December 7, 2016

Valley/Old Lyme Warriors Take on St. Joe’s Tonight in Class M Championship Semi-final

Warrior football action from the team's victory over H-K. File photo by Laura Matesky.

Warrior football action from the team’s victory over H-K. File photo by Laura Matesky.

Tonight at 6:30 p.m. on their home field at Deep River, the top-seeded Valley/Old Lyme Warriors face Saint Joseph’s in the semi-finals of the CIAC Class M football championship.

Go Warriors!

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Ivoryton Hosts Sixth Annual Illuminations Extravaganza Tonight

Tree4IVORYTON — Looking for a different way to celebrate Christmas? Then head down to Ivoryton for the Seventh Annual Ivoryton Illuminations on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 5 to 8 p.m.

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

Family activities from 5 p.m. include writing letters to Santa and cards to our soldiers which is taking place at the Ivoryton Library; Christmas Craft making and visits with Santa in the Playhouse (bring your camera if you want a picture!); a Holiday Bazaar featuring community and local church groups in the Fire House; an Elf Scavenger Hunt, open auditions at iCRV Radio, a Petting Zoo provided by Circle K Farm, fine art for gift giving at Six Summit Gallery as well as special events at The Ivoryton Tavern and Cafe, Blue Hound Cookery and Taproom, The Copper Beech Inn, Elephant Crossing, The Ivoryton Inn and Porky Pete’s BBQ & Brew.

Music will be provided by local musicians playing at various locations throughout the village.  There will also be Stuff a Cruiser to support Shoreline Soup Kitchens and bring a new, unwrapped toy to Ivoryton Library to benefit the Child and Family Agency of SECT.

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

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

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

For more information, visit www.ivorytonalliance.org

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Christmas Fair to be Held at Ivoryton Congregational Church Today

A Christmas Fair with luncheon will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Ivoryton Congregational Church, 57 Main Street, Ivoryton.

Come for lunch or shop before the Ivoryton Illuminations.  Enjoy soup, sandwiches and dessert for lunch.

This event features an assortment of handcrafted gifts, the church’s famous bean soup, and published cookbook, teacup raffle and silent auction,
A donation to the Mitten Tree is most welcome — mittens, gloves, hats, scarves for children and adults are donated to the Essex Elementary School and Lower Valley Visiting Nurses.
Call Isobel @ 860-767-8167 or the church office @ 860-767-1004 for more information.
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Essex Church Hosts ‘Christmas on the Hill Craft Fair’ Today

ESSEX — The annual Christmas on the Hill Christmas Craft Fair at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 14 Prospect Street, Essex, CT., will be held on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. In the parish hall.

There will be a silent auction, raffle baskets, baked goods, hand made Christmas ornaments and knitted items, a Christmas boutique, greenery, and a cafe lunch.

Come to our old-fashioned church fair, catch the spirit of this beautiful season, and enjoy Christmas shopping without the stress.

For more information, call Pat Rivers 860-767-2671

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Inaugural ‘Advent in Essex’ Celebration Planned; Essex Churches to Participate in Series of Advent Programs

Advent in Essex celebrations take place at the churches in the Essex Villages, including The First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC.

Advent in Essex celebrations take place at the churches in the Essex Villages, including The First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC.

ESSEX — The churches of the Essex Villages have jointly coordinated some special celebrations  throughout the Advent season  (Nov. 27 – Dec. 18) at their respective houses of worship.

Every Tuesday in Advent, a Potluck Dinner and Compline (Night Prayers) will take place at Trinity Lutheran Church in Centerbrook at 6:15 p.m. Bring a dish and come for a time of conversation, followed by a prayer service at 7:00 p.m.

On Dec. 3, St. John’s Episcopal Church in the Village of Essex will host “Making Space For Stillness” from 10 am to 1 pm. The church’s Sanctuary will be open for rest, mindfulness, meditation and prayer.

A “Christmas Soiree” is planned for Dec. 9, at 5:30 p.m. at The First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC, 6 Methodist Hill in Essex Village. Enjoy food, wine and soft drinks, followed by music and carols. Tickets are $12 per person at the door.

On Dec. 10, The First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC also sponsors “Advent Quiet Day” in the church Sanctuary from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Anne Simpkinson from the Mercy Center in Madison, CT will teach participants about contemplative practices and help cultivate inner stillness for the Advent season.

“A Service of Lessons and Carols” will be held on Dec. 11, at 4 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church. A reception follows. The Service of Lessons and Carols for Advent was originally celebrated at King’s College, Cambridge.

On Dec. 18, at 3:30 p.m., The First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC hosts a “Blue Christmas Community Service” of grieving, praying and healing for all who are missing loved ones during the holiday season.

All programs are free, with the exception of the Christmas Soiree.

For more information, visit www.adventinessex.org.

Accompanying photograph: Advent in Essex celebrations take place at the churches in the Essex Villages, including The First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC.

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Hear Cappella Cantorum Sing Handel’s ‘Messiah’ This Weekend

handel-messiah
Come and celebrate the beginning of the Holiday Season with the Cappella Cantorum MasterWorks Chorus performing Handel’s Messiah (Christmas Section), Saturday, Dec. 3, 8 p.m. at St. Paul Roman Catholic Church, 170 Rope Ferry Rd., Waterford CT 06385. The concert will be repeated Sunday, Dec. 4, 3 p.m. at John Winthrop Middle School, 1 Winthrop Road, Deep River 06417. 

The chorus will be joined by members of the choir of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme and will be accompanied by a professional orchestra. Simon Holt will conduct at the Waterford concert, and Barry Asch will direct at the Deep River performance.

Messiah is one of the most popular choral works and is a joyous start to the season. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased at the door or at www.CappellaCantorum.org

Cappella Cantorum is the lower Connecticut River Valley and Shoreline’s premiere non-auditioned community choral organization whose primary purpose is to learn, perform and enjoy great choral music while striving for excellence and the enrichment of its singers and audience.

For more information, call Barry Asch at 860-388-2871.

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Essex Rotary Club Donates $5,000 to Meals on Wheels

From left to right, Essex Rotary President, Jordan Welles, presents a check to Estuary Council Executive Director, Paul Doyle.

Essex Rotary President, Jordan Welles (left), presents a check to Estuary Council Executive Director, Paul Doyle.

The Essex Rotary Club generously donated $5,000 to the Estuary Council of Seniors Meals on Wheels program at their Oct. 4 Rotary dinner meeting in Essex. The $5,000 donation will help to ensure that Meals on Wheels will continue without any interruption of service to those in need along the shoreline. The Estuary Council, like many providers in the country, has had cuts to their funding.

While other providers have created waiting lists for seniors requesting meals, the Estuary has remained committed to getting meals to anyone from their service area who calls. The Estuary Council of Seniors serves both Meals on Wheels and congregate meals in the nine-town Estuary Region. During the fiscal year October 2015 – September 2016, the Estuary will have served approximately 80,000 home delivered and congregate meals to area seniors in the nine towns that they serve, including Essex.

The Estuary Council expresses their sincerest thanks to the Essex Rotary for their support.

For more information about the many services provided by the Estuary Council of Seniors, please call 860-388-1611.

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Essex Garden Club Decorates Essex for the Holidays

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ESSEX — In preparation for the holidays, the Essex Garden club members decorated merchant window boxes, the “silent Policeman” and  tubs of the villages of Essex .  Using a variety of evergreen cuttings from members and other generous donors from the community, the Garden Club helped the town put on a festive face for the “Trees in the Rigging” held Nov. 27,  and the Holiday Stroll, Dec. 9 and  10.

Thanks to both Liz Fowler and Suzanne Tweed for their efforts in coordinating the day of decorating.

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

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The Bells of Dublin Part III Opens at Ivoryton, Dec. 7

bellsofdublin2016

Michael Hotkowski and Maggie McGlone Jennings in “The Bells of Dublin Part III” Photo by Anne Hudson.

If you have loved following the escapades and adventures of Paddy Bell and his family in The Bells of Dublin at the Ivoryton Playhouse, then you won’t want to miss the third play in the trilogy. And even if you are new to the story, you will enjoy their exploits as Paddy brings the whole family to New York for Christmas. Carols and Irish songs and even a little vaudeville to warm your heart and get you in the spirit of the season.

It’s Christmas Eve in O’Lunney’s Pub in New York. Maggie, the bag lady who roams the neighborhood around 50th and Broadway, settles into O’Lunney’s doorway to weave a story with a cast of characters from here and across the ocean. The Bells of Dublin has become an Ivoryton tradition and has garnered rave reviews from our patrons. Here is one of the many comments received –

“The Bells of Dublin – Part II is truly one of Ivoryton’s most entertaining, fun, and meaningful Christmas play we’ve seen in a long time!  It had every facet and emotions of Life and Family!  Laughter galore, yet moving and truthful. I can’t wait for Part III!”

The Bells of Dublin, Parts I, II & III  were conceived and directed by Playhouse Executive/Artistic Director, Jacqueline Hubbard. “For 345 days a year, we work around the clock here – maintaining this beautiful building and producing 7 amazing professional shows. The holiday show is our chance to have some fun! I wanted to put together a show with some great music – traditional Irish and American – a little bit of magic and a lot of laughs. So – here ‘tis!”

This funny and fantastic tale is filled with songs you know and songs you wish you did – with a wonderful band of local musicians beautifully directed by Melanie Guerin, who also arranged much of the music. Cast includes many Playhouse favorites – R. Bruce Connelly*, Michael McDermott*, Maggie McGlone Jennings, Vanessa Vradenburgh, Ted Philips and Norm Rutty from the local band Save the Train, Jenna Berloni, Nancy and David Cardone, Emma Hunt, Olivia Harry, Alec Bandzes, Vickie Blake, Larry Lewis, Michael Hotkowski, Dylan Vallier and Celeste Cumming. The set for this production is designed by Dan Nischan, costumes by Elizabeth Cipollina and lights by Marcus Abbott.

