May 25, 2016

Ivoryton Resident Darcy Chmielewski Honored by Webster’s Banking Center

webster bank

From the left, are Darcy Chmielewski, Jessica DaRe, Andrea Myers and Alex Nodden

IVORYTON – Darcy Chmielewski, a resident of Ivoryton and manager at Webster’s banking center in Essex, is an honoree of the bank’s “80 Days of Giving” employee volunteer campaign. The volunteer effort is part of Webster’s 80th Anniversary celebration. An awards ceremony was held May 3 at the Radisson Cromwell Hotel.

Chmielewski’s volunteer effort earned $1,000 for the nonprofit of her choice – the Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries. She led a team of five Webster bankers who helped the local soup kitchen serve meals in November, filling a staffing void that occurs each month that has a fifth Monday. Chmielewski’s team shopped, prepared the food, served a meal to 12 people, and then cleaned up on Nov. 30 at the First Baptist Church in Essex. To make the event even more meaningful, nine of those who attended were able to take home enough food to provide them with an extra meal on the following day. The meal was sponsored by the Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries of Old Saybrook.

The banker volunteer initiative, “80 Days of Giving,” was launched October 11, 2015. In all, 103 bankers nominated volunteer activities to receive one of the 80 grants. The breadth and impact of participation stimulated even greater community involvement by Webster bankers, who now contribute more than 125,000 volunteer hours annually.

Webster Bank is a leading regional bank serving businesses and consumers in the Northeast.

 

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Community Music School Names New Executive Director

CENTERBROOK – Community Music School has named Abigail Nickell as its new Executive Director, where she will be responsible for the leadership and management of the active school and its outreach programs.  She replaces Robin Andreoli, who left the organization in March.

Abigail Nickell is a seasoned non-profit executive with more than a decade of experience in the social sector.  She took the helm at the Community Music School in April.  She most recently served as the Executive Director of MADD Hawaii, overseeing their statewide operations and fundraising.  Prior to that, she served as the Executive Director of the Women’s Fund of Hawaii, a statewide grantmaking agency, and Executive Director of Save the Food Basket, an AIDS service organization.

Nickell began her career as the Assistant Director of the Northampton Community Music Center and is thrilled to be working in arts administration again.  Her undergraduate degree is in music and dance from Smith College and she received her MBA from Chaminade University’s Non-Profit Management program.

“I’m so pleased to join the staff and our incredible faculty at CMS in our mission to make music education accessible to all,” said Nickell.  “I look forward to working with our dedicated board of trustees to develop innovate strategies that will allow us to operate efficiently while engaging new audiences in support of our efforts.”

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

 

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Essex Library Hosts Book-Signing by Local Authors at Today’s Book Sale

Richard Friswell

Richard Friswell

ESSEX — When the Friends of Essex Library hold their Spring Book Sale on Saturday, May 21, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., two local authors, Richard Friswell and Jane Rice, will be on hand to sign and sell their books.

Richard J. Friswell, M.Ed., M. Phil, Publisher and Managing Editor of ARTES magazine, and author of Balancing Act: Postcards for the Edge of Risk. Friswell writes, “Balancing Act is a collection of short essays, capturing moments in my life when I find myself in curious, challenging or awe-inspiring situations.  I reflect on my own vulnerability and the curious workings of human nature as we venture out into a complex world.”

He continues, “Adventure can be found in everyday encounters if we know where to look for it and are open to being surprised.  From an offshore sailing trip, a chaotic cab ride through the streets of New York, a journey to the tip of Cape Cod, to observations about a summer’s night sky, I attempt to put events in a context of self-discovery and amazement.  The mundane events of life need not be so, if we are prepared to embrace the unexpected.”

Jane Rice, Eliane Koeves and Nikki Lindberg

Jane Rice, Eliane Koeves and Nikki Lindberg

Jane Rice is the co-author of Eliane—The Art of Embracing Life and Nature, written with Nikki Lindberg about Eliane Koeves of Chester after two years of interviewing her. Eliane said, “My story is a personal account of an extraordinary journey through the last century.  Challenges both simple and complicated presented themselves and just had to be faced.  Definitely things just happened to me.  Fortunately laughter and a positive attitude bubbled just beneath the surface, however calamitous or life threatening the situation might be.”

Eliane served in World War II, and joined the Peace Corps at age 75, always looking for a way to serve.  She died in Chester last fall at age 102.

The Essex Library is at 33 West Ave., Essex.

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Literacy Volunteers Hosts Races for All Ages Today in Essex

literacy volunteers runAREAWIDE – On Saturday, May 21, Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS) will hold its Ninth Annual Backward Mile and 5K Run/3K Walk. Registration for the races begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Essex Town Hall, on West Avenue. The Backward Mile race, open to runners older than 18, begins at 8:30 a.m.; the 5K race and 3K walk both begins at 9:15 a.m. T-shirts will be given to the first 100 runners.

Runners below the age of six can participate in the Lollipop Run, which begins at 8:50 a.m. All Lollipop runners will receive lollipops.

Registration forms are available from the LVVS offices, (860) 399-0280, or you can register online at www.register.fasttracktiming.com. Runners with additional questions about the race may contact Elizabeth Steffen, race director, at esteffen@vsliteracy.org. All proceeds from the race go to LVVS tutoring programs.

Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore, CT, Inc. teaches residents of the valley shore towns to read, write and speak English to improve their life and work skills. This one-to-one instruction is confidential and is completely without charge to the student. LVVS currently has 183 volunteers who serve 203 students in 11 shoreline towns: Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Guilford, Killingworth, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

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New Thrift Shop Opens in Essex

The idea of Susan Christopher of Essex (far right), a new thrift shop, "Treasures On The Hill" is being created by Susan Nilsen (left) and Connie Connor (center) of Essex at the First Congregational Church in Essex.

The idea of Susan Christopher of Essex (far right), a new thrift shop, “Treasures On The Hill” is being created by Susan Nilsen (left) and Connie Connor (center) of Essex at the First Congregational Church in Essex.

ESSEX – The useful, the unusual, the wearable and the collectible can all be found at “Treasures On The Hill,” a new thrift Shop that opened May 21 at the First Congregational Church in Essex, 6 Methodist Hill in Essex Village. The shop will be open year-round every first and third Saturday of each month, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

Shoppers will find bargains on better women’s and men’s clothing, children’s items, books, household goods, cookware and an antiques/boutique selection. Proceeds from the store will go to support the missions of the church.

For more information or to donate items for “Treasures On The Hill,” call the church at 860-767-8097.

 

 

 

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Essex Wellness Hosts Free Talk, Discussion This Afternoon on Prescription Drug Abuse

Crowell_Joanna_05

Joanna Crowell, LPC, LADC

ESSEX — Abuse of prescription painkillers and opioid drugs has become an epidemic that has worked its way into many Connecticut families.

On Saturday, May 21, at the Essex Wellness Center from 1:30 to 3 p.m., Joanna Crowell, LPC, LADC, psychotherapist, drug and alcohol counselor, will talk about abuse of certain medications – opioids, central nervous system depressants and stimulants – and adverse health effects, including addiction, accidental overdose and death.

When people lose their access to prescription narcotics, they often turn to heroin in both affluent suburbs and inner cities alike. Addiction to prescription painkillers is common and dangerous.

Join this open dialogue and candid discussion that includes a variety of treatment options available to begin the healing process for people in trouble. This event is free, but preregistration is required as space is limited. Call 860-767-7770 or email info@essexwellnessctr.com.

This program is part of Essex Wellness Center’s free Live Well Lecture series. Essex Wellness Center is at 8 Novelty Lane (upstairs), Essex Village.

 

 

 

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36th House Election a Rematch Between Democratic State Rep. Phil Miller and Republican Bob Siegrist

Republican nominee Bob Siegrist stands with State Senator Art Linares (R-30th) after the former accepted the Republican nomination to run for the State Rep. seat currently held by Phil Miller.

Republican nominee Bob Siegrist (right) stands with State Senator Art Linares (R-33rd), who nominated Siegrist to run for the State Representative seat currently held by Phil Miller (D-36th).

AREAWIDE — Party nominating conventions this week have set up a Nov. 8 election rematch, with Democratic State Rep. Phil Miller’s bid for a third full term facing a challenge from Haddam Republican Bob Siegrist in the 36th House District that is comprised of the towns of Chester, Deep River, Essex, and Haddam.

In 2014, Siegrist was awarded the GOP nomination in June, following the withdrawal of a candidate nominated at the convention in May. After a spirited campaign, Miller was re-elected on a 5,522-4,701 vote, with Miller carrying Chester, Deep River and Essex and Siegrist carrying Haddam. Miller was elected to the seat in a February 2011 special election while serving his fourth term as first selectman of Essex. He was elected to a full term in 2012.

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State Rep. Melissa Ziobron (R-34th) offers congratulations to Bob Siegrist.

Siegrist was the unanimous choice of about 15 delegates and supporters at the convention Monday at the Pattaconk Bar & Grille in Chester. Seigrist was nominated by Republican State Senator Art Linares of Westbrook, who holds the 33rd Senate District seat that includes the four district towns. In seconding remarks, Phil Beckman of Essex said Seigrist “gets the priorities, the budget, economy and taxes,” which he described as the “Bermuda Triangle in the Legislature right now.”

The nomination of Siegrist (left) was seconded by of Essex.

Bob Siegrist (left) stands with Ed Munster.

In brief remarks after the nomination, Seigrist said he would focus on priorities and work to represent all of the residents of the four district towns. Seigrist, 32, currently works with a landscaping business after working previously as a bartender before his 2014 campaign.

Miller was nominated for a third full term Tuesday by delegates gathered in the community room at Chester Town Hall.  He was nominated by Lisa Bibbiani, the Deep River tax collector who said Miller has dedication and a positive attitude. In seconding remarks, Brian Cournoyer, chairman of the Essex Democratic Town Committee, praised the incumbent’s “passion for the environment and the Lower Connecticut River Valley.”

Miller told the delegates that this year’s legislative session, which struggles with a looming state budget deficit, mirrored the situation when he arrived at the Capitol in late February 2011. Miller defended the 2016-2017 budget plan approved by the House last week on a 74-70 vote, noting the plan made tough choices to address the budget deficit, including $900 million in cuts, while avoiding tax increases and a deeper cuts to education funding.

 Miller said he was also proud to vote last week against a Republican amendment that would have ended the Citizen’s Election Program funding for legislative campaigns. Miller said the program, established in 2007 under a law pushed by his predecessor in the 36th District seat, current Deputy Secretary of the State James Spallone, limits the influence of large campaign contributions while also helping to level the playing field for challengers, including Siegrist. Spallone, an Essex resident, was chairman of the Tuesday convention.

