February 9, 2016

Essex Grand List Shows Slight Increase

ESSEX — The grand list of taxable property remained flat in 2015, showing only a slight 0.38 percent increase that was nearly identical to a similar tiny rise in 2014. Assessor Jessica Sypher has filed an October 2015 grand list that totals $1,040,877,591, a net increase of $3,950,411, or 0.38 percent, from the 2014 grand list total.

Sypher said a small decrease in the real estate assessment total was offset by modest increases in the assessment totals for personal property and motor vehicles. The $3,950,411 increase would generate about $83,000 in new tax revenue at the current property tax rate of 21.08 mills. The 0.38 percent increase for 2015 was nearly identical to the slight 0.36 percent rise in the 2014 grand list.

The net assessment total for real estate was $942,723,310, representing a decrease of $523,140 from the 2014 real estate assessment total.  Sypher said nearly all of the decrease resulted from a property owner’s decision to combine two building lots in the high value Foxboro Point subdivision on the Connecticut River.

The net assessment total for motor vehicles was $63,713,960, representing an increase of  $832,790 from the 2014 real estate total. The net assessment total for personal property was $34,440,321, representing an increase of $3,640,761 from the 2014 personal property total. Sypher said nearly all of the increase resulted from the new Southern Connecticut Gas Company natural gas line that was installed in sections of town last year.

The town’s top ten taxpayers showed one change from recent years. Solid waste hauler All Waste Inc. edged local businessman Herbert Clark III, who owns various residential, commercial and industrial properties. Following are the top ten taxpayers with current assessment totals:

  1. Essex Meadows Inc. — $22,875,400
  2. Lee Company — $15,633,120
  3. Connecticut Light & Power — $7,185,030
  4. SKR Partners LLC — $4,315,000
  5. All Waste Inc. — $4,147,560
  6. River Properties Inc. — $3,624,190
  7. Griswold Inn LLC — $3,377,680
  8. Stephen R. Cline Successor Trustee — $3,322,800
  9. Essex Savings Bank — $3,305,820
  10. MacBeth Ventures LLC — $2,759,500
Share

Author Bob Steele to Speak on ‘The Curse’ at Essex Congregational Church, Sunday

TheCurse_RHSteele_FrontCoverESSEX – With the Connecticut legislature expected to vote early this year on whether to approve a third casino, Essex author and former U.S. Congressman Bob Steele will speak in Essex on the impact of casino expansion on the state and the nation.  The talk, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 14, at The First Congregational Church in Essex, 6 Methodist Hill in Essex Village.

Steele is on an author’s tour regarding his book, The Curse: Big-Time Gambling’s Seduction of a Small New England Town, speaking to some 350 groups across the Northeast.  The book, which has gone into its second printing, is a fact-based novel set against the explosion of casino gambling in Connecticut during the 1990s, when two Indian tribes build the world’s two biggest casinos in the southeastern corner of the state.

WBZ Boston’s Dan Rea calls the novel “powerful” and Connecticut author Martin Shapiro describes it as “compelling and timely … a riveting story of history, money and politics that will make you wonder where America is headed.”

Bob Steele

Bob Steele

The book comes at a time when the Northeast is becoming saturated with casinos and the legislature has created a multi-step process for opening the first of what could eventually be several additional casinos in the Nutmeg State, with the first in the Hartford area.

Steele is chairman of Connecticut-based NLC Mutual Insurance Company and has been a director of numerous other companies, including the American Stock Exchange.  A graduate of Amherst College and Columbia University, he served in the CIA before being elected to Congress, and was a nominee for governor of Connecticut.

For more information, contact The First Congregational Church in Essex at 860-767-8097.

Share

Essex Library Offers “Demystifying the Future” Career Series for High Schoolers

Essex Public Library where the Career Series is being held.

Essex Public Library where the Career Series is being held.

ESSEX — As the middle of the winter season drags on and springtime can be just vaguely made out in the distance, many are looking forward to the exciting prospects that the new season will bring. For some, it is merely the release from Connecticut’s raw winter weather and the enticement of warm weather activities; while for a body of young people, the anxious wait for college application decisions has begun.

Selecting a college major, along with a career path, may appear to be a perplexing ordeal to those who have not yet found their niche. As a member of the restless class of teenagers who are anticipating the decision that will become the foundation for their future careers, I empathize with others who are in the same boat as I am and have not yet chosen a designated career path.

logoThankfully, the Essex Library has teamed up with Education Solutions of Essex to lend a helping hand to students who freeze up when that all-too-familiar, “What do you want to major in?” question strikes.

The Essex Library is a professionally-run, free public library that encourages all visitors to explore all that is offered. The youth and teen program, headed by Jessica Branciforte, is especially vibrant.

Branciforte is the smiling face behind the wonderful programs that are offered at the library for adolescents ranging from toddlers to teens. Education Solutions is a consulting firm that helps students and families identify and navigate through the process of selecting a school or career pathway.

Exterior_brick&sign_213KBA career series entitled “Demystifying the Future” has been created for students aged 12 and older who are searching for the career path that will suit them best. During each session, the Essex Library hosts a professional from a wide variety of areas ranging from communications to engineering, robotics, business and beyond. These informational sessions give students the opportunity to learn about classes required, industry trends, job prospects, degree information, salary ranges, and additional principal information regarding the career path.

Branciforte is co-heading the project along with Teal Reamer at Education Solutions, and discusses the motive behind creating the program. Branciforte comments, “Students are entering into a world where the options are overwhelming, and the pressure is on. Seeing a career description on paper is quite different from immersing oneself in the field, so it is both thrilling and reassuring to bring in experts who are willing to share their passion.”

The series runs through May 2016. The third session in this series is scheduled for Tuesday, March 1, from 6 to 7 p.m. and will feature keynote speaker Jeff Reamer who will share his experience with business and finance. The program is an opportune time to interact with people who have had first-hand experience in career areas that gives invaluable insight into a career field that may be of interest.  

To register for the session or for more information, contact the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560.

Editor’s Note: Essex Library Association is located at 33 West Avenue, Essex, CT 06426. Opening hours are Monday and Wednesday, 10am – 6pm; Tuesday and Thursday, 10am -7pm; Friday, 10am – 5pm; and Saturday, 10am – 4pm. The library is closed on Sundays. For more information, visit  http://www.youressexlibrary.org or call (860) 767-1560

Share

Free Tax Preparation Help Available Until April 12

AREAWIDE — Low- and moderate-income families can receive free tax preparation in Middlesex County. Households with income up to $53,000 are eligible for free tax preparation assistance now through April 12 at local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites, and households with income of up to $62,000 can prepare their taxes free online at myfreetaxes.com.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is an official IRS program, and all tax preparers are trained and certified to ensure that low- to moderate-income families receive the refunds and credits that they have earned, including the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credits and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.

Appointments are required and are being offered during the evenings and on Saturdays in downtown Middletown. To make an appointment, dial 2-1-1 (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or visit 211ct.org.

Individuals should bring a check or bank statement for direct deposit of their refund. Direct deposit is the quickest way to receive the refund, usually within 7 to 14 days.

When attending their pre-scheduled appointment, individuals should bring: valid photo ID for yourself and your spouse; social security cards or ITIN for everyone in the household; birth dates for everyone in the family; documentation for all income; interest and dividend statements; documentation for deductible education expenses and student loan payments; total amount paid for child care as well as day care provider’s tax identification number and address; property taxes paid, including automobile taxes; evidence of health care coverage in 2015; a copy of last year’s federal and state income tax returns, if available; and the current year’s tax package if available.

In 2015 the two VITA sites in Middletown helped more than 570 local households file their taxes for free and returned $773,120 back to taxpayers in the Middletown area. The sites are coordinated by the Middlesex VITA Coalition, a partnership of Middlesex United Way and the North End Action Team. The coalition receives support from the Connecticut Association of Human Services.

Households with income up to $62,000 last year can prepare their state and federal taxes for free at myfreetaxes.com. MyFreeTaxes tax filing software is provided by H&R Block and is sponsored by United Way, with a grant from the Walmart Foundation.

Share

Double Reed Ensemble Hosts Free Concert & Masterclass, Saturday

AREAWIDE – Community Music School and the Laurel Double Reed Ensemble will present a concert and master class on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 2 p.m. at the Centerbrook Meetinghouse, 51 Main Street, Centerbrook.

The Laurel Double Reed Ensemble is an eclectic and educational organization comprised of Anne Megan, oboe; Tamar Beach Wells, oboe d’amore; Marilyn Krentzman, English horn; and Rebecca Noreen, bassoon. They perform for schools and communities throughout Connecticut, showcasing the unusual and beautiful sounds of the double reed instruments.

At the Feb. 6 concert, the ensemble will perform a 45-minute “Arts in Education” program geared as an introduction to the double reed instrument family. The diverse musical program ranges from Let it Go from Frozen, to the traditional classical styles of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Franz Joseph Haydn. A master class with student performers will follow the performance.

The concert and master class are free and open to the public of all ages; at-will donations will be graciously accepted.

If you would like to participate in the master class, call Community Music School to reserve a spot, 860-767-0026.

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

Share

Wesleyan Professor to Discuss Post-World War II Policies at Essex Library, Saturday

Professor Sarah Willarty

Professor Sarah Willarty

Germany and Japan faced immense challenges in 1945 as these countries attempted to recover from World War II while simultaneously pursuing democracy and prosperity. How Germany and Japan met these challenges varied based on their international positions, their geographies and their cultural legacies.

This lecture analyzes similarities and differences in German and Japanese approaches to winning the peace.  The Essex Library is honored to welcome Dr. Sarah Wiliarty who will give a talk on “Winning Peace: Lessons from Post-War Policies, 1945-1950” at the Essex Library on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 2 p.m. This program is part of the Library’s focus on history during the month of February.

Sarah Wiliarty is an Associate Professor of Government at Wesleyan University. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. in Physics from Harvard University. Her book, The CDU and the Politics of Gender in Germany: Bringing Women to the Party was published by Cambridge University Press in 2010.

This program is free and open to all. Call the Library to register in advance at (860) 767-1560. The Library is located at 33 West Ave. in Essex.

Share

Community Music School Presents Glee for Grownups in Concert, Sunday

Glee for Grownups CMSCENTERBROOK – Community Music School (CMS) presents an entertaining performance by members of the CMS Glee for Grownups vocal group on Sunday, Feb. 7, at 2 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 109 Main Street, Centerbrook.

Under the direction of Karli Gilbertson, CMS Artist in Residence, and accompanied by Deborah Lyon, the group of nine adult students will perform Scottish music featuring ensemble and solo performances. A selection of some of the titles to be performed include such old favorites as “Loch Lomond,” “Amazing Grace,” “Annie Laurie,” and “My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose.” There will be at least one singer dressed in a kilt!

The concert is open to the public and free of charge.

More information is available by calling 860-767-0026 or visiting www.community-music-school.org.

Share

“Connecticut History’s Bad Boys” Annual Lecture Series in Essex Begins Feb. 21

ESSEX – Explore the dark side of the state’s past this winter at “Connecticut History’s Bad Boys,” a lecture series presented by Essex Historical Society and Essex Meadows, Sundays, Feb. 21, Feb. 28 and March 6 at 3 p.m. The illustrated talks will be held at Essex Meadows, 30 Bokum Rd., and are free and open to the public.

