June 28, 2017

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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Essex Library Presents, ‘The Search for Life in Age of Exoplanets,’ June 29

Wesleyan Post-Doctoral researcher Dr. Wilson Cauley. Photo by Dr. W. Cauley.

ESSEX — The recent explosion in our understanding of planets around other stars has accelerated the quest to find signs of life on these worlds. With so many potential places to look, astronomers are now on the cusp of measuring biological imprints in the atmospheres of other planets.

Wesleyan post-doctoral astronomy researcher Wilson Cauley returns to the Essex Library on Thursday, June 29, at 7 p.m. to talk about these efforts and some of the challenges facing the search for extra-solar life, as well as the ongoing missions in our own solar system.

This program is free and open to the public. Registration is requested.

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

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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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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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Ivoryton Farmers Market Takes Place Every Saturday Through Sept. 30

ESSEX — The Ivoryton Village Farmers Market is turning seven! Each Saturday starting at 10 a.m., the Ivoryton Green will be bustling with vendors showcasing Connecticut-grown products and prepared foods, creations from local artisans and crafters, and live music every week.

Each week. June 17 thru Sept 30, seasonal produce, meats, fish, cheeses, milk, ice cream, garlic, maple syrup, honey, coffee, flowers, shrubs, jams and jellies, bakery items and more will be available. Between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., families are invited to visit Ivoryton, shop the market and enjoy live music playing each week in the Gazebo. New this year is our once a month, Lawnapalloza, free fun games for the whole family.

Sponsored by the Ivoryton Village Alliance, and located next to the iconic Ivoryton Playhouse, the mission of the Ivoryton Village Farmers Market is a simple one – to bring the farm to your table. Market Manager David Sousa says, “We offer fresh, locally grown food to our customers, and it’s a great way for everyone to learn about where their food comes from.”

More information at www.ivorytonfarmersmarket.com.

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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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Essex Library Presents ‘Hiking the Appalachian Trail’ with Sam Ducharme, June 13

A free, illustrated talk on thru hiking the Appalachian Trail will be presented by Sam Ducharme at 6:30 p.m. June 13, at the Essex Library

ESSEX — Treat yourself to a modern-day adventure and learn what it’s like to set out on a 2180 mile, 14 state backpacking trip from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mt. Katahdin Maine. During his six-month journey, Sam Ducharme documented the rugged beauty of the Appalachian Mountains, the wildlife, the hardships encountered on the trail, as well as the people, culture and humanity at its finest.

Join him at the Essex Library on Tuesday, June 13, at 6:30 p.m. as he takes you through the trail towns, over the mountaintops and through the backcountry. The images and stories will leave you with a renewed awe of the beauty of our country and its people.

Ducharme is a retired K9 Officer and is a lifelong resident of Connecticut. As an avid outdoorsman, and finding the empty-nest, he decided to buy a backpack and a plane ticket to Georgia. From there, he started walking north. With no prior backpacking experience, he learned on the trail.

Gear, trail nutrition, enduring the elements, and the logistics involved in a long-distance backpacking trip were hard lessons. After 20 years working within Connecticut’s prisons, the search for a positive recharge resulted in a life-changing journey.

See Ducharme’s gear, how he cooked, and hear what it is like sleeping in a hammock for six months through three seasons. You will also hear how he returned to the trail the following year, connecting with aspiring Thru Hikers, paying it forward, and his return to the summit of Katahdin one year later.

This program is free and open to the public. Call the Essex Library to register or for more information at (860) 767-1560. The Essex library is located at 3 West Ave. in Essex.

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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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Cappella Cantorum, Con Brio Hosts ‘Summer Sing’ of Mozart’s Requiem, June 12

AREAWIDE — Cappella Cantorum and Con Brio host their first Summer Sing of the season with Mozart’s “Requiem” on Monday, June 12, 7 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 56 Great Hammock Rd., Old Saybrook. This session will be conducted by Rachael Allen of Westbrook High School.

All singers are welcome to perform in this read-through of a great choral work. Professional soloists often participate.

The event is co-sponsored by Cappella Cantorum and Con Brio. A $10 fee covers the costs of the event. Scores will be available, and the church is air-conditioned. The next Summer Sing on Monday, June 19, will be conducted by Barry Asch of Cappella Cantorum directing the Lord Nelson Mass, by Haydn.

