July 1, 2022

Archives for October 2010

Jennifer Lynn Palka 10/8/10

View obituary courtesy of The New Haven Register

Essex Residents Want a Stronger Anti-Blight Ordinance

Essex First Selectman Phil Miller chaired a hearing on a proposed anti-blight ordinance at Essex town hall. After hearing many objections to his proposed draft, Miller promised, "We are going to have go back to the drawing board." (Photo by Jerome Wilson)

ESSEX— Residents at a public hearing Wednesday urged the board of selectmen to present a stronger anti-blight ordinance that would expedite the restoration or removal of a handful of deteriorated structures in town.

About 80 residents turned out for the public hearing on a proposed ordinance that was drafted by the selectmen and town attorney after months of discussion. The move for an anti-blight ordinance was prompted by complaints about a handful of unsightly structures, some damaged by fire, that have remained vacant for as long as two years.

The ordinance drafted by town attorney David Royston defines a blighted structure as a building where existing conditions “pose a serious threat to public health and safety,” contain violations of the Connecticut Public Health Code, or represent a fire hazard. The ordinance, which includes a notification process and appeals procedure, would allow the board of selectmen to impose a  fine of $100 on the property owner for each day a structure is in violation, and allow the town to impose a tax lien on the property to recover unpaid fines or costs incurred in remediating a blight situation.

Property on Prospect Street

First Selectman Phil Miller said there are about six structures in Essex and the Ivoryton section that would meet the definition of a blighted structure. Miller said the selectmen had attempted to focus the ordinance on the most serious blight situations. “This was not intended as a junk ordinance,” he said.

But several residents contended the ordinance was not strong enough to force a quick restoration or removal of blighted structures. Alan Miller contended the ordinance as written is “weak and incomplete.” Janet Atkeson suggested using a determination of whether a structure is habitable as the main criteria for defining a blighted structure.

Royston said the definitions in the ordinance could be expanded to include a determination of whether a structure is habitable, but he cautioned that state law, including a new statute that became effective this month, limits the ability of a town to act on blighted properties. He said the new provision prohibits agents of the town from entering a structure to remediate blighted conditions without the owners permission..

"This ordinance does nothing," said a member of the audience at the Essex anti-blight hearing., "Show some guts," said another to applause. "We want a stronger proposal," said another. "Are we going to have to wait another year before we get another proposal?' someone else asked.

Miller said the selectmen had proposed a “less toothy ordinance as a starting point,” but would follow the input received at the hearing in working with Royston to develop a stronger ordinance.

A second proposed ordinance, this one prohibiting the parking of non-motorized motor vehicles including boat trailers on town streets, prompted objections and more than 40 minutes of discussion. Miller said the ordinance was linked to a $250,000 state Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) grant received earlier this year for reconstruction of the town boat launch on the Connecticut River at the foot of Main Street.

Miller said in awarding the grant the state Department of Economic and Community Development had asked the town to provide a designated location for parking boat trailers that may not fit on streets in the downtown village. The ordinance specifies that boat trailers may be parked in the parking lot of town hall, or at the town-owned former commuter parking lot off Route 154 near Route 9 exit 3.

Some residents questioned the need for the ordinance, even if an upgraded boat launch draws wider usage. One resident suggested a simple prohibition on overnight parking of boat trailers on town streets.

Miller said both the parking of non-motorized vehicles ordinance and the anti-blight ordinance would be revised and presented at a second public hearing before either ordinance is brought to voters at a town meeting for final approval.

Chester Historical Society – Celebrate Barns and The Mill

Photograph by Diane Lindsay

The Chester Historical Society is inviting the public to a special “Closing the Season Celebration,” which includes an evening of free admission to Chester Museum at The Mill.  “It’s our way to thank the community for its longtime support of the Society, including our opening of the new museum on May 1,” said President Skip Hubbard. “We have been especially pleased with the enthusiastic comments from our visitors.”
The weekend opens with a “Closing the Barn Door” Reception and Barn Art sale from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, October 29.  Come and enjoy refreshments and Chester barn scenes produced by our own great Chester artists.  Visit the museum for free, plus get a jump start on great holiday presents.  Artists are donating 50% of the proceeds to the Museum. 
Chester Museum at The Mill, including the Barn Art exhibit and sale, will also be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sat., October 30 and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 31, the last day of its successful first season. With the exception of the two days following Thanksgiving, the museum will be closed until May 2011 to allow for creation of new exhibits.

