June 6, 2020

Archives for January 2012

Final Call for The Conservation/Land Trusts Photo Contest Submissions

Time is running out on our 7th Annual Photo Contest, which closes for entries on January 31, 2012.

The Conservation/Land Trusts from the towns of Lyme, Old Lyme, Salem, Essex and East Haddam  are sponsoring the contest. All amateur photographers are welcome to enter the contest regardless of what town they reside in. Cash prizes from $100 to $25 will be awarded in each of 5 categories: Landscapes, Plants, Wildlife, Cultural/Historic and Under age 15 photographers.


This contest is being funded with the generous support of Lorensen Toyota, Oakley/Wing Group at Smith Barney, Ballek Garden Center, Evan Griswold at Coldwell Banker, Essex Savings Bank, Murtha Cullina LLP and ChelseaGroton Bank.

For questions, entry forms and a copy of the contest rules, contact the organizations at landtrustphotos@yahoo.com. To see last year’s winning photos go to: http://landtrustsphotos.shutterfly.com/



Wallingford Man Arrested for Recent Essex Bank Robbery

ESSEX— State police have arrested a Wallingford man on charges related to the Nov. 18 robbery of the First Niagara Bank in the Centerbrook section. Christopher Bishop was arrested late last month for the Centerbrook robbery, and three other bank robberies around the state last fall.
In the Centerbrook robbery, a masked man entered the Main Street bank around 5 p.m. and demanded money. The suspect fled with at least $3,000. A Liberty Bank in Madison had been robbed earlier the same day, a Friday.
Bishop is charged in the Madison and Centerbrook robberies, along with the Oct. 10, 2011 robbery of a First Niagara Bank in North Branford, and the Dec. 5 2011 robbery of a Citizens Bank in Plainfield. Bishop, who faces various robbery and larceny charges, has been arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court and is beng held on a $150,000 bond.

Linda Hall of Deep River Returned as Chairwoman of Region 4 School Board

REGION 4— Linda Hall of Deep River will continue as chairwoman of the Region 4 Board of Education for 2012 after the three-town nine-member board elected officers at a meeting Thursday.

Hall, a Democrat, was returned to the position of chairwoman on a unanimous vote. A former chairwoman of the Deep River Board of Education, Hall has served on the Region 4 board since 2001. She was first elected as chairwoman in December 2009, succeeding Terry Stewart of Essex. Hall is the director of the CDE Cooperative Nursery School in Deep River. Her current six-year term on the regional school board expires in November 2013.

The board elected a new vice-chairwoman, Duane Gates of Deep River. First elected as an unaffiliated voter in 2005, Gates was re-elected to a second term as a Democrat in last November’s town election. Gates replaces Pamela Christman, a Republican from Chester who resigned from the board last month.

The board returned Mary Beth Harrigan, a Republican from Essex, to the position of board secretary. Chris Riley of Essex was named as board treasurer. Riley, a Democrat, was elected uncontested for a full term on the board in the Nov. 8 election. He replaces Richard Strauss, a Republican from Chester, who resigned from the board last fall.

Thursday’s meeting was the first for two newly elected board members from Chester. Republican Mario Gioco and Democrat Ann Monaghan were elected to fill the Chester vacancies at a Dec. 20 town meeting. The seats now held by Hall, Harrigan, and Gioco will be on the ballot in the 2013 town elections.


Smoking Hot Carmen at the Essex Library

Opera sensation Jonas Kauffman stars as Don José in CARMEN, screening January 16 at the Essex Library

The Essex Library’s Monday Afternoon At the Opera series continues with a smoldering performance of Carmen, starring superstars Jonas Kaufmann and Anna Caterina Antonacci .

Kaufmann’s burnished tenor and movie-star good looks plus Antonacci’s fiery intensity a  make for a musically memorable and erotically-charged performance, filmed live at Covent Garden. Bizet’s opera is a hit parade of wonderful, familiar arias that even opera novices can hum along to.

Join us Monday, January 16 at 3 p.m., at the Essex Library, 33 West Avenue, and bring your castanets. The screening is free and open to all; for more information or to register, please call 860-767-1560.




