Nobbs.  For the latter, she was also a producer, co-wrote the screenplay and composed the lyrics for the Golden Globe nominated theme song, “Lay Your Head Down.”

Close won two consecutive Emmys along with a Golden Globe Award, and three SAG nominations for her portrayal of ‘Patty Hewes’ on Damages. She won a third Emmy for her title role performance in Serving in Silence: the Margarethe Cammermeyer Story (for which she also received a Peabody Award as executive producer).

In 1974, Close made her professional, theatre, and Broadway debut in The Phoenix Theatre’s Love for Love, directed by Harold Prince. Over her forty-three year career, she has always returned to the theater, receiving Tony Awards for Death and the Maiden, The Real Thing and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Sunset Boulevard, as well as an Obie Award for The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs. Last spring, Close made her London-West End debut in a new production of Sunset Boulevard, for which she won a London Evening Standard Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award. She is presently starring, to great acclaim, in that same production, on Broadway.

Close’s decision to join the acting profession in part stems from viewing one of the most famous and first ever television interviews with Katharine Hepburn, conducted by Dick Cavett, the inaugural Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award Winner.  Hepburn became an inspiration to Close and Hepburn welcomed this role, finding small ways to support Close through communications and appearances at events honoring Close.

The Aug. 26 Gala at the Kate will take place on the historic Old Saybrook Town Green. The event begins at 6 pm with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails under the tent.  Dinner and dessert by Max Catering will be complemented by live and silent auctions as well as remarks celebrating Close and another tremendous year of arts and culture at “The Kate.“ The Kate will then turn the party up a notch, filling the dance floor with current tunes and crowd favorites and dancers/instructors from the Fred Astaire – Old Saybrook Dance Studio will perform and join the party.

During the event, Close will receive the award, a graceful statuette sculpted in the likeness of Hepburn by Kimberly Monson, an artist and faculty member of the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts.

Numerous sponsorship levels are available, which include a variety of benefits, visibility, and the possibility to meet and greet with Close. The event’s top sponsor may participate in the awarding of the Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award to Close.

Visit http://thekate.org/events/2017KateGala/ for sponsorship details or to purchase tickets.  For more information contact Dana Foster at dana.foster@thekate.org

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is a non-profit performing arts organization located in an historic theatre/town hall on Main Street in Old Saybrook. Originally opened in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Center has been renovated with public funds from the Town of Old Saybrook and donations raised by the Trustees of the Center. It includes a 250-seat theatre and a small museum honoring Katharine Hepburn, Old Saybrook’s most celebrated resident. As befits an organization born of such a public/private partnership, programming is eclectic, offering something for all ages and income levels on the Connecticut shore and in the lower river valley.

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Essex Zoning Gives Unanimous Approval to Proposed Waterfront Marina, Restaurant

Rendering of the Essex Boat Works – Carlson Landing Building

ESSEX — Essex Boat Works, LLC and Carlson Landing LLC received a unanimous vote of approval on the proposed application for the Carlson Landing Project at the Essex Town Zoning Commission Meeting held on Monday, Aug. 21.

At the meeting, three applications were approved:  an application for a Special Exception to construct a new building for marina and accessory restaurant along with accessory site work; an application for Special Exception to allow a restaurant as an accessory use as a marina located at a lot known as Assessor’s Map 47, Lot 21-1, Main Street, Essex; an application for Coastal Area Management site plan review for vacant property known as Assessors Map 47, Lot 21-1.

Diana Gregory, Controller at Essex Boat Works, commented, “The approval of the Carlson Landing, LLC project confirms the vision that we and our community members have for our town.  We are grateful for all of the support that we have received from our community and look forward to sharing our new waterfront marina and restaurant with our local residents and visitors from out of town.  We thank the Essex Zoning Commission for their work and cooperation with the many partners on the project to ensure the application met the requirements of the town.”

Christopher Dobbs, Executive Director of the Connecticut River Museum, added, “The Museum is pleased to have a new neighbor.  We feel that many of our concerns were addressed throughout the public hearing processes and look forward to working with Essex Boat Works in the future.”

A.J. Shea Construction of Essex, CT has been contracted for the Carlson Landing project and expects to break ground in the coming month upon the final written approval and as permitting allows.  The 7000 square foot, two-story marina/office building and restaurant is the first restaurant to be developed on the Essex waterfront in over 20 years.   The restaurant, accessed by Main Street will feature waterfront indoor and outdoor dining with an occupancy of 55.

