October 24, 2016

Estuary’s ‘Shoreline Chefs’ Event at ‘Water’s Edge’ Tomorrow Benefits ‘Meals on Wheels’

shoreline_chefs_2016_posterAREAWIDE — The Estuary Council of Seniors in Old Saybrook will sponsor a major fundraiser  Shoreline Chefs, a delicious way to support Meals on Wheels, on Sunday, Sept. 25, at Water’s Edge Resort & Spa, 1525 Boston Post Road, Westbrook, from 3 to 6 p.m.  This savory event features local professional and notable locals cooking up a storm in small plate tastings.

Twenty chefs are expected to participate.  A Beer Tasting by 30 Mile Brewery is included as well as wine from The Wine Cask. Entertainment will be by the Von Zells.  The special guest is author, creator, and Executive Producer of “Let’s Get Cooking with La Befana and Friends,” Kate West.

Tickets are $40 ($45 at the door) and may be purchased in Old Saybrook at the Estuary Council of Seniors, Harbor Light Realty, Harris Outdoors, Pak-it Of Southeastern CT, and Edd’s Place in Westbrook.


Enjoy “Cruise Blues & Brews” in Chester Today; Benefits At-Risk Boys Fund

Cruise_Brews&Blues 300x250_CBBCHESTER — The Second Annual Cruise Blues & Brews will be held Saturday Sept. 24, at the Chester Fair Grounds from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (rain or shine). This is a fun-filled family event featuring antique and unique cars, the area’s top blues bands, craft beer, up-scale food trucks, marketplace of vendors, kids play area, games, prizes and surprises.

For additional information and to purchase tickets at $15 (kids under 12 free) visit www.atriskboysfund.org.

All proceeds benefit the At-Risk Boys Fund at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County.


‘The Verona Quartet’ Performs Tomorrow in First Collomore Concert

CHESTER — The Verona Quartet will perform works by Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Webern on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 5 p.m. in the first concert of the 43rd season of the Collomore Concert Series at the historic Chester Meeting House at 4 Liberty Street, Chester.

Praised by “Classical Voice America” for their “sensational, powerhouse performance,” the Verona Quartet has set themselves apart as one of the most compelling young quartets in chamber music. They have played at Lincoln Center Alice Tully Recital Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington and the Melbourne Recital Hall in Australia.

Winner of the prestigious 2015 Concert Artist Guild Competition, they are the Graduate Resident String Quartet at the Juilliard School, where they work closely with members of the Juilliard String Quartet and teach during Juilliard’s academic year.

They have also served as visiting artists and teachers at leading international institutions for music education including the Beethoven-Haus (Bonn, Germany), New York University-Abu Dhabi and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

In less than three years, the Verona Quartet have established themselves as one of the most compelling young quartets in chamber music.

Their Chester Meeting House concert on Sept. 25 will be followed by a reception and a chance to meet the artists. Tickets are $25 for adults, $5 for students, or purchase a season subscription now for just $75 for adults, $15 for students. For more information, check the website at collomoreconcerts.org or call 860-526-5162.


Learn All About ‘The Abduction from the Seraglio … According to Star Trek,’ Today in Saybrook

Tenor Brian Cheney

Tenor Brian Cheney

OLD SAYBROOK — A witty lecture given by internationally acclaimed tenor Brian Cheney and director Josh Shaw entitled “The Abduction from the Seraglio by Mozart … according to Star Trek” is slated for Saturday, Sept. 24, 11 a.m. at the Acton Public Library, 60 Old Boston Post Rd., Old Saybrook.

This free lecture is sponsored by The Guild of Salt Marsh Opera in partnership with the Acton Public Library.

For more information, call 860-388-2871.


Letter From Paris – No, Now It’s Essex!  A Brave, New Museum Opens in DC

Nicole Prevost Logan

Nicole Prevost Logan

Editor’s Note:  Our popular writer from Paris, Nicole Prevost Logan, is back in Essex, CT, for the winter.  She does not normally write for us from Essex, but this year, she is making an exception and will be continuing to contribute articles to ValleyNewsNow.com and LymeLine.com during the winter months.  Here is her inaugural column from Essex about the opening of  a very special museum in Washington DC.

The Grand Opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) will take place in Washington DC this coming Saturday, Sept. 24.  The NMAAHC, the 19th and newest of the Smithsonian museums, was established by a bi-partisan Act of Congress in 2003.

The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, Nov. 6, 2015. (Photo by Michael Barnes from http://newsdesk.si.edu/photos)

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, Nov. 6, 2015. (Photo by Michael Barnes / Smithsonian Institution.)

The massive structure occupies a prime location next to the Washington Monument and contrasts with the 555 ft. slender obelisk.  The dark bronze-colored metal lattice that covers the ‘Corona” also stands out from the white marble classical architecture of most of the other museums standing on the National Mall.

It has been a long struggle for the supporters, such as Congressman John Lewis (D-Georgia), to make the project a reality.  They needed to overcome the resistance from several senators who advocated another location. The final approval  was more than a triumph — it might be considered a miracle.  It succeeded in making a strong statement as to the importance of Black history and culture in the American nation.

The lead designer was David Adjaye, son of a Ghanaian diplomat and the lead architect Philip Freehon, who died in 2009.  Founding Director Lonnie B. Bunch III is the visionary and driving force of the project.  During some of the many interviews he gave to the press and to a variety of audiences, including select ones like the Aspen institute, he explains the building process and his objective with a very contagious enthusiasm.

The NMAAHC is not intended to be a Holocaust museum, he explains . Its mission is to show the pain but also the joy and the creativity of African-Americans.  A daunting fund-raising goal of 450,000 million dollars had to be reached.

The three-tier effect of the construction incorporates elements from African culture, such as the Yoruban crowns from Nigeria.  Inside the building, high tech designs and the enormity of the space will make it possible to be versatile in organizing several exhibits simultaneously.

The collections had to be created from zero.  It required a treasure hunt into the attics, trunks and basements of the population.  To date 35,000 artifacts have been collected.  A segregated train from outside Chattanooga (TN) was lowered by crane and the museum built around it.  All traffic stopped on Constitution Ave. when an oversized truck delivered the control tower from a federal prison.

Artifacts showing the terrible fate of the slaves are very moving.  Such is an amulet created by the Lombi tribe in the form of a shackle.  More tragic still were the shackles for children.

But fun and the world of entertainment are also present in the displays , such as Louis Armstrong and his trumpet, Lena Horne or Marianne Andersen . The film archives will be essential to build up history, from Harriet Tubman to the human rights movements of the 1950s and 1960s.

According to Washington insiders , the opening of the new museum is the hottest event in a decade.  More than 150,000 special tickets have been distributed to dignitaries while long lines of visitors gather at the entrances of the building to purchase tickets for general admission after the opening.


Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series Begins Tonight With NYC-Based Architect Stephen Wanta

An apartment designed by Stephen Wanta.

An apartment designed by Stephen Wanta.

ESSEX — What do a former Vermont residence of a Phish band member, a 96-foot custom motor yacht, a loft inspired by the relationship between Judaic Mysticism and Quantum Mechanics, law offices using strategies similar to those of architect/artist Gordon Matta-Clark (with a bit of the “Terminator” thrown in) and a penthouse combination in “one of the 10 most haunted buildings in New York” have in common?

Stephen Wanta

Stephen Wanta

The answer is New York-based architect Stephen Wanta, who will begin the ninth year of the Library’s Architecture Lecture Series on Friday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. in The Cube at Centerbrook Architects, 67 Main St. in Centerbrook.

Among Wanta’s commercial projects are film and sound production facilities, restaurants, numerous private law offices, and showrooms and trade show exhibition booths for the home furnishings industry. The firm has also designed several museum stores, their pop-up locations and retail outlets.

Wanta has designed and executed well over 100 residential projects with budgets from less than $100,000 to over $5 million in New York City, with a number of others across the country and in Europe.  The firm is just completing its second long-range motor yacht project; built in Xiamen China and commissioned in Florida.

Wanta received his Bachelor of Architecture Degree from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1980 where he received the Reynolds Aluminum School Prize in 1979 and 1980 and The American Institute of Architects Certificate of Merit. He has worked at the offices of Machado & Silvetti, Rafael Vinoly Architects, and at Peter Marino Architect and Associates.

Wanta has taught and lectured at a number of schools, including Columbia University, the Rhode Island School of Design, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

This program is free and open to the public.

For more information or to register, call the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560.


Letter to the Editor: Needleman Unites People With Differing Opinions

To The Editor:

My support for Norm Needleman in his candidacy for the 33rd District State Senate seat is not surprising, since I am a member of the Essex Democratic Town Committee.  But the reasons for my support go deeper than just party affiliation.  Throughout  his decades of involvement in Essex town government, I have seen Norm successfully tackle difficult problems with a unique ability to unite people with differing opinions.  I, and virtually everyone I have talked to in state government, believe that Norm’s deep knowledge of small town  government and his ability to build consensus will immediately make him a leader in the state senate.  That position of leadership will directly benefit our district.  So, my support for Norm is not political.  Rather, it is a decision to restore influential representation for our district in the state senate.


Claire Tiernan,

Editor’s Note: The author is a member of Essex Democratic Town Committee.


Linares, Needleman to Debate Tonight at Lyme-Old Lyme HS in Hotly Contested 33rd State Senate Race

Essex First Selectman and Democratic candidate for the 33rd District, Norman Needleman

Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman (D)

State Senator Art Linares (R)

State Senator Art Linares (R)

AREAWIDE — The Day and the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut are hosting a debate from 7 to 8 p.m. this evening, Thursday, Sept. 22, between the candidates running for the 33rd State Senate District — incumbent Senator Art Linares (R) and Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman (D).

Needleman, who is in his third term as first selectman of Essex and was first elected as a Selectman in 2003, is challenging incumbent State Senator Art Linares, who is running for a third term.

Linares was first elected in 2012 to the 33rd State Senate District seat, which was held for two decades by the late former State Senator Eileen Daily of Westbrook. He won a second term in 2014, defeating Democrat Emily Bjornberg of Lyme on a 22,762-17,326 vote.