Connecticut River Museum Announces EagleWatch 2012 Boat Tours and Special Events

Passengers board Enviro-lab III at the Connecticut River Museum for eagle-viewing tours on the Connecticut River

Essex, CT — It is winter time at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex and across the river two adult Bald Eagles are sitting shoulder-to-shoulder on a branch above their old nest.  They’ve been breeding here for a dozen years and now they’re back, getting ready to repair their nest and begin a new family.  Soon they will be joined by 20 to 50 “visiting” eagles that come all the way from northern New England and Canada to spend the winter.  Bald Eagles are primarily fish eaters and as the lakes and rivers freeze up north the big birds begin to drift south looking for open water where they can catch fish and survive winter.  One of the best places to survive the hardships of a New England winter is Essex and the lower 12 miles of the Connecticut River.  The combination of river-flow, tides and proximity to the coast creates a micro-climate that keeps the lower river from freezing solid and is perfect for winter fishing.

This event signals the beginning of another season of the return of the majestic Bald Eagle to the lower Connecticut River and the Museum’s annual EagleWatch 2012 celebration.

Through a partnership with Project Oceanology, a Groton-based marine science and environmental education organization, the Connecticut River Museum will once again provide a dynamic, on-water, eagle-viewing experience.  Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday starting on February 3 and running through March 11, Project Oceanology’s Enviro-lab III, a 65-foot modern research vessel, will depart from the Museum’s docks for an up-close view of winter wildlife, Bald Eagles, and other big birds of prey.  Educators from the Museum and Project Oceanology will provide narration while passengers can enjoy viewing from the heated cabin or outside deck area.  In addition, there’s an opportunity to assist in collecting water samples and compiling data for water-quality monitoring programs that are part of an ongoing environmental study with the Museum.  Boat  tours are $40 per person and include free admission to the Museum where the story of the Bald Eagle continues to unfold through exhibits, workshops and other programming.    Advance boat tour reservations are strongly suggested.

Bald Eagle perched in a tree. Photographed by Dirk Samuelson

Opening on February 4 and running through March 11, the Eagles of Essex exhibit tells of why so many Bald Eagles winter here and how they went from near-extinction to becoming one of the greatest environmental come-back stories in history.  In addition to an interactive eagle nest, exhibitry illustrates how to identify birds of prey and where the best land-viewing spots are located.  An eagle sighting scoreboard and a digital photography display is also featured.  Amateur photographers are invited to submit their digital shots of eagles or other river raptors for inclusion in the exhibit.

Special programming events round out EagleWatch 2012.  On Saturday, February 4, drop-in arts and crafts, eagle nest building activities, birdwatching with binoculars and scopes, and more will be happening from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Eagles of Essex gallery. On Saturday, February 11 and Saturday, March 10 at 1:30 p.m., international nature photographer Stan Kolber will present an “Introduction to Bird Photography”.   And on Sunday, February 19 at 3:00 p.m. at Essex Town Hall, the Connecticut River Museum, together with the Essex Garden Club and the Potapaug Audubon Society, will host a free Live Birds of Prey Show presented by Horizon Wings.  For a full listing of event details, go to  www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.  The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street and is open Tuesday – Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.



Sunday Breakfast at Ivoryton’s Aggies. You can’t get more down home than this!

Outdoor sign of Aggies of Ivoryton

Aggies restaurant on Main Street in Ivoryton is certainly the place to be for Sunday breakfast. That is, if you want a breakfast that is big enough “to sink a battleship,” and a camaraderie among the regulars that is warm enough to make you feel right at home, even on your first visit.

Why do people like Robin and Jim Keating of Westbrook, make the trek almost every Sunday from Westbrook to go to Aggies for breakfast? As Robin puts it, “Because the food is good. The service is good, and the people are friendly. She adds, “Also, the place is clean, and it feels like home.”

"Breakfast at Aggies," the best

Their favorite, Sunday after Sunday, is two orders of eggs and sausage, and together they split a blueberry pancake.

Marty Radomski of Ivoryton also has a take on Aggies. He says, “The food is good and healthy.” He also likes that they don’t chase you out, if you want to linger.” “There are a lot of nice people here,” he adds.

At the counter of the restaurant one of the diners, who identified himself as “Glenn G,” orders a substantial breakfast consisting of bacon, sausage, two eggs, home fries, toast and coffee. When it arrives, he says, “It’s worth waiting for.”

