October 1, 2016

Essex First Selectman Opposes State Takeover of Local Health Departments, Denounces New Cost to Small Towns

Democratic candidate for the 33rd State Senate District, Norman Needleman

Democratic candidate for the 33rd State Senate District, Norman Needleman.

ESSEX — Earlier this week, State Senate candidate and local businessman Norm Needleman spoke out against the yet-to-be-announced state takeover of local health departments. Needleman opposes the top-down, behind-the-scenes process which includes the elimination of local health departments, the loss of local control, and increased cost to towns in what amounts to a regional property tax.

The draft changes in Connecticut state statutes were distributed to town Health Directors as “draft Local Health Consolidation Statutes” by the Commissioner of Connecticut Department of Public Health Raul Pino.

“This secret state takeover plan is yet another example of the state barreling down the wrong path without input from towns,” said Needleman. “Forced regionalization is terrible policy and causes more unnecessary over-regulation of towns without any proven cost savings. This is a canary in the coal mine for more state and county control.”

Lyme Republican First Selectman Ralph Eno agreed with Needleman.

“I appreciate Norm’s attention to this key issue,” said Eno. “I agree with his position that this is an administrative overreach without any kind of formal hearing process. This is part of what is wrong with state government.”

The changes propose eliminating local health departments and consolidating them under one board and director for each county.

“In Essex we have an efficient and effective Health Department,” said Needleman. “In what world does it make any sense to turn a well managed town office over to the mess in Hartford?”

In addition, the changes propose that each town pay 1.5% of their budget to the new county health department. The draft legislation states: “towns, cities and boroughs of such district appropriate for the maintenance of the health district not less than one and one half percent of their previous fiscal year’s annual operating budgets.”

“As First Selectman of Essex I have kept our Health Department well under 1.5% of our annual town budget with a professionally managed team,” said Needleman. “This proposal will cost more for towns all across the region and amounts to a county tax. If elected State Senator I will fight foolish state overreach like this takeover.”

“The cost is a percentage of the town budget,” said Eno. “So this is a regional property tax to feed the state bureaucracy. Thanks to Norm for being out ahead on this issue and looking forward to his leadership in the State Senate.”

Norm Needleman is the founder and CEO of Tower Laboratories, a manufacturing business. As CEO, he has built the business over the past 37 years to become a leader in its segment, employing over 225 people. Needleman is in his 3rd term as First Selectman of Essex and was first elected as a Selectman in 2003.

“Norm understands the importance of local control as an experienced town leader,” said Campaign Manager Kevin Coughlin. “That is why he has been endorsed by both Republican and Democratic First Selectmen right here in the 33rd district.”

Needleman is the Democratic candidate for the 33rd State Senate District which consists of the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Portland, Westbrook, and part of Old Saybrook.

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Ivoryton Congregational Church Holds St. Francis of Assisi Celebration, Sunday

IVORYTON — On Sunday, Oct. 2, the 10 a.m. worship service will be a celebration of the life, wisdom, and spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi. The hymn “All Creatures of Our God and King”, based on his writings, will be sung. The meditation will reflect on his life, his teachings, and his impact.
The service will include the Sacrament of Communion on this World Communion Sunday.

The Ivoryton Congregational Church is at 57 Main St. in Ivoryton and the pastor is the Rev. John Van Epps.

All are welcome.
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9 Town Transit Plans Bus Fare Increases; Public Hearing Slated for Tonight in Old Saybrook

9TT 30th Logo RGBAREAWIDE — To help offset a cut in state transit funding, the Estuary Transit District is considering an increase to fare on all 9 Town Transits services.

The proposal would see the cash fare on all routes increase from $1.50 to $1.75. Trips on Dial-A-Ride and off-route would increase from $3 to $3.50.  Multi-ride tickets and monthly passes will increase to $15.75 and $57, respectively.

The fare proposal also includes the agency’s first disabled fare.  It would provide a discounted rate of $0.85 to persons with disabilities.  ETD says this would provide relief to many in the disabled community that heavily rely on public transit.

ETD officials say the increase is necessary due to a prevent service reduction following a statewide cut by the state to transit budgets.

A public hearing on the proposal will be held on Thursday, Sept. 29, from 4 until 6 p.m. at Old Saybrook Town Hall first floor conference room, 302 Main St, Old Saybrook, CT.  Written comments may be submitted until Oct. 14, to Estuary Transit District, 17 Industrial Park Rd, Suite 6, Centerbrook, CT 06409.

For a full listing of the new fare schedule, visit www.9towntransit.com/fares or call 9 Town Transit at 860-510-0429.

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Essex Garden Club Announces Officers for 2016-2017

FNewly-elected officers of the Essex Garden Club are (from left to right) Pat Mather, Betsy Godsman, Augie Pampel, Barbara Burgess, Barbara Muhlfelder and Judy Greene

Newly-elected officers of the Essex Garden Club are (from left to right) Pat Mather, Betsy Godsman, Augie Pampel, Barbara Burgess, Barbara Muhlfelder and Judy Greene

ESSEX — Officers for the Essex Garden Club for 2016-2017 are Barbara Burgess, President, Augie Pampel, 1st Vice President, Barbara Muhlfelder, 2nd Vice President and Assistant Treasurer,  Betsy Godsman, Recording Secretary, Judy Greene, Corresponding Secretary, and  Patricia Mather, Treasurer.

In Barbara Burgess’s opening remarks,  at the September meeting,  she described the club’s agenda and activities for the upcoming year ahead and introduced the theme for the year “ Partnering for Success”  She shared how The Essex Garden Club has partnered with the Land Trust in sponsoring a conservation program, this year on the topic of Native Pollinators.

In addition the Essex Garden club provides resources to the libraries and schools to partner in educating both adults and children in our community. For many years the Club has  partnered with the Town of Essex to keep our parks and community looking beautiful. These strong partnerships continue to result in both benefiting our organizations and the community.

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CT River Museum’s Annual Gala Fundraiser, Oct. 8, Celebrates the 1920s

From left to right, Executive Director Chris Dobbs, Museum Chairman Tom Wilcox, Guilford Savings Bank’s Lisa LeMonte and Essex Wellness Center’s Dana Hatch (left to right) peruse the menu and design centerpieces. Photo courtesy of Connecticut River Museum.

From left to right, Executive Director Chris Dobbs, Museum Chairman Tom Wilcox, Guilford Savings Bank’s Lisa LeMonte and Essex Wellness Center’s Dana Hatch (left to right) peruse the menu and design centerpieces. Photo courtesy of Connecticut River Museum.

ESSEX — Come cut the rug with the fly boys and the flappers at the Connecticut River Museum’s 2016 Fall Ball, A Roaring 20’s Good Time presented by the Essex Wellness Center on Saturday, Oct. 8.  The museum will be putting on the Ritz with WSFB’s Scot Haney as host and auctioneer.

Kick the evening off with some bathtub gin, a sidecar or a little hanky-panky followed by a tasty dinner by A Thyme to Cook and a lively performance by the Amherst College Zumbyes.

Next Scot Haney will get the joint a-jumping with a humdinger of a live auction.   Items including an eight-day/seven-night voyage on American Cruise Lines’ Maine Coast and Harbors Cruise, and a five-night get-away to Nantucket Island.

Finally don’t be a flat tire — just dance the night away to the swell tunes of Brad and Brian.

Tickets for the event are $150 and all proceeds benefit the Connecticut River Museum.  Contributions from the Fall Ball provide critical support for the Museum’s at-risk school programs, exhibits, and environmental and cultural programs.

Fall Ball 2016 sponsors include

Presenting Sponsor Essex Wellness Center;

Benefactor Sponsors Guilford Savings Bank, Connecticut Rental Center and the Amherst College Zumbyes; Sustaining Sponsors Brewer Yacht Yards, Reynolds’ Garage & Marine, RBG Cannon, and Siris/Coombs Architects;  

Supporting Sponsors Bogaert Construction Company, J.N. Mehler, CFP, LLC., Sullivan Lawn Services, and Tower Laboratories; Friend Sponsors Brandtech Scientific, Caulfield & Ridgway, Inc., Clark Group, Essex Marine Group, Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services;

In-kind Sponsors include Apparel + Plus, Eco/Blast All Inc., and invitations by Maris Wacs.

To purchase tickets and preview auction items, visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or (860)767-8269.

The Connecticut River Museum is dedicated to the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its Valley.  The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

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Explore Essex’s Best Kept Secret 9am This Morning With Essex Land Trust

 bushy_hill_sign

ESSEX — Become acquainted with the 700-acre Incarnation Camp and Bushy Hill Nature Center, Essex’s largest privately owned property on Saturday, Sept.24, 9 a.m. at Bushy Hill Nature Center, 253 Bushy Hill Rd., Ivoryton.

Phil Miller, Bushy Hill Nature Center’s Director, will guide visitors through this remarkable assemblage of woods, fields, lakes, and wetlands, seeking out the rich range of plants and animals that call it home.

This walk is suitable for all ages and involves moderate walking of up to one and a half hours.

Rain/thunderstorms cancel. Alternate rain date: Saturday, Oct. 1.

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Letter From Paris – No, Now It’s Essex!  A Brave, New Museum Opens in DC

Nicole Prevost Logan

Nicole Prevost Logan

Editor’s Note:  Our popular writer from Paris, Nicole Prevost Logan, is back in Essex, CT, for the winter.  She does not normally write for us from Essex, but this year, she is making an exception and will be continuing to contribute articles to ValleyNewsNow.com and LymeLine.com during the winter months.  Here is her inaugural column from Essex about the opening of  a very special museum in Washington DC.

