July 30, 2016

Essex Zoning Commission Asked to Reconsider Three Conditions for Approval of Plains Rd. Apartment Complex

The Plains Road property where the Iron Chef restaurant has been long empty has been approved for apartments.

The Plains Road property where the Iron Chef restaurant has been vacant for many years has been approved for the Essex Station apartments. Now the applicant has filed a resubmission to revise or rescind three conditions.

ESSEX — Weeks after the zoning commission’s approval of a special permit for the three-building 52-unit Essex Station apartment complex on Plains Road, the applicant has filed  a resubmission that asks the commission to revise or rescind three of the 10 conditions that were part of the panel’s 4-1 vote of approval on June 20.

The commission has scheduled an Aug. 15 public hearing on the resubmission from Signature Contracting Group LLC for a review of the three conditions. The project, approved after a series of public hearings that began in February, calls for 52 units in three separate buildings on a 3.7-acre parcel at 21,27 and 29 Plains Road. The parcel includes the long vacant site of the former Iron Chef restaurant. and two abutting residential parcels.

The project includes an affordable housing component, and was submitted under state statute 8-30g, which is intended to promote additional affordable housing in Connecticut. The statute, in place for more than a decade, limits the jurisdiction of local zoning authorities to issues of public health and safety, and provides for waiver of some local zoning regulations. At least 16 units in the Essex Station complex would be designated as affordable moderate income housing, with a monthly rent of about $1,000.

In a July 6 letter to the commission, Timothy Hollister, lawyer for the applicants, contended three of the conditions ” materially impact the viability of the development plan, are infeasible, legally impermissible, or are unnecessary.”

One disputed condition is the requirement for a six-foot security fence around the perimeter of the property. Hollister contended in the letter a six-foot fence would have to be a chain-link fence, which he maintained would be unsightly and unnecessary. He suggested a nearby property owner, Essex Savings Bank, was uncomfortable with the idea of six-foot fencing on the southwest corner of the property. As an alternative, Hollister suggested a four-foot picket fence around most or the property boundary, including the street frontage.

Hollister also contended a requirement for elevators in the three buildings was “impractical and unnecessary” and would make the current floor plans infeasible. He noted the project is not age-restricted housing, adding that elevators have not been a requirement for many similar projects in Connecticut, including an apartment complex with affordable housing now under construction in Old Saybrook.

The third disputed condition involves the height of the three buildings. The commission had imposed a height limit of 35 feet for all three buildings, a condition that Hollister maintained would require an unattractive, institutional-style flat roof. He suggested a maximum height limit of 42-feet for the three buildings.

Zoning Enforcement Officer Joseph Budrow said this week the resubmission requires a new public hearing, but also allows for some negotiation between the commission and the applicant on the disputed conditions. The review must be concluded within 65 days, including a public hearing and decision, with no provision for any extensions.

The panel has also scheduled an Aug. 15 public hearing on a new and separate special permit application for an eight-unit condominium-style active adult community development on a 10-acre parcel on Bokum Road. The proposed Cobblestone Court development would be comprised of four duplex buildings The applicant is local resident and property owner Mark Bombaci under the name Bokum One LLC. The property abuts a little used section of the Valley Railroad line.
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Enjoy Essex Historical Society’s “Walking Weekend,” Saturday & Sunday

Ivoryton Library. All photos courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

Ivoryton Library. All photos courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

ESSEX — Combining the outdoors and history, Essex Historical Society (EHS) expands its popular outdoor program, “Walking Weekend,” on July 29, 30 and 31.  The event features three different walking tours within the Town of Essex in which attendees enjoy an easy stroll along the Town’s historic streets learning about the major industries, structures and personalities that shaped the area.  EHS’s trained, knowledgeable guides will lead an hour+ long tour over fairly level, paved terrain, covering three centuries of history.   For the first time, this year’s Walking Weekend will feature a guided walking tour of Ivoryton Village, led by former Town Historian Chris Pagliuco.

On July 29 at 7 p.m., the first tour will meet at Ivoryton Library, 106 Main Street, Ivoryton, for an in-depth look at this historic village, from its beginnings as a company town surrounding the Comstock-Cheney Co., the stories of 19th century immigration, the striking examples of Victorian architecture and its unique cultural attractions that continue to this day. 

The Pratt Smithy.

The Pratt Smithy.

On July 30 at 1 p.m., the second tour will meet at the Pratt House, 19 West Avenue, Essex, for a trip down West Ave. and Prospect Street to explore the histories behind the structures of “Pound Hill” including several 19th century churches, Hills Academy, the Old Firehouse and more.  Attendees are also welcome to tour the historic 1732 Pratt House, the town’s only historic house museum. 

The Rose Store.

The Rose Store.

On July 31 at 7 p.m., the final tour will meet at the Foot of Main Street, Essex, for a trip down Main Street in Essex Village to capture the rich maritime history of 18th century “Potapaug,” its working waterfront and ship-building prominence in the early 19th century as well as its development as a beautiful visitor destination of today. 

Essex Historical Society is committed to fulfilling its mission of engaging and inspiring the community in the three villages of Centerbrook, Essex and Ivoryton.  Looking ahead, EHS hopes to expand its 2017 Walking Weekend to include a walking tour of Centerbrook.

Each tour is $5 per person and is open to the general public; free to members of EHS.  Admission helps support the educational and cultural programming of Essex Historical Society.  For more information, please visit www.essexhistory.org or call (860) 767-0681. 

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‘Where I Live,’ Essex Art Association’s Summer Juried Show, Hosts Opening Reception Tonight

"Haddam Neck Fair Horses," by

“Haddam Neck Fair Horses,” by Mary Lang Killilea

ESSEX –  The fourth exhibition of the Essex Art Association 2016 season is a juried show whose theme is “Where I Live.” The exhibition juror, Karen Bartone, is a professor of art at Eastern Connecticut State University as well as a curator and lecturer for several prominent institutions. $1900 will be awarded 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 Mary Lang Killilea, an accomplished artist who has been working in pastel for over 20 years. She is the recipient of many local and national awards for her work. A signature member of the CT Pastel Society, her work mainly focuses on the beauty of nature.

 Her pastel paintings are known for their attention to detail and celebration of the natural world around us. Ms. Killilea has won the Sax Gold Medal Award for watercolor as well as a First Place in the Pastel Journal Annual Competition. In 2006 her work was featured in “Pure Color, The Best of Pastel” from Northlight Publications.

 The “Where I Live” exhibition opening reception will be held Friday, July 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. Both exhibits are open at no charge to the public July 30 – Aug. 20 at the Essex Art Association Gallery located in the sunny yellow building in the center of Essex at 10 North Main St. Gallery hours are 1-5 p.m. daily, closed Tuesdays. For more information, call 860-767-8996.

 

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Tickets on Sale Now for Child & Family Essex Auxiliary’s ‘Black and White Masquerade Gala’, Aug. 27

Black and White Masquerade Committee members gather for a photo.

Black and White Masquerade Gala Committee members gather for a photo in their masks.

On Aug. 27, the Essex Auxiliary of Child and Family Agency will hold a Black and White Masquerade Gala on beautiful Griswold Point in Old Lyme, Conn., to benefit Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut.

Our inspiration for this event is Truman Capote’s “Party of the Century”  held exactly  50 years ago in 1966. Dust off your black tie apparel, don your mask, and step back in time with us to a more glamorous era as we enjoy an evening filled with music, champagne, dancing and good company.

Capote’s party was held in honor of newspaper legend Katherine Graham. Our gala will be in honor of Child and Family’s own Alva Gimbel Greenberg, the former owner of the Pictorial Gazette and longtime Child and Family Agency volunteer.

Griswold Point will provide the perfect backdrop as we begin with cocktails on the gorgeous lawn with sweeping views to where the Connecticut River meets Long Island Sound. After taking in a glorious sunset from this perfect vantage point, the remainder of the evening will be devoted to a delicious al fresco dinner and some seriously fun dancing.

Seating for this event will be limited. Tickets can be purchased at www.childandfamilyagency.org  or    http://bit.ly/2adIVRB .

Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut’s programs provide services that address children’s health care, childcare, children’s mental health, child abuse prevention, the treatment of family violence, accident prevention, and parent education.

Major support for this event was provided by Essex Savings Bank and Essex Financial Services.

