December 1, 2016

‘Trees in the Rigging’ Held Sunday in Essex

Boats in the annual Trees in the Rigging Lighted Boat Parade are decorated with holiday lights. Photo by Jody Dole.

Boats in the annual Trees in the Rigging Lighted Boat Parade are decorated with holiday lights. Photo by Jody Dole.

ESSEX –- Kick off the holiday season Sunday, Nov. 27 in Essex with the annual Trees in the Rigging Community Carol Sing and Lighted Boat Parade.   The Connecticut River Museum, the Essex Board of Trade, and the Essex Historical Society combine to present this annual event that includes a traditional, lantern-lit carol stroll down Main Street where spectators are invited to bring their own lanterns or flashlights and join in with the Sailing Masters of 1812 Fife and Drum Corps and a parade of antique cars. 

Participants can gather at the Essex Town Hall at 4 p.m. The stroll steps off at 4:30 p.m. beginning on West Ave. and ending at the Connecticut River Museum with a parade of vessels dressed out in holiday lights and passing in review along the Connecticut River.  Santa and his elves will arrive by one of the parade boats for visits with children on the lawn of the Connecticut River Museum.

The Connecticut River Museum will also be open that evening for all to attend the 23rd Annual Holiday Train Show at a reduced admission of $6.

Register Your Boat for the Lighted Boat Parade

A critical and crowd-pleasing part of this free community event is the parade of boats dressed in holiday lights that sail along Essex’s waterfront. The decorated boats are part of a friendly competition.  A modest 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prize will be awarded to the best dressed boats. Winners will be invited to receive their prize and participate in a photo-op on Monday, Nov. 28, at 4:30 p.m. at the Connecticut River Museum.  

Registration is required to participate in the boat parade that usually begins around 5:15 p.m. from the south end of Essex Harbor. To register, send emails to: kperkins@ctrivermuseum.org. Information should include: vessel name; type of boat and description; owner(s) name; contact information (phone and preferred email); decorating scheme (if known at time of registration). registration must be received by Monday, Nov. 21 at 4:30 p.m.  

Make your Own Parade Lantern

Carolers can come to the Essex Historical Society for a free, family activity.  A tin lantern making workshop will be held at the Pratt House, 19 West Ave, Essex from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Contact the Essex Historical Society for workshop information at ehs@essexhistory.org or 860-767-0681.

To make your own lanterns at home: 

  • Step 1: fill an empty aluminum can with water and freeze. This will make it easier to punch holes for the design in the can.
  • Step 2: using a hammer and nail, punch holes in the can to make a connect-the-dots style picture of a holiday design. Use plenty of holes to allow the light to shine through.
  • Step 3: punch two holes near the rim to attach a wire handle.
  • Step 4: after the ice is melted, attach a votive or other small candle to the inside bottom of the can.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information, call 860.767.8269 or visit www.ctrivermuseum.org.

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VRHS’s Ginny King Honored as Connecticut’s “PE Teacher of the Year”

On Nov. 17, Ginny King of Valley Regional High School was honored with the CTAHPERD High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award.

On Nov. 17, Ginny King of Valley Regional High School was honored with the CTAHPERD High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award.

REGION 4 — The Connecticut Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CTAHPERD) held the Annual Fall Conference on Nov. 17 and 18 and Awards Banquet on Nov. 17, at the Radisson Hotel in Cromwell, Conn.

Among the honorees was Virginia King, Physical Education teacher at Valley Regional High School (VRHS) in Deep River, who received the CTAHPERD High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award.

A graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University with a B.S. degree in Physical Education with a Health minor, King continued her Education at the University of Connecticut with a M.S. degree in Sport Management and Leisure Studies. She has 24 years of teaching experience at VRHS in Deep River. In addition to her teaching duties, King is the Regional School District #4 Health and Physical Education Department Coordinator for Grades 7-12.

King has deep content knowledge, a fine repertoire of pedagogical skills, and contagious enthusiasm for teaching and learning. She has spearheaded a transformation in curriculum and course offerings that has created a more personalized approach for high school students.

The primary focus of the curriculum is lifelong fitness through lessons that embrace standards in an atmosphere that is fun, engaging and supportive. PE Fit is an elective course characterized by goal setting by students, exposure to a variety of fitness activities, guest instructors, and field trips to local fitness centers. A Recreation and Leisure unit was developed to include lifelong leisure activities that promote 21st century learning skills to help the students better meet academic, social and civic expectations within physical education.

Students are encouraged to participate in and then teach these activities to friends and family outside of school hours to promote a better sense of community. Seniors may take an additional physical education course as a Physical Education Assistant/Student Leader. These students assist with such teaching duties as taking attendance, setting up and distributing equipment, officiate, disseminate handouts and reading materials, run round robin tournaments, and work one on one with students that need help with game skills or weight room techniques. This modern curriculum has fostered a transformation in student attitude.

Since becoming a certified Zumba Fitness and Zumba Toning instructor, King introduced the group exercise program into the Wednesday Cardio Workout Sessions for every block of the day at VRHS. Students are enthusiastically engaged through her excellent presentation skills, sense of humor and abundant energy. She has expanded the Zumba instruction into a cross curricular unit with the Spanish class and held Zumba sessions during halftime at home football games.

King has contributed to the school community in many ways: she was a BEST Portfolio scorer; Assistant Girls’ Basketball Coach; Head Volleyball Coach; Athletic Director; is a TEAM mentor teacher, cooperating teacher; intramural Spring sports director; intramural weight room director; member of NEASC sub-committee; Team Handball Tournament Director for VRHS Heart of a PE Warrior Scholarship.

Her service to the greater community includes: free Zumba session for Camp Hazen’s YMCA Women’s Wellness Weekend Retreat; guest lecturer at CCSU; charity Zumba session Chester Fire Hose Company for a VRHS scholarship fundraiser; Zumbathon for Chester Elementary School PTO; Zumbathon for breast cancer at Ifoundfitness; and community projects with the Tri-Town Youth Services Bureau.

Committed to excellence and developing herself as a professional, she is fully committed to providing students with a rigorous and relevant learning experience. CTAHPERD is highly honored to recognize Virginia “Ginny” Mislick King as High School Teacher of the Year for 2016.

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Donations Needed to Help Provide Thanksgiving Meals for Families at ‘Sunday of Service’

Providing Thanksgiving meals for deserving families in the "Backpack Program" in Essex, Chester and Deep River is the focus of November 20's "Sunday of Service" at The First Congregational Church in Essex. Can you help to sponsor a family's meal?

Providing Thanksgiving meals for deserving families in the “Backpack Program” in Essex, Chester and Deep River is the focus of November 20’s “Sunday of Service” at The First Congregational Church in Essex. Can you help to sponsor a family’s meal?

ESSEX — Can you help to make Thanksgiving possible for a deserving family? Today, Sunday, Nov. 20, The First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC will host its “Making A Difference Sunday of Service” by providing the supplies for a full Thanksgiving meal for the families in the Region 4 School District (Essex, Chester and Deep River) who participate in the “Backpack Program.”

This program provides nutritious food items for students to take home on weekends for families with children who qualify for federal meal assistance at school and has the support of The Connecticut Food Bank. At present, the church, located at 6 Methodist Hill inEssex Village,  hosts the volunteer-run program and supplies space to store and stage the take-home food offerings.

On Nov. 20, members and friends of The First Congregational Church in Essex will attend a brief worship service at 10 a.m., followed by the in-service project. Participants will assemble the donated food items— staples for a Thanksgiving dinner for a family of six—- and ready them for delivery to family homes on Nov. 20 or 21.

Monetary donations are needed to make the event possible. The cost to sponsor one family’s Thanksgiving meal is $55 but any amount is appreciated. Donations should be mailed or delivered to the church at 6 Methodist Hill in Essex Village.

To volunteer to help at the event, come to the church at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20.

For more information, call 860-767-8097.

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Local Opera Star Teaches Vocal Masterclass Today; Registration Open to the Public

Tenor Brian Cheney

Tenor Brian Cheney

CENTERBROOK –- Community Music School presents a masterclass with local opera star Brian Cheney on Sunday, Nov. 20, from 4 to 6 p.m.  Cheney will coach participants on intermediate/advanced vocal technique and performance practices in a wide range of genres, including opera, classical, Broadway, jazz, and even pop.

The masterclass will be hosted at the Centerbrook Meetinghouse and the cost is $15 per person.  This event is open to the public and advance registration is requested.

For additional information and to register, visit www.community-music-school.org/brian or call860-767-0026.

Following Cheney’s debut at Carnegie Hall in 2007, he has been performing concert works and oratorio throughout the country. The Daily Gazette in Albany, NY had this to say about his recent performance of the Messiah, “Tenor Brian Cheney was a revelation. Cheney’s voice was like spun gold. He seemed to dwell on his notes, basking in their loveliness. Each phrase was sculpted, each word was cleanly enunciated. Not just a gorgeous voice, Cheney showed imagination as he altered his colors or use of vibrato.”

Cheney has performed numerous times as a soloist at Carnegie Hall with his most recent performance performing a world premiere and US premiere of Hungarian music with the American Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Leon Botstein.

In 2011, Cheney also made his Lincoln Center debut as tenor soloist for the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 at Avery Fisher Hall appearing with acclaimed soprano, Jessye Norman. A now frequent soloist at Lincoln Center, Cheney will return this season for the popular New Year’s Concert, Salute to Vienna.

Engagements in 2016 include Rodolfo in La Boheme with the Windsor Symphony and Norwalk Symphony Opera and Tenor Soloist in Salute to Vienna at Lincoln Center.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 30 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.

Learn more at www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

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Nilsson Hosts a “Concert in the Garden” Today Featuring Hiroya Tsukamoto

Hiroya Tsukamoto

Hiroya Tsukamoto

CHESTER — Leif Nilsson hosts another ‘Concert in the Garden’, Sunday, Nov. 20, from 4 to 6 p.m., this time featuring Hiroya Tsukamoto at the Spring Street Studio and Gallery at 1 Spring St, Chester Center. This monthly concert series highlights eclectic international singer/songwriter artists from cool jazz to blue grass.