Each program will feature in-depth discussion about our state’s shadowy characters, such as spies, rum-runners and traitors, placing them in historical context with their equally dark and mysterious times along Connecticut’s Shoreline.

The series begins on Sunday, Feb. 21, with “Spies Among Us: Connecticut’s Crucial Role in the Secret War of American Independence” with Rachel L. Smith. In addition to Nathan Hale and Benedict Arnold, the state was also home to diplomats, double agents, couriers and innovators who took intelligence-gathering to new heights and altered the course of the Revolutionary War. Discover how Connecticut’s geographic, political, and cultural climate helped it play an outsized role in supplying and sustaining the secret war for independence.

Rachel Smith, a historian of Early America, works for the Office of the Connecticut State Historian at the UConn as a historical consultant and as an administrative editor for Common-place: the Journal of Early American Life.

“Capture of Nathan Hale, Korder,” 1940, courtesy of Rachel L. Smith

“Capture of Nathan Hale, Korder,” 1940, courtesy of Rachel L. Smith

On Sunday, Feb. 28, Robert McKenna will present “Smuggling at Sea During Prohibition: The Real McCoy, The Bootleg Queen, Rum Row, and the Origin of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

McKenna is an author and the expert on rum-running during Prohibition. He has researched, updated, edited and republished six books about liquor smuggling in the 1920s. He was a researcher, subject matter expert and executive producer of the five-time Emmy Award winning documentary film The Real McCoy (2012), and a contributor to Connecticut Public Television’s Emmy-winning documentary Connecticut Goes Dry (2012). As a former Coast Guard officer, he interdicted smugglers and practiced the legal precedents that were established during the Prohibition-era.

“Liquor-Laden Schooner,” courtesy of Robert McKenna

“Liquor-Laden Schooner,” courtesy of Robert McKenna

The series concludes on Sunday, March 6, as Eric D. Lehman, author of Homegrown Terror: Benedict Arnold and the Burning of New London,  discusses how Connecticut native Benedict Arnold and 1,600 British soldiers and loyalists captured Fort Griswold and burned down the settlement of New London in 1781, and explores how and why Arnold betrayed his countrymen and killed his neighbors.

Lehman, a professor of creative writing at the University of Bridgeport, has widely published fiction, travel stories, essays and nonfiction.

Cover of “Homegrown Terror,” courtesy of Eric Lehman

Cover of “Homegrown Terror,” courtesy of Eric Lehman

More information can be found at www.essexhistory.org or by calling Essex Historical Society, 860-767-0681.

Share

Community Music School Hosts Open House Week, Feb. 1-5

Suzuki Violin StudentCENTERBROOK – Community Music School (CMS), located in the Spencer’s Corner professional complex at 90 Main St. in Centerbrook, invites the general public to visit during Open House Week, Feb. 1 – 5.

Children and adults can tour the school’s studios, meet teachers and staff, enjoy a free preview lesson, and learn about a vast array of programs for all ages, including private and group lessons, clarinet, jazz, and string ensembles, music therapy services,  and Kindermusik.

Community Music School is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. If interested in a 15-minute free preview lesson, call 860-767-0026 for scheduling.

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. The school’s programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so that they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.

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

Share

Essex Library’s Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series Begins Eighth Year Tonight

The 2016 Centerbrook Lecture Series opens with a talk on the evolution of ocean liners by Chad

The 2016 Centerbrook Lecture Series opens with a talk on the evolution of the modern ocean liner by Chad Floyd.

Chad Floyd

Chad Floyd

The Essex Library invites you to the kick off of the eighth year of its architecture lecture series sponsored by Centerbrook Architects on Friday, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m. at the Essex Town Hall when the program, “SS United States, Hallmark of 20th Century Design” will be presented by architect and raconteur Chad Floyd, FAIA.

Floyd will tell the story of the great ocean liner SS United States, designed by marine architect Francis Gibbs and interior designer Dorothy Marckwald.  He will show how this little-known pair reimagined ocean liners and invented a new mid-century aesthetic that married function with glamour and changed American design forever.

Over the previous seven years, the lecture series has enjoyed presentations by architects and landscape architects from across the United States and Canada. The series was also honored to welcome Nobel Prize winner James Watson, who participated in a discussion on designing science laboratories at Cold Spring Harbor.

Upcoming Centerbrook series lectures this spring will include talks on barns in Connecticut; the architecture of Hugh Ferriss and Lee Lawrie; and a premiere of the film Modern Ruin: A World’s Fair Pavilion by Matthew Silva.

This program is free and open to all.

For more information or to register, call the Library at (860) 767-1560.  The Essex Town Hall is located at 29 West Ave. in Essex.

Share

Learning Engineering Concepts Through Legos at Essex Elementary

Fourth graders - Devon Welch, Noah Santangelo and Ben Rector - work with Luke DeFrino of Chester, a junior at Valley Regional High School, during a new LEGO robotics program at EES.

Fourth graders – Devon Welch, Noah Santangelo and Ben Rector – work with Luke DeFrino of Chester, a junior at Valley Regional High School, during a new Lego robotics program at EES.

ESSEX — A special after-school program recently began at Essex Elementary School (EES).  Boys and girls, in grades 4 through 6, are learning about engineering concepts by building Lego Mindstorms robots.

Jimmy Christensen, a science teacher from Bushy Hill Outdoor Education and Leadership Center, is working with students each week, alongside a team of high school mentors.

This program is sponsored by the Essex Elementary School Foundation, a not-for-profit, volunteer organization that provides funds for enrichment opportunities, such as author visits and an iPad lab.

For donation information, head to www.essexelementaryschoolfoundation.org.

 

Share

Coldwell Banker’s Essex Office Donates to Shoreline Soup Kitchen, Essex Housing Authority

The Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Essex office recently presented an $800 donation to the Essex Housing Authority. Pictured from left are affiliated sales associates Dee Hasuly, Roy Monte, Laurel Peters, Tammy Mesite of the Essex Housing Authority, Peter Bonanno, and Jeanne Rutigliano, manager of the Coldwell Banker Essex office.

The Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Essex office recently presented an $800 donation to the Essex Housing Authority. Pictured from left are affiliated sales associates Dee Hasuly, Roy Monte, Laurel Peters, Tammy Mesite of the Essex Housing Authority, Peter Bonanno, and Jeanne Rutigliano, manager of the Coldwell Banker Essex office.

ESSEX – The Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage office in Essex recently donated a total of $1,800 to the Shoreline Soup Kitchen & Pantries and the Essex Housing Authority. The donations were made through the company’s charitable foundation, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Cares Foundation.

A $1,000 donation was presented to the Shoreline Soup Kitchen & Pantries, an interfaith service that provides food and fellowship to those in need and also educates the community about hunger and poverty. Additionally, an $800 donation was made to the Essex Housing Authority.

The Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Essex office presented $1,000 to the Shoreline Soup Kitchen & Pantries. Pictured from left are affiliated sales associates Rick Greene, Laurel Peters, Executive Director Patricia Dowling, and Roy Monte.

The Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Essex office presented $1,000 to the Shoreline Soup Kitchen & Pantries. Pictured from left are affiliated sales associates Rick Greene, Laurel Peters, Executive Director Patricia Dowling, and Roy Monte.

“We are committed to giving back to the community and are especially proud to support these worthy organizations which provide vital services to local residents. The resources and assistance they offer is essential for the health, well-being, security and stability of our neighbors,” said Jeanne Rutigliano, sales manager of the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage office in Essex.

The Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Cares Foundation is supported by the affiliated sales associates and staff of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. Through regular donations, fundraising events and volunteer support, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s affiliated sales associates and staff demonstrate their commitment to unity, hope and vision in the communities of Connecticut and Westchester County.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Cares Foundation is a chapter of Realogy Charitable Foundation, a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in Delaware, tax ID 20-0755090. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Cares Foundation’s primary purpose is to raise funds to provide financial assistance to housing-related causes in the communities where we have a presence.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, a leading residential real estate brokerage company in Connecticut and Westchester County, N.Y., operates approximately 51 offices with more than 2,200 affiliated sales associates serving the communities of Connecticut and Westchester County, N.Y. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is part of NRT LLC, the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage company.

For more information, visit ColdwellBankerHomes.com.

Share

Take a Winter Raptors Field Trip, Feb. 13; Only 14 Spots Available

Winter Raptors trip 2015 aAREAWIDE – The Essex Land Trust and the Connecticut Audubon Society are planning a half-day field trip on Saturday, Feb. 13, to look for winter birds of prey such as eagles, hawks and owls.

Connecticut Audubon Society EcoTravel Director Andy Griswold and Land Trust Board member Jim Denham are leading the trip, which will cover the lower Connecticut River Valley region from Deep River and Essex to Old Lyme.

Novice and advanced birdwatchers are welcome. Bring a bag lunch, binoculars and warm clothes. Two vans are available to seat the first 14 people who sign up.

The event takes place from 12 to 4 p.m. Meet at Essex Town Hall parking lot. To reserve, call Judy Saunders at 860-581-8108, or email her at judith.saunders@comcast.net by Feb. 10.  Inclement weather cancels.

 

Share

Essex Wellness Center Offers Free ‘Live Well’ Lecture Series, Third Presentation Tomorrow

Essex Wellness Center at Novelty Ln. in Essex.

Essex Wellness Center at Novelty Ln. in Essex.

Essex Wellness Center presents a “Live Well 2016!” lecture series throughout the winter and spring of 2016.  The series features free 90-minute (60-minute lecture plus 30-minute Q & A) educational lectures presented by various Essex Wellness Center holistic professionals.  All lectures will be held at the Essex Wellness Center Group Space upstairs at 8 Novelty Lane in Essex Village — parking is in the lot and on Main Street.  Pre-registration* is required because space is limited.

Three “Live Well 2016″ lectures are scheduled during January as follows:

Not Your Typical Weight Loss Talk
Saturday, Jan. 16, from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Dr. Dana Krete

Dr. Dana Krete

Dr. Dana Krete, Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and acupunturist, will discuss the topic of weight loss from a very different perspective.  She won’t talk about … restricting calories and exercising ’til you drop but she will talk about …

  • Her #1 nutritional recommendation for weight loss and radiant health… and it’s not just eating less calories.
  • Why most commercial weight loss programs set you up to lose weight initially, only to put it back on later
  • What your microbiome is and why it’s instrumental in your ability to lose weight and curb cravings
  • The cortisol connection: how exercising more, and at a higher intensity may actually be hindering your ability to lose weight and making you feel more tired
  • How certain key mineral deficiencies can cause insulin resistance and put your body into fat storing mode

Dr. Krete earned her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine and Master of Acupuncture at National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. In addition to her in-depth knowledge of Naturopathic and Chinese medicine, she also has a background in health and fitness as a personal trainer, fitness instructor, triathlete and Division I college scholarship athlete.

Dr. Krete uses a multidisciplinary approach to treatment including acupuncture, Chinese and Western herbs, homeopathy, nutritional supplements, and especially enjoys providing nutritional counseling.

