July 6, 2015

“Mahogany Memories” Boat Show Comes to Connecticut River Museum, Saturday

The heritage of wooden boats comes to life on the docks of the Connecticut River Museum.  Photo courtesy of Southern New England Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society.

The heritage of wooden boats comes to life on the docks of the Connecticut River Museum.  Photo courtesy of Southern New England Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society.

ESSEX — The Southern New England Chapter (SNEC) of The Antique and Classic Boat Society will present the 31st annual “Mahogany Memories” boat show on the grounds and docks of the Connecticut River Museum (CRM) on Saturday, July 11, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Admission is free.

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

The SNEC president David McFarlin notes, “SNEC members are always excited to participate in this show at the Connecticut River Museum.  They all work hard at restoring and maintaining these wonderful boats and enjoy showing them to the public.”  Christopher Dobbs, CRM Executive Director comments, “We are pleased to host this incredible regional show that celebrates the heritage of fun on the water.  It is a wonderful event for all ages that builds interest and appreciation for the wooden boat tradition. ”

Schuyler Thomson and Frank Christinat from the Canoeworks in Norfolk will be demonstrating and involving show participants in a series of wood bending exercises as they build a new boat.  Also on display will be last year’s build, a 14-foot canoe and some other interesting canoes.

The CRM’s Boatbuilding Workshop will be on view throughout the weekend.  The workshop, geared towards first-time boat builders, allows participants to work with experienced volunteers and go home at the end of the weekend with a 12 foot rowing skiff.  The museum commissioned Paul Kessinger, a local wooden boat builder from Guilford, Conn., to build the first CRM 12 in 2014.  Kessinger says, “This is a perfect activity for adults or families. Best yet, you will get years of enjoyment out of rowing your skiff.”  Reservations are required and interested participants should contact the museum as soon as possible.

The Mystic Seaport Ship Modelers (MSSM) will return to show off and possibly launch several of their models.  This group is a special interest group comprised of Mystic Seaport members and staff.  It was formed in 2012 to promote ship modeling and related activities at Mystic Seaport and in the surrounding area.

On display will be the 1929 Cadillac connected to the Lindbergh infant kidnapping.  Photo courtesy of Tom Tkacz.

On display will be the 1929 Cadillac connected to the Lindbergh infant kidnapping. Photo courtesy of Tom Tkacz.

New this year, several classic cars from the mahogany boat era will be on display.  Many of them with mahogany dashboards, chrome hardware and elegant brightwork are reflective of period boats.  One fascinating automobile on display will be a 1929 Cadillac 341B Town Sedan that was impounded as part of the Lindbergh infant kidnapping, saved from a junkyard, and housed in a barn for 51 years before being finely restored.

In addition, marine supplies, artwork, clothing and boat merchandise will be available for purchase and a raffle will be held at the end of the show. This year’s sponsors include the Connecticut River Museum, Essex Savings Bank, Ashcroft Inc., Cooper Capital Specialty Salvage, Middle Cove Marina, Northeast Laser and Electropolish, CCJ, Hagerty Classic Marine Insurance, Island Cove Marina, Clark Group, New England Chrome Plating, Inc., Heritage Marine Insurance, and ki Advertising.

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

 

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Photo Caption: On display will be the 1929 Cadillac connected to the Lindbergh infant kidnapping.  Photo courtesy of Tom Tkacz.

Tickets on Sale for Exclusive Pittsinger, Schuman Benefit Concert for Ivoryton Playhouse

David Pittsinger

David Pittsinger

IVORYTON — World renowned artists David Pittsinger and Patricia Schuman will be performing songs from The Great American Songbook – including works by Gershwin, Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein as well as some contemporary composers – at an exclusive concert on Sunday, July 12, at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

This concert is a benefit for the 104-year-old Playhouse to further its mission to provide theatre of the highest quality to the residents and visitors to our community.

Pittsinger is a world renowned operatic performer who recently garnered critical acclaim for his performance of Emile DeBecque in the Lincoln Center’s Tony Award winning ‘South Pacific’ – a role he is currently reprising at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

Patricia Schumann

Patricia Schuman

His wife, Patricia Schuman, an internationally celebrated soprano, was recently seen as The Duchess in Odyssey Opera’s production of ‘Powder Her Face’, and will also be joining David as Bloody Mary in ‘South Pacific.’

This special concert is a rare opportunity to see them together in the intimate setting of the Ivoryton Playhouse performing a brand new repertoire.

Pittsinger says,”Please join me and my wife Patricia for an intimate and personal celebration of the American Songbook, honoring Ivoryton Playhouse.  These iconic treasures, some of the most cherished in all of American Musical Theatre, reflect our love for each other, the stage, and the music that has shaped our lives”

Tickets for this unique event are $125 each and there will be a reception at 6 p.m. with cocktails, wines and heavy hors d’oeuvres followed by the performance at 7 p.m. Pittsinger and Schuman will join guests after the show for coffee and dessert.

Seating is limited; call the theatre box office at 860.767.7318 to reserve your seat for this special evening.  Premier seating is available for patrons.

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

Throughout the month of July, Pittsinger will be revisiting the role of Emile deBecque in ‘South Pacific’ – the role he played in the Lincoln Center production to great critical acclaim and Schuman will be making her Ivoryton debut in the role of Bloody Mary.  ‘South Pacific’ opens at the Playhouse July 1 and runs through July 26

Visit www.ivorytonplayhouse.org for more information.

Ivoryton Hosts Fourth of July Parade Today

2015 posterIVORYTON — The fourth of July is a big deal these days in the Essex Village of Ivoryton, Conn. Not only can you attend one of the best little Farmer’s Markets in Connecticut, but you can enjoy their Fourth of July Parade — held rain or shine — with a full color guard, two Fife and Drum Corps and many other groups marching.

The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. on Saturday. All marchers are welcome and should gather at Cheney St at 9:30 a.m. A donation of bottled water has been kindly made by W.B. Mason office Supply Company for those marching in the parade.

The parade will feature Jacqui Hubbard as the Grand Marshall.

There will be a patriotic ceremony following the parade at the Gazebo featuring the New Horizons Band from the Community Music School (CMS) performing patriotic music both before and after the parade. The band directed by CMS founder Paddy Hurley, is composed of active adult musicians who have either decided to learn to play a musical instrument in their adult years or become re-acquainted after many years.  This is the third year in a row that they have performed in the Gazebo adding to the unique old fashioned style of the parade, playing patriotic songs.

There will also be a community picnic block party.

The Ivoryton Tavern will be grilling in the park for breakfast and lunch as well as The Blue Hound Cookery with some Cajun BBQ outside at their parking lot.

Live music will play throughout the afternoon sponsored by the Ivoryton Farmer’s Market.

Two six foot tables will be set up in the park with paper plates, cups and utensils provided by Kathryne L. Wright of the Hammered Edge across from the park. All are invited to bring food to share with their neighbors on these tables. “It’s an opportunity for folks to meet and share their appreciation of the Ivoryton Village community” says Wright.
For more information contact Kathryne L. Wright at 860-581-8058 or visit the Ivoryton Alliance Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ivoryton-Village-Alliance and the Ivoryton Farmer’s Market at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ivoryton-Farmers-Market.

 

 

Take Essex Land Trust’s Mystery Hike, July 11

Explore this beautiful section of Ivoryton with the Essex land Trust.

Explore this beautiful section of Ivoryton with the Essex land Trust.

IVORYTON — Come explore Comstock Park — a new Essex Land Trust preserve — on Saturday, July 11 at 9 a.m. Be among the first to discover this new Ivoryton gem.

Steward John Cosenza will lead a hike across the recently purchased 18 acres of open space, yet to be named, available to the community. Work is well advanced in establishing trails and access to this combination of marsh and upland with a stream that flows into the Falls River.

The property is still being inventoried and there are plans for a boardwalk through some of the marshes and a footbridge across the stream. Hikers should wear appropriate footwear for wet soil conditions.

Access and parking at the end of Park Road, Ivoryton, across from Comstock Park. Bad weather cancels.

Essex Harbor Boat Parade Kicks Off at 1pm Today

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ESSEX — The boating community around Essex, Conn., will once again gather today to celebrate Independence Day at the annual 4th of July Essex Harbor Boat Parade. Boat owners are invited to “dress up” their boats and join the parade. Meet near green marker 25 outside the harbor at 12:45 p.m. and monitor Channel 71 for instructions.

The parade will kick off at 1 p.m. and will pass the Essex harborfront several times.

If you do not own a boat, why not watch the parade from the shore?

For more information and to participate, contact Steve Rodstrom, Vice Commodore of the Essex Corinthian Yacht Club at
vicecommodore@essexcorinthian.org.

See ‘South Pacific’ at the Ivoryton Playhouse Through July 16

In rehearsal for 'South Pacific' are (from left to right) David Edwards (Director) Maxwell Carmel, Brian Michael Henry, Johann George, Morgan Morse, Matthew Gregory, Steven Mooney, Grant Benedict and Michael Sullivan. Photograph by Jacqui Hubbard.

In rehearsal for ‘South Pacific’ are (from left to right) David Edwards (Director) Maxwell Carmel, Brian Michael Henry, Johann George, Morgan Morse, Matthew Gregory, Steven Mooney, Grant Benedict and Michael Sullivan. Photograph by Jacqui Hubbard.

IVORYTON – The issue of racism is front and center in America today and the Ivoryton Playhouse production of ‘South Pacific’ could not be more timely.

The story for Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1949 musical is drawn from a Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel by James A. Michener, entitled ‘Tales of the South Pacific,’ and is considered by most critics to be among the greatest musicals of the twentieth century. For their adaptation, Rodgers and Hammerstein, along with co-writer Joshua Logan, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1950.

The original Broadway production won 10 Tony Awards, including all four acting awards, and many of its songs went on to have a life of their own outside of the musical, including “Some Enchanted Evening,” “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair,” “Happy Talk,” “Bali Ha’i,” “Younger than Springtime,” and “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy.”

It inspired a 1958 film adaptation and has enjoyed numerous successful revivals, including Broadway revivals in 1955 and 2008, and West End revivals in 1988 and 2001. The original production featured Mary Martin as Ensign Nellie Forbush and opera star Ezio Pinza, as Emile de Becque.

Ivoryton Playhouse is thrilled to announce that world renowned American bass-baritone David Pittsinger* will be reprising his Kennedy Center role as Emile de Becque in this production.  He will be joined by his wife, internationally celebrated soprano Patricia Schuman, who will also be making her Ivoryton Playhouse debut, as Bloody Mary.

The Playhouse production of ‘South Pacific’ is directed by David Edwards, who starred last year as Albin in our hugely popular production of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES. David has played both Cable and DeBecque and last directed this show at Surflight Theatre. Michael A. Dattillo is the Executive Producer.

Along with Pittsinger and Schuman, the show also features Peter Carrier* as Cable, Adrianne Hicks* as Nellie, William Selby* as Billis, R. Bruce Connelly* as Captain Brackett and Annelise Cepero as Liat.

The musical is directed by Michael McAssey, the set designed by Daniel Nischan, the lighting by Marcus Abbott and the costumes are by Lenore Grunko.

‘South Pacific’ opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse July 1 and runs through July 26, 2015. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

There will be no performance on July 4; there will be two additional Saturday matinees on July 18 and 25 at 2 p.m. and one additional matinee on Thursday, July 16.

