May 6, 2021

Archives for June 2015

Marine Art Exhibition on View at Lyme Art Association Through July

Lyme Art Association (LAA) presents its summer exhibition, American Waters, in the LAA’s sky-lit galleries from June 12 through July 31. The exhibition will feature work by the country’s premier maritime artists, who are members of the American Society of Marine Artists as invited guests, alongside exciting marine work by LAA artists.

An opening reception for the exhibition will be held Friday, June 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the LAA, 90 Lyme St., Old Lyme, Conn. All are welcome and refreshments will be served.

'Marshall Point' by Kent Winchell.

‘Marshall Point’ by Kent Winchell.

Russ Kramer, an internationally recognized marine painter, will jury the exhibition. Kramer comments, “What better place for an exhibition of marine-inspired art than the Lyme Art Association?” continuing, “It is a true landmark in our region’s artistic history, whose proximity to the Lieutenant and Connecticut rivers and Long Island Sound has inspired artists for a century. These new works in the exhibition American Waters are by many of the finest practitioners of marine art working today. To think the same subjects continue to inspire us 100 years later is testament to this area’s enduring, irresistible allure.”

'Afternoon Light' by the late Yves Parent.

‘Afternoon Light’ by the late Yves Parent.

Concurrent with the American Waters exhibition, the LAA presents a large exhibition of Yves Parent maritime paintings. Many of these paintings are of coastal landmarks, recognizable to boaters who have spent time in the waters around the New England coast. This will be the final opportunity to view and purchase paintings from the estate of Yves Parent at the LAA.

Lyme Art Association Board President, Katherine Simmons, states, “American Waters continues an LAA tradition of exhibiting the very best of fine contemporary American marine painting. We are grateful to the members of the American Society of Marine Artists who are joining us as invited guests, and we would especially like to thank our premier media sponsor, The Day, and our presenting sponsor, Suisman Shapiro Attorneys at Law, along with juror Russ Kramer, for making this exhibition happen.”

The LAA was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Association’s home is a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within a national historic district.

Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m.

For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call (860) 434-7802.


Popular Essex Shad Bake Takes Place Today at CT River Museum

1.Preparing Shad – Rotary Club of Essex volunteers prepare shad at the 2014 bake the traditional way by nailing them onto oak boards and using a specially prepared rub.

1. Preparing Shad – Rotary Club of Essex volunteers prepare shad at the 2014 bake the
traditional way by nailing them onto oak boards and using a specially prepared rub.

ESSEX — Fifty-seven years ago, the Rotary Club of Essex introduced the quintessential New England shoreline tradition; a dining experience known as a shad bake.  Yankee Magazine has called it one of the “Top 20 Summer Events”.

The Essex Shad Bake returns to the Connecticut River Museum on Saturday, June 6, from 3 to 6:30 p.m.  This year, the bake is made possible through the generous support of Admiral Sponsor Gowrie Group, along with Fishermen Sponsors Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services, and Guilford Savings Bank.

The museum’s executive director, Christopher Dobbs says, “We are once again pleased to host and partner with the Rotary Club of Essex on this iconic event that celebrates part of the River’s heritage and that supports the many worthwhile projects of the Rotary.” This volunteer-run event has been organized by the Rotary Club of Essex and is now coordinated by Bake Master Joseph Shea.

Bill Hoffstetler demonstrates the fine art of removing bones  from shad; a fish referred to by local Native Americans as the “inside out porcupine”.

Bill Hoffstetler demonstrates the fine art of removing bones
from shad; a fish referred to by local Native Americans as the “inside out porcupine”.

Shea states, “We offer one of the most unique culinary traditions in New England; at one of the most historic sites along the River. . . it is a winning combination!”  You might find one of your favorite doctors or dentists at the de-nailing table where they take the shad off the oak planks or enjoy a freshly shucked clam or oyster from a local banker.

Join seasoned Shad Bake pioneers for a story from shad bakes of yesteryear including the year of the big flood.  The Shad Museum in Haddam, the Connecticut River Museum, and the Connecticut River Watershed Council will also offer programs during the day on the history and traditions of the shad fishery.

Connecticut River shad baking in front of fire on oak planks.

Connecticut River shad baking in front of fire on oak planks.

For shad lovers, the lure is the secret ingredients and the authentic method of preparation and cooking handed down from Connecticut natives.  Done in front of the fire, the fish picks up the smoky flavor of the fire with the seasoned oak boards on which it is cooked.  Add to this delicacy homemade potato salad, tossed green salad, and scrumptious pies from Lyman Orchards and you have yourself a gourmet meal.

Don’t care for shad?  The event also offers BBQ chicken and hot dogs.

Share a piece of Connecticut and Essex history with your friends and family.  In addition to the food, participants will enjoy live music and touring the museum which will be open until 6 p.m.  The atmosphere is vibrant with antique cars, picnickers, and the delicious smell of shad roasting around the open fire.

To whet your appetite, on Wednesday, June 3 at 7:30 p.m., the Connecticut River Museum will host a shad fishing excursion on board RiverQuest.  Participants will get a chance to hear about traditional shad fishing, see related artifacts, and go on a boat ride to view shad fisherman ply their trade on the water.  The boat ride will include dessert and non-alcoholic beverages.  Beer and wine will be available for purchase.

Buy your tickets today to the Shad Bake.  The $30 adult and $10 child (10 and under) ticket include the full meal and admission to the museum.  Beverages (soda, beer and wine) will be available at an additional price.  No carry-in alcohol will be permitted.

To purchase tickets, visit or buy them in person at the Centerbrook Package Store and the Connecticut River Museum.  For additional information on the Shad Fishing Excursion, visit the Connecticut River Museum’s website.

Onsite and street parking at the Connecticut River Museum is limited.  On the day of the event, an Essex Meadows shuttle will be running between the museum and several key parking locations that include the Essex Town Hall parking lot and Pratt House field (29 West Ave.).  The free shuttle service will start at 3 p.m. and run until 7:30 p.m. with pick-ups and drop-offs every 15 minutes.


