August 31, 2015

Ivoryton Playhouse Hosts Christmas Musical Auditions, Sept. 17

IVORYTON —  The Ivoryton Playhouse will be holding local auditions for non-Equity actors for I’ll be Home for Christmas – a Christmas musical by Tony Javed and David Edwards on Thursday, Sept. 17 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Rehearsal Studio, 22 Main St., Centerbrook, CT 06409.

The Playhouse is looking for strong singers for these parts:

Debbie – the mom – plays 30s-40s, soprano mix

Ray – the dad – plays 30s-40s, baritone

Grandma – plays 60s-80s, mezzo/mix

Shirley – mom’s friend, plays 30s-40s, mezzo/belt

Jay – dad’s school chum, plays 30s-40s, baritone/tenor

Jenna – the college-age daughter, soprano/belt

Jeffrey  –  son -plays early 20s, bari/tenor

Celine  – child, middle-school age, treble

James – child, plays grade school, treble

All auditions are by appointment and actors should bring a picture and resume. More information is available on line atwww.ivorytonplayhouse.org

For audition appointments, call 860-767-9520, ext.203

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Slated for Sept. 17 to Celebrate Ivoryton Village Streetscape Project

ESSEX — On Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015 at 5 p.m., the Town of Essex will celebrate the culmination of the Ivoryton Village Streetscape Project with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The ceremony will take place at the Ivoryton Village Green on Main Street in Ivoryton.

The project was funded through a $435,000 Main Street Investment Fund grant administered by the State of Connecticut – Department of Housing.

“These improvements create a sense of community” stated First Selectman Norman Needleman, “and the impressive results have come about through the efforts of many stakeholders, with special thanks to Selectman Stacia R. Libby and the members of the Ivoryton Alliance.”

The ceremony will include remarks from the First Selectman as well as other local government officials and will be followed by refreshments.  The event is open to the public.

For more information, visit www.essexct.gov,  or call the office at 860-767-4340 x112.

Essex Land Trust Offers Hike of the Month This Saturday

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zuckerbraun Joins Essex Savings Bank as VP, Trust Officer

David Zuckerbraun

David Zuckerbraun

ESSEX — Essex Savings Bank has announced the addition of David Zuckerbraun as a Vice President and Trust Officer.

“We are delighted that Mr. Zuckerbraun has joined us as Vice President & Trust Officer and will be working under the leadership of Ms. Moira Martin, Senior Vice President, Senior Trust Officer. His reputation, depth of experience and involvement in the community will be an asset for our Trust Department and will expand our strong focus on exceptional levels of client service,” stated Gregory R. Shook, President & CEO of Essex Savings Bank.

Zuckerbraun joins the Essex Savings Bank Trust Department after 21 years of service with The Washington Trust Company, most recently as Vice President, Senior Fiduciary Officer. His responsibilities included managing large and complex trust relationships, the settlements of complex estates, the management of departmental risk through document review, litigation oversight and assistance in the development of fiduciary policies and procedures carried out and followed by trust administration staff.

Prior to his time at Washington Trust, he was a practicing attorney for more than 10 years.

Zuckerbraun received his B.A. from Union College and his J.D. from the Syracuse University College of Law. He is the past president of both the Rhode Island Estate Planning Council and the Estate Planning Council of Southeastern Connecticut. He has also served as chairman of the James and Mary Shea Foundation, president of the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, treasurer of the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, treasurer of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, and Vice President of the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center.

Essex Savings Bank offers a full complement of trust services including trust and wealth management, estate administration and settlement, charitable trusts and private foundations, and custodian and escrow services. Trust officers are always available to meet for a no-obligation consultation.

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

Dr. Paul Spitzer to Give Osprey Talk at Essex Library, Saturday

'Osprey' by Kristopher Rowe.

‘Osprey.’ Photo by Kristopher Rowe.

On Saturday, Aug. 29, the Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC) will host Dr. Paul Spitzer, a renowned Osprey researcher, for a ‘Fish Hawk Talk.’ The free event will be held at the Essex Library, 33 West Ave., Essex, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Spitzer will discuss his work in the Connecticut River Estuary and focus on the relationship between Atlantic Menhaden fish populations and Ospreys. Menhaden (commonly known as bunker) are a forage fish in the same family as herring and shad.