Talking Transportation: A Victory for Commuters

Who says you can’t fight City Hall… or Metro-North?

Back in August I wrote in this column about Metro-North’s latest proposals to gouge commuters.  Today I can report they have been soundly defeated.

To close its $800 million budget deficit, the MTA (Metro-North’s parent), has in past months come forward with a series of fare hikes and service cuts, all of them soundly rejected by Governor Rell.  Because, although that NY State agency has never heeded our Governor’s requests for a voting seat on its board, Connecticut does have veto power over fare hikes in our state.

I’ve got to hand it to Governor Rell.  She’s kept her word since February of 2005 when, in her first budget address, she told the legislature we were long overdue in ordering new rail cars and promised no fare hikes until the cars arrived and went into service.  She’s also funneled millions in stimulus funds into fixing up our rail stations.

But this time the MTA was proposing something different… what I called a “stealth” fare hike.

The rail agency proposed cutting the discount on monthly “Mail & Ride” tickets as well as rail tickets bought on the web.  They also wanted to reduce the validity of ten-trip tickets from one year to 90 days.  And single trip tickets, now valid for six months, would expire in a week.

What were they thinking?  Short of having conductors spit at passengers, these changes were almost like yelling “screw you” to their customers?

Once again, the CT Rail Commuter Council had its work to do.  First, in publicizing the proposal through the media.  Then, in demanding public hearings (though none were originally planned in Connecticut).  And finally, in rallying commuters to attend and speak out against these proposals.

For the record, I should note that the Council has, in the past, supported small fare hikes… when they were tied to the cost of living and matched against improvements in service.  But these proposals were neither.

The MTA’s budget deficit is of its own creation, not Connecticut’s.  So New York taxpayers and commuters should pay for it, not us.  Connecticut has never been asked for input on the multi-billion dollar mega-projects undertaken by the MTA, like the $6 billion to build tunnels bringing the Long Island Railroad into Grand Central, so why stick us with the bill?

Isn’t reducing a discount equivalent to a fare increase?  You betcha!

And what possible reason could Metro-North offer for shortening the validity of ten-trip tickets?  Incredibly, they said it was to deal with the “problem of uncollected tickets.”

Amazing.  For about a decade the Commuter Council has been beating on Metro-North about conductors not doing their jobs, leaving tickets uncollected on crowded trains.  By its own calculations, Metro-North loses $2 million a year on uncollected tickets.  And their solution is to screw customers by selling them ten-trips but letting them only use two or three rides, then declare their ticket invalid?

And the icing on the cake, the final proposal from the MTA?  A $15 fee to cash in an unexpired ticket!

The Commuter Council was curious just how much money would be raised if these plans were approved, so we filed a formal written request for that data.  The answer:  about a half-million dollars a year in Connecticut.  That’s nothing… a rounding error… bupkis!   An $800 million budget deficit, and all these proposed changes will bring in $500,000?

Governor Rell heard our argument and agreed.  She quickly ordered the CDOT to reject the MTA / Metro-North proposal, a directive read aloud at the public hearings in Stamford and New Haven.

Commuters have won… for now.

JIM CAMERON has been a commuter out of Darien for 19 years.  He is Chairman of the CT Metro-North / Shore Line East Rail Commuter Council, and a member of the Coastal Corridor TIA and the Darien RTM.  Read his column on LymeLine every other Monday.  You can reach him at Cameron06820@gmail.com or www.trainweb.org/ct .

Coast Guard Chamber Players Come to The Kate

U.S. Coast Guard Band

The United States Coast Guard Chamber Players Recital Series comes to the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center for the first time on Sunday, October 17, 2010, at 2 p.m.