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Essex Corinthian YC Supports Leukemia Cup Regatta This Weekend


ESSEX –
The Essex Corinthian Yacht Club is proud to join Duck Island Yacht Club, North Cove Yacht Club and Brewer Pilot’s Point Marina in supporting the 2017 Leukemia Cup Regatta in Eastern Long Island Sound.

The annual Leukemia Cup Regatta will be held on Aug. 25 and 26, consisting of a Skippers Meeting and cocktail reception on Friday, Aug. 25 at 6 p.m. at the North Cove Yacht Club in Old Saybrook, followed by the regatta in Eastern Long Island Sound on Saturday, Aug. 26, concluding with a post-race party with live music at Brewer Pilot’s Point Marina that same evening.

The Leukemia Cup Regatta is the perfect way to combine the joy of sailing and raising funds for the lifesaving work of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Sailors who enter their boats in the regatta are eligible to win great prizes, including a chance to participate in the Fantasy Sail in Annapolis this coming fall with Gary Jobson.

Jobson is the National Leukemia Cup Chairman, as well as being a world-renowned America’s Cup sailor and sports commentator. He became chairman in 1993, and 10 years later, was diagnosed with lymphoma. In his own words he “became a beneficiary of the research advances I had helped support”, and is cancer-free today.

The Leukemia Cup Regatta is an important event in support of blood cancer research, as well as all related areas of assistance for patients and their families.

The post-race party is open to the interested public: everyone, no matter whether you are a sailor or not, is invited to attend and find out more on how we can help support the lifesaving work of LLS. Party tickets are available online.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the Leukemia Cup, refer to the contact information below.

For more information, to register for the 2017 Connecticut Leukemia Cup Regatta on Aug. 26, or to purchase tickets to the Post-Race Party at Brewer Pilot’s Point Marina in Westbrook, visit: www.leukemiacup.org/ct or email: mailto:leukemiacup2017@essexcorinthian.org

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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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A la Carte: When it’s Humid and Hot, Salmorejo Hits the Spot

Salmorejo

Yes, it has been humid and hot, hot, hot.

Usually at this point in August, I am sort of done with the beach. Last Saturday I went out to dinner with friends and to see a movie (“Wind River” is terrific. Don’t miss it.). Because we  had decided to go to see the movie in Mystic, although it is not our favorite destination cinema hall (don’t like the recliners that don’t “recline” our legs), we had wine at my condo before the movie.

Nancy mentioned that I was pretty tan and had I been at the beach that afternoon. “No,” I explained, “this was pretty much left over from my four days at the New Jersey shore. Anyway, it was too hot to go to the beach,.”

As September begins to beckon, I think about cooking. Sure, I cook during the summer, but I grill meats, vegetables and desserts on my Weber, prepping salad and eating inside. Of course, produce is gorgeous this time of year and, finally, there are tomatoes.

Last week I stopped at Becky’s in Waterford and bought tomatoes, beets and a pint of those yellow cherry tomatoes. Maybe they are called Sun Gold. In any case, I ate the full pint by the time I got off I-95.

Last night I looked over my new issue of Food & Wine, the issue about Spain. I looked up the recipes and found one for a tomato soup. It sounded divine. I had enough tomatoes to double the recipe. It should be served cold. I love cold soup, especially when the weather is still sticky and hot, so I would happily eat it for a couple of days. And the recipe uses no heat, just a blender.

Salmorejo

From Food & Wine, September, 2017

Yield: serves 4

2 and one-half pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, cored and chopped
One-half pound rustic white bread, crust removed, cubed (2 and one-half cups)
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
One-quarter cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving, if you like
Kosher salt
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
One-half cup chopped serrano ham (prosciutto will do nicely)

In a blender, puree the chopped tomatoes with the bread, garlic, vinegar and one-half cup of water at high speed until very smooth. about 1 minute. With the blender on, drizzle in the one-quarter cup of oil until incorporated. Season with salt, Cover and refrigerate until the soup is cold, at least 30 minutes.

Divide the soup among 4 bowls. Garnish with chopped eggs and ham, then drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Make ahead: The soup can be refrigerated for up; to 2 days.

