February 24, 2017

Celebrate Winter Today at Chester’s 26th Annual Winter Carnivale

Street entertainers delight the crowds at the Chester Carnivale. File photo by John Stack.

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!

Bill Bernhart stands proudly beside his ice carving at the Chester Carnivale in this 2012 file photo by John Stack.

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.

Tractors and more tractors descend on Chester on Carnivale day for the Annual Tractor Parade. File photo by John Stack

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.

Tractor Parade at a previous year’s Chester Carnivale. File photo by John Stack.

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

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9 Town Transit Partners with Google Maps for Online Trip Planning

AREAWIDE — Finding local bus route information just got a whole lot easier.  In fact, you probably already have it available on your smartphone.  Google Maps now includes local bus routes and schedules in its directions feature.

Riders no longer have to read timetables.  They simply enter the date and time that they hope to arrive at their destination and the trip planner will provide three options, showing the amount of time and number of transfers for each option, letting you easily select the most convenient trip.

Google Maps can even provide walking directions, so you can find out exactly how to get to the nearest transit stop or station, and how to get to your destination once you leave the train/bus.  For extra convenience, Google Maps has most locations already stored, so you only need the location name or just a category, such as fast food.

“We are pleased to welcome 9 Town Transit to Google Maps.”, says Ryan Poscharsky, Strategic Partner Manager at Google.  “This partnership shows 9 Town Transit’s commitment to innovating, as well as serving and attracting new riders. Together we can provide useful and accurate information to help people quickly get to where they want to go.”

Another important feature is the ability to plan trips across agencies and modes.  CT Transit New Haven and Hartford, CT Transit Express, Shoreline East and Metro North are all available in Google Maps, so it is easy to plan your trip from Old Saybrook to Hartford, from Manhattan to the outlet malls, or from your Clinton to downtown New Haven.  Google Maps tells you all transfers required along with the connecting agency name and contact information.

“We hope this tool makes it easier than ever to plan your trip by bus or train in our region”, says Joseph Comerford, Executive Director of 9 Town Transit.

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CANELLED: Leif Nilsson Presents ‘The Lost Acres String Band’, Sunday

The Lost Acres String Band performs Sunday at the Spring Street Studio.

CHESTER — 02/12 UPDATE: THIS CONCERT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO THE IMPENDING WINTER STORM.  Leif Nilsson hosts a Sunday night ‘Concert in the Garden,’ Feb. 12, from 4 to 6 p.m.,  featuring The Lost Acres String Band inside the Gallery at the Spring Street Studio at 1 Spring St, Chester Center.

The Lost Acres String Band serves up a flavorful mixture of songs and instrumentals from a wide variety of musical traditions with the added spice of several exotic original compositions. A typical show includes blues, Gypsy jazz, old-time and contemporary fiddle tunes, a haunting Hispanic ballad from the old Southwest, a classic number by The Mississippi Sheiks, and swing tunes from the 1930s.

After study of Western classical and South Indian classical violin, since 1975 Gordon Swift has been playing fiddle, electric violin, and baritone violectra in bands ranging from jazz-rock fusion to reggae to country-and-western. Gordon holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University and blends musical influences from around the world into a distinctively American violin/fiddle style. He organized LASB in 2008 and writes the band’s original material.

Master guitarist Paul Howard is a long-time member of the CT Americana/string band Last Fair Deal, with whom he has recorded four albums. Paul runs Valley Music School in Avon, CT and is a founding faculty member of the National Guitar Workshop with five music instruction books to his credit. Paul is an eclectic guitarist bringing influences from swing, old-time, bluegrass, and folk/rock music; he’s also an accomplished vocalist.

Jon Swift (Gordon’s brother) is a veteran of the New England bluegrass and roots music scene. He was a founding member of the popular bluegrass band Traver Hollow, playing bass and singing with the group for 13 years. He has also sung and played bass or acoustic guitar in several other groups (currently BluesGrass and Deep Ellum) as well as performing solo. Appearing here on upright bass, Jon lays down a solid foundation for the band.

“Impossible to pigeonhole…an unpretentious mood-booster…ranging confidently through several different styles, all handled with aplomb,”  says Grammy-winner Stacy Phillips about the band in Fiddler magazine.

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.

For more information about the band, visit http://www.lostacresstringband.com

For more information about the studio, visit http://www.nilssonstudio.com or call 860-526-2077

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Celebrate Valentines with Mimosas, Chocolates at Maple & Main, Today

Vivid swirling brushstrokes by abstract artist Lesley Koenig compose this dynamic acrylic painting of a single red rose, surrounded by luscious bursts of bright pink, yellow, blue, orange and green.

CHESTER – In celebration of Valentines, mimosas and chocolates will be served to visitors at Maple and Main Gallery Sunday, Feb. 12, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The gallery has a large selection of small paintings at reasonable prices which would make perfect and unique Valentine’s gifts.

The annual Juried Show and Winter Exhibit are on display representing new work by over 80 artists in a variety of styles and medium.

Maple and Main, at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 6 p.m., Friday from noon to 7 p.m.; Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mapleandmaingallery.com; 860-526-6065. Visit the gallery on facebook.

