February 1, 2023

Archives for 2015

Essex Elementary School Foundation Hosts Talent Showcase with Scott Haney as EmCee

WFSB's Scot Haney and 5th grader Kendra Cika emcee the show

WFSB’s Scot Haney and 5th grader Kendra Cika emcee the show ( all photos courtesy of EESF)

ESSEX — Comedians, jugglers, singers, pianists and Karate masters strutted their stuff at the Essex Elementary School Talent Showcase on Tuesday, Nov. 9.  The crowd cheered as students performed their talents, while WFSB personality Scot Haney served as emcee

4th grader Owen Peterson has excellent martial arts moves

4th grader Owen Peterson has excellent martial arts moves

This special night was sponsored by the Essex Elementary School Foundation (EESF), a not-for-profit, volunteer organization that provides independent financial resources for worthy educational projects and enrichment programs, such as a mathematician-in-residence and an iPad lab.  Students walked away equal winners in this non-competitive talent show.

Led by EESF board member Cathy Poulin, the showcase utilized the skills of local volunteers, such as Patty Carver, of the Connecticut Children’s Theatre.

4th grader Charlie Whelan entertains the crowd with comedy

4th grader Charlie Whelan entertains the crowd with comedy

The event raised more than $400 for the organization.

For more information about the EESF, visit www.essexelementaryschoolfoundation.org.  Tax-deductible donations can be mailed to Essex Elementary School Foundation, PO Box 882, Essex CT 06426.

4th grader Zoey Michel leads the entire group in a rendition of "Glad You Came"

4th grader Zoey Michel leads the entire group in a rendition of “Glad You Came”

Local Firm Receives FDA Approval for Medical Devices

PCI Medical’s newly remodeled, 36,000 square foot, state-of-art headquarters

PCI Medical’s newly remodeled, 36,000 square foot, state-of-art headquarters

DEEP RIVER –  PCI Medical is pleased to announce that it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the ASTRA VR and ASTRA TEE automated reprocessors used to facilitate the high-level disinfection of endocavity ultrasound probes.

“The ASTRA VR and ASTRA TEE automated reprocessors are the next innovation in ultrasound probe disinfection,” stated Philip Coles, Founder and Chairman of PCI Medical. “For over 20 years PCI Medical has developed high-level disinfection systems for ultrasound probes to help keep patients and probes safe, while saving our customers money. The ASTRA series automatically controls the time, temperature and rinse cycles for the probes while providing fully automated data logging.”

The ASTRA VR is an automated reprocessor for the high-level disinfection and rinsing of one or two endovaginal/endorectal ultrasound probes.  The ASTRA TEE is an automated reprocessor for the high-level disinfection and rinsing of one or two transesophageal (TEE) probes.

The ASTRA® series of automated reprocessors offer many unique features that help users meet audit and accreditation requirements for Joint Commission and Infection Control standards. The ASTRA uses a reusable, industry standard high-level disinfectant that dramatically minimizes cycle costs. A single gallon of disinfectant can be reused in the system for up to 14 days. A built-in bar code reader captures and automatically stores information including: type of disinfectant, probe ID and operator ID. The ASTRA also automatically captures and logs temperature, date and time of disinfection, MRC pass or fail and cycle outcome. All of the data from the last 1,000 cycles is stored on the ASTRA and downloaded via a USB port as needed.

For more information on the ASTRA series of automated reprocessors, go to www.pcimedical.com/astra/

About PCI Medical – Experts in High-Level Disinfection®

For over 20 years, PCI Medical has developed and manufactured high-level disinfection systems. PCI Medical manufactures a complete line of GUS® manual soak stations as well as Storage Systems for endovaginal/endorectal, general purpose probes and TEE probes, and other accessories for high-level disinfection such as spill kits and neutralizers. GUS Disinfection Soak Stations are used in over 6,000 facilities throughout the US and Canada.

In addition to quality products, the PCI Medical Disinfection Team helps facilities to become or stay compliant in the high-level disinfection process, from pre-cleaning through to storage. They are Experts in High-Level Disinfection. For more information about PCI Medical products and educational offerings, please visit www.pcimedical.com

Gowrie Group Aims to Raise $1 Million to Benefit Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries

Gowrie Group Team serving lunch at the Old Saybrook meal site location.

Gowrie Group Team serving lunch at the Old Saybrook meal site location.

“I never expected to hit such tough times, but thank God for the food pantry.” This message was written by a shoreline resident and guest of the Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP), during a recent family financial crisis. Shoreline Soup Kitchens gave her the food she needed, no questions asked. Helping shoreline families like hers who are facing food insecurity is one of Gowrie Group’s most important outreach initiatives.

That desire to give back to the community in a meaningful way is why for the past 11 years Gowrie Group has focused much of its charitable giving on supporting SSKP.  Since 1989, SSKP has provided food and fellowship to neighbors in need who reside in Chester, Clinton, Deep River, East Lyme, Essex, Killingworth, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook. Last year they distributed more food than ever before – over 1 million pounds of groceries. This year the number of people in need continues to rise, and the SSKP has had a 14 percent increase in the amount of food distributed at their five local pantries.

In response to this need, Gowrie Group is launching their 12th annual matching challenge with a $25,000 donation to the SSKP.  Five local companies — The Safety Zone, LC Doane Company, Tower Labs, Lenny & Joe’s Fish Tale, and the Tariq Farid Foundation – are providing an additional $22,500 in matching funds.

This year, Gowrie Group is challenging the community of local businesses and friends to help them meet and exceed an ambitious goal – raising $125,000. Meeting this year’s goal will put the lifetime total amount raised by the Gowrie Group Shoreline Soup Kitchen Challenge over the Million Dollar mark. The 2015 Gowrie Group Challenge runs from Nov. 15 to Dec. 31.

Carter Gowrie, CEO of Gowrie Group said, “We are extremely proud that over the past 11 years, we have raised almost $1,000,000 to benefit those in need in our community and support the great work the SSKP does. We greatly appreciate the donations made by so many of our clients, local businesses, and friends each and every year.  I look forward to us together breaking the million dollar mark this year.”

“Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries is so grateful for all those who support the Gowrie Challenge.  Every year this campaign shows the commitment of our community to caring for others. On behalf of the thousands of those we serve every year, I say thank you,” says Patty Dowling, SSKP Executive Director.

Throughout the year, Gowrie Group and its employees donate time and services to soup kitchens and pantries across New England.  Each summer, Gowrie employees prepare and serve a lunch at an SSKP meal site in Old Saybrook, CT.  Before the holidays, Gowrie employees host canned food drives at each office location – Westbrook CT, Darien CT, Newport RI, North Kingstown RI, Marshfield, MA, Manchester, NH – and donate the collected goods to local entities.  Employees and their families also help out regularly at a variety of food pantries and meal service locations across the region.

Appreciation is expressed to the 2015 Gowrie Challenge partner and media sponsors: The Safety ZoneLC Doane CompanyTower LabsLenny & Joe’s Fish Tale, and Tariq Farid Foundation. Media Sponsors: Shore Publishing and WLIS/WMRD

Donations can be made online at www.shorelinesoupkitchens.org; click the “Donate” button and select “Gowrie Challenge.”

Donations by mail should be sent to: The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries, Attn: Gowrie Group Challenge, P.O. Box 804, Essex, Connecticut 06426.

Two special events will benefit the Gowrie Group Shoreline Soup Kitchen Challenge.

On Black Friday, Nov. 27, the “Shoreline Soup Kitchen Benefit Concert” will take place at The Kate, in Old Saybrook.

On Dec. 5 and 6, Dancing to End Hunger, a ballet performance of “Ahavah: The Story of Christmas,” will take place at the Morgan School in Clinton.

Collomore Concert Series Present Classical Guitarist Jorge Caballero, Chester, Nov. 29

Jorge Caballero, an internationally award-winning classical guitarist, will perform at the Chester Meeting House on Sunday, Nov. 29 at 5 p.m. Tickets are available through CollomoreConcerts.org.

Jorge Caballero, an internationally award-winning classical guitarist, will perform at the Chester Meeting House on Sunday, Nov. 29 at 5 p.m. Tickets are available through CollomoreConcerts.org.

On Sunday, Nov. 29 at the Chester Meeting House, the Collomore Concert Series is honored to present classical guitarist Jorge Caballero, the youngest musician and the only guitarist to win the Naumburg International Competition, one of the most prestigious and coveted awards given to performers of any instrument.

Caballero is known for his dazzling virtuosity, intense musicality and spellbinding performances. New York Times called him a “superb young guitarist” and praised his rare combination of “a deft, powerful technique and a soft-spoken interpretive persona.”

The International Guitar Symposium described him: “He has perfect technique and plays at a pace that’s spellbinding. He can also impress us with expression and loveliness, as well as stunning strength. At its most sensational is probably his command of voice leading that simply often sounds like two or three guitars and not one.”

Jorge Caballero’s Chester Meeting House concert will be at 5 p.m. on Nov. 29. Tickets are $24, adult; $5, student, and are available through the website, CollomoreConcerts.org or by calling 860-526-5162. Ticket holders are invited to stay for the reception after the concert to meet the musician and enjoy refreshments donated by Dough on Main. This is the last concert in the 42nd season of the Collomore Concert series.

Learn ‘The Bear Facts’ about Black Bears in CT Tonight in Chester Town Hall

It's true that black bears are being sighted in Connecticut, but this black bear in the tree was discovered by Chester photographer Al Malpa in the Great Smokies.

It’s true that black bears are being sighted in Connecticut, but this black bear in the tree was discovered by Chester photographer Al Malpa in the Great Smokies.

Yes, according to the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP), there have been sightings of black bears in our towns.

The town of Chester has had the most sightings of any of the Valley Shore towns – 14 – in the 12-month period since November 2014.

While this number is lower than northwestern Connecticut towns, a DEEP spokesman was quoted in a recent article in the Hartford Courant as saying, “Most of us live adjacent to bear habitat, so most of us can expect bears to be near our homes as the population increases.”

So the Chester Library and Chester Land Trust are teaming up to present “The Bear Facts: Black Bears in Connecticut” on Friday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. in the Community Room at Chester Town Hall on Rte. 154. The free presentation will be given by Master Wildlife Conservationist Paul Colburn through the DEEP.

Colburn’s program will focus on the natural history of black bears in our state. He will provide an overview of black bear habitat, diet and behavior, and current research efforts.  He will also provide recommendations for coexistence with our black bear population.

The program is best suited to adults and children over age 11. Refreshments will be served.

For more information, call the Chester Library at 860-526-0018.

Quilts of Valor – Ten Local Veterans Honored with Quilt Presentations

IMG_3706The Estuary Council of Seniors in Old Saybrook, along with the Connecticut Chapter of Quilts of Valor were privileged on Veterans Day to honor 10 local veterans with quilt presentations.  The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to “cover” service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor made by dedicated volunteers.

Local History Adds to Memories for Thanksgiving Visitors

These girondolas were made for the 1876 Centennial and belonged to the Southworth family of Deep River. They have been in place on the Deep River Historical Society’s Stone House parlor mantel for more than 150 years. The two end pieces depict a man and woman dressed in Colonial style with tricorn hat - the center piece is Daniel Boone and an Indian scout plus another figure representing the westward expansion of the US.

These girondolas were made for the 1876 Centennial and belonged to the Southworth family of Deep River. They have been in place on the Deep River Historical Society’s Stone House parlor mantel for more than 150 years. The two end pieces depict a man and woman dressed in Colonial style with tricorn hat – the center piece is Daniel Boone and an Indian scout plus another figure representing the westward expansion of the US.

