July 23, 2017

Essex Democrats Endorse Candidates For Municipal Elections

Bipartisan Slate Of Proven Leaders Announced

Incumbent Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman and Selectman Stacia Rice-Libby have been endorsed again for those positions in the November 2017 election by the Essex DTC (File photo by Jerome Wilson)

ESSEX — On Wednesday, July 19, the Essex Democratic Town Committee (EDTC) endorsed 10 candidates for the November municipal elections.  The endorsed candidates included incumbents seeking reelection, new candidates and members of both major politic parties.

“Democrats in Essex endorsed the best candidates to serve our town irrespective of their political party.  What is important is that the candidates are proven leaders in our community and will work to retain the quality of life we all enjoy,” stated Brian Cournoyer, Chairman of the EDTC.

He continued, “By cross-endorsing candidates from the opposing party, the EDTC has rejected the vitriol and damaging rhetoric being played out on the national level,” 

Endorsed Candidates include:

First Selectman: Norm Needleman (D)

Selectwoman:  Stacia Rice-Libby (D)

Town Treasurer:  Jim Francis (D)

Tax Collector: Megan Haskins (D)

Town Clerk: Joel Marzi (R)

Essex Board Of Education: Loretta McCluskey (D)

Region 4 Board of Education: Kate Sandmann (D)

Board of Finance: Keith Crehan (R)

Board of Finance: Ethan Goller (D)

Board of Assessment Appeals: Mark Bombaci (D)

“We believe the endorsed slate of candidates brings the proven experience, knowledge, passion and dedication to best serve the town of Essex and look forward to a spirited and respectful campaign,” said Cournoyer.

Municipal elections will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 7.  Contact Brian Cournoyer at brian_cournoyer@hotmail.com or 781-483-2021 to learn how to become involved in the campaign.

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Senators Formica, Somers and Linares Applaud Governor’s Signing Tribal Casino Expansion Bill

Senator Paul Formica (left) and Art Linares (right). File photo

AREAWIDE — State Senators Paul Formica (R-East Lyme), Heather Somers (R-Groton) and Art Linares (R-Westbrook) applauded the Governor’s ceremonial signing of legislation that will allow for the expansion of southeastern Connecticut’s tribal casinos to support thousands of local jobs.

“I thank the governor for his support of this bill and the bipartisan efforts of many lawmakers. Supporting the tribes is an important piece of a long-term puzzle to enhance tourism, support our community, protect economic development and preserve all that the tribes have accomplished for our region thus far,” said Senator Paul Formica. 

“We have seen firsthand the impact of the tribes on the local economy and on the thousands of casino employees and their families who live in our Senate districts. I applaud the legislature for working together in bipartisanship to make this important piece of legislation a reality,” said Senator Heather Somers.

“From tourism to manufacturing, southeastern Connecticut has seen quality growth thanks to the enormous efforts of the Mohegans and Mashantucket Pequots and the impact of their destination casinos. That’s why it was so important that lawmakers and the governor come together this year to help the tribes protect the thousands of jobs they’ve created,” said Senator Art Linares.

Senator Paul Formica (R-20) represents the communities of Bozrah, East Lyme, a portion of Montville, New London, Old Lyme, a portion of Old Saybrook, Salem, and Waterford.

Senator Heather Somers (R-18) represents the communities of Griswold, Groton, North Stonington, Plainfield, Preston, Sterling, Stonington and Voluntown.

Senator Art Linares (R-33), represents the communities of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

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Essex Park & Rec. Host Summer Concert Series, ‘Long Island Sound Band’ Perform July 25

‘The Long Island Sound Band’ perform on Ivoryton Green, July 25.

ESSEX — Essex Park and Recreation is excited to be able to offer another great set of bands this year for their 2017 Summer Concert Series.  Hosted on alternating Tuesdays at The Ivoryton Green and Wednesdays at The Essex Main Street Park, concerts take place at 6:30 p.m. from June 27 through Aug. 16.

Admission is free to all. Note the location carefully as the venue changes each week.

The Long Island Sound Band offers an energized and dynamic performance that an audience can’t help but enjoy, when they rock the Ivoryton Green on July 25.

Chester natives, The Meadows Brothers are brothers with an American Folk and Rock ‘n Roll sound. They will perform on Aug. 2, at the Essex Main Street Green.

The following week, another great set of locals, U.H.F. will be making the best soulful Rock, Funk, Reggae and Blues music they can  make on Aug. 8 at the Ivoryton Town Green.

The concert series will conclude with a performance from Blues on the Rocks, bringing their dynamic and enthusiastic mix of Blues, R&B, Motown, and Rock sure to get you up and dancing to Essex Main Street Park on Aug. 16.

For more information on the Summer Concert Series or Park and Rec. programs, visit https://www.facebook.com/SXParkandRec. You may also contact Park & Rec. by email at recreation@essexct.gov or call the office at 860-767-4340 x148.

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Essex Historical Society Expands Popular “Walking Weekend” Program, Offers Four Tours July 28-30

EHS’s Brien Reidell leads a walking tour up Main Street, Essex.  Courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

Community Foundation of Middlesex County Funds New Centerbrook Tour 

 

Combining the outdoors and history, Essex Historical Society (EHS) expands its popular outdoor program, “Walking Weekend,” on July 28, 29 and 30.  The event features four different walking tours within the Town of Essex as follows:

Friday, July 28, 2017, 7 p.m.; Saturday, July 29, 2017, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.; Sunday, July 30, 7 p.m.

Pratt House, 19 West Avenue, Essex (July 28)

Ivoryton Library, 106 Main Street, Ivoryton (July 29)

Essex Elementary School, 108 Main Street, Centerbrook (July 29)

Foot of Main Street, Essex, (July 30)

During the tours, attendees enjoy an easy stroll along the Town’s historic streets learning about the major industries, structures and personalities that shaped the area. Essex Historical Society’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 Centerbrook Village, led by renowned Essex historian Brenda Milkofsky.  The walk is funded in part through a grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County.   New guides are welcome to join us and learn the tour.

An early view of Connecticut Valley Manufacturing, now Centerbrook Architects.  Courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

On July 28  at 7 p.m., the first 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.

On July 29, at 10 a.m., the second 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 tour will be led by historian and author Chris Pagliuco.

On July 29, at 1 p.m., the third tour will meet at Essex Elementary School, 108 Main Street, Centerbrook, for our newest walk featuring Essex’s oldest village.  Learn about Centerbrook’s transition from its early farming days as “Center Saybrook” to its later manufacturing development powered by the Falls River.  This walk will be developed and led by Brenda Milkofsky.


All spiritual, social and business matters in early “Center Saybrook” revolved around the Centerbrook Meeting House.    Courtesy of Essex Historical Society

Interested in being a guide for later walks of Centerbrook?   Contact the EHS offices to learn more, 860-767-0681, or ehs@essexhistory.org.  No experience is necessary and all training is provided.

On July 30, 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.  The tour will be led by EHS’s knowledgeable guides Brien Reidell and Mary Ann Pleva.

Each walk is a separate event and you are welcome to attend all four or select your favorites.

Essex Historical Society is committed to fulfilling its mission of engaging and inspiring the community in the three villages of Centerbrook, Essex and Ivoryton.  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.

Essex Historical Society expresses its gratitude to the Community Foundation of Middlesex County for funding the new Centerbrook tour.  For more information, visit www.essexhistory.org or call (860) 767-0681.

 

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Essex Art Association Hosts “Weather, Whether” Juried Show, Opening Reception is July 28

‘Cloud Formation’ by Pam Carlson.

ESSEX — “Weather, Whether” is the second juried show of the Essex Art Association’s (EAA) 2017 season. Gallery visitors will delight in the variety of high quality artwork in this exhibit, which will be juried for entry and awards. Monetary prizes totaling $1900 will be awarded in addition to the prestigious Exit Gallery Award which offers the winning artist a solo exhibit in the Art Association’s Exit Gallery during the next gallery season.

To quote the originators of the show’s theme:  “Weather, whether it’s sunny or cloudy, hot or cold, raining or snowing, windy or calm, there is beauty to be found. Cover your brush with your weather paint and just have fun putting it on your canvas where it will last forever…but do it quickly before it changes.”

The exhibit’s opening reception is Friday, July 28, from 6 to 8 p.m. The show runs July 29  through Aug. 19. The EAA Gallery is located at 10 North Main Street, Essex, CT. Gallery hours: 1-5 pm daily, closed Tuesdays. For more information visit essexartassociation.com or call 860-767-8996.

‘Wave Action’ by Pam Carlson is an acrylic painting on display in the Exit Gallery “Forever” show.

The Exit Gallery show, “Forever,” showcases paintings by Pam Carlson, who was born and raised in Darien, Conn., where she loved art and participated in local school art shows. While attending college she utilized her Art Major skills by working each summer in N.Y. in commercial art within the advertising world. Teaching won her heart and she finished college with a degree in both Fine Art and Education.

Carlson taught in public schools in Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania, before becoming a full-time mother, dress designer, and bringing her craft back into her own home studio. She has exhibited her work in local galleries and ‘town green’ art shows up and down the east coast for over twenty years. She is now concentrating on gallery shows.

Carlson is the Vice President of the Essex Art Association. She developed and participates annually in the October invitational exhibit at the EAA gallery, ‘Five Women Painting,” and is a charter member of the Maple and Main Gallery in Chester. Sherecently completed a One Woman Show at Maple and Main’s Stone Gallery, which raised thousands of dollars for the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter. In addition to several recent commissions, five of her paintings depicting Connecticut’s Farm animals are hanging in the Congressional Office Building in Washington DC.  www.artmajeur.com/en/artist/pastelpam

Exhibition juror, Lenny Moskowitz, is a Connecticut landscape painter who lives in New Haven with his wife. He graduated with his B.F.A from the Philadelphia College of Art and received his M.F.A. from Michigan’s Cranbrook Academy. He has participated in both group and solo shows at numerous galleries throughout the U.S. and has taught classes and workshops in Connecticut, Block Island, and Nantucket. Presently, he teaches at Quinnipiac University and several community art schools.

Moskowitz has been awarded several artist residencies, including at the Anderson Center in Michigan and at the NISDA Foundation on Nantucket, Mass. In the summer of 2011, he was awarded a residency at Weir Farm in Wilton, Conn.  He makes yearly painting trips to Maine, Nantucket, and frequent sojourns to the surrounding the Connecticut woods to paint the landscapes.

For more information, visit www.lennymoskowitzart.com

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Theater Along the River Returns with ‘The Tempest,’ July 29

2. Flock Theatre will bring Shakespeare to life on the Connecticut River Museum lawn with their performance of The Tempest.

ESSEX — New London’s Flock Theatre Company returns to the Connecticut River Museum on Saturday, July 29, this time bringing their production of Shakespeare’s classic play The Tempest.  This evening of outdoor theater is made possible through the generous support of the Essex Wellness Center.

The Tempest is an exciting story set on a remote island, where the sorcerer Prospero, rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place using illusion and skillful manipulation.  A tempest, shipwreck, marooning, and redemption are all twisted into this classically inspired storyline.

