October 18, 2017

New London’s St. Francis House To Hold Book Sale Today

AREWIDE — New London’s St. Francis House will hold a book sale on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., to benefit the St. Francis House library. The library, which is open to the public on Mondays from 4 to 6 p.m. or by appointment, offers a unique collection of books on theology, social justice, biography and women’s issues, along with poetry and more.

The sale will take place at the non-profit, located at 30 Broad Street in New London.  Books in the sale will include children’s books and poetry as well as fiction, spirituality, philosophy and social justice.

St. Francis House is an intentional Christian Community, where members share the daily work of living while working to improve the social and economic conditions of the surrounding community. The community supports initiatives and ongoing works, having played a role in the Homeless Hospitality Center, Voluntown Peace Trust, Spark MakerSpace, Drop-In Learning Center, FRESH, Hearing Youth Voices among others.

The library at St. Francis House offers a look into the philosophy behind the organization, and guidance for the work which others may contemplate.

Early in the history of the organization, the question of valuing written works presented itself, as the late Father Emmett Jarrett was confronted with having to put a price on a soon-to-be-published book of his poetry. The issue for Fr. Emmett, a published New Directions poet, was of detracting from the sacredness of writing by placing a market-based price on it.

Carrying on this discussion, books will be offered at the St. Francis book sale for whatever price the buyer deems reasonable; or, for what value the buyer places on the continued operation of the St. Francis House Library.

A catalog of the library’s collections may be viewed at www.stfrancishouseNL.org. To schedule a time to visit the library, or for more information on the book sale, contact: stfrancishouseNL@att.net, or 860-437-8890.

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KeyBank Supports Connecticut Food Bank with Regional Food, Fund Drive

OLD SAYBROOK – KeyBank is presenting the Super-Size-Me Food Drive to benefit the Connecticut Food Bank. Through Oct. 28, special collection boxes for nonperishable food donations will be placed at KeyBank branches in nine towns across the area served by the Connecticut Food Bank. KeyBank will also host an online virtual food drive, allowing individuals who may not be able to visit a branch to support the Food Bank with a financial donation.

The drive is the inspiration of KeyBank employee James Trimble, a longtime volunteer with the Connecticut Food Bank that has made his annual drive a tradition, along with volunteer work at other food bank activities.

“James has been a wonderful volunteer champion for the Connecticut Food Bank,” said Bernie Beaudreau, CEO of the Connecticut Food Bank. “Since beginning this project in 2013, he has raised enough food and funds to provide nearly 16,000 meals.”

Beaudreau said the drive will support the work of the Connecticut Food Bank, which distributes food through a network of more than 600 community based food assistance programs. An average of 148,000 people visit the programs each month seeking help with food needs.

“The dollars and food raised through this drive will have tremendous impact on fighting hunger,” Beaudreau said. “We know it will be a success, based on James’ energy and personal commitment and on the help and resources provided by KeyBank.”

Jeff Hubbard, KeyBank Connecticut and Western Massachusetts Market President, said that James Trimble has been named KeyBank’s Connecticut Food Bank Ambassador.

“We are proud of James’ volunteer service and we are glad to help him achieve a goal of fighting hunger in the communities we serve,” Hubbard said. “Like the Connecticut Food Bank, we want Connecticut families and communities to thrive. This month-long drive is part of a larger relationship with the Connecticut Food Bank; it’s an investment in their hunger fighting mission.”

Food drop boxes will be placed at KeyBank branches in Old Saybrook, as well as eight other locations.

More information about the drive and a way to make a financial donation online can be found at www.ctfoodbank.org/keybanksupersizeme.

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Join ‘Kate’s Camp for Kids’ to Present ‘Elflandia’ Starting Oct. 18; Holiday Show, Dec. 13

OLD SAYBROOK – The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and Community Music School are partnering again under the umbrella of their performing arts summer camp, ‘Kate’s Camp for Kids,’ to present a holiday after-school program and show entitled ‘Elflandia.’ This exciting program takes place at The Kate, 300 Main St. in Old Saybrook, and runs for 11 weekly sessions on Wednesday afternoons from 4 to 5 p.m. beginning Oct. 18.

Launched in 2013, Kate’s Camp for Kids is a performing arts camp for children incorporating music, dance, theater, and visual art.  The after-school program is offered for ages 7-10.

Directed by Martha Herrle, a 15-year member of the Community Music School faculty and certified Kindermusik educator, this year’s show theme will be ‘Elflandia.’ In Elflandia, the land of Santa’s elves, they are busy making toys and getting ready for Santa’s yearly trip around the world to bring presents to all the deserving humans on the planet. Do human beings really exist? The reports the elves have heard are not very encouraging. Many are grumpy, stressed and loud.

Discover what the elves learn about humans when Santa shows up with a real living example. The ensuing effort to get Elfie Selfies with as many humans as possible makes for a rousing finale!

The cast will rehearse traditional children’s choral repertoire to be performed at the Community Music School Holiday Concert on Dec. 10, and prepare the show Elflandia: a “short” musical about a land of big dreams and curly toes, with a performance on stage at the Kate on Dec. 13.

Tuition for this afterschool program is $165 and scholarships are available for families with a financial need.

For additional information and to register, visit www.community-music-school.org or call 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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Bushnell Farm Hosts Free ‘Frost Season ‘ Program, Sunday

Bushnell Farm hosts Frost Season: The Poetry of Robert Frost in Song and Story, Sunday.

OLD SAYBROOK — Bushnell Farm hosts Frost Season: The Poetry of Robert Frost in Song and Story, Sunday, Oct. 8, with State Historian Walt Woodward and the Band of Steady Habits, 4 p.m. 1445 Boston Post Rd., Old Saybrook, CT

This is a free program. The public is welcome. Parking available on-site.

For more information, call (860) 767-0674.

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Award-Winning Photographer Discusses ‘Tools of Travel Photography’ Tonight at CT Valley Camera Club

Shadows of camels and their riders in the Sahara desert in Erg Chebi, Morrocco (Photo by David H. Wells)

AREAWIDE — The guest speaker at next Monday’s (Oct. 2) meeting of the Connecticut Valley Camera Club (CVCC) will be award-winning photographer/videographer David H. Wells, who will give a presentation titled, “The Tools of Travel Photography.” The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Lymes’ Senior Center, 26 Town Woods Rd., Old Lyme, Conn.  All are welcome.

Wells uses whichever technology he feels is most appropriate for the specific situation to create visual narratives. He is based in Providence, RI, affiliated with Aurora Photos and is also a photo-educator. One editor described him as a “… specialist in intercultural communication and visual narratives that excel in their creative mastery of light, shadow and sound, stills and video.”

Wells became the photographer he is today by first trying on the styles and/or methods of other well-known and historic photographers. Then he mastered the challenging discipline of color slide film. He fused all of these experiences, over 30-plus years, to develop his own style, built on a mastery of light, exposure and tonality, framing and composition with predictable and consistent control over focus and depth of field.

As a photography educator, he leads students to learn how to master consistently these same elements of photography. He was featured in Photo District News as one of “The Best Workshop Instructors.”

A Sicilian sunset (Photo by David H. Wells)

His project on the pesticide poisoning of California farm workers was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Over the years he has worked on assignment for such magazines as Fortune, Life, National Geographic, Newsweek, The Sunday New York Times, Time, etc. He also worked for corporations such as Consolidated Natural Gas and DuPont as well as for non-profits such as the Ford Foundation and the New Israel Fund.

His work has been featured in more than 50 exhibitions and he has taught workshops at the International Center for Photography in NYC and at the Maine Media Workshops. He has received two Fulbright fellowships, a grant from Nikon/N.P.P.A., a fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation’s Program of Research and Writing on International Peace and Cooperation.

For more information on David H. Wells, visit his website.

