January 23, 2017

‘Together We Rise’ Holds Official ‘Sister Event’ to Women’s March on Washington at East Haddam, Saturday

EAST HADDAM — The Women’s March on Washington has inspired over 370 other ‘sister marches’ to take place this coming Saturday, Jan. 21. All 50 states and Puerto Rico are confirmed to have at least one grassroots-led march on that day, as well as 55 global cities on six continents, from Tokyo to Sydney, Nairobi to Paris to Bogotá.

But if you’ve missed the bus — literally and figuratively — to DC, there is now a local opportunity to participate in a ‘Sister Event.’ Together We Rise – Building Bridges For Justice has just announced that East Haddam/Lower Connecticut River Valley is now registered as an Official Sister Event for Connecticut, along with Hartford, Salisbury and Stamford, for the Women’s March on Washington.

The East Haddam event will be a vigil to be held from 10 to 11 a.m. on Saturday.  This outdoor vigil will be at Two Wrasslin’ Cats Coffee House & Café, located at 374 Town Street in East Haddam, CT at the junction of Rte. 82 and Rte. 151.

A Still We Rise vigil has been ongoing weekly since November 2016 and is attended by a group of dedicated individuals each Saturday.  The purpose is to keep social justice issues in the forefront of our community consciousness and to stand in solidarity with marginalized groups.  From the suffrage movement to anti-war protests, vigils have a long tradition in our country as an effective form of peaceful protest.

Participants in the weekly vigil stand outside Two Wrasslin’ Cats in East Haddam.

“The gathering of men and women at the East Haddam weekly vigil is a powerful illustration of what can be done by a small group with a willingness to stand up and work for change.  A perfect example of this determination is the fact that our vigil is a Sister Event for the Women’s March on Washington—one of only four Sister Events in Connecticut,” notes Edwina Trentham, organizer of the weekly Still We Rise vigils

Theresa Govert, Co-Chair of Together We Rise – Building Bridges For Justice comments, “What happens on the national stage affects all of us, but the strength of our Nation is built in the communities of action and compassion that start at the local level.  The Women’s March on Washington is unique and powerful because it draws from grassroots movements, first time activists, seasoned organizers, and institutions to amplify our voices.”

She continues, “Over 700,000 people have registered for sister events and 200,000 people are registered to attend the event in Washington D.C., the movement total could easily be 1 million people concerned about justice and human rights. This is the community building and work we all need to do every day to strengthen our nation.”

For more information, visit: WOMEN’S MARCH ON WASHINGTON SISTER MARCHES

For more information on the East Haddam vigil, visit their Facebook page.

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Linares Chairs CT Higher Education & Employment Advancement Committee

Sen. Heather Somers and Sen. Art Linares at the January meeting.

AREAWIDE — On Jan. 11, Sen. Heather Somers (R-18th) and Sen. Art Linares (R-33rd) attended the first 2017 meeting of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee.  The panel has oversight of all matters relating to the Board of Regents for Higher Education, public and independent institutions of higher education, private occupational schools, post‑secondary education, job training institutions and programs, apprenticeship training programs and adult job training programs offered to the public by any state agency or that receives funding from the state.

Somers, who serves as the committee’s Vice-Chair, represents Griswold, Groton, North Stonington, Plainfield, Preston, Sterling, Stonington, and Voluntown.

Linares, the committee’s Co-Chair, represents Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

Somers (www.SenatorSomers.com) can be reached atHeather.Somers@cga.ct.gov and at 800-842-1421.  Linares (www.SenatorLinares.com) can be reached at Art.Linares@cga.ct.gov and at 800-842-1421.

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Greenskies to Build Solar Array on Whelen Rooftop

CHESTER –- Greenskies Renewable Energy LLC has signed an agreement to build a 339 kilowatt (DC) solar array on the roof of The Whelen Engineering Co. Inc.’s main facility in Chester, Conn.

The array, which will consist of 1,062 solar photovoltaic panels, will produce 398 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity annually. It is expected to be completed and operational by October.

Greenskies has already begun the design phase of the project. The construction phase is expected to begin this spring.

Under terms of the solar installation agreement between the two companies, Greenskies – one of the nation’s leading solar energy providers in the commercial, industrial and municipal segments of the industry – will design, engineer and construct the array on the roof of the 185,000-square-foot main building on Whelen’s Chester campus and then sell the completed array to the engineering firm.

Whelen Engineering designs and manufactures audio and visual warning equipment for the automotive, aviation, and mass notification industries worldwide. Founded in 1952, Whelen has become a leading provider of sirens, warning lights, white illumination lighting, and controllers. With facilities in Chester and Charlestown, N.H., Whelen products are designed, manufactured, and assembled in the United States.

“We are very excited to be working with Whelen Engineering to help them take a big step towards their energy and sustainability goals,” said Bryan Fitzgerald, a business development associate at
Greenskies.

Greenskies designs, builds and maintains solar photovoltaic systems for commercial and industrial clients, municipalities and government agencies, educational institutions and utilities throughout the United States.  Sen. Art Linares (R- 20th) is owner and co-founder of Greenskies according to the company’s website.

For more information about Greenskies Renewable Energy LLC, visit www.greenskies.com.

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Award-winning D.B. Rielly Performs a ‘Concert in Garden’ Today

D.B. Rielly

Photo courtesy of D.B. Rielly

CHESTER — Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery presents the next Concert in the Garden on Sunday, Jan. 15, from 4 to 6 p.m.

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

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

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

State Representative Bob Siegrist takes the oath of office at the swearing-in ceremony held in Hartford, Jan 4, 2017.

AREAWIDE — State Representative Bob Siegrist (R-36th) was sworn in on Wednesday, Jan. 4, to represent the 36th General Assembly District, which includes the communities of Chester, Deep River, Haddam and Essex.