Tsukamoto is a guitarist and composer originally from Kyoto, Japan. He began playing banjo when he was 13-years-old. In 2000, he received a scholarship to Berklee College of Music and came to the US.

Since then, he has been performing internationally including several appearances with his group at Blue Note in New York and released five albums as a leader. He recently performed on Japanese National TV program (NHK-TV). Hiroya has developed unique acoustic music which is sometimes described as “Cinematic acoustic music”

The Boston Herald says,”Hiroya Tsukamoto takes us to an impressionistic journey.” while JazzReview.com notes, “…chops, passion and warmth. Zealously recommended!”

To see Tsukamoto in action, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaPLbxCHOFU

To learn more about the artist, visit http://www.hiroyatsukamoto.com

 

Gates open half hour before the show — first come, first seated. BYOB and picnic – indoor Bistro- style seating offered in the Gallery.

Sorry, no pets allowed.

A $20 donation is appreciated.  The event is BYOB – buy your own wine or beer at the Chester Package Store across the street, which is open until 8 p.m.

For more information, call 860-526-2077 or log on www.nilssonstudio.com

 

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Essex Land Trust Hosts Cross Lots Preserve Autumn Clean-up Today

Ready for action! Volunteers gather before they start work on the Autumn clean-up.

Ready for action! Volunteers gather before they start work on the Autumn clean-up.

ESSEX — Help put this Land Trust’s Cross Lots Preserve at 40 West Ave. to bed for the winter, get a mild workout, and connect with your neighbors in a beautiful setting. All this offered on Saturday, Nov. 19 starting at 9 a.m.

Refreshments will be served. Please bring rakes, blowers, etc. Families, dogs welcome.

Rain date is Saturday, Nov. 26 at 9 am.

Park on West Avenue or at Essex Town Hall.

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Holiday Exhibit on Show at Maple & Main

"Where To?" by Claudia van Nes is one of the signature paintings of this year's Holiday Show at the Maple and Main Gallery.

“Where To?” by Claudia van Nes is one of the signature paintings of this year’s Holiday Show at the Maple and Main Gallery.

CHESTER – The opening party for the Holiday Exhibit at Maple and Main Gallery is Saturday, Nov. 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. with wine, appetizers, desserts and music by artist/musician Alan James.

From luminous landscapes to abstract collages, marine scenes to scenes from the creators’ imaginations, the show features over 200 paintings and sculptures by 54 established artists from all corners of Connecticut.

In Maple and Main’s Stone Gallery during November is a show of intriguing photographs by members of the Connecticut Valley Camera Club. Gallery artist Janine Robertson will be featured in a solo show in the Stone Gallery during December. The Holiday Exhibit runs through Jan. 22.

Maple and Main Gallery, at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday and Thursday from  noon to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mapleandmaingallery.com; 860-526-6065; visit us on Facebook and Instagram.

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Early Childhood Council Hosts Children’s Health Fair & Preschool Expo Today

childrens-vision-screening
AREAWIDE —
The Early Childhood Council of Essex, Deep River and Chester will be hosting a Children’s Health Fair and Preschool Expo on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to noon at Chester Elementary School.  All families of young children (newborn to six) are invited to attend for fun activities, healthy snacks from Adam’s Hometown Market and helpful resources from Tri-Town Youth Services, Shoreline Speech Therapy and Valley Shore YMCA.  Siblings are welcome.

There will be children’s yoga at 10:30 and 11 a.m.  Essex Lion’s Club will be offering vision screenings and there will be a children’s ID booth.  The Region 4 preschools will each be represented at the Expo, so this will be a great time for families to learn more about the schools and meet the staff.

The Early Childhood Council serves the communities of Essex, Deep River, and Chester.  Its mission is to heighten awareness of the educational needs facing three-, four-, and five-year-old children. The Council is dedicated to providing resources to parents and to the early childhood educators of Connecticut’s public school district Region 4, ensuring seamless communication among caregivers. 

Find more information at earlychildhoodcouncilofessexdeepriverchester.yolasite.com.

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Letter to the Editor: Many Thanks in This Season of Giving

To the Editor:

The Essex Community Fund recently joined together with the Essex Police Department for our annual Stuff-a-Cruiser event to benefit the Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Colonial Market shoppers were asked for their help to Stuff-a-Cruiser by purchasing a few extra items with their regular groceries. As always, people in our community were extremely generous with almost 1,700 pounds of food collected. Special thanks to the Essex Boy Scouts and Shoreline Soup Kitchen volunteers who helped with the off-loading and sorting of it all at the Congregational Church in Old Saybrook site that evening.

Thank you to everyone for their generosity in this season of giving. If you didn’t get a chance to participate or if you’d like to give again, join us at our next Stuff-a-Cruiser event – Friday, December 16, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Colonial Market. The John Winthrop Middle School Choir will be singing carols as we aim to collect 2,000 pounds of food!

Jean Schneider,
Essex.

Editor’s Note:
The writer is President of the Essex Community Fund.

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Local History Adds to Memories for Thanksgiving Visitors, Nov. 25-26

pratt-house-mantel

All decorated for the holidays, Essex Historical Society’s 18th-century Pratt House awaits your post-Thanksgiving visit.

AREAWIDE — College students home over the Thanksgiving break? House guests who have eaten more turkey than they wanted to and looking for something to do? Free entertainment and getting to know more about our local towns can all be accomplished during the extended hours at the Chester, Deep River and Essex historic museums and houses. Such a welcome alternative to dealing with crowds at the malls!

For the third year in a row, the historical societies of Chester, Deep River and Essex are helping you entertain your guests on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Chester Historical Society president Skip Hubbard said, “This year will be the fifth year we have been open over Thanksgiving and it’s become a popular thing to do. We expect to welcome another 50-60 people again this year to our museum.  Some people even visited more than one of the three sites. The combination of free admission, rekindling memories and learning more about the local area can be hard to resist.”

At the Chester Museum at The Mill, early drums from the Chester Fife & Drum Corps are part of the seasonal exhibit, discussed here by museum volunteer Nancy Watkins.

At the Chester Museum at The Mill, early drums from the Chester Fife & Drum Corps are part of the seasonal exhibit, discussed here by museum volunteer Nancy Watkins.

The Deep River Historical Society’s Stone House, built by Deacon Ezra Southworth in 1840, will be open on Friday, Nov. 25, and Saturday, Nov. 26, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Enjoy touring the house’s recently restored Marine Room and see the Winthrop wood planes and learn their history. Watch the preparations for the Festival of Trees, Trains and Traditions. The Stone House is at 245 Main Street in Deep River. For more information, visit www.deepriverhistoricalsociety.org.

Essex Historical Society’s historic Pratt House, located at 19 West Avenue in Essex, will be open to visitors Friday, Nov. 25, and Saturday, Nov. 26, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The house, which was built in stages throughout the 18th century, interprets early farm life and the nine generations of Pratt smithies, many of whom lived there. Tour the house with EHS’s knowledgeable guides and visit its newly expanded museum shop.  For more information, visit www.essexhistory.org.

deep-river-maritime-room

This summer the Deep River Historical Society created the Maritime Room at the Pratt House.

The Chester Museum at The Mill, at 9 West Main Street in Chester, will also be open on Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year’s seasonal exhibit focuses on community organizations, such as Scouts, Fife & Drum Corps, Chester International Links, and more.

For more information, visit www.chesterhistoricalsociety.org.

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Women Playwright’s Initiative Taking Shape at Ivoryton Playhouse, Director Submissions Now Sought

IVORYTON:  In February 2016, Laura Copland, Director of Play Development, and Jacqui Hubbard, Executive/Artistic Director of The Ivoryton Playhouse, began talks about creating a safe environment for women playwrights to workshop their plays with professional actors and directors. The Ivoryton Playhouse is excited to announce the 2017 inaugural festival of the Women Playwright’s Initiative. The workshopping festival runs from Feb. 26 to March 4, 2017. Staged readings of the winning scripts will take place on Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4, 2017 at The Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main Street, Ivoryton, CT, followed by discussions with playwrights, actors and directors.

A call for one act plays went out on the League of Professional Theatre Women’s website and was picked up across the country. By the submission deadline of Sept. 15, the Initiative received 183 scripts. The scripts hailed from all over the United States and Canada, even Israel.

For Ms. Copland, who read all of the plays, this experience has been humbling and inspiring. “All these women!  All these women expressing in dialogue and conflict, their passion, intelligence, yearning, anger, hurt, love, and humor. Women are a force! It has been my honor to read their work.”

The time constraints of one week rehearsal and two nights of staged readings permitted no more than two hour-long plays, and two shorter plays. After wrenching deliberation, thirteen plays were under consideration. Many fascinating plays with potential had to be eliminated. The small committee included Ms. Copland, Ms. Hubbard, Susan McCann, Box Office Manager at The Ivoryton Playhouse, Margaret McGlone Jennings, director, teacher and actor and Brooks Appelbaum, director and theatre critic.

Four terrific plays were selected. The committee is proud of the choices and looks forward to working with the playwrights, cast, and directors in what we hope will be a successful inaugural season of the Ivoryton Playhouse’s Women Playwright’s Initiative.

The Playhouse is now seeking submissions from local directors. The deadline for resume submissions is Nov. 30, 2016. Submit to Laura Copland at laurac@ivorytonplayhouse.org. (Calls for local actors will be in January, 2017.)

For more information about the Women’s Playwright Initiative, contact Jacqueline Hubbard, Executive Director, The Ivoryton Playhouse, at 860-767-9502 or jhubbard@ivorytonplayhouse.org

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High Hopes Hosts Sixth Annual Holiday Market Today from 11am-4pm, Offers 60+ Local Vendors, Car Raffle

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-8-30-10-amOLD LYME — High Hopes Therapeutic Riding is transforming its indoor arena into a holiday marketplace on Sunday, Nov. 13, for the Sixth Annual Holiday Market sponsored by Reynolds Subaru. The event begins at 11 a.m. and will feature more than 60 local vendors and exhibitors, as well as activities for the entire family including hayrides, a kids’ scavenger hunt, face painting, door prizes and raffle for a 2016 Subaru IV Crosstrek 2.0i.

