September 25, 2016

Ivoryton Playhouse Hosts Benefit Concert Tonight by Schumann & Pittsinger

Patricia Schuman and David Pittsinger (Photo by Deborah Rutty)

Husband and wife David Pittsinger and Patricia Schuman will give a benefit concert for Ivoryton Playhouse, Aug. 22. (Photo by Deborah Rutty)

IVORYTON — World renowned artists David Pittsinger and Patricia Schuman will be performing an exclusive concert on Monday, Aug. 22. “This is The Life” is based on the song by Alan Jay Lerner from ‘Love Life’, and the evening will chronicle the highs and lows in the life of an artist and a marriage.

This special performance will include music from Sondheim, Cole Porter, Lerner and Lowe, and Rodgers and Hammerstein, with classics from Kiss Me Kate, Sweeney Todd, Shenandoah, Carnival, Man of La Mancha, Camelot, No Strings and Sound of Music. This concert is a benefit for the 105-year-old Playhouse to further its mission to provide theatre of the highest quality to the residents and visitors to our community.

David Pittsinger is currently performing at Glimmerglass and earlier this year received rave reviews for his portrayal of Fred Graham in Kiss Me Kate at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.  Pittsinger delighted audiences as Emile DeBecque in last year’s smash hit South Pacific and will be returning to the Ivoryton Playhouse stage playing Don Quixote in the fall production of Man of La Mancha, opening Sept. 7.

His wife, Patricia Schuman, an internationally celebrated soprano, was recently seen as The Duchess in Odyssey Opera’s production of Powder her Face.  This special concert is a rare opportunity to see them together in the intimate setting of the Ivoryton Playhouse performing a brand new repertoire and many duets.

Tickets for this special event are $125. There will be a reception at 6 p.m. with wines and heavy hors d’oeuvres followed by the performance at 7 p.m. David and Patricia will join guests after the show for coffee and dessert.

Seating is limited; call the theatre box office at 860.767.7318 to reserve your seat for this very special evening.  The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

Visit www.ivorytonplayhouse.org for more information.

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Essex Community Fund Hosts Fundraising Evening Thursday at the Ivoryton Playhouse

Organizers of Essex Community Fund's Benefit Evening stand in front of the Ivoryton Playhouse, where the event will be held.

Organizers of Essex Community Fund’s Benefit Evening stand in front of the Ivoryton Playhouse, where the event will be held.

ESSEX  — Tickets are selling quickly for the Essex Community Fund’s (ECF) Evening at the Ivoryton Playhouse featuring one of the world’s most popular musicals, The Man of La Mancha. Starring Connecticut’s own David Pittsinger returning to the Playhouse, ECF’s Evening at the Playhouse is on Sept. 8.

Inspired by Cervantes’ Don Quixote, considered by many to be “the best literary work ever written,” The Man of La Mancha features the antics of Don Quixote and his faithful sidekick Sancho Panza. Come hear songs like “The Impossible Dream” and “I, Don Quixote” and many others.

Pre-show reception and festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. under the tent with a post-show “Meet the Cast” dessert and coffee. All proceeds go to support ECF’s ongoing mission to enhance the quality of life for the residents of our three villages.

For tickets ($75) or to make a donation, contact a board member or visit our website at www.essexcommunityfund.org.

Contact: Jackie Doane, Playhouse Committee Chair Person, Essex Community Fund at info@essexcommunityfund.org

The Essex Community Fund began over 65 years ago with the same goal – helping local non-profits provide much needed services for the residents of our three villages. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life of our residents in Essex, Centerbrook and Ivoryton. This is accomplished by identifying community needs, providing financial support, and forging partnerships with local non-profit organizations.

Some of their recent initiatives include Compassion Counts: Exploring Mental Wellness, Teen Hunger Initiative, and The Bridge Fund, as well as continuing involvement with the Fuel Assistance Program, The Shoreline Soup Kitchen, Essex Park and Recreation, and the Essex Board of Trade programs and events.

For more information or to make a donation, visit www.essexcommunityfund.org.

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Reading Uncertainly? ‘House of Lost Worlds’ by Richard Conniff

House_of_Lost_WorldsFor this month, a local author! Richard Conniff is a science writer, a contributor to The New York Times, and a resident of Old Lyme. He’s also a graduate of Yale University, one reason for his interest in the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, which is now celebrating its first 150 years.

It is the story of a museum and its directors, explorers, paleontologists, ecologists, anthropologists, biologists, ornithologists, primatologists, plus a few reactionaries and, of course, 14 million specimens. It is also the story of large egos listening to “the mute cries of ages impossible to contemplate”(some 50 million years).

He explores five themes: (1) a teaching dream of leaders at the start (George Peabody, the original donor, for whom “education was (his) Rosebud”), (2) the “grandiose personality” of O. C Marsh, its first director, (3) the demolition and movement of the original building in 1905 and its effects, (4) the rise of anthropology and ecology as sciences, and (5) the invitation to go see for yourself.

So how should we pronounce the name: “Pee-body” as Yalies and the donor said it, or “Pee-buh- de” as denizens of Cambridge slur the word?

The egos predominate, highlighting the single-mindedness and secrecy of many collectors.  Hiram Bingham, the sleuth of Machu Picchu, the “lost” Incan city, was one of the most notable. As the author notes, “if paleontologists were as aggressive as brontosauri they would have eaten each other.” In many respects they did: “Maybe academic life merely gives its verbally inclined thinkers the freedom to brood about it for too long, speak it too loudly, and pursue vengeance with wrath-of-God vigor.” They make this history continually exciting and amusing.

The Peabody Museum has expanded into a teaching, research, and study institution, whose practitioners take isolated pieces from the past (human, animal, mineral) to create a logical “story” to help guide us toward the future. But today they face modern visitors, “jaded and smartphone-addled, (who) expect special effects and instantaneous answers almost everywhere.”

In 1866, when the Peabody was created, there was no sign of a “Sixth Extinction” (now forecast by Elizabeth Kolbert), no “climate change,” only 32 million people in these United States (versus 320 million today), and only 1 billion on this earth (now 7.4 billion.)  Can the interest in and funding for museums like the Peabody, their teaching and research, help us alter our behavior for a more favorable future?

Like Alice, I am “curiouser and curiouser,” so I am off to the corner of Whitney Avenue and Sachem Street in New Haven to explore for myself …

Editor’s Note: House of Lost Worlds by Richard Conniff is published by Yale Univ. Press, New Haven 2016.

Felix Kloman_headshot_2005_284x331-150x150About the Author: Felix Kloman is a sailor, rower, husband, father, grandfather, retired management consultant and, above all, a curious reader and writer. He’s explored how we as human beings and organizations respond to ever-present uncertainty in two books, ‘Mumpsimus Revisited’ (2005) and ‘The Fantods of Risk’ (2008). A 20-year resident of Lyme, he now writes book reviews, mostly of non-fiction that explores our minds, our behavior, our politics and our history. But he does throw in a novel here and there. For more than 50 years, he’s put together the 17 syllables that comprise haiku, the traditional Japanese poetry, and now serves as the self-appointed “poet laureate” of Ashlawn Farms Coffee, where he may be seen on Friday mornings. His wife, Ann, is also a writer, but of mystery novels, all of which begin in a bubbling village in midcoast Maine, strangely reminiscent of the town she and her husband visit every summer.

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Deep River Church Hosts August Flea Market & Rummage Sale Tomorrow

Flea market
DEEP RIVER — 
The Deep River Congregational Church, 1 Church St., Deep River, is preparing for its Annual Flea Market and Rummage Sale which will be held on Aug. 20, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.  From 1 to 2 p.m., there will be a Rummage Bag Sale for $3 bag.  All are invited to a Rummage Pre-Sale on Friday, Aug. 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. for a $5 admission fee.

The Flea Market, which is held on Marvin Field and on the grounds around the church, runs from 8:30 a.m.to 3 p.m. with over 80 vendors, who bring a wide variety of items to sell, from antiques to hand crafted pieces.

There will be a variety of fresh baked goods for sale, prepared by church members and friends.    Refreshments may also be purchased throughout the day:  coffee and doughnuts in the morning and hamburgers, hotdogs, and side dishes throughout the day. There are only a few 20 x 20 foot spaces available for $30, and you can reserve one by contacting the church office for a reservation form and map.

Tag Sale (800x600)

Come along for a fun day!

For further information, contact the church office at 860-526-5045 or office.drcc@snet.net or visit the church website at www.deeprivercc.org.

 

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Essex Historical Society Hosts Summer Member’s Picnic, Sunday; All Welcome

Come and enjoy a picnic with the Essex Historical Society, Aug. 21! Image submitted by EHS.

Come and enjoy a picnic with the Essex Historical Society, Aug. 21! Image submitted by EHS.

ESSEX — Join friends and neighbors in celebrating the summer season at Essex Historical Society’s (EHS) Summer Member’s Picnic on Sunday, Aug. 21, from12 to 2 p.m.  The public is welcome to enjoy this free family-friendly outdoor event as EHS fires up the grill for hamburgers and hot dogs on the beautiful grounds of the historic Pratt House, 19 West Ave., Essex.

Sunny Train will entertain at the Essex Historical Society's picnic on Aug. 21 -- and the public is invited!

Sunny Train will entertain at the Essex Historical Society’s picnic on Aug. 21 — and the public is invited!

Musical duo ‘Sunny Train’, the husband and wife team of Ana and Christopher Jankowski, will provide family entertainment to delight all ages with their lively tunes, hula-hoop activities and giant bubbles!  Attendees can also visit the gracious 1732 Pratt House and newly installed kitchen gardens.  Dessert delivered via ice cream truck.  In case of rain, the event moves into the Pratt House barn.

Formed in 1955, EHS is committed to fulfilling its mission of educating and inspiring the community in the three villages of Centerbrook, Essex and Ivoryton.  The event is free and open to the general public.  The organizers invite readers to join them for what is sure to be an enjoyable afternoon.
For more information, visit www.essexhistory.org or call (860) 767-0681.
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Join an End of Summer Reading Family Festival on Sunday at Ivoryton Green

Judi Ann of Dancin' with Hoops will entertain at the Ivoryton Family Festival.

JudiAnn of Dancin’ with Hoops will entertain at the Ivoryton Family Festival.

Join Ivoryton Library Assistant Director and Children’s Librarian Elizabeth Bartlett at the Ivoryton Green Sunday, Aug. 21, from 5 to 7 p.m. for the End of Summer Reading Family Festival, an event the whole family will enjoy.

She hopes that you have had a great summer, enjoyed time with friends and made new discoveries. Ms. Elizabeth looks forward to hearing about your favorite books and summer activities.

