July 24, 2016

Letter to the Editor: Thanks for Essex Library Garden Tour

To the Editor:

“Spectacular gardens!”  “Wonderful day!” were some of the comments heard throughout Essex Village as hundreds of visitors participated in the first Friends of the Essex Library Garden Tour held Saturday June 4. To those who came to walk the gardens and enjoy the beauty of Essex Village, we say, “Thank you!”

To make such an event possible took the involvement of many people, including those who planned the event, the hostesses at each garden, Master Gardeners, plein air painters, ticket takers and traffic managers.  Your help made the event run smoothly and for this we extend heartfelt thanks.  We especially thank Rhode VanGessel for her patience and tireless effort in making the publicity both eye-catching and beautiful.

Lastly, and most importantly, we wish to recognize the garden owners who worked tirelessly creating their works of art.  Those who attended saw the enormous effort that went into preparing for the event and it was gratifying to see your efforts appreciated by so many people.   All the Friends of the Essex Library say, “Thank You.”

Linda Levene and Daphne Nielsen, co-chairman

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Essex Garden Club Donates $500 to The Farm at John Winthrop

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Pictured are the advisors, Mark Gostkeiwicz and John Woitovich, along with Elizabeth Bartlett from Essex Garden Club.

The Essex Garden Club recently donated $500 to the Farm at John Winthrop School.   Their after-school program  has grown fruits and vegetables to support classroom learning such as cooking and propagation. The produce is also made available to the Shoreline Soup Kitchens.

 

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Broken Arrow Nursery Manager Presents “Spectacular Native Plants” at Essex Library

Andy Brand

ESSEX — The forests, fields and wetlands of the Northeast are filled with an amazing array of beautiful plants that are frequently overlooked when we design our landscapes. On Tuesday, June 14, at 7 p.m. at the Essex Library, Andy Brand will take attendees on a journey through the year highlighting the many exceptional plants that grow right in our own backyards. Both herbaceous and woody plants will be discussed along with their cultivars.

An employee of Broken Arrow Nursery for over two decades, Brand now manages the nursery. He received his BS and MS from the University of Connecticut in Horticulture and Plant Tissue Culture. He was the past president of the American Rhododendron Society, past president of the Connecticut Butterfly Association, and past President of Connecticut Nursery and Landscape Association.

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

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Discover the “Art of Growing Food” with Celebrated Author Ellen Ecker Ogden, Friday; Benefits Child & Family

Ellen Ecker Ogden will speak at Child & Family's Kitchen Garden Author Luncheon on June 17 at Old Lyme Country Club.

Ellen Ecker Ogden will speak at Child & Family’s ‘Kitchen Garden Author Luncheon’ on June 17 at Old Lyme Country Club.

Are you tired of tasteless tomatoes, half-ripe honeydews, or limp lettuce? Do you worry what else might be on the produce you purchase at grocery stores?  If you’ve considered growing your own food so it will be fresh, natural, and ready when you want it (without a trip to the store!), then spend an afternoon with acclaimed food and garden writer Ellen Ecker Ogden, who will present “The Art of Growing Food” as the featured speaker at Child & Family Agency’s Kitchen Garden Author Luncheon.

Ecker Ogden is the Vermont-based author of The Complete Kitchen Garden, The Vermont Country Store Cookbook, and The Vermont Cheese Book, among others.  She is also co-founder of The Cook’s Garden seed catalog, a small family seed business dedicated to finding the best-tasting European and American heirloom vegetables, herbs, and flowers, and she lectures widely on kitchen garden design. Her articles and designs have been featured in such national publications as Better Homes & Gardens, Martha Stewart Living, and the New York Times.

Child & Family Agency’s Kitchen Garden Author Luncheon takes place on June 17, 2016, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Old Lyme Country Club (I-95, exit 70).  The event begins with a book signing by Ogden at 11:30 a.m., followed by lunch at noon; Ogden will then give her talk, in which she will outline her six steps for successful garden design, based on classic garden design principles.

At the end of her presentation, Ogden will raffle off a one-and-a-half-hour vegetable garden consultation. Tickets are $50, and may be obtained by mailing a check to P.O. Box 324, Old Lyme, CT  06371 (include name, address, phone, email), or by visiting www.childandfamilyagency.org.  Questions? Call 860-443-2896 or email CFA.LOLAuxiliary@gmail.com. Seating is limited.

The Kitchen Garden Author Luncheon is presented by the Lyme/Old Lyme Auxiliary of Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, who bring you the Lyme/Old Lyme Garden Tour every other year. (The next Lyme/Old Lyme Garden Tour will take place next year, in June 2017.) Meanwhile, with this year’s Kitchen Garden Author Luncheon, you can satisfy your garden cravings and help children and families at the same time!

Proceeds from the Kitchen Garden Author Luncheon benefit the programs and capital projects of Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping at-risk children in the context of their families. With a staff of more than 190 dedicated professionals and a service area covering 79 towns in New London, Middlesex, and New Haven counties, Child & Family Agency is the largest private, nonprofit children’s service provider in southeastern Connecticut. In 2015 more than 18,000 children and their families received services from Child & Family Agency. Find out more at www.childandfamilyagency.org or call 860.443.2896.

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Cappella Cantorum Present Men’s Chorus Concert in Old Lyme, June 26

Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus drawing inspired in St. Paul Lutheran  Church in a 2005 concert, drawn by Madeleine Favre of Deep River.

Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus drawing inspired in St. Paul Lutheran
Church in a 2005 concert, drawn by Madeleine Favre of Deep River.

Cappella Cantorum presents a Men’s Chorus Concert, Sunday, June 26, at 7:30 pm, the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme at 2 Ferry Rd. Old Lyme, CT 06371.

The music will include When the Saints Go Marching In, Guys & Dolls Selections Order My Steps, Men of Harlech, Ride the Chariot, For the Beauty of the Earth, Barbershop Favorites and Va Pensiero.

Tickets are $20 at the door or online at CappellaCantorum.org. Ages 18 and under are free.  

For more information, contact Barry at 860-388-2871 or barrybasch@gmail.com.

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Deep River Presents Annual Strawberry Social, June 12

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Marian Staye (left) and Gail Gallagher serve up fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream in Deep River.

DEEP RIVER – The Deep River Historical Society is holding its annual Strawberry Social on Sunday, June 12, from 2 to 4 p.m. Yes, you can expect fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream! Tickets are $10 for adults and $3 for children 5 years and under. The event will include other surprises for the guests.

The event is held in the Carriage House on the grounds of the Deep River Historical Society at 245 Main Street (Rte. 154), Deep River.

 

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Kayak Trip and Concert Kick Off Summer in Essex

Bring your kayak or canoe to Main Street Park for an afternoon in Middle and South Coves.

Bring your kayak or canoe to Main Street Park for an afternoon in Middle Cove.

ESSEX — The Essex Land Trust is hosting a combined Kayak/Canoe Trip and summer Concert/Picnic to be held at Essex’s Main Street Park on Sunday afternoon, June 12.

Canoers/kayakers should meet at 2:30 p.m. for a planned departure by 3 p.m. Explore Essex’s beautiful Middle and South Coves with guided commentary by naturalist Phil Miller. Kayak/canoe participants should arrive in time to register and sign waivers.  A safety boat will accompany.

Gather at 5:30 p.m. for a BYO picnic and concert by the Essex Corinthian Jazz Band. Bring your own chairs or picnic blankets.

The event is free. All are welcome. Bad weather cancels. Parking is available on Main Street and behind the Essex Post Office.

Essex Corinthian Jazz Band will play in Main Street Park on June 12. Bring your own picnic.

Essex Corinthian Jazz Band will play in Main Street Park on June 12. Bring your own picnic.

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See ‘Blooms with a View’ at Florence Griswold Museum This Weekend, ‘En Plein Air’ Impressionist Painting Demo Today

The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme hosts a celebration of the site’s historic gardens featuring special events, displays, demonstrations, and family activities. From June 3 through 12, visitors can enjoy a wide variety of activities for all ages and interests.

The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme hosts a celebration of the site’s historic gardens featuring special events, displays, demonstrations, and family activities. From June 3 through 12, visitors can enjoy a wide variety of activities for all ages and interests.

The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme hosts a celebration of the site’s historic gardens featuring special events, displays, demonstrations, and family activities. From June 3 through 12, visitors can enjoy a wide variety of activities for all ages and interests.

A favorite event during GardenFest is Blooms with a View: A Display of Art & Flower. From June 10 through 12, visitors can enjoy a display of stunning arrangements created by 15 talented floral artists that interpret works of art in the special exhibitions, The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement. These floral interpretations play off the colors, line, shapes, and subject matter of the artwork in masterful ways. Blooms with a View is included with Museum admission.

On Sunday, June 12, from 1 to 4 p.m., watch Connecticut Impressionist Dmitri Wright create an Impressionistic painting in the gardens of the Museum. Working “en plein air,” Wright will demonstrate the steps involved in going from blank canvas to a garden rendered in color and light. These events are included with Museum admission.

The seventh annual GardenFest at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme is a 10-day celebration of the site’s historic gardens, featuring special events, displays, demonstrations, and family activities. From June 3 through 12, visitors can enjoy a wide variety of activities for all ages and interests. Most events are included with Museum admission. Children 12 and under are always free.

This year’s exhibition provides the perfect accompaniment to the Museum’s historic landscape, gardens, and the activities surrounding GardenFest. The Florence Griswold Museum is the only New England venue for the exhibition, The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, 1887–1920. Organized by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, The Artist’s Garden tells the story of American Impressionists and the growing popularity of gardening as a leisure pursuit at the turn of the 20th century.

After enjoying the exhibition, visitors can walk the Museum’s 13 acres and through the restored 1910 garden. “Miss Florence’s” lovingly tended garden was a favorite subject for many of the artists of the Lyme Art Colony who stayed at her boardinghouse. One of the paintings on view in the exhibition, William Chadwick’s On the Piazza, ca. 1908 shows a female model posing on the side porch of the boardinghouse. A walk to the Lieutenant River provides further examples of vistas painted by the nature-loving artists.

Talented floral artists display stunning arrangements created to interpret works of art in the special exhibitions, The Artist's Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement. June 10 through June 12 at the Florence Griswold Museum.
Talented floral artists display stunning arrangements created to interpret works of art in the special exhibitions, The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement. June 10 through June 12 at the Florence Griswold Museum.

GardenFest includes a variety of activities for families. In addition to the weekly Discovery Sunday activities, when visitors are given supplies and invited to paint in the gardens or down by the river and then pick a project from the Art Cart for further fun and exploration, during GardenFest visitors of all ages can enjoy fun garden-themed events.