Miller said he plans to run an active and positive campaign, and is ready for public debates with Siegrist. “I’ll be out and about meeting people like I normally do,” he said, adding “it’s my case to make and I think it is going to be clear, if it is not already, that I am a much better candidate.”
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RiverFare 2016 at River Museum Introduces a New Craft Beer Garden, May 26

Connecticut River Museum Board Vice-Chair Tom Wilcox and Executive Director Christopher Dobbs are joined by some of the restauranteurs as well as Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman to celebrate the upcoming RiverFare 2016. From left to right: Tom Wilcox, Selene Sweck of Catering by Selene, Norman Needleman, Christopher Dobbs, and Chef Earl Swain of Cloud Nine Catering.

Connecticut River Museum Board Vice-Chair Tom Wilcox and Executive Director Christopher Dobbs are joined by some of the restauranteurs as well as Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman to celebrate the upcoming RiverFare 2016. From left to right: Tom Wilcox, Selene Sweck of Catering by Selene, Norman Needleman, Christopher Dobbs, and Chef Earl Swain of Cloud Nine Catering.

ESSEX – On Thursday, May 26, 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 2016.

Known as the unofficial kick-off of summer on the shoreline, RiverFare, the area’s most popular tasting event, will feature a new Craft Beer Garden with some of Connecticut’s finest craft breweries including 30 Mile Brewing Company, Back East Brewing Company, City Steam Brewery, Fat Orange Cat Brew Company and Willimantic Brewing Company.

Over 20 gourmet food and wine tasting stations plus an incredible silent auction make this an evening not to be missed  This year’s lineup of Connecticut’s leading restaurants and food purveyors includes RiverFare new comers The Blue Hound Cookery & Taproom and Dough on Main. Back by popular demand are Red House, Fromage Fine Foods & Coffees, Gourmet Galley Catering, Griswold Inn, Essex Coffee & Tea, Catering by Selene, The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook, The Ivory Restaurant, Cloud Nine Catering, Coastal Cooking Company, Impressive Catering Services, The Tea Kettle Restaurant, Fresh Salt at Saybrook Point Inn 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 fully refurbished 16-ft Hobie catamaran and trailer, a stand-up paddle board, and two tickets to the sold-out Demi Lovato/Nick Jonas Future Now Concert at Mohegan Sun.  Check out additional auction items at ctrivermuseum.org.

Major support for RiverFare is provided by Tower Labs Ltd., C. Sherman Johnson Co., and Sapia Builders Corp.  Additional support is provided by Bogaert Construction; Carr, Douglas & Cline, LLC; Centerbrook Architects and Planners; Clark Group; Egidio Assante Wealth Management; Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services; North by Northeast Enterprises; Reynolds’ Garage & Marine, Inc.; Sky Investment Group, blp Enterprises; Bob’s Discount Furniture; Caulfield & Ridgway; and Middlesex Hospital.  In-kind support is provided by Bob’s Centerbrook Package Store, Rhode VanGessel Design, Essex Printing, Connecticut Rental Center, and Apparel Plus.  Media support is provided by Valley Courier and iCRV radio.

RiverFare admission is $60 per person in advance and $65 at the door.  Patron tickets may be purchased for $150 and include a premium bar and a $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.

 

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Norwegian Architect Ramstad Lectures in Essex Tonight

Trollstigen Visitor Centre

Trollstigen Visitor Centre

ESSEX — The Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series, hosted by the Essex Library, presents acclaimed architect Reiulf Ramstad at Centerbrook’s office this evening, Tuesday, May 17, at 7 p.m. Ramstad’s firm, Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter, has earned an international reputation for boldly simple architecture that strongly connects to its Scandinavian context and landscape.

Ramstad’s Oslo-based firm achieved notoriety for its design of the Trollstigen Visitor Centre, in Møre of Romsdal, Norway. Completed in 2012, this facility is one of the earliest and largest structures among the the now-famous Norwegian Tourist Routes. Set in a stunning natural environment, it exemplifies how the deep understanding of a place can lead to innovative modern architecture. The firm has gone on to produce a wide range of pioneering projects that have attracted international accolades, including the Architizer A+Awards Firm of the Year in 2015.

Ramstad earned a professorship from the Oslo School of Architecture and was a regular thesis advisor and juror. Recognized professionally as a board member of the National Association of Norwegian Architects, he has served on juries for domestic and international architectural competitions. In recent years, following awards and publicity of his firm’s projects, he has lectured around the world. He will receive an Honorary Fellowship into the American Institute of Architects’ College of Fellows at the AIA National Convention in Philadelphia this May.

The lecture will be held at Centerbrook Architects’ office, located at 67 Main Street in Centerbrook. Admission is free but seating is limited — call the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560 to register or for more information.

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Friends of Essex Library Appoint Sales Coordinator

Peggy Tuttle is new sales coordinator for Essex Library book sales.

Peggy Tuttle is new sales coordinator for Essex Library book sales.

ESSEX – A face that has become very familiar around the Essex Library is that of Peggy Tuttle. She is the recently appointed Sales Coordinator for the Friends of the Essex Library.  Though she has been a volunteer for the Friends for many years, including being named “Volunteer of the Year” for 2015, she stepped into the newly named position that was vacated when Dee Grover “retired.”

Tuttle has been working closely with Grover for months learning the ins and outs of conducting a successful book sale, and has put in many hours learning techniques and procedures.  She has recruited a small army of volunteers whose job is to sort through the literally thousands of donated books.  Each book is examined to determine age, condition, first edition or signed by author status.  Books suspected of having “special value” can then be scanned by the computer program recently donated by the Friends.

Tuttle has brought many innovative ideas to the position.  Ongoing sales continue to provide quality books for sale all year.  New are “Focused Sales” where a particular era or topic is highlighted.  In February, American History and Valentine themed books were displayed for purchase at very attractive prices.  March was “Music Month” where shoppers browsed through an extensive collection donated CDs.  June will feature “Beach Read” books suitable for summer reading.  Other featured sales are planned throughout the year.

Tuttle and her team of volunteers are preparing for this year’s Friends of Essex Library Spring Book Sale to be held Saturday, May 21, in the library at 33 West Ave. in Essex. The doors will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  From 3 to 4 p.m., books will sell for half price; “fill your bag for $10” will run from 4 to 5 p.m.  Customers are encouraged to bring their own bags for the latter event.

Specific information about the sale, including signed books, will be on the Essex Library’s website two weeks prior to the sale. Go to www.youressexlibrary.org, click on “Friends” and then the “Book Sale” page.

The annual sale will provide funds to support the library’s special programs and activities, as well as practical improvements to the building.

 

 

 

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Yellow Label Mill Dedication at Valley Railroad This Afternoon

YellowLabelBldg_EastFacade

The Birch Mill, today rechristened the Yellow Label Mill, was built by E.E. Dickinson, Sr. in 1915. Black Birch has the same chemistry as wintergreen and was chipped and distilled in the same manner as witch hazel until 1926. Today the mill is used to tell the story of witch hazel and to help preserve the Dickinson legacy in Essex.

ESSEX – The Essex Historical Society’s 60th anniversary celebration of the E.E. Dickinson Company legacy will come to a close on Sunday, May 15, when the non-profit organization, in partnership with the Valley Railroad Company, officially cuts the ribbon on the newly refurbished Yellow Label Mill, once used as a storefront for the sale of Dickinson Witch Hazel products.

Plans for the Yellow Label Mill Dedication Day, which takes place from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on the grounds of the Valley Railroad, include a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4:30 p.m. to be followed by public tours of the Yellow Label Mill, the former Dickinson Bottling Plant and Witch Hazel Distillery. The free event is open to the public and will feature live music performed by the Occasional Jazz Ensemble, food and drinks. The Valley Railroad is located at 1 Railroad Avenue, off Middlesex Turnpike/Saybrook Road in Essex.

Just one year ago, May 15 was officially proclaimed “Yellow Label Day” in Essex as the two organizations announced plans for the renovation of the iconic 1915 building, originally a birch mill, that sits on the southern end of the railroad depot property on Plains Road. The Valley Railroad oversaw the replacement of the roof, windows and deteriorated structural elements as well as general cleaning and painting while the Essex Historical Society (EHS) was responsible for the refurbishment of Yellow Label signage and installation of Dickinson history exhibit panels in the newly repaired space.

“We are looking forward to a great day of activities that cap off and celebrate our milestone anniversary and our partnership with the Valley Railroad in honoring the Dickinson company’s history,” commented EHS President Sherry Clark, “We have enjoyed tremendous community interest and support at the various Dickinson programs held this past year, and we hope to see everyone come out for the big finale.”

For more information on the Dedication Day and other Essex Historical Society events or membership, go to www.essexhistory.org or call 860-767-0681. The Essex Historical Society is a non-profit, member organization.

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Letter to the Editor: Miller’s November Challenger Questions Opponent’s Priorities

To the Editor:
An opportunity for our district towns was lost on the evening of May 13 as an amendment proposed by the House Republicans to restore education funding to their local budgets was rejected by self-serving democratic legislators including our Rep. Miller (D-36).

The amendment would have restored Education Cost Sharing (ECS) to the district towns by using Citizens’ Election Program (CEP) funds to pay for it. It would have restored $3,500 to Chester, $22,800 to Deep River, $10,000 to Haddam and $229,000 to Essex.  Miller voted against the amendment.

This is unbelievable! Wow! Miller voted to keep the money for his campaign instead of returning education funds to his district’s schools! It’s pretty clear  what his priorities are for the 36th.

Sincerely,

Bob Siegrist,
Haddam.

Editor’s Note: The author is the Republican nominee to run against State Rep. Phil Miller in the 36th District.

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Letter to the Editor: Thanks from Essex Garden Club

To the Editor:

On Saturday May 7th in Town Park, the Essex Garden Club held its 64rd 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.  They are:

Abby’s Place Restaurant, Acer Gardens, Aegean Treasures, Ashleigh’s Garden, Bartlett Tree Experts, Black Seal, Blue Hound Cookery, Diana Charnok, Connecticut River Publishing Co., Copper Beech Inn, Cortland Park Cashmere, Adriane Costello, Ron Cozzolino, De Paula Jewelers, Essex Olive Oil Company, Essex Winter Series, Sandy French, Friends of the Essex Library, Judy Greene, Goodspeed Musicals, Phyllis and George Graf, Haystacks, Hortus Perennials, Ivoryton Playhouse, Marily MacKinnon Interior Design, Wendy and John Madsen, J. McLaughlin, Charlotte Meyer Design, Musical Masterworks, New Earth Acupuncture, Old Lyme Inn, One N Main, Pough Interiors, Saybrook Country Barn, Patricia Spratt for the Home, That’s the Spirit Shoppe, Walker-Loden, Weekend Kitchen, and Weltner’s Antiques and Art.