For children who have not been able to visit the library with their logs, Summer Reading Prize Packages will be available. *Please Register Your Child For Prize Package*

girl_dancing

JudiAnn (pictured above) of Dancin’ with Hoops will be performing as well as teaching some great new moves for children and parents alike. There will be a raffle for a custom hula hoop that she designed.

Guests are encouraged you to bring their own picnic. Scoops of Centerbrook generously has donated an ice cream sundae bar for everyone to enjoy.

Call Elizabeth Bartlett at the Ivoryton Library for more details and to register your child for a prize package. 860-767-1252

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Middlesex County Chamber Hosts ‘Business After Work’ Networking Session at ‘Water’s Edge’

AREAWIDE — Chairman Gregory Shook of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce announced that a ‘Business After Work’ event will be held at the Water’s Edge Resort and Spa in Westbrook on Tuesday, Aug. 16.

The ‘Business After Work’ event is for Middlesex Chamber members and will take place from 5 until 7 p.m. The event will feature the resort’s fantastic waterfront views with a great spread of food and drinks, and outstanding summer networking for guests.

“The Water’s Edge team puts out a delicious spread of food and drink which always includes a little extra shoreline flavor, and the views of the beach and water are remarkable. Water’s Edge Resort and Spa is a strong and active member of our chamber and we appreciate it. I want to take a moment to especially acknowledge Director of Sales and Chamber Board Member Keith Lindelow, Corporate Sales Manager Karen Robidoux, and the Dattilo Family for their constant support of the chamber,” said Larry McHugh President of Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce.

The event is located on Water’s Edge Resort & Spa, 1525 Boston Post Road in Westbrook.

The chamber’s next ‘Business After Work’ will be held on Sept. 15 and will be held at Valley Railroad Company – Essex Steam Train & Riverboat in Essex.

The Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce is a dynamic business organization with over 2,175 members that employ over 50,000 people.  The organization strives to be the voice of business in Middlesex County and the surroundingarea.

 

 

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Leif Nilsson Hosts ‘The Natters and Friends’ at Next ‘Concert in the Garden,’ Oct. 16

CHESTER — Leif Nilsson hosts a Sunday night ‘Concert in the Garden,’ Oct. 16, from 4 to 6 p.m.,  featuring The Natters and Friends at the Spring Street Studio and Gallery at 1 Spring St, Chester Center. This monthly concert series highlights eclectic international singer/songwriter artists from cool jazz to blue grass.

Gates open half hour before the show — first come first seated. Seating is Bistro Style in the amphitheater. The concert will be moved indoors in the event of inclement weather.

A $20 donation is appreciated. The event is BYOB – pack a picnic and buy your own wine or beer at the Chester Package Store across the street.

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It’s ‘Baby Bounce Story Time’ at Deep River Public Library, Oct. 15

DEEP RIVER — Introducing the brand new Baby Bounce program with Miss Elaine at the Deep River Public Library on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 10:30 a.m. This once-a-month story time is exclusively for non-walking babies and their caregivers. Older siblings may attend, but the program will be geared toward the littlest library users.

There will be simple stories, songs and movement, followed by a brief play and social time. Meet and mingle with other parents as you enjoy baby time. No registration required.

This program is free and open to all, no registration required.

For more information, visit http://deepriverlibrary.accountsupport.com and click on the monthly calendar, email the Children’s Department at drplchildrensdept@gmail.com or call the library at 860-526-6039 during service hours: Monday 1 – 8pm; Tuesday 10 am – 6 pm; Wednesday 12:30 – 8 pm; Thursday and Friday 10 am – 6 pm; and Saturday 10 am – 5 pm.

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All Welcome to Join Final SummerSing Monday Featuring Beethoven’s ‘Mass in C’

The sixth and final SummerSing of the season will feature Beethoven’s Mass in C,  with Steve Bruce-Con Brio Choral Society, on Monday, Aug. 15, 7 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 56 Great Hammock Rd., Old Saybrook. All singers are welcome to perform in this read-through of a great choral work.

The event features professional soloists and is co-sponsored by two shoreline choral groups, Cappella Cantorum and Con Brio.

An $8 fee covers the costs of the event. Scores will be available, but bring yours if you have it and the church is air-conditioned.

For more information call (860) 388-4110 or (860) 434-9135 or visit www.cappellacantorum.org or www.conbrio.org.

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Adam’s Hometown Markets, Local Law Enforcement Team Up to Raise $29,000 For Special Olympics Connecticut

special olympicsDEEP RIVER — Adam’s Hometown Markets and local law enforcement officers teamed up to raise $29,000 for Special Olympics Connecticut through a campaign at 14 Adams Markets across the state throughout May and June. For each donation, a “paper torch” with the donor’s name (if desired) was displayed in the store for the duration of the campaign.

The money raised will go to support Special Olympics Connecticut’s year-round sports, health and fitness programs for athletes of all abilities.

The Paper torch campaign is a Law Enforcement Torch Run event to benefit Special Olympics Connecticut.  For more information about Special Olympics Connecticut, visit www.soct.org.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics Connecticut is one of the movement’s largest grass-roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicles. This year-round program involves law enforcement officers from across the state who volunteer their time to raise awareness and funds through events including Tip-a-Cops, Cop-on-Tops, and Jail N’ Bail fundraisers.

In addition, each year in June, over 1,500 officers and athletes carry the Special Olympics “Flame of Hope” through hundreds of cities and towns across the state, covering over 530 miles over three days.  The runners run the “Final Leg” and light the ceremonial cauldron during Opening Ceremonies for the Special Olympics Connecticut Summer Games.

Special Olympics Connecticut provides year-round sports training and competitions for over 13,000 athletes of all ages with intellectual disabilities and Unified Sports® partners – their teammates without disabilities.

Through the joy of sport, the Special Olympics movement transforms lives and communities throughout the state and in 170 countries around the world by promoting good health and fitness and inspiring inclusion and respect for all people, on and off the playing field.(www.soct.org)

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Blumenthal Discusses Proposed High Speed Rail Route with Community Leaders Friday Morning in Old Lyme

Senator Richard Blumenthal (File photo)

Senator Richard Blumenthal (File photo)

OLD LYME — Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder issued the following announcement Thursday, Aug. 11:
Senator Richard Blumenthal will be meeting in the Old Lyme Town Hall Meeting Hall, Friday, Aug. 12, at 10:30 a.m. This will be a roundtable discussion with community leaders from area towns, though the public is welcome to attend.

“After recent issues raised by the USDOT’s concept for future rail service in Connecticut and the operation of rail service by Amtrak, Senator Blumenthal will meet with municipal leaders to hear their concerns and ideas for the future of rail service along the shoreline from the Connecticut River to the Rhode Island border. This discussion will help inform Senator Blumenthal on the impact of federal policies on local communities and determine how he may assist the town leaders.”

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Paolucci, Gingras Appointed to Essex Financial Services Board of Directors

Essex Financial Services, Inc. (EFS) has announced that Robert Paolucci and Patrick Gingras, two of the firm’s Financial Advisors, have been appointed to serve on the company’s Board of Directors. In addition, both have been promoted to Senior Vice President.

In a statement announcing the appointment, EFS President and Chief Executive Officer Charles R. Cumello, Jr. said, “We are delighted to add two of our most senior advisors to our board. We look forward to their ongoing contributions to the growth and oversight of the firm.”

Paolucci has been in the financial services industry for nearly 20 years and joined EFS in 2009. He has earned the Certified Financial Planner®. Paolucci and his family reside in Killingworth.

Gingras joined EFS in 2006 after numerous years serving as an institutional advisor. He and his family live in Old Lyme.

Essex Financial Services is one of the leading independent financial advisory firms in the United States. Cited by Barron’s and other leading publications, the firm’s unbiased, independent, client-centric approach has made it a leader in providing exceptional service to clients for over three decades.

For more information on Essex Financial Services, visit essexfinancialservices.com

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High Praise Indeed: New York Times Gives “Marley’s Cafe” in Essex a Favorable Review

Editor’s Note: The article discussed in this piece is titled, ‘Review: Marley’s Cafe Is a Sweet Spot With a Reggae Soundtrack’ and was written by Sarah Gold.  It was published in the New York Times on Sunday, Aug. 7, and also on nytimes.com on Friday, Aug. 5.  The article can be found at this link: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/07/nyregion/review-marleys-cafe-is-a-sweet-spot-with-a-reggae-soundtrack.html?_r=0

The New York Times customarily focuses its restaurant reviews on high end, Manhattan restaurants, featuring meals that can cost $100 or more.  However, in Sunday’s print edition on Aug. 7 and also published on www.nytimes.com on Aug. 5 at this link , Times food critic Sarah Gold took a look at “Marley’s Café,” a tiny, outdoor restaurant on a man-made island just off the coast of Essex.

Under the headline, “A Sweet Spot With a Reggae Soundtrack,” Gold devoted a full half page of the Sunday New York Times newspaper to the 12-year-old, “Marley’s Café.”  The article was illustrated with three photographs, featuring the front view of the restaurant, and two photos of favorite dishes.

In her review, Gold speaks of, “an indelible impression of the experience: the company I kept, the environment we shared,” noting further that, “For 12 years, Marley’s Café, in Essex, has been delivering just this sort of meal to locals and summer visitors.”

Gold sums up the café in the words,”Fine dining it ain’t, but the restaurant … is … a uniquely wonderful place to [in the words of Bob Marley after whom the restaurant is named] “get together and feel all right.””

Jeff’ Odekerken and his wife, Claudia, share much of the management of the restaurant.

The Times article gave the restaurant a “Good” rating, and the reviewer especially liked the Jamaican burger, and the evening appetizer of steamed, Prince Edward Island mussels. At lunch and dinner, sandwiches, soups and salads cost $7 to $16. Entrees in the evening run from $20 to $30.

In this author’s opinion, Marley’s is the best outdoor dining experience that the historic town of Essex has to offer. Also, the combination of good food and island isolation can equal — or even surpass — the squeeze that customers often feel in big city restaurant.

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Essex Winter Series Awards Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship to Austin Rannestad of Chester

Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship winner Austin Rannestad stands with his parents John and Jennifer Rannestad John Rannestad,

Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship winner Austin Rannestad stands with his parents John and Jennifer Rannestad.

ESSEX — The Board of Trustees of Essex Winter Series has announced that Austin Rannestad of Chester is the recipient of the 2016 Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship. A 2016 graduate of Valley Regional High School (VRHS), Austin is the son of John and Jennifer Rannestad. The scholarship was awarded by Essex Winter Series trustee Louisa Ketron at the VRHS senior awards night in June.

Named for a founding member of Essex Winter Series, the Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a graduating senior of VRHS who will be studying music in college. The generous scholarship provides $1,000 for each year of study, for a total of $4,000. The Scholarship was established in 1995 after the passing of EWS board president Francis Bealey to honor his commitment to music and arts education.

