June 15, 2019

Archives for November 2010

Vintage Costume Jewelry Expert Comes to Chester

Vintage costume jewelry enthusiast, Gay Sherman, has been collecting for more than 20 years and will visit Chester Public Library with her stunning group of vintage Christmas tree pins, just in time for the season ahead.  

But this is about more than just tree pins, beautiful as they may be.  Gay’s knowledge of costume jewelry is extensive; get set to learn about styles, periods and designers (do the names Coro, Trifari, Hobe’ or Vendome ring a bell?), as well as the care and repair of these enchanting embellishments from days past.

Dig into your jewelry box and bring along an interesting piece.  Learn more about it, see what a difference a good cleaning makes and even receive an informal appraisal, if you’d like.  The value of these pieces may surprise you!  You may also be pleased  to learn how reasonably a favorite, but damaged piece can be repaired.   Come enjoy a cup of tea and share the pleasure of these small treasures.

Gay will present two programs at Chester Public Library on Monday, November 22.  The afternoon program will take place from 2:00-3:30 and an evening session will follow from 7:00- 8:30 PM.  Register by calling the library at 860-526-0018.

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Fishing Conservation Traditions Lecture at Connecticut River Museum

Essex, CT – For two hundred years, European settlements along the southern New England shore managed to maintain alewife (shad) runs for food and fertilizer. Within a decade of the creation of the US Fish Commission in 1872, however, those traditions had come to an end, and inshore communities of fish and fishermen alike faced a challenging new world. 

Learn about the controversy leading up to the establishment of the Commission and its ensuing impact on the fishing and environmental communities when maritime historian Matthew McKenzie from the University of Connecticut American Studies Program presents “Conservation Traditions and New Science: Fishermen, Naturalists, and the Southern New England Inshore Fishery Controversy” on Sunday, Nov. 21 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex. 

Sponsored by the Horace Beck Maritime Folklife Lecture Series, the talk will explore conservation efforts in the late 19th century from the perspective of the fisherman and naturalist alike.  Mr. McKenzie’s forthcoming book, Clearing the Coastline: The Nineteenth Century Ecological and Cultural Transformation of Cape Cod, explores perceived changes in nineteenth century southern New England’s inshore marine ecology; fishermen’s and scientists’ responses to those changes; and how these economic and ecological transformations helped create the modern tourist communities of the early twentieth century. 

Admission for the general public is $5.  Connecticut River Museum members admitted free.  The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street.  For more information go to www.ctrivermuseum.org or call (860)767-8269 to reserve your spot.

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It’s a Day Worth Celebrating at the Valley-Shore Y

The Valley-Shore YMCA is having their grand re-opening and dedication of their newly renovated gymnasium on Nov. 11. This event will take place at 201 Spencer Plains Road in Westbrook from 5-7PM. Joe Connolly of The Wall Street Journal and WCBS will be hosting the festivities, including a live auction of fabulous vacation packages, guest appearance by Mike Thibault, coach of the Connecticut Sun, and the dedication of the gym to Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services.

“The ambitious goal to renovate the Y’s gymnasium has been a project long sought after. The funds that were available to make this project happen were raised back on May 13, 2010 at the “Small Business Forum” networking event at the Y which featured an expert panel of business owners, opened up to audience participation and questions,” said Paul Mohabir CEO, Valley-Shore Y. A special thank you to all the major sponsors of the Small Business Forum for making this project a reality:

  • The Lee Company
  • Thompson & Peck, Inc
  • Outthink
  • AT&T
  • Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services
  • Clark Corporation
  • Comcast Cable
  • Guilford Savings Bank
  • Mohegan Sun
  • Tower Laboratories
  • Business & Legal Reports
  • Essex Printing
  • Chamard Wineries
  • Gabrielle’s Restaurant

During the Nov. 11 event, enjoy refreshments including wine and food while celebrating with people from the shoreline community including business owners from around the Connecticut area. To attend this event please contact the Valley-Shore Y to RSVP.

For more information and to RSVP contact the Valley-Shore Y at 860-399-9622 or visit us on the web at www.vsymca.org.

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Harbor Commission adopts “use it or lose it” rule for private moorings in Essex harbor

Mooring tackle out of the water at the Pettipaug Yacht Club

It’s a new day for the holders of private moorings in Essex Harbor. The town’s Harbor Management Commission has just adopted a new rule that if a boater does not properly use an assigned private mooring during the boating season, the boater’s mooring spot will not be renewed for the following season.   

The Commission’s action was in response to an informal survey taken in Essex Harbor last summer. The survey found that as many as one third of the private moorings assigned to boaters in the Essex Meadows mooring field were not being used as they should be. Some had moorings in the water but no boats were using them. Others, even more egregiously, were totally empty, with neither boat nor mooring at the assigned mooring location.