Staying true to the roots of both Chinese and Naturopathic medicine, every patient is treated as a whole person and as an individual. She enjoys treating patients of all ages and, as a mother of two, she is very happy to see children in her practice. She has experience treating a vast array of medical conditions from colicky infants and children with ear infections to autoimmune conditions, diabetes and mood issues such as anxiety and depression.

She has a particular interest in treating hormonal imbalances including PMS and menopause, digestive disorders, fatigue, anxiety, depression and insomnia, and also musculoskeletal pain including sciatica, low back and neck pain. With her extensive interest and knowledge in nutrition and fitness, she also works with patients whose primary goal is weight loss or optimizing wellness.

Celebrating Your Child’s Strengths in our Culture of Competition and Comparison
Saturday, Jan. 23, from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Peggy Chappell

Peggy Chappell

This presentation will explore the challenge and the power in recognizing and celebrating each child as a unique individual with temperamental and strength preferences. Peggy Chappell, LCSW, therapist, coach and educator, will include discussion of latest research in the area of character strengths.

Chappell is a licensed clinical social worker, educator, coach, and consultant. She has over 30 years of experience working with children and families as a child and family therapist at YNHH and the Yale Child Study Center and as an administrator at The Country School.

In her current work, she integrates this wealth of experience, her passionate interest in the well-being of children and parents with her recent training and teaching in the fields of positive psychology and resilience.

Healthy Body – Healthy Weight: The secrets to improving your body composition permanently
Saturday, Jan. 30, from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Dr. Derrick Schull

Dr. Derrick Schull

Dr. Derrick Schull, naturopathic physician, explains that weight loss is both extremely simple and extraordinarily complex.  If one knows why it has been difficult to maintain a healthy body weight, one can begin to understand the most effective and long-lasting methods to take you where you want to be. This approach will help someone look at every aspect of their life from metabolic irregularities to emotional obstacles.

He maintains that the most important thing to remember about weight loss is that it is about more than just losing some extra pounds.  It is about creating a healthy life and body, whereby the pounds happen to vanish on their own.  It is not about being deprived but rather putting yourself first and making health a priority.

Dr. Schull, ND, holds a bachelor of science in psychology from UMass-Amherst, as well as a doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. He holds certification in Craniosacral Therapy and Low Energy Neurofeedback Systems.

He specializes in homeopathy and Naturopathic Manipulative Therapy, a form of physical medicine that is a hybrid of chiropractic, physical therapy, and osteopathic techniques. This is hands-on medicine utilized to correct any abnormalities in structure that are affecting how the body functions.

As a naturopathic doctor, Dr. Schull has in-depth experience of treating more than simply diseases.  With the whole person approach, he is able to treat all aspects of a person’s suffering.

*Pre-registration is required to reserve your seat in these limited-space lectures.   To register online, visit this link, click on ‘Workshops,’  find the lecture for which you wish to register and click ‘Sign Up.’  To register by email or phone, contact info@essexwellnessctr.com or 860-767-7770.

Share

Essex Library Hosts Wnek’s ‘Soul of the Landscape’ Photo Exhibit During February

'Whispers of Past' by Peter Wnek illustrate's the photographer's captivating style.

‘Whispers of Past’ by Peter Wnek beautifully illustrate’s the photographer’s captivating style.

ESSEX — Award-winning photographer Peter Wnek explores the ‘Soul of the Landscape’ in his exhibition and sale of fine art photography at the Essex Library, which runs through Feb. 2 – 28, with an opening reception on Sunday, June 7, from 4 to 7 p.m.

‘Soul of the Landscape’ celebrates the beauty and spirit of our woodlands and waterways, as seen in Whispers of the Past and its breathtaking view along the Connecticut River. Wnek’s work captures the light and details one might expect from a painting—which is no accident. He has long been inspired by the purity and innocence of the American landscape as portrayed by the 19th century Hudson River painters. “I strive for that same warm light, the luminous or stormy skies, to invoke a charm or a mood,” he explains.

Wnek’s photographs often reveal the story of the landscape—its whisper of bygone days, the intrinsic cycles of nature. With a focus on local scenes, this exhibit speaks to the beauty that surrounds us, the coastal vistas and woodland spaces that are unique to our state. In a familiar kaleidoscope of colors, see the rising and setting sun, the harmony of sky and land, the collusion of rock and sea.

As Wnek explains, “I am intrigued by the soothing compositions and repetitive patterns that collectively reveal the Divine at work.”

Featured in this exhibit is Silver Glade, an image of trees on a ridge near Meriden. It recently won the Salmagundi Club of NYC’s 2015 “Henry O’Connor Award” for excellence, portraying the gentler, quieter landscape of New England.

It is that voice of New England which Wnek most hopes to capture in his photographs, “those intimate moments of our own landscapes” waiting to be revealed.

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

 

For more information about photographer Peter Wnek, visit www.PeterWnekPhoto.com.

Share

Essex Historical Society Presents Program on E.E. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Brand, Today

Printing area, ground floor of new office 1929

This 1929 photo shows the printing area and ground floor of the then new E.E. Dickinson office. Image courtesy of the Essex Historical Society.

ESSEX — The 20th century was a time of great change and growth in the manufacturing and marketing of American products. The E.E. Dickinson Company, an Essex-based producer of Witch Hazel, was one of the most successful in dominating the national market and becoming a household name. The fascinating story of the birth of the Dickinson brand will be presented by the Essex Historical Society on Sunday, Jan. 24, at 3 p.m. in the original 1924 corporate office building — now Wells Fargo Advisors — at 31 North Main St. in Essex.

Image courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

Image courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

Local historian Brenda Milkofsky will address the complex, well-timed marketing efforts of the E.E. Dickinson Company, providing historical perspective on the local and national impact of the company’s growth.

A variety of Dickinson advertising and marketing artwork will be highlighted along with images that illustrate the company office environment and processes. Tours of the building’s public areas, including the gracious 1920s lobby, will be given following the program.

This lecture is part of a series of special events celebrating the Essex Historical Society’s 60th anniversary and the E.E. Dickinson Company legacy. The program is free and open to the public.

More information can be found at www.essexhistory.org or by calling 860-767-0681.

 

 

 

 

 

Share

Essex First Selectman Lauds Area Firefighters for Quelling 24-Hour Blaze at Calamari Recycling

A view of the Calamari Recycling facility after the flames had subsided.

A view of the Calamari Recycling facility after the flames had subsided.  Photo by Jerome Wilson.

ESSEX — Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman in an official statement on Jan. 16 praised area firefighters for quelling on Jan. 6, “one of the worst and longest burning fires in Essex in decades,” which occurred at the Calamari Recycling Co. Inc. at 20, Dump Rd., in Essex. In an article by Karena Garrity published Jan. 12 in the weekly Valley Courier newspaper and on Zip06.com, it was reported that to tame the blaze, “it was estimated that more than 150 firefighters from more than 15 different fire departments,” were on the scene.

In his statement published on the Town of Essex’s website, Needleman praised, “The rapid and well organized response from Essex Firefighters, Police and Public Works, as well as mutual aid efforts of firefighters from other towns. These highly trained individuals worked together like a well-oiled machine throughout, even when exhaustion set in.” Needleman added, “Services from in and out of our Town came to our rescue and helped to minimize the impact of this fire. The Town of Essex can’t thank you all enough.”

Over a dozen fire departments from the surrounding area played a role in extinguishing the fire at the Calamari scrap metal recycling facility, and it took over 24 hours for the firefighting units ultimately to quell the blaze.

Although there were no reports of injuries as a result of the fire, the Valley Courier newspaper article reported that flames at the facility, “created thick billows of clouds of smoke for several days, causing town and school officials in the area to take precautions in regard to air quality conditions.” The Valley Courier also reported, “Student at Essex Elementary School were held inside for recess on Jan. 7 and 8 to ensure safety, and the Department of Environment and Energy Protection visited the area to conduct air quality testing, ”which turned out to be in the safe quality range.”

According to the Valley Courier’s report, “The fire started in the construction and demolition debris building, one of the four buildings on the Calamari Recycling property,” and that, “the cause of the fire was thought to be a spark from a cardboard bailer.” Also reported in the article was that, “Essex firefighters as well as members of  the Essex Public Works Department stayed on the scene for 28 straight hours.”

In addition, the Essex Public Works Department set up a warming center for firefighters and supplied more than 500 gallons of diesel fuel to tanks for the engines that were on the scene.

The fire on Jan. 6 at the recycling facility was the “the worst fires in 60 years,” according to a Calamari Recycling staff member, who declined to give her name in an interview on Jan. 19.  As for the status of the investigation of the fire, “the insurance people were looking at it,” she said, declining to give further details.

Share

CT River Museum Begins EagleWatch, Winter Wildlife Boat Tours

Connecticut River Museum environmental educator Bill Yule leads the boat tours and helps participants spot Bald Eagles, wintering hawks and waterfowl and other wildlife from the deck of EnviroLab III. Photo: Connecticut River Museum

Connecticut River Museum environmental educator Bill Yule helps visitors spot Bald Eagles, wintering hawks and waterfowl and other wildlife from the deck of EnviroLab III. Photo: Connecticut River Museum

AREAWIDE – The Connecticut River Museum, in partnership with Project Oceanology, will begin its annual EagleWatch and Winter Wildlife boat tours aboard the EnviroLab III on Friday, Jan. 29.

Winter is the best time for seeing Bald Eagles in Connecticut, and the best place to see them is from a boat on the Connecticut River. Connecticut has more than 80 year-round resident breeding eagles, but in winter the number can swell to 150 as rivers and lakes freeze farther north.

Eagles are not the only attraction for winter wildlife viewing, as other raptors like marsh hawks, Peregrine falcons and snowy owls can be spotted from the river. Ducks, loons, harbor seals and other wildlife all become more visible in the austere beauty of the winter riverfront landscape.

From Jan. 29 through March 13, boat tours will be offered on Fridays at 1 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Each tour on the EnviroLab III is 90 minutes long. You can stand out on the deck looking for wildlife or relax in the heated cabin with complimentary coffee and watch the river through the windows. Naturalists will narrate the trip and help you spot the eagles and other wildlife.

For more information or to make reservations, visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269. The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Share

Though Losing a Leader, Pettipaug Yacht Club Will Keep Teaching the Young to Sail   

Pettipaug Sailing Academy sailors putting their boats in the water in a recent sailing season

Pettipaug Sailing Academy sailors putting their boats in the water in a recent sailing season.

ESSEX — With the death last November of Paul Risseeuw, who for over 50 years led the sailing programs at the Pettipaug Sailing Academy, some asked will this mean the end of an immensely popular program for teaching young people to sail.

However, according to the club’s Vice Commodore Kathryn Ryan, this is not going to be the case. “In response to this loss,” Ryan said in a statement, “the Pettipaug Board of Governors has increased our effort to provide the best sailing program in the area. Many talented officers of our club have come forward to step up their involvement to guarantee a smooth transition to 2016. Our top priorities are safety, learning, providing talented instructors, as well as equipment and facilities, and, of course, fun on the water.”

Ryan continued, “I have been elected to the role of Vice Commodore, which includes the duty of Chairman of the Pettipaug Sailing Academy.” Also, she noted, “I have been involved with the Pettipaug Sailing Academy for the last eight years, as my own children have come through the program.”