The program, called International Brass, features music and musicians associated with Russia, Iceland, Norway, and the United States. Music for brass instruments includes the Quintet No. 2 by Victor Ewald; “Reciprocity” for tuba and trombone by James Meador; and “On a Little Cloud” and “Cat Affairs” composed for euphonium, tuba, and piano by Anna Baadsvik.

The Chamber Players welcome guest artist Øystein Baadsvik. Baadsvik is currently the only tuba virtuoso performing exclusively as a solo artist. His multi-faceted career as a soloist, chamber musician, lecturer and recording artist has taken him all over the world. His international engagements include performances with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bergen Philharmonic, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the Taipei National Symphony Orchestra, the Singapore Philharmonic, and the Orchestra Victoria of Melbourne. He has appeared in some of the most prestigious venues in the world, and in 2006 he made his New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall. He has premiered some forty solo works by composers from the United States, Russia, Sweden, Norway, and Switzerland.

In addition, the concert includes two exciting works recently written for woodwind soloists: “pneApnea” for alto flute and electronics by the exciting young American artist Nathan Davis, and the Sonata Breve for bass clarinet and piano by Dutch composer Sebastian Huydts.

The performance is free and open to the public. No tickets are required. The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is located at 300 Main Street in Old Saybrook, CT, 06475. For information on The Kate, visit www.katharinehepburntheater.org or call (860) 503-1286. For more information about the United States Coast Guard Band, visit CG Band or call the Concert Information Line at (860) 701-6826.

“The Eye Of The Collector: The Jewish Vision Of Sigmund R. Balka” Opens Oct. 10


Forty-one pieces from the collection,”The Eye Of The Collector:  The Jewish Vision of Sigmund R. Balka” will be exhibited Sunday, October 10, in Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek’s  Main Street Gallery, located at 55 Kings Highway in Chester.  The exhibit opens a 2:00 p.m. and will be accompanied by a wine and cheese reception.  Both the collector, Sigmund R. Balka, and Hebrew Union College Museum Curator, Laura Kruger will speak.  This free exhibit is open to the public.

One of the great strengths of this collection, which is being cosponsored by Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek and the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, is that it reflects and records jewish secular and religions experiences in Europe and America and provides a wonderfully informative visual record of Jewish life:  street scenes of Jewish urban  life; the practice of religious life;  expressions of nostalgia for the Old World and acculturation in the New World.

The complete collection, donated to the Hebrew Union College Museum, encompasses over 200 paintings, drawings, prints and photographs and five decades of Balks’s life.  “I don’t think I am anything but a custodian during my lifetime…the art speaks for itself,” says Balka.  “The more public the opportunity to have it speak for itself, the better society is.  Collecting art, curating exhibitions and serving on museum boards are for me as natural as breathing.  It is my link with man’s creative spirit which, in the end, must prevail or we will extinguish ourselves.”

A graduate of Williams College and Harvard Law School, Sigmund Balka is General Counsel and Vice President of Krasdale Foods, directs the Krasdale Galleries in White Plains and New York where he has curated over 100 exhibitions by artists around the world.  He has chaired and advised on art exhibitions and acquisitions for major cultural instituions including the Queens Art Museum, Rutgers University and The Judaica Museum.

“The Eye of the Collector” will remain on view at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek through mid January, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Balka returns to the Main Street Gallery, Sunday, November 14th to conduct two walking tours at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m..  Each tour will last 30-45 minutes and accommodate 20 people.  There is no charge and reservations can be made by calling the Temple office at 860-5268920.

Eileen Daily To Make Radio Appearance Thursday, October 7

With just under a month until the November 2 general election,  State Senator Eileen Daily’s re-election campaign is making stops in towns across the 33rd district. This Thursday, Daily will be a guest on WMRD AM 1150 out of Middletown.   

“Senator  Daily looks forward to this radio appearance,” said Daily campaign manager Matt Santacroce.  “We are waiting on the Nichols campaign to finalize plans for an joint engagement on WLIS/WMRD. This is a well-known local radio outlet that will reach a substantial number of potential voters, and we are eager to take advantage of this opportunity. 