Other events include:

Lecture: Producing Pictures without Brushes: American Artists and Their Gardens

Anna O. Marley, Curator of Historic American Art, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and Exhibition

Sunday, June 5, 2pm

$7 (members $5)

Join Marley, the curator of the original version of the exhibition, for a discussion of the role American artists played in both the stylistic development of this American version of Impressionism as well as their impact on the Garden Movement.


Hands-On Photography Workshop

Craig Norton, Photographer and Master Teaching Artist

Tuesday, June 7, 6pm-9pm

$12 (members $10)

Join photographer and master teaching artist Craig Norton for a digital camera photographic workshop focusing on the gardens. Working in the golden light of pre-twilight, participants will learn the basics for mastering images of the garden before taking their own images for constructive critiques. Come learn all your camera can do. Light refreshments included. Participants should bring their own digital camera.


Presentation: Herbs for Hearth and Health

Leslie Evans, Historian and Museum Director, Avery-Copp House Museum, Groton, CT

Wednesday, June 8, 10:30am-2:30pm; presentations at 11am and 1pm

Cost to attend: Included with Museum admission

Join historian Leslie Evans for a presentation on the historic importance of herbs in cooking and medicine as well as how they can be used today. Participants in the presentations will learn the historic uses for both common as well as lesser-known herbs before creating their own herbal vinegar and fragrant sachet. Herbal infused snacks and beverages will be available for tasting. Between presentations, Evans will be available to answer questions and offer additional information.


Lecture: Gardening with Kids: Opening Eyes and Doors

Karen Bussolini, Garden Coach, Writer, and Photographer

Thursday, June 9, 2pm

$7 (members $5)

Our yards – gardens, landscaping, and wild places – offer boundless opportunities for learning through the senses. At a time when so many children – and adults too – suffer from “nature deficit disorder,” obesity, ADHD, and other problems, connecting with nature is more important than ever. Typical suburban landscapes don’t supply the needs of either wildlife or children and can be downright toxic to both. In this talk Bussolini shows – and gets people to think about – easy ways to make the whole yard a safe place rich with sensory stimulation, with rich opportunities for imaginative play, discovery and just plain fun.

Garden lovers are invited to enjoy Café Flo Tuesdays and Saturdays from 11:30am-2:30pm and from 1-3:30pm on Sundays. Menu items are garden-fresh and family friendly. Dine on the veranda overlooking the Lieutenant River or pick up a basket and blanket and picnic along the river.

GardenFest celebrates the Museum’s historic gardens and orchard that are the subject of so many paintings by the Lyme Art Colony artists. Landscape Historian Sheila Wertheimer guided the Museum in the restoration of the gardens and site to its appearance circa 1910. Miss Florence’s garden can be characterized by what is referred to today as a “grandmother’s garden” in which masses of flowers were informally arranged in bordered beds close to home. Varieties of hollyhock, iris, foxglove, heliotrope, phlox, cranesbill, and day lilies were among the many perennials that made up her garden.

The Museum is located on a 13-acre site in the historic village of Old Lyme at 96 Lyme Street, exit 70 off I-95. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 students, and free to children 12 and under. For more information, visit FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org or call 860-434-5542 x 111.

An additional garden event…

Connecticut’s Historic Gardens announces the 12th annual Connecticut’s Historic Garden Day, Sunday, June 26. These 15 delightful places, scattered throughout Connecticut, offer visitors an opportunity to explore many types of gardens while their historic homes further delight and educate. A variety of special events and activities are planned for the day. Hours, activities, and prices vary by location.

At the Florence Griswold Museum, besides strolling the historic landscape and gardens, visitors are invited to pick up supplies to paint in Miss Florence’s garden or down by the Lieutenant River. The can also enjoy the Museum’s Art Cart, filled with outdoor activities that encourage exploration of the historic landscape. Outdoor activities are free from 12 to 4pm. Museum admission applies to House and Gallery, $10 adults, $9 seniors, $8 students and children 12 and under are free. The House and Gallery are open from 1 to 5pm.

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Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds Hosts Summer Sculpture Showcase 2016 Through Sept. 13

Mega-Dandelion by Gints Grinsberg is the signature piece of Summer Sculpture Showcase at Studio 80 +Sculpture Grounds, which has an Opening Reception Friday, June 10 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Mega-Dandelion by Gints Grinsberg is the signature piece of Summer Sculpture Showcase at Studio 80 +Sculpture Grounds, which has an Opening Reception Friday, June 10 from 5 to 7 p.m.

OLD LYME — Gilbert Boro, owner and sculptor at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds in Old Lyme, will host an Opening Reception for Summer Sculpture Showcase 2016 this coming Friday, June 10, from 5 to 7 p.m.  All are welcome to attend the outdoor reception at which light refreshments will be served. Guests will be free to explore the expansive sculpture gardens and view the more than 100 sculptures on display during the event.

This juried exhibition follows on naturally from last year’s extremely successful Summer Sculpture Showcase 2015, which drew large crowds and had to be extended into October to meet public demand. This new exhibition on the grounds adjoining Boro’s studio and inside the Emily Seward Boro (ESB) Gallery on the property features works created by 17 widely acclaimed sculptors interspersed amongst Boro’s own sculptures, along with works by 13 other contributing artists.  More than 30 sculptors from across the country responded to the Call for Entries submitting some 60 works.

Boro’s Sculpture Gardens are located on 4.5 acres of his residence on historic Lyme Street in the heart of Old Lyme, Conn.  The beautifully landscaped grounds slope down toward the Lieutenant River offering a unique plein air experience for the exhibition, which combines both large- and small-scale contemporary sculptures. Many of the works, which are in a variety of media, are for sale.

The sculptors, whose 25 pieces of work are included in the Showcase, are:
Mark Attebery, Diane Barcelo, Ashby Carlisle, Bryan Gorneau, Gints Grinbergs, Lannie Hart, Jay Hoagland, Deborah Hornbake, Conrad Levenson, Elaine Lorenz, David Madasci, Liza Masalimova, Sui Park, Chris Plaisted,
Bill Vollers, Martha Walker and Melanie Zibit.

The signature piece of the exhibition is “Mega-Dandelion” by Gints Grinbergs.  It is a large — 144” in height, 56” in diameter — yet delicate structure that evokes the intricate design of lace in its welded and stainless steel structure.  Grinbergs explains in his artist’s statement that he looks to nature for inspiration with “interests [that] range from the macroscopic to the microscopic – from flowers and their structure to bacteria and viruses – from the giants of outer space to sub atomic particles.”  He continues, “I build sculptures derived from the universal forms of nature.
All of the sculptures in this series are built from recycled materials … I attempt to transform, up-cycle, these manmade materials into the infinitely more complex forms designed by nature.”

Grinbergs’ work has been featured at various museums and galleries and is included in private and corporate collections throughout North America.

'Water Courses' by Elaine Lorenz is another featured piece in the Showcase.

‘Water Courses’ by Elaine Lorenz is another featured piece in the Showcase.

Created out of cement, fiberglass and paint, Elaine Lorenz’s intriguing “Water Course” comprises three pieces. She states that she has made “sculpture in such diverse materials as wood, metal, concrete, encaustic over a wire armature and ceramic, while maintaining an overall view of nature as a dominant source of energy and influence on her work.”  Lorenz explains her approach in creating art as, “abstract, only alluding to things, relationships or emotions and leaving room for the viewer’s interpretation.”

Lorenz has exhibited her work in numerous group exhibitions and sculpture sites throughout the US and her sculptures are in private, public and corporate collections in numerous states including Alabama, California, Florida, New Jersey and Texas. She has been the Vice President of Exhibitions for the Sculptors Guild since 2011.

Jay Hoagland charming ‘Mephisto’s Waltz’ features a viola made out of steel and copper with a kinetic element.  When the integral weathervane at the head of the instrument catches the wind, the bow travels across the strings playing an eerie melody. Hoagland explains the motivation behind his sculpture thus, “I work because the sheer joy of seeing thought turned into material is rejuvenating but my approach is more and more obviously the result of where and who I’ve been.”

'Mephisto's Waltz'is an intriguing piece of kinetic sculpture.

‘Mephisto’s Waltz’is an intriguing piece of kinetic sculpture.

He continues, “I’m inspired by natural science with an injection of humor and contradiction. Inspiration also comes from the minutae of life, the shape of a stone, the footprints of giants like da Vinci, Calder, Giacometti, Gabo, Hepworth, Moore, and Noguchi. Hoagland concludes, “I see my work as a catalyst to understand, and a lens to clarify, my place in the world.”

The jurors for the exhibition were acclaimed sculptors Gilbert V. Boro and Lisa Simonds, and painter Julia Pavone.

Boro has enjoyed an extraordinary and distinguished more than 50-year-career as a successful architect, sought-after international design consultant and an inspiring educator.  With a BFA from Duke University and post-graduate degrees from Columbia University, NYC, his work explores the interplay of space, place and scale in a wide range of media including steel, stone, wood, metal, aluminum and fiberglass.

Sculptor Gilbert V. Boro in his studio.

Sculptor Gilbert V. Boro in his studio.

Working in sculpture has been a compulsion rather than a possibility for Gil.  While mastering the rigors of technical competence, he developed a deep-seated passion for three-dimensional art, which continues to be the influential force behind his creations. He is both inspired and motivated by the creative freedom of sculpting, finding that abstract work is the means to fulfill his vision.  Boro’s sculptures can be found in art centers and public art venues across the US and throughout Europe; they have also been purchased by private collectors, corporations and foundations in both the US and internationally.

"Nest' is one of Gil Boro's most recent pieces.

“Nest’ is one of Gil Boro’s most recent pieces.

Simonds is a visual artist with a BFA in Sculpture from Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, Conn.  She is currently employed as the Exhibitions Coordinator at Lyme Academy and previously worked as an Independent Exhibitions Installer at Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, Conn., for eight years.

Pavone is the co-founder of the Alexey von Schlippe Gallery of Art at the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point Campus, and has served as its Curator/Director for the past 24 years.  During her 29-year career, Pavone, who has a BFA from Long Island University in Westbury, N.Y., and an MEd from Lesley College in Cambridge, Mass., has continued her own work as a painter, while variously serving as a teacher, and guest lecturer, juror and curator for numerous exhibitions.

