December 6, 2022

Archives for April 2015

Musical Masterworks Presents Season Finale Concerts This Weekend

Rieko Aizawa

Rieko Aizawa

Musical Masterworks will present the final concerts in its 24th season of chamber music concerts at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme on Saturday, May 2, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, May 3, at 3 p.m.

The concerts will feature pianist Rieko Aizawa, violinists Hye-Jin Kim and Jesse Mills; violinist/violist Ara Gregorian, and violist Max Mandel.

Musical Masterworks Artistic Director Edward Arron will perform on cello and serve as host for the concerts.

The program will feature Turina’s Scene Andalouse for Solo Viola, Piano and String Quartet; and Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in A Major.

Jesse Mills

Jesse Mills

The program’s finale will be the Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet by French composer Ernest Chausson.

Tickets are $35 with $5 student tickets available at the door. for tickets and information.

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme is located at 2 Ferry Rd., Old Lyme, CT 06371.

Region 4 Regionalization Plan Headed to September Referendum in Three District Towns

REGION 4 — A long-discussed plan for a full K-6 regionalization of district schools appears headed to a September referendum but will also require a separate inter-local agreement in an effort to build support for the plan in each of the district towns of Chester, Deep River and Essex.

About 50 residents turned out Tuesday evening at the Valley Regional High School (VRHS) auditorium for the second in a series of public information sessions on the plan that is expected to go to district school boards for a vote in June. The board votes would set up a possible Sept. 29 referendum in the three towns. Voters in all three towns must approve the plan for it to become effective by the target date of July 1, 2016.

The plan presented Tuesday was developed in recent weeks by a committee comprised of school board members, district staff, and some municipal elected officials. District school boards had previously taken the required step of requesting that a full regionalization plan be prepared and presented for a vote — a move that has been discussed in the district for nearly a decade.

The proposed full regionalization would replace a complicated district governance structure that has been in place since the three towns approved regionalization of grades 7-12 in 1948, a move that led to the opening of VRHS in Deep River in 1952.

The existing structure has an elected nine member board of education that governs VRHSl and John Winthrop Middle School (constructed in 1971), while local school board govern the elementary schools in the three towns. The boards come together as the supervision district to direct shared services, including administration and transportation, for all five schools.

The proposed full regionalization would bring all district schools and services under the direction of an elected 12-member board of education with four members from each town, though the plan for a 12 member board would require General Assembly approval of enabling legislation for a 12- member board. Without the enabling legislation there would be a nine-member board with three members from each town.
Board members presenting the plan Tuesday, including Region 4 Board Chairman Chris Riley, Deep River Board of Education Chairman Michelle Grow, and Essex Board of Education Chairman lon Seidman said regionalization of the primary grades would bring cost savings allow greater consistency in curriculum and also provide greater flexibility in sharing staff, equipment, and resources among the three elementary schools. There would be a single education budget presented to voters of the three towns for referendum approval, ending the current system where the Region 4 (high school-middle school) budget goes to referendum, while the elementary school budgets are presented for approval with town budgets at the annual budget meeting in each town.
Board members said a full regionalization would also give the district greater flexibility in responding to decreasing student enrollment. Projections presented with the draft plan show K-6 grade enrollment for all three elementary schools dropping from the current enrollment of about 900 students to as few as 610 students by 2020.
The continuing decline in enrollment has led to some public concerns that a full regionalization would open the door to an abrupt closing of an elementary school, possibly Chester Elementary School, where enrollment could drop to as few as 183 students by 2020. Many of the questions and comments at Tuesday’s forum came from Chester residents.
Board members said the plan specifies there would be no changes configuration of the elementary schools for the first three years, through June 2019, other than a possible transfer of sixth graders to the middle school. Superintendent of Schools Ruth Levy added that any move of sixth graders to the middle school would also require at least two years of planning.
The plan also specifies that no elementary school could be closed without voter approval from a referendum in that town. Seidman said closing of an elementary school is unlikely because student enrollment in expected to begin to rebound by the mid 2020s.
Board members said an inter-local agreement would address other concerns about shared financing of a full K-12 district among taxpayers of the three towns, particularly by cushioning the impact of major shifts in the average daily membership of students that would be used to determine each town’s share of a K-12 education budget. The inter-local agreement, which would probably require town meeting approval from each town, was not available Tuesday, but is expected to be presented to selectmen and finance boards for the three towns over the next few weeks.

Carney, Linares Host Office Hours Tonight at Lyme Library

Sen. Art Linares and Rep. Devin Carney are hosting legislative office hours at the Lyme Public Library’s Community Room this evening from to 7:30 p.m.

Community Music School Hosts Free Concert by Multi-Generational Orchestra, Tuesday


Close to 50 string musicians of all ages will fill the Valley Regional High School stage for the Community Music School’s Sinfonia and String Ensemble Concert on Tuesday, April 28 at 6:30. The concert is free and open to the public.

CENTERBROOK – On Tuesday, April 28, at 6:30 p.m., nearly 50 string musicians will take the stage at Valley Regional High School in Deep River for the Community Music School’s Sinfonia and String Ensemble Concert.  Ranging in age from nine to eighty-four, members of the two multi-generational performance groups will play a variety of classical pieces, including works by Vivaldi, Bach, and Dvorak, all under the direction of Martha Herrle.  The free concert is open to the public and sponsored by the Essex Winter Series.

Both Sinfonia, a group of 10 beginning violin, viola, and cello musicians, and String Ensemble, a group of 35 intermediate to advanced players, are a rare breed of orchestra and quite possibly the only of its kind in Connecticut.   “There are many youth orchestras and many adult orchestras around the state but I am not aware of any ensembles where all ages are allowed and encouraged to participate,” stated Martha Herrle, conductor and founder of both orchestra groups.

Herle continued, “As a musician and a teacher, it is a joy to work with various ages and backgrounds, to have school-age musicians playing alongside adult members.  The String Ensemble is a very mixed bag of some very talented people  –  students, several teachers, an inventor, a physician, a veterinarian, an attorney, a pastor, even two professional opera singers – all who share the same passion for music.”

String Ensemble members come from several shoreline towns (and beyond) to rehearse together at Old Saybrook High School for 26 weeks beginning in September and ending just prior to the annual concert performance.  Compared to its modest start in 2002, with just four children and one senior adult, the orchestra’s growth is a testament to its all inclusive policy of being open to all intermediate to advanced string musicians, regardless of age and with no audition requirement.

The orchestra also serves as a great opportunity for family members to share in their musical interests and spend time together.  In fact, the current ensemble boasts three sets of mother and child musicians.  East Haddam resident Irene Haines and her 16-year old daughter Bridget is one.

“Martha has a special gift. She is able to teach, nurture and direct young, old and everyone in between with varied abilities into an amazing performance,” commented Irene Haines. “I am the luckiest mom in the world as I get to share a stand with my daughter in the viola section – what a great way to spend quality time together!”

Herle received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Hartt College of Music, studying both violin and viola. She spent the following year studying string quartet literature at the University of Connecticut with the Laurel String Quartet. She is the founder of Goodwin Strings, a before-school group violin instructional program for 2nd and 3rd graders at Goodwin Elementary School in Old Saybrook.

She also presents the Community Music School’s weekly music program for the collaborative preschool students at Essex Elementary School and is a teaching artist for Kate’s Camp for Kids. Martha is the founder and conductor of CMS Sinfonia and CMS String Ensemble orchestras, and the Chamber Connections program.

For more information on the Sinfonia and String Ensemble Concert taking place at Valley Regional High School, located at 256 Kelsey Hill Road in Deep River, or other Community Music School events, visit or call 860.767.0026.

The Community Music School, located at 90 Main St. in Centerbrook is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to building community through music since 1983.

Author Talk with Essex Resident Douglass Seaver, Author of International Suspense Novel, May 7


An exciting event is coming up on Thursday evening, May 7.  Essex Library is celebrating the acceleration to national popularity of local author Douglass Seaver. He will appear at the Essex Library to discuss his latest book and sign copies.

The fog of war hides many secrets, but rarely a good one. The Fourth Rule tells the story of one secret born when a Green Beret returns from Vietnam and disappears. Two decades later, the CIA approaches the soldier’s younger brother, Matthew Grant, to uncover what happened. Matthew denies knowing anything, but the CIA doesn’t believe him, and thus begins an intense struggle between the CIA, hell-bent on protecting its own and continuing its illicit clandestine activities, and a not-so-ordinary citizen, who has to risk it all to protect his secret and right a terrible wrong from the past.

Seaver is the author of the highly praised nonfiction book, Four Across the Atlantic, and the award winning short story, The Auction. He was one of five debut thriller authors selected by the International Thriller Writers to join New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline recently at the Palm Beach Peril to discuss and sign copies of his book. He is a graduate of the two-year online Stanford Certificate Program in Creative writing.

This event is free and open to the public. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing. Please call the Library at 860 767-1560 for more information and to register. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex, CT.

Early American Herbs Talk, Demo Co-sponsored by CT River Museum, Essex Historical Society, May 7


Early American herbs

Cookbook Author Katie Barney Moose will present a free talk and cooking demonstration, “Early American Herbs,” on Thursday, May 7, at 5:30pm, at the Connecticut River Museum, 67 Main Street, Essex. Mrs. Moose will speak on early food history leading up to the War of 1812, discussing what was consumed during that time period and how it was provided. A cooking demonstration will include foods typical of the era. Mrs. Moose has authored several regional cookbooks from the Chesapeake Bay through New England.