Siegrist states he is committed to reducing the expense of government and wants to ensure that Connecticut responsibly balances its checkbook.

“I am grateful to the wonderful people of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam for their support. It is truly an honor to represent the 36th District in Hartford, and I pledge that I will do so with energy, respect and hard work. We are blessed to live in such a picturesque community in the lower Connecticut River Valley. I vow to always keep an open mind and open door for all residents of our beautiful towns,” added Siegrist.

Rep. Siegrist took the oath of office and was sworn in by Secretary of State Denise Merrill on Wednesday afternoon in the State House Chamber. He then participated in a Joint Convention of both the House of Representatives and Senate as Gov. Dannel Malloy addressed lawmakers about the 2017 Session.

House Republican Leader Themis Klarides appointed Siegrist to serve on the Insurance, Veterans’ Affairs and Public Safety Committees for the 2017 legislative session.

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‘The Chester Show’ at Maple & Main Benefits Town’s Emergency Fuel Fund, on View Through Jan. 22

‘Yellow Chester Barn’ by Rachel Carson of Deep River is one of the signature paintings of ‘The Chester Show.’

CHESTER — ‘The Chester Show,’ an exhibition devoted to paintings of Chester, is currently on view at Maple and Main Gallery through Sunday, Jan. 22. The show, depicting paintings of the downtown as well as creeks, barns, the riverfront and houses, is in the Stone Gallery.

A portion of all the sales will be given to Chester’s Emergency Fuel Fund, which is dependent on donations and which helps cover heating costs for residents who are unable to meet their fuel bills.

 

Maple and Main Gallery, at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information, visit mapleandmaingallery.com; 860-526-6065; visit the gallery on Facebook and Instagram.

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Season’s Greetings to All Our Readers


Merry Christmas to all our readers! We hope you enjoy a wonderful day with friends and family.

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Save the Date: Celebrate Winter at Chester’s 26th Annual Winter Carnivale, Feb. 19

Bill Bernhart stands proudly beside his Ice carving at the Chester Carnivale in this 2012 file photo.

CHESTER — The townspeople of Chester are looking forward to their 26th annual winter celebration, Chester Winter Carnivale, on Sunday, Feb. 19.

That’s when the picturesque small town of Chester is filled with people cheering on ice carvers as they create beautiful sculptures from blocks of ice, while laughing at the antics of street performers and applauding a long parade of new and antique tractors being driven down Main Street by their proud owners. All that, and food, music, art, and shopping too!

The day begins at 10:30 a.m. when the carvers get started on their ice sculptures. Both professional and student ice carvers will be hard at work, demonstrating their techniques to onlookers while they try to be finished by 1 p.m. for judging.

Meanwhile, the Chester Hose Company, Inc. is holding its annual “Chilly Chili Cook Off” fundraiser. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., go to the Chester Hose Company Fire House at 6 High Street and pay your $5 admission so you can taste all the different chilis cooked and dished out by restaurants, caterers and fire departments. You can vote for your favorite fire department chili, favorite restaurant chili, most original chili, and best dressed chili serving table.  Beverages will be sold. All proceeds go to the Chester Hose Company.

Still hungry? Pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, soups, and lots more will all be available inside and outside the restaurants in town. Also, popcorn and kettle corn.

Just be sure to be back out on Main Street by 2 p.m. for the 15th Annual Chester Tractor Parade. Colorful and rusty, big and small, antique and new, decorated and plain – tractors are driven through the town center in an incredibly long parade. You never knew there were so many tractors in the Connecticut River Valley!

Free activities will keep the whole family entertained for the day. Colorful beads and balloons will be handed out throughout town all day and face painting is available. The Chester Museum at The Mill will be open at no charge, offering a place to explore Chester history. Galleries and shops will be open, many with special events.

Chester Winter Carnivale is held rain or snow or shine.  Main Street will be closed to traffic. Free parking is available in the commuter lot on Rte. 148 at the foot of Rte. 9 and in the Roto-Frank parking lot on Inspiration Lane (exit 6) and at Greenwald Industries on Rte. 154 (212 Middlesex Avenue). (Follow the signs.) All lots will be served by courtesy shuttle buses to the town center.

For more information, visit facebook.com/chesterctwintercarnivale or https://finditinchesterct.wordpress.com/

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Madhatters Present Final Performance of ‘Nutcracker, the Musical Comedy’ at Chester Meeting House This Evening

CHESTER — Madhatters Theatre Company presents ‘Nutcracker, the Musical Comedy’ at Chester Meeting House 4 Liberty Street, Chester.

Performances are Friday, Dec. 9, at 6pm, Saturday, Dec. 10, at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 11, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $20, adults and $15, children 12 and under.  To purchase tickets, call (860) 395-1861 or email: madhattersctc@aol.com    www.ctkidsonstage.com/madhatterstheatrecompany

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Nilsson Hosts a “Concert in the Garden” Today Featuring ‘The Kenn Morr Band’

kenn_morr_band
CHESTER —
 Leif Nilsson hosts another ‘Concert in the Garden’, Sunday, Dec. 11, from 4 to 6 p.m., this time featuring The Kenn Morr Band: World Class Music From a Town You Haven’t Heard Of 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.

The Kenn Morr Band is on a roll in 2016, pleased to be touring in support of its latest release, the double-disc set “Afterimage.” Recorded live at Sandy Brook Studios in Colebrook, CT, it’s a project that was in the works for some time, featuring fresh interpretations of material from eight previous releases. Kenn and his band revisited the songs to capture the group as it sounds live, with crisp studio sound and minimal overdubs.

The result is an organic collection of lush three-part vocal harmonies and sparkling acoustic instruments—real musicians playing soulful music in real time. (It’s the kind of recording you may have thought nobody makes any more.)