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Blockbuster ‘RENT’ Opens at Ivoryton Playhouse, Wednesday

Rent
IVORYTON —  Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway musical RENT opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Wednesday, Aug. 3, running until Aug. 28.

Johnny Newcomb* as Roger and Alyssa Gomez* as Mimi Marquez in 'Rent' at Ivoryton Playhouse opening Aug. 3.

Johnny Newcomb* as Roger and Alyssa Gomez* as Mimi Marquez in ‘Rent’ at Ivoryton Playhouse opening Aug. 3.

Loosely based on Puccini’s opera, La Boheme, RENT details one year in the life of seven artists and musicians, living in New York’s run down “Alphabet City” in the late 1980s.  As this circle of friends struggle with life, love, infidelity, and the usual hopes & fears of modern day life, they must also cope with drug addiction and the rising specter of AIDS.  In the midst of all this, one of them attempts to capture all of their lives on film, hoping to make artistic sense of it all.

Jonathan Larson died in 1996, the day before his musical opened in New York. He never witnessed its phenomenal success. RENT opened on Broadway on April 29, 1996. It went on to win every major best musical award, including the Tony Award, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

RENT closed after 5,124 performances and is the seventh longest running show in Broadway history.  Over the course of its groundbreaking 12-year New York run, RENT transformed the definition of musical theater – and changed Broadway forever.  The musical has been translated into every major language and been performed on six continents.

The Ivoryton Playhouse welcomes back returning actors Jamal Shuriah*, Sheniquah Trotman*, Collin Howard*, Tim Russell and Grant Benedict as well as Johnny Newcomb*, Alyssa Gomez*, Patrick Clanton*, Jonny Cortes, Maritza Bostic, Stephanie Genito, Ronnie S. Bowman, Jr, Mac Cherny, Sandra Lee, Josephine Gottfried

This production is directed by Ivoryton Playhouse Artistic / Executive Director Jacqueline Hubbard and is choreographed by Todd Underwood.  Musical director is Michael Morris, with set design by Martin Scott Marchitto, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Lisa Bebey.

After Larson’s death and the amazing success of his musical, his friends wanted to honor his commitment to his community of people whose lives are a daily struggle for survival. They set aside the first two rows at each performance as $20 seats so that the people the show was about could afford to see it. These special tickets would go on sale at 6 p.m. each night and the line usually formed by noon on weekdays and often 24 hours in advance on weekends. In honor of Jonathan Larson and the community that we serve, the Ivoryton Playhouse will save 20 seats for every performance at a $25 price. Those seats will be available after 6 p.m. every show day.

If you are interested in helping support this program or our Little Wonder program that provides a free night at the theatre for patients and their families dealing with the nightmare of cancer, please give Krista a call at 860 767 9520 ext 205.

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.  Due to popular demand, two additional Saturday matinee performances have been added on Aug. 20 and 27 – both at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $50 for adults; $45 for seniors; $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting 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.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

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Connecticut River Artisans Making a Move to Essex, New Store Opens Aug. 1

Connecticut River Artisans new home will be at 55 Main St. in Essex.

Connecticut River Artisans new home will be at 55 Main St. in Essex.

ESSEX — Connecticut River Artisans are moving from Chester to Essex.

They will close their Chester shop at 4 Water St. at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, and reopen at their location at 55 Main St., Essex on Monday, Aug. 1.

Summer hours are Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Call for seasonal hours.

For more information, visit ctriverartisans.org or call 860.767.5457.

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Letter to the Editor: Writer Names Miller ‘Newspeak’ Prize Winner for ‘Capitol Update 2016’

To the Editor:

One of my favorite books of all time is ‘1984’, by George Orwell. The protagonist of the novel works for the Ministry of Truth. It is responsible for historical revisionism, using ‘Newspeak’. The historical record always supports the party line.

I award Representative Phil Miller, the Winner of the Newspeak Prize for ‘Capitol Update 2016’. A mailing to 36th District households (Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam) authored by him. His mailing among other Newspeak items, ” no withdrawals from the Rainy Day Fund” which was emptied by a withdrawal of approximately $315 million to close the fiscal year 2015-2016 deficit, earned consideration. However, what catapulted him to First Prize was his Newspeak, that the budget fully funds past Pension Liabilities. While I grant him that these liabilities are always estimates, due to interest of bond earnings and the liabilities have been estimated worse than this in the past five years. He must be content with 2015 estimates. The total underfunding of the State’s pension liabilities is estimated to be at least $26 Billion. Given that the total State of Connecticut Budget is $20 billion, it is impossible to proclaim these past pension liabilities as fully funded. Wow, what a fine example of historical revisionism. I truly hope this matter comes up at the one debate between he and the candidate who is running against him, Bob Siegrist. But, alas, that can only happen if a question concerning this is selected.

I know Bob Siegrist very well, having worked for him during the last election to represent the 36th District. I have also attended a few meetings to discuss the State Budget with him and a few other State Representatives from the area. The Pension Liabilities were discussed before the mailing, and that is why the fully funding caught my eye. Bob Siegrist will never win the Newspeak Prize. He simply can’t speak Newspeak. He examines the Budget, researches the issues his constituents ask about and unfailingly speaks the facts, as much as is humanly possible. I will vote for Bob Siegrist in November because I appreciate knowing the facts and not Newspeak.

Sincerely,

Lynn Herlihy,
Essex.

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Cappella Cantorum Presents Annual Men’s Chorus Concert This Afternoon

cappella-cantorum-for-webCENTERBROOK —  Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus presents its annual concert at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Centerbrook on Sunday, July 17, at 4 p.m.

The music will include “For the Beauty of the Earth,” “Rutter,”  “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Men of Harlech,” “Ride the Chariot,” “Va Pensiero” and “When the Saints Go Marching In,” as well as barbershop favorites.

Tickets for the Centerbrook concert are $20 (age 18 and under are free) and can be purchased at the door or through CappellaCantorum.org.

Contact Barry Asch at 860-388-2871 for more information.

 

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Walk with Essex Land Trust on Johnson Farm This Morning

Explore Johnson Farm, the Essex Land Trust's newest acquisition, on July 9.

Explore Johnson Farm, an Essex Land Trust recent acquisition, on July 9.

ESSEX – Come explore one of the latest Essex Land Trust land acquisitions, a 49-acre jewel of fields and forest in Ivoryton on Saturday, July 9 at 9 a.m.  

The farm belonged to Murwin and Polly Johnson and was acquired by the Essex Land Trust last year. Trails have been created across the fields and through the wooded areas. There are beautiful open sky vistas from various locations. The fields were once home to Border Leicester sheep known for their superior wool. Steward Dana Hill will lead this exploration of the largest open farmland left in Essex.  

The walk will take 1 1/2 hours. It is easy to moderate walking for all ages. Refreshments will be provided. Rain/thunderstorms cancel.

Park in the ELT parking lot on Read Hill Street, off of Comstock Road in Ivoryton. Overflow parking will be available at the Ivoryton Congregational Church, Main Street, Ivoryton. It is a short walk to the Read Hill Street entrance.

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“Mahogany Memories” Boat Show Comes to Essex Today

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The heritage of wooden boats comes to life on the docks of the Connecticut River Museum. Photo by Jody Dole

ESSEX – The Southern New England Chapter (SNEC) of the Antique and Classic Boat Society will present the 32nd annual “Mahogany Memories” boat show on the grounds and docks of the Connecticut River Museum on Saturday, July 9, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Admission is free.

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

SNEC president David McFarlin said, “The SNEC members are always excited to participate in this show at the Connecticut River Museum.  They all work hard at restoring and maintaining these wonderful boats and enjoy showing them to the public.”

According to Christopher Dobbs, executive director of the Connecticut River Museum, “We are pleased to host this incredible regional show that celebrates the heritage of fun on the water.  It is a wonderful event for all ages that builds interest and appreciation for the wooden boat tradition.”

The Connecticut River Museum’s Boatbuilding Workshop will be on view throughout the weekend.  The workshop, geared towards first-time boat builders, allows participants to work with experienced volunteers and go home at the end of the weekend with a 15-foot kayak.  The museum’s team of boat building volunteers, led by Paul Kessinger a local wooden boat builder from Guilford, have been running the workshops for three years now.  Kessinger said, “This is a perfect activity for adults or families. Best yet, they will get years of enjoyment out of their kayaks.”