The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street and is open 10 am to 5 pm, closed Mondays until Memorial Day. The Museum, located in the historic Steamboat Dock building, offers exhibits and programs about the history and environment of the Connecticut River. For a full listing of Museum programs and events, go to or call 860-767-8269.


The Rotary Club of Essex is the local chapter of Rotary International that is made up of service minded professionals.  The club and its members are committed to improving the community, connecting with other professionals, sharing their time and experience with the young, supporting global causes, and using their skills to help others.  For more information about the Shad Bake and Rotary Club visit


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Photo Captions:


  1. Preparing Shad – Rotary Club of Essex volunteers prepare shad at the 2014 bake the

traditional way by nailing them onto oak boards and using a specially prepared rub.


  1. Baking Shad – Connecticut River shad baking in front of fire on oak planks.


  1. Boning Demonstration – Bill Hoffstetler demonstrates the fine art of removing bones

from shad; a fish referred to by local Native Americans as the “inside out porcupine”.


Community Music School Jazz Ensemble Performs Today

CMS Jazz Ensemble
Community Music School will present a concert by the CMS Jazz Ensemble on Saturday, June 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Centerbrook Meetinghouse, 51 Main Street, Centerbrook.

The ensemble, comprised of students ages 13 to 18, will perform a mixed repertoire including pieces by Scott Joplin, Thelonious Monk, Earl Hagen and much more. The concert will feature group ensemble performance with an emphasis on improvisation.

Directed by Tom Briggs, the CMS Jazz Ensemble is now in its 19th year. Briggs is a retired member of the US Coast Guard Band and former musical director of the Coast Guard Masters of Swing. He is a well-known percussionist, pianist, and composer and has been on the CMS faculty since 1985.

The concert is free and open to the public. Call 860-767-0026 for additional information.

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. CMS 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.

Visit or call 860-767-0026 for program information.


Chester Opposition Delays Vote on Proposed School District Full Regionalization Plan

REGION 4 — Plans for a three-town referendum vote on a proposed kindergarten-sixth grade regionalization plan have been pushed back after a meeting Monday between district and town leaders brought information about a possible new option for dividing elementary education costs among the three towns, and highlighted opposition to the current regionalization plan from elected officials in Chester.

The special meeting, which included board of education chairpersons and members of the boards of selectmen and finance for the district towns of Chester, Deep River, and Essex, came after the Chester boards of selectmen and finance issued a statement declaring unanimous opposition to the current plan and a related inter-local agreement intended to address cost shifts and other issues arising from full regionalization of the elementary schools. School board members had been planning for a possible Sept. 29 referendum on K-6 regionalization, which must be approved by voters of all three towns.

The Chester statement, drafted at a May 28 meeting of the two boards, contended the proposed plan and agreement would have a “negative financial impact” on Chester. In a reflection of concerns that declining student enrolment and full regionalization could lead to grade moves or even a closure of Chester Elementary school, the statement also calls for local voter approval, by town meeting vote or referendum, of any shifts of grades among the elementary schools.

Chester finance board member Lori Clymas urged school leaders to “slow down” and explore further revisions to the plan. “We want to work it out but we feel; like we’re being rushed.” she said. Chester First Selectman Edmund Meehan said the plan that was developed over the past three months needs further review, while adding, “We don’t have to go back to square one.”

Essex Board of Education Chairman Lon Seidman, a strong supporter of the K-6 regionalization, said new legislation approved last week in the state House of Representatives would give the school district greater flexibility in assessing taxpayers in each town regarding the cost of operating the elementary schools. Current state law requires using student average daily membership (ADM) from each town to divide cost shares in a regional school budget, as has been done with the spending plan for the middle school and high school since the Region 4 school district for grades 7-12 was established in the early 1950s.

Current levels of enrollment and per pupil spending would leave Deep River at a $378,000 financial disadvantage in 2016-2017 under a K-6 grade regionalization and budget split based only on student ADM. To address this and build support in Deep River, a draft inter-local agreement would adjust budget shares, with Chester and Essex paying higher budget shares in amounts projected to range from $201,000 to $173,000 for Chester over the next four years and from $177,000 to $65,000 for Essex through 2019-2020.

Seidman said the legislation pushed by State Rep. Phil Miller (D-36th) would allow the district to develop its own plan for sharing elementary school expenses. He acknowledged a full review of options under the new legislation would require a delay in any votes on the K-6 regionalization. The new legislation still needs approval from the State Senate, with the 2015 legislation session scheduled to end at midnight Wednesday.

The Chester call for a local vote on elementary school grade changes also generated discussion Monday, with school board members urging the Chester officials to be more flexible on the process for approving grade reconfigurations at the elementary schools. Superintendent of Schools Ruth Levy said any major shifts in elementary school grades are unlikely over the next four years, except for a possible move of sixth graders to John Winthrop Middle School, commenting, “We’re getting mired down over control and we need to come together.”

Region 4 Board of Education Chairman Chris Riley said his board, which by law must initiate referenda on further regionalization, would defer any vote on sending the plan to a referendum in September. Riley noted a regionalization referendum on Nov. 3, when the three towns hold municipal elections, is still possible, but far from certain.


Chester Museum at The Mill Tells Chester’s Story

The Chester Museum at The Mill is the new permanent home of the two millstones from the Waterhouse Grist Mill that operated between 1740 and 1810.

The Chester Museum at The Mill is the new permanent home of the two millstones from the Waterhouse Grist Mill that operated between 1740 and 1810.

CHESTER — The Chester Museum at The Mill opened for its sixth year on May 31. Owned and operated by the Chester Historical Society since 2000, the museum is located on the historic 1850s Griswold Mill site, overlooking a waterfall and the Pattaconk Brook near the center of town. The mill site was once used to produce anchors, wagon springs and augers.