This Summer Sculpture Showcase offers a unique opportunity for established sculptors to exhibit their work in a different location, while also effectively creating a new exhibition within the Sculpture Gardens.  Boro comments, “I’m delighted to be able to open my grounds to these exceptional sculptors whose work intrigues me.  Each one offers original creative thinking resulting in a combination of contrasting conceptual designs in a variety of media.  I think any visitor to the exhibition is going to be thoroughly engaged by what he or she sees – including children.”

Boro is somewhat unusual as a professional sculptor in that he loves to see folk of all ages directly interacting with his sculptures, noting that he has a strong aversion to exhibitions, “… where people can’t touch my work.”  Apart from attracting visitors to see the works on his grounds, Boro is thoroughly invested in the vibrant Old Lyme arts scene and hopes this exhibition will help cement the town as a summer destination for art-loving visitors from near and far, especially during the town’s Midsummer Festival which this year is on Friday, July 29, and Saturday, July 30.

Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds are located at 80-1 Lyme St., less than a minute from Exit 70 on I-95, the Sculpture Grounds are open 365 days a year from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.  Admission is free.  Children, field trips and group visits are all welcome.

For further information, contact 860-434-5957, visit www.sculpturegrounds.com or email studio80sculpturegrounds@gmail.com

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“Stuff-the-Ambulance” in Shoreline Soup Kitchens Food Drive, June 11

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AREAWIDE – On Saturday, June 11 local ambulance companies across the shoreline are hosting an areawide food drive to collect non-perishable food for local residents in need. Between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., participating ambulance companies will be at:

Adams Hometown Market in Deep River (Deep River and Chester Ambulance)

Colonial Market in Essex (Essex Ambulance)

Roberts Food Center in Madison (Madison Ambulance)

Stop & Shop in Clinton (Clinton Ambulance)

The donations will go to local food pantries run by the Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP). In the summer there are typically fewer food drives, so this food will go a long way to help restock the pantries and ensure that everyone in our communities will have a place at the table.

“We are so grateful to all the town ambulance companies who are generously volunteering their time,” said Patty Dowling, Executive Director of SSKP. “Every day they provide life-saving medical care – and now they are giving of themselves to help fill our pantry shelves through the summer months. Many families that are struggling will have healthy food to eat because of their efforts, and our neighbors in need will know that they are part of a community that really cares.”

“It’s just another way we can work together to help the people in need,” said Steve Olsen with the Essex Ambulance Association.

For more information call (860) 388-1988 or visit www.shorelinesoupkitchens.org.

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Thanks for Successful Essex Shad Bake at River Museum

(L to R) Stephen Brinkmann, Lisa LaMonte from Guilford Savings Bank, Christopher Dobbs, and Joseph Shea watch shad roasting around the bonfire. Shad are held onto the planks with strips of salt pork, adding to their smoky flavor.

(L to R) Stephen Brinkmann, Lisa LaMonte from Guilford Savings Bank, Christopher Dobbs, and Joseph Shea watch shad roasting around the bonfire. Shad are held onto the planks with strips of salt pork, adding to their smoky flavor.

ESSEX – On June 4, the Rotary Club of Essex held its annual Essex Shad Bake at the Connecticut River Museum. For 59 years running, the Rotarians have kept this traditional culinary event alive and well, and the success of this year’s bake is a testament to their dedication. Hundreds of visitors came to the museum on a beautiful Saturday to eat roasted shad and learn about the history of this once crucial fishery through talks, displays, and demonstrations.

The Rotary Club of Essex and the Connecticut River Museum would like to thank the lead sponsors for the Shad Bake – AJ Shea Construction Co., Gowrie Group, and Guilford Savings Bank – as well as all the other sponsors, volunteers, and organizations who made the afternoon such a success.
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Celebrate Haiti’s New Library at Party Tonight

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Sister Cities Essex Haiti board members Mary-Beth Harrigan, Jenifer Grant and Connie Connor plan food details with Claudia Odekerken from Marley’s Café.

ESSEX – Sister Cities Essex Haiti will be celebrating the opening of the Deschapelles Community Library in Haiti with a party on Thursday, June 9, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Brewer Essex Island Marini. The event will feature food by Marley’s Café, drinks and music by the Tangerine Trio. The public is invited.

Ticket purchases and reservations can be made until May 31 by email to: info@sistercitiesessexhaiti.org  or by calling 860-227-0848.

More info at http://www.sistercitiesessexhaiti.org/.

haiti celeb

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Comment Period on Draft NE Regional Ocean Plan Open Through July 26

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AREAWIDE — The Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB) has released the draft Northeast Regional Ocean Plan for public review and comment. The only public comment meeting in Connecticut was held June 8 in Old Lyme, but other meetings in northeastern states are scheduled as detailed in this link.

Several years of public engagement, scientific study and data analysis, and collaboration have led to this draft, and the RPB looks forward to hearing the feedback of everyone who is interested in the future of New England’s ocean and its resources.

The RPB is seeking feedback on this draft Plan. The public comment deadline is July 25, 2016, and you can comment on each chapter electronically at each chapter landing page, in-person at any of the upcoming public comment meetings, through the comment form below, or by submitting written comments to:

Betsy Nicholson, NE RPB Federal Co-lead
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Regional Office
55 Great Republic Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930-2276.

You may also provide comments by sending an e-mail to:
comment@neoceanplanning.org.

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Essex Economic Development Commission Hosts Public Forum This Evening

ESSEX — The Economic Development Commission of Essex invites the public to attend their next Economic Development Forum on Wednesday, June 8, at 7 p. m. in the Essex Town Hall Auditorium.

Commission members are actively engaged in finding better ways of communicating with residents and businesses and would like to hear what they can do to help maintain, build, and grow our strong business community in Essex.

All are welcome.

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Jacobik Presents Solo Exhibit at Maple & Main; Opening Reception, Aug. 5

Gray Jacobik

Gray Jacobik

CHESTER – Artist and poet Gray Jacobik is combining paintings and her literary work for the first time in a solo exhibit during August in the Stone Gallery at Maple and Main.

The wine and appetizer opening is Friday, Aug. 5, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

“Lines Spoken: In Paint, in Wax, in Words” will feature broadsides of poems paired with paintings so that these two major modes of expression can talk across lines. The formal written lines of verse, where meaning is in the foreground and the visual or graphic element recedes, will be displayed in conjunction with paintings where the visual message dominates and meaning is no less significant, just less determined.

'Dreams Begin Responsibilities,' acrylic, by Gray Jacobik.

‘Dreams Begin Responsibilities,’ acrylic, by Gray Jacobik.

Gray’s paintings in oil, acrylic and encaustic will be on display along with images of corresponding text from her published books including her latest collection of poetry, The Banquet, which is being nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

The_Banquet_book_coverGray, who lives and works in Deep River, will give a reading of selected work reading from The Banquet, Thursday, Aug. 25, from 7 to 8 p.m. at Maple and Main.

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

For more information, visit Mapleandmaingallery.com or call 860-526-6065.

The Gallery is also on on Facebook and Instagram.

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‘Theater Along the River’ Presents ‘Taming of the Shrew,’ Aug. 5

ESSEX – On Friday, Aug. 5, the Connecticut River Museum’s Theater Along the River continues it summer season with the Flock Theatre production of William Shakespeare’s popular comedy, The Taming of the Shrew.  This year’s summertime series is once again made possible through the generous support of the Essex Wellness Center.

According to director Derron Wood, “We are pleased to return for a third year to the Connecticut River Museum.  It offers a spellbinding backdrop for outdoor theater and allows us to reach a new audience.”

The Connecticut River Museum’s executive director, Christopher Dobbs, said, “Flock Theatre is a master of Shakespeare.  We feel fortunate to offer this level of entertainment at the museum and hope that the audience enjoys the production and its backdrop – the river.”  Dobbs was quick to note that the museum is only able to host this event and keep the ticket prices reasonable for all ages to enjoy through the “generosity of lead sponsor, the Essex Wellness Center.” Essex Wellness Center offers a range of holistic-minded health services, including Fitness on the Water, a beautiful, private workout studio.

The museum’s grounds will open at 6 p.m. for picnickers to lay out blankets and chairs.  Museum staff encourage the audience to make the picnic part of the experience.  In fact, there will be a special prize awarded to the “best” picnic arrangement.

Tickets are $18 for the general public and $10 for children (12 and under) and $12 for Connecticut River Museum members.  A cash bar serving beer and wine will be available for theatergoers.  No carry-in alcohol is permitted.  Tickets may be bought at www.ctrivermuseum.org or at the door starting at 6 p.m. the night of the performance. Curtain opens at 7 p.m., with a raindate of June 19.

Flock Theatre is a professional, not-for-profit theater company founded in 1989. The company is dedicated to creating original, collaborative and educational theater. Perhaps best known for the long-standing summer Shakespeare in the Arboretum, Flock Theatre performs year-round in a variety of venues, including their winter “nest” at the First Congregational Church, on the New London Pier, at the historic Shaw Mansion Museum and throughout New England.

For more information on the programs, please contact the Connecticut River Museum at 860-767-8269 or visit the website, ctrivermuseum.org.  The museum is located at 67 Main St., Essex. 

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Hambor’s School-to-Career Program at VRHS Celebrates 10 Successful Years

The 10th Annual Partnership Celebration brought interns and their mentors together to enjoy food and farewells.

The 10th Annual Partnership Celebration brought interns and their mentors together for food and farewells.

AREAWIDE — Ten years ago Valley Regional High School (VRHS) School-to-Career Consultant Mary Hambor started a program for students at the school interested in finding out more about jobs in the real world with five internships.  On May 26 this year, at the 10th Annual Partnership Celebration, she described how during the 2015-16 academic year, she had placed 95 seniors and seven juniors in a total of 102 internships.

Poster boards listed all the businesses and organizations which had taken interns during the 2015-16 academic year.

Poster boards listed all the businesses and organizations which had taken interns during the 2015-16 academic year.

Describing the success of the program as “very rewarding,” a delighted Hambor noted that she felt its “goal [had been] achieved” in that it had now become, “a comprehensive internship program … offering invaluable hands-on experience.”  She expressed her appreciation to all those who had taken on interns during the year and the VRHS administration saying, “I continually feel blessed to be part of such a supportive community.”

Dr. Dave Scruggs of Deep River Animal Hospital stands with Mary Hambor, VRHS School-to-Career Cordinator.

Dr. Dave Scruggs of Deep River Animal Hospital stands with Mary Hambor, VRHS School-to-Career Cordinator.

Many of the student interns spoke about their experiences during the celebration.  Katie Amara and Maddy Ball described how at Deep River Animal Hospital, they had “everyday learned something new,” including “holding a few snakes” and “how to draw blood,” summing up the internship as one in which they, “had learned a lot more than we expected.”