To remedy this situation the Harbor Management Commission at its October 28 meeting adopted a number of new mooring policies for private mooring holders. Among the most important is that if a boater who has been granted a private mooring permit fails to install the required mooring tackle in the water during the boating season that boater “may at the discretion of Harbor Master be determined ineligible and disqualified for renewal of that Mooring Permit for the following year.”  

Furthermore, if the “ineligible and disqualified” person wants to apply for a new mooring permit in the future “that person shall be placed at the bottom of any wait list for any area of Essex Harbor … ”

Also new “use” requirements have been put in place by the Commission. They state, “Private Moorings are intended for the regular personal use of the Mooring Permit holder.” They also provide that “it is required that the mooring shall be occupied by the watercraft for which the permit was issued on a regular basis during the boating season.” 

 The highlighted language could be interpreted to mean that if a mooring permit holder does not engage in “regular personal use” of an assigned mooring, or if the   mooring is not used “on a regular basis during the mooring season,” these could be grounds for making the holder of the mooring “ineligible and disqualified for renewal of the Mooring Permit the following year.”

Most of the vessels in Essex are now out of the water. A few remain.

However, before imposing the loss of a mooring on these grounds, a finding should be made as to what does, or does not, constitute “regular personal use,“ or, “ a regular basis during the mooring season. “ This determination, presumably, would be made by the Harbor Master.

Another new policy enacted by the Commission is that private mooring permits are “for the personal and recreational use of the Mooring Permit holder.” This would infer that commercial use of private mooring permits is prohibited.

Another new policy of the Commission dictates, “All ground tackle must be inspected every 2 years by the Essex Harbor Master or his designee.” Also, “All vessels must be registered or certified by the State of Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles.”

In addition, “Proof of financial responsibility (liability insurance – Certificate of Insurance) shall be required for all watercraft (boat, barge, float, etc.) for which an Application for the Mooring Permit is made.”

Yet another new policy requires, “Pursuant to U.S. Coast Guard requirements all mooring balls (floats) shall be of white color with a blue horizontal stripe around the middle circumference of same. The Mooring ball (float) shall have the Mooring Permit Holder’s Permit Number and Permit Holder’s initials with anchor weight marked on it.”

Also, all private mooring applicants should submit with their applications “evidence of a suitable means of access to a mooring.” This access requirement, presumably, would be satisfied, either by use of boats of private yacht clubs, or by use of private boats from public boat launches. 

In a new wrinkle the new policies require that each year, before the beginning of the boating season, the ten individuals at the top of the mooring permit waiting list will be advised in writing of the “possibility of available mooring space becoming available in the Mooring Area previously requested…”  These persons are also advised to get ready for a new mooring assignment by assembling all required documents.  

The full text the Essex Harbor Management Commission’s new “Private Mooring Permit Policies” can be found on the home page of the Essex town website at www.essexct.gov .  Hard copies of the new policies can also be obtained at the Essex Town Hall in the First Selectman’s office.

Jerome Wilson conducted the survey mentioned of unused moorings in Meadows Mooring field with the assistance of the Pettipaug Yacht Club. Wilson also testified before the Essex Harbor Management Commission urging the adoption of a “use it or lose it” policy in regulating private moorings in Essex Harbor. 

 Further background on private moorings in Essex Harbor

There are 112 persons holding private moorings in Essex Harbor, and 46 persons on the wait list for an assignment of a private mooring in the harbor. 

The cost of a private mooring in Essex Harbor is $50 payable to the town annually, as well as a onetime cost of $300 to $400 dollars to purchase mooring tackle, including anchor, chain, float and pennant. There could also be incidental charges for putting the mooring in and out of the water and for mooring maintenance.
 
By contrast the rental of a mooring owned by a commercial marina can cost over $3,000 for a single boating season. These costs included maintaining the mooring and taking it in and out of the water.

The cost difference between the two alternatives explains why many boaters are eager to be assigned private moorings in Essex Harbor. Incidentally, a person does not have to be a resident of Essex to be eligible to be assigned a private mooring in Essex Harbor.   
 

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Region 4 School Board releases details of administrator severance

REGION 4— The Region 4 Board of Education Thursday released details of severance packages granted to two departed top administrators at a meeting that also included a passionate defense of Valley Regional High School and the school district from Superintendent of Schools Ruth Levy.

The moves come in the wake of an Oct. 29 complaint to the state Department of Education filed against the Region 4 school administration and board of education by Susan Magaziner, an Essex resident. Magaziner asks the department that supervises public schools in Connecticut to investigate alleged “abuse of power” by Levy in the mid-October departure of former high school principal Eric Rice, and an alleged subsequent “violation of civil rights” of students at the high school when students were allegedly prevented from discussing Rice’s departure while at school.