Thanksgiving is a time of traditions and memories. For the second year in a row, the historical societies of Chester, Deep River and Essex are helping you begin a new tradition while you savor the memories of times past. The three historic museums in the tri-town will be open at no charge on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving so you can visit with your families and friends. Such a welcome alternative to dealing with crowds at the malls!

Chester Historical Society president Skip Hubbard said, “This year will be the fifth year we have been open over Thanksgiving and it’s become a popular thing to do. We expect to welcome another 50-60 people again this year to our museum.  Essex and Deep River opened their historic homes over the holiday for the first time last year and I know they were surprised by the number of people who came to their doors.  Some people even visited more than one of the three sites. The combination of free admission, rekindling memories and learning more about the local area can be hard to resist.”

The Deep River Historical Society’s Stone House, built by Deacon Ezra Southworth in 1840, will be open on Friday, Nov. 27, and Saturday, Nov. 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tour the home to see the “Gems of the Society,”  collections of Deep River businesses and products including Niland cut glass, and enjoy the preview of this year’s Holiday Festival of Trees, Trains and Traditions. The Stone House, at 245 Main Street in Deep River, For more information, visit www.deepriverhistoricalsociety.org.

The welcoming parlor of Essex Historical Society's 18th-century Pratt House awaits your post-Thanksgiving visit on Friday, Nov. 27 and Saturday, Nov. 28. Photo by Jody Dole.

The welcoming parlor of Essex Historical Society’s 18th-century Pratt House awaits your post-Thanksgiving visit on Friday, Nov. 27 and Saturday, Nov. 28. Photo by Jody Dole.

Essex Historical Society’s historic Pratt House, located at 19 West Avenue in Essex, will be open to visitors Friday, Nov. 27, and Saturday, Nov. 28, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The house, which was built in stages throughout the 18th century, interprets early farm life and the nine generations of Pratt smithies, many of whom lived there. Tour the house with EHS’s knowledgeable guides and visit its newly expanded museum shop.  This holiday season, the house features a new temporary exhibit on Essex’s E.E. Dickinson Witch Hazel Co. as EHS continues to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2015 with a “Dickinson Year.”  For more information, visit www.essexhistory.org.

At the Chester Museum at The Mill, listen to Peg Lieberman’s tales about sledding down the streets of Chester right to Jennings Pond and check out her childhood doll in the “Pastimes” exhibit.

At the Chester Museum at The Mill, listen to Peg Lieberman’s tales about sledding down the streets of Chester right to Jennings Pond and check out her childhood doll in the “Pastimes” exhibit.

The Chester Museum at The Mill, at 9 West Main Street in Chester, will also be open on Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year’s “Pastimes in Past Times: Chester at Play” exhibit focuses on the ways Chester families spent their leisure time in the “old days.” You can even sit down and enjoy a game of Tiddly Winks and checkers or play the Jaw Harp. It makes no difference where you grew up or when, everything about the exhibit stirs your memories of pastimes you or your family enjoyed and reminds you of what you’d like to pass down to the next generation. For more information, visit www.chesterhistoricalsociety.org.

 

High Hopes’ Fifth Annual Holiday Market to Host More Than 60 Local Vendors, Saturday

HighHopesHolidayMarketHigh Hopes Therapeutic Riding is transforming its indoor arena into a holiday marketplace on Sunday, Nov. 15, for the Fifth Annual Holiday Market sponsored by Reynolds Subaru. The event begins at noon and will feature more than 60 local vendors and exhibitors, as well as activities for the entire family including hayrides, a kids’ scavenger hunt, face painting, door prizes and raffle for a 2015 Subaru Crosstrek.

Last year more than 2,000 visitors attended the event on High Hopes’ 120-acre facility to start their holiday shopping and enjoy popular area food trucks. Items for sale include hand-made jewelry, holiday décor, pottery, crafts, skin care products, organic produce and more.

This year’s gourmet and specialty food truck line-up includes Flanders Fish Market, The Rolling Tomato, The Whey Station, FryBorg, Munchies Food Truck and for dessert, Meriano’s Bakery and Cannoli Truck.

For the first time at the event, attendees can see a glassblowing demonstration by Arch One Glass, and meet Garbanzo, a nine-month-old Mongolian Bankhar Dog who is trained to help nomadic Mongolian families by protecting their livestock from predators.

Raffle and event beneficiaries

High Hopes will hold a raffle drawing at 3:45 p.m. at the Holiday Market for a 2015 Subaru Crosstrek Premium, an Apple Watch Sport, a New York City overnight with dinner and Broadway show tickets, and a pair of Sorrel Cowboy Boots. The cost of a raffle ticket is $50, with only 1,500 being sold.

Visitors are encouraged to attend the Holiday Market which raises funds that directly support the 1,538 children and adults who are served annually by High Hopes’ programs.

Admission to the Holiday Market is free with a suggested donation of a nonperishable food item for the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries. Last year, more than 2,400 pounds of food was donated to help local families who struggle with hunger.

For more information about the event and to see a list of vendors, visit www.highhopestr.org, or contact Trudy Burgess at tburgess@highhopestr.org or call 860-434-1974, ext. 123.

Legal News You Can Use: The Gift of Real Estate From Parent to Child

real-estate-giftShould I gift my house to the kids now, or leave it in my estate? This can be a tricky question. There are also many other factors to consider, including mortgages, capital gains tax, Medicaid regulations, and other risks.

GIFT TAX

The current federal law gives each donor (maker of a gift) a $5.43 million lifetime exemption from the federal gift tax. The Connecticut statutes provide for a $2 million lifetime exemption from the Connecticut gift tax. Therefore, there is no gift tax due unless the donor has made more than $2 million in taxable gifts during his/her life.

Each donor receives a $14,000.00 annual gift tax exclusion per donee (receiver of a gift) for gifts of a present interest, meaning that the recipient can use and enjoy the gift immediately. For example, the exclusion for a gift from a parent to two children may total $28,000. If both the donor and their spouse join in the gift, the exclusion would be $56,000.00. That is, the value of the gift for gift tax purposes would be reduced by $56,000.00.

The $14,000.00 annual gift tax exclusion is not available for gifts of a future interest, such as a gift of real estate in which the donor reserves a life use. So, if your total estate is below the $5.43 million federal estate tax exemption and the $2 million Connecticut estate tax exemption, there is really no practical difference in this case.

MORTGAGE

Most mortgage documents prohibit the borrower from transferring an interest in the real estate without the lender’s written consent. To be assured of avoiding trouble with the lender, be sure to seek this consent before making a transfer.

CAPITAL GAINS

A donor may have purchased real estate many years ago at a price that is much lower than the property’s current value. Because the gift recipient’s basis for capital gains tax purposes is the same as the donor’s basis, if and when the donee children sell the property, they could anticipate paying capital gains tax on a substantial gain.

By contrast, if the children were to inherit the property at the parent’s death, the children’s basis would be the fair market value of the property at the parent’s date of death. In that case, if the property were eventually sold, the gain upon which capital gains tax may be due would be much smaller than it would be if the property were received by gift and then eventually sold.

MEDICAID

The current Medicaid regulations provide that if a person makes a gift of assets, and subsequently applies for Medicaid sooner than five years from the date of the gift, a period of ineligibility based on the value of the gift will apply. For instance, if a parent gifted real estate to a child on September 1, 2014, and the parent or the parent’s spouse needed to apply for Medicaid to pay for the cost of long term nursing home care prior to September 1, 2019, the parent or their spouse would be ineligible for Medicaid. Because of this five year look back rule, it is important to examine what other assets are available to pay for long term care.

OTHER RISKS

What if your child passes away before you do? As much as we don’t like to think about these scenarios, this can be particularly problematic if the parent has not reserved a life use in the gifted property. In this case, the deceased child’s interest would pass under his/her own estate plan documents, possibly to a spouse or to the deceased child’s own children.

Other unexpected events such as bankruptcy, or an accident suffered by one of the donee children, or a divorce, could leave the gifted real estate vulnerable to claims of creditors or claims of the child’s spouse.

The long and short of this complicated discussion is that it is very important to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney before making the decision to gift property to your children.

Attorney Jeanette Dostie is a Director at Suisman Shapiro in New London, CT, the largest law firm in eastern Connecticut. She has a wide experience in estate planning, ranging from simple wills to complex estate plans designed to maximize estate tax savings for clients. For more information, visit www.suismanshapiro.com or call (860) 442-4416. Suisman Shapiro is located at 2 Union Plaza, P.O. Box 1591, New London, CT 06320.

Dear Cammy: Making New Friends, Keeping Old Ones

envelope-308015_640We’re delighted that our advice columnist for middle schoolers has rejoined our growing ranks of contributors. Cammy answers two letters this week from local students about issues with school friends. If you would like to send a letter to Cammy, email it to cammy12100@gmail.com

Dear Cammy,

I am in 10th grade and just started a new school this year. Everything is going all right. All my classes are good and the kids there are nice, but I feel as if I don’t belong. I have made a few friends and we all get along. But every time the whole group is together I feel out of the loop. They all already have so much history together because they’ve all known each other since they were in kindergarten. I really want to keep these friends; I just don’t know what to do about this one problem. What do I do?

The New Kid

Dear The New Kid,

I understand where you are coming from. Going to a new school is hard and coming in at such a late time in your life is even harder. It’s great that you are enjoying your classes and you have begun to make friends. What a great start! The hardest part is over. It will take time to fully connect as a part of this friend group. They all have so many memories together, so try making new ones with them. Why don’t you try inviting them over to go to your favorite place or for a sleepover. This will help all of you to get to know one another, trust one another, and have memories to help create that foundation of the friendship. Wishing you the best of luck!

Cammy

Dear Cammy,

Throughout all my life, I have had the same friend group. We have done everything together since kindergarten. This year we are going into our final year at the middle school and things are starting to change. I do not have many/no classes with a lot of my friends and I feel as though the group is slowly falling apart. I don’t want to lose my friends; I care about them so much. Help Cammy, what should I do?

Not Sure

Dear Not Sure,

You have been so fortunate to have had such amazing friends and I see where you are coming from. After going through so much, it is hard to let go of the people you know, love, and trust the most. You need to understand that this is a time in your life when people are finding themselves and where they fit in. I believe that it is in your best interest that you talk to your friends about how you feel. Everyone goes through times when they aren’t in a lot of classes with their friends. That doesn’t mean that you can’t hang out outside of class. Just always remember to be open to new friends no matter how secure you are with your closest friends; you will never know who you will meet. Wishing you the best of luck!

Cammy

Williams School Hosts Prospective Student Information Session Saturday

The Williams School in New London is offering a series of Prospective Student Information Sessions with the first one being held this Saturday, Nov. 15, from 1 to 3 p.m.  These sessions will provide an opportunity for families to enjoy a campus tour by a Student Ambassador, hear from a panel of current students and faculty, and experience mini lessons taught by faculty in their classrooms. They are one of many ways to learn about Williams’ academic, athletic, arts, and community opportunities.

Register online for Saturday’s Information Session.

Additional Information Sessions are planned on the following dates:

Sunday, January 10, 2016, 1-3 p.m.

Sunday, May 15, 2016, 1-3 p.m.

For more information, contact the Admissions Office at 860.443.5333 or 

The Williams School is a college preparatory day school serving middle and upper school students in grades 6 – 12 located on the campus of Connecticut College at 182 Mohegan Ave. New London, CT 06320

Recount Waived for Essex Republican Selectman Election Result

ESSEX— There will be no recount of the close election result for the minority Republican seat on the board of selectmen. Town Clerk Joel Marzi reported Friday that he had received a written waiver of the recount from Republican selectman candidate Phil Beckman.