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March Madness is Almost Here! ‘First Friday’ Starts March 3, Offers $500+ Shopping Spree Prize Drawing

Suzie Woodward of ‘Lark’ prepares for First Friday in Chester.

CHESTER – Visitors who come to Chester’s downtown between Friday, March 3, and Friday, April 7, have a chance at winning a March Madness shopping spree worth more than $500.

Kicking off on First Friday in March and ending First Friday in April, shoppers, diners and gallery-goers can pick up a special “Chester” card at any business and each time they buy something their card will be validated.

Once they’ve made purchases at seven different locations, their card is eligible for the drawing April 7 when the winner will receive $25 gift certificates from each of the eight restaurants and 13 merchants participating.

Every store, gallery and restaurant in town is on board, and the cards will be available at each of them beginning on First Friday, March 3.

These customers of “Strut Your Mutt” are ready for First Friday.

Completed cards should be turned in to The Perfect Pear at 51 Main Street no later than 5 p.m. April 7 for the grand-prize drawing at 6 p.m. Players can complete more than one card for entry. The winner need not be present to win.

The participating restaurants are: The Good Elephant, Otto, Pattaconk 1850 Bar and Grille, River Tavern, Simon’s Marketplace, Thai Riverside, The Villager and The Wheatmarket.

The eligible retail shops and galleries are Black Kat Leather, Dina Varano, Elle Design Studio, The French Hen, Lark, Lori Warner Gallery and Swoon and Maple & Main Gallery, Also: The Perfect Pear, R.J Vickers Herbery, the Chester Bottle Shop, Strut Your Mutt, Matt Austin Studio and Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery.

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Celebrate ‘Take Your Child to the (Chester) Library Day’ Today; Meet the Dog Whisperer

Chester Library (Skip Hubbard photo)

CHESTER — “Take Your Child to the Library Day,” this Saturday, Feb. 4, you can meet the Dog Whisperer, Helene Ferrari, from Sheltara in Chester, and her training dog, Bodie, at the library between 11 a.m. and noon.

While you pet Bodie, Ferrari will share her secrets about how to care for a pet and the importance of training. Bring your questions and also, bring a picture of your dog to share.

Before 11, you can hear stories about amazing dogs from Mrs. Applesauce, and sign up for your own library card. Pet crafts, dog treats and treats for humans too.

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‘Music & More’ Season Opens Sunday in Chester with Jazz Singer Kathy Kosins

Kathy Kosins performs at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek on Sunday.

CHESTER — Song stylist Kathy Kosins, described by one prominent music critic as “everything Diane Krall should be,” will perform in Chester on Sunday, Feb. 5, at 5 p.m.  Her appearance opens season nine of Music & More at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek and, as always, is open to the public, and features a meet-the-artist reception afterward.

Kosins has performed throughout Europe, as well as Tanglewood in the Berkshires, the iconic Blue Note in New York City, and the Newport Jazz Festival.  She is particularly known for uncovering great songs that are overlooked by others. In all, though, her work is not easily categorized.

In 2012 she released “To The Ladies Of Cool”, a dedication to the West Coast School of Cool artists like June Christy, Chris Connor, Julie London, and Anita O’Day. Her latest release this year (2016) is titled “Uncovered Soul” and includes lesser known tunes by well-known artists like Curtis Mayfield, The Neville Brothers, and Bill Withers, along with three originals of her own.

David Zeleznik, the director of the Music & More series, says, “I am particularly excited that this concert will be Kathy Kosins’ only appearance in CT this season. Her new release ‘Uncovered Soul’ has transported her from mainstream jazz to groove-oriented soul. On the recording, produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Kamau Kenyatta, she is backed by the incomparable Gregory Porter. Visit this link to see video of Kosin performing.

Kosins is also a talented painter of modern abstractions and she will be bringing along several of her smaller works for display and sale. ”

To accompany her in February, Kathy has recruited Earl MacDonald, the celebrated jazz pianist who is Director of Jazz Studies at UConn and composer in residence at the Hartford Jazz Society. Earl has won the Hartford Advocate’s “best jazz group” award several times and will bring along a couple of other jazz professors to round out the combo backing Kathy.

Music & More, which has become a cultural phenomenon in the Connecticut River Valley, offers three more concerts for the ninth season, featuring the a capella singing group, the Maccabeats (March 19), classical pianist Dalia Lazar (April 30), and Bivolito Klezmer (June 25).

Tickets for the general public for the Kathy Kosins concert are $35 in advance or $40 at the door, with free admission for children 16 and under. Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester.

For more information or to order tickets, visit cbsrz.org or call

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Parent-Toddler Play & Support Groups Offered at Tri-Town Youth Services

AREAWIDE — Tri-Town Youth Services, 56 High St., Deep River will host weekly support groups for parents of young children.  Parents have opportunity to socialize and talk about family challenges while toddlers play.

The Parent Resource Coordinator will present a new parenting theme each week and invite parents to browse the extensive Parent Resource Library.  Toddlers will enjoy free play and art exploration.  Each session will include a seasonal circle with songs, yoga and finger-plays, followed by a shared snack.