The 33rd State Senate District consists of the Town of Lyme along with the Towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Portland, Westbrook, and part of Old Saybrook.

Questions for the debate may be submitted in advance to p.choiniere@theday.com. To watch the debate, visit www.theday.com. It will be live streamed and available for viewing until the election. Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.


Family Fun Day at Face Arts Music, Saturday

TRI-TOWN — Make music together …

Tri-Town Youth Services and Face Arts Music in Deep River are teaming up to offer an exciting opportunity for 20 families on Saturday, Sept. 24from 1 to 3 p.m. at the music school.  Join the teachers at Face Arts Music for an introduction to different types of instruments, including piano, guitar and your own voice.  Learn to play some chords, get a drum beat going and have fun.  The afternoon will finish with a mini-concert.

This Family Fun Day is a free event, open to 20 elementary school students and their families.  Spaces fill quickly, so contact Tri-Town to reserve your spot.  Call 860-526-3600 or register online at tritownys.org.

Face Arts Music provides quality music instruction to students, keeping learning educational and fun.  Their passionate team of instructors offers drum, guitar, violin and piano lessons for beginner to advanced students, in addition to vocal lessons and specialized private instruction in blues guitar, classical guitar or folk violin lessons.  For a complete list of their offerings, visit faceartsmusic.com.

Tri-Town Youth Services supports and advances the families, youth and communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex.  They coordinate and provide resources needed to make positive choices, reduce substance abuse, and strengthen the relationships that matter most.  Discover more programs and information for families at www.tritownys.org.


Local DTC’s Invite Readers to ‘Meet the Candidates’ Today at Gelston House

Essex First Selectman and Democratic candidate for the 33rd District, Norman Needleman

Essex First Selectman and Democratic candidate for the 33rd District, Norman Needleman

US Senator Joe Courtney

US Senator Joe Courtney

AREAWIDE — The Democratic Town Committees of Lyme, Haddam and East Haddam are jointly sponsoring a “Meet the Candidates” event with Norm Needleman and Joe Courtney at the Gelston House in East Haddam on Monday, Sept. 19, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.  All are welcome.

Needleman (D) is challenging two-term incumbent Art Linares (R) for the position of 33rd District State Representative. Courtney is running for another term as US Representative for Connecticut’s Second Congressional District, a position he has held since 2007..

Light refreshments will be served.  A cash bar will be available.

A $10 donation is suggested.


Join Cappella Cantorum to Sing ‘Messiah’ in December

AREAWIDE — Celebrate the Holiday Season by singing the Christmas Section of Handel’s Messiah, plus Hallelujah and Worthy is the Lamb. Non-auditioned registration-rehearsal, Mon. Sept. 12, and 19, 7 p.m. at John Winthrop Middle School, 1 Winthrop Rd. Deep River, 06417. Use the rear entrance.

All singers are welcome to join Cappella Cantorum MasterWorks Chorus directed by Barry Asch. Be part of the opportunity to practice and perform Messiah, one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works.

Rehearsals are Mondays at 7:30 p.m. Registration $40, Messiah Score $9, pay at CappellaCantorum.org or at registration.

The concerts will be performed Dec. 3 and 4.

Cappella Cantorum will be joined by the choir of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, directed by Simon Holt.

Call 860-388-2871 for more information.

Auditions for Soloists will be held for Cappella Cantorum Members on Sept. 26, sign-up during registration.


Sen. Linares, Senate GOP Unveil Legislative Agenda: “A Confident Future”

Sen. Art Linares and the Connecticut Senate Republicans on Sep. 15 unveiled their policy agenda “A Confident Future” for the 2017 legislative session. From left to right: Sen. Henri Martin, Sen. Kevin Witkos, Sen. Len Fasano, and Sen. Linares. Details of the plan can be found at www.ctsenaterepublicans.com and www.SenatorLinares.com .

Sen. Art Linares and the Connecticut Senate Republicans on Sep. 15 unveiled their policy agenda “A Confident Future” for the 2017 legislative session. From left to right: Sen. Henri Martin, Sen. Kevin Witkos, Sen. Len Fasano, and Sen. Linares. Details of the plan can be found at www.ctsenaterepublicans.com and www.SenatorLinares.com .

AREAWIDE — On Sept. 15, Sen. Art Linares and the Connecticut Senate Republicans unveiled their policy agenda for the 2017 legislative session.

The plan “A Confident Future” presents multiple policy proposals aimed at moving Connecticut in a new direction to grow jobs, renew business confidence, build opportunity, and restore people’s trust in government.

The plan outlines the Republican priorities the caucus will pursue in the 2017 legislative session which begins in January.

“A Confident Future” identifies three main areas Republicans will focus their efforts:

1)      Creating Financial Stability and Predictability. A reliable state with business confidence is the best environment to grow jobs. By reforming the state’s spending and borrowing, Republicans plan to improve the state’s financial health to support a more predictable business environment so that job creators don’t have to worry about what new tax proposals could be awaiting them in bad budget years.

Republican budget proposals include properly funding transportation needs without tolls or new taxes like the mileage tax, reducing the size of state bureaucracy, and making long term structural changes to government. The Republican priorities also include specific tax relief proposals to reduce the burdens on individuals and job creators, such as property tax relief and phasing out taxation of pension income.

2)      Supporting Families and Growing Opportunity. Connecticut’s future depends on supporting our families and creating opportunities for all to succeed. The Republican plan includes policy proposals to strengthen Connecticut cities and help improve life for families in urban areas. It also includes reforms for the state’s child welfare agency, proposes restoring education funding that was cut in recent budgets, protects seniors and the developmentally disabled, and offers new ideas to improve health care and insurance quality and accessibility.

3)      Restoring Trust in Government. The Republican legislative agenda contains proposals to ensure that government operates efficiently and transparently and uses tax dollars as wisely as possible. Proposals include ideas to reduce DMV wait times, eliminate waste, live within our means, strengthen campaign financing laws, and create a more transparent budget writing process.

Sen. Linares represents Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, and Westbrook. He can be reached at 800 842-1421 and Art.Linares@cga.ct.gov .


Bring the Family to Watch Base Ball Played by 1857 Rules at Devitt Field, Sunday

 Keith “Double D” Dauer (left) and Manager Tom “Yukon” Miceli are all smiles following in the high-five line following a Chester Squirrels win in last year’s tri-town round-robin games.

Keith “Double D” Dauer (left) and Manager Tom “Yukon” Miceli are all smiles following in the high-five line following a Chester Squirrels win over the ICE Elelphants in last year’s tri-town round-robin games.

DEEP RIVER – “I see great things in baseball.  It’s our game—the American game.”   Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Just around the corner is your chance to see ‘the American game’ played by the rules of 1857, much the same as was seen by one of America’s finest poets.

On Sunday, Sept. 18 at 2 p.m., teams representing Chester (the “Chester Squirrels”), Deep River (“Deep River Haz Beenz”) and Essex (“ICE – Ivoryton, Centerbrook, Essex – Elephants”) will be meeting in a round-robin format at Devitt Field in Deep River.   There is no admission charge for this family event sponsored by the Chester, Deep River and Essex Historical Societies.

Once again, players will be wearing period shirts and caps and you can count on spotting a few ‘game day’ mustaches.  No gloves are allowed (the ball was somewhat softer then) and a striker (term for ‘batter’) was out if a fielder caught a ball on its first bounce under 1857 rules. Free programs will be provided at the game with team rosters, 1857 rules and terminology.

Old-time refreshments will be sold by Chester Rotary. Bring lawn chairs to supplement the limited seating at the field. The rain date will be Sept. 25.

So, using more terminology from the past, make a point to be a Crank (fan) at the Match (game) when the Club Nine (team) legs it (runs to a base) hoping to make Aces (runs) before Player Dead (an Out).

All in all it makes for a wonderful, educational and entertaining way for all ages to enjoy the great American Game as it was 150 years ago.  We think Walt Whitman would agree.


Renowned Blues/ Roots Duo to Perform Sunday at CT River Museum

Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons will perform at the Connecticut River Museum on Sept. 18.

Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons will perform at the Connecticut River Museum on Sept. 18.

ESSEX — On Sunday, Sept.18, at 4 p.m., the Connecticut River Museum will host roots musicians Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons for an afternoon concert on the Museum’s riverside lawn. In three short years, Ben and Joe have established themselves nationally as critically acclaimed roots musicians and award-winning acoustic blues songsters.

The duo are recent winners of the prestigious International Blues Challenge 2016 on Beale St. in Memphis TN. Rooted in their home of Seattle, Washington, they bring their unique integration of performance, folklore, and education with them to schools and communities nationwide.

Ben and Joe formed their blues duo in 2012 after performing together for two years with Renegade Stringband. The music they play is truly American inspired by early 20th-century American folk and African music.

Ben Hunter, born in the African nation of Lesotho, raised in Phoenix, Ariz., is a classically trained violinist who studied music around the world. Joe Seamons has shown a devotion to Northwest American folk music, receiving a Woody Guthrie Fellowship from the BMI Foundatio; he studied the banjo with Hobe Kytr.

Their music is one part of the Rhapsody Project, an integration of performance and teaching through public events and school workshops. Designed to bring together people across generational and cultural divides through music, Rhapsody is a Seattle-based community endeavor. “We want regular folks, especially the youth, to understand that America’s folk and blues music is not a relic, but a thriving tradition. It’s not only about the fantastical, deeply mysterious recordings that we can all hear now on records or online. Music is a playground for the imagination with no barriers to entry.”

Opening the show are local favorites Ramblin’ Dan Stevens and Clayton Allen who met Hunter and Seamons as fellow competitors at the Blues Challenge in Memphis. In a melding of diverse blues styles, Dan and Clayton have forged a unique sound, representing a wide variety of traditionally based fingerpicking with a tinge of primitive blues and early blues rock and roll. A dose of Diddly Bow and Cigar Box guitar backed with a driving rhythm and gospel influenced vocals infuse their style with an engaging rock bottom authenticity.