Tickets are $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

This production is generously sponsored by Middlesex Hospital, Middle Oak and Guilford Savings Bank.

 

Essex Historical Society Hosts 60th Anniversary Celebration Today

Strawberry Social 2015ESSEX — Join friends and neighbors in celebrating 60 years of Essex Historical Society’s (EHS) service to the community at its Annual Strawberry Social and presentation of the 2015 Preservation Award on Sunday, June 28, from 1 to 3 p.m.  The public is welcome to enjoy EHS’s annual family-friendly outdoor event with delicious desserts, fun games and good friends on the beautiful grounds of the historic Pratt House, 19 West Ave., Essex.

Musical entertainment and guided tours of the gracious 1732 Pratt House will delight visitors.  The oldest sections of the house, dating from the early 18th century, will be open to the public for the first time in more than 30 years.  Themed displays and activities highlighting the 1950s (EHS’s founding decade) will add to the fun.

The EHS will also present its Annual Preservation Award to a historic structure in town that has worked to preserve its historic nature and character.  Members of the general public voted online or in person to select the winner.

This 60th Anniversary Celebration will highlight the grand opening of new exhibit in the Pratt House Barn, an illustrated timeline of Essex history, funded by the Community Foundation of Middlesex County.

Formed in 1955, EHS is committed to fulfilling its mission of educating and inspiring the community in the three villages of Centerbrook, Essex and Ivoryton.  These two events are free and open to the general public, and, according to the EHS, “… sure to offer an enjoyable afternoon.”

For more information, visit www.essexhistory.org or call (860) 767-0681.

Flock Theatre Performs ‘Twelfth Night’ at CT River Museum Today

Flock Theatre presents Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night as part of the Connecticut River Museum’s Theater Along the River, June 21. Photo courtesy of Flock Theatre

Flock Theatre presents Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night as part of the Connecticut River Museum’s Theater Along the River, June 21. Photo courtesy of Flock Theatre

ESSEX — Tomorrow, Sunday, June 28, the Connecticut River Museum’s Theater Along the River kicks off with Flock Theatre’s production of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.  This event was rescheduled from last Sunday when it had to be postponed due to the inclement weather, so here’s a second chance to pack a picnic and enjoy a timeless story along the banks of the River.

Twelfth Night is all about mistaken identities.  It is a romantic comedy, and romantic love is the play’s main focus. Theater critic, Steve Gifford at onstageblog.com, notes that “Directed by Derron Wood and Victor Chiburis, this is Shakespeare at its best. This production emotes the text better than I have heard it in years. Their casting is impeccable, they seem to allow the actors to discover quirks and oddities that elevate their roles well beyond stereotype to something altogether more interesting.”

Director Derron Wood comments, “We are pleased to return for a second year to the Connecticut River Museum.  It offers a spellbinding backdrop for outdoor theater and allows us to reach a new audience.”

The Connecticut River Museum’s executive director, Christopher Dobbs, notes, “Flock Theatre is a master of Shakespeare.  We feel fortunate to offer this level of entertainment at the museum and hope that the audience enjoys the production and its backdrop – the River.”  Dobbs was quick to point out that the museum is only able to host this event and keep the ticket prices reasonable for all ages to enjoy through the “generosity of lead sponsor the Essex Wellness Center with additional support from Wells Fargo Advisors.”

The museum’s grounds will open at 6 p.m. for picnickers to lay out blankets and chairs.  Museum staff encourage the audience to make the picnic part of the experience.  In fact, there will be a special prize awarded to the “best” picnic arrangement.  There is only lawn seating, so plan to bring your own chairs or picnic blankets.  A cash bar will include wine, beer, water, and soda.  No carry-in alcohol is permitted and patrons will be carded for proof of valid ID at the bar.

Tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for children (12 and under).  Tickets may be bought at www.ctrivermuseum.org or at the door starting at 6 p.m. the night of the performance. Curtain opens at 7 p.m. with a raindate of June 28.

A second evening of Theater Along the River will be held on Saturday, Aug. 1.  This will be Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus.  A seldom performed show, it is thought to be Shakespeare’s first tragedy and a production not to miss.

Flock Theatre is a professional, not-for-profit theatre company founded in 1989. The theater company is dedicated to creating original, collaborative and educational theater. Perhaps best known for their long-standing summer Shakespeare in the Arboretum, Flock Theatre performs year-round in a variety of venues, including their winter “nest” at the First Congregational Church on the New London Pier, at the historic Shaw Mansion Museum and throughout New England.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  For more information, call 860-767-8269 or go to www.ctrivermuseum.org.

Flock Theatre presents Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night as part of the Connecticut River Museum’s Theater Along the River, June 21. Photo courtesy of Flock Theatre.

Project to Beautify Essex’s West Ave. and Beyond (Finally) Begins

Bruce Glowac, President of the Essex Foundaation and Augie Pampel, Essex Tree Warden admire the new Eastern Red Cedars along West Avenue in Essex.  Missing from the photo is Paul Fazzino, Jr., Essex Fire Chief.

Bruce Glowac, President of the Essex Foundaation and Augie Pampel, Essex Tree Warden admire the new Eastern Red Cedars along West Avenue in Essex. Missing from the photo is Paul Fazzino, Jr., Essex Fire Chief.

ESSEX — For many years there has been concern about the appearance of the West Avenue entrance into Essex Village.  Following a public hearing in 2001, Augie Pampel, Essex Tree Warden, requested that the Essex Tree Committee develop a plan for the area and that the existing arborvitae trees remain in situ until a West Avenue Gateway Plan had been developed.

Now, 14 years later, with the help of local funding and cooperation, the plan is underway and work has begun to beautify this Essex Village gateway.

As residents enter Essex Village, they will see new Eastern Red Cedar trees providing both screening and greenery along West Ave. to the intersection with Routes 154 and 153, making the Fire Department rear buildings and Eversource electric sub-station far less visible.

The significant funds for this project were equally provided by The Essex Foundation and the Essex Fire Department with a smaller contribution by the Essex Tree Committee.  Dave Caroline and his Town crew cleared the site prior to the planting and Fred Weber and Associates and his crew skillfully handled the planting of the large specimen trees. Ken Bombaci, a member of the Essex Tree Committee, was instrumental in procuring the beautiful Eastern Red Cedar trees.

Additionally, Augie Pampel, Bruce Glowac, President of the Essex Foundation, and Fred Weber are developing landscape designs for the state property at the intersection of Routes 154 and 153 opposite West Ave. The landscape design will require state approval prior to implementation, but the hope is that the landscaping will begin in 2016.

In the meantime, the Connecticut Department of Transportation has cleared the property of invasive species and undesirable vegetation. The goal is to plant areas with attractive, low maintenance, indigenous species of trees and shrubs.

Funding from The Essex Foundation was made possible by a generous bequest from the estate of the late Elizabeth “Diz” Callender.  The Essex Foundation is a local non-profit  public charitable foundation dedicated to the betterment of the community of Essex and its residents.  Foundation President Glowac noted, “The Essex Foundation is proud to be a means through which Mrs. Callender’s wishes are being fulfilled.”

Pampel, in turn, expressed his appreciation to The Essex Foundation and Essex Fire Department, whose combined funds finally took this project off the shelf and caused it to swing into action along West Ave. and beyond.

Essex Winter Series Awards Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship to Daniel Leffingwell

Louisa Ketron, a member of the Board of Trustees of Essex Winter Series, presented the Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship to VRHS senior Daniel Leffingwell.

Louisa Ketron, a member of the Board of Trustees of Essex Winter Series, presented the Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship to VRHS senior Daniel Leffingwell.

REGION 4 — Daniel Leffingwell of Chester, a senior at Valley Regional High School (VRHS), is the recipient of the 2015 Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship, provided by Essex Winter Series (EWS). The scholarship was presented to Leffingwell by EWS trustee Louisa Ketron at the VRHS senior awards night on June 3.

Named for one of the founding members of the EWS, the Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a graduating senior of VRHS who will be studying music in college. The generous scholarship provides $1,000 for each year of study, for a total of $4,000.

Leffingwell took part in drama, music, and sports programs throughout his career at VRHS. He participated in the school’s musical production, landing a lead role in his senior year. He sang in the school’s  Concert Choir, the selective Madrigal Consort, and Madmen for all four years, and sang in the student-led a cappella group, serving as leader for one year.

Also an instrumentalist, he played percussion in the school band and played bass and guitar in the jazz band. He was selected to participate in the All-State and New England music festivals for three years, elected to student council, and chosen for membership in the National Honor Society.

In athletics, he played on the baseball and tennis teams.

Laffingwell was highly recommended by members of the faculty, who noted he,“… is an extremely bright student both musically and academically,” “… a model student,” and “… a good young man who is interested in helping others as well as himself.” In the fall, Leffingwell will enroll at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Ill., where he will major in music education.

The Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship was established in 1995 after the passing of EWS board president Francis Bealey to honor his commitment to music and arts education.

Bringing world-class classical and jazz music to the shoreline area was the dream of the founders of the EWS, established in 1979.  The late Fenton Brown became involved early on and devoted many years to expanding the series, and ultimately recruited pianist Mihae Lee to become Artistic Director.

The “Fenton Brown Emerging Artists Concert” series was begun to honor Brown’s commitment to promoting the careers of young artists.  Each year, the EWS presents a series of concert performances by top-rated musicians from around the world. These concerts, held at Valley Regional High School or John Winthrop Middle School in Deep River, are presented on Sunday afternoons in January, February, and March.  A single season may include a mix of such performances as chamber music, instrumental soloists, opera singers, symphony and chamber orchestras, and jazz bands.

More information may be found at www.essexwinterseries.org.

St. John’s Episcopal Church in Essex Partners with Middlesex Habitat for Humanity

logoESSEX — St. John’s Episcopal Church, Essex, and Middlesex Habitat for Humanity have announced a partnership in mission and ministry.  This partnership represents a shared, mutual relationship between the people of St. John’s and Middlesex Habitat.

St. John’s has pledged spiritual, physical, and fiscal support, and Middlesex Habitat has pledged to send representatives to the parish to speak of their vision, to share their needs and plans for the upcoming future, and to provide helpful information to communicate throughout the congregation about their work and the lives that are being changed as a result.

“It is an honor and wonderful endorsement of our work to partner with such a vibrant and respected church. Their support is greatly needed as we begin construction on our thirteenth house,” said Sarah Bird, Middlesex Habitat for Humanity Executive Director.

In addition, the members of St. John’s will help on the work site to construct the home. David Evangelisti, liaison between the St. John’s and Habitat said, “It is these relationships that give our outreach programs the ‘hands on’ characteristic that we treasure and which helps us make a tangible difference in our community. Middlesex Habitat embodies God’s love put into action, which is a central tenet of our Church.”

For 225 years, St. John’s Church has been a house of worship in the Episcopal tradition for the citizens of Essex and the surrounding communities of the lower Connecticut River Valley. Today the parish has over 400 active members under the ministry of Rector, The Rev. Dr. Jonathan H. Folts.

Founded in 1996, Middlesex Habitat for Humanity of CT., Inc. is an independently operated affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a non-profit 501(c)3, Christian, ecumenical housing ministry.  Its sole mission is to build or renovate simple, decent, affordable houses in partnership with eligible families and its objective is to eliminate substandard housing in Middlesex County, CT, one house at a time.  The organization seeks to make decent housing a matter of conscience and action. 

