May 23, 2015

Last Day of Essex Library Friends’ Spring Book Sale Today

Preparing for the Sale are, from left to right, Debbie Barnes, Janice Atkeson, Linda Levene, and Ellie Champion

Preparing for the Spring Book Sale are, from left to right, Debbie Barnes, Janice Atkeson, Linda Levene, and Ellie Champion

ESSEX — The Friends of Essex Library will hold a Spring Book Sale Saturday and Sunday, May 16 and 17, at the library at 33 West Ave. in Essex. The annual sale will provide funds for numerous special library programs and activities. Proceeds from previous sales recently enabled the Friends to purchase new sliding doors at the main entrance to the library.

Dates and times for the Sale are Saturday, May 16, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, May 17, from 1 to 4 p.m. when all items will be half-priced.

The Sale will include carefully sorted books in good condition on nautical subjects, gardening, cooking, history, literature, art, travel, philosophy, science, nature, sports, self-help, foreign languages, and books in large print. There will be tables of fiction, children’s books, paperbacks, CDs, DVDs, and books on CD.

Specific information about the sale, including signed books and titles offered in the various categories, will be on the Essex Library website: www.youressexlibrary.org. Click on “Friends” and the “Book Sale” page.

On book-sale Saturday, library materials can be checked in and out from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but computers in the adult section will not be available for use. There will be no library services on Sunday, when all book-sale items will be half price.

World Renowned Singers Pittsinger, Schumann to Star in Ivoryton’s ‘South Pacific’

David Pittsinger

David Pittsinger

IVORYTON —  Ivoryton Playhouse announced yesterday that world renowned American bass-baritone David Pittsinger* will be revisiting the role of Emile deBecque – the role he played in the Lincoln Center production to great critical acclaim – in the July production of South Pacific at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

Peter Marks of the Washington Post wrote of his performance’ “That quadruple bassoon of a voice interpreting the Richard Rodgers melodies – among the most melting ever composed for the theater – is all the seduction that you or Nellie need. Somehow, the effortlessness of Pittsinger’s technique helps in the illusion that the great romance at the core of “South Pacific” truly is operatic in scope.

Mr. Pittsinger is a stage performer of the greatest distinction.  Having appeared on the world’s leading opera and concert stages in Vienna, Salzburg, Brussels, Paris, Tanglewood, Pesaro, New York, Santa Fe, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and San Francisco, he is equally at home in baroque through contemporary operas, as well as musical theater.

Patricia Schumann

Patricia Schumann

He will be joined by his wife, internationally celebrated soprano Patricia Schuman*, who will also be making her Ivoryton Playhouse debut, as Bloody Mary. A performer of great breadth, Ms. Schuman began her career with the great Mozart repertoire, performing Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) and Contessa Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) at the Metropolitan Opera and has performed at most of the great opera houses throughout Europe and the United States.

David and Patricia made their home in Essex almost 20 years ago, and even though their work in the opera world has them travelling all over the world, they both feel a special connection to Connecticut shoreline. David, who grew up in Clinton and attended the University of Connecticut and Yale, is thrilled to be giving back to his community and the Playhouse is honored to welcome both of them to the historic Ivoryton stage.

South Pacific opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on July 1 and runs through July 26. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.  Additional matinee performances are at 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 16, Saturday, July 18, and Saturday, July 25.  Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.  There is no performance on Saturday, July 4.

Tickets are $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting 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.

Essex’s New ‘Pocket Park’ to be Dedicated May 31, All Welcome

ESSEX — All are welcome to attend the dedication of Morgana’s Place, May 31, at 1 p.m. on the corner of North Main St. and New City St. in Essex.

The unveiling of the statue of Morgana, Ina Bomze’s beloved companion, will take place.

Approximately a year ago, Ina Bomze purchased the property, removed the remnants of the building, replenished the grounds and deeded it for perpetuity to Essex Land Trust.

The Trust invites you to consider making donations for the ongoing care and maintenance of this new pocket park or as additional support to assist Essex Land Trust (P.O. Box 373, Essex) in keeping all of their properties vibrant and groomed for all to enjoy.http://essexlandtrust.org/

Contact Ed Tucker, MD at edtuckermd@aol.com or 860-767-2332 for further information.

Light refreshments will be available.  This event will be held rain or shine.

Essex Corinthian YC Explores “Teaching Life Lessons & Character Through Sailing,” May 31

arctic_tern_sailboat

ESSEX — For more than 100 years, the United States Coast Guard Academy (CGA) has consistently developed exceptional leaders of character who are Semper Paratus (Always Ready) to perform courageously in any conditions of the maritime environment.

Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Zeke Lyons, one of the Officers in Charge in the Coast Guard Academy’s Coastal Sailing Program, will visit the Essex Corinthian Yacht Club on Sunday, May 31, at 4 p.m. to reflect on three years of adventure and guiding experiential learning with CGA cadet crews during summer cruises throughout New England on board the Academy’s fleet of eight custom designed Leadership 44 sloops.

Lt. Cmdr Lyons is completing a three year assignment as a Company Officer on the Academy’s staff.  In addition to sailing each summer as part of the Coastal Sailing Program, he was also an Instructor of Organizational Behavior and Leadership in the Management Department.

Prior to his assignment at the Coast Guard Academy, he graduated from the Eisenhower Leadership Development Program at the United States Military Academy at West Point in conjunction with Columbia Teacher’s College in New York City.

Lt. Cmdr Lyons will combine humor and insights about the CGA experience to shed light on how the Academy develops leaders of character and his talk will highlight why, as Vice Admiral James Pine said, “The sea has, though the ages, been of all schools, the best for bringing out the qualities of leadership.”

This talk is open to the public but space is limited.   Contact the club’s office at 860-767-3239 or ecyc@essexcorithian.orgto reserve space.  There will be an informal reception following the talk.

The Essex Corinthian Yacht Club is located at 9 Novelty Lane in Essex.   For more information about the Club, visitwww.essexcorinthian.org

St. John’s in Essex Designates Today as ‘Memorial Sunday’ with Special Services

ESSEX — This year Sunday, May 17, has been designated as “Memorial Sunday” at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Essex. At all three services on that day at 8, 9 and 10:45 a.m., the congregation will remember through special prayers and music those who have lost their lives in service.

For that day the church has called upon its veterans and their families to participate in many of the roles traditionally filled by members of the congregation–as greeters, ushers, acolytes, servers, chalicebearers, flagbearers, and those leading the prayers.

Area veterans are invited to join the service. A reception will follow the services in the parish hall.

Because the national Memorial weekend coincides with the Church Feast of Pentecost, St. John’s Memorial Sunday services are scheduled on May 17 this year. These special services are part of the Ministry to Veterans, Active Military and Their Families, which was begun last year at the Church.

Letter to the Editor: A Note of Thanks From Essex Garden Club

To the Editor:

On Saturday May 9th in Town Park the Essex Garden Club held its 63rd May Market.  The Silent Auction Committee of May Market would like to thank our area merchants, friends and artists for the incredible generosity they showed in supporting this year’s Silent Auction.

As May Market is the Club’s only fund-raiser, we depend on its proceeds to support our civic projects in Essex Village, Centerbrook and Ivoryton.  These range from helping to maintain the town parks, to providing scholarships to college students and camperships to elementary students, planting trees in town, organizing horticultural activities with elementary and junior high school students and decorating throughout town with greens for the holidays.

The Essex Garden Club would like to thank the following merchants, friends and artists most sincerely for their wonderful donations to the Silent Auction:

Acer Gardens, Aegean Treasures, Ashleigh’s Garden, Bartlett Tree Experts, Bob’s Centerbrook Package Store, The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook, The Copper Beech Inn, Cottage Whimsey, De Paula Jewelers, English Accents Antiques, Essex Winter Series, Goodspeed Musicals, Haystacks, Hortus Perennials, The Ivoryton Playhouse, Marily MacKinnon Interior Design, John & Wendy Madsen, Mimi Merton, Charlotte Meyer Designs, Musical Masterworks, New Earth Acupuncture, One North Main, Augie Pampel, A Pocketful of Posies, Pough Interiors, Mark Pratt, Saybrook Country Barn, Eileen Taylor, That’s the Spirit, Walker-Loden, Weekend Kitchen, and Weltner’s Antiques and Art.

With thanks.

Sincerely,

Dawn Boulanger, Alyson Danyliw, Genie Devine, Marily MacKinnon

The Essex Garden Club
May Market Silent Auction Committee

Essex Library Features Art Exhibit by Andrew Teran During June

Artwork by Andrew Teran

Artwork by Andrew Teran

ESSEX — An art exhibit will be held at the Essex Library Association through the month of June featuring guest artist, Andrew Teran of Essex.

Essex resident Andrew Teran attended Parson’s School of Design in the late 1970s, studying graphic design and then wood sculpture.  His working career focused on high-end carpentry and restoration for many years. As a second career, Andrew worked in construction & corporate sales for 15 years. Now retired from corporate life he has turned his focus back to art, his first love.  He has recently moved to the area to be on the Connecticut River and spend more time in his art studio.

He has always been fascinated by graphic shapes; triangles & hearts are favorites, by far. He finds that the triangle is the perfect shape- yet variations in size, shape, structure create totally different and beautiful dynamics.

In addition to graphic shapes, or in combination with them, he has a love for modern packaging labels and regularly finds that they create strong visual and sometimes literal statements when incorporated in a piece.  The pop art feel and look of modern packaging labels catches his interest everywhere he goes. Collage pulls him to combine visual elements and textures that build a richness he never tires of creating.

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

Essex Land Trust Leads Birding, Nature Walk Today at Essex Meadows

Essex Meadows Walk

ESSEX — Explore the beautiful Essex Meadows grounds and the adjoining section of the new Preserve in an approximately one-hour walk on Saturday, May 16, led by Essex Land Trust President and birder Jim Denham.  Meet at 9 a.m. at Essex Meadows, 30 Bokum Rd.

The timing coincides with the peak of bird migration and breeding season, so expect to see and hear many species around this very diverse landscape.

All levels of knowledge are welcome. Easy to moderate walking on trails.

Cookies and refreshments provided at the conclusion of walk, courtesy of Essex Meadows.

Bad weather cancels.

RiverFare 2015 Returns for 22nd Year of Fun on Essex Waterfront 

Kick off Summer on the shoreline with some of the best culinary delights the River Valley has to offer. Join Allen G. Ciastho (The Tea Kettle Restaurant), Brian Checko & David Schumacher (Red House), David G. Caistho (Impressive Catering Services), Norm Needleman (Tower Labs.) Chris Dobbs (Executive Director, Connecticut River Museum)  Rob Peterson (C Sherman Johnson Co., Inc.) Anna Lathrop (Gourmet Galley Catering) Frett Marsha (Catering by Selene) & Earl Swain (Cloud Nine Catering) for the 22nd annual RiverFare.