Anastasia Cusack-Mercedez explained that as a direct result of her internship with Integrated Refugee and Immigration Services (IRIS) in New Haven she now knew that she “would like to work for a non-profit.”

Sevigny Fortin said he had been, “very fortunate” to work in the State Prosecutor’s office at New London Superior Court with Attorney Paul Narducci and had even been involved with work on a murder trial. He believed he had benefited from “an opportunity not many high schoolers have,” noting, “I have been very fortunate to work with a mentor so passionate and helpful.”

Mary Hambor (right) stands with Ibby Carothers of iCRV Radio and the students who interned at the radio station.

Mary Hambor (right) stands with Ibby Carothers of iCRV Radio and the students who interned at the radio station.

Hannah Halsey spoke about the experience that she and several of her peers had enjoyed interning at iCRV Radio in Chester and then Ivoryton. She said it was, “a really great learning experience during which she and her friends had “learned about marketing” and acquired many new skills, such as “how to operate a database.”  The interns had actually hosted a radio show at one point!

Sometimes the students explained that the internships had caused them to experience a change in their planned careers.  Tina Mitchell, who had worked at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, had gone into her internship believing she was “interested in politics,” but during her time working with a policy analyst in the House Speaker’s office, determined that she had “found a home in policy.”

Other students like Elizabeth Forsythe freely declared, “I had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life,” but went on to say that her internship at Aaron Manor with Karyn Cotrona had taught her “what HR is all about.”  She thanked her mentors for giving her “the experience to explore what she wanted to do.”

Our very own wonderful ValleyNewsNow.com intern, Maggie Klin.

Our very own ValleyNewsNow.com wonderful intern, Maggie Klin!

Several of the mentors took the opportunity to say publicly how the internship had gone from their angle.  Rebecca Foley from IRIS said, “Anastasia did an incredible job” and noted that she had gone far beyond the call of her internship and raised $827 for the organization in her own time.

Dr. Dave Scruggs of Deep River Animal Hospital commented that when he had first been asked to take an intern, he just said, “No.”  Then he met with the students and was “so impressed” to the extent that — speaking of this year’s interns — , “I would hire both of these young ladies today,” adding in words that seemed to sum up the universal experience of the mentors, “Every student from this high school has achieved the bar … and gone beyond it.”

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Still Irritated by Those Gypsy Moth Caterpillars? Advice from Essex Tree Warden

Gypsy moth caterpillars - photo by Peter Trenchard, CAES

Gypsy moth caterpillars – photo by Peter Trenchard, CAES

AREAWIDE – The potential for gypsy moth outbreak exists every year in our area.  For this reason, Essex Tree Warden Augie Pampel sent in this release, encouraging Essex residents to keep a vigil for the gypsy moth caterpillar, which can defoliate many trees, thus impacting the trees’ ability to thrive. But Valley News Now wants to spread this warning to the entire area, as the gypsy moth is in all our towns.

Dr. Kirby Stafford III, head of the Department of Entomology at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, has written a fact sheet on the gypsy moth available on the CAES website (click here).  The following information is from this fact sheet.

The gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, was introduced into the US (Massachusetts) by Etienne Leopold Trouvelot in about 1860.  The escaped larvae led to small outbreaks in the area in 1882, increasing rapidly.  It was first detected in Connecticut in 1905.  By 1952, it had spread to 169 towns.  In 1981, 1.5 million acres were defoliated in Connecticut.  During the outbreak of 1989, CAES scientists discovered that an entomopathogenic fungus, Entomophaga maimaiga, was killing the caterpillars.  Since then the fungus has been the most important agent suppressing gypsy moth activity.

The fungus, however, cannot prevent all outbreaks and hotspots have been reported in some areas, in 2005-06 and again in 2015.

The life cycle of the gypsy moth is one generation a year.  Caterpillars hatch from buff-colored egg masses in late April to early May.  An egg mass may contain 100 to more than 1000 eggs and are laid in several layers.  The caterpillars (larvae) hatch a few days later and ascend the host trees and begin to feed on new leaves.  The young caterpillars, buff to black-colored, lay down silk safety lines as they crawl and, as they drop from branches on these threads, they may be picked up on the wind and spread.

There are 4 or 5 larval stages (instars) each lasting 4-10 days.  Instars 1-3 remain in the trees.  The fourth instar caterpillars, with distinctive double rows of blue and red spots, crawl up and down the tree trunks feeding mainly at night.  They seek cool, shaded protective sites during the day, often on the ground.  If the outbreak is dense, caterpillars may feed continuously and crawl at any time.

With the feeding completed late June to early July, caterpillars seek a protected place to pupate and transform into a moth in about 10-14 days.  Male moths are brown and fly.  Female moths are white and cannot fly despite having wings.  They do not feed and live for only 6-10 days.  After mating, the female will lay a single egg mass and die.  The egg masses can be laid anywhere: trees, fence posts, brick/rock walls, outdoor furniture, cars, recreational vehicles, firewood.  The egg masses are hard.  The eggs will survive the winter and larvae hatch the following spring during late April through early May.

The impact of the gypsy moth can be extensive since the caterpillar will feed on a wide diversity of trees and shrubs.  Oak trees are their preferred food.  Other favored tree species include apple, birch, poplar and willow.  If the infestation is heavy, they will also attack certain conifers and other less favored species.  The feeding causes extensive defoliation.

Healthy trees can generally withstand one or two partial to one complete defoliation.  Trees will regrow leaves before the end of the summer.  Nonetheless, there can be die-back of branches.  Older trees may become more vulnerable to stress after defoliation.  Weakened trees can also be attacked by other organisms or lack energy reserves for winter dormancy and growth during the following spring.  Three years of heavy defoliation may result in high oak mortality.

The gypsy moth caterpillars drop leaf fragments and frass (droppings) while feeding creating a mess for decks, patios, outdoor furniture, cars and driveways.  Crawling caterpillars can be a nuisance and their hairs irritating.  The egg masses can be transported by vehicles to areas where the moth is not yet established.  Under state quarantine laws, the CAES inspects certain plant shipments destined to areas free of the gypsy moth, particularly for egg masses.

There are several ways to manage the gypsy moth: biological, physical and chemical.

Biologically, the major gypsy moth control agent has been the fungus E. maimaiga.  This fungus can provide complete control of the gypsy moth but is dependent on early season moisture from rains in May and June to achieve effective infection rates and propagation of the fungus to other caterpillars.  The dry spring of 2015 resulted in little or no apparent fungal inoculation or spread until it killed late-stage caterpillars in some areas of the state, after most defoliation.

Infected caterpillars hang vertically from the tree trunk, head down.  Some die in an upside down “V” position, a characteristic of caterpillars killed by the less common gypsy moth nucleopolyhedrosis virus (NPV).  This was not detected in caterpillars examined in 2015.

Physical controls include removing and destroying egg masses, which can be drowned in a soapy water and disposed of.  Another method is to use burlap refuge/barrier bands wrapped around tree trunks so that migrating caterpillars will crawl into or under the folded burlap or be trapped by the sticky band.

There are a number of crop protection chemicals labeled for the control of gypsy moth on ornamental trees and shrubs. There are treatments for egg masses, larvae and adult moths.  Detailed information about these chemical treatments is available in the CAES factsheet.

For complete information about the gypsy moth and its management, please go to the CAES website (www.ct.gov/caes) and look for the fact sheet on gypsy moth.  You may also contact Augie Pampel by email: augiepampel@att.net with questions and concerns.

 

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Deep River Historical Society Receives Humanities Grant; Rep. Joe Courtney Visits Stone House

Rep. Joe Courtney talks to Deep River Historical Society curator, Rhonda Forristall. in Stone House on June 1.

Rep. Joe Courtney talks to Deep River Historical Society curator, Rhonda Forristall. in Stone House on June 1.

DEEP RIVER – U.S. Congressman Joe Courtney, 2nd District, visited the Deep River Historical Society’s Stone House at 245 Main Street, on June 1.

The Society recently received a matching grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in the amount of $1,500.

The Society applied for the grant following its first year of involvement with the StEPs-program, offered through Connecticut Humanities. According to their website (CTHumanities.org), the organization “helps local museums and historical societies build professionalism and ensure their programs and collections remain vibrant community resources through StEPs-CT – a two-year program created with the Connecticut League of History Organizations, and run in partnership with the Connecticut Historical Society, that guides them towards excellence in six areas of organizational practice.”

Rhonda Forristall, Deep River Historical Society curator, said, “We chose to write a grant for upgrading our technology. Currently DRHS has a single phone line coming into the building with no Internet connection. We have one computer with only XP capabilities (which was an upgrade from the computer with 3-inch disks that was there when I arrived), and a printer, so we can write letters and input data but really can’t get any data out. This $1500 matching grant will allow us to connect to the Internet and purchase a new laptop computer with Word and Excel programs, external storage unit and extenders so that we can have WiFi in the Carriage House to make us more appealing to renters. The grant also allows for an improvement to our website, which will be accessible to mobile devices.

“The outcome we are looking for,” said Rhonda, “will be to grow awareness of our mission at DRHS, to grow our membership and interact with a younger and more mobile generation who only communicate through their phones. We have talked to Valley Regional about having students access information and research online once we get things up and running. The potential is huge for us and we are excited to begin.

“As part of the grant funding, we are asked to thank our congressmen for their support of the Humanities and Joe responded to his letter by saying he wanted to visit. We had a great visit with him, showing off our collection and thanking him for his support and telling him what it means to us as an all-volunteer organization.”

For more information about the Deep River Historical Society, go to www.deepriverhistoricalsociety.org.

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Courcy Assumes Leadership of Pettipaug Sailing Academy from the Late Paul Risseeuw

Ann Courcy, Director, Pettipaug Sailing Academy, in front of club house.

Ann Courcy, Director, Pettipaug Sailing Academy, in front of club house.

Ann Courcy, the new Director of the Pettipaug Sailing Academy, has now officially taken the place of the long serving Paul Risseeuw, who passed away last fall. In taking the helm of the Pettipaug Sailing Academy, Courcy will be in full charge of the club’s 2016 sailing program for young sailors.

As is the custom, the Pettipaug Sailing Academy this summer will have two sessions. The first session will run from June 27 to July 15, and the second from July 25 to Aug. 12. Each session will also have morning and afternoon programs for differing age groups.

In assuming the leadership of the Pettipaug Sailing Academy, Courcy emphasized that she could not do the job without the help of the half dozen sailing instructors, who will assist her. Courcy also promised that she was, “going to build a team that would keep in place the sailing instruction practices, as when Paul was in charge.”