Ryan Introduces Ann Courcy, Club Sailing Director for 2016

In introducing Ann Courcy, the club’s new sailing director, Ryan noted, “Ann is a Deep River resident who had firsthand knowledge of our program, not only though her work with us, but also as a parent of two former and two current students. We are fortunate to have someone with Ann’s working knowledge of our program and our club on board for the coming year.”

Ryan went on to note that the club is presently accepting registrations for the summer of 2016, and that the application form can be found on the club’s web site. She added, “We will also be looking for help from parent volunteers through the season, so please consider sharing your talents, when we send out our request for help. Together we can continue to offer a high quality program for our junior sailors.”

Share

Essex Saving Bank’s Honan Receives ‘New Leaders in Banking’ Award

Shawn P. Honan, CPA.

Shawn P. Honan, CPA

Shawn P. Honan, CPA, has been named one of 13 ‘New Leaders in Banking’ for 2015 by the Connecticut Bankers Association. Honan is entering his 25th year at Essex Savings Bank — starting as an Accounting/Operations manager, Honan has worked his way up through the management ladder of Essex Savings Bank to the point where he is now Senior Vice President, Treasurer, and Chief Financial Officer, and is an essential part of the four-person senior management team.

He enjoys serving the community including spending 10 years coaching Little League baseball and softball while also serving as the Treasurer of the organization for most of those years and is also active both in his local church parish, including serving on the Vestry as Treasurer for four years, as well as serving the broader church throughout the state.

“I am proud to say Shawn has been an integral part of the success of our Bank. He is a thoughtful colleague who has helped shape our balance sheet and assisted in building a business that is sustainable. I enjoy strategizing with him and have appreciated his counsel and friendship,” stated Gregory R. Shook, President and CEO of Essex Savings Bank.

“I am honored and truly flattered to have been nominated for and chosen to receive this award. My sincere thanks to President Shook and the Board of Directors for their support and confidence in me. I consider it a privilege to serve this great institution and the financial needs of the people and businesses in our communities,” said Honan.

The awards are presented by the Connecticut Bankers Association and Connecticut Banking magazine and the ‘New Leaders In Banking’ honorees were chosen by an independent panel. To be eligible, an individual must work in a Connecticut bank, be an outstanding employee, manager, or business leader and make a notable impact within their bank or community.

Essex Savings Bank is a FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851. The Bank serves the Connecticut River Valley and shoreline with six offices in Essex (2), Chester, Madison, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook providing a full complement of personal and business banking. Financial, estate, insurance and retirement planning are offered throughout the state by the Bank’s Trust Department and wholly-owned subsidiary, Essex Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC.

Share

Community Music School Jazz Ensemble Presents Concert This Evening

CMS Jazz Ensemble members Nolan Serbent of Killingworth (l) and Arthur Masiukiewicz of Essex (r); photo courtesy of Joan Levy Hepburn)

CMS Jazz Ensemble members Nolan Serbent of Killingworth (l) and Arthur Masiukiewicz of Essex (r). Photo courtesy of Joan Levy Hepburn.

CENTERBROOK – Community Music School (CMS) presents a concert by the CMS Jazz Ensemble on Saturday, Jan. 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Centerbrook Meetinghouse, 51 Main St., Centerbrook. The ensemble, comprised of students ages 13 to 17, will perform a mixed repertoire of blues, jazz standards, traditional swing, and Latin jazz. Directed by Tom Briggs, the CMS Jazz Ensemble is now in its 19th year.

Briggs is a retired member of the US Coast Guard Band and former musical director of the Coast Guard Masters of Swing. He is a well-known percussionist, pianist, and composer and has been on the CMS faculty since 1985. The concert is free and open to the public.

Call 860-767-0026for additional information.

Editor’s Note: Community Music School is a not-for-profit arts organization offering innovative programming for infants through adults, building on a 30 year tradition of providing quality arts programs for residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so that they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives. Additional information can be found at or www.community-music-school.org .

Share

Bear-y Interesting: Learn About Black Bears in CT at Essex Library Talk, Jan. 26

blackbearBlack bear sightings are increasing every year, even in Connecticut’s shoreline towns, as their preferred habitat expands as farmlands revert to forest.

Master Wildlife Conservationist (MWC) Paul Colburn will present an illustrated talk on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 6:30 p.m. at the Essex Library. This presentation will focus on the natural history of black bears in CT, an overview of black bear habitat, diet, behavior, and current research efforts.  Colburn will also provide recommendations for optimum coexistence with our black bear population especially as the recent warm weather has delayed hibernation.   

Colburn is a graduate of Master Wildlife Conservationist Program which is a Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) adult education program that trains participants in the fields of wildlife management, natural history and interpretation. The purpose of the program is to develop a volunteer corps capable of providing education, outreach, and service for state agencies, environmental organizations, libraries, schools, and the general public. Paul recently retired from a long and successful career in technology. 

In addition to his work as a MWC he volunteers for the Red Cross, Wesleyan University Admissions, AARP, The Connecticut Sports Foundation, and A Place Called Hope (raptor recovery and rehab).  Colburn holds a BA from Wesleyan University and served honorably in the United States Army. 

This talk is free and open to the public. Advance registration is recommended; call the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560. The Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.

Share

Essex Winter Series Kicks Off 2016 Concert Season Today with Juilliard String Quartet, Pianist Mihae Lee

ESSEX — Essex Winter Series has announced the artists and programs for its 2016 season. Designed by Artistic Director Mihae Lee for its quality and variety, this 39th season promises to be an exciting one, all four very different programs by world-class artists. Enjoy great chamber music, hot jazz, expressive vocal music, and the thrill of a full orchestra.

All of the concerts are on Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m. in Deep River. Concerts take place at Valley Regional High School, with the exception of the March 6 concert, which will be presented at John Winthrop Middle School.

Pianist Mihae Lee.

Essex Winter Series Artistic Director and pianist Mihae Lee.

Jan. 10: The Juilliard String Quartet with pianist Mihae Lee
Valley Regional High School

One of the country’s most revered string quartets will be joined by our artistic director in a program of three favorites from the classical repertory: Mo­zart’s “Dissonance” Quartet, Beethoven’s String Quar­tet in F major, Op. 135, and the monumental F minor Piano Quintet of Brahms. The Juilliard members are violinists Joseph Lin and Ronald Copes, violist Roger Tapping, and cellist Joel Krosnick, who will perform his 41st and final season with the quartet before his retirement later in 2016.  Co-sponsored by Northstar Wealth Partners

Feb. 21: Stu Ingersoll Jazz Concert 
Jeff Barnhart and His Hot Rhythm
Valley Regional High School

Jeff Barnhart, our jazz artistic advisor, has thrilled EWS audiences for years with his performances of hot jazz. The renowned pianist, vocalist, arranger, bandleader, re­cording artist, composer, educator, and entertainer will perform seminal jazz and pop standards from the first half of the 20th century with a top-notch band: Scott Philbrick on trumpet, banjo, and guitar; Joe Midiri on reeds; Paul Midiri on vibes and trombone; Anne Barnharton flute and vocals; Vince Giordano on bass, tuba, and bass sax; and Jim Lawlor on drums. Co-sponsored by The Clark Group and Tower Laboratories

March 6: Patricia Schuman, soprano
John Winthrop Middle School

We are delighted to welcome back to our stage the internationally-celebrated soprano Patricia Schuman. Her program, “Winter Romance,” will feature songs of love and loss as well as lighter fare from the great Amer­ican songbook and musical theater. She will be joined by harpist Megan Sesma, pianist Douglas Dickson, and a special surprise guest artist. Ms. Schuman has been engaged by the most distinguished opera houses throughout the world, and has collaborated with many of the foremost conductors and directors of our time. Co-sponsored by Essex Savings Bank and an anonymous foundation

April 3: Fenton Brown Emerging Artists Concert 
New Haven Symphony Orchestra with violinist Tessa Lark
Valley Regional High School

Now in its 121st year of continuous operation, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra is one of the country’s finest regional orchestras. Returning to our series, the orchestra under music director William Boughton will perform Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro, Haydn’s “London” Symphony, and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, featuring our 2016 Emerging Artist, Tessa Lark. Lark won the prestigious Naumburg International Violin Award in 2012, and is one of today’s most sought-after young violinists. Co-sponsored by Guilford Savings Bank and an anonymous foundation

All tickets to Essex Winter Series concerts are general admission. Individual tickets are $35; four-concert subscriptions are $120, which represents a $20 saving over the single-ticket price for four concerts. Tickets may be purchased on the EWS website, www.essexwinterseries.com, or by calling 860-272-4572.

More program information, artist biographies and photos, and much more is available on the Essex Winter Series web site, www.essexwinterseries.com.

Share

Deadline for Land Trusts’ Amateur Photo Contest Entries is Jan. 31

2013 Land Trust Photo Contest winner by Hank Golet.

This photo by Hank Golet was a winning entry in the 2013 Land Trust Photo Contest.

ESSEX — Five local land trusts invite amateur photographers of all ages to help celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Land Trusts Amateur Photo Contest. Everyone is welcome to share their love of the natural world by entering their favorite photographs.  Submissions are being accepted until Jan. 31.

A panel of three judges will award prizes in five categories for photographs that best capture the beauty of the scenic countryside, wildlife, plants, and cultural and historic features in the towns of Essex, East Haddam, Lyme, Old Lyme and Salem. Children are encouraged to enter in the Youth category for ages 14 and below. 

Entry Forms are available only by email at photocontest@lymelandtrust.org. A copy of the Contest Rules with details about submission will be included in the reply.

For more information and details for submission go to lymelandtrust.org. http://www.lymelandtrust.org/news/photo-contest/

Cash awards are being funded with the generous support of our sponsors: RiverQuest/CT River Expeditions, Ballek’s Garden Center, Lorensen Auto Group, Evan Griswold at Coldwell Banker, Essex Savings Bank, The Oakley Wing Group at Morgan Stanley, ChelseaGroton Bank, and Alison Mitchell in honor of her late husband John G. Mitchell.

The Lyme Land Conservation Trust, Essex Land Trust, the Old Lyme Land Trust, Salem Land Trust, and East Haddam Land Trust are sponsoring the event. Previous Land Trusts Photo Contest winning photos are viewable at https://landtrustsphotos.shutterfly.com/.

All of the photographs entered will be displayed and celebrated at the Photo Contest Reception on March 11, at the Lymes’ Senior Center. The winning photographs will be announced at that time.

Share

Eversource Notifies Essex Community of 2016 Tree Trimming

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

File photo of Augie Pampel, Essex Tree Warden and Bruce Glowac, President of the Essex Foundation.

ESSEX — Augie Pampel, Essex Tree Warden, has been notified by Eversource that additional tree trimming in the community will begin first quarter of 2016.  Residents will be contacted by the Lucas Tree permissions people starting in January 2016.

These contractors are obliged by the new PURA (Public Utilities Regulatory Authority) regulations and state statutes to notify abutting owners of planned tree work, on or hanging over the public road.  Tree owner approval is required for trees wholly on public property.

