August 5, 2015

Hign Energy ‘Memphis’ Musical Opens Friday at Ivoryton Playhouse, Preview Wednesday

Taavon Gamble*, Michael Sullivan, Teren Carter*, Mya Rose and Kevin Moeti in a recent rehearsal.

Taavon Gamble*, Michael Sullivan, Teren Carter*, Mya Rose and Kevin Moeti in a recent rehearsal.

IVORYTON – The Ivoryton Playhouse leaves the sunny tropical shores of the South Pacific in August and travels to the sizzling backstreets of ‘50s Memphis.

Memphis is set in the places where rock and roll was born – the seedy, underground dance clubs, radio stations and recording studios in 1950s Memphis, Tenn.  Inspired by true events, this high energy musical tells the story of DJ Huey Calhoun who falls in love with a beautiful singer and battles cultural divides as he tries to bring her voice to the airwaves of America.

Renee Jackson* and Chawnta Marie Van in rehearsal.

Renee Jackson* and Chawnta Marie Van in rehearsal.

As their careers rise, a revolution erupts when his vision meets her voice and the music changed forever.  With an original score, this musical is filled with heart, soul and energy to burn!  Winner of four 2010 Tony Awards, Memphis was written by Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, All Shook Up) with electrifying blues, rock, ballads and gospel music created by Bon Jovi’s David Bryan.

Writer Joe DiPietro will be joining the cast on stage for talk back after the performance on opening night, Friday, Aug. 7,  followed by a reception with the cast and crew. Limited tickets are still available for this performance.

Renee Jackson* and Carson Higgins* practice a song.

Renee Jackson* and Carson Higgins* study their parts for Memphis.

The Playhouse production of Memphis is directed and choreographed by Todd Underwood, whose last work was seen at the Ivoryton Playhouse as choreographer for La Cage aux Folles and Dreamgirls.  The show features Carson Higgins* as Huey, Rénee Jackson* as Felicia Farrell, Teren Carter* as Delray, Jamal Shuriah* as Gator.

This musical is directed by Michael Morris, the set is designed by Martin Scott Marchitto, lighting by Doug Harry and costumes by Elizabeth Cipollina.

memphis

Memphis opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse in previews on Wednesday, Aug. 5, (official opening Friday, Aug. 7) and runs through Aug. 30. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.  There will be two additional Saturday matinees on Aug. 22 and 29 at 2 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.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

This production of ‘Memphis’ is generously sponsored by:  Pasta Vita, First Niagara, Sennheiser and Saybrook Country Barn.

Noted Folk Musician, Composer Larry Kaplan to Perform ‘On the Dock,’ Thursday

Larry Kaplan  will give a concert "On the Dock," Thursday, Aug. 13.

Larry Kaplan will give a concert “On the Dock,” Thursday, Aug. 6.

ESSEX — On Thursday, Aug. 6, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., the Connecticut River Museum will host acclaimed folk musician and composer Larry Kaplan at its ‘Thursdays on the Docks’ concert series.

Considered by many as one of the best song-makers in the folk song revival, Larry Kaplan’s music is known widely in both the US and internationally for its strong storytelling and for its simple and beautiful melody lines. His songs have been sung and recorded by many contemporary and traditional folk artists around the world.

Accompanying himself on guitar and banjo, many of his works have deep roots in his native New England, and respectfully capture the spirit that derives from small, often quiet events in history that have shaped the New England spirit, some serious, some funny, many eccentric, all real.

“Old Zeb,” “Song for Gale,” “Song for the Bowdoin,” “John,” “Get Her into Shore,” “Selling the Isabel,” “Aroostook” are just a few examples of his work — poignant stories in song, written in the truest folk tradition, honest, highly singable … always memorable.

Kaplan has just released a new CD through Folk Legacy Records, “Songs for an August Moon,” and will be introducing a new offering of music from that recording and an upcoming release along with many familiar favorites.

Visitors can enjoy the live music while taking in the views of the Connecticut River.  New this year, the Essex Wellness Center is offering free back massages during the concert.  Picnic dinners provided by Porky Pete’s BBQ (hamburgers, grilled chicken, hot dogs, and BBQ sandwiches) will be available for purchase on the night of the event.  The Museum also runs a bar with non-alcoholic drinks, beer and wine.

‘Thursdays on the Dock’ is made possible by the Essex Wellness Center and Connecticut River Dock & Dredge and takes place on the grounds of the Connecticut River Museum every Thursday night through Aug. 27 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.  This concert is a benefit concert to help the Museum continue and grow its community offerings. The concert is free, donations gratefully accepted.

For more information on this and other museum programs, visit www.ctrivermuseum.org.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information, call 860-767-8269 or visit www.ctrivermuseum.org.

Essex Land Trust Sponsors North Cove/Falls River Kayak Trip, Saturday

Essex Land Trust offers a kayak trip into North Cove, Aug. 6.

Essex Land Trust offers a kayak trip into North Cove, Aug. 6.

ESSEX — The Essex Land Trust invites you to bring your own boat on Saturday, Aug. 6, for this popular summer kayak/canoe trip into peaceful North Cove and Falls River, accompanied by a naturalist. See the abundant wildlife and revisit the history of this waterway where many of Essex’s colonial ships were built.

North Cove
Participants should arrive at 4:30 p.m. to register on-site at Bushnell Street public boat launching site off of North Main St., Essex, and launch their crafts on the rising tide prior to the 5 p.m. departure time.  A safety boat will accompany.

Bad weather cancels. Note: this event was originally scheduled for June 6 but was postponed due to poor weather conditions.

North Cove is a 230-acre body of tidal water between the Falls River and the Connecticut River. The Cove was noted for shipbuilding, and the nearby Williams’ yard turned out sloops and schooners for the commercial trade in the 19th century.

The cove is formed in part by Great Meadow, a 174-acre “pendant bar” or levee along the Connecticut River. Great Meadow has no public access.

Empty now, Great Meadow was once a beehive of activity. Cattle were grazed, salt hay was harvested and duck hunting blinds once lined the shore. The bar was also a base for the local fishing industry and its lucrative seasonal shad run.

 

Join Essex Land Trust’s ‘Hike of the Month’ at Osaga Trails This Morning

Osage_Trails_mapTake an easy stroll to one of the Essex Land Trust’s property gems, Osage Trails, on Saturday, Aug. 1, starting at 9 a.m. This walk, hosted by stewards Lisa and Jerry Baczewski, is sponsored by the Essex Land Trust and forms the August  ‘Hike of the Month.’

A gift of Elizabeth Barnes Callender in 1998, Osage Trails is a waterfront park with 
a sweeping lawn, a waterside meadow and a patch of forest where the Falls River forms Falls River Cove.

The easy, well-marked loop trail winds through woods and wetlands close to the water as well as along higher ground inland.

A Battle Site Essex sign panel on the shore of the Falls River commemorates the British raid that took place on April 4, 1814. Across the Falls River one can still see the stone bulkhead extending into the cove and a fieldstone building foundation, which are the only remains of the Williams’ shipbuilding yard targeted by the British in their attack on Essex.

To reach Osage Trails, take Maple Avenue, off North Main St. to Foxboro Rd. entrance, Essex. Refreshments will be provided.

‘Theater Along the River’ Performs ‘Titus Andronicus’ at CT River Museum This Evening

Flock Theatre presents Shakespeare’s 'Titus Andronicus' as part of the Connecticut River Museum’s Theater Along the River, Aug. 1. Photo courtesy of Flock Theatre.

Flock Theatre presents Shakespeare’s ‘Titus Andronicus’ as part of the Connecticut River Museum’s Theater Along the River, Aug. 1. Photo courtesy of Flock Theatre.

ESSEX — On Saturday, Aug. 1 the Connecticut River Museum’s Theater Along the River returns with the Flock Theatre production of William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus.  Bring a picnic dinner, and enjoy a summer evening with the Bard.

Murder, revenge, and a touch of madness all feature in 'Titus Andronicus.'

Murder, revenge, and a touch of madness all feature in ‘Titus Andronicus.’

Made possible by presenting sponsor Essex Wellness Center with additional support from Wells Fargo Advisors, Titus Andronicus is thought to be Shakespeare’s first tragedy.  Written between 1588 and 1593, it was highly popular in its day but fell out of favor in the Victorian era due to its graphic violence. The story follows a fictional Roman Empire general named Titus through a cycle of revenge with Tamora, Queen of the Goths and is often viewed as Shakespeare’s attempt to emulate the revenge plays of his contemporaries.

Director of Flock Theatre, Derron Wood said that “Titus Andronicus is not for the faint of heart. It involves war, murder, horror, revenge, and a touch of madness.”  Wood invites the public to “come see this rarely produced yet thrilling play performed under the stars along the Connecticut River.”

Connecticut River Museum Executive Director, Christopher Dobbs, said that “Flock Theatre is a master of Shakespeare.  In June they stunned us with their original and creative interpretation of Twelfth Night.”  Dobbs went on to note that “I can’t wait to see what kind of enchantment and theatrical craftsmanship they pull off this time.”

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

Tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for children (12 and under).  No carry-in alcohol is permitted.  Tickets may be bought at www.ctrivermuseum.org or at the door starting at 6 PM the night of the performance. Curtain opens at 7 PM with a rain date of Sunday, August 2.

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

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10 am – 5 pm.  For more information, call 860-767-8269 or go to www.ctrivermuseum.org.

Essex Historical Society Hosts Second Day of “Walking Weekend,” Today  

The Pratt House in Essex is the town’s only historic house museum.

The Pratt House in Essex is the town’s only historic house museum.

ESSEX — Combine a love of history and (light) exercise as Essex Historical Society (EHS) launches a new program, “Walking Weekend,” on Friday, July 31, and Saturday, Aug. 1.  The event features two different walking tours of Essex Village in which attendees enjoy an easy stroll down the seaport’s 18th century streets learning about the major industries, structures and personalities that shaped the area.

Essex Historical Society’s trained, knowledgeable volunteer guides will lead an hour-plus long tour over fairly level, paved terrain, covering three centuries of history.

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

On Aug. 1, at 1 p.m., the second tour will meet at the Pratt House, 19 West Ave., for a trip down West Ave. and Prospect Street to explore the histories behind the structures of “Pound Hill” including several 19th century churches, Hills Academy, the Old Firehouse and more.

Each tour is $5 per person and open to the general public.  Admission helps support the educational and cultural programming of Essex Historical Society.  Join a tour for fun, facts and fresh air.

Attendees are also welcome to tour the historic 1732 Pratt House, the town’s only historic house museum.

Formed in 1955, EHS is committed to fulfilling its mission of engaging and inspiring the community in the three villages of Centerbrook, Essex and Ivoryton.

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

‘Crazy Celts’ Perform Tonight ‘On the Dock’ at CT River Museum

The Crazy Celts perform at Connecticut River Museum, July 30

The Crazy Celts perform at Connecticut River Museum, July 30

ESSEX — Now in its sixth year at the Connecticut River Museum (CRM), ‘Thursday’s on the Dock’ have for many become the unofficial start to the summer weekend.  This year, thanks to lead sponsor the Essex Wellness Center, the event features a different Connecticut band each night.  Crazy Celts will perform this coming Thursday, July 30.