Growing up on Long Island, Kenn was inspired by such lyric and melody-minded acts as Gordon Lightfoot, Simon and Garfunkel, Graham Nash, and Jackson Browne. Rex Fowler of Aztec Two-Step became his friend and supporter. When a college baseball scholarship didn’t work out, he turned—appropriately—to Communications, a field for which he is well-suited. He’s got a radio announcer’s rich baritone and the kind of humor and charisma that enthralls audiences of all sizes, from intimate coffeehouses to the stages of venues as demanding as the famed Bitter End in New York City and the International Festival of Arts and Ideas on the New Haven Green.

Kenn trusts the universe to bring him what he needs: parking spots, dry weather, you name it. He left Long Island and found in Connecticut a home, new friends, and—eventually–the band that brings his music to life. He calls it his best band ever. First up was master percussionist Dr. Bob Gaspar, known for making one drum sound like four. Then the universe sent violin virtuoso and multi-instrumentalist Tom Hagymasi. (Kenn calls him “an animal.”) The final piece in the puzzle was melodic bassist “Magic” Pat Ryan, a graduate of the Berklee College of Music.

Known for its close three-part vocal harmonies and fiery instrumental interplay, the group has been together for several years, becoming fast favorites on the outdoor festival scene. They’ve paid dues of every kind and played gigs of every stripe, along the way sharing the stage with artists like John Sebastian, Al Kooper, Eric Burdon, and John Wesley Harding.

With airplay across the country and in Europe (where KMB music gets played in England, Italy, Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands, among other countries), “Afterimage” is set to bring the Kenn Morr sound to many new listeners.

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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Valley/Old Lyme Warriors Take on St. Joe’s Tonight in Class M Championship Semi-final

Warrior football action from the team's victory over H-K. File photo by Laura Matesky.

Warrior football action from the team’s victory over H-K. File photo by Laura Matesky.

Tonight at 6:30 p.m. on their home field at Deep River, the top-seeded Valley/Old Lyme Warriors face Saint Joseph’s in the semi-finals of the CIAC Class M football championship.

Go Warriors!

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An Evening for Women: Discussion Tonight on Living with Uncertainty in Times of Change, Division

CHESTER — Has the election left you with uncomfortable emotions and questions about the future? Feel that you are on unsteady ground?

Such stress can affect our daily lives and our health. Come together in a safe space to express your feelings, and begin to process them in a supportive environment.

Chester resident Pamela Lape MS,LP, LMHC, of Integrated Perspectives Psychotherapy, will facilitate an evening of support, Monday, Dec. 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Chester Library.

Lape has been leading women’s groups for 35 years and feels that women can benefit greatly by reaching out to one another in these trying times. There is no charge to attend.

Email pamelalape@aol.com to attend

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United Church of Chester Holds Christmas Fair Today

The United Church of Chester, 29 West Main Street, Chester, CT holds its annual Christmas Fair on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Come enjoy shopping for hand-crafted items and delicacies, decorations, greens, knitted goods and mouth-watering morsels for holiday giving.

There will also be a silent auction, tea-cup auction and Grandma’s attic to prowl through for Christmas treasurers and charitable gift-giving possibilities.

Lunch will be served between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

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Kick off the Holidays in Chester at Tonight’s Holiday Festival

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.

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 for what they’re grateful.

Selden's Wild Creek garden is one of Leif Nilsson's new paintings which will be on display tonight.

Selden’s Wild Creek garden is one of Leif Nilsson’s new paintings, which will be on display tonight, during an Opening reception at his gallery.

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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Application Deadline for Environmental Leadership Scholarship, Feb. 1

logoAREAWIDE — Applications are now being accepted for the Virginia R. Rollefson Environmental Leadership Scholarship, a $1,000 award to recognize a high school student who has demonstrated leadership and initiative in promoting conservation, preservation, restoration, or environmental education.

Students residing in Middlesex County, Lyme or Old Lyme are eligible to apply.

The scholarship is presented by the Rockfall Foundation and applications must be submitted by noon on Wednesday, Feb. 1. For a copy of the application or for more information, visit www.rockfallfoundation.org or call 860-347-0340.

The Rockfall Foundation supports environmental education, conservation programs and planning initiatives in the Lower Connecticut River Valley. Established in 1935, it is one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations whose mission is to be a catalyst– bringing people together and supporting organizations to conserve and enhance the county’s natural environment. Rockfall awards grants each year to organizations, schools and municipalities, and sponsors educational programs and symposia.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition Meets Jan. 18, All Welcome

tri town ysb
TRI-TOWN –
The Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 9 a.m. at Tri-Town Youth Services, 56 High St., Deep River.

The Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition is a grassroots organization whose membership is open to all who live or work in the tri-town area who are concerned about substance abuse and committed to its prevention.  Many “sectors” of the community are represented on this council: schools, youth-serving organizations, law enforcement, government, civic groups, parents, students, the faith community and health care, to name a few.

In Year 6 of the Drug Free Communities Support Program Grant, the Coalition will address Action Plan items for this year and will develop their Action Plan for next year.  Future meeting dates for this year are March 8, 2017 and May 17, 2017.  For further information, please call Tri-Town at 860-526-3600.

Tri-Town Youth Services (TTYS) supports and advances the families, youth and communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex.  TTYS coordinates and provides resources needed to make positive choices, reduce substance abuse, and strengthen the relationships that matter most. Discover programs and information for families, as well as opportunities for community collaboration at www.tritownys.org.

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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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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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Republican State Sen. Linares, Democratic Challenger Needleman Spar in 33rd Senate District Debate

A view of the debate stage from the rear of the Valley Regional High School auditorium

A view of the debate stage from the rear of the Valley Regional High School auditorium

AREAWIDE — Republican State Senator Art Linares of Westbrook and his Democratic challenger, Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman, sparred Monday in a public debate for the 33rd Senate District contest.