Then way in back of the restaurant is the table of regulars, who are-pleased enough with Aggies to raise their coffee mugs to toast her.

Regulars raising their mugs toasting Aggie

Working in the restaurant on a recent Sunday morning, there was of course Aggie, whose last name is Waterman. Aggie personally does most of the cooking herself. She in turn is assisted by her husband, Bill Waterman, and a wait staff of two daughters, Mary Bowers and Rachelle Waterman, and of two granddaughters, Alexa Clark and Madison Estelle.

Aggie and her chief assistant, husband Bill

Although Sunday breakfast is Aggies’ number one event, the restaurant is also open Monday thru Friday from 6:00 a.m. to two p.m., and Saturday from 6:00 a.m. to noon. Sunday it is opened 7:00 a.m. to noon (breakfast only).

As for the breakfast menu there are eggs any style with bacon, ham, and sausage, as well as hash and eggs and omelets. There is also a choice of one, two or three pancakes, as well as French toast, cereal, waffles and Kielbasa and eggs.

A "modest" Sunday breakfast

Aggies serves a lunch every day but Sunday. On the lunch menu are hamburgers, cheese burgers, and what is listed as a “Large Hot Dog,” as well as grilled cheese. Luncheon appetizers include a special Appetizer Plate, consisting of Mozilla sticks, peppers, chicken fingers and onion rings.

Also, for lunch Aggies serves homemade shrimp chowder and other luncheon specials, and there are traditional soft drinks, coffee and tea. Coffee refills are free.

When asked what she does after the big, big Sunday brunch, Aggie said, “I go home and put my feet up.”


Letters – More Transparent Process Concerning “Agenda 21” Needed

To the Editor:

The rumblings around Essex about ICLEI and Agenda 21 (around since about 1992) are reaching a crescendo. It seems that bubbling-up from the collective unconscious is the sense that there is a threat to our individual rights and freedoms. I admit that, until recently, I didn’t have a clue as to what the “Agenda” was about. I began my research, appropriately, on a website entitled Agenda 21 for Dummies. From there, I have tried to ferret out the facts. There are those who unabashedly and passionately promote the Agenda and others that are dead set against the Agenda -seeing it as the imposition of Socialism. I agree with the latter. If our community chooses to do the research, most will realize that Agenda 21 is not just a toothless Socialist Agenda, but a radical, extremist environmentalist agenda that poses a real threat to our liberties. The plan of action, in simple terms, is to force people into dense living arrangements through land use regulations and the curtailing of freedoms. The ultimate goal is the abolition of private property. And, under the guise of social justice and a healthy planet, proponents use fraudulent science and an idealized portrayal of the repeatedly failed Socialist philosophy to manipulate our youth.

Consider the latest piece of propaganda to cross my desk. At the 5 January school board meeting, it was announced that the Region 4 cafeteria will adopt “Meatless Mondays.” Wow, this is a great idea to help kid’s focus on their health while tasting some delicious vegetarian recipes.  But not so fast, the indoctrination follows: Meatless Mondays “will reduce our carbon footprint and lead the world in the race to reduce climate change.” These sentiments are being spoon fed to our youth. They are based on sketchy science that is at present being debunked by many of the very same scientists that have made bucket- loads of money perpetrating the hoax. The kid’s should be taught the truth. Whether it is called Global Warming, Climate Change or Weather Disruptions, it is still baloney.  Climate change has occurred since recorded history. Melting icecaps were reported by Chinese mariners as far back as the 1400’s?   Perhaps it would be more fruitful to have “Meatless Mondays” as a protest against the real and hideous treatment of animals at factory farms.

Now I will stop preaching about a subject that I am only beginning to digest. And, although the tenets of Agenda 21 are giving me heart-burn, the purpose of this letter is not to expound the extremist views of Agenda 21. There is a plethora of information online and citizens can make up their own minds.  My purpose is to ask why Essex is one of only seven towns and cities in Connecticut and one of only a  thousand , or so, cities and towns in the world that have signed on as members?  Who or what entity promulgated this on the Town of Essex?  Do our tax dollars pay dues to ICLEI? Was becoming a member of ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) and Agenda 21 a transparent process or a stealth act? And lastly, how do we extricate ourselves?  The citizens of Essex deserve full disclosure.