When votes were counted Tuesday night, only three votes separated Beckman, a first time candidate, and incumbent Republican Selectman Bruce Glowac, who had lost the first selectman race with two-term incumbent Democratic First Selectman Norman Needleman. The result for the GOP selectman seat was Glowac- 1,065, and Beckman-1,062, well below the 20-vote difference where state election law provides for a recount.. But a recount is not held if the trailing candidate waives the process, as Beckman has done.

Needleman was-elected to a third term with 1,145 votes, with incumbent Democratic Selectwoman Stacia Libby winning a third term with 1,105 votes. The board of selectmen for the 2015-2017 term will be comprised of Needleman, Libby, and Glowac.

Letter from Paris: Fabulous FIAC Celebrates Contemporary Art Throughout Paris

Nicole Prévost Logan

Nicole Prévost Logan

She’s back! We’ve probably been asked more often about what has happened to Nicole Prévost Logan than any other of our wonderful writers. You see, Nicole takes a break from writing for us in the summer when she is living in Essex, Conn. But now she has returned to her house in Paris and (metaphorically) picked up her pen again … and we’re delighted … along with many of our readers!

fiac_2012_jardin_des_plantes

In late October every year, France attracts visitors from around the world to take part in the FIAC (Foire Internationale de l’Art Contemporain.) Multiple exhibits open, not only in museums, but also hors murs (outdoors) on the grounds of historical monuments like the Chateau de Versailles, or on public squares and parks like Place la Concorde or the Jardin des Tuileries .

For a few days, Paris becomes the capital of arts, fashion and design. The main event of the FIAC takes place in the Grand Palais and was attended this year by 75,000 professionals in the arts and owners of the 173 most prestigious galleries of the world. (not individual artists.) The high entrance fee was set at $40. The works exhibited were in all media – paintings, sculptures, videos, installations. Values of the objects varied from a few thousands euros to several millions.

What makes the specificity of the FIAC is that it expands every year and becomes increasingly accessible to the general public. The French minister of Culture and Communication Fleur Pellerin, who occupied the media center stage during the week, stressed the civic importance of the richness and diversity of culture open to all in the public space.

When walking around Paris it seemed impossible not to stumble over some work of art: on the banks of the Seine in the new Cité de la Mode et du Design, in the department stores or the elegant lobbies of five-star hotels palaces. In the historical districts of the Marais, or St Germain des Prés, unbridled art creations were the norm. The “off” art found additional space under white tents. Digital art celebrated its tenth anniversary near the Alexandre III bridge.

The “Outsider Art Fair” (art brut) – made up of the works of mentally disturbed , marginal or self-taught artists – placed its 38 stands in a private mansion. It included the works of the well known American artist Henry Darger whose permanent collection is in the New York American Folk Art museum.

To stroll through the Jardin des Tuileries was to be in for a great treat. One could admire whimsical, mostly thought-provoking artistic creations on lawns, near the two pools, along the tree-lined paths. Young and articulate art students from the Ecole du Louvre described the works to the curious passers-by.

Just two examples. Heimo Zobernig, who lives and works in Vienna, created a tall androgynous statue. The body was made of three pieces from three different sculptures scanned in 3D. The head, legs, and torso were assembled digitally, raising the question of figurative sculpture. On the Tuileries bassin rond, a transparent sphere, of about 10 feet in diameter was floating under the motion of a crystal chandelier hanging inside and spinning around. The artist’s intention was to show the hidden properties of objects by the incongruous mix of an inflatable toy, a scooter’s chain and a 24 volt rotating mechanism.

The visitor reaches the Place de la Concorde. Four pavilions mesmerized the crowds. They had been erected by St Gobain – the French company specialized in construction material for the past 450 years (it built the Louvre pyramid.) The pavilions showed the company’s innovations for the future: how can sensorial modules create thermic and acoustic comfort or a 21st house being built entirely from materials created by 3D printers.

After an absence of a few months, what better way than the FIAC to reacquaint oneself with the Paris scene?

Chester Incumbent Waves Recount for Minority Republican Selectman Seat

CHESTER— There will be no recount for the minority party seat for the board of selectmen where nine votes separated unsuccessful Republican first selectman nominee Carolyn Linn and incumbent Republican Selectman Tom Englert when results were announced Tuesday night.

Linn, a first time candidate, pulled 413 votes in losing to Democratic First Selectwoman-elect Lauren Gister. Englert, who has served on the board since 2009, had 404 votes. Democrat Charlene Janecek was also elected to the board. The nine-vote difference between Linn and Englert fell within the 20 vote margin where a recount is required under state election law, unless one of the candidates waives a recount.

Town Clerk Debra Calamari said Thursday she has been advised by Englert that he does not want a recount. Englert’s decision confirms the town will have its first all women board of selectmen, comprised of Gister, Janecek, and Linn, when the new term begins on Nov. 17.

It will also be an all new board of selectmen. Englert was the only incumbent on the board who sought a new term this year with the decisions of two-term Democratic First Selectman Edmund Meehan and three-term Democratic Selectman Larry Sypher not to seek re-election.

In Essex, Town Clerk Joel Marzi said Thursday he is still awaiting word from Republican Selectman candidate Phil Beckman on whether he wants a recount of the close Tuesday result for the minority Republican seat on the board of selectmen. Incumbent Republican Selectman Bruce Glowac pulled 1,065 votes in losing the first selectman race to Democratic First Selectman Norman Needleman. Beckman, a first time candidate, received 1,062 votes, a three-vote difference. Marzi said a recount has tentatively been scheduled for Saturday morning at town hall, pending any waiver of a recount from Beckman.

Obituary: Richard B. Blythe, 31 Oct. 15

blytheRichard (Dick) B. Blythe, 87 of Killingworth, CT passed away peacefully on October 31, 2015.   He served as the Principal of Valley Regional High School from 1971-1985 and the High School honored Dick for his many years of dedication and service by naming football/soccer and track facilities the Richard B. Blythe Athletic Complex.

Read the full obituary published in the Hartford Courant here.

Democrat Lauren Gister Elected First Selectwoman as Close Result for Minority Seat Sets Up All Women Board of Selectmen

Democrats Lauren Gister (left) and Charlene Janecek celebrate their respective elections.

Democrats Lauren Gister (left) and Charlene Janecek celebrate their respective elections.

CHESTER— Democrat Lauren Gister was elected as first selectman Tuesday, with Republican challenger Carolyn Linn expected to edge incumbent Republican Selectman Tom Englert to set up the town’s first all-female board of selectmen.

Gister, a lawyer making her first run for town office, defeated Linn on a 688-413 vote. Democrat Charlene Janecek, currently the party’s registrar of voters, was elected with 696 votes. But Linn’s total in losing the contest for first selectman was ahead of Englert by a scant nine votes — Englert received 404 votes — in an election where the top three voter-getters make up the board. Englert has served on the board since 2009, and served briefly as acting first selectman in the fall of 2011 after former Republican First Selectman Tom Marsh resigned to take a job in Vermont.

Tom Englert congratulates Lauren Gister after the result was announced Tuesday evening.

Tom Englert congratulates Lauren Gister after the result was announced Tuesday evening.

Town Clerk Debra Calamari said Wednesday the nine-vote margin between Linn and Englert, being less than 20 votes, would trigger a recount for the minority seat, unless Englert formally waives the recount. Calamari said she had not yet heard from Englert or Republican Town Chairman Mario Gioco  on whether Englert wants a recount.

Gister said Wednesday she looks forward to the challenge of the next two years, and wants to hear from residents on what they want from town government. “We will try to be the best board of selectmen we possibly can for Chester,” she said.

Gister, who becomes the second woman to serve as Chester First Selectman after former Republican First Selectwoman Betty Perreault (1989-1993), said  she does not believe an all-female board of selectmen, a first for Chester, would make that much difference in how the town is run. “It might give a slightly different flavor to the board,” she said.

Linn said she is pleased that her campaign for the top job, the first by a Chester Republican since 2009, had helped boost voter turnout to nearly 50 percent, the highest in a decade. “The  community engagement was just spectacular,” Linn said, adding that she looks forward to working with Gister and Janecek on issues facing the town.

Democrats won the few other contested races on Tuesday’s ballot. For planning and zoning commission, incumbent Democrats Keith Scherber and Errol Horner, and incumbent Republican Steve Merola outpolled Lisa Matz Tolleffson, running one ballot line of the Chester Common Ground Party. The totals were Scherber, 684, Merola,632, and Horner, 579, to 474 for Matz Tolleffson.

For library trustees, Democrats Sandra Senior-Dauer and Karin Badger outpolled Matz Tolleffson, with 752 votes for Senior-Dauer, 637 votes for Badger, and 317 votes for Matz Tolleffson. For Region 4 Board of Education, Democrat Lori Ann Clymas led Common Ground candidate David Cohen 622-301.

Gister and the new board of selectmen take office on Nov. 17. Gister succeeds two-term Democratic First  Selectman Edmund Meehan. A total of  1,115 of the town’s 2,341 registered voters cast ballots Tuesday.

Letter: Thanks from LVVS

To The Editor

The 5th Annual Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore Wine and Brew Tasting and Auction benefitting the organization’s tutoring program was a smashing (pumpkins?) success again this year. The event, held on October 23rd at the Saybrook Point Pavilion netted funds that will help L.V.V.S. continue the mission of eradicating illiteracy in the valley shore area well into 2016.

Any event’s success is always due to people and organizations coming together for a worthy cause. We are fortunate to have an extraordinary combination that made this year’s event a rousing success. Special thanks to The Clark Group, our title sponsor. We are also indebted to The Wine Cask of Old Saybrook who provided the evening’s libations. Event sponsors Tower Laboratories, Murphy and Company CPAs, Whelen Engineering, Guilford Savings Bank and Edward Jones Investments of Clinton also deserve recognition for their support and for their continued belief in us.

Mere words are not sufficient to thank Elizabeth Steffen who worked so hard to produce the food for the evening, contributed a number of raffle and auction items and still somehow found time to sell tickets and help set up the venue. Similarly, the efforts of board member Paula Chabot, our event organizer, board members Arcangela Claffey, Barb Erni, Bill Guerra and Rose Marie Cushing insured a wonderful and successful fundraiser. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the hard work and extra dedication of Administrative Assistant Joanne Argersinger, volunteers Paula Ferrara and Judy Sousa and the cooperation of the Old Saybrook Park and Recreation Department. Thank you all so very much!

Finally, thank you to everyone who shared the evening with us and whose support and generosity will warm our students throughout the remainder of this fall and into the New Year.

Sincerely,

John J. Ferrara
Executive Director Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore, CT, Inc.

Democrats Win all Contested Deep River Races

DEEP RIVER— With longtime Democratic First Selectman Richard Smith unopposed for a record 14th two-year term, Democrats also won all contested positions in Tuesday’s low turnout election.

Smith received 783 votes, with 541 votes for Democratic Selectman Angus McDonald Jr., for a third term, and 318 votes for Republican Selectman David Oliveria, for a  fourth term.  Republican Town Clerk Amy Macmillan Winchell won a fourth term with 666 votes, and  Democratic Tax collector Lisa Bibbiani won a fourth term with 699 votes. Longtime Republican Town Treasurer Tom Lindner was re-elected with 746 votes.

In contested races, incumbent  Democrats George Eckenroth and Carmela Balducci were re-elected to the board of finance, with  587 votes for Eckenroth and 621 votes for Balducci. Republican challenger Mark Grabowski had 339 votes. For board of assessment appeals, incumbent Democrat Leigh Balducci outpolled Republican Thomas Alexa,505-328. For a two year vacancy on the Region 4 Board of Education, Democrat Susan Hollister outpolled Republican K.C. Nelson-Oliveria, 514-328.

Democrat Gister Defeats Linn in Chester’s First Selectman Race, Englert Loses Seat

Democrats Lauren Gister (left) and Charlene Janecek celebrate their respective elections.