The Grand Opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) will take place in Washington DC this coming Saturday, Sept. 24.  The NMAAHC, the 19th and newest of the Smithsonian museums, was established by a bi-partisan Act of Congress in 2003.

The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, Nov. 6, 2015. (Photo by Michael Barnes from http://newsdesk.si.edu/photos)

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, Nov. 6, 2015. (Photo by Michael Barnes / Smithsonian Institution.)

The massive structure occupies a prime location next to the Washington Monument and contrasts with the 555 ft. slender obelisk.  The dark bronze-colored metal lattice that covers the ‘Corona” also stands out from the white marble classical architecture of most of the other museums standing on the National Mall.

It has been a long struggle for the supporters, such as Congressman John Lewis (D-Georgia), to make the project a reality.  They needed to overcome the resistance from several senators who advocated another location. The final approval  was more than a triumph — it might be considered a miracle.  It succeeded in making a strong statement as to the importance of Black history and culture in the American nation.

The lead designer was David Adjaye, son of a Ghanaian diplomat and the lead architect Philip Freehon, who died in 2009.  Founding Director Lonnie B. Bunch III is the visionary and driving force of the project.  During some of the many interviews he gave to the press and to a variety of audiences, including select ones like the Aspen institute, he explains the building process and his objective with a very contagious enthusiasm.

The NMAAHC is not intended to be a Holocaust museum, he explains . Its mission is to show the pain but also the joy and the creativity of African-Americans.  A daunting fund-raising goal of 450,000 million dollars had to be reached.

The three-tier effect of the construction incorporates elements from African culture, such as the Yoruban crowns from Nigeria.  Inside the building, high tech designs and the enormity of the space will make it possible to be versatile in organizing several exhibits simultaneously.

The collections had to be created from zero.  It required a treasure hunt into the attics, trunks and basements of the population.  To date 35,000 artifacts have been collected.  A segregated train from outside Chattanooga (TN) was lowered by crane and the museum built around it.  All traffic stopped on Constitution Ave. when an oversized truck delivered the control tower from a federal prison.

Artifacts showing the terrible fate of the slaves are very moving.  Such is an amulet created by the Lombi tribe in the form of a shackle.  More tragic still were the shackles for children.

But fun and the world of entertainment are also present in the displays , such as Louis Armstrong and his trumpet, Lena Horne or Marianne Andersen . The film archives will be essential to build up history, from Harriet Tubman to the human rights movements of the 1950s and 1960s.

According to Washington insiders , the opening of the new museum is the hottest event in a decade.  More than 150,000 special tickets have been distributed to dignitaries while long lines of visitors gather at the entrances of the building to purchase tickets for general admission after the opening.

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Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series Begins Tonight With NYC-Based Architect Stephen Wanta

An apartment designed by Stephen Wanta.

An apartment designed by Stephen Wanta.

ESSEX — What do a former Vermont residence of a Phish band member, a 96-foot custom motor yacht, a loft inspired by the relationship between Judaic Mysticism and Quantum Mechanics, law offices using strategies similar to those of architect/artist Gordon Matta-Clark (with a bit of the “Terminator” thrown in) and a penthouse combination in “one of the 10 most haunted buildings in New York” have in common?

Stephen Wanta

Stephen Wanta

The answer is New York-based architect Stephen Wanta, who will begin the ninth year of the Library’s Architecture Lecture Series on Friday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. in The Cube at Centerbrook Architects, 67 Main St. in Centerbrook.

Among Wanta’s commercial projects are film and sound production facilities, restaurants, numerous private law offices, and showrooms and trade show exhibition booths for the home furnishings industry. The firm has also designed several museum stores, their pop-up locations and retail outlets.

Wanta has designed and executed well over 100 residential projects with budgets from less than $100,000 to over $5 million in New York City, with a number of others across the country and in Europe.  The firm is just completing its second long-range motor yacht project; built in Xiamen China and commissioned in Florida.

Wanta received his Bachelor of Architecture Degree from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1980 where he received the Reynolds Aluminum School Prize in 1979 and 1980 and The American Institute of Architects Certificate of Merit. He has worked at the offices of Machado & Silvetti, Rafael Vinoly Architects, and at Peter Marino Architect and Associates.

Wanta has taught and lectured at a number of schools, including Columbia University, the Rhode Island School of Design, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

This program is free and open to the public.

For more information or to register, call the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560.

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Letter to the Editor: Needleman Unites People With Differing Opinions

To The Editor:

My support for Norm Needleman in his candidacy for the 33rd District State Senate seat is not surprising, since I am a member of the Essex Democratic Town Committee.  But the reasons for my support go deeper than just party affiliation.  Throughout  his decades of involvement in Essex town government, I have seen Norm successfully tackle difficult problems with a unique ability to unite people with differing opinions.  I, and virtually everyone I have talked to in state government, believe that Norm’s deep knowledge of small town  government and his ability to build consensus will immediately make him a leader in the state senate.  That position of leadership will directly benefit our district.  So, my support for Norm is not political.  Rather, it is a decision to restore influential representation for our district in the state senate.

Sincerely,

Claire Tiernan,
Ivoryton.

Editor’s Note: The author is a member of Essex Democratic Town Committee.

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Linares, Needleman to Debate Tonight at Lyme-Old Lyme HS in Hotly Contested 33rd State Senate Race

Essex First Selectman and Democratic candidate for the 33rd District, Norman Needleman

Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman (D)

State Senator Art Linares (R)

State Senator Art Linares (R)

AREAWIDE — The Day and the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut are hosting a debate from 7 to 8 p.m. this evening, Thursday, Sept. 22, between the candidates running for the 33rd State Senate District — incumbent Senator Art Linares (R) and Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman (D).

Needleman, who is in his third term as first selectman of Essex and was first elected as a Selectman in 2003, is challenging incumbent State Senator Art Linares, who is running for a third term.

Linares was first elected in 2012 to the 33rd State Senate District seat, which was held for two decades by the late former State Senator Eileen Daily of Westbrook. He won a second term in 2014, defeating Democrat Emily Bjornberg of Lyme on a 22,762-17,326 vote.

The 33rd State Senate District consists of the Town of Lyme along with the Towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Portland, Westbrook, and part of Old Saybrook.

Questions for the debate may be submitted in advance to p.choiniere@theday.com. To watch the debate, visit www.theday.com. It will be live streamed and available for viewing until the election. Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

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Family Fun Day at Face Arts Music, Saturday

TRI-TOWN — Make music together …

Tri-Town Youth Services and Face Arts Music in Deep River are teaming up to offer an exciting opportunity for 20 families on Saturday, Sept. 24from 1 to 3 p.m. at the music school.  Join the teachers at Face Arts Music for an introduction to different types of instruments, including piano, guitar and your own voice.  Learn to play some chords, get a drum beat going and have fun.  The afternoon will finish with a mini-concert.

This Family Fun Day is a free event, open to 20 elementary school students and their families.  Spaces fill quickly, so contact Tri-Town to reserve your spot.  Call 860-526-3600 or register online at tritownys.org.

Face Arts Music provides quality music instruction to students, keeping learning educational and fun.  Their passionate team of instructors offers drum, guitar, violin and piano lessons for beginner to advanced students, in addition to vocal lessons and specialized private instruction in blues guitar, classical guitar or folk violin lessons.  For a complete list of their offerings, visit faceartsmusic.com.

Tri-Town Youth Services supports and advances the families, youth and communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex.  They coordinate and provide resources needed to make positive choices, reduce substance abuse, and strengthen the relationships that matter most.  Discover more programs and information for families at www.tritownys.org.

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Local DTC’s Invite Readers to ‘Meet the Candidates’ Today at Gelston House

Essex First Selectman and Democratic candidate for the 33rd District, Norman Needleman

Essex First Selectman and Democratic candidate for the 33rd District, Norman Needleman

US Senator Joe Courtney

US Senator Joe Courtney

AREAWIDE — The Democratic Town Committees of Lyme, Haddam and East Haddam are jointly sponsoring a “Meet the Candidates” event with Norm Needleman and Joe Courtney at the Gelston House in East Haddam on Monday, Sept. 19, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.  All are welcome.

Needleman (D) is challenging two-term incumbent Art Linares (R) for the position of 33rd District State Representative. Courtney is running for another term as US Representative for Connecticut’s Second Congressional District, a position he has held since 2007..

Light refreshments will be served.  A cash bar will be available.

A $10 donation is suggested.

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Sen. Linares, Senate GOP Unveil Legislative Agenda: “A Confident Future”

Sen. Art Linares and the Connecticut Senate Republicans on Sep. 15 unveiled their policy agenda “A Confident Future” for the 2017 legislative session. From left to right: Sen. Henri Martin, Sen. Kevin Witkos, Sen. Len Fasano, and Sen. Linares. Details of the plan can be found at www.ctsenaterepublicans.com and www.SenatorLinares.com .

Sen. Art Linares and the Connecticut Senate Republicans on Sep. 15 unveiled their policy agenda “A Confident Future” for the 2017 legislative session. From left to right: Sen. Henri Martin, Sen. Kevin Witkos, Sen. Len Fasano, and Sen. Linares. Details of the plan can be found at www.ctsenaterepublicans.com and www.SenatorLinares.com .

AREAWIDE — On Sept. 15, Sen. Art Linares and the Connecticut Senate Republicans unveiled their policy agenda for the 2017 legislative session.