Last year more than 2,000 visitors attended the event on High Hopes’ 120-acre facility to start their holiday shopping and enjoy popular area food trucks. Items for sale include hand-made jewelry, holiday décor, pottery, crafts, skin care products, organic produce and more.

This year’s gourmet and specialty food truck line-up includes Flanders Fish Market, The Rolling Tomato, The Whey Station, FryBorg, Munchies Food Truck and for dessert, Meriano’s Bakery and Cannoli Truck.

For the first time at the event, attendees can see a glassblowing demonstration by Arch One Glass, and meet Garbanzo, a nine-month-old Mongolian Bankhar Dog who is trained to help nomadic Mongolian families by protecting their livestock from predators.

Raffle and event beneficiaries

High Hopes will hold a raffle drawing at 3:45 p.m. at the Holiday Market for a 2016 Subaru IV Crosstrek 2.0i, an Apple Watch Sport, a New York City overnight with dinner and Broadway show tickets, and a pair of Sorrel Cowboy Boots. The cost of a raffle ticket is $50, with only 1,500 being sold.

Visitors are encouraged to attend the Holiday Market which raises funds that directly support the 1,538 children and adults who are served annually by High Hopes’ programs.

Admission to the Holiday Market is free with a suggested donation of a nonperishable food item for the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries. Last year, more than 2,400 pounds of food was donated to help local families who struggle with hunger.

For more information about the event and to see a list of vendors, visit www.highhopestr.org, or contact Trudy Burgess at tburgess@highhopestr.org or call 860-434-1974, ext. 123.

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Community Music School Present Faculty Concert Today in Centerbrook

Community Music School faculty will present a concert, Nov. 12.

Community Music School faculty will present a concert on Nov. 13.

CENTERBROOK — On Sunday, Nov. 13, members of the Community Music School (CMS) faculty come together to perform an array of chamber music and other works at 3 p.m. at the Centerbrook Meetinghouse, 51 Main St., Centerbrook. This annual event offers the community a unique glimpse into the wealth of talent and experience of the Music School’s faculty as they collaborate on a wide variety of selections. The concert is free and open to the public and a meet-and-greet reception immediately follows. At-will donations are gratefully accepted.

Among the works to be performed are Sicilienne by Faure, Dances from Terpsichore by Praetorius, Tone Poem for Devin by Becker, I’ve Got a Crush on You by Gershwin, Slovanic Dance by Dvorak, Romanza by Poulenc, I Remember You by Schertzinger-Mercer, Trockne Blumen and Die Schone Mullerin by Schubert, Snare Drum Duets no.17 & 19 by Briggs, and Apres un Reve and Elegie by Faure.

Performers include Andrew Sherwood on clarinet, Tom Briggs on piano and snare drum, Bruce Larkin on recorder, John Birt on guitar, Kevin O’Neil on guitar, Russ Becker on clarinet and bass clarinet, Audrey Estelle on piano, Marilyn Lazare on piano, Greta Moorhead on vocals, Martin Wirt on snare drum, and Christine Coyle on cello.  The concert will feature several original works by Community Music School faculty, some for the first time.

This concert will be the first performance played on CMS’s newly acquired Steinway grand piano.  This incredible instrument was recently donated to the School by generous supporter Gregg Cook.  Over 100-years-old, the piano is in impeccable condition and features a rich, full sound, perfect for the acoustics of the Centerbrook Meetinghouse.  Come listen to some top-notch musicians perform on an amazing instrument.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 30-year-tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. The school’s programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.

Learn more at www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

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Kick off the Holidays in Chester at Dec. 2 Holiday Festival

The annual Starry Night Holiday Festival in Chester Center on Friday, Dec. 2, is a time for celebration, caroling, shopping, eating, and meeting up with friends and neighbors.

The picturesque historic village will be beautifully decorated for the holidays and the streets will be lined with luminaries made by the Boy Scouts. Saint Lucia Girls will walk around offering cookie treats. Carolers will stroll through the village on their way to the town’s Christmas tree, which will be lighted at 6 p.m. while the community gathers for a sing-along. This year’s tree comes from Camp Hazen YMCA property and will be decorated with school children’s ornaments expressing what they’re grateful for.

Chester's holiday tree will be decorated this year with hearts made by Chester children.

Chester’s holiday tree will be decorated this year with hearts made by Chester children.

All evening, the shops and galleries will offer light refreshments and beverages while you shop and browse. Arrowhead String Band will be playing at the Leif Nilsson Spring Street Gallery, providing holiday entertainment as you enjoy Leif’s recent paintings. The Matt Austin Studio welcomes Hilary Robertson, author of many internationally acclaimed style books such as “The Stuff of Life.” Bring her one interior design question to solve during her visit at the studio, between 6:30 and 9 p.m.

chester-gallery-postcard-2016-1

The long-popular Postcard Show, where all art is 4×6 inches or smaller, will open at the Chester Gallery. Stop in for champagne while perusing the postcard-sized creations by local artists.

The Maple and Main Gallery will be serving wine and cookies during the evening while visitors view the new Holiday Exhibit of over 200 paintings and sculptures by 53 Connecticut artists as well as a solo show in the Stone Gallery of Janine Robertson’s oil paintings.

With all the shops open for the evening, this is an ideal time to shop for gifts for everyone on your list, from your pets at Strut Your Mutt to your aspiring chefs at The Perfect Pear. Sterling silver necklaces for all the women on your holiday list – and you, too! – will be featured at Dina Varano Gallery, while Jan Cummings and Peter Good introduce their 2017 Calendar at C&G while giving away their holiday wrapping paper and “Change Chance” notecards.

vnn-blackgold2017leiva

Mandy Carroll-Leiva will introduce Leiva Jewelry’s Holiday Collection at the Lori Warner Studio & Gallery.

This one evening of the year, Nourish Organic Skincare opens its office doors (at the old Chester Bank, 6 Main Street) so you can purchase gift sets of their products, enter a prize drawing and pick up a few samples.  And then, of course, there’s apparel, and accessories, and more jewelry, and stocking stuffers of all types, and so much more available throughout the shops and galleries of Chester. Come and celebrate the holiday with us!

And don’t forget about the Holiday Shopping Extravaganza at the Chester Meeting House from 5 to 9 p.m. How can it get any better than this!

Free parking is available in the Water Street and the Maple Street parking lots, both a short walk to the center. More information about all the Starry Night happenings can be found at  Facebook.com/visitchesterct.

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Valley/Old Lyme Warriors Qualify for Class M Football Playoffs

Coach Tim King didn’t bother to tell his players that a win Saturday would earn the Valley Regional/Old Lyme cooperative program a trip to the CIAC Class M football playoffs.

His first concern was taking care of business against a struggling opponent, winless Canton.

“The kids did exactly what we asked,” King said. “We wanted to get our varsity kids off the field by halftime and we wanted to get our JV group some experience.” … Read the full article by “Day Staff Reports” and published in The Day on Saturday, Nov. 12,  at this link

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Have Your Treasures Appraised at Chester’s Own “Antiques Roadshow” Today

paul-indorf-ct-jewelry-appraisers

Paul Indorf, CT Jewelry Appraisers

CHESTER — Unearth that trunk from the attic. Dig that Christmas tree pin out of your jewelry box. Take the oil painting off the wall, the family Bible out of the bookcase, the silver teapot out of the cupboard.

The Chester Historical Society’s experts are returning to Chester on Saturday morning, Nov. 12 for the 13th Antiques & Jewelry Appraisal event. Now is your chance to find out what your “treasure” is really worth.

All 10 appraisers are active dealers and engaged in the antiques trade, with their fingers on the pulse of the industry. Four of them are generalists, meaning they deal with the full range of antiques. They are:  Norman and Linda Legassie of Stepping Stones Antiques LLC in Old Saybrook, Peggy Maraschiello of Riverwind Antiques in Deep River, and Tom Perry of One of a Kind Antiques (www.OneOfaKindAntiques.com).

The other six are: Garry Craig of The Timekeeper (watches and clocks); Orville Haberman of CT River Books (books and ephemera); Paul Indorf of Connecticut Jewelry Appraisers (fine jewelry and gemstones); John Newman of Deep River (American-made glass); Kevin Timme (silver); and Gay Sherman Weintz (vintage and antique costume jewelry).

The event will be at St. Joseph’s Parish Center, 48 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 154), Chester, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon on Nov. 12. You may bring up to three separate items for verbal appraisals (a collection, such as a set of silver flatware, is considered one item). If the item is too large to carry, bring photographs (if it’s a table or dresser, bring in a drawer too). The cost is $10 for the first item; $20 for two; or $25 for three. All proceeds benefit the programs and archives of the Historical Society. There is ample parking and handicapped access, and chairs and coffee for while you wait.

Tom Perry, of One of a Kind Antiques

Tom Perry, of One of a Kind Antiques

Details about all the appraisers are at www.ChesterHistoricalSociety.org. Have questions? Call 860-558-4701 or email ChesterCTHistoricalSociety@gmail.com.

 

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Essex Library Honors US Veterans with Presentation of ‘Letter From Italy’ This Morning

letterfromitaly1944coverIn honor of all US veterans, Essex Library presents Letter From Italy, 1944 on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 10:30 a.m. at the Essex Library. 

This is a soldier’s story told in poetry and music with Guilford Poet Society member Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely honoring her father, World War II veteran Dr. John Meneely, who served in the Army’s 10th Mountain Division.

In his letters home during the war, Dr. Meneely described the dread, injury and loss that he experienced during his service; the terror and carnage proved to be more than he could withstand. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) had not been defined in his lifetime but it has affected generations of veterans nevertheless.