Rice, a Chester resident who was hired as principal over the summer, resigned from the position on Oct. 12 amid reports that he had been given a resign-or-be-fired ultimatum from Levy after less than three weeks on the job. Questions about Rice’s departure led residents to petition for a special district meeting that was held on Oct. 21 where a crowd of nearly 100 residents pressed the Region 4 board and Levy for more details about the situation at the high school, including any severance payment to Rice.

Rice was the second top administrator to leave over the past year, following the departure last May of Diane Dugas from the assistant superintendent job she had held for less than a year. The principal vacancy at the high school that was briefly filled by Rice opened up after Ian Nevaiser, an Essex resident who had been principal at Valley Regional High School since 2008, was named as assistant superintendent. Dugas had been hired as assistant superintendent of June 2009, taking the job that had been held by Ruth Levy before she officially assumed the superintendent position on July 1, 2009.

Levy told about a 20 residents at Thursday’s meeting that Dugas had received a severance payment of $27,642 that was funded out of the 2009-2010 education budget, while Rice had received a severance payment of $62,150 that will be funded from the current budget, plus extended health insurance coverage costing about $15,000. She said the payments to Rice would represent less than one-half of one percent of the current education budget.

Levy said “it would be unfair to talk about the reasons,” either Rice or Dugas had resigned “and I won’t do it.” Levy urged residents to “look at the good things” about the school district. “We have a great district,” she said. “Do we have things to learn, always, there are issues but that does not mean things are terrible.”

The board Thursday agreed to review all district policies and procedures for both hiring and dismissal of professional staff, including the board’s role when an administrator recommends dismissal of a certified staff member.

The board also formally appointed Kristina Martineau, the assistant principal at the high school, to serve as acting principal through the end of the current school year in June 2011. The board had never formally appointed Martineau as acting principal at the Oct. 12 meeting where it accepted a resignation from Rice.

Magaziner, who moved to Essex from New Jersey about four years ago, said Friday she filed the complaint with the state Department of Education after talking with students at the high school who are friends with her children, who do not attend the school. “I have concerns about what kids are being put through,” she said.

Magaziner said she believes the board is not fulfilling its proper role in the hiring or termination process for administrators and other professional certified staff.

School Board Chairwoman Linda Hall Friday declined to comment on Magaziner’s complaint, but confirmed the board had discussed it with district lawyer Ann Littlefield in a closed session held before the end of Thursday’s meeting.

Charles Stannard is a lifelong resident of Essex, and has covered various Middlesex County towns for two daily newspapers over the past 30 years.  He worked for the Middletown Press from 1979 to 1995 and the Hartford Courant from 1997 through last summer, and covered Chester, Deep River, Essex and Killingworth for the past decade.  Charlie lives in the Ivoryton section of Essex.

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James L. Griffith 11/5/10

James L. Griffith of 30 Bokum Road, Essex passed away on 11/5/10.

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Mary (Morris) Olson 11/5/10

View obituary courtesy of the Hartford Courant

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Harry Albert Fanslau Sr. 11/5/10

View obituary courtesy of the Hartford Courant

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Essex Selectmen Set Workshop Before Public Hearing on Regional Health District

ESSEX—  The board of selectmen has scheduled a final information workshop before it sets the date for a public hearing on the option of joining the Connecticut River Valley Regional Health District.

The board decided Wednesday to schedule a workshop session with Mary Jane Engle, the director of the three-town health district, for Wednesday Nov. 17 at 5 p.m. in town hall. First Selectman Phil Miller said the board would set the date for a public hearing on the health district at its regular meeting later that evening.

The hearing would probably be held in early December. The board would then decide whether to bring the option of joining the district to a deciding vote at a town meeting.

Miller said the workshop would allow selectmen to “prepare for the public hearing,” receiving information from Engle on the operations and services of the health district, and any possible cost savings for the town from the current total annual expenditure for health related services. Miller had appointed Engle as acting health director for Essex on a month-to-month basis in mid October after Dr. William McCann resigned from the part-time health director position he had held since 2008.

The Connecticut River Valley Regional Health District was formed in July 2006 by the towns of Clinton, Deep River, and Old Saybrook. The district’s office is located in Old Saybrook.Essex selectmen held an initial informational hearing on the regional health district in June 2006, but deferred any move to join the district after the idea drew a generally negative response at the hearing. A second public hearing held last February also drew a mixed response, but some additional expressions of support for the joining the district.