With thanks,

Dawn Boulanger, Alyson Danyliw, Genie Devine, Marily MacKinnon
The Essex Garden Club
May Market Silent Auction Committee

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Over 70 Boats, Yachts to Navigate into Essex for Spring Boat Show This Weekend

The first CT Spring Boat Show in Essex features some of the newest boats on the market including center consoles, fishing boats, luxury cruisers, sport and sail boats.

The first CT Spring Boat Show in Essex features some of the newest boats on the market including center consoles, fishing boats, luxury cruisers, sport and sail boats.

ESSEX – The Connecticut Spring Boat Show, sponsored by the Yacht Brokers Association of America, is expecting over 70 boats to journey from as far away as Maine to attend the first annual 2016 Spring Boat Show. The exhibition is set for May 13-15, at Brewer Essex Island Marina in Essex, and is attracting interested boat buyers from Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island and beyond.

“Brewer Essex Island Marina could possibly be the most intimate place in Connecticut to have a boat show,” says Tom Pilkington of Prestige Yacht Sales. “Where else can show-goers look at their favorite boats in the water, visit land exhibits, and explore the town of Essex, which is filled with its own maritime heritage? With boats ranging in size from 20 to 75 feet, sail, power, new and used, there will be a boat for every taste and budget.”

Visitors attending the free show will enjoy seeing a wide range of new and brokerage, power and sail models. Boating gear, accessories and service companies will also be on site.

Sails Up 4 Cancer, a non-profit organization based in Connecticut, will be at the show, raising money through food and beverage sales to benefit their organization. SU4C has been dedicated to supporting cancer care, education, prevention and research along the Connecticut Shoreline.

Also featured the same weekend in the historical town of Essex will be the annual Burning of the Ships parade. This nautical-themed event commemorates the worst day in Essex’s history with the famous ‘Loser’s Day Parade’. Sailing Masters will be joined by other regional fife and drums corps for the parade.

The parade and boat show offer individuals and families an opportunity to experience local sailing history and the flipside of today’s latest and greatest technology in the boating industry.

The free show is open to the public on Friday, May 13, from noon to 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, May 14-15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit www.ctspringboatshow.com for specific event details and parking info.

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Tickets for June 4 Essex Shad Bake on Sale Now, Event Serves up CT History

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

ESSEX – Fifty-eight years ago, the Rotary Club of Essex introduced the quintessential New England shoreline tradition; a dining experience Yankee Magazine has called one of the “Top 20 Summer Events” – the Essex Annual Shad Bake.

The Shad Bake returns on Saturday, June 4, to the Connecticut River Museum (CRM), from 3 to 6:30 p.m. It is made possible by the support of lead sponsors The Gowrie Group, Guilford Savings Bank and AJ Shea Construction.

CRM’s executive director, Christopher Dobbs, said “We are once again pleased to partner with the Rotary Club of Essex on this iconic event that celebrates the river’s heritage and 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. Shea said, “We offer a unique New England culinary tradition; at one of the most historic sites along the river. . . It is a winning combination!”  Visitors might find a local doctor or lawyer at the de-nailing table where they take the shad off the oak planks or a local banker shucking fresh clams.

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 that it is cooked on.  Add 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 offers BBQ chicken and hot dogs.

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 picnickers, music by the Corinthian Jazz Band and the delicious smell of shad roasting around the open fire.

This year marks an important milestone for Connecticut shad.  Back in 1866, the Connecticut State Legislature created the Fisheries Commission as a way to restore, manage and conserve the State’s natural resources.  One of the key concerns at the time was the shad fishery and the need to protect the species from unsustainable practices.  Since the Commission’s founding, it has developed into the DEEP Bureau of Outdoor Recreation.

To commemorate the 150th anniversary, the DEEP will be present with a display.  The Shad Museum in Haddam, the Connecticut River Museum and the Connecticut Watershed Council will also offer programs during the day on the history and traditions of the shad fishery.

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

To purchase tickets go to www.ctrivermuseum.org or buy them in person at the Centerbrook Package Store or the Connecticut River Museum.

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. For more information about the Shad Bake and Rotary Club visit www.rotaryclubofessex.com.

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Essex Senior Ready to Conquer ‘Tour de Lyme’ Cycling Event

Don Shildneck may be resting against a fence for this photo, but you won't see this 85-year-old rider from Essex resting on Sunday at the Tour de Lyme.

Don Shildneck may be resting against a fence for this photo, but you won’t see this 85-year-old rider from Essex resting on Sunday at the Tour de Lyme.

ESSEX – This year’s Tour de France might be a couple of months away, but that’s not stopping one Essex senior from channeling his inner Chris Froome.

Eighty-five-year-old Don Shildneck, a resident at Essex Meadows, the retirement community located on Bokum Road in Essex, is earnestly gearing up for this year’s Tour de Lyme this Sunday, May 15, and he’s eager to take it by storm.

To prepare for the event, Don has been cycling four times a week, pedaling at least 120 miles each week. Don says his active lifestyle at Essex Meadows has also played a major role in ensuring he’s ready for the big event.

The Tour de Lyme is an annual cycling event that raises funds for the Lyme Land Conservation Trust. Money raised goes toward the conservation of the unique and historic landscapes of the Lyme area. Don is part of a four-member Essex Meadows team that was assembled to support the cause.

The event takes place at Ashlawn Farm in Lyme. Lots more information about the Tour de Lyme on their website, http://www.tourdelyme.org/.

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Tickets on Sale Now for June 9 Party to Celebrate Haiti’s New Library

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Sister Cities Essex Haiti board members Mary-Beth Harrigan, Jenifer Grant and Connie Connor plan food details with Claudia Odekerken from Marley’s Café.

ESSEX – Sister Cities Essex Haiti will be celebrating the opening of the Deschapelles Community Library in Haiti with a party on Thursday, June 9, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Brewer Essex Island Marini. The event will feature food by Marley’s Café, drinks and music by the Tangerine Trio. The public is invited.

Ticket purchases and reservations can be made until May 31 by email to: info@sistercitiesessexhaiti.org  or by calling 860-227-0848.

More info at http://www.sistercitiesessexhaiti.org/.

haiti celeb

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Watch out for Gypsy Moth Caterpillars; Advice from Essex Tree Warden

Gypsy moth caterpillars - photo by Peter Trenchard, CAES

Gypsy moth caterpillars – photo by Peter Trenchard, CAES

ESSEX – The potential for gypsy moth outbreak exists every year in our community.  For this reason, Essex Tree Warden Augie Pampel is encouraging Essex residents to keep a vigil for the gypsy moth caterpillar, which can defoliate many trees, thus impacting the trees’ ability to thrive.

Dr. Kirby Stafford III, head of the Department of Entomology at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, has written a fact sheet on the gypsy moth available on the CAES website.  The following information is from this fact sheet.

The gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, was introduced into the US (Massachusetts) by Etienne Leopold Trouvelot in about 1860.  The escaped larvae led to small outbreaks in the area in 1882, increasing rapidly.  It was first detected in Connecticut in 1905.  By 1952, it had spread to 169 towns.  In 1981, 1.5 million acres were defoliated in Connecticut.  During the outbreak of 1989, CAES scientists discovered that an entomopathogenic fungus, Entomophaga maimaiga, was killing the caterpillars.  Since then the fungus has been the most important agent suppressing gypsy moth activity.

The fungus, however, cannot prevent all outbreaks and hotspots have been reported in some areas, in 2005-06 and again in 2015.

The life cycle of the gypsy moth is one generation a year.  Caterpillars hatch from buff-colored egg masses in late April to early May.  An egg mass may contain 100 to more than 1000 eggs and are laid in several layers.  The caterpillars (larvae) hatch a few days later and ascend the host trees and begin to feed on new leaves.  The young caterpillars, buff to black-colored, lay down silk safety lines as they crawl and, as they drop from branches on these threads, they may be picked up on the wind and spread.

There are 4 or 5 larval stages (instars) each lasting 4-10 days.  Instars 1-3 remain in the trees.  The fourth instar caterpillars, with distinctive double rows of blue and red spots, crawl up and down the tree trunks feeding mainly at night.  They seek cool, shaded protective sites during the day, often on the ground.  If the outbreak is dense, caterpillars may feed continuously and crawl at any time.

With the feeding completed late June to early July, caterpillars seek a protected place to pupate and transform into a moth in about 10-14 days.  Male moths are brown and fly.  Female moths are white and cannot fly despite having wings.  They do not feed and live for only 6-10 days.  After mating, the female will lay a single egg mass and die.  The egg masses can be laid anywhere: trees, fence posts, brick/rock walls, outdoor furniture, cars, recreational vehicles, firewood.  The egg masses are hard.  The eggs will survive the winter and larvae hatch the following spring during late April through early May.

The impact of the gypsy moth can be extensive since the caterpillar will feed on a wide diversity of trees and shrubs.  Oak trees are their preferred food.  Other favored tree species include apple, birch, poplar and willow.  If the infestation is heavy, they will also attack certain conifers and other less favored species.  The feeding causes extensive defoliation.

Healthy trees can generally withstand one or two partial to one complete defoliation.  Trees will regrow leaves before the end of the summer.  Nonetheless, there can be die-back of branches.  Older trees may become more vulnerable to stress after defoliation.  Weakened trees can also be attacked by other organisms or lack energy reserves for winter dormancy and growth during the following spring.  Three years of heavy defoliation may result in high oak mortality.

The gypsy moth caterpillars drop leaf fragments and frass (droppings) while feeding creating a mess for decks, patios, outdoor furniture, cars and driveways.  Crawling caterpillars can be a nuisance and their hairs irritating.  The egg masses can be transported by vehicles to areas where the moth is not yet established.  Under state quarantine laws, the CAES inspects certain plant shipments destined to areas free of the gypsy moth, particularly for egg masses.

There are several ways to manage the gypsy moth: biological, physical and chemical.

Biologically, the major gypsy moth control agent has been the fungus E. maimaiga.  This fungus can provide complete control of the gypsy moth but is dependent on early season moisture from rains in May and June to achieve effective infection rates and propagation of the fungus to other caterpillars.  The dry spring of 2015 resulted in little or no apparent fungal inoculation or spread until it killed late-stage caterpillars in some areas of the state, after most defoliation.