Austin plays trumpet and, during his high school career, was a member of the concert and jazz bands as well as a musician in the pit orchestra for school and community musicals. He was a member of the Greater Hartford Youth Wind Ensemble, played varsity tennis and was a member of the ski club. This summer, Austin was employed as a sailing instructor at Pettipaug Sailing Academy and, with his family, hosted a Spanish exchange student for several weeks. He plans to attend Ithaca College to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music.

Bringing world-class classical and jazz music to the shoreline area was the dream of the founders of the Essex Winter Series, established in 1979.  The late Fenton Brown became involved early on and devoted many years to expanding the series, and ultimately recruited pianist Mihae Lee to become Artistic Director.  The “Fenton Brown Emerging Artists Concert” series was begun to honor Brown’s commitment to promoting the careers of young artists.

Each year, the Essex Winter Series presents a series of concert performances by top-rated musicians from around the world with each season including a mix of such performances as chamber music, instrumental soloists, opera singers, symphony and chamber orchestras, and jazz bands.

For additional information, visit www.essexwinterseries.com.

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Reading by Notable Poets Tonight at Maple & Main in Chester

Some of the poets who will read Wednesday at Maple & Main Gallery in Chester.

Some of the poets who will read Wednesday at Maple & Main Gallery in Chester.

CHESTER – A reading of their best work by notable poets attending the Connecticut River Poetry Conference will be Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Maple and Main Gallery.

For the past six years a select group of poets has met annually for a summer week of workshops, seminars, readings, camaraderie and literary high-jinx at Chester’s Guest House.

Shoreline poets Gray Jacobik and Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely founded the Connecticut River Poetry Conference, which grew out of an advanced poetry seminar at The Frost Place in Franconia, NH. This year, in honor of Gray Jacobik’s exhibition, Lines Spoken: In Paint, in Wax, in Words during August in Maple and Main’s Stone Gallery, the Conference poets will present a group reading in the round at the gallery Wednesday. Wine will be served.

Jacobik and Meneely will be joined by much-published poets: Ruth Foley of Attleboro, MA., Sharon Olson of Lawrenceville, NJ., Carole Stasiowski of Cotuit, MA., Hiram Larew of Upper Marlboro, MD., Anne Harding Woodworth of Washington, D.C., and Lawrence Wray of Pittsburgh, PA.

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Vista Hosts One-Man Show About Living With Autism at ‘The Kate’ Today

Dane Brandt-Lubart presents, "My Life on the Spectrum, Aug. 10 at 'The Kate.'

Dane Brandt-Lubart presents, “My Life on the Spectrum, Aug. 10, at ‘The Kate.’

OLD SAYBROOK — Vista Life Innovations, a community-based program for individuals with disabilities, is partnering with the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook to present My Life on the Spectrum: A Tuneful Rally today, Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 1 p.m.

Starring 24-year-old New York native Dane Brandt-Lubart, this one-man play combines musical performances with personal narratives about Brandt-Lubart’s experience being on the autism spectrum. The show aims to provide others on the spectrum with hope and encouragement while educating the public about the issues facing individuals with disabilities.

“I’m hoping that those who see the show, not only do they get a great entertainment experience, but I’m hoping they carry this message forward: People with special needs are totally worthy of respect,” Brandt-Lubart says in a video promoting the show.

“My Life on the Spectrum” debuted last October at the famed ‘Don’t Tell Mama’ cabaret venue in Manhattan. The production has been described as inspiring, honest, funny and poignant.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at www.vistalifeinnovations.org/MLotS. For questions, contact Amanda Roberts at(860) 399-8080 ext. 255.

With campuses in Madison, Westbrook and Guilford, Vista has been providing services and resources to individuals with disabilities for over 26 years.

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Leif Nilsson Hosts ‘The Grays’ at ‘Concert in the Garden,’ Thursday

The Grays perform the next 'Concert in the Garden' at the Silver Spring Gallery.

‘The Grays’ perform the next ‘Concert in the Garden’ at the Silver Spring Gallery.

CHESTER — Leif Nilsson hosts another ‘Concert in the Garden’, Thursday, Aug. 11, from 7 to 9 p.m., this time featuring ‘The Grays’ at the Spring Street Studio and Gallery at 1 Spring St, Chester Center. This monthly concert series highlights eclectic international singer/songwriter artists from cool jazz to blue grass.

‘The Grays’ are an original jazz-funk music project, which mixes electrified gypsy jazz with odd-time tribal funk beats. The group features Justin Vood Good on guitar, Hans Lohse on percussion, accordion and vocals, Tracey Kroll on drums and electronica, Pat Pollen on acoustic and electric bass, and Steve Fava on sonic sculpting and atmospherics. The band offers deep grooves and dynamic improvisation for listening as well as dancing, and encourages audience participation.

For more information visit the thegrays.bandcamp.com and on Facebook at facebook.com/thegraysmusic.

Gates open half hour before the show — first come, first seated. BYOB and picnic – outdoor Bistro style seating offered in the amphitheatre.

Sorry, no pets allowed.

A $20 donation is appreciated.  The event is BYOB – buy your own wine or beer at the Chester Package Store across the street, which is open until 8 p.m.

For more information, call 860-526-2077 or log on www.nilssonstudio.com

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Chocolate Chip Cookies, Wine & Art: All the Comforts of Home in Chester, Oct. 7

Keith Stewart, the chef at Camp Hazen YMCA, is making 500 chocolate chip cookies for all to enjoy throughout Chester Center on Come Home to Chester night, Oct. 7.

Keith Stewart, the chef at Camp Hazen YMCA, is making 500 chocolate chip cookies for all to enjoy throughout Chester Center on Come Home to Chester night, Oct. 7.

The town of Chester presents its annual “Come Home to Chester” celebration on Friday evening, Oct. 7. Come stroll through the shops and galleries of quaint Chester village while munching on chocolate chip cookies made by the chef of Camp Hazen YMCA and sampling wines or sipping apple cider. (All the comforts of home on a New England fall evening!)

The French Hen’s theme for the evening is fragrance. “Fragrance has the power to evoke a memory, change a mood or unlock a new experience,” says Laurie McGinley, the shop’s owner, who says the shop will be debuting a new line, Peacock Parfumerie, and will have a drawing for one of their beautiful scented candles. Chester Package Store will do a wine tasting on the front porch of The French Hen (14 Main St.).

Kate and Anne Yurasek wrap themselves up in a cozy quilt at Lark.

Kate and Anne Yurasek wrap themselves up in a cozy quilt at Lark.

LARK is featuring coziness – as in cozy, colorful home accessories, such as quilts, rugs, towels and pillows. Sign up to win a gift while exploring all the comforts of home featured in the newly expanded shop at 4 Water St.

“An Exploration of Texture,” a new jewelry collection by Dina Varano, opens at the Dina Varano Gallery on Main Street on October 7. Since day one, texture has been a defining feature of Dina’s unique jewelry. Like an alchemist she transforms metal into meaningful works of wearable art: one of a kind, one at a time.

At Maple & Main Gallery, enjoy the Fall Exhibit on the first floor (where you can nibble on chocolate chip cookies!) and then go downstairs to the Stone Gallery for the opening reception of the two-woman show, “Go Figure,”  by friends Beverly Floyd and Maggie Bice. These longtime friends share a sensibility that is lyrical, light-hearted, and often quirky, which is obvious in their delightful show.

ELLE Design, at 1 Main St., invites you to sample the raw chocolates made by Aruna Chocolate and learn how to pair them with wine. Look for Deborah Vilcheck, a Chester-based mortgage loan originator with Nations Reliable Lending, who will have 50 apple pies to hand out to visitors. “I love Chester and this is a great way to celebrate our town,” Deb says.

Even your dogs are welcome at Yappy Hour at Strut Your Mutt on Main Street, with treats for them and you.

You are also invited to visit the yoga studio at Reflections of Chester, Health & Wellness Center, at 15-19 North Main Street, where there will be live music, cider and cookies. More live music will be at the Pattaconk 1850 Bar & Grill on Main Street, and the Homage Fine Art & Coffee Lounge (16 Main St.) features Teen Open Mic Night from 7 to 9 p.m.

Everything is within walking distance from the Maple Street and Water Street free public parking lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Shoppers at Adams Hometown Market in Deep River Give Generously to CT Food Bank Milk Drive

The Adams Homemarket in Deep River

Shoppers at the Adams Hometown Market in Deep River gave generously to The Great American Milk Drive. Photo by Jerome Wilson.

DEEP RIVER — Shoppers at Adams Hometown Market, Better Valu and Tri Town Foods stores in Connecticut gave generously to The Great American Milk Drive, raising more than $12,000 for milk vouchers to help people served by the Connecticut Food Bank network of food assistance programs. Connecticut Food Bank spokesperson Paul Shipman spoke warmly of the tremendous contribution made by the Adams Hometown Store located in Deep River, telling ValleyNewsNow.com that, “the store has been wonderful supporting this program.”

By donating $1, $3 or $5, or rounding up their change at the register, shoppers raised $12,232 for milk vouchers. Shipman said it was the most successful Milk Drive yet for the food bank. Shoppers at the 12 participating stores have donated more than $25,000 since 2014.

Milk is one of the most requested items at food pantries, Shipman said, but it is difficult for people to obtain. “Many of our participating programs have limited refrigeration, so keeping a supply of milk is difficult, but it’s sought after by many people who need help with basic food needs.” Shipman said that many people who visit food pantries may only be able to access one gallon of milk per person in a year.

By providing vouchers for people visiting food banks, we can ease some of the transportation and refrigeration barriers and make milk a more regular part of people’s diets,” Shipman said.

The drive was part of a national program aimed at providing sought-after and highly nutritious gallons of milk to people in need. This local drive included the New England Dairy Promotion Board’s Must Be the Milk program, Guida’s Dairy, and the dairy farm families of Connecticut.

The milk drive was conducted at 12 Adams Hometown Market, Better Valu, and Tri Town Foods locations.