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Career Column: A Good Hire

Long ago I was hired for a job that I thought would be perfect for me.  I had just graduated from college with a degree in psychology, and the job was to write summaries and test questions for psychology study guides.  It went well for about a half hour.  Then I was bored.   I didn’t want to stick to the straightforward answers required of me; I wanted to expand on the material and discuss the complexities.  In addition, the office environment was extremely still and quiet, and I wanted to move around and listen to the radio.  I didn’t do the work that was asked of me very well, I complained, and I distracted my colleagues.  Even though I had the right credentials I was not a good hire, and I didn’t last very long there. 

Now that years have passed and I have had to do some hiring of my own, I am better able to put myself in the shoes of my employer.    He didn’t hire me as a consultant to tell him how to improve his study guides.  He hired me to write them as they had always been written, quickly and without complaint.  The job turned out to be one I had no interest in doing, but it was the job that I was hired for.  It was my responsibility to get it done.

A “good hire” is someone who gets the job done.  He or she is also reliable and, at the very least, pleasant to be around.  The job that needs to be done, of course, is different in every circumstance.  It may require very specific skills, credentials, experiences, or talents, or more general qualities, such as quick thinking, good interpersonal skills, or a particular appearance.   For my study guide job, I was reliable and pleasant to be around, and I had the right skills and credentials, but I was not good at completing routine tasks in a quiet environment.  I was not a good hire. 

Why is being “a good hire” important to job seekers?  If Jane is looking for work, or expects to be looking for work, thinking through what it takes to be a good hire can help her get hired for the right job.  She can focus on the skills, credentials, and personal qualities that she “brings to the table,” that is, the strengths, interests, and all of the other characteristics that make her a good hire.    She might see areas that need improvement, and make the improvements, so that she is a better and more confident candidate.  Or she might choose a different focus for her job search, or move towards a different career altogether. 

Here are some suggestions to help you answer the “What makes me a good hire?” question.  Think about:

  • What did you do well at your last job (or at school, at home, or in a volunteer position)?
  • What aspects of the job were easy for you?  Perhaps you found it easy to run meetings, work with colleagues, or get tasks done quickly, for example.  
  • What did you enjoy most?
  • In what circumstances were you most productive?
  • What difficult things did you accomplish? 

Also ask yourself: 

  • What could you have done better?
  • What was difficult?
  • What was unappealing?

Finally, think about what you want to improve, that is, what would make you a better hire, not for any job but for a job you want. 

For my study guide job, I could have, with difficulty, settled down and become a good hire, and perhaps I might have been able to establish a career in publishing or business.   I took a different path, however, working towards a position that would be a better fit for me.   I went to work in a restaurant to earn money and volunteered as a research assistant so that I would be a more competitive applicant for graduate school. 

We are a varied lot, and each one of us brings different qualities to the workplace.    The more we understand ourselves and what work requires of us, that is, knowing what makes us a good hire, the better choices we can make and the better we can present ourselves to potential employers. 

Career Spotlight:  Cybersecurity Expert, Digital Forensic Scientist

Cybersecurity experts protect data on computer networks.  Digital forensic scientists examine digital data to solve crimes.   Jobs in these areas are often stressful and demanding and sometimes they can be tedious, but they can also be exciting and financially rewarding.  Some of these jobs provide the bonus of being able to work with the newest technologies.    Both careers should be of interest to people who like thinking through problems, hands-on work, and following routines. 

\These are “hot” careers.  There is such a high demand for cybersecurity experts that the federal government is trying to interest talented young people in the field while they are still in high school through high school cyber challenges (competitions).  A Bachelor’s degree in computer science provides a good background, but other science and engineering majors could also find a home in cybersecurity or digital forensics.  A strong interest in and ability to grasp computer and related technology is key.  There are internship opportunities and specialized training and certification programs, similar to other IT career paths, and there are also a few specialized master’s and doctoral programs.   Law enforcement agencies and law firms hire digital forensic specialists.   Government agencies and private corporations hire cyber security experts, and they don’t seem to be able to get enough of them. 

You can find information about careers in digital forensics at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences website, in the Resources section under Students :  www.aafs.org/choosing-career#Digital

For a description of careers in cybersecurity, the Wall Street Journal has a good write-up.  Click here to view article.

Karen Goldfinger, Ph.D. is a psychologist in private practice in Essex, Connecticut.   She specializes in psychological assessment for clinical, educational, and forensic purposes and has a special interest in career assessment.  She and two partners recently established KSB Career Consultants, LLC to provide on line career consultation for clients in Connecticut and New York.   Contact her with questions,  comments, or suggestions for the column at karengoldfinger@comcast.net

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Democrats carry Chester and Deep River in state races, Republican Foley carries Essex

CHESTER-DEEP RIVER-ESSEX—  The Democratic governor/lt. governor ticket of Dan Malloy and Nancy Wyman carried Chester and Deep River in Tuesday’s election, but the Republican ticket of  Tom Foley and Mark Boughton led in Essex.