For more information call (860) 767-9409 or (203)530-0002   or visit www.cappellacantorum.org or www.conbrio.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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Come Explore Essex Library’s Genealogy Resources, Find Your World War I Ancestors, June 6

ESSEX — The Yanks didn’t enter the European theater until 1917 but it was the war to end all wars.  The Federal and State governments did much to document those being registered and ultimately selected to serve. Bring names to research and join us on Tuesday, June 6, at 5:30 p.m. as Librarian Norma Wright presents an illustrated talk on using online library genealogy resources to search for the heroes of WWI.

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

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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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‘Up in the Attic,’ Essex Art Association’s 2017 Elected Artists’ Member Exhibition on View Through June 24

‘Interrogation’ by Ann Knickerbocker is one of the featured paintings of ‘Up in the Attic’ at the Essex Art Association.

ESSEX —  The June show at the Essex Art Association (EAA) is the Elected Artists’ Exhibition “Up in the Attic.”

The exhibit’s opening reception is Friday, June 2, from 6 to 8 p.m. The show runs June 3-24. The EAA Gallery is located at 10 North Main Street, Essex, CT. Gallery hours: 1-5 pm daily, closed Tuesdays. For more information visit essexartassociation.com or call 860-767-8996.

Essex Art Association Elected Artists have distinguished themselves by having works accepted in three separate juried art shows within a five-year period, meaning their work passed through the stringent entrance requirements of at least three qualified judges.

The exhibit theme evokes images of boxes of old photographs, a rocking horse and a dollhouse, or maybe a sewing machine. Stored and forgotten treasures found up in the attic make us remember and dream. How can we capture what was the past?

The exhibition awards juror, Melanie Carr, is a Connecticut based artist who received her MFA from the College of Art and Design at Lesley University in 2011. Carr began her studies in visual art after serving in the United States Navy as an Operations Specialist onboard the USS Willamette (AO-180) in Pearl Harbor, HI.

After 10 years at the New Britain Museum of American Art, her most recent role as Curator of New Media, she is now Adjunct Professor at Central Connecticut State University where she teaches drawing. Carr has work in the collections at the New Britain Museum of American Art, The Loomis Chaffee School, and the Boston Public Library, as well as many private collections. See more at: www.melaniecarr.com

$1900 will be awarded to exhibiting artists for their work in various media, plus one EAA artist will be given a solo exhibit in the Exit Gallery during our 2018 gallery season. 

The Exit Gallery exhibit, “When the House Needs Cleaning I Paint,” showcases paintings by LAYNE.

Artwork by LAYNE is featured in her solo show at the Essex Art Association’s Exit Gallery.

LAYNE describes her art practice thus, “From early on I knew that making art would be a path I would follow. I am a graduate of the Hartford Art School of the University of Hartford and have been practicing the canvas ever since. My subjects vary and I have been told that they depict a dialogue. All things encountered in my life are absorbed, stored and will often surface in a painting. Feeling for my subject is foremost or it is simply paint on a surface.”

She continues, “Most recently a few blotches of color will suggest something and I run with it. It takes a strong sense of composition and a compelling palette. This is a new-found freedom and it is most welcome.  At the end of the day a bit of recognition feeds the soul!”

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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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Middlesex Hospital to Create Office Building at Vacant Essex Site of Former Shoreline Medical Center

Middlesex Hospital has now announced plans for its medical facility in Essex, pictured above, which was closed on April 28, 2014, and has been vacant ever since. The proposal calls for renovating the property as a medical office building that will offer physical therapy and occupational medicine. Photo by Jerome Wilson.

ESSEX—Middlesex Hospital will turn its vacant building on Westbrook Road into a medical office building that will offer physical therapy and occupational medicine. The building will house a third department to be named at a later date.

The building has been vacant since the Middlesex Hospital Shoreline Medical Center moved to its new facility in Westbrook in 2014. Construction plans call for renovating the Essex facility to maximize service offerings, while also ensuring that each department located there has adequate space and the ability to grow.

The Hospital currently offers physical therapy and occupational medicine services at 192 Westbrook Road. Those departments will move into the new office building, and they have all been involved in the project’s planning process.