This program is co-sponsored by Essex Historical Society and the Connecticut River Museum. Admission is free and open to the public. Advance registration is strongly suggested as seating is limited. Please call 860-767-8269 x110 to reserve.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10 AM – 5 PM and closed on Mondays until Memorial Day. Admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $7 for children age 6-12, free for children under 6. For more information, call 860-767-8269 or go to

The Essex Historical Society maintains the historic Pratt House at 19 West Ave and the Hills Academy at 22 Prospect St. Pratt House is open Friday – Sunday 1:00- 4:00, June to September. Hills Academy is open Tuesday and Thursday mornings, 9:30-12:00. For more information please call: 860-767-0681 or go to

# # # # # # #
Photo Caption:
Cookbook author Katie Barney Moose will present a free talk and cooking demonstration “Early American Herbs” at the Connecticut River Museum, in partnership with the Essex Historical Society, on May 7th at 5:30pm.

Panelists “Looking Both Ways” Discuss End-of-life Issues; Free Event Today, Open to All

ESSEX — Several faith communities in the Lower Connecticut River Valley will host a free event designed to educate, encourage and explore with participants medical, legal, spiritual, relational, and memorial issues confronting each of us as we (or those we love) approach the end of our lives. The event, “Looking Both Ways: Decisions of a Lifetime” will be held on April 25, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Town Hall in Essex. Check-in  and coffee are at 8:30 a.m.

Members of the clergy, medical and legal professionals, funeral home and hospice care professionals will make presentations and allow time for questions. Panelists include The Rev. Kathy Peters, United Church of Chester; Deborah Ringen, MSN, RN-BC, Faith Community Nurse of the Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley; Melanie Cama, BSN, CHPN, Middlesex Hospital Hospice and Palliative Care; Dr. Timothy Tobin, Middlesex Hospital Primary Care, Medical Director for Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley; Sam Fulginiti, Funeral Director, Robinson Wright & Weymer Funeral Home and Jeannine Lewis, Esq., Hudson and Kilby, LLC.

Participants will receive a workbook to use as a reminder and a guide for individual work on various areas of personal decisions.

Sponsors of the event are Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, Deep River Congregational Church, First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC, First Baptist Church in Essex, Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Essex, St Joseph’s Church, Chester, United Church of Chester, Hudson and Kilby, LLC, Ivoryton Congregational Church, Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home, Middlesex Hospital Hospice & Palliative Care, Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley and Valley Shore Clergy Association.

Space at the forum is limited. Advance reservations are encouraged by calling the Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley, (860) 767-0186 or The First Congregational Church in Essex (860) 767-8097. Some walk-ins will be welcome.

Floyd to Explore Scary Local House, April 30


The interior of the General William Harts House in Madison.

The interior of the General William Harts House in Madison.

Chad Floyd, a partner in Centerbrook Architects, will examine the times, the tall tales, and the design of the historic (and haunted) General William Harts House in Madison. His illustrated presentation will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 30, at the Essex Town Hall. “A Haunted Tale of Architecture, Mayhem, and Geopolitics” will explore the historic context of the 1759 house and the fascinating people who lived in it.

The house’s design typifies the transition between the Colonial and Federal eras, but with some odd architectural twists.  Built by Ensign Nathaniel Dudley, the building was sold to Captain Edward Griffin, a schooner master who sailed between Madison and the West Indies.

A slave owner, Griffin engaged in considerable mischief inside the house, which is why it is said to be haunted. During the twentieth century the house was owned by a US Army General who became a key player at in historic events around the globe.

Floyd’s design credits include academic, cultural, and civic projects, among them the Palmer Events Center in Austin, Texas; the 9/11 Liberty Memorial in Virginia, and the Norton Museum of Art in Florida.

Locally, his work includes the Florence Griswold Museum, the Garde Arts Center, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, the Norma Terris Theater, Lyme Art Association, the Connecticut River Museum, Hill-Stead Museum, Manchester Community College, and Mystic Seaport Museum.

His talk is free and part of the Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series, which is one of many programs that are offered regularly by the Essex Library (

Call the library at (860) 767-1560to register. Sponsored by Centerbrook Architects, the series is in its seventh year.

Deep River Rotary’s ‘Auction at the Academy’ Set for Tonight

China doll dressed for auction!

A beautiful china doll dressed for auction!

DEEP RIVER — The Auction at the Academy is a major benefit fundraiser of the Deep River Rotary Club, and will be held Saturday, April 25, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Academy at Mt. St. John. The school is located at the foot of Kirtland Street in Deep River, on a beautiful hilltop overlooking the Connecticut River.

An outstanding assortment of country furnishings, folk art, pottery, china and glass, rugs and lamps, toys, prints and frames, brass and iron beds, and more will be up for bid. Examples of some of the items going under the auctioneers hammer are included on this page.

Items to be auctioned will be on display for preview beginning at 1:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Academy

Rockwood vase

Rockwood vase

Proceeds from this annual event benefit the outreach projects of the Rotary Club, including an annual Scholarship Fund, an ongoing “student of the month” award, an elementary school Dictionary Project, and international efforts like Sister Cities Haiti Library project and a sanitation project in Oaxaca, Mexico.

The club will be accepting quality antiques and collectible items for this sale. Those wishing to consign items for auction will receive 75% of the selling price. Quality Collectibles of Deep River is in charge of the auction, and consigned or donated objects may be taken to their store at 156 Main St. in Deep River prior to the auction.Alternatively, you may call for pick-up.

Model ship

Model ship

At the auction there will be a 10 percent buyer’s fee. All items must be taken the night of the auction, but trucking will be available. Photos and listing of items already committed for auction can be viewed at .

Food and drinks will be available during the auction, catered by the culinary department of the Academy.

Deep River Rotary Club meets every Tuesday at 12:15 p.m., at The Ivory Restaurant in Deep River.

For more information about the auction or the Club, call Chuck at 860.227.5125 or Quality Collectibles at 860.526.8343

Deep River FD to Hold Annual Lime Sale Today, Also Food Drive

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Fire Department will be holding its annual Lime Sale, Saturday, April 18 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.  The sale, based at Deep River Fire Headquarters, 57 Union St is a cash and carry event.

Lime will be available in  powdered form, 50 lb. bags for $4.25 each and pelletized, 40 lb. bags for $5.25 each.

Free delivery with the purchase of one ton or more (40 Bags).

For further information or pre-sale orders, call 860-526-2319.

In conjunction with the Lime Sale this year, the Deep River Fire Department will be holding a food drive to benefit the Shoreline Soup Kitchen. Consider dropping non-perishable food off at Fire Headquarters. Donations of canned goods, pasta, juice boxes, cereal, crackers, canned tuna, pasta sauce, etc., are appreciated and welcome. These goods will help fill a need for those less fortunate in the community.

Letter from Paris: The Rise of Islam in Europe, Reactions and Results

Nicole Prévost Logan

Nicole Prévost Logan

As we were driving toward Baden Baden in Germany, our tour director pointed to the brand new mosque rising above the red-roofed houses. “This mosque was not there last year,” he commented. On a recent river cruise through five European countries — Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland – it was impossible not to notice the increasing presence of Islam — or at least our perception of it.

In the tense international context of conflict with the Islamic State, there is a feeling in Europe of being caught in a two-pronged threat, both from within and abroad. This is why many believe that it is more important than ever for the Muslims living in Europe, moderate in the majority, to speak up with a loud voice against Daesch violence.

muslim_womenThere are more than 40 million Muslims in Europe, which translates to an average of 8 percent of the population. France has the largest percentage with 10 percent versus 0.6 percent in the US. The Muslim inhabitants are mostly concentrated in urban areas, where they can sometimes reach 20 percent and even 30 percent as in Basel, Switzerland.

For an American readership it is hard to grasp the impact of such a concentration on the urban landscape. Living in Europe, one has to adjust to the changing profile of the Muslim community. Take, for instance, the recent announcement made by the rector of the Great Mosque of Paris that the number of mosques existing today — 2,000 — in France needs to be doubled.

In early April, L’Union des Organisations Islamiques de France (UOIF — the Union of Muslim Organizations of France) held its 33rd annual gathering at Le Bourget, north of Paris. For three days, thousands flocked to this event, bringing their families and looking forward to do some shopping or attending seminars. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls expressed some concern that the Muslim Brotherhood, which conceived this event, might exert too much influence on the crowds.

One forum attracted many visitors and one, an older man, said, “At the mosque, I am a Muslim — in the street I am a lay person. When I became French, I accepted the 1905 law of separation of Church and State and I respect the idea of a secular State.” A young lawyer retorted, “I was born in France, which gave me some rights. Today I demand that these rights be respected.” This heated exchange epitomizes the contrast of attitudes between generations of immigrants.

A disturbing trend is the radicalization of the European Muslim community by the Salafists – a conservative Sunni sect. They want Islam to return to its original form with a strict application of the Sharia. A journalist describes how, 20 years ago, a suburb outside Montpellier had a theater and drama workshops, where young people loved to practice on the stage. Today the theater is run down and empty. The Salafists have ordered the premises to be closed, and forbade the women to appear in public. Le Monde published an article describing the growing number of Salafists in Dusseldorf, but also stressing the distinction between Salafist true believers and “pseudo Salafists,” who are potential jihadists.

Once more France is in the line of fire for its military interventions in several parts of the world. Recently the screens of TV5 Monde, a television station broadcasting programs in the French language to 200 countries, turned black for 20 hours. One viewer, in Zarhle, Lebanon, said, “I am not even French, but for me the programs offered by TV5 Monde represent culture, a window onto the free world.”

One can only hope that the ongoing destruction of archaeological sites, the attacks on journalists and the hacking of channels of communication with their social networks, are not going to be followed by further cyber attacks.