The plan “A Confident Future” presents multiple policy proposals aimed at moving Connecticut in a new direction to grow jobs, renew business confidence, build opportunity, and restore people’s trust in government.

The plan outlines the Republican priorities the caucus will pursue in the 2017 legislative session which begins in January.

“A Confident Future” identifies three main areas Republicans will focus their efforts:

1)      Creating Financial Stability and Predictability. A reliable state with business confidence is the best environment to grow jobs. By reforming the state’s spending and borrowing, Republicans plan to improve the state’s financial health to support a more predictable business environment so that job creators don’t have to worry about what new tax proposals could be awaiting them in bad budget years.

Republican budget proposals include properly funding transportation needs without tolls or new taxes like the mileage tax, reducing the size of state bureaucracy, and making long term structural changes to government. The Republican priorities also include specific tax relief proposals to reduce the burdens on individuals and job creators, such as property tax relief and phasing out taxation of pension income.

2)      Supporting Families and Growing Opportunity. Connecticut’s future depends on supporting our families and creating opportunities for all to succeed. The Republican plan includes policy proposals to strengthen Connecticut cities and help improve life for families in urban areas. It also includes reforms for the state’s child welfare agency, proposes restoring education funding that was cut in recent budgets, protects seniors and the developmentally disabled, and offers new ideas to improve health care and insurance quality and accessibility.

3)      Restoring Trust in Government. The Republican legislative agenda contains proposals to ensure that government operates efficiently and transparently and uses tax dollars as wisely as possible. Proposals include ideas to reduce DMV wait times, eliminate waste, live within our means, strengthen campaign financing laws, and create a more transparent budget writing process.

Sen. Linares represents Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, and Westbrook. He can be reached at 800 842-1421 and Art.Linares@cga.ct.gov .

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Renowned Blues/ Roots Duo to Perform Sunday at CT River Museum

Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons will perform at the Connecticut River Museum on Sept. 18.

Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons will perform at the Connecticut River Museum on Sept. 18.

ESSEX — On Sunday, Sept.18, at 4 p.m., the Connecticut River Museum will host roots musicians Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons for an afternoon concert on the Museum’s riverside lawn. In three short years, Ben and Joe have established themselves nationally as critically acclaimed roots musicians and award-winning acoustic blues songsters.

The duo are recent winners of the prestigious International Blues Challenge 2016 on Beale St. in Memphis TN. Rooted in their home of Seattle, Washington, they bring their unique integration of performance, folklore, and education with them to schools and communities nationwide.

Ben and Joe formed their blues duo in 2012 after performing together for two years with Renegade Stringband. The music they play is truly American inspired by early 20th-century American folk and African music.

Ben Hunter, born in the African nation of Lesotho, raised in Phoenix, Ariz., is a classically trained violinist who studied music around the world. Joe Seamons has shown a devotion to Northwest American folk music, receiving a Woody Guthrie Fellowship from the BMI Foundatio; he studied the banjo with Hobe Kytr.

Their music is one part of the Rhapsody Project, an integration of performance and teaching through public events and school workshops. Designed to bring together people across generational and cultural divides through music, Rhapsody is a Seattle-based community endeavor. “We want regular folks, especially the youth, to understand that America’s folk and blues music is not a relic, but a thriving tradition. It’s not only about the fantastical, deeply mysterious recordings that we can all hear now on records or online. Music is a playground for the imagination with no barriers to entry.”

Opening the show are local favorites Ramblin’ Dan Stevens and Clayton Allen who met Hunter and Seamons as fellow competitors at the Blues Challenge in Memphis. In a melding of diverse blues styles, Dan and Clayton have forged a unique sound, representing a wide variety of traditionally based fingerpicking with a tinge of primitive blues and early blues rock and roll. A dose of Diddly Bow and Cigar Box guitar backed with a driving rhythm and gospel influenced vocals infuse their style with an engaging rock bottom authenticity.

Stevens’ MusicNow Foundation, located in Old Lyme, was instrumental in bringing Hunter and Seamons to the area and is a co-beneficiary in the proceeds from the concert. The mission of MusicNow is to engage, enrich, and inspire young aspiring artists by providing performance opportunities, workshop programming and mentorships thereby nurturing creative and artistic growth and supporting the development of live music in our communities.

For more info on MusicNow, visit www.musicnowfoundation.org.

Concert-goers are invited to bring chairs or picnic blankets for festival-style seating on the Museum’s front lawn. Porky Pete’s Barbecue will be present serving grilled fare, and the Museum will offer a cash bar providing beer and wine.

In the advent of inclement weather, the show will take place in the Museum’s boat house.

Tickets for this event are $12, with a discount for Museum members. They can be bought at the gate or online at ctrivermuseum.org.

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Letter to the Editor: No Better Choice for State Senator Than Needleman

To the Editor:
I am supporting Norm Needleman for State Senate in the 33rd district because I have seen his character firsthand. Actually, I wouldn’t be where I am today without Norm.
He hired me as a graphic designer for his company while I was attending college, and at a time when I could not afford my tuition, he was generous enough to pay it for me.
After graduating, I continued to work for his company, and the professional growth Norm fostered enabled me to achieve my current role as a design manager for Macy’s.
My experience with Norm is not unique, either. Simply put, Norm cares strongly about the well-being and development of everyone he meets. I cannot imagine a better choice for State Senator
Sincerely,
Christopher Crowl,
Brooklyn, N.Y.
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Essex DTC Hosts ‘Meet The Candidates’ Event Saturday, Open to All

The Essex Democratic Town Committee is hosting a Meet the Candidates event on Saturday,  Sept. 17.  The event will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. at Viney Hill Brook Park in Essex, near the town’s swimming area. The event is open to everyone regardless of age or political affiliation.  Free refreshments will be served. 

Come and meet community members and learn more about the candidates and the issues.

Democratic candidates running for office on Nov. 8  are:
Hillary Clinton: President
Richard Blumenthal: US Senate
Joe Courtney: US Congress
Norm Needleman: State Senate 33rd
 District
Phil Miller: State Representative, 36th District

Directions:  Take Saybrook Rd. to Gates Rd., to Cedar Grove Terrace,  turn right on Hillside Dr. and follow road to the park entrance.

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HOPE Partnership’s Night at the Theatre Tonight Features, ‘Man of La Mancha’

hope-partnership-logo_162x104ESSEX – HOPE Partnership’s Annual Night at the Theatre is fast approaching and the event is expected to be sold out. This year’s event at the historic Ivoryton Playhouse, takes place on Thursday, Sept. 15, and features one of the world’s most popular musicals, Man of La Mancha, starring Connecticut’s own David Pittsinger.

One of the world’s most popular musicals, Man of La Mancha, the “Impossible Dream” musical, is based on Cervantes’ masterpiece Don Quixote, and tells of the adventures of a mad, aging nobleman who embarrasses his respectable family by his adventures. At times both inspiring and thought provoking, the story is both very entertaining and moving, and will warm the heart of everyone whose spirits were ever raised by the prospect of a victory by the underdog against all the odds.

HOPE Partnership is a non-profit dedicated to educating, advocating and developing affordable workforce housing opportunities in Southern Middlesex County and the surrounding communities. The need for affordable housing for those who work in our community continues to be a challenge and HOPE looks for creative ways to meet this challenge.

HOPE is grateful for the support and sponsorship of:   Guilford Savings Bank & Liberty Bank, Shore Publishing, Bill & Mary Attridge, Tower Laboratories, The Clark Group, Connecticut Home Builders & Remodelers Association Charitable Foundation, Harding Development Group, First Niagara Foundation, Cloutier & Cassella LLC, Essex Savings Bank, David & Eunice Royston Family, Lorensen Enterprises, Thompson & Peck, St. Paul Lutheran Church, CT River Lumber, OSFD Charitable Fund, Common Sense EMS, Women’s Institute for Housing & Economic Development, Lenny & Joe’s, Londregan Real Estate, Saybrook Point Inn and Angelini Wines.

This year’s event will feature a pre-show cocktail party beginning at 6 p.m., sponsored by Guilford Savings Bank, with an abundance of hearty hors d’oeuvres on the theatre’s tented blue stone terrace. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. and dessert will be served during intermission and following the show.

For tickets ($80) or to donate to HOPE, visit www.hope-ct.org or call (860) 388-9513.

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Donations Currently Being Accepted for Essex Congregational Church Rummage Sale

Members of the Rummage Committee of The First Congregational Church in Essex at 6 Methodist Hill in Essex Village are preparing for the church's annual Rummage Sale on Oct. 15 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. An Early Sales night will take place on Oct. 14 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Getting ready to rummage!  Members of the Rummage Committee of The First Congregational Church in Essex at 6 Methodist Hill in Essex Village are preparing for the church’s annual Rummage Sale on Oct. 15 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. An Early Sales night will take place on Oct. 14 from 6 to 8 p.m.

ESSEX — The annual Rummage On The Hill Sale will be held at the First Congregational Church in Essex, 6 Methodist Hill, on Saturday, Oct. 15, from 9a.m. a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine.

An Early Sales evening will take place on Friday, Oct. 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. For a $5 admission per person, customers will have the opportunity to be the first to preview and buy from the extensive selections of merchandise, as well as homemade baked goods.

A new department this year will be “Home Décor,” featuring a variety of decorator-quality collectibles for the home, including specialty small furniture.

Also new this year is a “50/50 drawing,” with the winner taking home 50 percent of the total monies from the ticket sales.