Courcy also pointed out that, “Learning to sail can have a positive impact on the lives of young sailors.” Furthermore, she said that it is her intention to know the names of each of the young sailors, who are attending this year’s sessions at the Academy.

As for the boats that will be used this year at the Pettipaug Sailing Academy, they will include a new 12 foot Bauer sloop, as well as traditional 420s, Blue Jays, Optis and windsurfers. Added this year as well will be Opti rowboats.

STEM Education Series to Be Taught

Courcy also said that students at the Academy will receive guidance from the   U.S. Science Technology and Engineering Math materials, which she said were, “very much in line with those of Paul’s in the blending of instructors with the playing by the kids.”

Importantly, Courcy also noted that even in this modern world of communication, Academy students cannot take their “I phones” during instruction periods, while sailing on the waters off the Pettipaug Yacht Club. (This may cause withdrawal systems for some of the Academy students.)

A special event at this year’s Sailing Academy season will be the, “Paul Risseeuw Memorial Race.” Also, there will be movie nights for sailors and their families during the Sailing Academy season at the clubhouse. Then, finally when the sailing season ends for the young sailors, there will be a final grand picnic on a downriver island in the Connecticut River for all of the Pettipaug Sailing Academy student sailors to attend.

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New Exhibit Opens in Stone Gallery in Chester

"Blue Forest," Ishita

“Blue Forest,” Ishita Bandyo

 

“Expressions,” an exhibit of abstract and exploratory art, will be featured in the Stone Gallery at Maple and Main Gallery in Chester Center during June.

The experimental but confident paintings are by two artists who’ve been with the gallery since its inception almost seven years ago: Carole Johnson of Haddam Neck and Ishita Bandyo of Branford.  Ishita was born in India and Carole in Connecticut, worlds apart and in very different circumstances, but art has sustained both women through the years and brought them to the same place – the use of layering and collage to produce their distinctive work.

Ishita came from a comfortable upbringing in India and had a master’s degree in Economics before moving to this country where, as a foreigner, she found herself suffering from loneliness and social alienation. Art therapy helped her cope during this difficult period of her life and she became determined to make a career in art, obtaining a BFA from Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Old Lyme.

Though Ishita is an accomplished academic painter, she made a break from traditional art and started experimenting with various methods including assemblage and installation art. In the body of work in “Expressions,” she explores color, texture and symbolism, using motifs of tree, roots, birds, etc. to represent the inner workings of the mind.  Ishita is married and has a daughter.

Carole’s childhood was fraught: foster homes and a Catholic orphanage in New Haven, where she discovered the world of pencils, clay, shapes and colors. Many years later, her love of art helped her weather a first marriage to a violent alcoholic.  Divorce found her raising two sons and returning to college for a marketing degree with a minor in art that led to a partnership in a very successful graphic design firm.

Always a student of the nature of reality, Carole was a frequent seminar speaker and guest on a local TV show, “Ancient Wisdom for Today.” This love of understanding how reality is created set the stage for the evolution of her art. Her original work features people photographed in many other countries, including Colombia, Tanzania, Egypt and China. More and more the abstracted backgrounds became dominant until now much of Carole’s work is non-objective abstract expressionism.

Maple and Main is at the corner of Maple Street and Main Street in the heart of Chester Center. More information at www.mapleandmaingallery.com.

"Freedom Bird. Carole

“Freedom Bird,” Carole Johnson

 

 

 

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Senator Formica Honored by AARP for Protecting Seniors

formica pic

Left to right: AARP State Advocacy Director John Erlingheuser, Sen. Formica, and AARP Volunteer Joanne Davis of Waterford.

On May 20 at the East Lyme Senior Center, Sen. Paul Formica was presented with a Legislative Achievement Award from the Connecticut AARP.  The award recognized Sen. Formica’s advocacy in protecting consumers from unaffordable expenses for essential energy services. Formica represents Bozrah, East Lyme, a portion of Montville, New London, Old Lyme, a portion of Old Saybrook, Salem and Waterford. For more information, go to www.aarp.org or www.senatorformica.com.
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“The 39 Steps,” Zany Spoof of Hitchcock Movies, at Ivoryton Playhouse Through June 19

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Dan Fenaughty and Larissa Klinger. Photo by Ivoryton Playhouse

IVORYTON – Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have “The 39 Steps,” a fast-paced whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theater! This two-time Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning treat is packed with nonstop laughs, over 150 zany characters (played by a ridiculously talented cast of four), an on-stage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers and some good old-fashioned romance!

“The 39 Steps” is set in England, just before the war. A young man bored with life meets a woman with a mysterious accent who says she’s a spy and needs to take refuge in his apartment. Murder and mayhem soon follow as our hero is chased across the wild and wooly British countryside, meeting a host of ridiculous characters and climaxing in a death-defying finale! A riotous blend of virtuoso performances and wildly inventive stagecraft, “The 39 Steps” amounts to an unforgettable evening of pure pleasure!

The first version of the play was written by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon for a cast of four actors and funded by a £1,000 Yorkshire Arts Grant. It premiered in 1995 at the Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond, North Yorkshire, before embarking on a tour of village halls across the north of England. In 2005, Patrick Barlow rewrote the script, keeping the scenes, staging and small-scale feel, and in June 2005 this re-adaption premiered at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. In 2006, it opened in the West End and in 2008 it premiered on Broadway to rave reviews. The New York Times proclaimed, “Theatre at its finest!… Absurdly enjoyable! This gleefully theatrical riff on Hitchcock’s film is fast and frothy, performed by a cast of four that seems like a cast of thousands.”

This production introduces Ivoryton audiences to the husband and wife team of Dan Fenaughty and Larissa Klinger, who have both performed these roles before in the national tour. The clowns are played by Ivoryton favorite, David Edwards, and Jonathan Brody, making his Ivoryton debut. All four actors are members of Actors Equity. The play is directed by Erik Bloomquist, a two-time Emmy-nominated writer/director/producer and former Top 200 Director on Project Greenlight. Erik is currently in post-production on the television adaptation of “The Cobblestone Corridor,” a seriocomic mystery series based on his internationally acclaimed short film of the same name. The set design is by Dan Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Cully Long.

“The 39 Steps” opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on June 1 and runs through June 19. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $44 for adults; $39 for seniors; $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting www.ivorytonplayhouse.org

Ticket prices go up on June 1 to $50 for adults and $45 for seniors, so purchase tickets now for all the summer shows for the best prices. (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

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Six Fridays of Summer Dance Movies at Acton Library, See ‘That’s Dancing,’ July 29

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Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire

OLD SAYBROOK – The Acton Public Library in Old Saybrook will be hosting a Summer Dance film series in the Grady Thomas Room on six Fridays running July 8 through Aug. 19 at 1 p.m.

  • That’s Dancing, a compilation of great dance numbers from modern to musicals, on July 29;
  • Strictly Ballroom, a quirky mockumentary of a ballroom competition, on August 5;
  • Billy Elliot, the story of a young boy who becomes enamored with dance, on August 12.
  • Mad Hot Ballroom, an actual documentary of  NYC schoolchildren’s dance competition on August 19.

Note there is no movie on July 15 due to the Friends Book Sale, which will be running Thursday, July 14 through Saturday, July 16.

For more information, call the Acton Library at 860-395-3184, or visit the library during regular hours, or visit on-line at www.actonlibrary.org.  The library is located 60 Old Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook.

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See ‘Dr. Seuss, Green Eggs & Ham’ at Deep River Library, July 29

Deep River Library building at 150 Main Street, Deep River

Deep River Library building at 150 Main Street, Deep River

DEEP RIVER — Every Friday is ‘Fun Friday’ at the Deep River Public Library. The following story times and programs will be held during the remainder of July:

July 29: The Deep River Drive-in Returns with “Dr. Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham,” a short film appropriate for preschools and served with popcorn, all in reserved box-car seating. Show time starts at 10:30 a.m.

Additional Children’s/Teen Programs:

July 27: Stamford Animal Museum returns with Animals in Motion at 6 p.m. Learn about the movers and shakers in the animal world in this interactive show. Open to all; no registration required.

Aug. 3: Sports of All Sorts at 6 p.m. is an active program filled with fun indoor sports. Grab your family and come play! This program is followed by an ice cream social. Free and open to all, no registration required.

These programs are free and open to all; no registration required. Programs are sponsored by the Friends of the Deep River Public Library.

For more information, visit http://deepriverlibrary.accountsupport.com and click on our monthly calendar, email the Children’s Department at drplchildrensdept@gmail.com or call the library at 860-526-6039 during service hours: Monday 1 – 8pm; Tuesday 10 am – 6 pm; Wednesday 12:30 – 8 pm; Thursday and Friday 10 am – 6 pm; and Saturday 10 am – 5 pm. *July and August, Saturday 10-am – 2pm.

 

 

 

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Tri-Town Parades Cancelled Because of Forecasted Rain

flags-clip-art-RTdKR6AT9The towns of Chester, Deep River and Essex have cancelled their Memorial Day parades because of the rain in the forecast.

According to the Town of Chester Facebook page, “Due to the impending rain tomorrow- the Memorial Day parade to the Chester Meeting House is cancelled. We WILL be meeting as planned in the [St. Joseph] church parking lot and walking to the War Memorial for a brief ceremony honoring our fallen veterans. Please join us – it will not be the first time Memorial Day will be honored with a sea of umbrellas!”

The Town of Deep River reported via Facebook, “The Memorial Day Parade and ceremonies planned in Deep River for Monday starting at 9:00 am have been cancelled due to impending bad weather. Please remember those who fought for our freedom with your families and friends and have a safe and happy Memorial Day.”

We could not find a posting of the Town of Essex page, but from the Facebook page of Mary Ellen Barnes, the Town of Essex’s Park and Recreation Director, “I just received word that the Memorial Day Parade for the Town of Essex has been cancelled due to anticipated rain. There will be a ceremony at Essex Town Hall at 930am. Please call the Veterans Hall in Centerbrook for more information. +1 (860) 767-8892. Please Share!”

 

 

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Women’s Sailing Group at Pettipaug Yacht Club Begins Sailing Season June 14

The launching pier for the sailboats of the Women’s Sailing Group

The launching pier for the sailboats of the Women’s Sailing Group

The Women’s Sailing Group of the Pettipaug Yacht Club will begin its sailing season on Tuesday, June 14, between 5:30 and 6 p.m. at the club house on the Connecticut River in Essex. Since there will be actual sailing races in the waters off the club house at this time, those participating should bring with them: a PDF floating vest, a bottle of drinking water, high quality boat shoes and a dish of good food that can be to be shared with others.

