December 13, 2018

Archives for April 2018

Tri-Town DTC’s Host Democrat Candidate Forum Tonight in Old Lyme

OLD LYME — The Tri-Town Democratic Town Committees (DTCs) – the DTCs of Lyme, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook – have announced that they will present a Democratic Candidate Forum on Monday, April 30, at 6:30 p.m. at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School.

The event is free and open to the public; all registered Democrats from the three towns are encouraged to attend.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the forum will start at 6:30 p.m.

The Tri-Town DTCs have invited a slate of candidates that they believe to be of greatest interest to the three area communities, DTCs and local delegates. At the forum, the candidates will present brief statements on their platforms and then take questions from DTC delegates.

The candidates invited to attend include:

Candidate for U.S. Senate:
Chris Murphy

Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives:
Joe Courtney

Candidates for Governor:
Susan Bysiewicz
Sean Connolly
Jonathan Harris – TENTATIVELY CONFIRMED
Ned Lamont – TENTATIVELY CONFIRMED

Candidate for CT Secretary of State:
Denise Merrill – CONFIRMED

Candidates for State Treasurer:
Dita Bhargava
Shawn Wooden – CONFIRMED

Candidates for State Attorney General:
Paul Doyle
Claire Kindall – CONFIRMED
Christopher Mattei – TENTATIVELY CONFIRMED
William Tong – TENTATIVELY CONFIRMED

Candidate for State Comptroller:
Kevin Lembo

Candidate for State Representative:
Matthew Pugliese – CONFIRMED

Candidates for State Senator:
Martha Marx – CONFIRMED
Norm Needleman – CONFIRMED

The Tri-Town DTCs hope each candidate who has been invited to attend will be able to do so. The group will provide updates on who is confirmed as attending on the Facebook pages of the Lyme, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook DTCs.

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Reynolds’ Subaru Donates $30,000 to Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center

Pictured above at the check donation ceremony are (from left to right) Joe Altavilla, District Sales Manager, Subaru of New England; Devin Carney, Connecticut State Representative (R-23rd); Kathryn Wayland, Reynolds’ Subaru; Hayden Reynolds, Reynolds’ Subaru; Laura Martino, Middlesex Hospital; Melissa Ziobron, Connecticut State Representative (R-34th); and Justin Drew, Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center.

 

WESTBROOK — Reynolds’ Subaru in Lyme has donated $30,000 to Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center’s new Westbrook location. The generous donation will ensure that cancer patients have access to the best possible treatments and care team.

Reynolds’ donation was made following the conclusion of Subaru of America Inc.’s Share the Love campaign. Reynolds’ Subaru and the Reynolds’ family, however, have been supportive of Middlesex Hospital for many years.

“As a local business, we feel it is important to give back to our community,” says Hayden Reynolds. “We believe that having medical care on the shoreline makes it easier for our customers, neighbors and family members to get the care they need. The Cancer Center is a great addition to what Middlesex already offers on the shoreline, and we are so pleased to help the Hospital’s efforts.”

Justin Drew, director of the Cancer Center, is very grateful for the support. “We are humbled by the generosity of Reynolds’ Subaru,” he says. “Their support means that Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center patients can access life-saving cancer treatment closer to home, and we thank them for sharing their love with us.”

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CT River Museum Hosts ‘Tavern Night’ Tomorrow With Beer, Ale Tasting and Games Galore

The Connecticut River Museum’s War of 1812 Tavern Night features an evening of food, drink, music and games in the Museum’s historic Samuel Lay House. Photo: Connecticut River Museum.

ESSEX — Join the final Connecticut River Museum Tavern Night of the season on Friday, April 27!  This lively 19th century evening will take place at the museum’s historic Samuel Lay House overlooking scenic Essex harbor.  The house will be transformed into a candlelit riverside tavern from the War of 1812.

The evening includes a Beer and Ale tasting by Olde Burnside Brewing Company, drinking songs and ballads by Rick Spencer, Dawn Indermuehle & Chris Dobbs, tavern games, and early American cuisine provided by Catering by Selene.  Additional wine and beer will be available at the cash bar.

Catering by Selene is creating a sampling of appetizers/light dinner featuring early 19th-century food. These are based on chef Selene Sweck’s extensive research and collection of early American cookbooks and will comprise such foods as hearty corn chowder, chess pie, and other light bites.

As part of the evening, participants will have an opportunity to try their hand at historic games such as Skittles (played with a top that goes through a maze knocking down pins) and Captain’s Mistress, a game with a scandalous sounding name.

Tastings take place at 6 and 8 p.m.  Space is limited and reservations are required.  Call to reserve tickets at 860-767-8269 or visit ctrivermuseum.org.  Tickets are $24 for museum members or $29 for the general public (must be 21 or older and show valid ID).  Includes Beer and Ale tasting, light bites, and entertainment.  The evening is sponsored in part by Catering by Selene, Connecticut Rental Center and Bob’s Centerbrook Package Store.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10 AM – 5 PM and closed on Mondays until Memorial Day. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $7 for students, $6 for children age 6-12, free for children under 6. 

For more information, call 860-767-8269 or go to www.ctrivermuseum.org

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Community Music School Hosts 35th Anniversary Gala Tomorrow

Making plans for this year’s 35th anniversary CMS gala are, from left to right, CMS Music Director Tom Briggs, CMS Trustee and Gala Sponsor Bruce Lawrence of Bogaert Construction, CMS Trustee and Gala Sponsor Jennifer Bauman of The Bauman Family Foundation, and CMS Executive Director Abigail Nickell.

DEEP RIVER – Community Music School’s (CMS) largest annual fundraiser is the CMS Gala and this year the organization is  celebrating its 35th anniversary with For the Love of Music! The event takes place on Friday, April 27, at 6:30 p.m. in Deep River at The Lace Factory and includes fabulous musical entertainment provided by CMS faculty and students. Enjoy cocktail jazz and an exquisite dinner show, as well as gourmet food, dancing, silent auction, fine wines and more.

Featured faculty and student performers include Music Director Tom Briggs, Noelle Avena, John Birt, Amy Buckley, Luana Calisman-Yuri, Audrey Estelle, Joni Gage, Silvia Gopalakrishnan, Martha Herrle, Ling-Fei Kang, Barbara Malinsky, Matt McCauley, Kevin O’Neil, Andy Sherwood, and Marty Wirt.

Support of the Community Music School gala provides the resources necessary to offer scholarships to students with financial need, as well as weekly music education and music therapy services for students with special needs.

For The Love of Music! sponsors include The Bauman Family Foundation, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Bogaert Construction, Clark Group, Essex Savings Bank, Essex Financial Services, Grossman Chevrolet Nissan, Guilford Savings Bank, Jackson Lewis, Kitchings & Potter, Maple Lane Farms, Reynold’s Subaru, Ring’s End, Shore Publishing, Thomas Alexa Wealth Management, Tidal Counseling LLC, and Tower Labs LTD.

Early bird tickets for the evening are $125 per person ($65 is tax deductible) by April 13 and $135 thereafter. Event tickets include hors d’oeuvres, gourmet food stations, wine and beer, live music, and dancing. Tickets may be purchased online at community-music-school.org/gala, at the school located at 90 Main Street in the Centerbrook section of Essex or by calling 860-767-0026.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 35 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. The CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.  To learn more, visit www.community-music-school.org or call (860)-767-0026.

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See “Speaking Light’ at Melanie Carr Gallery Through May 8

ESSEX — Melanie Carr Gallery hosts a new exhibit, ‘Speaking Light,’ featuring the work of Hartford-based interdisciplinary Joe Bun Keo, on view at 1 North Main Street (across from the Essex Art Association) from April 20 through May 8. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, April 28, 2 – 4 P.

While incorporating everyday items and popular commercial products, Bun Keo’s sculptural, installation and conceptual works utilizes semantics to bring forth issues of cultural identity and the evolution of language.

He’s also interested in the relationship between art and work, specifically the correlation between global supply chain management and the art world. ‘Speaking Light’  explores the mysteries of autism and light – in the Artist’s words:

‘Speaking Light’

Autism is a spectrum.
Light is a spectrum.
We are all on that spectrum.
Cinema marquees light up the night with the newest films to enjoy.
The challenges of autism play themselves out in an action-packed feature.
You have your Oscar-winning moments of progress and then you have your empty seat moments of helplessness and frustration.
Light is a revelation, it is a beacon, it is a sign.
These light boxes feature terms, phrases, and soundbites I’m hearing, reading and learning about as a parent to an autistic child.
Let these be educational, but also let them be comforting and reassuring for those living life on the spectrum.

Artist Bio:   Joe Bun Keo

Joe Bun Keo received his BFA from the Hartford Art School. He was a candidate for The Mountain School of Arts (2012; Los Angeles, CA), nominated for the Wellesley College Alice C. Cole ’42 Fellowship (2013-2014; Wellesley, MA) and is currently pursuing his MFA. Bun Keo has participated in/ assisted with projects in Germany, United Kingdom, France, and has exhibited all over the United States.