Infected caterpillars hang vertically from the tree trunk, head down.  Some die in an upside down “V” position, a characteristic of caterpillars killed by the less common gypsy moth nucleopolyhedrosis virus (NPV).  This was not detected in caterpillars examined in 2015.

Physical controls include removing and destroying egg masses, which can be drowned in a soapy water and disposed of.  Another method is to use burlap refuge/barrier bands wrapped around tree trunks so that migrating caterpillars will crawl into or under the folded burlap or be trapped by the sticky band.

There are a number of crop protection chemicals labeled for the control of gypsy moth on ornamental trees and shrubs. There are treatments for egg masses, larvae and adult moths.  Detailed information about these chemical treatments is available in the CAES factsheet.

For complete information about the gypsy moth and its management, please go to the CAES website (www.ct.gov/caes) and look for the fact sheet on gypsy moth.  You may also contact Augie Pampel by email: augiepampel@att.net with questions and concerns.

 

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Using Social Media – Free Program for Businesses, at Essex Library

ESSEX – The Essex Library is presenting a series of programs, “Building a Digital Roadmap for Your Business (or Nonprofit),” with Caitlin Monahan, Alyssa Puzzo and Austin Gray from Julia Balfour, LLC.

The series includes expert advice on website design and maintenance; social media and how to use it; e-mail marketing best practices; and the advantages of digital advertising.

The program on Tuesday, May 10 at 6 p.m. will focus on learning the where, what, when, and how to best use social media for your business or nonprofit, including analyzing the return on investment on your various channels.

This program is free and open to all.

Please call the Essex Library for more information or to register at 860-767-1560. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.

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Essex Native Assumes Command of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron in San Diego

sailor pix 1ESSEX – The Navy Office of Community Outreach has announced that Essex native Cmdr. Robert Barr Kimnach, III assumed command of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49 in San Diego, California, on April 22.

A 1998 graduate of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Cmdr. Kimnach joined the Scorpions of HSM-49 in January of 2014 as executive officer. He was designated a Naval Aviator in October 1999 and has accumulated over 2,500 flight hours.

HSM-49 is made up of over 250 Sailors and ten MH-60R aircraft. The Scorpions source two aircraft MH-60R detachments for the Navy’s Cruiser and Destroyer warships.  Currently HSM-49 is supporting USS Momsen and USS Spruance as part of a Surface Action Group.

Cmdr. Kimnach’s personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and numerous campaign, unit and service awards.

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Ivoryton Library Hosts Mother’s Day Sale May 7

The outside sign of the Ivoryton Library

IVORYTON – The Ivoryton Library’s annual Mother’s Day Sale will be held Saturday, May 7, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Look for gently used books (none over $2), plants from local gardens and baked goods from local kitchens. Prices will be slashed at 1 p.m. Also, at 11 a.m., children are invited to decorate a pot and plant a flower for Mom, as supplies last.

For more information about any of these programs, call 860-767-1252 or visit www.ivoryton.com. The Ivoryton Library is located at 106 Main St. in Ivoryton.

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‘Simply Sharing’ Receives Grant from Community Foundation of Middlesex County

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AREAWIDE – ‘Simply Sharing’ has announced that it has been awarded a $3,000 grant for 2015 in support of its Beds and Bedding Program. The grant is funded by the Community Foundation of Middlesex County/River View Cemetery Fund.

This one year grant award specifically supports the purchase of new beds and bedding for families and individuals in need. The grant money was used to purchase beds, frames and pillows to help five families with children and three adults. The deliveries were made to everyone in two days in the same week with the help of many volunteers.

Simply Sharing provides basic furniture, household goods and occasional “interior design” input to individuals and families transitioning from homelessness to sustainable and supportive housing. Approved donations are accepted from individuals and businesses. In addition, Simply Sharing welcomes any financial donations that allow it to maintain the warehouse, deliver to those in need and purchase items that have not been donated or cannot be accepted such as mattresses and pillows. Simply Sharing is an all-volunteer based organization. For more information, visit the website at www.simplysharing.org.

The Community Foundation of Middlesex County is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life in Middlesex County. Its mission is to work with charity-minded individuals and organizations to build permanent endowments and other charitable funds and to support local non-profit organizations through effective grant making to address community needs. Since its founding in 1997, the Community Foundation has awarded 1,295 grants totaling over $4 million to nonprofit organizations for the arts; cultural and heritage programs; educational activities; environmental improvements; and for health and human services.

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See “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” at Ivoryton Playhouse Through May 22

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IVORYTON –
The Ivoryton Playhouse is leaving the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and heading to the Gulf Coast beaches of St. Petersburg, Florida. “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” is a touching and human comedy about a formidable retired woman, Lily Harrison, who hires an unusually difficult dance instructor with an acerbic personality, Michael Minetti, to give her private dance lessons — one per week for six weeks — in her Gulf-front condo.

What begins as an antagonistic relationship blossoms into an intimate friendship as these two people from very different backgrounds reveal their secrets, fears and joys while dancing the Swing, Tango, Waltz, Foxtrot, Cha-Cha and Contemporary Dance. Michael and Lily learn to overcome their outward differences and discover an unlikely but profound connection. By the final lesson, Lily shares with Michael her most closely guarded secret and he shares with her his greatest gifts, his loyalty and compassion.

A poignant comedy with music and dance, the play also addresses the serious issues of ageism and intolerance.

Written by Yale grad Richard Alfieri, “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” premiered in Los Angeles and opened on Broadway at the Belasco Theater in 2003. The play has since been translated into 14 languages and has traversed the globe with productions in 24 countries. The play has established itself as an international hit and one of the most produced plays in the world.

A film was also made of the play starring Gena Rowlands and Cheyenne Jackson.

Featuring seasoned actors and Actors Equity members Michael Ianucci and Valerie Stack Dodge, the play is directed by Sasha Bratt and choreographed by Apollo Smile, with set design by William Stark, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Lisa Bebey.

“Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on May 4 and runs through May 22. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $44 for adults, $39 for seniors, $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org. (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

 

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Essex First Selectman Needleman to Declare State Senate Candidacy Today, Challenging Linares

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman

ESSEX — Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman (D) will announce his candidacy for the 33rd State Senate District at a press conference to be held Tuesday, May 3, at 5 p.m. in the Gelston House in East Haddam.

Needleman, a Democrat who is currently serving his third two-year term as Essex First Selectman, will challenge incumbent Art Linares (R), who is completing his second two-year term as 33rd District State Senator and is running for a third term. Linares is Assistant Minority Leader of the state senate.

Apart from Chester, Deep River, Essex and Old Saybrook, the 33rd senate district includes the towns of Clinton, Colchester, East Haddam, East Hampton, Haddam, Lyme, Portland and Westbrook.

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Renowned Jazz Musician Ronny Whyte Performs in Centerbrook April 30

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IVORYTON –
World-renowned jazz musician Ronny Whyte will be performing a benefit concert for the Ivoryton Players on Saturday, April 30, at 7 p.m. at Centerbrook Meeting House in Centerbrook. Mr. Whyte will perform an evening of songs from “The Great American Songbook,” including works by Gershwin, Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Ronny Whyte is not only considered a premier interpreter of classic American popular song, he is also an outstanding jazz pianist and an award-winning songwriter. He has been featured on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz on NPR and his lyric “Forget the Woman” was recorded by Tony Bennett. He produces and hosts “Midtown Jazz at Midday” in St. Peter’s in Manhattan and was inducted into the Cabaret Jazz Hall of Fame.

Whitney Balliett wrote in the New Yorker: “Whyte (handsome, dapper, easygoing) is a first class cabaret singer. His diction sparkles…his songs ring and float and shine.”

Ronny Whyte will be accompanied by bassist Boots Maleson. There will be a special guest appearance by Deborah Mott. Tickets are $25 and are available by calling 860-767-7318 or can be purchased at the door (seating is limited). A reception will follow the performance.

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Centerbrook Architects Present Lecture on “Modern Ruin: A World’s Fair Pavilion”

silvaESSEX – The Essex Library will present the Connecticut premier of Matthew Silva’s award-winning documentary, “Modern Ruin: A World’s Fair Pavilion,” on Friday, April 29, at 7 p.m. at the Essex Town Hall, as part of the Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series.

Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion, once the shining symbol of the 1964/65 New York World’s Fair, now sits in the middle of New York City as a haunting reminder of what became of the age of optimism, the early 1960s. The “Modern Ruin” film tells the story of New York State Pavilion during the glory days of the fair, and chronicles its demise over the past 50 years. The film details its post-fair use as a ‘60s concert venue and ‘70s roller rink, including the years of neglect and recent growing advocacy efforts.

Matthew Silva is a teacher, filmmaker and co-founder of People for the Pavilion, an organization dedicated to preserving the New York State Pavilion.  Since 2012, Silva has worked to raise interest and change public perception for what is possible for the Pavilion.  With support from a strong social media community and a coalition of various New York-based civic, advocacy and cultural institutions, he produced his 2015 documentary “Modern Ruin” film.

This program is free and open to the public. Call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560 for more information or to register. The Essex Town Hall is located at 29 West Ave. in Essex.

 

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Essex Resident Antonio C. Robaina Honored by Connecticut Bar Association

From left to right: CBA President, William H. Clendenen, Jr.; the Honorable Antonio C. Robaina, recipient of the Henry J. Naruk Judiciary Award; CBA Vice President, Karen DeMeola; and CBA President-elect, Monte E. Frank.

From left to right: CBA President, William H. Clendenen, Jr.; the Honorable Antonio C. Robaina, recipient of the Henry J. Naruk Judiciary Award; CBA Vice President, Karen DeMeola; and CBA President-elect, Monte E. Frank.

ESSEX – The Honorable Antonio C. Robaina was recently presented with the Henry J. Naruk Judiciary Award at the Connecticut Bar Association’s annual awards celebration, “Celebrate with the Stars,” in New Britain. Judge Robaina was selected based on nominations submitted to the CBA Awards Committee.

Judge Robaina was appointed to the Superior Court in 1998 and is currently assigned to the Hartford Judicial District as the presiding civil judge. From 2005 to 2010, he was the administrative judge in the Windham Judicial District; previously, Judge Robaina served as the presiding judge for civil matters in the New Haven Judicial District, as well as the assistant administrative judge. In 2002, Judge Robaina was the presiding judge for family matters in the Hartford Judicial District. He is one of the few judges who have served in a presiding role in civil, criminal, and family, and has served in judicial districts throughout the state as a trial judge in those same areas.

From 1979 to 1998, Judge Robaina was engaged in general practice in New Haven, which included plaintiff’s personal injury, insurance defense, criminal defense, immigration law, and family matters. He currently serves as a member of the adjunct faculty at Quinnipiac University.

