May 22, 2017

Friends of Essex Library Host Annual Spring Book Sale Today

ESSEX — The Friends of Essex Library host their Annual Spring Book Sale on Saturday, May 20, and Monday, May 22.  Doors will open Saturday at 9 a.m.

 Hardcovers are priced at $2; paperbacks at $1.  From 3 to 4 p.m. books will sell for half price.

“Fill your Bag for $5” will run from 4 to 5 p.m. for all books except those specially priced.

You are invited to bring your own tote or paper bag.  Free paper bags will be available at the library.

The “Fill your Bag for $5” sale will continue on Monday, May 22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Free bags will again be provided, if needed

Unique to this sale is a collection of 30 Life magazines from the 1930’s and 40’s, featuring everyone from Winston Churchill to Roy Rogers and Trigger. Each is in a plastic sheet protector and priced between$3 -$5.

Also available for sale will be a jazz aficionado’s collection of 150 CDs, from Diana Krall and Hoagy Carmichael to Starbucks and Pottery Barn choices, each for $1.00.

Additional special offerings, including a large collection of signed books and books of particular
interest, can be viewed on the Essex Library website.Click HERE for more information.In addition to the books for purchase, there will be a large number of board games from which to choose.

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Ivoryton Library Annual Book, Bake & Plant Sale is Today

The Ivoryton Library annual Book, Bake & Plant Sale will be held on Saturday, May 20 from 9 a.m.to 1 p.m. There will be perennials from members’ gardens, homemade baked goods and the big used book sale. Baked goods can be dropped off on Saturday morning.

New this year: Buy an Ivoryton Library Book Bag for $15 and fill it with used books from the sale for free. Bring it back to the sale next year and fill it for $5.00!

This sale is a great time to stock up on summer reading for all ages as well as goodies for your kitchen and garden. Support from those who make donations and/or attend the sale is much appreciated.  For more information, call the library at 867-767-1252. The Ivoryton Library is located at 106 Main St in Ivoryton.

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Essex Land Trust Hosts Birding and Nature Walk in Essex Meadows Today

Watching for birds on an Essex Land Trust hike.

ESSEX — May is the optimal time to see and hear the many birds that have returned from wintering in points south. Many will be singing and claiming nesting territories. Come explore the grounds of Essex Meadows.

Essex Land Trust Board Member and birder Jim Denham will lead a casual 1 1/2 hour stroll that coincides with the peak of spring bird migration. All levels of knowledge are welcome.  Essex Meadows will provide refreshments at the conclusion of the walk.

Easy to moderate walking on trails. Bad weather cancels. The event takes place Saturday, May 20, 10 am. Meet at Essex Meadows Main Building Entrance.

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Essex Corinthian YC Hosts Annual Spring Party Tonight; Benefits Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

ESSEX — Continuing its tradition of supporting charitable events, the Essex Corinthian Yacht Club (ECYC) will host its Annual Spring Party to Benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on Saturday, May 20, starting at 6: 30 p.m. at the club on Novelty Lane in Essex.

What is better than to enjoy entertainment in a beautiful location overlooking the Connecticut River and do something for a good cause at the same time?

The event is supported by members of the Essex Corinthian Yacht Club, in cooperation with the Duck Island and North Cove Yacht Clubs. The Arrowhead String Band from Chester, with renowned local artist Leif Nilsson, has graciously donated their performance at this event to this worthy cause. There will also be a raffle and silent auction, and a few more surprises!

All proceeds will benefit the lifesaving work of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

To register, visit https://tinyurl.com/LLSBenefit2017atECYC  

Questions? E-mail events@essexcorinthian.org

For further information, call Jean Little, Office Manager, ECYC at 860-767-3239.

The ECYC is located at 9 Novelty Lane, PO Box 759, Essex CT 06426. 

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RiverFare Returns for 24th Year of Delicious Fun on Essex Waterfront

Photo from left to right Tom Wilcox, Chairman Connecticut River Museum; Evan Barrett, The Blue Hound Cookery & Taproom; Chris Dobbs, Executive Director Connecticut River Museum; Francis D’Urso, Cannoli’s on the Run; Bill McGuinness, Becker’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry; Anna Lathrop, Gourmet Galley Catering; and Norman Needleman, Tower Laboritories.

ESSEX — On Thursday, June 1, from 6 to 9 p.m., the waterfront lawn of the Connecticut River Museum will come to life as the scenic setting for RiverFare 2017.  Known as the unofficial kick off of summer on the shoreline, RiverFare, the area’s most popular tasting event, will feature a craft beer garden, gourmet food and wines and a huge silent auction all on the Museum grounds overlooking beautiful Essex Harbor.  Like a kid in a candy store, move from table to table and sample the best culinary delights the Connecticut River Valley has to offer.

This year’s lineup of Connecticut’s leading restaurants and food purveyors includes RiverFare newcomers Cannoli on the Run and Anna’s Café, Savour Café & Bakery, Sixpence Pie Company, Atria Crossroads Place, Spice Catering Group and Wright’s Bar + Wood Fired Grill. Back by popular demand are Red House, Fromage Fine Foods & Coffees, Gourmet Galley Catering, Griswold Inn, Essex Coffee & Tea, Catering by Selene, The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook, Coastal Cooking Company, The Blue Hound Cookery & Taproom, Dough on Main and others.

RiverFarers will also have the opportunity to join in the fun of bidding in the silent auction, which features a diverse array of fine gifts, services, and entertainment experiences.  Items include a private island weekend get-away on Brockway Island, a Stand up Paddle Board, and an overnight at Mohegan Sun including dinner at Tuscany Restaurant.  Check out additional auction items at ctrivermuseum.org.

RiverFare 2017 is presented by Tower Labs Ltd., with major support provided by Becker’s Diamond & Fine Jewelry and Bogaert Construction.  Additional support is provided by C. Sherman Johnson Co., Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services, Sapia Builders Corp., Centerbrook Architect and Planners, Clark Group, Egidio Assante Wealth Management, Ivory Wealth Management, Middlesex Hospital,  North by Northeast Enterprises, Reynolds’ Garage & Marine, Inc., blp Enterprises, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Carr, Douglas & Cline, Caulfield & Ridgway, Innovative Display & Design and Stillman & Associates.  Additional in-kind support is provided by Bob’s Centerbrook Package Store, Rhode VanGessel Design, and Connecticut Rental Center.  Media support is provided by Valley Courier.

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

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

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2017 Sailing Season Opens at Pettipaug Yacht Club

Dave Courcy, Commodore of the Pettipaug Yacht Club, at the club’s docks.

ESSEX — The Pettipaug Yacht Club will hold its formal commissioning ceremonies to mark the opening of the 2017 sailing season on Sunday, May 21. The ceremonies will be held on the club’s grounds, which are located on the western bank of the Connecticut River in Essex.  All club members are invited to attend the club’s opening ceremonies. .

Prior to the formal opening of the club’s season, there will be a dinghy sailing race at 1 p.m. by club members.

The entrance sign to the Pettipaug Yacht Club welcomes members, guests and PSA students.

All of the 300 plus members of the Pettipaug Yacht Club are invited be attend the formal commissioning ceremonies of the 2017 sailing season to be held at 5 p.m. on May 21 at the club’s headquarters on the Connecticut River.

Pettipaug YC sailors will be soon be out again on the waters of the Connecticut River.

The ceremonies will be conducted by the Club’s Commodore Dave Courcy and Vice Commodore Katheren Ryan.

Commodore Courcy has served in that position from 2016 to the present.  Prior to that he served as the Vice Commodore and Rear Commodore.

Sailing dinghies mostly used by younger sailors at the Pettipaug Yacht Club.

In addition to being available for the general use of club members, Pettipaug Yacht Club also sponsors the Pettipaug Sailing Academy (PSA) during the summer months, at which young sailors are taught to sail.

The club also sponsors power boat instruction conducted by club member John Kennedy. If interested in joining the power boat classes or for further information, contact Kennedy at Kdesign@snet.net.  Club membership is not required in order to attend the power boat classes.

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Shoreline Soup Kitchens Opens New Westbrook Meal Site, All Welcome

AREAWIDE — The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP) new Westbrook meal site is open for dinner from 6 to 7 p.m. every Friday.  The site is located at the Westbrook Congregational Church, 1166 Boston Post Road.  All are welcome to attend.

Don’t be shy, bring the whole family and enjoy a meal with wonderful dinner companions and nutritious food. You don’t need to call ahead or “make a reservation.”

Did you know that last year over 900,000 meals worth of food were distributed to individuals and families during The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries grocery distribution program?  And, that over 17,000 nutritious and delicious meals were provided at our 9 meal sites, serving seven days a week?

There are those among us who are hungry and alone. You can change that; you can make a difference in the lives of those who are hungry in body and spirit.  Contact SSKP to learn about the many opportunities to volunteer.

The SSKP offers food and fellowship to the communities of Chester, Clinton, Deep River, East Lyme, Essex, Killingworth, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

The SSKP’s family-oriented meal sites serving nutritious and delicious food are located in Centerbrook, Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Old Lyme, Westbrook and Old Saybrook.  And, SSKP food pantries are located in Clinton, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, East Lyme and Westbrook.  Also, provided to those who have limited cooking facilities are heat-n- meals that can be picked up at any of our pantries.

Community support of the SSKP is appreciated.  If you have any questions or for a more information, call 860.388.1988 or email at pdowling@shorelinesoupkitchens.org.

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Tri-Town Youth Services Announces Summer Co-op Sessions

TRI-TOWN — Tri-Town Youth Services will kick off its Summer Co-op 2017 with Session 1 running June 26-29 and Session 2 running July 10 to 13.  Each day will start at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. at Tri-Town Youth Services, 56 High St., Deep River.

Session I includes trips to: June 26 – Empower; June 27 – Bowling and Lyman Allen Museum; June 28 – Hammonasset Beach and Meigs Point Nature Center; June 29 – Brownstone.

Session II includes trips to: July 10 – Bushy Hill Nature Center; July 11 – Ocean Beach; July 12 – Launch Trampoline Park and Laser Tag; July 13 – Lake Compounce.

The cost per session is $225. and $200. For additional sibling.  Registration forms are available throughout the tri-town region at elementary schools and at John Winthrop Middle School.  These programs are open to students entering grades 7, 8 and 9 who live in Chester, Deep River, and Essex.

For further information, call Tri-Town Youth Services at 860-526-3600 or visit www.tritownys.org

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Community Music School Opens Summer Registration for Arts, Music Programs & ‘Broadway Bound’

Broadway Bound with the Community Music School.

CENTERBROOK & EAST LYME – Community Music School is currently enrolling for summer arts programs for students of all ages, including Broadway Bound, a two-week summer musical theater experience for ages 8 to 15. This very popular program, now in its 17th season, will produce “The Addams Family” and “The Lion King.”

At the School’s Centerbrook location, private lessons, group classes and ensembles are available including Tutti Flutie Flute Ensemble with Cheryl Six; Beginning Group Piano with Tom Briggs; CMS Drum Village with Marty Wirt; Introduction to Music Technology with Tom Briggs; Jazz for the Beginning Student with Tom Briggs; Drums & Percussion Workshop with Tom Briggs; the Science of Sound with Christine Coyle; and Summer Kindermusik Drop-in Classes with Martha Herrle.