As part of the project, the medical office building will get a new roof and existing HVAC units will be replaced or rebuilt. Overgrown shrubbery will be removed, the exterior of the building will be painted, and the building will get new signs.

“We are excited to repurpose this building for the people of Essex and residents of surrounding shoreline communities,” said David Giuffrida, the Hospital’s vice president of operations. “This is an opportunity for the Hospital to further invest in its property and to offer several vital services at one location.”

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Explore Vernal Pools, Emerging Life in the Preserve, Saturday


Look what I found, Mom!

ESSEX — Due to late winter weather, the Essex Land Trust’s planned ‘Vernal Pools and Emerging Life in the Preserve’ hike, to be led by ecologist, Bob Russo is being rescheduled to Saturday, April 1.  This hike will give you the opportunity to search for salamanders, frogs and plants emerging from the long winter. During the one and a half hour hike through easy to moderate terrain, Russo will describe the biological and geological features that make the vernal pool areas unique and bountiful.

Bring tall waterproof boots and nets if you have them.  Open to all ages. Bad weather cancels.

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 CT and he lives in Ivoryton, conveniently near the Atlantic White Cedar swamp.

Bob Russo tells a group about vernal pools.

Russo is also the Chair of Essex’ Park and Recreation Commission.

Meet at The Preserve East Entrance parking lot, Ingham Hill Rd., at 9 a.m..

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Environmental Symposium Examines “Water: Too Much or Not Enough?” Today in Haddam

David Vallee, Hydrologist-in-Charge of the National Weather Service’s Northeast River Forecast Center, will deliver the keynote address at the March 31 symposium.

AREAWIDE — The Rockfall Foundation and UConn Climate Adaptation Academy present an environmental symposium about changing precipitation patterns on Friday, March 31, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the UConn Middlesex County Extension Office, 1066 Saybrook Road, Haddam.

The focus is “Water: Too Much or Not Enough?” and the symposium will examine shifting patterns that produce extreme weather occurrences from rain bombs to drought. Discussion will include the impacts on communities and a variety of adaptive responses for municipalities, residents, and businesses.

David Vallee, Hydrologist-in-Charge of the National Weather Service’s Northeast River Forecast Center, will give a keynote address “Examining Trends in Temperature, Precipitation and Flood Frequency in the Northeast; A Tale of Extremes.”

Other presenters and panelists will discuss the effects on our personal lives and the communities we live in, including the challenges of managing infrastructure, maintaining adequate water supplies, supporting local agriculture, fighting insect borne disease, and planning for smart design. Participants include:

  • Amanda Ryan, Municipal Stormwater Educator, UConn CLEAR and Michael Dietz, CT NEMO Program Director – Addressing how the type and frequency of storms affects compliance with MS4 requirements and the effectiveness of LID solutions.
  • David Radka, Director of Water Resource and Planning, Connecticut Water Company and Ryan Tetreault, CT Department of Public Health, Environmental Health Section – Discussion of public and private water supplies with a focus on how we ensure sufficient clean water for all.
  • Ian Gibson, Farm Manager, Wellstone Farm – Relating the local agricultural experience of a small farmer and how changing precipitation patterns alter the way he farms.
  • Roger Wolfe, Mosquito Management Coordinator, CT DEEP Wetland Habitat & Mosquito Management Program – How best to control changes in mosquito populations caused by heavy rains and periods of drought.
  • Anne Penniman, ASLA, Principal/Owner, Anne Penniman Associates – Insight on how site development (plant material, surface material, drainage) can be modified to better tolerate and accommodate changing precipitation patterns.
  • Kirk Westphal, PE, CDM Smith Project Manager for CT State Water Plan – An update on the development of Connecticut’s first State Water Plan and how citizens can participate in the process.

“The symposium will be of key interest to local elected and appointed officials, land use planners, developers, and town planning and commission members,” said Robin Andreoli, executive director of the Rockfall Foundation. “And the presentations and follow-up discussions should engage all who are concerned with effective community planning.”

To register or for additional information, visit www.rockfallfoundation.org or call 860-347-0340. Support is provided in part by CDM Smith, Xenelis Construction, Milone & MacBroom, and Planimetrics. Proceeds benefit the environmental education programs of the Rockfall Foundation.