Bun Keo is an active member of the creative community in Connecticut. He was selected for SLIDE SLAM at Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT (2010). He’s exhibited in pop-up galleries with David Borawski’s ATOMspace NOW ON (2012) and CT ArtList (2013). He has been featured in group exhibitions such as A Crew In Interest (Accruing Interest) at The Mill at Trinity College (Hartford, CT) and Hartford DADA at Pump House Gallery at Bushnell Park (Hartford, CT).

He had his most recent solo exhibition Head to Toe, at ArtWalk at Hartford Public Library, Hartford, CT (2015), group exhibitions, Distracted Driving, at Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT (2016) , Scars and Stripes, at Spaceworks Gallery, Tacoma, WA (2017),  Cool + Collected, at Melanie Carr Gallery, Essex Village, CT

He is a contributor to CT ArtList, a growing online arts resource for the State of Connecticut. Joe has also worked alongside Sharon L. Butler as a contributor for her award-winning blog, Two Coats of Paint. Bun Keo lives and works in Hartford, CT.

Melanie Carr Gallery is hybrid artist-run project space dedicated to the practice, exhibition, and sale of contemporary art and design. Carr’s studio occupies the back of the gallery and the goal of MCG is to promote the importance of contemporary art and examine its impact on society while providing its artists greater exposure to new audiences.

Melanie Carr, Owner and Director, is a Connecticut-based artist who received her MFA from the College of Art and Design at Lesley University in 2011. Carr began her studies in visual art after serving in the United States Navy as an Operations Specialist onboard the USS Willamette (AO-180) in Pearl Harbor, HI. Carr spent over 10 years at the New Britain Museum of American Art, her most recent role as Curator of New Media. She is now Adjunct Professor at Central Connecticut State University, where she teaches drawing, and joined the staff at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, University of New Haven.

For more information, email melaniecarrgallery@gmail.com or call 860.830.6949

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‘Green Up’ Old Saybrook, Saturday

Butterflies and flowers should be littering the landscape, not plastic and other trash. Join the Fifth Annual ‘Green Up’ Day effort in Old Saybrook on April 28. Photo by Ann Gamble.

Join the fifth annual town wide Old Saybrook ‘Green Up’ Day, Saturday, April 28, beginning at 8 a.m. This is a great opportunity to get out and see friends and neighbors, help “green up” the town for the season, and remove the litterbugs’ trash that’s been hiding under all the snow.

For added social networking, start your trash journey with the ‘Green Up’ send-off celebration, at 8 a.m. on the Green and disperse from there to clean up roadside litter. Whether starting from the Green, or working in your own neighborhood, participants may pick up free garbage bags at designated drop-off locations: the Town Hall parking lot near the Green, Clark Memorial Park (Town Park) or the Town Beach Parking Lot.

Full garbage bags may be brought back to these locations as well for disposal.

There are many community activities taking place April 28, why not bring along a bag or two and look for trash on your way to baseball or the fishing derby? Every can, bottle, bag and fast food container picked up is one less item that will end up in Long Island Sound.

For more information about how and where you can help “green up” the town visit the Green Up Facebook page, the Old Saybrook Green Up website, or email bcasertano@comcast.net.

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Saybrook Point Commemorates Earth Day With Clothing Drive This Weekend, Ends Monday

Old Saybrook Inn aims to reduce textile waste and give new life to gently used clothing

OLD SAYBROOK – Saybrook Point is honoring Earth Day 2018 with a clothing drive at the property Friday, April 20 through Monday, April 23.  This effort aims to reduce textile waste and give new life to gently used clothing, as well as keep goods out of landfills and reduce waste from manufacturing, trucking, and packaging new goods.

Saybrook Point will have donation boxes set up in the hotel lobby throughout the weekend for Old Saybrook residents, neighbors and guests to participate. Accepted items include clothing, shoes, belts, purses, tablecloths and similar items in good condition, and all items will be donated to the local Goodwill, a non-profit organization that serves people with disabilities, economic disadvantages and other challenges to employment.

According to Planet Aid, a non-profit organization working to bring about worldwide environmental and social progress, Americans throw away 85 percent of the clothes in their closet that they don’t want, but almost everything can be repurposed in some way. Perhaps the most important impact has to do with stopping the acceleration of climate change. 

The greenhouse effect, as it is sometimes called, is associated with increasing amounts of CO2 released into the atmosphere. When solid waste such as textiles are buried in landfills they release greenhouse gases as they decompose, including methane, a particularly destructive substance. Similarly, at the other end of the clothing life-cycle spectrum, the production of textile fibers and the manufacture of cloth burns considerable quantities of fuel that releases CO2 into the atmosphere. Approximately 3-4 pounds of CO2 are saved for every pound of clothing that is spared from disposal. 

Green Initiatives and Sustainable Tourism at Saybrook Point

Saybrook Point operates under eco-friendly practices, all year-round. The property uses solar energy to help reduce energy consumption, as well as a natural gas co-generation plant which provides 45 percent of electricity and 80 percent of the Point’s heat. The Marina at Saybrook Point, was named Connecticut’s first ever Clean Marina in 2003, and has maintained this status ever since.  Fresh Salt, the restaurant at Saybrook Point, participates in a Farm-to-Chef program, using local farms and vendors for food sources, as well as their very own on-site vegetable and herb gardens.

About Saybrook Point Inn: The Inn is located along the scenic shores of historic Old Saybrook, Connecticut where the Connecticut River meets Long Island Sound. The Main Inn includes a collection of 82 classically-appointed guestrooms, many featuring water views and private balconies.

The Main Inn also hosts SANNO, a relaxing and restorative full-service spa, Fresh Salt, a casual fine-dining experience, and elegant ballroom and a variety of intimate gathering spaces, which can be used for private parties, meetings and receptions, and The Health Club, which is a state-of-the-art fitness center.

Saybrook Point Inn also features two luxury guesthouses, the historic Three Stories and Tall Tales both offering guestrooms that convey the story of famous Old Saybrook residents. The pristine Saybrook Point Marina, is a landmark boating destination conveniently located at the mouth of the Connecticut River, serving as a focal point for the Inn and home to the outdoor Marina Bar.

More information is available at www.saybrook.com.

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Cappella Cantorum to Perform Haydn’s ‘Creation’ Today with Pittsinger, Cheney, Callinan as Soloists

Tenor Brian Cheney

Bass David Pittsinger

DEEP RIVER — Celebrate Earth Day and the creation of this beautiful planet by attending Cappella Cantorum Masterworks Chorus’ performance of Franz Joseph Haydn’s “Creation” on Sunday, April 22, 3 p.m. at John Winthrop Middle School, 1 Winthrop Rd., Deep River.

Simon Holt will lead the chorus, professional soloists and orchestra. Soloists will be internationally known Bass David Pittsinger, Tenor Brian Cheney and Soprano Sarah Callinan.

Haydn’s oratorio depicts the creation of the world from darkness and chaos to the creation of light, order and harmony. It is considered one of Haydn’s finest works.

Tickets are $25 purchased in advance, $30 at the door. For more information or tickets, visit www.CappellaCantorum.org or call 860-526-1038.

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Centerbrook Architects Hosts SCEH Presentation This Afternoon on Cross-cultural Activities in Haiti

Students from Valley Regional HS teach robotics to Haitian students in the Deschapelles Community Library.

ESSEX — Sister Cities Essex Haiti invites the community to join them Sunday, April 22, at 4:30 p.m. at Centerbrook Architects, 67 Main Street, Centerbrook. Parking on site and across the street at Spencer’s Corner for two Cross-Cultural presentations of activities in Deschapelles, Haiti

The first presentation will be a talk titled, Teaching Robotics in Haiti, which will be in the form of a power point presentation with Valley Regional High School seniors Patrick Myslik, Sam Paulson, and Nicholas Otte about their one-week workshop in Deschapelles teaching programming to the Robotics Club of the Deschapelles Community Library.

The second will be a short film titled, Education in Haiti, by Olivia Henrickson and Gabe Vasquez, freshmen at Amherst College and Yale University. There will be a short Q and A with the students at the end.

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Thatchbed Island Ospreys Return

Webcam image of the nesting ospreys at Thatchbed Island.

ESSEX — The Essex Land Trust’s Thatchbed Island property is once again hosting returning Ospreys. Having wintered in the warmer climates of Central and South America, the arrival of Ospreys towards the end of March is the clearest indication that Spring is on its way.

The Essex Land Trust’s OspreyCam has not been operational for the past two seasons due to battery and camera problems. With these problems now resolved, the Trust took advantage of the opportunity to upgrade the camera to digital quality. This Thatchbed Platform has been hosting a nesting pair since 2003 and has successfully reared numerous fledglings.