Community Music School’s eight-week summer session of private lessons runs from June 26th through August 18th and registrations are accepted throughout the summer. Summer lessons can be scheduled around family vacations at your convenience, and a four-pack of lessons is offered at reduced rate.  For additional information, visit www.community-music-school.org/summer or call CMS at 860-767-0026.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 34 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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Tickets on Sale Now for Essex Rotary’s Annual Shad Bake at CT River Museum, June 3

Shad planked and baking in front of the fire similar to the way local Native Americans would have done it centuries ago

ESSEX — One of our State’s great culinary customs returns to the Connecticut River Museum with the 2017 Essex Annual Shad Bake.  For 59 years, the Rotary Club of Essex has been proudly holding this annual rite of spring, nailing delicious American shad onto oak planks and roasting them around a large bonfire.  Share this wonderful Connecticut tradition with your family and friends!

This year’s Bake is made possible through the generous support of Guilford Savings Bank and AJ Shea Construction.  Additional support comes from The JECM Foundation, Norman Needleman & Jacqueline Hubbard, Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services, Middlesex Hospital and many other sponsors.

This year’s Shad Bake will take place while the Connecticut River Museum’s feature exhibit, Connecticut’s Founding Fish, is on view. This new Museum exhibit focuses on the history and lifecycle of this important fish that helped shape our region.  The Museum’s executive director, Christopher Dobbs said “We are pleased to host and partner with the Rotary Club of Essex on this iconic event that celebrates part of the Connecticut River’s heritage and supports the many worthwhile projects of Rotary and Museum.”

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

This volunteer-run event has been organized by the Rotary Club of Essex and is coordinated by Bake Master Joseph Shea. Shea stated that “We offer one of the most unique culinary traditions in New England and now we are merging it with one of the most majestic and historic locations. It is a winning combination!”

A variety of activities are taking place throughout the afternoon. Join seasoned Shad Bake pioneers for a story from shad bakes of yesteryear including the year of the big flood.  The Shad Museum in Haddam and the Connecticut River Museum will also offer programs on the history and traditions of the shad fishery.  The Museum’s authentic Connecticut River shad boat, Alva Starr, will be on display throughout the afternoon.

For shad lovers, the lure is the secret ingredients and the authentic method of preparing and baking the fish which has been handed down through generations of Connecticut natives.  Nailed onto oak planks with salt pork and placed in front of the bonfire, the fish picks up the smoky flavor of the fire and the seasoned oak boards on which it is baked. Add to this delicacy homemade potato salad, tossed green salad, and pie from Lyman Orchards and your shad experience is complete.

Don’t care for shad?  Grilled chicken and hot dogs are also available!  In addition to the food, participants will be able to enjoy live music and touring the Museum, which will be open until 6 pm.  The vibrant atmosphere is enhanced with picnickers and the delicious smell of shad baking around the open fire.

Buy your tickets today!  The $30 adult (Shad or Chicken dinner option) and $10 child (12 and under) ticket includes the full meal and admission to the Museum.  Tickets will be an additional $5 on the day of the event. Beer, wine and soda will be available for purchase with a valid ID.  Freshly shucked clams and oysters will also be available at an additional price beginning at 3:00 pm. No carry-in alcohol will be permitted.

To purchase tickets, visit shop.ctrivermuseum.org or buy them in person at the Centerbrook Package Store or the Connecticut River Museum.  On-site and street parking at the Connecticut River Museum is limited.  On the day of the event, a free shuttle will be running between the Museum and the Essex Town Hall parking lot.

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

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

Representative from the two lead sponsors, Bake Master Joseph Shea of AJ Shea Construction, and David Carswell Branch Manager of Guildford Savings Bank join Connecticut River Museum Executive Director Chris Dobbs to celebrate the upcoming Shad Bake.

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Obituary: Death of Matilda A. Colihan (Tillie) Announced

In this submitted photo, the late Tillie Colihan is seen tending her flowers.

Avid gardener, conservationist, seeker of solutions to make the world and our local communities better places, Tillie Colihan died peacefully in her Essex Meadows home on May 2, 2017.

Born May 20, 1920 in Mount Vernon, NY to William and Rowena Alston, Tillie attended Madeira School in Greenway, VA, and graduated from Pine Manor College, Chestnut Hill, MA in 1940.  She made lasting friendships with classmates and served as alumnae secretary for both schools.

Not wanting to be left behind after her brothers enlisted in the Armed Services, Tillie joined the Red Cross in December 1943. She was assigned to the 85th Division, stationed in northeastern Italy, and served until the war ended.  She was awarded a Medal of Freedom for “gallantry in the line of duty and devoted service while under enemy fire.” (While immensely proud of her medal, Tillie always insisted, with undue modesty, she was just serving donuts and coffee to the G.I.’s.)

Following the war, she became a receptionist at the Young & Rubicam advertising agency in New York City.  There, she met William J. Colihan, whom she married in May 1948. Tillie and Bill settled in Greenwich, CT, where they raised four children, Alston Colihan of Washington, D.C., Jane Colihan of Brooklyn, NY, William Colihan of New York, NY, and Abby Colihan of Montpelier, VT.  During these years, Tillie took up yoga and developed an interest in natural foods and alternative medicine.

In 1980, Tillie and Bill moved to a house – designed by Bill and her brother, Henry Alston – on the Connecticut River in Essex. Tillie spent springs and summers in her field, surrounded by bluebirds and wildflowers.  She enthusiastically organized the making of trough gardens for May Markets. Wanting to share nature’s beauty, Tillie regularly brought flowers from her garden to the Essex Meadows Medical Center – a practice she kept up for many years. During the winters she and her husband traveled in the U.S. and internationally. Bill died at Essex Meadows Medical Center in July 1994.

In 1998, Tillie moved to an apartment in Essex Meadows.  Hours that she had spent in her garden she now spent feeding birds and keeping up with all things happening in the world.  In recent years she has enjoyed watching her four rarely-disciplined grandchildren, Dan, Jim, Dana, and Molly, turn out fine.

As she wished, there will be a small memorial service later this summer.

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Essex Boat Works, Carlson Landing Present Proposed Marina, Restaurant Building Plans at Last Monday’s Zoning Hearing

Rendering of the proposed waterfront premises by Centerbrook Architects.

ESSEX — Essex Boat Works, LLC and Carlson Landing LLC presented their finalized building plans for its Main Street property for review by the Town of Essex Zoning Board on Monday, May 15.  The details of the plans will begin with the construction of a new marina building and accessory waterfront restaurant with Main Street access.

The business and property were purchased in February of 2016, by Richard (Rick) E. Carlson/Carlson Landing, LLC of Essex, Conn.  Carlson purchased the property with the vision to preserve a very important piece of boating and Essex history while beautifying the waterfront area and supporting the economic business development goals of the town.

A team of expert consultants, Centerbrook Architects and Milone & MacBroom, have developed a proposal that complies with regulatory and code requirements.  Centerbrook Architects has planned and designed a suitable year-round building to be used for office space, marina customers along with an accessory waterfront restaurant.

The design goal was established to keep to the historical look and feel of the downtown Essex area, specifically the nearby buildings.  The new establishment, located on the Essex Harbor, will be an anchor for the town.  It is a prime location for visitors from the water to dock their boats, visit the local restaurants and shops throughout Essex Village.  The accessory restaurant will feature waterfront indoor and outdoor dining with a menu of ‘lite bites,’ small plates of upscale casual seafood selections.

Editor’s Note: One of the oldest remaining shipyards in the country, the location of Essex Boat Works predates the War of 1812, where the building of the U.S. warships was performed.  Located in the heart of the historic Essex Village, EBW continues the legacy of top-notch customer relations and professional services including; marina, storage, service, brokerage and new yacht sales.  A new office, marina building with an accessory restaurant are planned for construction beginning in 2017. For more information visit:  www.essexboatworks.com  or call 860-767-8276.

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Essex May Market, an Essex Garden Club Extravaganza, Takes Place Today

Plants galore for sale at May Market.

ESSEX — You’re in for a treat on Saturday, May 13, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine, when the Essex Garden Club will have a one-day extravaganza in the Town Park on Main Street. 

Just in time for Mother’s Day, there will be herbs and herbal gift creations as well as the Garden Club’s ‘world famous’ garlic salt, made from a closely-guarded secret recipe since 1953.

Always the star of Essex May Market are the ever-popular Members Plants.  People have been coming to Essex on May Market day for years from all over New England to take advantage of the healthy plants dug and nurtured by the Garden Club members.  These plants include perennials, ground covers, grasses and shrubs dug and potted from the garden club members. 

An early sell out in the Members Plants area each year are the many varieties of tomato plants grown from seed and cultivated carefully.  There will be 300 tomato plants, including many heirloom varieties guaranteed to grow in our climate. People start lining up at 8 a.m. to get the finest specimens. 

On the other side of the park, the Annuals Tent will be stocked with the healthiest hanging baskets, and blooming annuals. Knowledgeable Garden Club members will be available to help with any questions on caring for the plants. 

Back by popular demand this year is the all-natural compost available for sale.

Sales of Essex Garden Club’s ‘World Famous’ Garlic Salt are always brisk.

The “Treasures” section is a great place to find gently used pieces of jewelry, garden pieces, planters, books, cnildren’s items, gardening tools and a mix of odds and ends. There will be lots of interesting finds for all ages.

The Silent Auction will have an incredible array of goods and services donated from many generous merchants. One of the features of the Market is a Silent Auction.  This year one of the Club’s members has made a very special donation to the Silent Auction offerings:  one dozen Beatrix Potter collectable figurines made by Beswick Pottery in England.  These delightful figurines include many of the storybook characters made famous by the writings and drawings of Beatrix Potter.  Three are mounted as music boxes.  They were produced under license from F. Warne & Co., the publisher of her stories and thus are faithful to her drawings.  

And back again this year is the Jewelry Tree.  Here you will find an extensive and superb collection of vintage bangles, earrings, necklaces and pins.

The May Market Café offers donuts and coffee starting in the morning and light lunch fare at midday. Local Connecticut breads and honey will be for sale and make great gifts

May Market is the Garden Club’s only annual fundraising event.  Proceeds support civic improvement projects, such as beautifying town parks and traffic islands in Essex, Centerbrook and Ivoryton.  Plantings are also purchased for the Essex Town hall, Town Park and for public schools serving Essex students. 

Funds also provide scholarships for high school seniors and college students, summer camper-ships for young students, and educational programs for Essex Elementary school and John Winthrop Middle school

May Market is truly a gardener’s dream.  Come early and you will definitely find something beautiful for your garden or a special gift to take home. It is, after all, the quintessential Essex event!

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Op-Ed: CT River Museum Raises Questions About Essex’s Changing Waterfront

The following op-ed was submitted by the Executive Director of the Connecticut River Museum, Christopher Dobbs.

The Connecticut River Museum may be getting a new neighbor – a restaurant called Carlson’s Landing, to be located at 63 Main Street on a flag lot that bisects the Museum’s campus – the main Museum at 67 Main Street and the Lay House at 57 Main Street. The Museum is delighted Essex is getting a business that might draw welcome patronage to the Village’s main commercial district. However, the organization does have reservations about the application for the new restaurant which it will air at the upcoming Zoning Commission’s public hearing at 7:00 pm on May 15th .

