August 2, 2015

Project to Beautify Essex’s West Ave. and Beyond (Finally) Begins

Bruce Glowac, President of the Essex Foundaation and Augie Pampel, Essex Tree Warden admire the new Eastern Red Cedars along West Avenue in Essex.  Missing from the photo is Paul Fazzino, Jr., Essex Fire Chief.

Bruce Glowac, President of the Essex Foundaation and Augie Pampel, Essex Tree Warden admire the new Eastern Red Cedars along West Avenue in Essex. Missing from the photo is Paul Fazzino, Jr., Essex Fire Chief.

ESSEX — For many years there has been concern about the appearance of the West Avenue entrance into Essex Village.  Following a public hearing in 2001, Augie Pampel, Essex Tree Warden, requested that the Essex Tree Committee develop a plan for the area and that the existing arborvitae trees remain in situ until a West Avenue Gateway Plan had been developed.

Now, 14 years later, with the help of local funding and cooperation, the plan is underway and work has begun to beautify this Essex Village gateway.

As residents enter Essex Village, they will see new Eastern Red Cedar trees providing both screening and greenery along West Ave. to the intersection with Routes 154 and 153, making the Fire Department rear buildings and Eversource electric sub-station far less visible.

The significant funds for this project were equally provided by The Essex Foundation and the Essex Fire Department with a smaller contribution by the Essex Tree Committee.  Dave Caroline and his Town crew cleared the site prior to the planting and Fred Weber and Associates and his crew skillfully handled the planting of the large specimen trees. Ken Bombaci, a member of the Essex Tree Committee, was instrumental in procuring the beautiful Eastern Red Cedar trees.

Additionally, Augie Pampel, Bruce Glowac, President of the Essex Foundation, and Fred Weber are developing landscape designs for the state property at the intersection of Routes 154 and 153 opposite West Ave. The landscape design will require state approval prior to implementation, but the hope is that the landscaping will begin in 2016.

In the meantime, the Connecticut Department of Transportation has cleared the property of invasive species and undesirable vegetation. The goal is to plant areas with attractive, low maintenance, indigenous species of trees and shrubs.

Funding from The Essex Foundation was made possible by a generous bequest from the estate of the late Elizabeth “Diz” Callender.  The Essex Foundation is a local non-profit  public charitable foundation dedicated to the betterment of the community of Essex and its residents.  Foundation President Glowac noted, “The Essex Foundation is proud to be a means through which Mrs. Callender’s wishes are being fulfilled.”

Pampel, in turn, expressed his appreciation to The Essex Foundation and Essex Fire Department, whose combined funds finally took this project off the shelf and caused it to swing into action along West Ave. and beyond.

Letter to the Editor: Thanks to Police for Prompt Assistance, Follow-up in Home Burglary

To the Editor:
 
I live in Chester, CT and I would like to take this opportunity to publically thank our local Resident Trooper, Officer Ewing and Troop F Officer G. for all the hard work they have done on my family’s  behalf.
 
Recently, my husband entered our home and discovered we had been robbed.  He called the Trooper’s office and then he called me.  But, before I could get home, Trooper G. was already there.  Later, he was joined by Officer Ewing who at the time was on another case.
 
Both officers performed a thorough investigation and were extremely helpful.  The robbers took off with the typical stuff but it was reported by a Good Samaritan that there was no car in our driveway during the robbery. So the Troopers thought they may have taken off on foot out in the woods.  So they brought in a tracking dog to track the nearby woods.
 
So far, our things have not been recovered, but I know Officer Ewing is still looking as he has called with updates and one time stopped by the house and spoke with our family.
 
We are fortunate to live in such a lovely town that is so well protected.  I feel safer now just knowing how our security is handled. Good job Officers Ewing and Officer G.  Thank you both so, so much.
 
Sincerely,
The Monahan family including,
Christina and Steven Monahan, Chester.

Essex Winter Series Awards Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship to Daniel Leffingwell

Louisa Ketron, a member of the Board of Trustees of Essex Winter Series, presented the Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship to VRHS senior Daniel Leffingwell.

Louisa Ketron, a member of the Board of Trustees of Essex Winter Series, presented the Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship to VRHS senior Daniel Leffingwell.

REGION 4 — Daniel Leffingwell of Chester, a senior at Valley Regional High School (VRHS), is the recipient of the 2015 Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship, provided by Essex Winter Series (EWS). The scholarship was presented to Leffingwell by EWS trustee Louisa Ketron at the VRHS senior awards night on June 3.

Named for one of the founding members of the EWS, the Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a graduating senior of VRHS who will be studying music in college. The generous scholarship provides $1,000 for each year of study, for a total of $4,000.

Leffingwell took part in drama, music, and sports programs throughout his career at VRHS. He participated in the school’s musical production, landing a lead role in his senior year. He sang in the school’s  Concert Choir, the selective Madrigal Consort, and Madmen for all four years, and sang in the student-led a cappella group, serving as leader for one year.

Also an instrumentalist, he played percussion in the school band and played bass and guitar in the jazz band. He was selected to participate in the All-State and New England music festivals for three years, elected to student council, and chosen for membership in the National Honor Society.

In athletics, he played on the baseball and tennis teams.

Laffingwell was highly recommended by members of the faculty, who noted he,“… is an extremely bright student both musically and academically,” “… a model student,” and “… a good young man who is interested in helping others as well as himself.” In the fall, Leffingwell will enroll at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Ill., where he will major in music education.

The Francis Bealey Memorial Scholarship was established in 1995 after the passing of EWS board president Francis Bealey to honor his commitment to music and arts education.

Bringing world-class classical and jazz music to the shoreline area was the dream of the founders of the EWS, established in 1979.  The late Fenton Brown became involved early on and devoted many years to expanding the series, and ultimately recruited pianist Mihae Lee to become Artistic Director.

The “Fenton Brown Emerging Artists Concert” series was begun to honor Brown’s commitment to promoting the careers of young artists.  Each year, the EWS presents a series of concert performances by top-rated musicians from around the world. These concerts, held at Valley Regional High School or John Winthrop Middle School in Deep River, are presented on Sunday afternoons in January, February, and March.  A single season may include a mix of such performances as chamber music, instrumental soloists, opera singers, symphony and chamber orchestras, and jazz bands.

More information may be found at www.essexwinterseries.org.

Summer Reading Program for School Credit Open to all Region 4 Students

Region 4 summer reading books for middle and high school students.

Region 4 summer reading books for middle and high school students.

REGION 4 — John Winthrop and Valley Regional students from Chester, Deep River and Essex are invited to take part in the summer reading discussions at Chester Public Library to receive school credit.

The discussion leader will be Sally Murray, who has been leading these popular discussions for several years.

For John Winthrop students, the discussion will be on Thursday, July 16, at 5 p.m.  “Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time,” by Marc Adams, is the title to be discussed for summer credit. Refreshments will be served and each participant will receive a certificate of completion for their non-fiction requirement.

On Thursday, Aug, 6, at 5 p.m., Valley Regional students are invited to discuss “172 Hours on the Moon” by Johan Harstad. Students who demonstrate that they have completed the book will receive credit for their fiction requirement. Food will be part of the fun.

Copies of the books can be borrowed at the library. Registration at 860-526-0018 is required.

St. John’s Episcopal Church in Essex Partners with Middlesex Habitat for Humanity

logoESSEX — St. John’s Episcopal Church, Essex, and Middlesex Habitat for Humanity have announced a partnership in mission and ministry.  This partnership represents a shared, mutual relationship between the people of St. John’s and Middlesex Habitat.

St. John’s has pledged spiritual, physical, and fiscal support, and Middlesex Habitat has pledged to send representatives to the parish to speak of their vision, to share their needs and plans for the upcoming future, and to provide helpful information to communicate throughout the congregation about their work and the lives that are being changed as a result.

“It is an honor and wonderful endorsement of our work to partner with such a vibrant and respected church. Their support is greatly needed as we begin construction on our thirteenth house,” said Sarah Bird, Middlesex Habitat for Humanity Executive Director.

In addition, the members of St. John’s will help on the work site to construct the home. David Evangelisti, liaison between the St. John’s and Habitat said, “It is these relationships that give our outreach programs the ‘hands on’ characteristic that we treasure and which helps us make a tangible difference in our community. Middlesex Habitat embodies God’s love put into action, which is a central tenet of our Church.”

For 225 years, St. John’s Church has been a house of worship in the Episcopal tradition for the citizens of Essex and the surrounding communities of the lower Connecticut River Valley. Today the parish has over 400 active members under the ministry of Rector, The Rev. Dr. Jonathan H. Folts.

Founded in 1996, Middlesex Habitat for Humanity of CT., Inc. is an independently operated affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a non-profit 501(c)3, Christian, ecumenical housing ministry.  Its sole mission is to build or renovate simple, decent, affordable houses in partnership with eligible families and its objective is to eliminate substandard housing in Middlesex County, CT, one house at a time.  The organization seeks to make decent housing a matter of conscience and action. 

Chester Library Offers Summer Fun for Kids, Wednesdays in July

Leigh Basilone (center) will once again teach kids scrapbooking techniques at Chester Library this summer.

Leigh Basilone (center) will once again teach kids scrapbooking techniques at Chester Library this summer.

CHESTER — When the kids say they’re bored this summer, offer to take them to one of the free craft programs at Chester Library.