This band performs traditional Irish music as well as a variety of pop and folk tunes. One mission of the band is to bring Scottish/Irish music to Connecticut with enthusiasm, musicality and a bit of historical background information on the rich heritage of each song.

‘Thursday’s on the Dock’ take place every Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., through Aug. 27, on the museum’s historic steamboat dock and grounds.  Phyllis Stillman, CRM Development Manager, comments, “We are fortunate to have received more sponsorship this year that is allowing us to bring in a broad range of musical acts that will appeal to a diverse audience.”

Museum Director Christopher Dobbs notes that patrons will, “… hear the sounds of Dixieland jazz, classic rock, and folk.” Performances include noted Irish folk musicians Ringrose & Freeman, the Small Pond All Stars Band, and Longsplice.

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

 

Upcoming performers are:

  • July 30 – Crazy Celts
  • July 31 – Larry Kaplan
  • August 13 – Ringrose & Freeman
  • August 20 – Longsplice
  • August 27 – Small Pond All Stars

In addition to the lively music, craft beers, local wines and light snacks will be served.  The Museum’s main floor galleries and gift shop will also be open for a bit of waterfront and local history. The cover for the event that includes the live music, galleries, and views is $5 per person (members are always free).

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

The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main St. and is a membership-supported educational organization. Membership is open to all.

Obituary: James R. Martin, AIA

James Ralston Martin:  09/08/1954 - 07/12/2015

James Ralston Martin: 09/08/1954 – 07/12/2015

James Ralston Martin AIA, 60, of Essex, Conn., passed away peacefully in his sleep on the morning of Sunday, July 12, 2015 in Jackson, Wyoming.  ‘Jim’ to some, ‘Jimmy’ to others was born in White Plains, N.Y., on September 9th, 1954 to Ruth Christine Wetzel and Charles Ralston Martin.  He is survived by his four children; Tess, Madison, Alden, and Jacob, older brother Dean, and granddaughter; Svea Brosnan.   He was an inspiring spirit, family man, and friend to all he knew.

James was an extremely passionate person and placed his family and their happiness above all other things.  He was extremely talented and accomplished in his career as an architect.  He is responsible for the design and planning of many university campuses, labs, and homes in Connecticut and around the country.  He was an avid sailor who had a deep passion for the sea.  He crewed on Amistad and was very proud to call the crew his dear friends.  He was a beautiful painter, chef, hiker, skater, and most certainly a technology and robotics enthusiast.

Greater than his worldly accomplishments was his deep and endearing love for his family. There has never been a more caring, engaged, responsible and “hands on” father than Jim Martin. He was the rock that held the larger Martin Family together. Jim was a shining example of love and sacrifice for those he loved and cared about. Beyond family he was always there for his family of friends whom he met from all over the world.

Jim was deeply proud of his children; they were his reason and inspiration in life.  Jim also loved and cherished his relationship with Robbi Grayson, his “significant other”, he was over the top in love with his granddaughter Svea and his best friend “Sir George” who he loved to walk every day in Essex Village and many began to associate with Jim.

Jim’s childhood homes included Largo, Fla., Mountain Lakes, N.J., and at age 12 his family moved to Westerly, R.I.  He attended college at Franconia College in Franconia, N.H., a place that provided wonderful friendships he has maintained to this day with only one month until his 40th Franconia reunion.  He went on to study sign language at Gallaudet School for the Deaf in Washington, D.C. and passed this on to his children, who signed before they could speak.  He then went to Ithaca, N.Y., where he attended Cornell University and received a his degree in Architecture.  Jim arrived in Essex, Connecticut for a job interview after graduating from Cornell, fell in love with the town, and raised his family there. Jim was very invested in the community. He served as a Town Selectman as well as on the Zoning Board of Appeals.  He continued to live in Centerbrook, a village of Essex, on a beautiful, magical piece of land with his children and all the many people he loved, a special haven where he would live for the remainder of his life.

The family will receive loved ones, friends, colleagues and all who Jim touched on:
Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015 at 2 p.m. at Centerbrook Meeting House, 51 Main Street, Centerbrook, CT.

A more informal ceremony will follow at:
Pettipaug Yacht Club, 145 River Road, Essex, CT

Jim’s greatest desire was to see his children complete their higher education; to that cause the family has requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to:
The James Martin College Fund, c/o Liberty Bank, 7 Main Street, Essex, CT 06426

Essex Police Host Tip-A-Cop Event for Special Olympics at Griswold Inn Tonight

These gallant 'servers for the evening' gathered for a photo in advance of Tip-a-Cop 2014

These gallant ‘servers for the evening’ gathered for a photo in advance of Tip-a-Cop 2014

ESSEX — Officers with Essex Police Department will host a Tip-A-Cop event to benefit Special Olympics Connecticut at the Griswold Inn, 36 Main Street, Essex, on Monday, July 27, from 5 to 9 p.m.

During the event, officers will assist restaurant staff in taking orders and serving meals to restaurant patrons. At the end of the evening, all tips the officers receive for their efforts will go to Special Olympics Connecticut to support its year-round sports, health and fitness programs for athletes of all abilities.

Tip-A-Cop is a Law Enforcement Torch Run event to benefit Special Olympics Connecticut.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics Connecticut is one of the movement’s largest grass-roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicles. This year-round program involves law enforcement officers from across the state who volunteer their time to raise awareness and funds through events including Tip-a-Cops, Cop-on-Tops, and Jail N’ Bail fundraisers.

In addition, each year in June, over 1,500 officers and athletes carry the Special Olympics “Flame of Hope” through hundreds of cities and towns across the state, covering over 530 miles over three days.  The runners run the “Final Leg” and light the ceremonial cauldron during Opening Ceremonies for the Special Olympics Connecticut Summer Games.

This year’s Law Enforcement Torch Run Sponsors include
Platinum Sponsors:
Dream Ride, Whelen Engineering, WWE; The Bearingstar Insurance Charitable Fund; JN Phillips Auto Glass
Gold Sponsors:
Adams Hometown Markets / IGA Hometown Supermarkets, Papa’s Dodge.

Logo_615x289Special Olympics Connecticut provides year-round sports training and competitions for over 13,000 athletes of all ages with intellectual disabilities and Unified Sports® partners – their teammates without disabilities.

Through the joy of sport, the Special Olympics movement transforms lives and communities throughout the state and in 170 countries around the world by promoting good health and fitness and inspiring inclusion and respect for all people, on and off the playing field. (www.soct.org)

Partner Sponsors are Adams Hometown Markets/IGA Hometown Supermarkets, ESPN, Eversource Energy, The Hubbell Foundation, Law Enforcement Torch Run, NBC Connecticut, TD Bank, United Technologies and WWE.

Year-Round Suppliers are Adams Hometown Markets/IGA Hometown Supermarkets, Campus Customs/Cymplify, The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New England, Connecticut Portable Storage/PODS, Crystal Rock Water and Coffee Company, Dunkin’ Donuts, Graebel Moving Services, LLC, Guida’s Milk and Ice Cream, Lamar Outdoor Advertising, Marcus Communications, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch Community Service and WORX.

 

Watch the 2015 Special Olympics World Games Opening Ceremony LIVE on ESPN, Saturday, July 25, at 9 p.m. EST.

The 2015 Dream Ride Experience – presented by Bozzuto’s Inc., The Hometown Foundation and your local IGA Supermarket to benefit Special Olympics – will take place, August 21 – 23. Enjoy a motorcycle ride, Twilight Dream Cruise and car show, and food, music and activities for the entire family. Find out more and register here.

Essex Art Association Hosts Summer Exhibition of ‘Memories,’ Reception Aug. 21

'Irish Splendor' is a featured painting in the upcoming Essex Art Association’s Summer Open Exhibition

‘Irish Splendor’ is a featured painting in the upcoming Essex Art Association’s Summer Open Exhibition

ESSEX — Dr. Seuss said, “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory,” and “Memories” is the theme for the Essex Art Association’s (EAA) 2015 Summer Open Exhibition. This open exhibition is juried for awards only.

Juror David T Wenzel is an illustrator and children’s book artist living in Durham, Conn. He is best known for his visualization of J.R.R.Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”, illustrated in graphic novel format. Award money totaling $1,800 will be given to artists for their work in various media.

'Marshes of the Connecticut River' is a featured painting in the upcoming Essex Art Association’s Summer Open Exhibition.

‘Marshes of the Connecticut River’ is a featured painting in the upcoming Essex Art Association’s Summer Open Exhibition.

Additionally, each season five EAA artists are selected by a juror to show their work in our small “Exit Gallery” — (labeled such because the EXIT sign for the gallery is located directly above the entrance to that small gallery!) The Exit Gallery artist during this exhibition is Jill Beecher Matthew.

She is an oil painter who uses palette knives to create her works of art, enabling her to bring texture, vibrant color, and light into her paintings. Working both en plein air and in the studio, Beecher Matthew especially enjoys painting the landscapes of New England and Florida. Recently she also savored an opportunity to paint on retreat along the northwest coast of Ireland.

Beecher Matthew has mentored with accomplished Connecticut artists and has studied the methods of Henri Hensche at the Cape School of Art in Provincetown, Mass. Her works are displayed and sold in galleries in Connecticut and Florida. To view more of Beecher Matthew’s art, visit: www.jillbeechermatthew.com

'Catmint on the Wall' is a featured painting in the upcoming Essex Art Association’s Summer Open Exhibition

‘Catmint on the Wall’ is a featured painting in the upcoming Essex Art Association’s Summer Open Exhibition

The exhibition opening will be held Friday, Aug. 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. These exhibits are open at no charge to the public Aug. 22 – Sept. 12 at the Essex Art Association Gallery located in the sunny yellow building in the center of Essex at 10 North Main Street, Essex, Connecticut. Gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m. daily, closed Tuesdays.

For more information, call 860-767-8996.

Essex First Selectman Needleman Faces Election Challenge from Selectman Glowac

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman (file photo)

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman (file photo)

ESSEX — Democratic First Selectman Norman Needleman’s bid for a third term will face an election challenge from Republican Selectman Bruce Glowac, a former first selectman who returned to the board in the town’s uncontested election of 2013.

Needleman and Glowac were nominated for the Nov. 3 ballot at party nominating sessions Wednesday. Needleman will be running with two-term incumbent Democratic Selectwoman Stacia Libby.

Glowac is running with selectman candidate Phil Beckman, a former U.S. Navy officer who retired from the service last year.

Needleman, 63, is a local businessman who served four terms on the board of selectmen from 2003-2011 with former Democratic First Selectman, now State Representative Phil Miller. Needleman won the top job in 2011, defeating Republican nominee Bruce MacMillian on a 1,415-993 vote. He was unopposed by town Republicans for a second term in 2013.

Selectman Bruce Glowac

Selectman Bruce Glowac. Photo by Jerome Wilson.

But the uncontested election of 2013 also brought Glowac back to the board as the minority Republican selectman. Glowac, also 63 and a lifelong resident, had served as first selectman from 1991-1995, later assuming the job of director of facilities for Region 4 schools. Glowac, addressing about 25 Republicans at the caucus, said one key reason he is running is to give town voters a choice on the ballot, avoiding the uncontested town elections that occurred in 2013 and also in 2007. “It’s a special time and it is important to give our residents a choice on the ballot,” he said, adding that uncontested elections for top policy-making positions, “… are unhealthy to the process and do a disservice to our community.”