Nicole Prévost Logan

Nicole Prévost Logan

About the author: Nicole Prévost Logan divides her time between Essex and Paris, spending summers in the former and winters in the latter. She writes a regular column for us from her Paris home where her topics will include politics, economy, social unrest — mostly in France — but also in other European countries. She also covers a variety of art exhibits and the performing arts in Europe. Logan is the author of ‘Forever on the Road: A Franco-American Family’s Thirty Years in the Foreign Service,’ an autobiography of her life as the wife of an overseas diplomat, who lived in 10 foreign countries on three continents. Her experiences during her foreign service life included being in Lebanon when civil war erupted, excavating a medieval city in Moscow and spending a week under house arrest in Guinea.

CT River Museum to Fiddle the Night Away with Angelini Wines Tonight

1.Angelini Vineyards and Estate 1 – The Angelini Family vineyards are located in the timeless central region of Le Marche, Italy

The Angelini Family vineyards are located in the timeless central region of Le Marche, Italy

ESSEX — This coming Saturday, April 25 the Connecticut River Museum brings back its popular 1814 Tavern Night.  This lively 19th century evening will take place at the museum’s historic Samuel Lay House overlooking scenic Essex harbor.  The house will be transformed into a candlelit seaside tavern from the War of 1812.

The evening includes a wine tasting with Angelini Vineyards & Estate, fiddle music and drinking songs by noted folk musician Craig Edwards, tavern games, and a food pairing of early American cuisine provided by Catering by Selene.  There will also be select popular historic wines such as claret and port to sample.   Additional wine and beer will be available at the cash bar.

Craig Edwards performs a broad range of American roots music and will perform fiddle music and drinking songs at the April 25th Evening at the Lay House.

Craig Edwards performs a broad range of American roots music and will perform fiddle music and drinking songs at the April 25 evening at the Samuel Lay House.

Edwards plays a broad range of American roots music. He first began playing music as a child growing up in Staunton, Va. He majored in ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University where he studied West African drumming with Abraham Adzenyah, and traveled to Ireland, Louisiana and Nova Scotia to learn from old-timers there.

After graduating, Edwards formed a series of bands playing old-time, Irish, Cajun, Zydeco, blues and other roots styles. He worked as a staff musician at Mystic Seaport for many years and served as director of the Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival. He now performs solo and with several groups playing a variety of genres, teaches Traditional Fiddle Styles at Wesleyan University, and designs music installations for historic music exhibits at museums.

Named a Connecticut Master Teaching Artist by the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, Edwards has won numerous fiddle and banjo contests.

Tastings take place at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.  Space is limited and reservations are required.  Call to reserve tickets at 860-767-8269 or visit  Tickets are $22 for museum members or $27 for the general public (must be 21 or older and show valid ID).  Admission includes wine tasting, light bites, and entertainment.  The evening is sponsored in part by Guilford Savings Bank.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Mondays until Memorial Day. Admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for children age 6-12, free for children under 6.

For more information, call 860-767-8269 or go to

Corinthian YC Hosts Jerry Roberts Book Talk Tomorrow

British Raid
ESSEX — Local historian Jerry Roberts, former director of the Connecticut River Museum and current director of the New England Air Museum, will share his latest research and analysis of  the April 1814 British attack on Essex on Sunday, April 26, at 4 p.m., at the Essex Corinthian Yacht Club.  Roberts will discuss his account of the battle in his book, “The British Raid on Essex, The untold story of the burning of American privateers in Connecticut.”

This is the dynamic account of one of the most destructive maritime actions to take place in Connecticut history: the 1814 British attack on the privateers of Pettipaug, known today as the British Raid on Essex. During the height of the War of 1812, 136 Royal marines and sailors made their way up the Connecticut River from warships anchored in Long Island Sound. Guided by a well-paid American traitor, the British navigated the Saybrook shoals and advanced up the river under cover of darkness.

By the time it was over, the British had burned 27 American vessels, including six newly built privateers. It was the largest single maritime loss of the war. Yet this story has been virtually left out of the history books—the forgotten battle of the forgotten war. This new account from author and historian Roberts is the definitive overview of this event and includes a wealth of new information drawn from recent research and archaeological finds. Lavish illustrations and detailed maps bring the battle to life.

Reviews of Roberts’s book to date include:

“Jerry Roberts’s account, The British Raid on Essex, built on new research on both sides of the Atlantic, reads like a fast-paced action chronicle, which sheds light on a significant but forgotten attack on Connecticut soil during the War of 1812.” —Dan McFadden, Mystic Seaport Magazine

“The ‘forgotten battle of the forgotten war’ is no longer forgotten thanks to this action-packed, thoroughly researched who-dun-it of a book. Combining the sciences of history and field archaeology, Jerry Roberts has resurrected one of the most improbable and significant battles ever fought on Connecticut soil. Once you start reading, it is impossible to put down!”—Nicholas F. Bellantoni, Connecticut State Archaeologist

Join the Essex Corinthian Yacht Club as Roberts brings the battle to life literally where the actual event occurred.

Seating is limited. Reserve your space by emailing or calling (860) 767-3239 before April 23. The lecture is free of charge.

The Essex Corinthian Yacht Club is located at 9 Novelty Lane in Essex.

Tidy the Town! Old Saybrook Hosts 3rd Annual ‘Green Up Day’, Today

April 25 is Old Saybrook's 3rd Annual Green Up Day!

April 25 is Old Saybrook’s 3rd Annual Green Up Day!

OLD SAYBROOK – In 2013, Old Saybrook resident and runner, Bill Casertano, noticed the mounting litter along the roadside. He decided to do something about it by starting the annual event, Old Saybrook Green Up Day.

Join Castertano in this effort this coming Saturday, April 25, for the 3rd annual Green Up Day, kicking off at 8 a.m. The rain date is Sunday, April 26.

Community members will once again head-out to all parts of town, anytime throughout the day, to clean up the abundant litter found everywhere from school grounds and parking lots to marshes and parks.

Playground trashBusy day? Take a bag to the park, Little League Opening Day, the Park and Recreation’s fishing derby, or wherever your day takes you, fill it up, and throw it away. It’s a great example for kids to see everyone working together to keep their favorite places, and the roads to get to them, clean.

Collect trash individually in your own neighborhood, or meet up with others at the Green Up Meet Up on the green, 8 a.m. before heading out.

Free garbage bags are available at the Town Hall Parking Lot, Town Park on Schoolhouse Road and the Town Beach Parking Lot. Full bags may be returned to these locations as well.

Join us as we take this critical step in preventing roadside litter from becoming not only a blight on our town, but a threat to our inland waterways and Long Island Sound.  By simply walking your neighborhood, you could have a significant impact on the litter around town, which eventually finds its way to our beaches, rivers, and estuaries.

To volunteer, or for more information about how and where you can help “green up”, visit the Old Saybrook Green Up Day website,,, or email

Creative Workshop to Repurpose a Cigar Box at ‘The Hammered Edge’ Tomorrow

Local artist Lisa Fatone hosts a creative workshop titled, ‘Repurpose that Cigar Box into an Embellished Treasure Chest,’ on Sunday, April 26, from 1 to 4 p.m. at The Hammered Edge Studio & Gallery in Ivoryton.

Cigar boxes are available for $2 each, or bring your own. Fatone will have materials on hand, but bring anything sentimental you would like to incorporate into your creation. Suggested items are fabric, crystals, ribbons, feathers, photos, etc., and also bring your own glue gun, if possible.

Fatone, a graduate of the Paier College of Art and Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT., holds a Bachelor in Fine Art degree and  has worked as a graphic designer and studio artist since 1982.

She shares with her interpretations of what she sees in nature in several  different media including watercolor, collage, assemblage, hand-lettering, jewelry design and repurposed materials.

Admission per person is $40; prepaid by reservation only. Contact Kathryne Wright at 860-581-8058 or to make a reservation

The Hammered Edge Studio & Gallery is located at 108 Main Street Ivoryton, CT

Essex Garden Club Holds ‘Divide & Pot’ Days in Preparation for May Market


Pictured left to right are Barbara Burgess, Susan Perl, and Judy Saunders in back.

Essex Garden Club members have been busy digging perennial plants from their own gardens as well as from other private gardens offered for these digs.  Two Divide and Pot days are being held at Cross Lots where these plants are divided and potted attractively by our members.

May Market will be held on Saturday, May 9, from 9am to 2pm, rain or shine, in Town Park, Essex Village.  These beautiful and unique plants will be sold at that time, plus man other items.

Come and enjoy the fun!

‘Medical Decisions When They Count The Most’ at Essex Library, May 5

doctor-237479_1280As discussed in the Looking Both Ways event on April 25th at the Essex Town Hall, an Advance Healthcare Directive states your wishes for healthcare and designates a healthcare representative to speak for you, should you become incapacitated. Knowing the wishes of a loved one when you are the healthcare representative is a gift that many overlook or avoid considering.

Join us in an interactive seminar to learn how to prepare a meaningful advance healthcare directive, how to discuss this difficult topic with your loved ones and to discover the home health care services offered by the Lower Valley Care Associates. This seminar is appropriate for anyone over age 18.  There will be time for questions, and free personal assistance will be provided for those wishing to take the first steps toward preparing their own Advance Healthcare Directive. This event will be held at the Essex Library on Tuesday, May 5th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex, CT. Please call 860 767-1560 to register and for more information.

Deborah Ringen MSN, RN-BC Faith Community Nurse, Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley, earned her BSN from Simmons College in 1982 and her Master of Science in Parish Nursing and Health Ministry from Azusa Pacific University in 2010. She has extensive experience facilitating advance care planning workshops for physicians, healthcare providers and community members in California and Connecticut.

Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley, a nonprofit Home Health Agency, provides Skilled Nursing, Medical Social Work, Physical, Occupational, and Speech therapy, Home health aides, Telehealth and Faith Community Nursing services to communities of the Shoreline.

Meghan Brady is the Program Director for Lower Valley Care Advocates. In addition to being a healthcare and insurance lobbyist and political fundraiser in Washington, she was most recently the statewide Director of Community Outreach and Marketing with the United Way of Connecticut.