For ages 7 and up, five craft workshops are offered on Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m.  On July 8, learn Origami paper folding with Jenna and Erin. The next week, on July 15, sculpt a mythic Medusa. Decorate a photo frame with recycled re-useables on July 22, create Vegi Critters with Sandy on July 29, and learn the art of polymer (Sculpty) clay with Jenna and Erin on Aug. 5.

Ages 10 and older are invited to the scrapbooking class with Leigh Basilone on Thursday, July 9, at 4:30 p.m. Back by popular demand, Basilone will teach kids how to create a memory page with photos and more.

Registration is required for all programs. Sign up now at the library or call 860-526-0018.

Artists for World Peace Host 3rd Annual Dance for Peace

Dance For Peace
OLD SAYBROOK — Artists for World Peace will present its 3rd Annual Dance for Peace on Saturday, June 27, at the Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (The Kate), 300 Main St., Old Saybrook, Conn. (860-510-0473).

A reception and pre-show performance begins at 7 p.m.; show time begins at 8 p.m.

Eight celebrated local and regional dance companies will be featured, as well as the International Peace Belt.

Since 2003, the Peace Belt has traveled to over 28 countries on five continents, and has been worn during hundreds of artistic performances and sacred ceremonies.

Join Artists for World Peace as they celebrate the creative spirit in the name of peace.

For online tickets, visit <http://www.katharinehepburntheater.org/blog/box-office/http://www.katharinehepburntheater.org/blog/box-office/
or call The Kate Box Office at 877-503-1286.

For more information about Artists for World Peace, visit: http://www.artistsforworldpeace.org/ or contact Wendy at 860-685-1789

Acton Library Offers Summer Computer Class for Novice Seniors, Aug. 4

OLD SAYBROOK — Acton Public Library in Old Saybrook is offering two introductory computer classes this summer. The second will be on Tuesday, Aug. 4, starting at 6 p.m.

These classes are designed for seniors who have little-to-no computer experience and are looking to start the journey to being computer literate.  The course will cover basic keyboard and mouse and hardware tutorials, as well as an introduction to the Windows OS.

The class will be conducted by the library’s reference librarian, and there will be assistance provided by teen tech tutors provided by the Old Saybrook Rotary Club.

There is limited seating so contact the library at 860-395-3184 or actonref@actonlibrary.org to register or visit in person.

Chester Library Kicks Off “Heroes” Summer Program on Monday

Margie Warner will entertain on Monday at Chester Library's Summer Reading Program kick-off event.

Margie Warner will entertain on Monday at Chester Library’s Summer Reading Program kick-off event.

CHESTER — Children of all ages and their parents are invited to the kickoff of Chester Library’s summer reading program, “Every Hero Has a Story,”  on Monday, June 29, at 10:30 a.m.

Chester’s own Margie Warner will entertain with her fun, interactive musical program, “You’re My Hero.” Warner is traveling the state all summer to give her program in recognition of the nationwide summer reading initiative about heroes.

After the program, materials will be available for all children – readers and pre-readers – to start them off in the summer reading program as a “reading hero.” Refreshments will be served.

For more information about the summer program at the Chester Library, call 860-526-0018.

“Easy Street” Exhibit on Show at Essex Art Association Through July 18

EAA_buildingESSEX — The theme of the Essex Art Association’s (EAA) latest exhibition is “Easy Street.” This is an open exhibition, meaning that any artist may submit whether they are associate artists, elected artists or non-member artists. The exhibition will be held at the Essex Art Gallery from July 4-18, during the hours of 1 to 5 p.m. every day except Tuesdays. The opening reception will be held Friday, July 3, from 6 to 8 p.m.
In addition to the artworks on display and for sale in the main gallery, there is also what the Association has called the “Exit Gallery.” One artist has sole use of this gallery to exhibit his/her work during the current EAA show. The Exit Gallery artist during “Easy Street” is Westbrook artist, Beverly Schirmeier.
The EAA’s cheerful, yellow building, pictured above left, is located on North Main St. in the center of the riverside town of Essex, Conn. The EAA members invite readers to come and spend a pleasant afternoon visiting their gallery.

Pettipaug Yacht Club Hosts Work Party Today, Volunteers Invited

Pettipaug Yacht Club is undergoing a $30,000 renovation of its club house.

Pettipaug Yacht Club is undergoing a $30,000 renovation of its club house.

ESSEX — The Pettipaug Yacht Club, located on the Connecticut River in Essex, has scheduled a work party Saturday, June 27, beginning at 8 a.m. The club’s Rear Commodore Kathryn Ryan said, “We plan to be working on the roof, including putting the shingles on the [new] roof, and if anyone has a roofing gun they can bring, that would be helpful.”

“We also have other projects we can work on that day, including cleaning and organizing the sheds where much of our equipment and other belongings have landed during the renovation process,” she noted, “Please consider coming to lend a hand.”

Clubhouse Restoration Is Underway

The Connecticut River runs along the side porch of the clubhouse.

The Connecticut River runs along the side porch of the clubhouse.

The Pettipaug Yacht Club presently has underway a $30,000 renovation of its main building. All of the work on the renovation is being done by club volunteers, according to Paul Risseeuw, the Director of the club’s Pettipaug Sailing Academy.

When complete, the renovations will include a new clubhouse roof, an enlarged membership meeting room and bring the clubhouse’s two bathrooms up to code. Programs of the Pettipaug Sailing Academy will also be held at the club house during the summer.

Sailing Academy Classes Scheduled

This summer the Pettipaug Sailing Academy will feature two teaching programs for young sailors this summer. The first program will begin on June 29 and end on July 21. The second program will begin on July 23 and end on Aug. 14. Academy classes will also divided for the morning for beginning sailors, ages 8 to ll, and afternoon classes for more experienced young sailors, ages 12 to 16. Morning classes for both programs begin at 9 a.m. and last until noon. Afternoon classes begin at 1 p.m. and run until 4 p.m.

Presently, the Academy’s afternoon classes at both sessions are full. However, there are still spaces available for beginning sailors at both morning sessions. The tuition for attending a sailing programs at the Academy is $400 for a 3 and a half week course. This price computes to $8 an hour, according to Risseeuw, who urges prospective pupils to, “Come sign up and have fun.”

The Academy’s Risseeuw also assured prospective Sailing Academy students that sailing classes will not be impeded by the present work on the club house. “Most of the class work is, “on the water,”  he noted.

Today’s ‘Run For Chris’ 5K Benefits High Schools in Lower CT Valley

ESSEX — The 4th Annual RUN FOR CHRIS 5K will be held Sat. June 27, at Essex Town Hall. It is both a memorial and charitable event, the primary purpose of which is to raise money for educational endeavors at the high school level in the Lower Valley of Middlesex County. The proceeds from the RUN FOR CHRIS go directly to these causes.

The Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund was established at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County (CFMC) to honor Belfoure’s memory and perpetuate his ideals.

"Embark on your journey and only look forward. Not too fast but not too slow. It is the ones that remain idle that get lost in the memories of the past and not the dreams of the future. We as human-beings need to dream again once more.”   These words were written by Chris Belfoure to his friend Valerie Tinker.

“Embark on your journey and only look forward. Not too fast but not too slow. It is the ones that remain idle that get lost in the memories of the past and not the dreams of the future. We as human-beings need to dream again once more.”  These words were written by Chris Belfoure, pictured above, to his friend Valerie Tinker.

Belfoure was just 24 when he tragically died in July 2011. Yet his passions – his belief in the global community, his dedication to teaching and the environment – will be shared through the Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund.

A graduate of VRHS and West Virginia University, Belfoure spoke fluent Mandarin and was pursuing a career as a corporate trainer in Shanghai. He is remembered as a charming, intelligent, ambitious man with a zest for life and adventure.

Belfoure believed knowledge to be a bridge between cultures and a key in developing innovative approaches to education and customer service. He loved to talk and knew that overcoming the barriers of language provided people an opportunity to learn about one another, to share hopes and dreams, and that just by talking, one could encourage people to see themselves as members of a global community.

Belfoure’s mother and stepfather, Robin and George Chapin, established the Chris Belfoure Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation in January 2012. This designated Fund supports Middlesex County-Lower County public schools and public library programs focused on integrating multicultural experiences, learning foreign languages, and environmental programs into the curricula.

Belfoure greatly appreciated the opportunities afforded to him that introduced him to new places, peoples, and cultures, such as his time spent studying and working in China. (He had participated in the trips abroad while at Valley Regional High School). He felt that every young person should have similar opportunities to expand their horizons, since his experiences had so profoundly impacted him and his worldview.

To pre-register for the race, go to aratrace.com, and click on Run For Chris. (Race day registration starts at 7 a.m.) Overall and age-group awards will be given, and all participants will receive a free, tech t-shirt.

Fun Run for Kids 6 and under starts at 8:15 a.m. along with the CB4 Mile Run for ages 7-14. The 5K and 2mile walk start at 8:45a. The Run is USATF Certified.

Link to registration: http://aratrace.com/event/run-for-chris-3/?instance_id=674

Contact Robin Chapin at 860-227-6379 with any questions.

 

 

Dedication Ceremony for Enid Jobson Memorial Reading Garden to be Held Friday at Essex Library

The Enid Dobson memorial graden will be dedicated Friday, June 26, at a ceremony open to the public.

