May 26, 2019

Archives for May 2015

Region 4 Budget Passes Overall, But Not in Deep River

REGION 4 — The Region 4 budget passed convincingly in yesterday’s referendum by an unofficial count of 263 votes to 164.

The unofficial town-by-town results, however, tell a different story with Essex giving a resounding Yes vote with 134 supporting the budget and 36 against it.  Chester came out for the budget overall, but with a less decisive result at 57 Yes’s and 26 No’s.

Meanwhile, Deep River voters gave a firm thumbs down to the budget proposal with 102 No votes against 72 Yeses.


Celebrating Chester Poets with Poetry Reading, Tonight

hester poets Suzanne Levine, Tim Napier and Ravi Shankar will be the featured readers at the Chester Library’s fifth annual poetry reading on May 4 at the Chester Meeting House.

hester poets Suzanne Levine, Tim Napier and Ravi Shankar will be the featured readers at the Chester Library’s fifth annual poetry reading on May 4 at the Chester Meeting House.

CHESTER — In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Chester Library Board of Trustees is sponsoring its fifth annual poetry reading by Chester poets. The free program will be held Monday, May 4 at 7 p.m. at the Chester Meeting House. Refreshments will be served at the conclusion of the program.

Three published poets, all Chester residents, will read some of their work. They are Suzanne Levine, Tim Napier, and Ravi Shankar. In addition, winners of the library’s poetry contest will also read their winning poems.

Suzanne Levine’s poems have appeared in Drunken Boat, Bellingham Review, Stand Magazine (UK), Permafrost, Quiddity International Literary Journal, New Delta Review, Front Range and many other publications. Haberdasher’s Daughter, her first poetry collection published in 2010 by Antrim Press, was a finalist for an Eric Hoffer Award. Grand Canyon May Be Older Than Thought is the title of her second ms. Suzanne holds an MFA from Vermont College and is co-founder of Writing at the Mark Twain House in Hartford.

Tim Napier is retired and likes to write, so he has the time and opportunity to foist himself upon an unsuspecting public from time to time. He generally has a good time at it, but he says he has never done anything so hard: finding the right word arranged in the right order, with the right look and sound as well. Tim began writing poems, critically, in college under the tutelage of Lauren Stevens and Richard Glassman, then in graduate school he had the good luck of getting into a poetry class taught by William Meredith (Pulitzer 1989), which started an association that lasted until Meredith’s death in 2007. Tim has been published in the Aurorean poetry journal, edited by Cynthia Brackett-Vincent, and its sister journal the Unrorean, edited by Devin McGuire. Tim has also been published in Sailing the Mist of Time, a collection of prize-winning poems sponsored by

Ravi Shankar is the author of several books of poetry, including “What Else Could it Be” (2015), the National Poetry Review Prize winning “Deepening Groove” (2011), and the Finalist for the Connecticut Book Awards “Instrumentality” (2004). He co-edited W.W. Norton & Co.’s “Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from Asia, the Middle East & Beyond,” called a “beautiful achievement for world literature” by Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer, and founded Drunken Boat, one of the world’s oldest electronic journal for the arts. He’s a Professor of English at CCSU and in the international MFA Program at City University of Hong Kong.

The program is free and open to all ages. For more information, contact the Chester Library at 860-526-0018.


Essex Library Hosts Intro To Genealogy Research Series, Starts May 30

ESSEX — Interested in researching your family history but don’t know where to begin?

Join Essex Librarian Norma Wright in a three-session workshop introducing you to the Library Edition service which is provided for free to Essex Library patrons. Three one-hour workshops begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 30, and continue on June 6 and 13 at the Essex Library. These workshops are designed to introduce beginners to the library edition of

The first week, will be an overview of the major tabs and then doing searches using vital statistics and census records. The second week, you’ll look at getting organized (retrieving you data, storage systems) and then brief introductions to immigration, directories and military records.

Bring your story, an email address and Norma Wright will get you started on a wonderful voyage to documenting your family history. The workshops are free and open to the public but space is limited to four students.