Careful review of the Carlson’s Landing application by engineers, a zoning specialist, and a surveyor have resulted in several concerns. The majority of these stem from inadequate information. Major concerns at this time are: 1) increased traffic congestion and impact; 2) inadequate parking; and 3) under equipped bathroom facilities and septic system.

The Museum is worried that the developers have seriously under-represented the burden that additional traffic will have on the foot of Main Street and the Museum. The proposed restaurant (according to an application now on file with the Zoning Commission) will be accessed with one-way traffic from 63 Main – including commercial delivery and trash removal trucks – with egress contemplated across the Essex Boat Works lot and onto Ferry Street. (The developers are also the new owners of Essex Boat Works which is accessed via a driveway at 9 Ferry Street.)

The proposed plan permanently removes the Museum’s stairway connecting the two halves of its campus. This staircase, in honor of Sherry and Herb Clark, was donated to the Museum in 2013 by the Rotary Club of Essex with the permission of the property’s previous owner. It has allowed the Museum to thrive and better serve the community. Removal will result in the two halves being disconnected and the Museum installing a new set of stairs to the Lay property from the village sidewalk. More importantly, thousands of program attendees, including school children, will need to walk along the road and cross the entrance of the restaurant.

Increased traffic by cars and trucks, no matter where pedestrians cross to stroll down to the waterfront, will transform the foot of Main Street. For safety and aesthetic reasons, the Museum has suggested to the owners that commercial traffic enter and exit via 9 Ferry Street, which they have refused to do. The Museum has also requested that they limit traffic off of Main Street during major community events such as Burning of the Ships Day, the Annual Essex Shad Bake, Dogs on the Dock, and Trees in the Rigging. To date, the developers have not formally agreed.

Parking on the restaurant lot (10 spaces are identified on the plan) is inadequate. To meet zoning regulations, the plans call for using the adjacent Essex Boat Works property for parking. Since the Boat Works will continue to operate as a boat yard and marina, the Museum is concerned that the operations will impinge on the theoretical parking spaces and that restaurant patrons will need to find parking elsewhere, including in the Museum’s lot.

The Museum worries that if 63 Main Street and 9 Ferry Street were ever sold separately that the one-way driveway will need to become two-way (including commercial traffic) and there will then be even more inadequate parking on the restaurant lot with subsequent further strain on the Museum parking lot. One solution to this problem would be to secure cross-property easements (between 63 Main Street and 9 Ferry Street) for parking and ingress/egress that would survive any future sale of either lot.

Finally, the Museum has concerns about the new restaurant’s septic system design and bathroom capacity. The application indicates that the system’s leaching fields will be located on the flag lot between the Museum’s two properties – uphill and very close to the line. Sewage will need to be pumped uphill to the leaching fields. The Museum’s engineer questions the fields’ ability to withstand inundation from rainfall, let alone over-use. There are only two restrooms shown on the plans for the new restaurant that are meant to accommodate 59 restaurant patrons. In addition to restaurant patrons, the restrooms and septic system will also need to accommodate restaurant and marina employees along with showers for marina customers. The Museum questions whether the new restaurant has made adequate provision and is concerned that its own restroom facilities (the two in the Lay house and the three in its main building) will have additional demand placed on them by people frequenting lower Main Street.

The Museum is pleased to have a new neighbor on the foot of Main Street. Carefully addressing these concerns will allow the Museum, the restaurant, and our community to flourish.

Editor’s Note: For 43 years, the Connecticut River Museum has been a significant community and regional asset. Over 25,000 visitors each year attend the Museum’s programs with many more using the front lawn and Lay house property as their park and access to New England’s great river.

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

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Essex Foundation Continues Gateway Beautification Work

As part of the Essex Foundation’s gateway beautification project, Chanticleer pear trees were planted along Route 154 in Essex by a Sullivan Lawn Services installation crew.

ESSEX – The Essex Foundation recently completed the first phase of a multi-phase landscape plan for the grounds surrounding the newly painted bridge in the Rte. 9/ Exit 3 underpass area of Essex. Twelve Chanticleer pear trees were planted on the state-owned land south of the Rte. 154 and Rte. 153 intersection, directly across from the Essex Fire Department station and commuter lot.

The charitable organization contracted with Matthew Verry, a graduate of the University of Connecticut’s Landscape Architecture program, for the planning and coordination of the work. His company, Matthew Verry Landscape Design, provided the landscape design and oversight of the state approval and installation bid process.  Sullivan Lawn Services, LLC was hired for the installation work.

The Chanticleer pear tree was selected for its beauty and hardiness.  It is one of the most profuse flowering trees with a narrow, tailored appearance.  It tolerates many urban conditions, making it a popular street tree choice where spread may be a bit limited. The next phase of the landscape beautification, which includes planting of low growing, low maintenance evergreen and perennial ornamentals in the southeast corner of the gateway area, is also targeted for completion this spring.

Funds for the cost of the planning, design, tree/plant purchase and installation were provided through a bequest to the Essex Foundation by the late Elizabeth “Diz” Barnes Callender and her predeceased sister Mary Frances Barnes.

“The gateway beautification has been a true community effort,” stated Bruce Glowac, Chairman of the Essex Foundation Board of Trustees, “It is exactly the type of project we like to get behind – somewhat unique, requiring relatively quick action. It’s also nice that the impact can be seen immediately. Now that the bridge painting is complete, the trees are installed, and the ornamentals are being planted, .”

The Essex Foundation was founded in 1970 through an open-ended bequest to benefit the town.  Board members are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Essex citizens by providing medical, educational, social, welfare, cultural, recreational, and civic support. Thanks to the Foundation’s endowment, as well as the many donations received from individuals, businesses and other organizations, the Essex Foundation is able to provide “seed money” for new services and to allocate funds to fill needs not met by other organizations or sources. In general, funds are granted for special purposes, including buildings, equipment, land, and programs, but not to recurring expenses. More information can be found at www.theessexfoundaton.org.

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Musical Masterworks, Community Music School Announce New Scholarship

ESSEX/OLD LYME — Musical Masterworks and Community Music School (CMS) have announced a new scholarship to honor the memory of Nancy D. Thomas.

Ms. Thomas was a well-known and beloved piano instructor with Community Music School for 30 years and initiated the Kindermusik program and Kate’s Camp for Kids at CMS.  She influenced the lives of many young musicians and inspired their talents.  “We are thrilled to provide an additional opportunity for young people to study music through this new endeavor and are so honored to have Musical Masterworks by our side in this partnership.” said Abigail Nickell, Executive Director of Community Music School

Ms. Thomas also was on the staff of Musical Masterworks for almost 25 years.  She was fastidious in her responsibilities working with the pianists onstage and was well loved by all.  “Nancy was an indispensable part of Musical Masterworks.  We are delighted to partner with her beloved Community Music School in establishing this scholarship in her name, so that more young people can discover the power of music in their lives. We believe this would have pleased Nancy immensely,” said Alden Rockwell Murphy, President of Musical Masterworks.

Community Music School and Musical Masterworks are pleased to honor her memory with the Musical Masterworks Scholarship in Honor of Nancy D. Thomas, which will provide the tuition for a middle school student to take music lessons, 30 minutes each, for one full year at Community Music School.  The scholarship will be awarded annually for the next five years.  To be eligible, the candidate must be a student of classical voice or instrumental music and reside in Middlesex County or New London County.

Interested students must complete an application and submit an audio recording of two pieces of classical music in contrasting styles as well as a written recommendation.  A three-member jury comprised of representatives of both Community Music School and Masterworks will review applications.

The application deadline for the scholarship is June 16, 2017, and the scholarship recipients will be notified mid-summer. To learn more and to obtain an application, contact Community Music School at (860) 767-0026.

Editor’s Notes: Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 34-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.

Musical Masterworks brings to Southern New England world-class chamber music performances and outreach programs which attract, entertain, and educate a diverse audience. Now planning its 27th season, Musical Masterworks offers five weekends of performances from October through May in Old Lyme.  Learn more by visiting www.musicalmasterworks.org or by calling 860.434.2252.

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Understanding Local Pollinators is Topic of CT River Museum Forum Today at 5:30pm

Photo from Unsplash.com by Stefan Steinbauer.

ESSEX – The Rockfall Foundation and the Connecticut River Museum present “Understanding Local Pollinators,” a free environmental forum on Thursday, May 11, at 5:30 p.m. at the Museum, 67 Main Street, Essex. Speakers will address issues relating to pollinators and the plants they sustain in the Connecticut River valley, including natural environment, organic farming, and home gardening of flowers, vegetables and shrubs.

Presenters include Judy Preston, Connecticut Sea Grant; Gail Reynolds, UCONN Extension Master Gardeners Program; Jeff Cordulack, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut; and  Jane Seymour, CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

This free event is sponsored by the Rockfall Foundation and is part of its “Meet Your Greens” monthly networking series. Refreshments will be served and a reception continues on the Museum’s north deck following the presentations. Advanced registration is encouraged by calling the Connecticut River Museum at 860-767-8269.

The Rockfall Foundation supports environmental education, conservation programs and planning initiatives in the Lower Connecticut River Valley. Established in 1935, it is one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations and annually awards grants to non-profits, schools and municipalities. Meet Your Greens is an official program of Green Drinks International’s informal monthly gatherings that offer attendees a chance to network with other local people interested in environmental issues, and the means to solve them.

The Connecticut River Museum’s mission is to lead in the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its valley. By deepening understanding of the River’s importance to past generations, the Museum inspires the stewardship of future generations.

For additional information, contact the Rockfall Foundation at 860-347-0340 or visitwww.rockfallfoundation.org.

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Siegrist Hails Passage of Proposal to Allow Return of Prescription Drugs to Pharmacies

State Rep. Robert Siegrist (R-36th)

AREAWIDE — State Rep. Robert Siegrist hailed the passage of a bill in the House of Representatives this week that looks to allow certain state pharmacies to accept and dispose of unused prescription drugs. Rep. Siegrist proposed a similar measure in the General Assembly in the beginning of the 2017 legislative session.

Rep. Siegrist, a member of the legislature’s public safety and security committee, said, “The opioid crisis is at an all-time high and I believe this proposal is another step in the right direction to combat growing crisis. I also believe this proposal will help the rural district that I represent, specifically the towns of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam.”

Currently, prescription drug drop boxes in Connecticut are located in local police stations.

The legislation, HB 5077, An Act Concerning The Return Of Prescription Drugs To Pharmacies, passed unanimously in the House and now heads to the State Senate for further action. After much negation in the House with all stakeholders, the bill as passed allows for Connecticut licensed pharmacies to accept and dispose of unused prescription drugs.  The bill also allows for the potential for cooperative agreements between pharmacies and local law enforcement, which should help independent and rural pharmacy locations

The bill has the support of the Connecticut Association of Community Pharmacies.

According to Governor Dannel Malloy, Connecticut saw an increase in the amount of unused prescription medications that residents dropped off at collection boxes during 2016, with the state collecting a total of 33,803 pounds worth of various medications throughout the year. That amounts to a 43 percent increase compared to the amount that residents dropped off in 2015, when 23,651 pounds of unused drugs were collected by the state.