Connecticut’s Long Island Sound (LIS) waters and the Connecticut River Estuary (CRE) are Menhaden sanctuaries. For East Coast ecology and the Osprey, Menhaden restoration is the most important paradigm shift since the banning of DDT in 1972.

For more information, contact CRWC River Steward, Alicea Charamut at acharamut@ctriver.org or 860-704-0057.

The CRWC works to protect the watershed from source to sea. As stewards of this heritage, they celebrate the four-state treasure and collaborate, educate, organize, restore and intervene to preserve its health for generations to come. Their work informs a vision of economic and ecological abundance.

To learn more about CRWC, or to join the effort and help protect our rivers, visit www.ctriver.org.

Essex Civic Campus Project Recognized as First STEAP Grant Success Story

Photos of the Essex Civic Campus reproduced from the Office and Policy of Management page on the State of CT website.

Photos of the Essex Civic Campus reproduced from the Office of Policy and Management page on the State of CT website at www.ct.gov/opm.

ESSEX — The Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has announced that its first STEAP Grant Success Story is the Town of Essex Civic Campus Enhancement Project.

Essex was awarded a Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) in the amount of $471,500 in 2013 for the Essex Civic Campus Enhancement Project which funded the expansion, repair, and improvements to the “Essex Civic Campus” located at 29 West Ave.  The Civic Campus is a gateway to Essex and a center of municipal activity, including the Town Hall, Police Station, Essex Community Library, and Grove Street Park.

The project included the installation and replacement of the Grove Street Park Playscape to improve compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act standards; the renovation and expansion of the Town Hall parking area; renovations to the Town tennis courts, and improved pedestrian connectivity between the Town Hall and Library.

Essex First Selectman, Norman Needleman

Essex First Selectman, Norman Needleman

This grant provided much-needed improvements to ensure that the Essex Civic Campus is a vibrant and welcoming center of community activity, whether for recreation, public meetings, conducting business, or visiting the library.

A delighted Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman commented, “The people of the Town of Essex are deeply grateful to Governor Malloy, Senator Linares, Representative Miller, and our partners at DECD, for the investments that the state has made, via STEAP grants, in our community. The Town continually strives to be a friendlier and more welcoming place to live, work, learn, and play. The State’s investment of STEAP funds helps us get to that next level.”

Essex Land Trust Hosts First Family Outing in ‘The Preserve,’ Today

An idyllic scene of the newly acquired 'Preserve,' where the Essex Land Trust will lead a Family Outing, Aug. 22.

An idyllic scene of ‘The Preserve,’ where the Essex Land Trust will lead a Family Outing, Aug. 22.

The Essex Land Trust is hosting a Family Outing in The Preserve on Saturday, Aug. 22, starting at 9 a.m. Be among the first to explore The Preserve in a hike and exploration from the Essex access to this unique forest.

The Preserve is the recently purchased 1,000-acre forest that resides in the towns of Essex, Old Saybrook and Westbrook. This property is probably the most significant addition to Connecticut’s open space in many years. It has numerous trails, 114 acres of wetlands, including 38 vernal pools, 3,000 feet of watercourses, and a 30-acre swamp. A mature coastal forest with three rocky ridge formations, it is home to a significant and diverse population of animals and plants.

Bring the family and join Chris Cryder of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment and Steven Trojan, Director of the Bushy Hill Nature Center, in exploring the critters, plants, and ponds of the new Thousand Acre Preserve.

Another view of 'The Preserve.'

Another view of ‘The Preserve.’

This outing will walk some easy trails and share adventures, followed by refreshments.  Rain cancels.  All ages are welcome.

Parking and access are off Ingham Hill Rd., which is off Rte. 153, Plains Rd., Essex.

For any questions, contact Judy Saunders at judith.saunders@comcast.net

 

Essex Historical Society Celebrates 60th Anniversary with Series of Events in 2015-16

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

The Pratt House is home to the Essex Historical Society.

ESSEX — The Essex Historical Society (EHS), a private, non-profit organization boasting 250 members and dedicated volunteer corps, is celebrating its 60th anniversary year throughout 2015 and early 2016 with a variety of special events and programs.  Of special note is the Dickinson Initiative aimed at increasing awareness of the impact of the E. E. Dickinson Witch Hazel business on Essex.