Two exhibits, filling the two floors of the museum, tell the story of the life, development and growth of Chester, since it was first home to the Wagunk Indians.

New this year is the first floor exhibit, “Pastimes in Past Times: Chester at Play,” curated by Keith Dauer and Sandy Senior-Dauer. From dolls and blocks to Lotto and Erector Sets, the exhibit focuses on the ways Chester families spent their leisure time indoors, as well as outdoors with baseball games and winter sports such as sledding and skating.

The exhibit includes an interactive section of toys and games for children of all ages.

On the second floor of the museum (reachable by elevator as well as stairs) is the permanent award-winning exhibit, “Streams of Change: Life & Industry along the Pattaconk,” which interprets the growth and evolution of Chester and how the town adapted over 300 years. Of special interest this year is a piece of the 1913 trolley track unearthed from under Main Street last December and the story of how it was found.

Dolls, a dollhouse and a doll carriage are featured in the Chester “Pastimes” exhibit as an example of playtime enjoyed by little girls for hundreds of years. This doll, owned by the Chester Historical Society, dates back to the early 1900s and has human hair.

Dolls, a dollhouse and a doll carriage are featured in the Chester “Pastimes” exhibit as an example of playtime enjoyed by little girls for hundreds of years. This doll, owned by the Chester Historical Society, dates back to the early 1900s and has human hair.

Play Ball! Baseball was a perennially favorite game in Chester, along with all the Connecticut River Valley towns. This left-handed 1920s baseball glove was made by the A.G. Spalding Bros. Company and is made of kangaroo skin.

Play Ball! Baseball was a perennially favorite game in Chester, along with all the Connecticut River Valley towns. This left-handed 1920s baseball glove was made by the A.G. Spalding Bros. Company and is made of kangaroo skin.

Outside, the front of the museum has recently been landscaped with native plantings.  Two historic millstones, probably the oldest Chester artifacts, flank the front door.  These enhancements were made possible through a grant from the Community Fund of Middlesex County and the contributions of Landscape Specialties.

The Chester Museum at The Mill is open to the public for self-guided tours on Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m. and Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., through the end of October. It is air-conditioned as well as handicapped accessible. Admission is free.

For more information, visit or


Essex Garden Club Honors Barbara Edwards

Pictured from left to right are Linda Newberg, President of the Essex Garden Club, Augie Pampel, club member and Essex Tree Warden with members of the Edwards family:  Kem Edwards, Debbi Lindstrom, Sarah Edwards Feeney, David Edwards, Mary Edwards Mather, and Lucy, the family yellow labrador.

Pictured from left to right are Linda Newberg, President of the Essex Garden Club, Augie Pampel, club member and Essex Tree Warden with members of the Edwards family: Kem Edwards, Debbi Lindstrom, Sarah Edwards Feeney, David Edwards, Mary Edwards Mather, and Lucy, the family yellow labrador.

ESSEX — The Essex Garden Club has planted a tree in celebration of the life of Barbara Edwards, longtime member of the club, avid gardener, and lover of all thing growing.  The tree, A London Plane (Plantanus x Acerifolia), can be seen on Dennison Rd., Essex, across the street from the Edwards homestead.

Pictured from left to right are Linda Newberg, President of the Essex Garden Club, Augie Pampel, club member and Essex Tree Warden with members of the Edwards family:  Kem Edwards, Debbi Lindstrom, Sarah Edwards Feeney, David Edwards, Mary Edwards Mather, and Lucy, the family yellow lab.


Weekly Bingo at The Estuary Through Summer

The new Bingo board at the Estuary Seniors Center.

Proudly displaying the new Bingo board at the Estuary Senior Center.

OLD SAYBROOK – The Estuary Council of Seniors, Inc. (ECSI) has announced the Grand Opening of BINGO at their facility, located at 220 Main Street on Thursday, June 18, at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.) Join in on the fun for this weekly event. Admission, including game package, is $12 per player. All are welcome. Cash prizes.

The Estuary Council of Seniors Inc. (ECSI) is a non-profit regional senior center located in the M. Monica Eggert Senior Center on the Connecticut River Estuary at 220 Main Street in Old Saybrook. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for people 50 years and older.

The ECSI is a community resource for the nine-town Estuary region’s residents over 50-years-old providing nutrition, transportation, health support services, education opportunities, and socialization.

For more information, call 860-388-1611 or visit our website at


Artists of Gallery One Exhibit at ELLE Design Studio in Chester Through Aug. 30

Forced Narcissus, by Catherine Christiano, on linen, 14 x 8 inches, 2005.

Forced Narcissus, by Catherine Christiano, on linen, 14 x 8 inches, 2005.

CHESTER — Gallery One, a cooperative of mid-career artists working in a wide variety of media and styles from representational to abstract, including painting, sculpture and works on paper, will exhibit at the ELLE Design Studio from June 2 through Aug. 30, with a reception on Friday, June 5, from 5 to 8 p.m.

“We are very pleased to have this opportunity to exhibit our artists’ work in Chester,” says Judith Barbour Osborne, “and particularly at ELLE Design Studio, both of which are art destinations.”

Gallery One artists include David Brown, Old Saybrook; Ashby Carlisle, Old Lyme; Catherine Christiano, Old Lyme; Bette Ellsworth, Madison; Mary Fussell, Clinton; Gray Jacobik, Deep River; Judith Barbour Osborne, Ivoryton; T. Willie Raney, Ivoryton; Diana Rogers, Clinton; Victoria Sivigny, Meriden; and Jill Vaughn, Ivoryton.

The Artists of Gallery One, whose vision is to provide southeastern Connecticut with a stimulating resource and to support one another artists, exhibit in various locations along the Connecticut shoreline from Stonington to New Haven. The Artists will be showing at the Mystic Arts Center Sept. 25 through Nov. 7 (in the Leibig Gallery). Additional information, the artists and any upcoming exhibitions can be found at

ELLE Design Studio is open from Tuesday through Saturday from 11am until 6pm, Sunday from 10am until 4pm, and by appointment.