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‘Rock Solid Alibi’ Give Final Concert in ‘Rhythm by the Rails’ Series at Essex Steam Train, Wednesday

‘Rock Solid Alibi’ will play the final concert in the ‘Rhythm by the Rails’ series at the Essex Steam Train location.

ESSEX — There’s “Rhythm by the Rails” this Wednesday, August 23 at 6:30 p.m., as Essex Steam Train and Riverboat presents their final concert of the summer lawn concert series at the Essex Steam Train. Bring your blanket or lawn chair and cooler and come enjoy the music of Rock Solid Alibi who will play music from the 60s,70s, 80s, and 90s.  Admission is free.

This event will be held rain or shine.  The concert will be moved indoors to River Valley Junction if it rains. 

Food will be available at the Trackside Café for the duration of the show at 1 Railroad Ave., Essex, CT.

Follow signs for parking in main lot.

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Painting Party for Alzheimer’s Research to be Held This Afternoon at Chester Village West

CHESTER — Love to paint in a fun group setting? Want to support critical Alzheimer’s research?

Join the Chester Village West independent seniors’ community to paint for this cause on Monday, Aug. 21, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. With guidance from award-winning local artist Gloria Nilsson, participants will paint a beautiful floral arrangement. Light refreshments will be served.

Per-person donation for the event is $35; proceeds will support the Alzheimer’s Association of Connecticut. Seating is limited. Call (860) 526-6010 to reserve your space. Chester Village West is located at 317 W. Main St., Chester, Conn. 06412.

Editor’s Note: 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. Since the community was founded more than 25 years ago, Chester Village West residents have directed and embraced active learning. 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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St. John’s Hosts 75th Annual Rummage Sale, Oct. 20 & 21

ESSEX — Once again it’s time to come down to Essex and ‘RUMMAGE!”   Visit the 75th Annual RUMMAGE SALE at St. John’s Episcopal Church and find the treasures you have long been seeking.

The Sale will be on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 20, and 21, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  It is a huge sale – this year there are lots of excellent furniture, small appliances, clothing – modern and vintage, books, etc., including hundreds of items under $10.

Come across a real fashion find in the Boutique.  “Essex Attic” has exceptional treasures and of course there is really cool costume jewelry.  The Silent Auction is just remarkable.

Cider and donuts will be available, and on Saturday there will also be a bake sale, plus hot dogs.

The Church is located at the corner of Main & Cross Streets, Essex, CT 06426 – opposite the park. For more information call the church office at:  860-767-8095

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Last Day to Enjoy 116th Hamburg Fair; See the ‘Ox Pull’ at 9am

The carousel is always a popular attraction.

LYME — Midway Carnival rides, animal exhibits, food concessions, pony rides, oxen-pull, crafts, kids games and top local musicians are among the favorite attractions for visitors attending the annual Hamburg Fair, now celebrating its 116th year.  Hosted by The Lyme Grange, the fair takes place rain or shine Friday Aug. 18, 5 to 10:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 19, 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 209 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 1 Sterling City Rd., Lyme, Conn. (located at the intersection of Rte. 156 and across from Reynolds’ Subaru.)

General admission to the fair is $7 per person, children up to age 12 are free.   Senior Citizens and Active Service men and women $5 per person (ID required).  Tickets are available for purchase at the entrance and free parking is offered on and nearby the site.

The three-day, family-friendly fair showcases many agricultural fair traditions including entries and exhibits for farm, animal, crafts, fruits, vegetables and more.  The intimate size of the fair makes for easy navigation, parking and crowd control.

Young fairgoers will enjoy children’s games offered on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., which will include a watermelon-eating contest, face-painting, three-legged race and prize winning contests.  Visitors are invited to watch the traditional pony- and horse-pulls on Saturday at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. and the oxen-pull on Sunday morning at 9 a.m.

Free on-stage music talent and entertainment is a growing Hamburg Fair highlight.  From country to pop, fiddlers to funk, there is something for everyone who enjoys live music.  The fair kicks off Friday evening music with performances in the amphitheater from country music favorites Katie Perkins and Branded.

See many local young artists hosted by Music Now and Nightingale’s Showcase on Saturday afternoon including; Connected, Sophie Spaner, Jake Kulak and Braiden Sunshine.  Saturday evening features local headliners Plywood Cowboy followed by Shiny Lapel Trio.  Sunday afternoon concludes with the tradition of bluegrass and fiddling by Eight Mile River Band and the Old Time Fiddlers.