Alison Nichols,
Essex, CT 


Deep River Fire Department holds Annual Election of Officers

The Deep River Fire Department held it’s Annual Election Officers on January 5, 2011.  The results of those elections are as follows;

  • Chief: Timothy Lee
  • Deputy Chief: James Budney
  • Assistant Chief: Timothy Ballantyne
  • Assistant Chief: Robert Raymond
  • Chief Engineer: Jack White
  • Secretary: John Kollmer Sr.
  • Treasurer: James Dee Jr.
  • Trustee: Donald Sampson

If you are interest in becoming a member of the Deep River Volunteer Fire Department please visit our website, www.deepriverfd.com, for full details or stop by the firehouse any Wednesday evening.  We’d be glad to answer any questions you may have



Essex Town Meeting Approves Funding for Emergency Management Relocation

ESSEX— Voters at a town meeting Wednesday approved a $38,000 special appropriation to relocate the town’s emergency operations center from a damp ground floor room to the former judge of probate office at town hall.

About two dozen residents turned out to approve the expenditure on a unanimous voice vote after brief discussion. The appropriation, the second for emergency management improvements since Tropical Storm Irene on Aug. 28, was approved by the board of finance last month.

The approval came as the board of selectmen began discussing a third proposed special appropriation for emergency management improvements. Voters at a town meeting last month approved an initial expenditure of $32,528 for items that included a new radio control station, radio repeaters, and various signs.

The third round of proposed emergency management improvements was prepared by Emergency Management Director William Buckridge, who had developed the list of initial improvements after meetings with town emergency services volunteers that followed the August storm.

The proposed expenditure for the third round of emergency management related items totals about $58,000. The list includes a generator to allow continued operations of the town’s solid waste compactor after a loss of electric power. The cost of the new generator would be about $15,000

Also on the list is various new radio communications equipment for about $28,000, $8,800 for video security cameras for the entrances to town hall, and funding for additional signs and new cots, blankets, and hygiene kits for a local emergency shelter. There is also $5,000 to upgrade the kitchen area off the town hall auditorium with some new appliances.

The board agreed to discuss the proposed third round of expenditures at a future meeting, with First Selectman Norman Needleman expected to first review the proposed expenditures with the board of finance at its Jan. 19 meeting.

Needleman told voters at the town meeting the total cost of relocating the emergency operations center is $72,000, with $34,000 of the expense covered by a payment from the town’s insurance carrier, the Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management (CIRMA) consortium, for moisture and mold damage that occurred during the tropical storm. The relocation project includes installing a sump pump and dehumidifier in the damp basement room where the EOC is currently located.

Needleman said selectmen are hoping these improvements, along with some outside drainage improvements, would eliminate the moisture problems in the ground floor room. “We’re not sure it will work,” he added.

After relocation of the emergency operations center, the ground floor room would be used for storage. Work on the relocation project is expected to begin in the spring.



Community Music School Presents Three January Concerts

Community Music School starts the new year with a presentation of three area concerts by student ensembles. All concerts are free and open to the public.

Tuesday, January 10, 7:30 pm
Essex Meadows, 30 Bokum Road, Essex

CMS Performing Ensemble and the New Horizons Band will perform in concert at Hamilton Hall at Essex Meadows.  The New Horizons Band is an entry level ensemble designed for adults who have had no prior experience with music or instruments, or those who have been away from it for many years.  There are currently 14 members who play traditional band repertoire, jazz, and Broadway tunes, among other styles. New members are always welcome.

Saturday, January 14, 7:30 pm
Centerbrook Meetinghouse, 51 Main Street, Centerbrook

One of the School’s premiere ensembles, the Jazz Ensemble is composed of very talented 13 to 18 year old students. Under the direction of Tom Briggs, the group will perform old-time and contemporary jazz standards.

Tuesday, January 17, 7 pm
Essex Library, 33 West Avenue, Essex

CMS Performing Ensemble Under the direction of Tom Briggs, the Performing Ensemble performs music from a wide variety of genres, including traditional, classical, jazz, folk, and pop. The group formed during the fall of 2009 and new members who play any instrument at an intermediate or advanced level are welcome to join. 

Please call 860-767-0026 or visit www.community-music-school.org for additional information.