For the second year in a row, classic cars from the mahogany boat era will be on display.  Many of them with mahogany dashboards, chrome hardware and elegant brightwork complement the boats. In addition, marine supplies, artwork, clothing and boat merchandise will be available for purchase and a raffle will be held at the end of the show.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street on the historic Essex waterfront.  For more information on the Mahogany Memories Antique and Classic Boat Show and other Connecticut River Museum programs and events, go to www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.
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Experience ‘The Magic of Danny Diamond’ at Ivoryton Playhouse This Morning

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IVORYTON — “Danny Diamond is one of Connecticut’s most in-demand kids and family magicians working today!”

The Ivoryton Playhouse is opening its summer – full of fun and educational programs all geared towards children! On Friday, July 8, at 11 a.m.,  head over to the Ivoryton Playhouse to see Danny Diamond, a family-friendly comedy magician and balloon-twister who’s been bringing his unique brand of humor and magical entertainment to kids and families all across Connecticut and New York for over 12 years.

Combining magic, comedy, balloons, music, juggling, and even puppets – Danny’s performances are original, diverse, and a ton of fun! This is not your typical, cookie-cutter “kiddie” magic show.

The Playhouse is proud to present new and exciting live performances featuring some of Connecticut’s most popular, professional artists.  Performances are for children of all ages.  Help your child discover the magic of theater this summer at The Ivoryton Playhouse.

All performances take place on Fridays at 11 a.m.  All tickets $14. For tickets, call 860-767-7318 or purchase them online at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org.
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Buy Tickets Now for Essex Community Fund’s Evening at Ivoryton Playhouse, Sept. 8

Essex Community Fund event in 2015.

Essex Community Fund event in 2015.

ESSEX – Tickets are selling quickly for the Essex Community Fund’s Evening at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Thursday, Sept. 8. Featuring one of the world’s most popular musicals, The Man of La Mancha,  ECF’s Evening at the Playhouse stars Connecticut’s own David Pittsinger.

Inspired by Cervantes’ Don Quixote, considered by many to be “the best literary work ever written,” The Man of La Mancha features the antics of Don Quixote and his faithful sidekick Sancho Panza. Come hear songs like “The Impossible Dream” and “I, Don Quixote” and many others.

Pre-show reception and festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. under the tent with a post-show “Meet the Cast” dessert and coffee. All proceeds go to support ECF’s ongoing mission to enhance the quality of life for the residents of our three villages. For tickets ($75) or to make a donation, contact a board member or visit www.essexcommunityfund.org.

The Essex Community Fund began over 65 years ago with the same goal – helping local non-profits provide much needed services for the residents of our three villages. Its mission is to enhance the quality of life of residents in Essex, Centerbrook and Ivoryton. This is accomplished by identifying community needs, providing financial support, and forging partnerships with local non-profit organizations.

Some recent initiatives include Compassion Counts: Exploring Mental Wellness, Teen Hunger Initiative, and The Bridge Fund, as well as continuing involvement with the Fuel Assistance Program, The Shoreline Soup Kitchen, Essex Park and Recreation, and the Essex Board of Trade programs and events. For more information or to make a donation, please visit www.essexcommunityfund.org.

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Happy Fourth! Celebrate at Essex Harbor 4th of July Boat Parade

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAESSEX – The Annual Essex Harbor 4th of July Boat Parade will be held on Monday, July 4.  All boats are welcome to join the parade.

Boats are encouraged to “Dress Ship” and assemble around Day Marker 25 at 12:45 p.m.  The parade will start at 1 p.m. and proceed clockwise around the harbor twice.

Skippers should monitor VHF Channel 69 for parade instructions.

The parade will be led by the Commodore of the Essex Corinthian Yacht Club, Steve Rodstrom, in his 27-foot Bertram “Osprey.” If you have any questions, contact Steve at commodore@essexcorinthian.org or 207-841-2333.
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Celebrate the Fourth Today at Ivoryton’s Independence Day Parade

CMS New Horizons Band (file photo)

CMS New Horizons Band (file photo)

IVORYTON –  The 11th annual Ivoryton Village Independence Day Parade (formerly The 4th of July Parade) will take place on Saturday, July 2, at 10 a.m. The parade will wind through the village of Ivoryton, ending at the Ivoryton Park. The patriotic ceremony begins in the Park gazebo immediately following the parade. The ceremony features speakers and singers. The New Horizons Band from the Community Music School will play.

Everyone is welcome to march, including children on decorated bikes along with motorized cars and tractors and floats. The parade will line  up vehicles at 9:15, with marching groups gathering at 9:30 at Walnut and Main Streets. Motorized vehicles will form on Cheney Street. If you are interested in joining the parade or would like more information, please contact ealvord@ivoryton.com.

The parade this year will coincide with the Ivoryton Village Farmers Market – food and music in the park. The Ivoryton Tavern and the Blue Hound Cookery will have parade specials. Ivoryton also welcomes  Brickside Pizza, 104 Main St., for take-out pizza and calzones.
In the event of rain, the parade will be cancelled, but the ceremony at the gazebo will be held at 10 a.m.
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State Police Promote Safe Driving Throughout July 4 Weekend; Sobriety Checkpoints, Roving Patrols Planned Locally

AREAWIDE — The Connecticut State Police Public Information Office has issued the following important press release.

As thousands of drivers plan to travel during the upcoming long holiday weekend, Connecticut State Troopers are also preparing to patrol in increased numbers to keep roads and highways safe for all drivers.

Troop F is planning the following roving patrols and checkpoint locations:

06/30/16                         Roving Patrols – Interstate 95 within Troop F patrol area

07/01/16                         Roving Patrols – Rte. 9 and Rte. 66 in town of Middlefield

07/02/16                         Roving Patrols – I-95 exits 56-71

07/03/16                         Roving Patrols – Rte. 9 and Rte. 66 in town of Middlefield

07/03/16                         DUI Sobriety Checkpoint – At Rte. 156 and Ferry Rd. in the town of Old Lyme. This will be in conjunction with the Breath Alcohol Testing Mobile Unit.

07/04/16                         Roving Patrols – I-95 exits 56-71

July 4 is Monday, allowing for extra time for beach outings, cookouts and fireworks. This translates to increased traffic starting as early as Friday, July 1, and continuing through the evening of July 4.  Many will be driving through and around the state of Connecticut for Independence Day events.

State Police will participate in Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) starting at midnight on July 3 and running through midnight on July 5.

Troopers will be strategically placed to reduce speed on the highways and roadways during the holiday period. In addition, State Troopers will operate sobriety checkpoints numerous locations throughout Connecticut. Drivers can expect to experience concentrated enforcement operations at locations where a high number of alcohol-involved crashes and incidents.  (Please see attached list.)

As always, State Police consistently work toward preventing accidents – especially fatal crashes – on Connecticut’s roads and highways. Troopers will utilize laser units, and both marked and unmarked State Police cars to enhance safety and to remove all drunk drivers from Connecticut’s roads.

“We need your help. Obeying the rules of the road is everyone’s responsibility. We ask all drivers to buckle up, adhere to the speed limit, put down cell phones, and please be courteous to other drivers,” said Dora B. Schriro, Commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

Colonel Alaric J. Fox, Commander of the Connecticut State Police, added, State Troopers depend on drivers to follow the law. Please do not drink and drive since that is a deadly combination. If you are on the road and drunk driver, please call 911, as this is a true emergency.”

Planning to consume alcohol to celebrate our nation’s birthday? Then please designate a driver so that this festive, enjoyable summer weekend does not turn into a tragedy. Never drink and drive.

During July 4, 2015, weekend, Connecticut State Police issued the following number of summons:  859 for speeding and 33 for driving under the influence.  State Police investigated 170 motor vehicle crashes, with injury and two fatalities.

Troopers also issued 2,461 tickets for other hazardous moving violations.

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Pettipaug Sailing Academy on “Day One”

Getting the boats in the water at the Pettipaug Yacht Club.

Preparing the boats for entry into the water at the Pettipaug Yacht Club.

ESSEX — Monday, June 27, was the opening day of the sailing classes at the Pettipaug Sailing Academy in Essex. When the sailing classes began, there was no waiting around for talks on dry land. Rather almost immediately the student sailors were ordered to get in their boats, and start sailing around on the Connecticut River.