The full music entertainment line-up is as follows:

Friday

  • 6:00-8:00pm: Katie Perkins
  • 8:30-10:30pm: Branded

Saturday

  • 1:00pm -5:45pm: Music Now/Nightingale’s Showcase – Up and coming local talent
    • 1:00-1:10: Rossi Sisters
    • 1:20-1:40: Galen Donovan
    • 1:45- 2:05: Chris Gregor
    • 2:10-2:30: Ciara Klimaszewski
    • 2:35-2:55: Chloe Morgan
    • 3:00-3:20: Sophie Spaner
    • 3:25-3:45: Greta Stroebel
    • 3:55-4:30: Conn3cted
    • 4:45-5:45: Jake Kulak and the Lowdown with special guest  Braiden Sunshine
  • 6:00-8:00pm: Plywood Cowboy
  • 8:30- 10:30pm: Shiny Lapel Trio

Sunday

  • 12:00-1:30pm: BlueGrass Duo
  • 1:45-3:00pm: Eight Mile River Band
  • 3:00-6:00pm: The Old Time Fiddlers

Each year the Hamburg Fair honors a cherished community member.  The 116th Hamburg Fair is dedicated in memory of Marita Knutson Rand, who proudly supported her community as a member and secretary of the Lyme Grange #147 and served as Hamburg Fair Committee Chairman and gatekeeper for over 30 years.  Knutson Rand was well known in the community through her involvement in Lyme Girl Scouts, Sunday school teaching at the First Congregational Church of Lyme, American Legion Auxiliary, Lymes’ General Store as a partner and Old Lyme Pharmacy Gift as shop manager for 35 years.

Highlighted sponsors of the Hamburg Fair include Reynolds’ Subaru, Hamilton Point Investments, GeoMatrix, Essex Savings Bank, Connected Systems, Guilford Savings Bank, Bogaert Construction, Middlesex Hospital, Lyme Public Hall Association, Wind River Environmental, Maddy Mattson Coldwell Banker, Block Design Build, Sapia Builders, Ring’s End, New England Power Equipment and Tiffany Built.

Visit www.hamburgfair.org for fair schedule, exhibit entry, and more information.  The 116th Hamburg Fair is hosted by Lyme Grange #147 and organized by many local volunteers to build community relationships and create lasting family memories.

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Public Invited to Explore I-Park This Afternoon at Free Open Studios Event


East Haddam 
— The public is invited to explore the grounds of I-Park and meet this month’s resident artists at a free Open Studios on Sunday, Aug. 20, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the I-Park campus in East Haddam.

The 450-acre artists’ retreat is generally closed to visitors to give the resident artists undisturbed time to work on their creative endeavors. But once a month, at the conclusion of each four-week residency, visitors are invited to meet the artists in their studios, attend a presentation featuring some of their work, enjoy complimentary refreshments, and stroll some of the trails winding through I-Park’s bucolic, art-filled campus.

Studios will only be open from 2 to 3:30 p.m., so guests are advised to arrive early so they have enough time to visit all six studios before the 3:30 p.m. presentation. A reception follows, with refreshments courtesy of On the Rocks restaurant.

  • Lindsey Drager, Michigan: Creative Writing
  • Azita Moradkhani, Massachusetts/Iran: Visual Arts
  • Anna Louise Richardson, Australia: Visual Arts
  • Harry Stafylakis, New York: Music Composition/Sound Art
  • Octavio Vazquez, New York/Spain: Music Composition/Sound Art
  • Senbo Yang, California/China: Landscape/Ecological Design

Admission to Open Studios is free, but visitors are encouraged to make reservations in advance by going to i-park.org and clicking on the events tab.

For additional information, write events@i-park.org or call 860-873-2468.

I-­Park is an artists-in-residence program offering fully-funded, four-week residencies in visual arts, architecture, moving image, music composition/sound art, creative writing and landscape/ecological design. Since its founding in 2001, I-­Park has sponsored more than 800 residencies, and has developed cross-­disciplinary projects of cultural significance and brought them into the public domain.

I-­Park’s 450-acre campus encourages dialogue between the natural and built environments, and has been the setting for exhibitions, performances, symposia, and programs that facilitate artistic collaboration.

For more information, visit i-­park.org.