The E. E. Dickinson Witch Hazel Company was an important part of Essex for much of the 20th century.  The EHS and the Valley Railroad Company have partnered to refurbish the original Birch Mill /Yellow Label building that sits on the southern end of the railroad depot property.  As part of the project, EHS will refurbish the Yellow Label signs and install Dickinson exhibit panels in the newly repaired space.

A pre-construction kick-off took place on May 15, 2015.  The dedication and unveiling of the refurbished building is targeted for one year later on May 15, 2016.

Upcoming Events 

An Afternoon Stroll Through Dickinson History 

Sunday, Sept. 13 from 4 to 7 p.m.  A self-guided tour of private properties along North Main Street in Essex village and formerly owned by members of the Dickinson family. Tickets are $60 per person with proceeds to benefit the Essex Historical Society. Includes a commemorative book and refreshments.

Essex Historical Society Antique Car Rally 

Sunday, Oct. 18 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  The 5th Annual Fall Foliage Antique Auto Show and Tour with a Purpose:  Dickinson business and family sites. Co-sponsored with the Belltown Antique Car Club.

EHS Program 

A special program Creating the E. E. Dickinson National Brand will be presented by EHS and held at 31 North Main St., Essex, the Dickinson corporate office, now the Wells Fargo office building.

Yellow Label Building Dedication 

Sunday, May 15, 2016. Dedication of the refurbished Yellow Label Building and tour of the Dickinson Witch Hazel Plant.  Co-sponsored with the Valley Railroad Company.  Details to be announced at a later date.

Essex Historical Society: Three Villages, Two Rivers, One History 

The EHS strives to be the center of excellence for collecting and sharing historic resources for Essex and the surrounding area, and to be the facilitator among other organizations focused on the history of the area, so that we may inspire future generations.  Our mission statement reflects this vision: Engaging and Inspiring the Community. Essex.  Ivoryton.  Centerbrook.

History of the Essex Historical Society

The Essex Historical Society was formed and incorporated in 1955. According to news reports at the time, the Town of Essex was about to announce its intention to sell Hills Academy located on Prospect Street. It was no longer useful to the Town for classroom space and had been rented to various tenants for many years.

A concerned group sprung into action and the first unofficial meeting of the Board of Directors was held at Essex Town Hall on Friday, Dec. 10, 1954. The newly formed Essex Historical Society purchased the Hills Academy building from the Town for one dollar.

From 1955 to 1985, Hills Academy served as the Society’s meeting house, as home to its growing collection of Essex memorabilia, and as exhibit space depicting the story of Essex history. Then in 1985, the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (known then as S.P.N.E.A. and now renamed Historic New England) deeded the Pratt House Museum on West Avenue to the Society and the focus of activity shifted to the Pratt family narrative.

Today, Pratt House continues to interpret 18th century farm life in Essex and the nine generations of Pratt Smithies, many of whom lived in the house. The barn houses a set of panels depicting a time line of Essex history and an early loom that is worked on by an award-winning group of weavers.

The beautiful meadow to the rear of the property is the site of the Community Garden and often the scene of antique car shows and old fashioned summer fairs. Hills Academy provides additional meeting and exhibit space on the first floor and storage and office space on the second floor for the collection and archival files.

The EHS serves the three villages of Essex — Centerbrook, Essex and Ivoryton.

Essex Art Association Hosts Summer Exhibition of ‘Memories,’ on Display Through Sept. 12

'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.

Bartlett Tree Experts Donate Maple Tree to Town of Essex

Donated_tree_to Essex_by_Bartlett_Tree _ExpertsESSEX — Dan Estey (left) donated a Red Sunset Maple (Acer rubrum ‘Franksred’) on behalf of Bartlett Tree Experts to the Town of Essex.

He is pictured with Augie Pampel, Essex Tree Warden, who selected the location at 147 Dennison Rd.

Press release and photo submitted by the Essex Tree Committee

‘Longsplice’ Perform Tonight ‘On the Dock’ at CT River Museum

'Longsplice' perform Thursday, Aug. 20 "On the Dock" at the Connecticut River Museum.

‘Longsplice’ perform Thursday, Aug. 20 “On the Dock” at the Connecticut River Museum.

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.  ‘Longsplice’ will perform this coming Thursday, Aug. 20.