The weather was perfect for the young, and many inexperienced sailors. There was a steady breeze over the water, but a not too heavy one. Also, the sometimes blazing sun was hidden behind thick clouds. It was perfect sailing weather for the 55 sailing students to take a three-hour class to learn how to sail.

And then, the crews of three to a boat students climb on board,

And then, the crews of three to a boat students climbed on board …

And everything was set and ready to go,

Then everything was set and ready to go …

... for sailing out on the waters of the Connecticut River.

… for sailing out on the waters of the Connecticut River.

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Essex Art Association’s Summer Open Exhibition on Show Through July 23

Golden-Iris-by-C-DunnESSEX — The third exhibition of the Essex Art Association (EAA) 2016 season is an open show whose theme is “Inside Out.” The juror, Jon Sideriadis, is a member of the faculty at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Old Lyme. A science fiction and fantasy illustrator and author, Sideriadis is currently writing and illustrating an original mythology series. $1,700 will be awarded 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 Carol Dunn, an award-winning printmaker, photographer and mixed media artist, specializing in alternative processes for creating artwork. She says, “I enjoy working with many non-traditional mediums. I continue to learn and experiment with new materials and techniques. I also like to combine many techniques into one piece, which often makes it difficult to explain to someone exactly how something was created.”

Dunn continues, “More than anything else in the creative process, I love the interplay of color and texture. I have spent countless hours photographing peeling paint and rusting metal. When I mix inks to begin printmaking, I often get sidetracked by marveling at the pigments on my palette, enjoying how the colors play off each other, wondering what will happen if I mix two unrelated colors into a blend with my brayer.”

She concludes, “Sometimes I think I could just mix colors forever and never begin the actual application of the color to plate or paper. When working with collage, I have difficulty eliminating items, because I find such beauty in the smallest scraps of handmade paper, or an old ledger filled with beautifully drawn numbers, letters, and script.”

Dunn’s techniques include Mixed Media, Photopolymer Etchings, Overprinted Collages, Acrylic Skins, Printing on Handmade Papers, Collagraphs, Prints on Aluminum, Polaroid Emulsion Lifts and Transfers, Linocuts and Monotypes. She notes, “I have a large studio full of natural light, where I enjoy teaching others many of my techniques for art making. I hope you enjoy my work. You can contact me or find out more about my classes, and see more of my work, through my website: www.caroldunnart.com.“

The “Inside Out” exhibition opening reception will be held Friday, July 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. Both exhibits are open at no charge to the public from July 2 to July 23 at the Essex Art Association Gallery 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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Essex Zoning Commission Approves New Restaurant in Centerbrook Section of Town

30 Main Street, Centerbrook

30 Main Street, Centerbrook

ESSEX — The zoning commission Monday approved a special permit for a new restaurant to be located on the first floor of a partially vacant commercial building at 30 Main St. in the Centerbrook section.

The application of ECC Realty and Colt Taylor was unanimously approved after a brief public hearing where several residents spoke in support of the plans. Taylor told the panel he was raised in Essex,  has been involved with restaurants in both New York and California,and wants to return to open a restaurant in his hometown.

The three-story building at 30 Main St. once housed a restaurant for a few years in the late 1980s, but has housed mostly office uses in recent years. The plans call for a 130-seat restaurant and bar.
In approving the permit, the commission specified that use of the second floor would be limited to a small office for the business and storage. Taylor said he hopes to open the restaurant, which would offer “progressive New England comfort food,” before the end of the year.
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Essex Zoning Commission Approves 52-Unit Apartment Complex on Plains Rd.

The Plains Road property where the Iron Chef restaurant has been long empty has been approved for apartments.

The Plains Road property where the Iron Chef restaurant has been vacant for many years has been approved for the Essex Station apartments.

 

ESSEX — The zoning commission Monday approved plans for a three-building 52-unit apartment complex with an affordable housing component at a 3.7-acre parcel on Plains Road that includes the long-vacant former Iron Chef restaurant property.

The special permit for the Essex Station apartments at 21, 27 and 29 Plains Road was approved o a 4-1 vote, with commission Chairman Larry Shipman and members Alvin Wolfgram, Jim Hill and Susan Uihlein  voting to approve the permit and member William Reichenbach opposed. The application from Signature Contracting Group LLC was submitted under state statute 8-30g, a law intended to promote additional affordable housing in Connecticut.

The statute limits the jurisdiction of municipal land use commissions to issues of public health and safety, while requiring that at least 30 percent of the dwelling units in a development be designated affordable housing and reserved for people or families with incomes at or less than 80 percent of the median income for the municipality. At least 16 of the Essex Station units would be designated as moderate income housing with monthly rents expected to be about $1,800.

The plans were presented at a series of public hearings that began in February, and appeared to generate increasing objections from some residents as the review process continued. Many of the objections focused on the proximity of the site to the Valley Railroad tourist excursion line.

In more than 90 minutes of discussion Monday, the panel considered two draft motions prepared by longtime commission counsel Peter Sipples, one to approve the permit with conditions, and another to deny the application. In the end, the motion of approval included several conditions, most of which had been accepted by the applicant during the public hearing process.

The major conditions include a strict prohibition on any expansion or condominium conversion of the units, construction of a six-foot high security fence around the perimeter of the property,  installing sound barriers if needed between the residential units and the railroad, and construction of a walking-bicycle path on Plains Rd. that would extend east to connect with existing sidewalks on Rte. 154. There would also be a requirement for elevators in the buildings, particularly the single three-story building, and a provision in future leases that would note the proximity to other uses, including the tourist railroad and a nearby wood-processing facility. The development site is located in a business and industrial zone.

During the discussion, Shipman noted the apartments would be a better residential use near the railroad than owned condominiums, and suggested the requirements of the affordable housing statute limited the panel’s ability to control some aspects of the project, including density and building height. The sewage disposal system for the three building complex must be approved by the state Department of Public Health.
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Hike the Pond Meadow Preserve with Essex Land Trust, Saturday

Pond Meadow2

IVORYTON – Since Pond Meadow was acquired in 2014, much has been accomplished to transform this unique Land Trust destination in Ivoryton. The property has three distinguishing aspects: an abundance of old trees; a swamp traversed by a 450-foot elevated walkway/bog-walk; and, when the trees are leafed out, a double canopy not unlike a rain forest. The property comprises 18 acres and includes a bridge over a stream that flows into the Falls River, built by Eagle Scout Dan Ryan and his Boy Scout Troop 12.

The Essex Land Trust will lead a Pond Meadow hike on Saturday, June 25, beginning at 9 a.m. at Comstock Park in Ivoryton. Hikers should wear appropriate footwear for wet soil conditions. Access and parking are at the end of Park Road, Ivoryton, across from Comstock Park. Bad weather cancels.

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Cello Recital by Eva Ribchinsky at Essex Library

Eva Ribchinsky

Eva Ribchinsky

ESSEX – A cello recital by local resident Eva Ribchinsky will be held on Saturday, June 25, at 4 p.m. at Essex Library.

Ribchinsky has just graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music and is headed to Carnegie Mellon University this fall to pursue a master’s degree in music. She will play works by Bocherini, J.S. Bach and Gaspar Cassado.

Admission to this program is free and open to the public. Please call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560 to register or for more information. The library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.

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Author Richard Friswell Discusses His Book of Essays at Essex Library, Saturday

friswellESSEX – Author and cultural historian Richard Friswell is on the faculty of Wesleyan University’s Lifelong Learning Institute. He is also the editor and publisher of ARTES, an international fine arts, architecture and design e-magazine.

He is an elected member of the Association Internationale des Critiques d’Art (one of only 450 individuals in the United States), and an award-winning writer, with two national medals from Folio:Magazine for his editorial contributions in the field of art journalism. He writes and lectures on topics related to modernism.

He will speak at the Essex Library about his book of autobiographical essays, “Balancing Act,” on Saturday, June 25 at 2:30 p.m. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing.

Admission to this program is free and open to the public. Please call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560 to register or for more information. The library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.

 

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Fifth Annual ‘Run for Chris’ 5K Takes Place in Essex: Registration Open Through Race Day

Run for Chris 5K (VNN file photo)

Run for Chris 5K (VNN file photo)

ESSEX — The 5th Annual ‘Run for Chris’ 5K will be held Saturday, June 25, at Essex Town Hall. It is both a memorial and charitable event, the primary purpose of which is to raise money for educational endeavors in the schools of the Lower Valley of Middlesex County.

