July 2, 2015

Essex Land Trust Hosts Early Summer Kayak/Canoe Trip This Afternoon

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ESSEX — The Essex Land Trust invites you to bring your own boat Tuesday, June 9, for an early summer kayak/canoe trip into peaceful North Cove and Falls River, accompanied by a naturalist. See the abundant wildlife and revisit the history of this waterway where many of Essex’s colonial ships were built.

Participants should arrive at 4:30 p.m. to register on-site and launch their crafts on the rising tide prior to the 5:00 departure time.  A safety boat will accompany.  Bad weather cancels.

North Cove is a 230-acre body of tidal water between the Falls River and the Connecticut River. The cove is formed in part by Great Meadow, a 200-acre “pendant bar” or levee along the Connecticut River. Great Meadow has no public access.

North Cove was noted for shipbuilding, and the nearby Williams’ yard turned out sloops and schooners for the commercial trade in the 19th century. Empty now, Great Meadow was also a beehive of activity. Cattle were grazed, salt hay was harvested and duck hunting blinds once lined the shore. The bar was also a base for the local fishing industry and its lucrative seasonal shad run.

Popular Essex Shad Bake Takes Place Today at CT River Museum

1.Preparing Shad – Rotary Club of Essex volunteers prepare shad at the 2014 bake the traditional way by nailing them onto oak boards and using a specially prepared rub.

1. Preparing Shad – Rotary Club of Essex volunteers prepare shad at the 2014 bake the
traditional way by nailing them onto oak boards and using a specially prepared rub.

ESSEX — Fifty-seven years ago, the Rotary Club of Essex introduced the quintessential New England shoreline tradition; a dining experience known as a shad bake.  Yankee Magazine has called it one of the “Top 20 Summer Events”.

The Essex Shad Bake returns to the Connecticut River Museum on Saturday, June 6, from 3 to 6:30 p.m.  This year, the bake is made possible through the generous support of Admiral Sponsor Gowrie Group, along with Fishermen Sponsors Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services, and Guilford Savings Bank.

The museum’s executive director, Christopher Dobbs says, “We are once again pleased to host and partner with the Rotary Club of Essex on this iconic event that celebrates part of the River’s heritage and that supports the many worthwhile projects of the Rotary.” This volunteer-run event has been organized by the Rotary Club of Essex and is now coordinated by Bake Master Joseph Shea.

Bill Hoffstetler demonstrates the fine art of removing bones  from shad; a fish referred to by local Native Americans as the “inside out porcupine”.

Bill Hoffstetler demonstrates the fine art of removing bones
from shad; a fish referred to by local Native Americans as the “inside out porcupine”.

Shea states, “We offer one of the most unique culinary traditions in New England; at one of the most historic sites along the River. . . it is a winning combination!”  You might find one of your favorite doctors or dentists at the de-nailing table where they take the shad off the oak planks or enjoy a freshly shucked clam or oyster from a local banker.

Join seasoned Shad Bake pioneers for a story from shad bakes of yesteryear including the year of the big flood.  The Shad Museum in Haddam, the Connecticut River Museum, and the Connecticut River Watershed Council will also offer programs during the day on the history and traditions of the shad fishery.

Connecticut River shad baking in front of fire on oak planks.

Connecticut River shad baking in front of fire on oak planks.

For shad lovers, the lure is the secret ingredients and the authentic method of preparation and cooking handed down from Connecticut natives.  Done in front of the fire, the fish picks up the smoky flavor of the fire with the seasoned oak boards on which it is cooked.  Add to this delicacy homemade potato salad, tossed green salad, and scrumptious pies from Lyman Orchards and you have yourself a gourmet meal.

Don’t care for shad?  The event also offers BBQ chicken and hot dogs.

Share a piece of Connecticut and Essex history with your friends and family.  In addition to the food, participants will enjoy live music and touring the museum which will be open until 6 p.m.  The atmosphere is vibrant with antique cars, picnickers, and the delicious smell of shad roasting around the open fire.

To whet your appetite, on Wednesday, June 3 at 7:30 p.m., the Connecticut River Museum will host a shad fishing excursion on board RiverQuest.  Participants will get a chance to hear about traditional shad fishing, see related artifacts, and go on a boat ride to view shad fisherman ply their trade on the water.  The boat ride will include dessert and non-alcoholic beverages.  Beer and wine will be available for purchase.

Buy your tickets today to the Shad Bake.  The $30 adult and $10 child (10 and under) ticket include the full meal and admission to the museum.  Beverages (soda, beer and wine) will be available at an additional price.  No carry-in alcohol will be permitted.

To purchase tickets, visit www.rotaryclubofessex.com or buy them in person at the Centerbrook Package Store and the Connecticut River Museum.  For additional information on the Shad Fishing Excursion, visit the Connecticut River Museum’s website.

Onsite and street parking at the Connecticut River Museum is limited.  On the day of the event, an Essex Meadows shuttle will be running between the museum and several key parking locations that include the Essex Town Hall parking lot and Pratt House field (29 West Ave.).  The free shuttle service will start at 3 p.m. and run until 7:30 p.m. with pick-ups and drop-offs every 15 minutes.

 

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

 

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

 

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Photo Captions:

 

  1. Preparing Shad – Rotary Club of Essex volunteers prepare shad at the 2014 bake the

traditional way by nailing them onto oak boards and using a specially prepared rub.

 

  1. Baking Shad – Connecticut River shad baking in front of fire on oak planks.

 

  1. Boning Demonstration – Bill Hoffstetler demonstrates the fine art of removing bones

from shad; a fish referred to by local Native Americans as the “inside out porcupine”.

Lyme Farmers Market Open Saturdays for the Season

Fresh vegetables are always one of the big draws of the market.

Fresh vegetables are always one of the big draws of the market.

LYME — The perennially popular Lyme Farmers Market at Ashlawn Farm in Lyme opens for the season today from around 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
But the sad news accompanying the joy of Opening Day is that the irrepressible, larger-than-life impresario of the market, Chip Dahlke, has announced this will be his last season with the market, “Unless…” and this is Chip’s endearing dry humor rising to the surface, “… a deranged individual or some goody two-shoes organization wants to take on the burden.”
In his ever upbeat, positive spirit, however, Chip urges, “Let’s make this summer one to remember. The field should be full of vendors and the entertainment the best of what we’ve had for the last 12 years,” adding with his usual sharp wit, “There’s still not going to be eggplant carving contests, erotic vegetable displays, or god forbid poodle parades.”
tentsThe big draw of farmers’ markets is, of course, the fresh, local produce. What makes the one in Lyme so special is that it’s held on a real farm. And since this is the Lyme countryside, it’s as a pretty as a picture. In fact, Ashlawn Farm is a magnet for local artists who are attracted by its beauty—the old white homestead, the red barns, and the stone walls crisscrossing the pastures. An original member of the Connecticut Farmers Market Trail, Ashlawn Farm is located at 78 Bill Hill Rd. in Lyme
The farm is celebrating its 126th anniversary this year. Ray Harding, a dairy farmer, bought Ashlawn in 1909. Today his grandson Chip lives there with his wife Carol and their three children. By profession, Chip is a portfolio manager and Carol runs her popular coffee-roasting business in one of the old barns on the property.
As always, Dahlke has lined up a stellar selection of vendors, which includes:
flowersThe vendors change week by week but you can be certain that every Saturday morning from June to October, tents will go up in front of barns and local purveyors will sell vegetables, fruit, breads, cheese, meat, soaps, chicken, fish, fiber, specialty food, crafts, flowers, herbs, eggs, seafood and more. Music will be played — Dogbite are performing on Opening Day –and Chip will surely spring a few Saturday surprises!
Before the Market opens, Ashlawn Farm Yoga will be held at 8 a.m. each Saturday on the grass beyond the parking field for all levels. The class is taught by Lisa Tompkins Nasser. Drop in for only $15, which includes a free Ashlawn Farm cup of Coffee.
And, most of all, follow Chip’s advice to make it a summer to remember at the Market — see you there!

Editor’s Note:
Extracts of this article are taken from one written by Linda Ahnert that was originally published on LymeLine.com in June 2009.

Community Music School Jazz Ensemble Performs Today

CMS Jazz Ensemble
CENTERBROOK –
Community Music School will present a concert by the CMS Jazz Ensemble on Saturday, June 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Centerbrook Meetinghouse, 51 Main Street, Centerbrook.

The ensemble, comprised of students ages 13 to 18, will perform a mixed repertoire including pieces by Scott Joplin, Thelonious Monk, Earl Hagen and much more. The concert will feature group ensemble performance with an emphasis on improvisation.

Directed by Tom Briggs, the CMS Jazz Ensemble is now in its 19th year. Briggs is a retired member of the US Coast Guard Band and former musical director of the Coast Guard Masters of Swing. He is a well-known percussionist, pianist, and composer and has been on the CMS faculty since 1985.

The concert is free and open to the public. Call 860-767-0026 for additional information.

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

Visit www.community-music-school.org or call 860-767-0026 for program information.

Opening Reception Tomorrow for Wnek’s ‘Soul of the Landscape’ Photo Exhibit at CBSRZ

'Whispers of Past' by Peter Wnek illustrate's the photographer's captivating style.

‘Whispers of Past’ by Peter Wnek beautifully illustrate’s the photographer’s captivating style.

CHESTER — Award-winning photographer Peter Wnek explores the ‘Soul of the Landscape’ in his exhibition of fine art photography at the Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ), which runs through July 28, with an opening reception on Sunday, June 7, from 4 to 7 p.m.

‘Soul of the Landscape’ celebrates the beauty and spirit of our woodlands and waterways, as seen in Whispers of the Past and its breathtaking view along the Connecticut River. Wnek’s work captures the light and details one might expect from a painting—which is no accident. He has long been inspired by the purity and innocence of the American landscape as portrayed by the 19th century Hudson River painters. “I strive for that same warm light, the luminous or stormy skies, to invoke a charm or a mood,” he explains.

Wnek’s photographs often reveal the story of the landscape—its whisper of bygone days, the intrinsic cycles of nature. With a focus on local scenes, this exhibit speaks to the beauty that surrounds us, the coastal vistas and woodland spaces that are unique to our state. In a familiar kaleidoscope of colors, see the rising and setting sun, the harmony of sky and land, the collusion of rock and sea.

As Wnek explains, “I am intrigued by the soothing compositions and repetitive patterns that collectively reveal the Divine at work.”

Featured in this exhibit is Silver Glade, an image of trees on a ridge near Meriden. It recently won the Salmagundi Club of NYC’s 2015 “Henry O’Connor Award” for excellence, portraying the gentler, quieter landscape of New England.

It is that voice of New England which Wnek most hopes to capture in his photographs, “those intimate moments of our own landscapes” waiting to be revealed.

‘Soul of the Landscape’ runs through July 28, Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, 55 East Kings Highway, Chester, CT 06412.

For gallery specific information, call 860-526-8920.

For more information about photographer Peter Wnek, visit www.PeterWnekPhoto.com.

Chester Opposition Delays Vote on Proposed School District Full Regionalization Plan

REGION 4 — Plans for a three-town referendum vote on a proposed kindergarten-sixth grade regionalization plan have been pushed back after a meeting Monday between district and town leaders brought information about a possible new option for dividing elementary education costs among the three towns, and highlighted opposition to the current regionalization plan from elected officials in Chester.

The special meeting, which included board of education chairpersons and members of the boards of selectmen and finance for the district towns of Chester, Deep River, and Essex, came after the Chester boards of selectmen and finance issued a statement declaring unanimous opposition to the current plan and a related inter-local agreement intended to address cost shifts and other issues arising from full regionalization of the elementary schools. School board members had been planning for a possible Sept. 29 referendum on K-6 regionalization, which must be approved by voters of all three towns.

The Chester statement, drafted at a May 28 meeting of the two boards, contended the proposed plan and agreement would have a “negative financial impact” on Chester. In a reflection of concerns that declining student enrolment and full regionalization could lead to grade moves or even a closure of Chester Elementary school, the statement also calls for local voter approval, by town meeting vote or referendum, of any shifts of grades among the elementary schools.

Chester finance board member Lori Clymas urged school leaders to “slow down” and explore further revisions to the plan. “We want to work it out but we feel; like we’re being rushed.” she said. Chester First Selectman Edmund Meehan said the plan that was developed over the past three months needs further review, while adding, “We don’t have to go back to square one.”