Glowac said the role of town government is to “direct and control change, adding, “It needs to be done with extreme care so we don’t lose the qualities that we love in Essex.” Glowac said he would retire from the Region 4 job at year’s end if he is elected first selectman,

Needleman said he is proud of the Democratic record over the last 12 years, and “loves” the job of first selectman. “It allows you to touch people’s lives and make a real difference,” he said. Both nominees promised a positive campaign, and each praised their rival. Needleman said Glowac is “a terrific guy and a huge help on the board of selectmen,” adding the current board “is a terrific working board and I’ll do what I have to do to make that continue.” Glowac said he respects Needleman and has tried to work with he and Libby over the past two years.

Democrats nominated incumbents Fred Vollono and Donald Mesite for new terms on the board of finance. Mesite was appointed to the board in December 2013 after the former board chairman, Democrat Jim Francis was elected town treasurer. Republicans nominated Geri MacMillian and former Selectman Vince Pacileo for the finance board. Pacileo, who works as director of administrative services for the Town of Stonington, served on the board of selectmen from 2003-2009, and was the unsuccessful Republican nominee for 33rd Senate in 2008 and 36th House in 2012.

Democrats nominated incumbent Jennifer Clark for a new six-year term on the Region 4 Board of Education. Republicans nominated Mary Louise Till, a retired teacher who is also a practicing attorney, for the Region 4 seat. Democrats nominated incumbent board Chairman Lon Seidman for the local board of education, with Republicans nominating incumbent D.G. Fitton for the local board, where elections are uncontested.

Democrats nominated Mark Bombaci and former member Richard Helmecki for board of assessment appeals. Republicans nominated Bruce MacMillian and Keith Russell for board of assessment appeals.

Needleman States Priorities for Possible Third Term as Essex First Selectman

Selectman Stacia Libby stands with First Selectman Norman Needleman.

Selectman Stacia Libby stands with First Selectman Norman Needleman.

ESSEX — At his July 22 announcement of his intention to run for a third, two-year-term as First Selectman of Essex, Norman Needleman noted two priorities that he would address, if re-elected.  The first is the completion of the new public works projects presently underway in Essex and the second is to establish a new, more accountable way for delivering public services to the residents of Essex by the various town agencies.

New Public Works in Essex: Several Projects Already Complete …

With regard to the first electoral priority — completing new public works in Essex — that one is well underway. The old tennis courts behind Essex Town Hall have been brought up to “tournament play” condition.

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman holds his treasured grandson.

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman holds his treasured grandson.

The parking lots, also behind the town hall, have  been completely regraded with a new playground installed that has proved to be very popular with both young and old alike. Also, Essex Town’s Hall’s frontage has been refreshed with a new lawn and improved signage, along with a general upgrade.

… Others Still on the Agenda

Needleman has ahead of him, should he be re-elected, the completion of the total refashioning of the Ivoryton section of the Town of Essex. Extensive new streets have already been put in place and the final touches of the new streetscape improvements in Ivoryton would likely extend well into a possible Needleman third term.

Also, contemplated by Needleman are upgrades in the Centerbrook section of Essex, but these are still on the drawing boards.

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 1.36.58 AMImproved Coordination of Services to Residents by Essex Town Employees  

In addition to these superstructure improvements on Needleman’s re-election roster is a determination to tackle the manner in which Essex Town Departments and workers deliver services to Essex residents. Such an initiative would review the degrees of coordination among Town agencies.

It is Needleman’s view that there is presently a serious lack of coordination among Town agencies in the delivery of services to the town and, if re-elected, he intends to change this.

Essex Rotary Club Supports Wide Variety of Local, International Needs

Rotary Club of Essex donates funds to the Essex Library for the artwork project.  From left to right: Stephen Brinkmann, Rotary Club Treasurer;  Jessica Branciforte, Head of Children’s and Youth Services and Richard Conroy, Library Director.

From left to right: Stephen Brinkmann, Rotary Club Treasurer; Jessica Branciforte, Head of Children’s and Youth Services and Richard Conroy, Library Director gather for a photo while Rotary Club of Essex donates funds to the Essex Library for the artwork project.

ESSEX — The Rotary Club of Essex recently provided funds to the Essex Library project for displaying artwork. The project’s objective is to provide a venue for local artists in support of the library’s mission to be “the community center for lifelong learning and cultural achievement”.

Rotary’s fund raising efforts provide support for many local endeavors.  In addition to the library, Rotary has recently provided funds to Essex Social Services, Essex Tree Committee, Valley Regional Interact Club, Valley Regional High School Musical, Valley Shore YMCA, Cub Scout Cub Pack 4, and the Ivoryton Playhouse.

Rotary also has an international focus. In the past year, the Rotary Club of Essex has made contributions to the Brazilian and American Youth Cultural Exchange, Simply Smiles for latrines in Oaxaca Mexico, Sister Cities Essex Haiti to help purchase a generator for the library in Deschapelles, the Rural Liberian Healthcare and Development Initiative, and through Shelterboxes USA has contributed for shelter and supplies to Vanuatu and Nepal after they suffered natural disasters.

Shad baking around the fire.

Shad baking around the fire.

The major fundraising project that enables Rotary Club of Essex contributions is the annual Shad Bake held the first Saturday in June, conducted in partnership with the Connecticut River Museum on the shore of the Connecticut River.  Shad is prepared around an open fire.  Also served are clams, chicken and hot dogs.

The event has become well known since its inception in 1960.  This year’s attendees came from local communities as well as more distant places such as New York, Vermont, Massachusetts,  New Hampshire, and as far away as Nevada.

In addition to ticket tales, a major source of income is provided by “sponsors” of the event.  This year’s sponsors were Gowrie Group; Joseph Shea in honor of Daniel Edward Wolff; Guilford Savings Bank; Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services; Tower Laboratories; AJ Shea Construction; A&S Boatworks; The JECM Foundation; Benin Management; BrandTech Scientific, Inc.; Clark Group; Emme & Jonathon Deland; Jeffrey Mehler, CFP LLC; Middle Cove Marina; Winthrop Construction; Essex Marine Group, LLC; Middlesex Hospital; Peck & Ficarra, Attorneys at Law; Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home; Safety Zone; Gerald Tarre; Northwestern Mutual Financial Network; and Wells Fargo.

Supplies for the event were contributed by Joseph Shea, Clark Group, Essex Meadows; Essex Lions Club; CT Rental; and Ashleigh’s Garden.

For anyone wishing to learn more about Rotary, the Rotary Club of Essex website can be accessed at http://www.rotaryclubofessex.com/.

Local Author J.A. Friedland Presents Latest Book at Ivoryton Library This Evening

IVORYTON  — The Ivoryton Library welcomes professor, author and Ivoryton resident J.A. Friedland to read from and sign his new book “American Steam,” Thursday, July 23, at 7 p.m.

Friedland’s book is available at amazon.com and copies will be available for purchase at the event.

For more information, call the library at 860-767-1252. The Ivoryton Library is located at 106 Main St. in Ivoryton.

Essex Land Trust Hosts Falls River Family Canoe & Kayak Trip Tomorrow

Falls River PreserveESSEX — Explore Falls River Pond, the site of three Essex Land Trust properties, from your canoe or kayak.

On Sunday, July 19, Essex Land Trust will host a two-hour, naturalist-led, family paddle in calm waters to allow participants to see abundant wildlife, including an active egret rookery and several purple martin colonies. The trip leaders will recount the human and natural history of this river that was first dammed in the late 1600s and was instrumental in the economic and social development of the local towns.

Encourage your family and friends to join this trip.

Launch your boats from the small public park on Falls River Drive, just off of Main St. in Ivoryton. Plan to arrive by 3:30 p.m. to sign waiver form for a prompt 4 p.m. departure from the small public park on Falls River Dr., just off Main St. in Ivoryton.

Rain cancels.

Another Performance of Sold Out ‘South Pacific’ Now Added at Ivoryton Playhouse

In rehearsal for 'South Pacific' are (from left to right) David Edwards (Director) Maxwell Carmel, Brian Michael Henry, Johann George, Morgan Morse, Matthew Gregory, Steven Mooney, Grant Benedict and Michael Sullivan. Photograph by Jacqui Hubbard.

In rehearsal for ‘South Pacific’ are (from left to right) David Edwards (Director) Maxwell Carmel, Brian Michael Henry, Johann George, Morgan Morse, Matthew Gregory, Steven Mooney, Grant Benedict and Michael Sullivan. Photograph by Jacqui Hubbard.

IVORYTON – 07/17 Update: Due to the overwhelming demand for tickets for the sold out production of ‘South Pacific’ with David Pittsinger and Patricia Schuman in lead roles, an extra performance has now been added on Thursday, July 23, at 2 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org or by calling the box office at 860 767 7318

The issue of racism is front and center in America today and the Ivoryton Playhouse production of ‘South Pacific’ could not be more timely.

The story for Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1949 musical is drawn from a Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel by James A. Michener, entitled ‘Tales of the South Pacific,’ and is considered by most critics to be among the greatest musicals of the twentieth century. For their adaptation, Rodgers and Hammerstein, along with co-writer Joshua Logan, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1950.

The original Broadway production won 10 Tony Awards, including all four acting awards, and many of its songs went on to have a life of their own outside of the musical, including “Some Enchanted Evening,” “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair,” “Happy Talk,” “Bali Ha’i,” “Younger than Springtime,” and “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy.”

It inspired a 1958 film adaptation and has enjoyed numerous successful revivals, including Broadway revivals in 1955 and 2008, and West End revivals in 1988 and 2001. The original production featured Mary Martin as Ensign Nellie Forbush and opera star Ezio Pinza, as Emile de Becque.

Ivoryton Playhouse is thrilled to announce that world renowned American bass-baritone David Pittsinger* will be reprising his Kennedy Center role as Emile de Becque in this production.  He will be joined by his wife, internationally celebrated soprano Patricia Schuman, who will also be making her Ivoryton Playhouse debut, as Bloody Mary.

The Playhouse production of ‘South Pacific’ is directed by David Edwards, who starred last year as Albin in our hugely popular production of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES. David has played both Cable and DeBecque and last directed this show at Surflight Theatre. Michael A. Dattillo is the Executive Producer.

Along with Pittsinger and Schuman, the show also features Peter Carrier* as Cable, Adrianne Hicks* as Nellie, William Selby* as Billis, R. Bruce Connelly* as Captain Brackett and Annelise Cepero as Liat.

The musical is directed by Michael McAssey, the set designed by Daniel Nischan, the lighting by Marcus Abbott and the costumes are by Lenore Grunko.

‘South Pacific’ opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse July 1 and runs through July 26, 2015. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

There will be no performance on July 4; there will be two additional Saturday matinees on July 18 and 25 at 2 p.m. and one additional matinee on Thursday, July 16.

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.

This production is generously sponsored by Middlesex Hospital, Middle Oak and Guilford Savings Bank.

 

Simply Sharing Receives Grant from Community Foundation of Middlesex County.