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

The Tempest, a story of shipwreck and magic, is one of Shakespeare’s most musical plays and will be the featured performance for Theater Along the River this July 29 at the Connecticut River Museum. Art by Flock Theatre.

The Connecticut River Museum’s executive director, Christopher Dobbs, said that “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 the Essex Wellness Center.”

The Museum’s grounds will open at 6 PM for picnickers to layout 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, $12 for museum members, and $10 for children (12 and under).  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 PM the night of the performance. Curtain opens at 7 PM.

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

Essex Wellness Center offers a range of holistic-minded health services, including, Fitness on the Water, a beautiful, private workout studio. The Essex Wellness Center experience is focused solely on you and the achievement of your goals, physically, mentally and emotionally.

For more information on the program, contact the Connecticut River Museum at 860.767.8269 or visit the website, ctrivermuseum.org.  The Connecticut River Museum is dedicated to the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its Valley.  Explore the three floors of exhibits, take a sail on the Onrust or rent a canoe, kayak or SUP to paddle the coves of Essex when you visit.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

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See Heartwrenching ‘West Side Story’ at Ivoryton Playhouse Through July 31

Arianne Meneses (Consuelo) and Jason Daniel Rath* (Pepe) rehearse a scene from West Side Story.

IVORYTON – Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is transported to modern-day New York City in the breathtaking musical, West Side Story, which opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on July 5. With book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the original 1957 Broadway production ran for over 700 performances before going on tour, and garnered six Tony nominations.

Mia Pinero makes her debut at Ivoryton as Maria in ‘West Side Story.’

The story is set in the Upper West Side of New York City in the mid-1950s and explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds. When, Tony, a Jet, falls in love with Maria, a Shark, the young lovers struggle to keep their love alive in a world of hate, violence and prejudice.

The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theatre when it was first produced; West Side Story remains one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching and relevant musical dramas of our time.

The film version starring Natalie Wood, Russ Tamblyn, Richard Beymer and Rita Moreno won 10 Academy Awards and in 2009, Karen Olivo won a Tony for her portrayal of Anita in the Broadway revival.

Stephen Mir* plays Tony in the Ivoryton Playhouse production of ‘West Side Story’ opening July 5.

Stephen Mir* returns to Ivoryton to play the role of Tony and Mia Pinero* makes her Ivoryton debut in the role of Maria.

The production is directed and choreographed by Todd Underwood and musical directed by Mike Morris, with set design by Dan Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Elizabeth Cipollina. Executive Producers are Michael A. Dattilo and Frank Perrotti

Tonight, Tonight, won’t be just any night!  Don’t miss the experience of this show live on stage at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

West Side Story opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Wednesday, July 5, and runs through Sunday, July 30. 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 $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

Pictures by Ivoryton Playhouse

Group rates are available by calling the box office for information. The Playhouse is located at 103 Main St. in Ivoryton.

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Ride the Riverboat, Fend Off the Pirates in an Evening of Swashbucklin’ Fun, Aug 2 & 3

Yo-ho-ho, where’s that bottle of rum?!

ESSEX — Yo-ho-ho, thar’ be pirates on that thar’ Riverboat!

Will Captain Paul be able to save the passengers on the Becky Thatcher Riverboat from the nefarious band of pirates known as the Saybrook Swashbucklers?

Join the Essex Steam Train folk for an exciting journey on the “high seas” of the Connecticut River on Aug. 2 and 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. to find out!

Your family won’t want to miss this plunderous adventure– packed with pirates, scallywags and sprogs, lads and lassies in distress, sea shanties, gold doubloons, and one heroic captain, who it is to be hoped can save the day … and there’ll be plenty o’grog to be sure for sale at the bar for the grown-ups.

Seats are limited so brush up on your pirate speak and order your tickets today!

X marks the spot at www.essexsteamtrain.com or call 860-767-0103.

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CT River Museum Hosts ‘Conquer the Current’ Regatta, Aug. 13; Benefits Museum’s Scholarship Fund

Calling all paddlers! Conquer the Current challenges you to row from Haddam to Essex in support of education scholarship programs at the Connecticut River Museum. Photo by Tom Walsh, Shoreline Aerial Photography, Connecticut River Museum Collection.

ESSEX — The Connecticut River Museum’s first downriver paddle regatta to benefit the Museum’s education scholarship fund will take place on Aug. 13, from 8 to 3 p.m.  The Regatta is open to all paddle craft- canoes, kayaks, stand up paddleboards and rowboats.

The nine-mile race will start at Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam and finish in front of the Connecticut River Museum in Essex. Paddlers will haul out at the Essex town boat launch and transportation will be provided back up to Eagle Landing State Park.

There will also be activities on the Museum lawn throughout the day, including stand-up paddle board demonstrations by Paddleworks of Clinton and a family fun paddle parade in Essex Harbor at 12 p.m. Refreshments will be available from Porky Pete’s, Deep River Snacks, and Cannoli’s on the Run.

Pre-registration is $30 per paddler with an additional $70 fundraising goal or $110 registration fee day of event. Prizes will be awarded for race winners and top individual and team fundraisers. All proceeds from the event will go directly toward supporting the Museum’s education scholarship fund.  

Connecticut River Museum’s first annual ‘Conquer the Current’ Regatta takes place Aug. 13.

During the 2016/17 school year, 4,000 school children from across the state of Connecticut received invaluable hands-on history and environmentally-based programs at the Museum and in their classrooms.  The scholarship program allowed for nearly 1,000 of these students to receive free or reduced admission, creating invaluable opportunities for students who might not otherwise have this experience.   

For more information about this program, visit the website at ctrivermuseum.org or contact the Connecticut River Museum at 860.767.8269 or via email at esistare@ctrivermuseum.org. The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for children age 6-12, free for children under 6.  This year a recreation of Adriaen Block’s the ONRUST is at the Museum’s docks and providing special programs and public cruises.

Conquer the Current is generously sponsored by: Denali, Essex Marine Group, Family Legacy Partners, Ivory Wealth Management, Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, The Sound Runner and Deep River Chips.

Photos:

Photo 1 – Paddlers:  The Connecticut River Museum’s first annual Conquer the Current Regatta takes place Aug. 13.

Photo 2 –  Aerial Photo:  Calling all paddlers! Conquer the Current challenges you to row from Haddam to Essex in support of education scholarship programs at the Connecticut River Museum. Photo by Tom Walsh, Shoreline Aerial Photography, Connecticut River Museum Collection.

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Join Essex Land Trust Tomorrow for a Butterfly Garden Party

A Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly lands on a coneflower.

ESSEX — The Essex Land Trust (ELT) invites the public to join them for an early evening exploration of ELT’s butterfly habitat on Thursday, July 20, starting at 5:30 p.m. at Cross Lots Preserve, 40 West Avenue, Essex. Anne Penniman will speak about this project and how everyone can do their part in promoting butterflies.

This 1200 square foot bed created in May 2016 includes 850 plants comprising 22 different varieties of perennials and shrubs. The emphasis is on native plants including hyssops, milkweed, indigo, coneflower, asters and many more.

The area includes good forage plants for the caterpillars that will encourage the butterflies to stay rather than just visit. And the selection of plants is also designed to provide a good sequence of blooms across the seasons. The habitat is located on the field that is beside the stonewall rising from the parking lot.

Bring your favorite beverage. Snacks will be provided. Rain date is Thursday, July 27.

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Essex Foundation Provides Support For Essex Place Furnishings

Bruce Glowac. President of The Essex Foundation, Inc. presents a check to Janice Atkeson, President of Essex Elderly and Affordable Housing, Inc. outside Essex Place, the newly constructed affordable senior housing complex on Main Street in Centerbrook.

Foundation underwrites cost of common area furniture in newly constructed senior housing 

ESSEX — Two weeks before the grand opening of Essex Place, a 22-unit, affordable senior rental housing complex developed by Essex Elderly & Affordable Housing, Inc. and the Women’s Institute of Housing & Economic Development, The Essex Foundation was called upon to help cover the cost of furniture for the common area spaces.

Last minute adjustments to the overall project budget left no available resources for completing the already constructed community room, game room, office, and kitchen.  After a thoughtful presentation by Janice Atkeson and Yolanda Lowe, both representing Essex Elderly & Affordable Housing, Inc., members of The Essex Foundation Board of Directors approved the request for financial assistance.

Funds from The Essex Foundation were used to cover the cost of upholstered furniture, dining tables, game tables, occasional tables, stacking chairs, office furniture, and miscellaneous kitchen items.  Essex Place is located at 26 Main Street in the Centerbrook section of Essex, adjacent to the Essex Court senior apartments.

The common areas are accessible to all residents of Essex Place and Essex Court, and will also be used for general meetings and as a designated emergency shelter. Community members who would like to donate to the project can send a check made out to The Essex Foundation, PO Box 64, Essex, CT 06426, indicating that it is for the Essex Place community room.

The Essex Foundation was founded in 1970. It is a non profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Essex residents. The foundation is funded through donations from the community and strives to fill needs not met by other organizations or sources. In general, funds are granted for special purposes, including buildings, equipment, land, and programs, but not to recurring expenses. More information can be found at www.theessexfoundation.org.

 

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PHOTO CAPTION: Bruce Glowac. President of The Essex Foundation, Inc. presents a check to Janice Atkeson, President of Essex Elderly and Affordable Housing, Inc. outside Essex Place, the newly constructed affordable senior housing complex on Main Street in Centerbrook.

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Deep River Congregational Church Hosts Annual August Flea Market & Rummage Sale, Aug. 19

All the fun of the Flea Market can be enjoyed Aug 19.

 

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Congregational Church, 1 Church St., Deep River, has been preparing for its Annual Flea Market and Rummage Sale which will be held on Aug. 19.  
The Flea Market, which is held on Marvin Field and on the grounds around the church, runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. with over 80 vendors, who bring a wide variety of items to sell, from antiques to hand crafted pieces.  There will be a variety of fresh baked goods for sale, prepared by church members and friends.  
Refreshments may also be purchased throughout the day: coffee and doughnuts in the morning and hamburgers, hotdogs, and side dishes throughout the day. There are only a few 20 x 20 foot spaces available for $30, and you can reserve yours by contacting the church office for a reservation form and map.
 
The Rummage Sale Committee has been collecting items since June for our Rummage Sale during the same weekend as our Flea Market.  It will be a two-day event running from Aug. 18 through Aug. 19.   All are invited to a Rummage Pre-Sale on Friday, Aug. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. for a $5 admission fee.  The Main Rummage Sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19. 
For further information, contact the church office at (860-526-5045or office.drcc@snet.net) or check out our church web site at www.deeprivercc.org.
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Join Essex Land Trust to Trail Blaze Invasive Plants Today on Johnson Farm


ESSEX —
Want to help control invasive plants at Johnson Farm?

Join Essex Land Trust Stewards Geoff Furtney and Dana Hill Saturday, July 8, in identifying, managing and clearing invasive plants on Johnson Farm.  In line with the Land Trust’s mission, of maintaining properties in a natural state, this group is working to address the presence of invasive plants on our properties.