Democrats Lauren Gister (left) and Charlene Janecek celebrate their respective elections.

Mario Gioco read the following “unofficial results” of the Chester Board of Selectmen election to those waiting in the town hall:
First Selectman:
Lauren Gister (D) 680
Carolyn Linn (R) 413
Selectman:
Charlene Janecek (D) 688
Tom Englert (R) 404
Gister commented, “We will work very hard and we will make you proud.”
Full story by Charles Stannard coming tomorrow.

Democratic First Selectman Norman Needleman Wins Third Term With 80-Vote Margin

Needleman_N_008ESSEX— Democratic First Selectman Norman Needleman was re-elected for a third term Tuesday, defeating Republican Selectman Bruce Glowac on an 1,145-1065 vote. Democratic Selectwoman Stacia Libby was re-elected for a third term with 1,105 votes.

Needleman’s 80-vote margin over Glowac, who had served previously as first selectman from 1991-1995, was much closer than his first contested election in 2011 when Needleman defeated Republican Bruce MacMillian by over 400 votes. Needleman was uncontested by town Republicans for a second term in 2013.

The result for the third, or minority party, seat on the three-member board of selectmen was extremely close, with Republican selectman nominee Phil Beckman receiving 1,062 votes, only three votes less than Glowac’s 1,065 total. The three vote margin is less than the 20-vote margin where a recount could be required. Beckman said he is not requesting a recount with fellow Republican Glowac, but believes a recount should be conducted if it is required under state election law.

Needleman said he was “grateful to the voters,” and also thankful to challengers Glowac and Beckman for “running a good campaign based on the issues,” adding that he ” looks forward to continuing the work we’ve done over the past four years.” Glowac said he is glad the election is over, and believes “we accomplished what we set out to accomplish which was to give voters a choice and make this election an event rather than a non event.”.

Democrats captured most of the other contested positions on the ballot, though Republicans won seats on the board of finance and board of assessment appeals. Democrat Donald Mesite, an appointed incumbent, and Republican Vince Pacileo were elected to six year terms on the board of finance, with 1,110 votes for Mesite and 1,131 votes for Pacileo, who served on the board of selectmen from 2003-2009. Mesite and Pacileo outpolled Democrat Ethan Goller, with 1,058 votes, and Republican Jerri MacMillian, with 976 votes.

Republican Keith Russell was elected for a full term on the board of assessment appeals, with 1,084 votes to 1,032 votes for Democrat Richard Helmecki. Democrat Mark Bombacci was elected to a two-year vacancy on the board of assessment appeals, with 1,150 votes to 982 votes for Republican Bruce MacMillian. Democrat Jennifer Cark was re-elected for a second term on the Region 4 Board of Education, with 1,177 votes to 963 votes for Republican Mary Lou Till. Both nominees for the local board of education are automatically elected, with incumbent  Democrat Lon Seidman, who serves as board chairman, receiving 1,174 votes, and incumbent Republican D.G. Fitton garnering 967 votes.

A total of 2,223 of the town’s 4,595 registered voters turned out for Tuesday’s election, a turnout of just over 50%.

Essex Elementary School Foundation Prepares for Second Talent Showcase

CENTERBROOK, CT — The Essex Elementary School Foundation, a not-for-profit, volunteer organization that provides independent financial resources for worthy educational projects, enrichment programs, and other initiatives, is preparing for its second Essex Elementary Talent Showcase. Students in the fourth through sixth grades were invited to participate in this “non-competitive talent show” where all students will walk away as equal winners.

The goal is two-fold: to empower EES students to be proud of their abilities and to enhance awareness of the foundation’s role in the school community. The showcase has brought in local volunteers, such as Patty Carver, of the Connecticut Children’s Theatre, to provide professional assistance.

The Talent Showcase will be open to the public on Monday, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m. at the Essex Elementary School’s cafeteria. Scot Haney, WFSB’s popular meteorologist and personality, will be making a special appearance at the show. Donations will be graciously accepted by the foundation at the door.

Since its inception in 1996, the Essex Elementary School Foundation’s primary goal has been to create a significant endowment that can support the school’s strategic vision to be a world-class educational institution. Each year, 5% of the EESF endowment is allocated for programs and projects such as a Scientist-in-Residence program, an iPad lab, literacy support materials, equipment for musical and physical education, playground improvements, logical thinking games, and audio/visual equipment.

For more information about the Essex Elementary School Foundation, log onto www.essexelementaryschoolfoundation.org. Tax-deductible donations can be mailed to Essex Elementary School Foundation, PO Box 882, Essex, CT 06426.

Deep River Election Has Contests for Board of Finance, Assessment Appeals, and School Board Vacancy Term

DEEP RIVER— Most positions on Tuesday’s town election ballot are uncontested, but Democrats and Republicans are competing for two seats on the board of finance, a position on the board of assessment appeals, and a two-year vacancy term on the Region 4 Board of Education.

Longtime Democratic First Selectman Richard Smith is unopposed for a record 14th term. Also uncontested are incumbent Democratic Selectman Angus McDonald Jr., first elected 2011, and incumbent Republican Selectman David Oliveria, first elected in 2009. Republican Town Clerk Amy Macmillan Winchell, Democratic Tax Collector Lisa Bibbiani, and Republican Town Treasurer Tom Lindner, are also unopposed for new two-year terms. Smith, first elected in 1989, had his last contested election with an independent challenger in 2007, and was last challenged by town Republicans in 2005.

But two incumbent Democrats, George Eckenroth and Carmela Balducci, are competing with Republican Mark Grabowski, for two six year spots on the board of finance, while Republican John Wichtowski is uncontested for a two-year vacancy spot on the finance board. Incumbent Democrat Leigh Balducci is competing with Republican Thomas Alexa for a seat on the board of assessment appeals. Democrat Susan Hollister is contesting with Republican K.C. Nelson-Oliveria for a two-year vacancy term on the Region 4 Board of Education.

Polls are open Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Deep River Library community room.

Essex Board of Selectmen Candidates Hold Cordial Debate

ESSEX—  Democrat and Republican nominees for first selectman and board of selectmen faced Wednesday in a cordial debate that displayed few differences on most local issues, including unanimous rejection of a municipal blight ordinance and sewers for any section of town.

About 100 residents turned out on a rainy night for the session in the town hall auditorium. Essex Library Director Richard Conroy posed questions that had been submitted in writing in advance, with separate sessions for incumbent Democratic First Selectman Norman Needleman and his Republican challenger,  Selectman Bruce Glowac, and the two candidates for board of selectmen, incumbent Democratic Selectwoman Stacia Libby and Republican Phil Beckman. Needleman was elected in 2011 and unopposed for a second tern in 2013. Glowac served as first selectman from 1991-1995, and returned to the board of selectmen in 2013.

All of the candidates rejected the idea of a municipal blight ordinance, which had been discussed, but not pursued, in the fall of 2013. Both Needleman and Glowac rejected the idea of a large sewer system for any part of Essex, while also agreeing the town should be open to what Gloawc described a “new innovations,” such as a small community system that would focus on any possible problem location for on-site septic systems.

The two first selectman nominees  rejected the idea of adopting a town charter, which Glowac said would represent “an expansion of government,” and Needleman described as an unnecessary effort and expense. The candidates also agreed on deferring any new effort for a full kindergarten through grade 12 regionalization of Region 4 schools to include the elementary schools in Chester, Deep River and Essex. A K-12 regionalization plan was considered earlier this year, but dropped amid opposition from Chester officials.

Glowac, who currently works as director of facilities for Region 4 schools,  predicted a full regionalization, which  requires voter approval from all three towns, would eventually occur because of declining student enrollment, but suggested any new proposal “should come from the communities to the schools and not from the schools to the communities.”

One possible difference in perspective emerged as the two selectmen candidates responded to a question about economic development and efforts to grow the grand list of taxable property. Libby said the current administration last year hired a part-time economic development coordinator to assist the town’s appointed economic development commission, but Beckman suggested efforts to attract and retain businesses in Essex “can be improved on.”

Beckman said a review of permit procedures and zoning regulations should be part of any new focus on economic development. A recently retired U.S. Navy officer, Beckman said he could bring a new perspective to the board of seemen.

The top three vote-getters Tuesday will be elected for the 2015-2017 term, with a losing candidate for first selectman also in play as a candidate for board of selectmen depending on the vote totals.

Will Political Lawn Signs Influence Essex Local Election Results?

Campaign sign for Republican First Selectman candidate Bruce Glovac

Campaign sign for Republican First Selectman candidate Bruce Glovac

ESSEX — Suddenly, it seems the town of Essex is almost covered with sometimes red, sometimes blue lawn signs promoting the candidacies of Republicans Bruce Glowac for First Selectman and Phil Beckman for Selectman. Not only are there signs along many of the streets in Essex, but they are also posted on the roads leading into town (see photo above). Essex has not seen such a large display of election lawn signs in several years.

Where were the Democrats when the Republican lawn sign blitz first appeared?  It appears First Selectman Norman Needleman and Selectman Stacia Rice-Libby were at first caught a little off guard since it seemed they had very few of their own lawn signs in view. Now it looks as though the Democrats have many more of their own lawn signs visible, but our unscientific poll suggests the Republicans still have a higher number.

Road signs for Essex Democratic incumbents, Norm Needleman and Stacia-Rice Libby

Road signs for Essex Democratic incumbents, Norm Needleman and Stacia-Rice Libby

Election Day is Nov. 3, and the election will decide Essex’s town governance for the next two years. It will be interesting to see if, in a small town like Essex, the distribution of lawn signs bears any relationship to the result.

Essex Place Centerbrook Groundbreaking for New Affordable Senior Housing

(Photo courtesy of Lisa Thorden)

(Photo courtesy of Lisa Thorden)

ESSEX — Essex Place Centerbrook, LLC held a groundbreaking for a new 22-unit building for affordable senior housing in Centerbrook, CT, a village of the Town of Essex.  In attendance for the ceremony were representatives from the state legislature, the Governor’s office, and the U.S. Congress as well as town officials, funders of the project, and members of the Development Team.

Essex Place Centerbrook is a partnership between Essex Elderly and Affordable Housing (EEAH)and Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development (WIHED). Celebrating the occasion were remarks from Commissioner Klein, Department of Housing, Rep. Philip Miller, First Selectman Norm Needleman, Joanne Sullivan from the Federal Home Loan Bank, Erica Schwarz from LISC, Greg Shook, Chairman and CEO of Essex Savings Bank, and from  WIHED Betsy Crum, Exec. Director, and Loni Willey, Chief Operating Officer.

The groundbreaking  celebration culminates over five years of planning. The idea for Essex Place Centerbrook was to provide additional units for Essex Court, the current senior affordable housing residence, that had a waiting list larger than available places .  In 2012, the development process began.  The Development Team includes Quisenberry & Arcari, Architects, W.H. Cole, To Design, Doane Collins,  A. Secondino & Sons, and Cloutier & Cassella and Hudson &Kilby, counsels.  The Board of Directors of Essex Elderly and Affordable Housing are most grateful for the support of everyone who collaborated to make this project a reality.  Occupancy for the new building is anticipated to be 2017.

Letter: Essex Needs Pro-Active Management

To the Editor:

Vote for hands-on, conscientious attention to town operations and future planning in Essex! Bruce Glowac, Phil Beckman and the slate of Republican candidates offer us a leadership team with exceptional management experience in the private and public sectors that is unrivaled by any other candidates.

There is always room for improvement and I would like to see some effort made to improve operations and fiscal responsibility in our local government. Our Town seems to operate on auto-pilot without many controversies or major issues. This can be a good sign that, in general, things are going well. It is at these times, however, that a great management team can make improvements and be pro-active to ensure things continue to go well in the short and long term.