Kick off Summer on the shoreline with some of the best culinary delights the River Valley has to offer. Join Allen G. Ciastho (The Tea Kettle Restaurant), Brian Checko & David Schumacher (Red House), David G. Caistho (Impressive Catering Services), Norm Needleman (Tower Labs.) Chris Dobbs (Executive Director, Connecticut River Museum)  Rob Peterson (C Sherman Johnson Co., Inc.) Anna Lathrop (Gourmet Galley Catering) Frett Marsha (Catering by Selene) & Earl Swain (Cloud Nine Catering) for the 22nd annual RiverFare.

ESSEX — On Thursday, May 28, from 6 to 9 p.m., the waterfront lawn of the Connecticut River Museum will come to life again as the scenic setting for RiverFare 2015.

Known as the unofficial kick off of summer on the shoreline, RiverFare, the area’s most popular tasting event, will feature gourmet food, wine, micro brews and silent auction all on the museum grounds overlooking the beautiful Essex Harbor.  Like a kid in a candy store, move from table to table sampling the best culinary delights the Connecticut River Valley has to offer.

This year’s lineup of Connecticut’s leading restaurants and food purveyors includes RiverFare newcomers Impressive Catering, The Tea Kettle Restaurant, Coastal Cooking Company and Big Nanny’s Soft Biscotti, and back by popular demand are Red House, Fromage Fine Foods, Deep River Snacks, Gourmet Galley Catering, Griswold Inn, Essex Coffee & Tea, Catering by Selene, The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook, The Ivory Restaurant, Cloud Nine Catering and others.

RiverFarers will also have the opportunity to join in the fun of bidding in the silent auction which features a diverse array of fine gifts, services, and entertainment experiences.  Items include a refurbished ’76 Sunfish Sailboat and Trailer, a private kayak tour, a 2 night stay in Cooperstown, NY plus tickets to the Baseball Hall of Fame and a seasonal Mooring on the Connecticut River.  Check out additional auction items at ctrivermuseum.org.

Major Support for RiverFare is provided by Tower Labs and C. Sherman Johnson Co.  Addition support is provided by, Bogaert Construction, Centerbrook Architect and Planners, Clark Group, Edidio Assante Wealth Management, iCRVRadio.com, Middlesex Hospital, Reynolds’ Garage & Marine, Inc. Bob’s Discount Furniture, Sapia Construction, Wells Fargo Advisors, blp Enterprises, Carr Douglas & Cline, Caulfield & Ridgway, Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services, Treasure Hill Farm and Trowbridge Stone Masonry.

Additional in-kind support is provided by Bob’s Centerbrook Package Store, Rhode VanGessel Design, Essex Printing, Guilford Savings Bank, Connecticut Rental Center and Apparel Plus.

Media support is provided by Valley Courier.

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

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

 

 

Friends of Essex Library Host Annual Spring Sale This Weekend

DSCF4628

Pictured above are Dee Grover, Nancy Gould, Peggy Tuttle, and Joan Weingardt preparing for the Friends of Essex Library Spring Sale to be held at Essex Library, May 16 and 17.

The Friends of Essex Library will hold a Spring Book Sale at the library at 33 West Avenue in Essex.  The annual sale will provide funds for numerous special library programs and activities. Proceeds from previous sales recently enabled the Friends to purchase new sliding doors at the main entrance to the library.

Dates for the Sale are Saturday, May 16, from 10 to 4 p.m. and Sunday, May 17, from 1 to 4 p.m. when all items will be half-priced.

The sale will include current and classical books of fiction, as well as large selections of non-fiction featuring books on gardening, history, literature, art, travel, philosophy, science, nature, sports, self-help and foreign languages.  Always popular is the selection of books on CD’s.

Diligent volunteers spend hours carefully sorting through stacks of books, CD’s, and DVD’s to ensure that only good quality items are placed in the sale. 

The annual sale will provide funds to support the library’s special programs and activities.  Proceeds from previous sales made possible the installation of new sliding doors at the main entrance.

Specific information about the sale, including signed books and titles offered in the various categories, will be on the Essex Library website: www.youressexlibrary.org.  Click on “Friends” and the “Book Sale” page.

On book-sale Saturday, library materials can be checked in and out from 10am to 4pm, but computers in the adult section will not be available for use.  There will be no library services on Sunday, when all book-sale items will be half price.

Essex Celebrates “Burning of the Ships,” A Major American Defeat in the War of 1812

The “Sailing Masters of 1812” of Essex lead the parade.

The “Sailing Masters of 1812” of Essex lead the parade.  All photos by Jerome Wilson.

ESSEX — In the darkness of 3 a.m. on the morning of April 8, 1814, British troops attacked and burned 27 American ships in Essex, both on land and in the harbor.

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman was on hand early in the parade.

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman was on hand early in the parade.

Essex at the time was a major builder of ships, which the British apparently knew, when they planned their attack.

A color guard on parade.

A color guard on parade.

The British attack on the Town of Essex caught Essex residents totally by surprise, to the degree that not a single Essex resident fired a shot as the British burned their ships.

Beating drums and playing fifes.

Beating drums and playing fifes.

However, when daylight came, as the British ship burners were making their way back down the Connecticut River, Americans started firing at the British from the the shore of the river, and at least two of the attackers were killed.

This fife and drum corps dates its ancestry back to 1787.

This fife and drum corps dates its ancestry back to 1787.

Fast forward to modern times and for the past 48 years, the Sailing Masters of 1812 have commemorated the “Burning of the Ships” with a parade down Essex’s Main Street. True to form, they were at it again this year last Saturday, May 9.

Some wore light blue ...

Some wore light blue …

Over 15 marching fife and drum corps participated in this year’s “Burning of the Ships” parade.

... while others went barefoot!

… while others went barefoot!

It must be noted, however, that some in Essex, who take the liberty of adding more than a grain of truth, call the event the “Loser’s Day” parade.

There were also some women marching in the parade.

There were also some women marching in the parade.

On and on the fife and drum corps came ...

On and on the fife and drum corps came …

This little boy’s “Mama” was playing in the band ahead of him in the parade.

This little boy’s “Mama” was playing in the band ahead of him.

This band of bagpipers added a Scottish element  to the parade.

This band of bagpipers added a Scottish element to the parade.

On and came the marchers in the (almost) never-ending parade!

On and came the marchers in the (almost) never-ending parade!

Corinthian YC Hosts Leukemia Cup Regatta Kick-Off Celebration Tonight, All Welcome

ESSEX — Set sail to save lives with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The Essex Corinthian Yacht Club is proud to join Duck Island Yacht Club, North Cove Yacht Club and Brewer Pilot’s Point Marina in supporting the 2015 Leukemia Cup Regatta. The Connecticut Westchester Hudson Valley Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has elected to hold its annual Leukemia Cup Regatta Kickoff Celebration once again at the Essex Corinthian Yacht Club, located at 9 Novelty Ln. in Essex, Conn.

This year’s kick-off celebration will be held on Tuesday, May 12, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Come enjoy drinks, hors d’oeuvres and prizes, meet the 2015 Honored Skipper Devon Marcinko, and enjoy a fascinating presentation by Gary Jobson, while celebrating the launch of the 2015 regatta season and the countdown to Leukemia Cup 2015, to be held on Aug. 29.

The Leukemia Cup Regatta is a great way to combine the joy of sailing and raising funds for the lifesaving programs of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Sailors who enter their boats in the regatta are eligible to win terrific prizes, including a chance to participate in the Fantasy Sail in Bermuda in late October with Gary Jobson, National Leukemia Cup Chairman, world-renowned America’s Cup sailor and sports commentator.

Jobson became chairman in 1993, and 10 years later, was diagnosed with lymphoma. In his own words he “became a beneficiary of the research advances I had helped support”, and is cancer-free today. He continues to travel extensively supporting LLS events throughout the country.

The Essex Corinthian Yacht Club is pleased to welcome him back for the Leukemia Cup Kick-Off Celebration this evening, Tuesday, May 12.

The Leukemia Cup Regatta is an important event in support of blood cancer research, as well as all related areas of assistance for patients and their families. The Kick-Off Celebration is open to the public: everyone, no matter whether you are a sailor or not, is invited to attend and find out more on how to help support the lifesaving work of LLS.

For more information and to purchase tickets to the 2015 Leukemia Cup Kick-Off celebration on May 12 hosted by the Essex Corinthian Yacht Club, to register for the Leukemia Cup Regatta on August 29, or to purchase post-race party tickets, visit: www.leukemiacup.org/ct, contact Christine Schuff at christine.schuff@lls.org or call (914) 821-8969.

For information on becoming a sponsor of the Leukemia Cup, visit the Essex Corinthian Yacht Club website or email ecyc@essexcorinthian.org.

First Congregational Church of Essex Sponsors May Breakfast Today

CAUTION! MEN COOKING. The men of The First Congregational Church in Essex will do all the cooking for the church's annual May Breakfast on May 9. Chefs hard at work at last year's breakfast are (l to r) Pat Callahan of Essex, Mark Foster of Ivoryton, and John Bogaert and Alan Macgregor, both of Essex.

CAUTION! MEN COOKING. The men of The First Congregational Church in Essex will do all the cooking for the church’s annual May Breakfast on May 9. Chefs hard at work at last year’s breakfast are (l to r) Pat Callahan of Essex, Mark Foster of Ivoryton, and John Bogaert and Alan Macgregor, both of Essex.

(Essex, CT)— On the day of the May Market in Essex Village, The First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC, is sponsoring a May Breakfast on Saturday, May 9, from 6:30 to 10:00 a.m. in Fellowship Hall of the Church, 6 Methodist Hill in Essex. The breakfast is a tradition that dates back nearly one hundred years at the church. Proceeds benefit the Essex Community Fund, as well as the missions of the church

A complete breakfast will be prepared and served by members and friends of the Church. The menu includes pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, oatmeal, coffee, tea, juice and homemade muffins.

There will be a selection of “May Baskets” up for bid or outright purchase, including a Mother’s Day Basket, Italian Dinner Basket, Breakfast/Kitchen Basket and Gardener’s Basket, among others.

The cost is $7.00 for adults and $3.00 for children under 12. Tickets are available at the door.

For more information, call the Church Office at 767-8097.