Other items for sale will include finer women’s, men’s and children’s clothing and shoes; women’s accessories and jewelry; books, CDs and DVDs; games and puzzles; housewares, including lamps and frames, children’s toys and selected furniture. A bake sale will feature home made fare and refreshments will be available at The Grill, on Oct. 15.

Proceeds from the sale go to support the missions of the church.

Rummage donations are now being accepted at the church, Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Donations will also be accepted during extended hours, the week prior to the sale, Oct. 10 through Oct. 14.

If you have items that you wish to donate but need them picked up by a sale volunteer, call the church office at (860) 767-8097. The church will not accept any linens, appliances, air conditioners, computers or televisions of any kind or anything that is damaged or soiled.

 

 

Accompanying photograph:

CUTLINE:

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Lyme First Selectman Eno (R) Endorses Needleman (D) for State Senate

Lyme First Selectman Ralph Eno (left) today endorsed Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman for State Senator.

Lyme First Selectman Ralph Eno (left) today endorsed Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman for State Senator.

LYME – Today, Lyme Republican First Selectman Ralph Eno endorsed Democratic State Senate Candidate Norm Needleman.

“Although I generally try to avoid all things political, given the state of affairs at the state level, I’ve decided to be more public in terms of of the upcoming state senate race,” said Eno. “Norm has my unequivocal support.”

Eno, a Republican, has served as the first selectman of Lyme since 2007 and, with a brief interlude, for 10 years prior to that.

“Norm has the chief elected official experience at the town level that is crucial to being an effective representative,” Eno continued. “We need more small to mid-level town CEOs in the legislature to stand up to laws in Hartford that have terrible unintended consequences for our towns. His work in the public sector paired with his experience as a tried and true business person gives him a leg up to make sure we have the best possible representation given our state’s budget problems.”

“I am endorsing Norm, who is far and away the most qualified candidate for State Senate,” said Eno. “I know him as a man that is collaborative instead of adversarial. He will not be tethered to his political party. He will work on both sides of the aisle and be a team player. And he will be honest with you even when you disagree.”

Norm Needleman is the founder and CEO of Tower Laboratories, a manufacturing business. As CEO, he has built the business over the past 37 years to become a leader in its segment, employing 150 people at facilities in Essex and Clinton.

“Ralph has been a great example for me on how to run a small town,” said Norm Needleman. “He’s hands on, hard-working, honest, and always involved. He knows what it takes to run a municipality. It means a tremendous amount to me to receive this endorsement from a man I have viewed as a mentor in so many ways.”

Needleman is in his third term as first selectman of Essex and was first elected as a Selectman in 2003.

“This district has 12 towns with a lot in common and Ralph and I share a common perspective,” continued Needleman. “We both understand the perspective of small towns, the importance of home rule, and that we need fewer mandates and rules from Hartford.”

Needleman is challenging incumbent State Senator Art Linares, who is running for a third term and like Eno, is a Republican. Linares was first elected in 2012 to the 33rd State Senate District seat, which was held for two decades by the late former State Senator Eileen Daily of Westbrook. He won a second term in 2014, defeating Democrat Emily Bjornberg of Lyme on a 22,762-17,326 vote.

The 33rd State Senate District consists of the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Portland, Westbrook, and part of Old Saybrook.

Click here for audio of the event: http://norm.vote/eno.mp3.

Click here for photos of the event: http://bit.ly/2bZWKDT.

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Essex Winter Series Launches 40th Year with Gala Celebration, Sept. 17

The Argus Quartet

The Argus Quartet

ESSEX, CT – Essex Winter Series will celebrate 40 years of quality artistic presentations with a special Fenton Brown Emerging Artists Concerts, Plus! benefit event on Saturday, Sept. 17, at a private home in Essex. Proceeds from the event will support the Emerging Artists fund and community outreach programming.

Artistic Director Mihae Lee has planned a beautiful program at which she will perform on piano and will be joined by Series favorite, William Purvis (horn), as well as upcoming artists the Argus Quartet (strings), Aaron Plourde (trumpet), and Matthew Russo (trombone). Selections to be performed include Haydn’s String Quartet in C Major, op. 74 no. 1; Fauré’s Pavane for horn and piano, op. 50; and three renaissance pieces for brass trio.

Through this fall fundraiser, grants, and individual contributions, Essex Winter Series is able to sustain its community outreach programming in which emerging artists perform for area schools and senior residences, and present a master class. Tickets for the Sept. 17 benefit and reception are $150 per person and may be purchased by calling the Essex Winter Series office at 860-272-4572.

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

The “Fenton Brown Emerging Artists Concert” series was begun to honor Brown’s commitment to promoting the careers of young artists.  Each year, the Essex Winter Series presents a series of concert performances by top-rated musicians from around the world – with each season including a mix of such performances as chamber music, instrumental soloists, opera singers, symphony and chamber orchestras, and jazz bands.

For additional information about the Sept. 17 benefit or the 2017 concert season, call 860-272-4572 or visit www.essexwinterseries.com.

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Public Hearings on Proposed Shoreline East, Metro North Fare Hikes Held in Old Saybrook

Shoreline_East_logoMTA logoAREAWIDE — The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CT DOT) is proposing to increase public transit fares for the New Haven Line (Metro North) and Shore Line East rail services.  For example, the proposed one-way fare on Shoreline East from Old Saybrook to New Haven would rise on Dec. 1, 2016, from $6.75 to $7.25.  Similarly, the proposed one-way peak fare on Metro North from New Haven to Grand Central would rise from $22.00 to $23.50 and off-peak from $16.50 to $17.50.

The Department will be holding public hearings to receive comments on the proposed fare changes. Those nearest to Chester, Deep River and Essex, will be on Thursday,  Sept. 1, at Old Saybrook Town Hall, 302 Main St., Old Saybrook from 4 to 6 p.m. and then later on the same evening from 7 to 9 p.m.

The CT DOT is also planning to increase fares for CTtransit and CTfastrak local and express bus services, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit services with effect from Dec. 4, 2016, and to amend the tariffs for bus services to allow for the implementation of a new account-based smart card fare payment system (effective on or after Dec. 1, 2016).

Some other notable proposed increases include:

Old Saybrook to New Haven, ten-trip: $60.75 to $65.25
Old Saybrook to New Haven, monthly: $142.00 to $152.25
Westbrook to New Haven, one-way: $6.25 to $6.50
Westbrook to New Haven, ten-trip: $56.25 to $58.50
Westbrook to New Haven, monthly: $129.00 to $136.50
New Haven to Grand Central, weekly: $149.50 to $158.50
New Haven to Grand Central, monthly: $467.00 to $495.00

To see the proposed increases for Shoreline East fares, click here.
To see the proposed increases for Metro-North New Haven line fares to and from Grand Central Station, click here.
To see the proposed increases for Metro-North New Haven line fares to and from intermediate stations, click here.
To see the proposed increases for CTtransit and CTfastrak fares, click here.

In the event that you are unable to appear in person, you are encouraged to email comments to the DOT at dot.farecomments@ct.gov or through the DOT’s website.

Comments may also be mailed to:
Comment on Fare Changes
Bureau of Public Transportation
2800 Berlin Turnpike
P.O. Box 317546
Newington, CT 06131-7546

The comment period closes Sept. 15, 2016.

In the event you cannot make the public hearing in Old Saybrook and would like to testify in person, see the additional dates and locations below for future public hearings.

Wednesday, Sept. 7
4 pm – 7 pm
Hartford
Hartford Public Library
500 Main Street

Tuesday, Sept. 13
11 am – 2 pm
Meriden
Meriden Town Hall
City Council Chamber
142 East Main Street

Tuesday, Sept. 13
Waterbury
4 pm – 7 pm
Silas Bronson Library
267 Grand Street

Wednesday, Sept. 14
4 pm – 6 pm and 7 pm – 9 pm
Stamford
UConn Stamford Campus Auditorium
One University Place

Thursday, Sept. 15
4 pm – 6 pm and 7 pm – 9 pm
New Haven
New Haven Hall of Records, Room G-2
200 Orange Street

State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) also invites readers to raise any questions or comments directly with him at devin.carney@housegop.ct.gov or (800) 842-1423.

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CT River Museum Seeks Volunteer Actors for Halloween Production; Auditions, Sept. 7 & 12

ESSEX — The Connecticut River Museum is looking for a variety of volunteer actors to help launch a Halloween production on myths and legends of the Connecticut River Valley.  Auditions will take place on Sept. 7 and 12 between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. 

Available parts are for adults and children and include short seven-minute scenes and theatrical tour guides.  No prior acting experience is necessary.  Rehearsals will be held on Wednesday nights and run from Sept. 21 through Oct. 19 with a dress rehearsal and evening performances at the end of October.

For more information and to arrange an audition, call the Connecticut River Museum at 860-767-8269 x121 or visit it online at www.ctrivermuseum.org.   

The Connecticut River Museum is located in Essex, CT and is the only museum dedicated to the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its Valley.  The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open Tuesday – Sunday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. 

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Master Clarinetist Teaches Technique Intensive at CMS, Oct. 29

Clarinetist Ken Lagace will lead a full day of workshops, Oct. 29.

Clarinetist Ken Lagace will lead a full day of workshops, Oct. 29.

CENTERBROOK – Community Music School (CMS) presents master clarinetist Ken Lagace, who will lead a full day of workshops on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., focusing on intermediate/advanced level clarinet technique on a wide range of topics.  The intensive will be hosted on CMS’s main campus in Centerbrook and will cost $95, with lunch included.  Call the Business Office at 860-767-0026 to register.