Come and experience the true magic of the season Ivoryton style with this original Christmas musical – for two weeks only.

The Bells of Dublin Part III: A New York Fairytale opens on Wednesday, Dec. 7, and runs thru Dec. 18, for two weeks. Performance times are Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm. There is also a Wednesday matinee on Dec. 14.

Tickets are $35 for adults, $32 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.

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‘Trees in the Rigging’ Held Sunday in Essex

Boats in the annual Trees in the Rigging Lighted Boat Parade are decorated with holiday lights. Photo by Jody Dole.

Boats in the annual Trees in the Rigging Lighted Boat Parade are decorated with holiday lights. Photo by Jody Dole.

ESSEX –- Kick off the holiday season Sunday, Nov. 27 in Essex with the annual Trees in the Rigging Community Carol Sing and Lighted Boat Parade.   The Connecticut River Museum, the Essex Board of Trade, and the Essex Historical Society combine to present this annual event that includes a traditional, lantern-lit carol stroll down Main Street where spectators are invited to bring their own lanterns or flashlights and join in with the Sailing Masters of 1812 Fife and Drum Corps and a parade of antique cars. 

Participants can gather at the Essex Town Hall at 4 p.m. The stroll steps off at 4:30 p.m. beginning on West Ave. and ending at the Connecticut River Museum with a parade of vessels dressed out in holiday lights and passing in review along the Connecticut River.  Santa and his elves will arrive by one of the parade boats for visits with children on the lawn of the Connecticut River Museum.

The Connecticut River Museum will also be open that evening for all to attend the 23rd Annual Holiday Train Show at a reduced admission of $6.

Register Your Boat for the Lighted Boat Parade

A critical and crowd-pleasing part of this free community event is the parade of boats dressed in holiday lights that sail along Essex’s waterfront. The decorated boats are part of a friendly competition.  A modest 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prize will be awarded to the best dressed boats. Winners will be invited to receive their prize and participate in a photo-op on Monday, Nov. 28, at 4:30 p.m. at the Connecticut River Museum.  

Registration is required to participate in the boat parade that usually begins around 5:15 p.m. from the south end of Essex Harbor. To register, send emails to: kperkins@ctrivermuseum.org. Information should include: vessel name; type of boat and description; owner(s) name; contact information (phone and preferred email); decorating scheme (if known at time of registration). registration must be received by Monday, Nov. 21 at 4:30 p.m.  

Make your Own Parade Lantern

Carolers can come to the Essex Historical Society for a free, family activity.  A tin lantern making workshop will be held at the Pratt House, 19 West Ave, Essex from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Contact the Essex Historical Society for workshop information at ehs@essexhistory.org or 860-767-0681.

To make your own lanterns at home: 

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

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

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VRHS’s Ginny King Honored as Connecticut’s “PE Teacher of the Year”

On Nov. 17, Ginny King of Valley Regional High School was honored with the CTAHPERD High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award.

On Nov. 17, Ginny King of Valley Regional High School was honored with the CTAHPERD High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award.

REGION 4 — The Connecticut Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CTAHPERD) held the Annual Fall Conference on Nov. 17 and 18 and Awards Banquet on Nov. 17, at the Radisson Hotel in Cromwell, Conn.

Among the honorees was Virginia King, Physical Education teacher at Valley Regional High School (VRHS) in Deep River, who received the CTAHPERD High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award.

A graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University with a B.S. degree in Physical Education with a Health minor, King continued her Education at the University of Connecticut with a M.S. degree in Sport Management and Leisure Studies. She has 24 years of teaching experience at VRHS in Deep River. In addition to her teaching duties, King is the Regional School District #4 Health and Physical Education Department Coordinator for Grades 7-12.

King has deep content knowledge, a fine repertoire of pedagogical skills, and contagious enthusiasm for teaching and learning. She has spearheaded a transformation in curriculum and course offerings that has created a more personalized approach for high school students.

The primary focus of the curriculum is lifelong fitness through lessons that embrace standards in an atmosphere that is fun, engaging and supportive. PE Fit is an elective course characterized by goal setting by students, exposure to a variety of fitness activities, guest instructors, and field trips to local fitness centers. A Recreation and Leisure unit was developed to include lifelong leisure activities that promote 21st century learning skills to help the students better meet academic, social and civic expectations within physical education.

Students are encouraged to participate in and then teach these activities to friends and family outside of school hours to promote a better sense of community. Seniors may take an additional physical education course as a Physical Education Assistant/Student Leader. These students assist with such teaching duties as taking attendance, setting up and distributing equipment, officiate, disseminate handouts and reading materials, run round robin tournaments, and work one on one with students that need help with game skills or weight room techniques. This modern curriculum has fostered a transformation in student attitude.

Since becoming a certified Zumba Fitness and Zumba Toning instructor, King introduced the group exercise program into the Wednesday Cardio Workout Sessions for every block of the day at VRHS. Students are enthusiastically engaged through her excellent presentation skills, sense of humor and abundant energy. She has expanded the Zumba instruction into a cross curricular unit with the Spanish class and held Zumba sessions during halftime at home football games.

King has contributed to the school community in many ways: she was a BEST Portfolio scorer; Assistant Girls’ Basketball Coach; Head Volleyball Coach; Athletic Director; is a TEAM mentor teacher, cooperating teacher; intramural Spring sports director; intramural weight room director; member of NEASC sub-committee; Team Handball Tournament Director for VRHS Heart of a PE Warrior Scholarship.

Her service to the greater community includes: free Zumba session for Camp Hazen’s YMCA Women’s Wellness Weekend Retreat; guest lecturer at CCSU; charity Zumba session Chester Fire Hose Company for a VRHS scholarship fundraiser; Zumbathon for Chester Elementary School PTO; Zumbathon for breast cancer at Ifoundfitness; and community projects with the Tri-Town Youth Services Bureau.

Committed to excellence and developing herself as a professional, she is fully committed to providing students with a rigorous and relevant learning experience. CTAHPERD is highly honored to recognize Virginia “Ginny” Mislick King as High School Teacher of the Year for 2016.

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Donations Needed to Help Provide Thanksgiving Meals for Families at ‘Sunday of Service’

Providing Thanksgiving meals for deserving families in the "Backpack Program" in Essex, Chester and Deep River is the focus of November 20's "Sunday of Service" at The First Congregational Church in Essex. Can you help to sponsor a family's meal?

Providing Thanksgiving meals for deserving families in the “Backpack Program” in Essex, Chester and Deep River is the focus of November 20’s “Sunday of Service” at The First Congregational Church in Essex. Can you help to sponsor a family’s meal?

ESSEX — Can you help to make Thanksgiving possible for a deserving family? Today, Sunday, Nov. 20, The First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC will host its “Making A Difference Sunday of Service” by providing the supplies for a full Thanksgiving meal for the families in the Region 4 School District (Essex, Chester and Deep River) who participate in the “Backpack Program.”

This program provides nutritious food items for students to take home on weekends for families with children who qualify for federal meal assistance at school and has the support of The Connecticut Food Bank. At present, the church, located at 6 Methodist Hill inEssex Village,  hosts the volunteer-run program and supplies space to store and stage the take-home food offerings.

On Nov. 20, members and friends of The First Congregational Church in Essex will attend a brief worship service at 10 a.m., followed by the in-service project. Participants will assemble the donated food items— staples for a Thanksgiving dinner for a family of six—- and ready them for delivery to family homes on Nov. 20 or 21.

Monetary donations are needed to make the event possible. The cost to sponsor one family’s Thanksgiving meal is $55 but any amount is appreciated. Donations should be mailed or delivered to the church at 6 Methodist Hill in Essex Village.

To volunteer to help at the event, come to the church at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20.

For more information, call 860-767-8097.

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Local Opera Star Teaches Vocal Masterclass Today; Registration Open to the Public

Tenor Brian Cheney

Tenor Brian Cheney

CENTERBROOK –- Community Music School presents a masterclass with local opera star Brian Cheney on Sunday, Nov. 20, from 4 to 6 p.m.  Cheney will coach participants on intermediate/advanced vocal technique and performance practices in a wide range of genres, including opera, classical, Broadway, jazz, and even pop.

The masterclass will be hosted at the Centerbrook Meetinghouse and the cost is $15 per person.  This event is open to the public and advance registration is requested.

For additional information and to register, visit www.community-music-school.org/brian or call860-767-0026.

Following Cheney’s debut at Carnegie Hall in 2007, he has been performing concert works and oratorio throughout the country. The Daily Gazette in Albany, NY had this to say about his recent performance of the Messiah, “Tenor Brian Cheney was a revelation. Cheney’s voice was like spun gold. He seemed to dwell on his notes, basking in their loveliness. Each phrase was sculpted, each word was cleanly enunciated. Not just a gorgeous voice, Cheney showed imagination as he altered his colors or use of vibrato.”

Cheney has performed numerous times as a soloist at Carnegie Hall with his most recent performance performing a world premiere and US premiere of Hungarian music with the American Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Leon Botstein.

In 2011, Cheney also made his Lincoln Center debut as tenor soloist for the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 at Avery Fisher Hall appearing with acclaimed soprano, Jessye Norman. A now frequent soloist at Lincoln Center, Cheney will return this season for the popular New Year’s Concert, Salute to Vienna.

Engagements in 2016 include Rodolfo in La Boheme with the Windsor Symphony and Norwalk Symphony Opera and Tenor Soloist in Salute to Vienna at Lincoln Center.

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

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

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Essex Land Trust Hosts Cross Lots Preserve Autumn Clean-up Today

Ready for action! Volunteers gather before they start work on the Autumn clean-up.

Ready for action! Volunteers gather before they start work on the Autumn clean-up.

ESSEX — Help put this Land Trust’s Cross Lots Preserve at 40 West Ave. to bed for the winter, get a mild workout, and connect with your neighbors in a beautiful setting. All this offered on Saturday, Nov. 19 starting at 9 a.m.