This is a work project so bring loppers, clippers and heavy work gloves. All ages and abilities welcome.

Meet at parking lot off Read Hill Rd. at 9 a.m. Read Hill Rd. is accessed off Comstock Avenue in Ivoryton. Rain date July 9.

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Cappella Cantorum Presents Men’s Chorus Concert in Centerbrook, Sunday

Cappella Cantorum’s Men’s Chorus sings ‘Music from Around the World,’ Sunday. Members of the group shown in the photo above are from left to right, (front row) Norm Andrea, Dean Cloutier, Bob Stosse, Rolf Perterson, Barry Asch , Deborah Lyon, Len Dongweck, Tony Carrano, John Van Epps, Bob Johnson; (back row) Dud Bickford, Michael Minkos, Tor Hepburn, Alan Macgregor, Larry Morse, Fred Johnson, John Newman, Missing-Tom Speer, Ed Bosse. The Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus includes members from a dozen Shoreline Communities

CENTERBROOK — Cappella Cantorum will present the final Men’s Chorus Concert of this season, Sunday, July 9, at 3 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 109 Main St., Centerbrook,. The Chorus will present an extraordinary afternoon of great male choral music under the direction of Barry B. Asch with accompanist Deborah Lyon.

This performance will be followed by a reception.

“Music From Around the World”  includes: Brothers, Sing On! Viva L’Amour, Cantique de Jean Racine, Ezekiel Saw de Wheel, Johny Cash Medley and Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen.

Tickets are $20 at the door or www.CappellaCantorum.org

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Pettipaug Sailing Academy Teaches Young Sailors Their Craft


ESSEX —
The staff of the Pettipaug Sailing Academy is currently in the throes of teaching over 300 young students how to sail a sailboat. Instruction occurs mainly in sailboats on the water.

Although a staff member cruises around in a motor boat, when students capsize their sailboats, it is their responsibility whenever possible to right the vessel, climb on board and start sailing again.

Initially, many of the boats capsize but after a few embarrassing dunkings, the sailing students quickly learn their preference is to sail rather than capsize!

Some more photo highlights of the Petttipaug Sailing Academy’s Class of 2017 follow.

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Big Band Event at Brewers Essex Island Marina Benefits Local Charities, Aug 20

Bob Hughes plays his saxophone on the dock at Brewers Essex Island Marina.

ESSEX — Saxophonist and band leader Bob Hughes is inspired by views of the Connecticut River at Brewers Essex Island Marina, where he and his 16-piece orchestra, “The Bob Hughes Big Band,” are scheduled to perform on Sunday, Aug. 20.  Billed as an “Island Swing,” the fundraising event is sponsored by the Essex Council of the Knights of Columbus of Our Lady of Sorrows Church.

The Bob Hughes Big Band will present a fundraising ‘Island Swing,’ Aug. 20.

Hughes, a resident of Essex, has had a lifelong love affair with big band and swing music.  In addition to the rare and vintage saxophone that has accompanied him for more than 70 years on his musical journey, Hughes is proud of his library of arrangements that he has used to educate himself in the styles of such greats as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Artie Shaw and his personal favorite, Stan Kenton.

View from Brewers Essex Island Marina, where the Bob Hughes Big Band will give a concert, Aug. 20.

Hughes has led his Essex-based band for 15 years and is extremely proud of the exceptional local musicians that have bonded under his leadership.  Together, they are helping to keep top-level swing music alive in this part of New England.

In addition to outstanding music and dancing, attendees of the Aug. 20 “Island Swing” event, which will run from 5 to 8 p.m., will enjoy an evening of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres supplemented by a buffet, wine, beer and soft drinks.  Tickets are $50.  All proceeds will support local charities.

For tickets or more information, call Ed McCaffrey at 860-575-4694 or visit http://www.olos-sxorg/2017_knightsofcolumbus_islandswing.pdf

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Organizers of Ivoryton’s Fourth of July Parade Invite Participants

ESSEX — The Ivoryton Fourth of July Parade Committee invites all who are interested in participating in this year’s parade to sign up and march! Groups, organizations, businesses, individuals are welcome. March on foot, pull a wagon, ride a bike, drive a tractor or any other vehicle.
Musicians: we’d love to have you!
Animals: fantastic! Decorate in our nation’s red, white and blue and join the fun.
The 2017 4th of July Parade will be held on Tuesday, July 4. This year’s parade honors the Essex Ambulance Association Volunteers. Parade steps off at 10 a.m. A short ceremony follows the parade at the Ivoryton Park Gazebo.
Are you interested? Contact Cotty Barlow at cmbarlow@snet.net.
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Essex DTC Endorses Jeannine Lewis as Democratic Candidate for Saybrook District Probate Judge

Attorney Jeannine Lewis

ESSEX – On Wednesday, June 28, the Essex Democratic Town Committee (EDTC) endorsed Jeannine Lewis – an attorney at Hudson and Kilby – as their preferred Democratic candidate for the position of Judge of Probate-Saybrook District.  A Special Election for Judge of Probate will be held on November 7, 2017 to fill the anticipated vacancy due to the July 18, 2018 retirement of current Judge, Terrance “Terry” Lomme.

Attorney Lewis, along with three other Democratic candidates addressed the EDTC over the course of several months, where each presented their qualifications for the position and responded to questions from the members of the committee.  EDTC Chairman Brian Cournoyer said, “Although each candidate demonstrated qualities that would serve the district well, members were impressed with Attorney Lewis’s unique combination of experience in probate law and commitment to ensuring all citizens seeking assistance through the court would be treated with care and attention.”

In addition to running a law practice focused on probate matters, estate planning and elder law, Lewis serves on the Continuing Legal Education Committee of the Connecticut Bar Association’s (CBA’s) Elder Law Section, and on the Integrity of the Practice/Pro Bono Committee of the CBA’s Estates and Probate Section.  She is a board member of the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries and provides pro bono legal counsel to Sister Cities Essex Haiti, a local charity that helps residents of the town of Deschapelles, Haiti.

Probate judges typically handle estates, trusts, adoptions, name changes, and the termination of parental rights and conservatorships, among other important matters.  The probate court for the Saybrook District is located in Old Saybrook and serves the towns of Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

The EDTC meets on the fourth Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. in the Essex Town Hall. Meetings are open to the public and all registered Democrats are encouraged to attend.

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Essex Foundation Funds Veterans Memorial Hall Parking Lot Paving

Members of the Essex Foundation Board of Directors present a check to Veterans Memorial Hall to pay for the paving of their parking lot. Pictured from left to right are Judy Bombaci, Jim Clark, Bruce Glowac, Sam Riggio (EVMH member), Alex Breen (EVMH member), Herb Clark, and Stick Hyde.

ESSEX – The Essex Foundation Board of Directors recently approved a request for financial assistance from the Essex Veterans Memorial Hall, the last known stand-alone, 501(c)(19) nonprofit  veterans organization on the East Coast. The donated funds will be used to fully underwrite the cost of paving the 10,633 square-foot gravel parking lot on the group’s property located at 3 Westbrook Rd. in Centerbrook.

Sullivan Paving Company, Inc. submitted the winning bid, which also includes a donation of their time and materials to line stripe and mark the new pavement.  Work will be completed this summer.

The Essex Foundation is underwriting the cost of paving this gravel parking lot at the Essex Veterans Memorial Hall in Centerbrook.

The paving project is one of several initiatives undertaken by the Hall’s 184 members to improve the building’s interior and exterior over the past three years. Once the Centerbrook Schoolhouse, the building became Essex Veterans Memorial Hall in 1946, and now serves as a resource for veterans, their families, and the greater community, including free hall usage to area nonprofit organizations and scout groups.

The Essex Foundation board members considered all of these factors when making the funding decision, agreeing that the project fell within their typical parameters of being of benefit to Essex residents, of being somewhat unique, and requiring relatively quick action.

“The Essex Foundation board members were impressed with the hard work and dramatic improvements that have been made by members of Essex Veterans Memorial Hall over the past few years,” stated Chairman Bruce Glowac, “We are happy to be able to help them with this upgrade to the property that has become a valuable community center.”

Editor’s Notes: 

i) Community members who would like to donate to the project can send a check made out to the Essex Foundation, PO Box 64, Essex, CT 06426, indicating that it is for the Veterans Memorial Hall parking lot.      

ii) The Essex Foundation was founded in 1970. It is a non profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Essex residents .   The foundation is funded through donations from the community and strives to fill needs not met by other organizations or sources. In general, funds are granted for special purposes, including buildings, equipment, land, and programs, but not to recurring expenses.

More information can be found at www.theessexfoundation.org.

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Essex Library Presents ‘The Search for Life in Age of Exoplanets’ Tonight

Wesleyan Post-Doctoral researcher Dr. Wilson Cauley. Photo by Dr. W. Cauley.

ESSEX — The recent explosion in our understanding of planets around other stars has accelerated the quest to find signs of life on these worlds. With so many potential places to look, astronomers are now on the cusp of measuring biological imprints in the atmospheres of other planets.

Wesleyan post-doctoral astronomy researcher Wilson Cauley returns to the Essex Library on Thursday, June 29, at 7 p.m. to talk about these efforts and some of the challenges facing the search for extra-solar life, as well as the ongoing missions in our own solar system.

This program is free and open to the public. Registration is requested.

For more information or to register, call the Library at (860) 767-1560. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Ave. in Essex.

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‘Rock Solid Alibi’ Give Final Concert in ‘Rhythm by the Rails’ Series at Essex Steam Train, Aug. 23

ESSEX — Summer fun at The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat continues with the final free concert in a three-part summer music series.

Mark your calendars for Aug. 23 when Rock Solid Alibi will play great music from the 60s to 80s and wrap up the concert series.

The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat is located at 1 Railroad Ave., Essex, CT. Follow signs for Parking/Free admission.

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‘Run for Chris 5K, With the Y,’ Takes Place Tomorrow, Registration Still Open

Tony Sharillo of Middletown and son complete the Run for Chris last year. Photos courtesy of Roger U. Williams

AREAWIDE — The 6th Annual Run For Chris 5K, With The Y will be held Saturday, June 24, in Essex, Conn., starting at Town Hall. Of note is the addition of “With the Y” to the run’s name, reflecting this year’s official partnering with the Valley Shore YMCA. The YMCA will bring a family aspect to this already great race and continue to have The Run for Chris kick off the Y’s Run Club’s race season as their featured race.

This fun family event, which includes a Kids’ Fun Run, face painting, music and games, is truly a great way to spend some quality family time together.

For those 5K runners who are looking for a great race this June, this is a terrific course passes thru historic Essex with beautiful views of the Connecticut River. Awards and food for the runners, as well as a great raffle, round out the morning’s festivities.

The race is held in memory of Christopher Belfoure, a 2005 graduate of Valley Regional High School (VRHS), with all the proceeds benefitting The Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County.

While a student at Valley, Chris went on several school trips abroad. Chris went on to major in History and Chinese Studies at West Virginia University, where he spent a considerable amount of time studying abroad in China and became fluent in Mandarin.