I see you! A osprey looks up at the camera from his — or is it her –nest?

Ospreys continue to make a remarkable comeback after having practically disappeared from our coastal region in the 1970s and 1980s. In 2017, the Connecticut Audubon Society’s Osprey Nation Citizen Science Program monitored 540 nest sites throughout the state. Of these sites, there were 394 active nests and 607 total fledglings observed in the state. 

Ospreys are now occupying new nesting sites that are further inland than their historical range along the Connecticut coast.

The Middlesex County Community Foundation/Riverview Cemetery generously funded the initial installation of the Essex Land Trust OspreyCam. The live streaming of the Essex Land Trust OspreyCam is made possible by the generous support of Essex Savings Bank

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Letter From Paris: The (Rail) Battle That Macron Must Win 

Nicole Prévost Logan

France is going through the labor pains of implementing a variety of overdue structural reforms if France is to be brought into the 21st century.  President Emmanuel Macron has tackled this objective at a dizzying speed since his election on May 7, 2017.  The pace of change was so fast that the opposition appeared unable to react until Macron turned to the reform of the SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français.) 

Now that process is developing into a major crisis.  Other groups  – university students,  Air France personnel, hospital staff,  garbage collectors, violent clashes at the Notre Dame des Landes “zad” (zone à defenre), etc. – joined the movement.  To overcome the spread of the social discontent  will be the first and decisive test for the French president. 

When the government announced a restructuring of the SNCF , which involved the status of the railroad workers or cheminots, dealing with the unsustainable debt, introducing competition, and the overall modernization of the rail network – the reaction of the unions was immediate and massive.

On March 18, four trade unions – CGT (Confédération Générale du Travail), UNSA (Union Nationale des Syndicats Autonomes), RAIL-SUD and CFDT (Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail) – announced  an innovative and deadly form of strikes: work stops for two days, then trains run for three days.  This schedule will be repeated for a total of 36 days during a period of three months until the end of June … longer if necessary. 

The platform at the Gare de Lyon in Paris on April 3, showing the rail strike’s devastating effect.

The French are bracing themselves for this monster strike, which will be hard for millions of working people, mainly commuters.  The specter of the 1995 strike, which paralyzed France for one month, looms over the country.  The collateral cost of a widespread strike is astronomical with the loss of work days; hotels and restaurants losing more than 30 percent of their profits; and factories momentarily having to close down and lay off employees, and the like.

Facing the angry unions was Minister of Transports Elizabeth Borne, who is a petite, remarkably qualified 57-year-old woman.  A product of the top elite school Polytechnique, part of the socialist government of Lionel Jospin, former head of the RATP (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens) and of the SNCF strategy from 2002 to 2005. Technocrat rather than politician, Borne knows everything, but communication is not her forte

The 150,000 cheminots occupy a special place in France and are at the heart of the nation’s DNA. This is why the government’s efforts to bring reforms have met resistance violence the like of which it may not have anticipated.  The aura surrounding  the cheminots has been significantly fed in popular culture by a couple of films. 

In Jean Renoir’s “La Bête Humaine”, 1938, Jean Gabin portrays a cheminot. He looks quite dashing as he leans out of the steam engine wearing goggles, his face smeared with black dust.  Sustained by a bottle of wine he shares with his jolly co-worker, his exhausting job is to feed the “beast” with coal in the deafening noise of an inferno while breathing  poisonous fumes. The indelible image of this hero inspired the population’s respect for the hard work of the cheminots. 

Jean Gabin as a cheminot in ‘La Bête Humaine,’ 1938.

The other film, which contributed to the collective adulation of the French for their cheminots, is La Bataille du Rail, 1946, played by non-professional actors.  It shows their courage against the Nazi occupants in provoking the derailment of many German trains.

The cheminots are fiercely attached to their special status including retiring at as early an age 52 with a very generous package of  guaranteed employment for life and free transport tickets for the extended family. The government is trying to be reassuring, saying that the changes will only concern the railroad workers hired in the future.  The cheminots will also benefit from a “social backpack” whereby they can take their special status with them in case of transfer to another job.

The SNCF is badly in the red: its debt of over 50 billion Euros increases by three billion every year and the infrastructure is in dire need of investment.  Although showing some signs of disfunction – trains are often late,  major break downs such as the ones which occurred last fall when the Gare Saint Lazare and Gare Montparnasse left passengers stranded for hours – the rail system is still one of the best in Europe.  The French people do not realize what an expensive luxury it is to have such a public transport system.  But this luxury comes at a price: its operation cost is 30 percent higher than the one of other European railroads.    

The cheminots have a visceral fear of the word” privatization.”  The government has repeatedly said that there will be no privatization.  The state will remain the sole share holder and the only change will be that, in the future, the SNCF will be run as a private company, according to directives approved by the European Council in 2001.

The opponents to reforms spread unfounded horror stories about the introduction of competition and problems it caused in other countries.  Besides, the SNCF’s structure, as a public company created in 1937, had already entered that process over the years.  Freight was privatized in 2003.  International lines – like Eurostar (to England) and Thalys (to Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany) – are run independently from the SNCF.   The Italian company Thello runs night trains between Paris and Venice.  All Trains à Grande Vitesse (TGV — high-speed train) tracks are scheduled to be shared with foreign companies by 2020, according to the guidelines approved by the European Union (EU) members.

Criticisms have been expressed about the overbuilding of TGV lines at a high cost and at the expense of other lines.  The announcement of  suppression of small lines provoked an outcry from public opinion well-orchestrated by the unions.  The dense network of TER (Transport Express Regional) and inter-city trains dates back to the days after WWII.  It was a time when half the French population lived and worked in the country versus less than only 4 percent today.  Each village wanted its gare (railroad station.)  Obviously, the time has come to adapt the network to the population’s current needs.  Since 2002, the small lines are the responsibility of the 12 “regions.”

Emmanuel Macron is dealing with the most challenging issue of his presidency to date.

With the one-year mark of his mandate approaching, Macron felt it was timely to take stock of  what has been accomplished to date by his government.  His first talk took place on Thursday, April 12, during the midday news.  The president was sitting on a tiny chair in an elementary classroom in Normandy.  In a relaxed atmosphere, the president answered the questions French people – including retirees – were asking regarding the erosion of their purchasing power.

Many people expected fireworks during the second event on the evening of Sunday, April 15.  The fireworks duly happened. 

Two journalists – Edwy Plenel from Mediapart and Jean-Jacques Bourdin, from RMC (Radio Monte-Carlo ) wanted only one thing: to tear Macron to pieces.  Interrupting him from the start, their questions were bundled with disinformation.  Insults and accusations flew.  Plenel went as far as saying, “Mr. President, you only won the election by default and your program was supported by just a handful of people.”  Bourdin treated the president as a criminal — as  he frequently does in respect of the person he is interviewing, bullying them into  a “Yes or No” answer.  When the exchange touched on the veil worn by Moslem women, both journalists blasted Macron for totally opposite reasons.

Macron’s performance was superb.  He kept his cool and managed not only to answer the questions at length, but also to explain the rationale for his policy.  Among all the information he disclosed, one was crucial — starting in 2010, the state will gradually take over the huge debt of the SNCF.

Editor’s Note: This is the opinion of Nicole Prévost Logan.

Nicole Prévost Logan

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

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Family Wellness: Does Mindfulness Work for Families?

“Mindfulness” is certainly trending these days.  Books and workshops are in abundance, aimed at children, adults and families.

For some, the concept provokes rolling of the eyes, for others, curiosity, others still, an eagerness to share how helpful the practice has been for them. Perhaps in some it may provoke an urge to purchase new yoga pants and scented candles.

I believe it definitely has practical applications for healthy and happy relationships in families. Think of it as a “health habit.”

Let’s first define the term: 

“The quality of being conscious or aware of something,” and,  “A mental state achieved by focusing awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations, as a therapeutic technique.”

Generally, I see mindfulness as being able to identify feelings (sometimes uncomfortable ones.)  Being able to hold these feelings helps us to act — or not act — in a healthy way.