Attorney Jeannine Lewis graduated from Brown University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology.  She received her Juris Doctor degree, with honors, from the University Of Connecticut School Of Law in 2005. Attorney Lewis has practiced law in Essex, Connecticut since 2006, and joined the local firm of Hudson and Kilby, LLC in 2010.

Essex Art Association Hosts Opening Reception for “Mixed Bag” Show, May 1

Essex Art Association will have its spring 2015 juried exhibition,”Mixed Bag”,a thought provoking show of unexpected combinations.The public is invited to an artist’s reception on Friday May 1 from 6-8 p.m.

The Gallery is open May 2-23,1-5 daily except Tues.

For more information call 860-767-8996 or

Essex Hosts Town Budget Hearing Tonight

The Town of Essex hosts a public hearing for the fiscal year 2015-2016 budget will this evening, Thursday, April 23, in the Essex Town Hall Auditorium at 7:30 pm. The proposed Town Government Budget is available on the Town website under News and Announcements.

Additionally, mark your calendar for the Region 4 Budget referendum on May 5th and the Annual Budget Town Meeting on May 11th.

If you are looking to improve your understanding of the Town’s budget process, residents are encouraged to read the “Citizens’ Guide to the Essex Town Budget 2015-2016.” This guide is available in hardcopy form at the Town Hall as well as being available in electronic form on the Town website.

Final Afternoon to View Valley Regional HS Student Show at Essex Art Association

Artwork by Jill Beecher Matthew.

Artwork by Jill Beecher Matthew.

The Essex Art Association (EAA) has announced the start of the 2015 exhibition season.

Ron and His Shadow

“Ron and his shadow”

This week the traditional Valley Regional High School Student Show is being held. Visitors to the gallery can view student work between the hours of 3 and 5 p.m. today, Thursday, April 23.

The EAA is looking forward to this new season and hopes readers will join them at their exhibitions. The Association is located at 10 North Main St. in Essex.

For further information, call 860-767-8996 or email

Carney, Formica’s Joint Town Hall Meeting Tonight Cancelled

Rep. Devin Carney

State Rep. Devin Carney

State Senator Paul Formica

State Senator Paul Formica

State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23) and State Sen. Paul Formica (R-20) have cancelled their town hall meeting scheduled for this coming Thursday, April 23, from 6 to 7 p.m. at Acton Public Library, due to a legislative session being called for that day.

They will release an updated date and location for the postponed event at a later date.

If you had a particular question or concern you were hoping to see addressed Thursday, call 1-800-842-1423 or email to reach Rep. Carney or call 1-800-842-8800 to reach Sen. Formica.

Visit or for more information and updates.

Ivoryton Playhouse Looks at (Older) Love in “The Last Romance”

Rochelle Slovin* and Chet Carlin* in "The Last Romance," which opens at Ivoryton, April 22

Rochelle Slovin* and Chet Carlin* in “The Last Romance,” which opens at Ivoryton, April 22

IVORYTON — On an ordinary day in a routine life, an 80-year-old widower named Ralph decides to takes a different path on his daily walk — one that leads him to an unexpected second chance at love. Relying on a renewed boyish charm, Ralph attempts to woo the elegant, but distant, Carol. Defying Carol’s reticence — and the jealousy of his lonely sister Rose — he embarks on the trip of a lifetime and regains a happiness that seemed all but lost.

Tony Award winner Joe DiPietro’s The Last Romance, a bittersweet romantic comedy with a little Puccini and a smidgen of dog treats, opens in Ivoryton on April 22.

DiPietro recently won two Tony Awards for co-writing the musical Memphis, which also received the 2010 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical and which will be opening in Ivoryton in August this year. DiPietro is an Ivoryton favorite; his shows I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (the longest-running musical revue in Off Broadway history), and the Broadway musical All Shook Up were both popular successes at the Playhouse.

Stephen Mir and Chet Carlin* in "The Last Romance"

Stephen Mir and Chet Carlin* in “The Last Romance”

Directed by Maggie McGlone Jennings, the cast includes Chet Carlin* as Ralph, whose Broadway credits include Fiddler on the Roof with Theodore Bikel and the National Tour of Sir Peter Hall’s As You Like It; Kate Konigisor*, the Artistic Director of Shakespeare with Benefits, as Rose; Stephen Mir as the Young Man and Rochelle Slovin*, making her Ivoryton debut as Carol and reigniting a theatre career after spending the past 30 years as the Founding Director of the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.

The set design is by William Stark, lighting design by Tate Burmeister and costumes by Vickie Blake.

The Last Romance opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on April 22, and runs through May 10. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

Photos by Anne Hudson

  1. Stephen Mir and Chet Carlin*
  2. Rochelle Slovin* and Chet Carlin*

*Indicates member of Actors Equity Association

This production is generously sponsored by Essex Meadows and The Clark Group

Shoreline Artists Celebrate Spring Maple & Main Show Through May

Fenwick Lighthouse by Cheryl Sorensen

Fenwick Lighthouse by Cheryl Sorensen

CHESTER – “Spring in the Stone Gallery” will be celebrated by the members of the Shoreline Artist’s Workshop, who are presenting an exhibit of over 30 paintings at Maple and Main Gallery during the month of May.

The show of watercolor and oil paintings by an Old Lyme-based group of artists, who have been painting together weekly for over six years, will be in the Stone Gallery on the lower level of Maple and Main.

The participating artists represent six shoreline communities from Niantic through Essex and include Beverly Ahlers, Cathy Castonguay, JoAnn Dongweck, Keiko Kaiser, Elin Larson. Shirley McHale, Hilde Reichenbach, Susan Simler, Cheryl Sorensen, and Sharol Stewart.

Maple and Main Gallery at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

To view a selection of the paintings in the “Spring in the Stone Gallery” show, visit and click on “events”, call 860-526-6065 or email

Essex Historical Society Celebrates its 60th Year with Dickinson Initiative

Essex Historical Society members Herb Clark, Susan Malan and Sherry Clark outside the Yellow Label Building with Rob Bradway of the Valley Railroad (second from right).

Essex Historical Society members Herb Clark, Susan Malan and Sherry Clark outside the Yellow Label Building with Rob Bradway of the Valley Railroad (second from right).

ESSEX — The Essex Historical Society (EHS), a non-profit organization formed in 1955 and boasting 250 members today, will be celebrating its 60th year throughout 2015 with a variety of special events and programs.  Of special note is the Dickinson Initiative, a series of five events aimed at increasing awareness of the impact of the E. E. Dickinson Witch Hazel business on Essex.

According to EHS President Sherry Clark, “We wanted our anniversary celebration to have a purpose and highlighting the Dickinson legacy seemed like the perfect choice given the company’s historical significance for much of the 20th century.  We are particularly excited to unveil our plans to refurbish the “Yellow Label” building in partnership with the Valley Railroad Company.”

The “Yellow Label” building, which sits on the southern end of the railroad depot property on Plains Road, is a familiar and somewhat iconic site to area residents although most are probably not aware of its history. First constructed around 1915 as a birch mill for the production of birch oil, it served as a storefront for the E.E. Dickinson Witch Hazel products in the 1980’s.

The renovation project entails the replacement of windows, roof, and deteriorated structural elements as well as general cleaning and painting, all to be done by the Valley Railroad. EHS will refurbish the Yellow Label signs and install Dickinson history exhibit panels in the newly repaired space.

Plans are now being finalized for a Dickinson Initiative Pre-Construction Party to take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on May 15 on the grounds surrounding the Yellow Label building. The free event is open to the public and will feature tours of the Yellow Label building, Witch Hazel advertising art on display in the Jensen Gallery, River Valley Junction building, and cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. At 6:15 p.m., a short presentation of the Dickinson Initiative plans and a Yellow Label Day Proclamation by the Board of Selectman of Essex will take place.  The dedication and unveiling of the refurbished building is targeted for one year later on May 15, 2016.

Other 60th Anniversary/Dickinson Initiative events will include a special fundraising reception to take place at three Dickinson buildings on North Main Street in Essex on Sunday, Sept. 13; the EHS 5th Annual Fall Foliage Antique Auto Show and Tour of Dickinson business and family sites in partnership with the Belltown Antique Car Club on Sunday, Oct. 18; and a special program entitled “Creating the E. E. Dickinson National Brand” to be presented in January by EHS and held at the former Dickinson corporate office at 31 North Main Street, Essex, now the Wells Fargo office building.

The Essex Historical Society was formed and incorporated in 1955. According to news reports at the time, the Town of Essex was about to announce its intention to sell Hills Academy located on Prospect Street. It was no longer useful to the Town for classroom space and had been rented to various tenants for many years. A concerned group sprung into action and the first unofficial meeting of the Board of Directors was held at Essex Town Hall on Friday, December 10, 1954. Edwin B. Pratt was nominated President, John A. Bjerkoe, Vice President, Elizabeth J. Mundie became treasurer and William H. Matthews, curator.

The newly formed Essex Historical Society purchased the Hills Academy building from the Town for one dollar. From 1955 to 1985, Hills Academy served as the Society’s meeting house, as home to its growing collection of Essex memorabilia, and as exhibit space depicting the story of Essex history.

Then in 1985, the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (known then as S.P.N.E.A. and now renamed Historic New England) deeded the Pratt House Museum on West Avenue to the Society and the focus of activity shifted to the Pratt family narrative.

Today, Pratt House continues to interpret 18th century farm life in Essex and the nine generations of Pratt Smithies, many of whom lived in the house. The barn houses a set of panels depicting a time line of Essex history and an early loom that is worked on by an award winning group of weavers. The beautiful meadow to the rear of the property is the site of the Community Garden and often the scene of antique car shows and old fashioned summer fairs. Hills Academy provides additional meeting and exhibit space on the first floor and storage and office space on the second floor for the collection and archival files.