Pettipaug Yacht Club Hosts Work Party Today, Volunteers Invited

Pettipaug Yacht Club is undergoing a $30,000 renovation of its club house.

Pettipaug Yacht Club is undergoing a $30,000 renovation of its club house.

ESSEX — The Pettipaug Yacht Club, located on the Connecticut River in Essex, has scheduled a work party Saturday, June 27, beginning at 8 a.m. The club’s Rear Commodore Kathryn Ryan said, “We plan to be working on the roof, including putting the shingles on the [new] roof, and if anyone has a roofing gun they can bring, that would be helpful.”

“We also have other projects we can work on that day, including cleaning and organizing the sheds where much of our equipment and other belongings have landed during the renovation process,” she noted, “Please consider coming to lend a hand.”

Clubhouse Restoration Is Underway

The Connecticut River runs along the side porch of the clubhouse.

The Connecticut River runs along the side porch of the clubhouse.

The Pettipaug Yacht Club presently has underway a $30,000 renovation of its main building. All of the work on the renovation is being done by club volunteers, according to Paul Risseeuw, the Director of the club’s Pettipaug Sailing Academy.

When complete, the renovations will include a new clubhouse roof, an enlarged membership meeting room and bring the clubhouse’s two bathrooms up to code. Programs of the Pettipaug Sailing Academy will also be held at the club house during the summer.

Sailing Academy Classes Scheduled

This summer the Pettipaug Sailing Academy will feature two teaching programs for young sailors this summer. The first program will begin on June 29 and end on July 21. The second program will begin on July 23 and end on Aug. 14. Academy classes will also divided for the morning for beginning sailors, ages 8 to ll, and afternoon classes for more experienced young sailors, ages 12 to 16. Morning classes for both programs begin at 9 a.m. and last until noon. Afternoon classes begin at 1 p.m. and run until 4 p.m.

Presently, the Academy’s afternoon classes at both sessions are full. However, there are still spaces available for beginning sailors at both morning sessions. The tuition for attending a sailing programs at the Academy is $400 for a 3 and a half week course. This price computes to $8 an hour, according to Risseeuw, who urges prospective pupils to, “Come sign up and have fun.”

The Academy’s Risseeuw also assured prospective Sailing Academy students that sailing classes will not be impeded by the present work on the club house. “Most of the class work is, “on the water,”  he noted.

Today’s ‘Run For Chris’ 5K Benefits High Schools in Lower CT Valley

ESSEX — The 4th Annual RUN FOR CHRIS 5K will be held Sat. June 27, at Essex Town Hall. It is both a memorial and charitable event, the primary purpose of which is to raise money for educational endeavors at the high school level in the Lower Valley of Middlesex County. The proceeds from the RUN FOR CHRIS go directly to these causes.

The Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund was established at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County (CFMC) to honor Belfoure’s memory and perpetuate his ideals.

"Embark on your journey and only look forward. Not too fast but not too slow. It is the ones that remain idle that get lost in the memories of the past and not the dreams of the future. We as human-beings need to dream again once more.”   These words were written by Chris Belfoure to his friend Valerie Tinker.

“Embark on your journey and only look forward. Not too fast but not too slow. It is the ones that remain idle that get lost in the memories of the past and not the dreams of the future. We as human-beings need to dream again once more.”  These words were written by Chris Belfoure, pictured above, to his friend Valerie Tinker.

Belfoure was just 24 when he tragically died in July 2011. Yet his passions – his belief in the global community, his dedication to teaching and the environment – will be shared through the Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund.

A graduate of VRHS and West Virginia University, Belfoure spoke fluent Mandarin and was pursuing a career as a corporate trainer in Shanghai. He is remembered as a charming, intelligent, ambitious man with a zest for life and adventure.

Belfoure believed knowledge to be a bridge between cultures and a key in developing innovative approaches to education and customer service. He loved to talk and knew that overcoming the barriers of language provided people an opportunity to learn about one another, to share hopes and dreams, and that just by talking, one could encourage people to see themselves as members of a global community.

Belfoure’s mother and stepfather, Robin and George Chapin, established the Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation in January 2012. This designated Fund supports Middlesex County-Lower County public schools and public library programs focused on integrating multicultural experiences, learning foreign languages, and environmental programs into the curricula.

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

To pre-register for the race, go to aratrace.com, and click on Run For Chris. (Race day registration starts at 7 a.m.) Overall and age-group awards will be given, and all participants will receive a free, tech t-shirt.

Fun Run for Kids 6 and under starts at 8:15 a.m. along with the CB4 Mile Run for ages 7-14. The 5K and 2mile walk start at 8:45a. The Run is USATF Certified.

Link to registration: http://aratrace.com/event/run-for-chris-3/?instance_id=674

Contact Robin Chapin at 860-227-6379 with any questions.

 

 

Dedication Ceremony for Enid Jobson Memorial Reading Garden to be Held Friday at Essex Library

The Enid Dobson memorial graden will be dedicated Friday, June 26, at a ceremony open to the public.

The Enid Jobson Memorial Reading Garden will be dedicated Friday, June 26, at a ceremony open to the public.

ESSEX — Enid Jobson passed away in July of 2013.  Though she was not an Essex native, she embraced her adopted community, particularly the Essex Library, and is warmly remembered by the staff for her sparkling eyes, perpetual smile, and affectionate “Hello cookie!” greeting that she habitually bestowed on them all.  She was a Library volunteer for many years in a variety of roles including a stint as Secretary of the Board of Trustees.

The Library was extremely pleased that one way Enid’s family chose to honor her memory was by endowing the recently installed Enid Jobson Memorial Reading Garden.  The Garden is located on the West Avenue side of the building, and is accessible from the old front entrance to the Library.  Visitors to it are be able to curl up with a good book, use the Library wi-fi connection, or just take a few moments to relax and enjoy the outdoors on a pleasant day.

A dedication ceremony will be held in the Garden on Friday, June 26, at 3 p.m.  The general public is invited to join members of Enid’s family a come together to remember her and pay tribute to her many years of service to the community.

Miller Applauds Historic Student Loan Rate Cut

State Representative Phil Miller

State Representative Phil Miller

AREAWIDE — State Representative Philip Miller (D-36th) is applauding a recent announcement by the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CHESLA) that it will offer a fixed interest rate of 4.95 percent for new student loans, down from its current rate of 6.75 percent.

The rate is also significantly lower than the upcoming Federal PLUS loan rate, which will be 6.84 percent, and is the lowest rate CHESLA has ever offered. CHESLA will also be increasing the maximum allowed debt-to-income ratio from 40% to 43%.

“This announcement by CHESLA is certainly good news for students over-burdened with large student loans, along with their parents,” Rep. Miller said. “Hopefully, this development should help make higher education more affordable to more students in our state.”

These money-saving changes follow legislative passage of House Bill 6907, which asked CHESLA to develop a plan to lower student loan interest rates and increase the maximum allowable debt-to-income ratio.

Rep. Miller said students and parents can contact CHESLA at www.chesla.org for additional information or call (800) 935-2275.

Editor’s Note: Philip Miller is state representative for the 36th Assembly District comprising the Towns of  Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam.

Essex Rotary Honors Current, New Scholarship Recipients at Annual Meeting

Essex Rotary Club's scholarship recipients. were honored at the club's annual meeting. From left to right, Scott Nelson (Rotary Club Scholarship Chair), Claire Halloran, Mason King, Morgan Hines, Glenn Holmes, Harrison Taylor and Jordan Wells (incoming Rotary Club president).  Absent were Allyson Clark, Emily LeGrand and Emma Weeks.

Essex Rotary Club’s scholarship recipients were honored at the club’s annual meeting. Standing from left to right are Scott Nelson (Rotary Club Scholarship Chair), Claire Halloran (2015 scholarship recipient), Mason King, Morgan Hines and Glenn Holmes, who are all current scholarship recipients, Harrison Taylor (2015 scholarship recipient) and Jordan Welles (incoming Rotary Club president). Absent were Allyson Clark, Emily LeGrand and Emma Weeks, who are also all current scholarship recipients.

ESSEX –The Rotary Club of Essex honors current scholarship holders at their annual meeting where they talk about their experiences and plans for the future.

Two four-year college scholarships are awarded to high school seniors each year.  This year’s recipients are Claire Halloran and Harrison Taylor.

The Rotary Club of Essex meets Tuesday evenings at the Essex Yacht Club.  Anyone interested in learning more about Rotary or who may be interested in joining can obtain information from the club’s website at http://www.rotaryclubofessex.com/.

Essex Library Presents ‘South Pacific – Behind the Scenes,’ Tonight

4_south_pacific_tmmESSEX — On Monday, June 15, at 7 p.m. join Ivoryton Playhouse Executive/Artistic Director Jaqueline Hubbard and South Pacific Director David Edwards at the Essex Library for a talk about this great musical and its place in the history of musical theater.

The influence and impact of arguably the greatest musical theater writing partnership of the 20th century – Rodgers and Hammerstein – will be discussed.  Hubbard will talk about why she chose South Pacific for the 2015 Season and how audiences are responding.  The themes of South Pacific, including racial prejudice and gender roles will be explored.  Director David Edwards will also talk about his vision for this production and the challenges of producing such a large production on Ivoryton’s small stage.

Edwards is an accomplished actor and director who has performed on and off Broadway, as well as on TV and in films. He appeared in last season’s Ivoryton Playhouse production of La Cage Aux Folles and this season’s Calendar Girls.  His numerous directing credits include multiple productions of The Producers and South Pacific, as well as Showboat and many others.

British native Hubbard has been the Ivoryton Playhouse’s Executive/Artistic Director for over 20 years.  During her tenure she has breathed new life into the century old theater, overseeing of a complete renovation in 2006 that has enabled it to become a year-round facility.  Hubbard also directs, and acts in, many of the Playhouse’s productions each year.

This program is being presented in conjunction with the Playhouse’s July 9 performance of South Pacific, which will jointly benefit the Essex and Ivoryton Libraries.  The cast includes local residents Patricia Schumann and David Pittsinger, who played the part of Emile on Broadway.

Seats are now on sale at both libraries, and are selling quickly.  They are priced at $60, and entitle purchasers to attend a pre-performance reception, as well as an opportunity to enjoy desserts and meet the cast after the show is over.

Bowden of Deep River, Ryan of Essex Receive Top Girl Scout Award

DEEP RIVER & ESSEX — Acacia Bowden of Deep River and Megan Ryan of Essex have received their Girl Scout Gold Awards, the highest honor a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

In order to earn the Gold Award, Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts grades nine through 12 spend at least 80 hours researching issues, assessing community needs and resources, building a team, and making a sustainable impact in the community. A Gold Award recipient’s accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart as a community leader.

Acacia Bowden

Acacia Bowden

Bowden’s project addressed girls and education on a global and local level by showing the film, “Girl Rising,” at her high school to raise awareness of the struggles that girls face around the world with education. With the help of two Pratt and Whitney engineers, Bowden created a simple machine to use for her project.

The film, “Girl Rising,” can be found in Bowden’s school library along with lesson plans for teachers. Her engineering program will also continue to be run by educators in Deep River.

Bowden plans to become a physician’s assistant after she graduates.

Megan Ryan

Megan Ryan

Ryan’s project was to implement an instructional sailing program for women in her town at a local yacht club. Over the summer, Ryan taught sailing lessons, water instruction, and ran two regattas with a group of women.

