July 24, 2016

Enjoy Opera Favorites at Free ‘Opera in the Park’ in Saybrook, Sunday Evening

Opera_at_the_Park

OLD SAYBROOK – Salt Marsh Opera’s free concert, “Opera in the Park,” will take place on Sunday, July 24 (rain date July 25) at 6:30 p.m. on the Old Saybrook Town Green adjacent to the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main St.

World famous singers – tenor Brian Cheney and soprano Sarah Callinan – with accompanist Elena Zamolodchikova will sing opera favorites.

Grab your friends and family, picnic blankets and lawn chairs and get ready for a mesmerizing evening under a canopy of stars.  Arrive early for best seating. The concert will conclude at 8 p.m.

Opera in the Park is sponsored by State of Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development and anonymous friends of Salt Marsh Opera residing in the Lower Connecticut River Valley.
Share

Join the Mad Hatter’s (Fundraising) Garden Party at Deep River Library, Sunday

MadHatterDEEP RIVER – The Deep River Public Library’s 2nd Annual Mad Hatter’s Garden Party will be held on Sunday, July 24 from 4 to 7 p.m. on the library lawn. There will be hors d’oeuvres, light refreshments, live music, good conversation and a teacup auction. A prize will be awarded for the best hat.

Tickets to this event are $25. All funding benefits the library garden and grounds.

For more information, call the library at 860-526-6039 during service hours.
Share

Newly Designed Marine Room Opens at Stone House Museum in Deep River

Curator Rhonda Forristall (left) and Kathy Schultz (right) stand in the Deep River Historical Society's Marine Room. All photos by Sue Wisner.

Curator Rhonda Forristall (left) and Kathy Schultz (right) stand in the Deep River Historical Society’s new Marine Room. All photos by Sue Wisner.

DEEP RIVER — It is always a challenge for the curators and trustees to come up with new exhibits to attract return and first time visitors to the Stone House Museum in Deep River and the Deep River Historical Society (DRHS).

There are tours, either a self-guided tour or with a greeter if available, of the house itself and all the history that goes with it and the many exhibits already designed.

View_of_Marine_Room

This summer the DRHS Museum is excited about their newly designed Marine Room, which demonstrates the importance of ship building and the masters of their boats pertaining specifically to Deep River’s rich history in both of these topics during the mid 1800’s.

This exhibit is a culmination of three years of preparation and planning as many items had to be cataloged and stored away. Then the actually physical restoration of the room with painting, carpentry work, artifacts displayed, paintings framed and all items labeled, completed the project for the recent Open House.

Along_DR_Waterfront

The Stone House Museum also highlights collections of the town’s industries and products. Included in this is an extensive collection of Niland cut glass, ivory products of Pratt & Read Co., WWII glider models, WWI exhibit, auger bits from Jennings Co., a display on the Lace Factory Manufacturing in Deep River and much more.

Stone_House_Museum

VailThe Stone House, pictured above, was built of local granite in 1840 and the property and house was left to the Society by Ada Southworth Munson in 1946. The rooms reflect the period of time that the family presided there including the Parlor, Living Room, and bedrooms. As one walks through the house, it is a venture back into another era and the furniture and collections are carefully preserved.

Visits to the Stone House are encouraged to view the new exhibit and also the many other interesting items on display.

Summer weekend hours are Saturday and Sunday in July, August and into mid-September from 2-4 p.m.

The Stone House Museum is located at 245 Main Street, Deep River.

Check out the Museum on Facebook, Deep River Diaries, or the DRHS website that is presently under new construction at: http://www.deepriverhistoricalsociety.org

For further information, call 860-526-1449.

Share

Letter to the Editor: Writer Names Miller ‘Newspeak’ Prize Winner for ‘Capitol Update 2016’

To the Editor:

One of my favorite books of all time is ‘1984’, by George Orwell. The protagonist of the novel works for the Ministry of Truth. It is responsible for historical revisionism, using ‘Newspeak’. The historical record always supports the party line.

I award Representative Phil Miller, the Winner of the Newspeak Prize for ‘Capitol Update 2016’. A mailing to 36th District households (Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam) authored by him. His mailing among other Newspeak items, ” no withdrawals from the Rainy Day Fund” which was emptied by a withdrawal of approximately $315 million to close the fiscal year 2015-2016 deficit, earned consideration. However, what catapulted him to First Prize was his Newspeak, that the budget fully funds past Pension Liabilities. While I grant him that these liabilities are always estimates, due to interest of bond earnings and the liabilities have been estimated worse than this in the past five years. He must be content with 2015 estimates. The total underfunding of the State’s pension liabilities is estimated to be at least $26 Billion. Given that the total State of Connecticut Budget is $20 billion, it is impossible to proclaim these past pension liabilities as fully funded. Wow, what a fine example of historical revisionism. I truly hope this matter comes up at the one debate between he and the candidate who is running against him, Bob Siegrist. But, alas, that can only happen if a question concerning this is selected.

I know Bob Siegrist very well, having worked for him during the last election to represent the 36th District. I have also attended a few meetings to discuss the State Budget with him and a few other State Representatives from the area. The Pension Liabilities were discussed before the mailing, and that is why the fully funding caught my eye. Bob Siegrist will never win the Newspeak Prize. He simply can’t speak Newspeak. He examines the Budget, researches the issues his constituents ask about and unfailingly speaks the facts, as much as is humanly possible. I will vote for Bob Siegrist in November because I appreciate knowing the facts and not Newspeak.

Sincerely,

Lynn Herlihy,
Essex.

Share

Connecticut River Artisans Making a Move to Essex, New Store Opens Aug. 1

Connecticut River Artisans new home will be at 55 Main St. in Essex.

Connecticut River Artisans new home will be at 55 Main St. in Essex.

ESSEX — Connecticut River Artisans are moving from Chester to Essex.

They will close their Chester shop at 4 Water St. at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, and reopen at their location at 55 Main St., Essex on Monday, Aug. 1.

Summer hours are Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Call for seasonal hours.

For more information, visit ctriverartisans.org or call 860.767.5457.

Share

America’s Roots and Diversity Shine at Deep River Muster

Pipers_in_step

What more striking example of the American melting pot and immigrants longing for liberty than to watch African-Americans, Asian-Americans, descendants of India, along with Americans of many generations, marching in uniforms and playing music that inspired the country during its struggle for independence in 1776?

This was the scene for two hours on Saturday as a parade of fife and drum corps stepped smartly down Main Street in a blazing mid-day sun in Deep River.

Drummer_from_LAThe roots of this tradition go back 137 years, to 1879. Officially known as the Deep River Ancient Muster, it features fife and drum corps from throughout our local region and some much farther afield. This year, one came from sea to shining sea.

The whole town, it seems, grinds to a halt for the muster. It actually began the night before with a camp-out and warm-ups at Devitt Field. Hundreds lined the streets on Saturday morning, bringing folding chairs, canopies and coolers to sustain two-plus hours in the sun. Many had a birds-eye vantage point from property or apartments high above street level.

Some were picnicking while revolutionary-era re-enacters, many in full wool uniforms, entertained them. The contrast could not have been more striking. But their resounding applause, given to every passing unit, showed appreciation and understanding.

Three_drummers_big_drums

Others walked alongside or behind the real participants, but the true stars of the show provided perhaps the finest example of America and who we truly are.  People of all generations, genders, ethnicities and sizes, marching together and clearly dedicated to ensuring the root values of America, as exemplified in these musical rituals, are carried forward.

Drummers

With more than 50 marching units participating, it’s clear that many people feel inspired to join groups whose purpose is to honor and celebrate our forebearers. Marching in 90-degree heat in full dress uniforms is one small reminder of the sacrifices required of the colonists who rebelled against their domineering mother country.

Pipers

If that isn’t moving enough, imagine the determination of a young man rolling along in his wheelchair while playing the fife. It was clear that his was not a temporary injury. What an inspiring sight he was!

There is something about the rolls and rhythms of drums and the pitch of fifes that touches a chord in the soul. Perhaps that’s the seat of man’s yearning for liberty, a most basic desire to be left alone to pursue one’s hopes and dreams in any way, so long as they do not infringe upon the rights and property of others.

Young_pipers&drummers

If the Deep River Ancient Muster is any indication, our youngest generation is full of people who will ensure that all the struggles and sacrifices of our American forefathers will continue to be honored. May their efforts strike the chords in the souls of generations yet to come and instill appreciation of those struggles.

Editor’s Note: Many participants and onlookers wore pink at the parade in honor of the late long-time First Selectman of Deep River, Dick Smith.

Share

30th Anniversary of Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival, July 30; Evening Kick-off Concert with Braiden Sunshine, July 29

The crowd settles in to enjoy the Friday night concert at the Florence Griswold Museum.

The crowd settles in to enjoy the Friday night concert at the Florence Griswold Museum.

The 30th anniversary of the Old Lyme Midsummer Festival, a summertime favorite for thousands that has now become a signature event in the lower Connecticut River Valley, takes place Friday, July 29 and Saturday, July 30. The event opens with a Kickoff Concert Friday, July 29, and follows up with daytime festivities Saturday, July 30, on Lyme Street in the historic Old Lyme village center. The Festival promotes the arts, music, and culture, drawing on Old Lyme’s history as a home to a number of artists including those in the original Lyme Art Colony.

Art exhibitions, art demonstrations, and musical performances are just part of the celebration, with specialty shopping, children’s activities, and a wide variety of food vendors rounding out the offerings.

The Midsummer Festival was first held in 1986 as a way to celebrate the local arts during the height of the summer season. Jeff Andersen, Director of the Florence Griswold Museum, approached institutional neighbors including the Lyme Art Association, the Bee & Thistle Inn, the Old Lyme Inn, and the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, to provide a festival that included art shows, a “Stars and Stripes” concert, artist demonstrations and a “Turn of the Century Fair” complete with lawn games and a Victorian ice cream cart.

Now in its 30th year, the Midsummer Festival has 13 community partners, including the Town of Old Lyme. “Even as the festival has grown in visitation and offerings, it has stayed true to its mission of highlighting the cultural identity of Old Lyme,” notes Florence Griswold Museum Director Jeff Andersen. “There is always a great mix of new events with everyone’s favorites.”

Visitors to this year’s festival will find perennial festival favorites including art sales, hands-on activities for children, a dog show, and musical performances, while enjoying new offerings including a vendor market by the Chamber of Commerce, a fashion show in a sculpture garden and a guided tour of the Town Hall’s art collection.  A full schedule of events and list of vendors can be found at OldLymeMidsummerFestival.com

Friday, July 29 festivities

Old Lyme's own Braiden Sunshine will perform in the Festival's free Kick-off Concert at the Florence Griswold Museum on Friday, July 29.

Old Lyme’s own Braiden Sunshine will perform in the Festival’s free Kick-off Concert at the Florence Griswold Museum on Friday, July 29.

The traditional kickoff concert takes place Friday, July 29, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Florence Griswold Museum. This year’s concert features The Voice sensation 16-year old singer/song writer Braiden Sunshine and his band Silver Hammer. With a national following as a semi-finalist on Season 9 of NBC’s The Voice, Sunshine brings to the stage his version of much-loved rock classics as well as his own original compositions.

Visitors can find their spot on the lawn along the Lieutenant River and enjoy an evening of free music. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner or purchase food from Rough House Food Truck and NoRA Cupcake Truck, both on-site for the evening. The concert is sponsored by All Pro Tire Automotive and the Graybill Family.