Registration is required to attend.  The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex, CT. Call (860) 767-1560 to register or for more information.


Free Weekend of “Soul Strengthening” at CBSRZ, May 1-3

Alan Morinis

Alan Morinis

CHESTER — The public is invited on the weekend of May 1 to 3 to learn what may seem like (and is) an obscure Jewish teaching – called Mussar – but requires no knowledge of Judaism, only a desire to strengthen one’s soul.

Alan Morinis is the director and founder of the Mussar Institute, dedicated to the idea of “improving or remedying the traits of the soul, to bring the soul to wholeness and holiness.” He explains this in a free program over a three-day span as the Sheldon Kutnick Scholar in Residence at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek in Chester.

As the cover of one of his books says, “Jewish by birth, though from a secular family, Alan Morinis, explored Hinduism and Buddhim as a young man. But in the face of a personal crisis he turned to his Jewish heritage and happened upon a spiritual tradition called Mussar. He soon realized that it is an insightful discipline for self-development, complete with contemplative and transformative practices designed to penetrate the deepest roots of the inner life…. He decided to seek out a Mussar teacher. This was not an easy task, since almost the entire world of Mussar had been swept away in the Holocaust.”

Specifically, Morinis addresses 18 soul traits: humility, patience, gratitude, compassion, order, equanimity, honor, simplicity, enthusiasm, silence, generosity, truth, moderation, loving kindness, responsibility, trust, faith and yirah (a combination of fear and awe, without a true English counterpart).

Of his most recent book, “Everyday Holiness,” the author Daniel Goleman sais, “Morinis chronicles the archetypal odyssey of the spiritual pilgrim in a warm, witty and insightful manner,” and the book has received rave reviews from Publishers Weekly and other commentaries.

Bruce Josephy, a former congregational president who arranged for Morinis’s visit, says, “At our core we are spiritual beings on a material journey, not material beings on a spiritual journey. As physical exercise strengthens one’s body, Mussar practice strengthens one’s soul.”

According to CBSRZ’s rabbi, Rachel Goldenberg, “The Mussar tradition is a beautiful example of how spiritual work can and must transform our most mundane, everyday interactions and experiences.

There is no requirement to sign up for the program. Schedule is as follows:

Friday, May 1, 6 p.m., A Dairy/Vegetarian Shabbat potluck dinner, followed at 7 p.m. by a Shabbat Evening service with an introductory sermon by Morinis, “What is Mussar and Why Should I Care?”

Saturday, May 2, 10 a.m. Shabbat morning service with a sermon by Morinis, “Torah Through a Mussar Lens., followed by a dairy potluck luncheon and, at 1 p.m., a text study entitled, “Why You Are, How You Are and What’s Your Potential?

Sunday, May 3, 11:10 a.m., Experiential workshop for parents and interested adults.

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester.  For more information, visit or call 860-526-8920.


Eight Fire Departments Raise 5,200 Pounds of Food for Shoreline Soup Kitchens

Members of the Westbrook Fire Department help collect food for the needy.

Members of the Westbrook Fire Department help collect food for the needy.

AREAWIDE — The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries’ 4th Annual Firehouse Food Drive was a great success, raising 5,200 pounds of food for local residents in need.  Held on April 11, firefighters and community volunteers worked together to collect food from generous donors throughout the area. The eight fire stations taking part this year included Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Essex, Chester, Deep River, Killingworth, Clinton and Niantic.

Spring can be a challenging time for many food pantries, as there are traditionally fewer food drives. This collection of over 5,000 pounds of food will help to fill the shelves out SSKP’s 5 area food pantries.

“It’s so heartwarming to know that these firefighters, who work so hard year-round to protect us, are willing to come together on a sunny Saturday to answer the call of our most vulnerable neighbors,” said Patty Dowling, SSKP Executive Director. “We saw hundreds of residents – students, families, seniors – some with one bag and others with carloads, coming down to their local fire houses to make sure our shelves would be full. We are so grateful to those who donated and especially to all the fire houses that made this year’s drive a success.”