Pampel would like residents to know that according to these new statutes, they have the right to accept the planned work, waive their rights to object to the work, modify the work or they can refuse all tree work, if they choose. Those wishing to modify the work or object to the trimming or removal should follow the procedure described in the handouts received from the permissions contact person. This would include contacting the local Tree Warden and the Eversource in writing.

Roads that will be subject to ETT (Enhanced Tree Trimming), which is the most expansive specification, are Laurel Rd. and Dennison Rd. Enhanced Tree Trimming is ground to sky clearance and eight feet from the conductors’ clearance. If more than one quarter of a tree’s leaves have to be removed to satisfy this specification, the entire tree will be requested to be removed.

The following information was provided by Eversource and will be given to each abutting property owner affected by the upcoming tree work:

Year round trimming is “one of the ways we provide safe and reliable electric service”.  By removing potential hazardous growth close to power lines, they provide not only reliable service but also safer physical and visual access for their employees who work on the lines.  Problems can therefore be solved more efficiently.  Eversource states that all work is performed following professional tree care industry standards and best practices.

There are several clearance specifications. You should discuss the specific one that will be used in your area with the permissions contact, who leaves the slip with you.

The trees at risk are:

  • Those trees that can fall on or contact power lines and cause an outage.
  • Tree professionals will determine a tree’s hazardous potential based on species, location, health and structural composition.
  • Eversource arborists will also determine a tree’s risk of causing an outage and prioritize removal accordingly.  If a tree must be removed, it will be cut as low to the ground as possible
  • Critical trimming can occur without permission by the abutting owner if there is evidence that the tree or brush are in direct contact with power lines or have visible signs of burning.  This is “to protect public safety and system reliability.”

Low growing shrubs and grasses will not be removed in order to maintain a low-growing plant community.

Eversource will treat hardwood trees that can re-sprout from a cut stump with an herbicide to prevent regrowth.  As per Eversource, the herbicide has been tested and approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.  It will be “selectively applied with a handheld spray bottle by state licensed and certified personnel only to the outer edge and side of a stump.”

According to the Connecticut General Statutes (22a-66a), certain herbicide label information must be provided to the property owner where herbicides are used.  Property owners can ask the tree contractor requesting permission for trimming if herbicides will be used and request the herbicidal labels.

Eversource will make available to customers free of charge all cut wood or mulch produced from the tree work.  Larger limbs and tree trunks will be cut into manageable lengths and mulch can be dumped where vehicle access is possible.

In an effort to provide effective communication and better customer service, Eversource will seek property owner approval in advance of the tree work.  They will stop at all homes abutting areas of potential work to provide information and request approval for the trimming.

It is incumbent upon the property owner to read the material carefully, ask questions and/or contact the Eversource permissions contractor listed on the enclosed forms provided to property owners.

For trees that hang over the public right-of-way, you may ask for additional consultation:

  • If you live on a town road, contact your local Tree Warden (Augie Pampel).
  • If you live on a state road, contact the state Department of Transportation (DOT), Commissioner’s Office, 2800 Berlin Turnpike, Newington, CT 06131

Not granting permission:

  • If a property owner does not wish to grant approval for the proposed tree work, he/she should follow the procedures outlined in the material left by the permissions contact.
  • The Tree Warden will make a decision regarding the scope of tree work for all objections within 10 days of receiving the written objection or after a consultation.
  • Both the property owner and Eversource may further appeal that decision to the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) within 10 days.
  • Contact PURA at 10 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051.  PURA will hold a mediation session within 30 days of an appeal or an arbitration hearing within 60 days, to reach a resolution.

Per the state statute, no property owner will be billed for damages to Eversource power lines or equipment caused by trees on the owner’s property that fall, regardless of the outcome of an appeal.

Pampel is available to anyone who may have questions, concerns or who require more information about this upcoming tree work. Pampel can be reached via e-mail at augiepampel@att.net or by his mobile phone at 860-388-7209.

Eversource Customer Care Center can be reached at 800-286-2000 or the Eversource Business Contact Center at 888-783-6617.  Eversource can be emailed directly at treeCT@eversource.com.

Share

Essex Land Trust Lecture Explores ‘What’s Next for the Connecticut River?’

#1-East Haddam Bridge
ESSEX — The Essex Land Trust invites the public to attend a lecture titled, ‘What’s Next for the Connecticut River?’ by Steve Gephard, Supervising Fisheries Biologist responsible for the DEEP’s Diadromous Fish and Habitat, Conservation, and Enhancement programs. The lecture is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan 7, at the Essex Library, 33 West Ave., Essex.

The decades-long resurgence of the Connecticut River’s health has provided us with a chance to make plans for its future. Questions currently under consideration are how to maintain and restore our marshes and adjacent uplands, enhance the fisheries and wildlife, and manage the development of our lands for the benefit of all users? Simultaneously the region must grapple with sea-level rise, more frequent cataclysmic storms, and greater usage of the resources by an expanding population.

Essex resident Steve Gephard will present a slide-illustrated lecture that highlights the great successes of the last 50 years and describes the opportunities and challenges that may lie ahead.

In case of snow cancellation, the talk will be rescheduled for Thursday, Jan. 14.

Share

Essex Savings Bank Donates Almost 2,000 Books to ‘Read to Grow’

Press Release - Essex Savings Bank Donates to Read to Grow (1)ESSEX — Essex Savings Bank has shared the results of its annual holiday donation contest designed to help those less fortunate in the local communities. This year’s event had each of the six branches and the corporate office collecting books for children from infancy to eighth grade for the nonprofit organization, Read to Grow.

Read to Grow promotes building literacy from birth, distributing 130,000 books to children in Connecticut each year. The book-themed displays at each office location ranged from Dr. Seuss to The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

While the contest adds an element of fun to the season, the driving force behind the Bank employees’ enthusiasm was helping children that may not otherwise have the access or opportunity to children’s classic stories. All donations were at the employees’ expense and generated by their goodwill.

As a result of everyone’s efforts, Essex Savings Bank employees delivered 1,829 books to Read to Grow. It is the hope of the Bank’s employees that these books will help make the holiday season a little more joyous for the children of Middlesex County, New Haven County and New London County.

Editor’s Note: Essex Savings Bank is a FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851. The Bank serves the Connecticut River Valley and shoreline with six offices in Essex (2), Chester, Madison, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook providing a full complement of personal and business banking. Financial, estate, insurance and retirement planning are offered throughout the state by the Bank’s Trust Department and wholly-owned subsidiary, Essex Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC.

Share

Friends of Essex Library Thank Holiday Book Sale Supporters

Catharine Wagner and Ellie Champion, decked in their red aprons helping patrons check out at the recent Holiday Sale.

Catharine Wagner and Ellie Champion, decked in their red aprons, helped patrons check out at the recent Holiday Sale.

The Friends of Essex Library, and particularly Peggy Tuttle, Sale Coordinator, wish to thank all the volunteers who worked tirelessly preparing for the Holiday Sale, and all who supported the sale by purchasing many holiday books.

The Friends of Essex Library will be holding a focused sale the month of February. Books with emphasis on aspects of American History will be featured at very attractive prices.  Also on sale will be books appropriate for Valentine’s Day giving.

The Friends also offer at this time of making New Year resolutions, 10 Reasons to become a Friend of Essex Library, as follows:

  1. You’ll meet new friends and stay connected with the old.
  2. Your volunteer efforts strengthen our library and, therefore, our community.
  3. You will feel good about your participation: work a book sale, help shelve books, sort and prepare books for sales.
  4. You will enjoy helping the library’s wonderful staff, and you will be appreciated.
  5. Your volunteer efforts earn money for the library. Gifts from the Friends make a difference.
  6. You can get dusty and dirty while you dig and sort through hundreds of books for the sales, and have fun doing it.
  7. You will increase your awareness of all that is available at the library, and by being a Friend, you become integrated into the workings of the library.
  8. You can hear peals of laughter as you help young minds absorb information in the children’s section.
  9. You will get to wear a red apron as a volunteer at the Sales.
  10. You can join because you don’t HAVE to!
Share

Essex Garden Club Brings Holiday Spirit to Essex, Thanks Residents for Support

Xmas policeman 2015
In preparation for the holidays, the Essex Garden club members decorated merchant window boxes and tubs of the villages of Essex as well as the town park gazebo on Main Street. Using a variety of evergreen cuttings from members and other generous donors from the community, designers helped the town put on a festive face for the “Trees in the Rigging” held in November, and the Holiday stroll in December.

The “Silent Policeman” was decorated this year (from left) by Lumie Han, Gay Thorn, Eve Potts, Kirsten Wendell, Sandy French, Mylan Sarner and Liz Fowler. Thanks to both Liz Fowler and Suzanne Tweed for their efforts in coordinating the day of decorating.

Finally, The Essex Garden Club would like to thank the Essex community for its continued support, especially during their spring May Market and extends best wishes to all the resident of Essex, Centerbrook and Ivoryton for a Healthy and Happy New Year.

Share

Essex Garden Club Donates to Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries

?

ESSEX — Essex Garden Club members collected nonperishable food items for the Shoreline soup Kitchens and Pantries (SSKP) at the club’s annual festivities at Essex Meadows.

Individual members and the club donated $1,705 to the SSKP, which will be matched by the Gowrie Challenge. The total weight of the  food donation was 376 lbs.

Pictured packing the food for delivery are Barbara Campbell and Nina Thurston.

Share

Friends of Essex Library Holiday Book Sale Continues Through Wednesday

Holidaysalepicture
ESSEX — The Friends of Essex Library are preparing for their Holiday Book Sale, featuring books in pristine condition suitable for gift giving, stocking stuffers, and hostess gifts—all with very attractive pricing.  Also included in the sale will be adorable Teddy bears, Essex Library canvas tote bags, seasonal CD’s and DVD’s.

The sale will run from Monday, Nov. 23, through Wednesday, Dec. 23, at the Essex Library, 33 West Ave., Essex.  For more information, see the library’s website at www.youressexlibrary.org.

The proceeds from this sale will support the Friends ongoing projects, special programs, and activities making the library a better experience for all who enter the newly installed doors, which were a gift from the Friends of Essex Library.

Share

Donna Scott’s Slim-down Challenge Begins at Essex Wellness Center, Jan. 9

Essex Wellness Center

Essex Wellness Center’s ‘Fitness on the Water’ facility.

Essex Wellness Center welcomes new challenge from new manager

The River Valley Slim-Down Challenge, now in its fifth year, begins Jan. 9, 2016. It combines exercise and nutrition with a sense of competition and a chance to win some big bucks – all with the goal of losing a few pounds as we head into 2016.

The River Valley Slim-down Challenge was created by Donna Scott, CPR, WLS, formerly of IFoundFitness in Deep River, who has recently been named as Manager of Essex Wellness Center’s Fitness on the Water facility on Novelty Lane in Essex Village.  Scott is certified as a Personal Trainer and Weight Loss Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). She is also AFAA-Certified as a personal trainer, Zumba and Mad Dogg spin instructor.

“The River Valley Slim-down Challenge has enough elements to keep people motivated to shed those pounds they’ve been thinking about. Built-in incentives keep participants on track, and the camaraderie to improve personal health is fantastic,” said Scott. “The Challenge isn’t only about losing weight; it also helps to improve balance, flexibility and overall fitness.”