Here are some examples of mindful parenting at different developmental stages:

  • CeeCee is  2-months-old and has been fussy since three weeks of age. This makes her parents anxious, maybe even a little angry. CeeCee is thriving and healthy. By practicing mindfulness, her parents are more able to accept their own feelings as “normal” and know that these feelings do not mean that they do not love her. They look forward to CeeCee having her own fussy baby in the decades to come, so that they can reminisce with her.
  • Ben is 3-years-old and cries when he is dropped off at preschool. At family parties, he attaches himself like Velcro to his mother’s leg and will not engage with anyone of any age.  His mother acknowledges and respects her own feelings that go back and forth between embarrassment, irritation, and too- deep sympathy for Ben in this horribly scary world.  Thus her calm, measured responses to him end up making him “braver;” they do not feed into his erroneous belief about the terrible danger at a family party, and do not make him feel like a “bad boy” for being shy.
  • Sara, 10-years-old, did not make the A team in soccer this year. Before she expresses any feelings around this, her parents check in on their own feelings of disappointment and anger at the coach and they restrain themselves from immediately calling the coach. Later over dinner Sara states, “I was not really one of the best players and I like the girls on the B team a lot.”
  • Nick, age 16, is enraged with his parents that he cannot have a house party unsupervised by his parents.  His parents are considering the following responses:   1) “What are you, crazy, you little jerk?” 2) “We are so sorry you are angry with us, so we’ve changed our minds” and/or 3) “It is all our fault we raised you to even consider such a request.”  They realize all these feelings are “OK” and it is also ok for Nick to be mad. It is not their job to make him “OK” with their decision right now. They shrug, acknowledge his disappointment and move on, feeling good about their family and themselves, knowing that Nick is a good kid. Perhaps they will process this at a later time.

Mindfulness has applications across the lifespan.  Young children tend to be “in the moment,” often joyful, which is a tenet of mindfulness, but they may have trouble with handling feelings that might be perceived as less positive.  Young children can learn to “stand next to” feelings of anger, sadness, disappointment and fear, and then move on.  The elderly, sometimes looking at the past, are perhaps a bit frightened about the future.  A practice of mindfulness can be a comfort to them at their stage of growth.

Hanna Rosin, in a humorous piece in Slate, wonders if the concept of mindful parenting just identifies another way for parents to fail (e.g., I forgot to bake for the bake sale AND I forgot to be mindful with the kids yesterday.)  She raises a valid point in a funny and engaging way.  But I believe that, in the long run, a bit of this practice in family life will do the opposite; it will relieve pressure on kids and parents, and perhaps grandparents as well.

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Madison Senior Men’s Tennis Club Welcomes New Members of Any Skill Level From All Along Shoreline

Dan Janiak and Will Tuthill confirm it was a pleasure to play.   All photos by Peter Pearce.

“Sometimes you’re looking to play perfect tennis but it’s not going to happen all the time and you have to accept it.”   Andy Murray, professional tennis champion

AREAWIDE — For the men of the Madison Senior Men’s Tennis Organization, the tennis is far from perfect – but that’s not the point. Oh, they may step onto the court feeling sure that today, for just once, it’s all going to come together. But the reality of slower reflexes and an aging body’s aches and pains quickly snaps them back to reality.  The players all accept their shortcomings and can even joke about them; it’s the camaraderie that matters.

For men 60 years or older, the Madison Senior Men’s Tennis group is a great retirement activity and a perfect way to spend two to three mornings a week.  You’ll get exercise, competition, laughter, friendship, caring, and more.

Dave Cassano puts away a volley.

But you don’t have to be retired …

Some players adjust their work schedules to fit in tennis. Along the way, you just may be stimulated by seeing guys in their 80s who can still get around the court and hit winners. As player Greg Fahey said, “I happen to be one of the younger members of the group … all of the members are an inspiration in both physical and mental condition … in the spirit they demonstrate and the example they provide.”

The league is now recruiting new players for both the upcoming summer season as well as next winter’s. There’s no need to worry about your skill level. As octogenarian Tom Dolan told one player who was feeling dejected by his poor play, “Don’t worry about it. Think about the alternative; you could be horizontal.”

Art Paquette hits a forehand while his partner John Kraska watches the play closely.

Players range from beginners to seasoned veterans and span in age from 60 to 88. The league’s steering committee divides them into three groups based on ability, the goal being to slot players into the level in which they are likely to find comfortable, enjoyable play. A wide geographic area is represented, stretching from Hamden and New Haven up to Cromwell and down to Old Lyme.

Matches are all doubles, with partners being agreed upon by the foursome at the start of the match. You will be in a different foursome every match. With the emphasis on recreation and friendship, no standings are kept.

Matches are scheduled year-round, with the summer season running from May through early October and the winter season from October through April. Summer season is outdoors at public and private courts in the Madison/Guilford area; winter season is played indoors at the Madison Racquet and Swim Club. You may choose to play one, two or three days a week.

Article author Tom Soboleski runs down a forehand.

Madison Seniors Tennis is now in its 21st year. It began when a small group of friends, led by John Sadek and Joe Pegnataro of Madison, began playing at Pegnataro’s home court. It now includes more than 70 men and all scheduling is administered through a web-based program.

Whether you’re a high-skilled player or just a beginner, Madison Senior Mens Tennis will happily and comfortably welcome you. “Best thing I’ve ever done,” said Peter Lemley. “I find more often than not, when a player scores a great point, not only his partner, but his opponents will cheer.”  Besides the aforementioned benefits, your ego may get a boost as well. As tennis great John McEnroe has said, “The older I get, the better I used to be.”

If interested in joining, or if you have any questions, the organization can be contacted:

  • By text message or call to: Chris Hill at 203.641.7100, or John Sadek at 203.245.1261

More information is also available on the league’s website at https://sites.google.com/site/mseniortennis/home

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Con Brio Choral Society Presents “Mass for Troubled Times” Tomorrow in Old Lyme

Soprano Louise Fauteux

AREAWIDE — In times of angst and uncertainty, nothing helps heal the soul like the experience of glorious uplifting choral music performed live.

So for those in search of a respite from the world of today and a healing moment, come hear Franz Joseph Haydn’s response to the trials of his era, the Lord Nelson Mass also called a Mass for Troubled Times, performed by the 70 voices of the Con Brio Choral Society.

Haydn’s chief biographer, H.C. Robbins Landon, has written that this mass “is arguably Haydn’s greatest single composition.”

The mass calls for four soloists and this concert features four of the best. Con Brio welcomes for the first time soprano Louise Fauteux, and returning favorites of Con Brio audiences, Clea Huston, Contralto; Terrence Fay, Tenor; and Christopher Grundy, Baritone – performing with the Con Brio Festival Orchestra under the baton of Dr. Stephen Bruce.

The concert is on Sunday, April 15, at 4 p.m., at Christ the King Church, 1 McCurdy Lane, Old Lyme, CT.

Soprano Louise Fauteux has performed in a solo role in Peer Gynt with the New York Philharmonic and actor John de Lancie, on a tour in Venice with DeCapo Opera and with the Fairfield County Chorale. The Hartford Courant described her performance in Un Ballo in Maschera with Connecticut Concert Opera as a “pert, boyish Oscar” with “clarion tone in her two showpiece arias and a soaring top in the great Act I ensemble.”

Contralto Clea Huston

Contralto Clea Huston has a unique and powerful voice, “with formidable virtuosity over a wide range” (The Boston Globe) and “her mezzo-soprano voice is nothing less than spectacular in its power, agility and beauty” (San Francisco Classical Voice). Ms. Huston enjoys both the concert and operatic stage where she has performed across the country and internationally. Highlights of her solo symphonic engagements include a Wagner program with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and Verdi’s Requiem with the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra; a few of her many opera roles include the title role in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Jo in Little Women and La Principessa in Suor Angelica.

Lauded as a “musical polymath” by the New London Day, Tenor Terrence Fay is enjoying a burgeoning career as a tenor soloist and an active choral artist while also serving as principal trombonist of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, Opera Theater of Connecticut, and assistant principal trombonist of the New Haven Symphony. As tenor soloist, he has performed with the Eastern Connecticut and New Haven Symphony Orchestras, the Greater Middletown Chorale and Con Brio.

Tenor Christopher Grundy

Baritone Christopher Grundy has performed as a soloist throughout North America and Europe in opera, oratorio and recital. In the title role of Don Giovanni a reviewer said he “made an impact in the part, vocally and dramatically.” As the baritone soloist in Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, he “brought eloquence and musicality to the performance.” Connecticut soloist appearances include with the Stamford Chorale, Fairfield County Chorale, Connecticut Lyric Opera, Orchestra New England and Con Brio.

The concert’s second-half will open with C. Hubert H. Parry’s grand anthem I Was Glad, written for the coronation of Edward VII in 1902 and performed at coronations and royal weddings ever since. The next two pieces honor the host countries for Con Brio’s upcoming European tour: a Slovenian piece, Handl’s Ascendit Deus, long a standard in Renaissance choral literature, and a fun Croatian nonsense song, Terezinka.

As in every Con Brio concert, two eight-part pieces for double choir, Regina Coeli Laetare by Victoria and Dona Nobis Pacem by Rheinberger, will be performed in the round, with singers arrayed all around the Sanctuary of Christ the King church.

Rounding out the program will be Unclouded Day arranged by Shawn Kirchner, Mack Wilberg’s arrangement of Homeward Bound, Somewhere from Bernstein’s West Side Story, and two American pieces, one performed by the Ladies of Con Brio – Rosephanye Powell’s Still I Rise, and by the Gentlemen of Con Brio, Coney Island Baby/We All Fall.