Prior to the concert, the Florence Griswold Museum is open for free from 5 to 7 p.m. Visitors can enjoy the summer exhibition, The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement and tour the historic Florence Griswold boardinghouse.

Saturday, July 30 festivities

There's always a vast array of flowers, fruit and vegetables at the 'En Plein Air' market on Saturday at the Florence Griswold Museum.

There’s always a vast array of flowers, fruit and vegetables at the ‘En Plein Air’ market on Saturday at the Florence Griswold Museum.

On Saturday, June 30, the festival spans 11 locations along Lyme Street, the heart of Old Lyme’s historic district – the Florence Griswold Museum, the Lyme Art Association, the Old Lyme Inn, the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven, Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds, the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce vendor fair at 77 Lyme Street, the Old Lyme Historical Society, Patricia Spratt for the Home, the “Plein Air Fence Painters” on Center School lawn, Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall, Inc., and the Old Lyme-PGN Library.

Festival Partner High Hopes Therapeutic Riding will be at the Museum’s site providing an educational, equine-themed arts and crafts children’s activity. Festival Partner Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau will be the host site for a morning 5K run.

Sponsors of the Festival include premium sponsors Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services, Pasta Vita, Inc., and Yale New Haven Health/Yale New Haven Hospital. Media sponsors include The Day Publishing Company and Shoreline Web News, LLC, publisher of LymeLine.com and ValleyNewsNow.com.

Enjoy the artwork of the 'Plein Air' artists in front of Center School.

Enjoy the artwork of the ‘Plein Air’ artists in front of Center School.

Each location will offer a variety of events and activities. In addition to art exhibitions and art sales at six of the locations, food vendors and specialty food trucks will provide a wide-range of options at each location. Artisans will market their wares at locations including the OL-PGN Library, the Chamber of Commerce vendor market, and the traditional French-styled market and artisan fair at the Florence Griswold Museum. New partner Patricia Spratt for the Home will offer its popular warehouse sale of table linens and pillows.

Children’s activities are a popular way for families to stop and enjoy the festival offerings, and can be enjoyed at multiple locations. There will be musical performances at the Chamber’s music stage, Lyme Academy and at the Old Lyme Inn where Mass-Conn-Fusion will perform with refreshments for sale under the tent.

New events this year include a fashion show by Hygienic Art resident artist Susan Hickman and acclaimed designer Anna Lucas at Studio 80, tours of Town Hall’s art collection, weaving demonstrations at the Old Lyme Historical Society, a visit from Rey to meet future Jedi-in-training at the OL-PGN Library, and a display of snakes and turtles by Linda Krulikowski (known as Old Lyme’s “Snake Lady”) at the Lyme Art Association.

Meet the oxen from Cranberry Meadow Farm on the lawn of the Lyme Art Association.

Meet the oxen from Cranberry Meadow Farm on the lawn of the Lyme Art Association.

Art demonstrations including sculpture and painting will take place throughout the day at Lyme Academy. Details and times for special events including a dog talent show, and an impressive roster of musical performances throughout the day can be found at www.OldLymeMidsummerFestival.com.

Most activities begin at 9 a.m. and continue through 4 p.m. Parking is available at Old Lyme Marketplace (46 Halls Rd.), Florence Griswold Museum (special festival parking entrance at 5 Halls Rd.), and the Lyme-Old Lyme High School (69 Lyme St.) Two shuttle buses run between these locations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information and a schedule of events, visit  www.OldLymeMidsummerFestival.com.

Share

Blockbuster ‘RENT’ Opens at Ivoryton Playhouse, Aug. 3

Rent
IVORYTON —  Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway musical RENT opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Wednesday, Aug. 3, running until Aug. 28.

Loosely based on Puccini’s opera, La Boheme, RENT details one year in the life of seven artists and musicians, living in New York’s run down “Alphabet City” in the late 1980s.  As this circle of friends struggle with life, love, infidelity, and the usual hopes & fears of modern day life, they must also cope with drug addiction and the rising specter of AIDS.  In the midst of all this, one of them attempts to capture all of their lives on film, hoping to make artistic sense of it all.

Jonathan Larson died in 1996, the day before his musical opened in New York. He never witnessed its phenomenal success. RENT opened on Broadway on April 29, 1996. It went on to win every major best musical award, including the Tony Award, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

RENT closed after 5,124 performances and is the seventh longest running show in Broadway history.  Over the course of its groundbreaking 12-year New York run, RENT transformed the definition of musical theater – and changed Broadway forever.  The musical has been translated into every major language and been performed on six continents.

The Ivoryton Playhouse welcomes back returning actors Jamal Shuriah*, Sheniquah Trotman*, Collin Howard*, Tim Russell and Grant Benedict as well as Johnny Newcomb*, Alyssa Gomez*, Patrick Clanton*, Jonny Cortes, Maritza Bostic, Stephanie Genito, Ronnie S. Bowman, Jr, Mac Cherny, Sandra Lee, Josephine Gottfried

This production is directed by Ivoryton Playhouse Artistic / Executive Director Jacqueline Hubbard and is choreographed by Todd Underwood.  Musical director is Michael Morris, with set design by Martin Scott Marchitto, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Lisa Bebey.

After Larson’s death and the amazing success of his musical, his friends wanted to honor his commitment to his community of people whose lives are a daily struggle for survival. They set aside the first two rows at each performance as $20 seats so that the people the show was about could afford to see it. These special tickets would go on sale at 6 p.m. each night and the line usually formed by noon on weekdays and often 24 hours in advance on weekends. In honor of Jonathan Larson and the community that we serve, the Ivoryton Playhouse will save 20 seats for every performance at a $25 price. Those seats will be available after 6 p.m. every show day.

If you are interested in helping support this program or our Little Wonder program that provides a free night at the theatre for patients and their families dealing with the nightmare of cancer, please give Krista a call at 860 767 9520 ext 205.

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.  Due to popular demand, two additional Saturday matinee performances have been added on Aug. 20 and 27 – both 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 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.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

Share

Free Tickets Remain for Abraham & Mary Lincoln Dramatic Performances, Thursday

Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, will be portrayed at Chester Village West in two dramatic performances.

Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, will be portrayed at Chester Village West on July 21.

CHESTER — President Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary will come to life with compelling stories of their days in the Oval Office on Thursday, July 21, at Chester Village West independent seniors community, 317 West Main Street, Chester, in two open-to-the-public performances at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

During this theatrical portrayal by the acting and writing team of husband and wife William and Sue Wills, participants will gain new insights about our 16th president, his rise from humble beginnings and the challenges he faced during our country’s Civil War.

After 20 years of operating their own theatrical company in Ocean City, Md., William and Sue Wills now bring to life the stories of 34 different presidential couples through their “Presidents and Their First Ladies, dramatically speaking” performances. The Willses have appeared together on stage more than 8,700 times.

Mr. and Mrs. Wills have performed in 35 of 50 states and given more than 30 performances at the nation’s presidential sites. They are a true working team: William researches and creates the scripts; Sue edits his work and creates the costumes, many of her own design. They are not impersonators, but hope that their costumes, dialects, and demeanors will help recreate these historical characters.

In 2013, the couple created an IRS-recognized non-profit organization, Presidents Project Inc., to raise money for organizations that help wounded soldiers and their families.  With their “Presidents and First Ladies” program, the William and Sue Wills hope that by presenting the personal side of our first couples, they will become more than just names read about in history books.

Refreshments will be served. Seating for the performances is limited and reservations are required. Call Chester Village West at 860-333-8992 to RSVP by Friday, July 15. More information at chestervillagewestlcs.com or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChesterVillageWest.

Share

Cappella Cantorum Presents Annual Men’s Chorus Concert This Afternoon

cappella-cantorum-for-webCENTERBROOK —  Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus presents its annual concert at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Centerbrook on Sunday, July 17, at 4 p.m.

The music will include “For the Beauty of the Earth,” “Rutter,”  “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Men of Harlech,” “Ride the Chariot,” “Va Pensiero” and “When the Saints Go Marching In,” as well as barbershop favorites.

Tickets for the Centerbrook concert are $20 (age 18 and under are free) and can be purchased at the door or through CappellaCantorum.org.

Contact Barry Asch at 860-388-2871 for more information.

 

Share

See a Monotype Demonstration at Maple & Main Today

dscn1885
CHESTER — Try your hand at making a monotype print with Maple and Main Gallery artist Cathy DeMeo on Sunday, July 17, from noon to 2 p.m.

DeMeo, Maple and Main’s Focus Artist of the Week, explains, “Monotypes are a painterly form of printmaking made by applying ink or paint to a smooth plate, then transferring the image to paper using some form of applied pressure.” She will demonstrate monotype printing techniques and will show visitors how to make a simple print themselves.

A special selection of DeMeo’s work is on display at the gallery through Sunday.

Why on Sunday? Because Chester hosts “Always on Sundays” and each Sunday, galleries, shops, restaurants present special offerings to visitors. In warm-weather months, these offerings are companion pieces to the town’s widely popular Sunday Market from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

More information on Maple and Main Gallery is at www.MapleandMainGallery.com or by calling 860-526-6065.

Share

Deep River Parade Kicks Off at 11am Today, Followed by Muster

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 8.09.56 PM

Photo credit: Town of Deep River website.

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Ancient Muster is the oldest and largest gathering of fife and drum participants and enthusiasts in the world and has been referred to as “The Granddaddy of All Musters” and “A Colonial Woodstock.”  The Parade and Muster will be held again this Saturday — the Muster is always held the third Saturday in July — and the Tattoo takes place Friday evening.

The Parade starts at 11 a.m. at the corner of Main and Kirtland Streets and proceeds down Main Street to Devitt’s Field. The host corps is the Deep River Ancient Muster Committee and the Deep River Drum Corps.

The Muster starts immediately following the parade at Devitt’s Field.  Roads will be closed at 10:30 a.m.

The Tattoo starts Friday at 7 p.m. at Devitt’s Field with the host corps being the Deep River Junior Ancients

Parking will be available in several locations along Main Street, Deep River Congregational Church, The Stone House, Deep River Hardware, Deep River Public Library and Rte. 80.

Click here to read an article by Caryn B. Davis about Fife and Drum Corps and published on AmericanProfile.com.

Share

Closed-Door Meeting on High Speed Rail Proposal Held July 7 in Old Lyme; Update From SECoast

The following was posted July 10 on the SECoast (the non-profit fighting the high-speed rail proposal that impacts Old Lyme) Facebook page:

Connecticut DOT Commissioner James Redeker

Connecticut DOT Commissioner James Redeker (Photo from ConnDOT)

“Thursday, July 7th, from 1:30 to 4:00 pm, Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker held a closed-door meeting at the Old Lyme Town Hall. The invitation list included: First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, State Rep. Devin Carney, State Sen. Paul Formica, Rod Haramut for RiverCOG, Gregory Stroud for SECoast, James Redeker, Pam Sucato, Legislative Director at the Connecticut DOT; Tom Allen, for Sen. Blumenthal’s office; Emily Boushee for Senator Murphy; John Forbis and BJ Bernblum. Despite requests by SECoast, statewide partner Daniel Mackay of Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation was not invited to attend. Officials from the Federal Railroad Administration, and project consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff did not attend.

Prior to the meeting, Stroud circulated a series of questions for Commissioner Redeker and a request for a public meeting to be held in Old Lyme. These questions are included below.