Nancy Meneely and her sister, composer Sarah Meneely-Kyder, have created an oratorio to honor their father, which Nancy will share with audience members 

This program is free and open to all. Copies of the poetry book Letter From Italy, 1944 will be free for all veterans in attendance.

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

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Deep River Historical Society Toasts Upcoming Holiday Season With ‘Bourbon & Bubbles’ Fundraiser This Evening

'Bourbon and Bubbles' will make for a fun, fundraising evening, Nov. 12.

‘Bourbon and Bubbles’ will make for a fun, fundraising evening, Nov. 12.

DEEP RIVER — Deep River Historical Society is holding a fund-raiser Saturday, Nov. 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Carriage House, 245 Main Street, Deep River.

Taste a variety of unique bourbons, sparkling wines, craft beers generously provided by Shore Discount Liquors. All proceeds will be helping fund the Society’s mission to preserve the town’s history and artifacts. Appetizers will be served.

Tickets available at the door and priced at $25 per person. You must be 21 years or older to attend. Tickets may be purchased by contacting Peter or Marian Staye (860) 526-8205 or stayeintouch@comcast.net.

Come join the event and help make your choices for what your holiday entertainment might be.

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WW2 Veteran, Purple Heart Recipient Dave Mann to Speak at Chester Village West Today

Dave Mann in his World War II uniform.

Dave Mann in his World War II uniform.

CHESTER — On Veteran’s Day, Friday, Nov. 11, from 4 to 5 p.m., World War II Veteran and Purple Heart recipient Dave Mann will share his experiences in a special Veteran’s Day talk at the Chester Village West independent seniors community. The event is free and open to the public; all veterans and their families are welcome. Chester Village West is located at 317 W. Main St., Chester, CT 06412.

To register, call 860.526.6800 or visit http://www.chestervillagewestlcs.com/events-and-resources/calendar/world-war-ii-veteran-and-purple-heart-recipient-dave-mann/

Mann was one of 16.1 million Americans who served in World War II. The Chelsea, Massachusetts native–who served under General George S. Patton– received a Purple Heart, as well as harrowing memories, during his time in combat. He’s wondered why he survived and others did not. But he never took his eyes and heart away from why he was there and what it all meant…and what our country still means to those serving in our armed forces today.

Mann’s book, “What I Fought For: An Aging Veteran’s Love Letter to America” chronicles his path from innocent teenager to “trained killing machine” on the bloody fields of Europe, then back to life as a radio broadcast professional after the war. He will offer signed copies of the book, which is available for $10, after his Nov. 11 presentation.

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Letter to the Editor: Ivoryton Library Board of Trustees Thanks Community for Tremendous Support of Pumpkin Chase

To the Editor:

The Ivoryton Library Board of Trustees would like to sincerely thank the so many people of the Valley/Shore community who attended the Ivoryton Pumpkin Chase this past weekend. Even the rainy Saturday morning could not dull the fun spirit of our athletes or the beauty of Ivoryton in autumn.

Our library is equally grateful for the generosity of so many of our community groups who helped make this important fundraiser possible including Phil Shaller of Signs and Digital Graphics of Deep River for our new logo and signage, Box Bistro for our apple pie awards, as well as Norm Needleman and Jacqui Hubbard for their steadfast financial
support. There were also numerous local businesses we would like to acknowledge including Kohls, SNAP Fitness, the Clark Group, Guilford Savings Bank, the Ivoryton Playhouse, Essex Savings Bank, the Law Office of Christopher Morano, Essex Hardware, and Polito and Associates.

Collaboration between the Essex Parks and Recreation, the Essex Land Trust, the Ivoryton Alliance, Officer Tretter and the Essex Police Department and the Valley Shore YMCA all helped to make the lovely fall weekend a model for community at its best.

Our Library Board and volunteers worked tirelessly to efficiently and warmly host our patrons from near and far. Please be on the lookout for news of exciting changes and enhancements to our race next year!

Sincerely,

Chris Pagliuco,
Ivoryton.

Editor’s Note: The author served as Race Director of the Ivoryton Pumpkin Chase.

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Republican Sen. Art Linares Wins Third Term in 33rd District

State Senator Art Linares (R-33rd) File photo.

State Senator Art Linares (R-33rd) File photo.

AREAWIDE — Republican State Senator Art Linares of Westbrook was re-elected for a third term Tuesday , defeating his Democratic challenger, Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman, by a decisive margin in the 12- town 33rd District.

Linares, 28, carried at least six district towns, including Clinton, East Haddam, East Hampton, Portland, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook.

Neeedleman, 65, carried Chester, Deep River, Essex, and Lyme. The margin in Deep River was a close 12 votes 1,268 for Needleman to 1,256 for Linares,. Results were still outstanding as of 10 p.m. from Haddam and Colchester. Excluding those two towns, the total vote was 22,950 for Linares to 17,643 for Needleman.

Linares, was first elected in 2012, taking the seat that had been held for the previous two decades by the late former State Sen. Eileen Daily of Westbrook. He won a second term in 2014, defeating Democrat Emily Bjornberg of Lyme on a 22,673-17,326 vote.  Needleman is serving his third term as first selectman of Essex.

Linares claimed victory around 9:30 p.m., entering the ballroom at Water Edge Resort in Westbrook to cheers from about 100 supporters. “Not bad for a close race in the 33rd, I mean how big do we have to win by,” he quipped. Linares offered special thanks to his younger brother, Ryan, who has managed his three winning election campaigns .
Needleman greeted supporters at the Ivoryton Tavern in Essex.
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Local Rotaries Present Global Collaborative World’s Faire Today; Includes Sister Cities Essex Haiti

All the full-time doctors at Hospital Albert Schweitzer are Haitian.

All the full-time doctors at Hôpital Albert Schweitzer are Haitian.

CHESTER — Six local Rotary clubs are working together with other organizations to present a Global Collaborative World’s Faire on Sunday, Nov. 6 from 2 to 5 p.m at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, 55 East Kings Highway, Chester, CT. The motto of the event is “Building Bridges across the Globe” as it seeks to bring attention and support to local efforts that serve global causes. Bring the whole family to this fun-filled celebration that will help others around the world!

This event will feature:

  • displays and information on over 15 local organizations that serve international causes
  • children’s crafts and activities with an international focus — make a drum, dragon, mola art project, and more
  • vegetarian soups from around the world, plus pizza, sweets and soft drinks
  • musical entertainment bits
  • a raffle and door prizes

Individuals or groups supporting nonprofit international initiatives will showcase their efforts and raise funds and awareness for their causes. Artisan crafts and alternative gift-giving options will be available for purchase.

Children who bring art work depicting the theme “Building Bridges across the Globe” will receive Rotary Happy Bucks that they can use to purchase items or donate to the charity of their choice.

Admission is free.  Non-profit groups will keep 100% of the money raised from sale of wares, foods, non-alcoholic beverages, raffle items, and charitable donations.

Sister Cities Essex Haiti and Hôpital Albert Schweitzer will also be present at the Rotary Global Collaborative World’s Faire.

At the Faire, Sister Cities Essex Haiti and Hôpital Albert Schweitzer will showcase their efforts in rural Deschapelles, Haiti.  Sister Cities Essex Haiti was established in 2010, shortly after the devastating earthquake, by members of the Essex community who had previously traveled to Haiti.

Children enjoy reading together at the Deschapelles Community Library.

Children enjoy reading together at the Deschapelles Community Library.

It now supports a community library designed by Essex architect Hope Proctor, a tennis program, a music program and an Early Education Teacher Training program.

Hôpital Albert Schweitzer was founded in 1956 by Gwen and Larry Mellon, parents of Essex resident, Jenifer Grant. The full service hospital serves over 300,000 people in its 610 square mile district, and it has outreach efforts with four health centers in the more rural mountainous areas, a reforestation program, and a wells and water program to provide potable water.

Both organizations have been beneficiaries of Rotary support, as well as broad support from people in this area, and are delighted to be invited to participate in this Faire.

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The Country School Presents a Timeless Lesson — Starting With the Holocaust

Author Robert Gillette addresses Middle School students at The Country School.

Author Robert Gillette addresses Middle School students at The Country School.

AREAWIDE — The Country School regularly offers rich learning opportunities, inviting authors, community leaders, and alumni to speak to students. Most recently, TCS welcomed Robert H. Gillette, retired teacher and author of Escape to Virginia: From Nazi Germany to Thalhimer’s Farm, to share the story of two Jewish teenagers who fled from Nazi Germany.

Gillette spoke to his audience about a book’s meaning, what he calls White Fire. The Holocaust, he says, was written in black letters and screamed, “Beware!” White Fire, in contrast, invites readers to learn and not to be afraid. The White Fire in Escape to Virginia teaches readers not to be a perpetrator, a passive victim, or a bystander.

These lessons echo those The Country School teaches as part of its signature Elmore Leadership and Affective Education programs. In a unit called “Bullies, Victims, and Bystanders,” Middle School students learn about the power of words. Mr. Gillette’s message, the White Fire of his historical account of two young students, offers the same.

Seventh-grader Phineas Scott reflected on Mr. Gillette’s presentation, “It could not have gone better. He kept us all on the edge of our seats with his descriptions of what life was like for those refugees. We met the children of Eva who helped Mr. Gillette with the research for his book. Mr. Gillette told us we can learn a lot from history. We can learn about courage and hope from stories like Eva’s and we can learn to always stand up for what is right. He told us that The Country School’s motto, Education that Lasts a Lifetime, is the motto that Eva believed in.”

Founded in 1955, The Country School serves 200 students in PreSchool-Grade 8 on its 23-acre campus in Madison. The Country School is committed to active, hands-on learning and a vigorous curriculum that engages the whole child. Signature programs such as Elmore Leadership, Public Speaking, STEAM, and Outdoor Education help prepare students for success in high school and beyond.

See The Country School community in action during their Fall Open House on Sunday, Nov. 6, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Learn more at www.thecountryschool.org.