Her program had 30 participants, and helped increase their skills and confidence in sailing and competition. The group did so well that they will be able to instruct novice sailors next summer.

Ryan also implemented the first Women’s Sailing Regatta, which the group will host next year.

Ryan plans on pursuing a career in engineering.

“On a national level, only four to six percent of Girl Scouts earn this prestigious honor, and I am beyond proud of our girls,” said Mary Barneby, CEO of Girl Scouts of Connecticut. “By earning the Gold Award, Girl Scouts set themselves apart as top achievers, and are incredible women of confidence, courage, and character, who make the world a better place. Next year, we are excited to celebrate our 100th year of encouraging girls to Go Gold!”

For more information about the Gold Award or how to become a Gold Award volunteer or mentor, visit http://www.gsofct.org/pages/GoldAward.php.

Editor’s Note: Girl Scouts of Connecticut are more than 55,000 members strong – girls and adults – who believe that every girl can change the world.

They are part of a sisterhood of 2.8 million around the globe. It all began more than 100 years ago with one woman, Juliette Gordon Low, who believed in the power of one girl. Girl Scouts continue her vision of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. At Girl Scouts, they believe that there’s a chance for every girl to do something amazing.

For more information on Girl Scouts of Connecticut, visit www.gsofct.org

All Welcome to Join Essex Land Trust at Summer Concert & Picnic Today

ESSEX — The Essex Land Trust invites all to the lovely Essex Main Street Park on Sunday, June 14, from 5:30- 7 p.m. for a summer BYO beverages/picnic and concert by ‘Blues on the Rocks,’ a local band.

Bring chairs, blankets and relax … or dance! Bad weather cancels.

Contact Judy Saunders for further information at 860-581-8108.

Community Music School Presents Two Concerts, Three Musical Groups Today

The New Horizons band of the Community Music School gather for a photo.

The New Horizons band of the Community Music School gather for a photo.

The Community Music School (CMS) presents two spring concerts featuring performing ensembles on Sunday, June 14.

Under the direction of Karli Gilbertson, Glee for Grownups presents, “80’s Broadway Extravaganza,” at 1 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Centerbrook. Accompanied by Sue Sweeney, members will perform solo and ensemble pieces. These vocalists rehearse throughout the semester and never disappoint with a fun and lively concert.

Also this day, the New Horizons Band and Baroque Ensemble perform a Concert in the Park at the Gazebo at Deep River Landing at 4 p.m.

The New Horizons Band is a supportive group for beginners or those who have not played an instrument in years. Directed by Paddy Hurley, the group will perform a varied program of marches, Patriotic music, pop and rock, including performances by their Woodwind Ensemble and Brass Quintet.

The Baroque Ensemble is a 12-piece string group comprised of core members of the CMS String Ensemble and directed by Martha Herrle, and they will be playing works by Vivaldi, Bach and more. The rain location for this concert is the Centerbrook Meetinghouse, 51 Main St., Centerbrook.

Both concerts are free and open to the public. Come and meet the directors and members of each ensemble to find out more about the programs.

The CMS offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 30-year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. Community Music School programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so that they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives. Visit www.community-music-school.org or call 860-767-0026 for program information.

Friends of Essex Library Announce New Board

From left to right,  Judy Fish, Betsy Godsman, Peggy Tuttle, Linda Levene, Jo Kelly and Genie Devine.  Absent is Pat Mather.

The new board of the Friends of Essex Library gather for a photo. From left to right, Judy Fish, Betsy Godsman, Peggy Tuttle, Linda Levene, Jo Kelly and Genie Devine. Absent is Pat Mather.

ESSEX — The Friends of the Essex Library announced its new board at the annual meeting on June 4.  Linda Levene will again lead the group as President.  Others on the board include Jo Kelly: Vice President, Pat Mather: Treasurer, Genie Devine: Secretary, Peggy Tuttle: Book Coordinator, Betsy Godsman: Publicity, and Judy Fish: Liaison between the Essex and Ivoryton libraries.

Linda Levene, President of the Friends, presented Library Director Richard Conroy with a check for $15,000 that will be used for a variety of services that enrich the library’s offerings.

Linda Levene presents a check for $15,000 to Richard Conroy.

Linda Levene presents a check for $15,000 to Library Director Richard Conroy.

It was noted that volunteers spend thousands of hours each year keeping book shelves in order and helping in the children’s room. Volunteers also prepare and run the annual spring and fall book sales.

In addition, the Friends sponsor events such as last summer’s “Our Library Rocks.”  This year, a special night at the Ivoryton Playhouse’s production of “South Pacific” will be a major fundraiser.  Tickets are on sale at the Essex and Ivoryton libraries.

Celebrated Seattle Architect Presents “True To Its Nature” Tonight in Essex Town Hall

Grace Episcopal Church Entry/Baptismal Font, Bainbridge Island, Washington. Photo credit:  Art Grice

Grace Episcopal Church Entry/Baptismal Font, Bainbridge Island, Washington. Photo credit: Art Grice

ESSEX — James Cutler, an acclaimed Northwestern architect who founded his own firm and has taught at Harvard and Dartmouth and elsewhere, examines his environmentally attuned design work on Thursday, June 11, at the Essex Town Hall at 7 p.m.

Known for his innovative and sustainable use of wood and other natural materials, his “Seattle style” has been widely admired and imitated. Architectural Record described him this way: “James Cutler, FAIA, is known for superbly wrought wood structures, including buildings on the [Bill] Gates family compound in Medina, Washington … He is a staunch environmentalist who believes God is in both the details, which he himself meticulously turns out, and the materials.”

Titled “True to its Nature,” Cutler’s illustrated presentation will review several projects that attempt to reveal and reflect the tangible set of circumstances in which they are placed.

Cutler’s philosophy is based upon the idea that, in recognizing the natural beauty in a site, owners can be moved to cherish and protect the land themselves. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Smithsonian and the Wall Street Journal, and has been the subject three books. Cutler cofounded the Bainbridge Island Land Trust in 1988.

Established in 1977 and located on Bainbridge Island in Washington, Cutler Anderson Architects (http://cutler-anderson.com/) is internationally renowned for its environmental awareness and attention to detail. The firm has designed more than 300 residential, commercial, and cultural projects around the world. It also has designed a myriad of home products in conjunction with its architecture, such as hardware, furniture and lighting.

His talk is free and part of the Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series, which is one of many programs that are offered regularly by the Essex Library (http://www.youressexlibrary.org/). Call the library at (860) 767-1560 to register. Sponsored by Centerbrook Architects, the series is in its seventh year.

Ivoryton Resident Awarded Fairfield University’s Bellarmine Medal

IVORYTON – Fairfield University’s 2015 Bellarmine Medal, awarded to the student with the highest academic average, was presented to Ashley Rose Paholski, of Ivoryton, Conn. She maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average throughout her undergraduate years at Fairfield.

Fairfield University President Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., presented the medal to Paholski at the Jesuit institution’s 65th
commencement exercises held May 17.

Paholski earned a bachelor’s degree in English, with a concentration in Literature and Cultural Studies from the College of Arts &
Sciences. She minored in mathematics and education. She plans to attend Georgetown University Law School beginning this fall.

Fairfield University is a Jesuit University, rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than
5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 36 states, 47 foreign countries, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are enrolled in the University’s five schools. In the spirit of rigorous and sympathetic inquiry into all dimensions of human experience, Fairfield welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to share ideas and engage in open conversations. The University is located in the heart of a region where the future takes shape, on a stunning campus on the Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.

Image: Graduating senior Ashley Rose Paholski received Fairfield University’s Bellarmine Medal at the University’s 65th
commencement exercises.

Essex Land Trust Hosts Early Summer Kayak/Canoe Trip This Afternoon

IMG_5348

ESSEX — The Essex Land Trust invites you to bring your own boat Tuesday, June 9, for an early summer kayak/canoe trip into peaceful North Cove and Falls River, accompanied by a naturalist. See the abundant wildlife and revisit the history of this waterway where many of Essex’s colonial ships were built.

Participants should arrive at 4:30 p.m. to register on-site and launch their crafts on the rising tide prior to the 5:00 departure time.  A safety boat will accompany.  Bad weather cancels.

North Cove is a 230-acre body of tidal water between the Falls River and the Connecticut River. The cove is formed in part by Great Meadow, a 200-acre “pendant bar” or levee along the Connecticut River. Great Meadow has no public access.

North Cove was noted for shipbuilding, and the nearby Williams’ yard turned out sloops and schooners for the commercial trade in the 19th century. Empty now, Great Meadow was also a beehive of activity. Cattle were grazed, salt hay was harvested and duck hunting blinds once lined the shore. The bar was also a base for the local fishing industry and its lucrative seasonal shad run.

Popular Essex Shad Bake Takes Place Today at CT River Museum

1.Preparing Shad – Rotary Club of Essex volunteers prepare shad at the 2014 bake the traditional way by nailing them onto oak boards and using a specially prepared rub.

1. Preparing Shad – Rotary Club of Essex volunteers prepare shad at the 2014 bake the
traditional way by nailing them onto oak boards and using a specially prepared rub.

ESSEX — Fifty-seven years ago, the Rotary Club of Essex introduced the quintessential New England shoreline tradition; a dining experience known as a shad bake.  Yankee Magazine has called it one of the “Top 20 Summer Events”.

The Essex Shad Bake returns to the Connecticut River Museum on Saturday, June 6, from 3 to 6:30 p.m.  This year, the bake is made possible through the generous support of Admiral Sponsor Gowrie Group, along with Fishermen Sponsors Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services, and Guilford Savings Bank.

The museum’s executive director, Christopher Dobbs says, “We are once again pleased to host and partner with the Rotary Club of Essex on this iconic event that celebrates part of the River’s heritage and that supports the many worthwhile projects of the Rotary.” This volunteer-run event has been organized by the Rotary Club of Essex and is now coordinated by Bake Master Joseph Shea.

Bill Hoffstetler demonstrates the fine art of removing bones  from shad; a fish referred to by local Native Americans as the “inside out porcupine”.

Bill Hoffstetler demonstrates the fine art of removing bones
from shad; a fish referred to by local Native Americans as the “inside out porcupine”.

Shea states, “We offer one of the most unique culinary traditions in New England; at one of the most historic sites along the River. . . it is a winning combination!”  You might find one of your favorite doctors or dentists at the de-nailing table where they take the shad off the oak planks or enjoy a freshly shucked clam or oyster from a local banker.

Join seasoned Shad Bake pioneers for a story from shad bakes of yesteryear including the year of the big flood.  The Shad Museum in Haddam, the Connecticut River Museum, and the Connecticut River Watershed Council will also offer programs during the day on the history and traditions of the shad fishery.

Connecticut River shad baking in front of fire on oak planks.

Connecticut River shad baking in front of fire on oak planks.

For shad lovers, the lure is the secret ingredients and the authentic method of preparation and cooking handed down from Connecticut natives.  Done in front of the fire, the fish picks up the smoky flavor of the fire with the seasoned oak boards on which it is cooked.  Add to this delicacy homemade potato salad, tossed green salad, and scrumptious pies from Lyman Orchards and you have yourself a gourmet meal.

Don’t care for shad?  The event also offers BBQ chicken and hot dogs.

Share a piece of Connecticut and Essex history with your friends and family.  In addition to the food, participants will enjoy live music and touring the museum which will be open until 6 p.m.  The atmosphere is vibrant with antique cars, picnickers, and the delicious smell of shad roasting around the open fire.