“Eileen and her opponent will continue to appear side-by-side at numerous forums and meetings across the district between now and November 2.  Eileen is focused on highlighting her extensive experience fighting for the families and businesses of the 33rd District, and we see these events as a prime venue to do so.”

Senator Daily will appear with her opponent at a public debate at the Morgan School in Clinton, CT on October 20. The debate will be sponsored by the Morgan School Political Club, and will feature students from the club under the instruction of Eric Bergman.  It will begin at 7pm at the school’s Gagnan Auditorium at 27 Killingworth Turnpike in Clinton. 

Below are other debates, forums, and joint appearances open to the public which Senator Daily will be attending throughout the month of October:

Oct. 4: Westbrook Council of Beaches Candidate Forum

Oct. 6: Middlesex Co. Chamber of Commerce, Portland-East Hampton Division

Oct. 13: Meet the Candidates at Luigi’s, Old Saybrook

Oct. 20: Morgan School Debate

Oct. 26: MCCC Westbrook Division Meet the Candidates

Oct. 26: Colchester AARP Meet the Candidates

Oct. 28: MCCC East Haddam-Haddam Division: Meet the Candidates

Otto F. Weiler Jr. 10/6/10

View obituary courtesy of The Hartford Courant

Try the Y Free Week: Oct. 11-17

During the week of October 11-17, the The Valley-Shore Y will be inviting local residents to “Try the Y for Free” as part of their fall membership campaign. During this week-long trial, guests can take advantage of full-privilege YMCA member benefits at no cost.

Guests can come for one day or for the whole week and can take part in exercise classes, work out in the Brady Wellness Center, shoot hoops in their newly renovated gymnasium, or swim in one of the two 25 yard swimming pools.

Each day during the week, the will focus on a different theme to showcase the Westbrook location. Monday – “Focus on Fitness”, Tuesday – “Active Aquatics”, Wednesday – “Senior Spotlight”, Thursday – “Sports Spectacular”, Friday – “Celebrating Child Care”, Saturday – “Family Fun”.

The YMCA offers a variety of programs for all ages and abilities that fit everyone’s schedule. No one is turned away from a YMCA program or membership for the inability to pay. Membership at the YMCA is available to all regardless of race, creed, sex or ability to pay. Financial assistance is funded by our annual Strong Kids campaign. Scholarship information is available upon request or on their website www.vsymca.org under the membership tab.

For more information contact the Valley-Shore Y at 860-399-9622 or visit www.vsymca.org.

South Africa’s Thula Sizwe Returns to Deep River

South Africa's Thula Sizwe Capella Singing Group

Thula Sizwe, a ten-voice a capella singing group from South Africa, will be performing a concert at the Deep River Congregational Church on Saturday, October 16th beginning at 7 pm. A reception, hosted by the Church’s Board of Christian Service, will be held in Fellowship Hall immediately following the 90+-minute concert.

Thula Sizwe’s energetic concerts of song and dance includes a combination of traditional songs in Zulu, English and Afrikaans as well as secular and traditional music and original compositions. They will perform in both concert clothes and traditional Zulu costumes.

Thula Sizwe was established just before the end of the apartheid era. The group’s origins are in the poverty-stricken Black Townships of South Africa, yet their music reaches across racial and class divisions to share their intricate rhythms and harmonies with all audiences.

Tickets are not required for this concert. A free-will offering will be taken during the concert. For additional information, contact the Deep River Congregational Church at 860/526-5045 or the church website at www.deepriverchurch.org.

Essex Boy Scouts Perform Flag Retiring Ceremony

Essex Boy scouts lowering flag as part of Flag retiring ceremony. Pictured (left to Right) are Christopher Polo, Brendan McGirr, Davis Wohlmuth from of Essex. (Photo by Donna Kiefer)


Essex Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts took part in a camping camporee this past weekend celerbrating 100 years of Scouting. 

The event took place at the Elks club in Westbrook, Connecticut.  The Elks graciously hosted the event with Scout troops from five area towns participating.