Author Musician Suzzy Roche at Valley Regional High School

The Essex Library presents author/ musician Suzzy Roche, who will appear at Valley Regional High School Auditorium, Saturday Feb. 4 at 4 PM to talk about her new novel, Wayward Saints  and sing some songs.

Suzzy was a founding member of the musical group The Roches, who performed for twenty years as a trio throughout Europe and the United States in a wide variety of venues, from their own sold-out show at Carnegie Hall to the concert halls of Europe and the street corners of New York City.  They appeared  on The Tonight Show, The David Letterman Show, and have sung with Philip Glass, Paul Simon, Laurie Anderson, The Indigo Girls, Loudon Wainwright and  Linda Ronstadt, just to name a few.  After the Roches put the group on hiatus in 1997, Suzzy returned later that year with her solo debut Holy Smokes and its 2000 follow-up, Songs From An Unmarried Housewife and Mother, Greenwich Village. She also appeared in the film Crossing Delancy with Amy Irving, and performs with theater ensembles like the Wooster Group.

Books will be available for signing and sale courtesy of Essex Books, and the show is free and open to the public. Please call the Essex Library for more information or to register, at 860-767-1560. Valley Regional High School is at 256 Kelsey Hill Road, Deep River, CT 06417.


A Fresh Start at the Bumpy Warner Youth House

Scouts and their parents and a host of community helpers have been hard at work at the Bumpy Warner Youth House on Bushnell Street, home to Essex Boy Scout Troop 12.  It is thanks to the continuing generosity of the Gifford Warner family, the cooperation of Scout leaders and assistance from The Essex Foundation, caretakers of the Youth House, that the Bumpy Warner Youth House has made a fresh start.

Tucked away on a lane in downtown Essex, the Youth House has been used for over thirty years for scout troop meetings and activities. Maintenance work on the building was slowed down because a plan was being formulated by The Essex Foundation and the Bumpy Warner Youth House Committee with the approval of the Selectmen and neighbors, to relocate scouting and youth activities to a new building on property adjacent to Viney Brook Park. However, the plans for the new building were stalled earlier in the year.

Although the Youth House building is carefully monitored, last winter the furnace shut down, pipes froze and the basement was flooded.  As a result, the back wall of the building deteriorated badly.  The scouting community, spearheaded by David Hyde, President of The Essex Foundation and a life-long, hands-on community activist, immediately went to work to repair the damage. Up to that point, the spacious two-story building had been comfortably furnished with over-stuffed sofas and chairs, tables and desks and memorabilia from local homes, attics and basements.  After the building’s flooding problems were assessed it was deemed necessary to do some important maintenance work. The group arranged to empty out all the furniture, restore the damaged walls and floors, and repair the roof. Thanks to the assistance of Tower Labs, the carpets were cleaned and, with the incredible generosity of time and talent by people like David Hyde, Herb Clark, Jason Wlochowski  and John McGirr,  many tasks were quickly completed. Among those who donated their time and services were Jim Daly of Lighthouse Oil, who donated the alarm and cleaned the furnace, Tim Hall, who brought in stone to repair the road and who made dump runs, Don Mei, who did electrical work and hooked up the alarm and Kenny Miller, who worked on electrical needs. Also contributing time and energy were: Tim Braiden, who redid the sills, Larry Lombardi of Ivoryton Plumbing, and Steve Olsen of Shoreline Heating as well as neighbor Mary Coolidge who cooperated by helping with the installation of the alarm system.  Clark Development and Essex Hardware were always available to help where needed. With so many willing hands, the building has been stabilized, old furniture carted away, the grounds cleared, and driveway repaired.

The upper meeting room is now getting a much-needed fresh coat of interior paint under the supervision of David Hyde. The ceiling has been refurbished, and the windows have new frames and moldings. The scouts are looking for simple, sturdy “school-type” furniture to refurnish the rooms to accommodate meeting, scouting and youth activity needs. Willing hands are still needed to complete the painting. Anyone who would like to help should contact Scout Master John McGirr at 860-767- 9740.

The Bumpy Warner Youth House was the gift of the Gifford Warner family who donated the property to provide a safe place for Scout meetings and activities.It is named for Malcolm “Bumpy” Warner, the son of Enid and Gifford Warner, who died of leukemia. Many of Essex’s former Scouts have fond memories of their scouting days and the activities in which they participated in the building.