Connecticut Valley Camera Club is dedicated to offering its membership the opportunity to become better photographers. The club offers a variety of presentations and interactive workshops to help members expand their technical and creative skills. Photographers of all levels of experience are welcomed. The club draws members from up and down both sides of 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 https://ctvalleycameraclub.smugmug.com/. The Club’s meeting dates, speakers / topics and other notices are also published on the club’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/CTValleyCameraClubPage/

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Opera Expert Offers ‘Don Giovanni’ Lecture Today at OS Library

Opera writer and lecturer James Kuslan will give a free lecture at Acton Library, Sept. 30.

OLD SAYBROOK — Opera devotee and popular dynamic lecturer on operatic topics, James Kuslan, will present an informative program on Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” on Saturday, Sept. 30 at the Acton Public Library, 60 Old Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook, CT., 11 a.m.  This event is free, and sponsored by the Guild of Salt Marsh Opera.  Kuslan  will recap the plot of the opera and provide sound clips to highlight the music.

Kuslan is a graduate of Yale University’s School of Drama and has been a voice scout in the United States for the German classical recording giant, Deutsche Grammophon.  He contributed the essays that accompany the DVD releases of the Metropolitan Opera’s productions of Lucia di Lammermoor and Don Pasquale, both starring Anna Netrebko.

Salt Marsh Opera will present Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” on Friday and Sunday, Oct. 13 and 15, at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main St. Old Saybrook.

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State Orders Recount in Republican Primary for 33rd District Probate Judge; Delia Wins by Nine Votes in First Count

Tuesday’s unofficial winner, Anselmo Delia.

AREAWIDE — The Connecticut Secretary of State has informed all the towns that comprise the 33rd District Probate Court that they need to conduct a recount of Tuesday’s Republican Primary. The Town of Essex has scheduled their recount on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 11 a.m. at the town hall. Deep River held their recount yesterday, Thursday, Sept. 13. We do not have details of the timing of recounts in other area towns at this time.

Tuesday’s race between the party-endorsed candidate Attorney Anselmo Delia of Clinton and challenger Attorney Kevin Hecht of Old Saybrook ended with a 859-850 win for Delia after all the unofficial results had been declared in the nine towns.

Unofficial results given on the Connecticut Secretary of State’s webpage for towns covered by ValleyNewsNow.com towns are as follows:

Chester: Hecht 23 – Delia 12
Deep River: Delia 24 – Hecht 14
Essex: Delia 79 – Hecht 59
Old Saybrook: Hecht 277 – Delia 46
Westbrook: Hecht 90 – Delia 41.

Results for the remaining towns in the District are:

Clinton: Delia 444 – Hecht 228
Haddam: Delia 140 – Hecht 37
Killingworth: Hecht 78 – Delia 53
Lyme: Hecht 44 – Delia 20.

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Take a Tree Swallow Cruise Tonight With OS Land Trust

Tree swallows gather on branches. Photo (inset) by Diana Atwood Johnson.

AREAWIDE — The Old Saybrook Land Trust (OSLT) hosts a tree swallow watching cruise Sept. 15, from 5 to 8 p.m. on the vessel Adventure located at Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam.  The cruise will be run by Connecticut River Expeditions.

For the past 14 years, Connecticut River Expeditions have taken individuals and groups to a special spot on the Connecticut River where hundreds of thousands of tree swallows gather. After spending the day miles away, the swallows return each night to sleep in the reeds. They gather at sunset and perform aerial ballets forming an amazing display of art, coordination and cooperation.

Over the years, Captains Mark and Alex have found the best way to maneuver the boats to allow perfect views from open decks. Travel on Adventure, a newly refurbished classic riverboat with flexible seating that ensures everyone gets optimal “up close and personal” viewing.

Enjoy the entire evening aboard. You will spend about three to five hours on the water. There is so much to see while cruising along the river. Many birds are migrating through the area now; last year we saw a record number of Bald Eagles and Great Egrets.

On-board naturalist(s) will educate you on the swallow phenomenon and all the other wildlife we see.

On the return cruise home, there is time to chat with others and experience the river at twilight, blending into night. The OSLT will be serving appetizers and you are able to bring your own picnic basket or snacks and your favorite “beverage” to enjoy on this special cruise. Don’t forget your camera and binoculars (or borrow a pair of our binocs)!

This is a small group experience that is unique each sailing. This is a fundraising event to benefit the OSLT Scholarship, which is awarded each year to a graduating Old Saybrook student pursuing Environmental Studies.

Cost: $50 per person. Limited seating. Reservations can be made by emailing oldsaybrooklandtrust@oslt.org

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Republican Primary Today for Judge of Probate

Anselmo Delia is the Republican party endorsed candidate for Judge of Probate in the 33rd District.

AREAWIDE — Registered Republicans in Chester, Deep River, Essex, and Old Saybrook are eligible to vote tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 12, in a primary election to determine the party’s candidate for 33rd District Probate Judge in the November election.

Kevin J. Hecht of Old Saybrook is challenging the party-endorsed candidate, Anselmo Delia, of Clinton.

In addition to the towns listed above, the 33rd District Probate Court, which is located in Old Saybrook, covers  Clinton, Haddam, Killingworth, Lyme, and Westbrook.

There is no Democratic Primary since party-endorsed candidate Jeannine Lewis is not being challenged.

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Estuary Hosts ‘Shoreline Artists’ Workshop’ Show

AREAWIDE — Members of The Shoreline Artists’ Workshop are exhibiting their paintings at the Marshview Gallery of the Estuary Council of Seniors in Old Saybrook for the month of September. An opening reception for the exhibition will be held Friday, Sept. 8, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Start your weekend with a lovely gathering to meet the artists and enjoy their works.

Representing six shoreline communities from Niantic and the Lymes to Old Saybrook and Essex, these artists paint and grow in their art each Friday at the Lymes’ Senior Center in Old Lyme.

The group includes: Beverly Ahlers, Gene Bekaert, Linda Beagle, Cathy Castonguay, Susan Coppejans, Jane Critchett, JoAnn Dongweck, Gerri Hallgren, Elin Larson, Keiko Kaiser, Frank Ossman, Hilde Reichenbach, Susan Simler, Sharol Stewart, Andre Walker, Valerie Washburn, Bob Whitcomb and Brian Willis.

Marshview Gallery is located at 220 Main St, Old Saybrook. Call 860-388-1611 for details.

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Nominations for Rockfall Foundation Local Environmental Champions Close Sept. 15

AREAWIDE — The Rockfall Foundation is seeking nominations for the 2017 Environmental Awards, which recognize individuals, organizations, and businesses for environmental efforts that contribute to the quality of life in the Lower Connecticut River Valley. Two categories of awards include the Distinguished Service Award and Certificates of Appreciation in the areas of preservation, conservation, restoration, or environmental education.

Awardees are recognized at the Rockfall Foundation’s annual meeting and grants celebration in November. Nominations must be submitted by Sept. 15, 2017 and a form can be downloaded at www.rockfallfoundation.org or one can be requested by calling 860-347-0340.

Founded in 1935 by Middletown philanthropist Clarence S. Wadsworth, the Rockfall Foundation is one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations. The Foundation supports environmental education, conservation and planning initiatives in the Lower Connecticut River Valley through public programs and grants.
In addition, the Rockfall Foundation operates the historic deKoven House Community Center that offers meeting rooms and office space for non-profit organizations.

For additional information about the 2017 Environmental Awards or the Rockfall Foundation, visit www.rockfallfoundation.org or call 860-347-0340.

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Salt Marsh Opera Presents ‘Opera in the Park’ Tonight in Old Saybrook

Sarah Nordin

OLD SAYBROOK — Salt Marsh Opera presents their annual event of well-known opera selections and musical theatre, “Opera in the Park,” on Friday, Sept. 1, at 6:30 p.m. on Old Saybrook Town Green, adjacent to the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main Street.

Bring family and friends, blankets and chairs, and even relax with a picnic dinner.

Professional performers Sarah Nordin, mezzo-soprano and Tyler Putnam, bass will delight you with glorious music under the stars.

Nordin has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, toured Japan, and the Geneva Light Opera Company.