The Boys took part in several activities including one that was an original Boy Scout requirement in 1911.

On Saturday evening, as the sun was setting, The Essex Boy Scouts Troop 12 performed a flag retiring ceremony.   Two flags were retired, one from the Bumpy Warner House in Essex and one from the Elks waterfront property in Westbrook.

Exhibition of Essex Artist Rick Silberberg in Library During November

Paintings by Essex artist Rick Silberberg are on exhibit at the Essex Library through November

A 30-year retrospective of the paintings of Essex artist Rick Silberberg is currently on exhibit at the Essex Library through November. Mr. Silberberg’s work has had solo exhibitions throughout Central and Eastern Connecticut, including the Lyman Allyn Museum, and has been included in group exhibitions across the United States, from the San Francisco Art Institute to the New Britain Museum.

Painting by Essex artist Rick Silberberg

Painting by Essex artist Rick Silberberg

The artist says his work “visualizes a space between natural images, lyrical abstraction and pure painting. By suggesting familiar places and processes, my goal is always to create a believable space where viewers can wander as if, suddenly, as in a dream, they are transported to an unfamiliar but alluring new world.” The exhibit is free and open to all during regular library hours. The Essex Library is at 33 West Avenue.

Republicans Parade Local Ticket at Deep River Event

Republican Congressional candidate Janet Peckinpaugh stole the show at the Carriage House reception for local candidates.

Clearly, Janet Peckinpaugh, Republican candidate for Congress in the state’s 2nd Congressional District, stole the show at the local Republican town committee reception on Sunday, Oct. 3.  Peckinpaugh brings to any gathering the star power that she built up over 25 years in anchoring local television news shows on all three networks.

Now she is out of our living rooms, campaigning in person to defeat Democratic incumbent Joe Courtney. The partisan crowd, which filled the Carriage House at the Deep River Historical Society, hung on every word of Peckinpaugh’s “sound bite” attacks on Courtney, and the Obama administration.

Peckinpaugh said, “The nation will be totally out of control, if Obama stays in power.”“We have to take our country back,” she said, “We are becoming a nation of federal jobs.”

And speaking of jobs, Peckinpaug said to sustained applause, “We’ve got to fire Joe Courtney.” He is, “Nancy Pelosi’s lap dog,” referring to Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

In her remarks, the former TV news star said she believed that the nation needed a health care program, but that she strongly opposed Obama’s new health care law and would have voted against it.  On the other hand she said she would have voted for the federal TARP program, a $700 million bailout plan to shore up the nation’s financial sector.

Rather surprisingly to some of his supporters, Courtney voted against the TARP plan. Peckinpaugh charged that he only did so, because the House leadership “let him off the hook.” “They had enough votes to pass the message without him,” she said.

State Senate candidate Neal Nichols also addressed the crowd of eager listeners at the event. Nichols repeated his mantra that the Connecticut state budget has to be reduced, radically. He also said that if he elected he would work “collegially” with fellow legislators of both parties to reduce state spending.

Republican candidate for Judge of Probate Anselmo Delia promises to give up his private law practice if he gets the $110,000 a year judgeship.

Also, on the program was the Republican candidate for Probate Judge, Anselmo Delia. Delia is campaigning for the newly created $110,000 a year position, which will oversee probating estates in a new nine town district. The district will cover the towns of  Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook. The courthouse will be in Old Saybrook base. 

If elected, Delia pledged to establish “a roving court” to reach out from its Old Saybrook base.  Also, he said that he would establish an outreach program to educate people in the district as to the work of the court.

Delia stressed that when average citizens come before the court, it is frequently at a difficult time in their lives, such as the death of close family member. Delia said that he would make sure that his office helps those coming before the court with the necessary paper work. In many cases he said this would save many dollars in legal fees.

Delia brings to his candidacy a long record of civic activity in his hometown of Clinton, from serving on the town Board of Education to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Also, he promises to close up his private law practice and to work exclusively as a judge. 