To whet your appetite, on Wednesday, June 3 at 7:30 p.m., the Connecticut River Museum will host a shad fishing excursion on board RiverQuest.  Participants will get a chance to hear about traditional shad fishing, see related artifacts, and go on a boat ride to view shad fisherman ply their trade on the water.  The boat ride will include dessert and non-alcoholic beverages.  Beer and wine will be available for purchase.

Buy your tickets today to the Shad Bake.  The $30 adult and $10 child (10 and under) ticket include the full meal and admission to the museum.  Beverages (soda, beer and wine) will be available at an additional price.  No carry-in alcohol will be permitted.

To purchase tickets, visit www.rotaryclubofessex.com or buy them in person at the Centerbrook Package Store and the Connecticut River Museum.  For additional information on the Shad Fishing Excursion, visit the Connecticut River Museum’s website.

Onsite and street parking at the Connecticut River Museum is limited.  On the day of the event, an Essex Meadows shuttle will be running between the museum and several key parking locations that include the Essex Town Hall parking lot and Pratt House field (29 West Ave.).  The free shuttle service will start at 3 p.m. and run until 7:30 p.m. with pick-ups and drop-offs every 15 minutes.

 

The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street and is open 10 am to 5 pm, closed Mondays until Memorial Day. The Museum, located in the historic Steamboat Dock building, offers exhibits and programs about the history and environment of the Connecticut River. For a full listing of Museum programs and events, go to www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.

 

The Rotary Club of Essex is the local chapter of Rotary International that is made up of service minded professionals.  The club and its members are committed to improving the community, connecting with other professionals, sharing their time and experience with the young, supporting global causes, and using their skills to help others.  For more information about the Shad Bake and Rotary Club visit http://www.rotaryclubofessex.com.

 

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Photo Captions:

 

  1. Preparing Shad – Rotary Club of Essex volunteers prepare shad at the 2014 bake the

traditional way by nailing them onto oak boards and using a specially prepared rub.

 

  1. Baking Shad – Connecticut River shad baking in front of fire on oak planks.

 

  1. Boning Demonstration – Bill Hoffstetler demonstrates the fine art of removing bones

from shad; a fish referred to by local Native Americans as the “inside out porcupine”.

Community Music School Jazz Ensemble Performs Today

CMS Jazz Ensemble
CENTERBROOK –
Community Music School will present a concert by the CMS Jazz Ensemble on Saturday, June 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Centerbrook Meetinghouse, 51 Main Street, Centerbrook.

The ensemble, comprised of students ages 13 to 18, will perform a mixed repertoire including pieces by Scott Joplin, Thelonious Monk, Earl Hagen and much more. The concert will feature group ensemble performance with an emphasis on improvisation.

Directed by Tom Briggs, the CMS Jazz Ensemble is now in its 19th year. Briggs is a retired member of the US Coast Guard Band and former musical director of the Coast Guard Masters of Swing. He is a well-known percussionist, pianist, and composer and has been on the CMS faculty since 1985.

The concert is free and open to the public. Call 860-767-0026 for additional information.

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

Visit www.community-music-school.org or call 860-767-0026 for program information.

Essex Garden Club Honors Barbara Edwards

Pictured from left to right are Linda Newberg, President of the Essex Garden Club, Augie Pampel, club member and Essex Tree Warden with members of the Edwards family:  Kem Edwards, Debbi Lindstrom, Sarah Edwards Feeney, David Edwards, Mary Edwards Mather, and Lucy, the family yellow labrador.

Pictured from left to right are Linda Newberg, President of the Essex Garden Club, Augie Pampel, club member and Essex Tree Warden with members of the Edwards family: Kem Edwards, Debbi Lindstrom, Sarah Edwards Feeney, David Edwards, Mary Edwards Mather, and Lucy, the family yellow labrador.

ESSEX — The Essex Garden Club has planted a tree in celebration of the life of Barbara Edwards, longtime member of the club, avid gardener, and lover of all thing growing.  The tree, A London Plane (Plantanus x Acerifolia), can be seen on Dennison Rd., Essex, across the street from the Edwards homestead.

Pictured from left to right are Linda Newberg, President of the Essex Garden Club, Augie Pampel, club member and Essex Tree Warden with members of the Edwards family:  Kem Edwards, Debbi Lindstrom, Sarah Edwards Feeney, David Edwards, Mary Edwards Mather, and Lucy, the family yellow lab.

New North Main Street Park Opens in Essex, Honors Deceased “Daughter” of Essex Resident Bomze

Morgana’s sculpture receives an embrace from Ina Bomze.

Morgana’s sculpture receives an embrace from Ina Bomze.

ESSEX — Essex has a new park at the corner of North Main and New City Streets thanks to the generosity of Ina Bomze, who lives across the street from the park.

Speaking on May 31 at the opening ceremony for the new park, which is dedicated to Bomze’s late, much beloved companion, Morgana, were Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman and State Representative Phil Miller (D-36th). In addition to his attendance, Rep. Miller brought to the ceremony a state legislative resolution commemorating the new park’s opening.

 Essex First Selectman Normal Needleman (far left) and State Representative Phil Miller (center), while Ina Bomze (right) looks on before the sculpture unveiling.

Essex First Selectman Normal Needleman (front row, left) looks on while State Representative Phil Miller (center) reads the citation from the state and Ina Bomze (immediate right of Miller) listens intently.

The central focus of the new park’s opening ceremonies, however, was the unveiling of a life-size sculpture of Morgana. Before she passed away a short time ago, Morgana was owned for almost 10 years by Bomze. After Morgana’s death, Bomze decided to memorialize Morgana’s life by creating a new town park, featuring a sculpture of the dog that she called her “daughter.”

Morgana’s sculpture with Ina Bomze and sculptor Helen M. Johnson.

Morgana’s sculpture with Ina Bomze and sculptor Helene M. Johnson.

To fulfill her dream of memorializing Morgana, Bomze purchased the vacant land at the corner of North Main and New City Streets. She then arranged for the dilapidated building on the site to be removed and also had the property attractively landscaped.

Next, Bomze commissioned noted sculptor, Helene M. Johnson, to craft a sculpture of her late companion, Morgana. Bomze then deeded the land to the Essex Land Trust in perpetuity with the understanding that the sculpture of Morgana would remain in place in the park.

At the unveiling of the sculpture of Morgana, Johnson said, “I was honored to be asked to do this wonderful commission of a life-size statue of Morgana by Ina Bomze.”

A large crowd of spectators gathered at the dedication of the new Essex park featuring the Morgana sculpture.

A large crowd of spectators gathered at the dedication of the new Essex park featuring the Morgana sculpture.

For his part Jim Denham, President of the Essex Land Trust, said that the gift to of the Bomze property to the Land Trust was, “A wonderful community initiative.” In addition, Peter Amos, the local Churchill Society President, who attended the event, noted that Bomze’s gift to the Land Trust was, “A lovely thing to beautify the town, and a win-win for everybody.”

Echoing these positive sentiments about Bomze’s gift to the Essex Land Trust, Essex realtor Rick Weiner said, “We’re so lucky to live in a town where neighbors can come together to celebrate an event like this.”

Editor’s Note: Essex Land Trust is accepting donations for the ongoing care and maintenance of this new pocket park or as additional support to assist Essex Land Trust (P.O. Box 373, Essex) in keeping all of their properties vibrant and groomed for all to enjoy.http://essexlandtrust.org/ Contact Ed Tucker, MD, at edtuckermd@aol.com or 860-767-2332 for further information.

Gowrie Group is Lead Sponsor of Essex Shad Bake

Shad Bake  Sponsor.2 (1)

From left to right in the photo above are Gowrie Group’s Carter Gowrie, CEO and Whitney Peterson, VP of Marketing; Rotarians Joseph Shea and Stephen Brinkmann; and Joan Meek and Christopher Dobbs, Connecticut River Museum.

ESSEX — On Saturday, June 6, the Essex Shad Bake returns to the banks of the Connecticut River from 3 to 6:30 p.m.  Over 700 people will come out to enjoy this timeless, epicurean delight.

This year’s Bake is made possible by “Admiral Sponsor,” Gowrie Group, Connecticut’s leading independent insurance agency, and numerous other generous community supporters.

The 2015 Essex Shad Bake is a collaboration between the Rotary Club of Essex and the Connecticut River Museum.

For more information on Gowrie Group, visit www.gowrie.com. To purchase tickets go to www.rotaryclubofessex.com or buy them in person at the Centerbrook Package Store and the Connecticut River Museum.

Join CT River Museum for a Shad Fishing Informational ‘Riverquest’ Trip, Wednesday

A trip to learn 'All About Shad Fishing' is being offered on RiverQuest.

A trip to learn ‘All About Shad Fishing’ is being offered on RiverQuest.

ESSEX — On Wednesday, June 3 at 7:30 p.m., the Connecticut River Museum (CRM) will host a shad fishing excursion from its docks.  The evening will include a trip on RiverQuest to learn about shad fishing traditions.

Participants will see examples of shad nets and other gear, watch fishermen at work on the River, and enjoy a dessert and non-alcoholic beverage.  Beer and wine will be available for purchase.

Tickets are $40 for CRM members and $45 for the general public.  Reservations are required.

For more information, visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or call the museum at 860-767-8269.

 

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Photo:

 

  1. RiverQuest and the Connecticut River Museum will offer a Shad Fishing Night, June 3rd. Photo: Joan Meek, Connecticut River Museum.

Final Lecture in Audubon Society’s CT River Series Considers Estuary’s Role in Painting & Writing, Thursday

painting

ESSEX — The Connecticut River Estuary Lecture Series hosted by the Connecticut Audubon Society continues Thursday, June 4, with a presentation titled, “Aesthetic Beauty of the Estuary: Vision of Artists and Writers,” at Essex Meadows starting at 4 p.m.    Jeffrey Cooley, founder and owner of The Cooley Gallery in Old Lyme. will give the lecture, which will look at the role of the estuary in painting and writing.

The first two lectures of the Connecticut River Estuary series have been terrific successes, with over 100 people attending each one.

Admission to the lecture is free but RSVP’s are required. To RSVP, contact Allison Bryant at the Connecticut Audubon Society at abryant@ctaudubon.org or 203 259-0416 x106. A reception follows each lecture.

For more information on the lecture series, visit www.ctaudubon.org/2015/04/connecticut-river-estuary-lecture-series/.

These lectures are one of the initial projects of a new regional board formed by the Connecticut Audubon Society to focus on the lower Connecticut River valley and southeastern Connecticut.

The new board will work in conjunction with Connecticut Audubon Society staff and state Board of Directors to provide direction and support to the organization’s conservation and education work in Old Lyme, Lyme, Essex, Old Saybrook, and other communities in southeastern Connecticut.

The board’s other seminal projects include the introduction of Connecticut Audubon’s award-winning Science in Nature outdoor education program at Essex Elementary School and an effort to expand Osprey Nation, Connecticut Audubon’s citizen science Osprey monitoring program.

For decades Connecticut Audubon Society has maintained nature sanctuaries in Montville, Haddam, East Haddam, Stonington and Middletown. In addition to being a key component of the region’s native habitat, the sanctuaries serve as portals of opportunity into nature for children and families in the region.