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Big Band Event at Brewers Essex Island Marina Today Benefits Local Charities

Bob Hughes plays his saxophone on the dock at Brewers Essex Island Marina.

ESSEX — Saxophonist and band leader Bob Hughes is inspired by views of the Connecticut River at Brewers Essex Island Marina, where he and his 16-piece orchestra, “The Bob Hughes Big Band,” are scheduled to perform on Sunday, Aug. 20, from 5 to 8 p.m.  Billed as an “Island Swing,” the fundraising event is sponsored by the Essex Council of the Knights of Columbus of Our Lady of Sorrows Church.

The Bob Hughes Big Band will present a fundraising ‘Island Swing,’ Aug. 20.

Hughes, a resident of Essex, has had a lifelong love affair with big band and swing music.  In addition to the rare and vintage saxophone that has accompanied him for more than 70 years on his musical journey, Hughes is proud of his library of arrangements that he has used to educate himself in the styles of such greats as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Artie Shaw and his personal favorite, Stan Kenton.

View from Brewers Essex Island Marina, where the Bob Hughes Big Band will give a concert, Aug. 20.

Hughes has led his Essex-based band for 15 years and is extremely proud of the exceptional local musicians that have bonded under his leadership.  Together, they are helping to keep top-level swing music alive in this part of New England.

In addition to outstanding music and dancing, attendees of the Aug. 20 “Island Swing” event, which will run from 5 to 8 p.m., will enjoy an evening of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres supplemented by a buffet, wine, beer and soft drinks.  Tickets are $50.  All proceeds will support local charities.

For tickets or more information, call Ed McCaffrey at 860-575-4694 or visit http://www.olos-sxorg/2017_knightsofcolumbus_islandswing.pdf

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Let’s Roar On! Free Concert Benefits ‘Soft Foot Alliance’ at Centerbrook Meeting House Tonight

Michael McDermott will lead a talented group of musicians in a free concert, Aug. 20, to benefit The Soft Foot Alliance, which is working to achieve a sustainable co-existence between humans and wildlife in and around the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.

CENTERBROOK — On Sunday, Aug. 20, at 7 p.m., join Ivoryton Playhouse favorite Michael McDermott and his talented group of musicians at a free concert to raise awareness and funds for The Soft Foot Alliance. The evening will be filled with songs of hope and promise – from “Fields of Gold” to “Here Comes the Sun”; from Celtic culture and heritage through American folk traditions to new works.

McDermott will be joined by Kathleen Mulready, another Ivoryton Playhouse alum who starred in Finian’s Rainbow and shared the stage with Michael in The Irish… and How They Got That Way; also Nancy Herzig on flute,  David Jarkey on piano, Susan Mazer on guitar, Celeste Cumming on cello and the wonderful Lorelei Chang will dance.

This painting of Cecil The Lion by David Roelofs will be up for auction at The Soft Foot Alliance Benefit Concert being held Aug. 20.

McDermott has been seen many times at the Playhouse – most recently in The Bells of Dublin: The Carol of the Bells. He was moved by the story of Cecil the Lion and began a correspondence with Brent Stapelkamp, who lives and works with the animals and people in and around the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.

Stapelkamp formed The Soft Foot Alliance – a new Trust dedicated to improving the lives and landscapes of people living on the boundary of Hwange National Park – that is working to achieve a sustainable co-existence with wildlife. Lion, hyena, elephant, baboon and honey badger are the main focal species of the Trust’s work as they impact people’s livelihoods on the park’s boundaries.

“By designing actions that, firstly, improve the lives and the livelihoods of the people living with these animals, and secondly, promote the conservation of the animal, we hope to achieve co-existence between the two.” says Stapelkamp.

The concert will take place at Centerbrook Meeting House, 51 Main St, Centerbrook, CT 06409 at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 20. There will also be a silent auction with some special prizes, including a portrait of Cecil painted by artist, David Roelofs.

The concert is free but seating is limited. Call 860-707-0732 to reserve your tickets today and join the campaign to support a sustainable future for the people and animals of Zimbabwe.

Visit The Soft Foot Alliance at www.softfootalliance.com

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Deep River Congregational Church Hosts Rummage Sale & Flea Market Today

All the fun of the Flea Market can be enjoyed Saturday, Aug 19, along with Main Rummage Sale.  Rummage Pre-Sale takes place Friday.