Influenced by his own life-altering journeys, Chris was passionate about encouraging others to also broaden their horizons and follow their own paths. Sadly Chris lost his life at the age of 24, so to keep his inspiration and passion alive The Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund was established in 2011.

The fund is intended to perpetuate Chris’s vision by helping local area high school students travel abroad.  A race participant added this perspective about the run, “I think the race is also quite indicative of the ups, downs and flat stretches in life we all face from time to time. You have a wonderful foundation that celebrates the life of Chris, and which seeks to help others. That is incredibly admirable.”

To date 142 VRHS students have benefited from the Fund, traveling to such places as Costa Rica, France and Spain, for a total of $9,145 in grants. On April 24 students departed for Paris, supported by a $3,000 grant from the Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund, which is made possible by proceeds from the run and from its sponsors.

To register for the Run, go to www.aratrace.com.  For more information, contact George Chapin, Race Director, at george_c@snet.net.

Visit the website @ www.chrisbel4mf.com

 

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Essex Garden Club Awards Three Scholarships to Local Students

Essex Garden Club Scholarship committee chair, Anne Elich, is seated with 2017 scholarship recipients Daniel Taylor and Haley Hammen. Missing from photo, Annie Brown. Photo courtesy of Leslie Barlow

ESSEX — The Essex Garden Club recently awarded college scholarships to three area students:

  • Annie Brown of Essex, who attends the University of Vermont, is pursuing a major in Elementary Education with a minor in Environmental Studies.
  • Daniel Taylor of Ivoryton, a 2017 graduate of Valley Regional High School, will attend Vassar College in the fall to study Biology.
  • Haley Hammen of Essex, a 2017 Valley Regional High School graduate, will attend Pennsylvania State University in the fall to study Biology.

In addition, the Garden Club is proud to provide funding for young children from Essex, Ivoryton and Centerbrook to attend local nature camps. This year, scholarships were given the Essex Parks and Recreation Summer Program for 25 children to attend their one-week nature and science sessions.   Also, the Club has provided funding to allow four students to attend camp at The Bushy Hill Nature Center, which provides two weeks of in-depth nature experience.

The Essex Garden Club sincerely thanks all who support the annual May Market, the proceeds of which enable the Club to make these donations. This year, additional scholarship funds were contributed in memory of Garden Club members who were devoted to the education of young people in our community.

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Taking Care of Our Ancestors: Centerbrook Cemetery Offers Free Gravestone Cleaning Workshop, Sunday

CENTERBROOK — Centerbrook Cemetery, 37 Westbrook Rd., Centerbrook will be holding a free Gravestone Cleaning Workshop on Sunday, June 25, at 2 p.m. (In case of heavy rain, the date will be Wednesday, June 28, at 2 p.m.)

Participants should bring an eight-ounce bottle, soft bristle brush and toothbrush.  Plastic gloves are optional.

Non-toxic cleaning agent will be provided.

For additional information, contact Isobel Allen @ 860-767-8167.

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Registration Still Open for Tri-Town Youth Services’ Summer Co-op Second Session, Starts July 10

TRI-TOWN — Tri-Town Youth Services Summer Co-op 2017 is open to 7th, 8th and 9th graders with Session 2 running July 10 to 13.  Each day will start at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. at Tri-Town Youth Services, 56 High St., Deep River.

Session 2 includes trips to: July 10 – Bushy Hill Nature Center; July 11 – Ocean Beach; July 12 – Launch Trampoline Park and Laser Tag; July 13 – Lake Compounce.

The cost per session is $225. and $200. For additional sibling.  Registration forms are available throughout the tri-town region at elementary schools and at John Winthrop Middle School.  These programs are open to students entering grades 7, 8 and 9 who live in Chester, Deep River, and Essex.

For further information, call Tri-Town Youth Services at 860-526-3600 or visit www.tritownys.org

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Community Music School Receives Grant from Middlesex Community Foundation/River View Cemetery Fund

Community Music School’s New Horizons Band is a not-for-profit program that provides Middlesex County with an adult beginners band, many of whom have had never played an instrument before joining.

CENTERBROOK — Community Music School (CMS) has received a $3,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County (CFMC)/River View Cemetery Fund in order to fund the New Horizons Band.

Community Music School’s New Horizon Band is a not-for-profit program that provides Middlesex County with an adult beginners band of 13 members, many of whom have had never played an instrument before joining. Under the direction of Patricia Hurley, the CMS New Horizons Band performs marches, jazz selections, and music from the stage and screen, and much more. The band has recently collaborated with the John Winthrop Middle School band and has also participated in several concerts open to the public, in the past six months.

The CFMC grant will be used to further the advancement of the New Horizons Band. The New Horizons Program provides an entry point to music making for seniors, including those with no musical experience at all, or those who were active in school music programs but have been inactive for a long period. The band is nurturing, non-competitive, and supportive in style. There are no auditions or tryouts, and everyone is welcome, and many seniors enjoy the socialization of group instruction and ensemble playing.

Seniors participating in such a music program meet new friends, become an important part of a group, and have events to anticipate. The New Horizons Band has become an important part of the cultural life of our community as well, performing in many different settings and for special events. In addition to formal concerts, performances in community centers, and summer concerts in parks, they often play for retirement and nursing homes where added events are so needed.

“This program is so important to our seniors – both those who perform in the band and those who enjoy their many concerts throughout the year,” states Abigail Nickell, CMS Executive Director. “We are so grateful for CFMC’s support of this program so we can continue to serve the seniors in our community.”

For additional information, visit www.community-music-school.org or call CMS at 860-767-0026.

Editor’s Notes:
  1. Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 34 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. 
  2. The Community Foundation of Middlesex County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Middlesex County, and to help Good People Do Great Things. Its two-fold mission is: (1) to work with charitably-minded individuals and organizations to build permanent endowments and other charitable funds; and (2) to support local nonprofit organizations through effect grant making, in order t address community needs, as well as Let Good Grow.
    Since its founding in 1997, the Community Foundation has provided 1,815 grants, totaling more than $5.4 million, to organizations for the arts, cultural and heritage programs, educational activities, environmental improvements, and for health and human services.
    To learn more, contact the Community Foundation at (860)347-0025, or info@MiddlesexCountyCF.org
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Environmental Program Looks To ‘Foster Future Stewards’ in Lower CT River Valley

From left to right, Peter and Elsie Patton, Marilyn Ozols, president, and Robin Andreoli, executive director. Photo by Joan Levy Hepburn.

LOWER CT RIVER VALLEY – The Rockfall Foundation recently announced the launch of a special campaign to commemorate 45 years of environmental grant making and support programs for students in the Lower Connecticut River Valley. The Fostering Future Stewards campaign will fund environmental education for kindergarten through 8th grade students with multi-year grants to schools for school-time, after school or summer programs.

Consecutive years of funding will allow educators to continue programs that introduce and sustain environmental literacy and the continuity of those programs will greatly benefit students.

The Foundation looks to raise $45,000 over two years and the campaign is off to a very positive start, thanks in large part to Peter and Elsie Patton of Middletown. Two of the Foundation’s most ardent supporters, the Pattons were the first to come forward with a leadership gift of $5,000 to the campaign.

“We are grateful to Peter and Elsie for inspiring others through their passion for this cause and their generous gift,” said Robin Andreoli, the Foundation’s executive director. “With a commitment from our Board of Directors, we have already achieved twenty-five percent of our goal and have heard from many friends in the community who support the project.”

Established in 1935, the Rockfall Foundation is one of Connecticut’s oldest non-profit environmental organizations and is the steward for the historic deKoven House Community Center in Middletown. The Foundation receives support from donors with a passion for the environment and connects them to local programs that help make the Lower Connecticut River Valley a better place to live.

Annual grant awards provide funding for local environmental education, conservation programs and planning initiatives. The Foundation also presents educational public programs throughout the year, which include symposia and public forums, informal networking opportunities, and family hikes.

For the past 45 years, the Rockfall Foundation’s grant making has supported and promoted outstanding environmental programs delivered by non-profit organizations, schools, and municipalities throughout the Lower Connecticut River Valley. The first grants awarded in 1972 provided a total of $5,000 to support four planting projects in Essex, Old Saybrook, and Chester. Since then, the Foundation has helped to fund 350 programs with awards totaling nearly half a million dollars.

For information about the Rockfall Foundation or how to contribute to the Fostering Future Stewards fund, visit www.rockfallfoundation.org or call 860-347-0340.

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Learn About the Private Life of an Unloved Bird This Evening at CT River Museum

ESSEX — The Connecticut River Museum presents, “Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird,” with author Katie Fallon this evening, Thursday, June 15, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Join Fallon, author of this fascinating book about vultures, for a reading, book signing, and discussion of the essential roles that vultures play in healthy ecosystems.

This event is free to members of the Museum and $5 for non-members.

Seating is limited; call 860.767.8269 ext.110 to register.

The Museum is located at 67 Main St., Essex, CT 06426.

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Pratt House Participates in CT Open House Day Today; Essex Historical Society Improves Visitor Experience

The historic 1732 Pratt House welcomes visitors for Connecticut Open House Day, June 10, 2017. Photo courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

ESSEX — Essex Historical Society (EHS) shines the spotlight on its historic structures in 2017, focusing its energies on setting the stage for a friendlier, community-centric approach to sharing our stories.  At the historic 1732 Pratt House at 19 West Ave., the town’s only historic house museum, EHS continues to improve the visitor experience, just in time for CT Open House Day, on Saturday, June 10.  It will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. that day; admission is free.

Admission includes the creation of a “pocket park” on the Pratt House grounds along with improved visitor amenities, outdoor lighting and signage and general beautification for a friendly, accessible visitor experience.  Visitors can also enjoy Pratt House’s beautiful grounds, reproduction barn, kitchen gardens, a community garden and museum shop.   

See inside the Pratt House parlor on CT Open House Day, June 10. Photo courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

Open to the public for guided tours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons, 1 to 4 p.m., from June through September, Pratt House is staffed entirely by trained volunteer guides or ‘docents.’  In 2017, EHS expanded its volunteer programs to recruit new guides and more are welcome. Those who volunteer their time to support our organization are its lifeblood and our investment in their support and training is critical to our ongoing success. 

Also that afternoon, EHS welcomes the public to the reopening of the Hills Academy History Center, 22 Prospect St., to enjoy its several improvements for visitors and researchers. 

Both beautiful properties serve as historic resources for the entire community, helping EHS live up to its mission of Engaging and Inspiring the Community: Essex. Ivoryton. Centerbrook.   For more information, visit www.essexhistory.org or 860-767-0681. 

Photos:

[Pratt Mantle] and/or [Pratt Exterior]

The historic 1732 Pratt House welcomes visitors for Connecticut Open House Day, June 10, 2017.  Courtesy of Essex Historical Society. 

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Essex Land Trust Hosts Annual Picnic & Concert This Evening

And the band played on … Photo submitted by Jim Denham.