More than 150 voters from the 12 district towns turned out for the 90-minute debate held in the auditorium at Valley Regional High School in Deep River, with the question of which candidate represents the “political class” in Connecticut overshadowing the specific issues where the candidates differed, or nearly as often, concurred.

The session was moderated by Essex Library Director Richard Conroy, who selected questions that had been submitted in advance by district voters.

The debate began with a walk-out by Green Party candidate Colin Bennett of Westbrook. Bennett, who has run previously for the seat and participated in all debates during the 2014 campaign, began with an opening statement where he said his goals are to end hunger, provide access to health care, protect the environment and affirm that black lives matter.

Bennett then claimed that Conroy had attempted to exclude him from the debate based on comments at an Oct. 5 debate in Westbrook where he criticized Needleman and urged people not supporting him to vote for Linares. “I don’t want to be where I am not wanted,” Bennett said before walking off the stage. Linares said later he had told Conroy he would not participate in the debate if Bennett was arbitrarily excluded from the outset.

The term political class entered the discussion soon after the opening statement from Needleman, where the three-term first selectman said he had been urged to run the seat this year by the Senate Democratic leadership because they wanted a candidate with experience in business and municipal government. Needleman said he told party leaders he would not be a rubber stamp, and could become their “worst nightmare,” if elected.

Linares, who was first elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2014, scoffed at the claim, questioning why the Senate leadership would provide Needleman with a full-time campaign manager on leave from the caucus staff if they believed his election would be a nightmare. Linares contended Needleman has been a loyal supporter of Democratic “Governor Dan Malloy and the political class,” contributing funds to Malloy’s two gubernatorial campaigns in 2010 and 2014.

Needleman said Linares is the “career politician,” running for the senate seat at age 23 and laying the groundwork for a future campaign for the 2nd District congressional seat or statewide office.

But despite the sharp exchange, the two rivals agreed on several issues, including support for recently approved incentive package for Sikorsky in Stratford, providing some degree of contract preferences for in-state companies, and reducing, or for Linares eliminating, the estate or inheritance tax. The candidates agreed state employee unions would have to make contract concessions on both wages and pensions if the state faces another large budget deficit in 2017.

From left to right, Norman Needleman (D), incumbent Sen. Art Linares (R) and Colin Bennett (Green Party) make their opening statements at Monday night's debate.

From left to right, Norman Needleman (D), incumbent Sen. Art Linares (R) and Colin Bennett (Green Party) make their opening statements at Monday night’s debate.

Needleman said his experience negotiating contracts with public employee unions in Essex would be helpful in any discussions with state employee unions, though he questioned whether unions could be forced into concession talks. Linares called for mandatory legislative votes on all union contracts, and suggested a need for “additional leverage” to bring unions to the table. “The unions have not come to the table, we’ve tried that, everyone has tried that,” he said.

The candidates differed somewhat on the question of welcoming refugees from war-torn Syria to Connecticut. Needleman said while “vetting is critical,” an arbitrary exclusion based on a refugee’s country of origin or religion is “un-American.” Linares, whose family fled Cuba in the early 1960s, said he would insist on “clearance from the FBI,” because the United States does not have intelligence capabilities in Syria to screen refugees, including those who reach Europe before possible entry in to the United States.

The candidates also differed on possible increases to the state minimum wage, and gun control measures. Needleman said he supports measured increases in the minimum wage, but believes a hike to $15 per hour, as advocated by some Democrats, “is a very bad idea.’ Linares said he favors a national standard for the minimum wage, suggesting that further increases at the state level would hurt small businesses and cost the state jobs. He said the earned income tax credit is a better way to provide assistance to low income workers.

On gun control, Needleman said he is a “2nd Amendment Democrat,” but favors some additional gun control measures. He criticized Linares for opposing legislation approved earlier this year that allows guns to be seized from persons who are subject to a court restraining order where domestic violence is a factor.

Linares said Needleman is “trying to take both sides of the issue,” by referring to gun ownership and the 2nd Amendment. Linares said he opposed the temporary restraining order gun bill because it was an “overreach” that takes away due process for gun owners, and discretion for judges.

The 33rd Senate District includes the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Portland, Westbrook, and portions of Old Saybrook.
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State Senate Candidate Norm Needleman Endorsed by Women’s Health Groups

ESSEX – Yesterday, Norm Needleman announced the endorsements of women’s health groups Planned Parenthood Votes! Connecticut PAC and NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC in his State Senate campaign in the 33rd District.

Planned Parenthood Votes! Connecticut PAC (PPV!CT PAC) is committed to supporting and endorsing pro-reproductive rights, pro-family planning candidates for state office. Needleman was endorsed along with other candidates for Connecticut state races.

“We are very proud to endorse candidates who are committed to protecting reproductive health care,” said Chris Corcoran, PPV!CT PAC Board Chair. “The candidates we endorsed drive policy on women’s health care. Connecticut women and families should know that these candidates would ensure vital services remain intact.”

“States are the front lines in protecting women’s health and the right to choose,” said Needleman. “In the State Senate I will be an advocate for reproductive rights and access to women’s health care services. I will fight against the extremist elements that have worked their way into Hartford politics.”

NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC’s mission is to develop and sustain a constituency that uses the political process to guarantee every woman the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion.

“We are excited about your support for women, and look forward to your involvement in working to make Connecticut the best state in the nation for reproductive rights,” said Jillian Gilchrest, President, NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC.

Needleman is challenging incumbent State Senator Art Linares who has earned the endorsement of an extreme organization – the Family Institute – in 2012, 2014 and 2016 for his opposition to common sense women’s health and reproductive rights.

PPV!CT PAC is the Connecticut state political action committee affiliated with Planned Parenthood Votes! Connecticut (PPV!CT). PPV!CT is the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE).