The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP) provides food and fellowship to people in need and educates the community about hunger and poverty, serving 11 shoreline towns. Founded 26 years ago, they accomplish their mission with the help of over 900 dedicated volunteers. Last year SSKP distributed over one million pounds of food to over 8,300 local residents in need.


Essex Winter Series Takes its Emerging Artists to Essex, Deep River, New London

Andrew Yee of the Attacca Quartet lifts his cello over his head as the musicians describe their instruments to students at Deep River Elementary School.

Andrew Yee of the Attacca Quartet lifts his cello over his head as the musicians describe their instruments to students at Deep River Elementary School.

DEEP RIVER, ESSEX — As part of its robust outreach program, Essex Winter Series (EWS) brings highly-accomplished musical artists to public schools and senior residences in several Shoreline communities each year.

The Attacca Quartet, the New York-based string quartet that appeared on the Essex Winter Series in January, were the 2015 Fenton Brown Emerging Artists who took part in this year’s outreach program. Their whirlwind schedule took them to two cities, three towns, five schools, three senior residences, and one community service organization over the course of just four days, from April 20 to 23.

The members of the Attacca Quartet are violinists Amy Schroeder and Keiko Tokunaga, violist Luke Fleming, and cellist Andrew Yee. Although its members are young–still in their early 30s–the Attacca Quartet is an established and critically-acclaimed ensemble that has been around since 2003. Since its inception, the Attacca Quartet has recognized the importance of bringing high-quality classical music into the community, and have enthusiastically developed their skills in connecting with audiences of all ages in a variety of settings.

The Attacca Quartet and students from the Community Music School in Essex gathered after a string master class on Monday, April 20. Left-Right:   Luke Fleming, Keiko Tokunaga, Nadia PenkoffLidbeck, Noelle Avena, Andrew Yee, Bridget Haines, and Amy Schroeder.

The Attacca Quartet and students from the Community Music School in Essex gathered after a string master class on Monday, April 20. From left to right: Luke Fleming, Keiko Tokunaga, Nadia Penkoff Lidbeck, Noelle Avena, Andrew Yee, Bridget Haines, and Amy Schroeder.

On Monday, April 20, the quartet conducted a master class for string students at the Community Music School in Essex, which is a community partner of EWS. The next day, they performed for and took questions from Middletown High School students and played two concerts at Covenant Village in Cromwell.

New London was the focus of activities on Wednesday, with visits to Jennings Elementary School, Nathan Hale Arts Magnet School, Kindred Crossings, and the after-school program of the Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut. The four-day outreach concluded on Thursday, with a visit to two classes at Deep River Elementary School and the Essex Meadows Health Center.

members of the Attacca Quartet take a bow after playing for students at Deep River Elementary School.

members of the Attacca Quartet take a bow after playing for students at Deep River Elementary School.

The outreach programs were sponsored by the EWS’s Fenton Brown Circle, The Community Music School, and the Community Foundation of Middlesex County.

The extent of the EWS outreach program is the vision of artistic director Mihae Lee. “This program is very important to me, as we need to break down barriers to classical music,” she said. “EWS is committed to touch every age group with the power of music by bringing live classical music to young students and to senior citizens who are not able to come to our concerts.”

For more information of Essex Winter Series and its outreach activities, write to, visit, or call 860-272-4572.


Essex Land Trust Hosts Hike of the Month Today at Viney Hill Brook Preserve

Viney Hill-Jeff Lovelace

Explore one of Essex’s town-owned preserves, the 104-acre Viney Hill property on a hike with the Essex Land Trust tomorrow.  Meet at 9 a.m. at the parking lot at end of Cedar Grove Terrace.

The Essex Parks and Recreation Commission manages the beach, swimming area, picnic grounds and Paw Park. More than 70 acres are left for hiking and nature watching under the aegis of the Essex Conservation Commission.