ESSEX — The Essex Land Trust is once again holding its popular annual picnic concert Saturday, June 10, starting at 5:30 p.m. at Essex Main Street Park,. The event is open to all and is free of charge. Bring a picnic, blanket and chairs and find a spot in Essex’s Main Street Park.  The music starts at 5:30 pm with the Essex Corinthian Jazz Band. Bring chairs, blankets and enjoy sitting back and relaxing with your picnic and BYO refreshments. Come early to enjoy the waterfront and cove views. Bad weather cancels.

Main Street Park has been a hub for the village of Essex since it was put together by volunteers and created for the benefit of the Town. It features a scenic spot in the middle of Main Street with a gazebo, benches and picnic tables, restroom facilities, the beautiful waterfront and cove views, a boat launch and municipal parking area.

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Essex Historical Society Reopens Much Improved Hills Academy History Center

Volunteers at the newly refurbished Hills Academy History Center catalog and safeguard its historic treasures. Photo courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

ESSEX — Essex Historical Society (EHS) shines the spotlight on its historic structures in 2017, focusing its energies on setting the stage for a friendlier, community-centric approach to sharing their stories.  The Society’s library and offices at 22 Prospect St. reopen as the Hills Academy History Center on June 10.

Workers prepare for upgraded technology at Hills Academy to better serve the public. Photo courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

Improvements include outdoors land design, improved mechanicals, safety upgrades, new security systems, new research technology, painting and window repair to create a community History Center.

The Hills Academy History Center reopens June 10. Courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

Visitors who have negotiated Hills’ narrow staircase to visit the archives or conduct research will be pleasantly surprised that we are moving downstairs to the first floor!  Now, researchers and volunteers benefit from improved access at ground level to examine EHS’s frequently-used collections and visit their database via upgraded technology, funded in part through a grant from Guilford Savings Bank.

The public is welcome to join in the grand opening on Saturday, June 10, from 1 to 3 p.m.  The event is free and refreshments will be served.  Hills Academy History Center is open year-round Tuesday and Thursday mornings and by appointment.

Also that afternoon, EHS’s historic house museum, Pratt House, will participate in the statewide museum event, Connecticut Open House Day, Saturday, June 10, from 1 to 4 p.m.  Admission is free.  Both beautiful properties serve as historic resources for the entire community, helping EHS live up to its mission of Engaging and Inspiring the Community: Essex. Ivoryton. Centerbrook.  

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

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Essex Land Trust Hosts Canoe/Kayak Trip of North Cove, Falls River Today

Out on the water with Essex Land Trust.

ESSEX — The Essex Land Trust invites you to explore Essex’s North Cove and Falls River on Saturday, June 10, 2 pm, with registration starting at 1:30 p.m. Bring your own boat for an early summer kayak/canoe trip into peaceful North Cove and Falls River.

Join naturalist Phil Miller as he speaks about the abundant wildlife and history of this waterway where many of Essex’s colonial ships were built. North Cove is a 230-acre body of tidal water between the Falls River and the Connecticut River. The cove is formed in part by Great Meadow, a 200-acre “pendant bar”, or levee, along the Connecticut River. North Cove is part of the Connecticut River Estuary Canoe/Kayak Trail.

North Cove was noted for shipbuilding, with the Mack and Williams yards turning out coasting vessels in the 19th century. Empty now, Great Meadow was a beehive of activity, too. Cattle were grazed, salt hay harvested and duck hunting blinds once lined the shore. The bar was also a base for the local shad fishing industry. Great Meadow is topped by cattails and reeds while wild rice and bulrush grow at the water’s edge. Rare plants include horned pondweed and tidewater arrowhead. A well-known eagle habitat, the cove and meadow also attract ospreys, hawks, red-wing blackbirds, goldfinches and swallows.

Meet at the public boat launch, foot of Bushnell St., off of No. Main St Participants should register on site beginning at 1:30 p.m. and launch their boats prior to the 2 p.m. departure. A safety boat will accompany.  Bad weather cancels.

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Essex Public Safety Day Scheduled for Today

Firefighters demonstrate the Jaws of Life in a crash simulation.

ESSEX — The Town of Essex, Essex Fire Company and Essex Ambulance will host Essex Public Safety Day on Sunday, June 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Essex Fire Headquarters, 11 Saybrook Rd.

Activities will include:
• Jaws of Life Extrication Demos
• Lucas CPR Demos
• Quick–Clot Bandaging Table
• Burn Boxes
• Stove Fire Prop
• Walking Wounded
• Helicopter “subject to availability”
• Mobile Command Vehicle
• Lenny & Joe’s Food Truck

This is a hands-on event. Come see and experience how you can become a part of the Town of Essex First Responder team!

Rain date is scheduled for June 18.

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Volunteers Needed to Control Invasive Plant in Local Rivers

Water chestnut is an invasive plant that is easy for volunteers to remove & keep under control. Join CRC for upcoming volunteer events to learn about & remove this invasive plant.

AREAWIDE — There is an emerging threat to the Connecticut River and the waters within its basin that any boater, paddler, angler or property manager can help control. European water chestnut (Trapa natans) is an aquatic invasive plant that spreads rapidly, covering bodies of water with dense foliage impeding recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and swimming.

The Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC), formerly Connecticut River Watershed Council, is hosting a variety of opportunities this summer for residents to learn more and help remove this threat.

Quick and thorough action must be taken to prevent this plant from taking over because water chestnut reproduces exponentially. “The good news is that this plant is easy to identify, it reproduces only by seed, and pulls up easily,” notes Alicea Charamut, River Steward for the Connecticut River Conservancy.

She continues, “It can be managed by trained volunteers. For small to moderate infestations, no chemicals or equipment are needed other than willing volunteers in canoes, kayaks, and shallow draft boats. This work offers an opportunity for those of us who love our rivers, lakes and ponds to give back to them in a fun and easy way.”

There are two opportunities to learn to identify and report the plants. CRC hosted an information session at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex on Tuesday, June 13, and will do so again at LL Bean at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor on Friday, June 19. Both events are at 6:30 p.m. There will be a brief presentation, live plants on display, and plenty of time for questions.

Charamut is also available to give talks to groups within the Connecticut River watershed, who want to bring this information to their organization or club.

Paddlers and boaters can also help CRC manage known infestations. Five hand-pulling events are already scheduled for the floating meadows of the Mattabesset River in Middletown and Keeney Cove in Glastonbury in June and July with more to be scheduled as new infestations are reported. The work is fairly easy, a little dirty and very rewarding. Supplies are provided. Those who wish to attend need only bring their boat and PFD.

In addition, CRC is coordinating a River Sweep of the Connecticut River, its coves and ponds to scout for this invasive plant. “Because the seeds from these plants can last for up to twelve years, knowing where these plants have been found is crucial. In order to effectively control the spread of these plants we must monitor locations where they have been found each year and have as many eyes on the water as possible.” Paddling and boating groups can adopt a section of the river to scout for plants on or around Saturday, June 24.

“It will take a community of those who care coming together to help control this plant,” says Charamut. The Connecticut River Conservancy joins many partners in the effort to control water chestnut in the Connecticut River watershed. The US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Lower Connecticut River Council of Governments, Jonah Center for Earth and Art, Connecticut River Museum, and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station are all active participants working to help control this aquatic invasive plant.

More groups are encouraged to join the effort. Much of the work in the lower Connecticut River Valley here in Connecticut is possible thanks to a generous grant from the Rockfall Foundation.

For more information about education and volunteer opportunities to help control European water chestnut, visit www.ctriver.org/get-involved or contact Alicea Charamut at acharamut@ctriver.org.

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On Board the ‘Onrust,’ Famed Re-creation of Adriaen Block’s Boat Sails up Connecticut River

The ‘Onrust’ docked at Saybrook Point Inn and Spa.

ESSEX —  It was “a momentous occasion,” according to Connecticut River Museum Executive Director Chris Dobbs when a group of dignitaries and invited guests gathered to board the re-creation of Adriaen Block’s boat Onrust last Thursday (June 1.)  Dobbs pointed out that it was, “400 years ago — 403 to be precise” since the original Onrust commenced its exploration of the Connecticut River ultimately exploring it upstream to just a little further north than present-day Hartford — a distance of approximately 60 miles from Long Island Sound.

Connecticut River Museum Executive Director Chris Dobbs takes a brief break from his duties as host on board the ‘Onrust.’

While overwintering (1613-1614) in New York Bay, the Dutch explorer Block’s first ship, the Tyger (Tiger), caught fire and burned to the waterline.  Working through the frigid winter, Block built a new ship from the salvaged remnants and named it the Onrust, Dutch for ‘Restless.’

It was the first vessel built by Europeans in New York State and the first yacht built in the New World.  In 1614, Block and his crew set off to explore coastal New York, Long Island, Connecticut, and Rhode Island with the intent of developing trade partnerships with Native Americans.  During his time on the water, Block became the first known European to travel up the Connecticut River  

The re-created Onrust was launched in 2009 by The Onrust Project, an all-volunteer non-profit out of New York, which built the vessel after painstakingly researching traditional Dutch shipbuilding techniques.  

To reach the Saybrook Point Inn at Old Saybrook, Conn., where the guests boarded the ship, the Onrust followed a similar path to the one that Block took in 1614.  It departed from Kingston, N.Y., traveled to New York Bay, traversed the treacherous Hell Gate, entered Long Island Sound and sailed to the mouth of the Connecticut River. 

While preparations were made to launch, Connecticut River Museum Board Chairman Tom Wilcox told the guests now assembled on board the Onrust, “This is a most auspicious occasion,” and correctly predicted they would have, “a lovely sail.”  Despite an earlier threat of rain, the weather cooperated completely with warm temperatures and clear skies.

Steven Tagliatella, owner of the Saybrook Point Inn and Spa, addressed the guests on board the ‘Onrust.’

Another guest on board was Steven Tagliatella, owner of the Saybrook Point Inn, who spoke effusively about the upcoming trip to the Connecticut River Museum describing the Onrust as “a spectacular sight.”  He also took the opportunity to mention the new tourism coalition he has formed to promote tourism in the state, noting that the Onrust offers “a wonderful opportunity” for tourism.

Connecticut State Historian Walter Woodward speaks on the theme of ‘restlessness,’ echoing the name of the boat — ‘Onrust’ translates from the Dutch to ‘restless.’

Walter Woodward, Connecticut’s State Historian, unquestionably spoke for everyone on the boat when he said, “To be on this boat on this day is so exciting,” but then asked the guests to take themselves back in time to the spring of 1614 when Block brought the ship he had built the previous winter and named Onrust – Restless – to the mouth of the river the natives call Quinitticut.  Woodward declared that Block, “was as restless as his little vessel,” explaining, “The 47-year-old trader-explorer was anxious to make up the losses he had experienced the previous winter, when his ship the Tyger had accidentally caught fire.”

Woodward pursued the theme of ‘restlessness’ as he continued, saying, “Then as now, the word restless had many meanings … A generation of restless Europeans … both Dutch and English would come to this river, first in search of trade with the indigenous people, and soon after, in the quest for their land and resources.”

Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna (center in sunglasses) chats with a guest during the trip up the Connecticut River.