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Congregational Church, 1 Church St., Deep River, has been preparing for its Annual Flea Market and Rummage Sale which will be held on Aug. 19.  
The Flea Market, which is held on Marvin Field and on the grounds around the church, runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. with over 80 vendors, who bring a wide variety of items to sell, from antiques to hand crafted pieces.  There will be a variety of fresh baked goods for sale, prepared by church members and friends.  
Refreshments may also be purchased throughout the day: coffee and doughnuts in the morning and hamburgers, hotdogs, and side dishes throughout the day. There are only a few 20 x 20 foot spaces available for $30, and you can reserve yours by contacting the church office for a reservation form and map.
 
The Rummage Sale Committee has been collecting items since June for our Rummage Sale during the same weekend as our Flea Market.  It will be a two-day event running from Aug. 18 through Aug. 19.   All are invited to a Rummage Pre-Sale on Friday, Aug. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. for a $5 admission fee.  The Main Rummage Sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19. 
For further information, contact the church office at (860-526-5045or office.drcc@snet.net) or check out our church web site at www.deeprivercc.org.
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Chester Village West Hosts Blood Drive Today, 1:30 to 6:30pm

CHESTER – Chester Village West, an independent senior living community, will host a Red Cross Blood Drive on Friday, Aug. 18 from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m.  Chester Village West is located at 317 W. Main St., Chester, Conn. 06412.

To schedule your appointment, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Chester Village West employees regularly participate in the blood drive. Old Saybrook resident Richard Mulvihill, one of the community’s security guards, has donated more than two gallons (16 units) of blood over the past 18 years. According to the American Red Cross, Mulvihill’s blood donations have helped to save the lives of more than 48 people. A donor since age 18, Richard has been giving valuable ‘double red cell’ donations three times per year since 1999, when he joined the Old Saybrook Fire Department as a volunteer fireman.

“I feel great about helping people this way,” said Mulvihill, who is Type O Positive. According to the American Red Cross, double red cell donations from Type O donors and donors with Rh-negative blood types play a very important role in maintaining blood supply levels. Double red cell donation is done with the help of an apheresis machine, which collects the red cells but returns most of the plasma and platelets to the donor. “Because I get my platelets and plasma back, I don’t feel as drained afterwards,” he added.

Other Chester Village West employees who regularly donate blood include Marketing Director and Westbrook resident Sara Philpott, Director of Operations and Deep River resident Jim Jake, Marketing Assistant and Deep River resident Brenda Kollmer, Transportation Coordinator and Killingworth resident Priscilla Soucy and Debra Millspaugh, Accounting Manager and Deep River resident.

“My father’s life was saved by a blood transfusion,” Philpott said. “Most of us don’t think about the importance of maintaining the blood bank until we have a personal crisis. Our blood banks are always in need of more donors. It’s such a small thing to do that can literally save the life of another. It makes me feel good to know that my donation can help someone when they need it most.”

Editor’s Note: 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. Since the community was founded more than 25 years ago, Chester Village West residents have directed and embraced active learning. 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 atchestervillagewestlcs.com; visit the community on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChesterVillageWest.

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Courtney Holds Town Hall Meeting This Evening at VRHS

Representative Joe Courtney

DEEP RIVER  — Rep. Joe Courtney will hold a town hall meeting for constituents of the Second Congressional District at 6 p.m. this evening at Valley Regional High School, 256 Kelsey Hill Rd., Deep River.

All are welcome. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

There will be a wide ranging discussion on issues such as the successful effort to stop the ‘Kenyon Bypass’ passenger rail tracks, higher education affordability, the future of Social Security and Medicare, and the thriving manufacturing economy in eastern Connecticut.

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Essex Park & Rec. Host Summer Concert Series, ‘Blues on the Rocks’ on Stage Tonight

‘Blues on the Rocks’ conclude the Essex Park & Rec.Concert series.

ESSEX — Essex Park and Recreation is excited to be able to offer another great set of bands this year for their 2017 Summer Concert Series.  Hosted on alternating Tuesdays at The Ivoryton Green and Wednesdays at The Essex Main Street Park, concerts take place at 6:30 p.m. from June 27 through Aug. 16.

Admission is free to all.

The concert series concludes with a performance from Blues on the Rocks, bringing their dynamic and enthusiastic mix of Blues, R&B, Motown, and Rock sure to get you up and dancing to Essex Main Street Park on Aug. 16.