Refreshments will be served. Please bring rakes, blowers, etc. Families, dogs welcome.

Rain date is Saturday, Nov. 26 at 9 am.

Park on West Avenue or at Essex Town Hall.

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Early Childhood Council Hosts Children’s Health Fair & Preschool Expo Today

childrens-vision-screening
AREAWIDE —
The Early Childhood Council of Essex, Deep River and Chester will be hosting a Children’s Health Fair and Preschool Expo on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to noon at Chester Elementary School.  All families of young children (newborn to six) are invited to attend for fun activities, healthy snacks from Adam’s Hometown Market and helpful resources from Tri-Town Youth Services, Shoreline Speech Therapy and Valley Shore YMCA.  Siblings are welcome.

There will be children’s yoga at 10:30 and 11 a.m.  Essex Lion’s Club will be offering vision screenings and there will be a children’s ID booth.  The Region 4 preschools will each be represented at the Expo, so this will be a great time for families to learn more about the schools and meet the staff.

The Early Childhood Council serves the communities of Essex, Deep River, and Chester.  Its mission is to heighten awareness of the educational needs facing three-, four-, and five-year-old children. The Council is dedicated to providing resources to parents and to the early childhood educators of Connecticut’s public school district Region 4, ensuring seamless communication among caregivers. 

Find more information at earlychildhoodcouncilofessexdeepriverchester.yolasite.com.

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Letter to the Editor: Many Thanks in This Season of Giving

To the Editor:

The Essex Community Fund recently joined together with the Essex Police Department for our annual Stuff-a-Cruiser event to benefit the Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Colonial Market shoppers were asked for their help to Stuff-a-Cruiser by purchasing a few extra items with their regular groceries. As always, people in our community were extremely generous with almost 1,700 pounds of food collected. Special thanks to the Essex Boy Scouts and Shoreline Soup Kitchen volunteers who helped with the off-loading and sorting of it all at the Congregational Church in Old Saybrook site that evening.

Thank you to everyone for their generosity in this season of giving. If you didn’t get a chance to participate or if you’d like to give again, join us at our next Stuff-a-Cruiser event – Friday, December 16, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Colonial Market. The John Winthrop Middle School Choir will be singing carols as we aim to collect 2,000 pounds of food!

Jean Schneider,
Essex.

Editor’s Note:
The writer is President of the Essex Community Fund.

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Women Playwright’s Initiative Taking Shape at Ivoryton Playhouse, Director Submissions Now Sought

IVORYTON:  In February 2016, Laura Copland, Director of Play Development, and Jacqui Hubbard, Executive/Artistic Director of The Ivoryton Playhouse, began talks about creating a safe environment for women playwrights to workshop their plays with professional actors and directors. The Ivoryton Playhouse is excited to announce the 2017 inaugural festival of the Women Playwright’s Initiative. The workshopping festival runs from Feb. 26 to March 4, 2017. Staged readings of the winning scripts will take place on Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4, 2017 at The Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main Street, Ivoryton, CT, followed by discussions with playwrights, actors and directors.

A call for one act plays went out on the League of Professional Theatre Women’s website and was picked up across the country. By the submission deadline of Sept. 15, the Initiative received 183 scripts. The scripts hailed from all over the United States and Canada, even Israel.

For Ms. Copland, who read all of the plays, this experience has been humbling and inspiring. “All these women!  All these women expressing in dialogue and conflict, their passion, intelligence, yearning, anger, hurt, love, and humor. Women are a force! It has been my honor to read their work.”

The time constraints of one week rehearsal and two nights of staged readings permitted no more than two hour-long plays, and two shorter plays. After wrenching deliberation, thirteen plays were under consideration. Many fascinating plays with potential had to be eliminated. The small committee included Ms. Copland, Ms. Hubbard, Susan McCann, Box Office Manager at The Ivoryton Playhouse, Margaret McGlone Jennings, director, teacher and actor and Brooks Appelbaum, director and theatre critic.

Four terrific plays were selected. The committee is proud of the choices and looks forward to working with the playwrights, cast, and directors in what we hope will be a successful inaugural season of the Ivoryton Playhouse’s Women Playwright’s Initiative.

The Playhouse is now seeking submissions from local directors. The deadline for resume submissions is Nov. 30, 2016. Submit to Laura Copland at laurac@ivorytonplayhouse.org. (Calls for local actors will be in January, 2017.)

For more information about the Women’s Playwright Initiative, contact Jacqueline Hubbard, Executive Director, The Ivoryton Playhouse, at 860-767-9502 or jhubbard@ivorytonplayhouse.org

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Community Music School Present Faculty Concert Today in Centerbrook

Community Music School faculty will present a concert, Nov. 12.

Community Music School faculty will present a concert on Nov. 13.

CENTERBROOK — On Sunday, Nov. 13, members of the Community Music School (CMS) faculty come together to perform an array of chamber music and other works at 3 p.m. at the Centerbrook Meetinghouse, 51 Main St., Centerbrook. This annual event offers the community a unique glimpse into the wealth of talent and experience of the Music School’s faculty as they collaborate on a wide variety of selections. The concert is free and open to the public and a meet-and-greet reception immediately follows. At-will donations are gratefully accepted.

Among the works to be performed are Sicilienne by Faure, Dances from Terpsichore by Praetorius, Tone Poem for Devin by Becker, I’ve Got a Crush on You by Gershwin, Slovanic Dance by Dvorak, Romanza by Poulenc, I Remember You by Schertzinger-Mercer, Trockne Blumen and Die Schone Mullerin by Schubert, Snare Drum Duets no.17 & 19 by Briggs, and Apres un Reve and Elegie by Faure.

Performers include Andrew Sherwood on clarinet, Tom Briggs on piano and snare drum, Bruce Larkin on recorder, John Birt on guitar, Kevin O’Neil on guitar, Russ Becker on clarinet and bass clarinet, Audrey Estelle on piano, Marilyn Lazare on piano, Greta Moorhead on vocals, Martin Wirt on snare drum, and Christine Coyle on cello.  The concert will feature several original works by Community Music School faculty, some for the first time.

This concert will be the first performance played on CMS’s newly acquired Steinway grand piano.  This incredible instrument was recently donated to the School by generous supporter Gregg Cook.  Over 100-years-old, the piano is in impeccable condition and features a rich, full sound, perfect for the acoustics of the Centerbrook Meetinghouse.  Come listen to some top-notch musicians perform on an amazing instrument.

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

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

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Valley/Old Lyme Warriors Qualify for Class M Football Playoffs

Coach Tim King didn’t bother to tell his players that a win Saturday would earn the Valley Regional/Old Lyme cooperative program a trip to the CIAC Class M football playoffs.

His first concern was taking care of business against a struggling opponent, winless Canton.

“The kids did exactly what we asked,” King said. “We wanted to get our varsity kids off the field by halftime and we wanted to get our JV group some experience.” … Read the full article by “Day Staff Reports” and published in The Day on Saturday, Nov. 12,  at this link

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Essex Library Honors US Veterans with Presentation of ‘Letter From Italy’ This Morning

letterfromitaly1944coverIn honor of all US veterans, Essex Library presents Letter From Italy, 1944 on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 10:30 a.m. at the Essex Library. 

This is a soldier’s story told in poetry and music with Guilford Poet Society member Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely honoring her father, World War II veteran Dr. John Meneely, who served in the Army’s 10th Mountain Division.

In his letters home during the war, Dr. Meneely described the dread, injury and loss that he experienced during his service; the terror and carnage proved to be more than he could withstand. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) had not been defined in his lifetime but it has affected generations of veterans nevertheless.

Nancy Meneely and her sister, composer Sarah Meneely-Kyder, have created an oratorio to honor their father, which Nancy will share with audience members 

This program is free and open to all. Copies of the poetry book Letter From Italy, 1944 will be free for all veterans in attendance.

Call the Essex Library to register or for more information at (860) 767-1560. The Library is located at 33 West Ave. in Essex.

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Letter to the Editor: Ivoryton Library Board of Trustees Thanks Community for Tremendous Support of Pumpkin Chase

To the Editor:

The Ivoryton Library Board of Trustees would like to sincerely thank the so many people of the Valley/Shore community who attended the Ivoryton Pumpkin Chase this past weekend. Even the rainy Saturday morning could not dull the fun spirit of our athletes or the beauty of Ivoryton in autumn.

Our library is equally grateful for the generosity of so many of our community groups who helped make this important fundraiser possible including Phil Shaller of Signs and Digital Graphics of Deep River for our new logo and signage, Box Bistro for our apple pie awards, as well as Norm Needleman and Jacqui Hubbard for their steadfast financial
support. There were also numerous local businesses we would like to acknowledge including Kohls, SNAP Fitness, the Clark Group, Guilford Savings Bank, the Ivoryton Playhouse, Essex Savings Bank, the Law Office of Christopher Morano, Essex Hardware, and Polito and Associates.

Collaboration between the Essex Parks and Recreation, the Essex Land Trust, the Ivoryton Alliance, Officer Tretter and the Essex Police Department and the Valley Shore YMCA all helped to make the lovely fall weekend a model for community at its best.

Our Library Board and volunteers worked tirelessly to efficiently and warmly host our patrons from near and far. Please be on the lookout for news of exciting changes and enhancements to our race next year!

Sincerely,

Chris Pagliuco,
Ivoryton.

Editor’s Note: The author served as Race Director of the Ivoryton Pumpkin Chase.

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Republican Sen. Art Linares Wins Third Term in 33rd District

State Senator Art Linares (R-33rd) File photo.

State Senator Art Linares (R-33rd) File photo.

AREAWIDE — Republican State Senator Art Linares of Westbrook was re-elected for a third term Tuesday , defeating his Democratic challenger, Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman, by a decisive margin in the 12- town 33rd District.

Linares, 28, carried at least six district towns, including Clinton, East Haddam, East Hampton, Portland, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook.