For more information on the Great American Milk Drive, visit www.mustbethemilk.com/milkdrive/

Editor’s Notes:

  1. Adams Hometown Market is a Connecticut-owned and operated company, which is owned by Bozzutos Incorporated, and is dedicated to providing service and support to the local community. Learn more at AdamsSuperFood.com
  2. The Connecticut Food Bank is committed to alleviating hunger in Connecticut by providing food resources, raising awareness of the challenges of hunger and advocating for people who need help meeting basic needs. The Connecticut Food Bank partners with the food industry, food growers, donors and volunteers to provide food, which last year provided 19.2 million meals. We distribute that food through a network of community based programs to six Connecticut counties – Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London and Windham counties – where more than 300,000 people struggle with hunger. Visit us on the web at www.ctfoodbank.org, like us on Facebook and follow @CTFoodBank on Twitter and Instagram.
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French Classes Begin at Ivoryton Library, Oct. 5

ann_lander_at_Ivoryton_Library
IVORYTON — The Ivoryton Library offers the following languages classes beginning this fall. All classes are open for new members at any time. Feel free to sit in on a class to see if the level of instruction works for you. Fee is per class attended and is payable to the Instructor.
Beginning Italian – Tuesdays 10-11 am, $5 – begins September 13
Intermediate French – Tuesdays 1-2 pm, $5 – begins September 13
Beg/Int Italian – Wednesdays 10-11 am, $5 – begins September 14
Easy French Reading – Wednesdays 2-3pm, $5 – begins October 5
Intermediate/ Advanced Spanish – Thursdays 1–2 pm, $5 – begins September 22
Conversational Spanish – Thursdays at 2:15-3:45, $10 – begins TBD

Call the library for more information or if interested in a language class not offered. The library would also like to hear from language teachers interested in hosting a class at 860-767-1252.

The Ivoryton Library is located at 106 Main St. in Ivoryton.
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Connecticut Water Issues Voluntary Water Conservation Request

water-conservationPersistent dry weather conditions and higher than normal demand for water has prompted Connecticut Water to ask its customers across the state to voluntarily reduce their water use. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, conditions across Connecticut range from abnormally dry to moderate drought.

The Company has a number of sources and operational flexibility to meet its customers’ needs, but given the extended dry weather conditions and no indication that these weather patterns will change, the company felt it was important to ask its customers now to voluntarily conserve.

Craig J. Patla, Vice President – Service Delivery, states, “Having an adequate supply of water for drinking, sanitation, and fire protection is Connecticut Water’s highest priority.  While our supplies, overall, are in good shape, we face unique challenges with many smaller systems that rely on small local wells and in the Shoreline area where there is a seasonal influx of customers to local beach communities.”

He continues, “We are asking customers to help us by eliminating unnecessary water use and taking steps to avoid wasting water.  This will reduce the demands on our water supplies, reduce stress on local water resources, and ensure sufficient water is available to meet the needs of all customers.” Connecticut Water’s Shoreline area includes the communities of Clinton, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook.

Connecticut Water is asking its customers to voluntarily conserve water by eliminating non-essential water use. Here are some specific things that customers can do:

  • Residential customers are asked to avoid watering their lawns;
  • Businesses, municipalities, and schools are asked to avoid irrigating their grounds and ball fields;
  • Fire departments are asked to avoid using water in their training exercises; and
  • All customers are asked to promptly repair any leaks.

Connecticut Water will continue to monitor water demands and will modify its request for water conservation measures accordingly.

Connecticut Water has additional suggestions on how to save water that are available by visiting its website atwww.CTWater.com/conservation. Customers without internet access can call 1-800-286-5700.

The website of the U.S Drought Monitor is: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/RegionalDroughtMonitor.aspx?northeast

The U.S. Drought Monitor, established in 1999, is a weekly map of drought conditions that is produced jointly by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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Old Saybrook Schools, Saint John School Announce Free, Reduced Price Meal Policy

school_lunchThe Old Saybrook Public Schools and Saint John School have announced their policy for determining eligibility of children may receive free or reduced-price meals served under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP),  served under the Special Milk Program (SMP).

Local school officials have adopted the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Income Eligibility Guidelines (IEGs) for family size and income criteria for determining eligibility.

The income guidelines at this link will be used in Connecticut from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 for determining eligibility of participants for free and reduced-price meals and free milk in the Child Nutrition Programs.

The above income calculations are made based on the following formulas: Monthly income is calculated by dividing the annual income by 12; twice monthly income is computed by dividing annual income by 24; income received every two weeks is calculated by dividing annual income by 26; and weekly income is computed by dividing annual income by 52.  All numbers are rounded upward to the next whole dollar.

Children from families whose income is at or below the levels shown are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.  Application forms are available through online registration, on the district website www.oldsaybrookschools.org and are being sent to all homes with a letter to parents.  To apply for free or reduced-price meals , households should fill out the application and return it to the school. Additional copies are available at the principal’s office at each school.]

Only one application is required per household and an application for free or reduced- price benefits cannot be approved unless it contains complete eligibility information as indicated on the application and instructions.  The information provided on the application is confidential and will be used only for the purposes of determining eligibility and for administration and enforcement of the lunch, breakfast and milk programs.

Note that the district MAY share your eligibility information with education, health, and nutrition programs to help them evaluate, fund, or determine benefits for their programs, auditors for program reviews, and law enforcement officials to help them look into violations of program rules.  This information may also be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program officials.  Applications may be submitted at any time during the year.

For up to 30 operating days into the new school year, eligibility from the previous year will continue within the same local educational agency (LEA).  When the carry-over period ends, unless the household is notified that their children are directly certified or the household submits an application that is approved, the children must pay full price for school meals and the school will not send a reminder or a notice of expired eligibility.

No application is required if the district directly certifies a child based on a household member receiving assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or the Temporary Family Assistance (TFA) program.  All children in these households are eligible for free meal benefits.  Households receiving assistance under the SNAP/TFA programs will be notified of their eligibility and their children will be provided free benefits unless the household notifies the determining official that it chooses to decline benefits.

If any children were not listed on the eligibility notice, the household should contact the district or school to have free meal benefits extended to those children.  Households receiving SNAP or TFA benefits for their children should only submit an application if they are not notified of their eligibility by August 31, 2016.

If a child is not directly certified, the household should complete a free and reduced-price meal application form.  The application for the SNAP or TFA households require the SNAP or TFA case number.  The signature of an adult household member is also required.

Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals.  Please send in an application or contact the determining official for more information.

When known to the district/school, households will be notified of any child’s eligibility for free meals if the individual child is Other Source Categorically Eligible because the child is categorized as either:  Homeless; runaway as defined by law and determined by the district’s or school’s homeless liaison; or enrolled in an eligible Head Start or pre-kindergarten class as defined by law.  Households with children who are categorically eligible under Other Source Categorically Eligible Programs should complete an application and check-off the relevant box.

Questions should be directed to the determining official.  For any child not listed on the eligibility notice, the households should contact the school or determining official about any child also eligible under one of these programs or should submit an income application for the other children.

Households notified of their children’s eligibility must contact the determining official or school if it chooses to decline the free meal benefits.  If households/children are not notified by the district/school of their free meal benefits and they receive benefits under Assistance Programs or under Other Source Categorically Eligible Programs, the parent/guardian should contact the determining official or their school.

Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court, are categorically eligible for free meals.  A foster parent does not have to complete a free/reduced meal application if they can submit a copy of the legal document or legal court order showing that the child is a foster child.  Additionally, a foster child may be included as a member of the foster family if the foster family chooses to also apply for benefits.  If the foster family is not eligible for free or reduced-price meal benefits, it does not prevent a foster child from receiving free meal benefits.  Note however, that a foster child’s free eligibility does not automatically extend to all students in the household.

Application forms for all other households require a statement of total household income, household size and names of all household members.  The last four digits of the social security number of an adult household member must be included or a statement that the household member does not have one.  The adult household member must also sign the application certifying that the information provided is correct.

Under the provisions of the policy for determining eligibility for free and reduced-price meals, the determining official,  Julie Pendleton, Director of Operations, Facilities and Finance jpendleton@oldsdaybrookschools.org (860) 395-3158 x1013 will review applications and determine eligibility.  If a parent is dissatisfied with the ruling of the determining official, he/she may wish to discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis. If he/she wishes to make a formal appeal, a request either orally or in writing, may be made to Jan G. Perruccio, Superintendent of Schools, 50 Sheffield Street, Old Saybrook, CT 06475 jperruccio@oldsaybrookschools.org (860)395-3157 for a hearing to appeal the decision.

The policy contains an outline of the hearing procedure.  Each school and the central office of the school district has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by an interested party.

If a household member becomes unemployed or if household size changes at any time, the family should contact the school to file a new application.  Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for reduced-price meals, free meals, , if the family income falls at or below the levels shown in the Income Guidelines.

Questions regarding the application process may be directed to the determining official at (860)395-3158.

This is the Public Release we will send on August 3, 2016 to the following news media outlets, the local unemployment office, major employers contemplating layoffs, etc.

1. The Hartford Courant 3. New Haven Register
2. The Day 4. CT Department of Labor

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. 

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1)  mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)  fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3)  email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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Estuary Gym is Now Silver Sneakers Approved

The Estuary Council of Seniors has announced that The Estuary Gym is a Silver Sneakers well-being fitness location. If you are a member of a Silver Sneaker participating health plan in Connecticut, the Silver Sneakers plan will pay for your membership to the gym.  This does NOT apply to any fitness classes. Silver Sneakers is exclusively for The Estuary Gym.

These benefits are open to anyone 65 years or older or those under 65 who are Medicare insured.  Check your eligibility by contacting Silver Sneakers by phone at 1.866.666.7956 or log onto their website at www.silversneakers.com

Already a Silver Sneaker member? Come to the Estuary Senior Center at 220 Main St., Old Saybrook to complete the gym forms and get enrolled, or call us at 860-388-1611.

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Valley Shore YMCA’s 25th Annual Golf Classic Raises Funds for Annual Campaign

A smiling group of YMCA golf tournament winners.

A smiling group of YMCA golf tournament winners.

The Valley Shore YMCA’s 25th Annual Golf Classic drew a crowd of nearly 100 golfers Monday, July 18th to the Clinton Country Club for a day of “Golfing for a Cause”. The event raised over $45,000 for the Valley Shore YMCA’s Annual Campaign, which funds scholarships for local families and community health initiatives.

The majority raised came from sponsorships, including the Tournament sponsorships of Brown and Knapp Group Benefits; Mr. & Mrs. Leighton Lee IV; Art Linares and Family; Guilford Savings Bank; L.H. Brenner, Inc./Thompson & Peck Insurance; Pat Munger Construction; Wacker Wealth Management; and Whelen Engineering. Supporting sponsors included East Commerce Solutions and Kyocera.

The day of the tournament was a beautiful summer day, sunny with slight breezes in support of the golfers. Additional fun games were held throughout the course to enhance the fun factor, including Longest Drive, Closet to the Pin, Putting and Hole in One contests. Former Y Board President David Brown and Y Board Member Leighton Lee IV co-chaired the event and rallied sponsors, volunteers and prizes.

Committee members and volunteers included Marc Brodeur, Hal Dolan, Lisa LeMonte, Elizabeth McCall, Susan Norton, Melissa Ozols, Matt Sullivan, Tony Sharillo, Marcus Wacker and Jacquelyn Waddock.