For more information on the Summer Concert Series or Park and Rec. programs, visit https://www.facebook.com/SXParkandRec. You may also contact Park & Rec. by email at recreation@essexct.gov or call the office at 860-767-4340 x148.

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Shoreline Bus Schedule Change Announced Effective Aug. 14

OLD SAYBROOK — 9 Town Transit is planning schedule changes to its Rte. 1 bus service between Old Saybrook and Madison.  The changes, which reduce the number of daily trips by two, begin Monday, Aug. 14.

The district began a public comment process in March in response to reductions in subsidies from the Connecticut Department of Transportation.  Through the process, 9 Town Transit was able to identify trips that impacted the least amount of people.  Still, as many as 50 people’s daily travel will be impacted by these changes.

“We understand the impact these changes have on our community,” says Joseph Comerford, Executive Director of 9 Town Transit, “but when our subsidies are reduced, we must cut back service to remain financially stable.”

Comerford says the district pushed off the changes as long as possible, while they worked with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and legislators in an attempt to secure the necessary funding.  With a new fiscal year beginning, the district felt it could no longer delay the changes.

Additional information and schedules are available at www.9towntransit.com or by calling 860-510-0429.

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CT River Museum Hosts ‘Conquer the Current’ Regatta Today; Benefits Museum’s Scholarship Fund

Calling all paddlers! Conquer the Current challenges you to row from Haddam to Essex in support of education scholarship programs at the Connecticut River Museum. Photo by Tom Walsh, Shoreline Aerial Photography, Connecticut River Museum Collection.

ESSEX — The Connecticut River Museum’s first downriver paddle regatta to benefit the Museum’s education scholarship fund will take place Sunday, Aug. 13, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The Regatta is open to all paddle craft- canoes, kayaks, stand up paddleboards and rowboats.

The nine-mile race will start at Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam and finish in front of the Connecticut River Museum in Essex. Paddlers will haul out at the Essex town boat launch and transportation will be provided back up to Eagle Landing State Park.

There will also be activities on the Museum lawn throughout the day, including stand-up paddle board demonstrations by Paddleworks of Clinton and a family fun paddle parade in Essex Harbor at 12 p.m. Refreshments will be available from Porky Pete’s, Deep River Snacks, and Cannoli’s on the Run.

Pre-registration is $30 per paddler with an additional $70 fundraising goal or $110 registration fee day of event. Prizes will be awarded for race winners and top individual and team fundraisers. All proceeds from the event will go directly toward supporting the Museum’s education scholarship fund.  

Connecticut River Museum’s first annual ‘Conquer the Current’ Regatta takes place Aug. 13.

During the 2016/17 school year, 4,000 school children from across the state of Connecticut received invaluable hands-on history and environmentally-based programs at the Museum and in their classrooms.  The scholarship program allowed for nearly 1,000 of these students to receive free or reduced admission, creating invaluable opportunities for students who might not otherwise have this experience.   

For more information about this program, visit ctrivermuseum.org or contact the Connecticut River Museum at 860.767.8269 or via email at esistare@ctrivermuseum.org. The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for children age 6-12, free for children under 6.  This year a recreation of Adriaen Block’s the ONRUST is at the Museum’s docks and providing special programs and public cruises.

Conquer the Current is generously sponsored by: Denali, Essex Marine Group, Family Legacy Partners, Ivory Wealth Management, Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, The Sound Runner and Deep River Snacks.

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Hike Turtle Creek Preserve This Morning with Essex Land Trust


One of the coolest places to hike on a warm summer day, is the 92-forested-acres known as Turtle Creek, owned by The Nature Conservancy. Readers have a chance to experience the hike on Saturday, Aug. 12, starting at 9 a.m.

The creek winds through extensive wetlands to the south to a narrow strip of beach along the Connecticut River. Higher ground to the north borders South Cove in Essex. This easy to moderate hike will be led by Essex resident and naturalist Phil Miller.

Turtle Creek goes back a long way; Native Americans drew water from the spring off the main trail. Later, Hayden Point, named for a prominent 19th-century Essex family, was used as grazing land. The pond was created for ice production.

The bulk of the preserve was donated to the Nature Conservancy by ex-Governor Chester Bowles.

Leashed dogs are welcome on this hike. Access is off Watrous Point Rd. (Rte.154), Old Saybrook. Bad weather cancels.

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