Judge Robaina was one of the original founders and a member of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association and has served as the chairman of the Diversity Award Committee for the Lawyer’s Collaborative for Diversity. He has been a member of the Rules Committee of the judges of the superior court, and a number of other committees for the Judicial Branch and various bar organizations.

Judge Robaina has dedicated much of his time as a mediator in a variety of capacities. He has participated in the externship programs at both the University of Connecticut School of Law and Quinnipiac University Law School, has mentored law school students through the Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association Mentoring Program, and  has mentored other  judges in  the Judicial Branch mentoring program. Judge Robaina has served as the co-chair of a bench/bar committee with respect to medical malpractice cases as well as the co-chair of the CBA Task Force for the Study of a Mentoring Program, which explored the establishment of a mandatory mentoring program for new lawyers in the state of Connecticut.

“Celebrate with the Stars” is dedicated to recognizing Connecticut’s top judges, lawyers and professionals who make a difference through their work by demonstrating allegiance, dedication, conscientious service, commitment and mentorship.

The recipient of the Henry J. Naruk Judiciary Award must meet the following criteria: he or she be a member of the Connecticut Judiciary, federal or state court, who has integrity and epitomizes long-term, dedicated, and conscientious service to the community in his or her judicial role; must be a hard-working judge who labors long in his or her duties; and who is selfless in his or her approach to the demands of the judge position.

Henry J. Naruk (1928-1991) of Middletown was the 60th president of the CBA. Under his presidency, the CBA successfully ran a then-record number of continuing legal education seminars that had been attended by approximately 5,300 Connecticut attorneys. Also under his astute leadership, the CBA created the Women and the Law Section in 1983.

 

From left to right: CBA President, William H. Clendenen, Jr.; the Honorable Antonio C. Robaina, recipient of the Henry J. Naruk Judiciary Award; CBA Vice President, Karen DeMeola; and CBA President-elect, Monte E. Frank.

 

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Essex Foundation Underwrites Material Costs for Essex Gateway Bridge Painting

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ESSEX – For 46 years, the Essex Foundation has been quietly tending to the unique and special needs of the Essex community, answering calls for assistance when fast action is needed.

Most recently, the nonprofit group lent financial support to the highway bridge painting project at the Route 9, exit 3 section of town. The Connecticut Department of Transportation’s tree and shrub removal along state highway barriers had further exposed the patched-paint and rusted appearance of the bridge and left the landscape bare. Public outcry over the “tacky” condition of what is considered the gateway to Essex was fierce, with local residents asking town officials to find a solution.

That solution came in the form of a collaboration between Essex residents Steve and Susan Bogan, owners of Blast-All Construction, who provided the in-kind donation of project planning, supervision, equipment, and labor services; the Town of Essex who provided police supervision and traffic re-routing services; and the Essex Foundation, the Essex Rotary Club and many individual donors, who together provided a total of $18,000 for the purchase of the paint.

The initiative started in 2015 when the Bogans approached the Essex Foundation with a plan for painting the bridge at no cost to taxpayers. As a contractor for state and federal bridge work, Blast-All worked with the CT D.O.T. and the Union Apprenticeship program to have the Essex gateway bridge serve as a training site. The Bogans also met with town officials to secure local police assistance for traffic re-routing and worker safety, while the Essex Foundation, the Essex Rotary Club and many individual donors provided financial support for the paint and material costs. In less than a year, with an entire community behind the effort, the bridge painting work is complete with the exception of the end panels, which are soon to be repaired by the D.O.T. and then painted by Blast-All.

The Essex Foundation is now in the planning stages of a grounds beautification project that will include plantings for the area around the gateway bridge.

Founded in 1970, the Essex Foundation is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Essex citizens by providing medical, educational, social, welfare, cultural, recreational and civic support. From the start, the foundation board wanted to make it possible for funds to be made available for special projects that are not typically supported by other non-profits and that required fast local action. In 1982, many local citizens were devastated by heavy flooding that destroyed homes and left people without food, clothing, refrigeration and heat. Because of the structure of the fund, the Essex Foundation was able, on an ad hoc basis, to help many people get back on their feet quickly. Other past projects supported by the Essex Foundation fund, along with individual donations, include the removal of the half-sunken barge in the Middle Cove, pond weed control for the Falls River neighborhood, repair and maintenance of the Town Clock in the tower of the Baptist Church, and the operation and maintenance of the Bumpy Warner Youth House on Bushnell Street used by the Boy Scouts. More information can be found at www.theessexfoundation.org or by emailing contact@theessexfoundation.org.

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Trump Carries Three Local Towns in GOP Presidential Primary, Democrats Split

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Hilary Clinton

Hilary Clinton

AREAWIDE — Businessman Donald Trump carried Chester, Deep River and Essex as he rolled to a sweeping victory Tuesday in the state presidential primary, while Hillary Clinton carried Essex and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders took Chester and Deep River in the Democratic vote.

Clinton, who won the statewide vote, led Sanders in Essex 513-458, with 13 voting uncommitted. In Deep River, Sanders led 339-242, with 6 uncommitted. In Chester, Sanders led  361-277, with 7 uncommitted.

In  the Republican contest, Trump took Essex with 407 votes, with Ohio Governor John Kasich polling 297 votes. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz had 73 votes, with 10 uncommitted. In Deep River, Trump led Kasich 173-94, with  29 votes for Cruz and 4 uncommitted. In Chester, Trump led Kasich 133-103, with 27 votes for Cruz and 3 uncommitted.
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Middlesex Community Foundation Honors Ivoryton Playhouse, Broadway Actor

Photo by Donna Bowden

Students “high-five” the cast of “Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical” at the Ivoryton Playhouse. Photo by Donna Bowden

IVORYTON – The Community Foundation of Middlesex County (CFMC) recently presented the Bully-Free Communities Spotlight Award to the Ivoryton Playhouse and to Broadway actor Douglas Lyons for their work in creating and presenting educational productions that foster positive, healthy behaviors and attitudes among young people.

The recipients were recognized at the April 11 world premiere of “Polkadots:The Cool Kids Musical,” which was co-conceived and written by Lyons and performed at the Playhouse for over 1400 elementary school students from Clinton, Chester, Deep River, Essex, Middletown and Portland, in addition to the general public. The CFMC Council of Business Partners Fund, a donor advised fund started in 2009 by a group of local business owners in support of school-based anti-bullying initiatives, in partnership with other organizations, provided financial support for the production and, when necessary, bus transportation for the school systems.

Two years ago, CFMC and its Council of Business Partners launched the Campaign for Bully-Free Communities, calling upon students, educators, civic leaders, businesses, community organizations, neighbors and friends to stand together for change and to make all of Middlesex County a bully-free zone. The Ivoryton Playhouse responded with enthusiasm and energy, first staging the premiere of the Off Broadway musical “The Bully” in April 2015, and then making the decision to bring the Douglas Lyons’ original work and universal message of respect and acceptance to elementary school children this year.

“Polkadots” tells the story of Lily Polkadot and her journey to acceptance with the help of her new friend Sky Square in the “Squares Only” town of Rockaway. At the opening night pre-show reception, which took place at Six Summit Gallery in Ivoryton, Mr. Lyons and his creative team spoke about how the events of the Little Rock Nine in 1957 served as the inspiration for the show. Prior to the school performances, a curriculum guide, developed by Rushford, a Hartford HealthCare Partner, was provided for teachers to talk about topics in the musical before the students saw it. Additional financial support for the production was provided by Marc Blakeman, The Bauman Family Foundation, The Essex Community Fund, and The Thomas J. Atkins Memorial Trust Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.

“The Ivoryton Playhouse’s commitment to educational, children’s productions that celebrate our differences and promote positive behavior is spotlight worthy. They truly understand the power of partnership and giving voice to valuable life lessons,” said CFMC CEO and President Cynthia Clegg. “We are thrilled that they opened the door for ‘Polkadots’ to have its world premiere here in Middlesex County, and for introducing all of us to the vision and great talent of Doug Lyons and his creative team.”

The Ivoryton Playhouse  and Doug Lyons were awarded the Spotlight Award specifically for taking to heart the Campaign for Bully-Free Communities initiative of encouraging everyone to be an UPstander, not a bystander; and for their demonstrated commitment to being “Agents of Change” and ensuring that community youth have the support they need to grow and develop in a healthy and safe environment. For more information on the Campaign for Bully-Free Communities, go to bullyfreemiddlesexcountycf.org or call 860-347-0025.

 

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Ancient Order of Essex Weeders Honors Sam Rogers

WeedersParty3411

ESSEX – The Ancient Order of Essex Weeders is a group of men who maintain the landscaping in Essex on Rte. 154 at the intersection of Rte. 153. It was founded in 1981 by Bob Swain, who became “Lead Weed,” and was succeeded by Erl Nord.

The group is also a social organization that gets together for coffee weekly and includes a book club that meets monthly.

The group recently had a retirement party for Sam Rogers. In the photo above, party attendees are shown with new “Lead Weed” Ray Coyle presenting Sam his retirement gift.

More information at http://essexweeders.weebly.com/.

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It’s Connecticut’s Presidential Primary Day — Don’t Forget to Vote!

All registered Democrats and Republicans can vote in today’s Presidential Primary election. Unaffiliated registered voters must wait until the November election to cast their ballots.

Voting locations are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. as follows:

Chester residents:

Chester Town Hall – Community Room

Deep River residents:

Deep River Town Library – Community Room.

Essex residents:

Essex Town Hall – Auditorium

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Last Chance to See Musical About John Denver at Playhouse This Weekend

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David Lutken

IVORYTON – A captivating celebration of the life and music of folk musician John Denver is be performed at the Ivoryton Playhouse through April 24.

This Connecticut premiere features versatile musicians David Lutken (Ring of Fire) and Katie Deal, who have been with the show since its original production at Milwaukee Rep. They present an unvarnished rendition of Denver’s music with gorgeous harmonies, solid musicianship and honest to goodness talent.

Back Home Again: On the Road with John Denver includes hits like “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” “Rocky Mountain High” and “Leaving On a Jet Plane.”

John Denver was about more than country music. He had enormous international appeal, and was equally popular with country and pop audiences. In addition to music, he was an activist and humanitarian whose biggest causes were land conservation and environmental awareness. He supported space exploration and was vocal about his stance in music censorship. He left behind a musical legacy that still resonates with audiences today.