Tyler Putnam

Putnam has appeared with Opera Omaha, St. Petersburg Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and the Little Opera Theatre of New York.

This event is free, but a $10 donation is suggested to cover expenses.

Rain date is Saturday, Sept. 2, at 6:30 p.m.

For additional information, visit www.saltmarshopera.org

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The Children’s Tree Montessori School Hosts Open House, Oct. 28

The Children’s Tree Montessori School at 96 Essex Road, Old Saybrook hosts an Open House, Saturday, Oct. 28, from 9 a.m.to 12 p.m.

Learn about the Montessori curriculum at their Independent Elementary School, Toddler & Preschool.

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Children’s Tree Montessori School Hosts Silent Journey Curriculum Night, Oct. 26

OLD SAYBROOK — The public is welcome to Silent Journey Curriculum Night at The Children’s Tree Montessori School, 96 Essex Road, Old Saybrook Thursday, Oct 26, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Learn about their Independent Elementary School, Toddler and Preschool. A free workshop will be offered.

Dinner and childcare will be available for $10 per family.

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Old Saybrook Library Hosts Fall Movie Series, See ‘The Grapes of Wrath,’ Oct. 27

Photo by Felix Mooneeram on Unsplash

OLD SAYBROOK — Lights. Camera. ACTON!

The Acton Public Library in Old Saybrook presents a Leading Legends Series this fall on second and fourth Fridays in September and October and on the second Friday only in November and December at 1 p.m. upstairs in the Grady Thomas Room. The film series will feature legendary actors and actresses in rich and legendary stories. There will be free popcorn, and an informal introduction and discussion following the films.

The line-up is as follows:

Sept. 8: The Heiress starring Olivia de Havilland;

Sept. 22: The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio;

Oct. 13: Jackie starring Natalie Portman; on

Oct. 27: The Grapes of Wrath starring Henry Fonda

Nov. 10: Sully starring Tom Hanks;

Dec. 8: Florence Foster Jenkins starring Meryl Streep.

For more information, call The Acton Library at 860-395-3184, or visit the library during regular hours: Monday through Thursday 10am – 8:00pm, Friday and Saturday 10am – 5pm or visit on-line at www.actonlibrary.org .

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Glenn Close to Receive 2nd Annual Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award at Tonight’s Annual Gala


OLD SAYBROOK —
Acclaimed actress Glenn Close has been named the recipient of the 2nd annual Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award. The award, given by the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, is bestowed yearly upon an individual who embodies the spirit, independence, and character of the legendary actress.

The award will be presented to Close at the organization’s annual Summer Gala on Saturday, Aug. 26.

Close has been nominated for six Academy Awards, won three Tonys and three Emmys, and advocates for mental health issues.  She made her feature film debut in The World According to Garp, for which she received an Oscar nomination. She was subsequently Oscar-nominated for The Big Chill, The Natural, Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons and Albert Nobbs.  For the latter, she was also a producer, co-wrote the screenplay and composed the lyrics for the Golden Globe nominated theme song, “Lay Your Head Down.”

Close won two consecutive Emmys along with a Golden Globe Award, and three SAG nominations for her portrayal of ‘Patty Hewes’ on Damages. She won a third Emmy for her title role performance in Serving in Silence: the Margarethe Cammermeyer Story (for which she also received a Peabody Award as executive producer).

In 1974, Close made her professional, theatre, and Broadway debut in The Phoenix Theatre’s Love for Love, directed by Harold Prince. Over her forty-three year career, she has always returned to the theater, receiving Tony Awards for Death and the Maiden, The Real Thing and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Sunset Boulevard, as well as an Obie Award for The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs. Last spring, Close made her London-West End debut in a new production of Sunset Boulevard, for which she won a London Evening Standard Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award. She is presently starring, to great acclaim, in that same production, on Broadway.

Close’s decision to join the acting profession in part stems from viewing one of the most famous and first ever television interviews with Katharine Hepburn, conducted by Dick Cavett, the inaugural Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award Winner.  Hepburn became an inspiration to Close and Hepburn welcomed this role, finding small ways to support Close through communications and appearances at events honoring Close.

The Aug. 26 Gala at the Kate will take place on the historic Old Saybrook Town Green. The event begins at 6 pm with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails under the tent.  Dinner and dessert by Max Catering will be complemented by live and silent auctions as well as remarks celebrating Close and another tremendous year of arts and culture at “The Kate.“ The Kate will then turn the party up a notch, filling the dance floor with current tunes and crowd favorites and dancers/instructors from the Fred Astaire – Old Saybrook Dance Studio will perform and join the party.

During the event, Close will receive the award, a graceful statuette sculpted in the likeness of Hepburn by Kimberly Monson, an artist and faculty member of the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts.

Numerous sponsorship levels are available, which include a variety of benefits, visibility, and the possibility to meet and greet with Close. The event’s top sponsor may participate in the awarding of the Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award to Close.

Visit http://thekate.org/events/2017KateGala/ for sponsorship details or to purchase tickets.  For more information contact Dana Foster at dana.foster@thekate.org

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is a non-profit performing arts organization located in an historic theatre/town hall on Main Street in Old Saybrook. Originally opened in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Center has been renovated with public funds from the Town of Old Saybrook and donations raised by the Trustees of the Center. It includes a 250-seat theatre and a small museum honoring Katharine Hepburn, Old Saybrook’s most celebrated resident. As befits an organization born of such a public/private partnership, programming is eclectic, offering something for all ages and income levels on the Connecticut shore and in the lower river valley.

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Children’s Tree Montessori School Hosts Open House, Oct. 14 & 28

The Children’s Tree Montessori School, 96 Essex Road, Old Saybrook holds Open Houses to tour the independent elementary school, toddler and preschool classrooms on Oct. 14 & 28.

OLD SAYBROOK — The Children’s Tree Montessori School, 96 Essex Road, Old Saybrook, will hold Open Houses on Saturday, Oct. 14 and 28, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The Children’s Tree offers an independent elementary school as well as toddler and preschool classrooms. As one of only three AMS accredited schools in our state, CTMS offers an authentic Montessori education, lead by certified teachers.  In fact, it is the only school in the area to offer a Montessori education from toddler through 6th grade.

Montessori is a method of education that is based on the belief that children are individuals. The role of the teacher is to guide each child through the learning process using scientifically developed materials that fit their specific needs and pace. In addition, Montessori education supports and nurtures the whole child: social, emotional, physical and cognitive.

The Children’s Tree is a non-profit school founded in 1995 to provide an alternative to traditional preschool programs, expanding to offer an elementary school in 2001, and a toddler community was added in 2014.

The school’s mission is to provide a carefully planned, stimulating environment in which children can develop a solid foundation and love of learning, using the Montessori Method, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, or financial ability. For more information call 860.388.3536 or visit www.childrenstree.org.

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Shoreline Bus Schedule Change Announced Effective Aug. 14

OLD SAYBROOK — 9 Town Transit is planning schedule changes to its Rte. 1 bus service between Old Saybrook and Madison.  The changes, which reduce the number of daily trips by two, begin Monday, Aug. 14.

The district began a public comment process in March in response to reductions in subsidies from the Connecticut Department of Transportation.  Through the process, 9 Town Transit was able to identify trips that impacted the least amount of people.  Still, as many as 50 people’s daily travel will be impacted by these changes.

“We understand the impact these changes have on our community,” says Joseph Comerford, Executive Director of 9 Town Transit, “but when our subsidies are reduced, we must cut back service to remain financially stable.”

Comerford says the district pushed off the changes as long as possible, while they worked with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and legislators in an attempt to secure the necessary funding.  With a new fiscal year beginning, the district felt it could no longer delay the changes.

Additional information and schedules are available at www.9towntransit.com or by calling 860-510-0429.

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Old Saybrook’s Gengras Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Skip Gengras. Photo credit: J. Fiereck Photography.

OLD SAYBROOK — Skip Gengras of Gengras Motor Cars of Old Saybrook, a member of the Greater Hartford community, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Awards in recognition of his longtime contributions to business and community. Three other people were similarly honored.