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Collomore Concerts Continue This Evening in Chester with Pianist Jeffrey Swann

Jeffrey Swann

CHESTER – Internationally acclaimed pianist Jeffrey Swann will perform at the Chester Meeting House on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 5 p.m. in the 43rd season of the Collomore Concert Series.

Swann’s performing career has taken him throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia. After pursuing his graduate degrees at the Juilliard School, where he studied with the renowned Beveridge Webster and Adele Marcus, Swann came to the piano world’s attention winning first prize in the Dino Ciani Competition sponsored by La Scala in Milan and a gold medal at the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. Other top honors include the Van Cliburn and Chopin Warsaw Competitions, and the Young Concert Artists auditions in New York.

In addition to presenting recitals worldwide, Swann has performed in this country with the symphonies of Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Minneapolis and worldwide with the orchestras in Rotterdam, La Scala, Rome, Prague and London.

Swann is a noted musical lecturer. The depth of his musical knowledge and his enthusiasm for teaching often leads him into spontaneous discussions of the music he is performing, much to the delight of his recital audiences. He continues to lecture regularly at the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth, Germany, and at Wagner Societies in the United States and Italy. Swann has also served as judge at many competitions, most recently at the Utrecht International Liszt Competition.

Since 2007 Jeffrey Swann has been Artistic Director of the Dino Ciani Festival and Academy in Cortina d’Ampezzo; since 2008 the Adel Artist-in-Residence at Northern Arizona University; since 2010 Professor of Piano at New York University; and since 2012 Artistic Director of the Scuola Normale Superiore Concert Series in Pisa.

At the Chester Meeting House, Jeffrey Swann will perform the Schubert Sonata in G Major and Beethoven Sonata No. 29 (Hammerklavier). After the concert, stay for the reception with refreshments donated by The Wheatmarket, to meet the performer. Tickets cost $25 for adult; $5 for student. Tickets can be purchased online at www.collomoreconcerts.org using PayPal. The Chester Meeting House is at 4 Liberty St., in Chester. For more information, check the website or call 860-526-5162.

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Bushnell Farm Offers ‘Election Day Cake,’ Cider, Harvest Activities at Free Event Today

Bushnell Farm has an authentic 17th century house where visitors can catch a glimpse of busy seasonal life on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 11am-4pm at Harvest Home, a free, family event. Photo by Jody Dole

Bushnell Farm has an authentic 17th century house where visitors can catch a glimpse of busy seasonal life on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 11am-4pm at Harvest Home, a free, family event. Photo by Jody Dole

Bushnell Farm, the 22 acre, 17th century site in Old Saybrook will be open on Nov. 5, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. with autumn activities that reflect the seasonal rhythm of daily life at this Valley-Shore farmstead. The event at 1445 Boston Post Rd. is free and open to the public with on-site parking. 

To celebrate the end of this campaign year, there will be Election Day cake in the oven of the 1678 farm house and demonstrators will be pressing apples for cider outside. Visitors can hear about the vast differences between Connecticut elections in colonial times and today.

The Bushnell family would be busy processing their apples, corn, vegetables and butchered beef into stores that could be preserved for the winter, so there will be several examples of food preservation taking place. The weaver in the Loom House will be working as will the blacksmith in the Forge.

Visitors can take a wagon ride around the Farm and stop near the Grove that is home to an Indian wigwam and there will be opportunities to compare and contrast their fall preparations with those of their English neighbors. 

Bushnell Farm is owned by Herb and Sherry Clark of Essex and is open to the public for seasonal events. The site is used for school programs, Scout campouts and for the Connecticut River Museum’s Summer Camp.

For further information, call the Curator at (860) 767-0674.

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Deep River Hosts First Annual Tri-Town Veteran’s Day Parade Today

DEEP RIVER — The First Annual Tri-Town Veteran’s Day Parade will kick off on Saturday, Nov. 5, from Devitt’s Field in Deep River at 1 p.m. followed by a ceremony at the Memorial Green on Main Street.

All Veterans are encouraged to join the parade.

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Essex Library Hosts Presentation Today on “Black Holes”

Professor Dr. Nikodem Poplawski

Professor Dr. Nikodem Poplawski

ESSEX — On Saturday, Nov. 5, at 1:30 p.m. the Essex Library will welcome University of New Haven’s Theoretical Physicist, who will present “Black holes and the origin of the Universe.”

Black holes are regions of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape because gravity is too strong. They form from the most massive stars or at the centers of galaxies. When the contracting matter in a black hole reaches extremely high densities, the quantum mechanical property of elementary particles called spin turns gravitational attraction into repulsion (torsion). The matter stops collapsing, undergoes a bounce like a compressed spring, and starts rapidly expanding. 

Extremely strong gravitational forces at the bounce cause an intense particle production, increasing the mass inside a black hole by many orders of magnitude. The region on the other side of the black hole’s event horizon becomes a new, growing universe. Accordingly, our own Universe may be the interior of a black hole existing in another universe, with the Big Bang being replaced by a Big Bounce.

Forbes Magazine has called Dr. Poplawski a potential future Einstein for his theory that every black hole is a doorway to another universe, one of the top 10 discoveries of 2010. Dr. Poplawski has appeared on television’s Discovery Channel and Science Channel.

This program is free and open to all. For more information or to register, call the Library at (860) 767-1560. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Ave. in Essex.

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Chester Garden Club Hosts 18th Annual Tea This Afternoon

CHESTER — The Chester Garden Club’s 18th Annual Tea will be held on Saturday Nov. 5, at 2 p.m. at the United Church of Chester, 29 West Main Street, Chester.  Come for an afternoon of musical entertainment as the Valley Shore a Cappella, a Chapter of Sweet Adelines International, from Middletown, CT will entertain with songs from romance to rock and roll, show tunes and patriotic melodies, all are sung in the barbershop style, four- part a cappella harmony.

The tea menu will include savory sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, as well as an assortment of delectable desserts that will be served by members. 

Proceeds from this event support the Garden Club’s civic and education efforts in the local area. Tickets are $25 and seating is limited to 100 guests. To make reservations, send name, address, telephone number with ticket requests, payment and a stamped, self-addressed return envelope to the Chester Garden Club, P.O. Box 415, Chester, CT 06412.

For additional information, contact Chester Garden Club Co-President Brenda Johnson, 860-526-2998.

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Community Music School Hosts Italian Cheese Rolling, Wine Tasting Event Tonight

CENTERBROOK — A special Italian wine tasting and a lively game of Italian cheese rolling will take place on Saturday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. at Angelini Wine Ltd., in Centerbrook with proceeds to benefit scholarships and outreach programs at Community Music School. This event is presented by Guilford Savings Bank and includes a guided tasting of fine Italian wines and hearty hors d’oeuvres. Guests will test their bowling skills with a little friendly competition in a rousing party game of cheese rolling, a tradition in many parts of Italy.

Over the past few years, Community Music School has partnered with Angelini Wine to present unique benefit events that blend the arts with intimate guided tastings offered behind the scenes at the Angelini warehouse. Guilford Savings Bank joined as presenting sponsor in 2014 and Shore Discount Liquors is also on board as a partner this year.

What is cheese rolling, anyway?  It’s a hilarious Italian game similar to bowling… but with a wheel of Pecorino!  Come join the fun, either on the sidelines or in the middle of the action —  the winner takes home the cheese!

Led by Julius Angelini and Ron Plebiscito, the tastings allow guests to sample high-end wines, learn about the process of wine making, and ask questions of the experts. Tickets are $65 per person and are available at Community Music School’s business office or at www.community-music-school.org/cheese.

For more information, call 860-767-0026 or visit www.community-music-school.org/cheese.

Community Music School is an independent, nonprofit school which provides a full range of the finest possible instruction and musical opportunities to persons of all ages and abilities, increasing appreciation of music and encouraging a sense of joy in learning and performing, thus enriching the life of the community.

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Maple & Main Hosts CT Camera Club Show

Black Beauty by Elin Dole is the signature photo of the photo exhibition at Maple & Main.

Black Beauty by Elin Dole is the signature photo of the photo exhibition at Maple & Main.

CHESTER  A diverse selection of exceptional photographs is being shown during November in the Stone Gallery.

The work of members of the Connecticut Valley Camera Club are on display from Wednesday, Nov. 2 through Nov. with a reception Friday, Nov. 4 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The opening party is also part of the town-wide First Friday initiative so when you come to town that evening expect many galleries and shops to be open with special offerings.

Maple and Main Gallery, at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday and Thursday from  noon to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mapleandmaingallery.com; 860-526-6065; visit us on Facebook and Instagram.

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Letter to the Editor: Linares Mimicks Trump’s Strategy While Needleman has Solid Record of Results, Concrete Proposals

To the Editor:

One of Trump’s favorite campaign tactics is to project his own base weaknesses onto his opponent. Got a problem with Trump’s vulgar behavior towards women?  Time to talk about Bill Clinton thirty years ago.  Trump Foundation under investigation? Denigrate the life-saving work of the Clinton Foundation. Being sued for fraud at Trump “university” and still refusing to disclose your tax returns? Deflect to emails. Lack a coherent foreign policy? Let’s talk Benghazi.  You get the idea.

Now behold Art Linares, running for the 33rd District senate seat.  Given Linares’s affection for Trump — Linares was a Trump delegate and actively supports him – it should be no surprise that Linares is now mimicking his role model.  Linares has repeatedly said that his opponent in the current race, Democrat Norm Needleman, is “bankrupt of ideas”. This would be amusing if it were not so flagrantly untrue.

Needleman has a proven record of results both as a successful businessman and a distinguished First Selectman of Essex.  In that role, he has balanced the town budget every year with bipartisan support, while keeping taxes in the bottom 15% in the state.  In the current race, he has laid out a series of specific proposals – cutting estate taxes, rolling back unfunded mandates, freezing state spending, reducing overtime for purposes of calculating state pensions, among others – to restore fiscal discipline and foster economic growth.