The Town of Essex acquired the land in 2001. The distinct areas within the park can be recognized by their trees: aspen at the quarry pond; maple, birch and cedar along the quarry trail; oak and maple in the upland areas.

Preserve highlights include a turtle nesting area, several vernal pools and wetland areas. The strikingly beautiful Indigo Bunting nests here regularly.


Tributary Mill Allows OSHS Interns to Experience Environmental Preservation Efforts First-hand 

Gathered for a photo are, from left to right, Tyler Clinton, Ashley Bright, Gray Tripp, Morey Tripp, and Jim Tripp.

Gathered for a photo are, from left to right, Tyler Clinton, Ashley Bright, Gray Tripp, Morey Tripp, and Jim Tripp.

The Tributary Mill has stood strong in the heart of Old Lyme since 1672. Originally used to grind grains such as corn and wheat, the mill often became referred to as Rooks Mill in honor of Edward Rooks, an American impressionist who was enthralled with the mill’s beauty, which has since been the subject of many paintings.

The Tributary Mill in Old Lyme.

The Tributary Mill in Old Lyme.

Purchased by Fran Tripp in 1981, her son Jim and his wife Sandra created the Tributary Mill Conservancy (TMC) that exists today from the original foundation. A nonprofit organization that strives to merge science and art through the conservation of the unique tributary ecosystem, the TMC has serviced its surrounding community in innumerable ways.

The waterfall at the mill.

The waterfall at the mill.

Operated by Jim, a carpenter, and Sandra, a high school chemistry teacher, as well as a variety of additional volunteers of all ages, the TMC works closely with a variety of environmentally oriented organizations such as the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), Mystic Aquarium, and the Quebec-Labrador Foundation.

Smile for the camera! Ashley Bright holds a turtle.

Smile for the camera! Ashley Bright holds a turtle.

During the summer and fall seasons, the TMC focuses its energies on trapping and collecting data from snapping turtles by conducting blood tests, fecal tests, and collecting the leeches found on the turtles for further testing.

In addition, National Geographic recently donated a large number of cameras to put on the backs of the snapping turtles to further track them.

Ashley and Tyler work on transferring the baby salmon.

Ashley and Tyler work on transferring the baby salmon.

In the winter, the TMC turns its attention to hatching Atlantic salmon eggs given to them and regulated by the DEEP. An endangered species, the Atlantic salmon thrive in the unique ecosystem found at the TMC.

The highly efficient filtration system used by the TMC to hatch the eggs, which was engineered by Jim Tripp himself, has resulted in an 18 percent death rate for the eggs, significantly lower than the average 20 percent death rate. The eggs, once hatched, are then released into the surrounding Connecticut River tributaries.

In the spring, the TMC collects data on glass eels. Estimating the number of eels migrating up the Mill Brook as well as weighing trapped eels gives them valuable data, which they then send to the DEEP.

Eels galore!

Eels galore!

The Conservancy also focuses on educating and involving the community in their work. Along with offering tours for school groups ranging from elementary to high schoolers, the Conservancy also provides hands on learning opportunities for middle schoolers, high schoolers, and college students.

Old Saybrook High School seniors Ashley Bright and Tyler Clinton have been deeply impacted by their time at the preserve, which has inspired both of them to pursue careers in environmental science and engineering.

Ashley, who has been interning at the TMC since September, said, “I never expected to get so much out of a high school internship. I feel like I’ve been part of their family. It’s amazing that I’ve been able to do what I’ve done here as a high school student, and I know this experience is something I’ll always remember.”

Tyler, who has been interning at the TMC for two years, echoed Ashley’s sentiment, saying, “I have a second family here,” before going on to praise the kindness of Jim and Sandra Tripp. “They do this out of the kindness of their hearts. They really care about conserving the ecosystem and helping it thrive.”

Jim Tripp notes, “Our original goal was to make a prototype of a mill that could be emulated throughout the area because our location here on the river is such a great place to do wildlife work.”