For more information, visit Gallery One online at and the ELLE Design Studio at


Old Saybrook HS Senior Nochera Partners with OSW & OS Park & Rec to Benefit Vista

spring camp_kids_playing

OLD SAYBROOK — More than two dozen boys and their families met in Clark Park this past Sunday to get ready for the 2015 football season.  The Old Saybrook-Westbrook (OSW) Youth Football Clinic is an annual event, but this year’s clinic was much more than spring training.
spring camp 1-1
Old Saybrook High School (OSHS) senior Sam Nochera chose the OSW clinic as his senior project and has directed all the proceeds to benefit the Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center where Nochera has been a volunteer since 2011.  Nochera was joined by several OSW coaches and a few of his OSW football buddies – Connor Eastman, a senior at Eastern Connecticut State University, Brendan McElhone, a junior at Western Connecticut State University, and Ethan Casberg, a fellow OSHS senior heading to the University of Connecticut in the fall.
The boys had a chance to train and try out the new tackling dummy while parents had the opportunity to talk to coaches and board members as wellas see the equipment and level of commitment to player safety.
Nochera chose the project to benefit the program he credits with teaching him dedication and perseverance.  “I want the kids to take away from my project that with hard work and perseverance they will be able to accomplish their goals whether on the football field or another facet of life. And that helping and giving back to something you truly support is always a good move.”
spring camp_group_pic
This coming fall Nochera starts his freshman year with a double major in International Relations and Business at Tulane University, La.
A second clinic will take place on Sunday, June 7, from 9 to 11 a.m.
For more information or to register, visit
To donate, make checks payable to Vista with the notation Ed Gallant Financial Aid Fund.
To register for the 2015 OSW Football & Cheer season, visit

Roto Frank of America Hosts Manufacturer’s Meeting at Chester HQ

Chester First Selectman spoke at the event.

Chester First Selectman Ed Meehan gave welcoming remarks at the event.

CHESTER — Addressing the challenges of the growing availability of number of jobs with higher level manufacturers in the state and developing skilled workers to fill those positions was the focus of a special meeting for members of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce Manufacturing Council on May 27, hosted by Roto Frank of America, Inc. at the company’s North American headquarters in Chester, CT.

Chris Demou (left) and Larry McHugh

Roto Frank of America President & CEO Chris Demou (left) and Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce President Larry McHugh

The well-attended event attracted more than a dozen manufacturing companies i nMiddlesex County, as well representatives from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, and the U.S. Department of Commerce. After welcoming remarks by Chester First Selectman Ed Meehan, Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce President Larry McHugh, and Roto Frank of America President & CEO Chris Dimou, attendees listened to presentations from members of the University of Connecticut and the German American Chamber of Commerce.

Lawrence Silbart

Lawrence Silbart

Lawrence K. Silbart, MPH, Ph.D., UConn’s Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives, discussed highlights of UConn’s Next Generation Connecticut, an initiative designed to expand educational opportunities, research, and innovation in the STEM disciplines at UConn over the next decade, which includes a new 125,000 square-foot Technology Park facility.

Anson Ma, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, in UConn’s Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Department, addressed the audience on UConn’s additive manufacturing initiatives, with a focus on the Additive Manufacturing Innovation Center and the learning opportunities for students in realizing the full potential of additive manufacturing for metals, plastics, and biomaterials.

Tom Dzimian, Director, Career Services of the German American Chamber of Commerce, discussed skills and innovation strategies that have been developed and used successfully in Germany and which can be used to strengthen U.S, manufacturing training programs.

Founded in 1979, Roto Frank of America, Inc. is a Chester, Connecticut-based manufacturer of window and door hardware. Roto Frank of America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Roto AG, a global company headquartered in Germany, with 13 production plants and 40 subsidiaries worldwide.

Roto Frank of America offers solutions for North American and European hardware applications, has an extensive product line including its renowned X-DRIVETM casement and awning window systems, sash locks, window-opening- control-devices, sliding patio door systems, and European window and door hardware, among others.

For more information, visit

The Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce is the largest Chamber in the state, with more than 2,200 members and encompassing nine geographically-based divisions throughout Middlesex County. The Chamber hosts a number of large-scale events, such as the Middlesex County Business to Business Expo, member breakfasts and dinners featuring notable speakers, including U.S. Senator John McCain and UConn President Susan Herbst.


New Town Photo Category at This Year’s Chester Fair

AREAWIDE — What makes a town special? Take a picture.

An appealing category, Town Photo, has been added to the annual Chester Fair Photography Contest for 2015. Photos should capture the spirit and/or beauty of any Connecticut town. First, second and third place ribbons and prizes will be awarded. As a bonus, Events Magazine will be selecting a photo from this category to appear on the cover of one of its quarterly town-wide publications.

This year’s Chester Fair will be held August 28-30 at the Chester Fairgrounds. Full Chester Fair information, including the complete entry guide, can be found at


New North Main Street Park Opens in Essex, Honors Deceased “Daughter” of Essex Resident Bomze

Morgana’s sculpture receives an embrace from Ina Bomze.

Morgana’s sculpture receives an embrace from Ina Bomze.

ESSEX — Essex has a new park at the corner of North Main and New City Streets thanks to the generosity of Ina Bomze, who lives across the street from the park.

Speaking on May 31 at the opening ceremony for the new park, which is dedicated to Bomze’s late, much beloved companion, Morgana, were Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman and State Representative Phil Miller (D-36th). In addition to his attendance, Rep. Miller brought to the ceremony a state legislative resolution commemorating the new park’s opening.

 Essex First Selectman Normal Needleman (far left) and State Representative Phil Miller (center), while Ina Bomze (right) looks on before the sculpture unveiling.