The chair of the new Regional Board is Herman Blanke of Old Lyme. Other members are Patsy McCook (secretary) of Old Lyme; Emily Bjornberg of Lyme; Elsie Childs of Old Lyme; Jim Denham of Essex; Margarita Emerson of Niantic; Eleanor Robinson of Old Lyme; Dr. Ted Vanitallie of Old Lyme; and Claudia Weicker of Old Lyme.

Herman Blanke and Jim Denham are also members of Connecticut Audubon Society’s Board of Directors.

In addition, Old Lyme resident John Forbis and Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder have provided essential support to this effort.

“Having had the fortune to live in Essex for 15 years, I have always appreciated the values of the Connecticut River; its incredible aesthetic beauty, its ecological contributions, and its great historical legacy to the people of this nation., said Alexander Brash, president of Connecticut Audubon Society.

He continued, “In keeping with the great tradition of conservationists of the area, we are looking to work with its citizens and school children in order to highlight and protect the area’s birds, unique biodiversity and habitats, and leverage such interactions for greater awareness of conservation issues across the state.”

“There is a great conservation tradition to uphold in this region,” said Herman Blanke. “Roger Tory Peterson of Old Lyme helped make birding the popular pastime that it is and also drew the connection between birds and conservation. A century ago, the painters of Old Lyme turned this beautiful landscape into art. We view it as our goal and our responsibility to carry on that tradition of conservation and appreciation for the beauty of the natural world.”

Jim Denham said, “From its inception, Connecticut Audubon Society has made conservation education the foundation of its work. Each generation is responsible for helping the next generation understand how the natural world works and why conservation is important, and for making sure the wonders of nature don’t get lost amid all the distractions of the modern world. That’s what we are trying to accomplish at Essex Elementary School, and we intend for it to be a stepping stone to collaborations with other schools as well.”

Science in Nature, which provides curriculum-based outdoor science education to students in elementary and high schools, recently completed its first session at Essex Elementary, with a field trip to Chatfield Hollow State Park in Killingworth. The second session is set for May 28 at Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison.

Science in Nature teaches the principles of conservation science in local outdoor settings, focusing on climate and weather, rocks and soils, ecological adaptations, and wetland ecology. The goal is to increase environmental literacy among elementary, middle and high school students so they will understand basic environmental science principles and be more likely to participate in finding solutions to environmental issues within their communities.

In October it was named the best outdoor conservation program in the region by the New England Environmental Education Alliance. Schools from almost 50 communities in Connecticut have participated in Science in Nature, although Essex Elementary is the first in southeastern Connecticut to take part.

Osprey Nation uses volunteer citizen scientists, working under the direction of Connecticut Audubon’s conservation staff, to find and monitor nests of the state’s resurgent Osprey population.

More than 400 Osprey nests have been identified and plotted on a map. The greatest concentration in the state is on Great Island in Old Lyme. Connecticut Audubon is hoping that increased awareness of the project will propt more local residents to volunteer to as Osprey stewards in Old Lyme and elsewhere throughout the southeastern part of the state.

Founded in 1898, Connecticut Audubon Society is the state’s original and still independent Audubon Society. The Society manages four nature centers, two museums, and 19 sanctuaries across the state. It uses the charismatic nature of birds to inspire the next generation of conservationists, and to work with the current generation to protect and improve the state’s natural habitats for the betterment of state residents, birds and other wildlife.

Connecticut Audubon Society’s headquarters are at Birdcraft Sanctuary in Fairfield. It has regional centers and associated boards in Fairfield, Pomfret, Glastonbury and Milford.

Mozart & Mendelssohn as Child Prodigies, Presentation by Acclaimed Musician at Essex Library, Thursday

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

ESSEX — The name Mozart is synonymous with the word prodigy. He certainly displayed incredible talent as a composer, pianist and violinist at a ridiculously young age. Mendelssohn is usually ignored in the conversation about prodigies, but he was no less extraordinary and topped Mozart in at least one way. He was composing masterpieces as a teenager, several years before Mozart wrote anything comparable.

Beginning with Mozart, Jeffrey Engel will compare the two youngsters and let you decide who was the more remarkable. Attend his presentation at Essex Library on Thursday, June 4, at 7 p.m. and discover some of the wonders of musical history.

Engel is an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut in Torrington and a music historian and orchestral cellist, who trained in Paris and Austria before returning to the U.S. to teach. He was selected as one of the 50 most influential people in Litchfield County, Conn., by Litchfield Magazine in 2010.

This program is free and open to the public. Seating is limited; call (860) 767-1560 to register or for more information.

The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex, CT.

Essex’s New ‘Pocket Park’ to be Dedicated Tomorrow, All Welcome

ESSEX — All are welcome to attend the dedication of Morgana’s Place, May 31, at 1 p.m. on the corner of North Main St. and New City St. in Essex.

The unveiling of the statue of Morgana, Ina Bomze’s beloved companion, will take place.

Approximately a year ago, Ina Bomze purchased the property, removed the remnants of the building, replenished the grounds and deeded it for perpetuity to Essex Land Trust.

The Trust invites you to consider making donations for the ongoing care and maintenance of this new pocket park or as additional support to assist Essex Land Trust (P.O. Box 373, Essex) in keeping all of their properties vibrant and groomed for all to enjoy.http://essexlandtrust.org/

Contact Ed Tucker, MD at edtuckermd@aol.com or 860-767-2332 for further information.

Light refreshments will be available.  This event will be held rain or shine.

Essex Corinthian YC Explores “Teaching Life Lessons & Character Through Sailing,”

arctic_tern_sailboat

ESSEX — For more than 100 years, the United States Coast Guard Academy (CGA) has consistently developed exceptional leaders of character who are Semper Paratus (Always Ready) to perform courageously in any conditions of the maritime environment.

Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Zeke Lyons, one of the Officers in Charge in the Coast Guard Academy’s Coastal Sailing Program, will visit the Essex Corinthian Yacht Club on Sunday, May 31, at 4 p.m. to reflect on three years of adventure and guiding experiential learning with CGA cadet crews during summer cruises throughout New England on board the Academy’s fleet of eight custom designed Leadership 44 sloops.

Lt. Cmdr Lyons is completing a three year assignment as a Company Officer on the Academy’s staff.  In addition to sailing each summer as part of the Coastal Sailing Program, he was also an Instructor of Organizational Behavior and Leadership in the Management Department.

Prior to his assignment at the Coast Guard Academy, he graduated from the Eisenhower Leadership Development Program at the United States Military Academy at West Point in conjunction with Columbia Teacher’s College in New York City.

Lt. Cmdr Lyons will combine humor and insights about the CGA experience to shed light on how the Academy develops leaders of character and his talk will highlight why, as Vice Admiral James Pine said, “The sea has, though the ages, been of all schools, the best for bringing out the qualities of leadership.”

This talk is open to the public but space is limited.   Contact the club’s office at 860-767-3239 or ecyc@essexcorithian.orgto reserve space.  There will be an informal reception following the talk.

The Essex Corinthian Yacht Club is located at 9 Novelty Lane in Essex.   For more information about the Club, visitwww.essexcorinthian.org

Pre-Order Tickets, Lunch for Ivoryton Library’s Homes & Gardens Tour, June 20

One of the beautiful gardens, which can be viewed on the June 20 tour.

One of the beautiful gardens, which can be viewed on the June 20 tour.

The Ivoryton Library is delighted to offer a tour of Historic Homes and Gardens in Centerbrook and Ivoryton on Saturday, June 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. “Through the Garden Gate” offers an opportunity for visitors to walk through seven 19th century homes and gardens lovingly renovated by their present owners and two additional gorgeous gardens bursting with color as well as interesting native trees.

This year, visitors can both tour and enjoy lunch at the elegant Copper Beech Inn, which also has beautiful English gardens with fountains.

Tickets may be purchased and lunches pre-ordered at the Ivoryton Library, 106 Main St., Ivoryton or Gather of Ivoryton, 104 Main St., Ivoryton.

For further information, visit www.ivoryton.com or call 860-767-1252.

Letter to the Editor: A Note of Thanks from Essex Garden Club

To the Editor:

Essex Garden Club‘s (EGC) May Market on May 9th was a huge success.  Augie Pampel and Mark Pratt again did an excellent job organizing the many details in making this special day go smoothly.  Hard working EGC members spent many days and hours in preparation for May Market.

Our community is extremely important to the success of May Market.  We appreciate all those who returned again this year to make purchases and the merchants who provided valuable donations to the Café, the Silent Auction, and Treasures.  Because of all your support at this year’s May Market, we were able to give more camperships this year to Essex Park and Recreation and to Bushy Hill Nature Preserve for children living in Centerbrook, Essex, and Ivoryton.  Thank You All!

Sincerely,

Linda Newberg,
President of Essex Garden Club

Essex Art Association’s Elected Member’s Show on View Through June 12

'The Flying Bergdorfs' by Carol Young.

‘The Flying Bergdorfs’ by Carol Young.

Each year, at every individual summer exhibit, the Essex Art Association gives a special top prize to “the artist they would like to see more of.” The prize is an opportunity to have a solo exhibit in the Exit Gallery alongside the next year’s regular exhibits.

The honoree for June is Carol Young of Essex, who will present paintings, mixed media, sculptures and assemblages in her show titled, “Through Rose-Colored Glasses.”

Young’s work has been variously described as “curious, imaginative, colorful, quirky, sometimes naughty, but never calm.”  “The Flying Bergdorfs,” for example, are a group of acrobats that the artist saw inside a microscopic photograph of a basal teardrop. “Maude’s Disturbing Wallpaper” is a portrait of a clearly chaotic, easily-confused nanny that she had had to endure.

Young’s most important mentors were her inventive father and more than a thousand creative art class children who, for over 30 years, privately taught ‘Mrs. Young’ at her previous home in Westport, Conn.

The Gallery at 10 North Street, Essex, will continue to be open and free to the public every day of the week from 1 to 5 p.m. from May 30 to June 12, when the gallery will close for indoor renovations.

RiverFare 2015 Returns Thursday for 22nd Year of Fun on Essex Waterfront 

Kick off Summer on the shoreline with some of the best culinary delights the River Valley has to offer. Join Allen G. Ciastho (The Tea Kettle Restaurant), Brian Checko & David Schumacher (Red House), David G. Caistho (Impressive Catering Services), Norm Needleman (Tower Labs.) Chris Dobbs (Executive Director, Connecticut River Museum)  Rob Peterson (C Sherman Johnson Co., Inc.) Anna Lathrop (Gourmet Galley Catering) Frett Marsha (Catering by Selene) & Earl Swain (Cloud Nine Catering) for the 22nd annual RiverFare.

Kick off Summer on the shoreline with some of the best culinary delights the River Valley has to offer. Join Allen G. Ciastho (The Tea Kettle Restaurant), Brian Checko & David Schumacher (Red House), David G. Caistho (Impressive Catering Services), Norm Needleman (Tower Labs.) Chris Dobbs (Executive Director, Connecticut River Museum)  Rob Peterson (C Sherman Johnson Co., Inc.) Anna Lathrop (Gourmet Galley Catering) Frett Marsha (Catering by Selene) & Earl Swain (Cloud Nine Catering) for the 22nd annual RiverFare.

ESSEX — On Thursday, May 28, from 6 to 9 p.m., the waterfront lawn of the Connecticut River Museum will come to life again as the scenic setting for RiverFare 2015.