The morning session will include in-depth information on clarinet reeds, including how to select them, maintain them, fix them, properly play them, and even how to make them! The afternoon session will provide an introduction to Ken’s signature REALM method, which stands for Reed, Embouchure, Air, Ligature, and Mouthpiece.  This method teaches players to achieve an excellent sound with flexibility, range, control, and many other aspects of good clarinet performance.

Each session will be followed by a chance for the participants to experiment with their newly learned skills. During the final session, participants will be broken into two or more groups where they can apply their new techniques in a chamber ensemble setting, with feedback from Ken and other clarinet instructors.

Lagace received his Bachelor of Music degree at Hartt College of Music (CT) in 1960.  He studied with Keith Wilson at Yale in 1955, Bernard Portnoy in New York City from 1958 to 1960.  He served as a member of the US Coast Guard Band and studied with Kalmen Opperman in New York City from 1962 to 1966. He instructed at the Hartt College of Music (CT) from 1966 to 1987.

Under the tutelage of Kalmen Opperman, Lagace learned to make his own reeds and reface clarinet and saxophone mouthpieces which has become a skill he willingly shares with his peers.

He was a member of the Hartford (CT) Symphony Orchestra from 1966 to 1987 playing Assistant Principal Clarinet, Bass Clarinet and Eb Clarinet. He was Principal Clarinetist in the Hartford (CT) Chamber Orchestra from its inception until 1987.

His performances include many on TV and Radio, and at Lincoln Center (NYC) and Carnegie Hall (NYC) with the Hartford Symphony.  He also made a CD recording of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Hartford (CT) Chamber Orchestra in 1976.

In 1987 Lagace abandoned the clarinet to program computers and in 2008 after retiring, dusted off the clarinet and is enjoying being back in the clarinet world again.

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

Learn more st www.community-music-school.org or call (860) 767-0026.

 

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Latest Beautification Phase of Bushnell St. Access Point Now Complete

View of the tree plantings.

View of the tree plantings at Bushnell Street Access Point.

ESSEX — The Essex Harbor Management Commission recently completed its latest phase for the beautification of the Bushnell Street Access Point.  The current project removed an older, overgrown hedge row and replaced it with Arborvitae plantings. The old hedge proved to be problematic aesthetically and hindered keeping the area properly manicured.

The Commission wishes to thank the Town’s Tree Warden Augie Pampel, the Town’s Maintenance Department, and Acer Gardens for their assistance.

Over the past five years, the Commission has managed numerous improvements to the Bushnell Street Access Point, including the removal of older, diseased trees, strategic plantings to provide added privacy for its neighbors, the removal of abandoned small boats, an observation deck, and storage racks for the highly successful Small Vessel Storage Program.

These improvements have been made possible through Grants and Permits Fees from the Small Vessel Storage Program.

The Bushnell Street facility has become a popular launching area for kayakers and canoeists who utilize the protected waters of North Cove.  The Access Point is available for all to use and provides ample parking.

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Last Chance to see ‘RENT’ at Ivoryton Playhouse This Afternoon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.  Due to popular demand, two additional Saturday matinee performances have been added on Aug. 20 and 27 – both at 2 p.m.

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

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

*denotes member of Actors Equity

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CT Port Authority Chair Tells Lower CT River Local Officials, “We’re All on One Team”

Enjoying a boat ride on the Connecticut River but still deep in discussion are (from left to right) Chester First Selectwoman Lauren Gister, Old Lyme First Selectwoman and and Connecticut Port Authority (CPA) Board Member Bonnie Reemsnyder, Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman, CPA Chairman Scott Bates and Deep River First Selectman Angus McDonald, Jr.

Enjoying a boat ride on the Connecticut River, but still finding time for discussions, are (from left to right) Chester First Selectwoman Lauren Gister, Old Lyme First Selectwoman and Connecticut Port Authority (CPA) board member Bonnie Reemsnyder, Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman, CPA Chairman Scott Bates and Deep River First Selectman Angus McDonald, Jr.

There was an overarching message both throughout the Connecticut Port Authority’s (CPA) meeting in Old Lyme’s Town Hall Thursday afternoon and during a subsequent boat ride on the MV ‘Victoria’ for members and local officials on the Connecticut River.  It was, in the words of CPA Chairman Scott Bates, that, “We’re absolutely committed to river communities.”

Scott Bates, CPA Chairman, receives input regarding the town's needs from Norm Needleman, Essex First Selectman.

Scott Bates, CPA Chairman, receives input regarding the town’s needs from Norm Needleman, Essex First Selectman.

In addition, while sailing from Essex down to Old Saybrook and then back up to Hamburg Cove on a perfect afternoon, Bates stressed, “Part of our mission is protecting these beautiful waters … and the quality of life we have here while preserving access to the river.”

View of the Connecticut River from the "Victoria."

View of the Connecticut River from the “Victoria.”

Bates noted that to have “five local officials (Chester First Selectwoman Lauren Gister, Deep River First Selectman Angus McDonald Jr., Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman and Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, all of whom were on board, and Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna, who was unable to join the trip) “involved” was a really positive sign in terms of  “building a coalition.”  This, Bates explained, was key to the development of a strategic plan for the CPA—something the Authority has been charged with preparing with a deadline of Jan. 1, 2017.

Gathered for a photo are (from left to right) CPA board member John Johnson, Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman, CPA Chairman Scott Bates and Old Lyme First Selectwoman and CPA board member Bonnie Reemsnyder.

Gathered for a photo are (from left to right) CPA board member John Johnson, Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman, CPA Chairman Scott Bates and Old Lyme First Selectwoman and CPA board member Bonnie Reemsnyder.

The  CPA is a relatively new quasi-public agency created in 2014 with board appointments made in 2016.  Bates said the agency was responsible for 35 coastal communities and with this trip, he would now personally have visited 28 of them. Since the CPA has not created a strategic plan previously, Bates said he is determined, “to include everyone,” in the process, adding that he regards part of the Authority’s mission to be “getting small town and big cities together.” and, in turn, “to make great things happen for our state.”

Deep River First Selectman Angus McDonald, Jr. (left) chats with RiverCOG Executive Director Sam Gold aboard the 'Victoria.'

Deep River First Selectman Angus McDonald, Jr. (left) chats with RiverCOG Executive Director Sam Gold aboard the ‘Victoria.’

Apart from Bates and the four local First Selectmen and Selectwomen, also on board were Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments (RiverCOG) Executive Director Sam Gold, River COG Deputy Director and Principal Planner J.H. Torrance Downes, CPA Board of Directors member John Johnson and Joe Salvatore from the CPA.  Reemsnyder is also a board member of the CPA.

Connecticut Port Authority staff member Joe Salvatore points out a river feature to Reemsnyder and Johnson.

Connecticut Port Authority staff member Joe Salvatore points out a river feature to Reemsnyder, Bates and Johnson.

At the earlier meeting in Old Lyme, Downes had given a presentation to CPA members to introduce them to the Lower Connecticut River during which he had described the geography of the estuary, noting it had, “very little industry and very little commercial development.”  He described it as a “really prime area for bird migration” and highlighted numerous points of scenic beauty.

J.H. Torrance Downe, Deputy Director of River COG, takes in the view of the Connecticut River.

J.H. Torrance Downes, Deputy Director of River COG, takes in the view of the Connecticut River.

Bates noted one of the CPA’s responsibilities is to pursue state and federal funds for dredging and, while sailing under the Baldwin Bridge towards the Connecticut River’s mouth where several tributaries join the main river, Reemsnyder commented that Old Lyme had been a beneficiary of a $1.6 million state grant for dredging two of those tributaries — the Black Hall and Four Mile Rivers.  She noted that it had been a successful exercise thanks in part to Salvatore, who had, “held our hand through the whole project.”

John Johnson, CPA board member (right) checks in with the captain of the 'Victoria.'

John Johnson, CPA board member (right) checks in with the captain of the ‘Victoria.’ Joe Salvatore stands at rear.

Johnson, whose life and business career according to the CPA website, have “a common underlying element: the coastal waters,” also confirmed the benefits of a dredging program, saying, “There is a need for depth of water — both elements, marine and maritime, need depth of water.”  Still on the dredging issue, Bates said he had met separately with Old Saybrook First Selectman Fortuna and told him that he could have “whatever he needs to keep the mouth of the Connecticut River open.”

John Johnson (left) and Bonnie Reemsnyder (right), both CPA board members, chat with the CPA Chairman Scott bates.

John Johnson (left) and Bonnie Reemsnyder (right), both CPA board members, chat with the CPA Chairman Scott bates.

Reemsnyder took a minute to commend Bates for his leadership of the CPA, saying, “Scott has given focus to coastal communities,”  while Johnson added, “We are blessed with our new chairman.”

The quiet, untouched beauty of Hamburg Cove.

The quiet, untouched beauty of Hamburg Cove.

Glancing around at the numerous boats docked both in marinas and on the river itself,  Reemsnyder remarked, “Add up the money in these boats … [they represent] lots of economic drivers.”  On the same theme, Bates noted that the state is marketing its ports for the first time using “national expertise” in some cases with the aim of moving “more people and goods in and out of Connecticut.”  He added, “We have some great assets [in terms of ports in the state] but we could do more.”

Eyes on the Cove -- guests on the 'Victoria' gaze at the view across the calm waters of Hamburg Cove.