“Outstanding Ones” for children under two, will meet Tuesdays from Feb. 7 to April 4.  The group gathers from 10:30 to 11 a.m. and the program costs $45 for Tri-Town residents.

“Terrific Twos” for children 24-36 months, will meet Wednesdays from Feb. 8 to April 5 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and costs $60 for Tri-Town residents.  Call 860-526-3600 to reserve your spot or register and pay securely online at www.tritownys.org.

Tri-Town Youth Services supports and advances the families, youth and communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex.  They coordinate and provide resources needed to make positive choices, reduce substance abuse, and strengthen the relationships that matter most.

Discover more programs and information for families at www.tritownys.org.

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Sen. Linares Named Co-chairman of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Caucus

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

AREAWIDE — State Senator Art Linares (R-33) has been named Co-chairman of the General Assembly’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) Caucus. The caucus advocates the interests of individuals with IDD and their families.

“Mahatma Gandhi said that a society will be measured by how it has treated its most vulnerable citizens,” Sen. Linares noted. “We must leave a legacy where individuals and families dealing with IDD are able to live full and complete lives. I am proud to be asked to take a leadership role in a caucus tasked with such important work.”

Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-34) commented that he knows advocating for those impacted by IDD is an important issue for Sen. Linares.

“Sen. Linares is an energetic lawmaker and in this new role he will be an active ambassador to families and advocates, working hard to make their voices heard at the Capitol,” Sen. Fasano said, adding, “To best serve these families, we need to learn about the challenges they face every day. Sen. Linares will play a key role in that dialogue.”

Sen. Linares stressed that as the General Assembly faces a projected $1.4 billion budget deficit for the next fiscal year, legislators must do their best to support the needs of Connecticut’s IDD residents.

“State spending must be brought under control, but that doesn’t mean we balance the budget at the expense of those with disabilities,” he said.

Sen. Linares represents the communities of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Old Saybrook along with Clinton, Colchester, East Haddam, East Hampton, Haddam, Lyme, Portland and Westbrook.

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Application Deadline for Environmental Leadership Scholarship is Wednesday

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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‘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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‘The Maccabeats’ to Perform in Chester at CBSRZ, March 19

The Maccabeats, who will be performing at CBSRZ, March

CHESTER — The Maccabeats, a singing group that set a record for a video going viral (more than 10 million hits in eight days), and that performed for President Barack Obama in the East Room and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg at Gracie Mansion, will bring their unique brand of harmony, humor, and musical inventiveness to Chester on Sunday, March 19, at 5 p.m., at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek.

David Zeleznik, producer of the synagogue’s Music & More series, says, “The Maccabeats are an a cappella group from the heart of Brooklyn that started at Yeshiva University with incredibly hunky young men, terrific voices, and a good dose of humor that is the closest thing to a Jewish youth sensation these days. And adults should not feel left out, these guys are just plain fun and joyous.” See video of The Maccabeats at https://www.youtube.com/user/MaccabeatsVideos.

The group, with its name inspired by the Maccabeats, heroes of the Chanukah story, became literally an overnight sensation during the holiday season in 2010.  It used a tune by Taio Cruz, “Dynamite,” and turned it into “Candlelight,” a playful Chanukah celebration — “I flip my latkes in the air sometimes, saying ‘ay-oh,’ spin the dreidel” — that it went viral so fast that it soon became number one on the Billboard Comedy Digital Track Charts.

The Maccabeats have followed up with a variety of songs and albums that have reinvented Jewish music, and have been cheered by audiences on five continents. Recently, the group released another video, this one reinterpreting the smash Broadway hit “Hamilton” as a Jewish story.  https://youtu.be/u3UubcYj49k

A sell-out crowd is expected so advance ticket purchase is highly recommended. Advance general admission tickets are $35 for adults (or $40 at door, pending availability) and free admission for children 16 and under.  As always at Music & More concerts, ticket price includes an after-concert reception and an opportunity to meet the band.

For tickets and more information, see www.cbsrz.org, or call the synagogue office at (860) 526-8920.

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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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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.

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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.

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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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Two New Shows on View at Maple & Main Through April 2

‘Cool’ by Deb Munson is the signature painting for the Winter Exhibition at Maple & Main. Munson is also the juror for the Juried Show running concurrently.

CHESTER – The Seventh Annual Winter Exhibit and the Second Annual Juried Show are on view at Maple and Main Gallery through April 2.

Both exhibits will showcase newly created art by over 100 artists in a vast variety of styles and medium from classic still lifes to impressionistic landscapes to large, vivid abstracts.

The Winter Exhibit will be hung on the ground floor of the gallery and in the Small Works room while the Juried Show will be in the lower level in the Stone and Joslow galleries.

Maple and Main is open Wednesday and Thursday, noon to 6 p.m.; Friday, noon to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 860-526-6065; mapleandmain@att.net.

Visit mapleandmaingallery.com where there is a selection of works in both shows as well and on Facebook as well.

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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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