Woodward added, “Some were restless too in a godly way – troubled in mind and spirit, seeking a place to serve God as their consciences demanded.”

He also noted that, “For those already here, the arrival of the Onrust heralded a new native restlessness – first, as the indigenous people jostled with each other for control of the distribution of European trade goods … and later to fight the efforts of these insurgents to drive them from their homes.”

Jennifer White-Dobbs enjoys the glorious river views with her son (right) and a guest.

Keeping to his theme, Woodward ended with the words, “I know you are restless to get underway, so let me conclude by saying, “ It is a privilege to be here today to mark the moment in time, when Adriaen Block and his Onrust entered the river he named Fresh River, and a world-transforming era of restless change began.”

The Essex Sailing Masters of 1812 greeted the ‘Onrust’ with bright melodies in front of the Museum.

Before introducing the next speaker, Dobbs noted, “The amount of research to build this vessel was amazing,” and also that it had taken, “Around 250 people to build the Onrust.”  He explained that the Onrust will be a floating exhibit at the Museum through early October, open for dockside tours, school and Scout programs, along with public cruises and charters.

The guests vigorously waved Dutch flags as the ‘Onrust’ pulled into the Connecticut River Museum’s dock.

Dobbs then presented Emily Boucher, who brought a message from Senator Chris Murphy, which she read aloud to the guests on the Onrust.  In the message, Murphy expressed the wish that he could join everyone on the trip, and noted he was pleased with the financial assistance the state had given the Museum which, “was going to allow it [the Museum] to not float away.”

A crew member prepares to fire the cannon to announce the boat’s arrival at the Connecticut River Museum.

Finally the Onrust departed from Saybrook Point inn and sailed serenely up the Connecticut River offering spectacular views in all directions. As the three-man crew prepared for arrival at the Museum during the first hour of the popular RiverFare event, one crew member fired a celebratory cannon.  Meanwhile, Essex’s very own Sailing Masters of 1812 provided a cheery, musical fanfare as the historic vessel approached the Museum’s dock. 

It was indeed a wonderful and “momentous” trip!

For more information on the Connecticut River Museum and the Onrust, visit the Museum’s website.  The Museum extends special thanks to Saybrook Point Inn, Marina & Spa, Essex Meadows, the Sailing Masters of 1812, and The Onrust Project for their efforts in arranging the vessel’s arrival. 

The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street in Essex and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum, located in the historic Steamboat Dock building, offers exhibits and programs about the history and environment of the Connecticut River. For a full listing of Museum programs or to buy tickets for the Onrust, RiverFare, and many other events go to www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.

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Letter From Paris: (Old Hand) Putin Meets (New Kid) Macron With Surprising Results

Nicole Prévost Logan

The hour-long press conference held jointly by long-standing Russian President Putin and newly-elected French President Macron in the Palace of Versailles on May 29, was a spectacle not to be missed.

Vladimir Putin

Emmanuel Macron

Putin had been absent from the high-powered week during which US President Donald Trump met with heads of state at the new NATO headquarters in Brussels and at the G7 summit in Taormina, Sicily. Macron seized an opportunity to invite the Russian president. The timing, location and format of the encounter of the two presidents were a smart move on the part of Macron.

He was not organizing a “state visit” – lest he offended Angela Merkel – but asking the Russian leader to be present at the inauguration of an exhibit marking the 300th anniversary of the visit of Tzar Peter the Great to France. The two presidents met in the grandiose 17th century palace of the French monarchs. Putin would probably find similarities between the ornate rooms and his elegant home town of St. Petersburg.

The visit was organized under the sign of culture and meant to revive the historical ties between the two countries. Macron mentioned how much Peter the Great had wanted to open up his country to the West and learn about its military architecture, crafts, and sciences. Putin contributed proudly an even earlier historical fact – the marriage at Queen Ann of Kiev, daughter of Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise, to French King Henry I, in 1051.

During the press conference, the supposedly “novice” French president appeared self-assured, and totally in charge of the proceedings. He described how he envisaged cooperation with Russia. His road map for Syria was to guarantee humanitarian aid to the population and emphasize that the use of chemical weapons would constitute a red line that would be met with an immediate response from France.

Macron added that failed states lead to chaos. Hence the necessity to keep Bachar el Assad until ISIS is eradicated. In Ukraine, he stressed that an agreement should be reached within the framework of the Minsk accord. The objective there is both to stop progression of the spheres of influence of Russia in the region and the escalation of violence. He did not say the word ‘Crimea,’ however, implying that its return to the Ukraine was not on the agenda.

In his statement, Macron declared that during their three-hour-long conversation they covered all topics, including areas of disagreement. As he mentioned the treatment of homosexuals and transgenders in Chechnia, he turned toward Putin and told him to his face, “We will monitor the progress you make in that area.”

During his talk, Putin looked fidgety, ill-at-ease, squirming, and with shifty eyes. He mumbled his comments. He did say though that he would be ready to engage in a dialogue. Then, turning toward the audience of international media, he almost pleaded with them, saying, “You have to convince public opinion that the sanctions are stifling Russia. Tell the world they have to be lifted.”

French journalists raised questions about the spread of fake news on the social networks and in magazines like Sputnik and Russia Today intended to destabilize the leader of the En Marche movement during the campaign. Macron retorted that those people are not journalists and will not be treated as such.

Journalists also asked what the French government was going to do about the hacking of 70,000 documents belonging to then-candidate Macron 40 hours before the first round of the vote. Macron responded that he was not going to dwell on those events, adding, “What I want to do is to move on.”

From the exchanges between the two protagonists, it was clear that Macron was in control of the situation. His message was clear and direct. The days when Putin disregarded the EU as being too weak were now over. The power dynamic was the correct one for Macron to use and Putin understood that.

This was a textbook situation where the two protagonists, although not liking each other, could work out a resolution from which both could profit. Since 1990, Putin — a major player behind the war in Syria — has been shattered by the implosion of the Russian empire. Moreover, since sanctions are hurting his country severely, the give and take of negotiation is therefore possible.

Now, we can only hope that effective action will match the quality of this performance by Macron.

Editor’s Notes:
i) This is the opinion of Nicole Prévost Logan.
ii) Nicole is, in fact, now back in Essex, but events in France are currently moving so fast that she’s continuing to write for us from this side of the Atlantic in an effort to keep readers over here up to date.  Merci, Nicole!

Nicole Prévost Logan

About the author: Nicole Prévost Logan divides her time between Essex and Paris, spending summers in the former and winters in the latter. She writes a regular column for us from her Paris home where her topics will include politics, economy, social unrest — mostly in France — but also in other European countries. She also covers a variety of art exhibits and the performing arts in Europe. Logan is the author of ‘Forever on the Road: A Franco-American Family’s Thirty Years in the Foreign Service,’ an autobiography of her life as the wife of an overseas diplomat, who lived in 10 foreign countries on three continents. Her experiences during her foreign service life included being in Lebanon when civil war erupted, excavating a medieval city in Moscow and spending a week under house arrest in Guinea.

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CT State Supreme Court Justice Richard Palmer to Speak on Journey to Same-Sex Marriage Equality, June 21


DEEP RIVER –
On June 21, Connecticut Supreme Court Associate Justice Richard Palmer will discuss the legal battle for same-sex marriage in Connecticut at an event hosted by The Valley Stands Up.

Justice Palmer authored the majority opinion in Connecticut’s 2008 decision to permit gay marriage, which was followed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states in 2015.

The event, “Equal Love: Celebrating Connecticut’s Journey to Equality in Marriage,” will be held on Wednesday, June 21, from 6:30-8:00 PM in the Deep River Library Community Room, 150 Main Street (Rt. 154).

Following Justice Palmer’s talk, the community is invited to share stories of what this ruling has meant for their own lives and to reflect on the ongoing struggle for LGBTQ rights in our communities, state, and country.

Palmer, a graduate of Wethersfield High School, earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Connecticut Law School. He has served in private practice and as a U.S. Attorney for Connecticut. In 1993, he was sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, where he continues to serve.

Justice Palmer has served on numerous boards and committees including the Criminal Justice Commission, Appellate Rules Committee, Justice Education Center, and Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. He has also been an adjunct faculty at Yale and Quinnipiac University, and is the recipient of many awards including the 2015 Judicial Recognition Award of the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

For further information on Justice Palmer’s biography, visit https://www.jud.ct.gov/external/supapp/justice6.html

The Valley Stands Up is an independent civic group created to unite our diverse communities in the Lower Connecticut River Valley through outreach, organizing, and advocacy to support the dignity and human rights for all.

Visit The Valley Stands Up on Facebook or https://thevalleystandsup.org/

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Folklore Talk, Hike in Devil’s Hopyard With UMass Amherst Prof. Gencarella, Aug. 5

Chapman Falls in Devil’s Hopyard will be included in Prof. Gencarella’s hike.

ESSEX — The Devil’s Hopyard State Park in East Haddam is one of the most intriguing places for folklore in the entire state of Connecticut. As a follow-up to the Essex Library’s folklore program on Thursday, Aug. 3, Professor Stephen Gencarella (UMass Amherst and the resident folklorist at the CT River Museum) will lead a hike throughout the park on Saturday, Aug. 5. at 9 a.m.

Gencarella will tell the copious stories about this unique location; among these are tales about the indigenous people’s culture heroes, a literary work about a wayward son, and the numerous explanations for the park’s unusual name, including the tradition of witches brewing potions in the potholes near Chapman Falls. The hike will offer a view of the valley from a cliff and hikers will have an opportunity to visit a cave along the way.

Gencarella is a professor of folklore studies at UMass Amherst and is the resident folklorist at the Connecticut River Museum. He was featured in the June 2017 Connecticut Magazine in an article entitled “The Moodus Noises” (pg. 35), and is also developing a series on Connecticut folklore for iCRV.

This program is free and open to the public. Call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560 for more information and to register. The hike will begin at 9 a.m. at the Devil’s Hopyard State Park main parking lot at 366 Hopyard Rd. in East Haddam.

Caption:
A free, folklore talk and hike in Devil’s Hopyard State Park presented by UMass Professor Stephen Gencarella at 9 a.m. Aug. 5 at Devil’s Hopyard State Park, 366 Hopyard Rd. East Haddam. Gencarella will focus on the indigenous people’s culture heroes, a literary work about a wayward son, and the numerous explanations for the park’s unusual name. Hosted by the Essex Library. RSVP: 860-767-1560.

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Tonight, CT Valley Camera Club Hosts Director of Photography from ‘The Day’

A well-known photo by Sean Elliot, who will speak at the Connecticut Valley Camera Club, Monday, June 5.

AREAWIDE — The June 5 meeting of the Connecticut Valley Camera Club (CVCC) will feature a presentation by Sean Elliot, Director of Photography at The Day in New London, Conn.  The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Lyme’s Senior Center, 26 Town Woods Rd., Old Lyme, Conn.

In addition to overseeing The Day’s staff of visual journalists, Elliot retains responsibilities as a photographer, documenting life in southeastern Connecticut. He started his career at The Day as the paper’s Digital Imaging Technician (a position now titled: night photo editor) in 1993. He was hired as a staff photographer in 1994 and became Chief Photographer in 2002 and was named Director of Photography in 2016. Prior to The Day, Eliot had internships in Lima, Ohio and Brigeport, Conn.