For more information about the Tributary Mill Conservancy, visit or email Donations to the nonprofit can also be made through the TMC website.


Lori Warner Gallery Hosts Terrarium Workshop with Famed Horticulturalist Tomorrow

CHESTER — Margaret Atwood said, ‘In the Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” This is one of the Lori Warner Gallery’s favorite quotes and it will ring true on Sunday, May 3, when the Gallery welcomes back Tovah Martin, famed horticulturalist, lecturer and author of The New Terrarium, to share her gardening expertise and guide attendees as they create their own “small worlds” under glass.

Avid gardeners and novices alike will enjoy this creative, fun and foolproof method of bringing nature indoors.

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and what better way to share the day with your mother, daughter or to simply create a lovely gift? Terrarium making is “the gardening world’s most rewarding make-and-take, everyone succeeds at a terrarium workshop”, says Martin.

Martin isn’t your average gardener.  You’ll be learning from the best; she literally wrote the book on terrariums and is the author of numerous gardening books including The Unexpected Houseplant, Tasha Tudor’s Garden, A Time to Blossom, and Tasha Tudor’s Heirloom Crafts.  She has appeared on the Martha Stewart Show, The CBS “Early Show” and the PBS gardening series “Cultivating Life” where she served as editorial producer.  Her articles have been published in Garden Design, Horticulture, Coastal Living, This Old House Magazine, House Beautiful and Country Living among many others.

One of the most moving moments in her life occurred when Martin was awarded an Honorary Membership in The Garden Club of America (GCA) and the Litchfield Garden Club in May 2010 and when she became the recipient of the GCA’s medal for outstanding literary achievement. In 2013, she received the Gustav Mehlquist Award—the highest honor bestowed by the Connecticut Horticultural Society.

Lori Warner Studio / Gallery opened in the center of Chester, CT in June of 2009 and has developed a reputation as a unique source for creativity through their offerings of workshops, lectures, demonstrations and exhibitions. Her fine collection of artwork and objects truly “make an impression”.

The two-hour workshop and book-signing, will be held Sunday May 3, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Lori Warner Gallery in Chester. A workshop fee of $65 per participant will be charaged, plus your choice of vessel (from $8-$40, depending on size).  Appropriate for ages 8 and up.

‘The New Terrarium’ book will be available for sale — Martin will personalize copies at the end of the workshop. Space is very limited.

Contact the gallery to reserve your space — a deposit of $30 will be taken at sign up.


Old Lyme Country Club Kicks Off 2015 Season with Get-Acquainted Scramble, Essex Ladies are Winners

The members of the WGA gather for a photo at their annual meeting.

The members of the WGA gather for a photo at their annual meeting. Photo courtesy of the Old Lyme Country Club.

The Old Lyme Country Club Women’s Golf Association (WGA) held it first event of the season on Thursday, April 23. The WGA ladies participated in the 9-hole Get Acquainted Scramble under unseasonably cool conditions.

The 1st place winners with a score of 27 were: Helene Nichols (Essex), Paula Bingham (Lyme), Carolyn Daddona (Essex), and MJ Bertolini (Old Lyme).

The 2nd place winners, also with a score of 27, were: Harley Manning (Essex), Bev Windatt (Essex), Kate Bollo (Essex), and Louise Ferrebee (Old Lyme).

The 3rd place winners with a score of 31 were: Mardee Moore (Guilford), Carol Gordon (Essex), and Martha Norcia (Old Saybrook).


With Protection of The Preserve, Partners Secure Historic Conservation Gain

Conservation acquisition of almost 1,000-acre coastal forest in Old Saybrook, Essex and Westbrook expands Connecticut’s conservation legacy and is the culmination many years of work.

OLD SAYBROOK, CT—A coalition led by The Trust for Public Land and including The Nature Conservancy today announced protection of The Preserve, a huge swath of undeveloped forest located primarily in Old Saybrook.

To support this project, The Nature Conservancy will hold a conservation easement over almost 900 acres of The Preserve.