Rick Spencer and Joseph Morneault join traditions of the past with contemporary arrangements to form a musical “long splice” influenced by songs and tunes from England, Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, Canada and the U.S.  Their presentations feature carefully crafted a capella harmonies, dance tunes, sea chanteys, drinking songs, an occasional modern composition and accompaniment on a variety of instruments.

‘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.”

Upcoming performers are:

  • Aug. 20 – Longsplice
  • Aug. 27 – Small Pond All Stars

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.

Essex-Wellness-Logo-for-CRM-e1430663844569Heidi 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!”

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.

Auditions for Community Music School Jazz Ensemble, Sept. 12

Auditions for the CMS Jazz Ensemble will be held Sept. 12.

Auditions for the CMS Jazz Ensemble will be held Sept. 12. 

CENTERBROOK –- Auditions for the Community Music School (CMS) Jazz Ensemble will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the School, located at 90 Main St. in Centerbrook.

Directed by Tom Briggs, the ensemble is for students ages 13 to 18 with a strong interest in jazz performance and learning more about improvisation. Instrumental students on trumpet, trombone, flute, clarinet, saxophone, and guitar are encouraged to audition.

Call CMS at 860-767-0026 to schedule a 20-minute audition timeslot. The regular Jazz Ensemble rehearsal schedule begins on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 10 a.m.

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.

For additional information about the Jazz Ensemble and other CMS programs, visit www.community-music-school.org

Essex Savings Bank Donates to Non-Profits

ESSEX — Gregory R. Shook, President & CEO of Essex Savings Bank announced the completion of distribution from the Directors’ portion of the Community Investment Fund. Total distributions for the year will amount to $100,000 and will surpass $4 million since the program’s 1996 inception of distributing 10% of after tax net income. Donations for this portion have been allocated to the following non-profit organizations.

Angel Charities, Inc. * Camp Hazen YMCA * The Chester Historical Society, Inc. * Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, Inc. * Community Foundation of Middlesex County * Connecticut River Museum at Steamboat Dock * The Deep River Historical Society * Essex Historical Society * Florence Griswold Museum * The Ivoryton Library Association * Ivoryton Village Alliance * Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center & Theatre * Lawrence & Memorial Hospital * Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts * Lyme Art Association * Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau * MacCurdy Salisbury Educational Foundation, Inc. * Madison Land Conservation Trust * Middlesex Hospital * Middlesex United Way * The Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library Association, Inc. * Rotary Club of Essex Foundation * Tri-Town Youth Service Bureau, Inc. * Valley Shore YMCA * Vista (Vocational Independent Supported Transitional Alternative).

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

Essex Land Trust Sponsors North Cove/Falls River Kayak Trip This Afternoon

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.

 

Community Music School Receives Grant to Fund Scholarships, Pop-Up Kindermusik Days

CMS Kindermusik teacher Nancy Thomas is joined by members of the Community Foundation of Middlesex County grants committee and participants in a Pop-Up Day. Photo courtesy of Community Music School.

CMS Kindermusik teacher Nancy Thomas (front row, kneeling, second from right) is joined by members of the Community Foundation of Middlesex County grants committee and participants in a Pop-Up Day. Photo courtesy of Community Music School.

CENTERBROOK – Community Music School (CMS) has announced receipt of a $2,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County to support the award-winning early childhood program, Kindermusik. Community Music School used the funds to present Kindermusik Pop-Up Days throughout the community during the summer and will offer Kindermusik scholarships for its fall semester.

“We are grateful for the support this year,” says Robin Andreoli, CMS Executive Director,” continuing, “More children in our community will benefit from this wonderful early childhood music program thanks to the generosity of the Community Foundation and those who support their efforts.”

The final Pop-Up Day takes place on Wednesday, Aug. 26, at 10 a.m. at CMS, 90 Main St., Centerbrook.  The classes are recommended for ages 18 months to 4 years and offer a fun-filled 45 minutes of singing, dancing, and lots of giggles!

Additionally, interested families can attend a preview Kindermusik class during the School’s Open House on Tuesday, Sept. 15.  Three distinct age-appropriate classes are offered that day: Village Class for 6 to 18-months-old will be at 9 a.m.; Time class for 18 months to 3-years-old will be at 10 a.m.; and Imagine That for 3- and 4-year-olds will take place at 11 a.m.