Neeedleman, 65, carried Chester, Deep River, Essex, and Lyme. The margin in Deep River was a close 12 votes 1,268 for Needleman to 1,256 for Linares,. Results were still outstanding as of 10 p.m. from Haddam and Colchester. Excluding those two towns, the total vote was 22,950 for Linares to 17,643 for Needleman.

Linares, was first elected in 2012, taking the seat that had been held for the previous two decades by the late former State Sen. Eileen Daily of Westbrook. He won a second term in 2014, defeating Democrat Emily Bjornberg of Lyme on a 22,673-17,326 vote.  Needleman is serving his third term as first selectman of Essex.

Linares claimed victory around 9:30 p.m., entering the ballroom at Water Edge Resort in Westbrook to cheers from about 100 supporters. “Not bad for a close race in the 33rd, I mean how big do we have to win by,” he quipped. Linares offered special thanks to his younger brother, Ryan, who has managed his three winning election campaigns .
Needleman greeted supporters at the Ivoryton Tavern in Essex.
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The Country School Presents a Timeless Lesson — Starting With the Holocaust

Author Robert Gillette addresses Middle School students at The Country School.

Author Robert Gillette addresses Middle School students at The Country School.

AREAWIDE — The Country School regularly offers rich learning opportunities, inviting authors, community leaders, and alumni to speak to students. Most recently, TCS welcomed Robert H. Gillette, retired teacher and author of Escape to Virginia: From Nazi Germany to Thalhimer’s Farm, to share the story of two Jewish teenagers who fled from Nazi Germany.

Gillette spoke to his audience about a book’s meaning, what he calls White Fire. The Holocaust, he says, was written in black letters and screamed, “Beware!” White Fire, in contrast, invites readers to learn and not to be afraid. The White Fire in Escape to Virginia teaches readers not to be a perpetrator, a passive victim, or a bystander.

These lessons echo those The Country School teaches as part of its signature Elmore Leadership and Affective Education programs. In a unit called “Bullies, Victims, and Bystanders,” Middle School students learn about the power of words. Mr. Gillette’s message, the White Fire of his historical account of two young students, offers the same.

Seventh-grader Phineas Scott reflected on Mr. Gillette’s presentation, “It could not have gone better. He kept us all on the edge of our seats with his descriptions of what life was like for those refugees. We met the children of Eva who helped Mr. Gillette with the research for his book. Mr. Gillette told us we can learn a lot from history. We can learn about courage and hope from stories like Eva’s and we can learn to always stand up for what is right. He told us that The Country School’s motto, Education that Lasts a Lifetime, is the motto that Eva believed in.”

Founded in 1955, The Country School serves 200 students in PreSchool-Grade 8 on its 23-acre campus in Madison. The Country School is committed to active, hands-on learning and a vigorous curriculum that engages the whole child. Signature programs such as Elmore Leadership, Public Speaking, STEAM, and Outdoor Education help prepare students for success in high school and beyond.

See The Country School community in action during their Fall Open House on Sunday, Nov. 6, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Learn more at www.thecountryschool.org.

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Essex Library Hosts Presentation Today on “Black Holes”

Professor Dr. Nikodem Poplawski

Professor Dr. Nikodem Poplawski

ESSEX — On Saturday, Nov. 5, at 1:30 p.m. the Essex Library will welcome University of New Haven’s Theoretical Physicist, who will present “Black holes and the origin of the Universe.”

Black holes are regions of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape because gravity is too strong. They form from the most massive stars or at the centers of galaxies. When the contracting matter in a black hole reaches extremely high densities, the quantum mechanical property of elementary particles called spin turns gravitational attraction into repulsion (torsion). The matter stops collapsing, undergoes a bounce like a compressed spring, and starts rapidly expanding. 

Extremely strong gravitational forces at the bounce cause an intense particle production, increasing the mass inside a black hole by many orders of magnitude. The region on the other side of the black hole’s event horizon becomes a new, growing universe. Accordingly, our own Universe may be the interior of a black hole existing in another universe, with the Big Bang being replaced by a Big Bounce.

Forbes Magazine has called Dr. Poplawski a potential future Einstein for his theory that every black hole is a doorway to another universe, one of the top 10 discoveries of 2010. Dr. Poplawski has appeared on television’s Discovery Channel and Science Channel.

This program is free and open to all. For more information or to register, call the Library at (860) 767-1560. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Ave. in Essex.

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Community Music School Hosts Italian Cheese Rolling, Wine Tasting Event Tonight

CENTERBROOK — A special Italian wine tasting and a lively game of Italian cheese rolling will take place on Saturday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. at Angelini Wine Ltd., in Centerbrook with proceeds to benefit scholarships and outreach programs at Community Music School. This event is presented by Guilford Savings Bank and includes a guided tasting of fine Italian wines and hearty hors d’oeuvres. Guests will test their bowling skills with a little friendly competition in a rousing party game of cheese rolling, a tradition in many parts of Italy.

Over the past few years, Community Music School has partnered with Angelini Wine to present unique benefit events that blend the arts with intimate guided tastings offered behind the scenes at the Angelini warehouse. Guilford Savings Bank joined as presenting sponsor in 2014 and Shore Discount Liquors is also on board as a partner this year.

What is cheese rolling, anyway?  It’s a hilarious Italian game similar to bowling… but with a wheel of Pecorino!  Come join the fun, either on the sidelines or in the middle of the action —  the winner takes home the cheese!

Led by Julius Angelini and Ron Plebiscito, the tastings allow guests to sample high-end wines, learn about the process of wine making, and ask questions of the experts. Tickets are $65 per person and are available at Community Music School’s business office or at www.community-music-school.org/cheese.

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

Community Music School is an independent, nonprofit school which provides a full range of the finest possible instruction and musical opportunities to persons of all ages and abilities, increasing appreciation of music and encouraging a sense of joy in learning and performing, thus enriching the life of the community.

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Letter to the Editor: Linares Mimicks Trump’s Strategy While Needleman has Solid Record of Results, Concrete Proposals

To the Editor:

One of Trump’s favorite campaign tactics is to project his own base weaknesses onto his opponent. Got a problem with Trump’s vulgar behavior towards women?  Time to talk about Bill Clinton thirty years ago.  Trump Foundation under investigation? Denigrate the life-saving work of the Clinton Foundation. Being sued for fraud at Trump “university” and still refusing to disclose your tax returns? Deflect to emails. Lack a coherent foreign policy? Let’s talk Benghazi.  You get the idea.

Now behold Art Linares, running for the 33rd District senate seat.  Given Linares’s affection for Trump — Linares was a Trump delegate and actively supports him – it should be no surprise that Linares is now mimicking his role model.  Linares has repeatedly said that his opponent in the current race, Democrat Norm Needleman, is “bankrupt of ideas”. This would be amusing if it were not so flagrantly untrue.

Needleman has a proven record of results both as a successful businessman and a distinguished First Selectman of Essex.  In that role, he has balanced the town budget every year with bipartisan support, while keeping taxes in the bottom 15% in the state.  In the current race, he has laid out a series of specific proposals – cutting estate taxes, rolling back unfunded mandates, freezing state spending, reducing overtime for purposes of calculating state pensions, among others – to restore fiscal discipline and foster economic growth.

Meanwhile, Linares is awash in platitudes and vagaries.  He repeatedly calls for cutting taxes but without telling us where he will find matching spending cuts.  This implies more debt, which his support of Trump tends to confirm.  Linares praises Trump for having “the best economic plan” when in fact it is projected to increase the national debt by $5.3 trillion.  A related issue is Linares’s standing in the General Assembly.  Even if he had a plan, he lacks the stature to implement it.  His own party voted resoundingly against him (13-2) on the recent budget compromise.

A few days ago, Linares inexplicably called Needleman’s supporters “mean and deceitful”.  Here’s my response.  Recently, Linares voted against a bill (which thankfully passed anyway) to protect battered women from gun violence by abusive partners.  The bill required legislators to chose between protecting a woman’s life and removing firearms for no more than 7 days while a court considered a protective order.  Linares thought access to guns was more important.  Meanwhile, he has received the NRA’s highest rating on the basis of a NRA questionnaire that Linares refuses to disclose to voters.

Now that’s what I call mean and deceitful.

Sincerely,

David Harfst,
Essex

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Full Steam Ahead! Cappella Cantorum Hosts Wine & Beer Tasting Fundraiser Tonight

screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-11-19-30-pmAREAWIDE — Help Cappella Cantorum propel into 50 years of tradition with this new, exciting fundraiser slated for Saturday, Oct. 29!

Enjoy tastes of wines and beers from local and regional sources, as well as delicious hors d’oeuvres and a pasta station, while you peruse lots of great silent auction items, including artwork, many gift certificates to local merchants and some surprise items!  Live entertainment will also be provided by Cappella’s own Hilltop Four Barber Shop Quartet.

The event is in the River Valley Junction building at the Essex Steam Train, where you will be enveloped by the delightfully preserved, historical space.

Tickets are $40 per person and can be purchased at the door the night of the event. Tell your friends and family.

All proceeds benefit Cappella Cantorum, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is celebrating its 47th year of tradition in the upcoming 2016-2017 concert season, Moving Full Steam Ahead! Into Our Next Half Century of Cappella Cantorum.

For questions and more information call 860-526-1038 and visit www.cappellacantorum.org.

Cappella Cantorum is the lower Connecticut River Valley and Shoreline’s premiere non-auditioned community choral organization whose primary purpose is to learn, perform and enjoy great choral music while striving for excellence and the enrichment of its singers and audience.

Cappella Cantorum continues because of the support of area businesses and professional people through program advertising; by generous sponsors, our concert audiences, members through dues and hard work, and through the dedication of Music Director Barry Asch, Assistant Music Director Deborah Lyon, and the efforts of the volunteer Board of Directors.

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CT River Museum Offers ‘Haunted River: Ghostly Tales’ Production Tonight

The Haunted River cast rehearses scene 5 at the Connecticut River Museum. Photo by Jeffrey Farrell.