Ivoryton Library Hosts Mother’s Day Sale Today

IVORYTON — The Ivoryton Library’s annual Mother’s Day Sale will be held this year on Saturday, May 9, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Along with the popular Plant Sale out front, there will be tables of baked goods. The Used Book Sale will be downstairs.

Come early for the best selection.

There will be a Preview Sale of children’s books only downstairs in the Children’s Room on Friday, May 8 from 2 to 5 p.m.

Donations of books, DVDs, audiobooks as well as plants will be gratefully accepted anytime.  Donations of baked goods will be received, Friday, May 8, from 2 to 6 p.m. and Saturday morning.

For more information, call the library at 860-767-1252 or visit www.ivoryton.com

Essex Garden Club Hosts May Market Today

Shoppers enjoy all the attractions of Essex garden Club's May Market.

Shoppers enjoy all the attractions of Essex Garden Club’s May Market.

Preparations are well underway for this year’s Essex Garden Club’s May Market.  The Market will be held Saturday, May 9, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine, in the town park located on Main Street in Essex Village.

Always popular, the Members’ Plants section of the market will offer prized perennials, ground covers, grasses, and shrubs dug and potted from the gardens of club members.  These plants, grown and locally dug, are proven winners in a microclimate and soil similar to other area gardens like yours.

There will be 300 tomato plants, including many heirloom varieties guaranteed to grow in our climate. Colorful assortments of annuals and hanging baskets will be displayed for sale.  Succulents, including Aeoniums, Crassulas, and Echeverias, plus other unusual plants have been ordered.  Knowledgeable club members will be available to assist in choosing just the right plants for containers or gardens.

Herbs and herbal gift creations will be available just in time for Mother’s Day as well as the Garden Club’s famous garlic salt, made from a closely guarded secret recipe since 1953.

The herbs are always a particular draw at the May Market.

The herbs are always a particular draw at the May Market.

Fun to browse through is the “Treasurers” section, featuring jewelry and gently used home and garden items.  Garden pieces, planters, urns, gardening equipment, as well as cook books, horticulture/gardening books, children’s items and an assortment of odds and ends can be found in this area.

“Connecticut’s Own” will again offer products made in our own state of Connecticut.  “Three Sisters” create honey, soaps, candles, lip balms, hand creams and more.  Our delicious and wonderful edibles include maple syrups, jams, marinades, pepper jellies, and fabled breads.  Look for more items to be added!

The Silent Auction tent offers many interesting and unique items for bidding, all from a select group of local merchants.  These items include tickets to performances at local theater and musical groups, antiques, garden items, wines, cheese, jewelry, art, and many other special items that will bring competitive bidding from morning until early afternoon.

The May Market Café is a welcoming gathering place to enjoy a bite to eat or a cooling/warming drink.  Choose from a varied menu including grilled hot dogs, chips, and entrees from Chef Michael of Essex Yacht Club.  Coffee and donuts will be available for the early morning shoppers.

May Market is the Garden Club’s only annual fundraising event.  Proceeds from purchases support the Club’s educational and civic improvement projects.  These funds enable the Club to beautify the landscapes of our town parks and traffic islands.  Annuals are also purchased for the Essex Town Hall, Essex Fire Department, Essex Landfill and Recycling Center, Centerbrook Post Office, Silent Policeman, and to the Ancient Order of Weeders who plant the islands on Route 154.

Importantly, May Market funds provide scholarships for high school seniors, college students, summer camperships for young students, and educational programs for Essex Elementary School and John Winthrop Middle School.

May Market is a gardener’s delight. Come and join the fun and you will undoubtedly find something beautiful for your garden or for someone special in your life.

Master Knitter Lee Gant at Essex Books This Afternoon

Love_in_every_stitchESSEX — Join Master Knitter Lee Gant at Essex Books at Gather on Saturday, May 9, from 3 to 4 p.m.

Gant is one of the top knitters in the United States and has been featured on PBS, NPR, and in many magazines. She has knitted pieces for world renowned designer Melissa Leapman and can be seen in Vogue, Knitter’s, and Knit ‘N Style.

Gant’s designs have been featured in many books, including 60 Quick Baby Knits, Knitting 2013 Day-to-Day Calendar, Jamieson’s Shetland Knitting Book 2, and Garter Stitch Baby.

She is part of a very active knitting community on social media: her Facebook page has reached 92,000 people in one week. Gant travels internationally on the knitting circuit and is a well-known authority who is also writing knitting pattern books.

In her inspiring book, Love in Every Stitch: Stories of Knitting and Healing, master knitter, teacher, and widely published knitwear designer Gant shares real-life stories about the power of knitting.

As an employee of three different yarn stores, a teacher of countless knitting classes, and a volunteer with at-risk youth, Gant has had the opportunity to gather diverse stories.

The stories Gant shares about herself and fellow knitters from around the world illustrate how each stitch and purl can comfort and calm, heal and renew. A suicidal teenager crochets through pregnancy. A dying woman finds comfort in the company of knitters. A woman finds the courage to face her estranged parents. A woman going blind realizes she can still knit — and experience life. And Gant’s life, riddled with more than just anxiety, has at last become stable and productive. This book includes stories of women, men, and teens who have experienced profound change and enlightenment through knitting and crochet.

“Another lovely story of hope and inspiration. The benefits of knitting and crocheting are seen every day. More and more people turn to these skills to help them deal with so many upheavals in life. Thank goodness we have those to fall back on when everything else seems to go against us.”
—Bouncing Back

A renowned designer and sought-after teacher, Gant is a household name among knitting enthusiasts. Holding the rank of ‘master knitter,’ she enjoys working with adults and children, as young as age eight, teaching self-empowerment through knitting. Some of her designs can be found in 60 Quick Baby Knits, in Knit Picks and Patternfish online, and at Strings and Things in Kauai. Gant’s knitting has won many first place and best-in-show awards at county fairs in northern California. Her new pattern collection for children’s knitwear will publish in the spring of 2016. She now lives in Santa Rosa, Calif., and formerly lived in Guilford, Conn.

To RSVP, call or text Susan McCann at 914-310-5824.

Stony Creek Garden Design is Library Topic, Tonight

Stony Creek Gardens

Stony Creek Garden

ESSEX — New York City Architect and local gardener Frederick Bland explores the garden he designed for his Stony Creek home on Friday, May 8, at 7 p.m. at the Essex Town Hall. In “The Making of a Garden(er), An Urbanist Architect in the Garden,” he chronicles his development as both an internationally known architect and a local horticulturalist, and the connection between the two strivings.

A partner in Beyer Blinder Belle and Chairman of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Bland’s design portfolio includes: the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky, Minnesota’s St. Paul Union Depot, and the Shanghai Cultural Center in China. His Stony Creek garden was featured in the book “Private Gardens of Connecticut.”

Bland earned his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in architecture at Yale University, and as a Commissioner on the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission he plays an active role in shaping the future of America’s largest metropolis. An adjunct professor in the Art History Department at New York University, he also has served as a visiting lecturer at Columbia University, Yale University, and Pratt Institute.

His talk is free and part of the Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series, which is one of many programs that are offered regularly by the Essex Library (http://www.youressexlibrary.org/).

Call the library at (860) 767-1560 to register. Sponsored by Centerbrook Architects, the series is in its seventh year.

Essex Park & Rec. Announces Summer Program Schedule

Summer Camp

The Essex Park and Recreation Department has announced the following schedule of summer programs:

BUS TRIP – Lobster Bake in Gloucester & Rockport on Cape Ann

Essex Park and Recreation will be offering a bus trip to the Lobster Bake in Gloucester, on June 13. The program will cost $121 per person and includes: luxury motor coach transportation, a tour director, Lobster Bake at the Gloucester House, a visit to the Fisherman’s statue, and leisure time in Rockport at Bearskin Neck. What’s on the menu at the Gloucester House? 1 lobster, ½ chicken, or steak with corn, potato and lemonade, each prepared to perfection. Busses will depart from Madison commuter Parking Lot at 7:00AM and depart from Gloucester at 5:00PM.

For more information or registration, visit www.essexct.gov/park-and-recreation . You may also call the office at 860-767-4340 x110 or email recreation@essexct.gov.

SUMMER CAMP

Join Essex Park and Recreation for an exciting, engaging Summer Camp. Essex Park and Recreation will offer eight Summer Camp sessions, the first starting on June 22. Campers grades K-7 (fall 2015) will enjoy water games, fun gym and field activities, arts and crafts and much more. Camp meets Monday-Friday from 8:30AM-3:30PM and the registration fee is $125 per camper, with the exception of Week 2 which has a registration fee of $105.

For more information or registration, visit www.essexct.gov/park-and-recreation . You may also call the office at 860-767-4340 x110 or email recreation@essexct.gov.

SUMMER CLINIC

Tennis Essex Park and Recreation is offering a series of week long Summer Tennis Clinics with Gary Ribchinsky, starting June 22. The clinics are designed to teach the fundamentals of tennis while featuring individual, group, and age appropriate instruction. The program will focus on improving all facets of the game with an emphasis on fun and success. Registration fee is $70 and open to children ages 5-15. Sessions will meet Monday – Friday from 9 to 10 a.m. throughout the summer.

For more information or registration, visit www.essexct.gov/park-and-recreation . You may also call the office at 860-767-4340 x110 or email recreation@essexct.gov.

SUMMER CAMP-RUNNING RAMS

Essex Park and Recreation will be offering Running Rams Track and Field camp with local resident and Old Saybrook High School Track and Field Coach Pete Capezzone. The camp will feature instruction for several track and field disciplines. Each day will also include a fun activity, such as ice cream sundae night, pizza night or an awards ceremony. The program runs Monday through Friday starting June 22, from 5-8PM, at Valley Regional High School. Registration fee is $130 and open to children ages 6-15.

For more information or registration, visit www.essexct.gov/park-and-recreation . You may also call the office at 860-767-4340 x110 or email recreation@essexct.gov.

SUMMER CAMP – SLAMMA JAMMA

Essex Park and Recreation is offering Slamma Jamma Basketball Camp with Kevin Woods and VRHS Players at Valley Regional High School. The camp is focused on individual instruction and fundamentals. Children in grades K-8 (fall 2015) can participate and registration fee varies by session. Fee includes basketball, t-shirt, and certificate.

For more information or registration, visit www.essexct.gov/park-and-recreation . You may also call the office at 860-767-4340 x110 or email recreation@essexct.gov.