The final rule on the Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in September of 2014 expanded the authority of authorized hospitals/clinics and retail pharmacies to voluntarily maintain collection receptacles. These receptacles would still be subject to regulation and protections under the law. This bill will give pharmacies the option to participate as a collection site, not require it, and would likely help to get more prescription drugs off the street from people  who would otherwise feel uncomfortable returning them to the police directly.

Editor’s Note: Siegrist represents the 36th District communities of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam.

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Run for Chris 5K Partners With Valley Shore YMCA This Year, Free Registration for Kids Under 14 Before June 1

Tony Sharillo of Middletown and son complete the Run for Chris last year.

AREAWIDE — The 6th Annual Run For Chris 5K, With The Y will be held Saturday, June 24, in Essex, Conn., starting at Town Hall. Of note is the addition of “With the Y” to the run’s name, reflecting this year’s official partnering with the Valley Shore YMCA. The YMCA will bring a family aspect to this already great race and continue to have The Run for Chris kick off the Y’s Run Club’s race season as their featured race.

To encourage families to race together, all children under 14 can register for free before June 1.  This fun family event, which includes a Kids’ Fun Run, face painting, music and games, is truly a great way to spend some quality family time together.

For those 5K runners who are looking for a great race this June, this is a terrific course passes thru historic Essex with beautiful views of the Connecticut River. Awards and food for the runners, as well as a great raffle, round out the morning’s festivities.

The race is held in memory of Christopher Belfoure, a 2005 graduate of Valley Regional High School (VRHS), with all the proceeds benefitting The Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County.

While a student at Valley, Chris went on several school trips abroad. Chris went on to major in History and Chinese Studies at West Virginia University, where he spent a considerable amount of time studying abroad in China and became fluent in Mandarin.

Influenced by his own life-altering journeys, Chris was passionate about encouraging others to also broaden their horizons and follow their own paths. Sadly Chris lost his life at the age of 24, so to keep his inspiration and passion alive The Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund was established in 2011.

The fund is intended to perpetuate Chris’s vision by helping local area high school students travel abroad.  A race participant added this perspective about the run, “I think the race is also quite indicative of the ups, downs and flat stretches in life we all face from time to time. You have a wonderful foundation that celebrates the life of Chris, and which seeks to help others. That is incredibly admirable.”

To date 142 VRHS students have benefited from the Fund, traveling to such places as Costa Rica, France and Spain, for a total of $9,145 in grants. On April 24 students departed for Paris, supported by a $3,000 grant from the Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund, which is made possible by proceeds from the run and from its sponsors.

To register for the Run, go to www.aratrace.com.  For more information, contact George Chapin, Race Director, at george_c@snet.net.

Visit the website @ www.chrisbel4mf.com

Photos Courtesy of Roger U. Williams

Caption:

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‘Olive Oyl’s’ Plans Uptown Move Soon, Possibly June

A cheerful Kevin Kendall, co-owner of Olive Oyl’s in Essex, stands at the counter in the current shop.

ESSEX — Olive Oyl’s, a favorite sandwich shop in Essex, presently located at 77 Main Street, will be changing its address as early as this coming June, according to Kevin Kendall, who co-owns the shop with his wife Jennifer. The shop’s new location will be at 6 Main Street in Essex and the shop there will be considerably larger than the current one.

A flag waves above the entrance to the current Olive Oyl’s shop at 77 Main Street in Essex.

For several weeks, workmen at the new location have been modernizing the present structure and also resurfacing the paved driveway at the front of the store.

Olive Oyl’s new home at 6 Main Street.

Olive Oyl’s move to a new and much larger location in Essex up Main Street can be seen as a clear plus for the town of Essex. It will likely draw more visitors to that section of town though passengers arriving in Essex by boat will have a little further to walk up Main Street to make their purchases … but the delicious offerings at their destination will surely be worth the effort!

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Take a (Vernal Pool) Hike in The Preserve This Morning

Hikes are fun for all ages.

ESSEX — Essex Land Trust is hosting a hike in The Preserve’s Vernal Pools on Saturday, May 6, starting at 9 a.m.  

Join ecologist and Ivoryton resident Bob Russo on a hike in The Preserve in search of salamanders, frogs, and plants emerging from the long winter.  He will guide hikers to a few of The Preserve’s vernal pools and describe the biological and geological features that make these areas so unique and bountiful.

Russo is a soil scientist, wetland scientist and ecologist, who frequently played in swamps while growing up. He works for a small engineering company in Eastern Connecticut, lives in Ivoryton and is also chair of the Essex Park and Recreation Commission.

Meet at The Preserve’s East Entrance parking lot on Ingham Hill Rd., Essex. The hike will last one and a half hours. 

The terrain is easy to moderate.  Bring boots.  Open to all ages.  Bad weather cancels.

For further information, contactJim Denham at jgdenham@gmail.com or 860-876-0306.

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Regional Boat Dealers Host 2nd Annual CT Spring Boat Show This Weekend

Aerial view of the Brewer Essex Island Marina where the Connecticut Spring Boat Show will be held.

ESSEX – The Connecticut Spring Boat Show has announced the 2nd Annual 2017 in-water show dates of May 5-7, at Brewer Essex Island Marina located in Essex, Conn.    The boating industry has come together to unveil some of the latest innovations in boating, offer purchase incentives and give consumers an ideal opportunity to compare different boats, dealers and options in one convenient location.

Interested boat buyers will enjoy select opportunities for sea trials throughout the weekend; thus giving prospective buyers a unique ‘try-before-you-buy’ experience.  More than 3000 people are expected to attend the free show, rain or shine.

Visitors attending the boat show will enjoy seeing a wide range of new and brokerage, power and sail models of all sizes, 10ft to larger than 60ft including family cruisers, performance boats, downeast trawlers, day sailers, picnic, center consoles, runabouts, pontoon and inflatables.

Boat lines from American Tug, Beneteau, Bennington, Catalina, Chris Craft, Comitti, Cutwater, Defever, Dufour, Eastbay, Elan, Ferretti, Fortier, Grand Banks, Hinckley, Hunt, Legacy, Nordic Tug, Novatec, Ocean Alexander, Post, Rosborough, Rossiter, Sabre, San Juan, Sea Ray, Southport, Tiara, True North, Velasco,  Windy, X-Yachts, and more will be represented.

In addition to boats on the docks, the show will have SUPs and kayaks, gear, accessories and service companies on site from Action Sports, Boaters Buddy, Boatique USA, Boat Name Gear, Brewer Essex Island Marina, CermaLube, Coolermate Insert, Freedom Boat Club, LeafFilter, NMI-Permateek, Pantaenuis America, Connecticut River Museum, Sails UP for Cancer, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, WindCheck Magazine and more to be announced soon.

Brewer Essex Island Marina is located on a 13-acre private Island, accompanied by a complementary ferry service, and offers 125 slips accommodating vessels up to 200’. The resort marina is family friendly and the popular Marley’s Café will be open for the weekend offering food and beverages with a portion of sales proceeds to be donated to Sails Up 4 Cancer.  In addition to the general event, a lively ‘Cinco de Mayo’ celebration is planned for May 5, from 5 to 7 p.m. and will feature live Caribbean music and fare.

Historical Downtown Essex is located on the Connecticut River, a few short miles from Long Island Sound.  The small waterfront town is a boating, sailing and tourist destination featuring quaint shops, markets, and restaurants.

The show is a production of WindCheck Magazine and is sponsored by Brewer Essex Island Marina, Essex Boat Works, Yacht Brokers Association of America (YBAA) and YachtWorld.  Visit www.ctspringboatshow.com for specific event details.  Contact Anne Hannan of WindCheck Magazine at anne@windcheckmagazine.com for dealer and vendor application information.

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Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition Hosts Community Breakfast, Discussion, May 10

TRI-TOWNS — Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition will host a Community Breakfast and Discussion on May 10, 8 to 9:30 a.m., at Camp Hazen YMCA (204 Main St., Chester).

All are welcome to join this important conversation about teen drug and alcohol use and local drug trends.  Share your concerns, talk with neighbors about underlying causes and share ideas for connecting with youth and supporting healthy decisions and brainstorm solutions.

The Breakfast is free and open to the public.  Call Tri-Town Youth Services at 860-526-3600 or email jennifer@ttysb.org if you plan to attend.

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Region 4 Budget Passes by 100 Votes

The Region 4 proposed 2017-18 budget passed comfortably today with totals of 429 Yes votes to 329 No votes.

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Referendum on Region 4 Budget Today

The Region 4 Budget Referendum vote will be held Tuesday, May 2, from 12 to 8 p.m. in Chester, Deep River and Essex.

A copy of the proposed 2017-18 budget can be found at this link.

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Tri-Towns Observe ‘High on Life’ Week to Raise Substance Abuse Awareness, May 1-6

Celebrated annually throughout Chester, Deep River, and Essex, the annual High on Life Week is being observed this week, May 1-6, according to the wishes of the three select persons of Chester, Deep River and Essex respectively, Lauren Gister, Angus McDonald and Norm Needleman, who have signed the following Proclamation:

CT State Police report that alcohol and marijuana continue to be used prevalently by young people under 20 in our community.  A recent survey of youth indicates that nearly 40% of Valley students use alcohol and about 24% use marijuana regularly.  There are also emerging concerns that teens are using prescription drugs recreationally, often with alcohol. 

Unfortunately, the communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex are not immune to the current opioid crisis in our nation.  Our Resident State Troopers concur that heroin is now the most common drug found among adults over 25 in our towns.  Drugs and alcohol affect all of us.  Our neighbors, our colleagues, our friends or family members are caught in cycles of using substances to feel better but ultimately succumbing to addiction.

We cannot retreat from any opportunity to enlighten, to inform, and to gain the support of all residents as we work together to ensure that our young people and future generations escape the consequences of lives ruled by substance abuse.

The week of May 1-6 will be such an opportunity.  Tri-Town Youth Services will sponsor the 28th annual substance abuse awareness week to educate our communities about drug and alcohol use and abuse and to help people see that life can be enjoyed to its fullest without drugs.

Our unifying theme this year is: “Self-Esteem”.  The week’s events will include coordinated school assemblies, fun youth activities and community-wide discussions about substance abuse and other addictive behaviors.  Residents are encouraged to attend a Community Breakfast on May 10 from 8-9:30 a.m. at Camp Hazen to discuss local drug trends, share concerns, talk with neighbors about underlying causes and share ideas for connecting with youth and supporting healthy decisions.

Therefore, in recognition of this vital cooperative effort, we, the first selectmen of Chester, Deep River, and Essex, designate May 1-6, 2017 as our tri-town prevention and awareness week and a celebration of our lives free of substance abuse.  We sincerely urge all members of our communities to participate in this week’s important activities.

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Want to Turn Photos into Fine Art? CT Valley Camera Club Hosts Speaker Tonight to Tell You How

‘Tuliptini’ by Patty Swanson.