The Haunted River cast rehearses scene 5 at the Connecticut River Museum. Photo by Jeffrey Farrell.

ESSEX — Don’t be scared…too much!  Phantoms, Captain Kidd, and unexplainable phenomena are just a few of the things lurking in the shadows at the Connecticut River Museum (CRM) this October.

Haunted River is a theatrical production that will take place over two nights on Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016.  Exploring the history and folklore of the Connecticut River Valley, the pilot production will incorporate nearly two years of folklore research.  This research was conducted by Museum staff and resident folklorist Dr. Stephen Olbrys Gencarella of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst as part of the Connecticut River Myths and Legends Project.

As Dr. Gencarella wrote, the “Valley has been a location for storytelling and the source of myths and legends since the first people arrived.”  These stories are often told to entertain, educate, and create a common identity for people.  Sometimes they have involved the macabre, such as grisly murders or accidents like the 1833 explosion of the steamer New England which took place in Essex harbor.  Other times, they help to explain the unexplainable such as the weird rumblings under Moodus, diseases like tuberculosis that were blamed on vampires, or mysterious objects in the River that became sea serpents.

The progressive five-scene, 50-minute tour will depart from the Museum’s Lay House property every 20 minutes between the hours of 6 and 8:40 p.m. on Oct. 28 and 29.  A ‘River Spirit’ will be called upon to guide visitors safely from scene to scene while they share their own dark and mysterious tale. 

A highlight of the tour will be a special shadow puppet show designed and performed by New London’s Flock Theatre.  While the story is not being divulged, the Museum’s executive director Christopher Dobbs stated that “Flock Theatre are masters of puppetry.  The mystery and ambiguity of many Valley legends lend themselves to this shadowy art form.”

The Connecticut River Myths and Legends Project has been made possible through the generous support of the Connecticut Humanities.  It is the first time that the entire Valley’s folklore has been strategically collected and documented.  Much of the research will appear in an exhibit due to open in 2018 at CRM before it moves to traveling locations that include the Hartford Public Library and the Vermont Historical Society.  The original shadow puppet show has also been supported by the Connecticut Humanities and will be incorporated into the future exhibit and into a much larger production. 

For more information on the Project or to contribute a story, visit www.ctrivermythsandlegends.org

Tickets to Haunted River are extremely limited and should be booked in advance by going online to www.ctrivermuseum.org or calling the museum at 860-767-8269.  Prices for the show are $13 for adults and $9 for youth (ages 7 to 12).  The program is not recommended for children under 7.  Museum members will be given a chance to buy tickets before they are available to the general public.

The Connecticut River Museum is dedicated to the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its Valley.  The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is from 10 am to 5 pm, Tuesday through Sunday. 

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Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series Hosts Seattle Architect Tom Bosworth Tonight

An example of Tom Bosworth's architecture.

An example of Tom Bosworth’s architecture.

ESSEX — The Essex Library is honored to welcome Seattle architect, Tom Bosworth, FAIA, on Friday, Oct. 28at 7 p.m. as part of its Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series, which is in its ninth year. Bosworth, a gifted educator, architect, and speaker, will talk about designing his award-winning, unique homes. 

After graduating from Yale and working with Eero Saarinen in the 1960s, he moved to the Seattle area to teach at the University of Washington and opened a practice designing houses.  Over the following decades he became one of the most influential architects in the Pacific Northwest, whose designs reflect a sense of place and emphasize the use of natural light and the relationship of the building to the landscape. 

The spirit of his house designs is illustrated in his 2006 book ‘Building with Light in the Pacific Northwest’. 

The lecture is free and open to all. It will be held in ‘The Cube’ at Centerbrook Architects, 67 Main St. in Centerbrook. 

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

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Ivoryton Congregational Church Hosts Special Reformation Sunday Service, Oct. 30

IVORYTON — The Ivoryton Congregational Church at 57 Main St. will hold a special worship service on Sunday, Oct. 30, reflecting on the Protestant Reformed Spirituality of Martin Luther and John Calvin.  It is Reformation Sunday.  All are welcome.

The pastor of the church is Rev. John Van Epps.

For more information on the service, call the church office at 860-767-1004.

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Essex Library Hosts ‘Authors In Conversation’ Tonight with Richard Conniff

house_of_lost_worldsESSEX — The Essex Library is honored to co-sponsor with the Essex Land Trust an author talk on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. with Richard Conniff, whose latest book is House of Lost Worlds: Dinosaurs, Dynasties, and The Story of Life on Earth. This fascinating book tells the story of how the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History changed ideas about dinosaurs, dynasties, and even the story of life on earth.

The event will be held in The Cube at Centerbrook Architects, 67 Main St. Centerbrook. Copies of The House of Lost Worlds will be available for purchase and signing.

Conniff introduces a cast of bold explorers, roughneck bone hunters, and visionary scientists. Some became famous for wresting Brontosaurus, Triceratops, and other dinosaurs from the earth, others pioneered the introduction of science education in North America, and still others rediscovered the long-buried glory of Machu Picchu.

The Peabody Museum, now celebrating its 150th anniversary, has remade the way we see the world.

Richard Conniff is a National Magazine Award-winning writer for Smithsonian, The Atlantic, National Geographic, and other publications, and a past Guggenheim Fellow. His other books include: The Species Seekers; Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time; The Natural History of the Rich; and The Ape in the Corner Office.  He has been a frequent commentator on NPR’s Marketplace, and is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. He has written and presented television shows for the National Geographic Channel, TBS, and the BBC, among others.

This program is free and open to all. Call the Essex Library for more information or to register at (860) 767-1560. The Cube at Centerbrook Architects is located at 67 Main St. in Centerbrook.

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See CT Premier of ‘Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical’ at Ivoryton

Michael Marotta and Kim Rachelle Harris in 'Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical,' which opens Wednesday at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

Michael Marotta as the Doctor and Kim Rachelle Harris as the title role in ‘Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical,’ which opens Wednesday at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

IVORYTON – Based on the life of Rosemary Clooney, American’s favorite girl singer comes to life on stage in this exhilarating and inspiring musical biography.

Kim Rachelle Harris makes her debut as Rosemary Clooney.

Kim Rachelle Harris makes her debut as Rosemary Clooney.

Tenderly is not a typical “juke-box musical.” It offers a fresh, remarkably personal, and poignant picture of the woman whose unparalleled talent and unbridled personality made her a legend. With her signature songs woven in and out, we learn both the story of her successes on film, radio, and TV, as well as the struggles in her personal life.

“I’d call myself a sweet singer with a big band sensibility,” Rosemary once wrote. She  came to prominence in the early 1950s with the novelty hit “Come On-a My House”, which was followed by other pop numbers such as “Mambo Italiano”, “Tenderly”, “Half as Much”, “Hey There” and “This Ole House.”

Clooney’s career languished in the 1960s, partly due to problems related to depression and drug addiction, but revived in 1977, when her “White Christmas” co-star Bing Crosby asked her to appear with him at a show marking his 50th anniversary in show business. She continued recording until her death in 2002.

Michael Marotta revisits the role of the Doctor in the Ivoryton Playhouse production.

Michael Marotta revisits the role of the Doctor in the Ivoryton Playhouse production.

This production was developed and premiered by The Human Race Theatre Company and produced at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Michael Marotta* will be revisiting the role of the Doctor that he helped develop and Kim Rachelle Harris* will be making her debut as Rosemary Clooney. The production is directed by Brian Feehan, musical directed by Dan Brandl, set design by William Stark, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Rebecca Welles.

Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Oct. 26 and runs through Nov. 13. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

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

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main St. in Ivoryton.

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Letter to the Editor: Many Reasons to Reelect Phil Miller, the Best Choice for State Representative

To the Editor:

It didn’t take me long to figure out who to support this election for state representative for the 36th District. If you missed the debate between Phil Miller and Bob Siegrist then you missed out on hearing how polished and professional our incumbent State Rep Phil Miller sounded. Phil is the right choice to continue to represent us in Hartford. He has been an influential voice for us as the chair of the Planning & Development Committee, and he has our small CT River Valley well represented.

Phil has worked to secure funding, meeting with the Office of Policy and Management, and supporting Valley Shore Emergency Communications (VSECI) grant application. The group seeks creation of a multi-site UHF simulcast system to provide better communications for volunteer firefighters and medical technicians among the towns.

Rep. Philip Miller introduced a bill in the House of Representatives backed by local lawmakers and advocates which aims to improve water services to residents of the Tylerville section of Haddam.

The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV) has named Phil a “Legislative Champion” for his support of environmental issues considered by the General Assembly this year.

Many people have told me they have phoned our representative and state senator, and it is always Phil that returns the call and tries to help them with their problem whatever it may be; Phil is approachable, inclusive and very successful in helping resolve problems.

Phil has the experience to work across the aisle, and has many avenues to help cut the red tape in Hartford and help pave the way to a better future. I hope you will join me in reelecting Phil Miller to the 36th District on November 8th.

Sincerely,

Lisa Bibbiani, Deep River Democratic Town Committee (DRTC) Chair
AnnMarie Joy, DRDTC Vice Chair
Dorothy DeMichael, DRDTC Treasurer
Angus McDonald Jr, Deep River First Selectman
Stephen Bibbiani, DRDTC member
Bruce Edgerton, DRDTC Member
Jan Edgerton, DRDTC Member

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Letter to the Editor: Sen. Linares Right for the Lower CT River Valley

To the Editor:

I met Senator Linares 4 years ago shortly after he decided to run for his first term to the State Senate. My first thought was, “He’s too young,” but then he spoke of his family’s immigrant history, his ideas for Connecticut and I was sold.  In his first two terms, he has shown leadership beyond his years.