Let’s not continue to operate on auto-pilot. Join me in voting for a GREAT leadership team that will ensure Essex remains a great place to live, work and play now and in the future.

Vote for Bruce Glowac and Phil Beckman and the Republican Team of candidates on November 3.

Sincerely,

Susie Beckman
Essex

Democratic First Selectman Norman Needleman Faces Republican Selectman Bruce Glowac in Nov. 3 Vote

ESSEX—Democratic First Selectman Norman Needleman’s bid for a third term faces a challenge Tuesday from Republican Selectman Bruce Glowac, a former first selectman who returned to the board in 2013.

The contest between two well-known elected officials, which follows a 2013 election where Needleman’s second term was unopposed by town Republicans, has been relatively quiet. Neither candidate is campaigning door-to-door, and each generally avoided direct criticism in recent interviews. The candidates will face off in a public debate Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the town hall auditorium

Needleman, 64, is a Brooklyn, N.Y. native who arrived in Essex in the late 1980s to establish Tower Laboratories as a local manufacturer of personal care products. The company now has plants in Centerbrook, Clinton, and Montague, Michigan. A divorced father of two grown sons and two step-daughters, Needleman was elected to the board of selectman in 2003, when the victory of former Democratic first selectman, now state representative, Phil Miller, ended 18 years of Republican control of the top job. Needleman was elected to the top job in 2011, defeating Republican Bruce MacMillian on a 1,415-993 vote.

Glowac, 63, is a lifelong resident who established a local landscaping business before winning election to the board of selectmen in 1989 running with former Republican First Selectman John Johns. A married father of four grown sons, Glowac was elected first selectman in 1991, and won a second term in 1993 before stepping aside in 1995. After serving on the Region 4 school board in the late 1990s, Glowac was hired for his current position as director of facilities for Region 4 schools.

Glowac, who returned to the board of selectmen in the uncontested 2013 election, said he stepped aside in 1995 because he is “a firm believer in term limits,” and believed he had accomplished initial goals. Glowac said he decided to run again this year to ensure a contest for the top job. “No choice on the ballot leads to voter apathy,” he said, adding that ” a fresh look every few years is not a bad thing at all.”

Needleman said he respects Glowac’s decision to run for the top job, and praised the Republican for working with him on several goals over the past two years, including voter approval of an $8 million bonding authorization for capital projects last December.  He said the current board of selectmen, including Glowac and  Democratic Selectwoman Stacia Rice-Libby, has been “one of the best working boards” in town history.

Needleman said he is “running on a record of accomplishment,” pointing to completion of two grant-funded projects, the town hall civic campus and the Ivoryton Man Street projects, along with advancing plans for a 22-unit expansion of the Essex Court elderly housing complex. Needleman said his management has improved operations at town hall to provide efficient and responsive service to residents.

But along with pledging to be a “full-time first selectman” without also directing a private company, Glowac suggests that property taxes have increased too much, and the town’s undesignated fund balance grown too high, in recent years. Glowac said when the fund balance has grown to over $2.5 million, as it has in Essex, transferring from the fund balance to defray a portion of a tax rate increase “should always be a consideration.” He added “there are some generations that we are taxing out” of Essex.

Needleman said he has given the position of first selectman “my full attention and best effort,” over the past four years. Needleman agreed the board of finance should be prepared transfer from the fund balance if the town is facing a steep tax hike over the 2015-2017 term, and noted that he had objected to very small tax rate increase the finance board had approved for the current 2015-2016 budget.

Both candidates said adoption of a town charter, or a possible proposal to change to four year terms for board of selectmen, would not be a priority during the 2015-2016 term. Needleman is running with incumbent Selectwoman Rice-Libby, who was elected with him in 2011. Glowac is running with Phil Beckman a former U.S. Navy officer who lives in the Ivoryton section. Both campaigns are close in fundraising, with Democrats raising a total of $8,384 as of Oct. 1, with Republicans raising a total of $7,162. Two big doners for the Democrats were Needleman and his companion Jacqueline Hubbard, each contributing $2,000 over the summer.

Letter: Experience, Leadership and Common Sense

To the Editor:

With over 35 years of public and private sector experience managing capital and human resources, I am excited at the opportunity to serve in elected office and drive both fiscal discipline and strategy on the Essex Board of Finance.

Our state economy, while no longer in recession, continues to be marked by sluggish growth. As the economic climate gradually improves, addressing the long-term capital needs of Essex becomes even more important. At the same time, Essex must also focus in earnest on broadening and diversifying its tax base to relieve the constant pressure faced by individual property owners.

My current experience as the Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Stonington involves working with a Democratic First Selectman to assist him in leading the town with an emphasis on thoughtful decision making, working cooperatively, and setting a direction with the best interest of the community as the focal point. This experience combined with my previous leadership role as a Selectman for Essex, provides the necessary foundation for navigating our challenges and charting a successful course.

It takes both an emphasis on teamwork and developing partnerships within the community that will drive positive outcomes for Essex. The Republican slate of candidates embodies this approach to governance. Lifelong resident Bruce Glowac is a candidate for First Selectman and understands the current and future needs of our town. Phil Beckman, running for Selectman, is a 24-year veteran of the United States Navy where he led complex teams responsible for developing and executing strategic policy. Republican candidates for election to other Town and Regional Boards similarly demonstrate a depth of experience that will serve our residents well.

Together, we look forward to bringing experience, leadership, and common sense to Town government. We ask for your support and vote on Election Day, November 3rd.

Sincerely,

Vincent A. Pacileo III
Republican candidate for Board of Finance – Essex

Two Female Candidates Vie for Open First Selectman Seat in Chester

Atty. Lauren Gister

Atty. Lauren Gister – D

Republican Carolyn Linn

Carolyn Linn – R

CHESTER — Two female candidates with no previous experience in town government are competing for the town’s open first selectman seat in the first contested election with both Democrat and Republican nominees since 2009.

Both women are divorced mothers of grown daughters, but with differing background and job experience. Democrat Lauren Gister, 57, is a lawyer who arrived in Chester in 1996 from West Hartford. Republican Carolyn Linn, 55, has lived in Chester since 1989 after growing up in New Britain. Gister served 25 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, retiring at the rank of major in 2002. Linn worked at Aetna Insurance for 21 years, retiring from a position as performance consultant to open a pet care business in Chester. Linn petitioned her way to the Republican nomination in August after the party initially did not nominate a candidate for first selectman at the July 27 caucus.

The candidates are competing to succeed two-term Democratic First Selectman Edmund Meehan. A former town planner, Meehan was elected over a candidate supported by the Chester Common Ground Party in 2011, and was uncontested for a second term in 2013. Also departing with Meehan this year is three-term Democratic Selectman Lawrence Sypher.

Gister and Linn hold similar views on many town issues, and their contest has been cordial. Both women support the plan to build a new library with a community center center function at North Quarter Park. Gister noted a $1 million state grant awarded for the library project last fall requires voter approval of a building plan and additional funding by 2017.

Both candidates said one priority of the coming two-year term would be monitoring and guiding a state Department of Transportation replacement of the Main Street bridge, a project expected to begin early next year that will require a closing of Main Street in the downtown business district for several months. Each acknowledged a long range town plan to reconstruct Main Street in the business district can not be done simultaneously with the bridge project, though Gister noted the town must complete the full Main Street reconstruction in the near future because of aging infrastructure, including water mains, under the heavily used street.

Both candidates said adoption of a town charter, or a possible change to four-year terms for board of selectmen, would not be a priority during the 2015-2017 term. Linn said she would seek to improve communications on town government issues for all residents, and oppose any effort to close Chester Elementary School. Gister also pledges improved communications, suggesting evening office hours as one way to be more accessible to residents. Gister said one new initiative she would undertake is adoption of a tax relief ordinance for elderly and low income property owners, noting that Essex has had an elderly tax relief program in place for the past decade..

The two candidates, who did not know each other before the campaign, declined to criticize their opponent. Gister said Linn is a “smart and capable person” with similar priorities to her. Linn suggested that experience at Aetna makes her more qualified for the job and “ready to move in to the role of first selectman on day one”. Gister said business experience can be useful, while adding “we certainly can’t run the town like a corporation.”

Both women are campaigning actively door-to-door through the town. Gister is running with Charlene Janecek, a long time resident who used to run the Lunch Box on Main Street and currently serves as Democratic registrar of voters. Linn is running with three-term incumbent Republican Selectman Tom Englert, a Whelen Engineering employee who served briefly as acting first selectman in the fall of 2011 after former republican First Selectman tom Marsh resigned to take a job in Vermont.

The two parties are close in fundraising for the campaign, according to an Oct. 10 filing. The Chester Democratic Town Committee has raised $5,070 since the beginning of the year, with Republicans raising $4,729. Two big donors for the Democrats are residents James Miller and Robert Gorman, each contributing $1,000.

Letter: Sen. Linares Endorses Beckman for Essex Selectman

To the Editor:

I write to offer my strongest endorsement of Phil Beckman for the Essex Board of Selectman.

Phil will demonstrate outstanding management and collaboration savvy as he, with 24 years of experience as an officer in the Navy, routinely led and managed our finest young men and women. He frequently worked on bridging the gap between the highest levels of national strategy and operations. That makes him a prime asset in a policy shaping organization such as the Board of Selectman.

Phil has lived in town almost 20 years and has two school aged children in the local school system. Most importantly, he demonstrates a willingness to offer different points of view and accept the same from others – a character trait that is a must in government. I am certain that he will provide the same level of dedication and sacrifice on the Board of Selectman as he has in his military career. Please vote on November 3rd and support Beckman for Selecman.

Sincerely,

Art Linares
State Senator, 33rd District

 

Making A Difference From Two Wheels – Vista Ride Raises $84,000

The Vista Tour de Shore cycling event and fundraiser was held Sunday, Oct. 18th. Nearly $84,000 was raised by 250 riders. Credit: Jared D’Auria

The Vista Tour de Shore cycling event and fundraiser was held Sunday, Oct. 18th. Nearly $84,000 was raised by 250 riders. Credit: Jared D’Auria

A total of 250 people of all ages and abilities made a positive impact in the lives of individuals with disabilities by riding in the 7th Annual Vista Tour de Shore cycling event and fundraiser on Oct. 18th.

Together, 35 fundraising teams raised nearly $84,000 in the event, which was held at the Westbrook Elks Lodge. Funds raised in the Vista Tour de Shore benefit the Vista Endowment Fund, a supporting organization of Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center—an organization dedicated to assisting individuals with disabilities achieve personal success for over 25 years. Among those riding were 26 Vista students and members.

Riders chose from 5, 25, 40 and 60 mile routes on scenic byways along the Connecticut shoreline, enjoying the beautiful fall foliage. The event culminated with a party at the Westbrook Elks Lodge featuring food and live music by the Hayseed Criers, a local band. There were also raffles prizes donated by Zane’s Cycles, Branford Jewelers, Thomson Bike Tours, Lyman Orchards, Stony Creek Brewery, the Vista Arts Center and Creations, a retail store and Vista social enterprise located in downtown Madison.

Since its inception, the Vista Tour de Shore has raised over $315,000 for the Vista Endowment Fund.

Vista would like to thank event sponsors Shore Publishing, Essex Printing, Zane’s Cycles, Wilcox Energy, The Tolland Fund, V.P Electric, Pasta Vita, Gowrie Group, WebNow1, Middlesex Hospital, Essex Savings Bank, Wells Fargo, Branford Jewelers and Thomson Bike Tours.

Based in Madison and Westbrook, CT, Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center is a 501©3 nonprofit organization. Vista’s mission is to provide services and resources to assist individuals with disabilities achieve personal success.