For the rousing ending to the program, the Con Brio chorus, the four soloists and the Con Brio Festival Orchestra will perform the twelve-part Grand Finale from Act III of Verdi’s opera Falstaff.

Tickets for the performance are $30 each, $15 for students. Purchase them in advance online at www.conbrio.org or call 860-526-5399.

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‘The Lonely Heartstring Band’ Brings Bluegrass to ‘Music & More’ at CBSRZ, Tomorrow

The Lonely Heartstring Band will perform at CBSRZ, April 15.

CHESTER — Music & More at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ) brings nationally known masterful bluegrass band The Lonely Heartstring Band to the stage on Sunday, April 15, at 4 p.m. Nourished by deep roots in the expansive canon of traditional American music, The Lonely Heartstring Band embodies the modern American condition—an understanding and reverence for the past that informs a push into the future.

This multi-talented group of musicians is a classic Bluegrass quintet—always far greater than the sum of its parts. Combining soulful instrumental virtuosity with soaring three-part harmonies, their growing repertoire of original songs and compositions showcases not only their considerable talents, but a dedication to meaningful roots-conscious music.

Since their beginnings in 2012, The Lonely Heartstring Band has been on the rise and shows no sign of slowing down. With their 2015 IBMA Momentum Award and their 2016 release of their debut full-length album on the legendary Rounder Records label, there is every reason to hope that they are at the front edge of a significant career.

The Lonely Heartstring Band has already generated a devoted following of music-lovers across North America, performing and headlining at major music festivals and historic venues from Western Canada to California, from Kentucky to New Hampshire. Whether it’s a festival stage, theatre, or intimate listening room, The Lonely Heartstring Band always delivers a dynamic, diverse, and heartfelt performance. Over the last three years of touring, the band has crafted shows that generate a genuine connection and bring crowds to their feet.

The Lonely Heartstring Band, named in a tongue-in-cheek, tip-of-the-hat reference to one of their favorite albums, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely-Hearts Club Band, is a genuine musicians’ band, immediately appreciated by fellow-musicians who get their sound. That said, this is not esoteric or effete music intended for a select few, but has listenability that appeals to the bands already devoted following of fans and to music critics alike. Though their music is akin to the Punch Brothers, Alison Krauss, The Infamous String Dusters, or other folk-grass/chamber-grass groups in the Americana world, this band is already well on its way to making a dynamic and distinctive sound all its own.

Though characterized by intricate, precise, even elegant arrangements, The Lonely Heartstring Band’s music still has all the joy and spontaneity of bluegrass or folk grass at its finest, as exemplified in George Clements’s unique and sensitive, yet powerful, lead vocals, and their own extensive repertoire of originals.

The Lonely Heartstring Band is comprised of the aforementioned George Clements on guitar and lead vocals, his identical twin brother Charles on bass and harmony vocals, Gabe Hirshfeld on banjo, Matt Witler on mandolin, and Patrick McGonigle on fiddle, rounding out the harmony vocals as well. Four of the five band members met while students at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. Gabe Hirshfeld, George, and Charles are all from New England, while Matt and Patrick are both from the west coast; California and Vancouver.

“Being a huge fan of bluegrass music, I was drawn to The Lonely Heartstring Band because they bring a soulful quality to their music and voices,” comments David Zeleznik, Music & More producer and member of CBSRZ. “I felt that their particular brand of bluegrass will add to this fan base.”

For more information about The Lonely Heartstring Band visit their website at http://www.lonelyheartstringband.com.

Advance tickets ($25 general admission) can be purchased at www.cbsrz/org/events or through the Music & More at CBSRZ Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/music.more.cbsrz. For more information call the CBSRZ office at 860-526-8920 or through email at office@cbsrz.org.

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at, 55 E Kings Highway in Chester.

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Learn About Avian Artist Michael DiGiorgio’s Fascinating Life Journey, Tonight

Inca Jay by Michael DiGiorgio 2005

ESSEX – Enjoy a captivating evening with bird artist Michael DiGiorgio on Friday, April 13, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Connecticut River Museum. In his presentation, DiGiorgio will describe his journey from tracking and observing birds in wild to learning how to express their beauty and his feelings about them in drawings and paintings.  Along the way he meets the masters of bird art, finds his voice as an artist, and comes into his own as a nationally recognized nature artist.  The talk will also discuss sketching birds from life and becoming a field-guide artist.

Michael DiGiorgio is a nationally recognized artist living in Madison, CT.  His paintings and drawings have appeared in nature books and journals, including Birds of Brazil vol. 1 and 2, Bird Watcher’s Digest, Audubon Field Guide to Birds/Eastern and Western Region, and The Narrow Edge by Deborah Cramer.  Mike recently completely revised the artwork for the new edition of Peterson’s Field Guide to the Birds.

DiGiorgio has painted birds since he was five and studied bird painting under the late Don Eckelberry.  Under Eckelberry’s critical eye, DiGiorgio developed his style emphasizing the character of the bird and its relationship to the environment.  Committed to painting from life, he has traveled extensively to create field sketches of birds, plants, and habitat from all over the Americas, West Indies, Trinidad, and the Outer Islands of Britain.

DiGiorgio won the first ever Eckelberry Endowment Award from the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia for his Bird Illustration work.  His paintings have been exhibited at numerous museums and institutes including the Roger Tory Peterson Institute; The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia; and the The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.

The Connecticut River Museum is the only museum dedicated to the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its Valley.  The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open Tuesday – Sunday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. For questions, call 860-767-8269 or log on to our website www.ctrivermuseum.org.

Photo Credit:  Durham Fairground Bobolink by Michael DiGiorgio 2017

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AAUW Hosts Luncheon Saturday Featuring Best-Selling Authors Brunonia Barry, Randy Susan Meyers

AREAWIDE — The Lower Connecticut Valley branch of AAUW (American Association of University Women) will sponsor a luncheon at the Saybrook Point Inn on Saturday, April 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Randy Susan Meyers, author of the bestseller, The Widow of Wall Street, and Brunonia Barry, author of the novels The Lace Reader and The Fifth Petal, will discuss their books and their writing process.

Tickets are $50 and help to provide scholarships for local women pursuing higher education. There will also be silent and chance auctions.

For more information, visit http://lowerctvalley-ct.aauw.net.

If interested in attending, call Sara Keaney at 860-395-4298.

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Needleman Announces Support For Initiatives To Promote Tourism

Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman, who is also a candidate for the 33rd District State Senate seat.

ESSEX — Norm Needleman, Essex First Selectman and candidate for the State Senate for the 33rd District, today announced 3his support for new initiatives to promote tourism in Connecticut.

Needleman said: “The most recent data shows that tourism delivers $14.7 billion in annual revenue to the state, and supports 120,000 sector jobs. Every dollar invested in promoting tourism returns three dollars in revenue.

“That’s why I support the initiatives developed by The Connecticut Tourism Coalition. The proposed initiatives are common sense ideas that will enhance our tourism presence, which is key to building revenue:

  1. Create of a 15 member volunteer Tourism Advisory Committee, whose role will be to recommend strategies to the Office of Tourism for maximizing use of tourism funds.
  2. Appoint a Director of Tourism, a new position reporting directly to the governor
  3. Commit 3 percent of all taxable lodging revenue as a sustainable source of tourism funding
  4. Reopen visitor centers, using public or private funds

Needleman continued: “Connecticut is blessed with a wealth of historical, entertainment, lodging and recreation options. It makes sense for us to revitalize and sustain support for tourism. That investment will yield significant financial returns, and make our state more competitive with states that border us.”

The 33rd State Senate District consists of the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Portland, Westbrook, and a portion of Old Saybrook.

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Traditional Pulled Pork Dinner Benefits American Cancer Society, May 12

HIGGANUM — The 9th Annual Traditional Pulled Pork Dinner to benefit the American Cancer Society will be held Saturday, May 12, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the St.James Parish Hall, 501 Killingworth Rd,(Rte. 81), Higganum.  Dinner includes pulled pork with barbecue sauces on the side, roll, coleslaw, pasta salad, baked beans, dessert, coffee, lemonade or iced tea.  Everything made fresh on site.

Adults $15, Seniors $12, Children $6, Children ages 2 and under are free.

Don’t have time to eat? Get it on to go!  Takeout available. Don’t eat Pork?  A limited amount of Beef Brisket will also be available.

This event is presented by St.James Episcopal Church Relay for Life Team with a helping hand from Hartford Area Roller Derby.  All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.

For further information, contact Jere Adametz at 860-685-0688 or Elaine Jackson at 860-345-7755.