Known as the unofficial kick off of summer on the shoreline, RiverFare, the area’s most popular tasting event, will feature gourmet food, wine, micro brews and silent auction all on the museum grounds overlooking the beautiful Essex Harbor.  Like a kid in a candy store, move from table to table sampling the best culinary delights the Connecticut River Valley has to offer.

This year’s lineup of Connecticut’s leading restaurants and food purveyors includes RiverFare newcomers Impressive Catering, The Tea Kettle Restaurant, Coastal Cooking Company and Big Nanny’s Soft Biscotti, and back by popular demand are Red House, Fromage Fine Foods, Deep River Snacks, Gourmet Galley Catering, Griswold Inn, Essex Coffee & Tea, Catering by Selene, The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook, The Ivory Restaurant, Cloud Nine Catering and others.

RiverFarers will also have the opportunity to join in the fun of bidding in the silent auction which features a diverse array of fine gifts, services, and entertainment experiences.  Items include a refurbished ’76 Sunfish Sailboat and Trailer, a private kayak tour, a 2 night stay in Cooperstown, NY plus tickets to the Baseball Hall of Fame and a seasonal Mooring on the Connecticut River.  Check out additional auction items at ctrivermuseum.org.

Major Support for RiverFare is provided by Tower Labs and C. Sherman Johnson Co.  Addition support is provided by, Bogaert Construction, Centerbrook Architect and Planners, Clark Group, Edidio Assante Wealth Management, iCRVRadio.com, Middlesex Hospital, Reynolds’ Garage & Marine, Inc. Bob’s Discount Furniture, Sapia Construction, Wells Fargo Advisors, blp Enterprises, Carr Douglas & Cline, Caulfield & Ridgway, Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services, Treasure Hill Farm and Trowbridge Stone Masonry.

Additional in-kind support is provided by Bob’s Centerbrook Package Store, Rhode VanGessel Design, Essex Printing, Guilford Savings Bank, Connecticut Rental Center and Apparel Plus.

Media support is provided by Valley Courier.

RiverFare admission is $60 per person in advance and $65 on the day of the event.  Patron tickets may be purchased for $150 and include a premium bar and $100 tax deduction.  Net proceeds will help support the Connecticut River Museum’s mission to increase public awareness and access to the heritage, culture, and natural beauty of New England’s Great River.

For more information or to make advance reservations, go to www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860.767.8269.    The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street in Essex.

 

 

Essex Garden Club Announces 2015 Scholarships

ESSEX — The Essex Garden Club has announced the winners of its 2015 scholarships.

Scholarships of $1,000 each were awarded to Mackenzie Goller of Ivoryton, and Sarah Watson and Elsbeth Kane, both of Essex.

Goller, a 2013 graduate of The Williams School has just completed his freshman year at Wheaton College in Massachusetts.  He is pursuing an independent major in agriculture, called Food and Environmental Studies.

Watson is a junior at Gettysburg College.  Her major is  Environmental Studies with a concentration in Sustainable Development.  This past semester, she was in Denmark with the Danish Institute for Study Abroad continuing her studies in sustainability of various issues such as sustainable chocolate production and urban gardens.

Kane is a sophomore at Columbia University majoring in Environmental Biology.   She has also studied abroad, spending last summer in Sao Paolo, Brazil, in an Ecosystems Experience Program at a reforestation site within the Atlantic Forest.

Additionally, 15 camperships at $125 each were given to Essex Park and Recreation Summer Session to educate younger children on the beauty and wonder of nature.  The Club also supports the Bushy Hill Nature Center in Ivoryton by offering four camperships of $520 each.

The Garden Club wishes to thank all those who supported the club’s annual May Market, the proceeds from which enable the club to make such donations.

Letter to the Editor: Thanks for Book Sale Help from Friends of Essex Library

National Honor Society volunteer Essex Public Library booksale workers from Valley Regional High School

National Honor Society students from Valley Regional High School volunteered as workers at Essex Library’s recent book sale.

To the Editor:

The Board of the Friends of the Essex Library would like to thank all who contributed to the success of our recent book sale.  A successful  sale requires significant work by many volunteers including those who  work during the day-and-a-half event and  those who sort, repair, price and store books in preparation for the sale, help set-up for the sale by arranging tables, chairs and books by category, and who put everything away afterwards.

Many people contribute hours to this event.  We are especially grateful to six Valley Regional National Honor Society students who assisted in our clean-up effort by lifting and stowing heavy boxes of unsold books, many of which will be given to a variety of non-profit organizations.  Kristen Kilby, Neve Flynn, Hannah Halsey, Tina Mitchel, Leah Harger and Julia Hammond, thank you!  We also thank the library staff for their support, with a special thank you to Anna Cierocki for being with us both days.

We would be remiss in not thanking those who contributed, and those who purchased, books, CDs and DVDs.   Your support of the library is deeply appreciated.

Our next sale is October 3-4 and we hope to see you there!

The Friends of the Essex Library

Essex Resident DeLeeuw Named CT Middle School Principal of the Year

Judy DeLeeuw, Principal of East Lyme Middles School and CT Middle School Principal of the Year.

Judy DeLeeuw, Principal of East Lyme Middles School and CT Middle School Principal of the Year.

ESSEX — Dr. Judy DeLeeuw, Essex resident and principal of East Lyme Middle School (ELMS), has been named the 2015 Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) Middle School Principal of the Year. Described by former East Lyme First Selectman and current State Senator Paul Formica as an “inspirational and collaborative leader,” DeLeeuw was selected for her intrepid leadership, her commitment to educational equity, and her what’s-best-for-kids approach to school administration.

She has worked with a broad network of stakeholders to build and sustain a student-centered, engaging, inclusive and academically rigorous school where student achievement is abounding; teachers are challenged and supported; and parents are vital partners in their children’s education.

Reacting to the announcement of her selection, DeLeeuw remarked, “I am extremely honored and humbled to receive this award from CAS. I will celebrate this accolade with those who inspire me to lead each day; the teachers and the students.”

During her eight years as ELMS principal, DeLeeuw has distinguished herself as an industrious and reform-minded leader who cares deeply about the well-being of all members of the school community. According to ELMS Assistant Principal Jason Bitgood, who nominated DeLeeuw for the award, “As a leader committed to change, Dr.
DeLeeuw faces challenges with passion, perseverance and compassion.”

Language Arts teacher Audrone Venduras adds, “A sign at the entrance to ELMS reads, ‘Welcome to Your School.’ This is not an empty slogan but a philosophy which Judy embraces by successfully fostering a sense of ownership and collaboration among students, parents and staff to make ELMS the educational powerhouse that it is.”

Selected as the CAS Middle School of the Year in 2012, ELMS is a dynamic, creative, student-centered middle school where innovation and excellence flourish. The energy and vitality that permeate the school building are a direct result of DeLeeuw’s passion for educational excellence.

The 900-student school facility is divided into Kivas, or “gathering places,” which serve as small, personalized learning communities for students and teachers. This unique design concept supports differentiated learning and interdisciplinary instruction, which facilitate the development of 21st-century skills critical for success in the recently implemented Connecticut Core assessments.

Noted one member of the CAS School of the Year Selection Committee: “ELMS is a cutting edge school. Its interdisciplinary units are far-reaching and promote authentic learning; and, its eighth grade Capstone projects are the equivalent of research at the college level.”

DeLeeuw works tirelessly to maintain a vibrant, caring, student-centered culture which allows all children to grow socially and emotionally as well as academically. A constant presence in the corridors and classrooms, she uses every available opportunity to interact with and build relationships with her students.

Says Venduras, “Walk down the hallway, stop by the cafeteria, or observe bus dismissal and you will see a constant stream of children greeting their principal, for Judy has a remarkable relationship with her kids. She is accessible and genuinely interested in what they have to say.”

Recalls ELMS sixth grader Jack Derry, “During our end-of-the-year assembly, Dr. DeLeeuw joined the staff in a flash mob dance to the song ‘Happy.’ She was laughing and just having fun with everyone. My friends and I appreciate that she truly understands and relates to kids our age.”

One of DeLeeuw’s greatest achievements was her successful transformation of ELMS’ instructional services for special education students. She led her staff in transitioning from special education pullout classes to general education inclusion classes, increasing the amount of time students with disabilities spend with non-disabled peers from 56 to 90 percent. ELMS is now a place where all students learn together in the same well-supported classrooms with the values of tolerance, acceptance and sensitivity as cornerstones for success.

The Principal of the Year Program, sponsored annually by the Connecticut Association of Schools, was established in 1984 to bring recognition to the principalship and to spotlight the important role of the principal in shaping the educational environment and experiences of children. The program recognizes outstanding school principals who have succeeded in providing high quality learning opportunities for students. These administrators have demonstrated excellent leadership, commitment to staff and students, service to their communities, and contributions to the overall profession of
educational leadership.

Each year nominations are solicited for an Elementary, Middle and High School Principal of the Year. The winners are chosen by a selection committee consisting of active and retired principals and assistant principals. State principals of the year must demonstrate success in the areas of collaborative leadership; personal excellence;
curriculum, instruction, and assessment; and personalization.

DeLeeuw will be honored by CAS at the “Celebration of Distinguished Administrators” to be held on Oct. 22, 2015.

Last Day of Essex Library Friends’ Spring Book Sale Today

Preparing for the Sale are, from left to right, Debbie Barnes, Janice Atkeson, Linda Levene, and Ellie Champion

Preparing for the Spring Book Sale are, from left to right, Debbie Barnes, Janice Atkeson, Linda Levene, and Ellie Champion

ESSEX — The Friends of Essex Library will hold a Spring Book Sale Saturday and Sunday, May 16 and 17, at the library at 33 West Ave. in Essex. The annual sale will provide funds for numerous special library programs and activities. Proceeds from previous sales recently enabled the Friends to purchase new sliding doors at the main entrance to the library.

Dates and times for the Sale are Saturday, May 16, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, May 17, from 1 to 4 p.m. when all items will be half-priced.

The Sale will include carefully sorted books in good condition on nautical subjects, gardening, cooking, history, literature, art, travel, philosophy, science, nature, sports, self-help, foreign languages, and books in large print. There will be tables of fiction, children’s books, paperbacks, CDs, DVDs, and books on CD.

Specific information about the sale, including signed books and titles offered in the various categories, will be on the Essex Library website: www.youressexlibrary.org. Click on “Friends” and the “Book Sale” page.

On book-sale Saturday, library materials can be checked in and out from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but computers in the adult section will not be available for use. There will be no library services on Sunday, when all book-sale items will be half price.

World Renowned Singers Pittsinger, Schumann to Star in Ivoryton’s ‘South Pacific’

David Pittsinger

David Pittsinger

IVORYTON —  Ivoryton Playhouse announced yesterday that world renowned American bass-baritone David Pittsinger* will be revisiting the role of Emile deBecque – the role he played in the Lincoln Center production to great critical acclaim – in the July production of South Pacific at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

Peter Marks of the Washington Post wrote of his performance’ “That quadruple bassoon of a voice interpreting the Richard Rodgers melodies – among the most melting ever composed for the theater – is all the seduction that you or Nellie need. Somehow, the effortlessness of Pittsinger’s technique helps in the illusion that the great romance at the core of “South Pacific” truly is operatic in scope.