Eyes on the Cove — guests on the ‘Victoria’ gaze at the view across the calm waters of Hamburg Cove.

As the “Victoria’ pulled gently back into dock at Essex Yacht Club, Bates summarized the benefits of the boat trip saying that by spending time with these local leaders, he had been able to “see their waterfronts, assess their needs,“ and gain an “appreciation of the vitality of the Lower Connecticut River basin,” emphasizing one more time, “This is really about pulling together as a state … we’re all on one team.”

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Essex Child & Family Auxiliary Hosts ‘Black and White Masquerade Gala’ Tomorrow

Black and White Masquerade Committee members gather for a photo.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Essex Park & Rec. Announces Exciting Range of Fall Programs

ESSEX — Essex Park and Recreation (P & R) Department has announced that registration is now open for all Fall 2016 programming.

A small sample of the extensive and varied range of programs includes track, tennis, archery, cooking, floor hockey, Kids on the Move, Pre-Season Basketball and Outdoor Nature Exploration

Registration for the Winter Youth Basketball Program is also open at this time.

Essex P & R is also offering a bus trip to see the Patriots play the Jets at MetLife Stadium.

Finally, don’t forget to Save the Date for the Ivoryton Village Pumpkin Festival on Oct. 22!

Click on this link to view the color guide to Essex P & R Fall Programs aptly sub-titled, “The Benefits are Endless”.

For further information or to register for programs, call 860.767.4340 x 110 or email recreation@ essexct.gov. The P & R office is located inside the Essex Town Hall at 29 West Ave., Essex.

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Yoga & Pilates Practice Opens in Essex Catering to Individuals with Physical, Mobility Challenges

Karen DiRenzio works with a client in her new facility in Essex.

Karen DiRenzio works with a client in her new facility in Essex.

ESSEX — Karen DiRenzo has announced the opening of Yoga & Pilates for Health and Well-Being, a private practice located at 3 New City Road, Essex, CT.  The practice focuses on working one-on-one with individuals who have physical limitations and mobility challenges and is fully equipped with Pilates apparatus on premises.  In addition to being a Certified Pilates Instructor, she is specially trained in Adapting Yoga for Disabilities, Chair Yoga, Cardiac Yoga and Silver Sneakers.

DiRenzo, a retired Navy Nurse for over 30 years chooses to work with individuals looking to improve their health who have sustained injuries, illness and limitations.

She explains, “I’ve taken the fear out of fitness classes and large studio environments for individuals looking to improve their health.  By establishing a Pilates and Yoga in-home practice, clients feel at ease to work at a pace that suits them.  My focus is on outcome, and I am dedicated to working with those who feel uncomfortable with larger studios environments.  I can modify any movements to make them accessible for all.”

With over 30 years of experience as a Registered Nurse, DiRenzo has the skills and understanding to work with all clients, especially those with physical problems, older individuals and post-rehabilitation to bridge the gap after physical therapy completion.   Pilates and Yoga provides a variety of movements to improve balance and strength, increase bone density and improve mobility.

DiRenzo has worked with clients recovering from bilateral mastectomy reconstructions, strokes, arthritis, fibromyalgia and more.  In addition to her Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree, she holds a Master of Science Degree in Community Health Administration and Wellness Promotion.

Yoga and Pilates for Health and Well-Being offers Private One Hour Sessions,  In-home Sessions, Group Pilates mat or Yoga for Schools, Businesses, Churches and Chair Yoga at Assisted Living Facilities.

For more information, visit www.yogaandpilatesforhealth.com

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All Welcome to Visit Community Music School During Open House Week, Sept. 12-16;

Community Music School Hosts a Beginning Group Piano class.

Community Music School Hosts a Beginning Group Piano class.

CENTERBROOK – Community Music School, located in the Spencer’s Corner professional complex at 90 Main Street in Centerbrook, welcomes the general public to visit during Open House Week Sept. 12 through 16.

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, Kindermusik, and more.

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. Those interested in a 15-minute preview lesson are requested to 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. 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.

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Ivoryton Village Hosts Pumpkin Festival with Full Day, Evening of Events, Oct. 22

Join the fun of pumpkin carving on Oct. 22 in Ivoryton.

Join the fun of pumpkin carving on Oct. 22 in Ivoryton.

ESSEX — Ivoryton’s Pumpkin’s Festival takes place on Saturday, Oct. 22., and offers a full day of events.  The festival brings more than 1500 visitors to the village green. The Pumpkin Festival takes the very best traditions of the autumn season and offers them all for free.

The first Pumpkin Festival was held at the Ivoryton Village Green in 2000 and is held the Saturday before Halloween every year. Join the fun at the village green to enjoy the free refreshments, contests and games, live music and view the pumpkins.

Bring your carved pumpkins from 9 a.m. to 12 noon for the Jack o’ Lantern Stroll Date from 5 to 8 p.m. on Ivoryton Green.

Ivoryton Library’s Pumpkin Chase & Kid’s Run

This race will begin near the library and meander through historic Ivoryton, continuing into Falls River Farms and the Falls River Preserve and ending back at the library. A Pumpkin Run in Ivoryton Park is scheduled for children aged 8 and younger. All pumpkin runners will receive a medal and a pumpkin that can be painted after the race.

Contact the Library for more details

Show off your carving skills at Ivoryton's Pumpkin Festival!

Show off your carving skills at Ivoryton’s Pumpkin Festival!

Pre-Festival Carving Party

The Great Pumpkin Challenge at the annual Pumpkin Festival calls for 200 or more carved pumpkins for the Jack o’ Lantern stroll. Why not join this activity at the green immediately following the Ivoryton Library Pumpkin Chase from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Ivoryton Green to create your masterpiece and put it right on display for all to see?  You can also satisfy your sweet tooth with cookie decorating with the volunteers from Child & Family Services of Southeastern Connecticut.

There will be over 100 pumpkins that will need to be carved so come on down early and enjoy a fun time with neighbors and friends at our Halloween celebration. Pre-registration is not required, but would be much appreciated.

Essex Park and Recreation Department is hoping for at least 50 carvers to get the job done for the pumpkin lighting that begins at 5 p.m.

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere ...

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere …

Starting at 5 p.m., enjoy Halloween-inspired face-painting by Bohemian Body Art alongside Music with Margie, who will be performing “Roll With the Pumpkins” on the Ivoryton Playhouse’s side patio from 5 to 5:45 p.m.

Enjoy a not so scary horse drawn hayride sponsored by the Park & Recreation Commission- Rides will leave from the Village Green from 5 to 8 p.m.

Don’t miss the Haunted Wonderland at the Ivoryton Library from 6 to 8 p.m.

Also from 6 to 8 p.m., enjoy the antics of The Munsters on the Big Screen presented by Ivoryton Library and Essex Park and Rec next to Gather.

For yet more entertainment,“Federation” is back with live music in the Gazebo from 6 to 8 p.m.

Enjoy free refreshments, courtesy of Deep River Snacks, The Essex Lions Club, The Ivoryton Inn & All Saints Church – while they last at The Ivoryton Playhouse patio also starting from 6 p.m.

Be sure to take a stroll around the village and take in the sights of the beautifully carved pumpkins on display.

For more information, contact Essex Park and Recreation at 860-767-4340 x110/148 or visit www.essexct.gov

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Ivoryton Playhouse Hosts Benefit Concert Tonight by Schumann & Pittsinger

Patricia Schuman and David Pittsinger (Photo by Deborah Rutty)

Husband and wife David Pittsinger and Patricia Schuman will give a benefit concert for Ivoryton Playhouse, Aug. 22. (Photo by Deborah Rutty)

IVORYTON — World renowned artists David Pittsinger and Patricia Schuman will be performing an exclusive concert on Monday, Aug. 22. “This is The Life” is based on the song by Alan Jay Lerner from ‘Love Life’, and the evening will chronicle the highs and lows in the life of an artist and a marriage.

This special performance will include music from Sondheim, Cole Porter, Lerner and Lowe, and Rodgers and Hammerstein, with classics from Kiss Me Kate, Sweeney Todd, Shenandoah, Carnival, Man of La Mancha, Camelot, No Strings and Sound of Music. This concert is a benefit for the 105-year-old Playhouse to further its mission to provide theatre of the highest quality to the residents and visitors to our community.

David Pittsinger is currently performing at Glimmerglass and earlier this year received rave reviews for his portrayal of Fred Graham in Kiss Me Kate at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.  Pittsinger delighted audiences as Emile DeBecque in last year’s smash hit South Pacific and will be returning to the Ivoryton Playhouse stage playing Don Quixote in the fall production of Man of La Mancha, opening Sept. 7.

His wife, Patricia Schuman, an internationally celebrated soprano, was recently seen as The Duchess in Odyssey Opera’s production of Powder her Face.  This special concert is a rare opportunity to see them together in the intimate setting of the Ivoryton Playhouse performing a brand new repertoire and many duets.

Tickets for this special event are $125. There will be a reception at 6 p.m. with wines and heavy hors d’oeuvres followed by the performance at 7 p.m. David and Patricia will join guests after the show for coffee and dessert.

Seating is limited; call the theatre box office at 860.767.7318 to reserve your seat for this very special evening.  The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

Visit www.ivorytonplayhouse.org for more information.

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Essex Community Fund Hosts Fundraising Evening Thursday at the Ivoryton Playhouse

Organizers of Essex Community Fund's Benefit Evening stand in front of the Ivoryton Playhouse, where the event will be held.