Over the years, the Conservancy was involved in many efforts with partners to protect the land. In the end, the Trust for Public Land (TPL) took the lead and, in 2013, negotiated The Preserve’s acquisition from River Sound Development LLC. TPL secured $10 million for project costs with financial commitments from the state, Old Saybrook, Essex and many public and private donors. The state and Old Saybrook are sharing ownership, with the Essex Land Trust owning 70 acres in Essex. The state will hold an easement over the acreage in Essex.

“Helping protect a place of this magnitude is an opportunity that simply does not come around often. When it does, you take it,” said Frogard Ryan, state director for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut. “It’s gratifying for the Conservancy to be able to play a crucial role in this milestone—a success that adds substantially to Connecticut’s remarkable legacy of conservation.”

The Preserve is an extraordinary expanse of forest, wetlands and vernal pools. It includes the headwaters of the Oyster River. It is a stopover spot for migratory birds and provides habitat for dozens of animal and plant species.

“The Preserve was the last remaining opportunity in Southern New England to protect a block of coastal forest this large,” Ryan said. “We’re inspired—and galvanized for the future—by the leadership and vision of the many partners who made this achievement possible.”

In 2014, to provide extra protection for public lands, the Connecticut General Assembly gave the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection authority to grant protective easements over state park and forest land to nonprofit organizations. Lawmakers also granted authority for an easement over The Preserve. Because of the Conservancy’s experience, the state, TPL and Old Saybrook asked the Conservancy to hold that easement.

The Conservancy is thrilled to be able to accept the easement and is grateful for financial support for long-term costs from TPL and philanthropist Joan Livingston Tweedy, her family and their Tortuga Foundation.

“This is an iconic conservation success story, and we’re honored to play a part in it,” said Sarah Pellegrino, land protection and strategies manager for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut. “The Trust for Public Land, the Tortuga Foundation, the state of Connecticut, the towns of Old Saybrook and Essex, Connecticut Fund for the Environment: The list goes on. So many people have played a part in making this dream a reality.”

David Sutherland, government relations director for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut said: “Connecticut’s conservation community long has been working to preserve this property. Through years of hopes and setbacks, the impact of raging real estate markets and the weight of global financial forces, The Preserve and the wildlife that lives on it has endured. This acquisition will enable them to continue to thrive for decades to come.”


Last Chance to See ‘Five Women Wearing the Same Dress’ Tonight

CHESTER — The Meeting House Players Present Five Women Wearing The Same Dress, a comedy written by Alan Ball (American Beauty, HBO’s True Blood).    The production opened on Friday, April 24.

The play will be performed twice more on May 1 and 2, at the Meeting House located on 4 Liberty St. in Chester, Conn.  The curtain rises each evening at 8 p.m. and at 2 p.m. for a matinee performance on Saturday, May 2.

Five Women Wearing the Same Dress is set in 1992 during an ostentatious wedding reception at a Knoxville, Tenn., estate. During the reception, five reluctant, identically-clad bridesmaids take refuge in an upstairs bedroom, each with her own reason to avoid the proceedings below. As the afternoon – and alcohol – wears on, these very different women discover a common bond in this wickedly funny and touching celebration of female friendship.

The play’s six member ensemble spotlights a gifted troupe of area actors that features Beth Nischan, Abby Roccapriore, Jessica Davis, Vanessa Vradenburgh, Kristine Donahue and Daniel Nischan.  The play is being directed by Missy Burmeister.

Tickets for Five Women Wearing The Same Dress are on sale now.  Tickets prices are $20 for Preferred Seating tickets and $15 for Open Seating tickets.  Reservation requests for both Preferred and Open seating are available by calling 860-526-3684 or by e-mail at  Unreserved tickets will be available at the door.

Payment is accepted by cash or check only — no credit cards.  Please note that this play contains adult language and themes and may not be suitable for all audiences.

For additional information please contact Debbie Alldredge at 860-526-3684. The Meeting House Players is a not-for-profit community theatre organization.  We pursue the theatre arts with the talents and interests of people throughout Connecticut.