“These candidates support reproductive health, rights and access,” said Susan Yolen, PPV!CT PAC board member and Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy with PPV!CT. “We are confident each of these candidates will work to preserve and expand  access to full reproductive health care services for the people of Connecticut.”

Needleman is the founder and CEO of Tower Laboratories, a manufacturing business. As CEO, he has built the business over the past 37 years to become a leader in its segment, employing 150 people at facilities in Essex and Clinton. Needleman is in his third term as first selectman of Essex and was first elected as a selectman in 2003.

He is the Democratic candidate for the 33rd State Senate District which consists of the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Portland, Westbrook, and part of Old Saybrook.

For more information on Planned Parenthood Votes! Connecticut, visit www.plannedparenthoodvotes.org.

For more information on NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC, visit www.prochoicect.org.

For more information on Needleman’s campaign, visit www.norm.vote.

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Letter to the Editor: Phil Miller is the Best Choice for the 36th District

To the Editor:

Phil Miller is the best choice for state representative for Essex, Deep River, Chester, and Haddam.  He is a legislative leader, chairing the Planning and Development Committee, and has been instrumental in making laws that benefit our region.  His prominent position in the legislature gives him a unique platform to continue to fight to solve the State’s financial issues. 

Since Phil has been in Hartford, he has advocated for many local infrastructure and transportation projects, giving aid to our local economy.  An active listener and talented problem solver, his office has helped countless citizens to navigate state agencies to get the assistance they need.  Phil’s experience as a Selectman and First Selectman has been particularly helpful in recognizing and helping to defeat proposed legislation which could place a financial burden on our small towns.  He knows what we need and we need to keep him in the State House. 

I ask you to join me in re-electing Phil Miller to District 36 State Representative.

Sincerely,

Lauren S. Gister,
Chester

Editor’s Note: The author is the first selectman of Chester.

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Leif Nilsson Hosts ‘The Natters and Friends’ at Tomorrow’s ‘Concert in the Garden’

Frank Natter (center) plays with his wife, son and many more musicians at the Silver Spring Studio on Sunday.

Frank Natter (center) plays with his wife, son and many more musicians at the Silver Spring Studio on Sunday.

CHESTER — Leif Nilsson hosts a Sunday night ‘Concert in the Garden,’ Oct. 16, from 4 to 6 p.m.,  featuring The Natters and Friends at the Spring Street Studio and Gallery at 1 Spring St, Chester Center.

Frank Natter, Hillyn Schmelzer, and Frank Natter Jr are a father, daughter, and son that have the fortunate opportunity to make music together on many occasions. Teaching at Face Arts Music, their family operated music school, they have been sharing music with the local community for over a decade.

All three of these performers continue to create music separately, but enjoy opportunities to come together on various projects. The trio’s current collaboration will take listeners on a journey through original music of diverse emotions, genres, and stories, performed on classical guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, mandolin, and vocals.

The Face Arts Music family is excited to invite friends to share in the afternoon of original music. First, Shoutouttonina, a band of talented young performers consisting of Marley Elmoznino, Nina Hoehnebart, Abby Johnson, and Lucy Newman will open the show with original music. These young musicians are either current Face Arts Music students or recent participants in Face Arts Music’s Summer Music Camp.

Following Shoutouttonina, Erin Smith, Mat Seymour, and Keith Newman (along with Frank Jr) of The Dizzy River Band will take the stage to share a few new original songs. The afternoon will offer a diverse blend of music and prove to be an exciting musical experience for all.

This monthly concert series highlights eclectic international singer/songwriter artists from cool jazz to blue grass.

Gates open half hour before the show — first come first seated. Seating is Bistro Style in the amphitheater. The concert will be moved indoors in the event of inclement weather.

A $20 donation is appreciated. The event is BYOB – pack a picnic and buy your own wine or beer at the Chester Package Store across the street.

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Letter to the Editor: Needleman has Qualifications, Experience for State Senate Job

To the Editor:

This election is a crucial one for all of us, for reasons that we know only too well. The state budget, economic development, oppressive mandates, and education funding affects each of us and our towns.  With so many daunting issues to address, we can’t settle for anyone who doesn’t have the experience, knowledge, and skills to work across party lines to get the job done right. 

Given those criteria, the choice for the 33rd District State Senator is an easy one. It is Norm Needleman.  Norm’s qualifications and experience make him the right person for the job.  He has nearly forty years of experience at running a successful company and creating jobs.  His first priority is not ambition or party politics. Rather, he is focused on enhancing the quality of life for everyone in our towns.

As First Selectman of Essex, Norm has kept taxes among the lowest in the state, without cutting services.  Norm believes that dialogue is the key to solving problems, and that no individual or political party has a monopoly on good ideas. He has long been actively involved in a number of civic and not-for-profit organizations.  Most of all, he relies on his proven business skills and a deep knowledge of town government to find ways of solving problems that cut across party lines and special interests.

In these challenging times, we need Norm Needleman’s leadership and problem-solving skills in Hartford. I am voting for Norm because he will return meaningful state senate representation to our district.

Sincerely,

Ted Taigen,
Chester

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Country School Begins Year on High Note with Jump in Enrollment, New Facilities

A new academic year all-school photo  of The Country School taken on the school's new athletic fields.  Photo by Joseph's Photography, Inc.

A new academic year all-school photo of The Country School taken on the school’s new athletic fields. Photo by Joseph’s Photography, Inc.

AREAWIDE – The Country School kicked off the new school year having reached two major milestones before even opening its doors. This summer, the coeducational, independent day school celebrated the opening of its new, state-of-the-art recreational facility and broke ground on the second phase of Shaping the Future, the school’s 60th anniversary campus transformation plan. At the same time, The Country School opened with the highest new student enrollment increase in more than a decade, the 50 new students marking a 66 percent increase over last year’s number.