“Each of these individuals has made a significant impact on our region,” Joe Zwiebel, president and publisher, Hartford Business Journal, said. “We commend this year’s honorees on their achievements. They are wonderful examples of how one person can drive change, inspire achievement and help an organization to reach new levels of success.”

Apart from Gengras, the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award winners are:

  • Andy Bessette, Travelers

  • Cheryl Chase, Chase Enterprises

  • Margaret Lawson, independent consultant

During the awards breakfast honorees participated in a panel discussion moderated by Richard Sugarman, President, Hartford Promise, during which they shared lessons, highlights and wisdom gleaned from their careers.

The 2017 Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented by Hartford Business Journal with the support of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (presenting sponsor); UConn School of Business (education leadership sponsor); and, The Pita Group (event sponsor). Event partners include: Bond Ballroom, Rider Productions, Merritt Graphics, J. Fiereck Photography, The Perfect Promotion and Co-Communications Marketing and Public Relations.

Hartford Business Journal is the only audited weekly, subscription-based business publication in Connecticut. Whether it’s market trends, the latest merger news or an update on state government, this award-winning weekly is the “must read” for area business leaders. Hartford Business Journal has a total readership of 31,000 affluent and educated business decision makers in the 61 towns that make up Metro Hartford. For more information, visit www.hartfordbusiness.com or call 860.236.9998.

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Asch Retires from Cappella Cantorum After 47 Years, Holt Appointed New Music Director

Barry Asch is retiring after 47 years at the helm of Cappella Cantorum.

AREAWIDE — Co-founder, music director, and conductor of Cappella Cantorum, Barry B. Asch, has announced his retirement from the Cappella Cantorum MasterWorks Chorus.  Asch has conducted the MasterWorks Chorus for 47 years during which time over 65 major choral works have been performed. 

The inaugural performance was March 1970 with Schubert’s Mass in E Flat.  Asch formed the popular Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus in 1977, and the SummerSings series in 1987.  Both events still continue.

The Eighth Annual Messiah Sing or Listen in 2016 at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center was nearly filled to capacity.  This favorite holiday tradition was conducted and organized by Asch.  ‘The Kate’ will host the ninth annual event on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017.

Group sessions and vocal classes have been offered to Cappella members with renowned soprano Patricia Schuman and tenor Brian Cheney.

Asch began Cappella Cantorum’s European Concert Tours in 1981.  The tours are currently organized by member Patricia Hill of Madison.

Simon Holt has been named the new Musical Director of Cappella Cantorum.

A highlight of Cappella Cantorum was performing five concerts at Carnegie Hall, New York City with Mid-America Productions.  This opportunity was initiated by Asch.

Cappella Cantorum has represented 20 communities throughout southeastern Connecticut.

Simon Holt, artistic director of Salt Marsh Opera and director of music at The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme will be the new music director of the Cappella Cantorum MasterWorks Chorus.

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9 Town Transit to Reduce Shoreline Shuttle Service from Aug. 14

OLD SAYBROOK — After extensive review of public comments and ridership data, 9 Town Transit is planning to reduce service on the Shoreline Shuttle beginning Aug. 14. The reduction was made necessary by a reduction in state funding.

9 Town Transit has worked very closely with legislators and CTDOT in an attempt to restore funding, but to date has been unsuccessful.

Beginning Aug. 14, the 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. trips from Old Saybrook to Madison, and the 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. trips from Madison to Old Saybrook will be discontinued.

New schedules will be available on buses. Plan to adjust your travel accordingly.

9 Town Transit sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience this will cause to our customers.

9 Town Transit understands the importance of this route to the many people who use it, but must operate within the budget provided.

9 Town Transit stresses it is not too late to contact your state legislators at 800-842-1421 (state senator) and 800-842-1423 (state representative) to voice your concerns about these service cut-backs.

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Montessori School Holds Informational Curriculum Night, Sept. 28

OLD SAYBROOK — The Children’s Tree Montessori School (CTMS), 96 Essex Road, Old Saybrook, will hold a curriculum night on Thursday, Sept. 28, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Montessori certified teachers will take attendees on a step-by-step journey through the Montessori Math Curriculum to gain a better understanding of how a Montessori student spends their day.

By touring each classroom,  visitors can see the continuum of the material’s progression through the levels, from a Montessori toddler through a 6th grade Montessori elementary student. This free workshop is open to the public. Optional dinner and childcare is offered for $10 per family.

The mathematical mind begins to develop at a very young age through patterns, music, and visual discrimination. By recognizing and developing a continuum of materials to explain concepts using all of the senses – through, scientific method, Maria Montessori created a math program, which has not been changed in over a 100 years.

See how four-year-olds are exposed to multiplication and why Montessori students can sometimes answer Common Core questions simply because they have learned and understand the concepts concretely before working in the abstract.

The Children’s Tree offers authentic Montessori education and was founded in 1995 to provide an alternative to traditional educational programs. The Children’s Tree is the only Montessori school in the area to offer programs for students 1-12 years old.

For more information and to register for the workshop, call 860.388.3536 or visit www.childrenstree.org.

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Bingo is Back at the Estuary Council Thursdays, Doors Open 5:30pm


OLD SAYBROOK —
Beginning June 15 and continuing through Nov. 9, Bingo is back at The Estuary Council of Seniors, Inc. (ECSI) and open to all ages. Game play begins at 6:30 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The Estuary Council is located at 220 Main Street in Old Saybrook.

Join in on the fun for this weekly event.  Admission, including game package, is $12 per player. Cash prizes with the progressive jackpot maximum payout of $1,000 (increases $100 each week.)  

For more information, call 860-388-1611 or visit www.ecsenior.org

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Ready for Some Football? Old Saybrook Conditioning Camp Attracts More Than 40 Youngsters

More than 40 students in Grades 2through 8 participated in the four-day football conditioning camp held at Old Saybrook High School.

OLD SAYBROOK — The coaches from Old Saybrook High School and Old Saybrook Westbrook Youth Football & Cheer (OSW) recently partnered with the Town of Saybrook Parks and Recreation Department to host a four-day football conditioning programming for children from 2nd through 8th grade.

Youth from several towns on the shoreline participated in warm-up exercises and performed drills to learn the fundamentals of football and hone their skills.

Intensity and enthusiasm were evident at all times during the camp.

Coach Ryan Percival founded the program to help shoreline youth learn the fundamentals in a safe and non-competitive environment.

Subsequent to the Old Saybrook High School football coaches and staff joining ranks with the OSW coaches, the program swelled this year to more than 40 participants.

Coach Rob Marone summed up the philosophy of the program, “It’s all about the kids.  We teach skills, but we also emphasize safety, listening, teamwork and respect.”

For more information on the upcoming season or to register for football or cheerleading, visit oswyouthfootball.com.

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Estuary Seeks Line Dancing Instructor

OLD SAYBROOK — The Estuary Council at 220 Main St. in Old Saybrook is looking for a line dancing instructor.

Are you looking for a way to give back to the community? Looking for a volunteer opportunity? The Estuary has a fun group of seniors who love to line dance but need an instructor.

For more information, call Deb at 860-388-1611, ext. 204.

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Estuary Hosts “Lunch With Pat,” All Welcome, Sept. 21

The public is invited to attend “Lunch with Pat” on Thursday, Sept. 21, at 12 p.m., at the Estuary Council of Seniors, 220 Main Street, Old Saybrook. This monthly event is hosted by Estuary Board Member Patricia Schneider.

Come for lunch and stay for fun and music with the vocal group “Deep River Chicks.”

Call the Estuary Council of Seniors at 860-388-1611 Ext. 204 to make reservations.  An Ice Cream Social follows at 1:15 p.m.  According to Pat, “Let’s get to know one another …”

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Saybrook Stage Presents ‘Barefoot in the Park’ at ‘the Kate’ Through Saturday

The cast of ‘Barefoot in the Park’ gather for a photo.