The Rockfall Foundation supports environmental education, conservation programs and planning initiatives in the Lower Connecticut River Valley through financial grants and educational programming. Founded in 1935, it is one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations. The Foundation owns and maintains the historic deKoven House in Middletown, which is a community center with meeting rooms and office space for non-profit groups.

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Essex Seeks Public Input on Town’s Housing Needs, Invites Readers to Complete Survey

ESSEX — Many Connecticut municipalities are devoting attention to whether they have the right mix of housing choices. Longtime residents are interested in downsizing out of larger single-family homes, adult children would like to return to town after college, and many businesses are looking for housing nearby for their workforce at prices that are attainable.

The Essex Planning Commission, which recently completed an update to the comprehensive Essex Plan of Conservation and Development, has a special interest in housing in the Town of Essex. The Commission believes that a wider array of housing opportunities will be important to maintaining Essex’s special vibrancy and competitiveness as a residential community.

Along with the Board of Selectmen, Economic Development Commission, and Essex Housing Authority, the Planning Commission is interested in the public’s perspective of Essex’s housing situation.

Readers are therefore invited to take this brief survey to help these boards and commissions understand your perspective, address your interests and concerns, and ensure that your views help share any efforts the Town may undertake in this area.  The link to the survey is https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EssexHousing and readers can also find it on the Town of Essex website at www.essexct.gov under News and Announcements.

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CT River Artisans Co-op Hosts Open House for Artists

ESSEX — The Connecticut River Artisans Co-op is hosting an Open House for artists on Sunday March 26, from 1 to 3 p.m.

 If you are a Connecticut artist and looking for a new venue to showcase your work, the Co-op could be it.  Located in Essex, Conn., the Connecticut River Artisans Co-op is a well-known tourist attraction and shopper’s destination.

Established in 1980, this Co-op believes it is the oldest Co-op in the state.  Stop in, enjoy the refreshments, chat with one of our artists and find out what they are all about.  Compare the advantages of belonging to a Co-op verses consigning your work or selling at shows.  Bring your portfolio, pictures or samples of your work as jurying will take place that day.

The Co-op is looking for all handcrafted, art inspired work.  Items must be quality originals made by the artists.  No imports, wholesalers or reps.  There will be no jurying of jewelry, candles or soaps at this time.

Call CT River Artisans at 860 767 5457 or Gay Petruzzi Ritter 860 578 9595 with any questions.

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Essex Library Presents ‘The Interactions Between Stars and Their Planets’ Tomorrow with Dr. Wilson Cauley

Wesleyan Post-Doctoral Astronomy Researcher Dr. Wilson Cauley

ESSEX — “Are we alone?”

Recent headlines from NASA confirm scientists’ discovery of the existence of three planets firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water. We now know of thousands of planets around stars other than our Sun.

These extra-solar planets, or exoplanets, are highly diverse and exist in almost every conceivable form. In order to fully understand these exciting objects, we also have to learn about the stars they orbit and how the stars can impact the evolution of their exoplanet satellites.

On Saturday, March 25, at 1:30 p.m. at the Essex Library, Wesleyan postdoctoral researcher in astronomy, Wilson Cauley will talk about this relationship for a variety of different types of exoplanetary systems, including what these interactions imply for exoplanet atmospheres and the potential for life to thrive on these alien worlds.

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

 

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Tri-Town Youth Services Hosts Mother-Daughter Night Out, Tuesday

AREAWIDE — Tri-Town Youth Services invites local 5th grade girls and their mothers or caregivers to attend a special program with Health Educator, Patty Cournoyer on Tuesday, March 28, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the John Winthrop Middle School Library.

One of Tri-Town’s most popular programs, “Getting Ready for the Change,” gives mothers and daughters an opportunity to talk about all of the changes that take place as the girls become young women.  Cournoyer will facilitate a fun, informative, interactive and sometimes humorous discussion about puberty.  She will create a safe, comfortable environment and give moms and daughters ideas to help them keep talking to one another, even when it’s a little uncomfortable.

The program fee is $25 per mother-daughter pair and space is limited to 12 pairs.  Call 860-526-3600 to reserve your spot or register online at  www.tritownys.org.

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Celebrating her 99th, Mary Vidbergs is Justifiably ‘Queen for a Day’

Happy 99th birthday, Mary !