In over two hours of talks, Commissioner Redeker claimed little knowledge of current FRA planning. Redeker declined to explain mid-February internal emails between Redeker and aides, uncovered through Freedom of Information laws, indicating knowledge of such plans in mid-February. Redeker also declined to host or request a public meeting in New London County, and referred such requests to the FRA.

Asked by SECoast if he would agree to provide responses or follow-up answers to the submitted questions, Redeker replied, “Nope.” Asked whether this refusal was a matter of willingness or a matter of ability, Redeker suggested both. Asked whether he could answer any of the questions, Redeker responded yes to only Question 9.

During discussion, Redeker did indicate a slightly more accelerated decision-making process at FRA. He suggested a mid-August announcement of FRA plans, and a Record of Decision that would formalize plans by the end of 2016. Redeker also emphasized the importance of FRA plans, including the coastal bypass, to insure funding and to maximize future flexibility for state and federal officials. Redeker held out the possibility of significantly expanded commuter rail service, but when given the opportunity, made no assurances that an aerial structure through the historic district in Old Lyme was off the table.

Tom Allen, representing Senator Blumenthal’s office, gave a formal statement. Allen explained that the evidence uncovered in mid-February email came as “a surprise,” and promised to “push” for a public meeting by the end of the month, and if not, by the end of the year.

Earlier in the day, Redeker attended a large gathering of state and local officials in New London in recognition of the newly-created Connecticut Port Authority. This gathering carried over into the smaller closed-door meeting in Old Lyme, referenced above.

Questions:

1. In response to the release of internal Conn DOT emails, Spokesman Judd Everhart stated that “the DOT still is awaiting a decision from the FRA on a ‘preferred alternative’ for an upgrade of the corridor.” Should we conclude from this statement that the SECoast press release is incorrect? To your knowledge, has Parsons Brinckerhoff or the FRA either formally or informally “selected a vision, or even potential routes, for the Northeast Corridor”? And if so, when?

2. What is the current time frame for selecting a preferred alternative, preparing the Tier 1 Final EIS, the formal announcement and securing a ROD? And where are we, as of 7/7, on this time line?

3. If a Kenyon to Saybrook bypass is selected as part of the preferred alternative, and subsequent study concludes that a tunnel is infeasible, will the FRA and Conn DOT rule out any possible reversion to a bridge or aerial structure at or near Old Lyme?

4. Given that the Kenyon to Old Saybrook bypass is usually understood as the defining feature of Alternative 1, what is the significance of placing this bypass instead into an Alternative 2 framework? To your knowledge, has Parsons Brinckerhoff or the FRA, either formally or informally, selected Alternative 2 with modifications as the preferred alternative?

5. To your knowledge, does Parsons Brinckerhoff, the FRA or Conn DOT have more detailed maps of the proposed Kenyon to Saybrook bypass? And are you willing to provide them to us?

6. In your discussion of “4 track capacity to Boston,” should we understand this to mean a 2 track bypass in addition to the 2 lines existing along the shoreline?

7. Given that the Kenyon to Saybrook bypass was a relatively late addition to the NEC Planning process, do you feel comfortable that the bypass has received sufficient public and professional scrutiny to be included as part of a preferred alternative? Can you explain the genesis and inclusion of the bypass after the original 98 plans had been pared down to 3 action alternatives?

8. Conn DOT email released as part of a FOI request suggests a lack of formal and informal outreach to Old Lyme and RiverCog prior to the close of the initial comment deadline, when compared to formal and informal outreach statewide to nonprofits, mayors and Cogs. Please clarify the timing and extent of outreach to the region impacted by the proposed bypass, and to Old Lyme in particular.

9. What can we do to help you in the ongoing NEC Future process in southeastern Connecticut and to prevent these sorts of difficulties from cropping up in the future?”

Share

Walk with Essex Land Trust on Johnson Farm This Morning

Explore Johnson Farm, the Essex Land Trust's newest acquisition, on July 9.

Explore Johnson Farm, an Essex Land Trust recent acquisition, on July 9.

ESSEX – Come explore one of the latest Essex Land Trust land acquisitions, a 49-acre jewel of fields and forest in Ivoryton on Saturday, July 9 at 9 a.m.  

The farm belonged to Murwin and Polly Johnson and was acquired by the Essex Land Trust last year. Trails have been created across the fields and through the wooded areas. There are beautiful open sky vistas from various locations. The fields were once home to Border Leicester sheep known for their superior wool. Steward Dana Hill will lead this exploration of the largest open farmland left in Essex.  

The walk will take 1 1/2 hours. It is easy to moderate walking for all ages. Refreshments will be provided. Rain/thunderstorms cancel.

Park in the ELT parking lot on Read Hill Street, off of Comstock Road in Ivoryton. Overflow parking will be available at the Ivoryton Congregational Church, Main Street, Ivoryton. It is a short walk to the Read Hill Street entrance.

Share

“Mahogany Memories” Boat Show Comes to Essex Today

CRM.ACBS.Dole14cropped

The heritage of wooden boats comes to life on the docks of the Connecticut River Museum. Photo by Jody Dole

ESSEX – The Southern New England Chapter (SNEC) of the Antique and Classic Boat Society will present the 32nd annual “Mahogany Memories” boat show on the grounds and docks of the Connecticut River Museum on Saturday, July 9, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Admission is free.

The show will feature numerous examples of the finest classic wooden and fiberglass boats commonly seen in this area in the last century.  Boats built by Chris Craft, Century, Lyman, Gar Wood, Elco and many more will be showcased.  Boat owners will be on hand to talk about their boats, exchange ideas and share the joys of using and preserving these beautiful “woodies” and other memorable classics.

SNEC president David McFarlin said, “The SNEC members are always excited to participate in this show at the Connecticut River Museum.  They all work hard at restoring and maintaining these wonderful boats and enjoy showing them to the public.”

According to Christopher Dobbs, executive director of the Connecticut River Museum, “We are pleased to host this incredible regional show that celebrates the heritage of fun on the water.  It is a wonderful event for all ages that builds interest and appreciation for the wooden boat tradition.”

The Connecticut River Museum’s Boatbuilding Workshop will be on view throughout the weekend.  The workshop, geared towards first-time boat builders, allows participants to work with experienced volunteers and go home at the end of the weekend with a 15-foot kayak.  The museum’s team of boat building volunteers, led by Paul Kessinger a local wooden boat builder from Guilford, have been running the workshops for three years now.  Kessinger said, “This is a perfect activity for adults or families. Best yet, they will get years of enjoyment out of their kayaks.”

For the second year in a row, classic cars from the mahogany boat era will be on display.  Many of them with mahogany dashboards, chrome hardware and elegant brightwork complement the boats. In addition, marine supplies, artwork, clothing and boat merchandise will be available for purchase and a raffle will be held at the end of the show.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street on the historic Essex waterfront.  For more information on the Mahogany Memories Antique and Classic Boat Show and other Connecticut River Museum programs and events, go to www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.
Share

Final Day of OL Church’s White Elephant Sale Today, Opens at 8am: Most Items Half Price

Patiently waiting for the bell to chime.

Patiently waiting for the bell to chime.

This is a very special year for the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme because the Ladies Benevolent Society is celebrating the 80th anniversary of the perennially popular White Elephant Sale (WES). The sale will be held on Friday, July 8, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday, July 9, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Always a big draw are the huge number of bikes for sale at bargain prices.

Always a big draw are the huge number of bikes for sale at bargain prices.

The first rummage sale was held in one room of the church in 1920 and raised $200, which was a surprisingly large amount of money at the time.  In 1936, the name White Elephant Sale was given to the annual event and has been used ever since thus creating this 80th anniversary.  During the 1950s, the sale briefly expanded to include a country fair, horse show, and square dance, but, in recent decades, the sale adopted its current format and has become the two-day tradition we know today.

For those new to the town or folk who have never participated, this is one of the main events on both the town and church calendars.  It all starts with the intake period when unwanted items from your house or yard – perhaps your basement, attic or closets — can be dropped off at the church.  For a full list of items that can be accepted and also, those that cannot, visit the church’s website at www.fccol.org and click on White Elephant Sale and then Intake List.

Intake begins this year on Thursday, June 23, and runs daily from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Friday, July 1.  There will also be three evening intake sessions from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 23, Tuesday, June 28, and Thursday, June 30.

And they're off! The annual White Elephant Sale starts each year on the first strike of 9 a.m. on the designated Friday.

And they’re off! The annual White Elephant Sale starts each year on the first strike of 9 a.m. on the designated Friday.

Garage, tag and rummage sales may be every day affairs, but few – if any — can match the size and color of this one.  The sale items are organized into some 24 departments with everything from sporting goods to boutique items, books to furniture, art to electronics, dishes to shoes, clothes and toys to antiques and tools – all spread out in separate departments in tents and inside the church.

The WES has grown so large that it has become a true “community event” since many of the donations are from non-church members and a significant number of the volunteers are also from outside the church. Large crowds line up to wait for the church’s bell to strike at 9 a.m. on the Friday when the sale begins. The second day starts earlier at 8 a.m. but still draws a substantial crowd since most departments offer their remaining items at half-price on the Saturday.

The sale raises an extraordinary amount of money — almost $80,000 in 2015 — for missions and good works both locally and throughout the world.  Some of the beneficiaries include food pantries, health organizations, family support centers, children’s programs, literacy volunteers, affordable housing, and disaster relief worldwide.

For more information about the sale, to arrange pick-up of large items  or if you would like to volunteer to help in any capacity — whether with intake, the sale itself, or clean-up — call the church office at 860.434.8686.

See you at The Sale!

For more information about the church or ladies’ benevolent Society, contact 860.434.8686 or fccol@fccol.org or visit orwww.fccol.org

Share

Experience ‘The Magic of Danny Diamond’ at Ivoryton Playhouse This Morning

dd-homepage-slider4

IVORYTON — “Danny Diamond is one of Connecticut’s most in-demand kids and family magicians working today!”

The Ivoryton Playhouse is opening its summer – full of fun and educational programs all geared towards children! On Friday, July 8, at 11 a.m.,  head over to the Ivoryton Playhouse to see Danny Diamond, a family-friendly comedy magician and balloon-twister who’s been bringing his unique brand of humor and magical entertainment to kids and families all across Connecticut and New York for over 12 years.

Combining magic, comedy, balloons, music, juggling, and even puppets – Danny’s performances are original, diverse, and a ton of fun! This is not your typical, cookie-cutter “kiddie” magic show.

The Playhouse is proud to present new and exciting live performances featuring some of Connecticut’s most popular, professional artists.  Performances are for children of all ages.  Help your child discover the magic of theater this summer at The Ivoryton Playhouse.

All performances take place on Fridays at 11 a.m.  All tickets $14. For tickets, call 860-767-7318 or purchase them online at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org.
Share

‘Plywood Cowboy’ Plays a ‘Concert in the Garden’ Tonight

Photo courtesy of Steve Dedman

Photo courtesy of Steve Dedman

CHESTER – Plywood Cowboy will present a Special Friday Night Concert at the Leif Nilsson Studio on Friday, July 8, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Formed in 2015 in the Connecticut River Valley, Plywood Cowboy is poised to rewrite the American Songbook. “With great harmonies, clever songs & tasty guitar pickin’, Plywood Cowboy is one of the best new bands on the Americana scene,” said Chris Bergson, NY Blues Hall of Fame Inductee. Bottle-fed on roots music, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Steve Dedman and his band strike deep at the soul of American music with songs about hound dogs, heart strings, and the vice of the bottle.