Essex Historical Society serves the three villages of Essex — Centerbrook, Essex and Ivoryton –  and strives to be the center of excellence for collecting and sharing historic resources for Essex and the surrounding area, and to be the facilitator among other organizations focused on the history of the area, so that they may inspire future generations.

For more information on the Essex Historical Society, its events and membership, visit or call 860-767-0681.

Old Saybrook’s Andrew Pan Honored at State Capitol for Science Fair Win

OLD SAYBROOK — On Apr. 8, Old Saybrook High School senior Andrew Pan (center) was honored at the State Capitol by Rep. Devin Carney (left) and Sen. Art Linares (right) for winning first place in the Health and Medicine category at the Southern Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair on Feb. 7.

Pan took first place for his research project entitled, “Elevated Levels of Interleukin-8 in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers induce Cell Survival During Chemotherapy.”  The legislators presented Pan with an official state citation.  Pan’s accomplishments were recognized and applauded by the Connecticut General Assembly.

Click here to read an article by our intern Adina Ripin about Pan’s accomplishments.

Essex Winter Series Presents Attacca Quartet Master Class for Strings This Afternoon

The Attacca Quartet will conduct a Master Class in Essex,

The Attacca Quartet will conduct a Master Class at the Community Music School in Essex, April 20,

CENTERBROOK – Community Music School (CMS) and Essex Winter Series present a master class with the Attacca Quartet on Monday, April 20, at 4 p.m. at Community Music School, 90 Main St., Centerbrook. Members of the Quartet will offer advice on technique and performance for student musicians who will each play during the class. The master class is free and open to the public.

The internationally acclaimed Attacca Quartet has become one of America’s premier young performing ensembles.  Praised by Strad for possessing “maturity beyond its members’ years,” the group was formed at the Juilliard School in 2003, and made their professional debut in 2007 as part of the Artists International Winners Series in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.

From 2011-2013, the quartet served as the Juilliard Graduate Resident String Quartet, and for the 2014 – 2015 season the Attacca Quartet was named the Quartet in Residence for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The Attacca Quartet was featured as the 2015 Essex Winter Series Emerging Artists and performed at their second StringFest this past January.

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

For additional information, visit or call 860-767-0026.

Acclaimed Naturalist Himmelman Speaks Tomorrow on ‘Butterflies in our Gardens’

John Himmelman

John Himmelman

ESSEX — The Essex Land Trust hosts John Himmelman, naturalist, author/artist of 70 books, and co-founder of the Connecticut Butterfly Association who will give a talk on butterflies, Tuesday, April 21, at 7 p.m., in the Essex Library, 33 West Ave., Essex.

Did you know that over 100 species of butterflies could be seen in our Connecticut gardens? Hear about their intriguing lives and learn how to attract and identify these often unnoticed but important animals of our region. This popular presentation answers many of the questions that are asked about the lives, and preferences, of this fascinating group of insects.

ButterflyThe photos taken in and around Himmelman’s home in Connecticut are used to illustrate the show.  Some topics covered are; butterfly families and species, life cycles, finding butterflies, and creating butterfly habitats.

The event is free and open to the public.  Himmelman will also bring along some of his books for those who might be interested in making a purchase.

Riverway Studio Presents ‘Methuselah’s Guide to Online Dating’


DEEP RIVER — Riverway Studio is proud to present a new theatrical production: “Methuselah’s Guide To Online Dating (For Those With Reading Glasses),” created by Todd Alan Little and Ira Sakolsky.

Join the performers for a hilarious and touching look at the world of online dating for the 0ver-40 crowd. Suitable for ages 15 and up, the production includes audience participation and improv, as well as scripted elements and music.

The play will be produced at the Deep River Town Hall Theater, 174 Main Street, Deep River, Conn., on Friday, May 1, and Saturday, May 2, at 8 p.m.

Guests are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for the Deep River Food Bank.”

Tickets are $25 (general seating) and reservations are required. Tickets may be reserved by calling 860-873-3404, or by emailing

For more information, visit

Carney, Sen. Formica to Hold Joint Town Hall Meeting Thursday in Old Saybrook

Rep. Devin Carney

State Rep. Devin Carney

State Senator Paul Formica

State Senator Paul Formica

OLD SAYBROOK — State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23) and State Sen. Paul Formica (R-20) invite residents of the 23rd district to attend a joint Town Hall meeting on Thursday, April 23, from 6 to 7 p.m. at Acton Public Library, 60 Boston Post Rd., Old Saybrook

Both legislators will be available to answer questions about state government and discuss major issues defining the 2015 legislative session.

For more information and updates. visit or

‘To the Movies and Bach’: ‘Con Brio’ Presents Spring Concert Today

Kerry Gotschall

Kerry Gotschall

OLD LYME — Con Brio, the shoreline’s renowned all-auditioned chorus, will present its spring concert on Sunday, April 19, at 4 p.m. at Christ the King Church in Old Lyme, Conn.  Directed by Dr. Stephen Bruce with Associate Conductor and Keyboardist, Susan Saltus, the chorus will be joined by the Con Brio Festival Orchestra and soloists:  Danielle Munsell Howard, soprano;  Kelly Gottshall, mezzo-soprano and Christopher Grundy, bass.

The concert will open with two 16th century pieces that the chorus learned on its last tour in France:  “Tourdion” and the motet “Jubilate Deo.”  Then follows the premier piece of the concert: J. S. Bach’s “Mass in F.”  Bach composed four short masses in the 1730s, borrowing from some of his finest earlier cantatas.   This short mass, or Missa Brevis, is known as one of Bach’s Lutheran Masses   These masses are not often heard, or recorded, despite being exquisitely beautiful, filled with “splendid choruses” and “deeply moving arias,” as one reviewer puts it.

Christopher Grundy

Christopher Grundy

The second half of the concert will be devoted to diverse choral music spanning four centuries, which has been used in films.  Carl Orff’s  1936 setting of a 13th century poem complaining about fortune, “O Fortuna” from “Carmina Burana,” holds the record for the past 75 years as the most popular piece of classical music. It, along with Mozart’s dramatic “Dies Irae” from his Requiem Mass, holds the record for use in films.  The best movie song of all time, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” a popular jazz version of “When I Fall in Love,” and “One Day More” are audience favorites.

Samuel Barber himself arranged his “Agnus Dei” as a choral version of his much beloved, hauntingly beautiful “Adagio for Strings.”  William Blake’s 18th century poem provides the text for Parry’s stirring “Jerusalem,” which some call the unofficial national anthem of England.  Blake’s text imagines the legend of Jesus restoring Jerusalem by coming to England and transforming the “dark Satanic mills” that mar the land.

Allegri’s 17th century “Miserere,” a translation of Psalm 51, was never supposed to be transcribed.  The story is the 14-year-old Mozart heard it just once and wrote all of it down.  Hogan’s traditional spiritual, “Elijah Rock,” cries to the prophet Elijah, the rock, for help. The concert ends with the audience joining the chorus in John Rutter’s stirring arrangement of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

All are welcome at this exceptional concert.

Tickets are $30, $15 students, and may be purchased from any Con Brio member, on line at, or by calling 860 526 5399.

Christ the King Church is located at 1 McCurdy Rd., Old Lyme, CT.

Ivory & Gold (and Maybe the Frogs of Israel!) at CBSRZ Today

Jeff and Ann Barnhart

Jeff and Ann Barnhart

CHESTER — Playing the Popcorn Room at the Griswold Inn is thousands of miles away in geography and meaning from performing before 2,500 people at an outdoor concert in Israel.  But that’s the musical leap that Jeff and Anne Barnhart have made over the years in their concerts of jazz, blues and the American songbook.

The Tel Aviv show sticks out in their as one of the greatest moments in the storied career of Ivory & Gold, as the duo is known, during which they’ve played in dozens of states and many countries, and produced several recordings – Jeff on piano and vocals, and Anne on flute.

Jeff recalls, “I don’t know how you can beat that Tel Aviv concert. There were all those Israelis sitting in lawn chairs and looking out over the Mediterranean waters.  There was a moat near the stage, and when Anne and I started playing Gershwin’s ‘Summertime,’ the frogs started croaking along with us.”

And now you, too, can croak along with Ivory & Gold as Jeff and Anne return to their home base (they live in Mystic but are on the road 40 weeks a year), and perform in a Music & More concert at the Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ) on Sunday, April, 19, at 5 p.m.

All this croaking, by the way, doesn’t have to be done by adults. Jeff and Anne delight in introducing the American Songbook to kids, and have many stories about how music previously unknown to them has resonated.

Not long ago, at a concert in New London, a boy in the first row listened as Jeff demonstrated how to scat, a technique used so beautifully by Ella Fitzgerald among others, and the boy, a first grader, volunteered to try it out. He wowed the crowd.

Indeed, Jeff and Anne always have fun with kids and they encourage our synagogue community to bring children even if they’ve never heard the name Cole Porter or Irving Berlin.

The kids will be humming along and stomping their feet, and agreeing with the many music critics who consider this duo to be at the top of their game. Max Morath, a legendary ragtime player, calls them “musically flawless,” and Stuart Dryden, a music writer in the UK, says, ”Enjoy the warmth and talent of this unique duo – you won’t regret it.”

Tickets are $25 and children under 16 are free. To reserve tickets, which will also be available at the door, call the CBSRZ office, 860.526.8920.

Music & More, in its 7th season, regularly brings outstanding entertainers to Chester. For a complete listing of upcoming events at the synagogue, see  CBSRZ is located at 55 East Kings Highway.

Red Dog Project Hosts Prison-based Foster Program Adoption Event, April 25

rdpSLADEThe Red Dog Project will host an Adoption Event Saturday, April 25, from 12 to 3 p.m. at PetValue (in the Kohl’s plaza), 28 Spencer Plains Road, Old Saybrook, Conn.