Stevens’ MusicNow Foundation, located in Old Lyme, was instrumental in bringing Hunter and Seamons to the area and is a co-beneficiary in the proceeds from the concert. The mission of MusicNow is to engage, enrich, and inspire young aspiring artists by providing performance opportunities, workshop programming and mentorships thereby nurturing creative and artistic growth and supporting the development of live music in our communities.

For more info on MusicNow, visit www.musicnowfoundation.org.

Concert-goers are invited to bring chairs or picnic blankets for festival-style seating on the Museum’s front lawn. Porky Pete’s Barbecue will be present serving grilled fare, and the Museum will offer a cash bar providing beer and wine.

In the advent of inclement weather, the show will take place in the Museum’s boat house.

Tickets for this event are $12, with a discount for Museum members. They can be bought at the gate or online at ctrivermuseum.org.


Letter to the Editor: No Better Choice for State Senator Than Needleman

To the Editor:
I am supporting Norm Needleman for State Senate in the 33rd district because I have seen his character firsthand. Actually, I wouldn’t be where I am today without Norm.
He hired me as a graphic designer for his company while I was attending college, and at a time when I could not afford my tuition, he was generous enough to pay it for me.
After graduating, I continued to work for his company, and the professional growth Norm fostered enabled me to achieve my current role as a design manager for Macy’s.
My experience with Norm is not unique, either. Simply put, Norm cares strongly about the well-being and development of everyone he meets. I cannot imagine a better choice for State Senator
Christopher Crowl,
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Tickets on Sale Now for Literacy Volunteers Sept. 29 Charity Event

A wine basket like this one will be part of Saturday's Grand Raffle.

A wine basket like this one will be part of Saturday’s Grand Raffle.

AREAWIDE — Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore’s Annual Wine and Brew Tasting and Auction Event is set for Thursday, Sept. 29, at 5:30 p.m. at the Saybrook Pavilion in Old Saybrook.  Sponsors and exciting auction items have been added to the lineup.

Sponsors for the event include Seaside Wine & Spirits of Old Saybrook with the Clark Group as this year’s presenting sponsor.

Tickets are $30 per person for an evening of great wines, beers and wonderful food.  Buy tickets or obtain more information by calling 860-399-0280 or go online to www.vsliteracy.org.


Valley Shore YMCA Offers Fitness Program for Those With Parkinson’s Disease, Starts Oct. 25

The Parkinson Disease program at the Valley Shore YMCA is led by Mary Charlton (left) and Ellen Nichele (right).

The Wellness Program for people with Parkinson’s Disease program at the Valley Shore YMCA is led by Mary Charlton (left) and Ellen Nichele (right).

AREAWIDE — The Valley Shore YMCA is now offering a wellness program specifically designed for people with Parkinson’s disease led by OhioHealth Delay the Disease-certified instructors Ellen Nichele and Mary Charlton.

Delay the Disease™ is an evidence-based fitness program designed to empower those living with Parkinson’s disease by optimizing their physical function, helping delay the progression of symptoms and improving their mental and emotional realities.

“We are so excited to be able to expand this exciting program across our community,” said Chris Pallatto, Executive Director. “One of the Y’s commitments to our community is to reduce the impact of chronic disease.  Delay the Disease is designed to provide the hope and inspiration people need so that the disease does not define them.”

Participants observe improvement in posture, balance, handwriting, mobility, speech volume and daily functional challenges.

“Our goal is to make the benefits of OhioHealth Delay the Diseases classes available to as many people with Parkinson’s disease as possible,” said Ellen Nichele. “You may have Parkinson’s disease, but it does not have you.”

Classes will be offered from 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning Oct. 25, at the Valley Shore YMCA. Individuals interested in Delay the Disease classes can contact Nichele at 860-399-9622 ext. 121 or enichele@vsymca.org.

For additional information, visit vsymca.org.


Essex DTC Hosts ‘Meet The Candidates’ Event Saturday, Open to All

The Essex Democratic Town Committee is hosting a Meet the Candidates event on Saturday,  Sept. 17.  The event will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. at Viney Hill Brook Park in Essex, near the town’s swimming area. The event is open to everyone regardless of age or political affiliation.  Free refreshments will be served. 

Come and meet community members and learn more about the candidates and the issues.

Democratic candidates running for office on Nov. 8  are:
Hillary Clinton: President
Richard Blumenthal: US Senate
Joe Courtney: US Congress
Norm Needleman: State Senate 33rd
Phil Miller: State Representative, 36th District

Directions:  Take Saybrook Rd. to Gates Rd., to Cedar Grove Terrace,  turn right on Hillside Dr. and follow road to the park entrance.


HOPE Partnership’s Night at the Theatre Tonight Features, ‘Man of La Mancha’

hope-partnership-logo_162x104ESSEX – HOPE Partnership’s Annual Night at the Theatre is fast approaching and the event is expected to be sold out. This year’s event at the historic Ivoryton Playhouse, takes place on Thursday, Sept. 15, and features one of the world’s most popular musicals, Man of La Mancha, starring Connecticut’s own David Pittsinger.

One of the world’s most popular musicals, Man of La Mancha, the “Impossible Dream” musical, is based on Cervantes’ masterpiece Don Quixote, and tells of the adventures of a mad, aging nobleman who embarrasses his respectable family by his adventures. At times both inspiring and thought provoking, the story is both very entertaining and moving, and will warm the heart of everyone whose spirits were ever raised by the prospect of a victory by the underdog against all the odds.

HOPE Partnership is a non-profit dedicated to educating, advocating and developing affordable workforce housing opportunities in Southern Middlesex County and the surrounding communities. The need for affordable housing for those who work in our community continues to be a challenge and HOPE looks for creative ways to meet this challenge.

HOPE is grateful for the support and sponsorship of:   Guilford Savings Bank & Liberty Bank, Shore Publishing, Bill & Mary Attridge, Tower Laboratories, The Clark Group, Connecticut Home Builders & Remodelers Association Charitable Foundation, Harding Development Group, First Niagara Foundation, Cloutier & Cassella LLC, Essex Savings Bank, David & Eunice Royston Family, Lorensen Enterprises, Thompson & Peck, St. Paul Lutheran Church, CT River Lumber, OSFD Charitable Fund, Common Sense EMS, Women’s Institute for Housing & Economic Development, Lenny & Joe’s, Londregan Real Estate, Saybrook Point Inn and Angelini Wines.

This year’s event will feature a pre-show cocktail party beginning at 6 p.m., sponsored by Guilford Savings Bank, with an abundance of hearty hors d’oeuvres on the theatre’s tented blue stone terrace. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. and dessert will be served during intermission and following the show.

For tickets ($80) or to donate to HOPE, visit www.hope-ct.org or call (860) 388-9513.


Lyme First Selectman Eno (R) Endorses Needleman (D) for State Senate

Lyme First Selectman Ralph Eno (left) today endorsed Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman for State Senator.

Lyme First Selectman Ralph Eno (left) today endorsed Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman for State Senator.

LYME – Today, Lyme Republican First Selectman Ralph Eno endorsed Democratic State Senate Candidate Norm Needleman.

“Although I generally try to avoid all things political, given the state of affairs at the state level, I’ve decided to be more public in terms of of the upcoming state senate race,” said Eno. “Norm has my unequivocal support.”

Eno, a Republican, has served as the first selectman of Lyme since 2007 and, with a brief interlude, for 10 years prior to that.

“Norm has the chief elected official experience at the town level that is crucial to being an effective representative,” Eno continued. “We need more small to mid-level town CEOs in the legislature to stand up to laws in Hartford that have terrible unintended consequences for our towns. His work in the public sector paired with his experience as a tried and true business person gives him a leg up to make sure we have the best possible representation given our state’s budget problems.”

“I am endorsing Norm, who is far and away the most qualified candidate for State Senate,” said Eno. “I know him as a man that is collaborative instead of adversarial. He will not be tethered to his political party. He will work on both sides of the aisle and be a team player. And he will be honest with you even when you disagree.”

Norm Needleman is the founder and CEO of Tower Laboratories, a manufacturing business. As CEO, he has built the business over the past 37 years to become a leader in its segment, employing 150 people at facilities in Essex and Clinton.

“Ralph has been a great example for me on how to run a small town,” said Norm Needleman. “He’s hands on, hard-working, honest, and always involved. He knows what it takes to run a municipality. It means a tremendous amount to me to receive this endorsement from a man I have viewed as a mentor in so many ways.”

Needleman is in his third term as first selectman of Essex and was first elected as a Selectman in 2003.

“This district has 12 towns with a lot in common and Ralph and I share a common perspective,” continued Needleman. “We both understand the perspective of small towns, the importance of home rule, and that we need fewer mandates and rules from Hartford.”

Needleman is challenging incumbent State Senator Art Linares, who is running for a third term and like Eno, is a Republican. Linares was first elected in 2012 to the 33rd State Senate District seat, which was held for two decades by the late former State Senator Eileen Daily of Westbrook. He won a second term in 2014, defeating Democrat Emily Bjornberg of Lyme on a 22,762-17,326 vote.

The 33rd State Senate District consists of the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Portland, Westbrook, and part of Old Saybrook.

Click here for audio of the event: http://norm.vote/eno.mp3.

Click here for photos of the event: http://bit.ly/2bZWKDT.


Chester Rotary Hosts 46th Annual Lobster Festival Tomorrow

twinlobsterCHESTER — The Rotary Club of Chester holds its 46th Annual Lobster Festival at the Chester Fairgrounds tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 10.

Tickets are available at LARK, Chester Package Store, Chrisholm Marina and Chester Bottle Shop, at the Sunday Market, from any Chester Rotarian and on-line at  http://chesterlobsterfestival.com and  http://www.ChesterRotary.org

Join friends and family for a memorable evening of great food, good fun and live music.


Deep River FD Hosts Antique Automobile Extravaganza & Flea Market, Sunday

See a great variety of antique cars at Sunday's event.

See a great variety of antique cars at Sunday’s event.

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Fire Department will be holding its 3rd annual Antique Automobile Extravaganza and Flea Market, Sunday, Sept. 11, at Devitt’s Field in Deep River. The show will run from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The Automotive Extravaganza will feature cars, fire trucks, bikes and tractors. Categories start with pre-1920 and encompass increments of every ten years, per class, up to 2016. People’s choice awards in each category, as well as the Atwood Auto Award for “Best in Show”.