SUMMER CAMP – BASEBALL

Essex Park and Recreation will be offering a Baseball Camp with Jeff Riggs and Between the Lines Staff this summer from July 13-16 at Comstock Park, 9AM-1PM. The camp will help improve overall baseball skills and will be taught through drills, technique instruction and various games. Registration fee is $150 and open to children ages 6-12.

For more information or registration, visit www.essexct.gov/park-and-recreation . You may also call the office at 860-767-4340 x110 or email recreation@essexct.gov.

SUMMER CAMP – MADE IN SUMMER GIRLS’S BASKETBALL

Essex Park and Recreation will be offering a “Made in the Summer Girls Basketball Camp” with coaches Matt Mesite and Geoff Konstan. The camp is specifically focused on drills that will improve each camper’s shooting, passing, dribbling, and defense. Camp meets M-F from 5:30-8:00PM, July 13- 17 at John Winthrop Middle School. Registration Fee is $45 and open to girls in grades 5-8. Includes a Jersey for each player.

For more information or registration, visit www.essexct.gov/park-and-recreation . You may also call the office at 860-767-4340 x110 or email recreation@essexct.gov.

SUMMER CAMP– GIRL’S LACROSSE

Essex Park and Recreation is offering a Girls Lacrosse Camp with Coach Greg Ruel. The camp will run August 3-7, from 5:50-8PM at Essex Elementary School. Girls will be taught the fundamental and technical skills designed to make them all-around better players. All lacrosse equipment will be provided by the clinic except a mouth guard (all that is needed is an inexpensive one from Walmart or Target), which is mandatory to participate. The clinic will provide light dinner each night. Registration fee is $105 and open to girls ages 6-15.

For more information or registration, visit www.essexct.gov/park-and-recreation . You may also call the office at 860-767-4340 x110 or email recreation@essexct.gov.

Eight Fire Departments Raise 5,200 Pounds of Food for Shoreline Soup Kitchens

Members of the Westbrook Fire Department help collect food for the needy.

Members of the Westbrook Fire Department help collect food for the needy.

AREAWIDE — The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries’ 4th Annual Firehouse Food Drive was a great success, raising 5,200 pounds of food for local residents in need.  Held on April 11, firefighters and community volunteers worked together to collect food from generous donors throughout the area. The eight fire stations taking part this year included Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Essex, Chester, Deep River, Killingworth, Clinton and Niantic.

Spring can be a challenging time for many food pantries, as there are traditionally fewer food drives. This collection of over 5,000 pounds of food will help to fill the shelves out SSKP’s 5 area food pantries.

“It’s so heartwarming to know that these firefighters, who work so hard year-round to protect us, are willing to come together on a sunny Saturday to answer the call of our most vulnerable neighbors,” said Patty Dowling, SSKP Executive Director. “We saw hundreds of residents – students, families, seniors – some with one bag and others with carloads, coming down to their local fire houses to make sure our shelves would be full. We are so grateful to those who donated and especially to all the fire houses that made this year’s drive a success.”

The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP) provides food and fellowship to people in need and educates the community about hunger and poverty, serving 11 shoreline towns. Founded 26 years ago, they accomplish their mission with the help of over 900 dedicated volunteers. Last year SSKP distributed over one million pounds of food to over 8,300 local residents in need.

Essex Winter Series Takes its Emerging Artists to Essex, Deep River, New London

Andrew Yee of the Attacca Quartet lifts his cello over his head as the musicians describe their instruments to students at Deep River Elementary School.

Andrew Yee of the Attacca Quartet lifts his cello over his head as the musicians describe their instruments to students at Deep River Elementary School.

DEEP RIVER, ESSEX — As part of its robust outreach program, Essex Winter Series (EWS) brings highly-accomplished musical artists to public schools and senior residences in several Shoreline communities each year.

The Attacca Quartet, the New York-based string quartet that appeared on the Essex Winter Series in January, were the 2015 Fenton Brown Emerging Artists who took part in this year’s outreach program. Their whirlwind schedule took them to two cities, three towns, five schools, three senior residences, and one community service organization over the course of just four days, from April 20 to 23.

The members of the Attacca Quartet are violinists Amy Schroeder and Keiko Tokunaga, violist Luke Fleming, and cellist Andrew Yee. Although its members are young–still in their early 30s–the Attacca Quartet is an established and critically-acclaimed ensemble that has been around since 2003. Since its inception, the Attacca Quartet has recognized the importance of bringing high-quality classical music into the community, and have enthusiastically developed their skills in connecting with audiences of all ages in a variety of settings.

The Attacca Quartet and students from the Community Music School in Essex gathered after a string master class on Monday, April 20. Left-Right:   Luke Fleming, Keiko Tokunaga, Nadia PenkoffLidbeck, Noelle Avena, Andrew Yee, Bridget Haines, and Amy Schroeder.

The Attacca Quartet and students from the Community Music School in Essex gathered after a string master class on Monday, April 20. From left to right: Luke Fleming, Keiko Tokunaga, Nadia Penkoff Lidbeck, Noelle Avena, Andrew Yee, Bridget Haines, and Amy Schroeder.

On Monday, April 20, the quartet conducted a master class for string students at the Community Music School in Essex, which is a community partner of EWS. The next day, they performed for and took questions from Middletown High School students and played two concerts at Covenant Village in Cromwell.

New London was the focus of activities on Wednesday, with visits to Jennings Elementary School, Nathan Hale Arts Magnet School, Kindred Crossings, and the after-school program of the Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut. The four-day outreach concluded on Thursday, with a visit to two classes at Deep River Elementary School and the Essex Meadows Health Center.

members of the Attacca Quartet take a bow after playing for students at Deep River Elementary School.

members of the Attacca Quartet take a bow after playing for students at Deep River Elementary School.

The outreach programs were sponsored by the EWS’s Fenton Brown Circle, The Community Music School, and the Community Foundation of Middlesex County.

The extent of the EWS outreach program is the vision of artistic director Mihae Lee. “This program is very important to me, as we need to break down barriers to classical music,” she said. “EWS is committed to touch every age group with the power of music by bringing live classical music to young students and to senior citizens who are not able to come to our concerts.”

For more information of Essex Winter Series and its outreach activities, write to office@essexwinterseries.com, visit www.essexwinterseries.com, or call 860-272-4572.

Essex Land Trust Hosts Hike of the Month Today at Viney Hill Brook Preserve

Viney Hill-Jeff Lovelace

Explore one of Essex’s town-owned preserves, the 104-acre Viney Hill property on a hike with the Essex Land Trust tomorrow.  Meet at 9 a.m. at the parking lot at end of Cedar Grove Terrace.

The Essex Parks and Recreation Commission manages the beach, swimming area, picnic grounds and Paw Park. More than 70 acres are left for hiking and nature watching under the aegis of the Essex Conservation Commission.

The Town of Essex acquired the land in 2001. The distinct areas within the park can be recognized by their trees: aspen at the quarry pond; maple, birch and cedar along the quarry trail; oak and maple in the upland areas.

Preserve highlights include a turtle nesting area, several vernal pools and wetland areas. The strikingly beautiful Indigo Bunting nests here regularly.

Old Lyme Country Club Kicks Off 2015 Season with Get-Acquainted Scramble, Essex Ladies are Winners

The members of the WGA gather for a photo at their annual meeting.

The members of the WGA gather for a photo at their annual meeting. Photo courtesy of the Old Lyme Country Club.

The Old Lyme Country Club Women’s Golf Association (WGA) held it first event of the season on Thursday, April 23. The WGA ladies participated in the 9-hole Get Acquainted Scramble under unseasonably cool conditions.

The 1st place winners with a score of 27 were: Helene Nichols (Essex), Paula Bingham (Lyme), Carolyn Daddona (Essex), and MJ Bertolini (Old Lyme).

The 2nd place winners, also with a score of 27, were: Harley Manning (Essex), Bev Windatt (Essex), Kate Bollo (Essex), and Louise Ferrebee (Old Lyme).

The 3rd place winners with a score of 31 were: Mardee Moore (Guilford), Carol Gordon (Essex), and Martha Norcia (Old Saybrook).

With Protection of The Preserve, Partners Secure Historic Conservation Gain

Conservation acquisition of almost 1,000-acre coastal forest in Old Saybrook, Essex and Westbrook expands Connecticut’s conservation legacy and is the culmination many years of work.

OLD SAYBROOK, CT—A coalition led by The Trust for Public Land and including The Nature Conservancy today announced protection of The Preserve, a huge swath of undeveloped forest located primarily in Old Saybrook.

To support this project, The Nature Conservancy will hold a conservation easement over almost 900 acres of The Preserve.

Over the years, the Conservancy was involved in many efforts with partners to protect the land. In the end, the Trust for Public Land (TPL) took the lead and, in 2013, negotiated The Preserve’s acquisition from River Sound Development LLC. TPL secured $10 million for project costs with financial commitments from the state, Old Saybrook, Essex and many public and private donors. The state and Old Saybrook are sharing ownership, with the Essex Land Trust owning 70 acres in Essex. The state will hold an easement over the acreage in Essex.

“Helping protect a place of this magnitude is an opportunity that simply does not come around often. When it does, you take it,” said Frogard Ryan, state director for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut. “It’s gratifying for the Conservancy to be able to play a crucial role in this milestone—a success that adds substantially to Connecticut’s remarkable legacy of conservation.”

The Preserve is an extraordinary expanse of forest, wetlands and vernal pools. It includes the headwaters of the Oyster River. It is a stopover spot for migratory birds and provides habitat for dozens of animal and plant species.

“The Preserve was the last remaining opportunity in Southern New England to protect a block of coastal forest this large,” Ryan said. “We’re inspired—and galvanized for the future—by the leadership and vision of the many partners who made this achievement possible.”

In 2014, to provide extra protection for public lands, the Connecticut General Assembly gave the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection authority to grant protective easements over state park and forest land to nonprofit organizations. Lawmakers also granted authority for an easement over The Preserve. Because of the Conservancy’s experience, the state, TPL and Old Saybrook asked the Conservancy to hold that easement.

The Conservancy is thrilled to be able to accept the easement and is grateful for financial support for long-term costs from TPL and philanthropist Joan Livingston Tweedy, her family and their Tortuga Foundation.

“This is an iconic conservation success story, and we’re honored to play a part in it,” said Sarah Pellegrino, land protection and strategies manager for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut. “The Trust for Public Land, the Tortuga Foundation, the state of Connecticut, the towns of Old Saybrook and Essex, Connecticut Fund for the Environment: The list goes on. So many people have played a part in making this dream a reality.”