Plywood Cowboy is reaching new audiences through their expanding live performance schedule, and is currently writing and recording new material that is on track for a debut album release in 2016. Their music reflects decades of playing and performing experience by Steve and his band mates. Combining Austin Gray’s ever-present harmonies and palpable telecaster work, Shane Tanner’s warm Fender bass lines and Henry Yorzinski’s exacting drumwork, Plywood Cowboy’s music sits comfortably on the ears of its listeners.

The band has appeared numerous times on iCRV Radio and has been a featured band on WESU 88.1FM ‘Voice of the City’. They’ve also found the spotlight on stages throughout Connecticut including Infinity Hall and The Kate, and destination venues from Monadnock Pumpkin Festival (NH) to Puckett’s (TN). In addition to the core lineup, guest musicians are often featured at live performances, including Emily Marcello on violin, and others on pedal steel, tenor saxophone, and banjo.

Cowboys of the airwaves, no one in the band owns any cows. Not as of yet, at least. Steve learned to play guitar from his father, David, and family friend John Hanus, who would pick guitars and sing their favorite country songs over their CB radios, and take the time on Sundays to teach Steve how to pick in country-western style. From Kris Kristopherson to Lefty Frizzell, John and David taught a young Steve true American music. Few knew John by his real name, but many knew him by his CB handle, “Plywood Cowboy,” a reference to his day job hauling lumber around the Northeast. Though both CB’ers have left the airwaves, it is through the band’s music that their influences will forever be heard.

Follow the herd with Plywood Cowboy on the path to release their debut album and enjoy the sounds of “incredible, toe-tapping, quality Ameriana music” (Ibby Carothers, iCRV Radio). More at http://www.plywoodcowboy.com/

A $20 donation at the door is requested. Feel free to BYOB and picnic and enjoy the outdoor bistro style seating in the amphitheater (inside the gallery if inclement weather).Gates open a half hour before the show. First come first seated. Sorry, no pets allowed.  For more information, call (860) 526-2077 or visit http://www.nilssonstudio.com. The studio is at 1 Spring Street, in the heart of Chester Center.

Share

Buy Tickets Now for Essex Community Fund’s Evening at Ivoryton Playhouse, Sept. 8

Essex Community Fund event in 2015.

Essex Community Fund event in 2015.

ESSEX – Tickets are selling quickly for the Essex Community Fund’s Evening at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Thursday, Sept. 8. Featuring one of the world’s most popular musicals, The Man of La Mancha,  ECF’s Evening at the Playhouse stars Connecticut’s own David Pittsinger.

Inspired by Cervantes’ Don Quixote, considered by many to be “the best literary work ever written,” The Man of La Mancha features the antics of Don Quixote and his faithful sidekick Sancho Panza. Come hear songs like “The Impossible Dream” and “I, Don Quixote” and many others.

Pre-show reception and festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. under the tent with a post-show “Meet the Cast” dessert and coffee. All proceeds go to support ECF’s ongoing mission to enhance the quality of life for the residents of our three villages. For tickets ($75) or to make a donation, contact a board member or visit www.essexcommunityfund.org.

The Essex Community Fund began over 65 years ago with the same goal – helping local non-profits provide much needed services for the residents of our three villages. Its mission is to enhance the quality of life of residents in Essex, Centerbrook and Ivoryton. This is accomplished by identifying community needs, providing financial support, and forging partnerships with local non-profit organizations.

Some recent initiatives include Compassion Counts: Exploring Mental Wellness, Teen Hunger Initiative, and The Bridge Fund, as well as continuing involvement with the Fuel Assistance Program, The Shoreline Soup Kitchen, Essex Park and Recreation, and the Essex Board of Trade programs and events. For more information or to make a donation, please visit www.essexcommunityfund.org.

Share

38th Annual Chester Road Race Attracts 800+ Runners

And they're off! (Al Malpa photo)

And they’re off! (Al Malpa photo)

On a glorious Fourth of July morning, 800-plus runners (and a few walkers) participated in the 38th Fourth on the Fourth Chester Road Race. Four miles, up and down Chester’s many hills, the race is a major fundraiser for the Chester Rotary Club and attracts many of the same runners year after year.
Chris Rosenberg of Old Saybrook, the store manager of Sound Runner, was the first place winner with a time of 21:13. Chris won the race in 2015 as well. (Al Malpa photo)

Chris Rosenberg of Old Saybrook, the store manager of Sound Runner, was the first place winner with a time of 21:13. Chris won the race in 2015 as well. (Al Malpa photo)

Nick Fresenko, of Louisville, Ohio, was second overall. His time was 21:38. (Al Malpa photo)

Nick Fresenko, of Louisville, Ohio, was second overall. His time was 21:38. (Al Malpa photo)

Coming in third place overall, Lee Cattanach, with a time of 21:54. (Al Malpa photo)

Coming in third place overall, Lee Cattanach of New London, with a time of 21:54. (Al Malpa photo)

 

The list of winners in each category can be seen here: 2016 road race results

 

Cheryl Anderson was the first woman to win, with a time of 23:11. (Al Malpa photo)

Cheryl Anderson was the first woman to win, with a time of 23:11. (Al Malpa photo)

 

The POW/MIA veterans group comes every year to run in the Chester Road Race. (Al Malpa photo)

The POW/MIA veterans group comes every year to run in the Chester Road Race. (Al Malpa photo)

 

Share

Chester Library Says Goodbye to Linda Fox, Hello to Stephanie Romano

A reception for outgoing Library Director Linda Fox and incoming Director Stephanie Romano will be held at Chester Library on July 7. (Skip Hubbard photo)

A reception for outgoing Library Director Linda Fox and incoming Director Stephanie Romano will be held at Chester Library on July 7. (Skip Hubbard photo)

CHESTER – After 13-plus years of being the Director of Chester Public Library, Linda Fox retires from her position on Thursday, July 7, and Stephanie Romano stepped into Linda’s position full-time on July 6.

Linda wrote the Library Board of Trustees in February, to tell them of her plan to leave the library this summer. She said, “Being a Public Library Director is a job that I never expected to love, but love it I have for more than a decade.  It has been challenging, rewarding and a great pleasure to work for and with you, the library staff, the Friends, and the people of Chester.  We’ve accomplished good things together, haven’t we?  The library is more technologically current, staff and service hours have been expanded, and the community is more engaged with the library, not to mention that we are closer than ever to creating an accessible, 21st-century library building for the community.  The thought of not being around for the opening of those doors brings with it a true sense of disappointment.”

Longtime Library Friends member Sally Murray said, “Linda has consistently given her all, and then some, for the people of Chester; her tireless efforts have brightened our town in ways most people will never recognize but which benefit all of us.”

Longtime Library Board of Trustees Chairman Terry Schreiber, who hired Linda in 2002 and Stephanie this spring, added, “We feel Stephanie will be a perfect match for our library. She is enthusiastic and willing to reach out to people to continue to make Chester Library a warm, friendly, welcoming place.  We will miss Linda very very much – she was the face of the library for so many years – but we wish her well and know she looks forward to new  adventures.”

Stephanie Romano comes to Chester from the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, where she worked since May 2007, most recently as Access Services Manager (see separate article on LymeLine.com here). Describing herself, Stephanie wrote, “My path to being a librarian has not been a direct one! I worked at Research Books (a book distributor for corporate libraries) in Madison for about eight years before deciding to go back to school. The work I was involved in with Research Books involved interaction with librarians on all different levels and was the reason I chose to pursue a degree in Library Science.  I loved the fact that every librarian I spoke with, no matter which field they were in, loved their job.  I knew that I also wanted a job that I was going to love after 25 years.”

Share

Happy Fourth! Celebrate at Essex Harbor 4th of July Boat Parade

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAESSEX – The Annual Essex Harbor 4th of July Boat Parade will be held on Monday, July 4.  All boats are welcome to join the parade.

Boats are encouraged to “Dress Ship” and assemble around Day Marker 25 at 12:45 p.m.  The parade will start at 1 p.m. and proceed clockwise around the harbor twice.

Skippers should monitor VHF Channel 69 for parade instructions.

The parade will be led by the Commodore of the Essex Corinthian Yacht Club, Steve Rodstrom, in his 27-foot Bertram “Osprey.” If you have any questions, contact Steve at commodore@essexcorinthian.org or 207-841-2333.
Share

Maple and Main Gallery’s Summer Exhibit on View through Sept. 4

"Daffodils and Oak," by Claudia Van Nes, at Maple and Main Gallery

“Daffodils and Oak,” by Claudia Van Nes, at Maple and Main Gallery

CHESTER – Over 230 new paintings and sculptures by 46 artists will be featured in the annual Summer Exhibit at Maple and Main Gallery, which is on view through Sept. 4.

This exhibit showcases a wide selection of art from traditional seascapes and landscapes to vibrant abstracts, from collage and encaustic to oil, pastel and watercolor.

The gallery is highlighting an artist each week who will show additional work and give a demonstration or talk.

On display in the Stone Gallery during July is “Quiet Places,” an exhibit of work by artists Kim Petersen and Elvira Omaechea.

Maple and Main, at One Maple Street, Chester, is open Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from noon to 7 p.m.; and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  For more information, visit mapleandmaingallery.com or call 860-767-6065.

Share

Celebrate the Fourth Today at Ivoryton’s Independence Day Parade

CMS New Horizons Band (file photo)

CMS New Horizons Band (file photo)

IVORYTON –  The 11th annual Ivoryton Village Independence Day Parade (formerly The 4th of July Parade) will take place on Saturday, July 2, at 10 a.m. The parade will wind through the village of Ivoryton, ending at the Ivoryton Park. The patriotic ceremony begins in the Park gazebo immediately following the parade. The ceremony features speakers and singers. The New Horizons Band from the Community Music School will play.

Everyone is welcome to march, including children on decorated bikes along with motorized cars and tractors and floats. The parade will line  up vehicles at 9:15, with marching groups gathering at 9:30 at Walnut and Main Streets. Motorized vehicles will form on Cheney Street. If you are interested in joining the parade or would like more information, please contact ealvord@ivoryton.com.

The parade this year will coincide with the Ivoryton Village Farmers Market – food and music in the park. The Ivoryton Tavern and the Blue Hound Cookery will have parade specials. Ivoryton also welcomes  Brickside Pizza, 104 Main St., for take-out pizza and calzones.
In the event of rain, the parade will be cancelled, but the ceremony at the gazebo will be held at 10 a.m.
Share

Last Chance to See ‘Downtown Chester’ Original Paintings at Maple and Main Gallery Today

Dan Nichols paints a Chester scene

Dan Nichols paints a Chester scene

“Downtown Chester,” a show of original paintings done by Maple and Main Gallery artists depicting the center of Chester, will be at the gallery Friday, July 1 through Sunday, July 3.

The paintings in the Downtown Chester show were mainly done during June, a number of them from the gallery porch, in the street during the Chester Sunday Market and along the sidewalks.

The show will open Friday at noon until 8 p.m., and will remain open Saturday, July 2 from noon to 6 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Maple and Main is at One Maple Street in Chester. For more information, go to mapleandmaingallery.com or call 860-526-6065. Hours: Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 7 p.m.

Donna Dubreuil Favreau, "Chester's Farmers Market"

Donna Dubreuil Favreau, “Chester’s Farmers Market”

Share

Emails Confirm High Speed Rail Through Old Lyme

We received the following as a press release from SECoast on June 29. It has been published on the organization’s Facebook page and website with the supporting documentation, which for technical reasons, we are currently unable to publish.