The dogs offered for adoption will be shelter dogs lovingly rehabilitated by the women inmates at York Correctional Facility in Niantic, Conn.

For more information or to apply online, visit

Essex Rotary Hosts Sail Cloth Exhibition & Sale, Opening Reception Tonight

Sail_Cloth_Art_ExhibitionESSEX The Rotary Club of Essex in partnership with the Essex Art Association presents the Sail Cloth Art Exhibition and Sale at the Association’s gallery at 10 North Main St., Essex.

The show will feature original works in oil, watercolor, and mixed media.

There will be an Opening Reception with wine and hor d’oeuvres Friday, April 17, from 5 to 8 p.m.  All are welcome and there is no charge for admission.

Weekend exhibition hours will be Saturday, April 18, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 19, from 12 to 4 p.m.

San Francisco Architects Present Their Work at Essex Library This Evening

An example of stunning architectural design by Kuth Ranier Architects.

An example of stunning architectural design by Kuth/Ranieri Architects — the Gallery Room in a Nob Hill Guest House in San Francisco.

ESSEX — Byron Dean Kuth and Elizabeth Ranieri of the innovative San Francisco architecture firm of Kuth/Ranieri will present their work at the Essex Town Hall on Friday, April 17, at 7 p.m.

Over two decades their firm has produced a broad spectrum of work, from small-scaled objects and installations to buildings and urban design proposals. They have earned a regional and national reputation for innovative works that integrate current cultural discourse with contemporary issues of design, technology and the environment. Their projects include an installation for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Soundhenge, and the Harvey Milk Memorial Streetcar.

A Fine Arts and Architecture graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, Kuth has taught at California College of the Arts, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and as a Friedman Professors at the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley. He launched the Deep Green Design Alliance (DGDA), a multidisciplinary think tank for sustainable strategies in architecture and urban design.

Ranieri holds degrees in Architecture and Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design and has taught at the California College of the Arts, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and as a Friedman Professor at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design. She has earned a national reputation for innovative expressions of sustainable systems at a building and planning scale. She has led the firm’s research and development on infrastructural approaches to water conservation, water treatment, and adaptive strategies to rising seas.

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

For more information on Centerbrook Architects, visit

Child & Family Agency’s 61st Annual Tag Sale Continues Today

Items for the Child & Family Agency 61st Annual Sale will be collected at six “Intake” locations along the shoreline and then transported to the Ella T. Grasso Technical High School, 189 Fort Hill Road, Groton, CT for this extraordinary tag sale, to be held on April 16, 17 and 18. All proceeds will support Child & Family Agency programs and services for children and families. 

Items for the Child & Family Agency 61st Annual Sale will be collected at six “Intake” locations along the shoreline and then transported to the Ella T. Grasso Technical High School, 189 Fort Hill Road, Groton, CT for this extraordinary tag sale, to be held on April 16, 17 and 18. All proceeds will support Child & Family Agency programs and services for children and families.

GROTON, CT — Child & Family Agency is gearing up for its 61st Annual Sale, which has earned a reputation for being one of the “Largest Tag Sales in New England.” Donated items are sorted, boxed and transported to Groton for a bonanza, 3-day fundraiser.

This year’s 61st Annual Sale will be held at Ella T. Grasso Technical High School at 189 Fort Hill Road in Groton from Thursday, April 16, through Saturday, April 18.

Today, Friday, April 17, items are at cost and the sale is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, April 18, opening hours are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., when most items are half price.

The motto “Bring the Best and Leave the Rest” has made the town of Essex a standard bearer for “quality” donations, which help to provide for an increasingly successful fundraiser. Donations are tax deductible, for which receipts will be issued at the “Intake.”

Proceeds go directly to support the many extraordinary services provided by Child & Family Agency, a non-profit organization that has served Connecticut families for over 200 years.  Last year over 17,000 children and their family members in 79 towns were helped by the agency’s staff of 190 dedicated professionals.

For more information about the work of Child & Family, visit

Essex Garden Club “Seedy Ladies” Prepare for May Market

Pictured L>R are Dee Dee Charnok, Jane Dickinson, Coral Rawn, Gay Thorn, and Daphne Nielson  preparing tomato plants for the Essex Garden Club May Market.

From left to right, Dee Dee Charnok, Jane Dickinson, Coral Rawn, Gay Thorn, and Daphne Nielson prepare tomato plants for the Essex Garden Club May Market.

ESSEX — The Essex Garden Club hosts its May Market at Town Park, Main Street, Essex Village on May 9, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine.

A most popular feature of the sale is the home grown tomato plants.  This year there will be 24 varieties of plants to choose from including bush, early, heirloom, artisan, and grape.  The “Seedy Ladies” grow all the plants from seed in a home greenhouse and nurture them until they are ready for the sale.

These plants sell out quickly, so mark your calendars and come early to find the plant of your choice.

Deep River Rotary Auction Set for Saturday, April 25

The Auction at the Academy will be a major benefit fundraiser of the Deep River Rotary Club, to be held Saturday, April 25, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Academy at Mt. St. John.    The school is located at the foot of Kirtland Street in Deep River,  on a beautiful hilltop overlooking the Connecticut River.
An outstanding assortment of country furnishings, folk art, pottery, china and glass, rugs and lamps, toys, prints and frames, brass and iron beds, and so much more and will be up for bid.  Items to be auctioned will be on display for preview beginning at 1:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Academy
Proceeds from this annual event benefit the outreach projects of the Rotary Club, including an annual Scholarship Fund, an ongoing “student of the month” award, an elementary school Dictionary Project, and international efforts like our Sister Cities Haiti Library project and a sanitation project in Oaxaca, Mexico.
The club will be accepting quality antiques and collectible items for this sale.   Those wishing to consign items for auction will receive 75% of the selling price.     Quality Collectibles of Deep River is in charge of the auction, and consigned or donated objects may be brought to their store at 156 Main St. in Deep River prior to the auction.   Or you may call for pick-up.  
At the auction there will be a 10% buyer’s fee.    All items must be taken the night of the auction, but trucking will be available.  Photos and listing of items already committed for auction can be viewed at .
Food and drinks will be available during the auction, catered by the culinary department of the Academy.  For details please call Chuck at 860.227.5125 or Quality Collectibles at 860.526.8343

Essex Library Presents ‘Right Plant, Right Place’ Landscaping Program Tonight

The Buttonbush is always a good addition to your landscaping plans.

The Buttonbush is always a good addition to your landscaping plans.

ESSEX — Wondering why certain flowers, shrubs or trees never seem to thrive in your yard? Want to know what plants are best suited for the insects and birds in our area? Based on the Right Plant, Right Place principle, learn from this illustrated talk by Master Gardener Gail Kalison Reynolds what ecological processes affect your backyard, how native plants facilitate ecological balance, and why native plants are appropriate for backyard landscaping and gardening.

This event will take place on Thursday, April 16, at 6:30 p.m. at the Essex Library. Admission is free.

Gail Kalison Reynolds, MFS, directs the UConn Master Gardener Program in Middlesex County and is an independent ecological and technological consultant.  She has both undergraduate and master’s degrees from Yale University and many years of technological experience, including five information security professional certifications.  In addition, she is the Chair of the Haddam Conservation Commission and the Manager of the Higganum Farmers’ Market.

Call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560 for more information and to register.  The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue, Essex CT 06426

TTYS Hosts ‘Outstanding Ones’ Playgroup Starting April 15

Calling all toddlers!  Tri-Town Youth Services, at 56 High Street in Deep River, offers an Outstanding Ones play group led by Parent Resource Coordinator, Meredith Adler.  The groups offer a mixture of free play and circle time.  Caregivers have a chance to chat with each other and browse the parent resource library.  Outstanding Ones meets Wednesdays, April 15-June 17 from 11:00 to 11:30 a.m. with a cost of $45 for Tri-Town residents and $55 for non-residents.  Register at or call Tri-Town 860-526-3600.

Tri-Town Youth Services supports and advances the families, youth and communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex.  We coordinate and provide resources needed to make positive choices, reduce substance abuse, and strengthen the relationships that matter most.  Discover programs and information for families, as well as opportunities for community collaboration at

Photographer Tony Donovan Exhibits at Essex Library During May

tony 4.tif
ESSEX — A photography exhibit will be held at Essex Library Association through the month of May featuring guest artist, Tony Donovan.

Ivoryton resident Tony Donovan began his photography career in Ireland in north Belfast in the early 1970s. As he puts it, “It was a difficult place to take pictures, the people were on edge and wary; suspicious of a stranger.” He shot street scenes and people he befriended, mostly children, with a handheld Leica and the available light. The situation was extreme since he had no control over events and that has shaped his work ever since. He considers himself a documentary, artistic photographer seeking to make expressive, poetic pictures from life. The photograph’s subject is the most important consideration for him.

Donovan has also captured woodsman Amos Congdon at his Lyme, Conn., sawmill, see photo above. Congdon makes the perfect image of the American past; sharpening a saw, feeding cattle and tallying a woodlot. A sawmill is a wonderful place to take photos with its patterns of circles and squares, scattered pieces of wood and the lines lumber produces.

Donovan has been photographing a summer basketball tournament, more recently, for a number of years, even receiving a Middletown Commission on the Arts grant to do so in 2010. The Middletown Summer Hoopfest has offered Donovan the opportunity to record some of the drama, effort, spirit and grace played out in those games. He comments, “Photography, like any creative process, often requires a subject that summons up in the artist the will and commitment to work over a long period of time. The Hoopfest has been such a subject for me. Certainly, these basketball images have an historic value and, hopefully, some of them attain a poetic worth.”

The exhibit will be open Saturday, May 2, and run through Saturday, May 30: it is free and open to all. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue, Essex, CT 06426.