No golfer made a hole-in-one for the prized Subaru generously provided by Reynolds’ Garage and Marine.

First Net Score winners were Jeff Knapp, Steph Brodeur, Justin Urbano and Scott Wiley; second place went to Casey Quinn, Paddy Quinn, Chick Quinn and Ryan Quinn.

First Gross winners were the team of David Brown, Jeff Dow, Mike Satti and Shane O’Brien; second place  went to Bob Brady, Geoff Gregory, John Brady and Bobby Edgil.

Chris Pallatto, YMCA CEO, thanked all the golfers and local organizations who came together to make this event possible. “Once again, we had another successful event, made possible by all of our supporters here today.  They all make it possible for the Y to continue to make an impact in our community.”

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Florence Dutka Interviewed by Mary Ann Pleva on ‘Looking Back’ TV Show

Looking_Back_Crew
The technical crew of the Looking Back series posed for a photo after a recent show.

The  taping occurred at Valley Shore Community Television in their Westbrook studio.

Pictured in the photo above are Chris Morgan, Bill Cook, Bill Bevan, Terry Garrity, and Tim Butterworth
Seated are Florence Dutka who was interviewed by host, Mary Ann Pleva.  This is the fifth in a series that features community members, who have led extraordinary lives.
The programs air regularly on Channel 19, public access television.  Scheduling information is available weekly  in the Valley Courier.
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Essex Zoning Commission Asked to Reconsider Three Conditions for Approval of Plains Rd. Apartment Complex

The Plains Road property where the Iron Chef restaurant has been long empty has been approved for apartments.

The Plains Road property where the Iron Chef restaurant has been vacant for many years has been approved for the Essex Station apartments. Now the applicant has filed a resubmission to revise or rescind three conditions.

ESSEX — Weeks after the zoning commission’s approval of a special permit for the three-building 52-unit Essex Station apartment complex on Plains Road, the applicant has filed  a resubmission that asks the commission to revise or rescind three of the 10 conditions that were part of the panel’s 4-1 vote of approval on June 20.

The commission has scheduled an Aug. 15 public hearing on the resubmission from Signature Contracting Group LLC for a review of the three conditions. The project, approved after a series of public hearings that began in February, calls for 52 units in three separate buildings on a 3.7-acre parcel at 21,27 and 29 Plains Road. The parcel includes the long vacant site of the former Iron Chef restaurant. and two abutting residential parcels.

The project includes an affordable housing component, and was submitted under state statute 8-30g, which is intended to promote additional affordable housing in Connecticut. The statute, in place for more than a decade, limits the jurisdiction of local zoning authorities to issues of public health and safety, and provides for waiver of some local zoning regulations. At least 16 units in the Essex Station complex would be designated as affordable moderate income housing, with a monthly rent of about $1,000.

In a July 6 letter to the commission, Timothy Hollister, lawyer for the applicants, contended three of the conditions ” materially impact the viability of the development plan, are infeasible, legally impermissible, or are unnecessary.”

One disputed condition is the requirement for a six-foot security fence around the perimeter of the property. Hollister contended in the letter a six-foot fence would have to be a chain-link fence, which he maintained would be unsightly and unnecessary. He suggested a nearby property owner, Essex Savings Bank, was uncomfortable with the idea of six-foot fencing on the southwest corner of the property. As an alternative, Hollister suggested a four-foot picket fence around most or the property boundary, including the street frontage.

Hollister also contended a requirement for elevators in the three buildings was “impractical and unnecessary” and would make the current floor plans infeasible. He noted the project is not age-restricted housing, adding that elevators have not been a requirement for many similar projects in Connecticut, including an apartment complex with affordable housing now under construction in Old Saybrook.

The third disputed condition involves the height of the three buildings. The commission had imposed a height limit of 35 feet for all three buildings, a condition that Hollister maintained would require an unattractive, institutional-style flat roof. He suggested a maximum height limit of 42-feet for the three buildings.

Zoning Enforcement Officer Joseph Budrow said this week the resubmission requires a new public hearing, but also allows for some negotiation between the commission and the applicant on the disputed conditions. The review must be concluded within 65 days, including a public hearing and decision, with no provision for any extensions.

The panel has also scheduled an Aug. 15 public hearing on a new and separate special permit application for an eight-unit condominium-style active adult community development on a 10-acre parcel on Bokum Road. The proposed Cobblestone Court development would be comprised of four duplex buildings The applicant is local resident and property owner Mark Bombaci under the name Bokum One LLC. The property abuts a little used section of the Valley Railroad line.
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Connecticut River Artisans Now Open in Essex

Connecticut River Artisans new home will be at 55 Main St. in Essex.

Connecticut River Artisans new home will be at 55 Main St. in Essex.

ESSEX — Connecticut River Artisans are moving from Chester to Essex.

They have closed their Chester shop and now reopened at their new location at 55 Main St., Essex.

Summer hours are Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Call for seasonal hours.

For more information, visit ctriverartisans.org or call 860.767.5457.

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Enjoy Essex Historical Society’s “Walking Weekend,” Saturday & Sunday

Ivoryton Library. All photos courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

Ivoryton Library. All photos courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

ESSEX — Combining the outdoors and history, Essex Historical Society (EHS) expands its popular outdoor program, “Walking Weekend,” on July 29, 30 and 31.  The event features three different walking tours within the Town of Essex in which attendees enjoy an easy stroll along the Town’s historic streets learning about the major industries, structures and personalities that shaped the area.  EHS’s trained, knowledgeable guides will lead an hour+ long tour over fairly level, paved terrain, covering three centuries of history.   For the first time, this year’s Walking Weekend will feature a guided walking tour of Ivoryton Village, led by former Town Historian Chris Pagliuco.

On July 29 at 7 p.m., the first tour will meet at Ivoryton Library, 106 Main Street, Ivoryton, for an in-depth look at this historic village, from its beginnings as a company town surrounding the Comstock-Cheney Co., the stories of 19th century immigration, the striking examples of Victorian architecture and its unique cultural attractions that continue to this day. 

The Pratt Smithy.

The Pratt Smithy.

On July 30 at 1 p.m., the second tour will meet at the Pratt House, 19 West Avenue, Essex, for a trip down West Ave. and Prospect Street to explore the histories behind the structures of “Pound Hill” including several 19th century churches, Hills Academy, the Old Firehouse and more.  Attendees are also welcome to tour the historic 1732 Pratt House, the town’s only historic house museum. 

The Rose Store.

The Rose Store.

On July 31 at 7 p.m., the final tour will meet at the Foot of Main Street, Essex, for a trip down Main Street in Essex Village to capture the rich maritime history of 18th century “Potapaug,” its working waterfront and ship-building prominence in the early 19th century as well as its development as a beautiful visitor destination of today. 

Essex Historical Society is committed to fulfilling its mission of engaging and inspiring the community in the three villages of Centerbrook, Essex and Ivoryton.  Looking ahead, EHS hopes to expand its 2017 Walking Weekend to include a walking tour of Centerbrook.

Each tour is $5 per person and is open to the general public; free to members of EHS.  Admission helps support the educational and cultural programming of Essex Historical Society.  For more information, please visit www.essexhistory.org or call (860) 767-0681. 

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Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival Kicks Off With Concert by Braiden Sunshine Tonight, Multiple Events on Lyme Street Tomorrow

The crowd settles in to enjoy the Friday night concert at the Florence Griswold Museum.

The crowd settles in to enjoy the Friday night concert at the Florence Griswold Museum.

The 30th anniversary of the Old Lyme Midsummer Festival, a summertime favorite for thousands that has now become a signature event in the lower Connecticut River Valley, takes place Friday, July 29 and Saturday, July 30. The event opens with a Kickoff Concert Friday, July 29, and follows up with daytime festivities Saturday, July 30, on Lyme Street in the historic Old Lyme village center. The Festival promotes the arts, music, and culture, drawing on Old Lyme’s history as a home to a number of artists including those in the original Lyme Art Colony.

Art exhibitions, art demonstrations, and musical performances are just part of the celebration, with specialty shopping, children’s activities, and a wide variety of food vendors rounding out the offerings.

The Midsummer Festival was first held in 1986 as a way to celebrate the local arts during the height of the summer season. Jeff Andersen, Director of the Florence Griswold Museum, approached institutional neighbors including the Lyme Art Association, the Bee & Thistle Inn, the Old Lyme Inn, and the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, to provide a festival that included art shows, a “Stars and Stripes” concert, artist demonstrations and a “Turn of the Century Fair” complete with lawn games and a Victorian ice cream cart.

Now in its 30th year, the Midsummer Festival has 13 community partners, including the Town of Old Lyme. “Even as the festival has grown in visitation and offerings, it has stayed true to its mission of highlighting the cultural identity of Old Lyme,” notes Florence Griswold Museum Director Jeff Andersen. “There is always a great mix of new events with everyone’s favorites.”

Visitors to this year’s festival will find perennial festival favorites including art sales, hands-on activities for children, a dog show, and musical performances, while enjoying new offerings including a vendor market by the Chamber of Commerce, a fashion show in a sculpture garden and a guided tour of the Town Hall’s art collection.  A full schedule of events and list of vendors can be found at OldLymeMidsummerFestival.com

Friday, July 29 festivities

Old Lyme's own Braiden Sunshine will perform in the Festival's free Kick-off Concert at the Florence Griswold Museum on Friday, July 29.

Old Lyme’s own Braiden Sunshine will perform in the Festival’s free Kick-off Concert at the Florence Griswold Museum on Friday, July 29.

The traditional kickoff concert takes place Friday, July 29, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Florence Griswold Museum. This year’s concert features The Voice sensation 16-year old singer/song writer Braiden Sunshine and his band Silver Hammer. With a national following as a semi-finalist on Season 9 of NBC’s The Voice, Sunshine brings to the stage his version of much-loved rock classics as well as his own original compositions.

Visitors can find their spot on the lawn along the Lieutenant River and enjoy an evening of free music. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner or purchase food from Rough House Food Truck and NoRA Cupcake Truck, both on-site for the evening. The concert is sponsored by All Pro Tire Automotive and the Graybill Family.

Prior to the concert, the Florence Griswold Museum is open for free from 5 to 7 p.m. Visitors can enjoy the summer exhibition, The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement and tour the historic Florence Griswold boardinghouse.

Saturday, July 30 festivities

There's always a vast array of flowers, fruit and vegetables at the 'En Plein Air' market on Saturday at the Florence Griswold Museum.

There’s always a vast array of flowers, fruit and vegetables at the ‘En Plein Air’ market on Saturday at the Florence Griswold Museum.