Simply Sharing 2

Cynthia Clegg (left), President and CEO of Community Foundation of Middlesex County, presents Alison Brinkmann, President and Founder of Simply Sharing, with a ‘check’ from the Foundation.

ESSEX — Simply Sharing has been awarded a $3,000 grant for 2015 in support of their Beds and Bedding Program.  The grant is funded by the Community Foundation of Middlesex County/River View Cemetery Fund.

This one-year grant award specifically supports the purchase of new beds and bedding for the families and individuals in need. The grant money was used to purchase beds, frames and pillows to help five families with children and three adults. The deliveries were made to everyone in two days in the same week with the help of the organization’s many volunteers.

Mattresses purchased by Simply Sharing with the grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County.

Mattresses purchased by Simply Sharing with the grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County.

Simply Sharing provides basic furniture, household goods and occasional “interior design” input to individuals and families transitioning from homelessness to sustainable and supportive housing.  The organization accepts approved donations from individuals and businesses.

In addition, the organization welcomes any financial donations, which allow them to maintain the warehouse, deliver to those in need and purchase items which have not been donated or cannot be accepted such as mattresses and pillows. Simply Sharing is an all-volunteer based organization.

For more information, visit www.simplysharing.org.

The Community Foundation of Middlesex County is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life in Middlesex County. Its mission is to work with charity-minded individuals and organizations to build permanent endowments and other charitable funds and to support local non-profit organizations through effective grant making to address community needs.

Since its founding in 1997, the Community Foundation has awarded 1,295 grants totaling over $4 million to nonprofit organizations for the arts; cultural and heritage programs; educational activities; environmental improvements; and for health and human services.

Essex Library Offers a Summer Selection of Romance Movies … Plus Dessert, Thursdays

summerfilmsESSEX — Join Essex Library for a six-week film series of romantic movies from around the world and desserts that are inspired by their locations. The films will be shown on Thursdays at 7 p.m. in the Library’s air-conditioned Program Room. Stop by or call the Library to reserve your seat (and dessert!) at (860) 767-1560.

The full schedule is as follows:

7/16 – The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015) Rated PG. 122 minutes. Starring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy.

7/23 – Defending Your Life (1991) Rated PG. 112 minutes. Starring Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep.

7/30 – The Wrong Box (1966) 105 minutes. Starring John Mills, Michael Caine and Ralph Richardson.

8/6 – The Umbrellas of Cherbourg  (original title: “Les parapluies de Cherbourg”) (1964)  91 minutes. Starring Catherine Deneuve, Nino Castelnuovo and Anne Vernon.

8/13 – In The Mood For Love (original title: “Fa yeung nin wa”) (2000) Rated PG. 98 Minutes. Starring Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung and Ping Lam Siu.

8/20 – Il Postino (The Postman) (1994) Rated PG. 108 minutes. Starring Massimo Troisi, Phillippe Noiret and Maria Grazia Cucinotta.

Letter to the Editor: Thanks All Round from Library Directors for Successful Fundraiser at Ivoryton Playhouse

To the Editor:

The Ivoryton Library and Friends of the Essex Library sponsored the first and now annual, joint fundraiser on Thursday, July 9th at the Ivoryton Playhouse.  Thank you to those who attended the event and those who baked cookies for the “Meet the Cast” party following the “South Pacific” performance.  This would not have been possible without the generous support of the Ivoryton Playhouse and of Krista May, Managing Director of the Playhouse, who provided untiring assistance.  For all, we are particularly grateful.

Our libraries serve as community centers.  We strive to provide a variety of programs, services and events that enrich both our intellectual and entertainment experiences.  It was a thrill for us who were involved in organizing this event to receive such a positive response.

Sincerely,

Richard Conroy and Elizabeth Alvord

Editor’s Note: Richard Conroy is the Director of the Essex Library and Elizabeth Alvord is the Director of the Ivoryton Library.

Edward Jones Hosts Free Children’s Ice Cream Day in Essex, July 25

Adam Richwine stands with his family in front of the Edward Jones office in Essex, where he will be serving ice cream on July 25.

Adam Richwine, his wife Shannon and their children, Bella, Alex, Aaron, and Jameson, enjoy some ice cream in front of the Edward Jones office in Essex, where free ice cream will be served July 25.

ESSEX — Take a delicious break from the summer heat as you stroll through downtown Essex on Saturday, July 25, with a visit to the beautiful patio of Edward Jones at 2 Essex Square in Essex.  From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Adam Richwine, Financial Advisor with Edward Jones, will be offering children and the young at heart free ice cream from Scoops on the patio in front of Edward Jones at the top of Main Street in Essex.

Richwine, who opened Edward Jones in Essex this past December, had been thinking of a way to do something fun for the community with family friendly twist.  Richwine, who has four children and lives in Killingworth, has 12 years of investment experience providing clients with  solutions to their retirement needs.  “We wanted to find a way to introduce ourselves to the community in a fun, family oriented way.  Let’s face it – on a summer afternoon, most people would rather discuss ice cream flavors than their investment risk tolerance.  We’re looking forward to meeting people and having a fun afternoon in the village.”

Michelle Davis, Owner of Scoops in Centerbrook, is excited to partner with Richwine for his fun event and hopes that many visitors to Essex that day will enjoy a scoop of ice cream.

Editor’s Note: Edward Jones, a FORTUNE 500 firm, provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm’s business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work. The firm’s 13,000-plus financial advisors work directly with nearly 7 million clients. Edward Jones, which ranked No. 6 on FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For 2015,” is headquartered in St. Louis. The Edward Jones website is www.edwardjones.com, and its recruiting website is www.careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.

Take Essex Land Trust’s Mystery Hike Today

Explore this beautiful section of Ivoryton with the Essex land Trust.

Explore this beautiful section of Ivoryton with the Essex land Trust.

IVORYTON — Come explore Comstock Park — a new Essex Land Trust preserve — on Saturday, July 11 at 9 a.m. Be among the first to discover this new Ivoryton gem.

Steward John Cosenza will lead a hike across the recently purchased 18 acres of open space, yet to be named, available to the community. Work is well advanced in establishing trails and access to this combination of marsh and upland with a stream that flows into the Falls River.

The property is still being inventoried and there are plans for a boardwalk through some of the marshes and a footbridge across the stream. Hikers should wear appropriate footwear for wet soil conditions.

Access and parking at the end of Park Road, Ivoryton, across from Comstock Park. Bad weather cancels.

“Mahogany Memories” Boat Show at Connecticut River Museum Today

The heritage of wooden boats comes to life on the docks of the Connecticut River Museum.  Photo courtesy of Southern New England Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society.

The heritage of wooden boats comes to life on the docks of the Connecticut River Museum.  Photo courtesy of Southern New England Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society.

ESSEX — The Southern New England Chapter (SNEC) of The Antique and Classic Boat Society will present the 31st annual “Mahogany Memories” boat show on the grounds and docks of the Connecticut River Museum (CRM) on Saturday, July 11, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Admission is free.

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

The SNEC president David McFarlin notes, “SNEC members are always excited to participate in this show at the Connecticut River Museum.  They all work hard at restoring and maintaining these wonderful boats and enjoy showing them to the public.”  Christopher Dobbs, CRM Executive Director comments, “We are pleased to host this incredible regional show that celebrates the heritage of fun on the water.  It is a wonderful event for all ages that builds interest and appreciation for the wooden boat tradition. ”

Schuyler Thomson and Frank Christinat from the Canoeworks in Norfolk will be demonstrating and involving show participants in a series of wood bending exercises as they build a new boat.  Also on display will be last year’s build, a 14-foot canoe and some other interesting canoes.

The CRM’s Boatbuilding Workshop will be on view throughout the weekend.  The workshop, geared towards first-time boat builders, allows participants to work with experienced volunteers and go home at the end of the weekend with a 12 foot rowing skiff.  The museum commissioned Paul Kessinger, a local wooden boat builder from Guilford, Conn., to build the first CRM 12 in 2014.  Kessinger says, “This is a perfect activity for adults or families. Best yet, you will get years of enjoyment out of rowing your skiff.”  Reservations are required and interested participants should contact the museum as soon as possible.

The Mystic Seaport Ship Modelers (MSSM) will return to show off and possibly launch several of their models.  This group is a special interest group comprised of Mystic Seaport members and staff.  It was formed in 2012 to promote ship modeling and related activities at Mystic Seaport and in the surrounding area.

On display will be the 1929 Cadillac connected to the Lindbergh infant kidnapping.  Photo courtesy of Tom Tkacz.

On display will be the 1929 Cadillac connected to the Lindbergh infant kidnapping. Photo courtesy of Tom Tkacz.

New this year, several classic cars from the mahogany boat era will be on display.  Many of them with mahogany dashboards, chrome hardware and elegant brightwork are reflective of period boats.  One fascinating automobile on display will be a 1929 Cadillac 341B Town Sedan that was impounded as part of the Lindbergh infant kidnapping, saved from a junkyard, and housed in a barn for 51 years before being finely restored.

In addition, marine supplies, artwork, clothing and boat merchandise will be available for purchase and a raffle will be held at the end of the show. This year’s sponsors include the Connecticut River Museum, Essex Savings Bank, Ashcroft Inc., Cooper Capital Specialty Salvage, Middle Cove Marina, Northeast Laser and Electropolish, CCJ, Hagerty Classic Marine Insurance, Island Cove Marina, Clark Group, New England Chrome Plating, Inc., Heritage Marine Insurance, and ki Advertising.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main St. on the historic Essex waterfront.  For more information on the Mahogany Memories Antique and Classic Boat Show and other CRM programs and events, visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.

 

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Photo Caption: On display will be the 1929 Cadillac connected to the Lindbergh infant kidnapping.  Photo courtesy of Tom Tkacz.

LVVS Seeks Press Relations Volunteer

AREAWIDE — Volunteer for a non-profit that makes a difference in meeting the literacy needs of our community.

Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS) needs someone to edit and submit news and publicity items to area newspapers, collect clippings and keep records of publicity for our organization.  The schedule is flexible and mostly can be accomplished from home or remotely.

Give LVVS a call at 860-399-0280, stop in or fill out the volunteer application on their website at www.vsliteracy.org.

LVVS is located at 61 Goodspeed Dr., Westbrook, around the back of the Westbrook Library.

Pittsinger, Schuman Give Benefit Concert for Ivoryton Playhouse Tomorrow

David Pittsinger

David Pittsinger

IVORYTON — World renowned artists David Pittsinger and Patricia Schuman will be performing songs from The Great American Songbook – including works by Gershwin, Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein as well as some contemporary composers – at an exclusive concert on Sunday, July 12, at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

This concert is a benefit for the 104-year-old Playhouse to further its mission to provide theatre of the highest quality to the residents and visitors to our community.

Pittsinger is a world renowned operatic performer who recently garnered critical acclaim for his performance of Emile DeBecque in the Lincoln Center’s Tony Award winning ‘South Pacific’ – a role he is currently reprising at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

Patricia Schumann

Patricia Schuman

His wife, Patricia Schuman, an internationally celebrated soprano, was recently seen as The Duchess in Odyssey Opera’s production of ‘Powder Her Face’, and will also be joining David as Bloody Mary in ‘South Pacific.’