For more information about Kindermusik, the scholarship program, other Community Music School programs, visit www.community-music-school.org or call 860-767-0026.

The Community Foundation of Middlesex County is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for the people of the County, now and in the future, by developing endowments, making grants that have impact and assisting donors in meeting their philanthropic objectives.

Since its founding in 1997, the Community Foundation has awarded 907 grants totaling over $2.8 million for the arts, cultural and heritage programs, educational activities, environmental improvements and for health and human services.

Community Music School is a not-for-profit arts organization that has been serving the music education needs of students for nearly 30 years. Founded in 1983, Community Music School has grown steadily over the years and now occupies 6,000 square feet of space in two buildings with 17 studios and small group performance space.  Today, CMS has nearly 500 students of all ages from Essex and 17 surrounding towns throughout Middlesex, New London and New Haven counties.

The mission of CMS is to provide a full range of the finest possible instruction and musical opportunities to persons of all ages and abilities, to increase appreciation of music and to encourage a sense of joy in learning and performing, thus enriching the life of the community.

Move to ‘Memphis’ at Ivoryton Playhouse! Show Opens to Rave Reviews

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 – After the first two previews and two instantaneous standing ovations, the phones are ringing off the hook at the Ivoryton Playhouse.  Memphis exploded onto the Ivoryton stage yesterday evening and audiences were captivated from the first “fantastical” number.

The Ivoryton Playhouse has now left the sunny tropical shores of the South Pacific and traveled to the sizzling backstreets of ‘50s Memphis. The show 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.

Burt’s Photo Exhibit, ‘Hidden Lives of Baby Wetland Birds,’ on Show at CT River Museum

Tri-colored heron ©Wm Burt  (15.2 x 20)

Tri-colored heron ©Wm Burt (15.2 x 20)

ESSEX — An exhibition of photos by William Burt titled, “Water Babies – The Hidden Lives of Baby Wetland Birds,” is on show at the Connecticut River Museum through Oct. 12at the Connecticut River Museum.  This is the fourth of William Burt’s photo exhibitions, each based on one of his books, to show at the Museum.

The exhibition features 40 framed archival pigment prints, all made by the photographer, and 18 text panels quoting passages from the book of the same name.  The pieces are sequenced such that every “water baby” is juxtaposed with the adult bird it becomes.

For 40 years, photographer William Burt has chased after the birds few people see: first rails, then bitterns, nightjars, and other skulkers – and now these, elusive creatures of a very different kind: the Water Babies.  They are the subjects of his coming book, and also this exhibition at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex. The book will be published in October 2015 by W. W. Norton/Countryman.

Red-necked phalarope  ©Wm Burt

Red-necked phalarope ©Wm Burt

The “babies” are the downy young of ducks, grebes, gallinules and shorebirds, herons, and other wetland birds – those that get their feet wet, as it were – and challenging they are, to birder and photographer alike: quick-footed, wary, and well-camouflaged, to say the least; and temporary.

You have only a week or two each year in which to find them.  But above all else, they are endearing.  From the comic-monster herons to the fuzzy ducklings and stick-legged sandpipers, these tots have personality, and spunk.  You see it in their faces, each and every one.

To find these youngsters and adults, Burt prowled their wetland breeding grounds each spring and summer for some seven years, all over North America, from the Arctic Circle to the Gulf of Mexico.  The result is a portrait of these wild birds of the wetlands as both young and old, unknown and known, new and familiar.

Burt is a naturalist, writer, and photographer with a passion for wild places and elusive birds – especially marshes, and the shy birds within.  His feature stories are seen in Smithsonian, Audubon, National Wildlife, and other magazines, and he has written three previous books: Shadowbirds (1994); Rare & Elusive Birds of North America (2001); and Marshes: The Disappearing Edens (2007).

Burt’s photo exhibitions have been shown at some 35 museums across the U.S. and Canada.  He lives in Old Lyme, Conn.

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

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main St., 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.

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

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.

Ivoryton Hosts Village Farmers Market Each Saturday

IVORYTON — Fresh produce and products are again offered on Saturdays through Oct 10, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the Ivoryton Green, Main St, next to the Ivoryton
Playhouse.

Local vendors provide Connecticut-grown produce, baked goods, honey, meat, fish, cheese crafts and more.