It should be noted as well that women of all ages and all degrees of sailing skills are welcome to participate in the sailing races of the Women’s Sailing Group of the Pettipaug Yacht Club.

This sign welcomes Pettipaug Yacht Club members and visitors to the site of Woman’s Sailing Group.

This sign welcomes members and visitors to the Pettipaug Yacht Club.

To participate in the Women’s Sailing Group races, it is necessary to be a member of the Pettipaug Yacht Club. The club’s Membership Chairperson, Laura Nunno, will be on hand on June 14 to sign up new club members.

Also, non-members of the club can participate in the races on a one time basis, provided they sign a waiver to the effect that the club will not be responsible for any injuries that they might incur at the club’s races.

There is a $25 fee for participating in the races of the Women’s Sailing Group. Men are not allowed to participate except as spectators.

Further questions about the Women’s Sailing Group races can be sent by e-mail to probinson02@snet.net or by calling 860-526-2775.

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Sign Up Now to Read to Mia, the Reading Therapy Dog, July 28

Mia, the Reading Therapy dog, is eager to be read to at the Deep River Public Library.

Mia, the Reading Therapy dog, is eager to be read to at the Deep River Public Library.

DEEP RIVER – Mia, the Reading Therapy dog, and her handler, Terrie Carpenter, will visit the Deep River Public Library on Thursday, July 28 at 3 p.m.

Reading Therapy animals can build confidence with children who are emerging or struggling readers. Young children can make up stories by using the pictures in book. Older readers can build their read-aloud skills. This program is best suited for children ages 3-11. Each child is given a 15-minute time slot. Registration is required for this activity. Call today to reserve your spot.

This program is free and sponsored by the Friends of the Deep River Public Library. For more information, go to http://deepriverlibrary.accountsupport.com and click on our monthly calendar, email the Children’s Department at drplchildrensdept@gmail.com or call the library at 860-526-6039.
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Townwide Tag Sales Today Bring Hundreds to Chester

townwide tag sale 1

CHESTER: Chester’s 26th Annual Townwide Tag Sale will be on Saturday, May 28 – the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Sales open at 8 a.m. and end by 3 p.m.(or earlier). The event is rain or shine.

You’ll find well over 50 tag sales throughout the entire town of Chester, in residences and businesses.

As you enter town, you will see friendly volunteers selling maps (a mere $1) that will give you the locations of everyone hosting a tag sale. Spend more time with the maps and less time trying to find the sales by randomly driving around– although, that is fun,  too.

The first such event of its kind in the Lower Connecticut River Valley, the Chester Townwide Tag Sale was started by a group of Chester merchants in the mid-90’s and was run by the Merchants Group for several years.  In 2003, the Chester Historical Society took over the event and ran it for the next seven years.  The event is now organized by Chester Republican Town Committee..

For more information, contact Kris Seifert at (860) 526-8440 or kris.seifert@gmail.com.

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‘Thursdays on the Dock’ Continues with ‘Open Mic Night’ at CT River Museum, July 28

ESSEX – Since 2010, Thursdays on the Dock have become the unofficial start to the summer weekend.  This year, thanks to lead sponsorship from the Essex Wellness Center, the free concert series that features a different band each night and the panoramic views of the Connecticut River is back and bigger than ever.

‘Thursdays on the Dock’ take place every Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., July 7 through Aug. 25, on the museum’s historic waterfront.  Phyllis Stillman, Connecticut River Museum Development Manager, said, “We are fortunate to have received sponsorship from Essex Wellness Center and Connecticut River Dock & Dredge, which is allowing us to bring in a broad range of musical acts that will appeal to a diverse audience.”

Museum Director Christopher Dobbs noted that patrons will hear the sounds of “Dixieland jazz, classic rock, folk, blues and more during the series.”  A new feature this year is the partnership with iCRV Radio, which will be highlighted on July 28 when iCRV hosts the evening, bringing in groups they have featured on their show “Open Mic Night.”

Heidi Kunzli, owner of the Essex Wellness Center and leading sponsor, said that she has always enjoyed coming down to the museum for these events, “There’s nothing quite like a relaxing evening by the harbor taking in the music and the view.”

Schedule of performers:

  • July 28 – iCRV presents “Best of the iCRV Open Mic Night”
  • Aug. 4 – Good Night Moonshine
  • Aug. 11 – Crazy Celts
  • Aug. 18 – Geoff Kaufman
  • Aug. 25 – Small Pond All Stars

In addition to the lively music, a cash bar is available.  For the second year, Porky Pete’s BBQ will be serving food and the Essex Wellness Center will offer complimentary massages.  The museum’s main floor galleries and gift shop will also be open for a bit of waterfront and local history.

For more information, call 860-767-8269. The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street and is a membership-supported educational organization. Membership is open to all. More information can be found at www.ctrivermuseum.org

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Leif Nilsson Hosts ‘Arrowsmith String Band’ at ‘Concert in the Garden,’ July 28

The 'Arrowsmith String Band' plays the next 'Concert in the Garden,' next Thursday, July 28.

The ‘Arrowsmith String Band’ plays the next ‘Concert in the Garden,’ next Thursday, July 28. Photo by Kelly Freyer.

CHESTER — Leif Nilsson hosts another ‘Concert in the Garden’, Thursday, July 28, from 7 to 9 p.m., this time featuring the Arrowsmith String Band at the Spring Street Studio and Gallery at 1 Spring St, Chester Center. This monthly concert series highlights eclectic international singer/songwriter artists from cool jazz to blue grass.

Andy on mandolin, Matt and Karen on guitar, Patricia on bass fiddle and Leif on banjo present an eclectic collection of acoustic folk and rock arrangements.

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

Sorry, no pets allowed.

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

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

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VRHS Students Finish Strong at State’s Robotics Competition

Valley robotics Relaxing after their second competition

Valley robotics relaxing after their second place finish

REGION 4 – Valley Regional High School was among 40 teams from Connecticut and Massachusetts that convened at two weekend-long First Robotics’ Competitions (FRC) New England held in March and April of this year. The April event took place at Hartford Public High School, April 1-3, and officials of the school said it was the biggest event in the state related to science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM education.

In only their second year with a robotics team, Valley Regional High School’s “Human Error” took second place at the March competition held in Waterbury, beating out nearly 30 other teams. Then, on day one of the Hartford event, Human Error placed second overall but ultimately dropped in rank on the final day just missing the cut to advance.  Last year Valley’s team was awarded Rookie of the Year.

“It’s a little disappointing that we didn’t get picked for an alliance in order to advance, but we accomplished every one of our goals set for the robot we built and we all feel really good about that,” said Valley sophomore Rocket Otte.

Being Otte’s first time with the Valley team, he described the competition experience as “electric” and “exciting” and like no other. He explained he really appreciated the spirit of cooperation among all the teams.

“I really like how FRC organizes their events. They have this term called ‘gracious professionalism’ where they encourage all the teams to cooperate with each other in alliances and helping out with tools and equipment. If you’re missing a part you can post it and other teams will help out regardless. That’s really cool.”

Valley’s team Human Error, made up of about 30 students, spent more than 200 hours working after school and on weekends to build and refine the robot’s functionality. Each member or specific group works on a particular aspect of the robot, from sensors, to gears, to bumpers to programming, using math, science, logic and other educational disciplines. But the key is teamwork.

“Working collaboratively and coordinating skills and talents is what happens in this space; students determine themselves who does what to get the robot working, they organize themselves; the other teachers, mentors and myself are on the sidelines offering guidance and support when needed,” explained Valley Biology teacher Dr. Peano.

Another key element to the team is programming skills. This year that effort was led by rookie member and sophomore Sam Paulson, who worked in the Java programming language to accomplish the task of instructing the robot’s functions, programming it to drive and move its metal arm.

“Programming is something I learned myself with online sites and it’s something that interests me, so when I joined the team I offered to work on that. I learned programming the robot to drive is easier than programming the arm to move,” said Paulson.

He added, “I learned a lot this year and I’ll be able to do a lot more next year like make the robot do more complex tasks. But for this year I was content with what our team did and how the robot worked.”

In the end the competition was more than winning or losing. It was about brainpower, creativity, collaboration and having fun, all done in an environment outside the usual classroom setting.

Valley Regional High School team roster:
Alexandro Adamson, Tanner Aikens, Samantha Bartlett, Ian Bott, Matt Caron, Allie Champion, Gavin Collins, Jaedyn Correa, Jared Dompier, Meagan Gephart, Samuel Griswold, Michael Johnson, Nate Luscomb, Patrick Myslik, Nicholas Otte, Samuel Paulson, Cooper Robbins, Francis Stino, Sam Swap, Nolan Tackett, Ethan West
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Duane Gates Appointed to Open Deep River Selectman Seat

DEEP RIVER — Eight weeks after the unexpected March 25 death of 26-year Democratic First Selectman Richard Smith, the board of selectmen returned to a full complement of members Friday with the appointment of Duane Gates to fill an unexpired term ending in November 2017.

Gates, a Democrat, was appointed at a special meeting by interim First Selectman Angus McDonald Jr., also a Democrat, and Republican Selectman Dave Oliveria to fill the vacancy created last month when McDonald, with Oliveria’s support, was appointed as interim first selectman. Gates was sworn in to office immediately by Town Clerk Amy Winchell.

McDonald said six residents had submitted letters of intent and qualifications since the vacancy was created after his appointment as first selectman on April 21. McDonald said he and Oliveria had met with all of the interested individuals, holding closed door special meetings with prospective candidates on May 14 and last Monday. “It came down to a very difficult decision,” he said.

Gates 52, is a lifelong Deep River resident with a background in the construction industry. Gates currently works as a union representative and recording secretary for the Hamden-based Operating Engineers Union Local 478. He is the married father of a 22-year-old daughter.

Gates has served previously on the local board of education, to which he was first elected as a Republican, and the Region 4 Board of Education, where he served eight years from 2005-2013. Gates was elected to a full six-year term as a Democrat in 2005, and for a two-year vacancy term from 2011-2013.

Gates said he has been interested in serving on the board of selectmen, and had expressed his interest in conversations with Smith. “I am honored to serve the remainder of the term and I look forward to working with Angus and Dave,” he said.

The appointment Friday completes the transition that was forced by Smith’s unexpected death. The Gates appointment could be forced to a special election with a petition signed by at least 158 town voters that must be submitted to the town clerk within 15 days of the appointment. There was no petition for special election with McDonald’s appointment as interim first selectman.