This special concert is a rare opportunity to see them together in the intimate setting of the Ivoryton Playhouse performing a brand new repertoire.

Pittsinger says,”Please join me and my wife Patricia for an intimate and personal celebration of the American Songbook, honoring Ivoryton Playhouse.  These iconic treasures, some of the most cherished in all of American Musical Theatre, reflect our love for each other, the stage, and the music that has shaped our lives”

Tickets for this unique event are $125 each and there will be a reception at 6 p.m. with cocktails, wines and heavy hors d’oeuvres followed by the performance at 7 p.m. Pittsinger and Schuman will join guests after the show for coffee and dessert.

Seating is limited; call the theatre box office at 860.767.7318 to reserve your seat for this special evening.  Premier seating is available for patrons.

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

Throughout the month of July, Pittsinger will be revisiting the role of Emile deBecque in ‘South Pacific’ – the role he played in the Lincoln Center production to great critical acclaim and Schuman will be making her Ivoryton debut in the role of Bloody Mary.  ‘South Pacific’ opens at the Playhouse July 1 and runs through July 26

Visit www.ivorytonplayhouse.org for more information.

Centerbrook Architects Receive Essex Historical Society’s Annual Preservation Award

Essex Historical Society President Sherry Clark, left, and Director Melissa Josefiak GIVE Preservation Award to Centerbrook.

Essex Historical Society (EHS) President Sherry Clark (second from left) presents Chad Floyd and Jim Childress from Centerbrook Architects with the EHS Annual Preservation Award. Also present at the ceremony was EHS Director Melissa Josefiak.

 

ESSEX — The Essex Historical Society recently presented Centerbrook Architects with its Annual Preservation Award for its long-term commitment to restoring and preserving its offices at 67 Main St. in Centerbrook, a village within the town of Essex. The brick building that forms the core of the firm’s offices was built in 1893, and along with several ancillary wooden structures served as a factory that fashioned drill bits until 1969.

The architects moved in the next year and proceeded to clean house, replacing large machinery driven by antiquated belts and pulleys with collaborative office spaces to produce contemporary building designs. Waterpower from the historic dam and sluiceway on the Falls River was repurposed to generate electricity. The dam has been in place and making power since the late 1600s.

Initially, the firm rented out portions of its building to retail businesses, but as the practice grew it eventually occupied all of the available space. The great flood of 1982 set back restoration efforts: destroying several of the wooden structures closest to the river. But the firm rebuilt, elevating the buildings on piles to withstand the next inevitable flood.

Essex Historical Society President Sharon Clark presented the award to Centerbrook Partner Chad Floyd as ceremonies at the organization’s Pratt House Museum (http://www.essexhistory.org/) on West Ave. in Essex.

“Thanks to a month-long voting poll from the general public, the Essex Historical Society is very pleased to present Centerbrook Architects with our Annual Preservation Award,” said Melissa Josefiak, Director of the Society. “Their marvelous sensitivity to historic preservation and sustainable building practices makes them a leader in their field as well as an incredible asset and historic resource for the community.” Past winners have included the Ivoryton Playhouse and the Centerbrook Meeting House.

For more information on the historic building of Centerbrook Architects, visit:http://centerbrook.com/about/history.

Ivoryton Hosts Fourth of July Parade Today

2015 posterIVORYTON — The fourth of July is a big deal these days in the Essex Village of Ivoryton, Conn. Not only can you attend one of the best little Farmer’s Markets in Connecticut, but you can enjoy their Fourth of July Parade — held rain or shine — with a full color guard, two Fife and Drum Corps and many other groups marching.

The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. on Saturday. All marchers are welcome and should gather at Cheney St at 9:30 a.m. A donation of bottled water has been kindly made by W.B. Mason office Supply Company for those marching in the parade.

The parade will feature Jacqui Hubbard as the Grand Marshall.

There will be a patriotic ceremony following the parade at the Gazebo featuring the New Horizons Band from the Community Music School (CMS) performing patriotic music both before and after the parade. The band directed by CMS founder Paddy Hurley, is composed of active adult musicians who have either decided to learn to play a musical instrument in their adult years or become re-acquainted after many years.  This is the third year in a row that they have performed in the Gazebo adding to the unique old fashioned style of the parade, playing patriotic songs.

There will also be a community picnic block party.

The Ivoryton Tavern will be grilling in the park for breakfast and lunch as well as The Blue Hound Cookery with some Cajun BBQ outside at their parking lot.

Live music will play throughout the afternoon sponsored by the Ivoryton Farmer’s Market.

Two six foot tables will be set up in the park with paper plates, cups and utensils provided by Kathryne L. Wright of the Hammered Edge across from the park. All are invited to bring food to share with their neighbors on these tables. “It’s an opportunity for folks to meet and share their appreciation of the Ivoryton Village community” says Wright.
For more information contact Kathryne L. Wright at 860-581-8058 or visit the Ivoryton Alliance Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ivoryton-Village-Alliance and the Ivoryton Farmer’s Market at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ivoryton-Farmers-Market.

 

 

Essex Harbor Boat Parade Kicks Off at 1pm Today

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ESSEX — The boating community around Essex, Conn., will once again gather today to celebrate Independence Day at the annual 4th of July Essex Harbor Boat Parade. Boat owners are invited to “dress up” their boats and join the parade. Meet near green marker 25 outside the harbor at 12:45 p.m. and monitor Channel 71 for instructions.

The parade will kick off at 1 p.m. and will pass the Essex harborfront several times.

If you do not own a boat, why not watch the parade from the shore?

For more information and to participate, contact Steve Rodstrom, Vice Commodore of the Essex Corinthian Yacht Club at
vicecommodore@essexcorinthian.org.

Essex Historical Society Hosts 60th Anniversary Celebration Today

Strawberry Social 2015ESSEX — Join friends and neighbors in celebrating 60 years of Essex Historical Society’s (EHS) service to the community at its Annual Strawberry Social and presentation of the 2015 Preservation Award on Sunday, June 28, from 1 to 3 p.m.  The public is welcome to enjoy EHS’s annual family-friendly outdoor event with delicious desserts, fun games and good friends on the beautiful grounds of the historic Pratt House, 19 West Ave., Essex.

Musical entertainment and guided tours of the gracious 1732 Pratt House will delight visitors.  The oldest sections of the house, dating from the early 18th century, will be open to the public for the first time in more than 30 years.  Themed displays and activities highlighting the 1950s (EHS’s founding decade) will add to the fun.

The EHS will also present its Annual Preservation Award to a historic structure in town that has worked to preserve its historic nature and character.  Members of the general public voted online or in person to select the winner.

This 60th Anniversary Celebration will highlight the grand opening of new exhibit in the Pratt House Barn, an illustrated timeline of Essex history, funded by the Community Foundation of Middlesex County.

Formed in 1955, EHS is committed to fulfilling its mission of educating and inspiring the community in the three villages of Centerbrook, Essex and Ivoryton.  These two events are free and open to the general public, and, according to the EHS, “… sure to offer an enjoyable afternoon.”

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

Flock Theatre Performs ‘Twelfth Night’ at CT River Museum Today

Flock Theatre presents Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night as part of the Connecticut River Museum’s Theater Along the River, June 21. Photo courtesy of Flock Theatre

Flock Theatre presents Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night as part of the Connecticut River Museum’s Theater Along the River, June 21. Photo courtesy of Flock Theatre

ESSEX — Tomorrow, Sunday, June 28, the Connecticut River Museum’s Theater Along the River kicks off with Flock Theatre’s production of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.  This event was rescheduled from last Sunday when it had to be postponed due to the inclement weather, so here’s a second chance to pack a picnic and enjoy a timeless story along the banks of the River.

Twelfth Night is all about mistaken identities.  It is a romantic comedy, and romantic love is the play’s main focus. Theater critic, Steve Gifford at onstageblog.com, notes that “Directed by Derron Wood and Victor Chiburis, this is Shakespeare at its best. This production emotes the text better than I have heard it in years. Their casting is impeccable, they seem to allow the actors to discover quirks and oddities that elevate their roles well beyond stereotype to something altogether more interesting.”

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

The Connecticut River Museum’s executive director, Christopher Dobbs, notes, “Flock Theatre is a master of Shakespeare.  We feel fortunate to offer this level of entertainment at the museum and hope that the audience enjoys the production and its backdrop – the River.”  Dobbs was quick to point out that the museum is only able to host this event and keep the ticket prices reasonable for all ages to enjoy through the “generosity of lead sponsor the Essex Wellness Center with additional support from Wells Fargo Advisors.”

The museum’s grounds will open at 6 p.m. for picnickers to lay out blankets and chairs.  Museum staff encourage the audience to make the picnic part of the experience.  In fact, there will be a special prize awarded to the “best” picnic arrangement.  There is only lawn seating, so plan to bring your own chairs or picnic blankets.  A cash bar will include wine, beer, water, and soda.  No carry-in alcohol is permitted and patrons will be carded for proof of valid ID at the bar.

Tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for children (12 and under).  Tickets may be bought at www.ctrivermuseum.org or at the door starting at 6 p.m. the night of the performance. Curtain opens at 7 p.m. with a raindate of June 28.

A second evening of Theater Along the River will be held on Saturday, Aug. 1.  This will be Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus.  A seldom performed show, it is thought to be Shakespeare’s first tragedy and a production not to miss.

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

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  For more information, call 860-767-8269 or go to www.ctrivermuseum.org.

Flock Theatre presents Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night as part of the Connecticut River Museum’s Theater Along the River, June 21. Photo courtesy of Flock Theatre.

Project to Beautify Essex’s West Ave. and Beyond (Finally) Begins

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

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

ESSEX — For many years there has been concern about the appearance of the West Avenue entrance into Essex Village.  Following a public hearing in 2001, Augie Pampel, Essex Tree Warden, requested that the Essex Tree Committee develop a plan for the area and that the existing arborvitae trees remain in situ until a West Avenue Gateway Plan had been developed.

Now, 14 years later, with the help of local funding and cooperation, the plan is underway and work has begun to beautify this Essex Village gateway.

As residents enter Essex Village, they will see new Eastern Red Cedar trees providing both screening and greenery along West Ave. to the intersection with Routes 154 and 153, making the Fire Department rear buildings and Eversource electric sub-station far less visible.

The significant funds for this project were equally provided by The Essex Foundation and the Essex Fire Department with a smaller contribution by the Essex Tree Committee.  Dave Caroline and his Town crew cleared the site prior to the planting and Fred Weber and Associates and his crew skillfully handled the planting of the large specimen trees. Ken Bombaci, a member of the Essex Tree Committee, was instrumental in procuring the beautiful Eastern Red Cedar trees.

Additionally, Augie Pampel, Bruce Glowac, President of the Essex Foundation, and Fred Weber are developing landscape designs for the state property at the intersection of Routes 154 and 153 opposite West Ave. The landscape design will require state approval prior to implementation, but the hope is that the landscaping will begin in 2016.

In the meantime, the Connecticut Department of Transportation has cleared the property of invasive species and undesirable vegetation. The goal is to plant areas with attractive, low maintenance, indigenous species of trees and shrubs.