Live music is provided each week.

For more information, visit www.ivorytonfarmersmarket.com

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.

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

Chester Republicans Make No Nomination for First Selectman, Open Seat May be Uncontested in November

CHESTER — Town Republicans will not nominate a candidate for first selectman, a move that could leave new Democratic nominee Lauren Gister uncontested for the top job in the Nov. 3 vote. The partial slate endorsed by the Republican caucus would appear to set up the second consecutive town election where all positions on the lengthy ballot are uncontested.

Ten party members turned out for the caucus at town hall, including Doreen Joslow, a local businesswoman and planning and zoning commission member who said she had considered a run for the top job that is left open this year with the retirement of two-term Democratic First Selectman Edmund Meehan. But Joslow said the demands of the full-time job, and the relatively low annual salary currently set at $55,000, led her to conclude that “now is not the right time” for a candidacy.

Republicans nominated three-term incumbent Selectman Tom Englert for a new term. Englert served briefly as interim first selectman in 2011 after the departure of former Republican First Selectman Tom Marsh. The last Republican to be nominated and serve as first selectman, Marsh resigned in August 2011 to take a town manager job in Vermont.

Republicans nominated Jon Joslow for one of two ballot spots for board of finance. Incumbent Bruce Watrous, a former selectman, was nominated for a new term on the board of assessment appeals. Republicans nominated Steve Merola for a new term on the planning and zoning commission Kris Seifert and Bob Blair III were nominated for inland-wetlands commission. Blair is the grandson of former First Selectman Bob Blair, a Republican who held the top job from 1965 to 1989.  Mel Seifert, who also serves on the planning and zoning commission, was nominated for water pollution control authority.

Republicans did not nominate a candidate for Region 4 Board of Education, the local school board, zoning board of appeals, or library trustees, though town committee chairman Mario Gioco said the committee is still seeking candidates for open spots that could be placed on the ballot through submission of petition signatures by an Aug 12 deadline.

Gister, a local attorney and former Marine, was nominated for first selectman by town Democrats at a July 21 caucus, with Charlene Janecek, the current Democratic registrar of voters, nominated as the running-mate for board of selectmen. Joe Cohen, a Democratic town committee member who had expressed reservations about Gister as a first selectman nominee, has said he is considering a run for first selectman as a petition candidate, a move that would require submission of signatures equal to one percent of the total vote for first selectman in 2013 by an Aug. 5 deadline.

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 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.

‘Everyday Beauty’ on View at Essex Art Association Through Aug. 15

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A featured work in the ‘Everyday Beauty’ show at Essex Art Association.

ESSEX — “Plants and animals, weathered objects, reflecting light, billowing clouds … Art is everywhere. Look up, look down, look around. We just need to take the time to notice and enjoy.”

‘Everyday Beauty’ is the theme for the Essex Art Association’s (EAA) Summer Juried Exhibition.

The EAA artists juried into this show will be exhibiting some of their finest work. Oil, watercolor, pencil, ink, photography, collage, sculpture, monoprints, mixed media  — attendees will be delighted with the quality, variety and affordability of the exhibited artwork .

In addition, 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 artist whose work is being shown in the Exit Gallery during “Everyday Beauty” is photographer Leonard Hellerman. A quote from Hellerman explains his love for his medium, “Photography has given me a great amount of pleasure in my lifetime. Ever since the age of twelve, when I was introduced to its magic, it has fascinated me. It has always been my principle means of artistic expression.”

Hellerman served as the president of the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts for three years and his work is included in the permanent collection of the New Britain Museum of Amerian Art and the William Benton Museum of Art at the University of Connecticut at Storrs.

Dorie Petrochko, the juror for “Everyday Beauty,” lectures and teaches natural science illustration at the Yale Peabody Museum West Campus in Orange, CT, where she is president of Connecticut Natural Science Illustrators and serves as Membership Chairman of the New York Chapter of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators.

These exhibits are open to the public from July 25  through Aug. 15 at the Essex Art Association Gallery located in the sunny yellow building in the center of Essex at 10 North Main St., Essex. Gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m. daily, closed Tuesdays.

For more information, call 860-767-8996.

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’s Summer Romance Movie Series (Plus Dessert!) Ends Tomorrow with ‘Il Postino’

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.