Emails obtained by SECoast as part of a Freedom of Information Act request filed with the Connecticut Department of Transportation, indicate that the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) decided four months ago to route the next generation of high speed rail infrastructure on a new bypass through Old Lyme and eastern coastal Connecticut. They have yet to announce this decision publicly.

Gregory Stroud, executive director of SECoast, a nonprofit collaborative on issues of preservation in Southeastern Connecticut and the Lower Connecticut River Valley, obtained internal Connecticut Department of Transportation emails from Commissioner James Redeker to Public Transportation Chief James Andreski which appear to confirm FRA   plans for a Kenyon, Rhode Island to Old Saybrook, Conn., high speed rail bypass through Old Lyme in or adjacent to the I-95 corridor. These plans would also include a separate New Haven to Springfield, Mass., route as part of a newly “modified” NEC Future: Alternative 2 proposal.

Within two days of the close of public comment, agency emails indicate that the FRA had committed to a coastal bypass route through Connecticut. Redeker writes on Feb. 18, 2016, that “after spending a few hours with the team, David Carol tells me the NEC Future team … will be leaving the Kenyon bypass for the spine to Boston, because they are completely focused on delivering four-track capacity to Boston.”

Carol, a former Old Lyme resident, is heading efforts by Parsons Brinckerhoff to develop high speed rail between Boston and Washington, DC. The multinational engineering and design firm, a veteran of such projects as the Big Dig in Boston, and the Raymond E. Baldwin bridge at the mouth of the Connecticut river, is leading a state and federal project, dubbed NEC Future, to modernize high speed rail along the Northeast Corridor.

The possibility of a Kenyon to Saybrook bypass, a surprise late addition to past evaluations of high speed rail, has provoked widespread concern and opposition from citizens and organizations in the region, and prompted roughly 1200 public comments to the Federal Railroad Administration out of 3000 from across the United States.

Old Lyme is internationally recognized as the home of American Impressionism, and the FRA’s initial proposal called for a new rail bridge and elevated tracks through the picturesque marshes and heart of the town’s National Register Historic District.

Further emails, after a Feb. 26, 2016 Northeast Corridor Commission meeting of private, state, and federal officials at Parsons Brinckerhoff headquarters in Manhattan, appear to confirm a long-standing decision to route the rail project through Old Lyme in modified form as a tunnel. Andreski informed Redeker and other state transportation officials, that the FRA project manager in charge, Rebecca Reyes-Alicea,“explained the various adjustment [sic] they were making in response to public comments. For example the Old Lyme Kenyon Bypass concept is being modified. Hartford Line [sic] will be included as an additional feeder spine …. Rebecca stated they recognize more work is need on the alternative concepts …. Still I believe they are pressing forward on Alternative 2 with the mods decribed [sic] above.”

“This routing decision will have a major impact on the historic, cultural and environmental resources of Connecticut’s eastern seacoast communities,” said Daniel Mackay, Executive Director of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation. “The FRA and its consultants settled on a preferred route four months ago – it’s long past time they meet the residents of the region face to face to address numerous concerns about where and how they propose to build this industrial-scale transportation infrastructure, and how they will protect the resources that make these Connecticut communities unique.”

Stroud called on the FRA and Parsons Brinckerhoff to delay the decision on a preferred route until after the project had passed public and environmental scrutiny. “Due diligence can’t follow decision-making in a multi-billion dollar project such as this,” Stroud stated. “These plans for a Kenyon to Saybrook bypass were not part of the original 98 alternatives announced by the federal government in 2012. They have not undergone the same level of agency or public scrutiny as other routes.”

He added, “not one single environmental study has been conducted to determine the feasibility or impact of a tunnel under the Connecticut River estuary or under Old Lyme’s National Register Historic District. Plans for crossing the Thames River are undefined. Not one public meeting on this project has been held in New London or Middlesex counties or southern Rhode Island.”

The state and federal-level conversations captured in these emails occurred several weeks prior to a private March 11, 2016 meeting between David Carol and Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, aides and other local officials. These emails obtained by SECoast as part of a May 22, 2016 Freedom of Information Act request, funded in part by donations from the local community, are the first public confirmation of FRA plans for high speed rail along the Northeast Corridor.

Two additional Freedom of Information Act requests filed earlier with the Federal Railroad Administration on April 4, 2016 remain unfilled.

Share

State Police Promote Safe Driving Throughout July 4 Weekend; Sobriety Checkpoints, Roving Patrols Planned Locally

AREAWIDE — The Connecticut State Police Public Information Office has issued the following important press release.

As thousands of drivers plan to travel during the upcoming long holiday weekend, Connecticut State Troopers are also preparing to patrol in increased numbers to keep roads and highways safe for all drivers.

Troop F is planning the following roving patrols and checkpoint locations:

06/30/16                         Roving Patrols – Interstate 95 within Troop F patrol area

07/01/16                         Roving Patrols – Rte. 9 and Rte. 66 in town of Middlefield

07/02/16                         Roving Patrols – I-95 exits 56-71

07/03/16                         Roving Patrols – Rte. 9 and Rte. 66 in town of Middlefield

07/03/16                         DUI Sobriety Checkpoint – At Rte. 156 and Ferry Rd. in the town of Old Lyme. This will be in conjunction with the Breath Alcohol Testing Mobile Unit.

07/04/16                         Roving Patrols – I-95 exits 56-71

July 4 is Monday, allowing for extra time for beach outings, cookouts and fireworks. This translates to increased traffic starting as early as Friday, July 1, and continuing through the evening of July 4.  Many will be driving through and around the state of Connecticut for Independence Day events.

State Police will participate in Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) starting at midnight on July 3 and running through midnight on July 5.

Troopers will be strategically placed to reduce speed on the highways and roadways during the holiday period. In addition, State Troopers will operate sobriety checkpoints numerous locations throughout Connecticut. Drivers can expect to experience concentrated enforcement operations at locations where a high number of alcohol-involved crashes and incidents.  (Please see attached list.)

As always, State Police consistently work toward preventing accidents – especially fatal crashes – on Connecticut’s roads and highways. Troopers will utilize laser units, and both marked and unmarked State Police cars to enhance safety and to remove all drunk drivers from Connecticut’s roads.

“We need your help. Obeying the rules of the road is everyone’s responsibility. We ask all drivers to buckle up, adhere to the speed limit, put down cell phones, and please be courteous to other drivers,” said Dora B. Schriro, Commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

Colonel Alaric J. Fox, Commander of the Connecticut State Police, added, State Troopers depend on drivers to follow the law. Please do not drink and drive since that is a deadly combination. If you are on the road and drunk driver, please call 911, as this is a true emergency.”

Planning to consume alcohol to celebrate our nation’s birthday? Then please designate a driver so that this festive, enjoyable summer weekend does not turn into a tragedy. Never drink and drive.

During July 4, 2015, weekend, Connecticut State Police issued the following number of summons:  859 for speeding and 33 for driving under the influence.  State Police investigated 170 motor vehicle crashes, with injury and two fatalities.

Troopers also issued 2,461 tickets for other hazardous moving violations.

Share

First Friday to be Celebrated Tonight in Chester Center

CHESTER – Start the July Fourth Weekend off with a bang! Come to First Friday in Chester Center.

On this first of Chester’s First Fridays, the evening of July 1st brings art gallery shows, a trunk show, live music, the opening of the doors of Chester’s newest shop, The French Hen, and more.

The town is buzzing with anticipation about The French Hen, which has just moved here from Essex. On its Facebook page, the shop is described as “a gift boutique where you will discover the beautiful, unique and the curious. Lush with product and creativity, the store will delight your senses.” The French Hen will be at 8 Main St.

Chester’s two other brand-new shops will also be open on First Friday. Strut Your Mutt at 29 Main St. will be hosting a “Yappy Hour” from 6 to 8 p.m. with wine for you and water for your dog. Homage Art Gallery and Café at 16 Main St. is having Teen Open Mic Night from 6 to 8 p.m.

Two pieces in Dina Varano’s new summer collection, “Ocean Dreams.”

ELLE Design Studio presents “Natural Occurrences,” paintings and works on paper, by Deborah Weiss during the month of July. The exhibit opens with an opening reception on July 1, from 5 to 8 p.m.  ELLE design is at 1 Main Street.

At Dina Varano Gallery, First Friday brings the opening of Dina’s jewelry collection for the summer, “Ocean Dreams.” The collection features white and light-hued gemstones with brushed sterling silver that is expertly and intuitively crafted into one-of-a-kind necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. The inspiration came from all things seen and felt at the beach: the light breezes, ocean waves, warm sunshine, and salty-fresh air.

Stop in and take a look at the newly refurbished, resized, refeathered Lark on First Friday, July 1st. Owner Suzie Woodward says, “We are renewed, restored and reinvigorated by the rearranging, readorning and rebrightening of one of Chester’s enchanting shops.  Along with our recelebration for our grand reopening, MaryAnne Delorenzo will be hosting a trunk show featuring beautiful, handmade lamp work and sterling.”

All this plus live music on the Pattaconk Patio, great shopping at the Lori Warner Gallery, and the “Downtown Chester” art show at the Maple & Main Gallery (see separate story and images here).

More details on Facebook.com/VisitChesterCT.

Share

Award-winning D.B. Rielly Performs Concert in Garden

D.B. Rielly

Photo courtesy of D.B. Rielly

CHESTER – Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery presents the next Concert in the Garden on Thursday, June 30, from 7 to 9 p.m.

D.B. Rielly is an award-winning singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who, along with his band, performs a wide-ranging collection of Americana music, including Roots, Zydeco, Blues, and Alt-Country. WMLB in Atlanta calls him “one of the best songwriters you’ve never heard of” and Country Music People Magazine says he is “rootsy, frequently very funny, witty and cynical, literate and highly enjoyable. Rielly is definitely someone to watch out for.” D.B. promises his listeners an “instantaneous cure for all afflictions.”

 Check out D.B.’s videos, they are amazing! http://www.youtube.com/dbrielly<.

A $20 donation at the door is requested. Feel free to BYOB and picnic and enjoy the outdoor bistro style seating in the amphitheater (inside the gallery if inclement weather).Gates open a half hour before the show. First come first seated. Sorry, no pets allowed.  For more information, call (860) 526-2077 or visit http://www.nilssonstudio.com. The studio is at 1 Spring Street, in the heart of Chester Center.
Share

Pettipaug Sailing Academy on “Day One”

Getting the boats in the water at the Pettipaug Yacht Club.

Preparing the boats for entry into the water at the Pettipaug Yacht Club.

ESSEX — Monday, June 27, was the opening day of the sailing classes at the Pettipaug Sailing Academy in Essex. When the sailing classes began, there was no waiting around for talks on dry land. Rather almost immediately the student sailors were ordered to get in their boats, and start sailing around on the Connecticut River.

The weather was perfect for the young, and many inexperienced sailors. There was a steady breeze over the water, but a not too heavy one. Also, the sometimes blazing sun was hidden behind thick clouds. It was perfect sailing weather for the 55 sailing students to take a three-hour class to learn how to sail.

And then, the crews of three to a boat students climb on board,

And then, the crews of three to a boat students climbed on board …

And everything was set and ready to go,

Then everything was set and ready to go …

... for sailing out on the waters of the Connecticut River.

… for sailing out on the waters of the Connecticut River.