Foley/Boughton took Essex on a vote of 1,675 to 1,534 for Malloy/Wyman, with Connecticut Independent Party nominee Tom Marsh, the Chester first selectman, receiving 87 votes. But Democrats led for all other statewide offices in Essex, including U.S. Senate, where the vote was 1,866 for Democrat Richard Blumenthal to 1,388 for Republican Linda McMahon.

The Democratic candidates for comptroller, secretary of the state, treasurer and attorney general also carried Essex. The vote for U.S. Congress for the 2nd District was 1,902 for incumbent Democratic Rep. Joe Courtney to 605 for Republican Janet Peckinpaugh, a former television news anchorwoman who now lives in Essex.

Malloy/Wyman won Deep River on a vote of 961 to 902 for Foley/Boughton with 107 votes for Marsh. The vote in Deep River was 1,153 for Democrat Blumenthal to 794 for McMahon. Courtney led Peckinpaugh on a vote of 1,194 to 762. Democrats led for the four statewide offices.

Malloy/Wyman won Chester on a vote of 794 to 617 for Foley/Boughton. Marsh, who was elected first selectman as a Republican in 2005, received 261 votes in his hometown for one of his stronger showings in the state. Blumenthal led McMahon 1,037 to 585, with Courtney outpolling Peckinpaugh 1,081 to 593. Democrats led in Chester for the other four statewide offices.

In local races, incumbent Democratic State Senator Eileen Daily of Westbrook led Republican Neil Nichols of Essex in all three towns on her way to winning a tenth term in the 12-town 33rd Senate District. Daily had about 54 percent of the total vote.

Democrat Terrance Lomme of Essex led Republican Anselmo Delia of Clinton in all three towns on his way to winning election as the judge of probate for the new nine town regional probate district. Lomme had 50.8 percent of the total vote.

Democratic State Rep. James Spallone, a Deep River native now living in Essex, carried all three towns over Republican Chester Harris of Haddam to win a sixth term representing the 36 House District. The total vote, including Haddam, was 6,055 for Spallone to 4,251 for Harris, a 59 percent to 41 percent split.

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Joe Courtney Wins a Bitter Sweet Re-election to Return to Congress

The Congressman circulates with well wishers at victory celebration

Congressman Joe Courtney’s re-election figures were impressive. He received 138, 657 votes (60 percent) to 88, 325 votes (40 percent) for his Republican challenger, former television anchorwoman, Janet Peckinpaugh. A third, Green Party candidate, Scott Deshefy, received 3,063 votes.

However, while winning his third election to Congress, Courtney has also lost immeasurable power, because of the loss of Democratic control of the House of Representatives. At the next session Congressman Joe Courtney will no longer be a member of a ruling Democratic majority, rather, when the new Congress convenes in January, he will be a member of a much shrunken Democratic minority.

In many ways shifting from being in the majority to the minority is like going from being a “player” to being a mere “spectator” of the proceedings. Majority members in Congress chair committees and introduce bills that are reported out to the floor and even pass. Some cynics have said that House minority members have no more legislative power than those persons seated in the visitors’ gallery.

When asked how he was going to manage in his new role as a minority Democrat in a Republican controlled body, Courtney said without further elaboration, “It is going to be a much tougher game now.”

All this may have been why Courtney’s victory celebration on election night at the Holiday Inn in Norwich was a somewhat muted affair. For one thing, no more than sixty people showed up to celebrate, and lobbyists in attendance were very few.

Congressman Joe Courtney on stage with his campaign workers

Also, Courtney’s remarks at the gathering concentrated on his personal gratitude to the many volunteers who assisted him in his campaign.  He was effusive about his love for the working people in his eastern Connecticut district, singling out the workers in the shipyards, the dairy farmers in the rural areas, and the teachers, police and other local government workers, who keep our towns running smoothly.

Missing entirely from Courtney’s remarks was even a hint of a legislative agenda for his next term. That may well have been realistic, because members of the minority rarely have a leading role in passing legislation.

Traditionally, in the U.S. House of Representative, it is the all-powerful Speaker who calls the shots. Ominously, for newly re-elected Democrat Joe Courtney, the ideological divide between him and the new Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, is wide indeed.

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The Hidden History of Connecticut at Essex Books

Essex Books is delighted to welcome author Wilson Faude for a book chat and signing on his new book, “Hidden History of Connecticut” on the day of the Essex Holiday Stroll, Saturday, Dec. 4, 3-4pm.