It may have been one of the coldest days of the year last Sunday, March 12, but nothing was going to stop Mary Vidbergs’ family from celebrating the long-time Essex resident’s 99th birthday in style.

Mary arrived around 11 a.m. at the top of Main Street and was promptly presented with a large bouquet and ‘crowned’ with a tiara.

The family — some of whom braved the bone-chilling temperatures in lederhosen — had planned a surprise for Mary, which involved driving her from the top of Main Street in a horse-drawn carriage down to the Griswold Inn.

Dr. John Pfeiffer of Old Lyme (third from right, front row, in the photo above), who is Mary’s son-in-law as well as Old Lyme’s Town Historian, is well-known for his penchant for wearing shorts in all weathers around town!

She may be 99, but Mary was determined to enjoy the view from her carriage!

Despite the sub-zero temperatures, Mary smiled continuously through the whole adventure and insisted at the end of her ride on thanking the horses for their labors.

An ever-cheerful Mary waved goodbye to the crowd before entering the Griswold Inn where all her family joined her for what we’re sure was a wonderful family party.

Happy 99th, Mary, from all your friends at ValleyNewsNow.com — we’re looking forward to your 100th already!

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Community Music School Announces Pacheco-O’Donnell as Greenleaf Music Award Winner

Santiago Pacheco-O’Donnell

CENTERBROOK — The selection committee for the Carolyn R. Greenleaf Memorial Fund of Community Music School (CMS) has chosen guitarist, vocalist, and pianist as the recipient of the Spring 2017 Carolyn R. Greenleaf Music Award.

This award is given each semester to a middle or high school student who has demonstrated exceptional musical ability and motivation.

The award is for a semester of private lessons at Community Music School in Centerbrook and Santiago has chosen to study guitar with CMS’s guitar instructor, John Birt.

An Honor Freshman of Xavier High School, Santiago received his first guitar from his grandmother when he finished first grade, and he’s been playing unstoppably since then. He has attended CMS since 2012, as a guitar student of John Birt for the last four years.

He also studies piano and voice with Greta Moorhead and recently joined the Jazz Ensemble with Tom Briggs. His favorite band is The Beatles.

Outside of CMS, he has played in musicals at St John School in Old Saybrook, performing as a solo singer in last year’s performance. Aside from music, he enjoys soccer, basketball, and archery. Santiago is also an avid photographer and has received many awards at the Chester Fair.

Last summer he volunteered in the children’s section of the Essex Public Library and has been a big supporter of the Valley Shore YMCA’s Community Garden which provides vegetables for the Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries.

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

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

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

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Rep. Bob Siegrist Holds Workshop Monday to Learn How to Lower Your Electric Bill

Rep. Bob Siegrist

AREAWIDE  — The public is invited to meet with State Rep. Bob Siegrist (R-36th) and rate specialists from the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) for an informative workshop to learn how to lower your electric bill on Monday, March 20 at the Deep River Public Library located at 150 Main St., Deep River.

The event will run from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

All interested residents are encouraged to attend and to bring a recent copy of their electric bill.

Rate specialists from PURA will be on hand to lead the event and assist with questions.

Rep. Siegrist (Robert.Siegrist@housegop.ct.gov) represents Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam.  He can be reached at 800 842 1423  or on the web at www.RepSiegrist.com.

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Nancy Ballek Mackinnon Presents ‘What’s New? Trends in the Gardening World’ Tonight at Essex Library

Nancy Ballek Mackinnon

ESSEX — ‘Edible, Native, & Sustainable’ are the three themes that keep recurring in the 2017 gardening narrative. On Thursday, March 16at 7 p.m. at the Essex Library, Nancy will discuss these and other trends in garden design and horticulture. Explore new and old varieties for beautiful and productive gardens. This event is co-sponsored with the Essex Garden Club.

Nancy Ballek Mackinnon is a partner in Ballek’s Garden Center in East Haddam, Conn., located on a farm that has been in the family since 1662. Her first three credits in horticulture were earned on a trip to Scandinavia in 1974, with her mother Anita, learning innovative methods at nurseries and municipal gardens. She received a degree in environmental horticulture and landscape design from the University of Connecticut graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1978, and joined Ballek’s Garden Center soon after.