Also making a presentation at the Republican reception was the candidate for the State Representative, Chet Harris. Harris said that he did not intend to spend more than a thousand dollars to try to get elected, and he promised to wage an informal, down home style campaign. Nichols and a number of others did not stay around for Harris’s remarks.

Public Hearing on Essex Anti-Blight Ordinance Oct. 6

Abandoned, burned out house at the northeast corner of North Main Street and New City Street (Photo by Jerome Wilson)

ESSEX— The board of selectmen Wednesday postponed the public hearing on the proposed anti-blight ordinance to Wednesday Oct. 6, citing a conflict with the zoning commission meeting on Monday.

The board earlier this month set the public hearing on the proposed ordinance for Sept. 20, and also tentatively scheduled a town meeting vote on the ordinance for the same evening.

First Selectman Phil Miller said members of the zoning commission requested the delay because the panel has three public hearings scheduled for  Sept. 20. He said some members of the commission wanted an opportunity to comment on the proposed ordinance, which has some overlap with zoning enforcement.

Miller added that he has received numerous e-mails and other contacts from residents about the ordinance since the draft document was published on the town website and in other media.  “It’s looking like we may have to make some changes and possibly hold another public hearing before there is a town meeting vote,” he said.  Selectmen Norman Needleman and Joel Marzi agreed there should be no plans for a town meeting vote on the ordinance on the same evening as the public hearing.

Abandoned house on Prospect Street, just off North Main Street (Photo by Jerome Wilson)

The ordinance, under discussion since early this year, was prompted by complaints and concerns from residents about three structures in town that were severely damaged by fire, yet remain standing in unsightly condition. The ordinance defines a blighted property, and authorizes the first selectman, or his or her designee, to take steps to remediate the blighted conditions. The ordinance, which includes an appeal procedure to the full board of selectmen, would allow the town to correct blighted conditions, including possible demolition of a blighted structure, and recover costs from the property owner.

The public hearing on the anti-blight ordinance convenes on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at town hall. A town meeting vote on the ordinance would follow later in the fall.

Robert Ressler 10/3/10

View obituary courtesy of the Hartford Courant

Essex Elementary Harvest Festival Sunday

Libby and Ashley Cap help get the word out on the annual Essex Elementary Harvest Festival taking place this year on Sunday, October 3 from 12 noon to 4 pm, rain or shine.

On Sunday, October 3 from 12 noon to 4 pm, the Essex Elementary School Parents and Teachers Organization will hold its annual Harvest Festival.  All are invited to this fun-filled afternoon of food, games, and activities.  The crowd-pleasing Cakewalk, Adrenaline Rush obstacle course, Jousting competitions, cookie decorating, crafts, silent auction, and great food will be back on school grounds located at 108 Main Street in the Centerbrook section of Essex.  New this year is the Harvest & Bake Sale which will include local vegetables, flowers, and canned goods donated by parents.  Harvest Festival takes place rain or shine.  Admission is free with tickets sold for activities and food.  All Harvest Festival proceeds help fund the school’s community cultural arts program, educational field trips, enhancements to the school grounds and other onsite programs.  The Essex Elementary Parents And Teachers Organization is a 501(c) non-profit organization.

Legislative Candidates Debate State Issues at Historic Chester Meeting House

"Vote for me!" was the real theme of the meeting house debate. Pictured (left to right): State Representative James Spallone, State Senator Eileen Daily, State Senate candidate Neil Nichols and State Representative candidate Chet Harris.