Mr. Pittsinger is a stage performer of the greatest distinction.  Having appeared on the world’s leading opera and concert stages in Vienna, Salzburg, Brussels, Paris, Tanglewood, Pesaro, New York, Santa Fe, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and San Francisco, he is equally at home in baroque through contemporary operas, as well as musical theater.

Patricia Schumann

Patricia Schumann

He will be joined by his wife, internationally celebrated soprano Patricia Schuman*, who will also be making her Ivoryton Playhouse debut, as Bloody Mary. A performer of great breadth, Ms. Schuman began her career with the great Mozart repertoire, performing Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) and Contessa Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) at the Metropolitan Opera and has performed at most of the great opera houses throughout Europe and the United States.

David and Patricia made their home in Essex almost 20 years ago, and even though their work in the opera world has them travelling all over the world, they both feel a special connection to Connecticut shoreline. David, who grew up in Clinton and attended the University of Connecticut and Yale, is thrilled to be giving back to his community and the Playhouse is honored to welcome both of them to the historic Ivoryton stage.

South Pacific opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on July 1 and runs through July 26. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.  Additional matinee performances are at 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 16, Saturday, July 18, and Saturday, July 25.  Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.  There is no performance on Saturday, July 4.

Tickets are $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.)

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

CT River Museum Offers Boat Building Workshop in July, Register By June 12

2.Ernstoff Shipyard – The Ernstoff Shipyard, a father and daughter team in 2014 work on their boat.

The Ernstoff Shipyard, a father and daughter team in 2014 work on their boat.

ESSEX — What floats your boat?

In celebration of the Connecticut River’s rich heritage, the Connecticut River Museum is once again offering the CRM 12, a slightly adapted Bevin’s Skiff kit that is produced in limited quantity.  The 12’ skiff is reflective of the traditional boats that were built locally in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  With great versatility, these skiffs were used for fishing, rowing and sailing on the River and in the tidal marshes and tributaries.  Simple and beautiful, the museum selected the CRM 12 as a good beginner project to build with the help of knowledgeable instructors.

The museum will offer a three-day Boat Building Workshop July 10 – 12.  Participants can either do the workshop as individuals or as a group (up to four people).  There is no previous boat building experience required to build one of these kits.  However, organizers do expect that participants will have basic woodworking knowledge.  By the end of the weekend, each individual or group should have a nearly completed boat that is ready for the water.  As Ray Gaulke, museum board member and co-organizer stated, “It’s a marvelous way to learn basic boat building and have a product that you can take home.”

Last year’s successful program had four diverse teams — father/daughter, husband/wife, father/son and a Sea Scout troop — successfully build CRM 12’s.  “It was a wonderful sight to see participants with little or no boatbuilding experience on Friday rowing their completed boats on the River Sunday afternoon”, said Chris Dobbs, museum executive director.

The CRM 12 kit comes complete with everything needed to build the boat — high-quality marine plywood, fastenings, adhesives, plans and an easy-to-follow manual.   Boat builders only need to bring a few basic woodworking tools.  The museum commissioned Paul Kessinger, a local wooden boat builder from Guilford, CT to build the first CRM 12 in 2014.  Kessinger said that “This is a perfect activity for adults or families.  Best yet, you will get years of enjoyment out of rowing or sailing your skiff.”

Space is extremely limited for the boat building workshop.  Participants must be at least 10 years old and all children must be accompanied by an adult.  The deadline to register is Friday, June 12.  The $1,500 program fee ($1,400 for CRM members) includes all the supplies needed to build the CRM 12, oars, and instruction.  By the end of the weekend, participants will have a completed boat, ready to be painted and rowed.  For more information, visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.

St. John’s in Essex Designates Today as ‘Memorial Sunday’ with Special Services

ESSEX — This year Sunday, May 17, has been designated as “Memorial Sunday” at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Essex. At all three services on that day at 8, 9 and 10:45 a.m., the congregation will remember through special prayers and music those who have lost their lives in service.

For that day the church has called upon its veterans and their families to participate in many of the roles traditionally filled by members of the congregation–as greeters, ushers, acolytes, servers, chalicebearers, flagbearers, and those leading the prayers.

Area veterans are invited to join the service. A reception will follow the services in the parish hall.

Because the national Memorial weekend coincides with the Church Feast of Pentecost, St. John’s Memorial Sunday services are scheduled on May 17 this year. These special services are part of the Ministry to Veterans, Active Military and Their Families, which was begun last year at the Church.

Letter to the Editor: A Note of Thanks From Essex Garden Club

To the Editor:

On Saturday May 9th in Town Park the Essex Garden Club held its 63rd May Market.  The Silent Auction Committee of May Market would like to thank our area merchants, friends and artists for the incredible generosity they showed in supporting this year’s Silent Auction.

As May Market is the Club’s only fund-raiser, we depend on its proceeds to support our civic projects in Essex Village, Centerbrook and Ivoryton.  These range from helping to maintain the town parks, to providing scholarships to college students and camperships to elementary students, planting trees in town, organizing horticultural activities with elementary and junior high school students and decorating throughout town with greens for the holidays.

The Essex Garden Club would like to thank the following merchants, friends and artists most sincerely for their wonderful donations to the Silent Auction:

Acer Gardens, Aegean Treasures, Ashleigh’s Garden, Bartlett Tree Experts, Bob’s Centerbrook Package Store, The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook, The Copper Beech Inn, Cottage Whimsey, De Paula Jewelers, English Accents Antiques, Essex Winter Series, Goodspeed Musicals, Haystacks, Hortus Perennials, The Ivoryton Playhouse, Marily MacKinnon Interior Design, John & Wendy Madsen, Mimi Merton, Charlotte Meyer Designs, Musical Masterworks, New Earth Acupuncture, One North Main, Augie Pampel, A Pocketful of Posies, Pough Interiors, Mark Pratt, Saybrook Country Barn, Eileen Taylor, That’s the Spirit, Walker-Loden, Weekend Kitchen, and Weltner’s Antiques and Art.

With thanks.

Sincerely,

Dawn Boulanger, Alyson Danyliw, Genie Devine, Marily MacKinnon

The Essex Garden Club
May Market Silent Auction Committee

Essex Library Features Art Exhibit by Andrew Teran During June

Artwork by Andrew Teran

Artwork by Andrew Teran

ESSEX — An art exhibit will be held at the Essex Library Association through the month of June featuring guest artist, Andrew Teran of Essex.

Essex resident Andrew Teran attended Parson’s School of Design in the late 1970s, studying graphic design and then wood sculpture.  His working career focused on high-end carpentry and restoration for many years. As a second career, Andrew worked in construction & corporate sales for 15 years. Now retired from corporate life he has turned his focus back to art, his first love.  He has recently moved to the area to be on the Connecticut River and spend more time in his art studio.

He has always been fascinated by graphic shapes; triangles & hearts are favorites, by far. He finds that the triangle is the perfect shape- yet variations in size, shape, structure create totally different and beautiful dynamics.

In addition to graphic shapes, or in combination with them, he has a love for modern packaging labels and regularly finds that they create strong visual and sometimes literal statements when incorporated in a piece.  The pop art feel and look of modern packaging labels catches his interest everywhere he goes. Collage pulls him to combine visual elements and textures that build a richness he never tires of creating.

The exhibit is free and open to the public during the library’s open hours. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex, CT. Call (860) 767-1560 for more information.

Essex Land Trust Leads Birding, Nature Walk Today at Essex Meadows

Essex Meadows Walk

ESSEX — Explore the beautiful Essex Meadows grounds and the adjoining section of the new Preserve in an approximately one-hour walk on Saturday, May 16, led by Essex Land Trust President and birder Jim Denham.  Meet at 9 a.m. at Essex Meadows, 30 Bokum Rd.

The timing coincides with the peak of bird migration and breeding season, so expect to see and hear many species around this very diverse landscape.

All levels of knowledge are welcome. Easy to moderate walking on trails.

Cookies and refreshments provided at the conclusion of walk, courtesy of Essex Meadows.

Bad weather cancels.

Friends of Essex Library Host Annual Spring Sale This Weekend

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Pictured above are Dee Grover, Nancy Gould, Peggy Tuttle, and Joan Weingardt preparing for the Friends of Essex Library Spring Sale to be held at Essex Library, May 16 and 17.

The Friends of Essex Library will hold a Spring Book Sale at the library at 33 West Avenue in Essex.  The annual sale will provide funds for numerous special library programs and activities. Proceeds from previous sales recently enabled the Friends to purchase new sliding doors at the main entrance to the library.

Dates for the Sale are Saturday, May 16, from 10 to 4 p.m. and Sunday, May 17, from 1 to 4 p.m. when all items will be half-priced.

The sale will include current and classical books of fiction, as well as large selections of non-fiction featuring books on gardening, history, literature, art, travel, philosophy, science, nature, sports, self-help and foreign languages.  Always popular is the selection of books on CD’s.

Diligent volunteers spend hours carefully sorting through stacks of books, CD’s, and DVD’s to ensure that only good quality items are placed in the sale. 

The annual sale will provide funds to support the library’s special programs and activities.  Proceeds from previous sales made possible the installation of new sliding doors at the main entrance.

Specific information about the sale, including signed books and titles offered in the various categories, will be on the Essex Library website: www.youressexlibrary.org.  Click on “Friends” and the “Book Sale” page.

On book-sale Saturday, library materials can be checked in and out from 10am to 4pm, but computers in the adult section will not be available for use.  There will be no library services on Sunday, when all book-sale items will be half price.

Essex Celebrates “Burning of the Ships,” A Major American Defeat in the War of 1812

The “Sailing Masters of 1812” of Essex lead the parade.

The “Sailing Masters of 1812” of Essex lead the parade.  All photos by Jerome Wilson.

ESSEX — In the darkness of 3 a.m. on the morning of April 8, 1814, British troops attacked and burned 27 American ships in Essex, both on land and in the harbor.

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman was on hand early in the parade.

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman was on hand early in the parade.

Essex at the time was a major builder of ships, which the British apparently knew, when they planned their attack.

A color guard on parade.

A color guard on parade.

The British attack on the Town of Essex caught Essex residents totally by surprise, to the degree that not a single Essex resident fired a shot as the British burned their ships.

Beating drums and playing fifes.

Beating drums and playing fifes.

However, when daylight came, as the British ship burners were making their way back down the Connecticut River, Americans started firing at the British from the the shore of the river, and at least two of the attackers were killed.

This fife and drum corps dates its ancestry back to 1787.

This fife and drum corps dates its ancestry back to 1787.

Fast forward to modern times and for the past 48 years, the Sailing Masters of 1812 have commemorated the “Burning of the Ships” with a parade down Essex’s Main Street. True to form, they were at it again this year last Saturday, May 9.

Some wore light blue ...

Some wore light blue …

Over 15 marching fife and drum corps participated in this year’s “Burning of the Ships” parade.

... while others went barefoot!

… while others went barefoot!

It must be noted, however, that some in Essex, who take the liberty of adding more than a grain of truth, call the event the “Loser’s Day” parade.

There were also some women marching in the parade.

There were also some women marching in the parade.

On and on the fife and drum corps came ...

On and on the fife and drum corps came …

This little boy’s “Mama” was playing in the band ahead of him in the parade.

This little boy’s “Mama” was playing in the band ahead of him.

This band of bagpipers added a Scottish element  to the parade.

This band of bagpipers added a Scottish element to the parade.

On and came the marchers in the (almost) never-ending parade!

On and came the marchers in the (almost) never-ending parade!