AREAWIDE — The next meeting of the Connecticut Valley Camera Club (CVCC) will feature a presentation by Patty Swanson, Fine Art Photographer from West Hartford, CT. The meeting will be held Monday, May 1, at 7 p.m. at the Lymes’ Senior Center, 26 Town Woods Rd., Old Lyme, CT

Swanson writes: “Get inspired! Have you considered having a gallery show of your artwork but don’t know how to go about it? Or maybe there’s a particular image you think might work nicely hanging in a gallery? Do you have a lot of landscape, animal, and still life images that need a little boost or enhancement?”

She continues, “I will talk about how to turn a photograph into fine art, how to get your work into a gallery, and how to make your artwork sellable.” Swanson’s photographic fine art has exhibited and sold in galleries around the Hartford area.”

Swanson can be reached at swannycat@sbcglobal.netwww.facebook.com/pattyswansonphotography  or through her website at www.pattyswanson.com.

‘Letting Go’ by Patty Swanson.

The CVCC is dedicated to offering its membership the opportunity to become better photographers.  The Club offers a variety of presentations and interactive workshops to help our members expand their technical and creative skills.  Photographers of all levels of experience are welcomed.

The club draws members up and down the river, from Middletown to Old Saybrook;  from East Hampton to Old Lyme;  and along the shoreline from Guilford to Gales Ferry.

For more information, visit the club’s website at  http://ctvalleycameraclub.smugmug.com.

Connecticut Valley Camera Club meeting dates, speakers / topics and other notices are published on the club’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/CTValleyCameraClubPage/

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Enjoy Family Pasta Night Tonight at Ivoryton Congregational Church

Ivoryton Congregational Church hosts pasta night tomorrow. Photo by Pawel Rekas courtesy of Unsplash.com.

IVORYTON — A Family Pasta Night will be held at The Ivoryton Congregational Church, 57 Main Street, Ivoryton on Saturday April 29, offering continuous servings from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Admission prices are as follows: Adults: $10, Children 6-12: $5 and Under 5’s: Free

Reservations are recommended.

The menu is: ziti & meatballs, salad bar, garlic bread followed by dessert with coffee, tea, and water.

For reservations and further information, call Isobel @ 860-767-8167 or the Church Office @  860-767-1004

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Preparing for Essex’s Memorial Day Parade; All Veterans Welcome to March

ESSEX — Memorial Day offers an opportunity to reflect on our freedoms and honor those that have given their lives in defending those freedoms. In recognition of these fallen heroes, the Essex Memorial Day Parade will provide a reverent celebration winding through the streets of Essex. The parade will commence on Memorial Day, May 29, at 9 a.m.

All veterans are welcome; wear your uniform of choice or collared shirt/slacks and join your fellow warriors. Assemble at the Foot of Main Street in downtown Essex at 8:45 a.m.

The parade will follow a three-mile route as it makes the following stops to pay respects: Riverview Cemetery, First Baptist Church, Town Hall, Centerbrook Cemetery, and the Essex Veteran’s Memorial Hall. There will be a short ceremony at the Veteran’s Hall at the conclusion of the parade (approximately 11:15 a.m.)

If weather precludes a parade, ceremonies will be held at Essex Town Hall at 9:30 a.m. and at the Essex Veteran’s Memorial Hall at 11 a.m. All interested parties please contact Alex Breen, Jr., at 609.805.7146 or email huntnfreak@icloud.com  with questions. Veterans who may require transportation are requested to contact the above.

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Letter to the Editor: Come Celebrate Our Local Vets on May 10th!

To the Editor:

Come celebrate our local Vets! An event at the Essex Veterans Memorial Hall in Centerbrook celebrates our Vets and all they do to support their fellow Veterans and our Community.

For many decades, the Essex Veterans Memorial Hall has provided a home to a distinguished group of Americans – those who share the experience of serving in our military. The Hall offers camaraderie to those among us who volunteered for duty and reminds us of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom and that of others worldwide.

The spirit of service runs deep for the members of the Essex Vets Hall. Their mission includes continued service to their fellow Veterans in many ways. They are “Vets Serving Vets”. They also serve our Community and remind us that our military is ever vigilant, continuing to protect and insulate us from conflict.

In recognition of our all our local Veterans who continue to serve their fellow Vets and our Community, the public is invited to an event in their honor. The Recognition Event will be on May 10th from 4-8pm at the Veterans Memorial Hall in Centerbrook.

The event features good old American fare: hotdogs and hamburgers. Tickets are $10 and include a hotdog or hamburger, chips, and a soda. As a special treat, a cash Raw Bar will be available along with a full bar and finger desserts. Enjoy a tea cup raffle and a 50/50 raffle
while you mingle with our Vets and learn of their service in the military and here at home.

Vets Serving Vets is sponsored by the Essex Republican Town Committee. For tickets, please call 860-395-7113.

Sincerely,

Susie Beckman,
Ivoryton, CT

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Find Foxtrots, Friendship, Florida Sunsets in ‘Biloxi Blues’ at Ivoryton Playhouse, on Stage Thru May 14

Cast members of Biloxi Blues in rehearsal: Zal Owen, Conor Hamill, Ethan Kirschbaum, George Mayer, Alec Silberblatt, Chandler Smith, and Mike Mihm.

ESSEX — The Ivoryton Playhouse is leaving behind the music of Ol’ Blue Eyes and heading south to the steamy bayou country of Biloxi, Miss., with the opening of Neil Simon’s Biloxi Blues on April 26. This semi-autobiographical play details his experiences as a young man in boot camp before he was shipped off to serve in the Second World War.

Biloxi Blues is the second chapter in what is known as his Eugene trilogy, following Brighton Beach Memoirs and preceding Broadway Bound, and is the only one in which Eugene is not the central character. Biloxi Blues won the Tony Award when it opened on Broadway in 1985 and ran 524 performances.

Simon’s hit play follows the adventures of Eugene Morris Jerome and his fellow Army inductees as they struggle through basic training near Biloxi, Miss. in 1943. An aspiring writer who sees himself as an outsider observing the craziness around him, Eugene hopes to somehow remain “neutral … like Switzerland,” but finds himself having to make tough choices.

Biloxi Blues is a comedy with real depth about young men growing up, learning about life and how to live together and finally, going off to war. These men are universal soldiers – facing the same fears, anxieties, and loneliness that grip all young recruits about to encounter the ultimate test of combat. Simon brings his great sense of humor and humanity to every word of this play.

A film was also made of the play starring Matthew Broderick and directed by Mike Nichols with screenplay by Neil Simon.

Biloxi Blues is directed by Sasha Bratt and features Zal Owen* as Eugene, Alec Silberblatt* as Arnold and Mike Mihm* as Sergeant Toomey. Cast also includes Andee Buccheri, Conor M. Hamill*, Ethan Kirschbaum, George Mayer, Moira O’Sullivan and Chandler Smith. Set design is by Glenn Bassett, lighting design by Tate R. Burmeister and costume design by Lisa Bebey.

Biloxi Blues opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on April 26 and runs through May 14.  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 Street in Ivoryton.

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Child & Family Agency’s Essex River Valley Auxiliary Hosts Annual Tag Sale’s ‘Intake Day,’ May 4

Everything but the dog! A well-stocked car of donations for Child & Family’s Annual Tag Sale.

ESSEX — For the uninitiated, Intake Day is a spring ritual, marking a time to find, dust off, clean, repair and donate those valued, but little-used clothing and items in your care, to benefit The Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut.

On Thursday, May 4, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Essex Town Hall on 29 West Avenue, members of the Essex Auxiliary of Child and Family Agency will be standing by to greet and assist with your donated items. Use the Grove Street parking lot entrance. Tax donation letters will be available on site, and specialty art or jewelry items will be appreciated and handled with care. 

If you need assistance with unusual or bulkier items, pick- ups may be able to be arranged in advance by contacting Pat Mackenzie-Thompson at 860-227-7551

The auxiliary will collect, sort, box and then transport your contributions to the New London Armory for a bonanza, three-day fundraiser, which has earned a reputation for being one of the “Largest Tag Sales in New England.” This year’s 62nd Annual Sale will be held May 5, 6, and 7 at a new, yet old  venue – the New London Armory at 249 Bayonet Street New London, CT  06320.

WANTED:  Art work, furniture, decorative items, sporting goods, clothing, jewelry, household items, linens, tools & toys, vintage and antique items, books, food magazines, records & DVDs.

The motto Bring the Best and Leave the Rest has made the town of Essex a standard bearer for “quality” donations which help to provide for an increasingly successful fund raiser. Proceeds go directly to support the many extraordinary services provided by Child & Family Agency, a non-profit organization which has served Connecticut families for over 200 years. 

Today, programs address children’s mental health, physical health care, child abuse prevention, the treatment of family violence, teen pregnancy, childcare, and parent education.  Child-care and out-of-school programs benefit from volunteers who read one-on- one with children, share a hobby, an athletic skill or a special talent with a classroom, are homework buddies or create sets and costumes for their exciting theatre productions.  To join the auxiliary or to volunteer today, please call 860-443-2896.

Your collective donations make a difference every year in the lives of the children and families served, but in times of economic turmoil your support is crucial, helping to stabilize some very fragile lives.  Last year over 18,000 children and their family members from 79 towns were helped by the agency’s staff of 195 dedicated professionals. For more information about the work of Child & Family, visit www.childandfamilyagency.org.

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Essex Meadows Announces Lifelong Learning Affiliation with Wesleyan University, Courses Open to Public Start May 13

Courses Offer Opportunities for Continuing Education, Intellectual Growth and Socialization

ESSEX – Essex Meadows, in affiliation with Wesleyan University, announces a series of lifelong learning sessions hosted by the retirement community. With intellectually stimulating courses geared toward historians, art aficionados and more, these lifelong learning opportunities will promote cultural ties with the community.

Beginning Saturday, May 13, the classes and interactive learning sessions will focus on a host of topics, taught by Wesleyan faculty members. “Research has shown that adults who engage in intellectual and artistic endeavors feel more connected to their local community,” said Susan Carpenter, director of community life services at Essex Meadows.

She continued, “Whether your passion is history, art, or lifelong learning, in general, this affiliation allows us to offer some wonderful opportunities to broaden one’s knowledge base.”

Rick Friswell, associate director of the Wesleyan Institute for Lifelong Learning, says the topics will cover a variety of content. “Learning is limitless and we’re excited about the content we’ll be covering at Essex Meadows,” he said. “We’re exploring these important topics in a way that should spark curiosity and discussion, and we’re really excited about this affiliation.”

The first course will focus on World War I, and will include a 1957 film on the topic, as well as lecture and discussion.

These events are open to the public, with costs associated with some of the courses.

Schedule of Courses

  • Saturday, May 13:
    One Day University – The Great War to End All Wars $125
  • Thursday, June 8:
    Lecture – The Epic of Gilgamesh No Charge
  • Wednesday, July 12:
    Field Trip – Yale Center for British Art $45
  • Thursday, September 7:
    Mini Course – Three Places in New England: A Guided Tour Through 19th Century Art and Literature $100
  • Sunday, October 29:
    Melodrama – Dark and Stormy Nights: Gothic Fiction and Romantic Music No Charge

To register, contact Susan Carpenter, director of community life services, at carpenters@essexmeadows.com or 860-767-4578, ext. 5156. Checks should be made payable to Wesleyan Institute for Lifelong Learning. Visit www.essexmeadows.com/events to learn more.