Organizers of Essex Community Fund’s Benefit Evening stand in front of the Ivoryton Playhouse, where the event will be held.

ESSEX  — Tickets are selling quickly for the Essex Community Fund’s (ECF) Evening at the Ivoryton Playhouse featuring one of the world’s most popular musicals, The Man of La Mancha. Starring Connecticut’s own David Pittsinger returning to the Playhouse, ECF’s Evening at the Playhouse is on Sept. 8.

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

Pre-show reception and festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. under the tent with a post-show “Meet the Cast” dessert and coffee. All proceeds go to support ECF’s ongoing mission to enhance the quality of life for the residents of our three villages.

For tickets ($75) or to make a donation, contact a board member or visit our website at www.essexcommunityfund.org.

Contact: Jackie Doane, Playhouse Committee Chair Person, Essex Community Fund at info@essexcommunityfund.org

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

Some of their recent initiatives include Compassion Counts: Exploring Mental Wellness, Teen Hunger Initiative, and The Bridge Fund, as well as continuing involvement with the Fuel Assistance Program, The Shoreline Soup Kitchen, Essex Park and Recreation, and the Essex Board of Trade programs and events.

For more information or to make a donation, visit www.essexcommunityfund.org.

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Essex Historical Society Hosts Summer Member’s Picnic, Sunday; All Welcome

Come and enjoy a picnic with the Essex Historical Society, Aug. 21! Image submitted by EHS.

Come and enjoy a picnic with the Essex Historical Society, Aug. 21! Image submitted by EHS.

ESSEX — Join friends and neighbors in celebrating the summer season at Essex Historical Society’s (EHS) Summer Member’s Picnic on Sunday, Aug. 21, from12 to 2 p.m.  The public is welcome to enjoy this free family-friendly outdoor event as EHS fires up the grill for hamburgers and hot dogs on the beautiful grounds of the historic Pratt House, 19 West Ave., Essex.

Sunny Train will entertain at the Essex Historical Society's picnic on Aug. 21 -- and the public is invited!

Sunny Train will entertain at the Essex Historical Society’s picnic on Aug. 21 — and the public is invited!

Musical duo ‘Sunny Train’, the husband and wife team of Ana and Christopher Jankowski, will provide family entertainment to delight all ages with their lively tunes, hula-hoop activities and giant bubbles!  Attendees can also visit the gracious 1732 Pratt House and newly installed kitchen gardens.  Dessert delivered via ice cream truck.  In case of rain, the event moves into the Pratt House barn.

Formed in 1955, EHS is committed to fulfilling its mission of educating and inspiring the community in the three villages of Centerbrook, Essex and Ivoryton.  The event is free and open to the general public.  The organizers invite readers to join them for what is sure to be an enjoyable afternoon.
For more information, visit www.essexhistory.org or call (860) 767-0681.
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Join an End of Summer Reading Family Festival on Sunday at Ivoryton Green

Judi Ann of Dancin' with Hoops will entertain at the Ivoryton Family Festival.

JudiAnn of Dancin’ with Hoops will entertain at the Ivoryton Family Festival.

Join Ivoryton Library Assistant Director and Children’s Librarian Elizabeth Bartlett at the Ivoryton Green Sunday, Aug. 21, from 5 to 7 p.m. for the End of Summer Reading Family Festival, an event the whole family will enjoy.

She hopes that you have had a great summer, enjoyed time with friends and made new discoveries. Ms. Elizabeth looks forward to hearing about your favorite books and summer activities.

For children who have not been able to visit the library with their logs, Summer Reading Prize Packages will be available. *Please Register Your Child For Prize Package*

girl_dancing

JudiAnn (pictured above) of Dancin’ with Hoops will be performing as well as teaching some great new moves for children and parents alike. There will be a raffle for a custom hula hoop that she designed.

Guests are encouraged you to bring their own picnic. Scoops of Centerbrook generously has donated an ice cream sundae bar for everyone to enjoy.

Call Elizabeth Bartlett at the Ivoryton Library for more details and to register your child for a prize package. 860-767-1252

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Paolucci, Gingras Appointed to Essex Financial Services Board of Directors

Essex Financial Services, Inc. (EFS) has announced that Robert Paolucci and Patrick Gingras, two of the firm’s Financial Advisors, have been appointed to serve on the company’s Board of Directors. In addition, both have been promoted to Senior Vice President.

In a statement announcing the appointment, EFS President and Chief Executive Officer Charles R. Cumello, Jr. said, “We are delighted to add two of our most senior advisors to our board. We look forward to their ongoing contributions to the growth and oversight of the firm.”

Paolucci has been in the financial services industry for nearly 20 years and joined EFS in 2009. He has earned the Certified Financial Planner®. Paolucci and his family reside in Killingworth.

Gingras joined EFS in 2006 after numerous years serving as an institutional advisor. He and his family live in Old Lyme.

Essex Financial Services is one of the leading independent financial advisory firms in the United States. Cited by Barron’s and other leading publications, the firm’s unbiased, independent, client-centric approach has made it a leader in providing exceptional service to clients for over three decades.

For more information on Essex Financial Services, visit essexfinancialservices.com

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High Praise Indeed: New York Times Gives “Marley’s Cafe” in Essex a Favorable Review

Editor’s Note: The article discussed in this piece is titled, ‘Review: Marley’s Cafe Is a Sweet Spot With a Reggae Soundtrack’ and was written by Sarah Gold.  It was published in the New York Times on Sunday, Aug. 7, and also on nytimes.com on Friday, Aug. 5.  The article can be found at this link: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/07/nyregion/review-marleys-cafe-is-a-sweet-spot-with-a-reggae-soundtrack.html?_r=0

The New York Times customarily focuses its restaurant reviews on high end, Manhattan restaurants, featuring meals that can cost $100 or more.  However, in Sunday’s print edition on Aug. 7 and also published on www.nytimes.com on Aug. 5 at this link , Times food critic Sarah Gold took a look at “Marley’s Café,” a tiny, outdoor restaurant on a man-made island just off the coast of Essex.

Under the headline, “A Sweet Spot With a Reggae Soundtrack,” Gold devoted a full half page of the Sunday New York Times newspaper to the 12-year-old, “Marley’s Café.”  The article was illustrated with three photographs, featuring the front view of the restaurant, and two photos of favorite dishes.

In her review, Gold speaks of, “an indelible impression of the experience: the company I kept, the environment we shared,” noting further that, “For 12 years, Marley’s Café, in Essex, has been delivering just this sort of meal to locals and summer visitors.”

Gold sums up the café in the words,”Fine dining it ain’t, but the restaurant … is … a uniquely wonderful place to [in the words of Bob Marley after whom the restaurant is named] “get together and feel all right.””

Jeff’ Odekerken and his wife, Claudia, share much of the management of the restaurant.

The Times article gave the restaurant a “Good” rating, and the reviewer especially liked the Jamaican burger, and the evening appetizer of steamed, Prince Edward Island mussels. At lunch and dinner, sandwiches, soups and salads cost $7 to $16. Entrees in the evening run from $20 to $30.

In this author’s opinion, Marley’s is the best outdoor dining experience that the historic town of Essex has to offer. Also, the combination of good food and island isolation can equal — or even surpass — the squeeze that customers often feel in big city restaurant.

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Essex Winter Series Awards Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship to Austin Rannestad of Chester

Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship winner Austin Rannestad stands with his parents John and Jennifer Rannestad John Rannestad,

Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship winner Austin Rannestad stands with his parents John and Jennifer Rannestad.

ESSEX — The Board of Trustees of Essex Winter Series has announced that Austin Rannestad of Chester is the recipient of the 2016 Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship. A 2016 graduate of Valley Regional High School (VRHS), Austin is the son of John and Jennifer Rannestad. The scholarship was awarded by Essex Winter Series trustee Louisa Ketron at the VRHS senior awards night in June.

Named for a founding member of Essex Winter Series, the Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a graduating senior of VRHS who will be studying music in college. The generous scholarship provides $1,000 for each year of study, for a total of $4,000. The Scholarship was established in 1995 after the passing of EWS board president Francis Bealey to honor his commitment to music and arts education.

Austin plays trumpet and, during his high school career, was a member of the concert and jazz bands as well as a musician in the pit orchestra for school and community musicals. He was a member of the Greater Hartford Youth Wind Ensemble, played varsity tennis and was a member of the ski club. This summer, Austin was employed as a sailing instructor at Pettipaug Sailing Academy and, with his family, hosted a Spanish exchange student for several weeks. He plans to attend Ithaca College to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music.

Bringing world-class classical and jazz music to the shoreline area was the dream of the founders of the Essex Winter Series, established in 1979.  The late Fenton Brown became involved early on and devoted many years to expanding the series, and ultimately recruited pianist Mihae Lee to become Artistic Director.  The “Fenton Brown Emerging Artists Concert” series was begun to honor Brown’s commitment to promoting the careers of young artists.

Each year, the Essex Winter Series presents a series of concert performances by top-rated musicians from around the world with each season including a mix of such performances as chamber music, instrumental soloists, opera singers, symphony and chamber orchestras, and jazz bands.

For additional information, visit www.essexwinterseries.com.

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‘Five Women Painting’ Annual Art Show Opens Oct. 7

'Three Hens' by Claudia van Nes

‘Three Hens’ by Claudia van Nes is featured in the ‘Five Women Painting’ art show.

ESSEX — The annual Five Women Painting art show, featuring new works by a group of established artists in the region, will be Oct. 7 through Oct. 10 with a gala opening party Friday, Oct. 7, from 5 to 8 p.m.