Share

Essex Historical Society Expands “Walking Weekend,” July 29, 30 & 31 

Ivoryton Library. All photos courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

Ivoryton Library. All photos courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

ESSEX — Combining the outdoors and history, Essex Historical Society (EHS) expands its popular outdoor program, “Walking Weekend,” on July 29, 30 and 31.  The event features three different walking tours within the Town of Essex in which attendees enjoy an easy stroll along the Town’s historic streets learning about the major industries, structures and personalities that shaped the area.  EHS’s trained, knowledgeable guides will lead an hour+ long tour over fairly level, paved terrain, covering three centuries of history.   For the first time, this year’s Walking Weekend will feature a guided walking tour of Ivoryton Village, led by former Town Historian Chris Pagliuco.

On July 29 at 7 p.m., the first tour will meet at Ivoryton Library, 106 Main Street, Ivoryton, for an in-depth look at this historic village, from its beginnings as a company town surrounding the Comstock-Cheney Co., the stories of 19th century immigration, the striking examples of Victorian architecture and its unique cultural attractions that continue to this day. 

The Pratt Smithy.

The Pratt Smithy.

On July 30 at 1 p.m., the second tour will meet at the Pratt House, 19 West Avenue, Essex, for a trip down West Ave. and Prospect Street to explore the histories behind the structures of “Pound Hill” including several 19th century churches, Hills Academy, the Old Firehouse and more.  Attendees are also welcome to tour the historic 1732 Pratt House, the town’s only historic house museum. 

The Rose Store.

The Rose Store.

On July 31 at 7 p.m., the final tour will meet at the Foot of Main Street, Essex, for a trip down Main Street in Essex Village to capture the rich maritime history of 18th century “Potapaug,” its working waterfront and ship-building prominence in the early 19th century as well as its development as a beautiful visitor destination of today. 

Essex Historical Society is committed to fulfilling its mission of engaging and inspiring the community in the three villages of Centerbrook, Essex and Ivoryton.  Looking ahead, EHS hopes to expand its 2017 Walking Weekend to include a walking tour of Centerbrook.

Each tour is $5 per person and is open to the general public; free to members of EHS.  Admission helps support the educational and cultural programming of Essex Historical Society.  For more information, please visit www.essexhistory.org or call (860) 767-0681. 

Share

Essex Art Association’s Summer Open Exhibition on Show Through July 23

Golden-Iris-by-C-DunnESSEX — The third exhibition of the Essex Art Association (EAA) 2016 season is an open show whose theme is “Inside Out.” The juror, Jon Sideriadis, is a member of the faculty at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Old Lyme. A science fiction and fantasy illustrator and author, Sideriadis is currently writing and illustrating an original mythology series. $1,700 will be awarded to exhibiting artists for their work in various media.

Each season five EAA artists are selected by a juror to exhibit their work in the small “Exit Gallery.” The Exit Gallery artist during this exhibition is Carol Dunn, an award-winning printmaker, photographer and mixed media artist, specializing in alternative processes for creating artwork. She says, “I enjoy working with many non-traditional mediums. I continue to learn and experiment with new materials and techniques. I also like to combine many techniques into one piece, which often makes it difficult to explain to someone exactly how something was created.”

Dunn continues, “More than anything else in the creative process, I love the interplay of color and texture. I have spent countless hours photographing peeling paint and rusting metal. When I mix inks to begin printmaking, I often get sidetracked by marveling at the pigments on my palette, enjoying how the colors play off each other, wondering what will happen if I mix two unrelated colors into a blend with my brayer.”

She concludes, “Sometimes I think I could just mix colors forever and never begin the actual application of the color to plate or paper. When working with collage, I have difficulty eliminating items, because I find such beauty in the smallest scraps of handmade paper, or an old ledger filled with beautifully drawn numbers, letters, and script.”

Dunn’s techniques include Mixed Media, Photopolymer Etchings, Overprinted Collages, Acrylic Skins, Printing on Handmade Papers, Collagraphs, Prints on Aluminum, Polaroid Emulsion Lifts and Transfers, Linocuts and Monotypes. She notes, “I have a large studio full of natural light, where I enjoy teaching others many of my techniques for art making. I hope you enjoy my work. You can contact me or find out more about my classes, and see more of my work, through my website: www.caroldunnart.com.“

The “Inside Out” exhibition opening reception will be held Friday, July 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. Both exhibits are open at no charge to the public from July 2 to July 23 at the Essex Art Association Gallery located in the sunny yellow building in the center of Essex at 10 North Main Street. Gallery hours are 1-5 p.m. daily, closed Tuesdays.
For more information, call 860-767-8996.
Share

World Class Frisbee at Deep River Public Library, June 29

Todd Brodeur

Todd Brodeur

DEEP RIVER – Get ready for some high-flying fun when World Class Frisbee visits the Deep River Public Library on Wednesday, June 29, at 6 p.m.

Watch Free-Styling Frisbee Champion Todd Brodeur as he amazes us with some fabulous tricks. You might just learn a few skills to try out on your own! Free and open to all, no registration required.

This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Deep River Public Library.

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

Share

Essex Zoning Commission Approves New Restaurant in Centerbrook Section of Town

30 Main Street, Centerbrook

30 Main Street, Centerbrook

ESSEX — The zoning commission Monday approved a special permit for a new restaurant to be located on the first floor of a partially vacant commercial building at 30 Main St. in the Centerbrook section.

The application of ECC Realty and Colt Taylor was unanimously approved after a brief public hearing where several residents spoke in support of the plans. Taylor told the panel he was raised in Essex,  has been involved with restaurants in both New York and California,and wants to return to open a restaurant in his hometown.

The three-story building at 30 Main St. once housed a restaurant for a few years in the late 1980s, but has housed mostly office uses in recent years. The plans call for a 130-seat restaurant and bar.
In approving the permit, the commission specified that use of the second floor would be limited to a small office for the business and storage. Taylor said he hopes to open the restaurant, which would offer “progressive New England comfort food,” before the end of the year.
Share

Essex Zoning Commission Approves 52-Unit Apartment Complex on Plains Rd.

The Plains Road property where the Iron Chef restaurant has been long empty has been approved for apartments.

The Plains Road property where the Iron Chef restaurant has been vacant for many years has been approved for the Essex Station apartments.

 

ESSEX — The zoning commission Monday approved plans for a three-building 52-unit apartment complex with an affordable housing component at a 3.7-acre parcel on Plains Road that includes the long-vacant former Iron Chef restaurant property.

The special permit for the Essex Station apartments at 21, 27 and 29 Plains Road was approved o a 4-1 vote, with commission Chairman Larry Shipman and members Alvin Wolfgram, Jim Hill and Susan Uihlein  voting to approve the permit and member William Reichenbach opposed. The application from Signature Contracting Group LLC was submitted under state statute 8-30g, a law intended to promote additional affordable housing in Connecticut.

The statute limits the jurisdiction of municipal land use commissions to issues of public health and safety, while requiring that at least 30 percent of the dwelling units in a development be designated affordable housing and reserved for people or families with incomes at or less than 80 percent of the median income for the municipality. At least 16 of the Essex Station units would be designated as moderate income housing with monthly rents expected to be about $1,800.

The plans were presented at a series of public hearings that began in February, and appeared to generate increasing objections from some residents as the review process continued. Many of the objections focused on the proximity of the site to the Valley Railroad tourist excursion line.

In more than 90 minutes of discussion Monday, the panel considered two draft motions prepared by longtime commission counsel Peter Sipples, one to approve the permit with conditions, and another to deny the application. In the end, the motion of approval included several conditions, most of which had been accepted by the applicant during the public hearing process.

The major conditions include a strict prohibition on any expansion or condominium conversion of the units, construction of a six-foot high security fence around the perimeter of the property,  installing sound barriers if needed between the residential units and the railroad, and construction of a walking-bicycle path on Plains Rd. that would extend east to connect with existing sidewalks on Rte. 154. There would also be a requirement for elevators in the buildings, particularly the single three-story building, and a provision in future leases that would note the proximity to other uses, including the tourist railroad and a nearby wood-processing facility. The development site is located in a business and industrial zone.

During the discussion, Shipman noted the apartments would be a better residential use near the railroad than owned condominiums, and suggested the requirements of the affordable housing statute limited the panel’s ability to control some aspects of the project, including density and building height. The sewage disposal system for the three building complex must be approved by the state Department of Public Health.
Share

Deep River Library Kicks Off Summer with Family Fun Night

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

DEEP RIVER – Summer Reading kicks off on June 22 with the Deep River Public Library’s Wednesday Family Fun Night! Come for a rocking good time with a DJ Dave Dance Party, starting at 6 p.m. Get the whole family moving and grooving! This program is free and open to all, no registration required.

Programs are sponsored by the Friends of the Deep River Public Library. For more information, go to http://deepriverlibrary.accountsupport.com and click on the monthly calendar; email the Children’s Department at drplchildrensdept@gmail.com; or call the library at 860-526-6039 during service hours: Monday 1 – 8 .pm.; Tuesday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Wednesday 12:30 – 8 p.m.; Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Share

Bozzuto’s Inc. Kicks Off ‘Reach for the Stars’ Campaign to Help Special Olympics Athletes Shine

special olympicsDEEP RIVER – This summer, until Aug. 13, grocery shoppers can visit their neighborhood IGA supermarket (such as Adams in Deep River) and make a donation to help Special Olympics athletes reach for the stars.

Bozzuto’s Inc. and The IGA Hometown Foundation invite their customers and the community to join them in supporting local Special Olympics athletes by participating in their annual ‘Reach for the Stars’ campaign by making a donation of $1, $2, $5 or more at checkout. In recognition of each contribution, a “star” with the donor’s name (if desired) will be displayed in the store for the duration of the campaign.

The ‘Reach for the Stars’ campaign aims to help share the joy of sport and encourage inclusion and respect for people of all abilities – on and off the playing field. Since 2008, the hang tag promotion has been conducted to assist Special Olympics in providing year-round sports training and competition opportunities for thousands of athletes, statewide.

All proceeds from this effort will go to the local Law Enforcement Torch Run Program, which encompasses a variety of events supporting Special Olympics that include the annual Torch Run, and Cop-on-Top and Tip-A-Cop fundraising events, all hosted and run by volunteer law enforcement officers.

Bozzuto’s, Inc., is a family-owned, full service, wholesale food distribution company headquartered in Cheshire, Connecticut, that serves over 1,500 supermarket retailers in 10 states.  Bozzuto’s is a proud supporter of IGA and is a five-time winner of IGA’s highest honor, The President’s Cup.

The Hometown Foundation is a non-profit, charitable foundation dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for individuals and their families in hometowns and surrounding communities where it operates. The Hometown Foundation honors and assists five key areas of interest: Children, Cancer, Diabetes, Military, and Emergency Response Personnel.

Special Olympics Connecticut (www.soct.org) provides year-round sports training and competitions for close to 13,000 athletes of all ages with intellectual disabilities and Unified Sports® partners – their teammates without disabilities. Through the joy of sport, the Special Olympics movement transforms lives and communities throughout the state and in 170 countries around the world by promoting good health and fitness and inspiring inclusion and respect for all people, on and off the playing field.

Share

Hike the Pond Meadow Preserve with Essex Land Trust, Saturday

Pond Meadow2

IVORYTON – Since Pond Meadow was acquired in 2014, much has been accomplished to transform this unique Land Trust destination in Ivoryton. The property has three distinguishing aspects: an abundance of old trees; a swamp traversed by a 450-foot elevated walkway/bog-walk; and, when the trees are leafed out, a double canopy not unlike a rain forest. The property comprises 18 acres and includes a bridge over a stream that flows into the Falls River, built by Eagle Scout Dan Ryan and his Boy Scout Troop 12.