Connecticut’s history is full of engaging and fascinating stories—rocks that are national monuments, the “people’s sculptor,” football players on chapel finials, moons on the Travelers calendars, artists Frederic Church and Eric Sloane and even a Thanksgiving Day touch football game with a future president. These are tales from Greenwich to Enfield, from Sharon to Old Lyme and so much in between. Follow along with historian Wilson Faude in this “must-have” Connecticut book as he traverses the state in search of hidden history.  A perfect gift for the holidays!

Lifelong “nutmegger,” Wilson H. Faude has been the curator of the Mark Twain House and executive director of the Old State House and currently serves as the archivist for the City of Hartford. For twelve years, he was the chairman of the Connecticut Historical Commission. He has written numerous articles and books on Hartford and Connecticut. He has a BA from Hobart College and an MA from Trinity College. He has been honored as the Civitan Man of the Year, as a Distinguished Advocate for the Arts in the state of Connecticut and as a Cow Parade artist; he has also been honored with the Thomas Hooker award for community service. He is listed in Who’s Who in America.

Please call 860-767-1707 to reserve your space!  Thank you for supporting your little neighborhood bookstore!

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Democrat Eileen Daily Defeats Republican Neil Nichols to Win Tenth State Senate Term

AREAWIDE— Democratic State Senator Eileen Daily of Westbrook defeated Republican challenger Neil Nichols of Essex Tuesday to win a tenth term in the 12-town 33rd Senate District.

Unofficial results showed Daily defeating Nichols on a vote of  20,030 to 17,590. Colin Bennett of Westbrook, running on the Green Party line, received about 228 votes. Daily’s margin of victory was about 3,240 votes, making this her closest election since a 1998 contest with Robert Poliner of Durham, a town that is no longer in the 33rd District.

Daily awaited the results with family, friends, and supporters at her campaign headquarters in the former Verplex factory building on Westbrook Road in Essex. Nichols, a retired pilot, got his hometown results at Essex Town Hall, and then gathered with supporters at the Griswold Inn.

Daily thanked supporters for the victory. “I look forward to the very challenging times ahead,” she said. Daily carried 11 of the 12 district towns, losing to Nichols only in Haddam

Unofficial results for the district towns are CHESTER—Daily-1,015-Nichols-584, CLINTON—Daily-2,759-Nichols-2,213, COLCHESTER—Daily 3,004-Nichols-2,654, DEEP RIVER—Daily-1,114-Nichols-780, EAST HADDAM—Daily-1,963-Nichols-1,598, EAST HAMPTON—Daily-2,757-Nichols-2,540, ESSEX—Daily-1,689-Nichols-1,538, HADDAM—Daily-1,428-Nichols-1,720, OLD SAYBROOK—Daily-854-Nichols-664, PORTLAND—Daily-2,040-Nichols-1,598, and WESTBROOK—Daily-1,552-Nichols-1,202.

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Democrat Lomme Wins Regional Judge of Probate Race

AREAWIDE— Democrat Terrance Lomme of Essex defeated Republican Anselmo Delia of Clinton Tuesday to become the first judge of probate elected for the nine town region.

Lomme, an Essex lawyer, won a close race with 50.8 percent of the vote, defeating Delia, a Clinton lawyer, on a vote of 13,396 to 12,971. The margin of victory in the nine towns was 425 votes.

Lomme carried five of the nine towns, including Chester, Deep River, Essex, Lyme, and Old Saybrook. Delia carried Clinton, Haddam, Killingworth, and Westbrook.

Lomme awaited the results with family and friends at his law office on Plains Road in Essex. Delia gathered with supporters at the Harbor Seal restaurant in Westbrook.

By 9 p.m., Lomme was leading by about 480 votes, but unable to claim victory without the results from Haddam. About 25 minutes later, Lomme claimed victory after Delia’s narrow 56-vote edge in Haddam failed to offset Lomme’s edge in other towns.

Lomme expressed appreciation for the voter support. “I look forward to this opportunity and I can’t wait to get started,” he said.

Delia, who called Lomme to concede the race, said he was disappointed by the result. “I congratulate Terry for running a very good race,” he said.

Unofficial results for the nine towns include CHESTER– Lomme 1,001- Delia–579, CLINTON—Lomme-2,129-Delia 2,802, DEEP RIVER—Lomme 1,132–Delia–745, ESSEX—Lomme 1,884-Delia-1,277, HADDAM— Lomme-1,652-Delia-1,708, KILLINGWORTH—Lomme-1,309-Delia-1,518, LYME—Lomme-592-Delia-538, OLD SAYBROOK—Lomme,2,347-Delia-2,285, and WESTBROOK—Lomme 1,263-Delia-1,421.