Essex Board of Education Chairman Lon Seidman, a strong supporter of the K-6 regionalization, said new legislation approved last week in the state House of Representatives would give the school district greater flexibility in assessing taxpayers in each town regarding the cost of operating the elementary schools. Current state law requires using student average daily membership (ADM) from each town to divide cost shares in a regional school budget, as has been done with the spending plan for the middle school and high school since the Region 4 school district for grades 7-12 was established in the early 1950s.

Current levels of enrollment and per pupil spending would leave Deep River at a $378,000 financial disadvantage in 2016-2017 under a K-6 grade regionalization and budget split based only on student ADM. To address this and build support in Deep River, a draft inter-local agreement would adjust budget shares, with Chester and Essex paying higher budget shares in amounts projected to range from $201,000 to $173,000 for Chester over the next four years and from $177,000 to $65,000 for Essex through 2019-2020.

Seidman said the legislation pushed by State Rep. Phil Miller (D-36th) would allow the district to develop its own plan for sharing elementary school expenses. He acknowledged a full review of options under the new legislation would require a delay in any votes on the K-6 regionalization. The new legislation still needs approval from the State Senate, with the 2015 legislation session scheduled to end at midnight Wednesday.

The Chester call for a local vote on elementary school grade changes also generated discussion Monday, with school board members urging the Chester officials to be more flexible on the process for approving grade reconfigurations at the elementary schools. Superintendent of Schools Ruth Levy said any major shifts in elementary school grades are unlikely over the next four years, except for a possible move of sixth graders to John Winthrop Middle School, commenting, “We’re getting mired down over control and we need to come together.”

Region 4 Board of Education Chairman Chris Riley said his board, which by law must initiate referenda on further regionalization, would defer any vote on sending the plan to a referendum in September. Riley noted a regionalization referendum on Nov. 3, when the three towns hold municipal elections, is still possible, but far from certain.

Chester Museum at The Mill Tells Chester’s Story

The Chester Museum at The Mill is the new permanent home of the two millstones from the Waterhouse Grist Mill that operated between 1740 and 1810.

The Chester Museum at The Mill is the new permanent home of the two millstones from the Waterhouse Grist Mill that operated between 1740 and 1810.

CHESTER — The Chester Museum at The Mill opened for its sixth year on May 31. Owned and operated by the Chester Historical Society since 2000, the museum is located on the historic 1850s Griswold Mill site, overlooking a waterfall and the Pattaconk Brook near the center of town. The mill site was once used to produce anchors, wagon springs and augers.

Two exhibits, filling the two floors of the museum, tell the story of the life, development and growth of Chester, since it was first home to the Wagunk Indians.

New this year is the first floor exhibit, “Pastimes in Past Times: Chester at Play,” curated by Keith Dauer and Sandy Senior-Dauer. From dolls and blocks to Lotto and Erector Sets, the exhibit focuses on the ways Chester families spent their leisure time indoors, as well as outdoors with baseball games and winter sports such as sledding and skating.

The exhibit includes an interactive section of toys and games for children of all ages.

On the second floor of the museum (reachable by elevator as well as stairs) is the permanent award-winning exhibit, “Streams of Change: Life & Industry along the Pattaconk,” which interprets the growth and evolution of Chester and how the town adapted over 300 years. Of special interest this year is a piece of the 1913 trolley track unearthed from under Main Street last December and the story of how it was found.

Dolls, a dollhouse and a doll carriage are featured in the Chester “Pastimes” exhibit as an example of playtime enjoyed by little girls for hundreds of years. This doll, owned by the Chester Historical Society, dates back to the early 1900s and has human hair.

Dolls, a dollhouse and a doll carriage are featured in the Chester “Pastimes” exhibit as an example of playtime enjoyed by little girls for hundreds of years. This doll, owned by the Chester Historical Society, dates back to the early 1900s and has human hair.

Play Ball! Baseball was a perennially favorite game in Chester, along with all the Connecticut River Valley towns. This left-handed 1920s baseball glove was made by the A.G. Spalding Bros. Company and is made of kangaroo skin.

Play Ball! Baseball was a perennially favorite game in Chester, along with all the Connecticut River Valley towns. This left-handed 1920s baseball glove was made by the A.G. Spalding Bros. Company and is made of kangaroo skin.

Outside, the front of the museum has recently been landscaped with native plantings.  Two historic millstones, probably the oldest Chester artifacts, flank the front door.  These enhancements were made possible through a grant from the Community Fund of Middlesex County and the contributions of Landscape Specialties.

The Chester Museum at The Mill is open to the public for self-guided tours on Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m. and Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., through the end of October. It is air-conditioned as well as handicapped accessible. Admission is free.

For more information, visit www.ChesterHistoricalSociety.org or Facebook.com/ChesterCTHistoricalSociety.

Essex Garden Club Honors Barbara Edwards

Pictured from left to right are Linda Newberg, President of the Essex Garden Club, Augie Pampel, club member and Essex Tree Warden with members of the Edwards family:  Kem Edwards, Debbi Lindstrom, Sarah Edwards Feeney, David Edwards, Mary Edwards Mather, and Lucy, the family yellow labrador.

Pictured from left to right are Linda Newberg, President of the Essex Garden Club, Augie Pampel, club member and Essex Tree Warden with members of the Edwards family: Kem Edwards, Debbi Lindstrom, Sarah Edwards Feeney, David Edwards, Mary Edwards Mather, and Lucy, the family yellow labrador.

ESSEX — The Essex Garden Club has planted a tree in celebration of the life of Barbara Edwards, longtime member of the club, avid gardener, and lover of all thing growing.  The tree, A London Plane (Plantanus x Acerifolia), can be seen on Dennison Rd., Essex, across the street from the Edwards homestead.

Pictured from left to right are Linda Newberg, President of the Essex Garden Club, Augie Pampel, club member and Essex Tree Warden with members of the Edwards family:  Kem Edwards, Debbi Lindstrom, Sarah Edwards Feeney, David Edwards, Mary Edwards Mather, and Lucy, the family yellow lab.

Artists of Gallery One Exhibit at ELLE Design Studio in Chester Through Aug. 30

Forced Narcissus, by Catherine Christiano, on linen, 14 x 8 inches, 2005.

Forced Narcissus, by Catherine Christiano, on linen, 14 x 8 inches, 2005.

CHESTER — Gallery One, a cooperative of mid-career artists working in a wide variety of media and styles from representational to abstract, including painting, sculpture and works on paper, will exhibit at the ELLE Design Studio from June 2 through Aug. 30, with a reception on Friday, June 5, from 5 to 8 p.m.

“We are very pleased to have this opportunity to exhibit our artists’ work in Chester,” says Judith Barbour Osborne, “and particularly at ELLE Design Studio, both of which are art destinations.”

Gallery One artists include David Brown, Old Saybrook; Ashby Carlisle, Old Lyme; Catherine Christiano, Old Lyme; Bette Ellsworth, Madison; Mary Fussell, Clinton; Gray Jacobik, Deep River; Judith Barbour Osborne, Ivoryton; T. Willie Raney, Ivoryton; Diana Rogers, Clinton; Victoria Sivigny, Meriden; and Jill Vaughn, Ivoryton.

The Artists of Gallery One, whose vision is to provide southeastern Connecticut with a stimulating resource and to support one another artists, exhibit in various locations along the Connecticut shoreline from Stonington to New Haven. The Artists will be showing at the Mystic Arts Center Sept. 25 through Nov. 7 (in the Leibig Gallery). Additional information, the artists and any upcoming exhibitions can be found at www.galleryoneCT.com.

ELLE Design Studio is open from Tuesday through Saturday from 11am until 6pm, Sunday from 10am until 4pm, and by appointment.

For more information, visit Gallery One online at www.galleryoneCT.com and the ELLE Design Studio at elledesignstudio.net

Old Saybrook HS Senior Nochera Partners with OSW & OS Park & Rec to Benefit Vista

spring camp_kids_playing

OLD SAYBROOK — More than two dozen boys and their families met in Clark Park this past Sunday to get ready for the 2015 football season.  The Old Saybrook-Westbrook (OSW) Youth Football Clinic is an annual event, but this year’s clinic was much more than spring training.
spring camp 1-1
Old Saybrook High School (OSHS) senior Sam Nochera chose the OSW clinic as his senior project and has directed all the proceeds to benefit the Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center where Nochera has been a volunteer since 2011.  Nochera was joined by several OSW coaches and a few of his OSW football buddies – Connor Eastman, a senior at Eastern Connecticut State University, Brendan McElhone, a junior at Western Connecticut State University, and Ethan Casberg, a fellow OSHS senior heading to the University of Connecticut in the fall.
spring_camp_huddle
The boys had a chance to train and try out the new tackling dummy while parents had the opportunity to talk to coaches and board members as wellas see the equipment and level of commitment to player safety.
Nochera chose the project to benefit the program he credits with teaching him dedication and perseverance.  “I want the kids to take away from my project that with hard work and perseverance they will be able to accomplish their goals whether on the football field or another facet of life. And that helping and giving back to something you truly support is always a good move.”
spring camp_group_pic
This coming fall Nochera starts his freshman year with a double major in International Relations and Business at Tulane University, La.
A second clinic will take place on Sunday, June 7, from 9 to 11 a.m.
For more information or to register, visit www.oldsaybrookrec.com
To donate, make checks payable to Vista with the notation Ed Gallant Financial Aid Fund.
To register for the 2015 OSW Football & Cheer season, visit www.oswyouthfootball.com.

Roto Frank of America Hosts Manufacturer’s Meeting at Chester HQ

Chester First Selectman spoke at the event.

Chester First Selectman Ed Meehan gave welcoming remarks at the event.

CHESTER — Addressing the challenges of the growing availability of number of jobs with higher level manufacturers in the state and developing skilled workers to fill those positions was the focus of a special meeting for members of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce Manufacturing Council on May 27, hosted by Roto Frank of America, Inc. at the company’s North American headquarters in Chester, CT.

Chris Demou (left) and Larry McHugh

Roto Frank of America President & CEO Chris Demou (left) and Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce President Larry McHugh

The well-attended event attracted more than a dozen manufacturing companies i nMiddlesex County, as well representatives from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, and the U.S. Department of Commerce. After welcoming remarks by Chester First Selectman Ed Meehan, Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce President Larry McHugh, and Roto Frank of America President & CEO Chris Dimou, attendees listened to presentations from members of the University of Connecticut and the German American Chamber of Commerce.

Lawrence Silbart

Lawrence Silbart

Lawrence K. Silbart, MPH, Ph.D., UConn’s Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives, discussed highlights of UConn’s Next Generation Connecticut, an initiative designed to expand educational opportunities, research, and innovation in the STEM disciplines at UConn over the next decade, which includes a new 125,000 square-foot Technology Park facility.

Anson Ma, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, in UConn’s Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Department, addressed the audience on UConn’s additive manufacturing initiatives, with a focus on the Additive Manufacturing Innovation Center and the learning opportunities for students in realizing the full potential of additive manufacturing for metals, plastics, and biomaterials.

Tom Dzimian, Director, Career Services of the German American Chamber of Commerce, discussed skills and innovation strategies that have been developed and used successfully in Germany and which can be used to strengthen U.S, manufacturing training programs.

Founded in 1979, Roto Frank of America, Inc. is a Chester, Connecticut-based manufacturer of window and door hardware. Roto Frank of America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Roto AG, a global company headquartered in Germany, with 13 production plants and 40 subsidiaries worldwide.

Roto Frank of America offers solutions for North American and European hardware applications, has an extensive product line including its renowned X-DRIVETM casement and awning window systems, sash locks, window-opening- control-devices, sliding patio door systems, and European window and door hardware, among others.

For more information, visit www.rotohardware.com

The Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce is the largest Chamber in the state, with more than 2,200 members and encompassing nine geographically-based divisions throughout Middlesex County. The Chamber hosts a number of large-scale events, such as the Middlesex County Business to Business Expo, member breakfasts and dinners featuring notable speakers, including U.S. Senator John McCain and UConn President Susan Herbst.