The Enid Jobson Memorial Reading Garden will be dedicated Friday, June 26, at a ceremony open to the public.

ESSEX — Enid Jobson passed away in July of 2013.  Though she was not an Essex native, she embraced her adopted community, particularly the Essex Library, and is warmly remembered by the staff for her sparkling eyes, perpetual smile, and affectionate “Hello cookie!” greeting that she habitually bestowed on them all.  She was a Library volunteer for many years in a variety of roles including a stint as Secretary of the Board of Trustees.

The Library was extremely pleased that one way Enid’s family chose to honor her memory was by endowing the recently installed Enid Jobson Memorial Reading Garden.  The Garden is located on the West Avenue side of the building, and is accessible from the old front entrance to the Library.  Visitors to it are be able to curl up with a good book, use the Library wi-fi connection, or just take a few moments to relax and enjoy the outdoors on a pleasant day.

A dedication ceremony will be held in the Garden on Friday, June 26, at 3 p.m.  The general public is invited to join members of Enid’s family a come together to remember her and pay tribute to her many years of service to the community.

Bushnell Farm in Old Saybrook Hosts Father’s Day Barn Concert Today

Craig Edwards

Craig Edwards will give a concert with the Root Farmers at Bushnell Farm on Father’s Day.

OLD SAYBROOK — Take Dad to Bushnell Farm on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 21, for a free concert of toe-tapping, rural American music by Craig Edwards and the Root Farmers.

The 22-acre grounds with eight buildings will open at 3 p.m. with the concert being held from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Bring your chair or blanket. Free parking is on site at 1445 Boston Post Rd. in Old Saybrook.

Valley Regional’s Class of 2015 Enjoys Perfect Weather for Graduation Ceremony

Hat_toss

The VRHS Class of 2015 celebrates graduation with the traditional hat toss. Photo by J. Ferrucci.

REGION 4 — Congratulations to the Valley Regional High School Class of 2015!

Adams, Paulina
Alvord, Julianna
Anderson, Lily
Anderson, Matthew
Atkinson, Patrick
Badalamenti, Sergio
Baldwin, Amanda
Bartolotta, Christian
Bauman, Keegan
Berardis, David Joseph
Boland, Garrett
Boland, William Tyler
Bosco, Giulianna
Bott, Scarlet
Bouregy, Elizabeth
Bourez, Benjamin
Bradbury, David
Brooks, Hailey R.
Burgess, Justin
Campbell, Kenna
Capezzone, Marina
Carey, Sarah Sonora
Carlson, Indigo
Carney, Melissa
Cassells, Alexander
Castelli, Michael
Castelli, Sara
Cayer, Jillian
Cheverier, Justin
Cheverier, Tyler
Clapp, Stephanie
Clark, Benjamin
Clark, Ely
Cole, Kevin
Connor, Mikayla
Craco, Justin
Czenthe, Mackenzie
D’Agostino, Alexander
Dalton, Matthew
Daniels, Roman
Dare, Jake
Dee, Philip
DeJesus, Alexander B.
Diley, Patricia
Dilger, Alexandra
Dione, Dakota
Dione, Donald
diTommaso, Joseph
Doran, Brittany Anne
Doran, Julia Marie
Everett, Lacey
Fasulo, Kyle
Feola, Kelly
Ferrucci, Benjamin
Figuenick, Daniel
Flynn, Neve
Gabriel, Andrew
Gardner, MaryHope
Gephart, Charlotte
Giangrande, Benjamin
Girnius, Alexander
Gleason, Kristin
Gonzalez, Siany Nicol
Greatsinger, Brooke
Hansen, Julia
Harger, Leah
Harris, Austin
Hartson, Samantha
Haughton, Alex
Holdmeyer, Madison
Hotz, Emily W
Hunter, Tyler
Jaillet, Eric
Jean Pierre, Christopher
Joia, Ashley
Jones, Ashley Shana
Jones, Peter
Joy, Brennan
Karg, Austin
Kaufmann, Karl
Kelly, Caitlyn
Kilby, Kristen
Klein, Haleigh
Kobe, Brendan
Kohary, Marina
Kollmer, John
Korcak, Mackenzie
LaCasse, Paige
Leffingwell, Daniel
Lenz, Josef
Lewis, Emily
Libert, Emilie
Linfesty, Hunter
Longo, Austin
Longo, Bailey
Lowrey, Hunter
Lucarelli, April
MacWhinney, Garrett
Makowicki, John Evan
Marroquin, Christian
Martin, Jeremy
Matthiessen, Zoe
McCarthy, Britta
McCluskey, Lara
McConnell, Tyler
McKosky, Samantha
Merola, Gregory
Miles, Cassandra N.
Millard, Emily
Mitchel, Amanda
Mitchel, Connor
Morris, Fallon
Morris, Gabe
Morris, Megan
Mueller, Elias
Myers, Patrick
Nelson, Samantha
Nelson, Simone
Nettleton, James
Nevins, Jack
Norton, Julian
Nucolo, Anthony
Nystrom, Kristian
Osborne, William Floyd
Osborne-Lara, Fernando
Pace, Christopher
Palmer, Elesa
Patterson, Brian
Paulson, Maxwell
Pelletier, Dylan
Perron-Warzecha, Christian
Peterson, Sean
Petroka, Ethan
Riccitelli, Holly
Rodriguez, Margaret
Russell, Gretchen
Russell, Thomas
Russo, Daniel
Russo, Spencer
Rutan, Cole
Ryan, Megan
Sandmann, Kaitlin
Saunders, Tyler
Senning, Hunter
Shepard, Myranda
Shepherd, Kevin
Smith, Brendan
Smith, Evan
Smith, George B
Sopneski, Leah
Splittgerber, Christian
Stevens, Benedict
Sticht, Meagan
Suedmeier, Tristan T
Suplita, Quentin
Swartzell, Benjamin
Swerling, Brian
Taylor, Harrison
Taylor, Jenna
Termini, Ashley
Tiezzi, Jenna
Tiezzi, Troy
Tisdale, Jacob
Todd, Shawn
Toles, Elizabeth
Torres-Coello, Daniel J
Tuscano, Andrew
Wachtarz, Robert
Ward, Kelsey
Watts, Katharine
West, Joshua
Wichtowski, Alicia
Williams, Amanda
Winchell, Brian
Winslow, Morgan
Wolff, Abigail L.
Zuse, Amy

Free Big Band Concert on Essex Green, July 25

Last summer, more than 700 concert-goers enjoyed picnics, dancing and the swinging sounds of The Big Band with Bob Hughes as the group performed in Main Street Park in Essex Village. This summer's free concert is scheduled for July 25 in the Park.

Last summer, more than 700 concert-goers enjoyed picnics, dancing and the swinging sounds of The Big Band with Bob Hughes as the group performed in Main Street Park in Essex Village. This summer’s free concert is scheduled for July 25 in the Park.

ESSEX — Enjoy the sounds of swing and standards from the Great American Songbook as The Big Band with Bob Hughes performs at a free concert on the Essex Green on Saturday, July 25 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The Green is located on Main Street in Essex Village. Rain date is July 26.

Sponsored by The First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC, the concert will feature music by The Big Band, a 12-piece dance orchestra, led by Bob Hughes. The group’s repertoire includes the big band standards from the past 50 years, including works by Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey and other classic bands, as well as newer material by contemporary arrangers. Leader Bob Hughes has performed on saxophone and clarinet with such bands as “The Rhythm Heirs,” the “Greenwich

Retreads,” Atlanta’s “Sentimental Journey Orchestra,” Houston’s “Chuck Nolen Orchestra” and with Marty Conley’s “Big Band Express.”

Bring lawn chairs and a picnic supper. Dancing on the grass or in the gazebo is encouraged. Admission is free.

Accompanying photograph/CUTLINE:

Last summer, more than 700 concert-goers enjoyed picnics, dancing and the swinging sounds of The Big Band with Bob Hughes as the group performed in Main Street Park in Essex Village. This summer’s free concert is scheduled for July 25 in the Park.

Miller Applauds Historic Student Loan Rate Cut

State Representative Phil Miller

State Representative Phil Miller

AREAWIDE — State Representative Philip Miller (D-36th) is applauding a recent announcement by the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CHESLA) that it will offer a fixed interest rate of 4.95 percent for new student loans, down from its current rate of 6.75 percent.

The rate is also significantly lower than the upcoming Federal PLUS loan rate, which will be 6.84 percent, and is the lowest rate CHESLA has ever offered. CHESLA will also be increasing the maximum allowed debt-to-income ratio from 40% to 43%.

“This announcement by CHESLA is certainly good news for students over-burdened with large student loans, along with their parents,” Rep. Miller said. “Hopefully, this development should help make higher education more affordable to more students in our state.”

These money-saving changes follow legislative passage of House Bill 6907, which asked CHESLA to develop a plan to lower student loan interest rates and increase the maximum allowable debt-to-income ratio.

Rep. Miller said students and parents can contact CHESLA at www.chesla.org for additional information or call (800) 935-2275.

Editor’s Note: Philip Miller is state representative for the 36th Assembly District comprising the Towns of  Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam.