The school’s 60th anniversary, celebrated during the 2015-2016 school year, was a banner year at The Country School. More than 300 members of the school community came together to donate nearly $2 million to support the school’s campus transformation project and other 60th Anniversary initiatives, including increased scholarship support and programmatic enhancements. This marked the largest one-year gift total in the school’s 60-year history.

The campus improvements completed this summer include two full-sized, side-by-side athletic fields, a baseball and softball diamond, the four-court Rothberg Tennis Center, a full-sized outdoor basketball court, new playgrounds, a reconfigured ropes course, an enhanced cross country course, and more. With these new and expanded facilities, the school was able to welcome more than 200 students to campus this summer for its Summer Fun and Learning camp programs and also to coordinate with Madison Racquet & Swim Club for USTA tennis matches. This fall, the town of Madison is using the school’s baseball diamond and RUSH soccer its soccer fields.

Phase 2 of the Shaping the Future project, begun in July, moved vehicular traffic to the periphery of campus, creating a pedestrian village for learning at the center. The plan, designed by Centerbrook Architects and Planners, enhances academic and collaborative opportunities for students and teachers and makes the traffic pattern simpler and safer for all.

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 our community in action during our Fall Open House on Nov. 6, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Learn more at www.thecountryschool.org.

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Letter to the Editor: Needleman Stands for Sensible Gun Control, Unlike His Opponent

To the Editor:

I am voting for Norm Needleman for State Senate because of his pragmatic and common-sense approach to public service, exemplified by Needleman’s position for sensible gun control.

After the Newtown school massacre of 20 first graders and 6 educators, the NRA ‘robocalled” Newtown residents urging them to oppose gun safety legislation and to contact Senator Linares to mobilize opposition.

The press sought out Linares for an explanation of his role, but he was “unavailable for comment”.  A month later, the legislature overwhelmingly passed “An Act Concerning Gun Violence and Children’s Safety”, drafted by a bipartisan panel and supported by the leadership of both parties.

Linares voted “NO” and never explained why.

In May 2016, despite vehement opposition from the NRA, sensible legislation to stem gun violence, “An Act Concerning Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence” was enacted.  Again Linares voted “NO”, even though there was strong bipartisan support ensuring its passage. Over 20 states have similar statutes.

Linares’s NRA’s high rating is apparently due to his Newtown and domestic violence no votes and his confided answers to their questionnaires.

In my view, most gun owners are responsible and practice careful use of their firearms. The job of our State Senator is to listen to all concerns and recommendations on gun safety and go beyond the extreme positions of the NRA hierarchy, and begin to address the provisions of the General Assembly’s Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention, April 2013.

Norm Needleman is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and not the extreme positions embraced by the NRA and Linares.

Vote for Norm Needleman, whose proven leadership and proven results, in both the public and private sectors are driven by his sensible, compassionate and balanced approach to getting things done.

Sincerely,

Ed Meehan,
Chester.

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Letter to the Editor: Why do I Support Needleman? Let me Count the Ways … (With the Editor’s Apologies to The Bard)

To the Editor:

I enthusiastically support Norm Needleman for State Senate because as a business owner and Essex first selectman, Norm knows how to balance a budget, make a payroll and care for hundreds of employees.

Norm’s opponent? He has problems. Art Linares was a Trump delegate at the Republican Convention, and has blatantly reaffirmed his support for Trump in recent days. The question for voters is, why?

The New London Day (October 5, page B3) carried a column calling Linares’ support of Trump the most ludicrous in the state.  It pointed out that Linares’ family business (“Greenskies”, which installs solar panels from China) receives huge state subsidies to encourage renewable energy.  Yet Trump is denier-in-chief that climate change even exists.

Consider also one of Linares’ favorite issues: balancing the budget. Trump’s economic plan is projected by the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget to increase the national deficit by $5.3 trillion over the next 10 years — 26 times more that Clinton’s plan.  How can Linares possibly support that? Norm’s budget-balancing plan for the state is to cut state spending — a good approach.

Next up is Trump’s abhorrent treatment of women, blacks, Hispanics, Muslims and immigrants in general, and the GOP/Trump platform’s proposals to end a women’s right to chose, legalize discrimination against gays, toss out campaign finance law, and end federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The list goes on and on. Where does Linares stand on these Trump issues?

Trump’s poor record was well-known when Linares became a Trump delegate, long before the recent disclosure of Trump’s vulgar, disgusting tapes about women. Are these the principles and positions Linares stands for, since he continues to support Trump? You bet – that’s why I’m backing Norm!

Arthur Henick,
Chester

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If You Oppose the Proposed High-Speed Rail Route, Join SECoast’s Fundraiser This Afternoon at Bee & Thistle

fundraiser-at-bt_oct2016
AREAWIDE SECoast, the non-profit group actively and constructively opposing the proposed high-speed rail line through Old Lyme and southeast Connecticut, is holding a fundraiser at the Bee and Thistle Inn on Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m.

SECoast.org is a locally-directed special project of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation. Since publicly breaking news of the proposed bypass in January, SECoast.org has been working tirelessly as an effective advocate for Old Lyme and the local area by catalyzing growing regional opposition to the bypass.

Thanks to the generosity of the Bee and Thistle’s owner David Rufo, the Inn’s Executive Chef and acclaimed wildlife photographer Kristofer Rowe and singer/songwriter Dan Stevens who is performing at the event, 100 percent of the funds raised on Sunday will go towards mounting a legal defense to the route, which it is anticipated will be announced next week.  The monies raised will help support staffing, digital media and administrative costs of the campaign.

Once that announcement has been made, there are precisely 30 days by law to respond to the preferred route.  SECoast wants to be ready to react immediately to the announcement.