David Sutherland, government relations director for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut said: “Connecticut’s conservation community long has been working to preserve this property. Through years of hopes and setbacks, the impact of raging real estate markets and the weight of global financial forces, The Preserve and the wildlife that lives on it has endured. This acquisition will enable them to continue to thrive for decades to come.”

Essex Resident Elected to Girl Scouts of Connecticut’s Board of Directors

ESSEX — Essex resident Jennifer Ahern was recently elected to the Girl Scouts of Connecticut’s Board of Directors at its annual meeting on April 26.

Ahern is Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning and Sales Delivery for Webster Bank.

Visit http://www.gsofct.org/pages/JenniferAhern.php  to view her biography.

Community Music School Hosts Free Concert by Multi-Generational Orchestra, Tuesday

CMSStringEnsemble_FullStagePhoto

Close to 50 string musicians of all ages will fill the Valley Regional High School stage for the Community Music School’s Sinfonia and String Ensemble Concert on Tuesday, April 28 at 6:30. The concert is free and open to the public.

CENTERBROOK – On Tuesday, April 28, at 6:30 p.m., nearly 50 string musicians will take the stage at Valley Regional High School in Deep River for the Community Music School’s Sinfonia and String Ensemble Concert.  Ranging in age from nine to eighty-four, members of the two multi-generational performance groups will play a variety of classical pieces, including works by Vivaldi, Bach, and Dvorak, all under the direction of Martha Herrle.  The free concert is open to the public and sponsored by the Essex Winter Series.

Both Sinfonia, a group of 10 beginning violin, viola, and cello musicians, and String Ensemble, a group of 35 intermediate to advanced players, are a rare breed of orchestra and quite possibly the only of its kind in Connecticut.   “There are many youth orchestras and many adult orchestras around the state but I am not aware of any ensembles where all ages are allowed and encouraged to participate,” stated Martha Herrle, conductor and founder of both orchestra groups.

Herle continued, “As a musician and a teacher, it is a joy to work with various ages and backgrounds, to have school-age musicians playing alongside adult members.  The String Ensemble is a very mixed bag of some very talented people  –  students, several teachers, an inventor, a physician, a veterinarian, an attorney, a pastor, even two professional opera singers – all who share the same passion for music.”

String Ensemble members come from several shoreline towns (and beyond) to rehearse together at Old Saybrook High School for 26 weeks beginning in September and ending just prior to the annual concert performance.  Compared to its modest start in 2002, with just four children and one senior adult, the orchestra’s growth is a testament to its all inclusive policy of being open to all intermediate to advanced string musicians, regardless of age and with no audition requirement.

The orchestra also serves as a great opportunity for family members to share in their musical interests and spend time together.  In fact, the current ensemble boasts three sets of mother and child musicians.  East Haddam resident Irene Haines and her 16-year old daughter Bridget is one.

“Martha has a special gift. She is able to teach, nurture and direct young, old and everyone in between with varied abilities into an amazing performance,” commented Irene Haines. “I am the luckiest mom in the world as I get to share a stand with my daughter in the viola section – what a great way to spend quality time together!”

Herle received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Hartt College of Music, studying both violin and viola. She spent the following year studying string quartet literature at the University of Connecticut with the Laurel String Quartet. She is the founder of Goodwin Strings, a before-school group violin instructional program for 2nd and 3rd graders at Goodwin Elementary School in Old Saybrook.

She also presents the Community Music School’s weekly music program for the collaborative preschool students at Essex Elementary School and is a teaching artist for Kate’s Camp for Kids. Martha is the founder and conductor of CMS Sinfonia and CMS String Ensemble orchestras, and the Chamber Connections program.

For more information on the Sinfonia and String Ensemble Concert taking place at Valley Regional High School, located at 256 Kelsey Hill Road in Deep River, or other Community Music School events, visit www.community-music-school.org or call 860.767.0026.

The Community Music School, located at 90 Main St. in Centerbrook is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to building community through music since 1983.

Author Talk with Essex Resident Douglass Seaver, Author of International Suspense Novel, May 7

The-Fourth-Rule-by-Douglass-Seaver-e1424625822678

An exciting event is coming up on Thursday evening, May 7.  Essex Library is celebrating the acceleration to national popularity of local author Douglass Seaver. He will appear at the Essex Library to discuss his latest book and sign copies.

The fog of war hides many secrets, but rarely a good one. The Fourth Rule tells the story of one secret born when a Green Beret returns from Vietnam and disappears. Two decades later, the CIA approaches the soldier’s younger brother, Matthew Grant, to uncover what happened. Matthew denies knowing anything, but the CIA doesn’t believe him, and thus begins an intense struggle between the CIA, hell-bent on protecting its own and continuing its illicit clandestine activities, and a not-so-ordinary citizen, who has to risk it all to protect his secret and right a terrible wrong from the past.

Seaver is the author of the highly praised nonfiction book, Four Across the Atlantic, and the award winning short story, The Auction. He was one of five debut thriller authors selected by the International Thriller Writers to join New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline recently at the Palm Beach Peril to discuss and sign copies of his book. He is a graduate of the two-year online Stanford Certificate Program in Creative writing.

This event is free and open to the public. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing. Please call the Library at 860 767-1560 for more information and to register. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex, CT.

Early American Herbs Talk, Demo Co-sponsored by CT River Museum, Essex Historical Society, May 7

Herbs

Early American herbs

Cookbook Author Katie Barney Moose will present a free talk and cooking demonstration, “Early American Herbs,” on Thursday, May 7, at 5:30pm, at the Connecticut River Museum, 67 Main Street, Essex. Mrs. Moose will speak on early food history leading up to the War of 1812, discussing what was consumed during that time period and how it was provided. A cooking demonstration will include foods typical of the era. Mrs. Moose has authored several regional cookbooks from the Chesapeake Bay through New England.

This program is co-sponsored by Essex Historical Society and the Connecticut River Museum. Admission is free and open to the public. Advance registration is strongly suggested as seating is limited. Please call 860-767-8269 x110 to reserve.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10 AM – 5 PM and closed on Mondays until Memorial Day. Admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $7 for children age 6-12, free for children under 6. For more information, call 860-767-8269 or go to ctrivermuseum.org.

The Essex Historical Society maintains the historic Pratt House at 19 West Ave and the Hills Academy at 22 Prospect St. Pratt House is open Friday – Sunday 1:00- 4:00, June to September. Hills Academy is open Tuesday and Thursday mornings, 9:30-12:00. For more information please call: 860-767-0681 or go to essexhistory.org.

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Photo Caption:
Cookbook author Katie Barney Moose will present a free talk and cooking demonstration “Early American Herbs” at the Connecticut River Museum, in partnership with the Essex Historical Society, on May 7th at 5:30pm.

Panelists “Looking Both Ways” Discuss End-of-life Issues; Free Event Today, Open to All

ESSEX — Several faith communities in the Lower Connecticut River Valley will host a free event designed to educate, encourage and explore with participants medical, legal, spiritual, relational, and memorial issues confronting each of us as we (or those we love) approach the end of our lives. The event, “Looking Both Ways: Decisions of a Lifetime” will be held on April 25, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Town Hall in Essex. Check-in  and coffee are at 8:30 a.m.

Members of the clergy, medical and legal professionals, funeral home and hospice care professionals will make presentations and allow time for questions. Panelists include The Rev. Kathy Peters, United Church of Chester; Deborah Ringen, MSN, RN-BC, Faith Community Nurse of the Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley; Melanie Cama, BSN, CHPN, Middlesex Hospital Hospice and Palliative Care; Dr. Timothy Tobin, Middlesex Hospital Primary Care, Medical Director for Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley; Sam Fulginiti, Funeral Director, Robinson Wright & Weymer Funeral Home and Jeannine Lewis, Esq., Hudson and Kilby, LLC.

Participants will receive a workbook to use as a reminder and a guide for individual work on various areas of personal decisions.

Sponsors of the event are Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, Deep River Congregational Church, First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC, First Baptist Church in Essex, Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Essex, St Joseph’s Church, Chester, United Church of Chester, Hudson and Kilby, LLC, Ivoryton Congregational Church, Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home, Middlesex Hospital Hospice & Palliative Care, Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley and Valley Shore Clergy Association.

Space at the forum is limited. Advance reservations are encouraged by calling the Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley, (860) 767-0186 or The First Congregational Church in Essex (860) 767-8097. Some walk-ins will be welcome.

Floyd to Explore Scary Local House, April 30

 

The interior of the General William Harts House in Madison.

The interior of the General William Harts House in Madison.

Chad Floyd, a partner in Centerbrook Architects, will examine the times, the tall tales, and the design of the historic (and haunted) General William Harts House in Madison. His illustrated presentation will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 30, at the Essex Town Hall. “A Haunted Tale of Architecture, Mayhem, and Geopolitics” will explore the historic context of the 1759 house and the fascinating people who lived in it.

The house’s design typifies the transition between the Colonial and Federal eras, but with some odd architectural twists.  Built by Ensign Nathaniel Dudley, the building was sold to Captain Edward Griffin, a schooner master who sailed between Madison and the West Indies.

A slave owner, Griffin engaged in considerable mischief inside the house, which is why it is said to be haunted. During the twentieth century the house was owned by a US Army General who became a key player at in historic events around the globe.

Floyd’s design credits include academic, cultural, and civic projects, among them the Palmer Events Center in Austin, Texas; the 9/11 Liberty Memorial in Virginia, and the Norton Museum of Art in Florida.

Locally, his work includes the Florence Griswold Museum, the Garde Arts Center, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, the Norma Terris Theater, Lyme Art Association, the Connecticut River Museum, Hill-Stead Museum, Manchester Community College, and Mystic Seaport Museum.

His talk is free and part of the Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series, which is one of many programs that are offered regularly by the Essex Library (http://www.youressexlibrary.org/).

Call the library at (860) 767-1560to register. Sponsored by Centerbrook Architects, the series is in its seventh year.

CT River Museum to Fiddle the Night Away with Angelini Wines Tonight

1.Angelini Vineyards and Estate 1 – The Angelini Family vineyards are located in the timeless central region of Le Marche, Italy

The Angelini Family vineyards are located in the timeless central region of Le Marche, Italy

ESSEX — This coming Saturday, April 25 the Connecticut River Museum brings back its popular 1814 Tavern Night.  This lively 19th century evening will take place at the museum’s historic Samuel Lay House overlooking scenic Essex harbor.  The house will be transformed into a candlelit seaside tavern from the War of 1812.

The evening includes a wine tasting with Angelini Vineyards & Estate, fiddle music and drinking songs by noted folk musician Craig Edwards, tavern games, and a food pairing of early American cuisine provided by Catering by Selene.  There will also be select popular historic wines such as claret and port to sample.   Additional wine and beer will be available at the cash bar.