Created and directed by collaborators Randal Myler ( a two-time Tony Award nominee) and Dan Wheetman, this production does not offer a standard biography of Denver. Instead, Wheetman presents his own story, as a musician who’d known Denver as an Aspen neighbor before touring with him for eight years. As embodied by Lutken, Wheetman’s story sheds light on Denver’s own, with parallels including a love for Colorado, the hardships of life on the road and the consequent toll on marriages. But as Denver once sang, in another song included in this show, it’s his guitar that gave him his life, his living, and “all the things you know I love to do.” Focused on that guitar, Back Home Again movingly captures what those things were and why Denver’s music still matters.

Back Home Again: On the Road with John Denver performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $44 for adults, $39 for seniors, $22 for students and $17 for children, and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at (860) 767-7318 or by visiting www.ivorytonplayhouse.org. (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.)

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

 

 

 

David Lutken

 

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River Valley Slim-Down Challenge Begins April 23

River-Valley-Slimdown-Challenge-LogoESSEX – The Essex Wellness Center presents a nine-week River Valley Slim-Down Challenge, beginning April 23.

The challenge is a “biggest loser-style” competition where the participants with the largest percentage of weight lost over the challenge period share prize monies and receive prizes from local businesses such as massages, makeovers, and more.   Participants pay a small registration fee and then participate in a minimum of two (but normally three or more) classes per week at the Fitness on the Water studios such as barre, yoga, spin, Zumba and Tabata bootcamp (a form of high intensity, interval training that gets results – fast!).

Donna Scott, the program manager, is at the Fitness on the Water studios early with the first classes for those wanting to work out before work. Other classes are run during the day for moms of school-age children or in the evening.  In addition, mini-workshops and consultations are provided by Dawn Swope, an experienced health coach, during the nine-week challenge.

Fitness on the Water, a private fitness studio operated by Essex Wellness Center, is at 8 Novelty Lane in Essex Village. More information at http://www.essexwellnessctr.com/ or email donna@fitnessonthewater.com or call (860) 581-8225.

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Essex Zoning Commission Approves Centerbrook Cumberland Farms Rebuild, Expansion

ESSEX — The zoning commission has approved a special permit for a demolition/rebuild and expansion of the Cumberland Farms store in Centerbrook section. The permit was approved on a unanimous vote Monday night after the panel closed a three session public heating on the project.

The permit will allow a 4,250 square-foot store that would double the size of the existing building, along with a third gasoline pumping station. The new building would also have public restrooms, a first for the Centerbrook section.

The project had drawn opposition from some residents over the three public hearings, with most objections focused on the size of the canopy over the six gasoline fueling stations. Some residents questioned the need for a third pump, though attorney Joseph Williams, representing Cumberland Farms, said the company would not pursue the expansion and improvement project without a third gasoline pump.

The commission imposed several conditions on the permit approval, setting the length of the canopy at 74 feet, and requiring a fire suppression system as part of the structure. The panel required a 24-foot distance between fueling stations, while also calling for the pumps to be set at an angle unless engineers for the applicant convince town engineers that this would interfere with traffic flow on the property. The panel also required two additional parking spaces, raising the total number of designated spaces to 24, with an area for eight reserve parking spaces to be designated on the site plan.

Another key condition requires the applicant to present a more detailed drawing of the south sight line along Westbrook Rd. (Rte. 153), particularly the abutting residential property on Westbrook Rd. that is owned by Town Clerk Joel Marzi. Marzi had asked for more information on the sight lines at Monday’s session, with commission member Alvin Wolfgram noting the issue is important because Marzi has the right to erect a fence on his property that could block sight line for motorists exiting on to Westbrook Rd.

The commission has continued a separate public hearing on site plan approval for a 52-unit apartment complex on Plains Rd. to a special meeting scheduled for Monday at 7 p.m. in town hall. The multi-family housing development would be located on a 3.7-acre parcel that would be created by combining parcels at 21, 27, and 29 Plains Rd., including the site of the long vacant former Iron Chef restaurant property. The apartments would be constructed in three separate buildings, with 16 units designated as affordable housing under a state law intended to encourage development of more affordable housing in Connecticut.

The plans for the Essex Station Luxury Apartments were first presented at a Feb. 22 public hearing that has been continued two times, on March 21 and Monday. Zoning Enforcement Officer Joseph Budrow said the panel intends to close the public hearing Monday, and would then have 65 days, or until late June, to vote on the site plan approval.

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Essex Republican Town Committee Endorses Linares and Siegrist

ESSEX – At its monthly meeting, the Essex Republican Town Committee  (ERTC) endorsed candidates for the upcoming  election in November.

State Senator Art Linares, the incumbent from Connecticut’s 33rd Senate District, and Bob Siegrist, the challenger  in Connecticut’s 36th House District, received unanimous endorsements from the committee.

“These candidates bring fresh and unique perspectives that are essential when addressing the current budget crisis in Connecticut,” said ERTC Chairman Bruce MacMillian. “We have an opportunity to elect a legislature that addresses the budget, jobs and unfunded mandates – the issues that hit home with everyone.”

 

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Donations Sought for Child & Family Annual Sale at Essex Intake Day, April 28

intake dayESSEX – The 62nd Annual Sale of the Child and Family Agency of Southeastern CT will be held in early May in New London, which means it’s time for you to spring clean and donate furniture, tools, toys, decorative items, vintage items and antique items, household items, books, sporting goods, art work and of course “jewelry.”

This sale helps raise the much needed, unrestricted funds for Child and Family Agency, a 200-year-old non-profit organization that serves over 18,000 children and their families from 79 towns.

The Essex River Valley Auxiliary of the Child and Family Agency will be hosting Intake for the sale at the Essex Town Hall at 29 West Ave. on Thursday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. “Please Bring the Best and Leave the Rest,” the Auxiliary members say. They will help you unload your car, and if you call them at (860) 526-3124 in advance, they will arrange for a pickup of bulkier items. You’re even invited to stay and help and make friends while sorting clothing, books, household goods and shoes.

Donation letters will be available for you at the site.

All donations will be boxed and transported to the New London Armory at 249 Bayonet Street, New London, where they will be combined with the donations from five other Auxiliaries for the Annual Sale to be held on May 5, 6 and 7.

Please call Pat Thompson at (860) 227-7551 with any questions or to learn how you can volunteer.

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David Reed-Brown Brings His Magic Show Back to Essex April 15

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Magician David Reed-Brown stars in “The Magic Show” on Friday, April 15, at 7 p.m. at Essex Town Hall, sponsored by the First Congregational  Church in Essex. (Photo courtesy of David Reed-Brown)

ESSEX –  Sleight-of-hand, mind-reading, close-up magic and new, mystical illusions will be showcased at “The Magic Show,” starring magician and ordained minister, David Reed-Brown, returning to Essex Town Hall on Friday, April 15 at 7 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.) A highlight of the show will be the levitation of Essex Elementary School teacher Kelli Grace. The performance is sponsored by the First Congregational Church in Essex.

Magician David Reed-Brown’s inspiration came at the age of seven when he discovered a secret magic set in an aged wooden jewelry box on top of a dusty piano. The kit had been passed down through the family by his grandfather. Inside the box, David found small wooden magical wonders that filled him with joy immediately. Ever since, he has been studying the art of theatrical magic, becoming a part-time professional magician in 1997.

David studies at the Magic & Mystery School in Las Vegas with master magicians Jeff McBride and Eugene Burger. His writing made recent history by appearing in McBride’s “The Show Doctor,” the first magic book ever published in print and on electronic tablet (available in Print and on the iPad). He regularly publishes “The Magic Tech Road” column in McBride’s “Secret Art Journal.”

In Las Vegas, David has performed at Jeff McBride’s famous Wonderground, at the Magic & Meaning Conference and the Mount Charleston Hotel & Lodge. He also serves as magic consultant for Denny Moon’s musical “Abracadabra,” and he assisted McBride in the magical direction of Lawrence and Priscilla Khong’s theatrical illusion show, “The Magic of Love” for its North American debut.

David Friedman of the Walt Disney Company said, “David Reed-Brown is more than just a magician. Yes his magic is expert and entertaining and awe-inspiring, but the real magic is the spiritual way in which he presents it. You leave his performances knowing that life itself is magical and filled with endless possibilities.”

Tickets for the April 15 Magic Show are $15 for adults and $8 for children and are available at Toys Ahoy in Essex Village and Elephant Crossing in Ivoryton. New this year, there will also be 28 premium, reserved front row seats available at $20 each. Tickets may also be purchased in advance by calling the church at (860) 767-8097. The premium seating tickets are available only at the church at 6 Methodist Hill in Essex Village or by calling (860) 767-8097. At the April 15 show, there will be drawings for three gift certificates to a local ice cream parlor, awarded to children.

Proceeds from the evening benefit the outreach missions of The First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC.

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“Invaders” Exhibit Now Open at CT River Museum

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Sponsors of the exhibit gathered for a sneak peek prior to the Invaders: They Come by Air, Land and Water exhibit opening at the Connecticut River Museum. From left to right are: John Lombardo, Stephen and Viola Tagliatela from Saybrook Point Inn and Spa; Thayer Talbot from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County; Representative Phil Miller; Cynthia Clegg from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County; Joanne Masin and Christopher Dobbs from the Connecticut River Museum; Brenda Kestenbaum from Eyewitness News (WFSB); and Tony Marino and Marilyn Ozols from the Rockfall Foundation.

ESSEX – On Thursday night, March 31, the Connecticut River Museum unveiled its 2016 feature exhibit, Invaders: They Come by Air, Land and Water. The exhibit explores one of the most significant threats today to the 410-mile-long Connecticut River Valley:  invasive species.

Representative Phil Miller was one of many honored public figures and supporters in attendance. Miller said, “I’m thrilled that the State of Connecticut was able to provide some support for this important project and I encourage everyone to come out and see this great show.   Building public awareness is a big part of the solution to the problem of invasive species.”

The vibrantly campy, yet serious exhibit was in production for two years and involved numerous organizations including Channel 3 Eyewitness News, the Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, the Connecticut DEEP Marine Fisheries Division, and the Long Island Sound Study. Stunned by the creative energy and theatrical elements of the exhibit, one observer said, “Move over Universal Studios.”

Taking on the feel of a classic, 1950s Ed Wood science fiction monster movie, the exhibit explores the many air, land and water invasive species to our region. Critical environmental, economic and recreational impacts are highlighted and help to answer why we should care about this invasion.  More importantly, according to the museum’s executive director Christopher Dobbs, “The exhibit provides information on how we can make a difference by changing our habits, identifying invasive species before they are established, and getting involved with environmental organizations such as local land trusts.”

Stephen Tagliatela, owner of Saybrook Point Inn, said, “We are proud to support this kind of effort. The Connecticut River is one of our great regional and national assets.  It is something that brings visitors to the area and it is our duty to ensure its vitality.”