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

Thus, to honor his memory and perpetuate his ideals, the Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund has been established at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County. The proceeds from the ‘Run for Chris’ go directly to these causes.

To preregister for the race, go to aratrace.com, and click on ‘Run For Chris.’ (Race day registration starts at 7 a.m.) Overall and age-group awards will be given, and all participants will receive a free, tech t-shirt. Fun Run for Kids 6 and under starts at 8:15 a.m. along with the CB4 Mile Run for ages 7-14. The 5K and 2 mile walk start at 8:45 a.m. The run through beautiful Essex is USATF Certified. There will be great raffle items and a face painter to add to the fun.

Registration link: http://www.chrisbel4mf.com/run-for-chris-5k.html

 

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Valley Regional Celebrates Class of 2016 With Memories, Music and Merriment

In the distance on the bleachers, the Valley Regional High School Class of 2016. All photos by Laura Matesky of lauramateskyphotography.com

In the distance, the Valley Regional High School Class of 2016 stands on the bleachers. All photos by Laura Matesky of lauramateskyphotography.com

A clear blue sky accompanied by 75° weather and a gentle breeze created the perfect ambience for the Valley Regional High School’s (VRHS) 151 students of the Class of 2016 to graduate this past Wednesday, June 15.

The girls of the Class of 2016 filed into the stadium.

The girls of the Class of 2016 file into the stadium.

Teacher Kevin Woods (wearing sunglasses) filed in with the faculty.

Teacher and boy’s varsity basketball coach Kevin Woods (wearing sunglasses) files in with the faculty.

Valley Regional Principal Michael Barile hugs this year's VRHS Hall of Fame inductee.

Valley Regional Principal Michael Barile hugs this year’s VRHS Hall of Fame inductee.

Valedictorian Christina Mitchel.

Valedictorian Christina Mitchel (above) and Salutatorian Acacia Bowden (below delivered heartfelt and inspirational speeches that led the graduates to reflect on the past, the present, and the future.

Honor Essayist Mary Proteau (below) completed the triumvirate with an equally compelling speech.

Honor Essayist Mary Proteau.

 

While the students gave their speeches, the dignitaries listened attentively.

Principal ?? beamed as he listened to the speeches.

Michael Barile, VRHS Pricipal, smiles broadly as he listens to the speeches.

Several students in the graduating class lightened the mood with two musical numbers.
The bright Scottish tune, “Loch Lomond” was sung by Valley’s senior ensemble choir, including sopranos Angelina Annino, Miranda Holland, Carly Zuppe, Emma Colby, Eme Carlson, Avery Carlson, and Erica Vaccaro; altos Cassidy French, Leslie Clapp, Jordan Adams­Sack, Joy Molyneux, Amanda Hull, Caitlin Glance, and Rachel Breault; tenor Dilan Rojas; and basses John Cappezzone, Brooks Robinson, Riley Sullivan, and Will Elliot. This song showcased seniors Dilan Rojas, Emma Colby, Carly Zuppe, and Eme Carlson.

Valley Regional's Senior Ensemble sang 'Loch Lomond' and "I lived' during the event.

Valley Regional’s Senior Ensemble sang ‘Loch Lomond’ and “I lived’ during the event.

The second musical song, a cover of “I Lived”, by One Republic, was performed by singers Dilan Rojas, Carly Zuppe, and John Cappezzone, supported by Tyler Atkinson on the guitar and Brooks Robinson on drums.

Senior Class Treasurer Julia Hammond and Secretary Katie Amara presented the Class Gift.

Senior Class Treasurer Julia Hammond and Secretary Katie Amara presented the Class gift of benches for the art hallway during the ceremony as well.

The presentation of diplomas began ...

The presentation of diplomas began …

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… and continued … with Region 4 Superintendent Dr. Ruth Levy shaking each graduate’s hand …

... and ended!

… and ended!

 

Hat_toss

The evening culminated when the class tossed their caps high into the air, symbolizing their level of energy and high ambition for the next chapter of their lives.

When the ceremony was complete, all that remained were fond memories ... and a handful of hats on the ground.

When the ceremony was complete, all that remained were fond memories … and a handful of hats scattered on the ground.

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Ann Carl Receives “Making A Difference” Award from Essex Congregational Church

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The First Congregational Church in Essex presented its “Making A Difference” Award to Valley Regional High School graduated senior Ann E. Carl of Chester (front row center) at a recent ceremony at the church. Family and members of the church’s Justice and Witness Committee who gathered for the award announcement are: (front row L-R) committee member Delcie McGrath of Essex, parents Elizabeth Carl and Joseph Carl of Chester; committee member Mary-Lawrence Bickford of Essex; (back L-R) church pastor Rev. Ken Peterkin, and committee members Emily Williams of Essex, Sharyn Nelson of Ivoryton and Mike Hennessy of East Lyme.

ESSEX – The First Congregational Church of Essex, UCC has presented its “Making A Difference” Award to Ann E. Carl, a graduated senior from Valley Regional High School.

Sponsored by the Justice and Witness Committee of the church, the $1,000 “Making A Difference” award is given to a senior at Valley Regional High School whose actions continue to challenge those ideas and practices that result in the exclusion of others. These can be small actions: an effort to connect groups or individuals with different ideas and different experiences, acts of inclusiveness, a community project or school activity that unites people in a positive cause or attempts to seek out individuals needing support.

The daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Carl of Chester, award recipient Annie is taking a “Gap Year” to travel and work in Ecuador, the Western United States and South Africa. The “Making A Difference” Award will go towards her fundraising for those efforts.

During her years at VRHS, Annie was a member of the National Honor Society and was active in soccer, track, the Interact Club and the Steering Committee. She has helped to raise funds for “Sharing To Learn,” a non-profit to help the village of Makuleke, South Africa; “CT Brain Freeze,” a polar plunge held by the National Brain Tumor Society; and a soccer game to promote awareness of pediatric cancer.

Other projects that Annie was involved in during her student career include “Tap Is Back Campaign/Chester Cares Initiative” to promote reusable water bottles; “Simply Smiles” Mission Trip to South Dakota to work on the Cheyenne Sioux Reservation; ICVR Radio, promoting accomplishments of local high school students; and a Hiking Sunday to encourage teens to exercise outdoors.

 

 

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Essex Rotary Recognizes Scholarship Recipients at Annual Awards Dinner

Essex Rotary Scholarship winners (left to right) Claire Halloran, Annie Brown, Kaleigh Caulfield, Scott Nelson, Tina Mitchell, Emily LeBlanc and Morgan Hines. Photo by Dick Levene)

Essex Rotary Scholarship winners (left to right) Claire Halloran, Annie Brown, Kaleigh Caulfield, Rotarian Scott Nelson, Tina Mitchell, Emily LeBlanc and Morgan Hines. Photo by Dick Levene

ESSEX – Each year Rotarians gather at the Essex Yacht Club under the leadership of current club President Jordan Welles and Essex Rotary Scholarship Foundation Chairman Scott Nelson to meet and honor our scholars both past and present.  The Rotary Club of Essex has been supporting the college dreams of Essex residents for the past 49 years, having awarded the first scholarship back in 1966.  The club has a legacy that began with stellar Rotarians including Dr. Donald Buebendorf, Doug Jones, Chet Kitchings and Dr. Peter Pool.  That legacy continues under the leadership of a second generation of Rotarians including Don’s son Jeff Buebendorf.  Two of the 2016 recipients share that legacy.

Rotarian Dr. Bill McCann’s granddaughter Annie Brown enters the University of Vermont this fall where she plans to major in education and environmental studies.  Annie is the recipient of the 2016 Dr. Donald M. Buebendorf Scholarship.  Annie plans to spend her summer working with children at the Valley Shore YMCA and at Bushy Hill Nature Center where she hopes to help children connect with each other and with nature.

Tina Mitchell has been awarded a new and unique scholarship this year honoring the club’s 60th anniversary.  Tina will study Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Cornell following a gap year abroad in Hungary as part of the Rotary International Youth Exchange Program.  Tina’s grandfather was an active Rotarian and inventor of the famed shad bake coffee brewer lovingly known as the rocket.