OLD SAYBROOK — The Saybrook Stage Company presents “Barefoot in the Park” by Neil Simon at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, ‘the Kate,’ July 13 through July 15, at 8 p.m. with matinées July 15, at 2 p.m. and Sunday, July 16, at 3 p.m.

Neil Simon is at his best in this hilarious and touching romantic comedy about a conservative straight-as-an-arrow young lawyer and his free-spirited new bride. They are newlyweds in every sense of the word – still giddy from their over-the-top honeymoon at The Plaza – and now find themselves in a less-than-perfect Greenwich Village fifth-floor walkup in New York City.

The pricey apartment with bad plumbing and in need of a paint job is only the beginning of their rocky happily-ever-after life. The play is clever and funny, filled with snappy dialogue and witty one-liners. – Neil Simon is simply masterful in this 1960’s story of newlywed life.

A rehearsal scene from ‘Barefoot in the Park.’

The comedy unfolds as the couple moves into their new apartment and receives a surprise visit from the bride’s easily-winded, loopy mother and decide to play matchmaker during a dinner with their neighbor in-the-attic – where everything that can go wrong does. The antics just get started as the mother and neighbor surprisingly get along better than anyone expected; while the newlyweds can only argue. The bride thinks the groom is too staid and boring – she wants him to be more spontaneous – and running barefoot in the park would be a nice start!

“Barefoot in the Park” originally opened in 1963 to rave reviews and was nominated for three Tony Awards. The play ran for over 1530 performances making it Neil Simon’s longest running Broadway hit. The New York Times wrote at the time “I don’t think anybody stopped laughing while the curtain was up”.

The Saybrook Stage Company is pleased to return once again to The Kate in Neil Simon’s romantic comedy directed by Jim Hile. This will be their 14th production at The Kate and the second Neil Simon play having performed “Rumors” in July 2014 – the more recent previous plays are Noises Off, Deathtrap, The Wayside Motor Inn, Moon Over Buffalo and this past January, The Farnsworth Invention.

Visit www.thekate.org or call 877.503.1286 and reserve your tickets now. Also, visit www.SaybrookStage.org for more information about The Saybrook Stage Company.

The Saybrook Stage Company was founded as a non-profit organization dedicated to providing quality local theater on the Connecticut Shoreline at the Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. Saybrook Stage welcomes actors of all levels and abilities – and anyone who genuinely loves the arts – to come together and share in the experience that only live theater can provide.

The actors that have been part of The Saybrook Stage Company to date have varied backgrounds and “day jobs” from teachers, artists and homemakers to lawyers, business people and judges. The Company looks forward to producing many more quality productions at the beautiful venue of The Kate and continuing to thrive in this wonderful, artistic region of Connecticut.

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Enjoy Family Night Tonight at Acton Public Library

OLD SAYBROOK — Join Acton Public Library for a session of Laughter Yoga with Robert Rivest Thursday, June 29 at 6:30 p.m

Laughter Yoga combines interactive laughter exercises with deep, centering breaths and calming movements. It is a joyful way to connect with others and laugh your blues away! Best for ages 4 and up. This event is free and no registration is required.

Generously sponsored by the Friends of Acton.

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Key Bank Westbrook Volunteers Help Beautify the Estuary Senior Center


WESTBROOK/OLD SAYBROOK —
Key Bank’s Westbrook employees, some of whom are pictured above, visited the Estuary Senior Center recently and worked hard cleaning up the outside area, making the place even more beautiful! They have a 27-year tradition of volunteering in the communities they serve.

On behalf of all the seniors that the Estuary Center serves, Estuary board members wish to express their sincerest thanks to all the Key Bank, Westbrook volunteers who donated their time to work at the Estuary facility.

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Acton Library Hosts Summer Oscar Series: See ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ Aug. 25

Lights. Camera. ACTON!

The Acton Public Library at 60 Boston Post Rd., in Old Saybrook presents an 89th Oscar Winning Series this summer on 2nd and 4th Fridays in July and August at 1 p.m. The remaining schedule is as follows:

Aug. 25: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (PG-13)

For more information, call The Acton Library at 860-395-3184, or visit the library during regular hours: Monday through Thursday 10am – 8:00pm, Friday and Saturday 9am – 5pm or visit online at www.actonlibrary.org

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Environmental Program Looks To ‘Foster Future Stewards’ in Lower CT River Valley

From left to right, Peter and Elsie Patton, Marilyn Ozols, president, and Robin Andreoli, executive director. Photo by Joan Levy Hepburn.

LOWER CT RIVER VALLEY – The Rockfall Foundation recently announced the launch of a special campaign to commemorate 45 years of environmental grant making and support programs for students in the Lower Connecticut River Valley. The Fostering Future Stewards campaign will fund environmental education for kindergarten through 8th grade students with multi-year grants to schools for school-time, after school or summer programs.

Consecutive years of funding will allow educators to continue programs that introduce and sustain environmental literacy and the continuity of those programs will greatly benefit students.

The Foundation looks to raise $45,000 over two years and the campaign is off to a very positive start, thanks in large part to Peter and Elsie Patton of Middletown. Two of the Foundation’s most ardent supporters, the Pattons were the first to come forward with a leadership gift of $5,000 to the campaign.

“We are grateful to Peter and Elsie for inspiring others through their passion for this cause and their generous gift,” said Robin Andreoli, the Foundation’s executive director. “With a commitment from our Board of Directors, we have already achieved twenty-five percent of our goal and have heard from many friends in the community who support the project.”

Established in 1935, the Rockfall Foundation is one of Connecticut’s oldest non-profit environmental organizations and is the steward for the historic deKoven House Community Center in Middletown. The Foundation receives support from donors with a passion for the environment and connects them to local programs that help make the Lower Connecticut River Valley a better place to live.

Annual grant awards provide funding for local environmental education, conservation programs and planning initiatives. The Foundation also presents educational public programs throughout the year, which include symposia and public forums, informal networking opportunities, and family hikes.

For the past 45 years, the Rockfall Foundation’s grant making has supported and promoted outstanding environmental programs delivered by non-profit organizations, schools, and municipalities throughout the Lower Connecticut River Valley. The first grants awarded in 1972 provided a total of $5,000 to support four planting projects in Essex, Old Saybrook, and Chester. Since then, the Foundation has helped to fund 350 programs with awards totaling nearly half a million dollars.

For information about the Rockfall Foundation or how to contribute to the Fostering Future Stewards fund, visit www.rockfallfoundation.org or call 860-347-0340.

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Estuary Council Hosts Volunteer Fair/Open House Tomorrow

OLD SAYBROOK — The Estuary Council of Seniors is holding a Volunteer Fair/Open House on Wednesday, June 21, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the center located at 220 Main St, Old Saybrook. The Estuary services those aged 50 and better from Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook.

Join the Estuary staff to welcome new Director, Stan Mingione, and enjoy a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception. Staff members will be available to give tours of the facility and Fitness Center.  Come learn about the many activities and services and speak with personnel about the numerous volunteer opportunities.

For more information, call 860-388-1611 or visit www.ecsenior.org.

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Acton Library Presents ‘History of the 1950s & 60s Through Music’  with Marc Black, Saturday

OLD SAYBROOK — Marc Black, recent inductee into the NY Chapter of the Blues Hall of Fame, has created an engaging and humorous program … and an opportunity for the audience to relive this colorful time in our history. 

In his Saturday, June 17 presentation from 3 to 4 p.m., Black uses a wide range of popular songs including surprising favorites like Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, great rock tunes like Blue Suede Shoes, and moving folk songs like Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind.

And now, the program, which is part of the library’s Summer Concert Series, is being offered with a slide show that will slide you right back in time.  This thought-provoking, multi-media show is bound to get everyone singing and feeling good about where we are…and where we’ve been.

If you have any questions, visit www.actonlibrary.org or call the library at 860-395-3184 during service hours of: Monday – Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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SHPO Hosts Public Meeting on Statewide Historic Preservation Plan, June 27

OLD SAYBROOK — The Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is working on a Comprehensive Statewide Historic Preservation Plan to be completed by the end of the year.