For more information about Vista, please visit www.vistavocational.org

Letter: Senior-Dauer and Badger Always Caring for Chester’s Common Good

To the Editor:

I am writing in support of Sandy Senior-Dauer and Karin Badger for the positions of Library Board of Trustees. I know them both and respect their integrity and diligence, always caring for Chester’s common good.

Sandy Senior-Dauer is a long time active resident and has served for 16 years on the Library Board and is presently Vice Chair. She also is the VP of Chester Historical Society and a retired award winning history teacher. Sandy received the Pillar of Chester volunteer award because of all the hard work and accomplishments she has had serving our town.

Karin Badger is an Art Director and Graphic Designer working for US, UK and German publishing companies among other businesses. Her long time love of books resulted in her specializes in book design. Badger has been active member of our community and presently serves on the Board of the Robbie Collomore Series, and has volunteered for the Chester Historical Society and BRAYCE.

Libraries have always been a part of both Sandy and Karin’s lives. They both have a deep understanding and appreciation of the positive influence a Library has in a community. Both are active with Chester’s library, attending all the meetings from the present building renovation and its importance as a historic building, as well as focus groups and meetings on the current potential of North Quarter Park.

Sandy and Karin will both continue to question and challenge the current development project and future of our Library to ensure whatever the outcome, it properly reflects Chester. They are committed to listening to every resident’s opinion and they continue to reach out so every voice is heard to ensure proper representation of our resident’s wants and needs for our Library. Join me in voting for them on November 3rd.

Sincerely,

Lori Ann Clymas
Chester

 

 

Deep River First Selectman Dick Smith Endorses Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman for Re-Election

Deep River First Selectman Dick Smith and Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman (l to r) pose outside Town Hall in Deep River (photo by Jerome Wilson)

Deep River First Selectman Dick Smith and Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman (l to r) pose outside Town Hall in Deep River (photo by Jerome Wilson)

Deep River’s popular First Selectman, Dick Smith, has announced his endorsement of Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman for re-election. Needleman is finishing his second term and is running for his third. Needleman is being challenged by Republican candidate Bruce Glowac, who was an Essex First Selectman several years ago, and a Selectman as well.

In his endorsement Smith said of his fellow First Selectman Norman Needleman, “We both are working hard for our two towns. Norm Needleman is a great person, a good guy and he has had two excellent terms in the position of First Selectman of Essex.” Smith continued, “The issues of the two towns, Deep River and Essex, are the same, and Norm and I work together very closely.” Smith noted, “Needleman’s business background is an added plus, because running a town is the same thing as running a business.” Concluding Smith said, “It is very important that Needleman be re-elected as First Selectman of Essex.”

Needleman Thanks Dick Smith  

Needleman for his part thanked Smith, “for both his support and his wisdom.”  “Dick Smith is one of the most respected public officials in the state of Connecticut, and his opinions matter.” Needleman said, adding that Smith, “is known for his experience and judgement, and it is important that he continue his work as First Selectman of Deep River.”

Election Day this year is November 3rd.

Letter: Look Past the Labels

To the Editor:

With an open seat at two of the three Selectboard positions Chester residents have an opportunity to consider candidates new to town governance and expected to have fresh ideas grounded in community commitment.  Hopefully, voters will look past national labels and do their due diligence in getting to know the candidates for who they are and what they stand for.

I have taken the time to get to know Carolyn Linn. I admit I did not know her when I served as First Selectman but I do know of the efforts she was involved in an I have taken time to learn more about her qualifications. Perhaps most important for me is her entrepreneurial experience as a respected small business owner in town. Chester is a small community that requires a lot of “hands on” creative management of the First Selectman. Running a successful small business requires the same in order to get the most value out of every dollar you bring in and provide the highest value to every dollar you charge your customers. And really, that is what the First Selectman position is all about, getting the most value out of every tax dollar spent and providing the best value to every taxpaying customer. Granted, town government is a monopoly, and it is not unusual for government officials to lose sight of the need to provide value and service. I think that is much less likely to happen however, when you have officials with experience in running a small business where their livelihood depends on personally delivering value to every customer ever day. Please take the time to get to know Carolyn Linn, if you have not already; her candidacy is worthy of your consideration.

Sincerely,

Tom  Marsh
First Selectman, Chester (2005-2011)

Letter: Englert Thoughtful, Decent, Committed

To the Editor:

Tom Englert is one of the most thoughtful, decent, committed individuals I have ever met.  When we served on the Selectboard together he put the welfare of Chester first in every issue that came before the board. The same can be said of his tenure on both the WPCA and Zoning Board of Appeals; two boards that have had their share of controversial issues.  Party politics were nowhere to be found. Tom is the guy that listens quietly to all. He doesn’t say a lot but when he speaks; his contribution is of high value.  He is the one that takes the time to read all the material in advance of a meeting (a rarity on many boards).

With two of the three sitting Selectboard members not running Tom’s experience will be critical to the new board. Ensure Tom Englert remains on the Chester Selectboard by supporting him with your vote for Selectman. Tom is the kind of wingman every board chair wants and needs…..regardless of party.

Sincerely,

Tom Marsh
First Selectman, Chester (2005 – 2011)

Letter: Four Generations of Blair Family Support Linn

To the Editor:

My grandfather, my father, and most recently my son (who was born last year) and I all call Chester home.  We each have unique concerns, but we all agree on one thing:  We are proud to support Carolyn Linn for the office of First Selectman in Chester.

My grandfather and father are concerned about the affordability of staying in Chester and being able to remain in their homes.  They know that Carolyn’s ability to manage budgets and look at the big picture will help to keep our taxes manageable and affordable.  My grandfather was talking about all the infrastructure improvements that were made to the town in his 22 years as Selectman, and he knows that Carolyn will be able to accomplish the current and future projects the town undertakes both responsibly and affordably.

As a young family in town, next to taxes, another one of my concerns is, “Will there still be an elementary school when my son turns five and is ready to go to Kindergarten?”  The thought of bussing him out of town for elementary school doesn’t sit very well with me.  I know that Carolyn will not let that happen.

Collectively, we believe Carolyn has the right balance of experience and compassion for Chester’s residents.  After meeting with Carolyn a few weeks ago my grandfather was very impressed.  He told me, “There is no formal training or handbook for the job of First Selectman.  Chester is lucky to have many fine men and women serving on all their boards and commissions.  I know Carolyn will work with all these individuals to make sure what she is doing is best for all of Chester’s residents.”

Please join me and my family on November 3rd and vote Carolyn Linn for First Selectman.

Sincerely,

Robert J. Blair III
Candidate for Inland Wetlands Commission / Member of Chester RTC
Chester, CT

Letter: Needleman Exhibits a Calm Clear Headed Approach

To the Editor:

The elections are almost here and I wanted to make public my support of Norm Needleman as First Selectman in Essex.

I moved here 5+ years ago from an Essex-like town in Maine. Yarmouth town government was very conscious of being open and transparent in dealing with the public, and that openness trickled down to all the departments; police, parks, harbor master, etc. It was an easy and pleasant place to be because the town structured itself that way. We knew what to expect and we expected things to be fair and reasonable.

I am happy to have landed in Essex – but upon first arrival there were a few bumps, and not always a clear and simple path to follow when dealing with the town. Shortly afterward, Norm became the First Selectman and I have noticed the gradual change.  Norm as a leader exhibits a calm clear headed approach that has, in my experience, infected the rest of the town departments making everything seem just a little more customer (or resident) friendly.

I can name several examples, but I’ll submit just one seemingly minor but important and public example. The small park on Grove Street (which I walk or drive by daily) was very little used when I came to town, except for the occasional tennis player – hidden behind the large trees. That park has been revitalized, and I am sure at reasonable cost, and it is used almost constantly.  If I go past now, I am sure I will see children and parents on the play sets, some people picnicking (often the parents of the kids playing) almost all of the time. And the tennis courts, now that they are more open, seem to be in use a very high per centage of the time. This is a small thing – but when the goal of improving the quality of life in a town is up front – then we need to pay attention to all the small things, and help them along.

I hope Norm is elected back into office – and I hope his legacy will be, when he one day he steps aside for the next person, that he made everyone in Essex life just a little better every year he served.

Sincerely,

Bob Ward,
Essex, CT

Grant Awarded to Preserve Shoreline Electric Railway Powerhouse

image001 (1)As part of the effort to encourage revitalization and redevelopment of Mariner’s Way and the Ferry Point neighborhood, the Town of Old Saybrook applied for and received a Making Places Grant from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation to study potential new uses for the Shoreline Electric Railway Powerhouse located on the Connecticut River at Ferry Point.

Shoreline Electric Railway Powerhouse History

The building was constructed between 1908 and 1910 of poured concrete, a unique process considered revolutionary at the time. The Shoreline Electric Railway Powerhouse housed the boilers and turbines that provided the electricity for trolleys serving the transportation needs of shoreline residents between 1890 and 1930. The electric trolleys ran east to west from New Haven to New London and south to north from Old Saybrook to Chester.

Old Saybrook Making Places Grant from the CT Trust for Historic Preservation

Preservation and revitalization of this historic industrial structure were goals identified in Ferry Point planning workshops. Revitalizing the building would preserve local history, further redevelopment goals in the Mariner’s Way Plan and create a destination in the Ferry Point neighborhood for residents and visitors.

After meetings with Connecticut Trust staff members, property owners, the First Selectman, Old Saybrook Land Use staff, the Old Saybrook Historical Society and a consultant, The Town of Old Saybrook requested and received a $49,750 Making Places Grant from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Town of Old Saybrook hired Goman+York Property Advisors to conduct the market feasibility study. Goman+York Property Advisors have experience in strategic planning, property redevelopment and market feasibility research. Goman + York gathered input from residents and completed feasibility analyses on multiple reuse options. Their study identifies the best uses with the greatest potential for success to ensure the building can be preserved and contribute to the economic well-being and quality of life of Old Saybrook.

 

Presentation of the Findings

 

The public is invited to a presentation of the study’s results by Peter Holland of Goman+York Property Advisors.

Thursday, November 12 at 4:00pm

Saybrook Point Pavilion

150 College Street, Old Saybrook

Making Places Grant Overview

The Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation (CTPH) Making Places Grants (MPG) are intended to catalyze and move forward efforts to preserve, stabilize, rehabilitate and re-use historic industrial places.

The MPG is a strategic planning and pre-development grant for non-profits, municipalities, private developers partnered with these entities for underutilized historic industrial buildings and sites. MPGs are cash reimbursements for pre-approved costs upon successful completion of the grant-funded project and do not require any match. Awards are $2,500 up to $50,000.

Making Places Grants are administered by the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, and funded by the State Historic Preservation Office of the Department of Economic and Community Development, with funds from the Community Investment Act of the State of Connecticut.

located on the Connecticut River at Ferry Point.

The public is invited to a presentation of the findings on November 12 at the Saybrook Point Pavilion at 4:00pm.

Shoreline Electric Railway Powerhouse History

The building was constructed between 1908 and 1910 of poured concrete, a unique process considered revolutionary at the time. The Shoreline Electric Railway Powerhouse housed the boilers and turbines that provided the electricity for trolleys serving the transportation needs of shoreline residents between 1890 and 1930. The electric trolleys ran east to west from New Haven to New London and south to north from Old Saybrook to Chester.

Old Saybrook Making Places Grant from the CT Trust for Historic Preservation

Preservation and revitalization of this historic industrial structure were goals identified in Ferry Point planning workshops. Revitalizing the building would preserve local history, further redevelopment goals in the Mariner’s Way Plan and create a destination in the Ferry Point neighborhood for residents and visitors.