Gauggel is Marshview Gallery’s July Artist of the Month

Robert Gauggel

Robert Gauggel

OLD SAYBROOK –The Marshview Gallery features the photography of Robert Gauggel during the month of July.  He has an eye for capturing nature and has won several awards for his work.  Gauggel has donated many of his photographs to local nature centers along the shoreline for use in their educational programs.

Pilgrim Landing by Robert Gauggel

Pilgrim Landing by Robert Gauggel

A resident of Clinton, Conn., Gauggel prides himself in matting and framing without the aid of a computer.

Hooded Merganser by Howard Marguel

Hooded Merganser by Robert Gauggel

The Marshview Gallery at the Estuary Council, 220 Main St. in Old Saybrook is open daily, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Windsurfer by Robert Gauggel

Windsurfer by Robert Gauggel

All are welcome to join an Artist Reception on Friday, July 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. Refreshments will be provided.

Chester/Deep River Boy Scout Troop 13 Honors Eagle Scout Nathaniel Kinsman

Chester/Deep River Boy Scout Troop 13 newest Eagle Scout Nathaniel Kinsman. Photo by: Lianne Rutty

Chester/Deep River Boy Scout Troop 13 newest Eagle Scout Nathaniel Kinsman. Photo by: Lianne Rutty

CHESTER & DEEP RIVER —  An Eagle Scout Court of Honor was held recently for Nathaniel Kinsman at the First Church of Christ in East Haddam, Conn. Kinsman is a member of Boy Scouts of America Troop 13, which serves boys aged 11-18 of Chester and Deep River.

To become an Eagle Scout, Kinsman earned 54 merit badges and advanced through the seven scout ranks by learning Scout and Life skills while simultaneously providing leadership to his Troop and service to his community.

One of the final requirements for the Eagle Rank is to show leadership in and complete a service project that benefits the boy’s community, school, or religious institution.

Kinsman’s project was to refurbish the playground at the First Church of Christ in East Haddam.  This included covering areas of the playground with fresh wood chips; refurbishing the two existing benches; sanding and refinishing the sandbox and refilling with clean sand; repairing the children’s playhouse; applying several coats of linseed oil to all playground swings and structures; adding new toddler swings; and landscaping the surrounding area.

Congratulations, Nathaniel!

The purpose of the Boy Scouts of America is to help young men develop their character and life skills all while having fun. There is much emphasis placed on assisting these young men to develop into strong healthy citizens who will lead our communities and country in the years ahead.

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

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

Child & Family Hosts 2015 Lyme/Old Lyme Garden Tour Today

This stunning garden is on the tour.

This stunning garden is on the 2015 Garden Tour.

LYME — Tickets are still available for the 2015 Lyme/Old Lyme Garden Tour, taking place on June 19 and 20. Just in time for the start of summer, the Lyme/Old Lyme Garden Tour brings together six carefully chosen destinations in Lyme, all within minutes of each other.

At the 2015 Lyme/Old Lyme Garden Tour you can:

  • stroll through the grounds of a master gardener’s home and learn how she practices sustainable gardening; also, marvel at a garden space that was created around a granite outcropping
  • delight in the gardens of an acclaimed interior designer—and get a sneak peek at her remarkable kitchen
  • be awed by the extent and variety of rare plant specimens on display at a botanist’s home, and tour his heated conservatory
  • breathe in the calm at a former turkey farm that features a new post-and-beam barn and now hosts cows and chickens
  • bask in the elegance of an English garden that overlooks the Eight Mile River.
Greyrock3_LR

Another beautiful garden on the 2015 Tour.

Each of the gardens on the 2015 Lyme/Old Lyme Garden Tour offers a unique perspective on gardening along the shoreline in Connecticut, and together they provide a fitting welcome to a long-awaited summer!

The popular Garden Talks return, included in the price of admission. This year, garden experts will present talks on such topics as The Importance of Soil, Natural Habitat Gardening, and Gardening FAQs. Lunches, catered by Saybrook Catering Co., will be available on both days, and the ever-popular Garden Boutique will offer gifts and furnishings for garden, home, and you!

The Lyme/Old Lyme Garden Tour takes place (rain or shine) on Friday, June 19 and Saturday, June 20. The self-guided tour runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, and visitors should allow at least three hours to complete.

Advance tickets for this year’s Garden Tour ($25 advance, $30 day of tour) are available locally through June 17 at The Bowerbird and Old Lyme Landscape in Old Lyme; Hadlyme Country Market in Hadlyme; and Pough Interiors in Essex. Tickets can also be purchased at the Child & Family Agency offices at 255 Hempstead Street, New London, or by sending a check and SASE to P.O. Box 324, Old Lyme, CT 06371. Online sales are available at www.childandfamilyagency.org.

All proceeds from the 2015 Lyme/Old Lyme Garden Tour will benefit the many services and capital projects of the Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to the well-being and development of all children and their families, with emphasis on the unmet needs of children lacking physical, emotional, and intellectual care and nurturing. With offices in New London, Essex, and Groton, Child & Family Agency is the largest nonprofit children’s service provider in southeastern Connecticut.

For more information, see www.childandfamilyagency.org.

Essex Library Hosts Art Exhibit by Alan James During July

'Main Street Essex' by Alan James

‘Main Street Essex’ by Alan James

An art exhibit will be held at the Essex Library Association through the month of July featuring guest artist, Alan James.

Deep River resident Alan James was born and raised in New Haven, CT. His passion for art began as a child and was reawakened after a successful career as a musician. His professional affiliations include the New England Watercolor Society, the Lyme Art Association and the Mystic Art Center.

He says: “I always strive to capture the essence of the scene so as to allow the viewer’s eye to finish the painting by utilizing simple and strategically placed brushstrokes. I do, at all cost, try to avoid a photorealistic approach and superficial details so that the eye may be directed toward the focal point without distraction in hopes to achieve a more pleasant and less static composition.

Keyboard Pond II by Alan James.

Keyboard Pond II by Alan James.

What attracts me to watercolor is the translucency which allows the white of the paper to shine through and, of course, the free flow of the water doing its own magic thing.

The combination of painting en plein air and the unforgiving nature of the medium, allows me to work in rapid fashion so as to capture the essence of the scene and exploit a loose approach for maximum impact.”

Essex Rotary Honors Current, New Scholarship Recipients at Annual Meeting

Essex Rotary Club's scholarship recipients. were honored at the club's annual meeting. From left to right, Scott Nelson (Rotary Club Scholarship Chair), Claire Halloran, Mason King, Morgan Hines, Glenn Holmes, Harrison Taylor and Jordan Wells (incoming Rotary Club president).  Absent were Allyson Clark, Emily LeGrand and Emma Weeks.

Essex Rotary Club’s scholarship recipients were honored at the club’s annual meeting. Standing from left to right are Scott Nelson (Rotary Club Scholarship Chair), Claire Halloran (2015 scholarship recipient), Mason King, Morgan Hines and Glenn Holmes, who are all current scholarship recipients, Harrison Taylor (2015 scholarship recipient) and Jordan Welles (incoming Rotary Club president). Absent were Allyson Clark, Emily LeGrand and Emma Weeks, who are also all current scholarship recipients.

ESSEX –The Rotary Club of Essex honors current scholarship holders at their annual meeting where they talk about their experiences and plans for the future.

Two four-year college scholarships are awarded to high school seniors each year.  This year’s recipients are Claire Halloran and Harrison Taylor.

The Rotary Club of Essex meets Tuesday evenings at the Essex Yacht Club.  Anyone interested in learning more about Rotary or who may be interested in joining can obtain information from the club’s website at http://www.rotaryclubofessex.com/.

‘Hats, Hats, Hats! on View at Maple & Main Through July 31; Reception, July 25

'Honor' by Nicole DiStacio

‘Honor’ by Nicole DiStacio

CHESTER — A new exhibition titled, “Hats, hats, hats,” opens at Maple and Main Gallery, One Maple Ave. Chester on July 1 and will be on view through July 31.  There will be two receptions on Friday, July 10, from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, July 25, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Gallery hours  are Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

'Sunshower' by Karen Israel

‘Sunshower’ by Karen Israel

Featured Artists are:

'Unforgettable' by Claudia Post

‘Unforgettable’ by Claudia Post

Claudia Post from Chester, Conn.

Master pastelist and professional portrait artist for over 50 years. She conducts an academic fine art program specializing in art mentoring and coaching and is available for Jurying, Judging, and Portrait Workshops.

Karen Israel from West Hartford, Conn.

Master pastelist, President of Connecticut Pastel Society, available for jurying, judging, demonstrations and teaching pastel painting

Joel Engelhardt from Shrewsbury, Mass.

Pastelist and member of Post Atelier, Connecticut Pastel Society and Firehouse Gallery

'Ivory Porcelain Doll' by Nan Iselin

‘Ivory Porcelain Doll’ by Nan Iselin

Nan Iselin from Killingworth, Conn.

Pastelist and watercolorist and member of Post Atelier

Lou Zucchi from Kensington, Conn.

Professional photographer and member of Salmagundi Club, NYC

Dakota Neumon from Milford, Conn.

Pastelist, member of Post Atelier and member of Connecticut Pastel Society and Firehouse Gallery in Milford

Lauren Tyrell from Clinton, Conn.

Studied at Post Atelier and graduated from School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Laguna College of Art and Design in California.  She is a member of Colored Pencil Society of America and works in pastel, colored pencils and oil.