The family’s eclectic and wide-ranging horticultural interests are reflected in her selection of products for sale, everything from garden statuary to thousands of species of annuals and perennials.

Ballek Mackinnon is the author of the “The Gardener’s Book of Charts, Tables & Lists: A Complete Gardening Guide” created to make it easier for horticulturists to select the right plant for the right place.

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

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Essex Library Hosts Speaker Celebrating 300 Years of Connecticut’s Remarkable Women, May 15

ESSEX — Kathryn Gloor, Executive Director of the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame will present “Celebrating 300 Years of Connecticut’s Remarkable Women” at the Essex Library on Monday, May 15, at 7 p.m.  Gloor will present an interactive multi-media program about some of our state’s most remarkable women.

Be inspired as you learn about well-known figures like Ella Grasso, Katharine Hepburn and Marian Anderson and lesser known heroines like Maria Sanchez, Barbara McClintock and Hannah Watson. This presentation will introduce you to the Hall, its mission and programs, and give you a panoramic view of some of its 115 Inductees from across all fields of endeavor, from politics and sports to the arts and sciences.

The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame is an educational outreach organization whose mission is to honor publicly the achievement of Connecticut women, preserve their stories, educate the public and inspire the continued achievements of women and girls.

Gloor has spent more than 15 years raising awareness and support for the causes she loves, including education, women’s rights, and cultural organizations. Most recently she served as Director of Development at Westport Country Playhouse. She has also held leadership positions at Planned Parenthood, Mercy Learning Center, and Oberlin College, among others, and has been a presenter at professional conferences and meetings on topics such as securing major gifts, organizing for success, and leveraging board relationships.

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Winter Storm Stella

First snow plow of the day … there surely will be many more.

Winter Storm Stella is here.

The Governor has declared a State of Emergency meaning a statewide travel ban is in effect. Region 4 Schools, Essex, Chester and Deep River Schools, Town Halls and Libraries, and many businesses from the size of Pfizer, Inc. downwards are closed.  Events galore have been cancelled and a parking ban is in effect on all town roads in Essex from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. today.

In the event of a real emergency, call 911.  

State and local officials urge residents to stay off the roads during the storm … and stay safe.

Latest weather reports, however, predict Southeastern Connecticut will not now experience the brunt of the storm with the snow turning first to sleet and then rain later this morning.

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Ivoryton Library Hosts Immigration Exhibition This Afternoon

This photo shows a Comstock, Cheney & Co. recruiter with newly arrived immigrants at Ellis Island c. 1890.

IVORYTON — The Ivoryton Library presents Immigration: A Tiny Town’s Bonanza on Sunday, March 12, from 3 to 5 p.m. This is the latest exhibit in the series An Intimate History of Ivoryton and will showcase the growth of our village on the strength of the immigrants who came to work at Comstock, Cheney and Co. between 1890 and 1915.

Photographs and other materials will be on display.

Have you been interested in looking into your own background? There will be ongoing demonstrations of ancestry.com and an opportunity to ask questions about the service.

Is your family a part of Ivoryton’s story? Come and share your memories. If you have photographs or other memorabilia that you would like to include in this exhibit as either a donation or a loan, contact Elizabeth Alvord at the library at 860-767-1252 or by email at ealvord@ivoryton.com.

The Ivoryton Library is located at 106 Main Street in Ivoryton.

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See a ‘Lincoln Center Local’ Screening of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ Ballet at Essex Library Today

Maria Kochetkova in Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet. (© Erik Tomasson)

ESSEX — On Saturday, March 11, at 1:30 p.m. the Essex Library will host the Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance screening of San Francisco Ballet: Romeo & Juliet recorded at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco on May 7, 2015.

With its passionate choreography, spine-tingling swordsmanship, and celebrated score by Sergei Prokofiev, this colorful and emotional retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet has packed houses around the world. Helgi Tomasson’s bravura interpretation of the Bard’s greatest tragedy “lifts Shakespeare’s complex and familiar language off the gilded pages and translates it into lucid classical choreography that is visceral, fresh, and ultimately sublime.” (Huffington Post.)

This Lincoln Center Local screening program is generously funded through the support from the Oak Foundation and The Altman Foundation.

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

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