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Bill to Study State Employee Compensation Moves to Senate

State Senator Art Linares

AREAWIDE — State Senator Art Linares announced that the legislature’s Appropriations Committee has approved a bill he requested to study the long-term financial impact of state employees’ and elected officials’ pay and benefit compensation on the state. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

“Connecticut has been in a state of fiscal crisis for the last several years with budget deficit after budget deficit. This is despite the two largest tax increases in the state’s history,” Sen. Linares said. “We have to look at the state’s fixed costs and why they have gotten so far out of control.”

Sen. Linares said a review of state employee and elected officials compensation could examine ways to save money when the current state employee contract ends in 2027.

“I believe one area that should be considered is capping pension payout at $100,000 a year. The number of retirees receiving pension payments in excess of $100,000 has been growing at an unsustainable rate,” he said. “What do we tell the rank-and-file employees receiving smaller pensions when the pension fund is drained by retirees receiving six-figure payments? We have to make sure the pension plan stays solvent for all retirees.”

Currently, more than 1,400 retirees collect annual pensions in excess of $100,000, Sen. Linares said. The highest paid retiree received more than $300,000 a year.

“Retirement payouts like this were unheard of in the private sector even before most businesses moved away from pensions. Now employees and employers contribute to 401K-type plans,” he said. “We also have to remember that pensions are not the only form of retirement income state retirees receive. They contributed to and can collect Social Security.”

Sen. Linares said he also believes the lowering the expected return on investment in the fund from 8percent to 6 percent should be considered. The 10-year return for the 41 largest state pension funds was 6.59 percent.

“State employees, like their private sector counterparts, work hard to earn the paychecks they receive. We need to ensure that each of them receives the retirement funding they earn, by making sure the pension fund does not run dry due to the excessive pensions of a few,” he said. “I believe a comprehensive review of benefits that includes a $100,000 cap on pensions after 2027 will do that.”

Sen. Linares represents the communities of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

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SECWAC Hosts Presentation Tomorrow on ‘Northeast Asia at the Crossroads?’

Prof. Alexis Dudden, PhD

AREAWIDE — On Thursday, April 12, the Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council presents Professor of History at the University of Connecticut Alexis Dudden, PhD, and who will speak on Northeast Asia at the Crossroads?  

A reception starts at 5:30 p.m.in Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School and the presentation begins at 6 p.m.

Dudden’s topic will consider today’s fluid and complex situation in Northeast Asia with a special emphasis on Korea.

Following the presentation, join the speaker, guests, and fellow members for a meal at Old Lyme Country Club. The cost is $35 per person.

Call 860-912-5718 or email info@secwac.org to make your reservation (vegetarian option available if reserved in advance). Checks payable to SECWAC or credit card payment are accepted before the meeting by Courtney Assad.

Alexis Dudden is a Professor of History at the University of Connecticut. She holds a BA (magna cum laude) from Columbia University, and MA and PhD degrees from the University of Chicago. She is the author of several books and academic articles on Japan and Korea. She is currently writing a book about Japan’s territorial disputes and the changing meaning of islands in international law.

In a WNPR interview in 2017, Dr. Dudden commented that part of the North Korean leadership’s strategy for survival goes back to the end of the Soviet Union, and, specifically to the execution of the Romanian leader Nicolau Ceaucescu, as well as to the Bush “Axis of Evil” speech in 2002, which prompted the Kim regime to accelerate the development of nuclear technology.

How this meshes with the rise of China and the status of Japan is captured in her interview in The Diplomat in 2015, when she commented, “Today we see the return of the more traditional world order in East Asia, one that is increasingly focused around China. The dominance of Japan that shaped the 20th century is fading and the impact of the ‘Western powers’ is less critical, at least in the popular imagination.”

The presentation is a part of the SECWAC Speaker Series. SECWAC meetings are free to members (half-year membership February-June is $37.50/year; $12.50/year for young professionals under 35). Walk-ins are $20 for the general public (non-members; the $20 cost can subsequently be applied towards a SECWAC membership). SECWAC membership is free for area college and high school students.

SECWAC is a regional, nonprofit, membership organization affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). The organization dates back to 1999, and has continued to arrange 8-10 Speaker Series meetings annually, between September and June. The meetings range in foreign affairs topics, and are hosted at venues along the I-95 corridor, welcoming members and guests from Stonington to Old Saybrook, and beyond. SECWAC’s mission is “to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs through study, debate, and educational programming.” It provides a forum for nonpartisan, nonadvocacy dialogue between members and speakers, who can be U.S. policy makers, educators, authors, and other experts on foreign relations. Learn more at http://secwac.org.

Learn more at secwac.org.

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Chester Girl Scout Honored With President’s Volunteer Service Award, Certificate of Excellence

Chester resident Juliette Linares has been honored for exemplary service in her community 

CHESTER – Juliette Linares of Chester, a local Girl Scout, has been honored for her exemplary volunteer service with a Certificate of Excellence from The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, and with a President’s Volunteer Service Award.

Presented annually by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards honors young people across America for outstanding volunteer service. Certificates of excellence are granted to the top 10 percent of all Prudential Spirit of Community Award applicants in each state and the District of Columbia.

President’s Volunteer Service Awards recognize Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country.

Juliette, from Chester, Connecticut, has been in Girl Scouting for 13 years and has spent her career as a Girl Scout giving back to her community. She was chosen to represent local Girl Scouts on the Girl Scouts of Connecticut Board of Directors as Girl Board Member, where she speaks on issues affecting Girl Scouts throughout the state.

Since she was young, Juliette has used funds generated from selling Girl Scout Cookies for community service projects, including volunteering with a local inner-city elementary school. She began conducting book drives and shared 100 stories with 100 kindergarten students and gifted each child the shared book.

Juliette’s community service experience paved the path towards earning her Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. Nationally, only 6 percent of Girl Scouts earn this prestigious honor. Girls must complete 80-100 hours of community service to earn this award. Juliette’s Gold Award Project, Dinner & A Book was a literary celebration addressing the importance of literacy among young children.

Juliette started in 2014, writing a proposal, composing a budget, and fundraising, and 148 hours of planning time later, Juliette hosted an evening where she advocated for literacy. Her program will continue to run after she graduates high school.

“We are extremely proud of Juliette for receiving these incredible honors and for all that she has accomplished in Girl Scouting,” said CEO of Girl Scouts of Connecticut Mary Barneby. “I look forward to following her future endeavors and witnessing her continue to make our world a better place.”

Girl Scouts of Connecticut are more than 41,000 members strong – over 27,500 girls and nearly 14,000 adults – who believe that every girl can change the world.

They are part of a sisterhood of 2.6 million strong around the globe—1.8 million girls and 800,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. Their journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, her vision and legacy are honored, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.

Girl Scouts of America are the preeminent leadership development organization for girls … and with programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success.

To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit gsofct.org.

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Quodlibet Ensemble Plays Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ This Afternoon in Final Essex Winter Series of Season

The Quodlibet Ensemble who will play the final Essex Winter Series concert for 2018.

ESSEX — Essex Winter Series closes its 2018 season on Sunday, April 8, with the Fenton Brown Emerging Artists Concert featuring a 10-member string chamber orchestra, the Quodlibet Ensemble, performing Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, among other works.

The concert takes place on April 8, at 3 p.m. at Valley Regional High School, 256 Kelsey Hill Road, Deep River. Tickets are $35 and $5 for students and may be purchased by visiting www.essexwinterseries.com or calling 860-272-4572.

The New York City-based Quodlibet Ensemble is comprised of young, dynamic artists who present a range of music from the Baroque to the modern day. The players hold degrees from the Yale School of Music, Curtis Institute, Juilliard, New England Conservatory, and Harvard University, among others.

Currently they pursue careers as performing artists in both solo and prominent chamber ensembles ranging from early music group The Sebastians, to contemporary ensemble New Morse Code, to the Amphion String Quartet. A few of the players also serve as faculty at universities such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Yale School of Music, and Connecticut College.

In addition to The Four Seasons, the April 8 program will include music by Mendelssohn, Mozart, and an original piece by Nathan Schram, one of the Ensemble’s members.

Three of the players will take part in Essex Winter Series’ outreach residency and will travel throughout the area conducting workshops, master classes, and special performances in schools and community settings from April 9 through 11.

Essex Winter Series is not-for-profit arts organization and is generously sponsored by The Clark Group, Essex Meadows, Essex Savings Bank, Guilford Savings Bank, Jeffrey N. Mehler CFP LLC, Tower Laboratories, and BrandTech Scientific.

Media sponsor is WSHU Public Radio and outreach activities are supported by the Community Foundation of Middlesex County and donors to the Fenton Brown Circle.

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Final Chance to See ‘The Fantasticks’ This Afternoon at Ivoryton Playhouse

Rehearsing for The Fantasticks are, from left to right, Carly Callahan, David Pittsinger* and Patricia Schuman.*

ESSEX — The Ivoryton Playhouse will open its 2018 season with a romantic fable that has enchanted audiences around the world for over 50 years. The Fantasticks by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt is a timeless tale of young love, shattered dreams and universal truths and it opens in Ivoryton on Wednesday, March 21.