This wonderful old automobile was on show at last year's event.

This wonderful old automobile was on show at last year’s event.

Admission is $5 at the gate and $10 per vehicle. Food and drinks will be available at the field

Proceeds benefit Deep River Fire Department related projects.

Come out and support the Deep River Volunteer Fire Department’s fund raiser and enjoy the remarkable automotive history, kept alive by people who exhibit their beautiful automotive artifacts.


Essex Winter Series Launches 40th Year with Gala Celebration, Sept. 17

The Argus Quartet

The Argus Quartet

ESSEX, CT – Essex Winter Series will celebrate 40 years of quality artistic presentations with a special Fenton Brown Emerging Artists Concerts, Plus! benefit event on Saturday, Sept. 17, at a private home in Essex. Proceeds from the event will support the Emerging Artists fund and community outreach programming.

Artistic Director Mihae Lee has planned a beautiful program at which she will perform on piano and will be joined by Series favorite, William Purvis (horn), as well as upcoming artists the Argus Quartet (strings), Aaron Plourde (trumpet), and Matthew Russo (trombone). Selections to be performed include Haydn’s String Quartet in C Major, op. 74 no. 1; Fauré’s Pavane for horn and piano, op. 50; and three renaissance pieces for brass trio.

Through this fall fundraiser, grants, and individual contributions, Essex Winter Series is able to sustain its community outreach programming in which emerging artists perform for area schools and senior residences, and present a master class. Tickets for the Sept. 17 benefit and reception are $150 per person and may be purchased by calling the Essex Winter Series office at 860-272-4572.

Bringing world-class classical and jazz music to the shoreline area was the dream of the founders of the Essex Winter Series.  The late Fenton Brown became involved early on and devoted many years to expanding the series, and ultimately recruited pianist Mihae Lee to become Artistic Director.

The “Fenton Brown Emerging Artists Concert” series was begun to honor Brown’s commitment to promoting the careers of young artists.  Each year, the Essex Winter Series presents a series of concert performances by top-rated musicians from around the world – with each season including a mix of such performances as chamber music, instrumental soloists, opera singers, symphony and chamber orchestras, and jazz bands.

For additional information about the Sept. 17 benefit or the 2017 concert season, call 860-272-4572 or visit www.essexwinterseries.com.


World Renowned Horse Whisperer, Animal Communicator at East Haddam This Weekend

Anna Twinney with her own rescue, Aria, at her home in Elizabeth, Colo.

Anna Twinney with her own rescue, Aria, at her home in Elizabeth, Colo.

EAST HADDAM — Everyone talks to their dog. Those of us with pets, have had casual “conversations” with our furry, feathered, or even finned friends. It’s human nature to chat. We’ve likely bent Rover’s ear too long over trivial irritations that happened at work or lamenting the tedious commute home. Our pets have long been victims of our mindless self-talk and keepers of our deepest secrets.

But what if you could have a real conversation with your animal companion?  What if you knew what they were really thinking or saying …

World renowned animal communicator and horse whisperer, Anna Twinney would say, “The only thing stopping you is your own beliefs of what is truly possible. You absolutely can know.”

On Sept. 9-11, Twinney will lead a group of animal lovers at Ray of Light Farm in East Haddam on a journey to tap into their inherent abilities. Animal Communication is not supernatural, but a natural way of communicating with animals and even people.  Animals communicate telepathically with one another all the time — we just need to reawaken those intuitive senses to explore this extraordinary skill.

Twinney is sought out all over the world by concerned pet and horse owners hoping to find answers to behavioral issues, health problems and other mysteries.

Her own journey into animal communication began over two decades ago.  Having unlocked this missing piece of the puzzle, Twinney knew that she had to share her knowledge. Now known the world over for her exceptional abilities, specific, verifiable methods and extensive knowledge of horses, Twinney often found animal communication techniques helpful during her work with horses as well.

“The language of the horses, called Equus, is almost completely non-verbal. While horses have the ability to vocalize and they do use it … the nuances of their language is in the subtitles only seen by those fluent in the language,” Twinney explains.

The “Evening of Animal Communication” workshop is truly a step through the wardrobe into a world that most people only dream of.

To learn more about Animal Communication, Twinney and the event at Ray of Light Farms, visit ReachOuttoHorses.com or to learn more about Ray of Light Farms and the rescue efforts there, visit www.RayofLightFarms.org.

A portion of the proceeds from Twinney’s workshops will be earmarked to support the ongoing horse rescue and rehabilitation at Ray of Light.

Anna Twinney with her own rescue, Aria, at her home in Elizabeth, Colorado

Bushnell Farm Offers ‘Election Day Cake,’ Cider, Harvest Activities at Free Event, Nov. 5

Bushnell Farm has an authentic 17th century house where visitors can catch a glimpse of busy seasonal life on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 11am-4pm at Harvest Home, a free, family event. Photo by Jody Dole

Bushnell Farm has an authentic 17th century house where visitors can catch a glimpse of busy seasonal life on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 11am-4pm at Harvest Home, a free, family event. Photo by Jody Dole

Bushnell Farm, the 22 acre, 17th century site in Old Saybrook will be open on Nov. 5, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. with autumn activities that reflect the seasonal rhythm of daily life at this Valley-Shore farmstead. The event at 1445 Boston Post Rd. is free and open to the public with on-site parking. 

To celebrate the end of this campaign year, there will be Election Day cake in the oven of the 1678 farm house and demonstrators will be pressing apples for cider outside. Visitors can hear about the vast differences between Connecticut elections in colonial times and today.

The Bushnell family would be busy processing their apples, corn, vegetables and butchered beef into stores that could be preserved for the winter, so there will be several examples of food preservation taking place. The weaver in the Loom House will be working as will the blacksmith in the Forge.

Visitors can take a wagon ride around the Farm and stop near the Grove that is home to an Indian wigwam and there will be opportunities to compare and contrast their fall preparations with those of their English neighbors. 

Bushnell Farm is owned by Herb and Sherry Clark of Essex and is open to the public for seasonal events. The site is used for school programs, Scout campouts and for the Connecticut River Museum’s Summer Camp.

For further information, call the Curator at (860) 767-0674.


Essex Library Hosts Presentation on “Black Holes,” Nov. 5

Professor Dr. Nikodem Poplawski

Professor Dr. Nikodem Poplawski

ESSEX — On Saturday, Nov. 5, at 1:30 p.m. the Essex Library will welcome University of New Haven’s Theoretical Physicist, who will present “Black holes and the origin of the Universe.”

Black holes are regions of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape because gravity is too strong. They form from the most massive stars or at the centers of galaxies. When the contracting matter in a black hole reaches extremely high densities, the quantum mechanical property of elementary particles called spin turns gravitational attraction into repulsion (torsion). The matter stops collapsing, undergoes a bounce like a compressed spring, and starts rapidly expanding. 

Extremely strong gravitational forces at the bounce cause an intense particle production, increasing the mass inside a black hole by many orders of magnitude. The region on the other side of the black hole’s event horizon becomes a new, growing universe. Accordingly, our own Universe may be the interior of a black hole existing in another universe, with the Big Bang being replaced by a Big Bounce.

Forbes Magazine has called Dr. Poplawski a potential future Einstein for his theory that every black hole is a doorway to another universe, one of the top 10 discoveries of 2010. Dr. Poplawski has appeared on television’s Discovery Channel and Science Channel.

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


Chester Garden Club Hosts 18th Annual Tea, Nov. 5

CHESTER — The Chester Garden Club’s 18th Annual Tea will be held on Saturday Nov. 5, at 2 p.m. at the United Church of Chester, 29 West Main Street, Chester.  Come for an afternoon of musical entertainment as the Valley Shore a Cappella, a Chapter of Sweet Adelines International, from Middletown, CT will entertain with songs from romance to rock and roll, show tunes and patriotic melodies, all are sung in the barbershop style, four- part a cappella harmony.

The tea menu will include savory sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, as well as an assortment of delectable desserts that will be served by members. 

Proceeds from this event support the Garden Club’s civic and education efforts in the local area. Tickets are $25 and seating is limited to 100 guests. To make reservations, send name, address, telephone number with ticket requests, payment and a stamped, self-addressed return envelope to the Chester Garden Club, P.O. Box 415, Chester, CT 06412.

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


Chester/Deep River Boy Scout Troop 13 Announces Five New Eagle Scouts

Chester/Deep River Boy Scout Troop 13 presents five new Eagle Scouts: from left to right are Andrew Myslik, Jacob Beauliu, Adam Dalterio, Benjamin Toles and  Alexander Maxwell VI.  Photo by Alexander Toles.

Gathered for a photo are Chester/Deep River Boy Scout Troop 13’s five newest Eagle Scouts. From left to right are Andrew Myslik, Jacob Beauliu, Adam Dalterio, Benjamin Toles and Alexander Maxwell VI. Photo by Alexander Toles.

CHESTER/DEEP RIVER — Troop 13 – Boy Scouts of America would like to congratulate five Chester residents on earning the rank of Eagle Scout. These five young men have been in scouting together since elementary school as Cub Scouts in Pack 13.

The Eagle Scouts completed projects at Camp Hazen YMCA, recreation and historic locations in the town of Chester.  All the work completed benefits the visitors, school groups and residents of Chester as they enjoy these areas around town.

To become an Eagle Scout, a Boy Scout must earned 21 merit badges and advance through the seven scout ranks by learning Scout and Life skills while simultaneously providing leadership to his Troop and service to his community.

One of the final requirements for the Eagle Rank is to show leadership in and complete a service project that benefits the Scout’s community, school, or religious institution; all of this work must be completed prior to the young man’s eighteenth birthday.

Benjamin James Toles’ Eagle Scout Service Project involved developing and implementing a plan to demo eleven sets of non-complaint aged wooden stairways and replace with new treated wood, code compliant steps, platform and railings on cabins in and around the Sachem Village portion on the grounds of Camp Hazen YMCA. The completed project improved the safety of the venue while maintaining its rustic appearance. Ben was awarded the rank at this Eagle Scout Court of Honor Ceremony on March 20, 2016.  Ben will attend University of Rhode Island this fall.