To join the challenge, participants pay an entry fee of $65 and then agree to take a minimum of two weekly Fitness on the Water group classes such as yoga, spin, barre, bootcamp workout, Zumba, or one weekly personal training session. The entry fee includes an initial wellness assessment and nutrition workshops throughout the 12-week period as well as fitness tips, advice and supervision from Donna Scott.

The entry fee goes towards a jackpot, which also gets a boost from small “penalty fees” incurred when a participant misses a weigh-in or gains instead of loses weight in a particular week.

The prize jackpot will be divided by the three top “losers” in terms of body weight percentage. In addition to the jackpot, top ranking winners receive prizes from local businesses including Essex Wellness Center massages, and more.

“Everyone who has entered in the past has lost weight and feels better about themselves, which is the greatest reward of all,” says Scott.

To join the 2016 River Valley Slim-Down Challenge, call 860-581-8225 or email donna@essexwellnessctr.com The Challenge runs Jan. 9 through April 2, 2016. Participants may enter individually or as a group with friends or colleagues. Sign-up before Jan. 9 and receive a three-class pass to Essex Wellness Center’s Fitness on the Water.

To learn more about Essex Wellness center, visit www.essexwellnessctr.com or facebook.com/essexwellnesscenter.

Share

Lorraine Lieberman Honored as LVVS 2015 “Unsung Hero”

LVVS's 2015 'Unsung Hero' Lorraine Lieberman

LVVS’s 2015 ‘Unsung Hero’ Lorraine Lieberman. Photo courtesy of Joanne Argersinger.

WESTBROOK — Lorraine Lieberman of Killingworth was awarded this year’s Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS) “Unsung Hero” award at the annual LVVS Holiday Social on Dec. 8. Her many contributions throughout the years have helped both tutors and students to improving English language skills and the quality of life in our shoreline communities.

Lieberman is an active tutor, tutor interviewer and tutor contact person for the organization.  Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore is most grateful for her dedication, service and ‘always going the extra mile’ in the cause of literacy.

Share

Ivoryton Hosts Sixth Annual Illuminations Extravaganza Tomorrow Evening

Tree4IVORYTON — Looking for a different way to celebrate Christmas? Then head down to Ivoryton for the Sixth Annual Ivoryton Illuminations on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 5 to 8 p.m.

The entire village of Ivoryton will be participating in this Holiday Extravaganza with carol singing, Santa’s Grotto, Holiday Bazaar, and culminating with the arrival of Santa and the lighting of the states’ largest living Christmas Tree at 6:30 p.m.  Ivoryton will be lighting up the holiday with over 300,000 lights throughout the village.

Family activities include writing letters to Santa and cards to our soldiers at the Ivoryton Library; Christmas Craft making and visits with Santa in the Playhouse (bring your camera if you want a picture!); a Holiday Bazaar featuring community and local church groups in the Fire House; Six Summit Gallery is featuring 100 pieces of fine art for gift giving (and free poster or book with purchase) as well as special events at The Ivoryton Tavern, Blue Hound Cookery and Taproom, The Copper Beech, Elephant Crossing, Hammered Edge, The Ivoryton Inn and Porky Pete’s BBQ & Brew.

Music will be provided by The Sweet Adeline’s and other local musicians who will be playing at various locations throughout the village.

Free parking will be available at the First Congregational Church and The Copper Beech Inn with a shuttle bus service to the village. The Illuminations will shine brightly through Jan. 5, and visitors can tune their car radios to 101.5FM and watch as the lights dance to the music.

This event is supported entirely by volunteers and sponsors including Essex Lions, Essex Savings Bank, Valley Courier, Riggio & Sons General Contractors, Wilcox Tree Service and Essex Rotary Club.

If you would like to experience some real Christmas cheer, then come and join the party in Ivoryton, the brightest village in Connecticut!

For more information, visit www.ivorytonalliance.org

Share

Letter from Paris: ‘Francofonia’ Explores German Attitude to Louvre Art During Occupation, but with Broader Message

Nicole Prévost Logan

Nicole Prévost Logan

Like irritating mosquitoes on a hot summer afternoon, three fighter planes of the German Luftwaffe fly over a majestic and impregnable Louvre museum.  This is the opening image of Francofonia, a documentary reflecting on art and the courage of men fighting to protect it against forces of destruction.  A most appropriate and needed interlude at this particularly tense time for the humanity.

Although labeled a documentary, Francofonia – a Russian-German-French production – is part newsreels, part fiction, part poetic images. The film, directed by the well-known Alexander Sokurov, won an award at the September 2015 Venice Film Festival.

Count Wolff Metternich, a German officer of Prussian origin, walks down a vaulted hallway. He is there to meet  Jacques Jaujard, the French director of the Louvre.  The two men are stiff and on their respective guards.  Metternich asks Jaujard, “Do you speak German?” “No,” responds Jaujard, “The answer is, I am very French.”

A scene from 'Francophonia.' Image courtesy of Films Boutique.

A scene from ‘Francophonia.’ Image courtesy of Films Boutique.

Ironically both men are on an identical mission.  In 1939, most of the Louvre’s art work, including the “Victory of Samothrace” – the museum’s most illustrious treasure – was removed by the staff and hidden in the cellars of French castles.  Metternich had done precisely the same thing with the collections of the Cologne cathedral before the start of the war.

With an element of pathos, Sokurov imagines the visit of German military to  the Louvre.  Did they realize it was an empty place except for Assyrian winged bulls and other monumental sculptures, which might have been left on purpose to act as the watchdogs of an idea?

Two iconic guides take us through the deserted Grande Gallery.  A fat-bellied Napoleon, behaving like the host, points at the David’s painting of his coronation.  “This is me,” he says proudly. But  it is with irony that Sukurov shows “Napoleon crossing the Alps” by Delaroche as an undignified and tired man riding a mule  rather than the dashing rider imagined by David.  Our other guide, Marianne, wearing the distinctive Phrygian bonnet, repeats over and over  “Liberté,  égalité, fraternité.”

Sukorov accompanies us through an empty museum filled with the memory of treasures now gone.  A hand touches the diaphanous finger tips of a statue;  Clouet’s delicate portraits come alive;  and so do Millet’s peasants, sitting  by the fire, their deeply-lined faces showing their exhaustion.  The greyish, almost sepia, quality  of the photographs adds to the eerie feeling.

The camera moves in and out of the Louvre and depicts difficult scenes, which demand pause for thought.  A tanker is struggling in the fury of the Baltic. Will the works of art it carries in its containers survive or be crushed by the waves?  The frozen body of a well-dressed little girl lying on a street during the siege of Leningrad evokes the human suffering caused by war.

Francofonia is a complex film, which can be read on several levels.  It came on the Paris screens not long after the blasting of Palmyra and other archaeological sites by Daesh (ISIS).  The message is crystal clear — art, which is the legacy of our civilization, is too precious to die.

Nicole Prévost Logan

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.

Share

Biographer Discusses Life & Times of Playwright Eugene O’Neill at Essex Library, Thursday

Eugene O'Neill

Eugene O’Neill

ESSEX — The Essex Library invites you to meet with Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist, Robert M. Dowling for a talk on the life of Eugene O’Neill and a signing of his biography: Eugene O’Neill: A Life in Four Acts on Thursday, December 3rd at 7 p.m. at the Essex Library. The Irish Times calls the book “a powerful narrative”, and it has won praise from The Sunday Times, The Washington Post, Booklist, Provincetown Arts, and Publishers Weekly.

Dowling’s extensively researched book recounts O’Neill’s tumultuous life and highlights how the stories O’Neill told for the stage are interwoven with the events in the playwright’s own life.

Robert M. Dowling is a professor of English at Central Connecticut State University. He serves on the board of directors of the Eugene O’Neill Society and on the board of The Eugene O’Neill Review.

Books will be available for sale and signing through Essex Books. This program is free and open to all. Please call the Library at (860) 767-1560 for more information or to register. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.

Share

Start the Season with ‘Trees in the Rigging’ Community Carol Sing & Boat Parade, Today

Boats in the annual Trees in the Rigging Lighted Boat Parade are decorated with holiday lights.

Boats in the annual Trees in the Rigging Lighted Boat Parade are decorated with holiday lights.

ESSEX  Kick off the holiday season in Essex with the annual Trees in the Rigging Community Carol Sing and Lighted Boat Parade on Nov. 29.   The Connecticut River Museum, the Essex Board of Trade, and the Essex Historical Society combine to present this annual event that includes a traditional, lantern-lit carol stroll down Main Street where spectators are invited to bring their own lanterns or flashlights and join in with the Sailing Masters of 1812 Fife and Drum Corps and a parade of antique cars.

Participants can gather at the Essex Town Hall at 4 p.m. The stroll steps off at 4:30 p.m. beginning on West Ave. and ending at the Connecticut River Museum with a parade of vessels dressed out in holiday lights and passing in review along the Connecticut River.  Santa and his elves will arrive by one of the parade boats for visits with children on the lawn of the Connecticut River Museum. The Connecticut River Museum will also be open that evening for all to attend the 22th Annual Holiday Train Show at a reduced admission of $6.

Register Your Boat for the Lighted Boat Parade

A critical and crowed-pleasing part of this free community event is the parade of boats dressed in holiday lights that sail along Essex’s waterfront. The decorated boats are part of a friendly competition.  A modest 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prize will be awarded to the best dressed boats. Winners will be invited to receive their prize and participate in a photo-op on Monday, Nov. 30 at 4:30 p.m. at the Connecticut River Museum.

Registration is required to participate in the boat parade that usually begins around 5:15 p.m. from the south end of Essex Harbor. To register, send an email to crm@ctrivermuseum.org. Information should include: Vessel name; Type of boat and description; Owner(s) name; Contact information (phone and preferred email); Decorating scheme (if known at time of registration). Registration must be received by Monday, Nov. 24 at 4:30 p.m.

Make your Own Parade Lantern

Carolers can make their own lanterns for the parade.  Step 1: fill an empty aluminum can with water and freeze. This will make it easier to punch holes for the design in the can. Step 2: using a hammer and nail, punch holes in the can to make a connect-the-dots style picture of a holiday design. Use plenty of holes to allow the light to shine through. Step 3: punch two holes near the rim to attach a wire handle. Step 4: after the ice is melted, attach a votive or other small candle to the inside bottom of the can.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main St., Essex and is open Tuesday – Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information, call 860.767.8269 or visit www.ctrivermuseum.org.

Share

Head for the Woods Today with Old Saybrook Land Trust

OSLT Board members on the Oyster River property after it's purchase was complete in 2014. L-R Bob Lorenz, Joe Nochera, Cathy Malin, Ann Gamble, Barb Guenther, Laurel Friedmann, Mike Urban and John Ogren.(photo by Jen Gamble)

OSLT Board members on the Oyster River property after it’s purchase was complete in 2014. L-R Bob Lorenz, Joe Nochera, Cathy Malin, Ann Gamble, Barb Guenther, Laurel Friedmann, Mike Urban and John Ogren.(photo by Jen Gamble)

OLD SAYBROOK – Saturday, Nov. 21, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Old Saybrook Land Trust will work on their property fronting the Oyster River. The public is invited public to join in the fun/work and share in a barbecue lunch.