'Inspriration' by Laura Neumon

‘Inspriration’ by Dakota Neumon

Nicole DiStasio from Clinton, Conn.

Attends Middletown High School in Middletown, Conn., is a member of Post Atelier and has exhibited with the Clinton Art Society.

Samantha Listorti from Old Saybrook, Conn.

Graduated from Lyme College of Art and currently is the Arts Day Program Specialist for Vista in Madison, Conn. She freelances in various mediums.

 

Artists will be available to discuss their art work, commission work and display their portfolios at both Opening Receptions at Maple and Main Gallery. There will be paintings of many different hats in portraits, still life work and in genre (a slice of life).

For further information, contact the Gallery at (860) 526 6065 or Claudia Post at (860) 510 2056 or www.claudiapost.com

Old Saybrook Farmer’s Market Opens for the Season

Killam and Bassette were founding members of the  market.  At that time,  there were only two vendors.

Killam and Bassette were founding members of the market. At that time, there were only two vendors.  Photo courtesy of the Old Saybrook Farmer’s Market.

Blueberries waiting to ripen for the market.  Photo courtesy of the Old Saybrook Farmer's Market.

Blueberries waiting to ripen for the market. Photo courtesy of the Old Saybrook Farmer’s Market.

OLD SAYBROOK – The Old Saybrook Farmer’s Market is open for the season Saturdays,  9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., through Oct. 31, at 210 Main St.

As always, vendors will set up their tents to provide Connecticut grown fresh produce, handmade crafts, baked goods, honey, meat, fish, cheese and more.

Come visit favorite vendors who have been at the market for years, and discover some new soon-to-be favorites, who will join the market for the first time this year.

Wayne's Organics has been with the market for many years. Photo courtesy of Old Saybrook Farmer's Market.

Wayne’s Organics has been with the market for many years. Photo courtesy of Old Saybrook Farmer’s Market.

On Saturdays, there is live music along with educational demonstrations, author book signings and other surprises.

Find out more about the vendors and what they will bring to the market at oldsaybrookfarmersmarket.com (sign up for the newsletter while on the site) or visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/osfarmmarket.

Chester Village West Foundation Awards Scholarships to Ivoryton, Old Saybrook Residents

CHESTER – Three Chester Village West employees and three children of employees have each been awarded a $2,5000 scholarship from the Chester Village West Foundation, Inc. The scholarships will help these employees and their children continue their education at colleges and universities in Connecticut and beyond.

Jordan  and AnnMarie Saintilis

Ann Marie and Jordan Saintil

The scholarship recipients include Ivoryton resident Jordan Saintil and Old Saybrook resident Jack Conway.

Saintil is the son of Chester Village West kitchen staff member Anne Marie Saintil. He is entering his senior year at Endicott College, majoring in sports management and participating in a work intern program. Saintil’s dream is to obtain a position in management with the Boston Celtics.

Jack ConwayConway, the son of Chester Village West activities director Marcy Conway, is a fifth-year mechanical engineering student at the University of Connecticut. Conway, who works in a computer store, hopes to get a job in aeronautical engineering upon his graduation in 2016.

“Employees of Chester Village West do so much to make this community a great place to live – they are part of our extended family,” said Joan Galliher, a four-year resident and the foundation’s volunteer president. “Every year, residents express their appreciation by generously supporting the foundation’s scholarship program to help staff members – and their children – pursue their higher education goals.”

Created as not-for profit entity in 1998 by a group of Chester Village residents, over the past 17 years the Chester Village West Foundation has raised and provided scholarships to the community’s staff and their children, helping them to further their education beyond high school. Over the past few years, the individual scholarship awards have been gradually increased to the current $2,500 per person.

Other recipients of the Chester Village West Foundation’s 2015 scholarships are:

Killingworth resident Erin Fredericksen, a receptionist at Chester Village West and daughter of housekeeping staff member Debbie Fredericksen, is a senior majoring in biology at Central Connecticut State University.

East Hampton resident Max Nadelman, stepson of Chester Village West chef Will Dallas, has just been accepted at Northeastern University, where he will begin studies in business analytics and technology in its business school.

Killingworth resident Donald O’Boyle, a member of the Chester Village West dining room wait staff, is entering his fourth year at the University of Connecticut with a double major in electrical engineering and German.

East Haddam resident Jacob “Jake” Woodworth is a member of the Chester Village West dining room wait staff. He has been accepted for his freshman year at Cambpell University in North Carolina, where he will be majoring in homeland security.

Residents of the Chester Village West community make tax-deductible contributions to the Chester Village West Foundation Inc. on a monthly or annual basis. Employee candidates for the scholarships must work a minimum of 200 hours at Chester Village West during a calendar year. Chester Village West employees submit their applications, school transcripts and recommendations to the foundation’s committee on April 1 for review. Scholarships are awarded during a June ceremony for the recipients, their families and friends.

Located in historic Chester, Connecticut, Chester Village West gives independent-minded people a new way to experience retirement and live their lives to the fullest. Within a small community of private residences that offer convenience, companionship, service and security, Chester Village West enriches lives with a comprehensive program that enhances fitness, nutrition, active life, health and well-being.

Find out more at chestervillagewestlcs.com.

Visit the community on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChesterVillageWest.

Summer Sculpture Showcase at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds Thru Sept. 13

The signature piece of Gil Boro's Summer Sculpture Showcase, "Queen Anne's Lace" by Gints Grinsberg.

The signature piece of Gil Boro’s Summer Sculpture Showcase, “Queen Anne’s Lace” by Gints Grinsberg.

OLD LYME — Gilbert Boro, owner and sculptor at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds in Old Lyme, has announced an exciting new exhibition on the grounds of his studio featuring examples of his own contemporary work accompanied by a selection of works created by a number of other widely acclaimed sculptors working in contrasting media.  This Summer Sculpture Showcase will be on view through Sunday, Sept. 13, and feature an Opening Reception on Friday, June 19, from 5 to 7 p.m.  All are welcome to attend the reception at which light refreshments will be served.

Nine sculptors will be exhibiting in Boro’s expansive Sculpture Gardens located on the 4.5 acres of his residence on historic Lyme Street in the heart of Old Lyme, Conn.  Their works will be interspersed amongst Boro’s own sculptures along with works by 13 other contributing artists on the beautifully landscaped grounds offering a unique plein air experience combining both large- and small-scale contemporary sculptures, many of which are for sale.  The sculptors whose work – and in some cases, more than one piece – was selected for the Showcase are:

Diane Barcelo
Ashby Carlisle
Fay Chin
Gints Grinsberg
Lannie Hart
Deborah Hornbake
Elizabeth Knowles
David Millen
Elizabeth Miller McCue
William Thielen

The signature piece of the exhibition is “Queen Anne’s Lace” by Gints Grinsbergs.  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.  Grinsbergs’ work has been featured at various museums and galleries and is Included in private and corporate collections throughout North America.

'Waves' by Fay Chin.

‘Waves’ by Fay Chin.

Fay Chin’s abstract aluminum sculpture in the exhibition titled, “Waves,” explores pyramidal relationships in a large, ground-based structure.  A sculptor and painter, she has exhibited stone and metal sculptures nationally and internationally in museums, galleries, and public spaces with larger installations.

“Modern Dance,” a multi-colored sculpture utilizing wire fencing wrapped in vinyl surveying tape, is a collaborative work by Elizabeth Knowles and William Thielen.  Natural patterns inspire the work of Knowles and Thielen, who live and work respectively in New York City and Carbondale, Ill.  Both have an extensive body of individual work and have received numerous awards, grants and residencies.

'Pipehenge' by Gil Boro.

‘Pipehenge’ by Gil Boro.

Boro has enjoyed a distinguished career as a sculptor, architect, educator and international design consultant.  He explores the interplay of space, place and scale in a wide range of media including stone, wood, metal and fiberglass.  His vast body of work has been exhibited in numerous galleries throughout the US and internationally, and has also been purchased by collectors, corporations and foundations in both the US and Europe.  Boro currently has several works being exhibited at off-site locations including the South Carolina-based Art League of Hiltonhead’s Biennale (where he was recently awarded second place in their 24th National Juried Exhibition), the New England Sculptor’s Association’s exhibition in Portsmouth, N.H., and Ramey Fine Art in Palm Desert, Calif.

This inaugural 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 fascinating 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 on Friday, July 24, and Saturday, July 25.

Located at 80-1 Lyme St., less than a minute from Exit 70 on I-95, the Studio 80 + 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. The Studio is open by appointment. 

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

Essex Library Presents ‘South Pacific – Behind the Scenes,’ Tonight

4_south_pacific_tmmESSEX — On Monday, June 15, at 7 p.m. join Ivoryton Playhouse Executive/Artistic Director Jaqueline Hubbard and South Pacific Director David Edwards at the Essex Library for a talk about this great musical and its place in the history of musical theater.

The influence and impact of arguably the greatest musical theater writing partnership of the 20th century – Rodgers and Hammerstein – will be discussed.  Hubbard will talk about why she chose South Pacific for the 2015 Season and how audiences are responding.  The themes of South Pacific, including racial prejudice and gender roles will be explored.  Director David Edwards will also talk about his vision for this production and the challenges of producing such a large production on Ivoryton’s small stage.