The debate between Senator Linares and Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman held October 17 revealed a stark contrast.  Mr. Needleman’s understanding of the issues facing the state appeared thin and he had no solutions beyond the failed efforts of the democratic leadership of our state. In contrast, Senator Linares revealed a deep understanding of the issues and described efforts he has made and will continue to make to fix those problems.  Mr. Needleman not only supported Mr. Malloy and his tax increases, but donated to his campaigns and was amenable to further tax increases.  Notably, Mr. Needleman did not dispute that the Democratic Party has hired and is paying a handsome salary to a campaign manager for Mr. Needleman.  We can’t know what Mr. Needleman promised the Senate Democratic Leadership, but we should all be concerned.

Senator Linares stood up against Mr. Malloy’s tax increases and supports a plan to grow the economy, jobs and reduce taxes titled, “A Confident Future,” which was unveiled by the GOP Senate Leadership on September 15.  A copy of the plan can be found at http://ctsenaterepublicans.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/LegislativeAgendaFinal.pdf

Sincerely,

Mel Seifert,
Chester.
Editor’s Note: The author is a member of the Chester RTC.

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Ivoryton Village Hosts Pumpkin Festival Today with Full Day, Evening of Events

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

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

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

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

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

Ivoryton Library’s Pumpkin Chase & Kid’s Run

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

Contact the Library for more details

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

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

Pre-Festival Carving Party

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

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

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

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere ...

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Join the Ivoryton Pumpkin Chase 5K Today!

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-2-47-53-amIVORYTON — The name has changed and the route is slightly different … but the seventh 5K Road and Trail Run/Walk Race — now called the Ivoryton Pumpkin Chase — will still travel through beautiful Ivoryton on Saturday, Oct. 22. This benefit for the Ivoryton Library will be fun for families, walkers and runners from this area and across Connecticut.

The striking fall colors will complement the historic sites of Ivoryton included in the route as it heads one mile down Main Street and into Falls River Farms. It will then continue one mile on the trails of Falls River Land Trust Preserve and return back to Ivoryton Park. The start will be in a slightly different spot and the route through the Falls River Preserve has been
changed, based on changes made to the trails by the Essex Land Trust.

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. for all walkers and runners. Awards will be given to the top male and female 5k runners, the top walker, top male & female runners in 10 age groups (no duplicates), and the best Halloween costume, male, female and group.

The “Fun Run” for children 8 years & under is held in Ivoryton Park at 8:45 am. All Fun Runners are invited to stay after the race for storytime, crafts and refreshments. (Adult supervision is
required.) The 5K will start near the Ivoryton Library at 9:15 am.

New this year:
More age groups: 9 & under, 10-12, 13-15, 17-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49,
50-59, 60-69, 70 & up.
Predict Your Time Challenge: Visit the Fortune Teller’s booth to
predict your time. Prize for the closest time!
Tired of medals and trophies? Fresh baked apple pies for the winners!

ENTRY FEE:               $20/ advance through Thursday, October 20
$25/ same day
The first 150 registrants for the 5k will be receive t-shirts.

PUMPKIN RUN:     $5 per child.

All are invited to join us on Saturday, Oct. 22 to run or walk the race, or just cheer on the racers! The library is grateful to all the volunteers who help us and we can use more, Please consider helping out for a few hours Saturday morning!

The Ivoryton Pumpkin Chase is sponsored by Norm Needleman and Jacquie Hubbard, Kohl’s, The Clark Group, Polito and Associates, Ivoryton Playhouse, Guilford Savings Bank and the Law Office of Christopher
Morano.

Any questions or to volunteer, please contact the library at 860-767-3460 or staff@ivoryton.com. Online registration or downloadable applications are available on the Ivoryton Library website (www.ivoryton.com) or at the library. Please make checks or money orders payable to the Ivoryton Library.

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State Rep. Miller, Challenger Siegrist Face Off in 36th District Debate

AREAWIDE — Experience and a call for a fresh voice were the themes Thursday (Oct. 13) as incumbent  Democratic State Rep. Phill Miller of Essex and Republican challenger Robert Siegrist of Haddam faced off in the 36th House District debate.

Miller and Siegrist responded to nearly a dozen questions before a crowd of about 80 district voters in the session held in the auditorium at John Winthrop Middle School in Deep River. The hour long  debate was moderated by Essex Library Director Richard Conroy, with questions submitted to Conroy in advance by voters.

The Nov. 8 contest is a rematch from 2014, when Miller defeated newcomer Siegrist on a 5,522-4,701 vote, carrying the district towns of Chester, Deep River and Essex, while Siegrist won his hometown of Haddam. Miller was first elected to the seat in a February 2011 special election after serving as first selectman of Essex from 2003-2011.

The rivals differed sharply on several state issues, from the state budget and finances to gun controls, tolls, and the possibility of marijuana legalization. But whatever the issue, an overriding theme was Miller’s claim of public service experience that benefits district residents against Siegrist’s call form a “fresh voice for the 36th District.”

“You won’t be well served by a poser who has no public sector experience,” Miller said, later describing the campaign as a contest of “experience and know how versus inexperience and want to.” Siegrist, a former bartender, who currently works with a landscaping business, contended Miller has been too loyal to the six-year administration of Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy. “We need to change direction and stop electing career politicians whose focus is no longer clear,” he said.

The candidates agreed the state will likely face another budget shortfall in 2017, with Miller predicting a need for further spending reductions. He said legislators need more time to review budget plans before final votes on a spending package. Siegrist called for “structural changes,” including pension adjustments for unionized state workers and caps on bonding. He pledged to oppose any new or increased taxes.

A question on possible increases in the gasoline tax to fund road improvement projects brought the issue of tolls to the discussion. Miller said the gasoline tax in Connecticut is already higher than it is in neighboring states and suggested, “We need to have a conversation about tolls.” Siegrist said he would oppose any plan that includes highway tolls, which he described as “just another word for a new tax.”

There was also disagreement on gun controls, particularly legislation approved earlier this year that allows guns to be taken from residents who are subject to a court-restraining order over concerns about possible domestic violence. Miller supported the temporary restraining order gun law, declaring that “domestic violence is a major problem and the modern Republican Party believes gun rights are God-given.” Siegrist said the new state law was a “gun grabbing” measure that “takes away rights to due process.”

Miller said he is “very open” to possible legalization of marijuana, noting that it has been approved in several states and could provide a new source of tax revenue. Siegrist, while noting he supports medical marijuana, maintained the issue of full legalization of the drug needs further study.

The heated presidential contest between Democrat Hilary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump also came up during the debate. Miller said Trump is the worst presidential nominee of his lifetime, while describing Clinton as an “accomplished person,” who has been “unfairly maligned for many years.” Siegrist said his campaign is focused on state and local issues, and that he differs with some of Trump’s positions. “This about the State of Connecticut, and Phil Miller and Bob Siegrist,” he said. In a reply, Miller noted that Siegrist did not state who he would be voting for in the presidential race.

In one area of agreement, both candidates said the opiate addiction crisis in Connecticut is serious and needs to be addressed in a bipartisan manner. Siegrist said, “We need to talk about this as a community.”

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Republican State Sen. Linares, Democratic Challenger Needleman Spar in 33rd Senate District Debate

A view of the debate stage from the rear of the Valley Regional High School auditorium

A view of the debate stage from the rear of the Valley Regional High School auditorium

AREAWIDE — Republican State Senator Art Linares of Westbrook and his Democratic challenger, Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman, sparred Monday in a public debate for the 33rd Senate District contest.

More than 150 voters from the 12 district towns turned out for the 90-minute debate held in the auditorium at Valley Regional High School in Deep River, with the question of which candidate represents the “political class” in Connecticut overshadowing the specific issues where the candidates differed, or nearly as often, concurred.

The session was moderated by Essex Library Director Richard Conroy, who selected questions that had been submitted in advance by district voters.

The debate began with a walk-out by Green Party candidate Colin Bennett of Westbrook. Bennett, who has run previously for the seat and participated in all debates during the 2014 campaign, began with an opening statement where he said his goals are to end hunger, provide access to health care, protect the environment and affirm that black lives matter.

Bennett then claimed that Conroy had attempted to exclude him from the debate based on comments at an Oct. 5 debate in Westbrook where he criticized Needleman and urged people not supporting him to vote for Linares. “I don’t want to be where I am not wanted,” Bennett said before walking off the stage. Linares said later he had told Conroy he would not participate in the debate if Bennett was arbitrarily excluded from the outset.

The term political class entered the discussion soon after the opening statement from Needleman, where the three-term first selectman said he had been urged to run the seat this year by the Senate Democratic leadership because they wanted a candidate with experience in business and municipal government. Needleman said he told party leaders he would not be a rubber stamp, and could become their “worst nightmare,” if elected.

Linares, who was first elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2014, scoffed at the claim, questioning why the Senate leadership would provide Needleman with a full-time campaign manager on leave from the caucus staff if they believed his election would be a nightmare. Linares contended Needleman has been a loyal supporter of Democratic “Governor Dan Malloy and the political class,” contributing funds to Malloy’s two gubernatorial campaigns in 2010 and 2014.

Needleman said Linares is the “career politician,” running for the senate seat at age 23 and laying the groundwork for a future campaign for the 2nd District congressional seat or statewide office.

But despite the sharp exchange, the two rivals agreed on several issues, including support for recently approved incentive package for Sikorsky in Stratford, providing some degree of contract preferences for in-state companies, and reducing, or for Linares eliminating, the estate or inheritance tax. The candidates agreed state employee unions would have to make contract concessions on both wages and pensions if the state faces another large budget deficit in 2017.

From left to right, Norman Needleman (D), incumbent Sen. Art Linares (R) and Colin Bennett (Green Party) make their opening statements at Monday night's debate.

From left to right, Norman Needleman (D), incumbent Sen. Art Linares (R) and Colin Bennett (Green Party) make their opening statements at Monday night’s debate.

Needleman said his experience negotiating contracts with public employee unions in Essex would be helpful in any discussions with state employee unions, though he questioned whether unions could be forced into concession talks. Linares called for mandatory legislative votes on all union contracts, and suggested a need for “additional leverage” to bring unions to the table. “The unions have not come to the table, we’ve tried that, everyone has tried that,” he said.