The OSLT purchased the six acres in 2014 and has since worked to remove excess brush and improve accessibility. Come on out to help continue the work, or just stop by to enjoy the late fall weather and meet some OSLT members. This property is a great bird watching area, and a knowledgeable naturalist will help with spotting and identifying the many types of birds known to frequent the area. Bring binoculars if possible.

To reach the property, travel on Ingham Hill Road by McDonald’s in Old Saybrook, and look for the Old Saybrook Land Trust Event sign along the right hand side of the road near mailbox number 68. This is a free event.

For more detailed directions and other information , visit oslt.org, or send an email to oldsaybrooklandtrust@oslt.org.

 

Share

Learn ‘The Bear Facts’ about Black Bears in CT Tonight in Chester Town Hall

It's true that black bears are being sighted in Connecticut, but this black bear in the tree was discovered by Chester photographer Al Malpa in the Great Smokies.

It’s true that black bears are being sighted in Connecticut, but this black bear in the tree was discovered by Chester photographer Al Malpa in the Great Smokies.

Yes, according to the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP), there have been sightings of black bears in our towns.

The town of Chester has had the most sightings of any of the Valley Shore towns – 14 – in the 12-month period since November 2014.

While this number is lower than northwestern Connecticut towns, a DEEP spokesman was quoted in a recent article in the Hartford Courant as saying, “Most of us live adjacent to bear habitat, so most of us can expect bears to be near our homes as the population increases.”

So the Chester Library and Chester Land Trust are teaming up to present “The Bear Facts: Black Bears in Connecticut” on Friday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. in the Community Room at Chester Town Hall on Rte. 154. The free presentation will be given by Master Wildlife Conservationist Paul Colburn through the DEEP.

Colburn’s program will focus on the natural history of black bears in our state. He will provide an overview of black bear habitat, diet and behavior, and current research efforts.  He will also provide recommendations for coexistence with our black bear population.

The program is best suited to adults and children over age 11. Refreshments will be served.

For more information, call the Chester Library at 860-526-0018.

Share

Local History Adds to Memories for Thanksgiving Visitors

These girondolas were made for the 1876 Centennial and belonged to the Southworth family of Deep River. They have been in place on the Deep River Historical Society’s Stone House parlor mantel for more than 150 years. The two end pieces depict a man and woman dressed in Colonial style with tricorn hat - the center piece is Daniel Boone and an Indian scout plus another figure representing the westward expansion of the US.

These girondolas were made for the 1876 Centennial and belonged to the Southworth family of Deep River. They have been in place on the Deep River Historical Society’s Stone House parlor mantel for more than 150 years. The two end pieces depict a man and woman dressed in Colonial style with tricorn hat – the center piece is Daniel Boone and an Indian scout plus another figure representing the westward expansion of the US.

Thanksgiving is a time of traditions and memories. For the second year in a row, the historical societies of Chester, Deep River and Essex are helping you begin a new tradition while you savor the memories of times past. The three historic museums in the tri-town will be open at no charge on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving so you can visit with your families and friends. Such a welcome alternative to dealing with crowds at the malls!

Chester Historical Society president Skip Hubbard said, “This year will be the fifth year we have been open over Thanksgiving and it’s become a popular thing to do. We expect to welcome another 50-60 people again this year to our museum.  Essex and Deep River opened their historic homes over the holiday for the first time last year and I know they were surprised by the number of people who came to their doors.  Some people even visited more than one of the three sites. The combination of free admission, rekindling memories and learning more about the local area can be hard to resist.”

The Deep River Historical Society’s Stone House, built by Deacon Ezra Southworth in 1840, will be open on Friday, Nov. 27, and Saturday, Nov. 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tour the home to see the “Gems of the Society,”  collections of Deep River businesses and products including Niland cut glass, and enjoy the preview of this year’s Holiday Festival of Trees, Trains and Traditions. The Stone House, at 245 Main Street in Deep River, For more information, visit www.deepriverhistoricalsociety.org.

The welcoming parlor of Essex Historical Society's 18th-century Pratt House awaits your post-Thanksgiving visit on Friday, Nov. 27 and Saturday, Nov. 28. Photo by Jody Dole.

The welcoming parlor of Essex Historical Society’s 18th-century Pratt House awaits your post-Thanksgiving visit on Friday, Nov. 27 and Saturday, Nov. 28. Photo by Jody Dole.

Essex Historical Society’s historic Pratt House, located at 19 West Avenue in Essex, will be open to visitors Friday, Nov. 27, and Saturday, Nov. 28, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The house, which was built in stages throughout the 18th century, interprets early farm life and the nine generations of Pratt smithies, many of whom lived there. Tour the house with EHS’s knowledgeable guides and visit its newly expanded museum shop.  This holiday season, the house features a new temporary exhibit on Essex’s E.E. Dickinson Witch Hazel Co. as EHS continues to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2015 with a “Dickinson Year.”  For more information, visit www.essexhistory.org.

At the Chester Museum at The Mill, listen to Peg Lieberman’s tales about sledding down the streets of Chester right to Jennings Pond and check out her childhood doll in the “Pastimes” exhibit.

At the Chester Museum at The Mill, listen to Peg Lieberman’s tales about sledding down the streets of Chester right to Jennings Pond and check out her childhood doll in the “Pastimes” exhibit.

The Chester Museum at The Mill, at 9 West Main Street in Chester, will also be open on Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year’s “Pastimes in Past Times: Chester at Play” exhibit focuses on the ways Chester families spent their leisure time in the “old days.” You can even sit down and enjoy a game of Tiddly Winks and checkers or play the Jaw Harp. It makes no difference where you grew up or when, everything about the exhibit stirs your memories of pastimes you or your family enjoyed and reminds you of what you’d like to pass down to the next generation. For more information, visit www.chesterhistoricalsociety.org.

 

Share

Williams School Hosts Prospective Student Information Session Saturday

The Williams School in New London is offering a series of Prospective Student Information Sessions with the first one being held this Saturday, Nov. 15, from 1 to 3 p.m.  These sessions will provide an opportunity for families to enjoy a campus tour by a Student Ambassador, hear from a panel of current students and faculty, and experience mini lessons taught by faculty in their classrooms. They are one of many ways to learn about Williams’ academic, athletic, arts, and community opportunities.

Register online for Saturday’s Information Session.

Additional Information Sessions are planned on the following dates:

Sunday, January 10, 2016, 1-3 p.m.

Sunday, May 15, 2016, 1-3 p.m.

For more information, contact the Admissions Office at 860.443.5333 or 

The Williams School is a college preparatory day school serving middle and upper school students in grades 6 – 12 located on the campus of Connecticut College at 182 Mohegan Ave. New London, CT 06320

Share

Democratic First Selectman Norman Needleman Wins Third Term With 80-Vote Margin

Needleman_N_008ESSEX— Democratic First Selectman Norman Needleman was re-elected for a third term Tuesday, defeating Republican Selectman Bruce Glowac on an 1,145-1065 vote. Democratic Selectwoman Stacia Libby was re-elected for a third term with 1,105 votes.

Needleman’s 80-vote margin over Glowac, who had served previously as first selectman from 1991-1995, was much closer than his first contested election in 2011 when Needleman defeated Republican Bruce MacMillian by over 400 votes. Needleman was uncontested by town Republicans for a second term in 2013.

The result for the third, or minority party, seat on the three-member board of selectmen was extremely close, with Republican selectman nominee Phil Beckman receiving 1,062 votes, only three votes less than Glowac’s 1,065 total. The three vote margin is less than the 20-vote margin where a recount could be required. Beckman said he is not requesting a recount with fellow Republican Glowac, but believes a recount should be conducted if it is required under state election law.

Needleman said he was “grateful to the voters,” and also thankful to challengers Glowac and Beckman for “running a good campaign based on the issues,” adding that he ” looks forward to continuing the work we’ve done over the past four years.” Glowac said he is glad the election is over, and believes “we accomplished what we set out to accomplish which was to give voters a choice and make this election an event rather than a non event.”.

Democrats captured most of the other contested positions on the ballot, though Republicans won seats on the board of finance and board of assessment appeals. Democrat Donald Mesite, an appointed incumbent, and Republican Vince Pacileo were elected to six year terms on the board of finance, with 1,110 votes for Mesite and 1,131 votes for Pacileo, who served on the board of selectmen from 2003-2009. Mesite and Pacileo outpolled Democrat Ethan Goller, with 1,058 votes, and Republican Jerri MacMillian, with 976 votes.

Republican Keith Russell was elected for a full term on the board of assessment appeals, with 1,084 votes to 1,032 votes for Democrat Richard Helmecki. Democrat Mark Bombacci was elected to a two-year vacancy on the board of assessment appeals, with 1,150 votes to 982 votes for Republican Bruce MacMillian. Democrat Jennifer Cark was re-elected for a second term on the Region 4 Board of Education, with 1,177 votes to 963 votes for Republican Mary Lou Till. Both nominees for the local board of education are automatically elected, with incumbent  Democrat Lon Seidman, who serves as board chairman, receiving 1,174 votes, and incumbent Republican D.G. Fitton garnering 967 votes.

A total of 2,223 of the town’s 4,595 registered voters turned out for Tuesday’s election, a turnout of just over 50%.

Share

Essex Elementary School Foundation Prepares for Second Talent Showcase

CENTERBROOK, CT — The Essex Elementary School Foundation, a not-for-profit, volunteer organization that provides independent financial resources for worthy educational projects, enrichment programs, and other initiatives, is preparing for its second Essex Elementary Talent Showcase. Students in the fourth through sixth grades were invited to participate in this “non-competitive talent show” where all students will walk away as equal winners.

The goal is two-fold: to empower EES students to be proud of their abilities and to enhance awareness of the foundation’s role in the school community. The showcase has brought in local volunteers, such as Patty Carver, of the Connecticut Children’s Theatre, to provide professional assistance.

The Talent Showcase will be open to the public on Monday, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m. at the Essex Elementary School’s cafeteria. Scot Haney, WFSB’s popular meteorologist and personality, will be making a special appearance at the show. Donations will be graciously accepted by the foundation at the door.

Since its inception in 1996, the Essex Elementary School Foundation’s primary goal has been to create a significant endowment that can support the school’s strategic vision to be a world-class educational institution. Each year, 5% of the EESF endowment is allocated for programs and projects such as a Scientist-in-Residence program, an iPad lab, literacy support materials, equipment for musical and physical education, playground improvements, logical thinking games, and audio/visual equipment.

For more information about the Essex Elementary School Foundation, log onto www.essexelementaryschoolfoundation.org. Tax-deductible donations can be mailed to Essex Elementary School Foundation, PO Box 882, Essex, CT 06426.

Share

Will Political Lawn Signs Influence Essex Local Election Results?

Campaign sign for Republican First Selectman candidate Bruce Glovac

Campaign sign for Republican First Selectman candidate Bruce Glovac

ESSEX — Suddenly, it seems the town of Essex is almost covered with sometimes red, sometimes blue lawn signs promoting the candidacies of Republicans Bruce Glowac for First Selectman and Phil Beckman for Selectman. Not only are there signs along many of the streets in Essex, but they are also posted on the roads leading into town (see photo above). Essex has not seen such a large display of election lawn signs in several years.