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Tellebration at Deep River Library

Deep River Library will present Tellabration 2010 an international celebration of story, a program of stories for children ages 3 and up on Wednesday Nov. 17 at 10 a.m. with Peg Donovan and Judy Potter.

Please call 860-526-6039 for more information.

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CT Watchdog: Bank Charges

As banks are forced by regulators to curtail overdraft fees where they have made billions of dollars in profits, they are using the old checking account to boost their income by eliminating free services or requiring higher minimum cash held in accounts.

One of the first to feel the effect of this change is William Norton of West Hartford, who until recently had been a happy customer of Webster Bank.

He took out a mortgage from Webster because the Waterbury-based bank had promised him a .25 percent discount on his mortgage as long as he had the mortgage payments withdrawn automatically from his free checking account.

However, he was notified in early October that the bank was unilaterally changing its policies and would begin charging $8.95 a month for his checking account unless he kept at least $1,000 in it, or used his debit card monthly.

Webster Bank spokesman Ed Steadham said the bank has every legal right to change its checking account policy, and he said Norton is still getting a good deal.

No question about it, but that is not the way Norton sees it, and he says he will end his relationship with Webster.

“To sign people up for something as significant as a mortgage under the terms they did and then “change the plan” seems like a bait and switch to me.  As far as it being a good deal, that is absolutely ridiculous.  I agreed to keep the free checking account open for the mortgage and they’re now charging a fee,” he wrote me. “What’s to stop the bank from saying that free account now has a monthly fee of $20 or even $30?”

He said he will  refinance his mortgage with another lender and move all his business to a bank that doesn’t charge a fee for having a checking account.

It’s a tactic that many others are likely to take as the large banks look to make money off their smaller customers, who they used to hammer by charging $35 every time they overdrew their checking accounts.

That trend was backed up by a study made public recently by Bankrate.com, which found a “reversal of an industry wide, nearly decade-long trend toward widespread adoption of free noninterest checking.”

Besides federal regulators requiring banks to get customers’ permission before overdraft protection can start, banks are also being limited on the interchange fees that they charge for debit card protection.

“It’s no surprise we’re seeing higher balance requirements and higher monthly service fees on the heels of this legislation that is really working to crimp these two revenue streams that banks have come to rely on,” says Greg McBride, CFA, senior financial analyst for Bankrate.com.

Besides those in the low-income group, children’s and students’ account are being impacted.

“We received notice that my children’s free checking account is switching from a totally free checking to a Webster Value Checking effective Nov. 5,” another reader wrote me. “They now want a minimum balance of $1,000 in the account or they will charge $8.95 a month.  I do not understand why they do not institute the change for new accounts only. What student can keep a minimum of $1000.00 a month, plus my son is in the Army and how will he change this?”

Hopefully some banks will use free checking accounts as a way to increase the number of customers, especially among young people. A quick Internet check shows that even now there are at least two banks in Connecticut that are offering free checking: Citizens Bank and Windsor Federal Savings. Check your credit unions also.

Aldi Debit System Hacked

Scores of Aldi grocery store customers are reporting having hundreds of dollars or more illegally taken out of their checking accounts after using their debit cards at an Aldi store, including ones in Connecticut.

One reader from West Hartford told me his account was hit for $3,500.

Many reported that they only learned recently that their accounts were targeted.

Some only learned about it when they attempted to use their debit cards believing there was still money in their accounts, and their purchases were declined.

Federal investigators have said that Aldi was victimized by repair workers who planted devices inside card readers to steal customer information.

If you shopped at Aldi’s in the last few months it would be worth your while to check your account to make sure you weren’t victimized.

You can reach The Watchdog at George@connecticutwatchdog.com and he will answer as many emails as he can. Please check out his site, www.ctwatchdog.com for comprehensive consumer, health, finance, media, internet, computer, travel and education tips.

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Witness to History – Meet WWII Vet Bill Cooney

World War II Vet Bill Cooney, a survivor of the German POW camp Stalag Luft #1, will share stories and photos from inside the camp at the Essex Library, Thursday, November 11th at 3 p.m.

Army Air Corps Lieutenant Bill Cooney was just a kid in 1944, on a bombing run over Germany, when his plane was hit by flack and went down in enemy territory. He spent the rest of the war as a prisoner in Stalag Luft #1.  Visitors to Essex Library can meet him, see his amazing inside-the-camp photos, and hear his stories at the Library’s third annual Witness to History program on Thursday, Nov. 11 at 3 p.m.

This year’s speakers, all World War II vets, also include Doug Demerast and Donald Porter. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear the eye-witness accounts of wartime experiences by the men who fought in battles across the globe – children are welcome.