The candidates differed somewhat on the question of welcoming refugees from war-torn Syria to Connecticut. Needleman said while “vetting is critical,” an arbitrary exclusion based on a refugee’s country of origin or religion is “un-American.” Linares, whose family fled Cuba in the early 1960s, said he would insist on “clearance from the FBI,” because the United States does not have intelligence capabilities in Syria to screen refugees, including those who reach Europe before possible entry in to the United States.

The candidates also differed on possible increases to the state minimum wage, and gun control measures. Needleman said he supports measured increases in the minimum wage, but believes a hike to $15 per hour, as advocated by some Democrats, “is a very bad idea.’ Linares said he favors a national standard for the minimum wage, suggesting that further increases at the state level would hurt small businesses and cost the state jobs. He said the earned income tax credit is a better way to provide assistance to low income workers.

On gun control, Needleman said he is a “2nd Amendment Democrat,” but favors some additional gun control measures. He criticized Linares for opposing legislation approved earlier this year that allows guns to be seized from persons who are subject to a court restraining order where domestic violence is a factor.

Linares said Needleman is “trying to take both sides of the issue,” by referring to gun ownership and the 2nd Amendment. Linares said he opposed the temporary restraining order gun bill because it was an “overreach” that takes away due process for gun owners, and discretion for judges.

The 33rd Senate District includes the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Portland, Westbrook, and portions of Old Saybrook.
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Op-Ed: Lawn Signs, Lawn Signs Everywhere … Well, in Essex Anyway

Art_Linares_lawn_signsNeedleman_lawn_signsThey are all over the place, one after another, in the small Connecticut River town of Essex. It seems that almost every lawn in town is now covered by a flood of political lawn signs, and in this author’s unscientific survey, the most prolific are those supporting the re-election of incumbent Republican State Senator Art Linares.

Linares has served two terms in the state senate, and is now seeking a third. Challenging Linares for the state senate position is Norman Needleman, a successful businessman, who is also the first selectman of the town of Essex.

Political lawn signs in Essex are often posted in clusters of campaign signs of the candidates of the same political party. Among the lawn signs in Essex, there are also some for Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for President of the United States, and, frequently, the lawn signs of the other Republican candidates are posted around those for Trump.   

Not a Single Sign for Hillary?

Presently, there appears not to be a single lawn sign in Essex supporting the candidacy of Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic Party’s candidate for President. Perhaps the Clinton campaign feels that putting up lawn signs for her campaign in the little town of Essex is simply not worth the effort.                                 

Art_Linares_lawn_signThe largest Linares campaign sign is the one across the street from the Colonial Market in Essex. This sign is on the left hand side of the road, when going out of town from the south on Rte. 153. The dimensions of this sign would likely exceed the size of a very large kitchen table.

As for the lawn signs supporting Needleman, his medium size lawn signs are posted all over downtown Essex. Also, interestingly, Needleman lawn signs do not use his last name but rather his nickname, “Norm,” is favored. 

When Election Day finally does come, it will leave behind a plethora of campaign signs — in past elections, the winners and losers of both parties have picked up and thrown away their old lawn signs.

Norm Needleman lawn_signIt is certainly hoped that after this year’s election, the supporters of both parties will do the same, unless, of course, the unpredictable Trump decides to leave his presidential campaign signs in place … as a sort of punishment for the voters who voted against him! 

What would happen if Trump loses, and as he is currently threatening, simply rejects his loss by maintaining that it had been rigged, and that he and not Clinton, were the real winner? One can hardly imagine what kind of chaos would follow. In fact, it appears Trump is already encouraging his supporters not to accept his potential loss by engaging in protests.

If Trump does lose the election, hopefully, he will accept the result of the vote. It goes without question that the remaining candidates, such as Linares and Needleman, will accept the voter’s decision, win or lose. 

As for Trump, he appears to march to his own drum, and if he loses, he might make a howl, regardless of the damage that this kind of conduct would do to the tradition of peaceful democratic election in the United States. Clinton, like her predecessors for generations, can be counted on to accept the result, whether victory or defeat, consistent with this country’s long tradition of free elections in a democratic nation. 

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State Senate Candidate Norm Needleman Endorsed by Women’s Health Groups

ESSEX – Yesterday, Norm Needleman announced the endorsements of women’s health groups Planned Parenthood Votes! Connecticut PAC and NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC in his State Senate campaign in the 33rd District.

Planned Parenthood Votes! Connecticut PAC (PPV!CT PAC) is committed to supporting and endorsing pro-reproductive rights, pro-family planning candidates for state office. Needleman was endorsed along with other candidates for Connecticut state races.

“We are very proud to endorse candidates who are committed to protecting reproductive health care,” said Chris Corcoran, PPV!CT PAC Board Chair. “The candidates we endorsed drive policy on women’s health care. Connecticut women and families should know that these candidates would ensure vital services remain intact.”

“States are the front lines in protecting women’s health and the right to choose,” said Needleman. “In the State Senate I will be an advocate for reproductive rights and access to women’s health care services. I will fight against the extremist elements that have worked their way into Hartford politics.”

NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC’s mission is to develop and sustain a constituency that uses the political process to guarantee every woman the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion.

“We are excited about your support for women, and look forward to your involvement in working to make Connecticut the best state in the nation for reproductive rights,” said Jillian Gilchrest, President, NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC.

Needleman is challenging incumbent State Senator Art Linares who has earned the endorsement of an extreme organization – the Family Institute – in 2012, 2014 and 2016 for his opposition to common sense women’s health and reproductive rights.

PPV!CT PAC is the Connecticut state political action committee affiliated with Planned Parenthood Votes! Connecticut (PPV!CT). PPV!CT is the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE).

“These candidates support reproductive health, rights and access,” said Susan Yolen, PPV!CT PAC board member and Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy with PPV!CT. “We are confident each of these candidates will work to preserve and expand  access to full reproductive health care services for the people of Connecticut.”

Needleman is the founder and CEO of Tower Laboratories, a manufacturing business. As CEO, he has built the business over the past 37 years to become a leader in its segment, employing 150 people at facilities in Essex and Clinton. Needleman is in his third term as first selectman of Essex and was first elected as a selectman in 2003.

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

For more information on Planned Parenthood Votes! Connecticut, visit www.plannedparenthoodvotes.org.

For more information on NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC, visit www.prochoicect.org.

For more information on Needleman’s campaign, visit www.norm.vote.

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Celebrate Hubbard’s 25 Years at Ivoryton Playhouse Tonight with a Mirror Ball

Director Jacqui Hubbard with her dog Lulu, a mutt.

Director Jacqui Hubbard with her dog Lulu, a mutt.

IVORYTON:  The Ivoryton Playhouse is celebrating 25 years of laughter and drama, new shingles and seats, and more and more music and romance and applause than ever before. This year marks the 25th year of Artistic Director, Jacqui Hubbard’s involvement with The Ivoryton Playhouse. Beginning as a Board member in 1991, she became Board President and in 1999 she was hired as Artistic/Executive Director and oversees all aspects of this small, historic gem of a theatre.

On Saturday, Oct. 15, the theatre will celebrate with a Wonderland Tea Party from 10 a.m. to noon at the Ivoryton Farmer’s Market. Free activities for children will include A Pink Flamingo Croquet Game, Madhatters Tea Party, Queen of Hearts Story Time, glitter tattoos and face painting and musical fun with Sunny Train.

In the evening, the theatre will host a red carpet gala. The Mirror Ball: Reflections on 25 years through the Looking Glass will feature cocktails and fine foods catered by Coffee’s Market; a musical retrospective of the past 25 years with performances by some favorite artists; champagne toasts and dancing till midnight to the fabulous music of Long Island Sound.

Celebrating the past 25 years is important to Hubbard, as the continued growth of the Playhouse is near and dear to her heart. She says, “I have watched the theatre and the community that surrounds it change and grow so much over this past quarter century. It has been an eventful 25 years with its fair share of highs and lows but the one thing that has remained constant throughout those years is the support we receive from the people of this area.”

Hubbard continues, “The Playhouse has a great family of actors and donors, musicians and members, sponsors, local businesses and community partners and I am so proud of what we have accomplished in bringing people together and encouraging growth in the village of Ivoryton. It’s been an exhilarating ride and I am looking forward to the next 25!”

Built in 1911 as a recreation hall for the workers of the Comstock-Cheney factory, the Ivoryton Playhouse has been an important part of Connecticut’s cultural landscape for every one of its 100 years. Traveling vaudeville shows and silent movies entertained residents of the shoreline area in its early years until Milton Stiefel turned into a summer theatre in 1930 and attracted stars like Katharine Hepburn, Norma Terris, Marlon Brando and Tallulah Bankhead.

In recent years the theater has continued to win critical praise: Connecticut Critic Circle Awards, a Shoreline Arts Alliance Bravo award for Best Theatre and the Shoreline Times Readers Poll Best Theatre award as well as Connecticut Magazine’s Best Place to see Live Theatre.

For more information on tickets to the Mirror Ball, the 2017 season, and all things Ivoryton Playhouse, call 860.767.9520 or visit our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org.

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Isabelle McDonald is Community Music School’s Fall 2016 Greenleaf Award Winner

Isabelle McDonald is the winner of the recently announced Carolyn Greenleaf Award given by the Community Music School.

Isabelle McDonald is the winner of the Fall 2016 Carolyn R. Greenleaf Music Award presented by the Community Music School.

CENTERBROOK — The selection committee for the Carolyn R. Greenleaf Memorial Fund of Community Music School (CMS) has chosen violinist, guitarist, and pianist Isabelle McDonald as the recipient of the Fall 2016 Carolyn R. Greenleaf Music Award.  This award is given each semester to a middle or high school student who has demonstrated exceptional musical ability and motivation, and awards a semester of private lessons at Community Music School in Centerbrook.  Isabelle has chosen to study piano with CMS’s new virtuoso piano instructor, Matthew Massaro.