Second Session of ‘Beowulf’ Seminar in Essex Library, April 28

beowulf-coverESSEX — Who was the first superhero in the English language?

Whose epic adventures greatly influenced J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit?

It was Beowulf, of course.

Follow the Old English story of Scandinavian warrior Beowulf who, armed with only a magic sword and a heroic code, vanquishes the monster Grendel –and Grendel’s mother too. After becoming a wise and noble King of the Danes, he battles a mighty, fire-breathing dragon with tragic consequences.

Using the Northern Ireland Poet Laureate Seamus Heaney’s magnificent translation, University of New Haven faculty member Chuck Timlin will lead a seminar looking at the great 3182 line poem that stands as the beginning of English Literature.

This seminar will also look at several passages of the poem in the original Old English.

The five-seminar sessions will be held on Tuesday evenings April 14 & 28 and May 5, 12 and 19 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Essex Library. This seminar is free and open to the public. Register in advance by calling 860-767-1560.

The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue, Essex, CT.

‘Nights on Broadway’ Gala Benefits Community Music School, Saturday

Looking forward to welcoming guests at Nights on Broadway are (standing L to R): Melissa Lieberman and David LaMay of Essex Financial Services; Robin Andreoli, CMS executive director CMS; vocalist Courtney Parrish; vocalist Richard Pittsinger; honorary co-chairs Jennifer and John Bauman. Seated are Laureen Sullivan of Essex Savings Bank and Charles Cumello, CEO of Essex Financial Services.

Looking forward to welcoming guests at Nights on Broadway are (standing L to R): Melissa Lieberman and David LaMay of Essex Financial Services; Robin Andreoli, CMS executive director CMS; vocalist Courtney Parrish; vocalist Richard Pittsinger; honorary co-chairs Jennifer and John Bauman. Seated are Laureen Sullivan of Essex Savings Bank and Charles Cumello, CEO of Essex Financial Services.

ESSEX — Curtain Up! Light the Lights! On Saturday, April 18, Community Music School students and faculty take center stage performing classic Broadway show tunes for Nights on Broadway, the School’s 10 annual benefit gala. Guests will gather at the charming Lace Factory, 161 River Street, Deep River, for a lively party with gourmet food stations inspired by Broadway hits and prepared by Cloud Nine Catering, silent and live auctions, and a fun photo booth. Nights on Broadway promises to be a magical, musical evening!

Selections from the shows Wicked, RENT, Fiddler on the Roof, and Les Misérables are scheduled to be performed. Featured student performers include Emma Hunt (vocals) of Essex; Michael Rasberry (saxophone) of Lyme; Sonny Capaccio (vocals) of Guilford; Courtney Parrish (vocals) of Westbrook; Arnold Moore (violin) of Killingworth; and Richard Pittsinger (vocals) of Essex, a recipient of the Carolyn R. Greenleaf Memorial Music Award. Faculty performers include Karli Gilbertson (piano/vocals), Matthew McCauley (bass), Kevin O’Neil (guitar), Andrew Studenski (saxophone), and music director Tom Briggs (piano).

Support of the Community Music School gala provides the resources necessary to offer scholarships to students with a financial need, music therapy services, and outreach through arts education and community concerts. “Nights on Broadway is an extremely important event for us,” stated Executive Director Robin Andreoli, “Proceeds will help us continue our mission of enrichment through the arts with a focus on public performances and community outreach.”

She continues, ” Of course, musical theater has always been a part of our programming with Broadway Bound, a summer program for ages 8 to 15, so it’s fitting that Broadway music is this year’s theme. Programs like Broadway Bound, Kate’s Camp for Kids, the CMS Jazz Ensemble, New Horizons Band and many others allow students of all ages to build on their individual and ensemble skills for performance.”

Nights on Broadway sponsors include Essex Savings Bank and Essex Financial Services, Bogaert Construction, The Clark Group, Tower Laboratories LTD, Grossman Chevrolet-Nissan, Thomas H. Alexa – Comprehensive Wealth Management, Angelini Wine LTD, The Bauman Family Foundation, Brewer Pilots Point Marina, Essex Winnelson, Gowrie Group, Guilford Savings Bank, Leonardo & Associates P.C., W. Jay Mills CFP® – The Oakely Wing Group at Morgan Stanley, Periodontics P.C., Ring’s End, The Safety Zone, and Valley Courier.

Tickets for the evening are $100 per person ($40 is tax deductible). A sponsor ticket of $150 per person provides a greater charitable gift ($90 is tax deductible) and is also available. Tickets may be purchased online at, at the school located at 90 Main Street in the Centerbrook section of Essex or by calling 860-767-0026. Now in its 32nd year of building community through music, the Community Music School is a private, non-profit organization.

St. John School Produces “Twinderella”

OLD SAYBROOK — More than 30 fifth to eighth graders formed the cast and crew of the St. John School Drama Club production, “Twinderella,” led by their coaches, Sister Gabriela (2nd grade teacher) and Ann Corcoran (5th grade teacher), assisted by St. John School alumnae, Molly Sullivan.

More information about the great performance is available on St. John School website at

Congratulations to the cast and crew!

Celebrate the End of Winter Today at Chester’s Spring Carnivale

Street entertainers delight the crowds at the Chester Carnivale. Photo by John Stack.

Street entertainers delight the crowds at the Chester Carnivale. Photo by John Stack.

CHESTER — What a winter we had! Chester’s 25th Annual Winter Carnivale had to be cancelled because of the weather on Feb. 15, but now it’s back, reborn as Spring Carnivale.

On Sunday, April 12, the picturesque small town of Chester will be filled with people cheering on ice carvers as they create beautiful sculptures from blocks of ice, while laughing at the antics of street performers and applauding a long parade of new and antique tractors being driven down Main Street by their proud owners. All that, and food, music, art, and shopping too!

Richard Daly works on his ice sculpture during the 2014 Winter Carnivale. Daly holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest time to create ice sculptures. Photo by John Stack

Richard Daly works on his ice sculpture during the 2014 Winter Carnivale. Daly holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest time to create ice sculptures. Professional ice carver Rich Daly has been a regular at Chester Carnivale through the years. He recently won the National Ice Carving Championship. Come watch his prizewinning talent in action! Photo by John Stack

The day begins at 10:30 a.m. when the carvers get started on their ice sculptures. Both professional and student ice carvers will be hard at work, demonstrating their techniques to onlookers while they try to be finished by 1 p.m. for judging.

Meanwhile, the Chester Hose Company is holding its 15th annual “Chilly Chili Cook Off” fundraiser. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., go to the Chester Hose Company Fire House at 6 High Street and pay your $5 admission so you can taste all the different chilis cooked and dished out by restaurants, caterers and fire departments. You can vote for your favorite fire department chili, favorite restaurant chili, most original chili, and best dressed chili serving table.  Beverages will be sold. All proceeds go to the Chester Hose Company.

Still hungry? There’s pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, soups, and lots more available inside and outside the restaurants in town. Also, lemonade, popcorn, kettle corn, and cupcakes – everything to satisfy every taste.

Tractors and more tractors descend on Chester on Carnivale day for the 14th Annual Tractor Parade. Photo by John Stack

Tractors and more tractors descend on Chester on Carnivale day for the 14th Annual Tractor Parade. Photo by John Stack

Just be sure to be back out on Main Street by 2 p.m. for the 14th Annual Chester Tractor Parade. Colorful and rusty, big and small, antique and new, decorated and plain – tractors are driven through the town center in an incredibly long parade. You never knew there were so many tractors in the Connecticut River Valley!

There is no shortage of free activities to keep the whole family entertained for the day. Colorful beads and balloons will be handed out throughout town all day and face painting is available at Century 21 Heritage. The Chester Museum at The Mill will be open at no charge, offering a place to explore Chester history. A photo booth will be at Maple and Main Gallery of Fine Art.

Celebrate spring at Spring Carnivale by making an origami butterfly at Connecticut River Artisans on 4 Water Street during Carnivale.

Celebrate spring at Spring Carnivale by making an origami butterfly at Connecticut River Artisans on 4 Water Street during Carnivale.

Other galleries and shops will be open, many with special events from prize drawings to origami. The Spring Street String Band, Arrowhead, will be playing from noon to 4 p.m. at the Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio & Gallery.

Main Street will be closed to traffic. Free parking is available in the commuter lot on Rte. 148 at the foot of Route 9 and in the Roto-Frank parking lot on Inspiration Lane (exit 6) and at Greenwald Industries on Rte. 154 (212 Middlesex Avenue). (Follow the signs.) All lots will be served by courtesy shuttle buses to the town center.

For more information, go to or

‘Concert in the Garden’ Today Features Singer/Songwriter Robert Nasta

Robert Nasta

Robert Nasta

Leif Nilsson hosts another Concert in the Garden, Sunday, April 12, from 4 to 6 p.m. in a Concert for World Peace featuring singer/songwriter Robert Nasta aka Chester “Big Boy” Coda and Special Guests. This monthly concert series highlights eclectic international singer/songwriter artists from cool jazz to blue grass.

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

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

Nasta is a composer, performer, multi-instrumentalist and educator. He studied music at The Berklee College of Music, The State University of New York ( B. A., Music), Wesleyan University (M.A., Ethnomusicology, Experimental Music), and The Hartt School of Music (D.M.A., Composition, Music Theory). Like many composers of his generation he has composed and performed in a wide variety of musical settings, and his work has been influenced by the whole of European/American concert music, as well as blues, jazz, and various musical traditions from around the world.

In addition to composing for “traditional” instrumentation, Dr. Nasta has developed a repertory of work based on his exploration of the sonic properties of various found objects. He has performed his compositions at numerous venues throughout the United States and has received grants from Meet the Composer, The New York Foundation for the Arts, The New York State Council on the Arts, and Arts In Education.