Andrew James Myslik’s Eagle Scout Service Project involved developing and implementing a plan to improve the deteriorating border of the Chester Burial Grounds fronting on North Main Street. Specifically, the project involved the removal of an old wire fence, stumps and debris and replaced it with one hundred and eighty feet of painted picket fence and posts and included the installation of a recycled historic iron gate. The completed project presents the site in a more historically correct, respectful appearance.

Andrew was awarded the rank at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor Ceremony on June 5.  Andrew will attend George Washington University in Washington, DC this fall.

Adam Gerard Dalterio’s Eagle Scout Service Project was to replace three aging benches with two new hand built oversized Adirondack benches and a hand build eight-foot tall giant chair embossed with Camp Hazen signage complete with newly restored landscaping features on the grounds of Camp Hazen YMCA.

Adam was awarded the rank at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor Ceremony on Aug. 14.  Adam will attend Vermont Technical College this fall.

Jacob Louis Beaulieu’s Eagle Scout Service Project involved developing and implementing a plan which included the construction of a new tether ball court, the installation of two reinforced poured concrete access ramps serving site sheds, the stripping and resurfacing of stationary pedestal cooking grills and edging and grading of various sections of the site that make up the Robert H. Pelletier Park on the shores of Cedar Lake.

Jacob was awarded the rank at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor Ceremony on Aug. 14.  Jacob will attend Middlesex Community College this fall.

Alexander Maxwell, VI‘s Eagle Scout Service Project involved developing and implementing a restoration plan to remove all the decking, railing, seating and a gateway to be replaced with new treated lumber complimented with decorative end post caps on the Chester Creek Scenic Overlook near its confluence with the Connecticut River. The completed project improved the safety and usability of the overlook while maintaining its rustic appearance.

Alex was awarded the rank at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor Ceremony on August 14.  Alex will attend University of Rhode Island this fall.

We at ValleyNewsNow.com send hearty congratulations to these five, fine young men on this great achievement!

Troop 13 Boy Scouts serves the boys ages 11-18 of Chester and Deep River. The purpose of the Boy Scouts of America is to help young men develop their character and life skills all while having fun. There is much emphasis placed on assisting these young men to develop into strong healthy citizens who will lead our communities and country in the years ahead.

The Boy Scout methods help to promote these ideals through the challenge of putting them into practice with the Troop Program. This is done in a way that is both challenging and fun.

To learn more information about joining Troop 13, contact Scoutmaster, Steven Merola at 860-526-9262


Public Hearings on Proposed Shoreline East, Metro North Fare Hikes Held in Old Saybrook

Shoreline_East_logoMTA logoAREAWIDE — The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CT DOT) is proposing to increase public transit fares for the New Haven Line (Metro North) and Shore Line East rail services.  For example, the proposed one-way fare on Shoreline East from Old Saybrook to New Haven would rise on Dec. 1, 2016, from $6.75 to $7.25.  Similarly, the proposed one-way peak fare on Metro North from New Haven to Grand Central would rise from $22.00 to $23.50 and off-peak from $16.50 to $17.50.

The Department will be holding public hearings to receive comments on the proposed fare changes. Those nearest to Chester, Deep River and Essex, will be on Thursday,  Sept. 1, at Old Saybrook Town Hall, 302 Main St., Old Saybrook from 4 to 6 p.m. and then later on the same evening from 7 to 9 p.m.

The CT DOT is also planning to increase fares for CTtransit and CTfastrak local and express bus services, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit services with effect from Dec. 4, 2016, and to amend the tariffs for bus services to allow for the implementation of a new account-based smart card fare payment system (effective on or after Dec. 1, 2016).

Some other notable proposed increases include:

Old Saybrook to New Haven, ten-trip: $60.75 to $65.25
Old Saybrook to New Haven, monthly: $142.00 to $152.25
Westbrook to New Haven, one-way: $6.25 to $6.50
Westbrook to New Haven, ten-trip: $56.25 to $58.50
Westbrook to New Haven, monthly: $129.00 to $136.50
New Haven to Grand Central, weekly: $149.50 to $158.50
New Haven to Grand Central, monthly: $467.00 to $495.00

To see the proposed increases for Shoreline East fares, click here.
To see the proposed increases for Metro-North New Haven line fares to and from Grand Central Station, click here.
To see the proposed increases for Metro-North New Haven line fares to and from intermediate stations, click here.
To see the proposed increases for CTtransit and CTfastrak fares, click here.

In the event that you are unable to appear in person, you are encouraged to email comments to the DOT at dot.farecomments@ct.gov or through the DOT’s website.

Comments may also be mailed to:
Comment on Fare Changes
Bureau of Public Transportation
2800 Berlin Turnpike
P.O. Box 317546
Newington, CT 06131-7546

The comment period closes Sept. 15, 2016.

In the event you cannot make the public hearing in Old Saybrook and would like to testify in person, see the additional dates and locations below for future public hearings.

Wednesday, Sept. 7
4 pm – 7 pm
Hartford Public Library
500 Main Street

Tuesday, Sept. 13
11 am – 2 pm
Meriden Town Hall
City Council Chamber
142 East Main Street

Tuesday, Sept. 13
4 pm – 7 pm
Silas Bronson Library
267 Grand Street

Wednesday, Sept. 14
4 pm – 6 pm and 7 pm – 9 pm
UConn Stamford Campus Auditorium
One University Place

Thursday, Sept. 15
4 pm – 6 pm and 7 pm – 9 pm
New Haven
New Haven Hall of Records, Room G-2
200 Orange Street

State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) also invites readers to raise any questions or comments directly with him at devin.carney@housegop.ct.gov or (800) 842-1423.


FRA to Host Public Meeting Today in Old Lyme on Proposed Rail Route; Submit Questions, Comments in Advance

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is planning to host a meeting in Old Lyme regarding the proposed high-speed rail route next Wednesday, Aug. 31, at 4:30 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School auditorium, 69 Lyme St., Old Lyme, CT.  It will last about 1.5 to 2 hours, and the FRA will give a short presentation to clarify the process and address misstatements.

Then the FRA representatives will have a roundtable discussion about the NEC Futures Draft EIS with local and state leaders. The meeting will be open to the public in an effort to allow residents and businesses to hear the discussion.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, along with local selectmen and elected officials, have been invited to the meeting.  Congressman Joe Courtney is able to attend until 5 p.m. and CT Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker will be there for the entire meeting.

The Town of Old Lyme requests that comments and questions be submitted to selectmansoffice@oldlyme-ct.gov prior to the meeting so that they may be addressed at the roundtable discussion.  It will also be possible to submit questions at the meeting for discussion by the participants.

Reemsnyder recommends arriving early since the meeting will begin promptly at 4:30 p.m.


Senator Chris Murphy Hosts Town Hall Discussion This Afternoon in Chester

CHESTER — Congress heads back into session next month, and Senator Chris Murphy wants to know what’s on your mind …

Join him this afternoon, Tuesday, Aug. 30, at 4:30 p.m. at the Chester Meeting House to talk about issues you care about and ask him your questions. This event is open to the public, so invite your friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors.

Questions and RSVPs can be directed to Emily Boushee at Emily_boushee@murphy.senate.gov


Ivoryton Congregational Church Hosts Special Service, Oct. 30

The Ivoryton Congregational Church at 57 Main St. will hold a special worship service in celebration of Desmond Tutu on Sunday, Oct. 9, at 10 a.m.

The pastor is Rev. John Van Epps.   All are welcome.

On Sunday, Oct. 30, the Ivoryton Congregational Church will hold a special worship service reflecting on the Protestant Reformed Spirituality of Martin Luther and John Calvin.  It is Reformation Sunday.  All are welcome.   The pastor of the church is Rev. John Van Epps.

For more information on either service, call the church office at 860-767-1004.


Kate’s Camp for Kids Presents “Toys,” Starting Oct. 29

OLD SAYBROOK — The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and Community Music School are partnering again under the umbrella of their performing arts summer camp, “Kate’s Camp for Kids,” to present a winter program and show entitled “Toys!”

This exciting program takes place at The Kate, 300 Main Street in Old Saybrook, and runs for six weekly sessions on Wednesday evenings from 4 to 5 p.m. beginning Oct. 26.  Launched in 2013, Kate’s Camp for Kids is a performing arts camp for children in grades K-5 incorporating music, dance, theater, and visual art.

Directed by Martha Herrle, a 15-year member of the Community Music School faculty and certified Kindermusik educator, this year’s camp theme will be “Toys!”  Students will be acting out the personalities of their favorite toys, all the while discovering that “Christmas dreams, large or small, can come true, for one and all.”

Featuring five original songs and easy-to-learn rhyming dialog, the program culminates in a lively performance for friends and family! Tuition for this camp is $125 and scholarships are available for families with a financial need.

For additional information and to register, visit www.community-music-school.org or call 860-767-0026.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 30 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.  Learn more at visitwww.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.


September is ‘Fine Forgiveness Month’ at Deep River Public Library

DEEP RIVER — September is ‘Fine Forgiveness Month’ at the Deep River Public Library. Bring in a canned or non-perishable item to donate to the Tri-Town Food Pantry and the library will erase your fines. This program is valid only through the month of September.

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


CT River Museum Seeks Volunteer Actors for Halloween Production; Auditions, Sept. 7 & 12

ESSEX — The Connecticut River Museum is looking for a variety of volunteer actors to help launch a Halloween production on myths and legends of the Connecticut River Valley.  Auditions will take place on Sept. 7 and 12 between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. 

Available parts are for adults and children and include short seven-minute scenes and theatrical tour guides.  No prior acting experience is necessary.  Rehearsals will be held on Wednesday nights and run from Sept. 21 through Oct. 19 with a dress rehearsal and evening performances at the end of October.

For more information and to arrange an audition, call the Connecticut River Museum at 860-767-8269 x121 or visit it online at www.ctrivermuseum.org.   

The Connecticut River Museum is located in Essex, CT and is the only museum dedicated to the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its Valley.  The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open Tuesday – Sunday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. 