New North Main Street Park Opens in Essex, Honors Deceased “Daughter” of Essex Resident Bomze

Morgana’s sculpture receives an embrace from Ina Bomze.

Morgana’s sculpture receives an embrace from Ina Bomze.

ESSEX — Essex has a new park at the corner of North Main and New City Streets thanks to the generosity of Ina Bomze, who lives across the street from the park.

Speaking on May 31 at the opening ceremony for the new park, which is dedicated to Bomze’s late, much beloved companion, Morgana, were Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman and State Representative Phil Miller (D-36th). In addition to his attendance, Rep. Miller brought to the ceremony a state legislative resolution commemorating the new park’s opening.

 Essex First Selectman Normal Needleman (far left) and State Representative Phil Miller (center), while Ina Bomze (right) looks on before the sculpture unveiling.

Essex First Selectman Normal Needleman (front row, left) looks on while State Representative Phil Miller (center) reads the citation from the state and Ina Bomze (immediate right of Miller) listens intently.

The central focus of the new park’s opening ceremonies, however, was the unveiling of a life-size sculpture of Morgana. Before she passed away a short time ago, Morgana was owned for almost 10 years by Bomze. After Morgana’s death, Bomze decided to memorialize Morgana’s life by creating a new town park, featuring a sculpture of the dog that she called her “daughter.”

Morgana’s sculpture with Ina Bomze and sculptor Helen M. Johnson.

Morgana’s sculpture with Ina Bomze and sculptor Helene M. Johnson.

To fulfill her dream of memorializing Morgana, Bomze purchased the vacant land at the corner of North Main and New City Streets. She then arranged for the dilapidated building on the site to be removed and also had the property attractively landscaped.

Next, Bomze commissioned noted sculptor, Helene M. Johnson, to craft a sculpture of her late companion, Morgana. Bomze then deeded the land to the Essex Land Trust in perpetuity with the understanding that the sculpture of Morgana would remain in place in the park.

At the unveiling of the sculpture of Morgana, Johnson said, “I was honored to be asked to do this wonderful commission of a life-size statue of Morgana by Ina Bomze.”

A large crowd of spectators gathered at the dedication of the new Essex park featuring the Morgana sculpture.

A large crowd of spectators gathered at the dedication of the new Essex park featuring the Morgana sculpture.

For his part Jim Denham, President of the Essex Land Trust, said that the gift to of the Bomze property to the Land Trust was, “A wonderful community initiative.” In addition, Peter Amos, the local Churchill Society President, who attended the event, noted that Bomze’s gift to the Land Trust was, “A lovely thing to beautify the town, and a win-win for everybody.”

Echoing these positive sentiments about Bomze’s gift to the Essex Land Trust, Essex realtor Rick Weiner said, “We’re so lucky to live in a town where neighbors can come together to celebrate an event like this.”

Editor’s Note: Essex Land Trust is accepting donations for the ongoing care and maintenance of this new pocket park or as additional support to assist Essex Land Trust (P.O. Box 373, Essex) in keeping all of their properties vibrant and groomed for all to enjoy.http://essexlandtrust.org/ Contact Ed Tucker, MD, at edtuckermd@aol.com or 860-767-2332 for further information.

Action-Oriented Old Saybrook Chamber Bolsters Business Environment

OS_Chamber_from_front

The Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce building serves as a ‘gateway’ to Main Street.

OLD SAYBROOK — Founded in 1939, the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2014. The more than 500 members are the driving force behind the organization and also form its strong volunteer base. These, in turn, support the Chamber’s two full time employees, Executive Director Judy Sullivan and Member Services Manager Karen Pinette.

Sullivan explains, “Our job is to promote Old Saybrook as a place to work and live and play.” Composed of a diverse group of nonprofits, retail companies, insurance companies, banks, and more, the Chamber unites under their common goals of advancing the economic vitality and improving the quality of life in the community, as well as bringing businesses and new jobs to town.

Executive Director Judy Sullivan

Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Judy Sullivan takes a brief break from her work.

With about 25 percent of Old Saybrook businesses as members, the Chamber accomplishes its ambitious goals through a variety of community events including educational programs on topics ranging from networking and email marketing software to social media publicity and customer service. The Chamber also sponsors an annual Chili-Fest to fund the college scholarship program it runs for students resident in Old Saybrook or children of Chamber members, as well as an annual Arts and Crafts Festival, which is being held this year on July 25 and 26.

In addition, the Chamber has initiated the Chamber Mail program by which every new resident receives information about surrounding businesses, and runs the Chamber Dollars program, a gift certificate program involving over 50 businesses.  The Chamber also works frequently with nonprofits on community-oriented projects.

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The smiling faces of Executive Director Judy Sullivan (left) and Membership Services Manager Karen Pinette greet visitors to the light and airy Chamber building.

An important aspect of the Chamber is that they serve as a link between businesses and governments to facilitate lines of communication. Most recently, at ‘Connecticut Business Day at the Capitol,’ Old Saybrook Chamber representatives spoke to senators and representatives about issues facing businesses in the state, such as Connecticut’s 15 percent occupancy tax.

OS_Chamber_Exterior_rearThe Chamber also helps foster inter-business relationships and once a month, a Chamber Connections event is held. These are casual gatherings at various local businesses, which facilitate networking between — and sometimes even within — businesses.

Sullivan grew up in Old Saybrook and graduated from Old Saybrook High School. When her youngest child started school, she fell into her role at the Chamber, first on a part-time basis and ultimately working her way up to executive director. Sullivan notes, “The hardest part of the job is being careful with each action because somebody might be affected. We constantly have to be aware of the impact of any actions we might take.  We always want to leave a positive impact.”

She adds, “I’m really proud of the Chamber — it’s been here a long time. I love promoting the town I grew up in. And I find it so rewarding when we see tangible success in businesses.”

Gowrie Group is Lead Sponsor of Essex Shad Bake

Shad Bake  Sponsor.2 (1)

From left to right in the photo above are Gowrie Group’s Carter Gowrie, CEO and Whitney Peterson, VP of Marketing; Rotarians Joseph Shea and Stephen Brinkmann; and Joan Meek and Christopher Dobbs, Connecticut River Museum.

ESSEX — On Saturday, June 6, the Essex Shad Bake returns to the banks of the Connecticut River from 3 to 6:30 p.m.  Over 700 people will come out to enjoy this timeless, epicurean delight.

This year’s Bake is made possible by “Admiral Sponsor,” Gowrie Group, Connecticut’s leading independent insurance agency, and numerous other generous community supporters.

The 2015 Essex Shad Bake is a collaboration between the Rotary Club of Essex and the Connecticut River Museum.

For more information on Gowrie Group, visit www.gowrie.com. To purchase tickets go to www.rotaryclubofessex.com or buy them in person at the Centerbrook Package Store and the Connecticut River Museum.

Music & Memory Documentary Film Screening, Panel Discussion at ‘The Kate’ Tomorrow

An Alzheimer’s patient reacts to music of "The Beach Boys.” Photo courtesy of BOND360

An Alzheimer’s patient reacts to music of “The Beach Boys.” Photo courtesy of BOND360

OLD SAYBROOK – Community Music School, the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter, and The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center present a screening of the award-winning documentary film “Alive Inside” on Tuesday, June 2, at 7 p.m. at The Kate, 300 Main Street, Old Saybrook. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by phone at 860-767-0026 or in person at Community Music School, 90 Main Street, Centerbrook; or by visiting www.thekate.org.

“Alive Inside” follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he demonstrates music’s ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music. His camera reveals the uniquely human connection we find in music and how its healing power can triumph where prescription medication falls short.

The documentary visits family members who have witnessed the miraculous effects of personalized music on their loved ones, and offers illuminating interviews with experts including renowned neurologist and best-selling author Oliver Sacks and musician Bobby McFerrin. Many will remember the viral video “Henry Wakes Up!” – a clip from the film that shows a 92-year old nursing home resident enthusiastically responding to music.

The evening will include a brief performance by the New Horizons Band and post-screening panel discussion with experts in the field of memory loss. The New Horizons Band is a program of the Music School that offers active adults the opportunity to play music with their peers in a supportive environment.

This film is not rated, but is recommended for ages 13 and up.

For additional information, contact Community Music School at 860-767-0026.

Editor’s Notes: Community Music School offers innovative educational music programming and music therapy led by a board-certified music therapist for infants through adults, building on a 30 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so that they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.

Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 70,000 people in Connecticut. The Alzheimer‘s Association provides services to those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias; advocates for policy change and research funding; and advances research toward prevention, treatment and a cure. The Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter’s main office is in Southington, with regional offices throughout the state in Hamden, New Milford, Norwich, and Norwalk. To learn more contact the Connecticut Chapter at 800-272-3900www.alz.org/ct

Join CT River Museum for a Shad Fishing Informational ‘Riverquest’ Trip, Wednesday

A trip to learn 'All About Shad Fishing' is being offered on RiverQuest.

A trip to learn ‘All About Shad Fishing’ is being offered on RiverQuest.

ESSEX — On Wednesday, June 3 at 7:30 p.m., the Connecticut River Museum (CRM) will host a shad fishing excursion from its docks.  The evening will include a trip on RiverQuest to learn about shad fishing traditions.

Participants will see examples of shad nets and other gear, watch fishermen at work on the River, and enjoy a dessert and non-alcoholic beverage.  Beer and wine will be available for purchase.

Tickets are $40 for CRM members and $45 for the general public.  Reservations are required.

For more information, visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or call the museum at 860-767-8269.

 

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  1. RiverQuest and the Connecticut River Museum will offer a Shad Fishing Night, June 3rd. Photo: Joan Meek, Connecticut River Museum.

Final Lecture in Audubon Society’s CT River Series Considers Estuary’s Role in Painting & Writing, Thursday

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ESSEX — The Connecticut River Estuary Lecture Series hosted by the Connecticut Audubon Society continues Thursday, June 4, with a presentation titled, “Aesthetic Beauty of the Estuary: Vision of Artists and Writers,” at Essex Meadows starting at 4 p.m.    Jeffrey Cooley, founder and owner of The Cooley Gallery in Old Lyme. will give the lecture, which will look at the role of the estuary in painting and writing.

The first two lectures of the Connecticut River Estuary series have been terrific successes, with over 100 people attending each one.

Admission to the lecture is free but RSVP’s are required. To RSVP, contact Allison Bryant at the Connecticut Audubon Society at abryant@ctaudubon.org or 203 259-0416 x106. A reception follows each lecture.

For more information on the lecture series, visit www.ctaudubon.org/2015/04/connecticut-river-estuary-lecture-series/.

These lectures are one of the initial projects of a new regional board formed by the Connecticut Audubon Society to focus on the lower Connecticut River valley and southeastern Connecticut.

The new board will work in conjunction with Connecticut Audubon Society staff and state Board of Directors to provide direction and support to the organization’s conservation and education work in Old Lyme, Lyme, Essex, Old Saybrook, and other communities in southeastern Connecticut.

The board’s other seminal projects include the introduction of Connecticut Audubon’s award-winning Science in Nature outdoor education program at Essex Elementary School and an effort to expand Osprey Nation, Connecticut Audubon’s citizen science Osprey monitoring program.

For decades Connecticut Audubon Society has maintained nature sanctuaries in Montville, Haddam, East Haddam, Stonington and Middletown. In addition to being a key component of the region’s native habitat, the sanctuaries serve as portals of opportunity into nature for children and families in the region.

The chair of the new Regional Board is Herman Blanke of Old Lyme. Other members are Patsy McCook (secretary) of Old Lyme; Emily Bjornberg of Lyme; Elsie Childs of Old Lyme; Jim Denham of Essex; Margarita Emerson of Niantic; Eleanor Robinson of Old Lyme; Dr. Ted Vanitallie of Old Lyme; and Claudia Weicker of Old Lyme.

Herman Blanke and Jim Denham are also members of Connecticut Audubon Society’s Board of Directors.

In addition, Old Lyme resident John Forbis and Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder have provided essential support to this effort.

“Having had the fortune to live in Essex for 15 years, I have always appreciated the values of the Connecticut River; its incredible aesthetic beauty, its ecological contributions, and its great historical legacy to the people of this nation., said Alexander Brash, president of Connecticut Audubon Society.