The Essex Land Trust will lead a Pond Meadow hike on Saturday, June 25, beginning at 9 a.m. at Comstock Park in Ivoryton. Hikers should wear appropriate footwear for wet soil conditions. Access and parking are at the end of Park Road, Ivoryton, across from Comstock Park. Bad weather cancels.

Share

Cello Recital by Eva Ribchinsky at Essex Library

Eva Ribchinsky

Eva Ribchinsky

ESSEX – A cello recital by local resident Eva Ribchinsky will be held on Saturday, June 25, at 4 p.m. at Essex Library.

Ribchinsky has just graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music and is headed to Carnegie Mellon University this fall to pursue a master’s degree in music. She will play works by Bocherini, J.S. Bach and Gaspar Cassado.

Admission to this program is free and open to the public. Please call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560 to register or for more information. The library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.

Share

Author Richard Friswell Discusses His Book of Essays at Essex Library, Saturday

friswellESSEX – Author and cultural historian Richard Friswell is on the faculty of Wesleyan University’s Lifelong Learning Institute. He is also the editor and publisher of ARTES, an international fine arts, architecture and design e-magazine.

He is an elected member of the Association Internationale des Critiques d’Art (one of only 450 individuals in the United States), and an award-winning writer, with two national medals from Folio:Magazine for his editorial contributions in the field of art journalism. He writes and lectures on topics related to modernism.

He will speak at the Essex Library about his book of autobiographical essays, “Balancing Act,” on Saturday, June 25 at 2:30 p.m. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing.

Admission to this program is free and open to the public. Please call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560 to register or for more information. The library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.

 

Share

Fifth Annual ‘Run for Chris’ 5K Takes Place in Essex: Registration Open Through Race Day

Run for Chris 5K (VNN file photo)

Run for Chris 5K (VNN file photo)

ESSEX — The 5th Annual ‘Run for Chris’ 5K will be held Saturday, June 25, at Essex Town Hall. It is both a memorial and charitable event, the primary purpose of which is to raise money for educational endeavors in the schools of the Lower Valley of Middlesex County.

Chris Belfoure greatly appreciated the opportunities afforded to him that introduced him to new places, peoples and cultures, such as his time spent studying and working in China. (He had participated in the trips abroad while at Valley Regional High School.) He felt that every young person should have similar opportunities to expand their horizons, since his experiences had so profoundly impacted him and his worldview.

Thus, to honor his memory and perpetuate his ideals, the Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund has been established at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County. The proceeds from the ‘Run for Chris’ go directly to these causes.

To preregister for the race, go to aratrace.com, and click on ‘Run For Chris.’ (Race day registration starts at 7 a.m.) Overall and age-group awards will be given, and all participants will receive a free, tech t-shirt. Fun Run for Kids 6 and under starts at 8:15 a.m. along with the CB4 Mile Run for ages 7-14. The 5K and 2 mile walk start at 8:45 a.m. The run through beautiful Essex is USATF Certified. There will be great raffle items and a face painter to add to the fun.

Registration link: http://www.chrisbel4mf.com/run-for-chris-5k.html

 

Share

Hear the Best Youth Music Around at ‘LymeStock 2016’ Today at Ashlawn Farm

The Brazen Youth will be headlining Lymestock 2016 at Ashlawn Farm on Sunday

The Brazen Youth will be headlining Lymestock 2016 at Ashlawn Farm on Sunday

MusicNow Foundation, Inc. is hosting the 3rd Annual Lymestock 2016 Father’s Day concert and picnic at Ashlawn Farm in Lyme on Sunday, June 19, from 12 to 7 p.m.  The festival will present New England’s award-winning young artists with local, aspiring youth opening the performances.  Gates open at 11:30 a.m.  Children are welcome.

Highlights this year will be a performance by Rumblecat, who received the 2016 New England Music Award for ‘Best in the State of Vermont’, and Brazen Youth, recipients of ‘New England’s Radar Music Award 2015.’ Additionally, performances by Joe Holt of Brooklyn, New York and ‘Radar Music Winner’ James MacPherson and the Bonzai Trees will highlight the day of music.

Joe Holt is another big name that will be performing on Sunday at Lymestock 2016.

Joe Holt is another big name that will be performing on Sunday at Lymestock 2016.

Opening performances by local emerging artists, Sophia Griswold and Connected, Drew Cathcart and Blind Fool, The Modern Riffs, and Julia Russo will take the stage for a day of music, food and fun on the farm for Father’s Day.

Hamburgers and hot dogs along with lunches, desserts and summer refreshments will be available for sale or guests can pack their own.

Lymestock 2016 will benefit Youth in Music mission initiatives of the MusicNow Foundation, Inc.
(www.musicnowfoundation.org) serving southeastern Connecticut and beyond.  The concert picnic is
presented in collaboration with Ashlawn Farm, Pavoh.org and sponsored in part by LymeLine.com, the Bee and Thistle Inn, and iCRV Radio — among others.

MusicNow Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the support of live music to engage, educate and enrich young artists through performance opportunities, enrichment workshops, and collaborative mentorships / internships to nurture creative and artistic development.

Advance tickets can be purchased in advance at Nightingale’s Acoustic Café at 68 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, Conn. or by calling (860) 434-1961. Advance tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.  Gate tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students.

For more information, call (860) 434-1961 or email info@musicnowfoundation.org

Share

Valley Regional Celebrates Class of 2016 With Memories, Music and Merriment

In the distance on the bleachers, the Valley Regional High School Class of 2016. All photos by Laura Matesky of lauramateskyphotography.com

In the distance, the Valley Regional High School Class of 2016 stands on the bleachers. All photos by Laura Matesky of lauramateskyphotography.com

A clear blue sky accompanied by 75° weather and a gentle breeze created the perfect ambience for the Valley Regional High School’s (VRHS) 151 students of the Class of 2016 to graduate this past Wednesday, June 15.

The girls of the Class of 2016 filed into the stadium.

The girls of the Class of 2016 file into the stadium.

Teacher Kevin Woods (wearing sunglasses) filed in with the faculty.

Teacher and boy’s varsity basketball coach Kevin Woods (wearing sunglasses) files in with the faculty.

Valley Regional Principal Michael Barile hugs this year's VRHS Hall of Fame inductee.

Valley Regional Principal Michael Barile hugs this year’s VRHS Hall of Fame inductee.

Valedictorian Christina Mitchel.

Valedictorian Christina Mitchel (above) and Salutatorian Acacia Bowden (below delivered heartfelt and inspirational speeches that led the graduates to reflect on the past, the present, and the future.

Honor Essayist Mary Proteau (below) completed the triumvirate with an equally compelling speech.

Honor Essayist Mary Proteau.

 

While the students gave their speeches, the dignitaries listened attentively.

Principal ?? beamed as he listened to the speeches.

Michael Barile, VRHS Pricipal, smiles broadly as he listens to the speeches.

Several students in the graduating class lightened the mood with two musical numbers.
The bright Scottish tune, “Loch Lomond” was sung by Valley’s senior ensemble choir, including sopranos Angelina Annino, Miranda Holland, Carly Zuppe, Emma Colby, Eme Carlson, Avery Carlson, and Erica Vaccaro; altos Cassidy French, Leslie Clapp, Jordan Adams­Sack, Joy Molyneux, Amanda Hull, Caitlin Glance, and Rachel Breault; tenor Dilan Rojas; and basses John Cappezzone, Brooks Robinson, Riley Sullivan, and Will Elliot. This song showcased seniors Dilan Rojas, Emma Colby, Carly Zuppe, and Eme Carlson.

Valley Regional's Senior Ensemble sang 'Loch Lomond' and "I lived' during the event.

Valley Regional’s Senior Ensemble sang ‘Loch Lomond’ and “I lived’ during the event.

The second musical song, a cover of “I Lived”, by One Republic, was performed by singers Dilan Rojas, Carly Zuppe, and John Cappezzone, supported by Tyler Atkinson on the guitar and Brooks Robinson on drums.

Senior Class Treasurer Julia Hammond and Secretary Katie Amara presented the Class Gift.

Senior Class Treasurer Julia Hammond and Secretary Katie Amara presented the Class gift of benches for the art hallway during the ceremony as well.

The presentation of diplomas began ...

The presentation of diplomas began …

Girl_receives_diploma

… and continued … with Region 4 Superintendent Dr. Ruth Levy shaking each graduate’s hand …

... and ended!

… and ended!

 

Hat_toss

The evening culminated when the class tossed their caps high into the air, symbolizing their level of energy and high ambition for the next chapter of their lives.

When the ceremony was complete, all that remained were fond memories ... and a handful of hats on the ground.

When the ceremony was complete, all that remained were fond memories … and a handful of hats scattered on the ground.

Share

Deep River Church Plans August Flea Market & Rummage Sale, Aug. 19 & 20

Deep River Congregational ChurchDEEP RIVER – The Deep River Congregational Church will hold its Annual Rummage Sale on Friday, Aug. 19, and Saturday, Aug. 20. Its Annual Flea Market will be on Saturday, Aug. 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Reservations for spaces at the Flea Market are now being accepted. The spaces, which are about 20 ft. x 20 ft. on Marvin Field and all around the church building, sell for $30 each.  More than half the spaces have already been sold, so please act quickly if you would like to have a spot.   Registration forms and maps can be downloaded from the church web site, www.deeprivercc.org. or call the church office for further information:  860-526-5045 or office.drcc@snet.net.

Donations for the Rummage Sale may be left in the church hall in front of the Nellie Prann Room on the lower level. (Not by the offices!)  Please note that the following items are not accepted:  large furniture, TVs, large appliances, car seats, cribs, books, clothing, shoes, VHS tapes or items that are in disrepair. Contact Cathy Smith at 860-526-1875 or smithcathleen@sbcglobal.net or the Church Office at 860-526-5045 or office.drcc@snet.net with questions.

The church is located at 1 Church Street (off Rte. 154), in Deep River.

 

Share

Sunshine to Sing at Inaugural Osprey Festival Saturday in Sound View, Old Lyme

Standing by one of the osprey nests being used to promote this Saturday's Osprey Festival are board members of the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce (from left to right) Mark Griswold, Jan Ayer Cushing, Doug Lo Presti and Joann Lishing.

Standing by one of the osprey nests being used to promote this Saturday’s Osprey Festival are board members of the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce (from left to right) Mark Griswold, Jan Ayer Cushing, Doug Lo Presti and Joann Reis Lishing.

Family-Oriented Event Features ‘The Voice’ Finalist Braiden Sunshine, Art Lectures, Kid Contests, Vendors Galore  … and More

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce is hosting a new ‘Osprey Festival’ at Sound View this coming Saturday, June 18, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.  This is an exciting, family-oriented seaside festival that honors the majestic osprey and celebrates many of the great aspects of Lyme and Old Lyme.

The Chamber is partnering with the Connecticut Audubon Society’s Osprey Nation, the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center, Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven, and the MusicNow Foundation to bring together art, music, nature and events.

Osprey_Festival_logo_cropped

This inaugural annual event is designed to kick-off the summer season and attract residents from our two towns as well as the surrounding communities. Mark your calendars now for what promises to be an enjoyable, entertaining and educational event.

A portion of Hartford Ave. in Sound View will be closed off for the festival.  The morning and early afternoon will be focused on young families with free carousel rides, kid’s competitions, school bands, and young local musicians. At the same time, a great variety of vendors will be selling their wares on Hartford Ave.