The show was first performed Off Broadway in May 1960 and ran for 42 years, making it the world’s longest running musical. It has helped launch the careers of Liza Minnelli, Glenn Close, F. Murray Abraham, Kristin Chenoweth, and even Ricardo Montalbán.

The Fantasticks has been performed in 82 countries, and each year some 250 productions are mounted worldwide. Its themes — the blind passion of youth, the meddling of parents, the deepening of love through pain and struggle — are timeless and continue to captivate audiences everywhere. This intimate show with a bounty of catchy tunes and beautiful melodies, including the classic “Try to remember the kind of September …”, is a quintessential celebration of love in all its gorgeous simplicity and heartbreaking complexities.

In rehearsal for The Fantasticks seen here are, from left to right, Ryan Bloomquist, Cory Candelet and Kimberley Immanuel*.

David Pittsinger*, who has performed in Ivoryton to great critical acclaim as Emile de Becque in South Pacific,  and  Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha, will be playing the storyteller – El Gallo.  He will be joined by his wife, Patricia Schuman*, Carly Callahan, R. Bruce Connelly*, William Clark, Kimberley Immanuel*, Ryan Bloomquist and Cory Candelet.

The show is directed and choreographed by Brian Feehan, the set is designed by Martin Marchitto, lighting by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Elizabeth Cipollina. Musical direction is by Jill Brunelle.

Don’t miss this opportunity to fall in love again and catch the magic one more time!

The Fantasticks opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse runs through April 8. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. There will be no performance on Easter Sunday, April 1 — the replacement show will be on Saturday, March 31, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $50 for adults, $45 for seniors, $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.)

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

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Gilead Hosts Road Race Today to Raise Awareness About Mental Health

Celebrating last year’s run …

AREAWIDE — Gilead’s 3rd annual road race will be held this Sunday, April 8, at the Middletown Legends 3.5 mile road race to raise awareness about mental illness.

Last year, 360 runners, walkers, volunteers, and cheerers made it to the finish line. It wasn’t just the weather that made the day so beautiful, it was enthusiasm, commitment and generosity that really made this day such a success. Together, $33,000 was raised for individuals receiving Gilead services.

Gilead’s 2018 goals are:

  • To raise awareness about mental illness and how many people are impacted.
  • To support a wellness initiative that brings clients, staff and community together.
  • To grow our team to 500 people in celebration of Gilead’s 50th Anniversary.
  • To raise funds to continue providing quality mental health services to over 600 individuals living throughout Middlesex County.

Check out Race for Every 1 FAQ’s for additional information.

Walk/Run the Race

REGISTER HERE and you’ll be directed the Hartford Marathon Foundation website, where you can also find more details on the race. To check out the race route, click here.

Join the Fundraising Efforts

TEAM GILEAD has set up a fundraising page to make it easier for you. Access it by clicking on this link to Crowdrise. Join a team and then ask your friends, family and co-workers to support you. They can donate to you online or write you a check, use a credit card or donate cash. Click here for a sample note/email you can use to ask your friends and family for support.

If you don’t want to join crowdrise, but would like to donate to a Team Member, just click the Team tab and then on their name/picture.

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Seeking Golfers, Sponsors for Ädelbrook Golf for Kids Tournament

AREAWIDE — Spring is here and Ädelbrook’s Golf for Kids Tournament is right around the corner. This year’s tournament will be held on Thursday, May 31, at the Robert Trent Jones Course at Lyman Orchards Golf Club in Middlefield, CT.

Don’t miss the opportunity to get involved with Golf for Kids to support the children and families served by Ädelbrook. Download the golf brochure at https://adelbrook.org/learn-more/events/golf-for-kids

This is a great sponsorship opportunity as golfers from all over the state with varying business needs attend, providing a diverse audience to showcase your business. As this tournament is in its 23rd year, it has a history of success and our golfers know that they get what they pay for.

The day includes 18 holes of golf, continental breakfast and afternoon buffet, contests for long drive and closest to the pin, free neck and shoulder massages, silent auction and a prize drawing, and a golf cannon. Yes, you read that correctly, a golf cannon.

Golf for Kids offers a wide variety of sponsorship levels from $150 up to $3,500. Being a sponsor allows you to get your company name out, while also benefitting the many children and young adults who are served by Ädelbrook. Being a golfer at this event promises a really great day with good food, fun activities all for a great cause.

Ädelbrook is a multi-service agency specializing in behavioral and developmental services. We are dedicated to meeting the unique needs of families and individuals, of all ages, as they relate to intellectual/developmental disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The organization provides short-term, long-term and respite residential programming for children and young adults. In-home and community-based services are customized from, as little as two hours a week, to round the clock staffing.  Additionally, an educational continuum for students aged 3 – 21 is provided.

For further information, call 860-635-6010 x327 or email Sharon Graves at sgraves@adelbrook.org

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Pegs from the Past Create Art for the Present; Chester Historical Soc. Hosts Reception for Challenge This Evening

CHESTER — What would you do if you were given three wooden pegs to reimagine?

If you’re one of the area artists, sculptors, photographers, engineers, jewelers, designers (you get the picture), you’d turn those pegs into something unique and/or useful, decorative and/or functional, whimsical and/or practical.

All for the Creative Challenge hosted annually by the Chester Historical Society.

For this year’s Pegs Challenge on Saturday, April 7, the Chester Historical Society was given a box of wooden pegs, discovered years ago at M.S. Brooks & Sons on Liberty Street.

Over the past years, the Chester Historical Society’s Creative Challenge has invited area artists to use artifacts from Chester’s rich manufacturing history to create items for a silent auction and reception to raise funds for the Historical Society.

There have been challenges based on hooks from the Brooks factory, knitting gauges from the C.J. Bates factory, manicure sticks from the Bishop & Watrous factory, and even rusted pieces “unearthed” from the yard of one of Chester’s earliest houses.

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

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

Tickets for the evening are $30. They can be purchased at Maple & Main Gallery and Lark, both in the center of Chester, or by calling Sosse Baker at Chester Gallery, 860-526-9822. They may be available at the door, if they have not sold out.

All the proceeds from the event will benefit the preservation and showcasing of Chester history through the Chester Historical Society and the Chester Museum at The Mill. Information is available on the Society website, www.chesterhistoricalsociety.org or at Facebook.com/chestercthistoricalsociety.

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Closing Reception for ‘Mighty Minis’ at Melanie Carr Gallery

This work titled ‘Juncture’ by Susan Breen is one of the signature paintings in ‘Mighty Minis’ at the Melanie Carr Gallery.

ESSEX — A Closing Reception for Mighty Minis curated by Suzan Shutan will be held Saturday, April 7, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Melanie Carr Gallery in Essex.

In the art world where ‘bigness’ reigns, 30 contemporary artists from United States and abroad have come together to reflect and respond to working small. For centuries, artists have utilized pint-size scales to depict and explore cherished, esteemed, and intimate subjects. The contemporary miniature can be seen as an approach to art making that marries craft and concept with gemlike details of tiny treasures.

Despite our fast-paced world, small works require giving time for reflection and thought. The reward may be the element of surprise. There are many reasons for an artist to favor working small. There can be practical limitations regarding space, time or resources, but in the case of the works presented here, working small is the objective.

There is also the reality that few collectors can accommodate only large-sized work. The focus of this exhibit is on the process of abstract painting, the exploration of work in two and three dimensions, on traditional and modern approaches, the space between craft and concept, and content and form.

The artists exhibiting include: Nancy Baker, NY Caroline Blum, NY Susan Breen, CT Andy Cunningham, CA Kevin Daly, CT Ellen Hackl Fagan, CT Judith Farr, SPAIN Kathy Goodell, NY Elizabeth Gourlay, CT Bob Gregson, CT Richard Griggs, CT Julie Gross, NY Debbie Hesse, CT Jeffrey Cortland Jones, OH Zachary Keating, CT Susan Knight, NE Bonny Leibowitz, TX Barbara Marks, CT ML McCorkle, GA Irene Miller, CT Juan Alberto Negroni, TX Paula Overbay, NY Heidi Pollard, NM Karen Schifano, NY Susan Scott, CT Belle Shafir,ISRAEL Dee Shapiro, NY Suzan Shutan, CT Andrew Small, PA Jill Vasileff, CA

Suzan Shutan graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting/Drawing from California Institute of the Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in Installation from Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts. Shutan has taught at Rhode Island School of Design, Quinnipiac University, CT, University of Omaha, NE and currently teaches Sculpture at Housatonic Community College.

She has attended artist residencies, has been awarded grants that include CEC Artslink, Art Matters, Berkshire Taconic Foundation’s A.R.T, and recently a Fellowship in Sculpture from the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism funding all work created in 2012-13. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions nationally including Bank of America Headquarters in N. Carolina and internationally in Germany, France, Sweden, Poland, Argentina, Russia, Canada and Columbia.