On Saturday, June 30, the festival spans 11 locations along Lyme Street, the heart of Old Lyme’s historic district – the Florence Griswold Museum, the Lyme Art Association, the Old Lyme Inn, the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven, Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds, the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce vendor fair at 77 Lyme Street, the Old Lyme Historical Society, Patricia Spratt for the Home, the “Plein Air Fence Painters” on Center School lawn, Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall, Inc., and the Old Lyme-PGN Library.

Festival Partner High Hopes Therapeutic Riding will be at the Museum’s site providing an educational, equine-themed arts and crafts children’s activity. Festival Partner Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau will be the host site for a morning 5K run.

Sponsors of the Festival include premium sponsors Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services, Pasta Vita, Inc., and Yale New Haven Health/Yale New Haven Hospital. Media sponsors include The Day Publishing Company and Shoreline Web News, LLC, publisher of LymeLine.com and ValleyNewsNow.com.

Enjoy the artwork of the 'Plein Air' artists in front of Center School.

Enjoy the artwork of the ‘Plein Air’ artists in front of Center School.

Each location will offer a variety of events and activities. In addition to art exhibitions and art sales at six of the locations, food vendors and specialty food trucks will provide a wide-range of options at each location. Artisans will market their wares at locations including the OL-PGN Library, the Chamber of Commerce vendor market, and the traditional French-styled market and artisan fair at the Florence Griswold Museum. New partner Patricia Spratt for the Home will offer its popular warehouse sale of table linens and pillows.

Children’s activities are a popular way for families to stop and enjoy the festival offerings, and can be enjoyed at multiple locations. There will be musical performances at the Chamber’s music stage, Lyme Academy and at the Old Lyme Inn where Mass-Conn-Fusion will perform with refreshments for sale under the tent.

New events this year include a fashion show by Hygienic Art resident artist Susan Hickman and acclaimed designer Anna Lucas at Studio 80, tours of Town Hall’s art collection, weaving demonstrations at the Old Lyme Historical Society, a visit from Rey to meet future Jedi-in-training at the OL-PGN Library, and a display of snakes and turtles by Linda Krulikowski (known as Old Lyme’s “Snake Lady”) at the Lyme Art Association.

Meet the oxen from Cranberry Meadow Farm on the lawn of the Lyme Art Association.

Meet the oxen from Cranberry Meadow Farm on the lawn of the Lyme Art Association.

Art demonstrations including sculpture and painting will take place throughout the day at Lyme Academy. Details and times for special events including a dog talent show, and an impressive roster of musical performances throughout the day can be found at www.OldLymeMidsummerFestival.com.

Most activities begin at 9 a.m. and continue through 4 p.m. Parking is available at Old Lyme Marketplace (46 Halls Rd.), Florence Griswold Museum (special festival parking entrance at 5 Halls Rd.), and the Lyme-Old Lyme High School (69 Lyme St.) Two shuttle buses run between these locations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information and a schedule of events, visit  www.OldLymeMidsummerFestival.com.

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Sketch Along This Sunday at Maple & Main

'Three Hens' by Claudia Van Nes.

‘Three Hens’ by Claudia Van Nes.

CHESTER  — Bring a drawing pen and paper and some watercolors or colored pencils and join Maple and Main Gallery artist Claudia Van Nes Sunday, July 31, from noon to 2 p.m. to discover anyone can sketch.

Van Nes is Maple and Main’s Focus Artist of the Week and will sketch and paint a teacup and teapot with whoever shows up. Bring along your own tea items if you’d like or just stop by to watch.

There’s a special display of Van Nes’s pen and ink and watercolor paintings at the gallery through Sunday.

Maple and Main, at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 6p.m.;  Friday and Saturday, noon to 7 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Mapleandmaingallery.com. Visit on Facebook and Instagram. 860-526-6065.

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Chester Library Offers Fall Book Discussions, Starting Sept. 27

 let the great world spinCHESTER – Two National Book Award winning books will be discussed this fall at Chester Public Library.

With two evening discussions facilitated by Marsha Bansavage, an educator who has led book discussions at the library for several years, the participants will have a chance to reflect on why each of these books (a novel and a collection of short stories) received the prestigious National Book Award. According to Bansavage, “both books are worthy of first and second reads and will promote lively, interesting discussions.”

The topic of discussion on Tuesday, Sept. 27, will be “Let the Great World Spin” by Colum McCann. In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter mile above the ground. Bansavage explains, “’Let the Great World Spin’” explores how an amazing international event shapes and affects ALL – the famous, the everyday, the large, the small.  McCann develops major characters that seem to be living very different, independent lives, but through clever, masterful plot and thematic devices, he surprises the reader with a conclusion that interrelates all.” Calling it a “truly beautifully crafted piece of literature,” Bansavage concludes, “I felt – in today’s light, in current events, in political debates – to read a novel that develops the humanity within each of us is timely, universal, and reaffirming.”

 A month later, Tuesday, Oct. 25, the discussion will center on “Fortune Smiles: Stories,” by Adam Johnson, who also won the Pulitzer Prize for “Orphan Master’s Son.” fortune-smilesSays Bansavage, “The collection develops six short stories with very different narrators, characters, and themes.  The voices are vivid, different, and distinct.  We travel at times through interesting places, unexplored, uncharted, and perhaps forbidden.  I felt his style and interest in bringing the genre of the short story to the American public was brilliant.  I felt it was important to develop, reexamine, explore and celebrate the important short story genre.” 

Both discussions will be held at the Chester Public Library, at 21 West Main Street, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.  The discussions are free, but registration is required. Participation in both evening discussions is not required. Call 860-526-0018 for more information and to register.  Books will be available to borrow at the library on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

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River Valley Dance Project Creates Dance Movie in One Day, Sept. 24

On Sept.24, the River Valley Dance Project will be at Comstock Park in Ivoryton, Conn., starting at 1 p.m. and going into the evening. Project members plan to create, rehearse and film a dance in one day.

The theme of this piece is diversity. The hope is that many people join the event to learn some very simple movements. Choreographer and Director, Linalynn Schmelzer will support and shape everyone to perform movements with which they are comfortable. The word ‘dance’ in this vision means choreographed movement not ballet.

The organizers seek diversity so all races, ages, genders are very welcome to participate. Bring your family and friends.

RSVP to linalynn2@gmail.com. It is important for the organizers to know how many people will be participating.

‘Like’ the River Valley Dance Project on Facebook to stay connected.

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Enjoy Opera Favorites at Free ‘Opera in the Park’ in Saybrook, Sunday Evening

Opera_at_the_Park

OLD SAYBROOK – Salt Marsh Opera’s free concert, “Opera in the Park,” will take place on Sunday, July 24 (rain date July 25) at 6:30 p.m. on the Old Saybrook Town Green adjacent to the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main St.

World famous singers – tenor Brian Cheney and soprano Sarah Callinan – with accompanist Elena Zamolodchikova will sing opera favorites.

Grab your friends and family, picnic blankets and lawn chairs and get ready for a mesmerizing evening under a canopy of stars.  Arrive early for best seating. The concert will conclude at 8 p.m.

Opera in the Park is sponsored by State of Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development and anonymous friends of Salt Marsh Opera residing in the Lower Connecticut River Valley.
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Join the Mad Hatter’s (Fundraising) Garden Party at Deep River Library, Sunday

MadHatterDEEP RIVER – The Deep River Public Library’s 2nd Annual Mad Hatter’s Garden Party will be held on Sunday, July 24 from 4 to 7 p.m. on the library lawn. There will be hors d’oeuvres, light refreshments, live music, good conversation and a teacup auction. A prize will be awarded for the best hat.

Tickets to this event are $25. All funding benefits the library garden and grounds.

For more information, call the library at 860-526-6039 during service hours.
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Newly Designed Marine Room Opens at Stone House Museum in Deep River

Curator Rhonda Forristall (left) and Kathy Schultz (right) stand in the Deep River Historical Society's Marine Room. All photos by Sue Wisner.

Curator Rhonda Forristall (left) and Kathy Schultz (right) stand in the Deep River Historical Society’s new Marine Room. All photos by Sue Wisner.

DEEP RIVER — It is always a challenge for the curators and trustees to come up with new exhibits to attract return and first time visitors to the Stone House Museum in Deep River and the Deep River Historical Society (DRHS).

There are tours, either a self-guided tour or with a greeter if available, of the house itself and all the history that goes with it and the many exhibits already designed.

View_of_Marine_Room

This summer the DRHS Museum is excited about their newly designed Marine Room, which demonstrates the importance of ship building and the masters of their boats pertaining specifically to Deep River’s rich history in both of these topics during the mid 1800’s.

This exhibit is a culmination of three years of preparation and planning as many items had to be cataloged and stored away. Then the actually physical restoration of the room with painting, carpentry work, artifacts displayed, paintings framed and all items labeled, completed the project for the recent Open House.

Along_DR_Waterfront

The Stone House Museum also highlights collections of the town’s industries and products. Included in this is an extensive collection of Niland cut glass, ivory products of Pratt & Read Co., WWII glider models, WWI exhibit, auger bits from Jennings Co., a display on the Lace Factory Manufacturing in Deep River and much more.

Stone_House_Museum

William A. Vail schooner

The William A. Vail schooner, which was one of the last ships to be built at the Deep River shipyard.

The Stone House, pictured above, was built of local granite in 1840 and the property and house was left to the Society by Ada Southworth Munson in 1946. The rooms reflect the period of time that the family presided there including the Parlor, Living Room, and bedrooms. As one walks through the house, it is a venture back into another era and the furniture and collections are carefully preserved.

Visits to the Stone House are encouraged to view the new exhibit and also the many other interesting items on display.  The photo to the right is of the schooner William A. Vail and symbolizes the shipbuilding heritage in Deep River. The schooner was built right at the shipyards on the Connecticut River near the landing and was probably one of the last ships built before steam ships took over. Exhibits at the Stone House have several photos of the Denison shipyard with boats in various stages of production. The William A. Vail is, in fact, the model for the ship depicted in the official seal of Deep River.

Summer weekend hours are Saturday and Sunday in July, August and into mid-September from 2-4 p.m.

The Stone House Museum is located at 245 Main Street, Deep River.

Check out the Museum on Facebook, Deep River Diaries, or the DRHS website that is presently under new construction at: http://www.deepriverhistoricalsociety.org

For further information, call 860-526-1449.

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Volunteer to Help Those Who Cannot Read

If you have some time to volunteer to build a stronger community and help a local non-profit in tutoring area residents to read, write and speak English, you can start helping almost immediately! Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore is looking for Board Members, a Treasurer for the organization, Tutor Trainees and volunteers at our offices at 61 Goodspeed Drive, Westbrook.

Please contact us at info@vsliteracy.org or call 860-399-0280 for more details and thank you in advance for helping.