The current terms expire on November 21, 2017, two weeks after the next municipal election on Nov. 7, 2017

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Community Music School Names New Executive Director

CENTERBROOK – Community Music School has named Abigail Nickell as its new Executive Director, where she will be responsible for the leadership and management of the active school and its outreach programs.  She replaces Robin Andreoli, who left the organization in March.

Abigail Nickell is a seasoned non-profit executive with more than a decade of experience in the social sector.  She took the helm at the Community Music School in April.  She most recently served as the Executive Director of MADD Hawaii, overseeing their statewide operations and fundraising.  Prior to that, she served as the Executive Director of the Women’s Fund of Hawaii, a statewide grantmaking agency, and Executive Director of Save the Food Basket, an AIDS service organization.

Nickell began her career as the Assistant Director of the Northampton Community Music Center and is thrilled to be working in arts administration again.  Her undergraduate degree is in music and dance from Smith College and she received her MBA from Chaminade University’s Non-Profit Management program.

“I’m so pleased to join the staff and our incredible faculty at CMS in our mission to make music education accessible to all,” said Nickell.  “I look forward to working with our dedicated board of trustees to develop innovate strategies that will allow us to operate efficiently while engaging new audiences in support of our efforts.”

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

 

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Letter to the Editor: Elect Siegrist in 36th District to Help Solve State’s Budget Woes

To the Editor:

On July 17, 2015 ValleyNewsNow.com published a 938 word Op-Ed titled “We Have a State Budget” authored by State Representative Philip Miller.   This opinion piece heaped endless self-praise on the virtues of the fiscal year 2015-16 budget, rationalized the supposed benefits of this budget, and admonished us for questioning  the wisdom underlying this fine piece of legislation.  The budget was first of all, “balanced” and secondly, would act as the foundation for future economic growth in both the 36th District and the State of Connecticut.  Bravo!

What a difference ten months make!  Fast forward to May 2016, the current year’s budget deficit ballooned to more than $250 million; the 2016-17 budget was reduced $930 million dollars because of overspending and unrealistic revenue projections.  Did not Representative Miller tell us, with great fanfare, the State’s budget was balanced and our long term needs addressed?  Rest assured he said, there was no need to worry, the record tax increases would solve our economic and budgetary problems.  Anyone stating otherwise was just “posturing”.

The current year’s deficit remains in place and the cuts in the 2016-17 budget did irreparable damage to individuals through the loss of their jobs, curtailed services to those most in need, and threw municipal budgets into turmoil.  Representative Miller supports budgets reliant on revenue increases based on people smoking, drinking, and gambling at ever increasing levels while further reducing peoples’ eligibility for local property tax credits.

How did Representative Miller get it so wrong again?

It is time we elected an individual, Bob Siegrist, to Hartford who will vote for the interests of our district and not simply follow the marching orders of the Governor and House Democratic Leadership.  Bob is an independent voice who will vigorously represent our interests in the 36th House District of Essex, Haddam, Deep River and Chester.  He has the courage to address the systemic problems that plague our State.

This November, join the movement to bring fresh voices to Hartford and elect Bob Siegrist as our State Representative for the 36th District.

Sincerely,

Vincent A. Pacileo, III
Ivoryton.

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Ivoryton Resident Darcy Chmielewski Honored by Webster’s Banking Center

webster bank

From the left, are Darcy Chmielewski, Jessica DaRe, Andrea Myers and Alex Nodden

IVORYTON – Darcy Chmielewski, a resident of Ivoryton and manager at Webster’s banking center in Essex, is an honoree of the bank’s “80 Days of Giving” employee volunteer campaign. The volunteer effort is part of Webster’s 80th Anniversary celebration. An awards ceremony was held May 3 at the Radisson Cromwell Hotel.

Chmielewski’s volunteer effort earned $1,000 for the nonprofit of her choice – the Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries. She led a team of five Webster bankers who helped the local soup kitchen serve meals in November, filling a staffing void that occurs each month that has a fifth Monday. Chmielewski’s team shopped, prepared the food, served a meal to 12 people, and then cleaned up on Nov. 30 at the First Baptist Church in Essex. To make the event even more meaningful, nine of those who attended were able to take home enough food to provide them with an extra meal on the following day. The meal was sponsored by the Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries of Old Saybrook.

The banker volunteer initiative, “80 Days of Giving,” was launched October 11, 2015. In all, 103 bankers nominated volunteer activities to receive one of the 80 grants. The breadth and impact of participation stimulated even greater community involvement by Webster bankers, who now contribute more than 125,000 volunteer hours annually.

Webster Bank is a leading regional bank serving businesses and consumers in the Northeast.

 

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Retire Your Worn American Flags Through June 10

american-flag-2a

OLD SAYBROOK – State lawmakers Sen. Art Linares, Sen. Paul Formica and Rep. Devin Carney encourage residents to retire their worn American flags from May 31 to June 10.

Drop-off locations include: Old Saybrook Town Hall, 302 Main Street, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., and Acton Public Library, 60 Old Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook, Monday through Friday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The collected flags will be brought to the Old Saybrook American Legion Post 113 for proper retirement.

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Letter to the Editor: Thanks and Appreciation for May Market

To the Editor:

On Saturday, May 7, the Essex Garden Club held its 64th May Market.  As Co-Chairs of  May Market, we would like to thank all of  the volunteers, town workers,  residents, and especially the shoppers who supported May Market.  The proceeds of the annual May Market support the villages of Centerbrook, Essex and Ivoryton with programs for youth, scholarships for education and  campers,   town park maintenance and town beautification during various times of the year.

Thank you for your support.

Barbara  Hall  & Rosemary Willis
Co-Chairs of May Market

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Community Music School Opens Satellite Location in East Lyme

ESSEX – Community Music School (CMS) has expanded their programming to a satellite location in East Lyme, beginning with their summer session on June 27, 2016.  The new site will offer private lessons in a variety of instruments for students of all ages, as well as several beginner group classes, chamber music ensembles, music therapy, and the popular Kindermusic program for babies and toddlers.  The satellite is located in a beautiful new building with easy access and ample parking at 179 Flanders Road in East Lyme.

With strong public school music programming in the area, but very little in the way of private instruction or instrumental ensembles, CMS will be a much needed addition to the local arts community.  With need-based financial aid available, as well as music therapy services administered by a certified clinician, CMS will provide accessible music education for local residents.

“We are thrilled to launch our satellite location in East Lyme this summer,” says Executive Director Abigail Nickell.  “The board and faculty see this as a great opportunity to serve a new community with our well-established music programming.”  Community Music School’s eight-week summer session runs from June 27 through August 19, followed by the fall session beginning on September 7.  To register for classes, visit www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

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

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Pratt House Museum in Essex Offers Free Tours Friday Thru Sunday Until Sept. 25

The Pratt House Museum in Essex.

The Pratt House Museum in Essex.

ESSEX — The Essex Historical Society is offering free tours of the Pratt House Museum at 19 West Ave. in Essex between 1 and 4 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 25, 2016.

For more information, call 860-767- 0681 or visit www.essexhistory.org

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Essex Library Hosts Book-Signing by Local Authors at Today’s Book Sale

Richard Friswell

Richard Friswell

ESSEX — When the Friends of Essex Library hold their Spring Book Sale on Saturday, May 21, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., two local authors, Richard Friswell and Jane Rice, will be on hand to sign and sell their books.

Richard J. Friswell, M.Ed., M. Phil, Publisher and Managing Editor of ARTES magazine, and author of Balancing Act: Postcards for the Edge of Risk. Friswell writes, “Balancing Act is a collection of short essays, capturing moments in my life when I find myself in curious, challenging or awe-inspiring situations.  I reflect on my own vulnerability and the curious workings of human nature as we venture out into a complex world.”

He continues, “Adventure can be found in everyday encounters if we know where to look for it and are open to being surprised.  From an offshore sailing trip, a chaotic cab ride through the streets of New York, a journey to the tip of Cape Cod, to observations about a summer’s night sky, I attempt to put events in a context of self-discovery and amazement.  The mundane events of life need not be so, if we are prepared to embrace the unexpected.”

Jane Rice, Eliane Koeves and Nikki Lindberg

Jane Rice, Eliane Koeves and Nikki Lindberg

Jane Rice is the co-author of Eliane—The Art of Embracing Life and Nature, written with Nikki Lindberg about Eliane Koeves of Chester after two years of interviewing her. Eliane said, “My story is a personal account of an extraordinary journey through the last century.  Challenges both simple and complicated presented themselves and just had to be faced.  Definitely things just happened to me.  Fortunately laughter and a positive attitude bubbled just beneath the surface, however calamitous or life threatening the situation might be.”

Eliane served in World War II, and joined the Peace Corps at age 75, always looking for a way to serve.  She died in Chester last fall at age 102.

The Essex Library is at 33 West Ave., Essex.

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Vista Presents “Pirates” Musical at ‘The Kate’ This Weekend

Nancy, Brian and Craig are three of the actors in "The Pirates of Penzance" at The Kate.

Nancy, Brian and Craig are three of the actors in “The Pirates of Penzance” at The Kate.

OLD SAYBROOK – A band of pirates will soon invade the stage at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook as part of Vista Life Innovations’ upcoming musical production of “The Pirates of Penzance,” which opens Friday, May 20.

Directed by Pat Souney, this production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic comedy features an original adaptation by Souney and Assistant Director Noah Golden. The story follows Frederic, an orphan who has mistakenly been apprenticed to a bumbling band of pirates, and the hilarity that ensues as a result.

“The comedy varies from clever dialogue to corny puns to slapstick,” said Souney, an Old Saybrook resident. “It is a very funny show and the cast has great fun with it.”

Setting this production apart is its mission to unite the shoreline and Vista communities, which it achieves by featuring an all-ability ensemble of performers from both communities. The cast is comprised of nine community members and 20 Vista members, and ranges from seasoned performers to those making their stage debuts.

Among the actors is Killingworth resident Craig Hines in the role of Pirate King. Hines was introduced to Vista when he was cast in Vista’s first-ever all-ability musical production, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” in 2014.

“What I have enjoyed most about working with the Vista students and members is the way they notice and enjoy the small details,” Hines said. “They are also more genuinely enthusiastic and openly happy to see you and be involved.”

Show times are Friday, May 20 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, May 22 at 2 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit www.katharinehepburntheater.org or call the box office at 877-503-1286.