Master Clarinetist Teaches Technique Intensive at CMS, Oct. 29

Clarinetist Ken Lagace will lead a full day of workshops, Oct. 29.

Clarinetist Ken Lagace will lead a full day of workshops, Oct. 29.

CENTERBROOK – Community Music School (CMS) presents master clarinetist Ken Lagace, who will lead a full day of workshops on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., focusing on intermediate/advanced level clarinet technique on a wide range of topics.  The intensive will be hosted on CMS’s main campus in Centerbrook and will cost $95, with lunch included.  Call the Business Office at 860-767-0026 to register.

The morning session will include in-depth information on clarinet reeds, including how to select them, maintain them, fix them, properly play them, and even how to make them! The afternoon session will provide an introduction to Ken’s signature REALM method, which stands for Reed, Embouchure, Air, Ligature, and Mouthpiece.  This method teaches players to achieve an excellent sound with flexibility, range, control, and many other aspects of good clarinet performance.

Each session will be followed by a chance for the participants to experiment with their newly learned skills. During the final session, participants will be broken into two or more groups where they can apply their new techniques in a chamber ensemble setting, with feedback from Ken and other clarinet instructors.

Lagace received his Bachelor of Music degree at Hartt College of Music (CT) in 1960.  He studied with Keith Wilson at Yale in 1955, Bernard Portnoy in New York City from 1958 to 1960.  He served as a member of the US Coast Guard Band and studied with Kalmen Opperman in New York City from 1962 to 1966. He instructed at the Hartt College of Music (CT) from 1966 to 1987.

Under the tutelage of Kalmen Opperman, Lagace learned to make his own reeds and reface clarinet and saxophone mouthpieces which has become a skill he willingly shares with his peers.

He was a member of the Hartford (CT) Symphony Orchestra from 1966 to 1987 playing Assistant Principal Clarinet, Bass Clarinet and Eb Clarinet. He was Principal Clarinetist in the Hartford (CT) Chamber Orchestra from its inception until 1987.

His performances include many on TV and Radio, and at Lincoln Center (NYC) and Carnegie Hall (NYC) with the Hartford Symphony.  He also made a CD recording of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Hartford (CT) Chamber Orchestra in 1976.

In 1987 Lagace abandoned the clarinet to program computers and in 2008 after retiring, dusted off the clarinet and is enjoying being back in the clarinet world again.

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. School programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.

Learn more st www.community-music-school.org or call (860) 767-0026.



Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series Hosts Seattle Architect Tom Bosworth, Oct. 28

An example of Tom Bosworth's architecture.

An example of Tom Bosworth’s architecture.

ESSEX — The Essex Library is honored to welcome Seattle architect, Tom Bosworth, FAIA, on Friday, Oct. 28at 7 p.m. as part of its Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series, which is in its ninth year. Bosworth, a gifted educator, architect, and speaker, will talk about designing his award-winning, unique homes. 

After graduating from Yale and working with Eero Saarinen in the 1960s, he moved to the Seattle area to teach at the University of Washington and opened a practice designing houses.  Over the following decades he became one of the most influential architects in the Pacific Northwest, whose designs reflect a sense of place and emphasize the use of natural light and the relationship of the building to the landscape. 

The spirit of his house designs is illustrated in his 2006 book ‘Building with Light in the Pacific Northwest’. 

The lecture is free and open to all. It will be held in ‘The Cube’ at Centerbrook Architects, 67 Main St. in Centerbrook. 

For more information or to register, call the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560.


Chester Artists Donate Works to Chester Library Raffles

"September Light" by Deborah Quinn-Munson

“September Light” by Deborah Quinn-Munson


Chester is a town of many creative people who are generous with their talents.

The annual Chester Artists for the Chester Library Raffle has been the grateful beneficiary of those creative talents for the past few years.

This year there are actually three 2016 Chester Artists for the Chester Library Raffles – one for a painting by Deborah Quinn-Munson, another for a butcherblock cutting board handcrafted by Stephen Bradley of Pondside Kitchens, and the third for a blanket, made by the Kid Knitters of the Chester Library. Raffle tickets are just $2.00 each.

Deborah Quinn Munson donated her pastel painting, “September Light,” to the raffle. The painting, 12” x 18”, framed and under museum glass, depicts the Connecticut River. Deborah says, “I am lucky to be on the river occasionally and never tire of creating paintings inspired by those beautiful colors, reflections and skies.”

She adds, “When I paint, I am interested in bold color, energetic line, and strong composition to convey a powerful image filled with atmosphere and light. I enjoy the contrast between the spirited execution of a painting and the serenity and peacefulness of the scene. Clear brush and pastel strokes have become an important aspect of my work and bring vitality and movement to the painting.” Deborah is an elected Signature Member of The Pastel Society of America, Connecticut Pastel Society and the Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod. Her work is in many private and corporate collections throughout the country.

Butcherblock Cutting Board by Pondside Kitchens

Butcherblock Cutting Board by Pondside Kitchens

Stephen Bradley is a kitchen designer and owner of Pondside Kitchens & Hearth on Water Street in Chester. He also loves to create cutting boards in his woodworking shop. He explains, “I like to focus on boards that are functional rather than just decorative. The board for the library is made from side-grain Maple, Cherry and Black Walnut. These are all food-safe native hardwoods. The finish is food-safe as it is polished with Carnauba Wax, a very hard and water-resistant finish. It is a wax made from the leaves of the palm Copernicia prunifera, a plant native to and grown only in the northeastern Brazilian states of Piauí, Ceará and Rio Grande do Norte.” His Butcherblock Cutting Board for the library is 10″ x 16″ x 1-1/2″.

Knitted Squares Blanket by Chester Kid Knitters

Knitted Squares Blanket by Chester Kid Knitters

The third raffle item is the Knitted Squares Blanket, created by the Kid Knitters who meet on Saturday mornings at the library under the guidance of experienced needle worker Anne Winslow. Reminiscent of the Gees Bend quilts, this charming lap warmer is a medley of stitches, yarns, and colors and measures 33” x 57”.

Kim Stack, parent organizer of the knitters, says, “The nature of the randomness is what makes this a unique piece. The colors chosen for the squares were personal decisions for the kids who knitted them. The textures of the yarns represent the journey each knitter took when sampling how the yarn felt to the touch, how it felt while working with it on the knitting needles, and how it looked as a finished piece. Out of their exploration of yarns, and the satisfaction of beginning and ending a knitted piece quickly (hence ‘squares’), came this one-of-a-kind blanket made of various shapes, textures and colors. The Chester Kids Knitters, ranging from preschool to sixth grade, are immensely proud of their individual efforts coming together to form this collaborative piece.”

The Chester Library is proud of the knitters as well, for their Knitted Squares Blanket won a blue ribbon at the Chester Fair in August.

All three items can be seen at the library. Tickets are just $2.00 each. If you’d like to buy a ticket and cannot get to Chester, please write: Friends of Chester Public Library, 21 West Main St, Chester, CT 06412, and enclose your check or cash for tickets, along with a stamped self-addressed envelope and your phone number. The winning tickets will be drawn at the library on Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 11. Winners need not be present to win.

All proceeds from the raffles go directly to Chester Library needs not covered by tax dollars, such as movies, museum passes, programs, and special purchases such as comfortable reading chairs.


Latest Beautification Phase of Bushnell St. Access Point Now Complete

View of the tree plantings.

View of the tree plantings at Bushnell Street Access Point.

ESSEX — The Essex Harbor Management Commission recently completed its latest phase for the beautification of the Bushnell Street Access Point.  The current project removed an older, overgrown hedge row and replaced it with Arborvitae plantings. The old hedge proved to be problematic aesthetically and hindered keeping the area properly manicured.

The Commission wishes to thank the Town’s Tree Warden Augie Pampel, the Town’s Maintenance Department, and Acer Gardens for their assistance.

Over the past five years, the Commission has managed numerous improvements to the Bushnell Street Access Point, including the removal of older, diseased trees, strategic plantings to provide added privacy for its neighbors, the removal of abandoned small boats, an observation deck, and storage racks for the highly successful Small Vessel Storage Program.

These improvements have been made possible through Grants and Permits Fees from the Small Vessel Storage Program.

The Bushnell Street facility has become a popular launching area for kayakers and canoeists who utilize the protected waters of North Cove.  The Access Point is available for all to use and provides ample parking.


‘Ghost Hunters’ Dustin Pari to Visit Deep River Public Library, Oct. 28

DEEP RIVER — Get into the Halloween spirit with this exciting Deep River Library event!
Dustin Pari visits the Deep River Public Library for a spine tingling lecture on the paranormal on Friday, Oct. 28, at 6:30 p.m.
Pari’s experience with the supernatural includes stints on ‘Ghost Hunters’, extensive world travel researching the field, as well as being an active member of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) for more than 10 years. Pari has also penned several books on his ghostly adventures, which will be available for purchase.
Known as the Paranormal Rockstar, Pari will give a 90-minute lecture paired with audio visual material and allow plenty of time for attendees to ask questions about his encounters with the paranormal.
For more information on Pari, visit his website at http://www.paranormalrockstar.com/  or follow him on Twitter @Dustin Pari.
This program is free and open to all; no registration required.

CT River Museum Offers ‘Haunted River: Ghostly Tales’ Production, Oct. 28 & 29

The Haunted River cast rehearses scene 5 at the Connecticut River Museum. Photo by Jeffrey Farrell.

The Haunted River cast rehearses scene 5 at the Connecticut River Museum. Photo by Jeffrey Farrell.

ESSEX — Don’t be scared…too much!  Phantoms, Captain Kidd, and unexplainable phenomena are just a few of the things lurking in the shadows at the Connecticut River Museum (CRM) this October.

Haunted River is a theatrical production that will take place over two nights on Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016.  Exploring the history and folklore of the Connecticut River Valley, the pilot production will incorporate nearly two years of folklore research.  This research was conducted by Museum staff and resident folklorist Dr. Stephen Olbrys Gencarella of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst as part of the Connecticut River Myths and Legends Project.