Essex First Selectman Normal Needleman (front row, left) looks on while State Representative Phil Miller (center) reads the citation from the state and Ina Bomze (immediate right of Miller) listens intently.

The central focus of the new park’s opening ceremonies, however, was the unveiling of a life-size sculpture of Morgana. Before she passed away a short time ago, Morgana was owned for almost 10 years by Bomze. After Morgana’s death, Bomze decided to memorialize Morgana’s life by creating a new town park, featuring a sculpture of the dog that she called her “daughter.”

Morgana’s sculpture with Ina Bomze and sculptor Helen M. Johnson.

Morgana’s sculpture with Ina Bomze and sculptor Helene M. Johnson.

To fulfill her dream of memorializing Morgana, Bomze purchased the vacant land at the corner of North Main and New City Streets. She then arranged for the dilapidated building on the site to be removed and also had the property attractively landscaped.

Next, Bomze commissioned noted sculptor, Helene M. Johnson, to craft a sculpture of her late companion, Morgana. Bomze then deeded the land to the Essex Land Trust in perpetuity with the understanding that the sculpture of Morgana would remain in place in the park.

At the unveiling of the sculpture of Morgana, Johnson said, “I was honored to be asked to do this wonderful commission of a life-size statue of Morgana by Ina Bomze.”

A large crowd of spectators gathered at the dedication of the new Essex park featuring the Morgana sculpture.

A large crowd of spectators gathered at the dedication of the new Essex park featuring the Morgana sculpture.

For his part Jim Denham, President of the Essex Land Trust, said that the gift to of the Bomze property to the Land Trust was, “A wonderful community initiative.” In addition, Peter Amos, the local Churchill Society President, who attended the event, noted that Bomze’s gift to the Land Trust was, “A lovely thing to beautify the town, and a win-win for everybody.”

Echoing these positive sentiments about Bomze’s gift to the Essex Land Trust, Essex realtor Rick Weiner said, “We’re so lucky to live in a town where neighbors can come together to celebrate an event like this.”

Editor’s Note: Essex Land Trust is accepting donations for the ongoing care and maintenance of this new pocket park or as additional support to assist Essex Land Trust (P.O. Box 373, Essex) in keeping all of their properties vibrant and groomed for all to enjoy. Contact Ed Tucker, MD, at or 860-767-2332 for further information.


Action-Oriented Old Saybrook Chamber Bolsters Business Environment


The Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce building serves as a ‘gateway’ to Main Street.

OLD SAYBROOK — Founded in 1939, the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2014. The more than 500 members are the driving force behind the organization and also form its strong volunteer base. These, in turn, support the Chamber’s two full time employees, Executive Director Judy Sullivan and Member Services Manager Karen Pinette.

Sullivan explains, “Our job is to promote Old Saybrook as a place to work and live and play.” Composed of a diverse group of nonprofits, retail companies, insurance companies, banks, and more, the Chamber unites under their common goals of advancing the economic vitality and improving the quality of life in the community, as well as bringing businesses and new jobs to town.

Executive Director Judy Sullivan

Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Judy Sullivan takes a brief break from her work.

With about 25 percent of Old Saybrook businesses as members, the Chamber accomplishes its ambitious goals through a variety of community events including educational programs on topics ranging from networking and email marketing software to social media publicity and customer service. The Chamber also sponsors an annual Chili-Fest to fund the college scholarship program it runs for students resident in Old Saybrook or children of Chamber members, as well as an annual Arts and Crafts Festival, which is being held this year on July 25 and 26.

In addition, the Chamber has initiated the Chamber Mail program by which every new resident receives information about surrounding businesses, and runs the Chamber Dollars program, a gift certificate program involving over 50 businesses.  The Chamber also works frequently with nonprofits on community-oriented projects.


The smiling faces of Executive Director Judy Sullivan (left) and Membership Services Manager Karen Pinette greet visitors to the light and airy Chamber building.

An important aspect of the Chamber is that they serve as a link between businesses and governments to facilitate lines of communication. Most recently, at ‘Connecticut Business Day at the Capitol,’ Old Saybrook Chamber representatives spoke to senators and representatives about issues facing businesses in the state, such as Connecticut’s 15 percent occupancy tax.

OS_Chamber_Exterior_rearThe Chamber also helps foster inter-business relationships and once a month, a Chamber Connections event is held. These are casual gatherings at various local businesses, which facilitate networking between — and sometimes even within — businesses.

Sullivan grew up in Old Saybrook and graduated from Old Saybrook High School. When her youngest child started school, she fell into her role at the Chamber, first on a part-time basis and ultimately working her way up to executive director. Sullivan notes, “The hardest part of the job is being careful with each action because somebody might be affected. We constantly have to be aware of the impact of any actions we might take.  We always want to leave a positive impact.”

She adds, “I’m really proud of the Chamber — it’s been here a long time. I love promoting the town I grew up in. And I find it so rewarding when we see tangible success in businesses.”


Chester Selectmen, Board of Finance Voice Opposition to Regionalization Proposal in Advance of Monday Meeting

REGION 4 — A meeting is scheduled tonight at 6 p.m. at John Winthrop Middle School regarding the proposed Regionalization plan for Chester, Deep River and Essex Elementary Schools.

The Chester Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance have issued a joint statement in advance of the meeting regarding the draft Inter-municipal agreement, and the Board of Finance statement regarding the latest May 12, 2015 Region 4, K-12 Regionalization Plan, both unanimously approved.  The statement concludes, “In summary, we believe the Regionalization Plan is not ready to be approved or implemented.”

This statement is being distributed to the Deep River and Essex Boards of Selectmen and Finance, Region 4 Board members, the three town Elementary Boards of Education members, and everyone else invited to Monday night’s joint meeting at John Winthrop.