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The ‘Brick Bunch’ Meets at Deep River Public Library, Sept. 22

DEEP RIVER — Brick Bunch, a construction club for Lego builders meets on Sept. 22, from 3:45 to 4:45 pm in the Community Room of the Deep River Public Library. Build projects and friendships. The library provides the bricks — you bring your imagination!

Duplo blocks are now available for younger children.

This program is free and open to all, no registration required.

For more information, visit http://deepriverlibrary.accountsupport.com and click on the monthly calendar, email the Children’s Department at drplchildrensdept@gmail.com or call the library at 860-526-6039 during service hours: Monday 1 – 8pm; Tuesday 10 am – 6 pm; Wednesday 12:30 – 8 pm; Thursday and Friday 10 am – 6 pm; and Saturday 10 am – 5 pm.

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Letter to the Editor: Writer Names Miller ‘Newspeak’ Prize Winner for ‘Capitol Update 2016’

To the Editor:

One of my favorite books of all time is ‘1984’, by George Orwell. The protagonist of the novel works for the Ministry of Truth. It is responsible for historical revisionism, using ‘Newspeak’. The historical record always supports the party line.

I award Representative Phil Miller, the Winner of the Newspeak Prize for ‘Capitol Update 2016’. A mailing to 36th District households (Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam) authored by him. His mailing among other Newspeak items, ” no withdrawals from the Rainy Day Fund” which was emptied by a withdrawal of approximately $315 million to close the fiscal year 2015-2016 deficit, earned consideration. However, what catapulted him to First Prize was his Newspeak, that the budget fully funds past Pension Liabilities. While I grant him that these liabilities are always estimates, due to interest of bond earnings and the liabilities have been estimated worse than this in the past five years. He must be content with 2015 estimates. The total underfunding of the State’s pension liabilities is estimated to be at least $26 Billion. Given that the total State of Connecticut Budget is $20 billion, it is impossible to proclaim these past pension liabilities as fully funded. Wow, what a fine example of historical revisionism. I truly hope this matter comes up at the one debate between he and the candidate who is running against him, Bob Siegrist. But, alas, that can only happen if a question concerning this is selected.

I know Bob Siegrist very well, having worked for him during the last election to represent the 36th District. I have also attended a few meetings to discuss the State Budget with him and a few other State Representatives from the area. The Pension Liabilities were discussed before the mailing, and that is why the fully funding caught my eye. Bob Siegrist will never win the Newspeak Prize. He simply can’t speak Newspeak. He examines the Budget, researches the issues his constituents ask about and unfailingly speaks the facts, as much as is humanly possible. I will vote for Bob Siegrist in November because I appreciate knowing the facts and not Newspeak.

Sincerely,

Lynn Herlihy,
Essex.

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America’s Roots and Diversity Shine at Deep River Muster

Pipers_in_step

What more striking example of the American melting pot and immigrants longing for liberty than to watch African-Americans, Asian-Americans, descendants of India, along with Americans of many generations, marching in uniforms and playing music that inspired the country during its struggle for independence in 1776?

This was the scene for two hours on Saturday as a parade of fife and drum corps stepped smartly down Main Street in a blazing mid-day sun in Deep River.

Drummer_from_LAThe roots of this tradition go back 137 years, to 1879. Officially known as the Deep River Ancient Muster, it features fife and drum corps from throughout our local region and some much farther afield. This year, one came from sea to shining sea.

The whole town, it seems, grinds to a halt for the muster. It actually began the night before with a camp-out and warm-ups at Devitt Field. Hundreds lined the streets on Saturday morning, bringing folding chairs, canopies and coolers to sustain two-plus hours in the sun. Many had a birds-eye vantage point from property or apartments high above street level.

Some were picnicking while revolutionary-era re-enacters, many in full wool uniforms, entertained them. The contrast could not have been more striking. But their resounding applause, given to every passing unit, showed appreciation and understanding.

Three_drummers_big_drums

Others walked alongside or behind the real participants, but the true stars of the show provided perhaps the finest example of America and who we truly are.  People of all generations, genders, ethnicities and sizes, marching together and clearly dedicated to ensuring the root values of America, as exemplified in these musical rituals, are carried forward.

Drummers

With more than 50 marching units participating, it’s clear that many people feel inspired to join groups whose purpose is to honor and celebrate our forebearers. Marching in 90-degree heat in full dress uniforms is one small reminder of the sacrifices required of the colonists who rebelled against their domineering mother country.

Pipers

If that isn’t moving enough, imagine the determination of a young man rolling along in his wheelchair while playing the fife. It was clear that his was not a temporary injury. What an inspiring sight he was!

There is something about the rolls and rhythms of drums and the pitch of fifes that touches a chord in the soul. Perhaps that’s the seat of man’s yearning for liberty, a most basic desire to be left alone to pursue one’s hopes and dreams in any way, so long as they do not infringe upon the rights and property of others.

Young_pipers&drummers

If the Deep River Ancient Muster is any indication, our youngest generation is full of people who will ensure that all the struggles and sacrifices of our American forefathers will continue to be honored. May their efforts strike the chords in the souls of generations yet to come and instill appreciation of those struggles.

Editor’s Note: Many participants and onlookers wore pink at the parade in honor of the late long-time First Selectman of Deep River, Dick Smith.

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Free Tickets Remain for Abraham & Mary Lincoln Dramatic Performances, Thursday

Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, will be portrayed at Chester Village West in two dramatic performances.

Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, will be portrayed at Chester Village West on July 21.

CHESTER — President Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary will come to life with compelling stories of their days in the Oval Office on Thursday, July 21, at Chester Village West independent seniors community, 317 West Main Street, Chester, in two open-to-the-public performances at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

During this theatrical portrayal by the acting and writing team of husband and wife William and Sue Wills, participants will gain new insights about our 16th president, his rise from humble beginnings and the challenges he faced during our country’s Civil War.

After 20 years of operating their own theatrical company in Ocean City, Md., William and Sue Wills now bring to life the stories of 34 different presidential couples through their “Presidents and Their First Ladies, dramatically speaking” performances. The Willses have appeared together on stage more than 8,700 times.

Mr. and Mrs. Wills have performed in 35 of 50 states and given more than 30 performances at the nation’s presidential sites. They are a true working team: William researches and creates the scripts; Sue edits his work and creates the costumes, many of her own design. They are not impersonators, but hope that their costumes, dialects, and demeanors will help recreate these historical characters.

In 2013, the couple created an IRS-recognized non-profit organization, Presidents Project Inc., to raise money for organizations that help wounded soldiers and their families.  With their “Presidents and First Ladies” program, the William and Sue Wills hope that by presenting the personal side of our first couples, they will become more than just names read about in history books.

Refreshments will be served. Seating for the performances is limited and reservations are required. Call Chester Village West at 860-333-8992 to RSVP by Friday, July 15. More information at chestervillagewestlcs.com or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChesterVillageWest.

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Essex Art Association’s Late Summer 2016 on View Through Sept. 17

Painting by Pamela Ives Paterno, whose work will be on display at the Essex Art Association.

Painting by Pamela Ives Paterno, whose work will be on display at the Essex Art Association.

The fifth and final exhibition of the Essex Art Association (EAA) 2016 season is an open (judged only for awards) show whose theme is “Lost & Found.” The exhibition juror, Nathaniel Foote, a graduate of The Cooper Union, has lived and worked in New England, the Northwest, Europe, and New York City where he won two Emmy awards for art direction/production design and graphic design. $2000 will be awarded to exhibiting artists for their work in various media.

Each season five EAA artists are selected by a juror to exhibit their work in our small “Exit Gallery.” The Exit Gallery artist during this exhibition is Pamela Ives Paterno. Paterno began oil painting when she was in seventh grade but switched to watercolor when she was a young mother. She felt the lighter media called for a light subject matter and birds in flight became a fascinating challenge.

Paterno has studied drawing and painting at The Art Institute in Chicago, Drake University, and Central Connecticut State University. She has won awards in both oil and watercolor and has work in the artists’ collection in the Wethersfield Town Hall. She has illustrated five children’s books and continues to enjoy painting birds and children being caught in action.

The “Lost & Found” exhibition opening reception will be held Friday, August 26, from 6 to 8 pm. Both exhibits are open at no charge to the public Aug. 27 – Sept. 17 at the Essex Art Association Gallery located in the sunny yellow building in the center of Essex at 10 North Main Street, Essex, Conn. Gallery hours are 1 to 5 pm daily, closed Tuesdays. For more information, call 860-767-8996.

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Cappella Cantorum Presents Annual Men’s Chorus Concert This Afternoon

cappella-cantorum-for-webCENTERBROOK —  Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus presents its annual concert at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Centerbrook on Sunday, July 17, at 4 p.m.

The music will include “For the Beauty of the Earth,” “Rutter,”  “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Men of Harlech,” “Ride the Chariot,” “Va Pensiero” and “When the Saints Go Marching In,” as well as barbershop favorites.

Tickets for the Centerbrook concert are $20 (age 18 and under are free) and can be purchased at the door or through CappellaCantorum.org.

Contact Barry Asch at 860-388-2871 for more information.

 

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See a Monotype Demonstration at Maple & Main Today

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CHESTER — Try your hand at making a monotype print with Maple and Main Gallery artist Cathy DeMeo on Sunday, July 17, from noon to 2 p.m.

DeMeo, Maple and Main’s Focus Artist of the Week, explains, “Monotypes are a painterly form of printmaking made by applying ink or paint to a smooth plate, then transferring the image to paper using some form of applied pressure.” She will demonstrate monotype printing techniques and will show visitors how to make a simple print themselves.

A special selection of DeMeo’s work is on display at the gallery through Sunday.

Why on Sunday? Because Chester hosts “Always on Sundays” and each Sunday, galleries, shops, restaurants present special offerings to visitors. In warm-weather months, these offerings are companion pieces to the town’s widely popular Sunday Market from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

More information on Maple and Main Gallery is at www.MapleandMainGallery.com or by calling 860-526-6065.

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Deep River Parade Kicks Off at 11am Today, Followed by Muster

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 8.09.56 PM

Photo credit: Town of Deep River website.

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Ancient Muster is the oldest and largest gathering of fife and drum participants and enthusiasts in the world and has been referred to as “The Granddaddy of All Musters” and “A Colonial Woodstock.”  The Parade and Muster will be held again this Saturday — the Muster is always held the third Saturday in July — and the Tattoo takes place Friday evening.

The Parade starts at 11 a.m. at the corner of Main and Kirtland Streets and proceeds down Main Street to Devitt’s Field. The host corps is the Deep River Ancient Muster Committee and the Deep River Drum Corps.

The Muster starts immediately following the parade at Devitt’s Field.  Roads will be closed at 10:30 a.m.