The plan will be a planning document at an intensive level, addressing the treatment of historic and cultural resources across the state. It will serve as a guide for planning and decision making by the SHPO, Towns, agencies, non-profit organizations, and others who may affect these resources.

For southeast Connecticut, there will be a meeting at The Pavilion at Saybrook Point Park, 154 College St., at Saybrook Point, Old Saybrook, CT on Tuesday, June 27, from 7 to 9 p.m.

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Volunteers Needed to Control Invasive Plant in Local Rivers

Water chestnut is an invasive plant that is easy for volunteers to remove & keep under control. Join CRC for upcoming volunteer events to learn about & remove this invasive plant.

AREAWIDE — There is an emerging threat to the Connecticut River and the waters within its basin that any boater, paddler, angler or property manager can help control. European water chestnut (Trapa natans) is an aquatic invasive plant that spreads rapidly, covering bodies of water with dense foliage impeding recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and swimming.

The Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC), formerly Connecticut River Watershed Council, is hosting a variety of opportunities this summer for residents to learn more and help remove this threat.

Quick and thorough action must be taken to prevent this plant from taking over because water chestnut reproduces exponentially. “The good news is that this plant is easy to identify, it reproduces only by seed, and pulls up easily,” notes Alicea Charamut, River Steward for the Connecticut River Conservancy.

She continues, “It can be managed by trained volunteers. For small to moderate infestations, no chemicals or equipment are needed other than willing volunteers in canoes, kayaks, and shallow draft boats. This work offers an opportunity for those of us who love our rivers, lakes and ponds to give back to them in a fun and easy way.”

There are two opportunities to learn to identify and report the plants. CRC hosted an information session at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex on Tuesday, June 13, and will do so again at LL Bean at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor on Friday, June 19. Both events are at 6:30 p.m. There will be a brief presentation, live plants on display, and plenty of time for questions.

Charamut is also available to give talks to groups within the Connecticut River watershed, who want to bring this information to their organization or club.

Paddlers and boaters can also help CRC manage known infestations. Five hand-pulling events are already scheduled for the floating meadows of the Mattabesset River in Middletown and Keeney Cove in Glastonbury in June and July with more to be scheduled as new infestations are reported. The work is fairly easy, a little dirty and very rewarding. Supplies are provided. Those who wish to attend need only bring their boat and PFD.

In addition, CRC is coordinating a River Sweep of the Connecticut River, its coves and ponds to scout for this invasive plant. “Because the seeds from these plants can last for up to twelve years, knowing where these plants have been found is crucial. In order to effectively control the spread of these plants we must monitor locations where they have been found each year and have as many eyes on the water as possible.” Paddling and boating groups can adopt a section of the river to scout for plants on or around Saturday, June 24.

“It will take a community of those who care coming together to help control this plant,” says Charamut. The Connecticut River Conservancy joins many partners in the effort to control water chestnut in the Connecticut River watershed. The US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Lower Connecticut River Council of Governments, Jonah Center for Earth and Art, Connecticut River Museum, and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station are all active participants working to help control this aquatic invasive plant.

More groups are encouraged to join the effort. Much of the work in the lower Connecticut River Valley here in Connecticut is possible thanks to a generous grant from the Rockfall Foundation.

For more information about education and volunteer opportunities to help control European water chestnut, visit www.ctriver.org/get-involved or contact Alicea Charamut at acharamut@ctriver.org.

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On Board the ‘Onrust,’ Famed Re-creation of Adriaen Block’s Boat Sails up Connecticut River

The ‘Onrust’ docked at Saybrook Point Inn and Spa.

ESSEX —  It was “a momentous occasion,” according to Connecticut River Museum Executive Director Chris Dobbs when a group of dignitaries and invited guests gathered to board the re-creation of Adriaen Block’s boat Onrust last Thursday (June 1.)  Dobbs pointed out that it was, “400 years ago — 403 to be precise” since the original Onrust commenced its exploration of the Connecticut River ultimately exploring it upstream to just a little further north than present-day Hartford — a distance of approximately 60 miles from Long Island Sound.

Connecticut River Museum Executive Director Chris Dobbs takes a brief break from his duties as host on board the ‘Onrust.’

While overwintering (1613-1614) in New York Bay, the Dutch explorer Block’s first ship, the Tyger (Tiger), caught fire and burned to the waterline.  Working through the frigid winter, Block built a new ship from the salvaged remnants and named it the Onrust, Dutch for ‘Restless.’

It was the first vessel built by Europeans in New York State and the first yacht built in the New World.  In 1614, Block and his crew set off to explore coastal New York, Long Island, Connecticut, and Rhode Island with the intent of developing trade partnerships with Native Americans.  During his time on the water, Block became the first known European to travel up the Connecticut River  

The re-created Onrust was launched in 2009 by The Onrust Project, an all-volunteer non-profit out of New York, which built the vessel after painstakingly researching traditional Dutch shipbuilding techniques.  

To reach the Saybrook Point Inn at Old Saybrook, Conn., where the guests boarded the ship, the Onrust followed a similar path to the one that Block took in 1614.  It departed from Kingston, N.Y., traveled to New York Bay, traversed the treacherous Hell Gate, entered Long Island Sound and sailed to the mouth of the Connecticut River. 

While preparations were made to launch, Connecticut River Museum Board Chairman Tom Wilcox told the guests now assembled on board the Onrust, “This is a most auspicious occasion,” and correctly predicted they would have, “a lovely sail.”  Despite an earlier threat of rain, the weather cooperated completely with warm temperatures and clear skies.

Steven Tagliatella, owner of the Saybrook Point Inn and Spa, addressed the guests on board the ‘Onrust.’

Another guest on board was Steven Tagliatella, owner of the Saybrook Point Inn, who spoke effusively about the upcoming trip to the Connecticut River Museum describing the Onrust as “a spectacular sight.”  He also took the opportunity to mention the new tourism coalition he has formed to promote tourism in the state, noting that the Onrust offers “a wonderful opportunity” for tourism.

Connecticut State Historian Walter Woodward speaks on the theme of ‘restlessness,’ echoing the name of the boat — ‘Onrust’ translates from the Dutch to ‘restless.’

Walter Woodward, Connecticut’s State Historian, unquestionably spoke for everyone on the boat when he said, “To be on this boat on this day is so exciting,” but then asked the guests to take themselves back in time to the spring of 1614 when Block brought the ship he had built the previous winter and named Onrust – Restless – to the mouth of the river the natives call Quinitticut.  Woodward declared that Block, “was as restless as his little vessel,” explaining, “The 47-year-old trader-explorer was anxious to make up the losses he had experienced the previous winter, when his ship the Tyger had accidentally caught fire.”

Woodward pursued the theme of ‘restlessness’ as he continued, saying, “Then as now, the word restless had many meanings … A generation of restless Europeans … both Dutch and English would come to this river, first in search of trade with the indigenous people, and soon after, in the quest for their land and resources.”

Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna (center in sunglasses) chats with a guest during the trip up the Connecticut River.

Woodward added, “Some were restless too in a godly way – troubled in mind and spirit, seeking a place to serve God as their consciences demanded.”

He also noted that, “For those already here, the arrival of the Onrust heralded a new native restlessness – first, as the indigenous people jostled with each other for control of the distribution of European trade goods … and later to fight the efforts of these insurgents to drive them from their homes.”

Jennifer White-Dobbs enjoys the glorious river views with her son (right) and a guest.

Keeping to his theme, Woodward ended with the words, “I know you are restless to get underway, so let me conclude by saying, “ It is a privilege to be here today to mark the moment in time, when Adriaen Block and his Onrust entered the river he named Fresh River, and a world-transforming era of restless change began.”

The Essex Sailing Masters of 1812 greeted the ‘Onrust’ with bright melodies in front of the Museum.