Essex Meadows is located at 30 Bokum Road, Essex, CT 06426.

Since 1988, Essex Meadows has provided a lifestyle of dignity, freedom, independence and security to older adults from Connecticut and beyond. A community offering full lifecare, Essex Meadows, located conveniently on the Connecticut River near the mouth of Long Island Sound, prides itself on a financially responsible and caring atmosphere.

Essex Meadows is managed by Life Care Services®™, a leading provider in life care, retirement living. For more information on Essex Meadows, visit the community’s website or call 860-767-7201.

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Guilford Savings Bank Supports Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries with ‘Green for Greens’

From left to right, front row, Guilford Saving Bank Branch Manager, Dave Carswell, SSKP Board Member Rick Westbrook, SSKP Executive Director, Patty Dowling, and Guilford Saving Bank Community Development Officer, Lisa La Monte. (back row) Guilford Saving Bank Assistant Branch Manager, Sandra Miller, and Guilford Saving Bank tellers Ryan Donovan and Brandy Reilly.

AREAWIDE — Guilford Savings Bank has awarded a $4,000 grant to Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP) to purchase fresh produce for needy residents of the shoreline. The grant, called “Green for Greens”, helps assure that local families who come to SSKP’s food pantries will be provided with fresh fruit and vegetables, in addition to non-perishable foods.

Lisa LeMonte, Marketing and Community Development Officer at Guilford Savings Bank, shared, “I know I speak for everyone at GSB when I say how proud we are to provide “Green for Greens” that allows The Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries to supplement their budget with funds to purchase additional fresh produce.”

“The support of Guilford Savings Bank and their generous “Green for Greens” is truly a gift to those we serve at our 5 food pantries.  We all know the feeling of eating a fresh crisp apple, or finding a banana in our lunch bag when we are hungry midday.  Because of GSB, those in need will share in that feeling, and on behalf of those we serve, I sincerely thank Guilford Savings Bank for their commitment to providing access to fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Patty Dowling, Executive Director.

Founded 28 years ago, The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries provides food and fellowship to people in need and educates the community about hunger and poverty, serving the Connecticut shoreline towns of Essex, Chester, Clinton, Madison, Old Saybrook, East Lyme, Lyme, Old Lyme, Killingworth, Westbrook and Deep River.

Guilford Savings Bank has been serving the financial needs of the Connecticut shoreline for over 140 years.  Recently named the #1 Community Bank in Connecticut, it is the premier relationship bank, providing banking, lending, wealth management and life insurance solutions for personal, small business and commercial customers. For more information visit www.gsbyourbank.com

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Swing! Community Music School Hosts a Swingin’ Spring Benefit, Saturday

Community Music School Gala supporters gather for this photo.

DEEP RIVER – Community Music School (CMS)’s largest annual fundraiser is the CMS Gala and this year will transport guests back to the 30’s and 40’s with Swing! A swingin’ spring benefit for CMS. The greatest hits of the swing era will be performed by faculty and students.

The event takes place on Saturday, April 22, in Deep River at The Lace Factory and includes a lively cocktail hour with passed hors d’oeuvres and silent auction. The party continues with gourmet food stations prepared by Cloud Nine Catering, and fabulous musical entertainment provided by CMS faculty and students.

The eight-piece big band will spark up the dance floor with the great hits from the 30’s and 40’s swing era featuring the music of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, and many more. The music program will feature the jazz expertise of the CMS faculty, along with student and faculty vocalists.

Featured vocal student performers include Courtney Parrish of Westbrook and Barbara Malinsky of Madison. Faculty performers include Joni Gage (vocals), Patricia Hurley (trumpet), Andy Sherwood (clarinet/tenor saxophone), Music Director Tom Briggs (piano), Kevin O’Neil (guitar), Andrew Janes (trombone) and Matthew McCauley (bass), with special guests Jake Epstein (alto saxophone) and Gary Ribchinsky (percussion and vocals).

Support of the Community Music School gala provides the resources necessary to offer scholarships to students with a financial need, as well as weekly music education and music therapy services for students with special needs, and arts education through in-school presentations and community concerts.

Swing! A swingin’ spring benefit for CMS sponsors include Bogaert Construction, Great Hill Development, Guilford Savings Bank, Kitchings & Potter LLC, Maple Lane Farms, Tower Laboratories LTD, World Trading Leather, Angelini Wine LTD, The Clark Group, Ring’s End, Shore Publishing, Whelen Engineering, Thomas H. Alexa – Comprehensive Wealth Management, Brewer Pilots Point Marina, Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services, Jackson Lewis, Madison Veterinary Hospital, Periodontics P.C., Reynolds Garage & Marine, The Safety Zone Tidal Counseling LLC.

Tickets for the evening are $125 per person ($65 is tax deductible). Tickets may be purchased online at community-music-school.org/gala, at the school located at 90 Main Street in the Centerbrook section of Essex or by calling 860-767-0026.

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 visit www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

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Essex Premiere of Six-Time Emmy-Winning Filmmaker’s ‘Life and Gardens of Beatrix Farrand, Sunday’

Portrait of Beatrix Farrand

The Essex Library will welcome documentary filmmaker and six-time Emmy Award winner, Karyl Evans, who will screen her latest film and discuss Beatrix Farrand’s work with Landscape Architect Shavaun Towers, who also appears in the film. Thescreening will take place on Sunday, April 23, at 3 p.m. in The Cube at Centerbrook Architects’ office.

This compelling film is the first ever to chronicle the life of Beatrix Farrand (1872-1959), the niece of Edith Wharton and the most successful female landscape architect in early 20th century America. Farrand grew up in the privileged world of the East Coast elite and fought through the challenges of working in a male-dominated profession to design over 200 landscape commissions during her remarkable 50-year career.

The documentary includes never-before-seen archival materials and recent photographs of over 60 Beatrix Farrand related sites, taking viewers on an inspiring journey across the country to explore her personal story and many of her most spectacular gardens.

These sites include Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C.; the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden; Garland Farm in Bar Harbor, Maine; the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Bar Harbor, Maine; and her California gardens. The narrated film also includes interviews with Beatrix Farrand scholars.

Photo of garden designed by Farrand at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC.

Karyl Evans’ undergraduate degree is in Horticulture / Landscape Architecture. She earned her Master’s Degree in Filmmaking from San Diego State University. Ms. Evans was a full-time Professor at Southern Connecticut State University for two years, teaching film production and theory. Karyl is a Fellow at Yale University and is one of the organizers of the New Haven Documentary Film Festival at Yale.

Landscape Architect Shavaun Towers PLA, FASLA, graduated from Smith College with a BA in Architecture and received a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a founding Partner of Towers | Golde Landscape Architects in New Haven and has taught at Yale University Schools of Architecture and Forestry as well as the Harvard Graduate School of Design. 

This event is free and open to the public. Advance registration is requested. Please call the Essex Library for more information or to register at (860) 767-1560. The event will be held in The Cube at Centerbrook Architects’ office at 67 Main St. in Centerbrook. Heartfelt thanks to our event co-sponsors: the Essex Garden Club and Centerbrook Architects.

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Essex Historical Society Hosts Open House for Volunteers at Pratt House, Sunday

Visit the beautiful grounds of the 1732 Pratt House, a landmark property of Essex Historical Society.

ESSEX — Enjoy history?  Historic interiors?  Meeting new people?  Essex Historical Society cordially invites you to an Open House for Volunteers at the historic 1732 Pratt House on Sunday, April 23, from 2 to 4 p.m.  The event will be held at the Pratt House, 19 West Avenue, Essex.  A short presentation will occur at 2:30 p.m.

Pratt House’s volunteer tour guides or ‘docents’ lead engaging tours for visitors.

The Society would love to introduce you to their volunteer tour guide program or ‘docents’ that will lead to a rewarding experience for you and our history-loving audience.  Come meet their genial, well-informed guides for a private tour of this historic structure.  No experience is necessary and all training is provided.

The Pratt House has served as Essex’s only historic house museum for more than 6o years and serves as the flagship of Essex Historical Society.  The house tells the story of life in an early CT River seaport town through nine generations of one family, many of whom were blacksmiths.

Tours of the house are offered to the public from June – September, Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons, 1 to 4 p.m.; and by appointment.  Beautiful grounds, newly restored kitchen gardens, a community garden, reproduction barn and museum shop make for a memorable visit to this historic landmark.

The Open House for Volunteers is open to the public.  Refreshments will be served

For more info, contact Mary Ann Pleva at 860-767-8560 or visit www.essexhistory.org

 

Captions for Photos:

 

Visit the beautiful grounds of the 1732 Pratt House, a landmark property of Essex Historical Society.

 

Pratt House’s volunteer tour guides or ‘docents’ lead engaging tours for visitors.

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Celebrate Earth Day with Tri-Town and Bushy Hill, Sunday

ESSEX — In honor of Earth Day, Tri-Town Youth Services and Bushy Hill Nature Center invite families to get outside and explore nature together on Sunday, April 23, from 1 to 3 p.m. The Nature Center will be open, and Bushy Hill’s expert staff will be on hand to tell you about this very special place in Ivoryton.

The schedule for the event is as follows:

Guided Hike at 1:30 p.m.
Bow Drill Demonstration at 2 p.m.

Bushy Hill Nature Center is located at 253 Bushy Hill Road, Ivoryton

Suggested donation:  $5 toward the Camp Scholarship Fund

Call 860-526-3600 to register.

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Copper Beech Inn, Ivoryton Village Alliance Host Whiskey Tasting Tonight to Benefit Ivoryton Illuminations Fund

IVORYTON — The Ivoryton Village Alliance, in partnership with The Copper Beech Inn, is hosting a whisky tasting on Saturday, April 15at 6:30 p.m.

The evening will consist of Scottish whiskies paired with food specially prepared by Chef Carlos Cassar. Nigel Manley, a renowned expert in the art of whisky making, will be give an informative and entertaining presentation on the history and craft of “Uisge Beatha” – the water of life.

Nigel Manley

The evening will feature four Scottish whiskies: Auchentoshan – 12-year-old; Macallan – 12- year-old; Lagavulin – 16-year-old, and Sheep Dip.

Seating is extremely limited and reservations are required. The cost is $80 per person – all profits will benefit the Ivoryton Illuminations Holiday Lights Fund.

The Copper Beeech Inn is at 46 Main Street in Ivoryton and is also offering a Whiskey Alliance Dinner Package.  This package is priced at $350 and includes: Overnight stay in a Super Deluxe Room; Admission for two to the Whiskey Dinner; Gourmet a la carte breakfast for two Sunday Morning.

For reservations or further information, visit www.copperbeechinn.com or call 860 767 0330

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Ivoryton Congregational Church Hosts Easter Sunrise, 10am Services; All Welcome

IVORYTON — All are invited to join the Ivoryton Congregational Church at 57 Main Street, Ivoryton, for their Easter Day services as follows:

Easter Sunday, April 16
7 a.m.
A brief Easter sunrise service at the pond behind the church.  This will be followed by an Easter Breakfast to which all are invited.

10 a.m.
Easter Celebration in the sanctuary of the church The story of Easter.  The scripture will be the Easter story in Matthew 28:1-10. The sermon will be “At Dawn.” All are welcome.