Final Performance of Riverway Studio’s Production About Online Dating Tonight


DEEP RIVER — OkCupid…eHarmony…PlentyOfFish…ChristianMingle…JDate…FarmersOnly!  What do all these names have in common? They are dating sites that strike fear in the hearts of some, pique curiosity in the minds of others, and for a third group, they are the familiar digital destinations on the road to finding a mate.

For folks who grew up with rotary phones and black and white television, online dating can be a mysterious, funny and perhaps intimidating experience. Ears perk up when you say “Online dating” in a group of folks over 40. Either they have stories to tell, or they are curious about how it works.

Whether you’re thinking of dipping your toe into the online dating waters or you’re already out there swimming…this show is for you! Created by Todd Alan Little and Ira Sakolsky, this hilarious and touching look at the search for love in the digital age will make you laugh, cry and maybe…just maybe…feel like you are not alone.

Both Ira and Todd are experienced at the online dating game, and they are also seasoned performers with credits in theater, TV and film. As good friends often do, they regularly meet for lunch and chat about work, life, and of course, love, and over the years they began to compare their dating notes. As time passed their series of casual conversations evolved into the germ of an idea….why not create something for the stage that would bring their stories to life, and shed light on the kaleidoscopic world of online dating.

What began as just two guys talking developed into a full-blown theatrical production, complete with original music, lyrics and improvisation.
Their partnership is a winning combination, with both of them being gifted singers, performers, writers and musicians. In addition, each of them brings unique talents and perspectives to the table.

Ira owns the Riverway Studio and is a Grammy-nominated composer. He has been seen on B’way, Off-B’way, Film & TV. As a director, his production of the North Pole Express, in collaboration with the Essex Steam Train, has played to sold out audiences for the last 10 years.

Todd has extensive theater, production, video and lighting experience. He has made his living for the past 30 years in theater either onstage or off; acting, managing, directing, and helping to create new shows. From Kabuki theater in Chicago to years of managing musical productions at the Goodspeed, to creating improv shows with Ira, he has a few tricks up his sleeve.

Ira and Todd are also both trained in improvisational technique – particularly Theater Games – an improv method created by the late Viola Spolin, whose son Paul Sills co-founded Second City in Chicago. Ira and Todd are utilizing theater games as an integral part of their rehearsal process.

“Methuselah’s Guide To Online Dating” gives the audience a glimpse into the lives of four singles as they navigate the online dating scene and share their experiences as they couple…and, in some cases, uncouple. Their stories will touch your heart and make you smile as you follow them on their sometimes-bumpy, never-boring journey on the road to love.

Featuring Becca Atkins, Elijah Manning, Suzanne Powers, Todd Alan Little & Ira Sakolsky, performances are on May 1 & 2 at 8:00 pm at the Deep River Town Hall Theater, 174 Main Street, Deep River. Light refreshments will be served following the performance. Tickets are $25.00 General Seating. Advance Reservations Required.

To purchase tickets call: 860-873-3404 or Email:

Visit and Like the show on Facebook:

Bring a non-perishable food item for the Deep River Food Bank.


Essex Resident Elected to Girl Scouts of Connecticut’s Board of Directors

ESSEX — Essex resident Jennifer Ahern was recently elected to the Girl Scouts of Connecticut’s Board of Directors at its annual meeting on April 26.

Ahern is Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning and Sales Delivery for Webster Bank.

Visit  to view her biography.


Celebrate May Day in Chester at the ‘May Daze Flower Party,’ Tonight

Luminous glass artist Mundy Hepburn will have his unique neon flower sculptures at Chester Gallery and several other galleries.

Luminous glass artist Mundy Hepburn will have his unique neon flower sculptures at Chester Gallery and several other galleries.

CHESTER — The beginning of May is always celebrated in Chester Village with the “May Daze Night,” hosted by the Chester Merchants.