The afternoon will be geared towards the older population in Lyme and Old Lyme with lectures from world-renowned speakers on art and nature including artist Michael DiGiogio giving a field demonstration and talk at 12 p.m., and ornithological expert Dr. Paul Spitzer speaking at 2:15 p.m. on ospreys in the Lower Connecticut River.

The afternoon’s activities will also feature a bocce contest – sign up your team by emailing info@ospreyfestival.com – and sandcastle-building competition.  The bocce tournament winning team receives $250 in prizes from Black Hall Outfitters.

Old Lyme's own Braiden Sunshine will perform in the evening at the Osprey Festival.

Old Lyme’s own Braiden Sunshine will perform in the evening at the Osprey Festival.

As the evening rolls in, the tone will change to create a night for all ages with some top- notch local bands, and some special games in the street. Old Lyme’s own Braiden Sunshine – a finalist in the most recent popular TV series of “The Voice” – will present a concert at 7 p.m.

Other musical groups that will be featured include the United States Coast Guard Band at 3:45 p.m., Java Grove at 6 p.m., Ramblin’ Dan and the Mellowmen at 5 p.m., Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Jazz Catz at 3:10 p.m., MusicNow Foundation’s Youth Showcase at 1:10 p.m., and some special guests from Charles Music School’s Adult Rock Band at 11:15 a.m.

Platinum sponsors of the Festival include ASP Productions LLC, Black Hall Outfitters, Connecticut Rental Center, iCRV Radio and Shoreline Web News LLC – publisher of LymeLine.com and ValleyNewsNow.com.  Host sponsors include the Connecticut Audubon Society, Nightingale’s Acoustic Café and Lyme Academy College of FineArts.

For more information, visit www.ospreyfestival.com or email info@ospreyfestival.com.

Share

Ann Carl Receives “Making A Difference” Award from Essex Congregational Church

1465749022551

The First Congregational Church in Essex presented its “Making A Difference” Award to Valley Regional High School graduated senior Ann E. Carl of Chester (front row center) at a recent ceremony at the church. Family and members of the church’s Justice and Witness Committee who gathered for the award announcement are: (front row L-R) committee member Delcie McGrath of Essex, parents Elizabeth Carl and Joseph Carl of Chester; committee member Mary-Lawrence Bickford of Essex; (back L-R) church pastor Rev. Ken Peterkin, and committee members Emily Williams of Essex, Sharyn Nelson of Ivoryton and Mike Hennessy of East Lyme.

ESSEX – The First Congregational Church of Essex, UCC has presented its “Making A Difference” Award to Ann E. Carl, a graduated senior from Valley Regional High School.

Sponsored by the Justice and Witness Committee of the church, the $1,000 “Making A Difference” award is given to a senior at Valley Regional High School whose actions continue to challenge those ideas and practices that result in the exclusion of others. These can be small actions: an effort to connect groups or individuals with different ideas and different experiences, acts of inclusiveness, a community project or school activity that unites people in a positive cause or attempts to seek out individuals needing support.

The daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Carl of Chester, award recipient Annie is taking a “Gap Year” to travel and work in Ecuador, the Western United States and South Africa. The “Making A Difference” Award will go towards her fundraising for those efforts.

During her years at VRHS, Annie was a member of the National Honor Society and was active in soccer, track, the Interact Club and the Steering Committee. She has helped to raise funds for “Sharing To Learn,” a non-profit to help the village of Makuleke, South Africa; “CT Brain Freeze,” a polar plunge held by the National Brain Tumor Society; and a soccer game to promote awareness of pediatric cancer.

Other projects that Annie was involved in during her student career include “Tap Is Back Campaign/Chester Cares Initiative” to promote reusable water bottles; “Simply Smiles” Mission Trip to South Dakota to work on the Cheyenne Sioux Reservation; ICVR Radio, promoting accomplishments of local high school students; and a Hiking Sunday to encourage teens to exercise outdoors.

 

 

Share

Essex Rotary Recognizes Scholarship Recipients at Annual Awards Dinner

Essex Rotary Scholarship winners (left to right) Claire Halloran, Annie Brown, Kaleigh Caulfield, Scott Nelson, Tina Mitchell, Emily LeBlanc and Morgan Hines. Photo by Dick Levene)

Essex Rotary Scholarship winners (left to right) Claire Halloran, Annie Brown, Kaleigh Caulfield, Rotarian Scott Nelson, Tina Mitchell, Emily LeBlanc and Morgan Hines. Photo by Dick Levene

ESSEX – Each year Rotarians gather at the Essex Yacht Club under the leadership of current club President Jordan Welles and Essex Rotary Scholarship Foundation Chairman Scott Nelson to meet and honor our scholars both past and present.  The Rotary Club of Essex has been supporting the college dreams of Essex residents for the past 49 years, having awarded the first scholarship back in 1966.  The club has a legacy that began with stellar Rotarians including Dr. Donald Buebendorf, Doug Jones, Chet Kitchings and Dr. Peter Pool.  That legacy continues under the leadership of a second generation of Rotarians including Don’s son Jeff Buebendorf.  Two of the 2016 recipients share that legacy.

Rotarian Dr. Bill McCann’s granddaughter Annie Brown enters the University of Vermont this fall where she plans to major in education and environmental studies.  Annie is the recipient of the 2016 Dr. Donald M. Buebendorf Scholarship.  Annie plans to spend her summer working with children at the Valley Shore YMCA and at Bushy Hill Nature Center where she hopes to help children connect with each other and with nature.

Tina Mitchell has been awarded a new and unique scholarship this year honoring the club’s 60th anniversary.  Tina will study Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Cornell following a gap year abroad in Hungary as part of the Rotary International Youth Exchange Program.  Tina’s grandfather was an active Rotarian and inventor of the famed shad bake coffee brewer lovingly known as the rocket.

The third 2016 recipient is Kaleigh Caulfield.  Kaleigh is entering the pre-teaching program at UConn Avery Point and eventually plans to work in the field of special education.  This scholarship is a collaborative partnership between the Rotary Club of Essex and the trustees of the Riverview Cemetery.  Board members Peter Decker, Dick Mather and Hank McInerney were on hand for the presentation.

Also in attendance were past recipients from 2013-15.  Emily Le Grand is a finance major at the University of Maryland.  Emily has a strong interest in the non-profit sector and has interned at United Way as well as volunteered with a hunger and homeless project in the DC area this past semester.  Harrison Taylor continues his studies at Connecticut College and has discovered a passion for working with immigrants in the New London area providing education and support navigating the immigration process.  Claire Halloran finished her freshman year at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU studying film and television production.  Claire’s early projects have already garnered awards and her studies confirm her dedication to this industry and a newfound interest in post-production sound.  Morgan Hines just finished a semester in Prague and now returns to Georgetown for her final year majoring in history and journalism.  Morgan is interning with the Hartford Courant this summer and starts the process of applying to graduate schools in the fall.

Mason King was unable to attend, but continues his studies at Union College.  Allyson Clark was also unable to attend but sent a written update, which Scott Nelson shared with the audience.  Allyson has been working with NFP programs in Brazil including BRAYCE and has also embarked on an entrepreneurial venture to educate tourists on the negative impact that tourism has on poverty-stricken areas such as Rio.  Allyson made the critical decision to transfer to Rhine-Waal University in Germany this past year and has successfully integrated her studies and her tourism project into this new culture.  She is enjoying the diversity and the challenges of cultural immersion and has gained a unique understanding of international migration.

For more information about the Rotary Club of Essex, please visit  www.rotaryclubofessex.com.
Share

Deep River Resident Recognized for Excellence by Progressive Grocer

Silvana Baxter

Silvana Baxter

DEEP RIVER – Progressive Grocer, a leading retail food industry trade publication, has named Silvana Baxter of Deep River, a Stop & Shop Asset Protection Associate, as a 2016 Top Women in the grocery industry, which honors outstanding female leaders in the retailer and supplier community sectors.  

“Stop & Shop is very proud of the many accomplishments achieved by these dedicated associates who have gone above and beyond their positions within our company and have made many contributions within the communities they serve,” said Robert Spinella, Vice President of Human Resources, Stop & Shop NY Metro Division. “Congratulations to our honorees who serve as true role models for the future of their fellow colleagues.”  

Covering the retail food industry, Progressive Grocer’s core target audience includes top management and key decision makers from chain supermarkets, regional and local independent grocers, supercenters, wholesaler distributors, manufacturers and other supply chain training partners.

The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC employs over 61,000 associates and operates 419 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey.

Share

Roto Frank of America Helps Connecticut’s Veterans

roto frankCHESTER – Supporting Connecticut’s veterans is an issue that is close to the hearts of Roto Frank of America employees. So it wasn’t surprising that when it came time to select a charitable organization for 2016, Roto Frank employees voted overwhelming for Connecticut Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Each year, employees of Roto Frank of America, Inc. select among five local charities on which to focus their fundraising activities, which include voluntary payroll deductions by employees, food sales, and fifty-fifty raffles. “We’re proud to support Department of Veterans’ Affairs in their efforts to improve the lives of Connecticut veterans and their families,“ said Sue LeMire, Roto Frank of America’s HR/General Accounting Manager.

Based in Rocky Hill, the Connecticut Department of Veterans’ Affairs has provided care for veterans and their dependents for over 140 years. This includes a health care facility with approximately 180 beds that provides extended health care to veterans, and a domicile with approximately 483 beds available that provides residents with a continuum of rehabilitation care. Veterans also receive substance abuse treatment, educational and vocational rehabilitation, job skills development, self-enhancement workshops, employment assistance and transitional living opportunities.

Founded in 1979, Roto Frank of America, Inc. is a Chester-based manufacturer of window and door hardware. Roto Frank of America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Roto AG, a global company headquartered in Germany, with 13 production plants and 40 subsidiaries worldwide. Roto Frank of America offers solutions for North American and European hardware applications, has an extensive product line including its renowned X-DRIVE™ casement and awning window systems, sash locks, window-opening-control-devices, sliding patio door systems, and European window and door hardware, among others.

For more information, visit www.rotohardware.com

Share

Letter to the Editor from New Essex Library Friends President

The Friends of Essex Library new Board for 2016 (L-R): Genie Devine, Secretary; Linda Levene, Past President; Jo Kelly, President; Judy Taylor, Catharine Wagner, Susan Hosack (not shown), Members at Large; Pat Mather, Treasurer; Judy Fish, Ivoryton Library Liaison; Peggy Tuttle, Book Sales Coordinator.

The Friends of Essex Library new Board for 2016 (L-R): Genie Devine, Secretary; Linda Levene, Past President; Jo Kelly, President; Judy Taylor, Catharine Wagner, Susan Hosack (not shown), Members at Large; Pat Mather, Treasurer; Judy Fish, Ivoryton Library Liaison; Peggy Tuttle, Book Sales Coordinator.

To the Editor:

I am very pleased to be on the Board of the Friends of the Essex Library as their new President.  I look forward to working with my new Board, the Essex Library Association board, and the Essex community.

Libraries across the country are going through a transformation.  The library many of you, as well as myself, grew up with no longer exists.  Essex Library is becoming an ever expanding multimedia community resource hub; striving to meet the needs and requirements of a changing community.

My goals are to aid and support Essex Library Association in its efforts to meet the challenges of a changing community.  And, with your community involvement in our library system, we will accomplish and surpass these goals.

Thank you for your continued support and involvement.

Sincerely,

Jo Kelly
Share