Call the church office at 860-767-1004 for more information.

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Legendary Adriaen Block Vessel To Land this Summer at Connecticut River Museum

Onrust under sail. Photo courtesy of the Onrust Project.

ESSEX — The Connecticut River Museum has announced that the Onrust, a replica of the first European vessel to explore and chart the Connecticut River, will rediscover the River this summer.

Following Henry Hudson’s 1609 expedition, Dutch captain Adriaen Block was hired to explore the northeastern coastline of America with the intent of establishing trade with Native Americans and claiming parts of the territory for the Dutch Republic.  On his fourth and final voyage (1613-1614), Block’s ship the Tiger was destroyed by fire while in New York Bay.  Block and his crew went to work near Manhattan building a new vessel – the Onrust (launched in New York Bay in April 1614).

The Onrust investigated coastal New York, Long Island, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. In the course of his travels, Block became the first known European to travel up the Connecticut River to just north of Hartford (a distance of approximately 60 miles from Long Island Sound).  He recorded the conditions, the places that he saw, and the native people he encountered. 

The impacts of Block’s travels were many.  Upon his return to Amsterdam in July 1614, Block’s explorations, along with the collective knowledge from other expeditions, were documented in the “Figurative Map of Capt. Adriaen Block” — an incredibly accurate map of the northeast region given the navigation and survey instruments of the day. 

Connecticut River Museum Executive Director, Christopher Dobbs stated “We cannot be more thrilled to host this remarkable vessel that has such historic relevance to our region.”  In fact, as Dobbs notes, Block’s discoveries ushered in dramatic changes.  Most notably, the cultural interchanges (often leading to calamitous consequences) between Native Americans and Europeans, colonization, the founding of New Netherland, and the ecological impacts due to global trade.  It was “at least in part thanks to Block’s work that a Dutch trading post was established in 1624 in Old Saybrook and that Hartford [House of Hope] became New Netherland’s eastern-most trading post and fort.”

The re-creation of the vessel was spearheaded by New York based nonprofit The Onrust Project. Following extensive research, the rediscovery of traditional Dutch shipbuilding techniques, and the efforts of over 250 volunteers, the vessel was launched in 2009 at the Mabee Farm Historic Site, Rotterdam, NY.  Board Chair and Executive Director of The Onrust Project, Greta Wagle said “The Onrust is an extraordinary, floating museum.  We are very pleased to collaborate with the Connecticut River Museum and share her important stories with River Valley residents and tourists.”

The Connecticut River Museum will host the Onrust from June 1 through early October.  During this time they will offer cruises and dockside tours.  To find out more details about the Onrust’s summer cruises, charters, and upcoming programs please visit the Connecticut River Museum’s website at ctrivermuseum.org.  You can also discover the Onrust yourself by going to The Onrust Project’s website at theonrust.com.

Interested in becoming a volunteer guide this summer aboard the ship?  Contact the Museum’s Education Department at jwhitedobbs@ctrivermuseum.org.

The Connecticut River Museum is the only museum dedicated to the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its Valley.  The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The Museum currently has a special exhibition, Connecticut’s Founding Fish, exploring the story of the Shad.

For more information on exhibits and related programs please contact the Connecticut River Museum at 860.767.8269 or visit the website, ctrivermuseum.org.

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The Rockfall Foundation Announces 12 Grants for Environmental Projects

AREAWIDE — The Board of Directors and Grants Committee of the Rockfall Foundation are pleased to announce that twelve environmental programs throughout the Lower Connecticut River Valley received grants in the latest funding cycle. More than $28,000 was awarded to support environmental education and conservation efforts that will have a combined benefit for nearly 2,000 students and many more adults and families in the region.

“These grants, awarded through a competitive process, support the wonderful work being done in the area of environmental education and conservation throughout our region,” said Marilyn Ozols, President of the Foundation. “We are grateful that the generosity of our donors makes it possible for us to support so many worthwhile programs.”

Environmental education is a priority area for the Foundation and programs that serve and engage children and youth represent the several of those receiving grants. Public schools and non-profit organizations will provide hands-on environmental education programs in Middletown, Durham, Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook. Additionally, several conservation projects and public events will present residents throughout the Lower Connecticut River Valley with information on urban farming, removal of invasives, and tree identification, as well as provide volunteer opportunities.

Grantees include:

Indian Hill Cemetery Association – “A Celebration of the Trees of Indian Hill Cemetery” will encourage visitors to utilize Indian Hill Cemetery as a place where they can learn about trees, be inspired by trees, enjoy the view and walk quietly. Tree identification activities, school programs, and the addition of signs will support this effort. $1,000

Van Buren Moody Elementary School – “Moody School Courtyard Nature Enrichment Programs” will train teachers to use the school’s courtyard gardens for education enrichment, thereby increasing the amount of time students spend outside learning about the environment. The program will also involve students and families in maintaining and managing the gardens to create a sense of ownership and connection to the courtyards and the natural world. $1,030

Regional School District 13 Elementary Schools – “Taking the Next Generation Science Standards Outside” will encourage elementary students to engage in the Science and Engineering Practices emphasized in the Next Generation Science Standards, while exploring the nature trails near their schools and noting problems that could be investigated and addressed. $1,100

Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District – “Urban Farm-Based Education Programs at Forest City Farms: A Farm Days Pilot Project” will promote an ongoing urban agriculture initiative in Middletown focused on improving urban farming conservation practices, building community interest and engagement in farming, developing farming/gardening knowledge and skills, and helping address food insecurity. Hands-on activities will take place at Forest City Farms. $1,500

Middlesex Land Trust and Everyone Outside – “Middlesex Land Trust Preserves: Great Places to Spend Time Outside” will revive and foster an interest in nature by connecting children and families with their local environment through field trips and public trail walks, helping them gain an understanding and appreciation of nature in order to become future stewards of the environment. $1,500

Snow Elementary School – “Outdoor Explorations at Snow Elementary School” will provide students and teachers with hands-on science and nature programs, including teacher training, mentoring and curriculum development leading to greater interest in science and stewardship of the natural world. $1,900

Lyme Land Conservation Trust – “The Diana and Parker Lord Nature and Science Center” to support the planning and development of educationally-focused content that is directed to all ages and will engage school-age children, and to support a unique and interactive interpretive trail within the Banningwood Preserve. $2,000

Valley Shore YMCA – “Farm to Table Specialty Camp,” an innovative new program that will teach children the important life skills of gardening, harvesting produce for themselves and others, and environmental sustainability. $2,225

Macdonough Elementary School – “Macdonough School Takes the Classroom Outside” will provide hands-on science education for K through 5th grade students, including an understanding of the natural world and the local ecosystem, to enhance students’ connection with nature. $2,570

Connecticut River Watershed Council – “European Water Chestnut Strategy for the Connecticut River Watershed” will directly educate more than 250 individuals on how to identify, manage and report European Water Chestnuts; educate thousands of residents about the plant and its threat to our waterways; and involve volunteers in hand removal of documented infestations. $3,500

Connecticut Forest and Park – “Highlawn Forest Invasive Removal and Education Program,” part of a strategic Forest Management Plan, to use the property as a recreation and education asset through careful timbering and an invasive removal process. The program will be a model for environmental planning and will offer a unique opportunity for hands-on environmental education for landowners and municipalities. $4,000

SoundWaters – “Coastal Explorers: A Bridge for Sustainability for Watershed Exploration for Middle School Students” will provide students from Middlesex County with hands-on science education focused on their local estuarine habitats and watershed to encourage a deeper understanding of the natural world via a combination of study and stewardship activities. $6,000

Founded in 1935 by Middletown philanthropist Clarence S. Wadsworth, the Rockfall Foundation is named for the large waterfall in Wadsworth Falls State Park. In addition to its grants, the Foundation sponsors educational programs and owns and maintains the deKoven House Community Center. The Rockfall Foundation awards grants annually through a competitive process that is open to non-profit organizations and municipalities located in the Lower Connecticut River Valley. For additional information or to make a tax-deductible contribution, please visit www.rockfallfoundation.org  or call 860-347-0340.

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The Very Latest … and Most Important … News to Date on the Proposed High Speed Train Route

Amtrak’s ‘Acela’ passes through Rocky Neck State Park on a recent morning.

AREAWIDE — In a major news story published yesterday in the CT Mirror, veteran journalist Ana Radelat summarizes the significant impact that opposition in Connecticut to the proposed high-speed rail route has already had — and is continuing to have.  Radelat quotes Old Lyme’s Greg Stroud, founder of SECoast and now director of special projects for the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, who has been at the forefront of this opposition, as saying, “Opposition is growing along the entire shoreline.”

Read Radelat’s story titled, CT rebellion against federal rail plan grows — and may have impact, at this link.

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Country School Hosts Tee Off for Scholarship Golf Classic, June 12

A successful foursome at last year’s Golf Classic.

AREAWIDE On Monday, June 12, The Country School will host its Tee Off for Scholarship Golf Classic at the Pine Orchard Yacht and Country Club. Proceeds will go to the Founders’ Promise Fund for Scholarship at the school. This event is open to the public.

Since 2012 The Country School Golf Classic has raised over $100,000 for the Founders’ Promise Fund (FPF) for Scholarship. This investment in a child’s future awards need-based scholarships to a wide range of students. Established in 2006 by Allee and Jeff ‘61 Burt P ‘00, ‘03 and their family to honor The Country School’s founders and their desire to help all children reach their full potential, the FPF for Scholarship has helped 173 unique students in the past decade, awarding more than $4.6 million dollars during this time.

This year’s event offers the chance to win a Mercedes with a hole-in-one. Don’t have the best drive? Don’t worry, there will also be a live and silent auction as well as on-the-course prizes so you too can go home a winner or simply join us for dinner at the club.

Join us! thecountryschool.org/giving/tcsgolfclassic #countryclubs

Questions? Contact joanne.arrandale@thecountryschool.org

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. Learn more at www.thecountryschool.org.

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First 2017 Environmental Forum at CT River Museum Reviews Waterway Manipulations, April 13

This aerial photograph by Tom Walsh shows the manipulation of the River’s natural flow in Turner’s Falls, Mass.

ESSEX — Join the Connecticut River Museum for “Waterway Manipulations”, our first 2017 Environmental Forum on Thursday, April 13, at 5:30 p.m.  Speakers will present issues and include time for discussions about water legislation, the necessity of floodplains and the preservation of the American Beaver. 

Alicia Charamut, Connecticut River Steward at the Connecticut River Watershed Council, will present Water Diversions: An overview of the state’s water planning process, what citizens can expect from the process and how individuals can become involved in water management in finding balance of water-use. 

Chris Campany, Executive Director of the Windham Regional Commission based in Brattleboro, Vermont will present  “Do Unto Those Downstream As You’d Have Those Upstream Do Unto You”:  Preserving and restoring floodwater access to floodplains is essential not only from a scientific and biological perspective, but from a moral perspective as well. 

The final presenter, local Naturalist at The Incarnation Center, Phil Miller will discuss American Beaver: Celebrating a keystone species and the habitat they build for wildlife. The program is sponsored by the Rockfall Foundation.