He continued, “In keeping with the great tradition of conservationists of the area, we are looking to work with its citizens and school children in order to highlight and protect the area’s birds, unique biodiversity and habitats, and leverage such interactions for greater awareness of conservation issues across the state.”

“There is a great conservation tradition to uphold in this region,” said Herman Blanke. “Roger Tory Peterson of Old Lyme helped make birding the popular pastime that it is and also drew the connection between birds and conservation. A century ago, the painters of Old Lyme turned this beautiful landscape into art. We view it as our goal and our responsibility to carry on that tradition of conservation and appreciation for the beauty of the natural world.”

Jim Denham said, “From its inception, Connecticut Audubon Society has made conservation education the foundation of its work. Each generation is responsible for helping the next generation understand how the natural world works and why conservation is important, and for making sure the wonders of nature don’t get lost amid all the distractions of the modern world. That’s what we are trying to accomplish at Essex Elementary School, and we intend for it to be a stepping stone to collaborations with other schools as well.”

Science in Nature, which provides curriculum-based outdoor science education to students in elementary and high schools, recently completed its first session at Essex Elementary, with a field trip to Chatfield Hollow State Park in Killingworth. The second session is set for May 28 at Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison.

Science in Nature teaches the principles of conservation science in local outdoor settings, focusing on climate and weather, rocks and soils, ecological adaptations, and wetland ecology. The goal is to increase environmental literacy among elementary, middle and high school students so they will understand basic environmental science principles and be more likely to participate in finding solutions to environmental issues within their communities.

In October it was named the best outdoor conservation program in the region by the New England Environmental Education Alliance. Schools from almost 50 communities in Connecticut have participated in Science in Nature, although Essex Elementary is the first in southeastern Connecticut to take part.

Osprey Nation uses volunteer citizen scientists, working under the direction of Connecticut Audubon’s conservation staff, to find and monitor nests of the state’s resurgent Osprey population.

More than 400 Osprey nests have been identified and plotted on a map. The greatest concentration in the state is on Great Island in Old Lyme. Connecticut Audubon is hoping that increased awareness of the project will propt more local residents to volunteer to as Osprey stewards in Old Lyme and elsewhere throughout the southeastern part of the state.

Founded in 1898, Connecticut Audubon Society is the state’s original and still independent Audubon Society. The Society manages four nature centers, two museums, and 19 sanctuaries across the state. It uses the charismatic nature of birds to inspire the next generation of conservationists, and to work with the current generation to protect and improve the state’s natural habitats for the betterment of state residents, birds and other wildlife.

Connecticut Audubon Society’s headquarters are at Birdcraft Sanctuary in Fairfield. It has regional centers and associated boards in Fairfield, Pomfret, Glastonbury and Milford.

Mozart & Mendelssohn as Child Prodigies, Presentation by Acclaimed Musician at Essex Library, Thursday

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

ESSEX — The name Mozart is synonymous with the word prodigy. He certainly displayed incredible talent as a composer, pianist and violinist at a ridiculously young age. Mendelssohn is usually ignored in the conversation about prodigies, but he was no less extraordinary and topped Mozart in at least one way. He was composing masterpieces as a teenager, several years before Mozart wrote anything comparable.

Beginning with Mozart, Jeffrey Engel will compare the two youngsters and let you decide who was the more remarkable. Attend his presentation at Essex Library on Thursday, June 4, at 7 p.m. and discover some of the wonders of musical history.

Engel is an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut in Torrington and a music historian and orchestral cellist, who trained in Paris and Austria before returning to the U.S. to teach. He was selected as one of the 50 most influential people in Litchfield County, Conn., by Litchfield Magazine in 2010.

This program is free and open to the public. Seating is limited; call (860) 767-1560 to register or for more information.

The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex, CT.

Essex’s New ‘Pocket Park’ to be Dedicated Tomorrow, All Welcome

ESSEX — All are welcome to attend the dedication of Morgana’s Place, May 31, at 1 p.m. on the corner of North Main St. and New City St. in Essex.

The unveiling of the statue of Morgana, Ina Bomze’s beloved companion, will take place.

Approximately a year ago, Ina Bomze purchased the property, removed the remnants of the building, replenished the grounds and deeded it for perpetuity to Essex Land Trust.

The Trust invites you to consider making donations for the ongoing care and maintenance of this new pocket park or as additional support to assist Essex Land Trust (P.O. Box 373, Essex) in keeping all of their properties vibrant and groomed for all to enjoy.http://essexlandtrust.org/

Contact Ed Tucker, MD at edtuckermd@aol.com or 860-767-2332 for further information.

Light refreshments will be available.  This event will be held rain or shine.

Maple & Main Celebrates its Sixth Anniversary with New Exhibition, on View Through July 19

'In a Yellow Vase' by Claudia van Nes is one of the signature paintings of the Anniversary Exhibition at Maple & Main Gallery in Chester.

‘In a Yellow Vase’ by Claudia van Nes is one of the signature paintings of the Anniversary Exhibition at Maple & Main Gallery in Chester.

CHESTER – Maple and Main Gallery’s Anniversary Exhibit opens Wednesday, May 27, with a gala celebration Saturday, May 30, from 5 to 8 p.m.

To mark the launch of its sixth year, Maple and Main will serve appetizer platters donated by both L&E and Good Elephant restaurants located across Main Street from the gallery. Cake, champagne and wine will also be offered.

The gallery will be filled with new paintings and sculptures by 38 Connecticut artists – the vast majority of which will be shown for the first time.

Maple and Main has come a long way since its start by a handful of artists, but it still adheres to the goal set six years ago: to show only original fine art in as wide a selection of styles and medium as possible.

The Anniversary Exhibit runs through July  19.

Maple and Main, at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 860-526-6065, email mapleandmain@att.net. or visit the gallery’s Facebook page and/or on-line gallery and website at mapleandmaingallery.com.

Celebrated Pianist Dalia Lazar Plays Beethoven at CBSRZ Tomorrow

Pianist Dalia Lazar

Pianist Dalia Lazar will play Beethoven at CBSRZ.

CHESTER — The celebrated classical pianist Dalia Lazar returns to Chester Sunday, May 31, at 5 p.m. at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ). She will play a variety of Beethoven’s piano works, including the “Moonlight Sonata” and the “Pathetique.”

The first time she played for in Chester several years ago, the audience was wowed by her performance and her charm. The Music & More series didn’t expect to be able to lure her back so soon. But Miriam Gardner-Frum, producer of the program, revealed how this unexpected event came to be, and took form over the last few months.

“Dalia offered us a gift. She explained that she is starting an all-Beethoven program in Europe this fall and would love to perform it before a live audience at CBSRZ before going to Europe.  She noted the beautiful space and acoustics in our building in which she would love to play again. She offered to do this performance as benefit for the synagogue.”

Born in Croatia, Dalia began studying piano at an early age. Her first piano teacher recognized her uncommon talent and pianistic ability, and at the age of 16 she was admitted to Moscow’s P.I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory.  During her studies in Moscow, Lazar performed throughout Soviet Union. Immediately after her graduation at the Moscow Conservatory, Lazar decided to continue her career in New York and London where she studied with Karl Urlich Schnabel and Maria Curcio.

As a finalist in New York Concert Artist Guild Competition, Lazar made her New York debut at Rubenstein Hall, followed by her Carnegie Recital Hall debut later that year. Since then she has performed a broad repertoire as a soloist in concerts and recitals worldwide, including the United States, Russia, Venezuela, Israel, Switzerland, Croatia, Mexico and Romania.

Her chamber music repertoire includes the works for violin and piano duo and piano trio, which she performed extensively with her late husband, violinist Lucian Lazar.  Her recent CD includes works by Schumann and Chopin.

Dalia’s playing has been well received by critics, who have characterized her performance as “such noble playing,” (Yediot Achronot, Tel Aviv),  “un sentimento profundo” (Panorama, Venezuela), “that rare combination of charisma, personality and terrific pianistic facility” (pianist Tzimon Barto), and “… an inspiring display of musical excellence”  (Daily Republic).

Tickets for the general public are $25 and children under 16 are admitted without charge (this is a great time to introduce children to the work of a world-class musician.) To order advance tickets, call the CBSRZ office at 860.526.8920, or buy tickets at the door.

CBSRZ is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester.

Essex Corinthian YC Explores “Teaching Life Lessons & Character Through Sailing,”

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ESSEX — For more than 100 years, the United States Coast Guard Academy (CGA) has consistently developed exceptional leaders of character who are Semper Paratus (Always Ready) to perform courageously in any conditions of the maritime environment.

Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Zeke Lyons, one of the Officers in Charge in the Coast Guard Academy’s Coastal Sailing Program, will visit the Essex Corinthian Yacht Club on Sunday, May 31, at 4 p.m. to reflect on three years of adventure and guiding experiential learning with CGA cadet crews during summer cruises throughout New England on board the Academy’s fleet of eight custom designed Leadership 44 sloops.

Lt. Cmdr Lyons is completing a three year assignment as a Company Officer on the Academy’s staff.  In addition to sailing each summer as part of the Coastal Sailing Program, he was also an Instructor of Organizational Behavior and Leadership in the Management Department.

Prior to his assignment at the Coast Guard Academy, he graduated from the Eisenhower Leadership Development Program at the United States Military Academy at West Point in conjunction with Columbia Teacher’s College in New York City.

Lt. Cmdr Lyons will combine humor and insights about the CGA experience to shed light on how the Academy develops leaders of character and his talk will highlight why, as Vice Admiral James Pine said, “The sea has, though the ages, been of all schools, the best for bringing out the qualities of leadership.”

This talk is open to the public but space is limited.   Contact the club’s office at 860-767-3239 or ecyc@essexcorithian.orgto reserve space.  There will be an informal reception following the talk.

The Essex Corinthian Yacht Club is located at 9 Novelty Lane in Essex.   For more information about the Club, visitwww.essexcorinthian.org

Old Lyme Church Continues 350th Celebrations with Concert Tomorrow Featuring Vivaldi’s ‘Gloria’

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The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. Photo by N.B. Logan

Throughout 2015, the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme is celebrating 350 years of history. A series of concerts and a talk on the historic landscape of Lyme Street have been scheduled to commemorate the rich legacy of the past and ongoing connections that link the church and the larger community.

The next event is a concert to be held at the church on Sunday, May 31, at 4 p.m. when the Senior Choir from the Congregational Church will be joined by choristers from Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church and Christ the King Church, both in Old Lyme, to perform Vivaldi’s ‘Gloria.’

Vivaldi composed the ‘Gloria’ in Venice, probably in 1715, for the choir of the Ospedale della Pietà, an orphanage for girls (or more probably a home, generously endowed by the girls’ “anonymous” fathers, for the illegitimate daughters of Venetian noblemen and their mistresses). The Ospedale prided itself on the quality of its musical education and the excellence of its choir and orchestra.

A priest, music teacher and virtuoso violinist, Vivaldi composed many sacred works for the Ospedale, where he spent most of his career, as well as hundreds of instrumental concertos to be played by the girls’ orchestra. This, his most famous choral piece, presents the traditional Gloria from the Latin Mass in 12 varied cantata-like sections.

The wonderfully sunny nature of the ‘Gloria’ with its distinctive melodies and rhythms is characteristic of all of Vivaldi’s music, giving it an immediate and universal appeal. It is written for female soloists, chorus and small orchestra.

All are welcome to attend this concert and join the continuing celebrations of this important year in the life of the Church. Admission is $10 per person or $20 per family.

Public worship on the east side of the Connecticut River can be traced back to 1664 when the Court acknowledged that there were “thymes and seasons” when inhabitants could not attend Sabbath meetings in Saybrook and ordered them to agree on a house where they would gather on the Lord’s Day. A year later, Articles of Agreement defined a “loving parting” that created a separate “plantation” on the river’s east side, which would soon be named Lyme.

The first three meetinghouses stood on a hill overlooking Long Island Sound. After a lightning strike destroyed the third of those structures in 1815, the church was relocated to its present site closer to the village. Master builder Samuel Belcher from Ellington was hired to design a fourth meetinghouse beside the town green and the cornerstone was laid on June 10, 1816. That stately white church with its graceful steeple and columned façade, painted repeatedly by the country’s most prominent landscape artists, burned to the ground on July 5, 1907, in what was almost certainly an act of arson.