Meanwhile, Linares is awash in platitudes and vagaries.  He repeatedly calls for cutting taxes but without telling us where he will find matching spending cuts.  This implies more debt, which his support of Trump tends to confirm.  Linares praises Trump for having “the best economic plan” when in fact it is projected to increase the national debt by $5.3 trillion.  A related issue is Linares’s standing in the General Assembly.  Even if he had a plan, he lacks the stature to implement it.  His own party voted resoundingly against him (13-2) on the recent budget compromise.

A few days ago, Linares inexplicably called Needleman’s supporters “mean and deceitful”.  Here’s my response.  Recently, Linares voted against a bill (which thankfully passed anyway) to protect battered women from gun violence by abusive partners.  The bill required legislators to chose between protecting a woman’s life and removing firearms for no more than 7 days while a court considered a protective order.  Linares thought access to guns was more important.  Meanwhile, he has received the NRA’s highest rating on the basis of a NRA questionnaire that Linares refuses to disclose to voters.

Now that’s what I call mean and deceitful.

Sincerely,

David Harfst,
Essex

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Meeting House Players Present Three Performances of ‘Almost Maine’ This Weekend

Almost_Maine_book_coverCHESTER — The Meeting House Players will present John Cariani’s witty, romantic comedy “Almost Maine” early November in the Meeting House, 4 Liberty Street, Chester.

Directed by Debbie Alldredge, the production will be performed Friday and Saturday, Nov. 4 and 5, at 8 p.m.; there will also be a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday.

“Almost Maine” is a series of nine romantic vignettes, set on a cold, clear midwinter night in the mythical town of Almost, ME.  As the northern lights drape across the night sky, the residents of Almost find themselves falling in and out of love in unanticipated and often hilarious ways.

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

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Chester/Deep River ‘Solarize’ Workshop Scheduled for Tonight

CHESTER/DEEP RIVER — The second Chester/Deep River Solarize Workshop will be held this evening, Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Deep River Town Hall at 7 p.m.

This meeting is for anyone from either Town interested in learning about the environmental and financial benefits of solar.

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Full Steam Ahead! Cappella Cantorum Hosts Wine & Beer Tasting Fundraiser Tonight

screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-11-19-30-pmAREAWIDE — Help Cappella Cantorum propel into 50 years of tradition with this new, exciting fundraiser slated for Saturday, Oct. 29!

Enjoy tastes of wines and beers from local and regional sources, as well as delicious hors d’oeuvres and a pasta station, while you peruse lots of great silent auction items, including artwork, many gift certificates to local merchants and some surprise items!  Live entertainment will also be provided by Cappella’s own Hilltop Four Barber Shop Quartet.

The event is in the River Valley Junction building at the Essex Steam Train, where you will be enveloped by the delightfully preserved, historical space.

Tickets are $40 per person and can be purchased at the door the night of the event. Tell your friends and family.

All proceeds benefit Cappella Cantorum, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is celebrating its 47th year of tradition in the upcoming 2016-2017 concert season, Moving Full Steam Ahead! Into Our Next Half Century of Cappella Cantorum.

For questions and more information call 860-526-1038 and visit www.cappellacantorum.org.

Cappella Cantorum is the lower Connecticut River Valley and Shoreline’s premiere non-auditioned community choral organization whose primary purpose is to learn, perform and enjoy great choral music while striving for excellence and the enrichment of its singers and audience.

Cappella Cantorum continues because of the support of area businesses and professional people through program advertising; by generous sponsors, our concert audiences, members through dues and hard work, and through the dedication of Music Director Barry Asch, Assistant Music Director Deborah Lyon, and the efforts of the volunteer Board of Directors.

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CT River Museum Offers ‘Haunted River: Ghostly Tales’ Production Tonight

The Haunted River cast rehearses scene 5 at the Connecticut River Museum. Photo by Jeffrey Farrell.

The Haunted River cast rehearses scene 5 at the Connecticut River Museum. Photo by Jeffrey Farrell.

ESSEX — Don’t be scared…too much!  Phantoms, Captain Kidd, and unexplainable phenomena are just a few of the things lurking in the shadows at the Connecticut River Museum (CRM) this October.

Haunted River is a theatrical production that will take place over two nights on Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016.  Exploring the history and folklore of the Connecticut River Valley, the pilot production will incorporate nearly two years of folklore research.  This research was conducted by Museum staff and resident folklorist Dr. Stephen Olbrys Gencarella of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst as part of the Connecticut River Myths and Legends Project.

As Dr. Gencarella wrote, the “Valley has been a location for storytelling and the source of myths and legends since the first people arrived.”  These stories are often told to entertain, educate, and create a common identity for people.  Sometimes they have involved the macabre, such as grisly murders or accidents like the 1833 explosion of the steamer New England which took place in Essex harbor.  Other times, they help to explain the unexplainable such as the weird rumblings under Moodus, diseases like tuberculosis that were blamed on vampires, or mysterious objects in the River that became sea serpents.

The progressive five-scene, 50-minute tour will depart from the Museum’s Lay House property every 20 minutes between the hours of 6 and 8:40 p.m. on Oct. 28 and 29.  A ‘River Spirit’ will be called upon to guide visitors safely from scene to scene while they share their own dark and mysterious tale. 

A highlight of the tour will be a special shadow puppet show designed and performed by New London’s Flock Theatre.  While the story is not being divulged, the Museum’s executive director Christopher Dobbs stated that “Flock Theatre are masters of puppetry.  The mystery and ambiguity of many Valley legends lend themselves to this shadowy art form.”

The Connecticut River Myths and Legends Project has been made possible through the generous support of the Connecticut Humanities.  It is the first time that the entire Valley’s folklore has been strategically collected and documented.  Much of the research will appear in an exhibit due to open in 2018 at CRM before it moves to traveling locations that include the Hartford Public Library and the Vermont Historical Society.  The original shadow puppet show has also been supported by the Connecticut Humanities and will be incorporated into the future exhibit and into a much larger production. 

For more information on the Project or to contribute a story, visit www.ctrivermythsandlegends.org

Tickets to Haunted River are extremely limited and should be booked in advance by going online to www.ctrivermuseum.org or calling the museum at 860-767-8269.  Prices for the show are $13 for adults and $9 for youth (ages 7 to 12).  The program is not recommended for children under 7.  Museum members will be given a chance to buy tickets before they are available to the general public.

The Connecticut River Museum is dedicated to the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its Valley.  The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is from 10 am to 5 pm, Tuesday through Sunday. 

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Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series Hosts Seattle Architect Tom Bosworth Tonight

An example of Tom Bosworth's architecture.

An example of Tom Bosworth’s architecture.

ESSEX — The Essex Library is honored to welcome Seattle architect, Tom Bosworth, FAIA, on Friday, Oct. 28at 7 p.m. as part of its Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series, which is in its ninth year. Bosworth, a gifted educator, architect, and speaker, will talk about designing his award-winning, unique homes. 

After graduating from Yale and working with Eero Saarinen in the 1960s, he moved to the Seattle area to teach at the University of Washington and opened a practice designing houses.  Over the following decades he became one of the most influential architects in the Pacific Northwest, whose designs reflect a sense of place and emphasize the use of natural light and the relationship of the building to the landscape. 

The spirit of his house designs is illustrated in his 2006 book ‘Building with Light in the Pacific Northwest’. 

The lecture is free and open to all. It will be held in ‘The Cube’ at Centerbrook Architects, 67 Main St. in Centerbrook. 

For more information or to register, call the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560.

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‘Ghost Hunters’ Dustin Pari Visits Deep River Public Library Tonight

Ghost Hunter Dustin Pari

Dustin Pari of ‘Ghost Hunters’ will be at Deep River Library, Oct. 28.

DEEP RIVER — Get into the Halloween spirit with this exciting Deep River Library event!

Dustin Pari visits the Deep River Public Library for a spine-tingling lecture on the paranormal on Friday, Oct. 28, at 6:30 p.m.

Pari’s experience with the supernatural includes stints on ‘Ghost Hunters’, extensive world travel researching the field, as well as being an active member of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) for more than 10 years. Pari has also penned several books on his ghostly adventures, which will be available for purchase.

Known as the Paranormal Rockstar, Pari will give a 90-minute lecture paired with audio visual material and allow plenty of time for attendees to ask questions about his encounters with the paranormal.

For more information on Pari, visit his website at http://www.paranormalrockstar.com/  or follow him on Twitter @Dustin Pari.

This program is free and open to all; no registration required.

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Ivoryton Congregational Church Hosts Special Reformation Sunday Service, Oct. 30

IVORYTON — The Ivoryton Congregational Church at 57 Main St. will hold a special worship service on Sunday, Oct. 30, reflecting on the Protestant Reformed Spirituality of Martin Luther and John Calvin.  It is Reformation Sunday.  All are welcome.

The pastor of the church is Rev. John Van Epps.

For more information on the service, call the church office at 860-767-1004.

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Essex Library Hosts ‘Authors In Conversation’ Tonight with Richard Conniff

house_of_lost_worldsESSEX — The Essex Library is honored to co-sponsor with the Essex Land Trust an author talk on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. with Richard Conniff, whose latest book is House of Lost Worlds: Dinosaurs, Dynasties, and The Story of Life on Earth. This fascinating book tells the story of how the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History changed ideas about dinosaurs, dynasties, and even the story of life on earth.

The event will be held in The Cube at Centerbrook Architects, 67 Main St. Centerbrook. Copies of The House of Lost Worlds will be available for purchase and signing.

Conniff introduces a cast of bold explorers, roughneck bone hunters, and visionary scientists. Some became famous for wresting Brontosaurus, Triceratops, and other dinosaurs from the earth, others pioneered the introduction of science education in North America, and still others rediscovered the long-buried glory of Machu Picchu.

The Peabody Museum, now celebrating its 150th anniversary, has remade the way we see the world.

Richard Conniff is a National Magazine Award-winning writer for Smithsonian, The Atlantic, National Geographic, and other publications, and a past Guggenheim Fellow. His other books include: The Species Seekers; Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time; The Natural History of the Rich; and The Ape in the Corner Office.  He has been a frequent commentator on NPR’s Marketplace, and is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. He has written and presented television shows for the National Geographic Channel, TBS, and the BBC, among others.