The third 2016 recipient is Kaleigh Caulfield.  Kaleigh is entering the pre-teaching program at UConn Avery Point and eventually plans to work in the field of special education.  This scholarship is a collaborative partnership between the Rotary Club of Essex and the trustees of the Riverview Cemetery.  Board members Peter Decker, Dick Mather and Hank McInerney were on hand for the presentation.

Also in attendance were past recipients from 2013-15.  Emily Le Grand is a finance major at the University of Maryland.  Emily has a strong interest in the non-profit sector and has interned at United Way as well as volunteered with a hunger and homeless project in the DC area this past semester.  Harrison Taylor continues his studies at Connecticut College and has discovered a passion for working with immigrants in the New London area providing education and support navigating the immigration process.  Claire Halloran finished her freshman year at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU studying film and television production.  Claire’s early projects have already garnered awards and her studies confirm her dedication to this industry and a newfound interest in post-production sound.  Morgan Hines just finished a semester in Prague and now returns to Georgetown for her final year majoring in history and journalism.  Morgan is interning with the Hartford Courant this summer and starts the process of applying to graduate schools in the fall.

Mason King was unable to attend, but continues his studies at Union College.  Allyson Clark was also unable to attend but sent a written update, which Scott Nelson shared with the audience.  Allyson has been working with NFP programs in Brazil including BRAYCE and has also embarked on an entrepreneurial venture to educate tourists on the negative impact that tourism has on poverty-stricken areas such as Rio.  Allyson made the critical decision to transfer to Rhine-Waal University in Germany this past year and has successfully integrated her studies and her tourism project into this new culture.  She is enjoying the diversity and the challenges of cultural immersion and has gained a unique understanding of international migration.

For more information about the Rotary Club of Essex, please visit  www.rotaryclubofessex.com.
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Letter to the Editor from New Essex Library Friends President

The Friends of Essex Library new Board for 2016 (L-R): Genie Devine, Secretary; Linda Levene, Past President; Jo Kelly, President; Judy Taylor, Catharine Wagner, Susan Hosack (not shown), Members at Large; Pat Mather, Treasurer; Judy Fish, Ivoryton Library Liaison; Peggy Tuttle, Book Sales Coordinator.

The Friends of Essex Library new Board for 2016 (L-R): Genie Devine, Secretary; Linda Levene, Past President; Jo Kelly, President; Judy Taylor, Catharine Wagner, Susan Hosack (not shown), Members at Large; Pat Mather, Treasurer; Judy Fish, Ivoryton Library Liaison; Peggy Tuttle, Book Sales Coordinator.

To the Editor:

I am very pleased to be on the Board of the Friends of the Essex Library as their new President.  I look forward to working with my new Board, the Essex Library Association board, and the Essex community.

Libraries across the country are going through a transformation.  The library many of you, as well as myself, grew up with no longer exists.  Essex Library is becoming an ever expanding multimedia community resource hub; striving to meet the needs and requirements of a changing community.

My goals are to aid and support Essex Library Association in its efforts to meet the challenges of a changing community.  And, with your community involvement in our library system, we will accomplish and surpass these goals.

Thank you for your continued support and involvement.

Sincerely,

Jo Kelly
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Letter to the Editor: Thanks for Essex Library Garden Tour

To the Editor:

“Spectacular gardens!”  “Wonderful day!” were some of the comments heard throughout Essex Village as hundreds of visitors participated in the first Friends of the Essex Library Garden Tour held Saturday June 4. To those who came to walk the gardens and enjoy the beauty of Essex Village, we say, “Thank you!”

To make such an event possible took the involvement of many people, including those who planned the event, the hostesses at each garden, Master Gardeners, plein air painters, ticket takers and traffic managers.  Your help made the event run smoothly and for this we extend heartfelt thanks.  We especially thank Rhode VanGessel for her patience and tireless effort in making the publicity both eye-catching and beautiful.

Lastly, and most importantly, we wish to recognize the garden owners who worked tirelessly creating their works of art.  Those who attended saw the enormous effort that went into preparing for the event and it was gratifying to see your efforts appreciated by so many people.   All the Friends of the Essex Library say, “Thank You.”

Linda Levene and Daphne Nielsen, co-chairman

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Essex Garden Club Donates $500 to The Farm at John Winthrop

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Pictured are the advisors, Mark Gostkeiwicz and John Woitovich, along with Elizabeth Bartlett from Essex Garden Club.

The Essex Garden Club recently donated $500 to the Farm at John Winthrop School.   Their after-school program  has grown fruits and vegetables to support classroom learning such as cooking and propagation. The produce is also made available to the Shoreline Soup Kitchens.

 

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Broken Arrow Nursery Manager Presents “Spectacular Native Plants” at Essex Library

Andy Brand

ESSEX — The forests, fields and wetlands of the Northeast are filled with an amazing array of beautiful plants that are frequently overlooked when we design our landscapes. On Tuesday, June 14, at 7 p.m. at the Essex Library, Andy Brand will take attendees on a journey through the year highlighting the many exceptional plants that grow right in our own backyards. Both herbaceous and woody plants will be discussed along with their cultivars.

An employee of Broken Arrow Nursery for over two decades, Brand now manages the nursery. He received his BS and MS from the University of Connecticut in Horticulture and Plant Tissue Culture. He was the past president of the American Rhododendron Society, past president of the Connecticut Butterfly Association, and past President of Connecticut Nursery and Landscape Association.

This program is free and open to the public. Call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560 to register or for more information. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Ave. in Essex.

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Kayak Trip and Concert Kick Off Summer in Essex

Bring your kayak or canoe to Main Street Park for an afternoon in Middle and South Coves.

Bring your kayak or canoe to Main Street Park for an afternoon in Middle Cove.

ESSEX — The Essex Land Trust is hosting a combined Kayak/Canoe Trip and summer Concert/Picnic to be held at Essex’s Main Street Park on Sunday afternoon, June 12.

Canoers/kayakers should meet at 2:30 p.m. for a planned departure by 3 p.m. Explore Essex’s beautiful Middle and South Coves with guided commentary by naturalist Phil Miller. Kayak/canoe participants should arrive in time to register and sign waivers.  A safety boat will accompany.

Gather at 5:30 p.m. for a BYO picnic and concert by the Essex Corinthian Jazz Band. Bring your own chairs or picnic blankets.

The event is free. All are welcome. Bad weather cancels. Parking is available on Main Street and behind the Essex Post Office.

Essex Corinthian Jazz Band will play in Main Street Park on June 12. Bring your own picnic.

Essex Corinthian Jazz Band will play in Main Street Park on June 12. Bring your own picnic.

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“Stuff-the-Ambulance” in Shoreline Soup Kitchens Food Drive, June 11

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AREAWIDE – On Saturday, June 11 local ambulance companies across the shoreline are hosting an areawide food drive to collect non-perishable food for local residents in need. Between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., participating ambulance companies will be at:

Adams Hometown Market in Deep River (Deep River and Chester Ambulance)

Colonial Market in Essex (Essex Ambulance)

Roberts Food Center in Madison (Madison Ambulance)

Stop & Shop in Clinton (Clinton Ambulance)

The donations will go to local food pantries run by the Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP). In the summer there are typically fewer food drives, so this food will go a long way to help restock the pantries and ensure that everyone in our communities will have a place at the table.

“We are so grateful to all the town ambulance companies who are generously volunteering their time,” said Patty Dowling, Executive Director of SSKP. “Every day they provide life-saving medical care – and now they are giving of themselves to help fill our pantry shelves through the summer months. Many families that are struggling will have healthy food to eat because of their efforts, and our neighbors in need will know that they are part of a community that really cares.”

“It’s just another way we can work together to help the people in need,” said Steve Olsen with the Essex Ambulance Association.

For more information call (860) 388-1988 or visit www.shorelinesoupkitchens.org.

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Thanks for Successful Essex Shad Bake at River Museum

(L to R) Stephen Brinkmann, Lisa LaMonte from Guilford Savings Bank, Christopher Dobbs, and Joseph Shea watch shad roasting around the bonfire. Shad are held onto the planks with strips of salt pork, adding to their smoky flavor.

(L to R) Stephen Brinkmann, Lisa LaMonte from Guilford Savings Bank, Christopher Dobbs, and Joseph Shea watch shad roasting around the bonfire. Shad are held onto the planks with strips of salt pork, adding to their smoky flavor.