The Connecticut River Museum is the only museum dedicated to the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its Valley.  The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open Tuesday – Sunday from 10 a.m.  to 5 p.m.  The Museum currently has a special exhibition, Connecticut’s Founding Fish, exploring the story of the Shad. For more information on exhibits and related programs please contact the Connecticut River Museum at 860.767.8269 or visit the website, ctrivermuseum.org. 

Photo Caption: This aerial photograph by Tom Walsh shows the manipulation of the River’s natural flow in Turner’s Falls, Massachusetts.

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Fire House Food Drive Benefits Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries Today

Shoreline Fire Departments hold a food drive Saturday, April 8, to benefit SSKP.

AREAWIDE — For the sixth consecutive year, Connecticut shoreline fire departments will host a one-day food drive on Saturday, April 8, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to collect non-perishable food for shoreline residents in need.

All donations will go to local food pantries run by the Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP.)

The SSKP hopes to include all fire departments in the 11 shoreline towns they serve. Fire departments already committed to the event include: Old Saybrook FD, 310 Main Street; (and once again this year, drop-offs will also be accepted by the OSFD at the Stop and Shop in Old Saybrook and Big Y in Old Saybrook); Westbrook FD, 15 South Main Street; Essex FD, 11 Saybrook Road; Clinton FD, 35 East Main Street; North Madison FD, 864 Opening Hill Road; and Chester FD, 6 High Street. All area fire departments are encouraged to participate.

At a time of year when food donations are low, this food drive will help to restock the pantries and ensure that everyone in our local communities will have a place at the table. The Soup Kitchens’ five pantries distributed over 1 million pounds of food last year to needy residents. Only 40 percent of this food comes from the CT Food Bank; the remainder must be either purchased or donated, so every item is appreciated.

Last year’s drive brought in close to 4,000 pounds of food, and this year’s goal is 6,000 pounds.

Join the effort by donating food, or by holding a food drive in your neighborhood, workplace, or club, and then bringing it to a participating firehouse on Saturday, April 8. Participating fire departments ask those donating food only to drop off food on Saturday, April 8.

Please do not drop off food before that date.

For more information call (860) 388-1988 or email Claire Bellerjeau at cbellerjeau@shorelinesoupkitchens.org.

The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries provide food and fellowship to people in need and educate the community about hunger and poverty, serving 11 shoreline towns. Founded 28 years ago, they accomplish their mission with the help of over 900 dedicated volunteers. Last year SSKP provided food for over one million meals to 8,000 local residents in need.

For more information on volunteering, visit www.shorelinesoupkitchens.org and get updates on Facebook. The SSKP thanks you for supporting their mission to provide food and fellowship to people in need and educate the community about hunger and poverty.

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Letter From Paris: Thoughts on the First Few Days of Brexit

Nicole Prévost Logan

This was a very good editorial,  civilized and  compassionate.  It avoided throwing oil on the fire, playing the blame game or making doomsday predictions.

On March 30, in le Monde, an editorial appeared under the following title: “An Appeal to London and the 27.”  Actually it was a collective message published simultaneously by The Guardian, Le Monde, La Vanguardia and Gazeta Wyborcza.

One cannot undo 44 years of social, economic and human ties with just a strike of a pen — that was  the four newspapers’ message.   The collateral damage will be felt on both sides of the English Channel.  Three million Europeans live in the UK and more than two million British expats live on the continent. The fate of those five million people is at stake.  

The authors of the editorial suggested the Brexit process should be started on a positive note and tend to the status of the expatriate nationals right away, before starting the negotiation process.

But the day after Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, parted emotionally with the Euroskeptic David Davis British envoy,  the head-on confrontational negotiations started in earnest.

Like a chess player, Theresa May decided that attack was the best strategy and she put the central demands of the UK on the table: first, treat simultaneously the details of the “divorce” and the future of commercial relations between the UK and the European Union (EU); second, organize the future of security cooperation. 

Europe shot back in no uncertain terms.  Angela Merkel said Germany wanted to tackle other matters first and so did Francois Holland,  Donald Tusk and Michel Barnier, the chief negotiator for Europe.  The basic position of the Europeans is that no negotiations on free trade should start until the UK has left the EU totally and become a third-party country. 

The European Union (EU) wants discussions to proceed “per phases,” starting with “reciprocal and non discriminatory” guarantees as to the status of the Europeans living the UK and the 60 billion Euros already obligated by the UK to the budget of Europe. An extremely sensitive point will be for the UK to abide by the decisions taken by the European Court of Justice located in Luxembourg.

As far as the negotiations concerning the future relations between the two parties, some topics promise to be particularly stormy, particularly the “social, fiscal and environmental dumping” or whether to preserve the “financial passport” allowing the City of London to sell financial products on the continent.  The Europeans oppose discussions per economic sector, as wanted by Theresa May, and bi-lateral agreements to be signed between the UK and any of the EU members. 

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council.

On March 31, Donald Tusk, gave a crucial six-page document to the 27 members of the EU laying down the essential principles of the negotiations to come. The text should be formally accepted by them on April 29 at a summit meeting in Brussels.

Obviously the presidential elections in France will have an impact on the negotiations.   Marine Le Pen applauds an event which will make Europe more fragile.  At the opposite end of the political spectrum, Emmanuel Macron (En Marche party) feels the access to the Common Market  has a price and should be balanced by contributions to the European budget.  François Fillon  (Les Republicains or LR ) supports a firm attitude toward the British demands. He thinks that the Le Touquet agreement needs to be modified and the borders moved from Calais to Dover.

The ideal scenario would be to have the parties agree on these first phases so that discussion on the future should be tackled by the beginning of 2018.

The tone of the difficult negotiations has been set.  It will be a roller-coaster ride for months to come.

Editor’s Note: This is the opinion of Nicole Prévost Logan.

Nicole LoganAbout the author: Nicole Prévost Logan divides her time between Essex and Paris, spending summers in the former and winters in the latter. She writes a regular column for us from her Paris home where her topics will include politics, economy, social unrest — mostly in France — but also in other European countries. She also covers a variety of art exhibits and the performing arts in Europe. Logan is the author of ‘Forever on the Road: A Franco-American Family’s Thirty Years in the Foreign Service,’ an autobiography of her life as the wife of an overseas diplomat, who lived in 10 foreign countries on three continents. Her experiences during her foreign service life included being in Lebanon when civil war erupted, excavating a medieval city in Moscow and spending a week under house arrest in Guinea.

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Celebrate Beavers on International Beaver Day, Saturday

ESSEX — The Essex Conservation Commission is celebrating International Beaver Day on Saturday, April 8.  Rain date is April 9.

The Commission will be hosting tours of Quarry Pond at 6 a.m. (prior to sunrise) and 7 p.m. (prior to sunset).  Beavers are nocturnal animals that tend to sleep during the day.  The ability to see them is best at these times.

Quarry Pond in located in the Viney Hill Brook Park in Essex, CT.  Meet at the parking lot on the end of Cedar Grove Terrace prior to the start time of each tour.

Beavers are known as a Keystone species. A keystone species is a plant or animal that plays a unique and crucial role in the way an ecosystem functions. Without keystone species, the ecosystem would be dramatically different or cease to exist altogether. All species in an ecosystem, or habitat, rely on each other.

Come and visit to learn more about Beavers. Sign up by contacting EssexCelebratesBeavers@gmail.com.

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Children’s Classic That Still Rings True Today; See ‘The Hundred Dresses’ at Ivoryton, Saturday

IVORYTON – The Hundred Dresses remains as relevant for children today as it was when it was written in 1944. The timeless story by Connecticut author Eleanor Estes, about a young immigrant who gets bullied at school, comes to the stage at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Saturday, April 8, at 2 p.m.

Estes, a Newbery Medal-winning author who lived in West Haven, Conn., tells the story of Wanda Petronski, a second-grader from Poland. Wanda lives way up in a shabby house in Boggins Heights, and she doesn’t have any friends. Every day she wears a faded blue dress, but she tells her classmates that she has a hundred dresses at home — all silk, all colors, velvet, too.

The children at Franklin Elementary don’t know what to make of this peculiar new girl with the strange accent. Soon they make a game of teasing Wanda about her hundred dresses until one day she disappears from school, leaving just an empty seat where she once sat. As feelings of guilt overtake the children, they decide that they must find out what happened to Wanda and make amends for the way they treated her. But is it too late? And how is it that Wanda left behind 100 dresses?

Based on the beloved Newbery Honor Book by Estes, this acclaimed musical adaptation masterfully handles such topics as bullying, friendship and forgiveness. Packed with humor and filled with colorful characters and memorable songs such as “Bright Blue Day,” “Penny Paddywhack” and “Never Do Nothing,” The Hundred Dresses is a time-honored tale that explores the bonds of friendship, the willingness to be yourself and the courage that it takes to stand up to others — even when you’re standing alone.

The Ivoryton Playhouse production will be directed by Daniel Nischan. The cast includes Anna Fagan, Gina Salvatore, Amy Buckley, Erik Bloomquist, Michael Hotkowski, Amy Forbes, Olivia Welch and Jim Hile.

The Hundred Dresses is part of this year’s Ivoryton Playhouse education program for elementary schools, entitled Plays with Purpose. The program teaches social development lessons while exposing children to the art of live theater, many of them attending a live performance for the first time. This year, 1,500 students and teachers will attend with their schools throughout the week of April 3.

The one-time public performance will be held on Saturday, April 8, at 2 p.m., and is best for ages 12 and under. All tickets are $14 and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  (Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more.)

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

 

Plays with Purpose is supported by The Bauman Family Foundation, the Essex Community Fund and The Community Foundation of Middlesex County’s Council of Business Partners Fund as part of its ongoing Campaign for Bully-Free Communities. It is sponsored by Katrina A. Wall, Essex Dentist.

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Chanticleer, “An Orchestra of Voices” Concludes Essex Winter Series’ 40th Anniversary Season This Afternoon

Chanticleer, an orchestra of voices, perform April 2 in Old Saybrook to conclude Esex Winter Series 40th anniversary season.

ESSEX/OLD SAYBROOK – Essex Winter Series’ 40th anniversary season concludes with Chanticleer, “an orchestra of voices,” performing on Sunday, April 2 at 3 p.m. at Old Saybrook High School, 1111 Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook.

One of the world’s most renowned vocal ensembles, Chanticleer is an all-male chorus that performed as part of the Series in 2015 to a near sold-out audience, despite snowstorm conditions. This year, they present “My Secret Heart,” a program that invokes images of love across time and space.

In addition to Cole Porter and Noel Coward standards, the program highlights two special Chanticleer commissions. They are a brand new work from the pen of Finnish composer Jaako Mantyjärvi, and five evocative and heart-wrenching poems from “Love Songs” of Augusta Read Thomas, featured in the Grammy-award winning CD “The Colors of Love.”

Individual tickets are $35 or $5 for full-time students. Seating is general admission. To purchase tickets or learn more, visit www.essexwinterseries.com or call 860-272-4572.

The 2017 season is generously sponsored by The Clark Group, Essex Meadows, Essex Savings Bank, Guilford Savings Bank, Jeffrey N. Mehler CFP LLC, and Tower Laboratories. Outreach activities are supported by the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, Community Music School and donors to the Fenton Brown Circle.

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