Elliot was born in Norwalk, Connecticut but raised in Eugene, Oregon. He returned to New England where he graduated from the Boston University College of Communications with a degree in journalism.

He has won numerous awards from the National Press Photographers Association Region One, New England Associated Press News Executives Association, Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists and the New England Press Association (NEPA). In 1994 he was the NEPA Rookie of the Year and in 2000, the NEPA Photographer of the Year. In 2007 he was given the Community Photojournalism award by the New England Society of Newspaper Editors. He has served on the board of the National Press Photographers Association, including two terms as that association’s President and chairs the NPPA Ethics Committee.

You can also follow him on Twitter @seandelliot and on Instagram @sdelliot

The Connecticut Valley Camera Club is dedicated to offering its membership the opportunity to become better photographers.  We offer a variety of presentations and interactive workshops to help our members expand their technical and creative skills.  We welcome photographers of all levels of experience.  The club draws members up and down the river, from Middletown to Old Saybrook;  from East Hampton to Old Lyme;  and along the shoreline from Guilford to Gales Ferry.

For more information, visit the club’s website.  CVCC meeting dates, speakers / topics and other notices are also published on the club’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/CTValleyCameraClubPage/

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Enjoy Essex Rotary’s Annual Shad Bake at CT River Museum Today

Shad planked and baking in front of the fire similar to the way local Native Americans would have done it centuries ago

ESSEX — One of our State’s great culinary customs returns to the Connecticut River Museum with the 2017 Essex Annual Shad Bake, which will be held Saturday, June 3, from 3 to 6 p.m.  For 59 years, the Rotary Club of Essex has been proudly holding this annual rite of spring, nailing delicious American shad onto oak planks and roasting them around a large bonfire.  Share this wonderful Connecticut tradition with your family and friends.

This year’s Bake is made possible through the generous support of Guilford Savings Bank and AJ Shea Construction.  Additional support comes from The JECM Foundation, Norman Needleman & Jacqueline Hubbard, Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services, Middlesex Hospital and many other sponsors.

This year’s Shad Bake will take place while the Connecticut River Museum’s feature exhibit, Connecticut’s Founding Fish, is on view. This new Museum exhibit focuses on the history and lifecycle of this important fish that helped shape our region.

The Museum’s executive director, Christopher Dobbs said “We are pleased to host and partner with the Rotary Club of Essex on this iconic event that celebrates part of the Connecticut River’s heritage and supports the many worthwhile projects of Rotary and Museum.”

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

This volunteer-run event has been organized by the Rotary Club of Essex and is coordinated by Bake Master Joseph Shea. Shea stated that “We offer one of the most unique culinary traditions in New England and now we are merging it with one of the most majestic and historic locations. It is a winning combination!”

A variety of activities are taking place throughout the afternoon. Join seasoned Shad Bake pioneers for a story from shad bakes of yesteryear including the year of the big flood.  The Shad Museum in Haddam and the Connecticut River Museum will also offer programs on the history and traditions of the shad fishery.  The Museum’s authentic Connecticut River shad boat, Alva Starr, will be on display throughout the afternoon.

For shad lovers, the lure is the secret ingredients and the authentic method of preparing and baking the fish which has been handed down through generations of Connecticut natives.  Nailed onto oak planks with salt pork and placed in front of the bonfire, the fish picks up the smoky flavor of the fire and the seasoned oak boards on which it is baked. Add to this delicacy homemade potato salad, tossed green salad, and pie from Lyman Orchards and your shad experience is complete.

Don’t care for shad?  Grilled chicken and hot dogs are also available!  In addition to the food, participants will be able to enjoy live music and touring the Museum, which will be open until 6 pm.  The vibrant atmosphere is enhanced with picnickers and the delicious smell of shad baking around the open fire.

Buy your tickets today!  The $30 adult (Shad or Chicken dinner option) and $10 child (12 and under) ticket includes the full meal and admission to the Museum.  Tickets will be an additional $5 on the day of the event. Beer, wine and soda will be available for purchase with a valid ID.  Freshly shucked clams and oysters will also be available at an additional price beginning at 3:00 pm. No carry-in alcohol will be permitted.

To purchase tickets, visit shop.ctrivermuseum.org or buy them in person at the Centerbrook Package Store or the Connecticut River Museum.  On-site and street parking at the Connecticut River Museum is limited.  On the day of the event, a free shuttle will be running between the Museum and the Essex Town Hall parking lot.

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

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

Representative from the two lead sponsors, Bake Master Joseph Shea of AJ Shea Construction, and David Carswell Branch Manager of Guildford Savings Bank join Connecticut River Museum Executive Director Chris Dobbs to celebrate the upcoming Shad Bake.

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Community Music School Offers Performance Anxiety Workshop Today

Community Music School faculty member Cheryl Six offers a Performance Anxiety Workshop, June 3.

CENTERBROOK — Community Music School (CMS) will be offering a Performance Anxiety Workshop specifically for musicians on June 3, from 3 to 5 p.m.  Many musicians struggle with stage fright and this workshop will address all the usual symptoms including butterflies, trembling hands, a racing heart, or worse.  The workshop is open to the public and costs just $30 for a two hour interactive workshop.

Community Music School faculty member Cheryl Six will discuss the roots of performance anxiety, the common symptoms, the most popular remedies, and tricks, tips and techniques that you have probably never heard of!  This is your opportunity to listen, learn and share with other musicians.  You will leave feeling hopeful and prepared to tackle your performance anxiety head on.

Six is an active performing flutist and instructor, specializing on piccolo.  She served as piccolo player in the US Coast Guard Band from 1977 until her retirement in 2007, and currently performs with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, a position she has held for over 35 years.  In addition, Six is often heard in the flute sections of the Salt Marsh Opera, the Con Brio Choral Society Orchestra, and other Connecticut ensembles.

After retiring from the US Coast Guard Band, Six pursued a life-long interest in hypnosis and received a certification in Hypnotherapy in 2008.  In 2012, she completed a Master’s Degree in Holistic Thinking with a focus and culminating project on “Insights in to the Use of Hypnosis for Musical Performance Anxiety.”

For additional information or to register, visit www.community-music-school.org or call CMS at 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.  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.

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Community Music School Presents ‘A Concert in the Park’ in Downtown Essex, Sunday

ESSEX – Bring your blanket, lawn chair, and picnic basket and enjoy an entertaining concert presented by the Community Music School (CMS) on Sunday, June 4, from 4-6 pm at the Main Street Park Gazebo in Essex. Three CMS student groups will be performing, including the New Horizons Band, New Horizons Brass Ensemble, and the CMS Jazz Ensemble.

Featured pieces include jazz and folk standards, Broadway tunes, and music from the American Songbook. The rain location is St. John’s Episcopal Church located at Main and Cross Streets in Essex.  The concert will be free of charge and open to the public.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 34 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 www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

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Famed Re-creation of Adriaen Block’s Boat ‘Onrust’ Sails up CT River to Dock at ‘RiverFare’

The Onrust will arrive at Connecticut River Museum during Riverfare on June 1.

Editor’s Note: Visit ValleyNewsNow.com tomorrow for a photo essay of the Onrust’s trip up the Connecticut River.

ESSEX — Firing celebratory cannons, the re-creation of Adriaen Block’s Onrust arrived yesterday at the Connecticut River Museum during the Museum’s popular RiverFare, after a short journey with dignitaries and VIPs aboard, which had begun at Saybrook Point Inn.

In 1614 the Dutch explorer and his crew investigated coastal New York, Long Island, Connecticut, and Rhode Island in pursuit of developing trade partnerships with Native Americans.  Block became the first known European to travel up the Connecticut River to just north of Hartford (a distance of approximately 60 miles from Long Island Sound). 

The re-created Onrust was launched in 2009 by The Onrust Project, an all-volunteer non-profit out of New York, which built the vessel after painstakingly researching traditional Dutch shipbuilding techniques.  For the first time, the Museum and the Project have partnered to bring the vessel to Connecticut.

The vessel will follow much of the same path that Block took in 1614.  It will depart from Kingston, N.Y., travel to New York Bay, traverse the treacherous Hell Gate, enter Long Island Sound and sail to the mouth of the Connecticut River. 

Yesterday, the Onrust completed the last leg of its journey from Saybrook Point Inn up the Connecticut River, which Block named the Versche, or Fresh River, to the Connecticut River Museum.

The Onrust will arrive during the first hour of RiverFare, which featured 16 different area restaurants and six Connecticut Micro Breweries.  Essex’s very own Sailing Masters of 1812 provided fanfare as the historic vessel approached the Museum’s dock. 

The Onrust will be a floating exhibit at the Museum through early October.  She will be opened for dockside tours, school and Scout programs, along with public cruises and charters. 

For more information on the Connecticut River Museum, the Onrust, and RiverFare, visit the Museum’s website.  Special thanks to Saybrook Point Inn, Marina & Spa, Essex Meadows, the Sailing Masters of 1812, and The Onrust Project for their effort in arranging the vessel’s arrival. 

The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street in Essex and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum, located in the historic Steamboat Dock building, offers exhibits and programs about the history and environment of the Connecticut River. For a full listing of Museum programs or to buy tickets for the Onrust, RiverFare, and many other events go to www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.

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Last Few Days to See ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ at Ivoryton Playhouse

Luke Darnell – Carl Perkins, Jamie Piddle – Fluke, John Rochette – Elvis and Jeremy Sevelovitz – Johnny Cash.

IVORYTON — What would happen if rock-n’-roll legends Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash all got together for one night only to give one of the most epic jam sessions the world has ever known? That’s what happens in Million Dollar Quartet, the Tony-winning musical that brings to life this legendary session that occurred on Dec. 4, 1956 at Sun Records Studio in Memphis, Tenn.

Million Dollar Quartet opened at the Ivoryton Playhouse May 31, and runs through June 25, 2017. 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.

Sam Phillips, the “Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll” who was responsible for launching the careers of each icon, brought the four legendary musicians together at the Sun Records studio in Memphis for the first and only time. The resulting evening became known as one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll jam sessions in history.

The jam session consisted largely of snippets of gospel songs that the four artists had all grown up singing. The recordings show Elvis, the most nationally and internationally famous of the four at the time, to be the focal point of what was a casual, spur-of-the-moment gathering of four artists who would each go on to contribute greatly to the seismic shift in popular music in the late 1950s.

John Rochette who plays Elvis Presley in the upcoming musical at Ivoryton Playhouse.

During the session, Phillips called a local newspaper, the Memphis Press-Scimitar and the following day, an article about the session appeared in the Press-Scimitar under the headline “Million Dollar Quartet”.

The jukebox Million Dollar Quartet written by Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott, brings that legendary night to life with an irresistible tale of broken promises, secrets, betrayal and celebrations featuring an eclectic score of rock, gospel, R&B and country hits including; “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Who Do You Love?,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Matchbox,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Hound Dog,” and more.