Rebuilt to replicate Belcher’s design after a community-wide, fundraising campaign, the fifth meetinghouse, which was dedicated in 1910, remains today as both a vibrant center of faith and fellowship and Old Lyme’s most important historic landmark.

For more information on the concert of church life and events, visit www.fccol.org or call the church office at (860)-434-8686.

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme is located at the intersection of Ferry Rd. and Lyme St.in Old Lyme, CT.

Wheeler Gives Out Hands & Hearts Appreciation Awards

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Susan Walkama, LCSW, president and chief executive officer, Wheeler Clinic, with Wheeler Hands & Hearts Appreciation Award recipient Ralph, Harold and Ed Lorenson of the Lorenson Family; not pictured: Carolyn Lorenson.

DEEP RIVER — The Lorenson Family of Cromwell and Deep River was among five organizations and individuals to receive a Hands & Hearts Appreciation Award at Wheeler’s fifth annual Hands & Hearts reception on May 20 at The Country Club of Farmington.

The event honors an array of individuals, business and non-profit leaders for their continued, outstanding support of Wheeler’s mission and improving the health of the individuals, families and communities that Wheeler serves.  Thirty businesses and individuals have been recognized by Wheeler since the inception of this event.

“For more than 25 years, the Lorenson family has supported Wheeler in word and in deed,” said Susan Walkama, LCSW, Wheeler’s president and chief executive officer. “They have supported our service to the community with steadfast dedication.”

Additional 2015 Hands & Hearts Appreciation Award recipients include: Hooker & Holcombe, Mott Corporation, Reid and Riege, P.C., and the Red Sox Foundation.

Editor’s Note: Wheeler provides comprehensive solutions that address complex health issues, providing individuals, families and communities with accessible, innovative care that encourages recovery, health and growth at all stages of life.  Their integrated approach to primary and behavioral health, education and recovery creates measurable results, positive outcomes and hopeful tomorrows for more than 30,000 individuals across Connecticut each year. Learn more:www.wheelerclinic.org.

Pre-Order Tickets, Lunch for Ivoryton Library’s Homes & Gardens Tour, June 20

One of the beautiful gardens, which can be viewed on the June 20 tour.

One of the beautiful gardens, which can be viewed on the June 20 tour.

The Ivoryton Library is delighted to offer a tour of Historic Homes and Gardens in Centerbrook and Ivoryton on Saturday, June 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. “Through the Garden Gate” offers an opportunity for visitors to walk through seven 19th century homes and gardens lovingly renovated by their present owners and two additional gorgeous gardens bursting with color as well as interesting native trees.

This year, visitors can both tour and enjoy lunch at the elegant Copper Beech Inn, which also has beautiful English gardens with fountains.

Tickets may be purchased and lunches pre-ordered at the Ivoryton Library, 106 Main St., Ivoryton or Gather of Ivoryton, 104 Main St., Ivoryton.

For further information, visit www.ivoryton.com or call 860-767-1252.

Letter to the Editor: A Note of Thanks from Essex Garden Club

To the Editor:

Essex Garden Club‘s (EGC) May Market on May 9th was a huge success.  Augie Pampel and Mark Pratt again did an excellent job organizing the many details in making this special day go smoothly.  Hard working EGC members spent many days and hours in preparation for May Market.

Our community is extremely important to the success of May Market.  We appreciate all those who returned again this year to make purchases and the merchants who provided valuable donations to the Café, the Silent Auction, and Treasures.  Because of all your support at this year’s May Market, we were able to give more camperships this year to Essex Park and Recreation and to Bushy Hill Nature Preserve for children living in Centerbrook, Essex, and Ivoryton.  Thank You All!

Sincerely,

Linda Newberg,
President of Essex Garden Club

Summer Reading Programs Announced at Acton Public Library

OLD SAYBROOK — This summer Acton Library is celebrating the joy of reading with our summer reading programs for adults, teens and children from June 18 to July 30.

Summer Reader is the statewide online summer reading log for all levels.

Follow the link on the library’s website at www. actonlibrary.org. Sign up at home or in the Library to track your minutes or books…write and share reviews…and earn prizes!

For Adults: Escape the Ordinary  with the adult summer reading program. Register either in person or online and select books to read of your choosing. If you register online, you will enter titles read. If you register in person, you will fill out a raffle ticket for each book read. Drawings will be held weekly for gift cards to local businesses. The more books you read, the more chances to win!

Check the library website at www.actonlibrary.org for the link to sign up via “Summer Reader”, or stop by to register in person.

For Teens: Unmask!  for students entering Grades  6-12. Welcome to “Summer Reader” the statewide online summer reading log.  Follow the link on our website at www. actonlibrary.org to sign up…track your books…write reviews…and enter a chance to win gift cards to local businesses.
For Kids: Make your summer sizzle with our summer reading program “Every Hero Has a Story  for children birth to grade 5.  Track 20 minute blocks of time reading or being read to and earn Acton Reading Bucks . Remember, all reading counts, including being read to, or reading to someone else.

Earn an Acton Reading Buck for every 20 minutes of reading time to “spend” on prizes at Acton’s General Store.

Weekly fun: All programs are free and drop-in. Please note: children under age 8 must be accompanied by an adult.

  • Crafternoons on Tuesdays, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Supplies are provided by the library.  Suitable for all ages.
  • Picnic Story Times, Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Bring a blanket and your  lunch to eat indoors while listening to a story.  Best for ages 2 – 5.
  • Family Nights! Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. Entertaining and educational family performers.
  • Story Time with Rocky the Rock Cat and guest reader Phyllis DaCorte                                                    on Friday, July 17 at 10:30 a.m.  Great photo op!
  • It’s Theater Time! with Judy Potter. Listen to a story and learn how to act it out.
    July 7, 14, 21 and 28 from 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Best for ages 3-7. Please register.

Kindermusik on Wednesday, July 1, 10 – 10:45 a.m. for toddlers 18- 48 months, with caregiver. Introduce your child to the wonderful world of music. A fun class filled with singing and dancing.

All programs are free and drop-in unless otherwise noted. Children under age 8 must be accompanied by an adult.

Family Nights 

Thursdays, June 18 – July 30 from 7 to 8 p.m.

  • June 18: Summer Reading Program kick-off event! Family Dance Party with DJ Dave! DJ Dave will get the whole family rockin’ and rolling with the greatest dance party music ever.
  • June 25: Horizon Wings: Experience the thrill of being up close to a magnificent eagle, hawk,  and owl. Be inspired about their stories of survival, explore fascinating facts about each species and learn what you can do to help them.
  • July 2: Family MoviePaddington (2015, Rated PG; 95 mins.)   Free popcorn.
  • July 9: Nappy’s Puppets: Entertaining shadow puppet theater featuring the classic tale of  Jack and the Beanstalk.
  • July 16: Riverside Reptiles: Jeepers Creepers! Encounter some creepy looking creatures. See and touch a variety of reptiles, amphibians, arachnids and insects.
  • July 23: Magic of Christopher: Chris has the right mix of comedy, impressive  magic and one liners to keep the kids howling and the parents chuckling.
  • July 30: Robert Rivest Mime Theater: Comic mime Robert Rivest will lead you on a fun, upbeat journey of everyday heroes, superheroes, and heroes from Greek Mythology. Get a chance to learn mime and create a new hero on the spot.

Special appreciation is extended to the Friends of the Acton Library for sponsoring all of the Family Night performers, the summer reading prizes and gift cards. Without their hard work and dedication, the summer reading program would not be possible.

For more information, go to the library’s website at www.actonlibrary.org  or call the library at 860-395-3184 during  library hours: Monday- Thursday, 10 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; closed Sundays from June – September.

Essex Art Association’s Elected Member’s Show on View Through June 12

'The Flying Bergdorfs' by Carol Young.

‘The Flying Bergdorfs’ by Carol Young.

Each year, at every individual summer exhibit, the Essex Art Association gives a special top prize to “the artist they would like to see more of.” The prize is an opportunity to have a solo exhibit in the Exit Gallery alongside the next year’s regular exhibits.

The honoree for June is Carol Young of Essex, who will present paintings, mixed media, sculptures and assemblages in her show titled, “Through Rose-Colored Glasses.”

Young’s work has been variously described as “curious, imaginative, colorful, quirky, sometimes naughty, but never calm.”  “The Flying Bergdorfs,” for example, are a group of acrobats that the artist saw inside a microscopic photograph of a basal teardrop. “Maude’s Disturbing Wallpaper” is a portrait of a clearly chaotic, easily-confused nanny that she had had to endure.

Young’s most important mentors were her inventive father and more than a thousand creative art class children who, for over 30 years, privately taught ‘Mrs. Young’ at her previous home in Westport, Conn.

The Gallery at 10 North Street, Essex, will continue to be open and free to the public every day of the week from 1 to 5 p.m. from May 30 to June 12, when the gallery will close for indoor renovations.

Conversations About Regionalization Continue at Essex Elementary Today

REGION 4 — A series of informal conversation for parents at elementary schools about Regionalization concludes Friday at Essex Elementary School Cafeteria from 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Coffee and pastries will be provided.  All are welcome.

Superintendent Dr. Levy, the school principal and board of education will be available at the event for informal discussions.

RiverFare 2015 Returns Thursday for 22nd Year of Fun on Essex Waterfront 

Kick off Summer on the shoreline with some of the best culinary delights the River Valley has to offer. Join Allen G. Ciastho (The Tea Kettle Restaurant), Brian Checko & David Schumacher (Red House), David G. Caistho (Impressive Catering Services), Norm Needleman (Tower Labs.) Chris Dobbs (Executive Director, Connecticut River Museum)  Rob Peterson (C Sherman Johnson Co., Inc.) Anna Lathrop (Gourmet Galley Catering) Frett Marsha (Catering by Selene) & Earl Swain (Cloud Nine Catering) for the 22nd annual RiverFare.

Kick off Summer on the shoreline with some of the best culinary delights the River Valley has to offer. Join Allen G. Ciastho (The Tea Kettle Restaurant), Brian Checko & David Schumacher (Red House), David G. Caistho (Impressive Catering Services), Norm Needleman (Tower Labs.) Chris Dobbs (Executive Director, Connecticut River Museum)  Rob Peterson (C Sherman Johnson Co., Inc.) Anna Lathrop (Gourmet Galley Catering) Frett Marsha (Catering by Selene) & Earl Swain (Cloud Nine Catering) for the 22nd annual RiverFare.

ESSEX — On Thursday, May 28, from 6 to 9 p.m., the waterfront lawn of the Connecticut River Museum will come to life again as the scenic setting for RiverFare 2015.

Known as the unofficial kick off of summer on the shoreline, RiverFare, the area’s most popular tasting event, will feature gourmet food, wine, micro brews and silent auction all on the museum grounds overlooking the beautiful Essex Harbor.  Like a kid in a candy store, move from table to table sampling the best culinary delights the Connecticut River Valley has to offer.

This year’s lineup of Connecticut’s leading restaurants and food purveyors includes RiverFare newcomers Impressive Catering, The Tea Kettle Restaurant, Coastal Cooking Company and Big Nanny’s Soft Biscotti, and back by popular demand are Red House, Fromage Fine Foods, Deep River Snacks, Gourmet Galley Catering, Griswold Inn, Essex Coffee & Tea, Catering by Selene, The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook, The Ivory Restaurant, Cloud Nine Catering and others.

RiverFarers will also have the opportunity to join in the fun of bidding in the silent auction which features a diverse array of fine gifts, services, and entertainment experiences.  Items include a refurbished ’76 Sunfish Sailboat and Trailer, a private kayak tour, a 2 night stay in Cooperstown, NY plus tickets to the Baseball Hall of Fame and a seasonal Mooring on the Connecticut River.  Check out additional auction items at ctrivermuseum.org.

Major Support for RiverFare is provided by Tower Labs and C. Sherman Johnson Co.  Addition support is provided by, Bogaert Construction, Centerbrook Architect and Planners, Clark Group, Edidio Assante Wealth Management, iCRVRadio.com, Middlesex Hospital, Reynolds’ Garage & Marine, Inc. Bob’s Discount Furniture, Sapia Construction, Wells Fargo Advisors, blp Enterprises, Carr Douglas & Cline, Caulfield & Ridgway, Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services, Treasure Hill Farm and Trowbridge Stone Masonry.