“I have worked hard, lo’ these many years,” said 18-year incumbent, State Senator Eileen Daily, at a candidates’ debate at the Chester Meeting House on Friday, October 1. The event was sponsored by the Chester, Deep River and Essex division of the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce.
Daily, who is running for her tenth term, said that her number one priority was “our state budget,” which she admitted was dependent “on too much borrowing” and needed to adopt “new efficiencies.”
At the same time, Daily said, that negotiating with state workers unions to cut jobs “is so complicated,” that you needed to be “a surgeon to understand it.”
Daily’s challenger, retired businessman Neil Nichols in his remarks stressed that “Government does not produce jobs.” Nichols also charged that,”Connecticut was the worst state in the country for business, and we need to change that attitude.”
In Nichols view, “State spending is almost out of control,” and the state needs “a real freeze in hiring,” as well as “a 15% cut in the state budget.” Although a Republican,, Nichols praised former Democratic Governor Abraham Ribicoff “as the kind of fiscal conservative that we need.”
Next to speak was State Representative James Spallone, who said, as did all of the candidates, that “the state’s budget deficit” was a top priority. Howvever, Spallone stressed that the deficit “cannot be met purely with job cuts.” “Rather than taking too radical cuts,” he called for “a balance of spending.”  “The number one priority,” he said, “must be to fix the budget.”
Also, Spallone noted that Connecticut was not alone in its fiscal problems, “because of the global fiscal meltdown.” He also said the state should invest “in green technology,” and address the problem of the “high cost of energy in the state.”
The final speaker was Spallone’s challenger, Republican Chet Harris. Harris said that he was “new to politics.” Furthermore, he said  that he “never wanted to be called a politician.” “Our is state is broke,” Harris chimed in, “The state needs a business enviornment,” In his view “the state budget needs to be cut in so many ways.”
Harris also called on people to talk to their government officials, “to encouragte them to be responsible.”
After the candidates’ formal statements members of the audience asked questions. One issue raised was the importance of tourism in the state. Senator Daily responded that tourism is “a critical isssue” for the state, and Nichols said that his experience as the former Director of Marketing for Pan American World Airways would give him unique insights into this issue. He also pointed to the success of the “Trees In Rigging” Christmas boat parade, which he had organized in Essex over many years.
Both Daily and Nichols stressed  the importance of making the state’s cities attractive for young people, with Nichols decrying the fact that young people are moving out of the states,”becasue they cannot find a job.”
For his part Harris said, “I am a blue collar person myself,” and I want the state to let “business be business.” He also said that “the state cannot legislative every aspect of our lives.”
Spallone then made the point that “Conneciticut has already benefitted from the new federal health care program.” Daily added that health care needs “more government oversight than less.”
The moderator of the program was Brian O”Connor, a member of the Executive Committe of the Chamber.

GOP “Meet the Candidates” Reception Sunday

The Republican Town Committees of Chester, Deep River and Essex will be holding a “Meet the Candidates” reception on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at the Carriage House of the Deep River Historical Society located at 245 Main Street, Deep River, CT. 

Candidates attending will be Janet Peckinpaugh, U.S. Congress, 2nd District; Neil Nichols, State Senate, 33rd District; Chet Harris, State Representative, 36th District and Anselmo Delia, Judge of Probate, 33rd District. 

Members of the public are cordially invited to attend.  Complimentary wine, beer, soft drinks and appetizers will be served. 

For additional information, please contact Mario Gioco of Chester at (860) 526-9306, Pat Gamerdinger of Deep River at (860) 526-9626 or Joel Marzi of Essex at (860) 304-3550.

Deep River Town Meeting Approves Formation of Community Health Committee

DEEP RIVER— Voters at a town meeting Monday approved the formation of a new Community Health Committee that will help coordinate visiting nurse services and manage the charitable fund that was held by the former Deep River Public Health Nursing Agency.

About 25 residents turned out for the town meeting, approving the ordinance establishing the committee on a unanimous voice vote after less than 30 minutes of discussion. Voters also rescinded a March 1975 town meeting ordinance that designated the Deep River Public Health Nurses as the coordinator of visiting nurse services in town.
Concerned about rising costs, voters had discontinued town funding for the separate visiting nurse service in a May 18 referendum. The board of selectmen designated the Centerbrook-based Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley Inc.  to coordinate visiting nurse services for uninsured and underinsured town residents beginning on July 1.

The status of the Memorial Fund, a charitable fund that had been controlled by the directors of now-disbanded  Deep River Public Nurses board of directors, was an unresolved issue after the July 1 change. The board of selectmen developed the plan for the community health committee after a July 22 hearing with guidance from local Judge of Probate, Patricia Damon, and a lawyer from the state Attorney General’s office, which regulates the operation of charitable funds.