Funding from The Essex Foundation was made possible by a generous bequest from the estate of the late Elizabeth “Diz” Callender.  The Essex Foundation is a local non-profit  public charitable foundation dedicated to the betterment of the community of Essex and its residents.  Foundation President Glowac noted, “The Essex Foundation is proud to be a means through which Mrs. Callender’s wishes are being fulfilled.”

Pampel, in turn, expressed his appreciation to The Essex Foundation and Essex Fire Department, whose combined funds finally took this project off the shelf and caused it to swing into action along West Ave. and beyond.

Essex Winter Series Awards Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship to Daniel Leffingwell

Louisa Ketron, a member of the Board of Trustees of Essex Winter Series, presented the Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship to VRHS senior Daniel Leffingwell.

Louisa Ketron, a member of the Board of Trustees of Essex Winter Series, presented the Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship to VRHS senior Daniel Leffingwell.

REGION 4 — Daniel Leffingwell of Chester, a senior at Valley Regional High School (VRHS), is the recipient of the 2015 Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship, provided by Essex Winter Series (EWS). The scholarship was presented to Leffingwell by EWS trustee Louisa Ketron at the VRHS senior awards night on June 3.

Named for one of the founding members of the EWS, the Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a graduating senior of VRHS who will be studying music in college. The generous scholarship provides $1,000 for each year of study, for a total of $4,000.

Leffingwell took part in drama, music, and sports programs throughout his career at VRHS. He participated in the school’s musical production, landing a lead role in his senior year. He sang in the school’s  Concert Choir, the selective Madrigal Consort, and Madmen for all four years, and sang in the student-led a cappella group, serving as leader for one year.

Also an instrumentalist, he played percussion in the school band and played bass and guitar in the jazz band. He was selected to participate in the All-State and New England music festivals for three years, elected to student council, and chosen for membership in the National Honor Society.

In athletics, he played on the baseball and tennis teams.

Laffingwell was highly recommended by members of the faculty, who noted he,“… is an extremely bright student both musically and academically,” “… a model student,” and “… a good young man who is interested in helping others as well as himself.” In the fall, Leffingwell will enroll at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Ill., where he will major in music education.

The Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship was established in 1995 after the passing of EWS board president Francis Bealey to honor his commitment to music and arts education.

Bringing world-class classical and jazz music to the shoreline area was the dream of the founders of the EWS, established in 1979.  The late Fenton Brown became involved early on and devoted many years to expanding the series, and ultimately recruited pianist Mihae Lee to become Artistic Director.

The “Fenton Brown Emerging Artists Concert” series was begun to honor Brown’s commitment to promoting the careers of young artists.  Each year, the EWS presents a series of concert performances by top-rated musicians from around the world. These concerts, held at Valley Regional High School or John Winthrop Middle School in Deep River, are presented on Sunday afternoons in January, February, and March.  A single season may include a mix of such performances as chamber music, instrumental soloists, opera singers, symphony and chamber orchestras, and jazz bands.

More information may be found at www.essexwinterseries.org.

St. John’s Episcopal Church in Essex Partners with Middlesex Habitat for Humanity

logoESSEX — St. John’s Episcopal Church, Essex, and Middlesex Habitat for Humanity have announced a partnership in mission and ministry.  This partnership represents a shared, mutual relationship between the people of St. John’s and Middlesex Habitat.

St. John’s has pledged spiritual, physical, and fiscal support, and Middlesex Habitat has pledged to send representatives to the parish to speak of their vision, to share their needs and plans for the upcoming future, and to provide helpful information to communicate throughout the congregation about their work and the lives that are being changed as a result.

“It is an honor and wonderful endorsement of our work to partner with such a vibrant and respected church. Their support is greatly needed as we begin construction on our thirteenth house,” said Sarah Bird, Middlesex Habitat for Humanity Executive Director.

In addition, the members of St. John’s will help on the work site to construct the home. David Evangelisti, liaison between the St. John’s and Habitat said, “It is these relationships that give our outreach programs the ‘hands on’ characteristic that we treasure and which helps us make a tangible difference in our community. Middlesex Habitat embodies God’s love put into action, which is a central tenet of our Church.”

For 225 years, St. John’s Church has been a house of worship in the Episcopal tradition for the citizens of Essex and the surrounding communities of the lower Connecticut River Valley. Today the parish has over 400 active members under the ministry of Rector, The Rev. Dr. Jonathan H. Folts.

Founded in 1996, Middlesex Habitat for Humanity of CT., Inc. is an independently operated affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a non-profit 501(c)3, Christian, ecumenical housing ministry.  Its sole mission is to build or renovate simple, decent, affordable houses in partnership with eligible families and its objective is to eliminate substandard housing in Middlesex County, CT, one house at a time.  The organization seeks to make decent housing a matter of conscience and action. 

“Easy Street” Exhibit on Show at Essex Art Association Through July 18

EAA_buildingESSEX — The theme of the Essex Art Association’s (EAA) latest exhibition is “Easy Street.” This is an open exhibition, meaning that any artist may submit whether they are associate artists, elected artists or non-member artists. The exhibition will be held at the Essex Art Gallery from July 4-18, during the hours of 1 to 5 p.m. every day except Tuesdays. The opening reception will be held Friday, July 3, from 6 to 8 p.m.
In addition to the artworks on display and for sale in the main gallery, there is also what the Association has called the “Exit Gallery.” One artist has sole use of this gallery to exhibit his/her work during the current EAA show. The Exit Gallery artist during “Easy Street” is Westbrook artist, Beverly Schirmeier.
The EAA’s cheerful, yellow building, pictured above left, is located on North Main St. in the center of the riverside town of Essex, Conn. The EAA members invite readers to come and spend a pleasant afternoon visiting their gallery.

Pettipaug Yacht Club Hosts Work Party Today, Volunteers Invited

Pettipaug Yacht Club is undergoing a $30,000 renovation of its club house.

Pettipaug Yacht Club is undergoing a $30,000 renovation of its club house.

ESSEX — The Pettipaug Yacht Club, located on the Connecticut River in Essex, has scheduled a work party Saturday, June 27, beginning at 8 a.m. The club’s Rear Commodore Kathryn Ryan said, “We plan to be working on the roof, including putting the shingles on the [new] roof, and if anyone has a roofing gun they can bring, that would be helpful.”

“We also have other projects we can work on that day, including cleaning and organizing the sheds where much of our equipment and other belongings have landed during the renovation process,” she noted, “Please consider coming to lend a hand.”

Clubhouse Restoration Is Underway

The Connecticut River runs along the side porch of the clubhouse.

The Connecticut River runs along the side porch of the clubhouse.

The Pettipaug Yacht Club presently has underway a $30,000 renovation of its main building. All of the work on the renovation is being done by club volunteers, according to Paul Risseeuw, the Director of the club’s Pettipaug Sailing Academy.

When complete, the renovations will include a new clubhouse roof, an enlarged membership meeting room and bring the clubhouse’s two bathrooms up to code. Programs of the Pettipaug Sailing Academy will also be held at the club house during the summer.

Sailing Academy Classes Scheduled

This summer the Pettipaug Sailing Academy will feature two teaching programs for young sailors this summer. The first program will begin on June 29 and end on July 21. The second program will begin on July 23 and end on Aug. 14. Academy classes will also divided for the morning for beginning sailors, ages 8 to ll, and afternoon classes for more experienced young sailors, ages 12 to 16. Morning classes for both programs begin at 9 a.m. and last until noon. Afternoon classes begin at 1 p.m. and run until 4 p.m.

Presently, the Academy’s afternoon classes at both sessions are full. However, there are still spaces available for beginning sailors at both morning sessions. The tuition for attending a sailing programs at the Academy is $400 for a 3 and a half week course. This price computes to $8 an hour, according to Risseeuw, who urges prospective pupils to, “Come sign up and have fun.”

The Academy’s Risseeuw also assured prospective Sailing Academy students that sailing classes will not be impeded by the present work on the club house. “Most of the class work is, “on the water,”  he noted.

Today’s ‘Run For Chris’ 5K Benefits High Schools in Lower CT Valley

ESSEX — The 4th Annual RUN FOR CHRIS 5K will be held Sat. June 27, at Essex Town Hall. It is both a memorial and charitable event, the primary purpose of which is to raise money for educational endeavors at the high school level in the Lower Valley of Middlesex County. The proceeds from the RUN FOR CHRIS go directly to these causes.

The Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund was established at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County (CFMC) to honor Belfoure’s memory and perpetuate his ideals.

"Embark on your journey and only look forward. Not too fast but not too slow. It is the ones that remain idle that get lost in the memories of the past and not the dreams of the future. We as human-beings need to dream again once more.”   These words were written by Chris Belfoure to his friend Valerie Tinker.

“Embark on your journey and only look forward. Not too fast but not too slow. It is the ones that remain idle that get lost in the memories of the past and not the dreams of the future. We as human-beings need to dream again once more.”  These words were written by Chris Belfoure, pictured above, to his friend Valerie Tinker.

Belfoure was just 24 when he tragically died in July 2011. Yet his passions – his belief in the global community, his dedication to teaching and the environment – will be shared through the Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund.

A graduate of VRHS and West Virginia University, Belfoure spoke fluent Mandarin and was pursuing a career as a corporate trainer in Shanghai. He is remembered as a charming, intelligent, ambitious man with a zest for life and adventure.

Belfoure believed knowledge to be a bridge between cultures and a key in developing innovative approaches to education and customer service. He loved to talk and knew that overcoming the barriers of language provided people an opportunity to learn about one another, to share hopes and dreams, and that just by talking, one could encourage people to see themselves as members of a global community.

Belfoure’s mother and stepfather, Robin and George Chapin, established the Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation in January 2012. This designated Fund supports Middlesex County-Lower County public schools and public library programs focused on integrating multicultural experiences, learning foreign languages, and environmental programs into the curricula.

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

To pre-register for the race, go to aratrace.com, and click on Run For Chris. (Race day registration starts at 7 a.m.) Overall and age-group awards will be given, and all participants will receive a free, tech t-shirt.

Fun Run for Kids 6 and under starts at 8:15 a.m. along with the CB4 Mile Run for ages 7-14. The 5K and 2mile walk start at 8:45a. The Run is USATF Certified.

Link to registration: http://aratrace.com/event/run-for-chris-3/?instance_id=674

Contact Robin Chapin at 860-227-6379 with any questions.

 

 

Dedication Ceremony for Enid Jobson Memorial Reading Garden to be Held Friday at Essex Library

The Enid Dobson memorial graden will be dedicated Friday, June 26, at a ceremony open to the public.

The Enid Jobson Memorial Reading Garden will be dedicated Friday, June 26, at a ceremony open to the public.

ESSEX — Enid Jobson passed away in July of 2013.  Though she was not an Essex native, she embraced her adopted community, particularly the Essex Library, and is warmly remembered by the staff for her sparkling eyes, perpetual smile, and affectionate “Hello cookie!” greeting that she habitually bestowed on them all.  She was a Library volunteer for many years in a variety of roles including a stint as Secretary of the Board of Trustees.