The full text of the statement is printed below:

“We, the Chester Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance, do not support the Inter-municipal agreement as we believe strongly that it has a disproportionately negative financial impact on Chester. The two Boards unanimously agreed not to approve or recommend the proposed agreement to go to a Town Meeting or referendum in Chester.

Additionally, the Chester Board of Finance, after reviewing the proposed K-12 Regionalization Plan, believe many details need to be resolved before we could endorse the Plan. Consequently we do not support the regionalization of the elementary schools as described in the May 12, 2015 plan. We believe the risks outweigh the projected financial and administrative benefits.

  1. (1)  We do not and will not support closing Chester Elementary school or either of the other two elementary schools due to the potential risks and impacts to students, education, property values, population, and tax rates.a. We do not support grade re-allocation to other schools unless the following safeguards are implemented: Cross-over vote – change to a majority vote by the Region 4 District members from the affected town(s) (not one vote).b. Study Committee(s) – Board of Selectmen control and appoint the local representatives to serve on these committees. Also a member from each Board of Finance must be included in the study committee(s).
    c. Individual affected towns must retain local control of their elementary schools and have final referendumveto power over any grade moves.
  2. (2)  Elected officials in the three towns are responsible for the overall financial management of their respective towns and should exercise oversight of a regional school budget. K-12 regionalization will encompass almost 70% of towns’ budgets and regionalization results in loss of checks and balances. Research needs to be done to see how this might be addressed.

(3) Educational Opportunities due to regionalization:

  1. Specifics need be presented regarding educational opportunities/benefits to students due toregionalization.
  2. There is a need to address and protect Chester Elementary School’s high statewide ranking in studentachievement scores so they will not be compromised by regionalization.
  3. How will enriched educational programs be created to address diverse educational needs, specializedstaffing, equipment and resources and how will such programs be allocated across the three elementary schools – equal cost sharing or a formula?

(4) Request for transparency in all the methodology and assumptions used in producing the detailed plans and budget forecasts. Additionally:

  1. Clarity regarding what is considered maintenance and what is considered Capital costs.
  2. Specifics on how capital costs will be paid by Towns vs. District if a school has students from more than onetown attending.
  3. Draft lease agreements for each of the three elementary schools should be provided and incorporated intothe Regionalization Plan to demonstrate their impact: including length of lease; cost of maintenance of the three buildings to each town; uses of the schools if partially utilized or used by other Town agencies; termination policy; and financial impact of returning a school building back to a town.

In summary, we believe the Regionalization Plan is not ready to be approved or implemented. We strongly recommend that the issues cited above as well as others that may arise be resolved so that a consensus can be reached among the three towns.”


Gowrie Group is Lead Sponsor of Essex Shad Bake

Shad Bake  Sponsor.2 (1)

From left to right in the photo above are Gowrie Group’s Carter Gowrie, CEO and Whitney Peterson, VP of Marketing; Rotarians Joseph Shea and Stephen Brinkmann; and Joan Meek and Christopher Dobbs, Connecticut River Museum.

ESSEX — On Saturday, June 6, the Essex Shad Bake returns to the banks of the Connecticut River from 3 to 6:30 p.m.  Over 700 people will come out to enjoy this timeless, epicurean delight.

This year’s Bake is made possible by “Admiral Sponsor,” Gowrie Group, Connecticut’s leading independent insurance agency, and numerous other generous community supporters.

The 2015 Essex Shad Bake is a collaboration between the Rotary Club of Essex and the Connecticut River Museum.

For more information on Gowrie Group, visit To purchase tickets go to or buy them in person at the Centerbrook Package Store and the Connecticut River Museum.


Music & Memory Documentary Film Screening, Panel Discussion at ‘The Kate’ Tomorrow

An Alzheimer’s patient reacts to music of "The Beach Boys.” Photo courtesy of BOND360

An Alzheimer’s patient reacts to music of “The Beach Boys.” Photo courtesy of BOND360

OLD SAYBROOK – Community Music School, the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter, and The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center present a screening of the award-winning documentary film “Alive Inside” on Tuesday, June 2, at 7 p.m. at The Kate, 300 Main Street, Old Saybrook. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by phone at 860-767-0026 or in person at Community Music School, 90 Main Street, Centerbrook; or by visiting

“Alive Inside” follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he demonstrates music’s ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music. His camera reveals the uniquely human connection we find in music and how its healing power can triumph where prescription medication falls short.

The documentary visits family members who have witnessed the miraculous effects of personalized music on their loved ones, and offers illuminating interviews with experts including renowned neurologist and best-selling author Oliver Sacks and musician Bobby McFerrin. Many will remember the viral video “Henry Wakes Up!” – a clip from the film that shows a 92-year old nursing home resident enthusiastically responding to music.

The evening will include a brief performance by the New Horizons Band and post-screening panel discussion with experts in the field of memory loss. The New Horizons Band is a program of the Music School that offers active adults the opportunity to play music with their peers in a supportive environment.

This film is not rated, but is recommended for ages 13 and up.

For additional information, contact Community Music School at 860-767-0026.

Editor’s Notes: Community Music School offers innovative educational music programming and music therapy led by a board-certified music therapist for infants through adults, building on a 30 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS 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.

Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 70,000 people in Connecticut. The Alzheimer‘s Association provides services to those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias; advocates for policy change and research funding; and advances research toward prevention, treatment and a cure. The Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter’s main office is in Southington, with regional offices throughout the state in Hamden, New Milford, Norwich, and Norwalk. To learn more contact the Connecticut Chapter at


Linares Supporting Rubio for President, Co-Hosts $2,700 per Person Event in Stamford  

Art Linares

State Senator Art Linares (R-33rd)

AREAWIDE — State Senator Art Linares is supporting U.S. Senator Marco Rubio for President of the United States. Linares made his presidential choice known by inviting contributors to attend a $2,700 a person fundraiser for Rubio on Thursday, June 4, from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Hilton Stamford Hotel at 1 First Stamford Place in Stamford.