Craig Edwards performs a broad range of American roots music and will perform fiddle music and drinking songs at the April 25th Evening at the Lay House.

Craig Edwards performs a broad range of American roots music and will perform fiddle music and drinking songs at the April 25 evening at the Samuel Lay House.

Edwards plays a broad range of American roots music. He first began playing music as a child growing up in Staunton, Va. He majored in ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University where he studied West African drumming with Abraham Adzenyah, and traveled to Ireland, Louisiana and Nova Scotia to learn from old-timers there.

After graduating, Edwards formed a series of bands playing old-time, Irish, Cajun, Zydeco, blues and other roots styles. He worked as a staff musician at Mystic Seaport for many years and served as director of the Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival. He now performs solo and with several groups playing a variety of genres, teaches Traditional Fiddle Styles at Wesleyan University, and designs music installations for historic music exhibits at museums.

Named a Connecticut Master Teaching Artist by the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, Edwards has won numerous fiddle and banjo contests.

Tastings take place at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.  Space is limited and reservations are required.  Call to reserve tickets at 860-767-8269 or visit ctrivermuseum.org.  Tickets are $22 for museum members or $27 for the general public (must be 21 or older and show valid ID).  Admission includes wine tasting, light bites, and entertainment.  The evening is sponsored in part by Guilford Savings Bank.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Mondays until Memorial Day. Admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for children age 6-12, free for children under 6.

For more information, call 860-767-8269 or go to www.ctrivermuseum.org

Corinthian YC Hosts Jerry Roberts Book Talk Tomorrow

British Raid
ESSEX — Local historian Jerry Roberts, former director of the Connecticut River Museum and current director of the New England Air Museum, will share his latest research and analysis of  the April 1814 British attack on Essex on Sunday, April 26, at 4 p.m., at the Essex Corinthian Yacht Club.  Roberts will discuss his account of the battle in his book, “The British Raid on Essex, The untold story of the burning of American privateers in Connecticut.”

This is the dynamic account of one of the most destructive maritime actions to take place in Connecticut history: the 1814 British attack on the privateers of Pettipaug, known today as the British Raid on Essex. During the height of the War of 1812, 136 Royal marines and sailors made their way up the Connecticut River from warships anchored in Long Island Sound. Guided by a well-paid American traitor, the British navigated the Saybrook shoals and advanced up the river under cover of darkness.

By the time it was over, the British had burned 27 American vessels, including six newly built privateers. It was the largest single maritime loss of the war. Yet this story has been virtually left out of the history books—the forgotten battle of the forgotten war. This new account from author and historian Roberts is the definitive overview of this event and includes a wealth of new information drawn from recent research and archaeological finds. Lavish illustrations and detailed maps bring the battle to life.

Reviews of Roberts’s book to date include:

“Jerry Roberts’s account, The British Raid on Essex, built on new research on both sides of the Atlantic, reads like a fast-paced action chronicle, which sheds light on a significant but forgotten attack on Connecticut soil during the War of 1812.” —Dan McFadden, Mystic Seaport Magazine

“The ‘forgotten battle of the forgotten war’ is no longer forgotten thanks to this action-packed, thoroughly researched who-dun-it of a book. Combining the sciences of history and field archaeology, Jerry Roberts has resurrected one of the most improbable and significant battles ever fought on Connecticut soil. Once you start reading, it is impossible to put down!”—Nicholas F. Bellantoni, Connecticut State Archaeologist

Join the Essex Corinthian Yacht Club as Roberts brings the battle to life literally where the actual event occurred.

Seating is limited. Reserve your space by emailing ecyc@essexcorinthian.org or calling (860) 767-3239 before April 23. The lecture is free of charge.

The Essex Corinthian Yacht Club is located at 9 Novelty Lane in Essex.

Creative Workshop to Repurpose a Cigar Box at ‘The Hammered Edge’ Tomorrow

Cigar_Box_workshiop
IVORYTON —
Local artist Lisa Fatone hosts a creative workshop titled, ‘Repurpose that Cigar Box into an Embellished Treasure Chest,’ on Sunday, April 26, from 1 to 4 p.m. at The Hammered Edge Studio & Gallery in Ivoryton.

Cigar boxes are available for $2 each, or bring your own. Fatone will have materials on hand, but bring anything sentimental you would like to incorporate into your creation. Suggested items are fabric, crystals, ribbons, feathers, photos, etc., and also bring your own glue gun, if possible.

Fatone, a graduate of the Paier College of Art and Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT., holds a Bachelor in Fine Art degree and  has worked as a graphic designer and studio artist since 1982.

She shares with her interpretations of what she sees in nature in several  different media including watercolor, collage, assemblage, hand-lettering, jewelry design and repurposed materials.

Admission per person is $40; prepaid by reservation only. Contact Kathryne Wright at 860-581-8058 or KathryneLWright@comcast.net to make a reservation

The Hammered Edge Studio & Gallery is located at 108 Main Street Ivoryton, CT

Essex Garden Club Holds ‘Divide & Pot’ Days in Preparation for May Market

Divide&pot2014#2

Pictured left to right are Barbara Burgess, Susan Perl, and Judy Saunders in back.

Essex Garden Club members have been busy digging perennial plants from their own gardens as well as from other private gardens offered for these digs.  Two Divide and Pot days are being held at Cross Lots where these plants are divided and potted attractively by our members.

May Market will be held on Saturday, May 9, from 9am to 2pm, rain or shine, in Town Park, Essex Village.  These beautiful and unique plants will be sold at that time, plus man other items.

Come and enjoy the fun!

‘Medical Decisions When They Count The Most’ at Essex Library, May 5

doctor-237479_1280As discussed in the Looking Both Ways event on April 25th at the Essex Town Hall, an Advance Healthcare Directive states your wishes for healthcare and designates a healthcare representative to speak for you, should you become incapacitated. Knowing the wishes of a loved one when you are the healthcare representative is a gift that many overlook or avoid considering.

Join us in an interactive seminar to learn how to prepare a meaningful advance healthcare directive, how to discuss this difficult topic with your loved ones and to discover the home health care services offered by the Lower Valley Care Associates. This seminar is appropriate for anyone over age 18.  There will be time for questions, and free personal assistance will be provided for those wishing to take the first steps toward preparing their own Advance Healthcare Directive. This event will be held at the Essex Library on Tuesday, May 5th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex, CT. Please call 860 767-1560 to register and for more information.

Deborah Ringen MSN, RN-BC Faith Community Nurse, Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley, earned her BSN from Simmons College in 1982 and her Master of Science in Parish Nursing and Health Ministry from Azusa Pacific University in 2010. She has extensive experience facilitating advance care planning workshops for physicians, healthcare providers and community members in California and Connecticut.

Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley, a nonprofit Home Health Agency, provides Skilled Nursing, Medical Social Work, Physical, Occupational, and Speech therapy, Home health aides, Telehealth and Faith Community Nursing services to communities of the Shoreline.

Meghan Brady is the Program Director for Lower Valley Care Advocates. In addition to being a healthcare and insurance lobbyist and political fundraiser in Washington, she was most recently the statewide Director of Community Outreach and Marketing with the United Way of Connecticut.

Attorney Jeannine Lewis graduated from Brown University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology.  She received her Juris Doctor degree, with honors, from the University Of Connecticut School Of Law in 2005. Attorney Lewis has practiced law in Essex, Connecticut since 2006, and joined the local firm of Hudson and Kilby, LLC in 2010.

Essex Art Association Hosts Opening Reception for “Mixed Bag” Show, May 1

Essex Art Association will have its spring 2015 juried exhibition,”Mixed Bag”,a thought provoking show of unexpected combinations.The public is invited to an artist’s reception on Friday May 1 from 6-8 p.m.

The Gallery is open May 2-23,1-5 daily except Tues.

For more information call 860-767-8996 or www.essexartassociation.com

Essex Hosts Town Budget Hearing Tonight

The Town of Essex hosts a public hearing for the fiscal year 2015-2016 budget will this evening, Thursday, April 23, in the Essex Town Hall Auditorium at 7:30 pm. The proposed Town Government Budget is available on the Town website under News and Announcements.

Additionally, mark your calendar for the Region 4 Budget referendum on May 5th and the Annual Budget Town Meeting on May 11th.

If you are looking to improve your understanding of the Town’s budget process, residents are encouraged to read the “Citizens’ Guide to the Essex Town Budget 2015-2016.” This guide is available in hardcopy form at the Town Hall as well as being available in electronic form on the Town website.

Final Afternoon to View Valley Regional HS Student Show at Essex Art Association

Artwork by Jill Beecher Matthew.

Artwork by Jill Beecher Matthew.

The Essex Art Association (EAA) has announced the start of the 2015 exhibition season.

Ron and His Shadow

“Ron and his shadow”

This week the traditional Valley Regional High School Student Show is being held. Visitors to the gallery can view student work between the hours of 3 and 5 p.m. today, Thursday, April 23.

The EAA is looking forward to this new season and hopes readers will join them at their exhibitions. The Association is located at 10 North Main St. in Essex.

For further information, call 860-767-8996 or email essexartct@gmail.com

Ivoryton Playhouse Looks at (Older) Love in “The Last Romance”

Rochelle Slovin* and Chet Carlin* in "The Last Romance," which opens at Ivoryton, April 22

Rochelle Slovin* and Chet Carlin* in “The Last Romance,” which opens at Ivoryton, April 22

IVORYTON — On an ordinary day in a routine life, an 80-year-old widower named Ralph decides to takes a different path on his daily walk — one that leads him to an unexpected second chance at love. Relying on a renewed boyish charm, Ralph attempts to woo the elegant, but distant, Carol. Defying Carol’s reticence — and the jealousy of his lonely sister Rose — he embarks on the trip of a lifetime and regains a happiness that seemed all but lost.

Tony Award winner Joe DiPietro’s The Last Romance, a bittersweet romantic comedy with a little Puccini and a smidgen of dog treats, opens in Ivoryton on April 22.

DiPietro recently won two Tony Awards for co-writing the musical Memphis, which also received the 2010 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical and which will be opening in Ivoryton in August this year. DiPietro is an Ivoryton favorite; his shows I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (the longest-running musical revue in Off Broadway history), and the Broadway musical All Shook Up were both popular successes at the Playhouse.