The Library was extremely pleased that one way Enid’s family chose to honor her memory was by endowing the recently installed Enid Jobson Memorial Reading Garden.  The Garden is located on the West Avenue side of the building, and is accessible from the old front entrance to the Library.  Visitors to it are be able to curl up with a good book, use the Library wi-fi connection, or just take a few moments to relax and enjoy the outdoors on a pleasant day.

A dedication ceremony will be held in the Garden on Friday, June 26, at 3 p.m.  The general public is invited to join members of Enid’s family a come together to remember her and pay tribute to her many years of service to the community.

Free Big Band Concert on Essex Green, July 25

Last summer, more than 700 concert-goers enjoyed picnics, dancing and the swinging sounds of The Big Band with Bob Hughes as the group performed in Main Street Park in Essex Village. This summer's free concert is scheduled for July 25 in the Park.

Last summer, more than 700 concert-goers enjoyed picnics, dancing and the swinging sounds of The Big Band with Bob Hughes as the group performed in Main Street Park in Essex Village. This summer’s free concert is scheduled for July 25 in the Park.

ESSEX — Enjoy the sounds of swing and standards from the Great American Songbook as The Big Band with Bob Hughes performs at a free concert on the Essex Green on Saturday, July 25 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The Green is located on Main Street in Essex Village. Rain date is July 26.

Sponsored by The First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC, the concert will feature music by The Big Band, a 12-piece dance orchestra, led by Bob Hughes. The group’s repertoire includes the big band standards from the past 50 years, including works by Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey and other classic bands, as well as newer material by contemporary arrangers. Leader Bob Hughes has performed on saxophone and clarinet with such bands as “The Rhythm Heirs,” the “Greenwich

Retreads,” Atlanta’s “Sentimental Journey Orchestra,” Houston’s “Chuck Nolen Orchestra” and with Marty Conley’s “Big Band Express.”

Bring lawn chairs and a picnic supper. Dancing on the grass or in the gazebo is encouraged. Admission is free.

Accompanying photograph/CUTLINE:

Last summer, more than 700 concert-goers enjoyed picnics, dancing and the swinging sounds of The Big Band with Bob Hughes as the group performed in Main Street Park in Essex Village. This summer’s free concert is scheduled for July 25 in the Park.

Miller Applauds Historic Student Loan Rate Cut

State Representative Phil Miller

State Representative Phil Miller

AREAWIDE — State Representative Philip Miller (D-36th) is applauding a recent announcement by the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CHESLA) that it will offer a fixed interest rate of 4.95 percent for new student loans, down from its current rate of 6.75 percent.

The rate is also significantly lower than the upcoming Federal PLUS loan rate, which will be 6.84 percent, and is the lowest rate CHESLA has ever offered. CHESLA will also be increasing the maximum allowed debt-to-income ratio from 40% to 43%.

“This announcement by CHESLA is certainly good news for students over-burdened with large student loans, along with their parents,” Rep. Miller said. “Hopefully, this development should help make higher education more affordable to more students in our state.”

These money-saving changes follow legislative passage of House Bill 6907, which asked CHESLA to develop a plan to lower student loan interest rates and increase the maximum allowable debt-to-income ratio.

Rep. Miller said students and parents can contact CHESLA at www.chesla.org for additional information or call (800) 935-2275.

Editor’s Note: Philip Miller is state representative for the 36th Assembly District comprising the Towns of  Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam.

Essex Library Hosts Art Exhibit by Alan James During July

'Main Street Essex' by Alan James

‘Main Street Essex’ by Alan James

An art exhibit will be held at the Essex Library Association through the month of July featuring guest artist, Alan James.

Deep River resident Alan James was born and raised in New Haven, CT. His passion for art began as a child and was reawakened after a successful career as a musician. His professional affiliations include the New England Watercolor Society, the Lyme Art Association and the Mystic Art Center.

He says: “I always strive to capture the essence of the scene so as to allow the viewer’s eye to finish the painting by utilizing simple and strategically placed brushstrokes. I do, at all cost, try to avoid a photorealistic approach and superficial details so that the eye may be directed toward the focal point without distraction in hopes to achieve a more pleasant and less static composition.

Keyboard Pond II by Alan James.

Keyboard Pond II by Alan James.

What attracts me to watercolor is the translucency which allows the white of the paper to shine through and, of course, the free flow of the water doing its own magic thing.

The combination of painting en plein air and the unforgiving nature of the medium, allows me to work in rapid fashion so as to capture the essence of the scene and exploit a loose approach for maximum impact.”

Essex Rotary Honors Current, New Scholarship Recipients at Annual Meeting

Essex Rotary Club's scholarship recipients. were honored at the club's annual meeting. From left to right, Scott Nelson (Rotary Club Scholarship Chair), Claire Halloran, Mason King, Morgan Hines, Glenn Holmes, Harrison Taylor and Jordan Wells (incoming Rotary Club president).  Absent were Allyson Clark, Emily LeGrand and Emma Weeks.

Essex Rotary Club’s scholarship recipients were honored at the club’s annual meeting. Standing from left to right are Scott Nelson (Rotary Club Scholarship Chair), Claire Halloran (2015 scholarship recipient), Mason King, Morgan Hines and Glenn Holmes, who are all current scholarship recipients, Harrison Taylor (2015 scholarship recipient) and Jordan Welles (incoming Rotary Club president). Absent were Allyson Clark, Emily LeGrand and Emma Weeks, who are also all current scholarship recipients.

ESSEX –The Rotary Club of Essex honors current scholarship holders at their annual meeting where they talk about their experiences and plans for the future.

Two four-year college scholarships are awarded to high school seniors each year.  This year’s recipients are Claire Halloran and Harrison Taylor.

The Rotary Club of Essex meets Tuesday evenings at the Essex Yacht Club.  Anyone interested in learning more about Rotary or who may be interested in joining can obtain information from the club’s website at http://www.rotaryclubofessex.com/.

Essex Library Presents ‘South Pacific – Behind the Scenes,’ Tonight

4_south_pacific_tmmESSEX — On Monday, June 15, at 7 p.m. join Ivoryton Playhouse Executive/Artistic Director Jaqueline Hubbard and South Pacific Director David Edwards at the Essex Library for a talk about this great musical and its place in the history of musical theater.

The influence and impact of arguably the greatest musical theater writing partnership of the 20th century – Rodgers and Hammerstein – will be discussed.  Hubbard will talk about why she chose South Pacific for the 2015 Season and how audiences are responding.  The themes of South Pacific, including racial prejudice and gender roles will be explored.  Director David Edwards will also talk about his vision for this production and the challenges of producing such a large production on Ivoryton’s small stage.

Edwards is an accomplished actor and director who has performed on and off Broadway, as well as on TV and in films. He appeared in last season’s Ivoryton Playhouse production of La Cage Aux Folles and this season’s Calendar Girls.  His numerous directing credits include multiple productions of The Producers and South Pacific, as well as Showboat and many others.

British native Hubbard has been the Ivoryton Playhouse’s Executive/Artistic Director for over 20 years.  During her tenure she has breathed new life into the century old theater, overseeing of a complete renovation in 2006 that has enabled it to become a year-round facility.  Hubbard also directs, and acts in, many of the Playhouse’s productions each year.

This program is being presented in conjunction with the Playhouse’s July 9 performance of South Pacific, which will jointly benefit the Essex and Ivoryton Libraries.  The cast includes local residents Patricia Schumann and David Pittsinger, who played the part of Emile on Broadway.

Seats are now on sale at both libraries, and are selling quickly.  They are priced at $60, and entitle purchasers to attend a pre-performance reception, as well as an opportunity to enjoy desserts and meet the cast after the show is over.

Bowden of Deep River, Ryan of Essex Receive Top Girl Scout Award

DEEP RIVER & ESSEX — Acacia Bowden of Deep River and Megan Ryan of Essex have received their Girl Scout Gold Awards, the highest honor a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

In order to earn the Gold Award, Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts grades nine through 12 spend at least 80 hours researching issues, assessing community needs and resources, building a team, and making a sustainable impact in the community. A Gold Award recipient’s accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart as a community leader.

Acacia Bowden

Acacia Bowden

Bowden’s project addressed girls and education on a global and local level by showing the film, “Girl Rising,” at her high school to raise awareness of the struggles that girls face around the world with education. With the help of two Pratt and Whitney engineers, Bowden created a simple machine to use for her project.

The film, “Girl Rising,” can be found in Bowden’s school library along with lesson plans for teachers. Her engineering program will also continue to be run by educators in Deep River.

Bowden plans to become a physician’s assistant after she graduates.

Megan Ryan

Megan Ryan

Ryan’s project was to implement an instructional sailing program for women in her town at a local yacht club. Over the summer, Ryan taught sailing lessons, water instruction, and ran two regattas with a group of women.

Her program had 30 participants, and helped increase their skills and confidence in sailing and competition. The group did so well that they will be able to instruct novice sailors next summer.

Ryan also implemented the first Women’s Sailing Regatta, which the group will host next year.

Ryan plans on pursuing a career in engineering.

“On a national level, only four to six percent of Girl Scouts earn this prestigious honor, and I am beyond proud of our girls,” said Mary Barneby, CEO of Girl Scouts of Connecticut. “By earning the Gold Award, Girl Scouts set themselves apart as top achievers, and are incredible women of confidence, courage, and character, who make the world a better place. Next year, we are excited to celebrate our 100th year of encouraging girls to Go Gold!”

For more information about the Gold Award or how to become a Gold Award volunteer or mentor, visit http://www.gsofct.org/pages/GoldAward.php.

Editor’s Note: Girl Scouts of Connecticut are more than 55,000 members strong – girls and adults – who believe that every girl can change the world.

They are part of a sisterhood of 2.8 million around the globe. It all began more than 100 years ago with one woman, Juliette Gordon Low, who believed in the power of one girl. Girl Scouts continue her vision of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. At Girl Scouts, they believe that there’s a chance for every girl to do something amazing.

For more information on Girl Scouts of Connecticut, visit www.gsofct.org

All Welcome to Join Essex Land Trust at Summer Concert & Picnic Today

ESSEX — The Essex Land Trust invites all to the lovely Essex Main Street Park on Sunday, June 14, from 5:30- 7 p.m. for a summer BYO beverages/picnic and concert by ‘Blues on the Rocks,’ a local band.

Bring chairs, blankets and relax … or dance! Bad weather cancels.

Contact Judy Saunders for further information at 860-581-8108.

Community Music School Presents Two Concerts, Three Musical Groups Today

The New Horizons band of the Community Music School gather for a photo.

The New Horizons band of the Community Music School gather for a photo.

The Community Music School (CMS) presents two spring concerts featuring performing ensembles on Sunday, June 14.

Under the direction of Karli Gilbertson, Glee for Grownups presents, “80’s Broadway Extravaganza,” at 1 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Centerbrook. Accompanied by Sue Sweeney, members will perform solo and ensemble pieces. These vocalists rehearse throughout the semester and never disappoint with a fun and lively concert.

Also this day, the New Horizons Band and Baroque Ensemble perform a Concert in the Park at the Gazebo at Deep River Landing at 4 p.m.

The New Horizons Band is a supportive group for beginners or those who have not played an instrument in years. Directed by Paddy Hurley, the group will perform a varied program of marches, Patriotic music, pop and rock, including performances by their Woodwind Ensemble and Brass Quintet.