The Invaders exhibit is on public display now through Oct.10.  It has been made possible by Presenting Sponsor Long Island Sound Study.  Other dedicated sponsors include: Channel 3 Eyewitness News; the William and Alice Mortensen Foundation; the Rockfall Foundation; the Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of Tourism; the Community Foundation of Middlesex County; the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa; the Edgard & Geraldine Feder Foundation; and the many supporters of the Connecticut River Museum.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex, and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is the only museum dedicated to the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its Valley.

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Community Music School Hosts ‘When Swing Was King’ Benefit, Saturday

king swing photo

Looking forward to welcoming guests at When Swing Was King are (L-R): Tom Briggs, CMS music director; Bruce Lawrence, CMS trustee and gala sponsor with Bogaert Construction; Joni Gage, CMS piano and vocal instructor; Karli Gilbertson, CMS artist-in-residence and vocal instructor; vocalist Emma Hunt; and Jennifer and John Bauman, gala sponsors with the Bauman Family Foundation and event co-chair (Jennifer).

AREAWIDE – To quote Duke Ellington, “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.”

The Community Music School is transporting guests at this April’s CMS Gala back to the ‘30s and ‘40s with “When Swing Was King.”

The event, which is the music school’s largest annual fund raiser, takes place Saturday, April 16 at 6 p.m., at the Lace Factory in Deep River. It includes a lively cocktail hour with passed hors d’oeuvres and silent auction. The party continues with gourmet food stations prepared by Cloud Nine Catering, and fabulous musical entertainment provided by CMS faculty and students.

The greatest hits of the swing era will be performed by faculty and students. The eight-piece band will spark up the dance floor with music of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, and many more. Don’t forget your dancing shoes so you can learn to jitterbug, lindy hop and boogie woogie!

Featured vocal student performers include Emma Hunt of Essex, Mia Lawrence of East Haddam and Barbara Malinsky of Madison. Faculty performers include Joni Gage (vocals), Karli Gilbertson (vocals), Patricia Hurley (trumpet), Andy Sherwood (clarinet/tenor saxophone), Andrew Studenski (alto saxophone), music director Tom Briggs (piano), Kevin O’Neil (guitar), and Matthew McCauley (bass), with special guests Tom Boates (trombone) and Gary Ribchinsky (drum set).

Tickets for the evening are $100 per person ($40 is tax deductible). A sponsor ticket of $150 per person provides a greater charitable gift ($90 is tax deductible) and is also available. Tickets may be purchased online at community-music-school.org, at the school located at 90 Main Street in the Centerbrook section of Essex or by calling (860) 767-0026.

Support of the Community Music School Gala provides the resources necessary to offer scholarships to students with a financial need, as well as weekly music education and music therapy services for students with special needs, arts education and music enjoyment through in-school presentations and community concerts, and Kate’s Camp for Kids, a comprehensive summer arts day camp in partnership with the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center.

When Swing Was King sponsors include Whelen Engineering Company, the Bauman Family Foundation, Bogaert Construction, Maple Lane Farms, Angelini Wine LTD, Bob’s Discount Furniture, the Clark Group, Essex Savings Bank and Essex Financial Services, Grossman Chevrolet-Nissan, Kitchings & Potter LLC, Ring’s End, Tower Laboratories LTD, Thomas H. Alexa – Comprehensive Wealth Management, Anonymous, Brewer Pilots Point Marina, Dreamscapes Design Group, Guilford Savings Bank, Jackson Lewis, Madison Veterinary Hospital, W. Jay Mills CFP® – The Oakley Wing Group at Morgan Stanley, Periodontics P.C., Reynolds Garage & Marine, the Safety Zone, Sullivan Lawn Services, and Valley Courier.

Now in its 33rd year of building community through music, the Community Music School is a private, non-profit organization.

 

Looking forward to welcoming guests at When Swing Was King are (L-R): Tom Briggs, CMS music director; Bruce Lawrence, CMS trustee and gala sponsor with Bogaert Construction; Joni Gage, CMS piano and vocal instructor; Karli Gilbertson, CMS artist-in-residence and vocal instructor; vocalist Emma Hunt; and Jennifer and John Bauman, gala sponsors with the Bauman Family Foundation and event co-chair (Jennifer).

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Lecture and Tasting with the Beer Snob in Essex, June 11

Will Siss, 'The Beer Snob'

Will Siss, ‘The Beer Snob’

ESSEX – Will Siss has been writing the “Beer Snob” column for the Waterbury Republican-American since 2005. In 2015 he published the book, “Connecticut Beer: A History of Nutmeg State Brewing,” a profile of the beer breweries in Connecticut, including profiles of the brewers, pubs and restaurants that focus on craft brews.

On Saturday, June 11, at 4 p.m. in the Essex Library, Siss will present an illustrated talk on the current craft beers being produced in Connecticut and will conduct a beer tasting with attendees afterwards. Siss earned a BA in English from Gettysburg College and an MS from the Columbia School of Journalism.
This event is free and open to the public (21 years and over) but seating is limited. Please call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560 to register and for more information. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Ave. in Essex.
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Essex Garden Club Offers Scholarship

ESSEX – The Essex Garden Club is offering a $1,000 scholarship for the school year 2016-2017. To be considered for this scholarship, applicants must be

  1. a resident of Essex, Centerbrook or Ivoryton, CT

2. a high school senior or undergraduate/graduate college student

3. have a “B” or better GPA

4.  be planning to pursue studies related to the environment in an accredited two-year or four-year institute of higher learning. Fields of study may include: Agriculture, Biology, Ecology, Horticulture, Forestry, Environmental Science and Engineering.  Closely related subjects may also apply: Land Conservation, Landscape Design, Nursery Management.

Application forms are available from Guidance Counselors, or go to essexgardenclubct.org. The deadline for receipt of applications is April 25, 2016. For more information call 860-581-8206.

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CT River Museum Trustees Visit State Capitol

Connecticut River Museum Board of Trustees Chair Joanne Masin, Sen. Art Linares and Connecticut River Museum Trustee Eileen Angelini.

Connecticut River Museum Board of Trustees Chair Joanne Masin, Sen. Art Linares and Connecticut River Museum Trustee Eileen Angelini.

ESSEX – Historical societies and preservationists from across the state gathered at the State Capitol last month to raise awareness about their organizations’ dedication to promoting Connecticut’s heritage for present and future generations.

The Connecticut River Museum (www.ctrivermuseum.org) was among the groups that travelled to Hartford to speak with Sen. Art Linares (www.senatorlinares.com) and other state lawmakers.

The museum’s mission is to lead in the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its valley. By deepening understanding of the river’s importance to past generations, the museum aims to inspire the stewardship of future generations.

The museum maintains its National Registered buildings on Steamboat Dock in Essex, and provides a spectacular waterfront park as a venue for museum functions, community events and quiet reflection.

 

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Detox Program at Essex Wellness Center Started April 16

Dr. Dana Krete

Dr. Dana Krete

ESSEX – Do you want to increase your energy, lose weight, charge up your immune system and improve your overall health? Have you been trying to improve your diet, decrease your sugar intake and lose weight, but have a hard time sticking with it and staying motivated?

Dr. Dana Krete will lead a four-week group detox program at the Essex Wellness Center starting April 16.

With this program you will be guided, motivated and supported through the detox program that includes a two-week detox that’s both safe and effective, and will leave you feeling re-energized for spring and on track to reach your goals.

You will be using a high-quality, hypoallergenic, user-friendly program that includes two shakes per day, supplements twice per day, and a “clean” meal plus healthy snacks. Meals and snacks will be prepared by you, so they are made of fresh, wholesome ingredients. This means this is not a product-heavy program, but one that uses mostly real food. Dr. Krete will guide you through this process, so you know what foods to eliminate and what foods to include.

Dr. Krete will lead a group talk once per week for four weeks for about an hour to inform you of the process, and so participants can support each other through the process.

Dr. Dana Krete earned her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine and Master of Acupuncture at National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon.

Registration with payment in advance is required.   The total cost of the program, including the detox kit and all meetings led by Dr. Krete, is $279.  More information at www.EssexWellnessCtr.com or call Essex Wellness Center at (860) 767-7770.

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Philip Scheffler, “60 Minutes” Executive Editor, Former Essex Resident, Died April 7

philipESSEX – Philip Scheffler, CBS News’ first television street reporter, a documentary producer and the executive editor at 60 Minutes for many years, died April 7, 2016, in New York Presbyterian – Cornell Weill Medical Center. He was 85 and lived in Manhattan. Until recently he also spent much of his time in Essex, Conn., where he had a home for 40 years.

Scheffler retired from 60 Minutes in June of 2003 and had served as a consultant to CBS News up until a few years ago. He was a friend and mentor to Jeff Fager, executive producer of 60 Minutes.  “Phil was a guiding force behind the success of 60 Minutes for more than two decades,” said Fager.  “Don Hewitt often said he couldn’t have done it without him.  He was a first-class journalist, an admirable human being, and a great friend to many of us.  We will miss him very much.”

Scheffler was a reporter and producer for CBS News for the first half of his five-decade career. He became the senior producer at 60 Minutes in 1980, handling the day-to-day responsibilities – essentially the right hand of the broadcast’s executive producer Don Hewitt. Hewitt named him executive editor later. In this capacity, Scheffler had a direct hand in producing every 60 Minutes report broadcast from 1980 to 2003 – a period during which 60 Minutes was the number-one program in America five times.

Scheffler oversaw the reporting from the field and handled most of the producers’ journalistic issues, enabling Hewitt to focus almost exclusively on shaping the newsmagazine’s stories. When tempers flared in the screening room between Hewitt and one of his correspondents, such as Mike Wallace or Morley Safer, it was the professorial Scheffler, sporting a bow tie and close-cropped beard, who played referee.

Before his senior positions, Scheffler produced 60 Minutes stories over nine seasons for Wallace, Safer, Harry Reasoner and Dan Rather. His first story with Safer was “After Attica,” a look inside a maximum security prison in Colorado broadcast after the horrible riots in the New York prison in 1971.

Hewitt hired him in March of 1951 as a copy boy for “Douglas Edwards with the News,” which Hewitt directed and produced. Debuting in May 1948, that broadcast was the first network television news program, and in 1951, Scheffler became its first street reporter.

His first field assignment was to ask people whether they thought Gen. Dwight Eisenhower should enter politics and run for the Republican presidential nomination. But reporting was only one of the hats worn by early television news people like Scheffler.  Out of necessity, he also invented a makeshift news teleprompter.