Additional in-kind support is provided by Bob’s Centerbrook Package Store, Rhode VanGessel Design, Essex Printing, Guilford Savings Bank, Connecticut Rental Center and Apparel Plus.

Media support is provided by Valley Courier.

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

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

 

 

Dry Pants Model Yacht Club Hosts Successful 2015 New England Spring Regatta

Sail away!

Sail away!

DEEP RIVER — Plattwood Pond in Deep River was the home over the May 16-17 weekend to one of the most popular model sailing events in the Northeast: the 10th Annual  New England Spring Regatta  for  CR-914 model yachts.  Once again, it was a great success for both participants and curious onlookers.

Competitors were invited from all over the northeast. The top five sailors in order of finish were Kevin Dooley (USCG Academy sailing coach), Brain Jobson ( Essex), William James ( Worcester, Mass.), Brian Kerrigan( Essex), and John Skerry (Marblehead, Mass.) The top two sailors have previously won National CR-914 Championships.

Regatta winners proudly display their certificates.

Regatta winners proudly display their certificates.

The boats that were sailed are known as CR-914s, a nationally syndicated one-design class of boats that are 1/12 scale copies of America Cup racers. Over 5000 exist and can be found in every state of the nation. These radio-controlled boats are 36” long and can easily be carried in the trunk of most cars fully-rigged. They are fast, very competitive, and identical in every way-including weight. Winning and losing is totally dependent on the competence of the skippers.

Interested parties in the lower Connecticut River Valley can find club members sailing every Sunday at Plattwood Park in Deep River from 10:30 a.m. until noon as well as Thursday evenings until dark. Visitors are always welcome to try sailing these boats.

For more information, visit the Dry Pants Model Yacht Club’s website or call 860-767-5052.

Essex Garden Club Announces 2015 Scholarships

ESSEX — The Essex Garden Club has announced the winners of its 2015 scholarships.

Scholarships of $1,000 each were awarded to Mackenzie Goller of Ivoryton, and Sarah Watson and Elsbeth Kane, both of Essex.

Goller, a 2013 graduate of The Williams School has just completed his freshman year at Wheaton College in Massachusetts.  He is pursuing an independent major in agriculture, called Food and Environmental Studies.

Watson is a junior at Gettysburg College.  Her major is  Environmental Studies with a concentration in Sustainable Development.  This past semester, she was in Denmark with the Danish Institute for Study Abroad continuing her studies in sustainability of various issues such as sustainable chocolate production and urban gardens.

Kane is a sophomore at Columbia University majoring in Environmental Biology.   She has also studied abroad, spending last summer in Sao Paolo, Brazil, in an Ecosystems Experience Program at a reforestation site within the Atlantic Forest.

Additionally, 15 camperships at $125 each were given to Essex Park and Recreation Summer Session to educate younger children on the beauty and wonder of nature.  The Club also supports the Bushy Hill Nature Center in Ivoryton by offering four camperships of $520 each.

The Garden Club wishes to thank all those who supported the club’s annual May Market, the proceeds from which enable the club to make such donations.

Letter to the Editor: Thanks for Book Sale Help from Friends of Essex Library

National Honor Society volunteer Essex Public Library booksale workers from Valley Regional High School

National Honor Society students from Valley Regional High School volunteered as workers at Essex Library’s recent book sale.

To the Editor:

The Board of the Friends of the Essex Library would like to thank all who contributed to the success of our recent book sale.  A successful  sale requires significant work by many volunteers including those who  work during the day-and-a-half event and  those who sort, repair, price and store books in preparation for the sale, help set-up for the sale by arranging tables, chairs and books by category, and who put everything away afterwards.

Many people contribute hours to this event.  We are especially grateful to six Valley Regional National Honor Society students who assisted in our clean-up effort by lifting and stowing heavy boxes of unsold books, many of which will be given to a variety of non-profit organizations.  Kristen Kilby, Neve Flynn, Hannah Halsey, Tina Mitchel, Leah Harger and Julia Hammond, thank you!  We also thank the library staff for their support, with a special thank you to Anna Cierocki for being with us both days.

We would be remiss in not thanking those who contributed, and those who purchased, books, CDs and DVDs.   Your support of the library is deeply appreciated.

Our next sale is October 3-4 and we hope to see you there!

The Friends of the Essex Library

Nilsson’s Paintings on Show in CT DEEP Commissioner’s Office During Summer

Yellow Flag Iris on Seldens Creek by Leif Nilsson

Yellow Flag Iris on Selden’s Creek by Leif Nilsson, oil, 48″ x 36″, spring 2014 ©

CHESTER — Thirty paintings of Selden’s Creek in Lyme, Conn., done by Chester artist Leif Nilsson over the past 10 years from his boat will be hanging in the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner’s office for the summer months as part of the ‘Arts in the Parks’ series.

An opening reception will be held on Wednesday, May 27, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106-5127.
Call 860-424-3000 for hours and to RSVP for the opening.
To see a preview of the works, visit http://nilssonstudio.com/deep/

Essex Resident DeLeeuw Named CT Middle School Principal of the Year

Judy DeLeeuw, Principal of East Lyme Middles School and CT Middle School Principal of the Year.

Judy DeLeeuw, Principal of East Lyme Middles School and CT Middle School Principal of the Year.

ESSEX — Dr. Judy DeLeeuw, Essex resident and principal of East Lyme Middle School (ELMS), has been named the 2015 Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) Middle School Principal of the Year. Described by former East Lyme First Selectman and current State Senator Paul Formica as an “inspirational and collaborative leader,” DeLeeuw was selected for her intrepid leadership, her commitment to educational equity, and her what’s-best-for-kids approach to school administration.

She has worked with a broad network of stakeholders to build and sustain a student-centered, engaging, inclusive and academically rigorous school where student achievement is abounding; teachers are challenged and supported; and parents are vital partners in their children’s education.

Reacting to the announcement of her selection, DeLeeuw remarked, “I am extremely honored and humbled to receive this award from CAS. I will celebrate this accolade with those who inspire me to lead each day; the teachers and the students.”

During her eight years as ELMS principal, DeLeeuw has distinguished herself as an industrious and reform-minded leader who cares deeply about the well-being of all members of the school community. According to ELMS Assistant Principal Jason Bitgood, who nominated DeLeeuw for the award, “As a leader committed to change, Dr.
DeLeeuw faces challenges with passion, perseverance and compassion.”

Language Arts teacher Audrone Venduras adds, “A sign at the entrance to ELMS reads, ‘Welcome to Your School.’ This is not an empty slogan but a philosophy which Judy embraces by successfully fostering a sense of ownership and collaboration among students, parents and staff to make ELMS the educational powerhouse that it is.”

Selected as the CAS Middle School of the Year in 2012, ELMS is a dynamic, creative, student-centered middle school where innovation and excellence flourish. The energy and vitality that permeate the school building are a direct result of DeLeeuw’s passion for educational excellence.

The 900-student school facility is divided into Kivas, or “gathering places,” which serve as small, personalized learning communities for students and teachers. This unique design concept supports differentiated learning and interdisciplinary instruction, which facilitate the development of 21st-century skills critical for success in the recently implemented Connecticut Core assessments.

Noted one member of the CAS School of the Year Selection Committee: “ELMS is a cutting edge school. Its interdisciplinary units are far-reaching and promote authentic learning; and, its eighth grade Capstone projects are the equivalent of research at the college level.”

DeLeeuw works tirelessly to maintain a vibrant, caring, student-centered culture which allows all children to grow socially and emotionally as well as academically. A constant presence in the corridors and classrooms, she uses every available opportunity to interact with and build relationships with her students.

Says Venduras, “Walk down the hallway, stop by the cafeteria, or observe bus dismissal and you will see a constant stream of children greeting their principal, for Judy has a remarkable relationship with her kids. She is accessible and genuinely interested in what they have to say.”

Recalls ELMS sixth grader Jack Derry, “During our end-of-the-year assembly, Dr. DeLeeuw joined the staff in a flash mob dance to the song ‘Happy.’ She was laughing and just having fun with everyone. My friends and I appreciate that she truly understands and relates to kids our age.”

One of DeLeeuw’s greatest achievements was her successful transformation of ELMS’ instructional services for special education students. She led her staff in transitioning from special education pullout classes to general education inclusion classes, increasing the amount of time students with disabilities spend with non-disabled peers from 56 to 90 percent. ELMS is now a place where all students learn together in the same well-supported classrooms with the values of tolerance, acceptance and sensitivity as cornerstones for success.

The Principal of the Year Program, sponsored annually by the Connecticut Association of Schools, was established in 1984 to bring recognition to the principalship and to spotlight the important role of the principal in shaping the educational environment and experiences of children. The program recognizes outstanding school principals who have succeeded in providing high quality learning opportunities for students. These administrators have demonstrated excellent leadership, commitment to staff and students, service to their communities, and contributions to the overall profession of
educational leadership.

Each year nominations are solicited for an Elementary, Middle and High School Principal of the Year. The winners are chosen by a selection committee consisting of active and retired principals and assistant principals. State principals of the year must demonstrate success in the areas of collaborative leadership; personal excellence;
curriculum, instruction, and assessment; and personalization.

DeLeeuw will be honored by CAS at the “Celebration of Distinguished Administrators” to be held on Oct. 22, 2015.

Chester’s Essex Savings Bank Hosts Free Shredding Event Saturday

CHESTER — Essex Savings Bank is sponsoring a Free Shredding Event on Saturday, May 30, from 9- to 12 p.m.at its Chester Branch, located next to the Chester Town Hall. Everyone is invited to bring two boxes of paperwork to be shredded for free by Shredding Source.

The event is being held in conjunction with the Chester Branch’s food drive to help aid in stocking the Chester Food Pantry.

Essex Savings Bank is a FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851. The Bank serves the Connecticut River Valley and shoreline with six offices in Essex (2), Chester, Madison, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook. Financial, estate, insurance and retirement planning are offered throughout the state by the Bank’s Trust Department and wholly-owned subsidiary, Essex Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC.

Investments in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and annuities are not FDIC insured, may lose value and are not a deposit, have no Bank guarantee and are not insured by any Federal Government Agency.

Shoreline Artist Elizabeth Gillies “Mike” Boyd Holds One-Woman Art Show, Reception at Chester Village West Tonight

Elizabeth Gillies “Mike” Boyd in her in-residence studio at Chester Village West

Elizabeth Gillies “Mike” Boyd in her in-residence studio at Chester Village West

CHESTER — Accomplished artist Elizabeth Gillies “Mike” Boyd will hold a one-woman art show and reception on Friday, May 22, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Chester Village West, 317 W. Main St., Chester, CT 06412.

Free and open to the public, the art show and sale will include refreshments and live music.

Boyd’s art show will offer a retrospective sampling of her talents, including a mixture of portraiture, landscape, still life, abstract and collage in various media.

Boyd’s artistic training began at an early age. She has worked with American Impressionist painter and teacher Frank Vincent Dumond and abstract artist Theodore Roszak. A member of Connecticut Women Artists, Inc., for the past 35 years, she has been active as an organizer, juror and painter with art associations and centers in Guilford, Madison and Clinton.

She has had her work shown at the Sylvan Gallery in Clinton, Gallery One in in Old Saybrook, the Cooley Gallery in Old Lyme and the Wall Street Gallery in Madison.

For more information on the May 22 art show and reception, call 860.526.6800 or email chestervillagewest@lcsnet.com.

Last Day of Essex Library Friends’ Spring Book Sale Today

Preparing for the Sale are, from left to right, Debbie Barnes, Janice Atkeson, Linda Levene, and Ellie Champion

Preparing for the Spring Book Sale are, from left to right, Debbie Barnes, Janice Atkeson, Linda Levene, and Ellie Champion

ESSEX — The Friends of Essex Library will hold a Spring Book Sale Saturday and Sunday, May 16 and 17, at the library at 33 West Ave. in Essex. The annual sale will provide funds for numerous special library programs and activities. Proceeds from previous sales recently enabled the Friends to purchase new sliding doors at the main entrance to the library.

Dates and times for the Sale are Saturday, May 16, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, May 17, from 1 to 4 p.m. when all items will be half-priced.