'A Day of Warmth' by Pam Carlson is one of the signature paintings of the exhibition.

‘A Day of Warmth’ by Pam Carlson is one of the signature paintings of the exhibition.

The artists, whose styles and subject matter vary widely from contemporary landscapes to abstract monotypes, include Pam Carlson from Essex; Rosemary Cotnoir, Kathleen DeMeo, Ellie Pringle from Haddam, and Claudia Van Nes from Chester.

All five artists will be at the opening party on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. to greet guests and help serve wine and a variety of appetizers and desserts.

The show continues Saturday, Oct. 8, from noon to 5 p.m. with Claudia Van Nes inviting visitors to sketch along with her from 1 to 3 p.m.

On Sunday, Oct. 9, when the show is also open noon to 5 p.m., Pam Carlson will give a palette knife demonstration from 1 to 3 p.m.

The exhibit continues Monday, Oct 10 from noon to 3 p.m.

Essex Art Association Gallery is located at 10 North Main Street, Essex. Phone: 860-767-8996. Visit Five Women Painting on Facebook.

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French Classes Begin at Ivoryton Library, Oct. 5

ann_lander_at_Ivoryton_Library
IVORYTON — The Ivoryton Library offers the following languages classes beginning this fall. All classes are open for new members at any time. Feel free to sit in on a class to see if the level of instruction works for you. Fee is per class attended and is payable to the Instructor.
Beginning Italian – Tuesdays 10-11 am, $5 – begins September 13
Intermediate French – Tuesdays 1-2 pm, $5 – begins September 13
Beg/Int Italian – Wednesdays 10-11 am, $5 – begins September 14
Easy French Reading – Wednesdays 2-3pm, $5 – begins October 5
Intermediate/ Advanced Spanish – Thursdays 1–2 pm, $5 – begins September 22
Conversational Spanish – Thursdays at 2:15-3:45, $10 – begins TBD

Call the library for more information or if interested in a language class not offered. The library would also like to hear from language teachers interested in hosting a class at 860-767-1252.

The Ivoryton Library is located at 106 Main St. in Ivoryton.
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Valley Shore YMCA’s 25th Annual Golf Classic Raises Funds for Annual Campaign

A smiling group of YMCA golf tournament winners.

A smiling group of YMCA golf tournament winners.

The Valley Shore YMCA’s 25th Annual Golf Classic drew a crowd of nearly 100 golfers Monday, July 18th to the Clinton Country Club for a day of “Golfing for a Cause”. The event raised over $45,000 for the Valley Shore YMCA’s Annual Campaign, which funds scholarships for local families and community health initiatives.

The majority raised came from sponsorships, including the Tournament sponsorships of Brown and Knapp Group Benefits; Mr. & Mrs. Leighton Lee IV; Art Linares and Family; Guilford Savings Bank; L.H. Brenner, Inc./Thompson & Peck Insurance; Pat Munger Construction; Wacker Wealth Management; and Whelen Engineering. Supporting sponsors included East Commerce Solutions and Kyocera.

The day of the tournament was a beautiful summer day, sunny with slight breezes in support of the golfers. Additional fun games were held throughout the course to enhance the fun factor, including Longest Drive, Closet to the Pin, Putting and Hole in One contests. Former Y Board President David Brown and Y Board Member Leighton Lee IV co-chaired the event and rallied sponsors, volunteers and prizes.

Committee members and volunteers included Marc Brodeur, Hal Dolan, Lisa LeMonte, Elizabeth McCall, Susan Norton, Melissa Ozols, Matt Sullivan, Tony Sharillo, Marcus Wacker and Jacquelyn Waddock.

No golfer made a hole-in-one for the prized Subaru generously provided by Reynolds’ Garage and Marine.

First Net Score winners were Jeff Knapp, Steph Brodeur, Justin Urbano and Scott Wiley; second place went to Casey Quinn, Paddy Quinn, Chick Quinn and Ryan Quinn.

First Gross winners were the team of David Brown, Jeff Dow, Mike Satti and Shane O’Brien; second place  went to Bob Brady, Geoff Gregory, John Brady and Bobby Edgil.

Chris Pallatto, YMCA CEO, thanked all the golfers and local organizations who came together to make this event possible. “Once again, we had another successful event, made possible by all of our supporters here today.  They all make it possible for the Y to continue to make an impact in our community.”

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Florence Dutka Interviewed by Mary Ann Pleva on ‘Looking Back’ TV Show

Looking_Back_Crew
The technical crew of the Looking Back series posed for a photo after a recent show.

The  taping occurred at Valley Shore Community Television in their Westbrook studio.

Pictured in the photo above are Chris Morgan, Bill Cook, Bill Bevan, Terry Garrity, and Tim Butterworth
Seated are Florence Dutka who was interviewed by host, Mary Ann Pleva.  This is the fifth in a series that features community members, who have led extraordinary lives.
The programs air regularly on Channel 19, public access television.  Scheduling information is available weekly  in the Valley Courier.
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Essex Zoning Commission Asked to Reconsider Three Conditions for Approval of Plains Rd. Apartment Complex

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The panel has also scheduled an Aug. 15 public hearing on a new and separate special permit application for an eight-unit condominium-style active adult community development on a 10-acre parcel on Bokum Road. The proposed Cobblestone Court development would be comprised of four duplex buildings The applicant is local resident and property owner Mark Bombaci under the name Bokum One LLC. The property abuts a little used section of the Valley Railroad line.
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Connecticut River Artisans Now Open in Essex

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

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

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

They have closed their Chester shop and now reopened at their new location at 55 Main St., Essex.

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

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

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Essex Library Hosts Local Author James Benn to Discuss his Latest Novel, ‘The Blue Madonna’, Sept. 29

bluemadonnaESSEX — The Essex Library is honored to welcome back James Benn in celebration of the release of his 11th Billy Boyle mystery that Lee Child declares “is a must-read series.”

Publishers Weekly says of Blue Madonna: “The suspenseful story line, set on the eve of the Normandy invasion in 1944, will keep readers turning the pages … Benn movingly depicts Nazi cruelties that Boyle and his comrades witness.”

On Thursday, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m. at the Essex Library, Benn will describe fascinating details from the actual events that he researched for the book’s plotlines and more about the upcoming books in the Billy Boyle series.

James Benn

James Benn

Benn, a resident of Hadlyme, CT, worked in the library and information technology field for more than thirty-five years before he started writing full-time. One lesson he says that’s helped him greatly as an author is a quote from Oscar Wilde: “The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of one’s pants to a chair.” Copies of his books will be available for purchase and signing.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information or to register, please call the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560.

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

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Enjoy Essex Historical Society’s “Walking Weekend,” Saturday & Sunday

Ivoryton Library. All photos courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

Ivoryton Library. All photos courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

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

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

The Pratt Smithy.

The Pratt Smithy.

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

The Rose Store.

The Rose Store.

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

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

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

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River Valley Dance Project Creates Dance Movie in One Day, Sept. 24

On Sept.24, the River Valley Dance Project will be at Comstock Park in Ivoryton, Conn., starting at 1 p.m. and going into the evening. Project members plan to create, rehearse and film a dance in one day.

The theme of this piece is diversity. The hope is that many people join the event to learn some very simple movements. Choreographer and Director, Linalynn Schmelzer will support and shape everyone to perform movements with which they are comfortable. The word ‘dance’ in this vision means choreographed movement not ballet.

The organizers seek diversity so all races, ages, genders are very welcome to participate. Bring your family and friends.

RSVP to linalynn2@gmail.com. It is important for the organizers to know how many people will be participating.

‘Like’ the River Valley Dance Project on Facebook to stay connected.

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

To the Editor:

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Lynn Herlihy,
Essex.

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Essex Art Association’s Late Summer 2016 on View Through Sept. 17

Painting by Pamela Ives Paterno, whose work will be on display at the Essex Art Association.

Painting by Pamela Ives Paterno, whose work will be on display at the Essex Art Association.

The fifth and final exhibition of the Essex Art Association (EAA) 2016 season is an open (judged only for awards) show whose theme is “Lost & Found.” The exhibition juror, Nathaniel Foote, a graduate of The Cooper Union, has lived and worked in New England, the Northwest, Europe, and New York City where he won two Emmy awards for art direction/production design and graphic design. $2000 will be awarded to exhibiting artists for their work in various media.

Each season five EAA artists are selected by a juror to exhibit their work in our small “Exit Gallery.” The Exit Gallery artist during this exhibition is Pamela Ives Paterno. Paterno began oil painting when she was in seventh grade but switched to watercolor when she was a young mother. She felt the lighter media called for a light subject matter and birds in flight became a fascinating challenge.

Paterno has studied drawing and painting at The Art Institute in Chicago, Drake University, and Central Connecticut State University. She has won awards in both oil and watercolor and has work in the artists’ collection in the Wethersfield Town Hall. She has illustrated five children’s books and continues to enjoy painting birds and children being caught in action.

The “Lost & Found” exhibition opening reception will be held Friday, August 26, from 6 to 8 pm. Both exhibits are open at no charge to the public Aug. 27 – Sept. 17 at the Essex Art Association Gallery located in the sunny yellow building in the center of Essex at 10 North Main Street, Essex, Conn. Gallery hours are 1 to 5 pm daily, closed Tuesdays. For more information, call 860-767-8996.

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Cappella Cantorum Presents Annual Men’s Chorus Concert This Afternoon

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

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

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

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

 

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