ESSEX – On June 4, the Rotary Club of Essex held its annual Essex Shad Bake at the Connecticut River Museum. For 59 years running, the Rotarians have kept this traditional culinary event alive and well, and the success of this year’s bake is a testament to their dedication. Hundreds of visitors came to the museum on a beautiful Saturday to eat roasted shad and learn about the history of this once crucial fishery through talks, displays, and demonstrations.

The Rotary Club of Essex and the Connecticut River Museum would like to thank the lead sponsors for the Shad Bake – AJ Shea Construction Co., Gowrie Group, and Guilford Savings Bank – as well as all the other sponsors, volunteers, and organizations who made the afternoon such a success.
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Celebrate Haiti’s New Library at Party Tonight

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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 5:30 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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Essex Economic Development Commission Hosts Public Forum This Evening

ESSEX — The Economic Development Commission of Essex invites the public to attend their next Economic Development Forum on Wednesday, June 8, at 7 p. m. in the Essex Town Hall Auditorium.

Commission members are actively engaged in finding better ways of communicating with residents and businesses and would like to hear what they can do to help maintain, build, and grow our strong business community in Essex.

All are welcome.

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‘Theater Along the River’ Presents ‘Taming of the Shrew,’ Aug. 5

ESSEX – On Friday, Aug. 5, the Connecticut River Museum’s Theater Along the River continues it summer season with the Flock Theatre production of William Shakespeare’s popular comedy, The Taming of the Shrew.  This year’s summertime series is once again made possible through the generous support of the Essex Wellness Center.

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

The Connecticut River Museum’s executive director, Christopher Dobbs, said, “Flock Theatre is a master of Shakespeare.  We feel fortunate to offer this level of entertainment at the museum and hope that the audience enjoys the production and its backdrop – the river.”  Dobbs was quick to note that the museum is only able to host this event and keep the ticket prices reasonable for all ages to enjoy through the “generosity of lead sponsor, the Essex Wellness Center.” Essex Wellness Center offers a range of holistic-minded health services, including Fitness on the Water, a beautiful, private workout studio.

The museum’s grounds will open at 6 p.m. for picnickers to lay out blankets and chairs.  Museum staff encourage the audience to make the picnic part of the experience.  In fact, there will be a special prize awarded to the “best” picnic arrangement.

Tickets are $18 for the general public and $10 for children (12 and under) and $12 for Connecticut River Museum members.  A cash bar serving beer and wine will be available for theatergoers.  No carry-in alcohol is permitted.  Tickets may be bought at www.ctrivermuseum.org or at the door starting at 6 p.m. the night of the performance. Curtain opens at 7 p.m., with a raindate of June 19.

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

For more information on the programs, please contact the Connecticut River Museum at 860-767-8269 or visit the website, ctrivermuseum.org.  The museum is located at 67 Main St., Essex. 

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‘Thursdays on the Dock’ Continues with ‘Good Night Moon Shine’ at CT River Museum, Aug. 4

'Goodnight Moonshine' will give the Thursdays on the Dock concert, Aug. 4

‘Good Night Moonshine’ will give the Thursdays on the Dock concert, Aug. 4

ESSEX – Since 2010, Thursdays on the Dock have become the unofficial start to the summer weekend.  This year, thanks to lead sponsorship from the Essex Wellness Center, the free concert series that features a different band each night and the panoramic views of the Connecticut River is back and bigger than ever.

‘Thursdays on the Dock’ take place every Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., July 7 through Aug. 25, on the museum’s historic waterfront.  Phyllis Stillman, Connecticut River Museum Development Manager, said, “We are fortunate to have received sponsorship from Essex Wellness Center and Connecticut River Dock & Dredge, which is allowing us to bring in a broad range of musical acts that will appeal to a diverse audience.”

Museum Director Christopher Dobbs noted that patrons will hear the sounds of “Dixieland jazz, classic rock, folk, blues and more during the series.”  A new feature this year is the partnership with iCRV Radio.”

Heidi Kunzli, owner of the Essex Wellness Center and leading sponsor, said that she has always enjoyed coming down to the museum for these events, “There’s nothing quite like a relaxing evening by the harbor taking in the music and the view.”

Schedule of performers:

  • Aug. 4 – Good Night Moonshine
  • Aug. 11 – Crazy Celts
  • Aug. 18 – Geoff Kaufman
  • Aug. 25 – Small Pond All Stars

In addition to the lively music, a cash bar is available.  For the second year, Porky Pete’s BBQ will be serving food and the Essex Wellness Center will offer complimentary massages.  The museum’s main floor galleries and gift shop will also be open for a bit of waterfront and local history.

For more information, call 860-767-8269. The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street and is a membership-supported educational organization. Membership is open to all. More information can be found at www.ctrivermuseum.org

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Still Irritated by Those Gypsy Moth Caterpillars? Advice from Essex Tree Warden

Gypsy moth caterpillars - photo by Peter Trenchard, CAES

Gypsy moth caterpillars – photo by Peter Trenchard, CAES

AREAWIDE – The potential for gypsy moth outbreak exists every year in our area.  For this reason, Essex Tree Warden Augie Pampel sent in this release, encouraging Essex residents to keep a vigil for the gypsy moth caterpillar, which can defoliate many trees, thus impacting the trees’ ability to thrive. But Valley News Now wants to spread this warning to the entire area, as the gypsy moth is in all our towns.

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 (click here).  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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Courcy Assumes Leadership of Pettipaug Sailing Academy from the Late Paul Risseeuw

Ann Courcy, Director, Pettipaug Sailing Academy, in front of club house.

Ann Courcy, Director, Pettipaug Sailing Academy, in front of club house.

Ann Courcy, the new Director of the Pettipaug Sailing Academy, has now officially taken the place of the long serving Paul Risseeuw, who passed away last fall. In taking the helm of the Pettipaug Sailing Academy, Courcy will be in full charge of the club’s 2016 sailing program for young sailors.

As is the custom, the Pettipaug Sailing Academy this summer will have two sessions. The first session will run from June 27 to July 15, and the second from July 25 to Aug. 12. Each session will also have morning and afternoon programs for differing age groups.

In assuming the leadership of the Pettipaug Sailing Academy, Courcy emphasized that she could not do the job without the help of the half dozen sailing instructors, who will assist her. Courcy also promised that she was, “going to build a team that would keep in place the sailing instruction practices, as when Paul was in charge.”

Courcy also pointed out that, “Learning to sail can have a positive impact on the lives of young sailors.” Furthermore, she said that it is her intention to know the names of each of the young sailors, who are attending this year’s sessions at the Academy.

As for the boats that will be used this year at the Pettipaug Sailing Academy, they will include a new 12 foot Bauer sloop, as well as traditional 420s, Blue Jays, Optis and windsurfers. Added this year as well will be Opti rowboats.

STEM Education Series to Be Taught

Courcy also said that students at the Academy will receive guidance from the   U.S. Science Technology and Engineering Math materials, which she said were, “very much in line with those of Paul’s in the blending of instructors with the playing by the kids.”

Importantly, Courcy also noted that even in this modern world of communication, Academy students cannot take their “I phones” during instruction periods, while sailing on the waters off the Pettipaug Yacht Club. (This may cause withdrawal systems for some of the Academy students.)

A special event at this year’s Sailing Academy season will be the, “Paul Risseeuw Memorial Race.” Also, there will be movie nights for sailors and their families during the Sailing Academy season at the clubhouse. Then, finally when the sailing season ends for the young sailors, there will be a final grand picnic on a downriver island in the Connecticut River for all of the Pettipaug Sailing Academy student sailors to attend.

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“The 39 Steps,” Zany Spoof of Hitchcock Movies, at Ivoryton Playhouse Through June 19

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Dan Fenaughty and Larissa Klinger. Photo by Ivoryton Playhouse

IVORYTON – Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have “The 39 Steps,” a fast-paced whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theater! This two-time Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning treat is packed with nonstop laughs, over 150 zany characters (played by a ridiculously talented cast of four), an on-stage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers and some good old-fashioned romance!