His music is recorded on The Sonic Utensil label, with additional recordings on Heffley Records, Didjeridu Planet, and World In One labels. He has received commissions from the town of Otego, NY, and The Foreman Gallery, Hartwick College.

In addition to his own work, he has featured the music of John Cage, Alvin Lucier, Morton Feldman, Earl Brown, Iannis Xenakis and James Tenney. He has taught at the high school and middle school levels, The State University of New York, The Hartwick College Music Camp, privately, and was a teaching fellow at the Hartt School of Music. He has been a Lecturer in Music at Middlesex Community College, Middletown, CT since 1999. – See more at:

Cynthia E. Rockwell, Associate editor,Wesleyan Magazine says, “Chester “Big Boy” Coda was so good—clever and true-hearted lyrics, with foot-tapping rhythms, gravely-voiced melody, and quick-picking notes for his stories of ghosts, love, politics, religion, aging, near-death experiences—all with wry sweet humor.”  See more at:

Essex Savings Bank Donates Over $29,000 as Part of Community Investment Program

ESSEX — Results of the recent voting by Essex Savings Bank customers who participated in the Bank’s Community Investment Program were announced at a meeting of employees, directors and trustees at the Bank’s Plains Road Office on Wednesday, April 8.

The Top Ten Winners in attendance received special recognition.  They were in order by number of votes:

  1. The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries
  2. Forgotten Felines, Inc.
  3. Old Saybrook Fire Company Number One, Inc.
  4. High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc.
  5. Tait’s Every Animal Matters (TEAM)
  6. Dog Days Adoption Events, Inc.
  7. The Essex Fire Engine Company No. 1
  8. Bikes for Kids, Inc.
  9. Pet Connections, Inc.
  10. Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley, Inc. (VNLV)

The customer balloting portion of Essex Savings Bank’s 2015 Community Investment Program, began on Feb. 2 and concluded on March 2. The program entitles the Bank’s customers to select up to three charities from a list of 90 qualified non-profit organizations. Fund allocations are awarded based on the results of these votes.

Gregory R. Shook, President and Chief Executive Officer of Essex Savings Bank stated, “At Essex Savings Bank, we believe the way to move the world forward is by giving back. Our Community Investment Program is designed to provide vital financial support to those organizations that enhance the quality of life in our communities.”

Each year, the Bank donates 10 percent of its net income to non-profit organizations within the immediate market area consisting of Chester, Deep River, Essex, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook. This year, the Bank has allocated $98,741 to assisting non-profit organizations who offer outstanding services to our community and one third of that amount is then voted upon by the Bank’s customers.

According to Thomas Lindner, Vice President and Community Relations Officer for Essex Savings Bank, 6,987 votes were cast this year for a total of $29,620. By year end 2015, the total distribution of charitable funds will reach 4 million dollars since the inception of the Bank’s Community Investment Program in 1996.

Essex Savings Bank is a FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851. The Bank serves the Connecticut River Valley and Shoreline with six offices in Essex (2), Chester, Madison, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook. Financial, estate, insurance and retirement planning are offered throughout the state by the Bank’s Trust Department and subsidiary Essex Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC. Investments in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and annuities are not FDIC insured, may lose value, are not a deposit, have no Bank guarantee and are not insured by any Federal Government Agency.

Click here to see the full results with voting numbers and amounts donated to each organization.

Recycle for Diapers! OSHS Hosts Electronics, Computer Drive, April 25;

OLD SAYBROOK — For three years now, the Old Saybrook High School has been hosting an electronics and computer recycling drive to help raise material support and awareness for single shoreline parents in need.

By donating to this “recycle for diapers and other baby needs program,” your unwanted, broken, or obsolete electronics, computers and cell phones can be recycled and redeemed into tangible baby products that can be locally dispersed.

The drive will be held Sat. April 25, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Old Saybrook High School parking lot and hosted by the Old Saybrook HS Ecology Club. The project recycles the electronics through AFA Electronic Recyclers. (

Donations of the following will be accepted

Electronics of any kind.

Computers laptops cell phones any computer related gear

Wire of any kind

Games / systems / telecommunications

Motors of any kind – lawn mower, snow blowers

Lead battery – car, truck , boat

AFA Electronic Recyclers process is established through the guidelines set forth by the State of CT. for secure computer disposal. Please visit our web-site for more specifics regarding our data security protocol. “AFA is the safest way”.

AFA Electronic Recyclers of CT offers free pick-up of larger items or items in bulk.

For questions or more information, please contact:

Karen Carlone, Old Saybrook High School  –

Paula Bartone, AFA Electronic Recyclers – 203 421 4187,  – www.

Local Fire Departments Host Areawide Food Drive Today

Food donations collected last year are gathered beside an Old Saybrook firetruck

Food donations were collected in Old Saybrook last year by the Old Saybrook Fire Department.

AREAWIDE — For the fourth year, local Fire Departments are hosting an area-wide food drive to collect non-perishable food for area residents in need.

The fire stations will be open to receive donations of non-perishable food on Saturday, April 11, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The donations will go to five local food pantries run by the Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP).

SSKP hopes to include as many fire departments as possible in the 11 shoreline towns they serve. So far, the Old Saybrook, Chester, Killingworth, Clinton, Niantic and Westbrook fire departments have committed to the event. All fire departments are welcome to participate.

At a time of year when food donations are low, this food will help to restock the pantries and ensure that everyone in our communities will have a place at the table.

The Soup Kitchens’ five pantries combine to distribute approximately 17,000 pounds of food every week. Only 40 percent of this food comes from the CT Food Bank; the remainder must be either purchased or donated, so every item is appreciated. Last year’s drive raised 6,500 pounds of food. Join the effort by bring your donation to a participating firehouse on April 11.

The most needed items are:

Canned Meats (tuna, chicken, salmon)

Canned Fruits & Vegetables

Peanut Butter

Canned & Boxed Meals

Canned or Dried Beans

Pasta & Rice


Items that cannot be accepted:

Rusty or Unlabeled Cans

Perishable Items

Homemade Items

Noncommercial Packaged or Canned Items

Alcoholic Beverages & Mixes

Open or Used Items

For more information call (860) 388-1988 or or visit

The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries provides food and fellowship to people in need and educates the community about hunger and poverty, serving the Connecticut shoreline towns of Essex, Chester, Clinton, Madison, Old Saybrook, East Lyme, Lyme, Old Lyme, Killingworth, Westbrook and Deep River. Founded 26 years ago, in 1989, at the Baptist Church in Essex, the agency continues in its mission to feed the hungry in body and spirit. Last year with a small staff and over 900 dedicated volunteers, SSKP served almost 950,000 meals worth of food to shoreline neighbors in need.

Run Forwards or Backwards Today! Race Event in Essex Benefits LVVS

And they're off!

And they’re off!

ESSEX — This coming Saturday, April 11, Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS) will hold its 8th Annual Backward Mile and 5K Run/3K Walk.  Registration for the races begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Essex Town Hall, on West Avenue. The Erl and Dot Nord Memorial Backward Mile race, open to runners older than 18, begins at 8:30 a.m.; the 5K race and 3K walk both begins at 9:15 a.m.. T-shirts will be given to the first 100 runners.

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

Registration forms are available from the LVVS offices, (860) 399-0280 or you can register online at Fees for those signing up prior to March 31  are $18 for the backward mile, $23 for either the 3K walk or 5K run, $5 for the Lollipop race and to compete in any combination $40. Students can participate for $10 per race or $15 for any two races.

Runners with additional questions about the race may contact Elizabeth Steffen, Race Director at .

‘Chester Creative Challenge’ Variations to be Unveiled This Evening

David Rau’s "Bull Market" for this year's Hooked Again! Creative Challenge to support the Chester Historical Society was inspired by two hooks, commissioned by the New York Stock Exchange in the 1970s and made in Chester by M.S. Brooks & Sons.

David Rau’s “Bull Market” for this year’s Hooked Again! Creative Challenge to support the Chester Historical Society was inspired by two hooks, commissioned by the New York Stock Exchange in the 1970s and made in Chester by M.S. Brooks & Sons.

CHESTER — This spring the Chester Historical Society is hosting its fifth annual Creative Challenge, dipping back into Chester’s roots as a manufacturing town. For five years, area artists, sculptors, photographers, engineers, jewelers, and all others with a creative mind have accepted the challenge to use artifacts from Chester’s rich manufacturing history to create items for a silent auction and reception to raise funds for the Chester Historical Society.

This is just another great example of making history current, the ‘then and now’ that is often part of the Society’s exhibits at Chester Museum at The Mill.

Those accepting the 2015 Hooked Again! Challenge issued by the Historical Society are working with assorted sample hooks, handles and hardware, which were still enclosed in small sealed manila envelopes, from Chester’s former M.S. Brooks & Sons factory.

“Hooked on Mandalas” by Bill Vollers is a framed, signed, archival digital image.

“Hooked on Mandalas” by Bill Vollers is a framed, signed, archival digital image.

The finished pieces of art, jewelry, sculptures, photographs, etc. will be exhibited and sold by silent auction at the Historical Society’s Reception on Saturday, April 11, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Chester Meeting House.

The reception will feature hearty hors d’oeuvres and desserts from Chester kitchens served with wine and non-alcoholic beverages.

Tickets for the evening are $30 and will be limited. They can be purchased at Chester Gallery and Ceramica, both in the center of Chester, or by calling Sosse Baker at Chester Gallery, 860-526-9822.

All the proceeds from the event will benefit the Chester Historical Society and its programs, including Chester Museum at The Mill. Information is available on the Society website, or at



Caption: To create “Hooked on Amazonite,” Donna Carlson used Amazonite stone and the special order hooks created for The Tigers Den by M. S. Brooks.