Edwards is an accomplished actor and director who has performed on and off Broadway, as well as on TV and in films. He appeared in last season’s Ivoryton Playhouse production of La Cage Aux Folles and this season’s Calendar Girls.  His numerous directing credits include multiple productions of The Producers and South Pacific, as well as Showboat and many others.

British native Hubbard has been the Ivoryton Playhouse’s Executive/Artistic Director for over 20 years.  During her tenure she has breathed new life into the century old theater, overseeing of a complete renovation in 2006 that has enabled it to become a year-round facility.  Hubbard also directs, and acts in, many of the Playhouse’s productions each year.

This program is being presented in conjunction with the Playhouse’s July 9 performance of South Pacific, which will jointly benefit the Essex and Ivoryton Libraries.  The cast includes local residents Patricia Schumann and David Pittsinger, who played the part of Emile on Broadway.

Seats are now on sale at both libraries, and are selling quickly.  They are priced at $60, and entitle purchasers to attend a pre-performance reception, as well as an opportunity to enjoy desserts and meet the cast after the show is over.

Bowden of Deep River, Ryan of Essex Receive Top Girl Scout Award

DEEP RIVER & ESSEX — Acacia Bowden of Deep River and Megan Ryan of Essex have received their Girl Scout Gold Awards, the highest honor a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

In order to earn the Gold Award, Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts grades nine through 12 spend at least 80 hours researching issues, assessing community needs and resources, building a team, and making a sustainable impact in the community. A Gold Award recipient’s accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart as a community leader.

Acacia Bowden

Acacia Bowden

Bowden’s project addressed girls and education on a global and local level by showing the film, “Girl Rising,” at her high school to raise awareness of the struggles that girls face around the world with education. With the help of two Pratt and Whitney engineers, Bowden created a simple machine to use for her project.

The film, “Girl Rising,” can be found in Bowden’s school library along with lesson plans for teachers. Her engineering program will also continue to be run by educators in Deep River.

Bowden plans to become a physician’s assistant after she graduates.

Megan Ryan

Megan Ryan

Ryan’s project was to implement an instructional sailing program for women in her town at a local yacht club. Over the summer, Ryan taught sailing lessons, water instruction, and ran two regattas with a group of women.

Her program had 30 participants, and helped increase their skills and confidence in sailing and competition. The group did so well that they will be able to instruct novice sailors next summer.

Ryan also implemented the first Women’s Sailing Regatta, which the group will host next year.

Ryan plans on pursuing a career in engineering.

“On a national level, only four to six percent of Girl Scouts earn this prestigious honor, and I am beyond proud of our girls,” said Mary Barneby, CEO of Girl Scouts of Connecticut. “By earning the Gold Award, Girl Scouts set themselves apart as top achievers, and are incredible women of confidence, courage, and character, who make the world a better place. Next year, we are excited to celebrate our 100th year of encouraging girls to Go Gold!”

For more information about the Gold Award or how to become a Gold Award volunteer or mentor, visit http://www.gsofct.org/pages/GoldAward.php.

Editor’s Note: Girl Scouts of Connecticut are more than 55,000 members strong – girls and adults – who believe that every girl can change the world.

They are part of a sisterhood of 2.8 million around the globe. It all began more than 100 years ago with one woman, Juliette Gordon Low, who believed in the power of one girl. Girl Scouts continue her vision of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. At Girl Scouts, they believe that there’s a chance for every girl to do something amazing.

For more information on Girl Scouts of Connecticut, visit www.gsofct.org

Deep River HS Hosts Strawberry Social and Berry Basket Raffle Today

DEEP RIVER — Join Deep River Historical Society’s annual Strawberry Social, Sunday, June 14, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Carriage House, 245 Main Street, Deep River.  Donation at the door includes strawberry shortcake (with real whipped cream!) and a hot or cold beverage.

There will be a Berry Basket raffle that includes gift certificates for local merchants.

Contact Charlotte Lazor (860) 526-5979 or via email clazor@wesleyan.edu for more information.

All Welcome to Join Essex Land Trust at Summer Concert & Picnic Today

ESSEX — The Essex Land Trust invites all to the lovely Essex Main Street Park on Sunday, June 14, from 5:30- 7 p.m. for a summer BYO beverages/picnic and concert by ‘Blues on the Rocks,’ a local band.

Bring chairs, blankets and relax … or dance! Bad weather cancels.

Contact Judy Saunders for further information at 860-581-8108.

Community Music School Presents Two Concerts, Three Musical Groups Today

The New Horizons band of the Community Music School gather for a photo.

The New Horizons band of the Community Music School gather for a photo.

The Community Music School (CMS) presents two spring concerts featuring performing ensembles on Sunday, June 14.

Under the direction of Karli Gilbertson, Glee for Grownups presents, “80’s Broadway Extravaganza,” at 1 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Centerbrook. Accompanied by Sue Sweeney, members will perform solo and ensemble pieces. These vocalists rehearse throughout the semester and never disappoint with a fun and lively concert.

Also this day, the New Horizons Band and Baroque Ensemble perform a Concert in the Park at the Gazebo at Deep River Landing at 4 p.m.

The New Horizons Band is a supportive group for beginners or those who have not played an instrument in years. Directed by Paddy Hurley, the group will perform a varied program of marches, Patriotic music, pop and rock, including performances by their Woodwind Ensemble and Brass Quintet.

The Baroque Ensemble is a 12-piece string group comprised of core members of the CMS String Ensemble and directed by Martha Herrle, and they will be playing works by Vivaldi, Bach and more. The rain location for this concert is the Centerbrook Meetinghouse, 51 Main St., Centerbrook.

Both concerts are free and open to the public. Come and meet the directors and members of each ensemble to find out more about the programs.

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

Film on LeWitt’s Landmark Synagogue to Premier Today at Madison Cinema

about_2

CHESTER — Complete with a red carpet, the Madison Art Cinemas will host the Sunday, June 14, world premiere of We Built This House, a one-hour film telling the story of Chester synagogue Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ)—known as a global art landmark for being the only public building that acclaimed artist Sol LeWitt ever designed.

Film producer-director Jon Joslow, a lifetime member of the Congregation, will discuss the movie and a reception will follow the screening. Tickets are open to the public and may be obtained for a donation of $18 each through the synagogue office, 860 526 8920. The start time is 11 a.m.

In a 2013 profile, Town & Country’s arts editor compared the striking Chester sanctuary with a masterpiece chapel Henri Matisse created in Nice, France. But the synagogue, opened in 2001, started as a napkin sketch. LeWitt first drew a structure inspired by traditional wooden temples of Eastern Europe combined with elements of colonial New England barns.

worshipWe Built This House traces how architect Stephen Lloyd translated LeWitt’s vision into post and beam, and how the Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek community collaborated and improvised—even adapting a design discovered in a medieval English watermill—to give structure to the sanctuary’s wooden dome. LeWitt’s iconic installation on the ark drew national attention when the building opened; it prompted Town & Country to observe “modern art as [the sanctuary’s] focal point.”

LeWitt, a Chester resident who died at 78 in 2007, is recognized as one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century. The sanctuary has become known as one of the most astonishing, and spiritually welcoming, religious spaces in the world.

True to its roots, Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek has become one of the shoreline’s most vital cultural centers. Its Music & More performances draw hundreds and its art gallery features serial exhibitions from established and breakthrough artists.

Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek—Hebrew for “House of Peace Pursuing Justice”—is marking the 100th year since the founding of one of its two predecessor temples in Moodus. We Built This House is part of yearlong centennial celebrations culminating in an Oct. 3 gala and the inaugural presentation of the synagogue’s new annual Pursuer of Peace and Justice Award. Though it is located in Chester, temple members come from 36 towns, from West Hartford to Westbrook, Norwich to North Branford.

Producer/director Joslow is a crisis/transition leader for private equity who spent a year mining the history of the congregation and its building. Given time limitations in the documentary, which was conceived as a pilot, the synagogue is developing a parallel video archive to capture stories of all congregants who were part of the building’s creation. Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is also positioning the film to encourage financial contributions to support “Second Century” programming. Supporters can be listed in permanent screen credits as producers.

DVDs of We Built This House are expected to be released later this year. Given the film’s unique insights into art as architecture, and into how a community can join together in creative enterprise, organizers anticipate interest among public television stations, those engaged in architectural and design collaborations, and art museums, in airing it following the premiere.

The Madison Art Cinemas is located at 761 Boston Post Road, Madison CT.

For more information on We Built This House or Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, see www.cbsrz.org or www.ancientandcool.com. Or contact Temple Administrator Wendy Bayor at wendy@cbsrz.net or 860-526-8920.

Region 4 School Board Declines Further Action on K-6 Regionalization Plan

REGION 4 — The Region 4 Board of Education voted Monday not to send the  kindergarten-sixth grade regionalization plan developed this year to a referendum vote in the district towns of Chester, Deep River and Essex.

The unanimous vote at a special meeting brings an inconclusive end to months of effort to draft and win support for a plan to regionalize the elementary schools in the three towns under a single elected board of education that would also direct the operation of Valley Regional High School and John Winthrop Middle School. The idea of regionalizing the elementary schools under a single school board has been under discussion for a decade, with supporters contending it would be the final step in standardizing all curriculum among the primary grades, while also bringing cost savings through administrative efficiencies and a simpler budget process.