Stephen Mir and Chet Carlin* in "The Last Romance"

Stephen Mir and Chet Carlin* in “The Last Romance”

Directed by Maggie McGlone Jennings, the cast includes Chet Carlin* as Ralph, whose Broadway credits include Fiddler on the Roof with Theodore Bikel and the National Tour of Sir Peter Hall’s As You Like It; Kate Konigisor*, the Artistic Director of Shakespeare with Benefits, as Rose; Stephen Mir as the Young Man and Rochelle Slovin*, making her Ivoryton debut as Carol and reigniting a theatre career after spending the past 30 years as the Founding Director of the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.

The set design is by William Stark, lighting design by Tate Burmeister and costumes by Vickie Blake.

The Last Romance opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on April 22, and runs through May 10. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting 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.

Photos by Anne Hudson

  1. Stephen Mir and Chet Carlin*
  2. Rochelle Slovin* and Chet Carlin*

*Indicates member of Actors Equity Association

This production is generously sponsored by Essex Meadows and The Clark Group

Essex Historical Society Celebrates its 60th Year with Dickinson Initiative

Essex Historical Society members Herb Clark, Susan Malan and Sherry Clark outside the Yellow Label Building with Rob Bradway of the Valley Railroad (second from right).

Essex Historical Society members Herb Clark, Susan Malan and Sherry Clark outside the Yellow Label Building with Rob Bradway of the Valley Railroad (second from right).

ESSEX — The Essex Historical Society (EHS), a non-profit organization formed in 1955 and boasting 250 members today, will be celebrating its 60th year throughout 2015 with a variety of special events and programs.  Of special note is the Dickinson Initiative, a series of five events aimed at increasing awareness of the impact of the E. E. Dickinson Witch Hazel business on Essex.

According to EHS President Sherry Clark, “We wanted our anniversary celebration to have a purpose and highlighting the Dickinson legacy seemed like the perfect choice given the company’s historical significance for much of the 20th century.  We are particularly excited to unveil our plans to refurbish the “Yellow Label” building in partnership with the Valley Railroad Company.”

The “Yellow Label” building, which sits on the southern end of the railroad depot property on Plains Road, is a familiar and somewhat iconic site to area residents although most are probably not aware of its history. First constructed around 1915 as a birch mill for the production of birch oil, it served as a storefront for the E.E. Dickinson Witch Hazel products in the 1980’s.

The renovation project entails the replacement of windows, roof, and deteriorated structural elements as well as general cleaning and painting, all to be done by the Valley Railroad. EHS will refurbish the Yellow Label signs and install Dickinson history exhibit panels in the newly repaired space.

Plans are now being finalized for a Dickinson Initiative Pre-Construction Party to take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on May 15 on the grounds surrounding the Yellow Label building. The free event is open to the public and will feature tours of the Yellow Label building, Witch Hazel advertising art on display in the Jensen Gallery, River Valley Junction building, and cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. At 6:15 p.m., a short presentation of the Dickinson Initiative plans and a Yellow Label Day Proclamation by the Board of Selectman of Essex will take place.  The dedication and unveiling of the refurbished building is targeted for one year later on May 15, 2016.

Other 60th Anniversary/Dickinson Initiative events will include a special fundraising reception to take place at three Dickinson buildings on North Main Street in Essex on Sunday, Sept. 13; the EHS 5th Annual Fall Foliage Antique Auto Show and Tour of Dickinson business and family sites in partnership with the Belltown Antique Car Club on Sunday, Oct. 18; and a special program entitled “Creating the E. E. Dickinson National Brand” to be presented in January by EHS and held at the former Dickinson corporate office at 31 North Main Street, Essex, now the Wells Fargo office building.

The Essex Historical Society was formed and incorporated in 1955. According to news reports at the time, the Town of Essex was about to announce its intention to sell Hills Academy located on Prospect Street. It was no longer useful to the Town for classroom space and had been rented to various tenants for many years. A concerned group sprung into action and the first unofficial meeting of the Board of Directors was held at Essex Town Hall on Friday, December 10, 1954. Edwin B. Pratt was nominated President, John A. Bjerkoe, Vice President, Elizabeth J. Mundie became treasurer and William H. Matthews, curator.

The newly formed Essex Historical Society purchased the Hills Academy building from the Town for one dollar. From 1955 to 1985, Hills Academy served as the Society’s meeting house, as home to its growing collection of Essex memorabilia, and as exhibit space depicting the story of Essex history.

Then in 1985, the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (known then as S.P.N.E.A. and now renamed Historic New England) deeded the Pratt House Museum on West Avenue to the Society and the focus of activity shifted to the Pratt family narrative.

Today, Pratt House continues to interpret 18th century farm life in Essex and the nine generations of Pratt Smithies, many of whom lived in the house. The barn houses a set of panels depicting a time line of Essex history and an early loom that is worked on by an award winning group of weavers. The beautiful meadow to the rear of the property is the site of the Community Garden and often the scene of antique car shows and old fashioned summer fairs. Hills Academy provides additional meeting and exhibit space on the first floor and storage and office space on the second floor for the collection and archival files.

Essex Historical Society serves the three villages of Essex — Centerbrook, Essex and Ivoryton –  and strives to be the center of excellence for collecting and sharing historic resources for Essex and the surrounding area, and to be the facilitator among other organizations focused on the history of the area, so that they may inspire future generations.

For more information on the Essex Historical Society, its events and membership, visit www.essexhistory.org or call 860-767-0681.

Essex Winter Series Presents Attacca Quartet Master Class for Strings This Afternoon

The Attacca Quartet will conduct a Master Class in Essex,

The Attacca Quartet will conduct a Master Class at the Community Music School in Essex, April 20,

CENTERBROOK – Community Music School (CMS) and Essex Winter Series present a master class with the Attacca Quartet on Monday, April 20, at 4 p.m. at Community Music School, 90 Main St., Centerbrook. Members of the Quartet will offer advice on technique and performance for student musicians who will each play during the class. The master class is free and open to the public.

The internationally acclaimed Attacca Quartet has become one of America’s premier young performing ensembles.  Praised by Strad for possessing “maturity beyond its members’ years,” the group was formed at the Juilliard School in 2003, and made their professional debut in 2007 as part of the Artists International Winners Series in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.

From 2011-2013, the quartet served as the Juilliard Graduate Resident String Quartet, and for the 2014 – 2015 season the Attacca Quartet was named the Quartet in Residence for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The Attacca Quartet was featured as the 2015 Essex Winter Series Emerging Artists and performed at their second StringFest this past January.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 30 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. The School 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.

Acclaimed Naturalist Himmelman Speaks Tomorrow on ‘Butterflies in our Gardens’

John Himmelman

John Himmelman

ESSEX — The Essex Land Trust hosts John Himmelman, naturalist, author/artist of 70 books, and co-founder of the Connecticut Butterfly Association who will give a talk on butterflies, Tuesday, April 21, at 7 p.m., in the Essex Library, 33 West Ave., Essex.

Did you know that over 100 species of butterflies could be seen in our Connecticut gardens? Hear about their intriguing lives and learn how to attract and identify these often unnoticed but important animals of our region. This popular presentation answers many of the questions that are asked about the lives, and preferences, of this fascinating group of insects.

ButterflyThe photos taken in and around Himmelman’s home in Connecticut are used to illustrate the show.  Some topics covered are; butterfly families and species, life cycles, finding butterflies, and creating butterfly habitats.

The event is free and open to the public.  Himmelman will also bring along some of his books for those who might be interested in making a purchase.

Essex Rotary Hosts Sail Cloth Exhibition & Sale, Opening Reception Tonight

Sail_Cloth_Art_ExhibitionESSEX The Rotary Club of Essex in partnership with the Essex Art Association presents the Sail Cloth Art Exhibition and Sale at the Association’s gallery at 10 North Main St., Essex.

The show will feature original works in oil, watercolor, and mixed media.

There will be an Opening Reception with wine and hor d’oeuvres Friday, April 17, from 5 to 8 p.m.  All are welcome and there is no charge for admission.

Weekend exhibition hours will be Saturday, April 18, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 19, from 12 to 4 p.m.

San Francisco Architects Present Their Work at Essex Library This Evening

An example of stunning architectural design by Kuth Ranier Architects.

An example of stunning architectural design by Kuth/Ranieri Architects — the Gallery Room in a Nob Hill Guest House in San Francisco.

ESSEX — Byron Dean Kuth and Elizabeth Ranieri of the innovative San Francisco architecture firm of Kuth/Ranieri will present their work at the Essex Town Hall on Friday, April 17, at 7 p.m.

Over two decades their firm has produced a broad spectrum of work, from small-scaled objects and installations to buildings and urban design proposals. They have earned a regional and national reputation for innovative works that integrate current cultural discourse with contemporary issues of design, technology and the environment. Their projects include an installation for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Soundhenge, and the Harvey Milk Memorial Streetcar.

A Fine Arts and Architecture graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, Kuth has taught at California College of the Arts, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and as a Friedman Professors at the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley. He launched the Deep Green Design Alliance (DGDA), a multidisciplinary think tank for sustainable strategies in architecture and urban design.

Ranieri holds degrees in Architecture and Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design and has taught at the California College of the Arts, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and as a Friedman Professor at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design. She has earned a national reputation for innovative expressions of sustainable systems at a building and planning scale. She has led the firm’s research and development on infrastructural approaches to water conservation, water treatment, and adaptive strategies to rising seas.

Their talk is free and part of the Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series, which is one of many programs that are offered regularly by the Essex Library (http://www.youressexlibrary.org/). Call the library at (860) 767-1560 to register. Sponsored by Centerbrook Architects, the series is in its seventh year.

For more information on Centerbrook Architects, visit www.centerbrook.com.

Essex Garden Club “Seedy Ladies” Prepare for May Market

Pictured L>R are Dee Dee Charnok, Jane Dickinson, Coral Rawn, Gay Thorn, and Daphne Nielson  preparing tomato plants for the Essex Garden Club May Market.

From left to right, Dee Dee Charnok, Jane Dickinson, Coral Rawn, Gay Thorn, and Daphne Nielson prepare tomato plants for the Essex Garden Club May Market.

ESSEX — The Essex Garden Club hosts its May Market at Town Park, Main Street, Essex Village on May 9, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine.

A most popular feature of the sale is the home grown tomato plants.  This year there will be 24 varieties of plants to choose from including bush, early, heirloom, artisan, and grape.  The “Seedy Ladies” grow all the plants from seed in a home greenhouse and nurture them until they are ready for the sale.

These plants sell out quickly, so mark your calendars and come early to find the plant of your choice.

Essex Library Presents ‘Right Plant, Right Place’ Landscaping Program Tonight

The Buttonbush is always a good addition to your landscaping plans.