The Baroque Ensemble is a 12-piece string group comprised of core members of the CMS String Ensemble and directed by Martha Herrle, and they will be playing works by Vivaldi, Bach and more. The rain location for this concert is the Centerbrook Meetinghouse, 51 Main St., Centerbrook.

Both concerts are free and open to the public. Come and meet the directors and members of each ensemble to find out more about the programs.

The CMS offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 30-year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. Community Music 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. Visit www.community-music-school.org or call 860-767-0026 for program information.

Friends of Essex Library Announce New Board

From left to right,  Judy Fish, Betsy Godsman, Peggy Tuttle, Linda Levene, Jo Kelly and Genie Devine.  Absent is Pat Mather.

The new board of the Friends of Essex Library gather for a photo. From left to right, Judy Fish, Betsy Godsman, Peggy Tuttle, Linda Levene, Jo Kelly and Genie Devine. Absent is Pat Mather.

ESSEX — The Friends of the Essex Library announced its new board at the annual meeting on June 4.  Linda Levene will again lead the group as President.  Others on the board include Jo Kelly: Vice President, Pat Mather: Treasurer, Genie Devine: Secretary, Peggy Tuttle: Book Coordinator, Betsy Godsman: Publicity, and Judy Fish: Liaison between the Essex and Ivoryton libraries.

Linda Levene, President of the Friends, presented Library Director Richard Conroy with a check for $15,000 that will be used for a variety of services that enrich the library’s offerings.

Linda Levene presents a check for $15,000 to Richard Conroy.

Linda Levene presents a check for $15,000 to Library Director Richard Conroy.

It was noted that volunteers spend thousands of hours each year keeping book shelves in order and helping in the children’s room. Volunteers also prepare and run the annual spring and fall book sales.

In addition, the Friends sponsor events such as last summer’s “Our Library Rocks.”  This year, a special night at the Ivoryton Playhouse’s production of “South Pacific” will be a major fundraiser.  Tickets are on sale at the Essex and Ivoryton libraries.

Celebrated Seattle Architect Presents “True To Its Nature” Tonight in Essex Town Hall

Grace Episcopal Church Entry/Baptismal Font, Bainbridge Island, Washington. Photo credit:  Art Grice

Grace Episcopal Church Entry/Baptismal Font, Bainbridge Island, Washington. Photo credit: Art Grice

ESSEX — James Cutler, an acclaimed Northwestern architect who founded his own firm and has taught at Harvard and Dartmouth and elsewhere, examines his environmentally attuned design work on Thursday, June 11, at the Essex Town Hall at 7 p.m.

Known for his innovative and sustainable use of wood and other natural materials, his “Seattle style” has been widely admired and imitated. Architectural Record described him this way: “James Cutler, FAIA, is known for superbly wrought wood structures, including buildings on the [Bill] Gates family compound in Medina, Washington … He is a staunch environmentalist who believes God is in both the details, which he himself meticulously turns out, and the materials.”

Titled “True to its Nature,” Cutler’s illustrated presentation will review several projects that attempt to reveal and reflect the tangible set of circumstances in which they are placed.

Cutler’s philosophy is based upon the idea that, in recognizing the natural beauty in a site, owners can be moved to cherish and protect the land themselves. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Smithsonian and the Wall Street Journal, and has been the subject three books. Cutler cofounded the Bainbridge Island Land Trust in 1988.

Established in 1977 and located on Bainbridge Island in Washington, Cutler Anderson Architects (http://cutler-anderson.com/) is internationally renowned for its environmental awareness and attention to detail. The firm has designed more than 300 residential, commercial, and cultural projects around the world. It also has designed a myriad of home products in conjunction with its architecture, such as hardware, furniture and lighting.

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.

Ivoryton Resident Awarded Fairfield University’s Bellarmine Medal

IVORYTON – Fairfield University’s 2015 Bellarmine Medal, awarded to the student with the highest academic average, was presented to Ashley Rose Paholski, of Ivoryton, Conn. She maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average throughout her undergraduate years at Fairfield.

Fairfield University President Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., presented the medal to Paholski at the Jesuit institution’s 65th
commencement exercises held May 17.

Paholski earned a bachelor’s degree in English, with a concentration in Literature and Cultural Studies from the College of Arts &
Sciences. She minored in mathematics and education. She plans to attend Georgetown University Law School beginning this fall.

Fairfield University is a Jesuit University, rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than
5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 36 states, 47 foreign countries, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are enrolled in the University’s five schools. In the spirit of rigorous and sympathetic inquiry into all dimensions of human experience, Fairfield welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to share ideas and engage in open conversations. The University is located in the heart of a region where the future takes shape, on a stunning campus on the Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.

Image: Graduating senior Ashley Rose Paholski received Fairfield University’s Bellarmine Medal at the University’s 65th
commencement exercises.

Essex Land Trust Hosts Early Summer Kayak/Canoe Trip This Afternoon

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ESSEX — The Essex Land Trust invites you to bring your own boat Tuesday, June 9, for an early summer kayak/canoe trip into peaceful North Cove and Falls River, accompanied by a naturalist. See the abundant wildlife and revisit the history of this waterway where many of Essex’s colonial ships were built.

Participants should arrive at 4:30 p.m. to register on-site and launch their crafts on the rising tide prior to the 5:00 departure time.  A safety boat will accompany.  Bad weather cancels.

North Cove is a 230-acre body of tidal water between the Falls River and the Connecticut River. The cove is formed in part by Great Meadow, a 200-acre “pendant bar” or levee along the Connecticut River. Great Meadow has no public access.

North Cove was noted for shipbuilding, and the nearby Williams’ yard turned out sloops and schooners for the commercial trade in the 19th century. Empty now, Great Meadow was also a beehive of activity. Cattle were grazed, salt hay was harvested and duck hunting blinds once lined the shore. The bar was also a base for the local fishing industry and its lucrative seasonal shad run.

Popular Essex Shad Bake Takes Place Today at CT River Museum

1.Preparing Shad – Rotary Club of Essex volunteers prepare shad at the 2014 bake the traditional way by nailing them onto oak boards and using a specially prepared rub.

1. Preparing Shad – Rotary Club of Essex volunteers prepare shad at the 2014 bake the
traditional way by nailing them onto oak boards and using a specially prepared rub.

ESSEX — Fifty-seven years ago, the Rotary Club of Essex introduced the quintessential New England shoreline tradition; a dining experience known as a shad bake.  Yankee Magazine has called it one of the “Top 20 Summer Events”.

The Essex Shad Bake returns to the Connecticut River Museum on Saturday, June 6, from 3 to 6:30 p.m.  This year, the bake is made possible through the generous support of Admiral Sponsor Gowrie Group, along with Fishermen Sponsors Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services, and Guilford Savings Bank.

The museum’s executive director, Christopher Dobbs says, “We are once again pleased to host and partner with the Rotary Club of Essex on this iconic event that celebrates part of the River’s heritage and that supports the many worthwhile projects of the Rotary.” This volunteer-run event has been organized by the Rotary Club of Essex and is now coordinated by Bake Master Joseph Shea.

Bill Hoffstetler demonstrates the fine art of removing bones  from shad; a fish referred to by local Native Americans as the “inside out porcupine”.

Bill Hoffstetler demonstrates the fine art of removing bones
from shad; a fish referred to by local Native Americans as the “inside out porcupine”.

Shea states, “We offer one of the most unique culinary traditions in New England; at one of the most historic sites along the River. . . it is a winning combination!”  You might find one of your favorite doctors or dentists at the de-nailing table where they take the shad off the oak planks or enjoy a freshly shucked clam or oyster from a local banker.

Join seasoned Shad Bake pioneers for a story from shad bakes of yesteryear including the year of the big flood.  The Shad Museum in Haddam, the Connecticut River Museum, and the Connecticut River Watershed Council will also offer programs during the day on the history and traditions of the shad fishery.

Connecticut River shad baking in front of fire on oak planks.

Connecticut River shad baking in front of fire on oak planks.

For shad lovers, the lure is the secret ingredients and the authentic method of preparation and cooking handed down from Connecticut natives.  Done in front of the fire, the fish picks up the smoky flavor of the fire with the seasoned oak boards on which it is cooked.  Add to this delicacy homemade potato salad, tossed green salad, and scrumptious pies from Lyman Orchards and you have yourself a gourmet meal.

Don’t care for shad?  The event also offers BBQ chicken and hot dogs.

Share a piece of Connecticut and Essex history with your friends and family.  In addition to the food, participants will enjoy live music and touring the museum which will be open until 6 p.m.  The atmosphere is vibrant with antique cars, picnickers, and the delicious smell of shad roasting around the open fire.

To whet your appetite, on Wednesday, June 3 at 7:30 p.m., the Connecticut River Museum will host a shad fishing excursion on board RiverQuest.  Participants will get a chance to hear about traditional shad fishing, see related artifacts, and go on a boat ride to view shad fisherman ply their trade on the water.  The boat ride will include dessert and non-alcoholic beverages.  Beer and wine will be available for purchase.

Buy your tickets today to the Shad Bake.  The $30 adult and $10 child (10 and under) ticket include the full meal and admission to the museum.  Beverages (soda, beer and wine) will be available at an additional price.  No carry-in alcohol will be permitted.

To purchase tickets, visit www.rotaryclubofessex.com or buy them in person at the Centerbrook Package Store and the Connecticut River Museum.  For additional information on the Shad Fishing Excursion, visit the Connecticut River Museum’s website.

Onsite and street parking at the Connecticut River Museum is limited.  On the day of the event, an Essex Meadows shuttle will be running between the museum and several key parking locations that include the Essex Town Hall parking lot and Pratt House field (29 West Ave.).  The free shuttle service will start at 3 p.m. and run until 7:30 p.m. with pick-ups and drop-offs every 15 minutes.

 

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

 

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

 

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Photo Captions:

 

  1. Preparing Shad – Rotary Club of Essex volunteers prepare shad at the 2014 bake the

traditional way by nailing them onto oak boards and using a specially prepared rub.

 

  1. Baking Shad – Connecticut River shad baking in front of fire on oak planks.

 

  1. Boning Demonstration – Bill Hoffstetler demonstrates the fine art of removing bones

from shad; a fish referred to by local Native Americans as the “inside out porcupine”.

Community Music School Jazz Ensemble Performs Today

CMS Jazz Ensemble
CENTERBROOK –
Community Music School will present a concert by the CMS Jazz Ensemble on Saturday, June 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Centerbrook Meetinghouse, 51 Main Street, Centerbrook.

The ensemble, comprised of students ages 13 to 18, will perform a mixed repertoire including pieces by Scott Joplin, Thelonious Monk, Earl Hagen and much more. The concert will feature group ensemble performance with an emphasis on improvisation.

Directed by Tom Briggs, the CMS Jazz Ensemble is now in its 19th year. Briggs is a retired member of the US Coast Guard Band and former musical director of the Coast Guard Masters of Swing. He is a well-known percussionist, pianist, and composer and has been on the CMS faculty since 1985.

The concert is free and open to the public. Call 860-767-0026 for additional information.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 30 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so that they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.

Visit www.community-music-school.org or call 860-767-0026 for program information.