But the method of dividing a combined Region 4 education budget including the elementary schools, which under current state law must be done based on the average daily membership of students from each town, raised concerns that one or more towns could face an abrupt and steep increase in its share of a combined education budget.

School board members had developed an inter-local agreement intended to address this issue that would have required Chester and Essex to transfer funds to Deep River to balance the budget shift. There were also concerns, particularly in Chester, that declining enrollment could lead to a closing of the Chester Elementary School, along with major shifts in grade assignments among the elementary schools.

These issues led the Chester Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance to issue a statement at the end of May expressing opposition to the current regionalization plan, and urging the school boards not to send it to a planned September referendum in the three towns. The regionalization plan would require voter approval from each town to become effective. A June 1 joint meeting of school board members and selectmen and finance board members from the three towns failed to resolve the lingering issues.

When the Region 4 board convened Monday. members had already prepared a brief written statement confirming the plan would not be brought to referendum this year. “Over the past several months, a number of community minded people worked very hard to develop a plan to make our outstanding school district even stronger”, it said.

“After hundreds of hours and over a dozen meetings, we have developed a plan that many of us believe would provide our kids with an even better education while making our governance structure more efficient. Although the Region 4 board believes that regionalization is in the best interests of our students, we have come to the conclusion that our communities have not reached a consensus ion this issue,” it concluded.

Region 4 Board Chairman Chris Riley said the research and planning done this year to prepare for full regionalization remains in hand, though there are no immediate plans to pursue the issue further at the present time.

TriTown Youth Services Presents Soccer Coach Fearon with 2015 Generativity Award

Many youth soccer players and their parents attended the Generativity Award presentation      at Tri-Town.  Michael Fearon, fifth from left, stands with several members of his team.

Many youth soccer players and their parents attended the Generativity Award presentation
at Tri-Town. Michael Fearon, fifth from left, stands with several members of his team.

AREAWIDE — Tri-Town Youth Services recently presented their 2015 Generativity Award to Michael Fearon of Chester.  Passionate about soccer, Mick Fearon has been coaching soccer for 40 years.  He has been coaching high school soccer for 13years.

In discussing the success records of his teams, Fearon says, “there are different levels of success.”  He adds that kids often care about wins, but as a coach, he is concerned that the team is developing, players are improving and giving their best.  He chooses to focus on the process, not the outcome.

Fearon often attends his team members’ other activities, whether sports or the school musical, as he views them as whole people, not just soccer players and he wants to support them in their endeavors.

Tri-Town Youth Services has presented a Generativity Award annually since 2005.  Recipients of the award are people who, over time, have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to youth and have contributed significantly to building youth developmental assets.  Previous awardees include: Marilyn Malcarne, Rick Stebbins, Pat Kosky, Jane Cavanaugh, Ingrid Walsh, Rev. Tim Haut, Linda Hall, Barbara Nidzgorski, Phil Miller, and Dr. Ruth Levy.

Tri-Town Youth Services supports and advances the families, youth and communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex.  The organization coordinates and provides 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

Historic Waterfront Tours Scheduled During Summer in Deep River

Deep River Historical Society will explain the history of the town's waterfront during walking tours this summer.

Deep River Historical Society will explain the history of the town’s waterfront during walking tours this summer.

DEEP RIVER — Deep River’s commercial connection to the rest of the world started at the end of Kirtland and River Streets in the early 1800’s. What is now known as the Town Landing, was a shipyard and dock, which collectively, were the linchpin to Deep River’s mercantile success. The shipbuilding provided the vessels and the dock provided the point of delivery of raw materials and the shipment of end products, that made Deep River an economic success.

A lecture and tour of Deep River’s Historic Waterfront will be offered every second and fourth Saturday morning, this June, July, August and September. Tours are sponsored by the Deep River Historical  Society. The tour will start at the home of sea captain and ship builder, Calvin Williams, at 131 Kirtland Street, (immediately left of the Mt. Saint John entrance pillars), starting at 10 a.m. SHARP, each tour day. Each tour is expected to be about 1 1/2 hour duration and will start punctually at 10 a.m.

Reservations are recommended and tickets may be acquired at the door, or in advance, from the program’s director: James Hogan, by calling 860-391-2354, or at two convenient store locations: Celebrations, 161 Main Street, Deep River and Old Saybrook Antiques Center, 756 Middlesex Turnpike, Old Saybrook.

The costs for tickets is $20 per family; $10 adults; $5 students and senior citizens. 100% of all donations will benefit the Deep River Historical Society. All donations are tax deductable. Program is “rain or shine”.

For more information, call James J. Hogan III  at: 860-391-2354

Tour Dates are:
June: 13 and 27
July: 11 and 25
August: 8 and 22
September: 12 and 26

VRHS Musical Program Wins Major Awards at CT High School Music Theatre Gala

The cast of 'Band Geeks.'

The cast of ‘Band Geeks.’

Valley Regional High School’s (VRHS) Drama Program continues its tradition of performance excellence with the Valley Regional Musical Production (VRMP) of “Band Geeks,” receiving two notable awards, including the brand new ‘The Future of Theatre Award’ and the ‘Outstanding Graphic Design Award’ on June 1, at the Connecticut High School Music Theatre Awards gala held at the Palace Theatre in Waterbury, Conn.

scene_from_playIngrid Walsh, ‘Band Geeks’ Director, noted that the ‘The Future of Theatre Award,’ “… was newly created to inspire all to enter uncharted territories and, rather than doing the same shows, to try and produce some new works.”

On receiving the inaugural award, she said,  “We were thrilled.  As you know, something new — or change — is very hard to find a populace, as it is incredibly risky.  But, they recognized all of our efforts to raise ‘Band Geeks’ to the stage and deliver it with success.  We were truly honored and humbled to be recognized, especially because we all were so attached to the show.”

Walsh added, “We would like to send out a special thanks to the following people and companies that supported our ‘Outstanding Graphics Design Award’

  • C. Proctor of Essex Printing – assisted with posters and programs,
  • Whelen Engineering – printing of programs,
  • Casey O’Brien of Gull Associates Old Lyme – assisted with costuming,
  • Tiffany Hopkins – assisted with projection images,
  • Luther Moen, Ingrid Walsh, and projection students: Garrett Boland, Tesla Lowrey, Roman Daniels – assisted with side projection panel adjustments, and
  • Chris LeQuire and Brad Pitman of VHRS – assisted in creating newscast footage that tied the whole thing together to the end.

singerAdditionally, CHSMTA nominated VRMP’s ‘Band Geeks’ for three prominent awards:

  • Leading Actress – Maggie Walsh as Laura,
  • Outstanding Sound, and
  • Outstanding Chorus.

One hundred and twenty-one students from VRHS were involved in cast, crew, and pit to produce the newly released musical.  The involvement of students represents 20 percent of the entire school population, along with countless volunteer hours of the parents, teachers, and community direct commitment to this long-standing tradition of producing excellence in musicals in the Region 4 School District.  As always, the five-performance date and times of the musical were sold out early in our community.

As a surprise to all, the creators Tommy Newman and Gordon Greenberg of ‘Band Geeks’ drove in from New York City along with original Goodspeed Producers to view their final dress rehearsal in March.

The students attended the June 1 black-tie Gala at the Palace Theatre in Waterbury and performed “Lost in the Brass” one last time. Valley Regional High School was among 20 other Connecticut high schools involved in the event, which celebrates high school music theatre.

Editor’s Notes: See VRHS Performing Arts activities on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/VRHS.MusicBoosters/

See VRHS Band activities on http://vrhsband.weebly.com/

Region 4 Board, VRHS Honors Top Ten Percent Seniors

REGION 4 — The Region 4 Board of Education and Valley Regional High School (VRHS) has honored the Top Ten percent ranking seniors who have achieved outstanding scholastic records.  A Senior Awards ceremony and reception was held Wednesday, June 3, in the VRHS auditorium.

The Top Ten percent senior students listed alphabetically are:

Julianna Grace Alvord — daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Alvord, Ivoryton

David Joseph Berardis — son of Mr. and Mrs. David Berardis, Deep River

Giulianna Maria Bosco — daughter of Mrs. Mary Ann Cannella and Mr. Dominick Bosco, Deep River

Benjamin Steven Bourez — son of Mr. and Mrs. David Bourez, Chester

Indigo Jean Rollins Carlson — daughter of Mr. Jeffrey Carlson and Mrs. Jacque Rollins, Ivoryton

Dakota Rose Dione — daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Dione, Deep River

Donald Parry Robert Dione — son of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Dione, Deep River

Daniel Joseph Figuenick III — son of Mrs. Daniel Figuenick and Mrs. Melissa Figuenick, Ivoryton

Elias C. Mueller — son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Mueller, Chester

Patrick Eugene Myers — son of Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Myers, Essex

Holly Marie Riccitelli — daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Riccitelli, Deep River

Margaret A. Rodriguez — daughter of Mr. Leonard Rodriguez and Mrs. Colleen Rodriguez, Essex

Megan Elizabeth Ryan — daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Ryan, Ivoryton

Kaitlin Margaret Sandmann — daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Sandmann, Essex

Benedict Novinski Robert Stevens — son of Mr. and Mrs. Gary Stevens, Essex

Jenna Taylor — daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Bryan Taylor, Ivoryton

Jacob Michael Tisdale — son of Mr. Greg Tisdale and Mrs. Debbie Tisdale, Ivoryton

Abigail Louise Wolff — daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Wolff

Friends of Essex Library Announce New Board

From left to right,  Judy Fish, Betsy Godsman, Peggy Tuttle, Linda Levene, Jo Kelly and Genie Devine.  Absent is Pat Mather.