The Buttonbush is always a good addition to your landscaping plans.

ESSEX — Wondering why certain flowers, shrubs or trees never seem to thrive in your yard? Want to know what plants are best suited for the insects and birds in our area? Based on the Right Plant, Right Place principle, learn from this illustrated talk by Master Gardener Gail Kalison Reynolds what ecological processes affect your backyard, how native plants facilitate ecological balance, and why native plants are appropriate for backyard landscaping and gardening.

This event will take place on Thursday, April 16, at 6:30 p.m. at the Essex Library. Admission is free.

Gail Kalison Reynolds, MFS, directs the UConn Master Gardener Program in Middlesex County and is an independent ecological and technological consultant.  She has both undergraduate and master’s degrees from Yale University and many years of technological experience, including five information security professional certifications.  In addition, she is the Chair of the Haddam Conservation Commission and the Manager of the Higganum Farmers’ Market.

Call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560 for more information and to register.  The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue, Essex CT 06426

Photographer Tony Donovan Exhibits at Essex Library During May

tony 4.tif
ESSEX — A photography exhibit will be held at Essex Library Association through the month of May featuring guest artist, Tony Donovan.

Ivoryton resident Tony Donovan began his photography career in Ireland in north Belfast in the early 1970s. As he puts it, “It was a difficult place to take pictures, the people were on edge and wary; suspicious of a stranger.” He shot street scenes and people he befriended, mostly children, with a handheld Leica and the available light. The situation was extreme since he had no control over events and that has shaped his work ever since. He considers himself a documentary, artistic photographer seeking to make expressive, poetic pictures from life. The photograph’s subject is the most important consideration for him.

Donovan has also captured woodsman Amos Congdon at his Lyme, Conn., sawmill, see photo above. Congdon makes the perfect image of the American past; sharpening a saw, feeding cattle and tallying a woodlot. A sawmill is a wonderful place to take photos with its patterns of circles and squares, scattered pieces of wood and the lines lumber produces.

Donovan has been photographing a summer basketball tournament, more recently, for a number of years, even receiving a Middletown Commission on the Arts grant to do so in 2010. The Middletown Summer Hoopfest has offered Donovan the opportunity to record some of the drama, effort, spirit and grace played out in those games. He comments, “Photography, like any creative process, often requires a subject that summons up in the artist the will and commitment to work over a long period of time. The Hoopfest has been such a subject for me. Certainly, these basketball images have an historic value and, hopefully, some of them attain a poetic worth.”

The exhibit will be open Saturday, May 2, and run through Saturday, May 30: it is free and open to all. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue, Essex, CT 06426.

Second Session of ‘Beowulf’ Seminar in Essex Library, April 28

beowulf-coverESSEX — Who was the first superhero in the English language?

Whose epic adventures greatly influenced J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit?

It was Beowulf, of course.

Follow the Old English story of Scandinavian warrior Beowulf who, armed with only a magic sword and a heroic code, vanquishes the monster Grendel –and Grendel’s mother too. After becoming a wise and noble King of the Danes, he battles a mighty, fire-breathing dragon with tragic consequences.

Using the Northern Ireland Poet Laureate Seamus Heaney’s magnificent translation, University of New Haven faculty member Chuck Timlin will lead a seminar looking at the great 3182 line poem that stands as the beginning of English Literature.

This seminar will also look at several passages of the poem in the original Old English.

The five-seminar sessions will be held on Tuesday evenings April 14 & 28 and May 5, 12 and 19 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Essex Library. This seminar is free and open to the public. Register in advance by calling 860-767-1560.

The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue, Essex, CT.

‘Nights on Broadway’ Gala Benefits Community Music School, Saturday

Looking forward to welcoming guests at Nights on Broadway are (standing L to R): Melissa Lieberman and David LaMay of Essex Financial Services; Robin Andreoli, CMS executive director CMS; vocalist Courtney Parrish; vocalist Richard Pittsinger; honorary co-chairs Jennifer and John Bauman. Seated are Laureen Sullivan of Essex Savings Bank and Charles Cumello, CEO of Essex Financial Services.

Looking forward to welcoming guests at Nights on Broadway are (standing L to R): Melissa Lieberman and David LaMay of Essex Financial Services; Robin Andreoli, CMS executive director CMS; vocalist Courtney Parrish; vocalist Richard Pittsinger; honorary co-chairs Jennifer and John Bauman. Seated are Laureen Sullivan of Essex Savings Bank and Charles Cumello, CEO of Essex Financial Services.

ESSEX — Curtain Up! Light the Lights! On Saturday, April 18, Community Music School students and faculty take center stage performing classic Broadway show tunes for Nights on Broadway, the School’s 10 annual benefit gala. Guests will gather at the charming Lace Factory, 161 River Street, Deep River, for a lively party with gourmet food stations inspired by Broadway hits and prepared by Cloud Nine Catering, silent and live auctions, and a fun photo booth. Nights on Broadway promises to be a magical, musical evening!

Selections from the shows Wicked, RENT, Fiddler on the Roof, and Les Misérables are scheduled to be performed. Featured student performers include Emma Hunt (vocals) of Essex; Michael Rasberry (saxophone) of Lyme; Sonny Capaccio (vocals) of Guilford; Courtney Parrish (vocals) of Westbrook; Arnold Moore (violin) of Killingworth; and Richard Pittsinger (vocals) of Essex, a recipient of the Carolyn R. Greenleaf Memorial Music Award. Faculty performers include Karli Gilbertson (piano/vocals), Matthew McCauley (bass), Kevin O’Neil (guitar), Andrew Studenski (saxophone), and music director Tom Briggs (piano).

Support of the Community Music School gala provides the resources necessary to offer scholarships to students with a financial need, music therapy services, and outreach through arts education and community concerts. “Nights on Broadway is an extremely important event for us,” stated Executive Director Robin Andreoli, “Proceeds will help us continue our mission of enrichment through the arts with a focus on public performances and community outreach.”

She continues, ” Of course, musical theater has always been a part of our programming with Broadway Bound, a summer program for ages 8 to 15, so it’s fitting that Broadway music is this year’s theme. Programs like Broadway Bound, Kate’s Camp for Kids, the CMS Jazz Ensemble, New Horizons Band and many others allow students of all ages to build on their individual and ensemble skills for performance.”

Nights on Broadway sponsors include Essex Savings Bank and Essex Financial Services, Bogaert Construction, The Clark Group, Tower Laboratories LTD, Grossman Chevrolet-Nissan, Thomas H. Alexa – Comprehensive Wealth Management, Angelini Wine LTD, The Bauman Family Foundation, Brewer Pilots Point Marina, Essex Winnelson, Gowrie Group, Guilford Savings Bank, Leonardo & Associates P.C., W. Jay Mills CFP® – The Oakely Wing Group at Morgan Stanley, Periodontics P.C., Ring’s End, The Safety Zone, and Valley Courier.

Tickets for the evening are $100 per person ($40 is tax deductible). A sponsor ticket of $150 per person provides a greater charitable gift ($90 is tax deductible) and is also available. Tickets may be purchased online at community-music-school.org, at the school located at 90 Main Street in the Centerbrook section of Essex or by calling 860-767-0026. Now in its 32nd year of building community through music, the Community Music School is a private, non-profit organization.

Essex Savings Bank Donates Over $29,000 as Part of Community Investment Program

ESSEX — Results of the recent voting by Essex Savings Bank customers who participated in the Bank’s Community Investment Program were announced at a meeting of employees, directors and trustees at the Bank’s Plains Road Office on Wednesday, April 8.

The Top Ten Winners in attendance received special recognition.  They were in order by number of votes:

  1. The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries
  2. Forgotten Felines, Inc.
  3. Old Saybrook Fire Company Number One, Inc.
  4. High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc.
  5. Tait’s Every Animal Matters (TEAM)
  6. Dog Days Adoption Events, Inc.
  7. The Essex Fire Engine Company No. 1
  8. Bikes for Kids, Inc.
  9. Pet Connections, Inc.
  10. Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley, Inc. (VNLV)

The customer balloting portion of Essex Savings Bank’s 2015 Community Investment Program, began on Feb. 2 and concluded on March 2. The program entitles the Bank’s customers to select up to three charities from a list of 90 qualified non-profit organizations. Fund allocations are awarded based on the results of these votes.

Gregory R. Shook, President and Chief Executive Officer of Essex Savings Bank stated, “At Essex Savings Bank, we believe the way to move the world forward is by giving back. Our Community Investment Program is designed to provide vital financial support to those organizations that enhance the quality of life in our communities.”

Each year, the Bank donates 10 percent of its net income to non-profit organizations within the immediate market area consisting of Chester, Deep River, Essex, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook. This year, the Bank has allocated $98,741 to assisting non-profit organizations who offer outstanding services to our community and one third of that amount is then voted upon by the Bank’s customers.

According to Thomas Lindner, Vice President and Community Relations Officer for Essex Savings Bank, 6,987 votes were cast this year for a total of $29,620. By year end 2015, the total distribution of charitable funds will reach 4 million dollars since the inception of the Bank’s Community Investment Program in 1996.

Essex Savings Bank is a FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851. The Bank serves the Connecticut River Valley and Shoreline with six offices in Essex (2), Chester, Madison, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook. Financial, estate, insurance and retirement planning are offered throughout the state by the Bank’s Trust Department and subsidiary Essex Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC. Investments in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and annuities are not FDIC insured, may lose value, are not a deposit, have no Bank guarantee and are not insured by any Federal Government Agency.

Click here to see the full results with voting numbers and amounts donated to each organization.

Run Forwards or Backwards Today! Race Event in Essex Benefits LVVS

And they're off!

And they’re off!

ESSEX — This coming Saturday, April 11, Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS) will hold its 8th Annual Backward Mile and 5K Run/3K Walk.  Registration for the races begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Essex Town Hall, on West Avenue. The Erl and Dot Nord Memorial Backward Mile race, open to runners older than 18, begins at 8:30 a.m.; the 5K race and 3K walk both begins at 9:15 a.m.. T-shirts will be given to the first 100 runners.

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

Registration forms are available from the LVVS offices, (860) 399-0280 or you can register online at www.register.fasttracktiming.com. Fees for those signing up prior to March 31  are $18 for the backward mile, $23 for either the 3K walk or 5K run, $5 for the Lollipop race and to compete in any combination $40. Students can participate for $10 per race or $15 for any two races.

Runners with additional questions about the race may contact Elizabeth Steffen, Race Director at esteffen@vsliteracy.org .