This year, May Daze Night happens to fall on May Day – Friday, May 1, the centuries-old festival celebrating flowers and Spring – so the town is celebrating with a flower party. Blooms, petals and buds will take center stage at the shops, restaurants and galleries from 5 to 9 p.m.

Visit the Spring Show at Maple & Main Gallery of Art during May Daze Night on May 1, have a sip of May Wine made with sweet woodruff flowers, and enter to win this painting, “Shower Flowers,” by Chester artist Claudia Van Nes.

Visit the Spring Show at Maple & Main Gallery of Art during May Daze Night on May 1, have a sip of May Wine made with sweet woodruff flowers, and enter to win this painting, “Shower Flowers,” by Chester artist Claudia Van Nes.

After the long and brutal winter we’ve just had, we all deserve a flower-filled Spring celebration!

Take advantage of special sales during the evening at the shops and galleries. Connecticut River Artisans will have a drawing for its handmade butterfly wreath and handmade butterflies will be given to all visitors at Bell’Oliva.

Floral accessories, such as hair ties, leather key rings and magnets, will be given away with purchases at several shops.

Enjoy the tasting of Rosé wines at Chester Package Store during the evening, a cup of May Day Flower Punch at Brown Eyed Girl Salon, and a Spring Fling Mini Cocktail at ELLE Design Studio.

Lark is celebrating flower power on May 1 during the Flower Party stroll until 9 p.m. Giant paper flowers and butterflies have landed! There will be a special sale on these blossom blouses.  Just $38!

Lark is celebrating flower power on May 1 during the Flower Party stroll until 9 p.m. Giant paper flowers and butterflies have landed! There will be a special sale on these blossom blouses. Just $38!

Meanwhile, the Dizzy River Band will be playing your classic favorites on the patio at the Pattaconk from 6 to 9 p.m. And for kids of all ages, join the Chester Land Trust at Carini Preserve (on Water Street) starting at 5 p.m. to build a “raft “out of recyclable materials (on your own or as a team).  Materials will be provided by the Chester Land Trust. Huck will perhaps be there! Come dressed as Tom, Jim, Becky, Aunt Polly or Mark Twain himself. Rafts will be launched at the “new” bridge at 6 p.m. There will be gifts for all launchers.

More details are at and FindItInChesterCT/


Maple & Main Offers Free Draw for Painting and More During May Daze

'Happy' by Pam Carlson of Essex

‘Happy’ by Pam Carlson of Essex

CHESTER –- Maple and Main Gallery is offering $100 unframed, original paintings of flowers and a free drawing for a flower painting during the town-wide May Daze celebration May 1 through May 3.

This year the shops, restaurants and galleries will be throwing a flower party with floral themed events and offerings, which start with the May Daze stroll Friday, May 1, from 5 to 9 p.m.

Maple and Main will be serving May wine, appetizers and chocolates.

'Lily and Eucalyptus' by Gray Jacobik of Deep River

‘Lily and Eucalyptus’ by Gray Jacobik of Deep River

The gallery will have a display of  small floral paintings – all for sale for $100 -through the weekend. Also, through the weekend, the gallery will offer a free drawing for “Shower Flowers”, a small, framed floral painting by Chester artist Claudia Van Nes.

The Spring Exhibit of paintings and sculptures by 37 Connecticut artists is on display and on the lower level in the Stone Gallery, a special, month-long show by the Shoreline Artists Workshops opens Friday, May 1.

In addition, artist Mundy Hepburn will have a neon flower sculpture in the window.

Maple and Main Gallery, at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit thegallery online at or email or call 860-526-6065.


Spring Street Studio, Gallery Hosts Opening Reception During May Daze Art Stroll Tonight

Leif Nilsson’s Spring Street Studio and Gallery hosts an Opening Reception during the May Daze Art Stroll this evening for an exhibit of paintings of the New Eyebrow Dormer Garden from 5 to 8 p.m.

The Spring Street Gallery is located at One Spring Street, Chester, CT 06412
For further information, call (860) 526-2077 or visit