The Broadway production premiered at the Nederlander Theatre on April 11, 2010, with a cast featuring Eddie Clendening as Elvis Presley, Lance Guest as Johnny Cash, Levi Kreis as Jerry Lee Lewis, Robert Britton Lyons as Carl Perkins and Hunter Foster as Sam Phillips.  The musical transferred to New World Stages in July 2011 and closed on June 24, 2012. A US national tour and International productions followed.

The musical was nominated for three 2010 Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical. Levi Kreis won the award for Best Featured Actor for his portrayal of Jerry Lee Lewis.

This production is directed by Sherry Lutken, who was last here in 2015 with Stand By Your Man: The Tammy Wynette Story; Eric Anthony is Musical Director; Set Design is by Martin Scott Marchitto and Lighting by Marcus Abbott. Costume Design is by Rebecca Welles

The Ivoryton Playhouse production stars: Luke Darnell* as Carl Perkins, Joe Callahan* as Jerry Lee Lewis, Jeremy Sevelovitz* as Johnny Cash, John Rochette* as Elvis Presley, Ben Hope* as Sam Phillips, Jamie Pittle as Fluke, Emily Mattheson as Dyanne and Kroy Presley as Jay Perkins.

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 www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

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RiverFare Returns Tonight for 24th Year of Delicious Fun on Essex Waterfront

Photo from left to right Tom Wilcox, Chairman Connecticut River Museum; Evan Barrett, The Blue Hound Cookery & Taproom; Chris Dobbs, Executive Director Connecticut River Museum; Francis D’Urso, Cannoli’s on the Run; Bill McGuinness, Becker’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry; Anna Lathrop, Gourmet Galley Catering; and Norman Needleman, Tower Laboritories.

ESSEX — On Thursday, June 1, from 6 to 9 p.m., the waterfront lawn of the Connecticut River Museum will come to life as the scenic setting for RiverFare 2017.  Known as the unofficial kick off of summer on the shoreline, RiverFare, the area’s most popular tasting event, will feature a craft beer garden, gourmet food and wines and a huge silent auction all on the Museum grounds overlooking beautiful Essex Harbor.  Like a kid in a candy store, move from table to table and sample the best culinary delights the Connecticut River Valley has to offer.

This year’s lineup of Connecticut’s leading restaurants and food purveyors includes RiverFare newcomers Cannoli on the Run and Anna’s Café, Savour Café & Bakery, Sixpence Pie Company, Atria Crossroads Place, Spice Catering Group and Wright’s Bar + Wood Fired Grill. Back by popular demand are Red House, Fromage Fine Foods & Coffees, Gourmet Galley Catering, Griswold Inn, Essex Coffee & Tea, Catering by Selene, The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook, Coastal Cooking Company, The Blue Hound Cookery & Taproom, Dough on Main and others.

RiverFarers will also have the opportunity to join in the fun of bidding in the silent auction, which features a diverse array of fine gifts, services, and entertainment experiences.  Items include a private island weekend get-away on Brockway Island, a Stand up Paddle Board, and an overnight at Mohegan Sun including dinner at Tuscany Restaurant.  Check out additional auction items at ctrivermuseum.org.

RiverFare 2017 is presented by Tower Labs Ltd., with major support provided by Becker’s Diamond & Fine Jewelry and Bogaert Construction. 

Additional support is provided by C. Sherman Johnson Co., Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services, Sapia Builders Corp., Centerbrook Architect and Planners, Clark Group, Egidio Assante Wealth Management, Ivory Wealth Management, Middlesex Hospital,  North by Northeast Enterprises, Reynolds’ Garage & Marine, Inc., blp Enterprises, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Carr, Douglas & Cline, Caulfield & Ridgway, Innovative Display & Design and Stillman & Associates. 

Additional in-kind support is provided by Bob’s Centerbrook Package Store, Rhode VanGessel Design, and Connecticut Rental Center.  Media support is provided by Valley Courier.

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

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

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Education Mandate Relief Passes House

Rep. Bob Siegrist testifies during a Public Hearing.

AREAWIDE — On Tuesday, May 30, State Representative Robert Siegrist, who represents the communities of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam supported legislation to promote real progress for education mandate relief.

The proposal, HB 7276, An Act Concerning Education Mandate Relief, includes recommendations from concerned superintendents, administrators, teachers, Board of Education members, parents, and advocates. School districts and town officials from across the state have been strongly urging members of the legislature to provide mandate relief.

“I am happy to see the passage of this bipartisan proposal in the House, and it is my hope that this legislation will be signed into law by the governor,” said Rep. Siegrist who cosponsored the bill. “The passage of this proposal will amount to monetary savings for our districts and towns, but will also allow our dedicated educators to focus their attention on providing the best possible education and services to our students.”

The bill’s provisions include:

  • Eliminate the requirement for school districts to adopt a regional calendar
  • Require the state to purchase one digital school management and reporting software system
  • Provide a digital school management and reporting software system at no cost to districts; allowing districts to decide how they provide education to expelled students; and allowing districts to focus training in procedures for handling highly sensitive behavioral issues on staff who have direct contact with students

The bill is supported by Connecticut Council of Small Towns (COST) and passed out of the House of Representatives; it now heads to the Senate.

The 2017 legislative session adjourns on June 7.

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Essex’s Memorial Day Parade Cancelled

Essex’s Memorial Day Parade has been cancelled due to the inclement weather. According to the Town’s website, ceremonies will now be held at Essex Town Hall at 9:30 a.m. and at the Essex Veteran’s Memorial Hall at 11 a.m.

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Take the Kids to See ‘BubbleMania’ at Ivoryton Playhouse, July 28

Casey Carle will delight audiences with his ‘Bubblemania’ show at Ivoryton Playhouse, July 28.

IVORYTON — The Ivoryton Playhouse brings you another summer full of fun and educational programs all geared towards children. The Playhouse is proud to present some 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 theatre this summer at The Ivoryton Playhouse.

 

July 14
Crabgrass Puppet Theatre presents

The Pirate, The Princess and The Pea

A swashbuckling pirate and princess adventure!  A pirate’s life isn’t all “yo-ho-ho and a bottle of grog,” ya know. It’s hard work searchin’ for treasure, avoidin’ the sea monsters, keepin’ the crabs from eatin’ your nose, and fallin’ overboard just in time to meet a giant octopus. But it’s worth it when ya haul in that treasure chest . . . but the treasure in this chest happens to be a princess . . . a princess who doesn’t even believe you’re a pirate! And how do you prove you’re a real pirate? Arrgh. Well, ya start with a whole lot o’ mattresses!

July 21
Blashford Bro. Puppet Co. presents
Jack & Jill

Jack & Jill is a one-man puppet show featuring hand-carved, folk-toy-inspired puppets and live music. The show explores the contemporary issue of water conservation in the tradition of the Appalachian Jack Tale. In this story, a young coal miner and his companion go ‘up a hill to fetch a pail of water’ then take on a selfish giant and save a whole neighborhood! Everyone is welcome to a big ol’, heapin’ helpin’ of this good-natured, heartland American story of teaming up and looking out for the little guy.  A show for all ages.

July 28
Casey Carle’s
Bubblemania

Back by popular demand! Casey Carle performs tricky undulations, manipulations and juggling with bubbles. An extremely unique program combining high energy entertainment with artistic achievement, BubbleMania is loaded with visual comedy, quick wit, big band swing music and the untamed, often unbelievable qualities and beauty of spherical liquids. Casey’s creations grow from intricate and imaginative bubble artforms to “trapping” people inside bubbles! This is a bubble show to keep the 5 to 75 year-olds mesmerized.

August 25
The Comedy Magic of Danny Diamond

Come and be amazed by the comedy magic of Danny Diamond. His show will astound and entertain people of all ages. Bring the whole family for some fun and entertainment on a warm summer day.  dannydiamond.com

All performances are at 11am. Tickets are $14 and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  Book early to avoid disappointment. (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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All Veterans Welcome to March in Essex’s Memorial Day Parade, Tomorrow

ESSEX — Memorial Day offers an opportunity to reflect on our freedoms and honor those that have given their lives in defending those freedoms. In recognition of these fallen heroes, the Essex Memorial Day Parade will provide a reverent celebration winding through the streets of Essex. The parade will commence on Memorial Day, May 29, at 9 a.m.

All veterans are welcome; wear your uniform of choice or collared shirt/slacks and join your fellow warriors. Assemble at the Foot of Main Street in downtown Essex at 8:45 a.m.

The parade will follow a three-mile route as it makes the following stops to pay respects: Riverview Cemetery, First Baptist Church, Town Hall, Centerbrook Cemetery, and the Essex Veteran’s Memorial Hall. There will be a short ceremony at the Veteran’s Hall at the conclusion of the parade (approximately 11:15 a.m.)

If weather precludes a parade, ceremonies will be held at Essex Town Hall at 9:30 a.m. and at the Essex Veteran’s Memorial Hall at 11 a.m. All interested parties please contact Alex Breen, Jr., at 609.805.7146 or email huntnfreak@icloud.com  with questions. Veterans who may require transportation are requested to contact the above.

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Bill to Protect Rescue Animals in Private Shelters One Step Closer to Becoming Law

State Rep. Robert Siegrist (R-36th)

AREAWIDE — On Wednesday, May 16, State Representative Robert Siegrist applauded the passage of House Bill 6334, which passed unanimously. The bill aims to improve conditions at brick and mortar private, non-profit animal shelters by requiring them to register with the Department of Agriculture (DoAg) and to comply with local zoning requirements.

“This legislation is a step in the right direction that will help prevent animals from being neglected and abused.  We must care for our furry friends with respect and treat them like our own family, they depend on us,” said Rep. Siegrist. “I would like to make it known that I do believe that the majority of Connecticut private, non-profit animal shelters provide exceptional service to the animals in their care. Most of these shelters are run by devoted staffers, but there are a few exceptions to this rule and this legislation addresses those few bad apples.”

Under the bill, DoAg must issue a registration to an applicant upon application and payment of a $50 fee if the applicant complies with applicable state regulations and, for an initial registration, municipal zoning requirements. A registration is effective until the second Dec. 31 following issuance, may be renewed biennially by Dec. 31, and may be transferred to another premise with the commissioner’s approval.

The bill authorizes the commissioner, or his agent, to inspect an animal shelter at any time. If, in his judgement, the shelter is not being maintained in a sanitary and humane manner that protects public safety, or if he finds that contagious, infectious, or communicable disease or other unsatisfactory conditions exist, he may fine the shelter up to $500 for each affected animal, issue orders necessary to correct the conditions, and quarantine the premises and animals.

In addition, if a shelter fails to comply with the commissioner’s regulations or orders or any state law relating to animals, the commissioner may revoke or suspend its registration. Anyone aggrieved by a commissioner’s order may appeal to Superior Court. Anyone operating a shelter without a valid registration is subject to a fine of up to $200.

This bill is supported by CT Votes for animals, ASPCA, the US and CT Humane Societies and Our Companions Animal Rescue.

House Bill 6334 now heads to the Senate, where it will need to be voted on by midnight on June 7.

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