The ordinance approved Monday gives the community health committee authority to manage the Memorial Fund as a “special segregated town fund for charitable purposes,” and to develop eligibility criteria for disbursements from the fund. First Selectman Richard Smith said the fund, which currently contains about $72,000, would be managed consistent with the expectations of the doners,” to provide special assistance to needy town residents.”

The ordinance also designates the community health committee as the town’s liaison to Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley, with three of the five committee members also serving as members of the VNLV board of directors. The five-member committee will be appointed by the board of selectmen for two-year terms.

Evelyn Stevens to join Vista Tour de Shoreline Bike Event

Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center, Inc. will be holding its 2nd annual, Tour de Shore Cycle Event, on Sunday, Oct. 17, and will include rides of 60, 40 or 25 miles (see below).  Rides will start and end in Westbrook Center and will pass through several scenic shoreline towns including Essex and Deep River.    Last year’s event was attended by more than 100 participants.  Joining the 60 mile ride this year will be two celebreties, Evelyn Stevens and Bjorn Selander.

Evelyn Stevens is the women’s racing phenomenon who has rocketed from a desk job on Wall Street two years ago to the national Time Trial Championship this year and a leading place on the world’s best bicycle team, HTC Columbia.  She will be just back from the World Championships in Australia.

Bjorn, winner of the Junior and U23 national cyclecross championships, this year raced on Lance Armstrong’s Radio Shack team.

The rides will pass through some beautiful Connecticut back roads and small towns and provide breathtaking shoreline views.  All riders receive cue sheets and route maps.  Sponsorships are available and can be viewed on the Tour de Shore website at www.vistatourdeshore.com.    

Entertainment and a delicious barbecue will be provided after the ride for all participants.  There will also be raffle prizes.

Call Susan Bradley at Vista for registration information – 203-318-5240 ext. 228 or register on line at www.vistatourdeshore.com.  or www.bikereg.com.  Net proceeds from this event will benefit the programs and services for the students and members of the Vista community through the Vista Endowment Fund.

Cycle Routes:

60 Mile Route

40 Mile Route

25 Mile Route

Republican Delia to Hold Probate Court Workshop in Essex

Anselmo Delia

ESSEX–  Anselmo Delia, the Clinton lawyer running as the Republican nominee for judge of probate in the new nine-town probate district, will hold a workshop meeting on the changes to the probate court system on Tuesday Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. in the town hall.

The local probate courts will close in January 2011 and the area will be served by a regional probate court located in Old Saybrook. The district includes the towns of Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook.

Delia said campaigning through the district had led him to believe residents “are very apprehensive about the inconvenience this new situation will cause” and that some residents are not aware of the pending changes. Delie said he is “looking forward to explaining his plan to make the transition as smooth as possible.” A question and answer session will follow Delia’s presentation, and refreshments will be served.

Essex is the hometown of Delia’s Democratic opponent in the Nov. 2 election, local lawyer Terrance Lomme.

Sixth Annual “Dogs On The Dock” in Essex

LuLu and her owner were one of the colorful contest participants in last year’s Dogs on the Docks parade and competition.

On Sunday, Oct. 10, the waterfront lawn of the Connecticut River Museum will be “going to the dogs” with the commencement of the Sixth Annual “Dogs On The Dock” parade and competition. 

Dog owners and dog lovers alike are invited to attend.  Last year more than 50 dogs and 300+ fans turned out for this uniquely Essex experience.  Dog participant registration starts at 1 pm at the Connecticut River Museum, located at 67 Main Street.  The parade starts promptly at 2:00 pm, rain or shine, followed by canine competitions in categories such as best costume, best nautical costume, best owner look-alike, best pet trick and best dock jumping. 

The event is sponsored by the Essex Board of Trade and the Connecticut River Museum.  Registration is $10 per dog and $5 for each additional dog with net proceeds being donated to local animal rescue shelters.  All dogs must have a 2010 license and rabies tag to participate.  For more information, call 860-767-8269 or visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or www.essexct.com.