The Sale will include carefully sorted books in good condition on nautical subjects, gardening, cooking, history, literature, art, travel, philosophy, science, nature, sports, self-help, foreign languages, and books in large print. There will be tables of fiction, children’s books, paperbacks, CDs, DVDs, and books on CD.

Specific information about the sale, including signed books and titles offered in the various categories, will be on the Essex Library website: www.youressexlibrary.org. Click on “Friends” and the “Book Sale” page.

On book-sale Saturday, library materials can be checked in and out from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but computers in the adult section will not be available for use. There will be no library services on Sunday, when all book-sale items will be half price.

Acclaimed Conductor Launches Book Exploring Music, Leadership Connection Today in Chester

IgnorantMaestro coverCHESTER — It is only fitting that a book that has roots in Chester will be introduced at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ) before readers in China, Israel, Great Britain, Germany and other countries see it.

Therefore, on Sunday, May 17, at 3 p.m., Itay Talgam, author of “The Ignorant Maestro: How Great Leaders Inspire Unpredictable Brilliance,” will come to Chester from his home in Tel Aviv to launch an international tour in a free ‘Books & Bagels’ program at CBSRZ.

Talgam is one of Israel’s leading orchestra conductors, having founded the Tel Aviv Symphony and led the Israel Philharmonic, as well as many orchestras in other countries.

Itay Talgam

Itay Talgam

A protégé of the great Leonard Bernstein, Talgam had the idea of writing a book that explores the art of leadership from the podium. This sprung out of his very popular TED Talk on leadership (with more than five million views). His argument is that leaders in all fields can learn new insights about leadership not from music itself but from the people who make music.

Lary Bloom

Lary Bloom

It was more than two years ago that Lary Bloom, a writer and longtime resident of Chester, first talked to him about the idea, and how to write a book that readers with little or no interest in classical music would find interesting and instructive. That’s when they embarked on a collaboration that eventually resulted in “The Ignorant Maestro.”

Its primary argument is that the best orchestra conductors are perfect models for enlightened leadership everywhere because they bring a precise measure of “ignorance” to the task. That is, they are not only open to learning something new, but must, in collaboration with the people he or she rely on, do so in order to complete any new task in the best possible manner.

Talgam’s TED Talk, for example, shows Leonard Bernstein conducting only with his face – expressions, gestures, lifts of the eyebrow, closing of the eyes, etc. – leaving room for plenty of contribution and interpretation from his players.

The book, like the TED Talk, is full of funny lines, which is one of the reasons the video is so popular, and one of the reasons his speeches are in demand all over the world. He has consulted for the United Nations, the Israeli Defense Force, international banks, nonprofits, health care conglomerates, universities, and even spy networks.

The book’s publisher is Portfolio/Penguin, a subsidiary of Random House. From the dust jacket: “Choosing ignorance might seem a terrible quality to exhibit in your workplace—a sure path down the stairs and out the corporate door. But stick with me here and see how it leads you upward. You’ll understand why great leaders embrace ignorance and use it to elevate their people to new heights of achievement.”

As always with the Books & Bagels programs, there will be refreshments and a chance to meet the author. No reservations are needed.

For more information, contact the CBSRZ office 860-526-8920 or visit www.cbsrz.org. Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester.

World Renowned Singers Pittsinger, Schumann to Star in Ivoryton’s ‘South Pacific’

David Pittsinger

David Pittsinger

IVORYTON —  Ivoryton Playhouse announced yesterday that world renowned American bass-baritone David Pittsinger* will be revisiting the role of Emile deBecque – the role he played in the Lincoln Center production to great critical acclaim – in the July production of South Pacific at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

Peter Marks of the Washington Post wrote of his performance’ “That quadruple bassoon of a voice interpreting the Richard Rodgers melodies – among the most melting ever composed for the theater – is all the seduction that you or Nellie need. Somehow, the effortlessness of Pittsinger’s technique helps in the illusion that the great romance at the core of “South Pacific” truly is operatic in scope.

Mr. Pittsinger is a stage performer of the greatest distinction.  Having appeared on the world’s leading opera and concert stages in Vienna, Salzburg, Brussels, Paris, Tanglewood, Pesaro, New York, Santa Fe, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and San Francisco, he is equally at home in baroque through contemporary operas, as well as musical theater.

Patricia Schumann

Patricia Schumann

He will be joined by his wife, internationally celebrated soprano Patricia Schuman*, who will also be making her Ivoryton Playhouse debut, as Bloody Mary. A performer of great breadth, Ms. Schuman began her career with the great Mozart repertoire, performing Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) and Contessa Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) at the Metropolitan Opera and has performed at most of the great opera houses throughout Europe and the United States.

David and Patricia made their home in Essex almost 20 years ago, and even though their work in the opera world has them travelling all over the world, they both feel a special connection to Connecticut shoreline. David, who grew up in Clinton and attended the University of Connecticut and Yale, is thrilled to be giving back to his community and the Playhouse is honored to welcome both of them to the historic Ivoryton stage.

South Pacific opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on July 1 and runs through July 26. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.  Additional matinee performances are at 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 16, Saturday, July 18, and Saturday, July 25.  Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.  There is no performance on Saturday, July 4.

Tickets are $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.)

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

See Madhatters “Seussical” in Chester Tonight

Performing in 'Seussical' are Jalen Moody of New London as Horton the Elephant, Hannah Schwartzman of Deep River as JoJo and Erin Lynch of Middletown as the Cat in the Hat.

Performing in ‘Seussical’ are Jalen Moody of New London as Horton the Elephant, Hannah Schwartzman of Deep River as JoJo and Erin Lynch of Middletown as the Cat in the Hat.

CHESTER — Madhatters Theatre Company presents ‘Seussical’ at Chester Meeting House, 4 Liberty St., in Chester Conn,.  Performances are Friday, May 15, at 7 p.m.Saturday, May 16, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. and Sunday, May 17, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $20 adults and $15 children 12 and under.  To reserve tickets please call (860) 395-1861 or e-mail madhattersctc@aol.com.  This production is a fundraiser for ‘Willys friends’.
Further information available at: www.ctkidsonstage.com/madhatterstheatrecompany

CT River Museum Offers Boat Building Workshop in July, Register By June 12

2.Ernstoff Shipyard – The Ernstoff Shipyard, a father and daughter team in 2014 work on their boat.

The Ernstoff Shipyard, a father and daughter team in 2014 work on their boat.

ESSEX — What floats your boat?

In celebration of the Connecticut River’s rich heritage, the Connecticut River Museum is once again offering the CRM 12, a slightly adapted Bevin’s Skiff kit that is produced in limited quantity.  The 12’ skiff is reflective of the traditional boats that were built locally in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  With great versatility, these skiffs were used for fishing, rowing and sailing on the River and in the tidal marshes and tributaries.  Simple and beautiful, the museum selected the CRM 12 as a good beginner project to build with the help of knowledgeable instructors.

The museum will offer a three-day Boat Building Workshop July 10 – 12.  Participants can either do the workshop as individuals or as a group (up to four people).  There is no previous boat building experience required to build one of these kits.  However, organizers do expect that participants will have basic woodworking knowledge.  By the end of the weekend, each individual or group should have a nearly completed boat that is ready for the water.  As Ray Gaulke, museum board member and co-organizer stated, “It’s a marvelous way to learn basic boat building and have a product that you can take home.”

Last year’s successful program had four diverse teams — father/daughter, husband/wife, father/son and a Sea Scout troop — successfully build CRM 12’s.  “It was a wonderful sight to see participants with little or no boatbuilding experience on Friday rowing their completed boats on the River Sunday afternoon”, said Chris Dobbs, museum executive director.

The CRM 12 kit comes complete with everything needed to build the boat — high-quality marine plywood, fastenings, adhesives, plans and an easy-to-follow manual.   Boat builders only need to bring a few basic woodworking tools.  The museum commissioned Paul Kessinger, a local wooden boat builder from Guilford, CT to build the first CRM 12 in 2014.  Kessinger said that “This is a perfect activity for adults or families.  Best yet, you will get years of enjoyment out of rowing or sailing your skiff.”

Space is extremely limited for the boat building workshop.  Participants must be at least 10 years old and all children must be accompanied by an adult.  The deadline to register is Friday, June 12.  The $1,500 program fee ($1,400 for CRM members) includes all the supplies needed to build the CRM 12, oars, and instruction.  By the end of the weekend, participants will have a completed boat, ready to be painted and rowed.  For more information, visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.

St. John’s in Essex Designates Today as ‘Memorial Sunday’ with Special Services

ESSEX — This year Sunday, May 17, has been designated as “Memorial Sunday” at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Essex. At all three services on that day at 8, 9 and 10:45 a.m., the congregation will remember through special prayers and music those who have lost their lives in service.

For that day the church has called upon its veterans and their families to participate in many of the roles traditionally filled by members of the congregation–as greeters, ushers, acolytes, servers, chalicebearers, flagbearers, and those leading the prayers.

Area veterans are invited to join the service. A reception will follow the services in the parish hall.

Because the national Memorial weekend coincides with the Church Feast of Pentecost, St. John’s Memorial Sunday services are scheduled on May 17 this year. These special services are part of the Ministry to Veterans, Active Military and Their Families, which was begun last year at the Church.

Space Reservations Open for Annual August Flea Market at Deep River Congregational Church 

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Congregational Church is already preparing for its annual Flea Market and Rummage Sale which will be held on during the third weekend of August.   The Aug. 15 Flea Market is held on Marvin Field and on the grounds around the church.

The 20 x 20 foot spaces are available for $30 and can be reserved by contacting the church office for a reservation form and map at 860-526-5045 or office.drcc@snet.net or forms can be downloaded from the church web site at www.deeprivercc.org

Letter to the Editor: A Note of Thanks From Essex Garden Club

To the Editor:

On Saturday May 9th in Town Park the Essex Garden Club held its 63rd May Market.  The Silent Auction Committee of May Market would like to thank our area merchants, friends and artists for the incredible generosity they showed in supporting this year’s Silent Auction.

As May Market is the Club’s only fund-raiser, we depend on its proceeds to support our civic projects in Essex Village, Centerbrook and Ivoryton.  These range from helping to maintain the town parks, to providing scholarships to college students and camperships to elementary students, planting trees in town, organizing horticultural activities with elementary and junior high school students and decorating throughout town with greens for the holidays.

The Essex Garden Club would like to thank the following merchants, friends and artists most sincerely for their wonderful donations to the Silent Auction:

Acer Gardens, Aegean Treasures, Ashleigh’s Garden, Bartlett Tree Experts, Bob’s Centerbrook Package Store, The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook, The Copper Beech Inn, Cottage Whimsey, De Paula Jewelers, English Accents Antiques, Essex Winter Series, Goodspeed Musicals, Haystacks, Hortus Perennials, The Ivoryton Playhouse, Marily MacKinnon Interior Design, John & Wendy Madsen, Mimi Merton, Charlotte Meyer Designs, Musical Masterworks, New Earth Acupuncture, One North Main, Augie Pampel, A Pocketful of Posies, Pough Interiors, Mark Pratt, Saybrook Country Barn, Eileen Taylor, That’s the Spirit, Walker-Loden, Weekend Kitchen, and Weltner’s Antiques and Art.

With thanks.

Sincerely,

Dawn Boulanger, Alyson Danyliw, Genie Devine, Marily MacKinnon

The Essex Garden Club
May Market Silent Auction Committee

Essex Library Features Art Exhibit by Andrew Teran During June

Artwork by Andrew Teran

Artwork by Andrew Teran

ESSEX — An art exhibit will be held at the Essex Library Association through the month of June featuring guest artist, Andrew Teran of Essex.

Essex resident Andrew Teran attended Parson’s School of Design in the late 1970s, studying graphic design and then wood sculpture.  His working career focused on high-end carpentry and restoration for many years. As a second career, Andrew worked in construction & corporate sales for 15 years. Now retired from corporate life he has turned his focus back to art, his first love.  He has recently moved to the area to be on the Connecticut River and spend more time in his art studio.

He has always been fascinated by graphic shapes; triangles & hearts are favorites, by far. He finds that the triangle is the perfect shape- yet variations in size, shape, structure create totally different and beautiful dynamics.