Isabelle, who is a junior at Valley Regional High School, is an accomplished violin student having studied under numerous instructors, most recently under the tutelage of Kyung Yu of Yale University.  She has also studied with Janet Boughton of Guilford, Connecticut and Lisa Gray at the CMS.

Isabelle has been a member of a number of leading youth orchestras in Connecticut, including the Norwalk Youth Symphony (NYS) for four years and the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras for three years.  For her final two years with NYS, she was the Principal Orchestra’s principal second violinist.

Isabelle has also performed in a number of chamber music ensembles, including the Chamber Music Institute for Young Musicians and with the NYS chamber music program.    In addition to her study on the violin and piano, Isabelle has taken guitar lessons with John Birt at CMS.   Along with Isabelle’s musical talent, she is also a talented visual art student, having won a number of juried art show awards.  Isabelle has expressed a desire to continue her music and visual art studies in college.

The Carolyn R. Greenleaf Memorial Fund was established at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County in 2008 by her friends to honor Greenleaf’s dedication to music and education. The Carolyn Greenleaf Memorial Music Award is open to students of Middlesex County and the Lymes and is awarded twice a year.  It is entirely based on merit and is the only such award at Community Music School.

Community Music School is an independent, nonprofit school which provides a full range of the finest possible instruction and musical opportunities to persons of all ages and abilities, increasing appreciation of music and encouraging a sense of joy in learning and performing, thus enriching the life of the community.

Community Foundation of Middlesex County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Middlesex County. Working with charitably-minded individuals and organizations to build permanent endowments since 1997, the Community Foundation has provided 850 grants totaling more than $2.5 million to organizations for the arts, cultural and heritage programs, educational activities,  environmental improvements, and for health and human services. 

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‘Fitness on the Water’ in Essex Hosts Pilates Party Tomorrow

Essex Wellness Center at Novelty Ln. in Essex.

Essex Wellness Center at Novelty Ln. in Essex.

ESSEX — Fitness on the Water in Essex presents a Pilates Party! The festivities are from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 15, at 8 Novelty Lane, Essex.

See demonstrations of the new Pilates reformer/tower equipment at Fitness on the Water in Essex and learn how Pilates benefits all age groups and fitness levels.

Readers are invited to come and tour the Center’s studios overlooking the water.

Refreshments, giveaways, free mini facials, and chair massages along with discounts on the Center’s own clothing line will be offered.

The Center’s expert instructors will also be on hand to discuss with readers how starting a Pilates fitness routine can be beneficial.

Call 860-581-8225 to RSVP or email donna@fitnessonthewater.com.

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Essex Congregational Church Rummage Sale Opens Tonight, Continues Tomorrow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Accompanying photograph:

CUTLINE:

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St. John’s Episcopal Hosts Annual Rummage Sale Tomorrow

The 'Essex Attic' is always a popular attraction at St. John's Annual Rummage Sale!

The ‘Essex Attic’ is always a popular attraction at St. John’s Annual Rummage Sale!

ESSEX — Once again it’s time to come down to Essex and ‘rummage!”   Visit the annual Rummage Sale at St. John’s Episcopal Church and find the treasures you have long been seeking.

The Sale will be on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 14 and 15 from 9 a.m. to 2 pm.  It is a huge sale with way too many items to list – everything from furniture, household appliances, books, clothing, electrical appliances, tools, etc.  Hundreds of items are priced under $10.

Prepare to be inspired in the Boutique, where you can pick out the perfect outfit.  “Essex Attic” has exceptional treasures and really cool costume jewelry.  The Silent Auction is full of unique and special items waiting for your bid.

Cider and doughnuts will be available, and on Saturday there will also be a bake sale, plus hot dogs. 

The Church is located at the corner of Main & Cross Streets, Essex, CT 06426 – opposite the park.

For more information, call the church office at:  860-767-8095

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Country School Begins Year on High Note with Jump in Enrollment, New Facilities

A new academic year all-school photo  of The Country School taken on the school's new athletic fields.  Photo by Joseph's Photography, Inc.

A new academic year all-school photo of The Country School taken on the school’s new athletic fields. Photo by Joseph’s Photography, Inc.

AREAWIDE – The Country School kicked off the new school year having reached two major milestones before even opening its doors. This summer, the coeducational, independent day school celebrated the opening of its new, state-of-the-art recreational facility and broke ground on the second phase of Shaping the Future, the school’s 60th anniversary campus transformation plan. At the same time, The Country School opened with the highest new student enrollment increase in more than a decade, the 50 new students marking a 66 percent increase over last year’s number.

The school’s 60th anniversary, celebrated during the 2015-2016 school year, was a banner year at The Country School. More than 300 members of the school community came together to donate nearly $2 million to support the school’s campus transformation project and other 60th Anniversary initiatives, including increased scholarship support and programmatic enhancements. This marked the largest one-year gift total in the school’s 60-year history.

The campus improvements completed this summer include two full-sized, side-by-side athletic fields, a baseball and softball diamond, the four-court Rothberg Tennis Center, a full-sized outdoor basketball court, new playgrounds, a reconfigured ropes course, an enhanced cross country course, and more. With these new and expanded facilities, the school was able to welcome more than 200 students to campus this summer for its Summer Fun and Learning camp programs and also to coordinate with Madison Racquet & Swim Club for USTA tennis matches. This fall, the town of Madison is using the school’s baseball diamond and RUSH soccer its soccer fields.

Phase 2 of the Shaping the Future project, begun in July, moved vehicular traffic to the periphery of campus, creating a pedestrian village for learning at the center. The plan, designed by Centerbrook Architects and Planners, enhances academic and collaborative opportunities for students and teachers and makes the traffic pattern simpler and safer for all.

Founded in 1955, The Country School serves 200 students in PreSchool-Grade 8 on its 23-acre campus in Madison. The Country School is committed to active, hands-on learning and a vigorous curriculum that engages the whole child. Signature programs such as Elmore Leadership, Public Speaking, STEAM, and Outdoor Education help prepare students for success in high school and beyond. See our community in action during our Fall Open House on Nov. 6, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Learn more at www.thecountryschool.org.

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If You Oppose the Proposed High-Speed Rail Route, Join SECoast’s Fundraiser This Afternoon at Bee & Thistle

fundraiser-at-bt_oct2016
AREAWIDE SECoast, the non-profit group actively and constructively opposing the proposed high-speed rail line through Old Lyme and southeast Connecticut, is holding a fundraiser at the Bee and Thistle Inn on Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m.

SECoast.org is a locally-directed special project of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation. Since publicly breaking news of the proposed bypass in January, SECoast.org has been working tirelessly as an effective advocate for Old Lyme and the local area by catalyzing growing regional opposition to the bypass.

Thanks to the generosity of the Bee and Thistle’s owner David Rufo, the Inn’s Executive Chef and acclaimed wildlife photographer Kristofer Rowe and singer/songwriter Dan Stevens who is performing at the event, 100 percent of the funds raised on Sunday will go towards mounting a legal defense to the route, which it is anticipated will be announced next week.  The monies raised will help support staffing, digital media and administrative costs of the campaign.

Once that announcement has been made, there are precisely 30 days by law to respond to the preferred route.  SECoast wants to be ready to react immediately to the announcement.

Tickets for Sunday’s event are $50 and fully tax-deductible.  There is also a Sponsor level at $250 and sponsors will receive an autographed Kristofer Rowe photograph.

Donations in any amount are always at welcome at this account or by mail at CT Trust for Historic Trust Preservation, 940 Whitney Ave., Hamden, CT 06517-4002 (make checks payable to CT Trust with “For SECoast” on the face.

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of the work that SECoast has been doing.  Without Greg Stroud and his small band of dedicated individuals, the proposed Old Saybrook to Kenyon by-pass would likely have quietly continued along its probable path to becoming part of the FRA’s Tier 2 preferred route.

We are delighted that Senator Richard Blumenthal, Congressman Joe Courtney, State Senator Paul Formica and State Representative Devin Carney are now all vocally opposed to the route and believe that in no small part relates to the efforts of SECoast.  We hope our Old Lyme Board of Selectmen (BOS) will show their support for SECoast because surely the BOS objectives are identical to those of SECoast?

This fundraiser is your chance to show your appreciation for all the work that SECoast has undertaken so far on behalf of the residents of Old Lyme specifically and, in a broader sense, the people of southeastern Connecticut … and all the work it will take on in the future.  If you choose not to support SECoast, then please don’t feel you have a right to complain about the train route down the line … pun intended!

See you on Sunday!

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CT River Museum’s Annual Gala Fundraiser Tonight Celebrates the 1920s

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fall Ball 2016 sponsors include

Presenting Sponsor Essex Wellness Center;

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

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

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

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

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

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$491K STEAP Grant Awarded for Centerbrook Village Main Street Improvements, Enhancements

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman

ESSEX — Essex First Selectman Norman M. Needleman has announced that Connecticut’s Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) awarded $491,887 for Centerbrook Village Main Street improvements and enhancements.  The project will focus on sidewalk improvement and replacement on the south side of Main Street, where there are currently continuous sidewalks in various stages of deterioration. 

This project will benefit the local community by enhancing the multi-modal, complete-streets setting that the town seeks to establish while having a positive impact on the economic, commercial and social environment of the historic village.

Needleman stated that the Town appreciates being awarded this grant, and is grateful that STEAP was funded in this difficult budget year.  This program helps small towns perform work that improves the economic vitality of our community.

Needleman offered special thanks to the Town’s Economic Development Consultant Susan Malan, the Town Planner John Guszkowski, State Representative Philip J. Miller, and the Centerbrook Visioning Group for their efforts in pulling this grant application together. 

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‘Five Women Painting’ Annual Art Show Continues in Essex Through Monday

'Three Hens' by Claudia van Nes

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

ESSEX — The annual Five Women Painting art show, featuring new works by a group of established artists in the region, opened Friday and continues through Oct. 10.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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