As Dr. Gencarella wrote, the “Valley has been a location for storytelling and the source of myths and legends since the first people arrived.”  These stories are often told to entertain, educate, and create a common identity for people.  Sometimes they have involved the macabre, such as grisly murders or accidents like the 1833 explosion of the steamer New England which took place in Essex harbor.  Other times, they help to explain the unexplainable such as the weird rumblings under Moodus, diseases like tuberculosis that were blamed on vampires, or mysterious objects in the River that became sea serpents.

The progressive five-scene, 50-minute tour will depart from the Museum’s Lay House property every 20 minutes between the hours of 6 and 8:40 p.m. on Oct. 28 and 29.  A ‘River Spirit’ will be called upon to guide visitors safely from scene to scene while they share their own dark and mysterious tale. 

A highlight of the tour will be a special shadow puppet show designed and performed by New London’s Flock Theatre.  While the story is not being divulged, the Museum’s executive director Christopher Dobbs stated that “Flock Theatre are masters of puppetry.  The mystery and ambiguity of many Valley legends lend themselves to this shadowy art form.”

The Connecticut River Myths and Legends Project has been made possible through the generous support of the Connecticut Humanities.  It is the first time that the entire Valley’s folklore has been strategically collected and documented.  Much of the research will appear in an exhibit due to open in 2018 at CRM before it moves to traveling locations that include the Hartford Public Library and the Vermont Historical Society.  The original shadow puppet show has also been supported by the Connecticut Humanities and will be incorporated into the future exhibit and into a much larger production. 

For more information on the Project or to contribute a story, visit www.ctrivermythsandlegends.org

Tickets to Haunted River are extremely limited and should be booked in advance by going online to www.ctrivermuseum.org or calling the museum at 860-767-8269.  Prices for the show are $13 for adults and $9 for youth (ages 7 to 12).  The program is not recommended for children under 7.  Museum members will be given a chance to buy tickets before they are available to the general public.

The Connecticut River Museum is dedicated to the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its Valley.  The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is from 10 am to 5 pm, Tuesday through Sunday. 


Essex Library Hosts ‘Authors In Conversation’ with Richard Conniff, Oct. 26

house_of_lost_worldsESSEX — The Essex Library is honored to co-sponsor with the Essex Land Trust an author talk on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. with Richard Conniff, whose latest book is House of Lost Worlds: Dinosaurs, Dynasties, and The Story of Life on Earth. This fascinating book tells the story of how the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History changed ideas about dinosaurs, dynasties, and even the story of life on earth.

Conniff introduces a cast of bold explorers, roughneck bone hunters, and visionary scientists. Some became famous for wresting Brontosaurus, Triceratops, and other dinosaurs from the earth, others pioneered the introduction of science education in North America, and still others rediscovered the long-buried glory of Machu Picchu.

The Peabody Museum, now celebrating its 150th anniversary, has remade the way we see the world.

The event will be held in The Cube at Centerbrook Architects, 67 Main St. Centerbrook. Copies of The House of Lost Worlds will be available for purchase and signing.

Richard Conniff is a National Magazine Award-winning writer for Smithsonian, The Atlantic, National Geographic, and other publications, and a past Guggenheim Fellow. His other books include: The Species Seekers; Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time; The Natural History of the Rich; and The Ape in the Corner Office.  He has been a frequent commentator on NPR’s Marketplace, and is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. He has written and presented television shows for the National Geographic Channel, TBS, and the BBC, among others.

This program is free and open to all. Call the Essex Library for more information or to register at (860) 767-1560. The Cube at Centerbrook Architects is located at 67 Main St. in Centerbrook.


‘Historic Sewing Circle’ Ladies Visit Deep River Historical Society This Afternoon

Kandie Carle, here in Edwardian dress, will be one of the Aug. 28 visitors.

Kandie Carle, here in Edwardian dress, will be one of the Aug. 28 visitors.

Come and welcome the ladies of the Historic Sewing Circle who will be gathering at the Deep River Historical Society at the Stone House, 245 Main Street, Deep River on Aug. 28, at 2 p.m.

Ladies from all over Connecticut, who interpret different historical time periods from the 1740s to the early 1900s, will be sewing at the Stone House and discussing their projects with visitors. They will be delighted to chat about their fashions and the sewing techniques of the various eras they represent.

While they have visited numerous other historic sites, this is the first time that they will be at the Stone House in Deep River, and wearing reproduction historic clothing. Also on display will be the Society’s extensive vintage quilt collections and ladies hats.

Photo is of Kandie Carle in Edwardian clothing.


Last Chance to see ‘RENT’ at Ivoryton Playhouse This Afternoon

IVORYTON —  Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway musical RENT opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Wednesday, Aug. 3, running until Aug. 28.

Johnny Newcomb* as Roger and Alyssa Gomez* as Mimi Marquez in 'Rent' at Ivoryton Playhouse opening Aug. 3.

Johnny Newcomb* as Roger and Alyssa Gomez* as Mimi Marquez in ‘Rent’ at Ivoryton Playhouse opening Aug. 3.

Loosely based on Puccini’s opera, La Boheme, RENT details one year in the life of seven artists and musicians, living in New York’s run down “Alphabet City” in the late 1980s.  As this circle of friends struggle with life, love, infidelity, and the usual hopes & fears of modern day life, they must also cope with drug addiction and the rising specter of AIDS.  In the midst of all this, one of them attempts to capture all of their lives on film, hoping to make artistic sense of it all.

Jonathan Larson died in 1996, the day before his musical opened in New York. He never witnessed its phenomenal success. RENT opened on Broadway on April 29, 1996. It went on to win every major best musical award, including the Tony Award, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

RENT closed after 5,124 performances and is the seventh longest running show in Broadway history.  Over the course of its groundbreaking 12-year New York run, RENT transformed the definition of musical theater – and changed Broadway forever.  The musical has been translated into every major language and been performed on six continents.

The Ivoryton Playhouse welcomes back returning actors Jamal Shuriah*, Sheniquah Trotman*, Collin Howard*, Tim Russell and Grant Benedict as well as Johnny Newcomb*, Alyssa Gomez*, Patrick Clanton*, Jonny Cortes, Maritza Bostic, Stephanie Genito, Ronnie S. Bowman, Jr, Mac Cherny, Sandra Lee, Josephine Gottfried

This production is directed by Ivoryton Playhouse Artistic / Executive Director Jacqueline Hubbard and is choreographed by Todd Underwood.  Musical director is Michael Morris, with set design by Martin Scott Marchitto, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Lisa Bebey.

After Larson’s death and the amazing success of his musical, his friends wanted to honor his commitment to his community of people whose lives are a daily struggle for survival. They set aside the first two rows at each performance as $20 seats so that the people the show was about could afford to see it. These special tickets would go on sale at 6 p.m. each night and the line usually formed by noon on weekdays and often 24 hours in advance on weekends. In honor of Jonathan Larson and the community that we serve, the Ivoryton Playhouse will save 20 seats for every performance at a $25 price. Those seats will be available after 6 p.m. every show day.

If you are interested in helping support this program or our Little Wonder program that provides a free night at the theatre for patients and their families dealing with the nightmare of cancer, please give Krista a call at 860 767 9520 ext 205.

Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.  Due to popular demand, two additional Saturday matinee performances have been added on Aug. 20 and 27 – both at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $50 for adults; $45 for seniors; $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting 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.

*denotes member of Actors Equity


CT Port Authority Chair Tells Lower CT River Local Officials, “We’re All on One Team”

Enjoying a boat ride on the Connecticut River but still deep in discussion are (from left to right) Chester First Selectwoman Lauren Gister, Old Lyme First Selectwoman and and Connecticut Port Authority (CPA) Board Member Bonnie Reemsnyder, Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman, CPA Chairman Scott Bates and Deep River First Selectman Angus McDonald, Jr.

Enjoying a boat ride on the Connecticut River, but still finding time for discussions, are (from left to right) Chester First Selectwoman Lauren Gister, Old Lyme First Selectwoman and Connecticut Port Authority (CPA) board member Bonnie Reemsnyder, Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman, CPA Chairman Scott Bates and Deep River First Selectman Angus McDonald, Jr.

There was an overarching message both throughout the Connecticut Port Authority’s (CPA) meeting in Old Lyme’s Town Hall Thursday afternoon and during a subsequent boat ride on the MV ‘Victoria’ for members and local officials on the Connecticut River.  It was, in the words of CPA Chairman Scott Bates, that, “We’re absolutely committed to river communities.”

Scott Bates, CPA Chairman, receives input regarding the town's needs from Norm Needleman, Essex First Selectman.

Scott Bates, CPA Chairman, receives input regarding the town’s needs from Norm Needleman, Essex First Selectman.

In addition, while sailing from Essex down to Old Saybrook and then back up to Hamburg Cove on a perfect afternoon, Bates stressed, “Part of our mission is protecting these beautiful waters … and the quality of life we have here while preserving access to the river.”

View of the Connecticut River from the "Victoria."

View of the Connecticut River from the “Victoria.”

Bates noted that to have “five local officials (Chester First Selectwoman Lauren Gister, Deep River First Selectman Angus McDonald Jr., Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman and Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, all of whom were on board, and Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna, who was unable to join the trip) “involved” was a really positive sign in terms of  “building a coalition.”  This, Bates explained, was key to the development of a strategic plan for the CPA—something the Authority has been charged with preparing with a deadline of Jan. 1, 2017.

Gathered for a photo are (from left to right) CPA board member John Johnson, Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman, CPA Chairman Scott Bates and Old Lyme First Selectwoman and CPA board member Bonnie Reemsnyder.

Gathered for a photo are (from left to right) CPA board member John Johnson, Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman, CPA Chairman Scott Bates and Old Lyme First Selectwoman and CPA board member Bonnie Reemsnyder.

The  CPA is a relatively new quasi-public agency created in 2014 with board appointments made in 2016.  Bates said the agency was responsible for 35 coastal communities and with this trip, he would now personally have visited 28 of them. Since the CPA has not created a strategic plan previously, Bates said he is determined, “to include everyone,” in the process, adding that he regards part of the Authority’s mission to be “getting small town and big cities together.” and, in turn, “to make great things happen for our state.”