Where were the Democrats when the Republican lawn sign blitz first appeared?  It appears First Selectman Norman Needleman and Selectman Stacia Rice-Libby were at first caught a little off guard since it seemed they had very few of their own lawn signs in view. Now it looks as though the Democrats have many more of their own lawn signs visible, but our unscientific poll suggests the Republicans still have a higher number.

Road signs for Essex Democratic incumbents, Norm Needleman and Stacia-Rice Libby

Road signs for Essex Democratic incumbents, Norm Needleman and Stacia-Rice Libby

Election Day is Nov. 3, and the election will decide Essex’s town governance for the next two years. It will be interesting to see if, in a small town like Essex, the distribution of lawn signs bears any relationship to the result.

Share

Eleventh Annual “Dogs On The Dock” to be Held Today

Best costume is just one of the canine competitions to be held at Dogs on the Dock at the Connecticut River Museum on Sunday, October 11.

Best costume is just one of the canine competitions to be held at Dogs on the Dock at the Connecticut River Museum on Sunday, October 11.

ESSEX — On Sunday, Oct. 11, the waterfront lawn of the Connecticut River Museum will once again be “going to the dogs” with the commencement of the 11th Annual “Dogs On The Dock” parade and competition. Dog owners and dog lovers alike are invited to attend rain or shine. Bring your dog and join the crowd for this uniquely Essex experience.

Dog participant registration starts at 1 p.m. followed by a lawn parade at 2 p.m. and then individual canine competitions in categories such as best costume, best nautical costume, best owner look-alike, smallest dog, biggest dog, best trick and best dock jumping. Dock jumping dogs must wear a harness to participate.

The event is sponsored by the Connecticut River Museum and the Essex Board of Trade. Registration is $10 per dog and $5 for each additional dog with net proceeds being donated to local animal rescue shelters. All dogs must have a 2014 license and rabies tag to participate.

For more information, call 860-767-8269 or visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or www.essexct.com.

 

Share

See ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ at Ivoryton Playhouse Through Oct. 11

Laura Woyasz* (photo by Roger U. Williams).

Laura Woyasz* (photo by Roger U. Williams).

IVORYTON– Sept. 23 marked the opening of the sixth show of the Ivoryton Playhouse’s 2015 season and it arrived fully fanged and demanding blood! A deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical, Little Shop Of Horrors has devoured the hearts of theatre-goers for over 30 years. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin) are the creative geniuses behind what has become one of the most popular shows in the world.

Meek flower shop assistant, Seymour Krelborn, stumbles across a new breed of plant he names “Audrey II” – after his coworker crush. This foul-mouthed, R& B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down and out Krelborn as long as he keeps feeding it … blood. Over time, though, Seymour discovers Audrey II’s out of this world origins and dastardly intent towards global domination!

One of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows, Little Shop Of Horrors has been a worldwide success for over 30 years.  The music, in the style of early 1960s rock and roll, doo-wop and early Motown, includes several well-known tunes, including the title song, “Skid Row (Downtown)”, and “Suddenly, Seymour”.

Little Shop of Horrors is directed by Larry Thelen (Dreamgirls, La Cage Aux Folles), musical directed by Robert Tomasulo and choreographed by Apollo Smile. The cast includes Playhouse favorites Nicholas Park* (All Shook Up) as Seymour, Carson Higgins* (Memphis) as Orin, and David Conaway (most recently in The Seven Year Itch) as Mushnik. La’Nette Wallace (All Shook Up) will be joined by Azarria White, and Denielle Marie Gray as Urchins and Laura Woyasz* makes her Ivoryton debut as Audrey.

The Puppet is voiced by Steve Sabol and puppeteer is recent UConn puppetry program grad, Austin Costello. Set design is by Martin Marchitto, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Vickie Blake.

A tongue in cheek musical comedy, Little Shop of Horrors will make you think twice before you buy that potted plant!.

Little Shop Of Horrors opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Sept. 23 and runs through Oct. 11, 2015. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

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

Nicholas Park* and Carson Higgins*

Nicholas Park* and Carson Higgins*

Little Shop of Horrors is generously sponsored by Citizens Bank, The Safety Zone and Comcast.

*denotes member of Actor’s Equity.

Share

Essex Land Trust Outdoor Equipment Fair and Safety Seminar, Sept. 26

ChainsawThe Essex land Trust is holding an Outdoor Equipment Fair and Safety Seminar in collaboration with the New England Power Equipment Company of Old Saybrook on Saturday, September 26. Come and learn how to work safely and more efficiently in your garden or woodlot.

This event will showcase the latest chain saws, trimmers, blowers, tillers, and other tools for the outdoors.  It will also demonstrate their safe operation and provide tips on trimming, pruning, and clearing of trees and shrubs.

Essex Land Trust’s Chief Steward Tom Rutherford along with representatives from New England Power Equipment Company will be present from 10 AM to 12 PM at the Cross Lots Preserve, 40 West Avenue, Essex. Rain cancels. Any questions contact Judy Saunders at judith.saunders@comcast.net or by calling 860-581-8108.

Share

‘Little Shop of Horrors’ Opens Sept. 23 at Ivoryton Playhouse

Audrey II outside the Playhouse (photo by Krista May)

Audrey II outside the Playhouse (photo by Krista May)

IVORYTON – Wednesday, Sept. 23, marks the opening of the sixth show of the Ivoryton Playhouse’s 2015 season and it arrives fully fanged and demanding blood! A deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical, Little Shop Of Horrors has devoured the hearts of theatre-goers for over 30 years. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin) are the creative geniuses behind what has become one of the most popular shows in the world.

Meek flower shop assistant, Seymour Krelborn, stumbles across a new breed of plant he names “Audrey II” after his coworker crush. This foul-mouthed, R & B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down-and-out Krelborn … as long as he keeps feeding it blood. Over time, though, Seymour discovers Audrey II’s out-of-this-world origins and dastardly intent towards global domination …

One of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows, Little Shop Of Horrors has been a worldwide success for over 30 years.  The music, in the style of early 1960s rock and roll, doo-wop and early Motown, includes several well-known tunes, including the title song, “Skid Row (Downtown)”, and “Suddenly, Seymour”.

Little Shop of Horrors is directed by Larry Thelen (Dreamgirls, La Cage Aux Folles), musical directed by Robert Tomasulo and choreographed by Apollo Smile. The cast includes Playhouse favorites Nicholas Park* (All Shook Up) as Seymour, Carson Higgins* (Memphis) as Orin,and David Conaway (most recently The Seven Year Itch) as Mushnik. La’Nette Wallace (All Shook Up) will be joined by Azarria White, and Denielle Marie Gray as Urchins and Laura Woyasz* makes her Ivoryton debut as Audrey.

The Puppet is voiced by Steve Sabol and puppeteer is recent UConn puppetry program grad, Austin Costello. Set design is by Martin Marchitto, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Vickie Blake.

A tongue in cheek musical comedy, Little Shop of Horrors will make you think twice before you buy that potted plant!.

Little Shop Of Horrors opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse runs through Oct. 11, 2015. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

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

Little Shop of Horrors is generously sponsored by Citizens Bank, The Safety Zone and Comcast.

Share

Essex Historical Society Offers Self-Guided Stroll of Five Dickinson Houses, Sunday

Pat Thompson, Event Chairman for An Afternoon Stroll Through Dickinson History, walks past the former Dickinson family home, one of five private properties that will be opened for public touring on September 13 to benefit the Essex Historical Society.

Pat Thompson, Event Chairman for An Afternoon Stroll Through Dickinson History, walks past the former Dickinson family home, one of five private properties that will be opened for public touring on Sept. 13 to benefit the Essex Historical Society.

ESSEX – On Sunday, Sept. 13, the Essex Historical Society’s 60th anniversary celebration continues with An Afternoon Stroll Through Dickinson History, a self-guided tour through five private properties formerly owned by members of the Dickinson family, founders and manufacturer’s of E.E. Dickinson Witch Hazel. The benefit event will provide a peek into the Dickinson past and will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. along the North Main and Prospect Street section of Essex village.

The White House in Essex.

The White House in Essex.

On view will be the iconic family home, the stately, columned “White House” located at 21 North Main Street; the Dickinson office building at 31 North Main now home to Wells Fargo Advisors; the adjacent Dickinson carriage house; the 1750’s Samuel Lay homestead located at 17 North Main St., which was the former home of the top sales executive for Dickinson Witch Hazel; and the once cow barn now private home just a few steps south. Dickinson family members will be onsite to lend a personal perspective.

The Carriage House

The Carriage House

Stroll guests can enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres and a quiet respite in Dickinson Park, a small swath of grassy green across from the main home. Period cars will also be on display and each attendee will receive a commemorative book documenting the Dickinson legacy.

Office building

The Dickinson office building at 31 North Main now home to Wells Fargo Advisors.

According to event chairperson Pat Thompson, “This is a house tour like no other, so steeped in history and one family’s impact on a community. We are very grateful for the current owners’ willingness to open up their homes and for the Dickinson family members who have graciously shared their memories to help us celebrate Essex’s rich heritage.”

Dickinson Stroll_CowBarn_web

The once cow barn now private home just a few steps south of 17 North Main St.

Tickets for An Afternoon Stroll Through Dickinson History are $60 per person, with children under the age of 18 admitted at no charge. All proceeds will benefit the Essex Historical Society.

The Samuel Lay House.

The Samuel Lay House.

Parking is available along North Main St. and Prospect St., at Hills Academy and Our Lady of Sorrows located at 21 Prospect St., and at Essex Town Hall. Handicap parking can be found at the Welcome Tent to be located at Wells Fargo Advisors, 31 North Main Street.

Tickets can be purchased in advance online at essexhistory.org or by calling 860-767-0681, or at the Welcome Tent on the day of the event.

Share

Essex Land Trust Offers ‘Hike of the Month,’ Today

Fern_Ledge
ESSEX — The Essex Land trust hosts its September ‘Hike of the Month’ to Fern Ledge on Saturday, Sept. 5.  Meet at 9 a.m. next to the old Shoreline Clinic, off Rte. 153

With its steep terrain and high ledge overlooking a working farmer’s field, Fern Ledge has a unique place among the parks in Essex. Trails wind through woodlands and among old stonewalls, offering glimpses of Birch Mill Pond below. In winter, it affords distant, sweeping views of the surrounding countryside.

Note that the trail leading up to the ledge is steep.

The property sits astride the Essex-Westbrook town line. When the 10-acre parcel was purchased in 2005 from the estate of August Neidlinger and Catherine Doane, it had lain idle for many years.

The trail crosses one of the small streams feeding Birch Mill pond, vital habitat for turtles, salamanders and frogs along with ferns, Jack-in-the-Pulpit and skunk cabbage. Rare plants include Dwarf ginseng, May apple and wild leek. Look for a beaver dam in the pond.

The upper reaches at Fern Ledge are home to maple trees, oaks and birch along with mammals from fox to deer.

Share