This production is funded in part through a grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County. Show sponsors include Farmers Insurance, the Wrotnowski Family, the Lee Family, Cornerstone Construction Services, Bermello Ajamil & Partners, Inc., Bruce Baber, and Laurie Pilcher and Sharon Grogan.

With campuses in Westbrook, Madison and Guilford, Vista Life Innovations is an organization dedicated to assisting individuals with disabilities achieve personal success.

 

Nancy, Brian and Craig

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Literacy Volunteers Hosts Races for All Ages Today in Essex

literacy volunteers runAREAWIDE – On Saturday, May 21, Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS) will hold its Ninth Annual Backward Mile and 5K Run/3K Walk. Registration for the races begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Essex Town Hall, on West Avenue. The Backward Mile race, open to runners older than 18, begins at 8:30 a.m.; the 5K race and 3K walk both begins at 9:15 a.m. T-shirts will be given to the first 100 runners.

Runners below the age of six can participate in the Lollipop Run, which begins at 8:50 a.m. All Lollipop runners will receive lollipops.

Registration forms are available from the LVVS offices, (860) 399-0280, or you can register online at www.register.fasttracktiming.com. Runners with additional questions about the race may contact Elizabeth Steffen, race director, at esteffen@vsliteracy.org. All proceeds from the race go to LVVS tutoring programs.

Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore, CT, Inc. teaches residents of the valley shore towns to read, write and speak English to improve their life and work skills. This one-to-one instruction is confidential and is completely without charge to the student. LVVS currently has 183 volunteers who serve 203 students in 11 shoreline towns: Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Guilford, Killingworth, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

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New Thrift Shop Opens in Essex

The idea of Susan Christopher of Essex (far right), a new thrift shop, "Treasures On The Hill" is being created by Susan Nilsen (left) and Connie Connor (center) of Essex at the First Congregational Church in Essex.

The idea of Susan Christopher of Essex (far right), a new thrift shop, “Treasures On The Hill” is being created by Susan Nilsen (left) and Connie Connor (center) of Essex at the First Congregational Church in Essex.

ESSEX – The useful, the unusual, the wearable and the collectible can all be found at “Treasures On The Hill,” a new thrift Shop that opened May 21 at the First Congregational Church in Essex, 6 Methodist Hill in Essex Village. The shop will be open year-round every first and third Saturday of each month, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

Shoppers will find bargains on better women’s and men’s clothing, children’s items, books, household goods, cookware and an antiques/boutique selection. Proceeds from the store will go to support the missions of the church.

For more information or to donate items for “Treasures On The Hill,” call the church at 860-767-8097.

 

 

 

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Essex Wellness Hosts Free Talk, Discussion This Afternoon on Prescription Drug Abuse

Crowell_Joanna_05

Joanna Crowell, LPC, LADC

ESSEX — Abuse of prescription painkillers and opioid drugs has become an epidemic that has worked its way into many Connecticut families.

On Saturday, May 21, at the Essex Wellness Center from 1:30 to 3 p.m., Joanna Crowell, LPC, LADC, psychotherapist, drug and alcohol counselor, will talk about abuse of certain medications – opioids, central nervous system depressants and stimulants – and adverse health effects, including addiction, accidental overdose and death.

When people lose their access to prescription narcotics, they often turn to heroin in both affluent suburbs and inner cities alike. Addiction to prescription painkillers is common and dangerous.

Join this open dialogue and candid discussion that includes a variety of treatment options available to begin the healing process for people in trouble. This event is free, but preregistration is required as space is limited. Call 860-767-7770 or email info@essexwellnessctr.com.

This program is part of Essex Wellness Center’s free Live Well Lecture series. Essex Wellness Center is at 8 Novelty Lane (upstairs), Essex Village.

 

 

 

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Samuel Magaziner of Essex Graduates with Honors from Columbia

Sam Magaziner

Sam Magaziner

ESSEX —  Samuel James Magaziner of Essex graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biochemistry from Columbia University in the City of New York’s commencement ceremony, held on May 18.  Magaziner received departmental honors in Chemistry and was inducted into the Columbia chapter of the New York Delta Phi Beta Kappa.

While at Columbia, Magaziner conducted independent research and served as a research assistant with the Wang and Cornish Labs of Columbia University and was appointed a Research Team Leader and Co-founder for Columbia’s first International Genetically Engineered Machines Competition (iGEM). He served as a Clinical Research Assistant in the Sinai Research Associates Program at New York Mt. Sinai St. Lukes’s and Roosevelt Hospitals. Magaziner participated in The Charles Drew High School Pipeline Program, where he served as a mentor to underrepresented and economically disadvantaged high school students seeking to enter into health and science professions by providing guidance and a strong support network among fellow Columbia students and faculty.

Magaziner has been recognized as a Guthikonda Fellow of the Columbia University Chemistry Department and is a member of the The Charles Drew Premedical Society and Chandler Chemistry Society of Columbia University. He serves as an executive member of the Nu Nu Chapter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Magaziner will attend the University of Cambridge in England in the fall to pursue an advanced degree.

Magaziner is a 2012 graduate of Xavier High School and is the son of Mr. and Mrs. James R. Magaziner of Essex, and Rumson, NJ.
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Babysitting Training Class Offered by Tri-Town YS, July 20

DEEP RIVER – Tri-Town Youth Services will offer the American Heart Association’s Pediatric First Aid and CPR course along with a babysitter training certificate program.  This course is for youth ages 12-17.  The $75 fee includes instruction, books, and certificate.

The summer session will be held at Tri-Town Youth Services, 56 High Street in Deep River on July 20, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Participants should bring their own lunches.  Classes fill quickly, so register soon – online (www.tritownys.org) or by calling 860-526-3600.

Tri-Town Youth Services supports and advances the families, youth and communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex.  We coordinate and provide resources needed to make positive choices, reduce substance abuse, and strengthen the relationships that matter most.  Discover programs and information for families, as well as opportunities for community collaboration at www.tritownys.org.
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36th House Election a Rematch Between Democratic State Rep. Phil Miller and Republican Bob Siegrist

Republican nominee Bob Siegrist stands with State Senator Art Linares (R-30th) after the former accepted the Republican nomination to run for the State Rep. seat currently held by Phil Miller.

Republican nominee Bob Siegrist (right) stands with State Senator Art Linares (R-33rd), who nominated Siegrist to run for the State Representative seat currently held by Phil Miller (D-36th).

AREAWIDE — Party nominating conventions this week have set up a Nov. 8 election rematch, with Democratic State Rep. Phil Miller’s bid for a third full term facing a challenge from Haddam Republican Bob Siegrist in the 36th House District that is comprised of the towns of Chester, Deep River, Essex, and Haddam.

In 2014, Siegrist was awarded the GOP nomination in June, following the withdrawal of a candidate nominated at the convention in May. After a spirited campaign, Miller was re-elected on a 5,522-4,701 vote, with Miller carrying Chester, Deep River and Essex and Siegrist carrying Haddam. Miller was elected to the seat in a February 2011 special election while serving his fourth term as first selectman of Essex. He was elected to a full term in 2012.

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State Rep. Melissa Ziobron (R-34th) offers congratulations to Bob Siegrist.

Siegrist was the unanimous choice of about 15 delegates and supporters at the convention Monday at the Pattaconk Bar & Grille in Chester. Seigrist was nominated by Republican State Senator Art Linares of Westbrook, who holds the 33rd Senate District seat that includes the four district towns. In seconding remarks, Phil Beckman of Essex said Seigrist, “gets the priorities, the budget, economy and taxes,” which he described as the “Bermuda Triangle in the Legislature right now.”

The nomination of Siegrist (left) was seconded by of Essex.

Bob Siegrist (left) stands with Ed Munster.

In brief remarks after the nomination, Seigrist said he would focus on priorities and work to represent all of the residents of the four district towns. Seigrist, 32, currently works with a landscaping business after working previously as a bartender before his 2014 campaign.

Miller was nominated for a third full term Tuesday by delegates gathered in the community room at Chester Town Hall.  He was nominated by Lisa Bibbiani, the Deep River tax collector who said Miller has dedication and a positive attitude. In seconding remarks, Brian Cournoyer, chairman of the Essex Democratic Town Committee, praised the incumbent’s “passion for the environment and the Lower Connecticut River Valley.”

Miller told the delegates that this year’s legislative session, which struggles with a looming state budget deficit, mirrored the situation when he arrived at the Capitol in late February 2011. Miller defended the 2016-2017 budget plan approved by the House last week on a 74-70 vote, noting the plan made tough choices to address the budget deficit, including $900 million in cuts, while avoiding tax increases and a deeper cuts to education funding.

Miller said he was also proud to vote last week against a Republican amendment that would have ended the Citizen’s Election Program funding for legislative campaigns. Miller said the program, established in 2007 under a law pushed by his predecessor in the 36th District seat, current Deputy Secretary of the State James Spallone, limits the influence of large campaign contributions while also helping to level the playing field for challengers, including Siegrist. Spallone, an Essex resident, was chairman of the Tuesday convention.

Miller said he plans to run an active and positive campaign, and is ready for public debates with Siegrist. “I’ll be out and about meeting people like I normally do,” he said, adding “It’s my case to make and I think it is going to be clear, if it is not already, that I am a much better candidate.”

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Death Announced of Veteran ’60 Minutes’ Correspondent, Chester Resident Morley Safer

Morley Safer

Morley Safer

The death was announced Thursday morning of award-winning journalist and long-time ’60 Minutes’ correspondent Morley Safer, who had a home in Chester.  The Hartford Courant reports, “Safer, 84, recently retired from the popular news show and was the subject of a special report on his lengthy career Sunday night.”

Read the full article published today on the Courant.com by ‘Wire Reports’ at this link.

 

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Madhatters’ “Beauty & the Beast” Performances Continue Through Sunday

beauty_and_the_beast_logo_2_CHESTER – Madhatters Theatre Company presents “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” at Chester Meeting House, opening May 13.

The family-friendly production is a fundraiser for ‘Hailey Strong for a Paws.’ Hailey Giguere is a Windsor, CT teen in need of a service dog due to brain tumors she has suffered throughout her life.  Please help support this wonderful young lady. More about Hailey on Facebook: www.facebook.com/haileystrongforapaws.

Performances are Friday, May 13, at 6 p.m.; Saturday, May 14 at 2 and 7 p.m.; Sunday, May 15 at 2 p.m.; Friday, May 20 at 6 p.m.; Saturday, May 21 at 2 and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, May 22 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under.

To reserve tickets, please e-mail madhattersctc@aol.com or call (860) 395-1861.

The Chester Meeting House is at 4 Liberty Street, Chester.

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