The Tattoo starts Friday at 7 p.m. at Devitt’s Field with the host corps being the Deep River Junior Ancients

Parking will be available in several locations along Main Street, Deep River Congregational Church, The Stone House, Deep River Hardware, Deep River Public Library and Rte. 80.

Click here to read an article by Caryn B. Davis about Fife and Drum Corps and published on AmericanProfile.com.

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It’s “Plane” and Simple: Deep River HS Hosts Talk on Winthrop’s Early Manufacturing, Sept. 14

Thomas Elliott will give a talk on

Thomas Elliott will give a talk on “The Planes of Winthrop” at the Deep River Historical Society, Sept. 14.

DEEP RIVER: Thomas Elliott, well-respected local architect from Westbrook, will be presenting an interesting program and exhibition on the wood making “Planes of Winthrop -The Men and Their Stories.” This event will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. in the Carriage House on the grounds of the Deep River Historical Society at 145 Main Street, Deep River. The event is free and sponsored by the Deep River Historical Society Museum.

Thomas’s exhibit will stay up through Sunday, September 17 from 10-2 as part of the Deep River’s town wide Family Day. Tom was born in Chicago and attended the University of Illinois. He has a fascinating family history in the local area with generations of ancestors that trace back to the 1700’s. Tom’s Half House Farm in Westbrook was originally built in 1735 and has gone through many restorations.

The manufacturing of wood planes was a huge part of establishing Winthrop along with its other factories and small village center that is located in the Northwest section of Deep River.

Also, as a continuation of this talk and the Deep River Family Day events there will be walking tours offered at the historic Winthrop Cemetery on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. These tours, with maps, will provide stories of the men of Sayville, now Winthrop, who built the woodworking planes used to shape precision moldings for early homes and furniture.  Maps will be distributed and gravesites flagged with biographical sketches of these businesses, along with genealogical information of the Denison men: William, John, Lester and Gilbert W. and the families of the Bulkleys and Gladwins.

The Winthrop Cemetery is located on Rte. 80 just a short distance from the light intersection in Winthrop.

Wade’s Country Store (497 Winthrop Road, known as Rte. 80) is located on one of the actual mills sites and will offer daily specials named after these early Winthrop businessmen and founders of this small settlement.

For questions, contact:  Rhonda Forristall, Curator at (860) 526-5086, Kathy Schultz at (860) 526-2161 or Sue Wisner at (860)-526-9103.

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Chester Garden Club Hosts Presentation on Attracting Butterflies, Birds, Sept. 13

butterflyOn Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m, the Chester Garden Club will be hosting a presentation by Dustyn Nelson from The Garden Barn Nursery & Landscape located in Vernon, Conn., on “Attracting Butterflies and Birds in the Garden” at the United Church of Chester, 29 West Main Street, Chester, CT. Nelson will offer some great suggestions and ideas on what annuals, perennials and shrubs/trees are best for attracting our winged and feathered friends.

Members of the Chester Garden Club and the public are invited to attend.  The cost for guests will be $5.

For additional information, contact Chester Garden Club Co-President Brenda Johnson at (860) 526-2998

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Chester Village West’s Fall Lifelong Learning Program Opens With “History of Hollywood,” Part 2 on Sept. 13

Jason Day, Ph.D

Jared Day, Ph.D

CHESTER — Chester Village West, an independent senior living community, will offer six lectures and informative presentations by biographers, historians and medical experts in September, October and November. The talks, which are being presented in partnership with the Wesleyan Institute for Lifelong Learning and Middlesex Hospital, are free and open to the public. Registration is required. Chester Village West is located at 317 W. Main St., Chester, CT 06412.

The series kicks off on Tuesday, Sept. 6, from 4:30 to 5 p.m. and Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 4 to 5 p.m. with “History of Hollywood: “Icons of the 1950s.” Presented by historian Dr. Jared Day, this two-part lecture will examine the gradual decline of the studio system in the 1950s. Special focus will be given to mega-stars such as Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe, Burt Lancaster and Elizabeth Taylor.

A Q&A and reception with light refreshments will be held after the program.

Pre-registration is required. Registration will be limited to 40 registrants per lecture or presentation. Registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

To register for one or more programs, call 860.322.6455, email ChesterVillageWest@LCSnet.com or visithttp://www.chestervillagewestlcs.com/events-and-resources/lifelong-learning-program/. Chester Village West is located at 317 W. Main St., Chester, CT 06412.

Located in historic Chester, Conn., Chester Village West gives independent-minded people a new way to experience retirement and live their lives to the fullest. Since the independent seniors community was founded more than 25 years ago, Chester Village West residents have directed and embraced active learning.

Within a small community of private residences that offer convenience, companionship, service and security, Chester Village West enriches lives with a comprehensive program that enhances fitness, nutrition, active life, health and well-being.

Find out more at chestervillagewestlcs.com; visit the community on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChesterVillageWest.

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Closed-Door Meeting on High Speed Rail Proposal Held July 7 in Old Lyme; Update From SECoast

The following was posted July 10 on the SECoast (the non-profit fighting the high-speed rail proposal that impacts Old Lyme) Facebook page:

Connecticut DOT Commissioner James Redeker

Connecticut DOT Commissioner James Redeker (Photo from ConnDOT)

“Thursday, July 7th, from 1:30 to 4:00 pm, Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker held a closed-door meeting at the Old Lyme Town Hall. The invitation list included: First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, State Rep. Devin Carney, State Sen. Paul Formica, Rod Haramut for RiverCOG, Gregory Stroud for SECoast, James Redeker, Pam Sucato, Legislative Director at the Connecticut DOT; Tom Allen, for Sen. Blumenthal’s office; Emily Boushee for Senator Murphy; John Forbis and BJ Bernblum. Despite requests by SECoast, statewide partner Daniel Mackay of Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation was not invited to attend. Officials from the Federal Railroad Administration, and project consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff did not attend.

Prior to the meeting, Stroud circulated a series of questions for Commissioner Redeker and a request for a public meeting to be held in Old Lyme. These questions are included below.

In over two hours of talks, Commissioner Redeker claimed little knowledge of current FRA planning. Redeker declined to explain mid-February internal emails between Redeker and aides, uncovered through Freedom of Information laws, indicating knowledge of such plans in mid-February. Redeker also declined to host or request a public meeting in New London County, and referred such requests to the FRA.

Asked by SECoast if he would agree to provide responses or follow-up answers to the submitted questions, Redeker replied, “Nope.” Asked whether this refusal was a matter of willingness or a matter of ability, Redeker suggested both. Asked whether he could answer any of the questions, Redeker responded yes to only Question 9.

During discussion, Redeker did indicate a slightly more accelerated decision-making process at FRA. He suggested a mid-August announcement of FRA plans, and a Record of Decision that would formalize plans by the end of 2016. Redeker also emphasized the importance of FRA plans, including the coastal bypass, to insure funding and to maximize future flexibility for state and federal officials. Redeker held out the possibility of significantly expanded commuter rail service, but when given the opportunity, made no assurances that an aerial structure through the historic district in Old Lyme was off the table.

Tom Allen, representing Senator Blumenthal’s office, gave a formal statement. Allen explained that the evidence uncovered in mid-February email came as “a surprise,” and promised to “push” for a public meeting by the end of the month, and if not, by the end of the year.

Earlier in the day, Redeker attended a large gathering of state and local officials in New London in recognition of the newly-created Connecticut Port Authority. This gathering carried over into the smaller closed-door meeting in Old Lyme, referenced above.

Questions:

1. In response to the release of internal Conn DOT emails, Spokesman Judd Everhart stated that “the DOT still is awaiting a decision from the FRA on a ‘preferred alternative’ for an upgrade of the corridor.” Should we conclude from this statement that the SECoast press release is incorrect? To your knowledge, has Parsons Brinckerhoff or the FRA either formally or informally “selected a vision, or even potential routes, for the Northeast Corridor”? And if so, when?

2. What is the current time frame for selecting a preferred alternative, preparing the Tier 1 Final EIS, the formal announcement and securing a ROD? And where are we, as of 7/7, on this time line?

3. If a Kenyon to Saybrook bypass is selected as part of the preferred alternative, and subsequent study concludes that a tunnel is infeasible, will the FRA and Conn DOT rule out any possible reversion to a bridge or aerial structure at or near Old Lyme?

4. Given that the Kenyon to Old Saybrook bypass is usually understood as the defining feature of Alternative 1, what is the significance of placing this bypass instead into an Alternative 2 framework? To your knowledge, has Parsons Brinckerhoff or the FRA, either formally or informally, selected Alternative 2 with modifications as the preferred alternative?

5. To your knowledge, does Parsons Brinckerhoff, the FRA or Conn DOT have more detailed maps of the proposed Kenyon to Saybrook bypass? And are you willing to provide them to us?

6. In your discussion of “4 track capacity to Boston,” should we understand this to mean a 2 track bypass in addition to the 2 lines existing along the shoreline?

7. Given that the Kenyon to Saybrook bypass was a relatively late addition to the NEC Planning process, do you feel comfortable that the bypass has received sufficient public and professional scrutiny to be included as part of a preferred alternative? Can you explain the genesis and inclusion of the bypass after the original 98 plans had been pared down to 3 action alternatives?

8. Conn DOT email released as part of a FOI request suggests a lack of formal and informal outreach to Old Lyme and RiverCog prior to the close of the initial comment deadline, when compared to formal and informal outreach statewide to nonprofits, mayors and Cogs. Please clarify the timing and extent of outreach to the region impacted by the proposed bypass, and to Old Lyme in particular.

9. What can we do to help you in the ongoing NEC Future process in southeastern Connecticut and to prevent these sorts of difficulties from cropping up in the future?”

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Walk with Essex Land Trust on Johnson Farm This Morning

Explore Johnson Farm, the Essex Land Trust's newest acquisition, on July 9.

Explore Johnson Farm, an Essex Land Trust recent acquisition, on July 9.

ESSEX – Come explore one of the latest Essex Land Trust land acquisitions, a 49-acre jewel of fields and forest in Ivoryton on Saturday, July 9 at 9 a.m.  

The farm belonged to Murwin and Polly Johnson and was acquired by the Essex Land Trust last year. Trails have been created across the fields and through the wooded areas. There are beautiful open sky vistas from various locations. The fields were once home to Border Leicester sheep known for their superior wool. Steward Dana Hill will lead this exploration of the largest open farmland left in Essex.  

The walk will take 1 1/2 hours. It is easy to moderate walking for all ages. Refreshments will be provided. Rain/thunderstorms cancel.

Park in the ELT parking lot on Read Hill Street, off of Comstock Road in Ivoryton. Overflow parking will be available at the Ivoryton Congregational Church, Main Street, Ivoryton. It is a short walk to the Read Hill Street entrance.

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