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

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See CT Premier of ‘Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical’ at Ivoryton

Michael Marotta and Kim Rachelle Harris in 'Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical,' which opens Wednesday at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

Michael Marotta as the Doctor and Kim Rachelle Harris as the title role in ‘Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical,’ which opens Wednesday at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

IVORYTON – Based on the life of Rosemary Clooney, American’s favorite girl singer comes to life on stage in this exhilarating and inspiring musical biography.

Kim Rachelle Harris makes her debut as Rosemary Clooney.

Kim Rachelle Harris makes her debut as Rosemary Clooney.

Tenderly is not a typical “juke-box musical.” It offers a fresh, remarkably personal, and poignant picture of the woman whose unparalleled talent and unbridled personality made her a legend. With her signature songs woven in and out, we learn both the story of her successes on film, radio, and TV, as well as the struggles in her personal life.

“I’d call myself a sweet singer with a big band sensibility,” Rosemary once wrote. She  came to prominence in the early 1950s with the novelty hit “Come On-a My House”, which was followed by other pop numbers such as “Mambo Italiano”, “Tenderly”, “Half as Much”, “Hey There” and “This Ole House.”

Clooney’s career languished in the 1960s, partly due to problems related to depression and drug addiction, but revived in 1977, when her “White Christmas” co-star Bing Crosby asked her to appear with him at a show marking his 50th anniversary in show business. She continued recording until her death in 2002.

Michael Marotta revisits the role of the Doctor in the Ivoryton Playhouse production.

Michael Marotta revisits the role of the Doctor in the Ivoryton Playhouse production.

This production was developed and premiered by The Human Race Theatre Company and produced at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Michael Marotta* will be revisiting the role of the Doctor that he helped develop and Kim Rachelle Harris* will be making her debut as Rosemary Clooney. The production is directed by Brian Feehan, musical directed by Dan Brandl, set design by William Stark, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Rebecca Welles.

Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Oct. 26 and runs through Nov. 13. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

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

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main St. in Ivoryton.

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Public Invited to Mariner’s Way Discovery + Action Plan Kick-Off Meeting, Nov. 3

OLD SAYBROOK — The public is invited to participate in the Kick-Off Meeting for the Mariner’s Way Discovery + Action Plan on Nov. 3. The goal of the meeting is to gather input from residents, businesses and property owners about revitalizing Rte. 1 East, the area between the Old Saybrook Town Center and Ferry Point, also known as Mariner’s Way. Hunter’s Ambulance is hosting the meeting at its location 309 Boston Post Rd. on Mariner’s Way. Doors open at 5 p.m.; the meeting runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

This is the first public meeting of several planned by CivicMoxie, the consultant hired to assist the Town with developing the Mariner’s Way Discovery + Action Plan. This process will refine the Mariner’s Way Plan adopted by the Town in 2014 to guide the revitalization of Mariner’s Way. A grant from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) provided funding for the consultant.

To read more about the project, visit http://www.oldsaybrookct.org/Pages/OldSaybrookCT_EcoDevelCommission/way

To participate in advance of the meeting, visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/OSMarinersWay

The Town of Old Saybrook adopted the Mariner’s Way Plan in 2014 as its guide to revitalizing the section of Rte. 1 East from Saybrook Junction at the Town’s Center to the marina district at Ferry Point. Since 2014, the Town actively pursued funding opportunities to implement the Mariner’s Way Plan successfully receiving three grants thus far to move the plan forward:

  1. A Brownfields Assessment Grant this grant from the Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) allowed the Town to investigate the existence and extent of environmental contamination on nine properties located on Mariner’s Way. The ultimate goal is to provide potential developers with information about existing contamination to estimate clean-up costs.  The assessment will be completed in the first quarter of 2017.
  1. A Making Places Grant – this grant from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation funded a market feasibility study of the historic Shoreline Trolley Power House to determine what uses would be best suited for the building. The study was completed in 2015.
  1. The Brownfields Area-Wide Revitalization (BAR) Grant – this grant, also from DECD, is funding the Mariner’s Way Discovery + Action Plan project which will refine the concepts in the 2014 Mariner’s Way Plan with the help of resident, business and property owner input. Concepts to be refined include (but are not limited to): the types of development and businesses desired and the feasibility of their success; the design of buildings and the streetscape; and branding and marketing.
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Chester Library Offers Fall Book Discussion This Evening

CHESTER – A National Book Award winning book will be discussed this evening, Tuesday, Oct. 25, at Chester Public Library. The discussion, facilitated by Marsha Bansavage, an educator who has led book discussions at the library for several years, will give the participants a chance to reflect on why each of these books (a novel and a collection of short stories) received the prestigious National Book Award. According to Bansavage, this book, “will promote lively, interesting discussion.”

The discussion will center on “Fortune Smiles: Stories,” by Adam Johnson, who also won the Pulitzer Prize for “Orphan Master’s Son.” fortune-smilesSays Bansavage, “The collection develops six short stories with very different narrators, characters, and themes.  The voices are vivid, different, and distinct.  We travel at times through interesting places, unexplored, uncharted, and perhaps forbidden.  I felt his style and interest in bringing the genre of the short story to the American public was brilliant.  I felt it was important to develop, reexamine, explore and celebrate the important short story genre.” 

The discussion will be held at the Chester Public Library, at 21 West Main Street, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.  The discussions are free, but registration is required.

Call 860-526-0018 for more information and to register.  Books will be available to borrow at the library on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Letter to the Editor: Many Reasons to Reelect Phil Miller, the Best Choice for State Representative

To the Editor:

It didn’t take me long to figure out who to support this election for state representative for the 36th District. If you missed the debate between Phil Miller and Bob Siegrist then you missed out on hearing how polished and professional our incumbent State Rep Phil Miller sounded. Phil is the right choice to continue to represent us in Hartford. He has been an influential voice for us as the chair of the Planning & Development Committee, and he has our small CT River Valley well represented.

Phil has worked to secure funding, meeting with the Office of Policy and Management, and supporting Valley Shore Emergency Communications (VSECI) grant application. The group seeks creation of a multi-site UHF simulcast system to provide better communications for volunteer firefighters and medical technicians among the towns.

Rep. Philip Miller introduced a bill in the House of Representatives backed by local lawmakers and advocates which aims to improve water services to residents of the Tylerville section of Haddam.

The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV) has named Phil a “Legislative Champion” for his support of environmental issues considered by the General Assembly this year.

Many people have told me they have phoned our representative and state senator, and it is always Phil that returns the call and tries to help them with their problem whatever it may be; Phil is approachable, inclusive and very successful in helping resolve problems.

Phil has the experience to work across the aisle, and has many avenues to help cut the red tape in Hartford and help pave the way to a better future. I hope you will join me in reelecting Phil Miller to the 36th District on November 8th.

Sincerely,

Lisa Bibbiani, Deep River Democratic Town Committee (DRTC) Chair
AnnMarie Joy, DRDTC Vice Chair
Dorothy DeMichael, DRDTC Treasurer
Angus McDonald Jr, Deep River First Selectman
Stephen Bibbiani, DRDTC member
Bruce Edgerton, DRDTC Member
Jan Edgerton, DRDTC Member

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Letter to the Editor: Sen. Linares Right for the Lower CT River Valley

To the Editor:

I met Senator Linares 4 years ago shortly after he decided to run for his first term to the State Senate. My first thought was, “He’s too young,” but then he spoke of his family’s immigrant history, his ideas for Connecticut and I was sold.  In his first two terms, he has shown leadership beyond his years.

The debate between Senator Linares and Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman held October 17 revealed a stark contrast.  Mr. Needleman’s understanding of the issues facing the state appeared thin and he had no solutions beyond the failed efforts of the democratic leadership of our state. In contrast, Senator Linares revealed a deep understanding of the issues and described efforts he has made and will continue to make to fix those problems.  Mr. Needleman not only supported Mr. Malloy and his tax increases, but donated to his campaigns and was amenable to further tax increases.  Notably, Mr. Needleman did not dispute that the Democratic Party has hired and is paying a handsome salary to a campaign manager for Mr. Needleman.  We can’t know what Mr. Needleman promised the Senate Democratic Leadership, but we should all be concerned.

Senator Linares stood up against Mr. Malloy’s tax increases and supports a plan to grow the economy, jobs and reduce taxes titled, “A Confident Future,” which was unveiled by the GOP Senate Leadership on September 15.  A copy of the plan can be found at http://ctsenaterepublicans.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/LegislativeAgendaFinal.pdf

Sincerely,

Mel Seifert,
Chester.
Editor’s Note: The author is a member of the Chester RTC.

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Helpers Needed for Literacy Volunteers Fundraising Events

AREAWIDE — Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS) are looking for friendly, outgoing people to serve on their fundraising committee. If you are a creative thinker and can commit to helping organize two events, LVVS would welcome your assistance.

Literacy Volunteers serves 11 valley shore towns through one-on-one tutoring programs of English as a Second Language (ESL) and Basic Reading (BR).  Fundraisers benefit these much needed programs.

For more information or to volunteer, contact LVVS at www.vsliteracy.org  or 860-399-0280.

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Ivoryton Village Hosts Pumpkin Festival Today with Full Day, Evening of Events

Join the fun of pumpkin carving on Oct. 22 in Ivoryton.

Join the fun of pumpkin carving on Oct. 22 in Ivoryton.

ESSEX — Ivoryton’s Pumpkin’s Festival takes place on Saturday, Oct. 22., and offers a full day of events.  The festival brings more than 1500 visitors to the village green. The Pumpkin Festival takes the very best traditions of the autumn season and offers them all for free.

The first Pumpkin Festival was held at the Ivoryton Village Green in 2000 and is held the Saturday before Halloween every year. Join the fun at the village green to enjoy the free refreshments, contests and games, live music and view the pumpkins.