“Marco Rubio, A New American Century” is the theme of the event, which will feature, “A roundtable discussion with U.S. Senator Rubio” by those attending. Linares is co-hosting the Rubio event with Republican State Chairman Jerry Labriola and Chris Meek.

Tickets to the Rubio event can be obtained by contacting Anne Rogers at, or by calling 662-315-4775. Those persons who wish to purchase a ticket to the event, or to make a contribution to the Marco Rubio for President campaign, can do so provided they fill out a form giving their payment method, name, occupation, phone number, email address, mailing address, and spouse’s name, occupation of spouse if it is a joint contribution, among other personal information.

Also noted is that, “Contributions to Marco Rubio for President are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.” Similarly noted is, “Individuals may contribute up to $2,700 for the Primary Election,” and the statement that, “Contributions from corporations, labor union, foreign nationals [as specified] and federal government contractors are not permitted.”

Editor’s Note: The 33rd Senatorial District includes the Towns of Chester, Deep River, Essex, Lyme and Old Saybrook.


‘Calendar Girls’ Opens at Ivoryton Playhouse, Fundraising Calendar Now on Sale

Photo by Michelle Tuite. Pictured from left are Maggie McGlone Jennings, Lily Dorment*, Maria Silverman*, Jacqui Hubbard, Beverley Taylor, Katrina Ferguson* *Denotes member of Actors Equity

Photo by Michelle Tuite.
Pictured from left are Maggie McGlone Jennings, Lily Dorment*, Maria Silverman*, Jacqui Hubbard, Beverley Taylor, Katrina Ferguson* *Denotes member of Actors Equity

IVORYTON – The summer season opens June 3 in Ivoryton with the US professional premier of one of the UK’s most popular shows, ‘Calendar Girls.’  Adapted by Tim Firth from his smash hit Miramax film of the same name, it is based on an inspiring true story that is both poignant and hilarious.

A group of extraordinary women, members of a very ordinary Yorkshire Women’s Institute, spark a global phenomenon by persuading one another to pose au natural for a charity calendar with a difference.  As interest snowballs, the ‘Calendar Girls’ find themselves revealing more than they’d ever planned …

Dazzlingly funny, shamelessly sentimental and utterly captivating, this is one of the best-selling shows in British theatre history. It will make you laugh, cry … and walk out singing Jerusalem!

The fundraising phenomenon of the Calendar Girls was inspired by the death of Angela Baker’s husband, John Richard Baker, an Assistant National Park Officer for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, who died from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 54 in 1998.

During his illness Angela’s friends began to raise money, initially with the aim of purchasing a sofa for the visitors’ lounge in the hospital where John was treated. Nothing could have prepared them for the way their original calendar took off (selling 202,000 copies in its first year). To date they have raised over £3 million for Leukemia & Lymphoma Research, the UK’s leading blood cancer charity.

The Ivoryton Playhouse is also helping to raise awareness for several cancer charities by hosting a Cancer Survivor Night on Wednesday, June 3, at 7:30 p.m. – tickets are only $21 for those individuals who have survived the challenge of cancer (this is half price the adult ticket price).  Participating organizations include Little Wonder (, Middlesex Hospital‘s Center for Survivorship and Integrative Medicine, Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation ( and the Valley Shore YMCA – Hope is Power Program (  For more information, call the Ivoryton Playhouse box office 860.767.7318.

To further support these charities, Ivoryton Playhouse is producing a calendar of the theatre’s Calendar Girls with a portion of the proceeds going to support the work of these organizations featuring the cast in their hilariously “revealing” poses!  The June 2015 – May 2016 calendars will be available for purchase from the Ivoryton Playhouse for $20.00.  Photography for the calendar was donated by Chris Devlin Photography ( and the calendar printing is sponsored by Essex Printing.

Jacqui Hubbard, Artistic/Executive Director, is directing the production and is also stepping on stage in the role of Annie. Beverley Taylor, Ivoryton Company Manager, will be joining her in the role of Chris.

“We are both Northern English lasses” says Hubbard, “I spent four years trying to get the rights to produce this wonderful play and, though directing and performing at the same time will be a challenge, I knew I had to do it. These women are in our bones and it will be a rare treat to get to step in front of the curtain for a change.”

Joining them on stage are Vickie Blake, Danielle Bonanno, Erik Bloomquist, Victoria Bundonis*, R. Bruce Connelly*, Lily Dorment*, David Edwards*, Katrina Ferguson*, Maggie McGlone Jennings, and Maria Silverman*.

Set design is by Tony Andrea, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Cully Long.

Calendar Girls opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on June 3, and runs through June 21. 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.


Join CT River Museum for a Shad Fishing Informational ‘Riverquest’ Trip, Wednesday

A trip to learn 'All About Shad Fishing' is being offered on RiverQuest.

A trip to learn ‘All About Shad Fishing’ is being offered on RiverQuest.

ESSEX — On Wednesday, June 3 at 7:30 p.m., the Connecticut River Museum (CRM) will host a shad fishing excursion from its docks.  The evening will include a trip on RiverQuest to learn about shad fishing traditions.

Participants will see examples of shad nets and other gear, watch fishermen at work on the River, and enjoy a dessert and non-alcoholic beverage.  Beer and wine will be available for purchase.

Tickets are $40 for CRM members and $45 for the general public.  Reservations are required.

For more information, visit or call the museum at 860-767-8269.


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  1. RiverQuest and the Connecticut River Museum will offer a Shad Fishing Night, June 3rd. Photo: Joan Meek, Connecticut River Museum.

Final Lecture in Audubon Society’s CT River Series Considers Estuary’s Role in Painting & Writing, Thursday


ESSEX — The Connecticut River Estuary Lecture Series hosted by the Connecticut Audubon Society continues Thursday, June 4, with a presentation titled, “Aesthetic Beauty of the Estuary: Vision of Artists and Writers,” at Essex Meadows starting at 4 p.m.    Jeffrey Cooley, founder and owner of The Cooley Gallery in Old Lyme. will give the lecture, which will look at the role of the estuary in painting and writing.