After meetings with Connecticut Trust staff members, property owners, the First Selectman, Old Saybrook Land Use staff, the Old Saybrook Historical Society and a consultant, The Town of Old Saybrook requested and received a $49,750 Making Places Grant from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Town of Old Saybrook hired Goman+York Property Advisors to conduct the market feasibility study. Goman+York Property Advisors have experience in strategic planning, property redevelopment and market feasibility research. Goman + York gathered input from residents and completed feasibility analyses on multiple reuse options. Their study identifies the best uses with the greatest potential for success to ensure the building can be preserved and contribute to the economic well-being and quality of life of Old Saybrook.

Presentation of the Findings

The public is invited to a presentation of the study’s results by Peter Holland of Goman+York Property Advisors.

Thursday, November 12 at 4:00pm
Saybrook Point Pavilion
150 College Street, Old Saybrook

Making Places Grant Overview

The Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation (CTPH) Making Places Grants (MPG) are intended to catalyze and move forward efforts to preserve, stabilize, rehabilitate and re-use historic industrial places.

The MPG is a strategic planning and pre-development grant for non-profits, municipalities, private developers partnered with these entities for underutilized historic industrial buildings and sites. MPGs are cash reimbursements for pre-approved costs upon successful completion of the grant-funded project and do not require any match. Awards are $2,500 up to $50,000.

Making Places Grants are administered by the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, and funded by the State Historic Preservation Office of the Department of Economic and Community Development, with funds from the Community Investment Act of the State of Connecticut.

Women Candidates Face Off in Cordial Chester First Selectman Debate

CHESTER — The two first time women candidates running for the open first selectman seat, Democrat Lauren Gister and Republican Carolyn Linn, faced off Tuesday in a cordial campaign debate held at the Chester Meeting House.

About 70 residents turned out to watch the candidates answer prepared questions and questions from the floor. The one-hour session was moderated by former Democratic State Rep. Claire Sauer of Lyme.

Gister, a lawyer and former U.S. Marine, and Linn, a former Aetna manager who now runs a local pet care business, were in general agreement on many municipal issues and topics. Both expressed support for the plan to build a new library/community center at North Quarter park, and both were cautious on the question of building a sidewalk along the north side of Main Street as it approaches the park. A north side sidewalk was dropped from the nearly complete Main Street east reconstruction project late last year amid objections from some residential property owners on the street.

Linn said there should be a continuous sidewalk on at least one side of the street east to the intersection with Rte. 154, and suggested looking to projects in other cities and towns for creative ways to build a sidewalk with minimal disturbance. Gister, while noting “some neighbors have great concerns,” said a crosswalk further west at the intersection with School Lane is not sufficient for pedestrian safey, adding the sidewalk issue “will have to be addressed,” as the town moves toward construction of the new library.

Both women, each mothers of children who attended Region 4 schools, said they opposed the plan for a full K-12 regionalization of district schools that was withdrawn earlier this year amid opposition from Chester officials.  Linn went furthest, questioning whether there would be any real benefits of a full regionalization under a single three-town elected board of education. Gister said there could be some benefits, while adding that any regionalization plan “needs a lot more work.”

Both candidates said they would look to residents for input on the option of adopting a town charter, a step that could open the door to changing to a four-year term for board of selectmen and other town offices, or even a change to a town manager for of local government. “I don’t know what Chester wants and would need to find out what Chester wants,” Gister said.

On economic development, both candidates said the town should look to fuller utilization of existing commercial and industrial land and space, with Gister noting “one business does not make that much difference on the mill rate.” Linn agreed that filling vacant spaces can be difficult, but also suggested the town should be prepared to “use our zoning in the most optimal fashion,” to boost economic development and grow the grand list.

One difference between the candidates emerged with a question from the audience about a possible local blight ordinance. Linn said she would oppose what she described as an inherently “subjective” ordinance on blighted properties, adding “what one person may consider blight another may not.” Gister, while not advocating quick adoption of a blight ordinance, said she has heard concerns from many residents about the condition of some properties in town, and the impact of such conditions on values for nearby properties.

Depending on the Nov. 3 result, either Gister or Linn will become the second woman to serve as Chester First Selectman. The first was Republican Betty Perreault, who served from 1989-1993.

Letter: Sypher Proud to Support Gister, Janecek

To the Editor:

It is with deep pride that I declare my support for Lauren Gister for the position of First Selectman and Charlene Janecek for Selectman. They are a great team and I know they will represent us well for the common good of Chester.

Having served as a Selectman for the past six years, I know what the positions require, and understand the issues facing our town, now and in future. Gister and Janecek’s experience, knowledge, skills and dedication are just what Chester needs.

We are privileged to have Lauren Gister who is intelligent, knowledgeable about legal issues, and has years of experience serving Chester as a volunteer and through her legal practice. Lauren’s integrity, strength, and commitment are well proven by her 25 years of service in the Marine Corps and in the business world.

We don’t need corporate experience that focuses on profits over people. We need the qualities that Gister brings, integrity and hard work from a proven leader who cares and knows how to overcome obstacles when times are difficult. Major Gister worked with diverse groups of enlisted Marines and officers, achieving goals by listening, educating, and setting realistic objectives, and consistently following through to get things done. No politicking. No backstabbing.

Janecek has a record of 40 years of volunteer service to Chester, serving on many Boards and Commissions, as well as being the owner of The Lunch Box for many years. An undeniable asset in town knowledge and communication with the electorate.

Both Gister and Janacek have solid leadership skills that motivate people to get involved and get things done. They listen and act. I urge my fellow citizens to vote for Gister and Janecek as the most qualified team to serve our town.

Sincerely,

Larry Sypher
Chester

Essex Firm, Outthink Hires New CFO

Outthink hires Tracey Jacey as new CFO

Outthink hires Tracey Jacey as new CFO

ESSEX — Essex firm Outthink has hired Tracey Jacey as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). In her role at Outthink, Jacey will lead accounting, finance and human resources. She brings over 25 years of experience in financial management, strategic planning and human resources that will support Outthink’s growth. Jacey has worked for many well-known regional and international companies including, Honeywell International, Dealertrack Technologies, Sonalysts, Inc., Pratt and Whitney and ABB Combustion Engineering.

“Outthink’s rapid growth requires someone with Tracey’s strong financial management skills and ability to communicate effectively,” says Outthink Principal and Co-founder John Visgilio.

Prior to joining Outthink, Jacey was the Divisional Controller at Dealertrack Technologies, Inc. in Groton, Conn. Before that she served as the CFO, Director of Human Resources and Treasurer for INNCOM International, Inc., a Niantic-based company specializing in software-based energy management systems for global lodging, healthcare and educational markets. INNCOM was acquired by Honeywell in 2012, and Jacey led the sell-side financial transaction efforts. Prior to joining INNCOM, she was the Accounting and Finance Manager for Sonalysts, Inc. in Waterford, Conn. If you are a business and you don’t have a CFO, then it might be a good idea to check out something like this part time CFO to at least give you a better idea of what you should do for your business.

Active in the community, Jacey serves on the Board of Trustees of the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, Conn. She was also a founding member of the Shoreline Cohorts Investment Association and has chaired several non-profit fundraising events. She received her BS from the University of Massachusetts and her MBA from the University of Connecticut.

Outthink, a different kind of full-service marketing communications firm, serves clients who want more than just image building and demand immediate results. Outthink works across 13 time zones in categories like gaming, travel and leisure, healthcare, education and financial services. Founded in 2002, Outthink invents new combinations of traditional and new media strategies to boost results in advertising and media engagement. That’s how Outthink helps clients outperform their competition. Visit outthink.com to see how they do this.

Essex Garden Club Presents “Autumn Leaves” Scarecrow

Autumn leaves scarecrowEssex Garden Club has created “Autumn Leaves” to compete in this year’s Scarecrow Competition. Pictured left to right are MyLan Sarner and Lumie Han. Also Eve Potts and Sandy French helped in the making of “Autumn Leaves”. You can see “Autumn Leaves” at the entrance to the Town Park on Main Street where the Garden Club members recently completed their fall Cleanup.

Letter: Lori Ann Clymas as Region 4 Board of Ed. Representative

To the Editor:

The Region 4 Board of Education has responsibility for a $18.5 million budget and will be confronted with many issues over the next several years, not the least of which are declining enrollments and possibly another push for regionalization of the elementary schools.

The position requires a commitment of time and energy; it requires understanding the underlying details and how they fit into the larger picture; a capacity to ask searching questions and a knack for thinking outside the box when working toward solutions. The role needs individuals with the leadership to address parent, student, and taxpayer concerns in clear and effective ways. And it requires collaboration and a willingness to work across the three towns with whom we share our educational system.

That person is Lori Ann Clymas. She has a record of involvement, caring and follow-through. She has what it takes to listen and to speak while building consensus, and it’s why I fully endorse her. Please join me in voting for Lori Ann Clymas as Region 4 Board of Education representative.

Sincerely,

Virginia E. Carmany
Chester, CT

Eleventh Annual “Dogs On The Dock” to be Held Today

Best costume is just one of the canine competitions to be held at Dogs on the Dock at the Connecticut River Museum on Sunday, October 11.

Best costume is just one of the canine competitions to be held at Dogs on the Dock at the Connecticut River Museum on Sunday, October 11.

ESSEX — On Sunday, Oct. 11, the waterfront lawn of the Connecticut River Museum will once again be “going to the dogs” with the commencement of the 11th Annual “Dogs On The Dock” parade and competition. Dog owners and dog lovers alike are invited to attend rain or shine. Bring your dog and join the crowd for this uniquely Essex experience.

Dog participant registration starts at 1 p.m. followed by a lawn parade at 2 p.m. and then individual canine competitions in categories such as best costume, best nautical costume, best owner look-alike, smallest dog, biggest dog, best trick and best dock jumping. Dock jumping dogs must wear a harness to participate.

The event is sponsored by the Connecticut River Museum and the Essex Board of Trade. Registration is $10 per dog and $5 for each additional dog with net proceeds being donated to local animal rescue shelters. All dogs must have a 2014 license and rabies tag to participate.

For more information, call 860-767-8269 or visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or www.essexct.com.

 

Vista, Community Members, Shift Into Gear

Vista students and members were joined by members of the community and Vista staff on Monday, Oct. 5th, for a group bike ride. From left are: Gerard O’Shea, Elayna Paradiso, Sheridan Bauman, Charlie Steinberg, Dan Coca-Ducach, Chris Bailey, Scott Taylor, Ben Bodman, Kip Lyons, James Pittenger, Linda Rogen, John Morgan, Tom Naughton, Paul Rogen and Ellis Mayo.

Vista students and members were joined by members of the community and Vista staff on Monday, Oct. 5th, for a group bike ride. From left are: Gerard O’Shea, Elayna Paradiso, Sheridan Bauman, Charlie Steinberg, Dan Coca-Ducach, Chris Bailey, Scott Taylor, Ben Bodman, Kip Lyons, James Pittenger, Linda Rogen, John Morgan, Tom Naughton, Paul Rogen and Ellis Mayo.

In preparation for the upcoming Vista Tour de Shore cycling event and fundraiser on Oct. 18th, many Vista students and members have been training alongside members of the community during weekly Monday night bicycle rides.

A tradition started last year by the Gears of Change team—led by Vista employee Linda Rogen and her husband Paul, of Thompson Bike Tours— the training rides help Vista students and members get ready for the event while allowing them the opportunity to socialize with members of the community also riding in the event.

“I made a new buddy here,” Vista member Elayna Paradiso said, referring to Westbrook resident Sheridan Bauman, an experienced Tour de Shore participant. “I like riding with her because she is able to keep up with me.”

The group rides departed from Vista’s Westbrook campus and consisted of a 5-mile route along the shoreline. An average of 15 people participated in the rides each week.