Before introducing the next speaker, Dobbs noted, “The amount of research to build this vessel was amazing,” and also that it had taken, “Around 250 people to build the Onrust.”  He explained that the Onrust will be a floating exhibit at the Museum through early October, open for dockside tours, school and Scout programs, along with public cruises and charters.

The guests vigorously waved Dutch flags as the ‘Onrust’ pulled into the Connecticut River Museum’s dock.

Dobbs then presented Emily Boucher, who brought a message from Senator Chris Murphy, which she read aloud to the guests on the Onrust.  In the message, Murphy expressed the wish that he could join everyone on the trip, and noted he was pleased with the financial assistance the state had given the Museum which, “was going to allow it [the Museum] to not float away.”

A crew member prepares to fire the cannon to announce the boat’s arrival at the Connecticut River Museum.

Finally the Onrust departed from Saybrook Point inn and sailed serenely up the Connecticut River offering spectacular views in all directions. As the three-man crew prepared for arrival at the Museum during the first hour of the popular RiverFare event, one crew member fired a celebratory cannon.  Meanwhile, Essex’s very own Sailing Masters of 1812 provided a cheery, musical fanfare as the historic vessel approached the Museum’s dock. 

It was indeed a wonderful and “momentous” trip!

For more information on the Connecticut River Museum and the Onrust, visit the Museum’s website.  The Museum extends special thanks to Saybrook Point Inn, Marina & Spa, Essex Meadows, the Sailing Masters of 1812, and The Onrust Project for their efforts in arranging the vessel’s arrival. 

The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street in Essex and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum, located in the historic Steamboat Dock building, offers exhibits and programs about the history and environment of the Connecticut River. For a full listing of Museum programs or to buy tickets for the Onrust, RiverFare, and many other events go to www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.

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Vista’s ‘Man of La Mancha’ Dazzles at the Kate

The cast of ‘Man of La Mancha’ gather for a celebratory photo.

AREAWIDE — A unified cast of performers with and without disabilities worked together to achieve the “Impossible Dream” by bringing Vista Life Innovations’ production of Man of La Mancha to life on stage at the Kate in Old Saybrook May 19, 20 and 21.

Starring a cast of 10 performers from the greater shoreline theater community and 16 members of Vista Life Innovations, this production of Dale Wasserman’s Tony Award winning musical drew more than 600 audience members during its three-day run.

More than 50 community members and over 50 Vista students and members participated in the production in various roles, including set and costume design, lighting, sound, pit orchestra and ushering.

Directed by Pat Souney, Man of La Mancha marked Vista’s fourth all-inclusive musical production and second to play at The Kate.

This production was funded in part through a grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County/River View Cemetery Fund. Show sponsors included Farmers Insurance, the Wrotnowski Family, the Lee Family, Cornerstone Construction Services, Bruce Baber, Guilford Savings Bank, and Laurie Pilcher and Sharon Grogan.

With campuses in Madison, Westbrook and Guilford, Vista Life Innovations is a nationally accredited post-secondary program that has been supporting the personal success of individuals with disabilities for over 27 years.

Editor’s Note: Vista Life Innovations is a 501©3 nonprofit organization. Vista’s mission is to provide services and resources to assist individuals with disabilities achieve personal success. For more information about Vista, visit www.vistalifeinnovations.org.

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Have Lunch with Weatherman Scot Haney at the Estuary, July 31

OLD SAYBROOK — The Estuary Council of Seniors, 220 Main Street, Old Saybrook announces a new and exciting program, “Lunch with Pat” featuring special guests.

“Lunch with Pat” begins at noon. Lunch reservations are required by calling the Estuary Council at 860-388-1611 x216 no later than 11 am the day before the event.

On Monday July 31, Scot Haney will be the Estuary’s special guest and speaker. Haney is WFSB Channel 3 Meteorologist, Journalist, and Co-Host of “Better CT.” An Ice Cream Social with Scot will conclude the program. This event is hosted and coordinated by Estuary Board Member Patricia Schneider.

The program is open to the public.  The building is handicapped accessible.

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SummerSing Faure’s ‘Requiem,’ July 31

AREAWIDE — SummerSing “Bill of Rights” by Neely Bruce on Monday, June 26, 7 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 56 Great Hammock Road, Old Saybrook. This session will be conducted by Neely Bruce of Wesleyan University . All singers are welcome to perform in this read-through of a great choral work.

The event is co-sponsored by Cappella Cantorum and Con Brio. Scores will be available, a $10 fee covers the costs of the event. The church is air-conditioned and handicapped accessible.

For more information call (860) 767-9409 or (203)530-0002  or visit www.cappellacantorum.org or www.conbrio.org

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Estuary Offers Medical Appointment Rides for Seniors

AREAWIDE — The Estuary Senior Center provides transportation to those aged 60 and over for medical appointments, including dialysis, to any medical location beyond the nine-town estuary region such as Branford, New Haven, Middletown, Hartford and New London. With the Center’s Stan Greimann EMOTS program, a driver and car will pick you up, take you to your appointment, and bring you back home. 

For more information on the Stan Greimann EMOTS program, call David at 860-388-1611, X203. Suggested donation of $35 for roundtrip service.

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Shoreline Soup Kitchens Opens New Westbrook Meal Site, All Welcome

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Reps. MacLachlan, Carney, House Republicans Unveil Revised No-Tax-Increase Budget Proposal

HARTFORD — State Representatives Jesse MacLachlan (R-35th) and Devin Carney (R-23rd) joined their House Republican colleagues May 16 to issue their revised no-tax-increase budget for 2018-19 that eliminates the projected $5 billion budget deficit, increases school funding for all towns, reduces the corporate surcharge and mitigates municipal aid losses by reallocating funds.

“The governor’s revised budget continues to make devastating cuts to our communities to shift money to major cities,” said Rep. MacLachlan. “Our revised budget protects and provides adequate funding to all communities throughout the state. I am proud to also see that our budget closes the deficit by making long-term structural changes. I will continue to work with members of my caucus and with members from across the aisle to find common ground, but I will not vote in favor of a budget that increases taxes or zeros out education funding to our communities.”

“Connecticut cannot afford another budget that raises taxes on the middle class or burdens our small towns. I am proud of the budget that my Republican colleagues and I have put forth as it does not rely on tax hikes or passing huge costs, such as teacher’s retirement, onto municipalities. I am hopeful that Republicans and Democrats in the legislature can work together to restore the fiscal health of Connecticut by passing a common sense budget that will allow our state and its residents to thrive,” said Rep. Carney.

In this current proposal, Republicans revert back to the former Education Cost Sharing formula, while also adding $20 million to the distribution.  In addition, the proposal establishes a $90 million grant in order to ensure that no municipality loses aid compared to the current fiscal year.

Other structural changes include:

  • Implements a strict Constitutional Spending Cap
  • Reduces bond issuance cap from $2 billion to $1.3 billion for each fiscal year
  • Ensures municipalities are held harmless
  • Establishes a wage freeze for state employees, but no layoffs

Republicans now join Democrats and Gov. Malloy at the negotiating table to come up with a final budget plan that can pass both the House and Senate.

For more information on the House Republican budget proposal, visit www.cthousegop.com/budget.

 

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Rockfall Foundation Hosts Fundraising ‘Sustainable Seafood Soiree,’ May 24

From left to right, Robin Andreoli, executive director of the Rockfall Foundation and Nat, Sariah, and Kate Novick of Killingworth look forward to the Sustainable Seafood Soiree on May 24 to benefit environmental education programs in the Lower Connecticut River Valley.

AREAWIDE – The Rockfall Foundation and the Noank Aquaculture Cooperative present a “Sustainable Seafood Soiree” on Wednesday, May 24, to raise awareness of locally farmed oysters with proceeds to benefit the Foundation’s grants and environmental education programs. This unique event will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the beautiful and “Green Lodging Certified” Saybrook Point Inn, 2 Bridge Street, Old Saybrook.