The new board of the Friends of Essex Library gather for a photo. From left to right, Judy Fish, Betsy Godsman, Peggy Tuttle, Linda Levene, Jo Kelly and Genie Devine. Absent is Pat Mather.

ESSEX — The Friends of the Essex Library announced its new board at the annual meeting on June 4.  Linda Levene will again lead the group as President.  Others on the board include Jo Kelly: Vice President, Pat Mather: Treasurer, Genie Devine: Secretary, Peggy Tuttle: Book Coordinator, Betsy Godsman: Publicity, and Judy Fish: Liaison between the Essex and Ivoryton libraries.

Linda Levene, President of the Friends, presented Library Director Richard Conroy with a check for $15,000 that will be used for a variety of services that enrich the library’s offerings.

Linda Levene presents a check for $15,000 to Richard Conroy.

Linda Levene presents a check for $15,000 to Library Director Richard Conroy.

It was noted that volunteers spend thousands of hours each year keeping book shelves in order and helping in the children’s room. Volunteers also prepare and run the annual spring and fall book sales.

In addition, the Friends sponsor events such as last summer’s “Our Library Rocks.”  This year, a special night at the Ivoryton Playhouse’s production of “South Pacific” will be a major fundraiser.  Tickets are on sale at the Essex and Ivoryton libraries.

Quinnipiac Professor, Author Thomas Reveals Gibson Guitar’s Female Workforce Story Tonight

The extraordinary craftswomen of WWII Kalamazoo.

The extraordinary craftswomen of WWII Kalamazoo

CHESTER –  When Quinnipiac University law professor, author and guitar aficionado John Thomas stumbled upon a 1940s photo of 70 female workers in front of the Gibson Guitar factory in Kalamazoo Michigan, he was determined to find them and uncover their stories. He was also intent on learning why Gibson’s advertising denied the factory was making guitars during the war, despite the fact that their female workers produced 25,000 guitars from 1940 to 1945.

Thomas’ interviews with 12 of these remarkable women – and how he and colleagues at Quinnipiac’s medical school proved the superior quality of their work as their men fought in the “Good War” – are detailed in his book, “Kalamazoo Gals: A Story of Extraordinary Women and Gibson’s Banner Guitars of WWII”.

In a free and open to the public multimedia presentation, Thomas will tell the story of Gibson Guitar’s “Kalamazoo Gals” on Friday, June 12, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Chester Village West, 317 Main Street, Chester Conn. 06412.

Space for the presentation is limited; call 860.526.6800 or email chestervillagewest@lcsnet.com to reserve your seats.

Located in historic Chester, Connecticut, Chester Village West gives independent-minded people a new way to experience retirement and live their lives to the fullest. Within a small community of private residences that offer convenience, companionship, service and security, Chester Village West enriches lives with a comprehensive program that enhances fitness, nutrition, active life, health and well being. Find out more at chestervillagewestlcs.com.

OSHS Senior Nochera Presents $1,400 Check to Vista from Senior Project Endeavors

Sam Nochera (center) meets students at Vista's Westbrook Campus after delivering the proceeds from youth football clinics he organized to benefit Vista.

Sam Nochera (center) meets students at Vista’s Westbrook Campus after delivering the proceeds from youth football clinics he organized to benefit Vista.

OLD SAYBROOK — Sam Nochera, a soon-to-be graduate of Old Saybrook High School, turned his senior project into an opportunity to benefit Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center, an organization he came to know four years ago through his love of sports.

For his project, Nochera teamed up with the Old Saybrook Parks and Recreation Department and Old Saybrook-Westbrook (OSW) Football to host youth football Spring Training clinics on May 30 and June 7. All proceeds from the clinics—nearly $1,400— were donated to Vista and will benefit the Ed Gallant Financial Aid Fund, which provides scholarship opportunities to individuals in Vista’s programs.

“Vista made a big impact on me,” said Nochera, who was introduced to Vista students and members in 2011 through basketball. “It’s a great cause and I wanted to give back.”

clinic group

For at least two seasons, Nochera joined Vista members for casual games of basketball at Daisy Ingraham School in Westbrook. The experience, he said, was rewarding and enjoyable. It also stuck with him over the years. So much so, Nochera wrote his senior research paper on individuals with disabilities transitioning out of high school—which led him back to Vista.

Nochera, an alumni of the OSW program, has been playing football since he was 8-years-old. The Spring Training clinics, which catered to second through eighth-graders, allowed Sam the perfect opportunity to raise awareness for two programs he cares about.

This fall, Nochera is headed to Tulane University in New Orleans, where he plans to pursue a double major in International Relations and Finance.

Based in Madison and Westbrook, CT, Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center is a 501©3 nonprofit organization.  Vista’s mission is to provide services and resources to assist individuals with disabilities achieve personal success.

For more information about Vista, visit www.vistavocational.org

‘Concert in the Garden’ Tonight Features ‘The Dizzy River Band’

The Dizzy River Band. Photo courtesy of The Dizzy River Band.

The Dizzy River Band. Photo courtesy of The Dizzy River Band.

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

Tom Soboleski comments,”Dizzy River Band is one of the best original bands you’ll find anywhere. They do some covers for people like Clapton and Red Hot Chili Peppers but what makes them special is the unique original songs they’ve written and composed – great lyrics about life’s ups and downs. To top it off, they’re all outstanding musicians and their harmonies are heavenly – you need to hear them to grasp and be awed by their signature sound.”

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

A $10 donation is appreciated. The event is BYOB – pack a picnic and buy your own wine or beer at the Chester Package Store across the street.

Celebrated Seattle Architect Presents “True To Its Nature” Tonight in Essex Town Hall

Grace Episcopal Church Entry/Baptismal Font, Bainbridge Island, Washington. Photo credit:  Art Grice

Grace Episcopal Church Entry/Baptismal Font, Bainbridge Island, Washington. Photo credit: Art Grice

ESSEX — James Cutler, an acclaimed Northwestern architect who founded his own firm and has taught at Harvard and Dartmouth and elsewhere, examines his environmentally attuned design work on Thursday, June 11, at the Essex Town Hall at 7 p.m.

Known for his innovative and sustainable use of wood and other natural materials, his “Seattle style” has been widely admired and imitated. Architectural Record described him this way: “James Cutler, FAIA, is known for superbly wrought wood structures, including buildings on the [Bill] Gates family compound in Medina, Washington … He is a staunch environmentalist who believes God is in both the details, which he himself meticulously turns out, and the materials.”

Titled “True to its Nature,” Cutler’s illustrated presentation will review several projects that attempt to reveal and reflect the tangible set of circumstances in which they are placed.

Cutler’s philosophy is based upon the idea that, in recognizing the natural beauty in a site, owners can be moved to cherish and protect the land themselves. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Smithsonian and the Wall Street Journal, and has been the subject three books. Cutler cofounded the Bainbridge Island Land Trust in 1988.

Established in 1977 and located on Bainbridge Island in Washington, Cutler Anderson Architects (http://cutler-anderson.com/) is internationally renowned for its environmental awareness and attention to detail. The firm has designed more than 300 residential, commercial, and cultural projects around the world. It also has designed a myriad of home products in conjunction with its architecture, such as hardware, furniture and lighting.

His talk is free and part of the Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series, which is one of many programs that are offered regularly by the Essex Library (http://www.youressexlibrary.org/). Call the library at (860) 767-1560 to register. Sponsored by Centerbrook Architects, the series is in its seventh year.

Ivoryton Resident Awarded Fairfield University’s Bellarmine Medal

IVORYTON – Fairfield University’s 2015 Bellarmine Medal, awarded to the student with the highest academic average, was presented to Ashley Rose Paholski, of Ivoryton, Conn. She maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average throughout her undergraduate years at Fairfield.

Fairfield University President Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., presented the medal to Paholski at the Jesuit institution’s 65th
commencement exercises held May 17.

Paholski earned a bachelor’s degree in English, with a concentration in Literature and Cultural Studies from the College of Arts &
Sciences. She minored in mathematics and education. She plans to attend Georgetown University Law School beginning this fall.

Fairfield University is a Jesuit University, rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than
5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 36 states, 47 foreign countries, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are enrolled in the University’s five schools. In the spirit of rigorous and sympathetic inquiry into all dimensions of human experience, Fairfield welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to share ideas and engage in open conversations. The University is located in the heart of a region where the future takes shape, on a stunning campus on the Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.

Image: Graduating senior Ashley Rose Paholski received Fairfield University’s Bellarmine Medal at the University’s 65th
commencement exercises.

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

IMG_5348

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

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

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

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

Popular Essex Shad Bake Takes Place Today at CT River Museum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

#          #          #          #          #          #          #          #          #

 

Photo Captions:

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

Lyme Farmers Market Open Saturdays for the Season

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

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

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

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

Community Music School Jazz Ensemble Performs Today

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chester Opposition Delays Vote on Proposed School District Full Regionalization Plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chester Museum at The Mill Tells Chester’s Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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