Now in its seventh year, the Vista Tour de Shore is a major fundraiser for Vista. The event kicks off from the Westbrook Elks Lodge and offers 5, 25, 40 and 60 mile routes on scenic byways along the shoreline. Money raised by the Vista Tour de Shore benefit the Vista Endowment Fund, a supporting organization of Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center.

It’s not too late to register or support a team. Visit www.vistatourdeshore.com.

Based in Madison and Westbrook, CT, Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center is a 501©3 nonprofit organization. Vista’s mission is to provide services and resources to assist individuals with disabilities achieve personal success.

For more information about Vista, please visit www.vistavocational.org

Local Sailor Wins New England Model Sailboat Fall Regatta in Deep River

From left to right: Will James, Ron Rhault, Brian Kerrigan, Renny Schoonmaker, and Jon Pelley.

From left to right: Will James, Ron Rhault, Brian Kerrigan (Essex), Renny Schoonmaker, and Jon Pelley.

Model sailing enthusiasts for all over New England converged at Plattwood Park Pond in Deep River this past Sunday to compete for the five awards  for winning this prestigious event. The event was hosted by the Dry Pants Model Yacht Club( DPMYC) based in Deep River and well-known in sailing circles throughout the United States.

The boats that were sailed were the CR-914s , a one-design national class of racing sailboat. The designs reflect the same lines of many well-known Americas Cup boats. Their length is 36 inches.

Sailing conditions were anything but normal. High winds due to the offshore location of Hurricane Joaquin forced a one-day postponement and , even then, the waters of the pond reflected 20 mph (gusts to 30) wind  swirling in many directions. These conditions were extremely challenging for both skippers and their boats. A lot of close calls took place in terms of boat contact. Simply put, it was not a sailing day for those expecting or wanting “normal” sailing conditions.

After 17 races, five sailors emerged as the best of the best. The overall winner was Brian Kerrigan of Essex, Ct.  He was followed (in order of finish) by Will James (Marblehead, MA), Ron Rhault (Mansfield , Ct), Renny Schoonmaker (Essex, Ct) and Jon Pelly (Griswold ,Ct).

Spectators were amazed these boats were able to handle the winds we had. For information on model sailing in the readership area, contact Jim Godsman@860-767-5052.

Valley Regional High School Students Help Library Book Sale

National Honor Society students from Valley Regional High School help with the sale

National Honor Society students from Valley Regional High School help with book sale

The Board of the Friends of the Essex Library would like to thank all who contributed to the success of our recent book sale. This exceptionally large sale required significant work by many volunteers including those who worked during the event and those who sorted, repaired, priced and stored books in preparation for the sale, helped set-up for the sale and put everything away afterwards.   We are especially grateful to the Valley Regional National Honor Society students who assisted in our set-up and clean-up efforts. Katie Amara, Hannah Halsey, Leslie Clapp, Emma Petersen, Colton Kinney, Kyra Streck, Alex Zambuni and John Tibbets, thank you! We also want to recognize the Zambuni family who for many years have helped with set-up, take down and moving overflow books to the storage shed throughout the year.  We are grateful for your help. And, lastly, we thank the library staff for their support, with a special thank you to Anna Cierocki.

We would be remiss in not thanking those who contributed, and those who purchased, books, CDs and DVDs.   Your support of the library is deeply appreciated.

From November 23 to December 23 we will be featuring a Holiday Sale where sale items will change daily. Please stop in to browse for pristine books that are suitable for holiday gift giving.

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TTYS Donates Rifton Chairs to Local Schools

UntitledTri-Town Youth Services recently donated four Rifton chairs to local schools servicing children in Chester, Essex and Deep River. The supervisor of pupil services, Tyson Stoddard, accepted the donation and will distribute the chairs into the preschool special education classrooms. The chairs will be used in the preschools to assist children in the appropriate sitting position while participating in educational activities, tasks, and routines.

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

WFSB’s Kevin Hogan Reveals What You Didn’t See on TV When the Pope Visited

WFSB News Director Kevin Hogan on assignment in New York City covering Pope Francis’s visit

WFSB News Director Kevin Hogan on assignment in New York City covering Pope Francis’s visit

Editor’s Note: Lyme, CT resident and WFSB News Director Kevin Hogan covered Pope Francis’s recent trip to the US in each of the three cities of Washington DC, New York and Philadelphia that the Pope visited. We are thrilled that Kevin has chosen to share some insights with us from those hectic days on the road and express our sincere appreciation to him on behalf of all our readers.

During my 42 years as a broadcast journalist, I’ve covered many high-profile world leaders. Last week I had the distinct, exhausting pleasure to cover Pope Francis in Washington, New York City and Philadelphia.

While the Holy Father was in Cuba, my Channel 3 videographer Jeff Kolan and I set the GPS in our news car for the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C. The Marquis was the media mecca for all 3,000 journalists cleared by the Secret Service and the Vatican to cover Pope Francis on this historic trip. Even before checking in to our hotel in Arlington, we had to obtain our credentials for the week.

The planning for our coverage began months earlier when we had to apply for credentials, our managers had to coordinate with our CBS Newspath directors to ensure broadcast quality transmission and communication in all three locations and venues. Weeks before we even filled up the car and gathered gear, I was making contact with all the known and possibly unknown religious and other organizations planning to be with the Holy Father. Yes, the Archbishop from Hartford and Bishops from Bridgeport and Norwich diocese were attending, as well as the Knights of Columbus in New Haven. The Knights World Headquarters is in the Elm City.

Thankfully it was up to my managers to secure hotel reservations. We knew getting around each city under extremely tight security was going to be a challenge. So getting a hotel close to the heart of the action at this stage of the game was not going to be easy. In Washington, we were put up in Arlington, Va. Not a bad drive. Some taxis were available, but most of the time we walked. Jeff and I averaged 4 to 5 miles per day in DC.

Kevin Hogan stands in front of the Capitol in DC.

Kevin Hogan stands with the waiting crowds behind him in DC.

We walked with the throngs of visitors along miles of steel mesh barricades, through Airport Style electronic security sensor checkpoints with bomb sniffing dogs to stand for hours on the lawn of the Capitol. While Pope Francis was giving the first address by a Pope to a joint session of Congress, we were attempting to find Connecticut residents amongst the gathering of 50,000. We found people with relatives in Connecticut, Priests who’ve studied in Connecticut and even TV reporter Les Trent from Inside Edition. Nice guy, by the way. His photographer recognized my photographer from an earlier assignment.

We found Nutmeggers in DC, who were not there necessarily to see Pope Francis but to hawk Vatican related souvenirs. Dave Thomas of New Haven brought $150,000 worth of supplies to sell. No, he didn’t have a Pope doll or the much sought after Pope bobble-head because they were made of a breakable ceramic that would be a security risk.

Dumb me, on the morning of the Canonization Mass for Franciscan Junipero Serra, it didn’t dawn on me until I was in checkpoint line for security that I realized I had two of my coveted multi-tools in my LL Bean canvass shoulder bag. Lesson learned. Security was nice about it. No, I couldn’t get that back.

We had the most perfect vantage point during the Mass, four stories high on a scaffolding riser with all the other world media watching down and absorbing this beautiful event.

Our producers wanted us to talk to the morning team on Thursday … anchors Eric Parker of Old Lyme and Irene O’Connor. Our wake up time was 4 a.m. We were LIVE on the air at 5:10 a.m. and ready for another looooong day. Thursday was also the day we had to checkout early and hit the road after our live broadcast at 6 and head for New York.

Kevin Hogan and Jeff Kholan take a brief break for a photo.

Kevin Hogan and Jeff Kolan take a brief break for a photo.

Videographer Jeff Kolan grew up in southern New Jersey and he made a calculated foodie stop at his favorite hotdog stand, The Doghouse. He treated me to a real, honest-to-goodness Philadelphia Cheese steak loaded with mushrooms and onions. Funny, you see all these world leaders and you gravitate to the food memory. I savored it all.

We checked into our hotel at midnight and got up at 8 a.m. Why the Doubletree in midtown doesn’t have a coffee maker in the room, I’ll never figure that one out. I needed one.

We were in New York one day, packed and checked out bound for Philadelphia and the last leg of our trip.

Did you see the Pope? Not in person in DC or New York because our timing was off. If you wanted to see the Holy Father in Person, you had to take a position in an area he was scheduled to be and stake it out for hours.

In the Big Apple, we hooked up with Susan and Dr. Robert Staab of Old Lyme and members of Christ the King Church. The Staabs, as members of the Order of Malta — a 900-year-old organization that helps the Vatican — were invited to attend the Papal Mass Friday evening in Madison Square Garden. They were just 13 rows from the Holy Father. Me? Jeff and I were on the road for Philly hoping to get ahead of the Pope.

Philadelphia was given the name “POPEACOLYPSE”. Because a more than two square mile area was walled off to vehicles, pedestrian traffic only.

Our hotel was on the fringe of the fence line. On Saturday morning we woke at 5 and were out the door heading to a live location at KYW TV, the CBS affiliate. It was a short 2.5 mile walk through two security checkpoints, minus my multi-tools.

As soon as we finished our live shot … and watched on TV as the Holy Father’s Aircraft landed we got word that his motorcade would drive right near the TV station. Jeff and I bolted and made feet for a fixed position right on the highway exit ramp. In a matter of minutes, a long procession of motorcycle officers roared past followed by black SUV’s and more motorcycles with the U.S. Flag and the flag of the Vatican See.

Yes, it was Pope Francis.

With an excited Kevin Hogan watching, Pope Francis drives by in his famous Fiat

With an excited Kevin Hogan watching, Pope Francis drives by in his famous Fiat through the streets of Philadelphia.

Homeland Security warned us to back off the ramp … as we did a small black FIAT carrying Pope Francis on the other side … came into view. Like a little child I raised my arm stretching my Channel 3 Microphone high into the air and waved it wildly! I saw Pope Francis raise his left arm and wave back. I snapped a selfie shot … and captured a moment in time.

There were hundreds of thousands of people in Philadelphia. On Saturday we walked 13.5 miles. We walked a total of 38 miles during the whole U.S. tour.

Each day we encountered wonderful people, officers, security personal from all over the U.S. Amazingly the visitors of all ages and cultures dressed as if they were going to Sunday Church. There was a calm in each city we visited. There was excitement in the air because The Pope was here.

Past, Present and Candidates for Future Selectmen of Chester Gather

 First Selectman candidate Lauren Gister; Selectman candidate Charlene Janecek; Current First Selectman Ed Meehan and Selectman Larry Sypher; Former Selectmen Martin Heft and Peter Zanardi

First Selectman candidate Lauren Gister; Selectman candidate Charlene Janecek; Current First Selectman Ed Meehan and Selectman Larry Sypher; Former Selectmen Martin Heft and Peter Zanardi

Lt Governor Nancy Wyman and Attorney General George Jepsen stopped by a local event to support Chester First Selectman Candidate Lauren Gister and Selectman Candidate Charlene Janecek.   They emphasized how important the local race is and praised Lauren and Charlene on the dedication, knowledge and experience they have to run the Town of Chester.

Selectman Larry Sypher; former First Selectman of Old Saybrook Roger Goodnow; P&Z candidate Jacqueline Stack; Library Board Candidate Karin Badger; Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman; Chairman of the Board of Finance Virginia Carmany (behind); Selectman Candidate Charlene Janecek; Attorney General George Jepson; First Selectman candidate Lauren Gister; State Representative Phil Miller and First Selectman Ed Meehan.

Selectman Larry Sypher; former First Selectman of Old Saybrook Roger Goodnow; P&Z candidate Jacqueline Stack; Library Board Candidate Karin Badger; Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman; Chairman of the Board of Finance Virginia Carmany (behind); Selectman Candidate Charlene Janecek; Attorney General George Jepson; First Selectman candidate Lauren Gister; State Representative Phil Miller and First Selectman Ed Meehan.