Steven Plant of Connecticut Cultured Oysters will speak about the Noank Aquaculture Cooperative’s efforts as responsible shellfish farmers. Member farmers focus on growing some of the finest oysters in the Northeast, including Mystic Oysters and Thimble Island Oysters. Attendees will enjoy an abundant oyster raw bar, hors d’oeuvres and beverages on the patio overlooking the majestic marina, surrounded by fresh salt air and breathtaking views.

Proceeds will support environmental education programs of the Rockfall Foundation, including the “Greening Kids” grant program with the goal of nurturing future environmental stewards. The program funds environmental literacy activities offered in schools and by several non-profit organizations throughout the Lower Connecticut River Valley. The Rockfall Foundation is one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations, founded in 1935 by Clarence S. Wadsworth, and is headquartered in Middletown.

Tickets are $75 per person and advanced registration is encouraged by calling the Rockfall Foundation at 860-347-0340 or by visiting www.rockfallfoundation.org. The event is generously supported by Guilford Savings Bank and Attorney John Boccalatte and Dr. Michele Salonia.

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Eastern CT Ballet Performs ‘Ballerina Swan/Carnival of the Animals’ at ‘The Kate’ This Weekend


The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, “the Kate”, welcomes back Eastern Connecticut Ballet for two performances in one featuring Ballerina Swan and Carnival of the Animals.

A total of four family-friendly performances will be held this Saturday, May 6, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., as well as Sunday, May 7, at 1 and 4 p.m.

Ballerina Swan is based on a new book by New York City Ballet’s Allegra Kent and is choreographed by Gloria Gorvrin, the Artistic Director of Eastern Connecticut Ballet.  Laugh and cry as Sophie the swan follows her dream leaving the safety of her home on the water to experience humorous escapades in the ballet classroom.  The ballet concludes with breathtaking variations from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.

Complete the unique double-bill family event with Carnival of the Animals.  Lions, birds, and fish will frolic on stage in Camile Saint-Saen’s musical masterpiece.

This promises to be an afternoon of beautiful music and dance.

For more information on tickets for any shows at the Kate, visit www.thekate.org or call the Kate Box Office at 860-510-0453.

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Marshview Artists Exhibit in Marshview Gallery Through July

OLD SAYBROOK — The Marshview Artists are a talented group of seniors who gather together on Tuesday mornings at the Estuary to paint and enjoy their passion for art.  While skill levels vary, many belong to local art societies and have won prizes for their work.

Using a variety of mixed media, watercolors, acrylics, and oils, they paint what interests them. For some, it’s flowers, for others it’s landscapes. Whatever they work on, they are able to critique each other in a friendly way which has led to friendships and also encouraged individual growth.

The group looks forward to this opportunity to showcase their work in the Estuary Marshview Gallery and hopes art lovers will drop by to see the exhibit and take time to visit.

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Old Saybrook Hosts 5th Annual Green-up Day Today

Green-up Day volunteers gather for a photo with some of their collected trash. File photo.

OLD SAYBROOK — In 2013, Old Saybrook resident and runner, Bill Casertano, noticed the mounting litter along the roadside. He decided to do something about it and started the annual event, Old Saybrook Green-up Day.

Join Casertano, friends and neighbors in this effort Saturday, April 29 for the 5th annual Green-up Day. The rain date is Sunday, April 30.

Trash is everywhere …

Volunteers may collect trash individually in their own neighborhoods, or meet up with others at the Green-up Meet-up on the Green, at 8 a.m. before heading out.

Busy weekend? Take a bag along on your rounds, fill it up, and throw it away at one of the event’s convenient locations. It’s a great example for kids to see everyone working together to keep their favorite places, and the roads to them, clean.

Free garbage bags are available at the Town Hall parking lot, Town Park on Schoolhouse Road and the Town Beach parking lot. Full bags may be returned to these locations as well.

Everyone can help in a small way, or a big way, to prevent roadside litter from becoming a town eyesore. Litter is also a threat to inland waterways and Long Island Sound.  Even doing something as simple as walking around one neighborhood, an individual can have a significant impact on the heath of the area’s beaches, rivers, and estuaries.

To volunteer, or for more information about how you can help, visit www.osgreenup.weebly.com, www.facebook.com/OldSaybrookGreenUpDay, or email bcasertano@comcast.net.

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Acton Library Announces Annual Poetry Contest Winners

AREAWIDE — The Acton Public Library will hold Poetry Night Wednesday, April 26, at 7 p.m. concluding its 23rd Annual Poetry Competition.  Winning poets will read their compositions and receive their awards. The public is invited to attend.

The panel judges for this year’s competition were Barbara Batt of Old Saybrook, Mary Guitar of Lyme, Susan Murphy of Madison, Mary Volk of Old Saybrook, and Jane Ulrich of Guilford. Chief judges were Patricia O’Brien, Old Saybrook’s Poet Laureate, and Nancy Meneely of Essex.

The evening, celebrating National Poetry Month, and the poets’ prizes are sponsored by the Friends of Acton Library. All submitted poems will be on display in the library through May.

The library is open Monday through Thursday 10-8:00, Friday and Saturday 10-5.

Contest winners are:

ADULT PRIZES

1st PRIZE                  My Father by Mike Augusta of Deep River
2nd PRIZE                How She Left by Lorraine Riess of Higganum
3rd PRIZE                Tar by Mike Augusta of Deep River

GRADES 9-12 PRIZES

1st PRIZE                  Parental Boogie by Sophie Spaner of Deep River
2nd PRIZE                 Escape by Stefanie Guo of Madison
3rd PRIZE                 Turns Black When Wet by Julia Collins of Old Saybrook

GRADES 7-8 PRIZES

1st PRIZE                    Snowflakes by Mackenzie Kapp of Old Saybrook
2nd PRIZE                  An Alphabet of Self Reflection by Mia Katz of Branford
3rd PRIZE                   Seeds by Sophie Burdick of Deep River

GRADES 4-6 PRIZES

1st  PRIZE               Moon Haikus by Van Lampos of Old Lyme
2nd PRIZE               Rude Awakening by Sheila Northrup of Madison
3rd PRIZE TIE        Time by Margo Katz of Branford
Oak Tree by Philip Warren of Old Saybrook

GRADES 1-3 PRIZES

1st PRIZE                  Butterfly by Hannah Belknap of Old Saybrook
2nd PRIZE                Valentine’s Day by Toyba Barasz of Old Saybrook

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Carney, Siegrist Help Clean Up The Preserve

Reps. Robert Siegrist and Devin Carney (right) joined a group of volunteers to help clean up The Preserve on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, in Old Saybrook.

OLD SAYBROOK – State Representative Devin Carney, who represents the towns of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook, and State Representative Robert Siegrist, who represents the communities of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam, participated in a clean-up day at The Preserve on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22.

The group was led by Chris Cryder, who is the Special Projects Coordinator with Save The Sound, and other volunteers were from throughout the state. Both legislators joined the group of volunteers to de-commission redundant trails through sensitive areas.

The Preserve is a work in progress and is still in the early stages of trail design, but will have trails for hikers and mountain bikers in the near future.

For more information visit: https://preserve1000acres.com/about/

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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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‘Discover Oswegatchie Hills’ in Old Saybrook Library Presentation Tonight

Greg Decker, Friends of OHNP chief steward, points the way through Oswegatchie Hills Nature Preserve in East Lyme. Decker will be giving the virtual tour of OHNP, terrain, wildlife and plants.

OLD SAYBROOK — Potapaug Audubon presents “Discover Oswegatchie Hills” on Tuesday, April 18, at 6:30 p.m. at the Acton Public Library, Old Saybrook with guest speakers Greg Decker and Old Lyme resident Suzanne Thompson, who are both Friends of Oswegatchie Hills Nature Preserve.

Suzanne Thompson of Old Lyme hiking Oswegatchie Hills Nature Preserve in East Lyme.

This free program comprises a photo overview of the 457-acre Nature Preserve, which was opened in 2007 by the Town of East Lyme.

For more information, call 860-710-5811.

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