Tickets for Sunday’s event are $50 and fully tax-deductible.  There is also a Sponsor level at $250 and sponsors will receive an autographed Kristofer Rowe photograph.

Donations in any amount are always at welcome at this account or by mail at CT Trust for Historic Trust Preservation, 940 Whitney Ave., Hamden, CT 06517-4002 (make checks payable to CT Trust with “For SECoast” on the face.

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of the work that SECoast has been doing.  Without Greg Stroud and his small band of dedicated individuals, the proposed Old Saybrook to Kenyon by-pass would likely have quietly continued along its probable path to becoming part of the FRA’s Tier 2 preferred route.

We are delighted that Senator Richard Blumenthal, Congressman Joe Courtney, State Senator Paul Formica and State Representative Devin Carney are now all vocally opposed to the route and believe that in no small part relates to the efforts of SECoast.  We hope our Old Lyme Board of Selectmen (BOS) will show their support for SECoast because surely the BOS objectives are identical to those of SECoast?

This fundraiser is your chance to show your appreciation for all the work that SECoast has undertaken so far on behalf of the residents of Old Lyme specifically and, in a broader sense, the people of southeastern Connecticut … and all the work it will take on in the future.  If you choose not to support SECoast, then please don’t feel you have a right to complain about the train route down the line … pun intended!

See you on Sunday!

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Chester Selectwomen Visit Roto Frank of America

Gathered for a photo during the visit are (from left to right) Debra Wallis, CFO, Roto Frank of America; Lauren Gister, Chester First Selectwoman; Chris Dimou, President and CEO, Roto Frank of America; Carolynn Linn, Chester Selectwoman; Erik Ostby, Plant Manager

Gathered for a photo during the visit are (from left to right) Debra Wallis, CFO, Roto Frank of America; Lauren Gister, Chester First Selectwoman; Chris Dimou, President and CEO, Roto Frank of America; Carolynn Linn, Chester Selectwoman and Erik Ostby, Plant Manager.

CHESTER — Helping residents from local communities find gainful employment and finding skilled workers for open manufacturing positions was the focus of a visit on Oct. 4 from Lauren Gister, Chester First Selectwoman and Carolynn Linn, Chester Selectwoman, to Roto Frank of America, Inc.  The visit included a meeting with Chris Dimou, Roto Frank of America President and CEO; Debra Wallis, CFO and a tour of the Chester manufacturing plant conducted by Erik Ostby, Plant Manager.

As Roto Frank of America continues to thrive and grow, the challenge of finding skilled workers increases accordingly. The mutually beneficial solution lies in creating a greater awareness of Roto Frank’s role in the economic community and working collaboratively to attract and retain workers from Chester and the surrounding communities.

“Working with the Chester community helps in two ways. It creates an awareness of job opportunities at Roto Frank of America and helps us fill key positions as we continue grow,” said Chris Dimou.

Founded in 1979, Roto Frank of America, Inc. is a Chester, Connecticut-based manufacturer of window and door hardware. Roto Frank of America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Roto Frank AG, a global company headquartered in Germany, with 17 production plants and 40 subsidiaries worldwide.

Roto Frank of America offers solutions for North American and European hardware applications, has an extensive product line including its renowned X-DRIVE™ casement and awning window systems, sash locks, window-opening-control-devices, sliding patio door systems, and European window and door hardware, among others. For more information please visit www.rotohardware.com.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies, Wine & Art: All the Comforts of Home in Chester Tonight

Keith Stewart, the chef at Camp Hazen YMCA, is making 500 chocolate chip cookies for all to enjoy throughout Chester Center on Come Home to Chester night, Oct. 7.

Keith Stewart, the chef at Camp Hazen YMCA, is making 500 chocolate chip cookies for all to enjoy throughout Chester Center on Come Home to Chester night, Oct. 7.

The town of Chester presents its annual “Come Home to Chester” celebration on Friday evening, Oct. 7. Come stroll through the shops and galleries of quaint Chester village while munching on chocolate chip cookies made by the chef of Camp Hazen YMCA and sampling wines or sipping apple cider. (All the comforts of home on a New England fall evening!)

The French Hen’s theme for the evening is fragrance. “Fragrance has the power to evoke a memory, change a mood or unlock a new experience,” says Laurie McGinley, the shop’s owner, who says the shop will be debuting a new line, Peacock Parfumerie, and will have a drawing for one of their beautiful scented candles. Chester Package Store will do a wine tasting on the front porch of The French Hen (14 Main St.).

Kate and Anne Yurasek wrap themselves up in a cozy quilt at Lark.

Kate and Anne Yurasek wrap themselves up in a cozy quilt at Lark.

LARK is featuring coziness – as in cozy, colorful home accessories, such as quilts, rugs, towels and pillows. Sign up to win a gift while exploring all the comforts of home featured in the newly expanded shop at 4 Water St.

“An Exploration of Texture,” a new jewelry collection by Dina Varano, opens at the Dina Varano Gallery on Main Street on October 7. Since day one, texture has been a defining feature of Dina’s unique jewelry. Like an alchemist she transforms metal into meaningful works of wearable art: one of a kind, one at a time.

At Maple & Main Gallery, enjoy the Fall Exhibit on the first floor (where you can nibble on chocolate chip cookies!) and then go downstairs to the Stone Gallery for the opening reception of the two-woman show, “Go Figure,”  by friends Beverly Floyd and Maggie Bice. These longtime friends share a sensibility that is lyrical, light-hearted, and often quirky, which is obvious in their delightful show.

ELLE Design, at 1 Main St., invites you to sample the raw chocolates made by Aruna Chocolate and learn how to pair them with wine. Look for Deborah Vilcheck, a Chester-based mortgage loan originator with Nations Reliable Lending, who will have 50 apple pies to hand out to visitors. “I love Chester and this is a great way to celebrate our town,” Deb says.