Deep River First Selectman Angus McDonald, Jr. (left) chats with RiverCOG Executive Director Sam Gold aboard the 'Victoria.'

Deep River First Selectman Angus McDonald, Jr. (left) chats with RiverCOG Executive Director Sam Gold aboard the ‘Victoria.’

Apart from Bates and the four local First Selectmen and Selectwomen, also on board were Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments (RiverCOG) Executive Director Sam Gold, River COG Deputy Director and Principal Planner J.H. Torrance Downes, CPA Board of Directors member John Johnson and Joe Salvatore from the CPA.  Reemsnyder is also a board member of the CPA.

Connecticut Port Authority staff member Joe Salvatore points out a river feature to Reemsnyder and Johnson.

Connecticut Port Authority staff member Joe Salvatore points out a river feature to Reemsnyder, Bates and Johnson.

At the earlier meeting in Old Lyme, Downes had given a presentation to CPA members to introduce them to the Lower Connecticut River during which he had described the geography of the estuary, noting it had, “very little industry and very little commercial development.”  He described it as a “really prime area for bird migration” and highlighted numerous points of scenic beauty.

J.H. Torrance Downe, Deputy Director of River COG, takes in the view of the Connecticut River.

J.H. Torrance Downes, Deputy Director of River COG, takes in the view of the Connecticut River.

Bates noted one of the CPA’s responsibilities is to pursue state and federal funds for dredging and, while sailing under the Baldwin Bridge towards the Connecticut River’s mouth where several tributaries join the main river, Reemsnyder commented that Old Lyme had been a beneficiary of a $1.6 million state grant for dredging two of those tributaries — the Black Hall and Four Mile Rivers.  She noted that it had been a successful exercise thanks in part to Salvatore, who had, “held our hand through the whole project.”

John Johnson, CPA board member (right) checks in with the captain of the 'Victoria.'

John Johnson, CPA board member (right) checks in with the captain of the ‘Victoria.’ Joe Salvatore stands at rear.

Johnson, whose life and business career according to the CPA website, have “a common underlying element: the coastal waters,” also confirmed the benefits of a dredging program, saying, “There is a need for depth of water — both elements, marine and maritime, need depth of water.”  Still on the dredging issue, Bates said he had met separately with Old Saybrook First Selectman Fortuna and told him that he could have “whatever he needs to keep the mouth of the Connecticut River open.”

John Johnson (left) and Bonnie Reemsnyder (right), both CPA board members, chat with the CPA Chairman Scott bates.

John Johnson (left) and Bonnie Reemsnyder (right), both CPA board members, chat with the CPA Chairman Scott bates.

Reemsnyder took a minute to commend Bates for his leadership of the CPA, saying, “Scott has given focus to coastal communities,”  while Johnson added, “We are blessed with our new chairman.”

The quiet, untouched beauty of Hamburg Cove.

The quiet, untouched beauty of Hamburg Cove.

Glancing around at the numerous boats docked both in marinas and on the river itself,  Reemsnyder remarked, “Add up the money in these boats … [they represent] lots of economic drivers.”  On the same theme, Bates noted that the state is marketing its ports for the first time using “national expertise” in some cases with the aim of moving “more people and goods in and out of Connecticut.”  He added, “We have some great assets [in terms of ports in the state] but we could do more.”

Eyes on the Cove -- guests on the 'Victoria' gaze at the view across the calm waters of Hamburg Cove.

Eyes on the Cove — guests on the ‘Victoria’ gaze at the view across the calm waters of Hamburg Cove.

As the “Victoria’ pulled gently back into dock at Essex Yacht Club, Bates summarized the benefits of the boat trip saying that by spending time with these local leaders, he had been able to “see their waterfronts, assess their needs,“ and gain an “appreciation of the vitality of the Lower Connecticut River basin,” emphasizing one more time, “This is really about pulling together as a state … we’re all on one team.”


Explore Artisan, Vintage Vendors Galore at ‘Repurpose Happiness’ Event in Chester, Saturday

Bird_logoCHESTER — Chalk Mercantile and the Trove are excited to bring together the most creative artisans and vintage/antique merchants from all over Connecticut. More than 40 vendors are ready to greet folks on Sept. 3, at the Chester Fairgrounds, located at 11 Kirkland Terrace, Chester CT.

Repurpose Happiness is for anyone who wants to see firsthand Connecticut’s vibrant arts and antique culture, looking for rare or limited runs items, or just wanting to have a good time this September in the Historic Town of Chester.

The event showcases an eclectic mix of handmade, vintage, repurposed and antique goods and is sure to have something for every style, taste and age. Along with a myriad of vendors, makers, merchants and artisans, there will also be food trucks and music for all to enjoy.

Repurpose Happiness opens its doors at 10 a.m. (9 a.m. early buyers) and runs until 4 p.m., rain or shine. Admission $2 adults, children under 12 free, $10 early buyers (9am). Part of the proceeds will be donated to the Valley Regional Girls Soccer Booster Club.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/RepurposeHappiness/ or Repurposehappinees.com


Chestnut Hill Concert Season Ends at ‘The Kate’ Tonight with Works by Prokofiev and More

Violinist Steven Copes, pianist Mihae Lee and cellist Ronald Thomas will be among the performers in the 2016 season of the Chestnut Hill Concerts.

Violinist Steven Copes, pianist Mihae Lee and cellist Ronald Thomas will be among the performers in the 2016 season of the Chestnut Hill Concerts.

OLD SAYBROOK – Now in its 47th season, Chestnut Hill Concerts will present four programs of chamber music this August at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook. The prestigious series is highly regarded, not only for its programming but for the world-class musicians artistic director Ronald Thomas invites for the performances.

This season, an expanded international roster of 16 renowned artists enables the programming of a greater variety of music as well as music written for larger ensembles. Among this stellar musical cast are two artists who are better known as conductors (violinist and violist Scott Yoo and Finnish clarinetist Osmo Vänskä) and five husband-and-wife duos who will perform together.

The concerts will take place on Friday evenings.  Cellist and artistic director Ronald Thomas will host and perform in each program.

In the season finale on Aug. 26, violinists Catherine Cho and Todd Phillips, also a married couple, will perform Prokofiev’s Sonata for Two Violins, followed by Beethoven’s Cello Sonata in G minor with cellist Ronald Thomas and pianist Mihae Lee. The program and the season concludes with Robert Schumann’s monumental Piano Quintet, with Cynthia Phelps, principal viola of the New York Philharmonic and wife of Ronald Thomas, joining the ensemble.

The 2016 Season of Chestnut Hill Concerts is made possible with support from the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

All concerts are Fridays at 8 p.m. at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (The Kate), 300 Main Street in Old Saybrook. Subscriptions to the four concerts are $120 (orchestra) and $100 (balcony). Single tickets are $35 for orchestra seats and $30 for the balcony. To purchase tickets, visit chestnuthillconcerts.org or call 203-245-5736. After July 5, contact the Kate box office at 860-510-0453, or visit www.thekate.org.



Essex Child & Family Auxiliary Hosts ‘Black and White Masquerade Gala’ Tomorrow

Black and White Masquerade Committee members gather for a photo.

Black and White Masquerade Gala Committee members gather for a photo in their masks.

On Saturday, Aug. 27, the Essex Auxiliary of Child and Family Agency will hold a Black and White Masquerade Gala on beautiful Griswold Point in Old Lyme, Conn., to benefit Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut.

The inspiration for this event is Truman Capote’s “Party of the Century”  held exactly  50 years ago in 1966. Dust off your black tie apparel, don your mask, and step back in time with us to a more glamorous era as we enjoy an evening filled with music, champagne, dancing and good company.

Capote’s party was held in honor of newspaper legend Katherine Graham. Our gala will be in honor of Child and Family’s own Alva Gimbel Greenberg, the former owner of the Pictorial Gazette and longtime Child and Family Agency volunteer.

Griswold Point will provide the perfect backdrop as the event begins with cocktails on the gorgeous lawn with sweeping views to where the Connecticut River meets Long Island Sound. After taking in a glorious sunset from this perfect vantage point, the remainder of the evening will be devoted to a delicious al fresco dinner and some fun dancing.

Seating for this event will be limited. Tickets can be purchased at www.childandfamilyagency.org  or    http://bit.ly/2adIVRB .

Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut’s programs provide services that address children’s health care, childcare, children’s mental health, child abuse prevention, the treatment of family violence, accident prevention, and parent education.

Major support for this event was provided by Essex Savings Bank and Essex Financial Services.


Chester Library Offers Fall Book Discussions, Next One is Oct. 25

 CHESTER – Two National Book Award winning books will be discussed this fall at Chester Public Library.

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

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

Both discussions will be held at the Chester Public Library, at 21 West Main Street, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.  The discussions are free, but registration is required. Participation in both evening discussions is not required.

Call 860-526-0018 for more information and to register.  Books will be available to borrow at the library on a first-come, first-served basis.



LVVS Offer Book Promotions for International Literacy Day with Free Books for Kids This Month

AREAWIDE — Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS) breezes into September with “Hermine” and some very special book promotions. Promotional specials feature one free book when you buy any two. Buy one hardcover and one paperback get a free book of your choice. Purchase two paperback books, get a hardcover free. In a nutshell, you mix and match … and get one book free.

Additionally, to help celebrate International Literacy Day, children and young adults can select a book from our large inventory absolutely free!

LVVS offers the best buys in hardcovers as well with most available at $2.

LVVS is located on the lower level of the Westbrook Library, 61 Goodspeed Drive. See the curbside sign on Rte. 1.  Getting ready for Fall cleaning or phasing out clutter? Consider donating your gently used books, 2006 or newer, to our office where your donation sales benefit our literacy programs.

Help a child discover the magic of reading and while you are visiting, check out the great selection of adult books as well. Hardcovers are $2 with paperbacks at just $0.50.

LVVS is located on the lower level of the Westbrook Library, 61 Goodspeed Dr. Hours are Mon-Thurs 9 am -2 pm and the first and third Saturday from 10 am-noon.

For more information, visit www.vsliteracy.org or call 860-399-0280.