Hewitt wanted his anchor, Edwards, to look at the camera instead of his script when reading the news, so he had Scheffler make cue cards. “My first job at CBS Television News,” recalls Scheffler, “was to hand print Douglas Edwards’ copy on two-by-three-foot cue cards. Then, when we were on the air, I would hold them up next to the camera lens and move them up a line at a time for Doug to read. My arms were always tired and sore, so I asked Don if the camera could move in closer. He put on a wide-angle lens and moved the camera to within 10 feet of Doug, and I started typing the copy using wide adding-machine paper and a huge-type typewriter. It was the first crude teleprompter, but I didn’t have the wit to develop it!” said Scheffler in 2001.

In 1953, Scheffler was drafted into the Army and served his two years. During this period, he convinced his superior officer that he could put the Army on television — as long as he could get a few weekends off to film the piece! The result was a feature series in weekly installments he helped produce and write for CBS in which a Korean War recruit was followed through basic training at New Jersey’s Fort Dix.   Scheffler returned to CBS and continued working as writer, reporter and producer for the nightly network news and other regularly scheduled CBS News programs through the 1950s.

The news program, “Eyewitness,” was Scheffler’s next stop, where he served as associate producer and on-air reporter for the half-hour weekly from 1960 to 1963. He briefly served as an associate producer on “The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite,” where he covered the Kennedy assassination, before joining the documentary unit in 1964. There, Scheffler became a producer of documentary and special news broadcasts, including “CBS Special Reports” and “CBS Reports.” He produced more than 100 of them, including: “After 10 Years: The Court and the Schools” (1964), on school integration; “CBS REPORTS: Robert F. Kennedy” (1967), on Sen. Kennedy and his political ambitions; and “The Cities” (1968), about the nation’s urban crisis.

Scheffler’s assignments took him to 47 states and to 50 foreign countries, including Vietnam. He traveled there for six assignments during the war; his output included three two-hour specials on American policy in Southeast Asia, “Where We Stand in Vietnam” (1967), “Where We Stand in Indochina” (1970), and “The Changing War in Indochina” (1971).

CBS News broadcasts that Scheffler worked on, especially 60 Minutes, have received the industry’s highest recognition, including the Peabody, DuPont and Emmy awards. In 1981, he received the Alumni Award for distinguished contributions to journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, from which he received a master’s degree.  As an adjunct professor, he once taught classes there as well.

Scheffler was born Sept. 16, 1930 in New York City and was graduated from the City College of New York. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Linda Weingarten Scheffler, a clinical psychologist, author and retired professor at Hunter College in New York City; his daughter, Ramsay Klaff, of Massachusetts; and a son, Adam, of Chicago.

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Essex to Host Energy Fair & Free LED Light Bulb Swap for Residents, Saturday

ESSEX – On Saturday, April 9,  the Town of Essex and the Essex Citizens for Clean Energy (ECCE) will host an energy fair and free LED light bulb swap for residents. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Essex Town Hall.

Essex residents, with identification, may bring up to five incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) light bulbs in any condition and exchange them for new, energy-efficient LED bulbs free of charge.  (Offer is for up to 5 LED light bulbs per household while supplies last.)  Other styles of LEDs and lighting products will be available for purchase at a discounted rate.

A single LED bulb has a life expectancy of 23 years, uses up to 80 percent less energy, and can save homeowners as much as $10 per year versus a traditional incandescent bulb, which has about a 1.5 to 2.5 year lifespan.

Energy experts from Eversource will be on-hand at the light bulb swap to answer questions and provide people with additional information on how they can save money and energy at home, including the popular in-home service, Home Energy SolutionsSM (HES).   There will be an activity for children and alternative fuel cars from local dealers will be on display.

In addition, a variety of energy related information and services will be available from vendors such as Competitive Resources, Ameri Group, Southern Connecticut Gas, and Benedetto Heating & AC.   Representatives from Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) and the Public Utility Regulation Authority (PURA) will be on hand to talk about the electric industry in Connecticut and discuss selecting suppliers to save money on residential electric bills. (Residents may bring a recent electric bill.)

The Town is using a $4,500 grant, earned through participation in Energize Connecticut’s Clean Energy Communities (CEC) program, to fund the exchange.  In October 2012, Essex signed the CEC pledge, committing to make efforts to reduce municipal building energy consumption by 20 percent, attain 20 percent of municipal electricity needs from renewable sources, and take other actions to support the deployment of clean energy by 2018.

Residents and businesses that took advantage of Energize Connecticut energy efficiency solutions helped the community earn the grant and will reap the benefits with this LED giveaway.

For more information about how residents and businesses can save energy and money, visit EnergizeCT.com or call 877.WISE.USE (877-947-3873) or for more information on the Energy Fair & LED Light Bulb Swap visit the ECCE Website at www.essexcitizensforcleanenergy.com, call 860-227-7753 or check  https://www.facebook.com/SXCleanEnergy/

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Essex’s Medical Center Closed Almost Two Years Ago, Plans for Empty Building Not Yet Determined

Middlesex Hospital closed its medical facility in Essex on April 28, 2014, and the property has been vacant ever since.

Middlesex Hospital closed its medical facility in Essex on April 28, 2014, and the property has been vacant ever since.  Photo by Jerome Wilson.

It has now been almost two years — April 28, 2014 to be precise — since Middlesex Hospital closed its medical center in Essex. For the present, however, according to Middlesex Hospital’s Director of Public Relations, Peg Arico, there are no specific plans by the hospital regarding the future of the shuttered facility.

Signs threatening prosecution for trespassers stand on the grounds of Middlesex Hospital’s former medical center in Essex.

Signs threatening prosecution for trespassers stand on the grounds of Middlesex Hospital’s former medical center in Essex.  Photo by Jerome Wilson.

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman said in a separate interview that he had learned that Middlesex Hospital had retained an “outside consultant” to explore options for its unused hospital facility in Essex where ‘No Trespassing’ signs stand at the perimeter of the site.       

Some Essex residents have expressed the hope that Middlesex Hospital will soon decide what to do with the unused property noting that the “No Trespassing” signs on Westbrook Rd. are not an especially pleasant way to welcome visitors entering historic Essex.

At the same time, Middlesex Hospital’s new Shoreline Medical Center patient care facilities in Westbrook, which replaced the Essex clinic, have, in general, been very well received by Essex residents.

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Essex Library Explores Women as ‘Uncommon Heroes,’ Series Continues in Coming Months

malalaESSEX – The Essex Library kicked off “Uncommon Heroes,” a series of programs exploring the status of women around the world and right at home in Connecticut, on Feb. 27, with a screening of the film “He Named Me Malala.”

The series continues Wednesday, April 6, at 5 p.m., when Christine Palm from the CT General Assembly’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Women will speak about the pressing issues facing women in our state currently.

More events will be included in the months to come.

Call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560 to register or for more information. All of these programs are free and open to the public and advance registration is suggested.

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

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Enjoy a Tour of Private Gardens in Essex, June 4

See this beautiful private garden in Essex on June 4.

See this beautiful private garden in Essex on June 4.

ESSEX – On Saturday, June 4, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., plan to stroll through eight of the loveliest and most unusual private gardens in Essex. Some are in the heart of Essex Village while others are hidden along lanes most visitors never see.  While exploring, you will find both formal and informal settings, lovely sweeping lawns and panoramic views of the Connecticut River or its coves.  One garden you will visit is considered to be a ‘laboratory’ for cultivation of native plants. Master Gardeners will be available to point out specific features, offer gardening tips, and answer questions.

The garden tour is sponsored by the Friends of the Essex Library. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the Essex Library the day of the event.  Cash, checks, Visa or Master Card will be accepted. Tickets can be reserved by visiting the library or by completing the form included in flyers available at the library and throughout Essex beginning May 2.  Completed forms can be mailed to the library.  Confirmations will be sent to the email addresses on the completed forms.

Your ticket will be a booklet containing a brief description of each garden along with a map of the tour and designated parking. Tickets must be picked up at the library beginning at 9:45 a.m. the day of the event.

Richard Conroy, library director, has said, “The Essex Library receives only about half of its operating revenue from the Town. The financial assistance we receive each year from the Friends is critical.  It enables us to provide important resources such as Ancestry.com and museum passes, as well as practical improvements like the automatic front doors that were recently installed.  I urge you to help your Library by helping our Friends make this event a success!  Thank you for your support.”

The tour will take place rain or shine.  For more information, please call 860-767-1560. All proceeds will benefit Friends of the Essex Library.

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“Clouds & Shadows” — Essex Art Association’s Show Opens June 3

 

Judy plein air painting in Chester

Dianne Gorrick plein air painting in Chester

ESSEX – The Essex Art Association will continue its 2016 season with the Elected Artists Member Show, opening June 3. Juror, Judy Atlas, is an exhibiting member of City Gallery in New Haven and teaches art classes at Creative Arts Workshop, also in New Haven. A total of $1900 in award money will be given to exhibiting artists for their work in various media.

Each season five EAA artists are selected by a juror to exhibit their work in the small “Exit Gallery.” The Exit Gallery artist during this exhibition is plein air painter Dianne Gorrick, who creates vibrant works of art depicting the beauty of the natural world. Although she selects peaceful subjects, her paintings are invigorated by bright colors and impasto painting. Gorrick explains that the thick application of paint gives the paintings “a three-dimensional quality,” which enhances the sense of depth within her compositions. Concerning her technique, she writes, “I would say my style is Romanticized Realism. I want the viewer to be drawn into the scene and to enjoy looking at the painting.”

Gorrick’s paintings display skill and knowledge, which she acquired from years of study and exploration. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and a master’s in Studio Art from Wesleyan University, she continued her education in painting at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, Dartmouth College and the Scottsdale Artist School with the Plein Air Painters of America.

Her artwork has been exhibited throughout the state of Connecticut, earning numerous awards and grants over the years. She is the recipient of two National Endowment Fellowships; a research grant concerning the Hudson River School of Painters and a fellowship to attend Dartmouth College, where she studied the art and culture of New England. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the Wadsworth Athenaeum, the New Britain Museum, the Slater Museum, and the Ward-Nasse Gallery in NYC. She is an Elected Artist of the Essex Art Association and the Mystic Art Center. Currently, she teaches painting and drawing at the Glastonbury Art Guild. Gorrick had a long and rewarding career as an art educator in the public school system at Bacon Academy, where she also served as department head.

The “Clouds & Shadows” exhibition opening will be held Friday, June 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. The Essex Art Association Gallery is located in the sunny yellow building in the center of Essex at 10 North Main Street. Gallery hours are 1-5 p.m. daily, closed Tuesdays. For more information, call 860-767-8996.

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