Bring your carved pumpkins from 9 a.m. to 12 noon for the Jack o’ Lantern Stroll Date from 5 to 8 p.m. on Ivoryton Green.

Ivoryton Library’s Pumpkin Chase & Kid’s Run

This race will begin near the library and meander through historic Ivoryton, continuing into Falls River Farms and the Falls River Preserve and ending back at the library. A Pumpkin Run in Ivoryton Park is scheduled for children aged 8 and younger. All pumpkin runners will receive a medal and a pumpkin that can be painted after the race.

Contact the Library for more details

Show off your carving skills at Ivoryton's Pumpkin Festival!

Show off your carving skills at Ivoryton’s Pumpkin Festival!

Pre-Festival Carving Party

The Great Pumpkin Challenge at the annual Pumpkin Festival calls for 200 or more carved pumpkins for the Jack o’ Lantern stroll. Why not join this activity at the green immediately following the Ivoryton Library Pumpkin Chase from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Ivoryton Green to create your masterpiece and put it right on display for all to see?  You can also satisfy your sweet tooth with cookie decorating with the volunteers from Child & Family Services of Southeastern Connecticut.

There will be over 100 pumpkins that will need to be carved so come on down early and enjoy a fun time with neighbors and friends at our Halloween celebration. Pre-registration is not required, but would be much appreciated.

Essex Park and Recreation Department is hoping for at least 50 carvers to get the job done for the pumpkin lighting that begins at 5 p.m.

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere ...

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere …

Starting at 5 p.m., enjoy Halloween-inspired face-painting by Bohemian Body Art alongside Music with Margie, who will be performing “Roll With the Pumpkins” on the Ivoryton Playhouse’s side patio from 5 to 5:45 p.m.

Enjoy a not so scary horse drawn hayride sponsored by the Park & Recreation Commission- Rides will leave from the Village Green from 5 to 8 p.m.

Don’t miss the Haunted Wonderland at the Ivoryton Library from 6 to 8 p.m.

Also from 6 to 8 p.m., enjoy the antics of The Munsters on the Big Screen presented by Ivoryton Library and Essex Park and Rec next to Gather.

For yet more entertainment,“Federation” is back with live music in the Gazebo from 6 to 8 p.m.

Enjoy free refreshments, courtesy of Deep River Snacks, The Essex Lions Club, The Ivoryton Inn & All Saints Church – while they last at The Ivoryton Playhouse patio also starting from 6 p.m.

Be sure to take a stroll around the village and take in the sights of the beautifully carved pumpkins on display.

For more information, contact Essex Park and Recreation at 860-767-4340 x110/148 or visit www.essexct.gov

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Join the Ivoryton Pumpkin Chase 5K Today!

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-2-47-53-amIVORYTON — The name has changed and the route is slightly different … but the seventh 5K Road and Trail Run/Walk Race — now called the Ivoryton Pumpkin Chase — will still travel through beautiful Ivoryton on Saturday, Oct. 22. This benefit for the Ivoryton Library will be fun for families, walkers and runners from this area and across Connecticut.

The striking fall colors will complement the historic sites of Ivoryton included in the route as it heads one mile down Main Street and into Falls River Farms. It will then continue one mile on the trails of Falls River Land Trust Preserve and return back to Ivoryton Park. The start will be in a slightly different spot and the route through the Falls River Preserve has been
changed, based on changes made to the trails by the Essex Land Trust.

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. for all walkers and runners. Awards will be given to the top male and female 5k runners, the top walker, top male & female runners in 10 age groups (no duplicates), and the best Halloween costume, male, female and group.

The “Fun Run” for children 8 years & under is held in Ivoryton Park at 8:45 am. All Fun Runners are invited to stay after the race for storytime, crafts and refreshments. (Adult supervision is
required.) The 5K will start near the Ivoryton Library at 9:15 am.

New this year:
More age groups: 9 & under, 10-12, 13-15, 17-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49,
50-59, 60-69, 70 & up.
Predict Your Time Challenge: Visit the Fortune Teller’s booth to
predict your time. Prize for the closest time!
Tired of medals and trophies? Fresh baked apple pies for the winners!

ENTRY FEE:               $20/ advance through Thursday, October 20
$25/ same day
The first 150 registrants for the 5k will be receive t-shirts.

PUMPKIN RUN:     $5 per child.

All are invited to join us on Saturday, Oct. 22 to run or walk the race, or just cheer on the racers! The library is grateful to all the volunteers who help us and we can use more, Please consider helping out for a few hours Saturday morning!

The Ivoryton Pumpkin Chase is sponsored by Norm Needleman and Jacquie Hubbard, Kohl’s, The Clark Group, Polito and Associates, Ivoryton Playhouse, Guilford Savings Bank and the Law Office of Christopher
Morano.

Any questions or to volunteer, please contact the library at 860-767-3460 or staff@ivoryton.com. Online registration or downloadable applications are available on the Ivoryton Library website (www.ivoryton.com) or at the library. Please make checks or money orders payable to the Ivoryton Library.

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Deep River Rotary Hosts Oktoberfest This Evening

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-2-50-27-amDEEP RIVER — Get your German on at Deep River Rotary Club’s Oktoberfest at the Stone House, 174 Main St., on Saturday, Oct. 22, from 6 p.m!

The Club promises an entertaining, fun-filled evening with authentic brews and german cuisine — as well as wine and soft drinks.

Tickets are $65 per person and can be purchased online at deepriverrotary.org

For more information, email deepriverrotary@gmail.com

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Musical Masterworks Opens 26th Season

Musical Masterworks Artistic Director Edward Aaron leads the opening concert of the 2016-17 series.

Musical Masterworks Artistic Director Edward Aaron will perform in the opening concert of the 2016-17 series.

AREAWIDE — As Musical Masterworks opens its 26th season of exceptional chamber music, it seems only appropriate to begin the next quarter of a century of chamber music on the shoreline with the music of J.S. Bach.  Flutist Tara Helen O’Connor and pianist Adam Neiman will perform along with cellist and Musical Masterworks Artistic Director Edward Arron.

The season’s first concerts are Saturday, Oct. 22, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 23, at 3 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, an acoustically rich and beautiful venue for chamber music.  Arron described how special the series is to him, “I am gratified to know that Old Lyme, Connecticut, has become a secure and distinguished sanctuary for the art of chamber music, and a destination for renowned musicians from all over the world. Every year, I relish the opportunity to plumb the rich depths of the chamber music repertory in order to create five dynamic musical journeys.“

Musical Masterworks’ season runs October 2016 through May 2017.  To purchase a series subscription ($150 each) or individual tickets ($35 individual; $5 student), visit Musical Masterworks at www.musicalmasterworks.org or call 860.434.2252.

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State Rep. Miller, Challenger Siegrist Face Off in 36th District Debate

AREAWIDE — Experience and a call for a fresh voice were the themes Thursday (Oct. 13) as incumbent  Democratic State Rep. Phill Miller of Essex and Republican challenger Robert Siegrist of Haddam faced off in the 36th House District debate.

Miller and Siegrist responded to nearly a dozen questions before a crowd of about 80 district voters in the session held in the auditorium at John Winthrop Middle School in Deep River. The hour long  debate was moderated by Essex Library Director Richard Conroy, with questions submitted to Conroy in advance by voters.

The Nov. 8 contest is a rematch from 2014, when Miller defeated newcomer Siegrist on a 5,522-4,701 vote, carrying the district towns of Chester, Deep River and Essex, while Siegrist won his hometown of Haddam. Miller was first elected to the seat in a February 2011 special election after serving as first selectman of Essex from 2003-2011.

The rivals differed sharply on several state issues, from the state budget and finances to gun controls, tolls, and the possibility of marijuana legalization. But whatever the issue, an overriding theme was Miller’s claim of public service experience that benefits district residents against Siegrist’s call form a “fresh voice for the 36th District.”

“You won’t be well served by a poser who has no public sector experience,” Miller said, later describing the campaign as a contest of “experience and know how versus inexperience and want to.” Siegrist, a former bartender, who currently works with a landscaping business, contended Miller has been too loyal to the six-year administration of Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy. “We need to change direction and stop electing career politicians whose focus is no longer clear,” he said.

The candidates agreed the state will likely face another budget shortfall in 2017, with Miller predicting a need for further spending reductions. He said legislators need more time to review budget plans before final votes on a spending package. Siegrist called for “structural changes,” including pension adjustments for unionized state workers and caps on bonding. He pledged to oppose any new or increased taxes.

A question on possible increases in the gasoline tax to fund road improvement projects brought the issue of tolls to the discussion. Miller said the gasoline tax in Connecticut is already higher than it is in neighboring states and suggested, “We need to have a conversation about tolls.” Siegrist said he would oppose any plan that includes highway tolls, which he described as “just another word for a new tax.”

There was also disagreement on gun controls, particularly legislation approved earlier this year that allows guns to be taken from residents who are subject to a court-restraining order over concerns about possible domestic violence. Miller supported the temporary restraining order gun law, declaring that “domestic violence is a major problem and the modern Republican Party believes gun rights are God-given.” Siegrist said the new state law was a “gun grabbing” measure that “takes away rights to due process.”

Miller said he is “very open” to possible legalization of marijuana, noting that it has been approved in several states and could provide a new source of tax revenue. Siegrist, while noting he supports medical marijuana, maintained the issue of full legalization of the drug needs further study.

The heated presidential contest between Democrat Hilary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump also came up during the debate. Miller said Trump is the worst presidential nominee of his lifetime, while describing Clinton as an “accomplished person,” who has been “unfairly maligned for many years.” Siegrist said his campaign is focused on state and local issues, and that he differs with some of Trump’s positions. “This about the State of Connecticut, and Phil Miller and Bob Siegrist,” he said. In a reply, Miller noted that Siegrist did not state who he would be voting for in the presidential race.

In one area of agreement, both candidates said the opiate addiction crisis in Connecticut is serious and needs to be addressed in a bipartisan manner. Siegrist said, “We need to talk about this as a community.”

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