Please call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560 for more information or to register for the program.

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Harold Mackay 11/02/10

Deep River–Harold Mackay, 61, widely known throughout the Deep River area as Harold the Can Man, has died.

He collapsed in front of Adams Supermarket Oct. 28 while working at what he called “my business.” He was transported by ambulance and then by Life Star Helicopter to Yale New Haven Hospital. He died Nov. 2 without regaining consciousness.

He was a resident of Riverview Lodge for over 20 years. It is a family-owned licensed residential care home. Some of the residents’ care there is paid for by the State of Connecticut Department of Social Services.

He was born in Waterville, Maine.  He lived in Meriden with his mother and stepfather and went to high school there, and later attended Middlesex Community College.

He married young but the marriage was brief. He had a son, Harold Mackay Jr., of Meriden, CT.

He worked here and there over the years. For a while for G&C Maintenance in Middletown and for the Deep River Parks and Recreation Department.

He became ill and spent many years at Connecticut Valley Hospital.   

What made him so remarkable and so well known in the Deep River area is how hard he worked day in and day out, year after year, walking many miles with his supermarket grocery cart to collect empty deposit bottles and cans and redeeming them. Nothing slowed him or discouraged him.

 He was a man who seemed to enjoy his aloneness—but maybe it was just shyness. A man of few words but high intelligence.

He earned widespread respect and admiration for his hard work and diligence. Never a problem of any kind.

Jim DeLano Jr. of Riverview Lodge RCH said of him: “Harold impressed so many of us. Great work ethic. Honest. Kind and giving. Many friends.”

He will have a private burial. A memorial service will be held at Riverview Lodge RCH, 10 Prospect St., on Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 12:30 p.m. The Rev. Timothy Haut of Deep River Congregational Church will lead the service. All friends are invited.

Nobody will be surprised if quite a few attend. If you plan to attend, please call Jim DeLano at 860-526-4941 for planning purposes.

No memorial donations are being solicited. But if memorial donations are offered, they will be used to boost the entertainment and recreation fund for residents at Riverview Lodge and create a plaque in Harold’s honor.

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Polls Open Tuesday for 2010 State Election

Essex Polling at the Town Hall

CHESTER-DEEP RIVER-ESSEX— Polls will open Tuesday in Chester, Deep River, and Essex from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the 2010 state election. Polling locations are Chester Town Hall, the Deep River Public Library community room, and Essex Town Hall.

Along with the high profile contest for governor/Lt. Governor between the Democratic ticket of Daniel Malloy and Nancy Wyman and the Republican ticket of Tom Foley and Mark Boughton, voters will also elect a new state attorney general, comptroller, secretary of the state, and treasurer.

Voters in the three towns will also help pick a U.S. Senator in the contest between Democratic Richard Blumenthal and Republican Linda McMahon, and a congressman from the second district of eastern Connecticut in the contest between incumbent

Deep River Polling Station

Democratic Rep. Joe Courtney and Repuiblican challenger Janet Peckenpaugh. Voters will also elect a state senator in the 33rd District contest between Democratic State Sen. Eileen Daily and Republican challenger Neil Nichols, and a state representative in the 36th District contest between Democratic State Rep. James Spallone and Republican challenger Chet Harris.

Voters in the three towns will also help elect a new regional judge of probate in the contest between Democrat Terrance Lomme and Republican Anselmo Delia. Check ValleyNewsNow.com for results of area races Tuesday evening and Wednesday.

Charles Stannard is a lifelong resident of Essex, and has covered various Middlesex County towns for two daily newspapers over the past 30 years.  He worked for the Middletown Press from 1979 to 1995 and the Hartford Courant from 1997 through last summer, and covered Chester, Deep River, Essex and Killingworth for the past decade.  Charlie lives in the Ivoryton section of Essex.

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Arianna Huffington to Support Women and Girls Wednesday

Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post and best-selling author of Third World America, will be appearing at an event in Portland, Conn. supporting and celebrating women and girls. 

She will offer insights into the current social,economic and political spheres and their impact on the lives of women through her experiences as a best-selling author, new media entrepreneur and perceptive commentator.

Organized by the Middlesex County Community Foundation, all proceeds of the event will support women and girls in Middlesex County by building the Fund for Women & Girls endowment and providing resources for competitive grantmaking.

The event will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 3 at St. Clements Castle (1931 Portland-Cobalt Road).  Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served from 5:30 p.m. and Huffington will begin speaking at 7:30 p.m. Tickets will be $85.

To purchase tickets, sponsorships or for further information,visit www.MiddlesexCountyCF.org or call (860)347-0025.

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