Giff, a yachtsman and community leader grew up in Nantucket and began sailing when he was six years old.  He first came to Essex in 1937, found work at Pratt Reed in Ivoryton and was instrumental in helping the company convert from making pianos to making gliders. He was involved in a number of river-related businesses– a fishing cooperative, a salvage operation and finally in 1960,  an excursion boat business that allowed him to take visitors and area residents on cruises on the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound so they could see the natural beauty of the river and  at the same time observe the serious pollution problems that were destroying the river. Long before it became recognized as a national problem, he was rallying support for the need to clean up the river. Frequently, Giff donated both his boat and his services to another group—the patients confined to local homes for the chronically ill and the elderly.

For more information about the mission and history of The Essex Foundation, caretakers of the Bumpy Warner Youth House,  please log on totheessexfoundation.org.



Connecticut River Museum To Present “Tugs & Trains: Further Adventures with Steve Cryan”

Artist Steve Cryan will present “Tugs & Trains: Further Adventures with Steve Cryan” at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex on Thursday, January 19 at 5:30 pm.

Essex, CT – The stories of commercial transportation in the Connecticut River Valley will come to life on Thursday, January 19 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm when the Connecticut River Museum presents “Tugs & Trains: Further Adventures with Steve Cryan”.  Using his colorful storytelling technique and vibrant images, Mr. Cryan will take the audience on a fantastic journey through place and time in this one-of-a-kind presentation featuring his photographs of tugboats and steam trains.  A special behind-the-scenes tour of the Connecticut River Museum’s 18th Annual Holiday Train Show created by Mr. Cryan will end the program.  Admission is $5 per person.  Museum members are admitted free.  Please call (860)767-8269 to reserve a spot.

The Connecticut River Museum, a private, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its valley, is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street.  The 18th Annual Holiday Train Show runs through February 12.  For more information on this and other programs, go to www.ctrivermuseum.org or call (860)767-8269.



Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Council Meeting Jan 18

The next meeting of the Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Council will be held at Tri-Town Youth Services, 56 High Street, Deep River at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, January 18, 2012.  Membership on this Council is open to all who live or work in Chester, Deep River, or Essex who are concerned about substance abuse prevention and interested in its prevention.  In addition to ongoing prevention programming in our schools and communities, the tri-town area is currently involved in Healthy Communities • Healthy Youth and is in Year 2 of the Drug Free Communities federal grant.

For further information, call 860-526-3600.


American Red Cross Babysitter Training Course

Tri-Town Youth Services will offer the American Red Cross Babysitter Training course for youth 11-14 on Tuesday evenings, January 24, 31, and February 7.  The classes will be held 6-8:15 p.m. at Tri-Town, 56 High Street in Deep River.

This course includes basic childcare, first aid for breathing and bleeding emergencies, and injury prevention, as well as topics to prepare youth for babysitting.  The $70 fee includes book course, and certificate.  To register, call Tri-Town at 860-526-3600.



Daguerreotypes to Pixels: Preserving Your Family Photos – Free Program at Essex Library

Learn to preserve your family’s photographs in a free program presented by graphic designer Barbara Haines at the Essex Library, Thursday January 12 at 7 p.m.

“That sweet little child in the dress is my Grandfather?!” This revelation and other stories have been told over stacks of old photographs and photo albums at the Essex home of Barbara Haines’ parents. Since moving to Essex in 2006 Barbara Haines has had the chance to search out family photographs in her parents’ basement, drawers and closets. Barbara Haines’ background as a graphic designer provides her with much of the expertise she needs for preserving photo images of all types from prints to slides to digital photographs. Among her concerns are the fragile nature of early photographs, degrading photo albums and the vulnerability of digital photo files on computers.

She is inspired to share what she knows and has learned so that she will help inform others about preserving photographs that may bring their family history to life. In her program “Daguerreotypes to Pixels: Preserving Your Family Photos” at the Essex Library, Thursday January 12 at 7 p.m., Haines will show how to manage prints and slides, convert them to digital files, and store them in ways that make them easier to view now and keep safe for generations to come.