Even your dogs are welcome at Yappy Hour at Strut Your Mutt on Main Street, with treats for them and you.

You are also invited to visit the yoga studio at Reflections of Chester, Health & Wellness Center, at 15-19 North Main Street, where there will be live music, cider and cookies. More live music will be at the Pattaconk 1850 Bar & Grill on Main Street, and the Homage Fine Art & Coffee Lounge (16 Main St.) features Teen Open Mic Night from 7 to 9 p.m.

Everything is within walking distance from the Maple Street and Water Street free public parking lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lori Warner Gallery Hosts ‘ART-ISTRY’ Featuring Work of Rau, Steiner

Detail from a featured work by David Rau in the ART-ISTRY exhibition opening Oct. 1 at the Lori Warner Gallery.

Detail from a featured work, ‘Untitled,’ by David Rau in the ART-ISTRY exhibition opening Oct. 1 at the Lori Warner Gallery.

CHESTER — ART-ISTRY, featuring new work by David D. J. Rau and Christopher B. Steiner, opens Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Lori Warner Gallery in Chester with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. to which all are welcome.  On view will be three-dimensional assemblage pieces by Rau, and limited edition prints and original photomontage works by Steiner.

This exhibition will be a very special one since the Lori Warner Gallery invites artists to exhibit their work once per year and the selection process is highly competitive.

David D.J. Rau’s Vintage Hardware Drawer series, was inspired by 14 antique drawers that originally held screws, bolts, and plugs (according to the various labels). Rau transforms them into miniature surreal stage sets using vintage and antique pieces collected over the years. Inspired by the past, his aesthetic combines vintage photography, tattered paper, intriguing ephemera, and antiques into humorous, ironic, and most importantly, beautiful scenes. 

Rau is the Director of Education & Outreach at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Conn. Responsible for the public programs and making connections between the art and history and the Museum’s visitors. Rau holds a masters degree in Art History and a certificate of Museum Studies from the University of Michigan. Rau has worked at Cranbrook Art Museum; the Henry Ford Museum and The Currier Gallery of Art. Rau also teaches Museum Studies at Connecticut College.

Detail from "The Fall of Suburban Man" by Christopher Steiner.

Detail from “The Fall of Suburban Man” (2016) by Christopher Steiner.

Christopher B. Steiner has always been partial to artists with “a deep sense of wit and (twisted) humor.” His work has been described as “irreverent parody with a twist of dark absurdity.” Steiner deconstructs iconic or cliché images and well-rehearsed art-historical traditions in order to invite alternative readings. These interventions are meant to surprise, delight, destabilize, and sometimes even shock. His intent is to “reinvigorate familiar images by bringing to them new perspectives and insights through unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur visual tropes”.

Steiner holds an undergraduate degree from the Johns Hopkins University, and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University. He is the Lucy C. McDannel ’22 Professor of Art History and Anthropology at Connecticut College, where he also serves as Founding Director of the Museum Studies Program.

Steiner is also a member of the board of trustees of the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, where he was also Interim Director in 2003-04. In addition, he serves on the Advisory Boards of both the Florence Griswold Museum and the Bellarmine Museum at Fairfield University.

The exhibition will be on view through Dec. 1, and is free and open to the public. The Lori Warner Gallery is located at 21 Main St. in Chester, Conn.

For further information, call 860-322-4265, email gallery@loriwarner.com and visit www.loriwarner.com or www.facebook.com/loriwarnergallery/

 

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CBSRZ Announces High Holy Day Service Schedule, Begins Sunday

CHESTER — Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (Chester) has announced its schedule of High Holy Day services.  Contact the synagogue office for tickets or more information.  860-526-8920

Sunday, Oct. 2

7:30 pm Erev Rosh Hashanah service

Monday, Oct. 3

9:30 am Rosh Hashanah Morning service, followed by Taschlich at the Chester Ferry

2:00 pm Rosh Hashanah Family Program

3:00 pm Children’s service

Tuesday, Oct. 4

9:30 am  Rosh Hashanah (Day 2) service

Sunday, Oct. 9

1:00 pm  Cemetery service at Fountain Hill

2:30 pm  Cemetery service at Rodfe Zedek

Tuesday, Oct. 11

7:30 pm  Kol Nidre

Saturday, Oct. 12

9:30 am  Yom Kippur Morning service

2:30 pm  Children’s service

4:00 pm  Yom Kippur Afternoon service and Neilah, followed by Break the Fast

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9 Town Transit Plans Bus Fare Increases; Public Hearing Slated for Tonight in Old Saybrook

9TT 30th Logo RGBAREAWIDE — To help offset a cut in state transit funding, the Estuary Transit District is considering an increase to fare on all 9 Town Transits services.

The proposal would see the cash fare on all routes increase from $1.50 to $1.75. Trips on Dial-A-Ride and off-route would increase from $3 to $3.50.  Multi-ride tickets and monthly passes will increase to $15.75 and $57, respectively.

The fare proposal also includes the agency’s first disabled fare.  It would provide a discounted rate of $0.85 to persons with disabilities.  ETD says this would provide relief to many in the disabled community that heavily rely on public transit.

ETD officials say the increase is necessary due to a prevent service reduction following a statewide cut by the state to transit budgets.

A public hearing on the proposal will be held on Thursday, Sept. 29, from 4 until 6 p.m. at Old Saybrook Town Hall first floor conference room, 302 Main St, Old Saybrook, CT.  Written comments may be submitted until Oct. 14, to Estuary Transit District, 17 Industrial Park Rd, Suite 6, Centerbrook, CT 06409.

For a full listing of the new fare schedule, visit www.9towntransit.com/fares or call 9 Town Transit at 860-510-0429.

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