The first two lectures of the Connecticut River Estuary series have been terrific successes, with over 100 people attending each one.

Admission to the lecture is free but RSVP’s are required. To RSVP, contact Allison Bryant at the Connecticut Audubon Society at or 203 259-0416 x106. A reception follows each lecture.

For more information on the lecture series, visit

These lectures are one of the initial projects of a new regional board formed by the Connecticut Audubon Society to focus on the lower Connecticut River valley and southeastern Connecticut.

The new board will work in conjunction with Connecticut Audubon Society staff and state Board of Directors to provide direction and support to the organization’s conservation and education work in Old Lyme, Lyme, Essex, Old Saybrook, and other communities in southeastern Connecticut.

The board’s other seminal projects include the introduction of Connecticut Audubon’s award-winning Science in Nature outdoor education program at Essex Elementary School and an effort to expand Osprey Nation, Connecticut Audubon’s citizen science Osprey monitoring program.

For decades Connecticut Audubon Society has maintained nature sanctuaries in Montville, Haddam, East Haddam, Stonington and Middletown. In addition to being a key component of the region’s native habitat, the sanctuaries serve as portals of opportunity into nature for children and families in the region.

The chair of the new Regional Board is Herman Blanke of Old Lyme. Other members are Patsy McCook (secretary) of Old Lyme; Emily Bjornberg of Lyme; Elsie Childs of Old Lyme; Jim Denham of Essex; Margarita Emerson of Niantic; Eleanor Robinson of Old Lyme; Dr. Ted Vanitallie of Old Lyme; and Claudia Weicker of Old Lyme.

Herman Blanke and Jim Denham are also members of Connecticut Audubon Society’s Board of Directors.

In addition, Old Lyme resident John Forbis and Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder have provided essential support to this effort.

“Having had the fortune to live in Essex for 15 years, I have always appreciated the values of the Connecticut River; its incredible aesthetic beauty, its ecological contributions, and its great historical legacy to the people of this nation., said Alexander Brash, president of Connecticut Audubon Society.

He continued, “In keeping with the great tradition of conservationists of the area, we are looking to work with its citizens and school children in order to highlight and protect the area’s birds, unique biodiversity and habitats, and leverage such interactions for greater awareness of conservation issues across the state.”

“There is a great conservation tradition to uphold in this region,” said Herman Blanke. “Roger Tory Peterson of Old Lyme helped make birding the popular pastime that it is and also drew the connection between birds and conservation. A century ago, the painters of Old Lyme turned this beautiful landscape into art. We view it as our goal and our responsibility to carry on that tradition of conservation and appreciation for the beauty of the natural world.”

Jim Denham said, “From its inception, Connecticut Audubon Society has made conservation education the foundation of its work. Each generation is responsible for helping the next generation understand how the natural world works and why conservation is important, and for making sure the wonders of nature don’t get lost amid all the distractions of the modern world. That’s what we are trying to accomplish at Essex Elementary School, and we intend for it to be a stepping stone to collaborations with other schools as well.”

Science in Nature, which provides curriculum-based outdoor science education to students in elementary and high schools, recently completed its first session at Essex Elementary, with a field trip to Chatfield Hollow State Park in Killingworth. The second session is set for May 28 at Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison.

Science in Nature teaches the principles of conservation science in local outdoor settings, focusing on climate and weather, rocks and soils, ecological adaptations, and wetland ecology. The goal is to increase environmental literacy among elementary, middle and high school students so they will understand basic environmental science principles and be more likely to participate in finding solutions to environmental issues within their communities.

In October it was named the best outdoor conservation program in the region by the New England Environmental Education Alliance. Schools from almost 50 communities in Connecticut have participated in Science in Nature, although Essex Elementary is the first in southeastern Connecticut to take part.

Osprey Nation uses volunteer citizen scientists, working under the direction of Connecticut Audubon’s conservation staff, to find and monitor nests of the state’s resurgent Osprey population.

More than 400 Osprey nests have been identified and plotted on a map. The greatest concentration in the state is on Great Island in Old Lyme. Connecticut Audubon is hoping that increased awareness of the project will propt more local residents to volunteer to as Osprey stewards in Old Lyme and elsewhere throughout the southeastern part of the state.

Founded in 1898, Connecticut Audubon Society is the state’s original and still independent Audubon Society. The Society manages four nature centers, two museums, and 19 sanctuaries across the state. It uses the charismatic nature of birds to inspire the next generation of conservationists, and to work with the current generation to protect and improve the state’s natural habitats for the betterment of state residents, birds and other wildlife.

Connecticut Audubon Society’s headquarters are at Birdcraft Sanctuary in Fairfield. It has regional centers and associated boards in Fairfield, Pomfret, Glastonbury and Milford.


Mozart & Mendelssohn as Child Prodigies, Presentation by Acclaimed Musician at Essex Library, Thursday

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

ESSEX — The name Mozart is synonymous with the word prodigy. He certainly displayed incredible talent as a composer, pianist and violinist at a ridiculously young age. Mendelssohn is usually ignored in the conversation about prodigies, but he was no less extraordinary and topped Mozart in at least one way. He was composing masterpieces as a teenager, several years before Mozart wrote anything comparable.

Beginning with Mozart, Jeffrey Engel will compare the two youngsters and let you decide who was the more remarkable. Attend his presentation at Essex Library on Thursday, June 4, at 7 p.m. and discover some of the wonders of musical history.

Engel is an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut in Torrington and a music historian and orchestral cellist, who trained in Paris and Austria before returning to the U.S. to teach. He was selected as one of the 50 most influential people in Litchfield County, Conn., by Litchfield Magazine in 2010.

This program is free and open to the public. Seating is limited; call (860) 767-1560 to register or for more information.

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