She has been reviewed by the NY Times, High Performance Magazine, and has work in private and public collections such as the Villa Taverna Foundation and UCLA.

Melanie Carr Gallery is an artist-run project space dedicated to the practice, exhibition, and sale of contemporary art and design. The goal of Melanie Carr Gallery is to promote the importance of contemporary art and examine its impact on society while providing its artists greater exposure to new audiences.

Melanie Carr, Owner and Director, is a Connecticut-based artist, who received her MFA from the College of Art and Design at Lesley University in 2011. She began her studies in visual art after serving in the United States Navy as an Operations Specialist onboard the USS Willamette (AO180) in Pearl Harbor, HI.

Carr spent over10 years at the New Britain Museum of American Art, her most recent role as Curator of New Media. She is now Adjunct Professor at Central Connecticut State University, where she teaches drawing, and joined the staff at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, University of New Haven. Other teaching venues include Spectrum Art Gallery, Centerbrook, Pathways Senderos, New Britain, CT, Green Street Arts Center, Middletown, CT, and the New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT.

Carr’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Soapbox Gallery, NY, Stockman Gallery, New Britain, CT, City Arts on Pearl, Hartford, CT, Westport Arts Center, Westport, CT, and Pegasus Gallery, Middletown, CT. In addition, her work was included in numerous exhibits that include The Point, United Kingdom, Gibney Dance, NYC, Gallery Aferro, New Jersey, The Delaware Center for the Cotemporary Arts in Wilmington, Mattatuck Museum, CT, Hans Weiss Newspace Gallery, CT, and Herter Gallery, MA.

Carr has work in the collections at the New Britain Museum of American Art, The Loomis Chaffee School, and the Boston Public Library, as well as many private collections

For more information, email melaniecarrgallery@gmail.com or call 860.830.6949

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Rep. Carney, Sen. Formica Hold Legislative Update This Morning, All Welcome

State Rep. Devin Carney

State Senator Paul Formica

OLD SAYBROOK — State Representative Devin Carney and State Sen. Paul Formica will hold a Legislative Update at the Vicki Duffy Pavilion, 150 College Street, Old Saybrook on Thursday, April 5, from 8 to 9 a.m.  This event is being hosted by the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce and all Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce members are welcome to attend, as well as the general public.

Admission is free but registration at this link would be appreciated.

The event will be an informal discussion highlighting legislative issues and bills, and what Rep. Carney and Sen. Formica hope to achieve in Hartford. Time will be allotted for Q&A.

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Essex Winter Series, Community Music School Present Master Class for Strings, Tuesday

CENTERBROOK Community Music School (CMS) and Essex Winter Series present a master class with members of the Quodlibet Ensemble, April 10, at 4 p.m. at the Centerbrook Meeting House, 51 Main Street in Centerbrook. The musicians will offer advice on technique and performance for student musicians who will each play during the class. The master class is free and open to the public.

The Quodlibet Ensemble is a New York-based string chamber orchestra of young, dynamic artists, who present a range of great music from the Baroque to the modern day. After its debut in 2008, the Ensemble has since performed at the Shepherd Music Series in Collinsville, the Yale British Arts Center, and at Drew University in Madison, N.J.

The Quodlibet Ensemble made its New York debut in March 2016, followed by an appearance at Rockefeller University. Their debut CD, Quodlibet Ensemble: Concerti Grosso, in which all players adapt gut strings, was released in the fall of 2014.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 34-year-tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity, and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.  Learn more at visit www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

As part of its robust outreach program, EWS brings highly accomplished young artists to public schools, senior residences, and community organizations in several Shoreline communities each year. This year’s outreach program expands to two cities, five towns, eight schools, three senior residences, and two community service organizations over the course of just three days, from May 8 through 10. These outreach programs are sponsored by the EWS’ Fenton Brown Circle, Community Music School, and in part by a grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County/River View Cemetery Fund.

For additional information or to register, visit www.community-music-school.org/argus or call CMS at 860-767-0026.

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Letter From Paris: Macron & Merkel: Can This Power “Couple” Lead Europe?

Nicole Prévost Logan

On Sept. 26, 2017, Emmanuel Macron chose the Sorbonne University to develop his grand vision for Europe.  In that seminal speech he was urging his perceived partner German Chancellor Angela Merkel to join him in tackling the lofty goals of European reforms, speeding up the integration of the Eurozone through the creation of a parliament, a ministry of finances, and its own budget.   

Macron proposed to strengthen the common market and reduce the economic inequalities through the  harmonization of taxes, creation of a minimum wage, and reform of the “detached workers” system, which leads to employment of migrant workers at cheaper rates than would likely be available locally — a practice known as “social dumping.”  His approach is based on several principles: a Europe protected by well-managed  external borders and a strong defense; the opening of Europe to free trade, but with due regard for reciprocity, and solidarity among the European Union (EU) members regarding the treatment of refugees.

After an interminable six months, the “Great Coalition” between German Conservatives and Social Democrats has made it possible for Angela Merkel to start her fourth mandate. Barely a few hours after her confirmation as Chancellor on Friday, March 16, she met with French President Macron accompanied by several ministers.  The speed with which she came to Paris shows how important it was for those two heads of state to get to work. 

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Unfortunately, the geopolitical environment allowing them to be the driving force of a dynamic Europe has shifted and even deteriorated during that long waiting period and their task has become more difficult. Merkel is politically weaker.  The continent is now fragmented and the resistance from newly-created groups within the EU has become more aggressive.  Macron will have to downgrade his proposals and make adjustments.

The political context in which Merkel starts her fourth mandate is quite different from the one existing in 2013.  Only 52 percent of the population supported the new chancellor in 2017 versus 73 percent in the earlier elections.  Compared to the consensus Merkel was able to maintain previously, it is harder now for her to keep the lid over dissenting opinions.

Even though they are part of the “Great Coalition,” several ministers stand in disagreement with the chancellor, including Olaf Scholz (social democrat or SPD), vice-chancellor and minister of finances, who believes in tightening the budget; Horst Seehofer  (head of the conservative Christian Social Union or CSU in Bavaria), who was given the  “super ministry” of the interior, who intends to be harsher toward the immigration policy in the name of the reactivated concept of “heimat” (homeland); Jens Spahn, 37, minister of health (Christian democratic union, CDU or Merkel’s own party), who is also a critic of Merkel’s policy on migrants, and Andrea Nahles, leader of SPD in the Bundestag, wants to rush through social reforms in favor of the workers. 

Even more difficult for Merkel will be the meteoric growth of the far right party (Alternative for Germany or AfD).  In  2013 it did not have enough votes to have representatives  in the Bundestag.  To-day AfD holds 92 seats out of 709.   At a recent news cast on the ARTE channel, the violent tone of a AfD member at the Bundestag was incredible.

The “Countries of the North” (as they are now called) — Ireland, Iceland, along with the Scandinavian and Baltic states, as well as the Netherlands — believe in a strict budget and are inflexible about financial and monetary discipline. Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of TheNetherlands, speaking for the North countries , declared, “We have to adhere to the Maestrich criteria,” namely to keep the public deficit under 3 percent of the Domestic Gross Product.  On March 27, for the first time in 10 years, France saw her deficit fall down to 2.6 percent.  This was a significant accomplishment:  France is now a credible member of the “club.” 

The North countries ask that Italian and Greek banks clean up their toxic debts.  A “mutualization” of the debt (particularly of Greece’s sovereign debt) and financial transfers are a red line conservative parties from Germany or Holland are not willing to cross.  Like Macron and Merkel, however, Rutte sets as a priority a European Stability Mechanism (EMS) and a European Monetary Fund .

The recent Italian elections on March 8 were a blow for moderate centrists like Matteo Renzi, and the victory of two extremist, anti-system and xenophobe parties: the Five Stars (M5S) at the far left, and The League at the far right.  Italy joins now the eurosceptic countries like Austria and the Visegrad group (the former Iron Curtain countries of Eastern Europe.)  All these countries oppose the Macron/Merkel policies on trade, finances, democratic values and attitude toward the migrants.

Given this overview of the political landscape of Europe, it seems that the strategy of Macron and Merkel will be to start from the areas of agreement – passage toward Brexit, defense against terrorism, and protection against excessive Chinese investments in the name of the “Silk Road.”

The reactions of other EU members toward Macron’s “jupiterian” style and desire to reform are ambivalent.  In a March 20 interview published by Le Monde, Xavier Bettel  prime minister of Luxembourg said that a “directorate Paris-Berlin is out of the question, but added”  France and Europe are lucky to have him. Even if we do not agree with all his proposals, they are most welcome.” 

Editor’s Note: This is the opinion of Nicole Prévost Logan.

Nicole Prévost Logan

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

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