“The 39 Steps” is set in England, just before the war. A young man bored with life meets a woman with a mysterious accent who says she’s a spy and needs to take refuge in his apartment. Murder and mayhem soon follow as our hero is chased across the wild and wooly British countryside, meeting a host of ridiculous characters and climaxing in a death-defying finale! A riotous blend of virtuoso performances and wildly inventive stagecraft, “The 39 Steps” amounts to an unforgettable evening of pure pleasure!

The first version of the play was written by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon for a cast of four actors and funded by a £1,000 Yorkshire Arts Grant. It premiered in 1995 at the Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond, North Yorkshire, before embarking on a tour of village halls across the north of England. In 2005, Patrick Barlow rewrote the script, keeping the scenes, staging and small-scale feel, and in June 2005 this re-adaption premiered at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. In 2006, it opened in the West End and in 2008 it premiered on Broadway to rave reviews. The New York Times proclaimed, “Theatre at its finest!… Absurdly enjoyable! This gleefully theatrical riff on Hitchcock’s film is fast and frothy, performed by a cast of four that seems like a cast of thousands.”

This production introduces Ivoryton audiences to the husband and wife team of Dan Fenaughty and Larissa Klinger, who have both performed these roles before in the national tour. The clowns are played by Ivoryton favorite, David Edwards, and Jonathan Brody, making his Ivoryton debut. All four actors are members of Actors Equity. The play is directed by Erik Bloomquist, a two-time Emmy-nominated writer/director/producer and former Top 200 Director on Project Greenlight. Erik is currently in post-production on the television adaptation of “The Cobblestone Corridor,” a seriocomic mystery series based on his internationally acclaimed short film of the same name. The set design is by Dan Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Cully Long.

“The 39 Steps” opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on June 1 and runs through June 19. 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

Ticket prices go up on June 1 to $50 for adults and $45 for seniors, so purchase tickets now for all the summer shows for the best prices. (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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Tri-Town Parades Cancelled Because of Forecasted Rain

flags-clip-art-RTdKR6AT9The towns of Chester, Deep River and Essex have cancelled their Memorial Day parades because of the rain in the forecast.

According to the Town of Chester Facebook page, “Due to the impending rain tomorrow- the Memorial Day parade to the Chester Meeting House is cancelled. We WILL be meeting as planned in the [St. Joseph] church parking lot and walking to the War Memorial for a brief ceremony honoring our fallen veterans. Please join us – it will not be the first time Memorial Day will be honored with a sea of umbrellas!”

The Town of Deep River reported via Facebook, “The Memorial Day Parade and ceremonies planned in Deep River for Monday starting at 9:00 am have been cancelled due to impending bad weather. Please remember those who fought for our freedom with your families and friends and have a safe and happy Memorial Day.”

We could not find a posting of the Town of Essex page, but from the Facebook page of Mary Ellen Barnes, the Town of Essex’s Park and Recreation Director, “I just received word that the Memorial Day Parade for the Town of Essex has been cancelled due to anticipated rain. There will be a ceremony at Essex Town Hall at 930am. Please call the Veterans Hall in Centerbrook for more information. +1 (860) 767-8892. Please Share!”

 

 

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Women’s Sailing Group at Pettipaug Yacht Club Begins Sailing Season June 14

The launching pier for the sailboats of the Women’s Sailing Group

The launching pier for the sailboats of the Women’s Sailing Group

The Women’s Sailing Group of the Pettipaug Yacht Club will begin its sailing season on Tuesday, June 14, between 5:30 and 6 p.m. at the club house on the Connecticut River in Essex. Since there will be actual sailing races in the waters off the club house at this time, those participating should bring with them: a PDF floating vest, a bottle of drinking water, high quality boat shoes and a dish of good food that can be to be shared with others.

It should be noted as well that women of all ages and all degrees of sailing skills are welcome to participate in the sailing races of the Women’s Sailing Group of the Pettipaug Yacht Club.

This sign welcomes Pettipaug Yacht Club members and visitors to the site of Woman’s Sailing Group.

This sign welcomes members and visitors to the Pettipaug Yacht Club.

To participate in the Women’s Sailing Group races, it is necessary to be a member of the Pettipaug Yacht Club. The club’s Membership Chairperson, Laura Nunno, will be on hand on June 14 to sign up new club members.

Also, non-members of the club can participate in the races on a one time basis, provided they sign a waiver to the effect that the club will not be responsible for any injuries that they might incur at the club’s races.

There is a $25 fee for participating in the races of the Women’s Sailing Group. Men are not allowed to participate except as spectators.

Further questions about the Women’s Sailing Group races can be sent by e-mail to probinson02@snet.net or by calling 860-526-2775.

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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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Letter to the Editor: Elect Siegrist in 36th District to Help Solve State’s Budget Woes

To the Editor:

On July 17, 2015 ValleyNewsNow.com published a 938 word Op-Ed titled “We Have a State Budget” authored by State Representative Philip Miller.   This opinion piece heaped endless self-praise on the virtues of the fiscal year 2015-16 budget, rationalized the supposed benefits of this budget, and admonished us for questioning  the wisdom underlying this fine piece of legislation.  The budget was first of all, “balanced” and secondly, would act as the foundation for future economic growth in both the 36th District and the State of Connecticut.  Bravo!

What a difference ten months make!  Fast forward to May 2016, the current year’s budget deficit ballooned to more than $250 million; the 2016-17 budget was reduced $930 million dollars because of overspending and unrealistic revenue projections.  Did not Representative Miller tell us, with great fanfare, the State’s budget was balanced and our long term needs addressed?  Rest assured he said, there was no need to worry, the record tax increases would solve our economic and budgetary problems.  Anyone stating otherwise was just “posturing”.

The current year’s deficit remains in place and the cuts in the 2016-17 budget did irreparable damage to individuals through the loss of their jobs, curtailed services to those most in need, and threw municipal budgets into turmoil.  Representative Miller supports budgets reliant on revenue increases based on people smoking, drinking, and gambling at ever increasing levels while further reducing peoples’ eligibility for local property tax credits.

How did Representative Miller get it so wrong again?

It is time we elected an individual, Bob Siegrist, to Hartford who will vote for the interests of our district and not simply follow the marching orders of the Governor and House Democratic Leadership.  Bob is an independent voice who will vigorously represent our interests in the 36th House District of Essex, Haddam, Deep River and Chester.  He has the courage to address the systemic problems that plague our State.

This November, join the movement to bring fresh voices to Hartford and elect Bob Siegrist as our State Representative for the 36th District.

Sincerely,

Vincent A. Pacileo, III
Ivoryton.

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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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Letter to the Editor: Thanks and Appreciation for May Market

To the Editor:

On Saturday, May 7, the Essex Garden Club held its 64th May Market.  As Co-Chairs of  May Market, we would like to thank all of  the volunteers, town workers,  residents, and especially the shoppers who supported May Market.  The proceeds of the annual May Market support the villages of Centerbrook, Essex and Ivoryton with programs for youth, scholarships for education and  campers,   town park maintenance and town beautification during various times of the year.

Thank you for your support.

Barbara  Hall  & Rosemary Willis
Co-Chairs of May Market

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Community Music School Opens Satellite Location in East Lyme

ESSEX – Community Music School (CMS) has expanded their programming to a satellite location in East Lyme, beginning with their summer session on June 27, 2016.  The new site will offer private lessons in a variety of instruments for students of all ages, as well as several beginner group classes, chamber music ensembles, music therapy, and the popular Kindermusic program for babies and toddlers.  The satellite is located in a beautiful new building with easy access and ample parking at 179 Flanders Road in East Lyme.

With strong public school music programming in the area, but very little in the way of private instruction or instrumental ensembles, CMS will be a much needed addition to the local arts community.  With need-based financial aid available, as well as music therapy services administered by a certified clinician, CMS will provide accessible music education for local residents.

“We are thrilled to launch our satellite location in East Lyme this summer,” says Executive Director Abigail Nickell.  “The board and faculty see this as a great opportunity to serve a new community with our well-established music programming.”  Community Music School’s eight-week summer session runs from June 27 through August 19, followed by the fall session beginning on September 7.  To register for classes, visit www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

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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Pratt House Museum in Essex Offers Free Tours Friday Thru Sunday Until Sept. 25

The Pratt House Museum in Essex.

The Pratt House Museum in Essex.

ESSEX — The Essex Historical Society is offering free tours of the Pratt House Museum at 19 West Ave. in Essex between 1 and 4 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 25, 2016.

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

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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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