In addition to graphic shapes, or in combination with them, he has a love for modern packaging labels and regularly finds that they create strong visual and sometimes literal statements when incorporated in a piece.  The pop art feel and look of modern packaging labels catches his interest everywhere he goes. Collage pulls him to combine visual elements and textures that build a richness he never tires of creating.

The exhibit is free and open to the public during the library’s open hours. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex, CT. Call (860) 767-1560 for more information.

Exhibition by Chester’s Leif Nilsson Currently on Show in Colinsville

The Studio with Poppies, oil, 30" x 40" , Leif Nilsson spring 2002 ©

The Studio with Poppies, oil, 30″ x 40″, Leif Nilsson spring 2002 ©

CHESTER — Gallery 526 at 20 Depot St. in Collinsville, Conn., is hosting a one-man-show by Leif Nilsson of Chester featuring 24 garden and Connecticut River paintings.

Leif (pronounced Layf) Nilsson comments, “This exhibition represents an autobiographical pictorial chronology of my process of painting and developing my gardens and understanding the Connecticut River over the past 28 years.”

Inspired by the natural beauty surrounding the Lower Connecticut River Valley, Nilsson paints his plein air impressionistic landscape compositions directly from life. Setting up his easel in and around his hometown of Chester, Nilsson creates engaging garden, Connecticut River and village paintings that invite the viewer to walk right in.

Some of the paintings are completed a la prima, meaning all at once, while others may take several sittings at the same time of day to achieve the correct harmonious atmosphere as he observes it. Generally, heavily textured paintings have more layers applied in an effort to represent the scintillating effects of light in nature over a period of time. Nilsson’s brushwork is a result of his dedication to observing nature.

Nilsson completed a full curriculum of Classical Studies at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, Conn. He enhanced that education with several sojourns to Scandinavia, Asia Minor and Europe where he studied the French 19th and early 20th century painters; Bonnard and Monet for color; Pissarro and Vuillard for composition and Van Gogh for energy.

A successful working artist for over 20 years, Nilsson continues to exhibit his paintings in several galleries throughout the United States, while also promoting his work through his website, and at the Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery, LLC in Chester where collectors visit him regularly to view and purchase his latest works. The studio is open on weekend afternoons from noon to 6 p.m. and other times by chance or appointment. Six times a year he hosts a gallery opening reception for his newest works along with other galleries in Chester. He also teaches painting to children and adults and gives lectures at high schools, universities, art clubs, and museums.

Nilsson has hand-made most of his Florentine style, metal leafed, finished corner frames in his studio. The soft luminous gold tone complements his paintings without overwhelming them. Now he orders them from reputable framemakers and assists collectors with their choices.

Limited Edition Fine Art Prints have been made of several of Nilsson’s original oil paintings and these will be available at the gallery.

Nilsson paints outdoors in all types of weather. He will often paint the same place over and over again, trying out different compositions and sizes at various times of day and in all seasons. These paintings often result in a series of works attempting to describe the many moods of nature on a particular subject.

Chester is a favorite subject of Leif Nilsson’s. Its uniqueness and charm have captivated his imagination for years. He has painted many scenes of Chester Center in different times of day, weather conditions and seasons. The vernacular architecture of old crooked buildings lining the curved piazza of Main Street come alive in his colorful paintings of the village in springtime with Rhododendrons in full bloom. Winter is a favorite time of year for him when the town is blanketed with virgin snow, especially at dusk when snowflakes swirl around the glowing lamppost in front of his studio.

The Connecticut River as seen from its banks in Chester to Old Lyme offers a wealth of pictorial opportunities for Nilsson to explore. From the hazy dawn of Eustasia Island in Deep River to the quiet harbors of Old Saybrook’s North Cove and from the golden marshes of Chester to the sweeping meadow of Pettipaug in Essex, there’s plenty of material to keep a landscape painter busy yearlong.

On spring mornings Nilsson is usually busy in his backyard garden tracking the sunlight with a loaded brush or knife revealing the rich colors and textures of the plants and flowers he has cultivated.

Occasionally Nilsson travels abroad to interesting European villages. His little paintings of Prague in the Czech Republic, Casares, Spain and Nova Scotia, Canada from recent trips are also favorites among his collectors. His most recent painting trip was to Cinque Terra in Italy where he produced several gems.

One of his favorite pastimes is to play the banjo. His new band “Arrowhead” will be playing at the opening reception.

For more information, visit http://www.nilssonstudio.com or http://www.gallery526.com or call 860-709-0987. Gallery 526 is open Thursday & Friday 12 – 5pm, Saturday & Sunday 12 – 6 pm, and other times by chance or appointment.

Memory Care Community at Saybrook at Haddam Dedicated to Helen Shulz

The family of Helen Shultz of Old Saybrook gathered at The Saybrook at Haddam for the unveiling of the personalized plaque to commemorate her position as Safe Harbor’s first memory care resident.  Pictured here next to the plaque, left to right, are: Dan Sullivan, Richard Shultz, Judy Sullivan, Peter Sullivan, Bob Shultz, and Matthew Shultz. Two of Helen’s sons, John Schultz of Staten Island, N.Y., and Mark Shultz of Mequon, Wis., were unable to attend.

The family of Helen Shultz of Old Saybrook gathered at The Saybrook at Haddam for the unveiling of the personalized plaque to commemorate her position as Safe Harbor’s first memory care resident.  Pictured here next to the plaque, left to right, are: Dan Sullivan, Richard Shultz, Judy Sullivan, Peter Sullivan, Bob Shultz, and Matthew Shultz. Two of Helen’s sons, John Schultz of Staten Island, N.Y., and Mark Shultz of Mequon, Wis., were unable to attend.

HADDAM – The Saybrook at Haddam has dedicated its Safe Harbor neighborhood to its very first memory care resident, Helen Shultz of Old Saybrook, who lived at the specialized community throughout its inaugural year.  Members of the Shultz family joined the retirement community at a brief ceremony on May 6 to unveil a personalized plaque placed in Safe Harbor in honor of Helen’s memory.

Helen’s children attended the ceremony with their families.  Her daughter, Judy Sullivan, who is executive director of the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce, was joined by husband, Dan, and son, Peter; Bob Shultz of Hudson, New Hampshire, attended with his son Matthew from Avon, Conn.; and Richard Shultz came from Norwich, Conn.

During the celebration, Helen’s children expressed their appreciation for the care she received at The Saybrook at Haddam – and for the tremendous support the community offered their own families.

“When a loved one suffers from a memory illness, the family is forced into quite a learning curve,” Judy Sullivan said.  “The entire team at The Saybrook at Haddam walked us through that process, helping us understand Mom’s new ‘world,’ how to have patience, and most importantly how to continue enjoying each moment we had with her.  We are indebted to this community for their care, kindness and expertise and are so honored to have Mom forever be a part of Safe Harbor.”

Helen actually moved into The Saybrook at Haddam in 2011 a few weeks before Safe Harbor was completed.  As soon as the doors officially opened, she moved over to Safe Harbor.  During this time, The Saybrook at Haddam was working to build awareness of its unique and personalized approach to helping those suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia and other memory-related illnesses, and the Shultz family was the first to put its faith and trust into this new community.

“We owe a debt to the Shultz’s as well, as they were the first to recognize and trust in our approach to memory care,” Kathy Ryan, executive director of The Saybrook at Haddam, said.  “Of course, since Helen was our only resident for a short time, she essentially had one-on-one care and really stole the hearts of our entire community. I like to say she was ‘holding court,’ because she always had a group around her listening to stories, sharing meals, and meeting her every need with lightning speed.  Although we have grown tremendously since those days, Helen helped shape the quality and personality of the community we have become.”

Staff members who cared for Helen also shared warm memories of their premier resident, talking with fondness and laughter about their experiences with her.  They enjoyed her “no-nonsense” style, which likely was a result of the 40 years Helen worked as owner of the successful Shultz Appliance and TV retail shop in Old Saybrook.
Staff appreciated her real sense of family and knew they had made an impact when Helen began treating Safe Harbor like her home.  This was considered a milestone since Helen’s home in Old Saybrook was immensely important to her as the epi-center of very large family holidays, gatherings and memories.
“Safe Harbor really did become her home, and for us that was the true blessing,” Sullivan said.  “If there was a silver lining in Mom’s illness, it was getting to know everyone at The Saybrook at Haddam.  This plaque forever memorialized our connection to this community, and reinforces our hopes that other families find solace and reassurance here as they navigate through the difficult maze of memory loss.”
Editor’s Note: The Saybrook at Haddam (www.thesaybrookathaddam.com) is one of the region’s premier assisted living, retirement, and memory care communities; it offers 106 apartments for individuals or couples.  The manor is located in Haddam, Conn., with proximity to major highways, medical services, restaurants and entertainment venues.  Private tours are being scheduled, and applications for residence are available by calling 860-345-3779.

Essex Land Trust Leads Birding, Nature Walk Today at Essex Meadows

Essex Meadows Walk

ESSEX — Explore the beautiful Essex Meadows grounds and the adjoining section of the new Preserve in an approximately one-hour walk on Saturday, May 16, led by Essex Land Trust President and birder Jim Denham.  Meet at 9 a.m. at Essex Meadows, 30 Bokum Rd.

The timing coincides with the peak of bird migration and breeding season, so expect to see and hear many species around this very diverse landscape.

All levels of knowledge are welcome. Easy to moderate walking on trails.

Cookies and refreshments provided at the conclusion of walk, courtesy of Essex Meadows.

Bad weather cancels.

Chester Synagogue to Host Rare Discussion of Jewish Organizations Response to Palestinian BDS Movement

CHESTER — Since 2005, Palestinian organizations have increasingly called for worldwide support for a movement to boycott, divest from and sanction (BDS) Israel.  Although this movement has gained some support in the United States, particularly on university campuses, it has also engendered sharp responses from American Jewish organizations – so sharp that they have consistently refused to appear on the same program as Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), an organization which supports the BDS movement, to avoid providing any air of legitimacy to JVP and the BDS discussion.

On Saturday, May 30, from 1 to 4 p.m., Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ) in Chester will host representatives of two American Jewish organizations with opposing views on BDS – J Street and Jewish Voice for Peace.  In a forum titled “Can We Talk – BDS, the Jewish Response and Anti-Semitism,” the role of BDS in the Middle East peace process will be explored.

Speaking in favor of the BDS movement will be Robert Gelbach, co-chair of the New Haven chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, co-convener of the Connecticut BDS coalition, and retired professor of political science from Southern Connecticut State University.  Learn more about JVP at jewishvoiceforpeace.org.

Speaking against the BDS movement will be Shaina Wasserman, New England Regional Director for J Street, a Jewish organization which describes itself as “the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans.”  Learn more about J Street at jstreet.org.

Audience questions will be highlighted, and there will be time for audience opinions as well.

Andy Schatz, chair of the Social Action Committee of CBSRZ, which is sponsoring the forum, stressed the significance of this discussion not only because of what it may clarify about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but also for what it says about the Jewish community in the U.S.  “We think it is critical for Jewish communities and organizations to discuss openly these tough and uncomfortable issues to reach better solutions, and we are grateful for J Street for being willing to discuss the issue directly with JVP, which the other organizations we invited continued to refuse.”

He continues, “This discussion is another in the CBSRZ’ series of forums ‘celebrating diversity,’ as we think diversity of opinion within the American Jewish community is critical not only to reach those better solutions but to make clear American Jews are not some monolithic body but millions of people with oft-divergent views on issues large and small.”

Schatz noted that some of the topics likely to be discussed include:

  • Is boycott, divestment or sanction ever appropriate against democratic countries, and is any different standard appropriate as to Israel?
  • Can the BDS movement play a legitimate or positive role in the peace process in the Middle East?
  • Is the BDS movement inconsistent with support for Israel, a Jewish state, or a two-state solution?
  • Are boycotts, divestments or sanctions, which impact people and not just governments, inconsistent with religious values?
  • Is anti-Semitism increased by the BDS movement and/or by the refusal of most Jewish organizations to address it?
  • What should be the role of the American Jewish community and organizations in the debate over Israel’s future?

CBSRZ is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester.  There is no charge for this event, but to ensure adequate seating, register by sending an email to the CBSRZ office (bethshalom@snet.net) or calling 860-526-8920.   Light refreshments will be provided.