Don’t let those precious family artifacts fall into decay; saving them is easier than ever. The program is free and open to all. The Essex Library is at 33 West Avenue, and you can call 860-767-1560 to register or for more information.

Barbara Haines is the owner of, Make It Simple Design, a service which works with clients to help them organize, manage and backup their photo collections and to develop personal projects. Projects have included creating websites for writers and artists as well as working with individuals to produce books and printed pieces. Barbara Haines also works with her husband, Steve Haines, in their graphic design firm, HainesDesign, in Essex, CT.


Titanic “Under Construction” at Valley High School, Set Material Donations Sought

Members of the Valley Regional Musical Production crew move boat ramps on stage during set construction for TITANTIC, The Musical being presented March 23-25. Photo by Roman Daniels.

Deep River, CT — The past few weeks have been unusually hectic ones for 110 Valley Regional High School students as the production of TITANTIC, The Musical gets underway.  With guidance from Director Ingrid Walsh, auditions have been held, roles have been cast, rehearsals have started, props and costumes gathered and gang planks built, all to tell the tale of the R.M.S. TITANTIC’s maiden voyage and subsequent tragic loss of life.   With show dates set for March 23 through March 25, it is crunch time for finalizing construction plans and procuring key materials and props.

To date, donations from businesses and individuals include boat ramps, a ship’s wheel, a binnacle, period clothing and many other props.  Lumber, including 2x4s, 2x6s, 1/2” and 3/4”plywood,  and knotless pine 1x4s,  PVC piping and good quality swivel casters are still being sought.

According to Ms. Walsh, “We are fortunate to be in a community that gets involved and helps support student programs.  Our budget is always slim compared to the quality of our productions so we really appreciate those who have materials to loan out or donate.”

Valley Regional Musical Productions chose the musical to honor the 100th anniversary of the voyage that took place on April 10, 1912.  It has no connection to the movie or Celine Dion’s popular hit song and is one of the most majestic musical scores that the high school group has ever worked with.  Based on Valley’s past productions, the remembrance of TITANTIC survivors and those lost in the icy waters of the North Atlantic will be worthy of their memory.

For more information about material donations, call 860-526-5328.  Tickets for the musical will go on sale in February at area shops and businesses. More information will be available at the school’s website at www.vrhs.com


Deep River Comic Book Club

Welcome, comic fans of all ages and genres! The Deep River Comic Book Club will be meeting weekly on Thursdays at the Deep River Library from 3:30pm-4:30pm starting in January with the purpose of reading, discussing, and learning about all sorts of comic styles. From graphic novels like Watchmen to ongoing series like Astonishing X-men to manga to webcomics, all are welcome!

We encourage you to bring your own comic books to share and discuss!


Betsy Johnson, Artist of the Month – Reception January 13

Betsy Doolittle Johnson has been selected as the Estuary Council of Seniors January Artist of the Month.  A love of travel, nature and color is the driving force in Ms. Johnson’s art work.  Subject matter for her painting and photography tends to be a distillation of observations of nature or landscapes.

Originally from Hamden, Connecticut, Johnson trained in art history, architecture and painting at Vassar College.   The January exhibit at ECSI Marshview Gallery, 220 Main Street in Old Saybrook will include paintings and photographs form the Wallingford, Madison and Old Saybrook area. A reception to honor Betsy and feature her work will be held on Friday, January 13 from 5-7:00 pm.  Everyone is welcome.


Letters: Thank You Essex!

To the Editor:

We would like to thank the Community for their generous support of the Stuff-A-Cruiser events at the Colonial Market on November 18th and December 16th.  We broke our previous record at both events collecting a total of over 5500 pounds of food for the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries.

Our community is lucky to have such giving people.  One gentleman went into the store to buy a gallon of water and came out with a cart of groceries.  A woman who had just won some money on a lottery ticket and filled up two grocery carts of items to donate.  And yet another resident handed us a $500 dollar check to spend on food items.

Our appreciation also goes to the community groups who supported our efforts and provided entertainment:  Essex Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, the confirmation class of Our Lady of Sorrows Church,  the Deep River Fife and Drum Corp, VRHS Chorus, JWMS Choir and Grace Notes bell ringers.

The Soup Kitchen was extremely grateful for these donations at a very demanding time of year.  We couldn’t have done it without you.

Thank you.

 The Essex Community Fund